This was stupid! Nadine shouldn’t be crying. She was supposed to be the strong one. Audrey’s ship was nearly destroyed by a sea daemon, and Horera still had that terrible ‘Bad Man’ after her. Nadine should be supporting them. She was Flint Foster’s daughter! Even if it were just her against the whole world she should be able to handle it based on that alone!

Audrey had busted out a tub of ice cream with chunks of fudge and three spoons in it, and Horera had wrapped herself around Nadine like this warm protective blanket. And Nadine was just sitting there bawling like a baby with the other two watching her. Even in a dream it was embarrassing. Her dad would be so ashamed if he could see her now.

“Zedarra, a lightning shaman I made friends with in Fantasia, taught me how helpful it really is to talk about even the worst things that happen to you.” Audrey nudged the ice-cream toward Nadine. “Can you tell us about what happened with the Prophets?”

Nadine sniffled and hugged Horera like a stuffed-animal. “I should have been able to handle it! I mean, there couldn’t have been more than fifty of them tops! I shouldn’t have let them surround me, should have seen them sooner!”

Shoveling a big spoonful of the ice-cream into her mouth, Nadine paused to recollect her thoughts. Audrey also started on the ice-cream, though Horera just stayed pressed firmly and protectively against Nadine.

Taking a deep breath, Nadine started again, “I think the Prophets have learned to use daemonic magic, I couldn’t see any weapons or anything to explain the way they moved… The way they attacked… Your magic is the closest I’ve ever seen to what they were doing, but theirs was way darker!”

Another big bite of ice-cream. It tasted really good; even the Crime Lord hadn’t had anything like this. He had everything, while so many in Metropolis had nothing. Nadine should’ve known he was bad news. She should have known better than to trust him. She should have been able to protect Ms Ashely.

“I don’t think I would have made it,” Nadine swallowed, “But the Crime Lord’s daughter, Phillipa, showed up. Her parents forced her to choose between me and them, and she chose me! I, and even that wouldn’t have been enough! I don’t understand why it’s so hard to fight magic, why is it so different from technology? Phillipa can shoot lightning from her hands, but the stuff the Prophets were shooting… It’s like it was hunting us with a will of its own!”

“Hhmm,” It was obvious Audrey was still listening intently, but she put her glasses back on and flipped open her spell-book. “Living lightning…”

Nadine shook her head, “God, if JC hadn’t shown up with CC reinforcements I…” Nadine couldn’t finish the thought, “I guess when it comes to the daughter of the man they blame for The Reclamation, and the Prophets who worship it, the CC have their priorities straight. So Phillipa and I are in a CC safe-house for tonight. I guess I go ahead and press on for the coast to look for my dad. I don’t want to make any more trouble for Metropolis.”

Audrey shut her book with a sigh, apparently not finding what she was looking for. “Well, at least you’re back together with JC, right?”

Nadine shook her head and put down another spoonful of ice-cream, “I don’t know. I’ve been thinking I should go on solo… I don’t want anyone else to die, or get hurt, for me. Ever.”

Reaching across the ice-cream, Audrey put her hand on Nadine’s shoulder, “Not even the most bad-ass thirteen year old in the world, can take the whole world on all by herself. You need your friends.”

Nadine couldn’t help smiling at Audrey’s word choice. Horera looked up at Nadine with a nod.

“Wan, we find way Nadine world. Help fight Prophets!”

Nadine scratched Horera behind her ears, “How are you so strong, Horera?”

“Horera needed. So Horera strong.”







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