Main Story, chapter 7
“I almost forgot.” Caden said, stepping back. “Why don’t you explain it to him?” The cat growled, and its fur stood up.
‘Only this once.’ Kira heard the voice say again, and then Fe grew. He morphed almost instantly into an elven shaped creature: his hair was short and glossy black; his eyes were large, intelligent, sky-blue cat eyes; and his arms and feet, and what Kira could see of his legs, were coated in short, light tan fur. He was dressed in elven clothes, and could have been confused for one if not for the long, streamlined tail hanging out from underneath his shirt. The elven cat turned its head to look at Kira with its large eyes, and Kira saw only an immeasurable depth in them. “Hello, Kira.” Fe said, in the voice that Kira had heard before. Fe turned his attention back to Obsidian, and addressed him formally, “Greetings, Obsidian. My name is Fe, and I am the Red Sage, though the very sight of you makes me sick.” Fe spat at Obsidian’s feet. “If not for my orders, I would personally kick you into Interim. But I’ve been relegated to baby-sitting and lecturing.” Fe said, sighing. “You are now a Moderator; I hope you’re happy with that. As you know, Moderators have some very unique abilities. However, they are not invincible, nor are they as powerful as you think. Take Caden for example.” Fe said, motioning at the elf behind him. “You and he are both Moderators. All Moderators have equal abilities: if you two get into a disagreement, and I can see no reason why you would,” he said sarcastically, “then you two would be stuck in a stalemate until one of you decides that they’re bored. But if you battle against two Mods, the pair will win every time. Make sense?
“And then there are the Sages.” he continued, circling around Obsidian. “There are only two of them: myself, and the Blue Sage. We are one level above Moderators; all of the Moderators put together couldn’t slow me, and I’m just one Sage. You’ve made me a little displeased.” Fe said, glaring at Obsidian in disgust, “But there’s nothing I can do about it right now. However, I would advise that you not make the Blue Sage unhappy. He is less lenient than I. You will receive your orders shortly after you are released from Interim, yet you have to get into Interim to get out of it, correct? So let’s get you there.” he said, smiling mischievously.
“Caden, override.” he said, walking towards Kira.
“My pleasure.” Caden said, his skin glowing in anticipation.
“But,” Fe added, looking back at Caden, “You have to wait until I leave.”
“Oh, come on. Well, hurry up then.” Caden said impatiently.
Fe smiled at him, then glared at Obsidian. “Goodbye, fool.” he said coldly, then leaned over as if to fall on his hands and knees and gracefully returned to his cat form. He rubbed up against Kira’s leg, then lightly padded away. ‘Goodbye, Kira.’ she thought she heard him say as he looked back. ‘I’ll be watching.’
“I’ve been waiting to do this for a long time.” Caden said, his skin beginning to pulse and change into various colors. “Do you know what an override is, Obsidian? An override gives a Moderator authority to undo anything another Moderator did outside their territory, which means,” he smiled, flexing his hands, “that since Landon lives in a world outside what is considered your domain, I can bring him back to life. Unfortunately I can’t undo all the evil you did in this world, but an override means I can undo you.” he said, pouncing on Obsidian. He grabbed him by the chest, and Kira felt a wave of heat wash over her, then she was blinded by a bright flash of light.
When her vision returned, Caden was standing with his hand held out, surrounded by a wispy cloud of smoke, and a pile of ash on the ground where Obsidian had been.
“Well that was disappointing.” Caden said, frowning. “It was over a little too quickly for my tastes.”
“What happened?” Kira asked.
“I sent him to Interim.” he replied, turning towards her. He stopped, and kicked the dust pile, then walked over and put a reassuring arm around her. “I can’t kill him, since he’s a Moderator, but I did the next best thing: I destroyed his body. I forced all the heat waves out of him, then made his remains disintegrate. Now he has to wait in Interim until the Warden receives orders to release him. But that won’t be for a very long time. Until then, I am still here to protect you, and this time, I can use my abilities.”
Caden was interrupted by Seth’s groan, who had sat up and was rubbing his head. “What happened?” he asked groggily, then realized where he was. “Where’s Obsidian?”
“Obsidian’s gone.” Caden said. “He guessed wrong.”
Seth smiled, then he tensed as he remembered something. “Enna.” he said. “What about Enna?” he asked, jumping up. “Is she okay?”
“Don’t worry.” Caden said, walking over and putting a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “My brothers took care of her. She’s safe now. I made sure of it before coming out here from the palace.”
“How did they overcome all the guards?” Seth asked disbelievingly.
Caden looked at Seth as if he’d asked the dumbest question he could think of. “Seth, those guards didn’t stand a chance against my brothers. Sonny has a rotten sense of humor sometimes.” he said, smiling. “He scared them so badly that they started running, and he chased them, yelling ‘I surrender!’ as loud as he could. That only made them run faster. But Enna’s safe; she’s still in the cell Obsidian put her in, being guarded by my brothers.”
“I’m sorry, it’s just…” Seth said, rubbing his face with his hands. He sighed, and stuck out his hand. “Good to see you again, Caden.”
“Good to see you in one piece too, Seth.” Caden said, shaking his hand. “I’m sorry to tell you that Masa’s already gone with about a third of those still loyal to Obsidian, but I’m sure you’ll have fun tracking him down with the gypsies.”
“I will.” Seth said, grinning. “Now let’s go get Enna.”
Obsidian couldn’t tell where he was. He was in a dark, spherical cell of sorts, from what he’d determined from his exploration of it. He thought he might be in Interim, and his guess was confirmed when a hooded face had appeared in front of him.
“Hello, Obsidian. Welcome to Interim.” the person said. “I hope you’re cozy in there, because you’ll be in solitary for a while. You can call me the Warden, but don’t call me often because I’m not letting you out until I get orders to. Do you know what the best part of being a Moderator is, Obsidian? The best part is that you don’t have to eat or sleep! You get to stay up the entire time you’re here, thinking about what you did to get yourself in here. I hope you got what you wanted.”
“You’re hilarious.” Obsidian hissed. “I would be careful what I say, if I were you, because you might regret some things when I get out.”
“A word of advice, Obsidian,” the Warden said, leaning forward, and his lips twitched upward in a knowing grin. “I would watch what you say to me. Remember Fe telling you not to make the Blue Sage mad?”
“You’re not…” Obsidian said, fear piercing his heart as he scooted back from his face.
“Congratulations.” the Warden said, his smile now cold. “You’ve managed to successfully turn both Sages against you, before you’ve even become a full-fledged Moderator.”
“I’m not a Moderator yet?” Obsidian asked, confused.
“Oh yes, you’re a Moderator, but you haven’t changed anything about yourself.” the Warden said, frowning. “That’s one unfortunate side effect, in your circumstances, about being a Moderator: when your body gets destroyed, you get it back, fully restored, but you have to change something about it. I suggest you spend your time considering your options.” he said, his face beginning to fade.
“That, and how to make the Eldians suffer.” Obsidian said as he rolled over and curled into a ball, beginning to plan his revenge.
The Warden’s face stopped fading, and his face was a stone-cold scowl. “Remember, Obsidian, you unleashed several outside Moderators on your world, and if I understand the situation correctly, and I know I do, you’ve made most of them very angry. I would be very careful how I behaved once I got out, if I were you.” the Warden said, his face disappearing completely. “Enjoy your stay, Obsidian. And enjoy meeting your new friends.”
“New friends?” Obsidian sat up and called after him, but his only answer was a fading strain of laughter.