Chapter 14:

Part 2- Chapter 3

Snowflake and Butterknife

Justin laid awake in his bed again. He stared at the ceiling tile of his childhood room, thoughts swirling in his head. They threatened to steal away his peace and drive him to grief.

Days before, he had arrived for his weekly meeting with the other Mageye’s of the school. There was a noticeable absence in Edwin. He had hoped to speak with him after the break, but he had waited too long. Justin had wanted to apologize again, and hoped to put Edwin’s mind at ease about him ever attempting to look for the ACO again.

Yet, Edwin was not there. Met arrived after a while of waiting and made the announcement. Edwin had been promoted to an A class and forced to work for the Peacekeepers, forced to drop out immediately. Justin felt a rock form in his stomach, this was his fault. If Justin hadn't looked at the ACO Edwin wouldn't have sought him out and worked with the Peacekeepers to keep him out of trouble. Because of that, Edwin had been noticed by them and they promoted him. Because of Justin, Edwin’s dreams had crumbled.

It was these thoughts that kept Justin up late into the night, feeling a chill wash over his body even over the pounding heat that his parents had running in the house. He couldn't forgive himself, if he wasn't so weak he wouldn't have sought them out. He had hurt Edwin with his actions, something Justin could not forgive himself for. He sobbed, knowing there was nothing he could do to fix this, guilt dragging him into night terrors.

Edwin sat on a park bench. They had run a long distance from the alleyway, the girl panting next to him. It took her time to catch her breath, but when she did she turned to Edwin. The girl wore a large white coat and leggings, they seemed expensive and new.

“Thank you.” The girl said, her voice mousey as if she was afraid of Edwin lashing out at her.

“Why were those men after you?” Edwin said, eyes darting around incase of pursuers.

The girl looked low. “They were trying to take me back home.” The girl said, fiddling with her hands.

Edwin sighed. “You're just running away from home?” He felt like he had wasted time, just a rich girl running from home. Suddenly, he remembered Sim. Not everything was what it seemed, so he decided to dig deeper. “Why were you running?” Edwin said, adopting a kinder tone.

“My father.” The girl said. “He’s not been the greatest man. He refused to let me out, declaring that the world was a dangerous place. Whenever I asked him to let out, to explore on my own, he would get so angry.”

Edwin spotted it, the shadows in her eyes. He felt a kinship with that look, and took a deep inhale. “My name is Edwin.” He said, offering his hand to the girl.

The girl looked up sharply, as if she was catapulted back to where she was. “I am sorry! I haven't even introduced myself. My name is Sadie.” She looked at Edwin’s hand and hesitated to take it.

“I won't use my powers on you.” Edwin said.

Sadie shook her head. “I am sorry.” She said, taking his hand. “It was just strange to see another Mageye.”

“Another?” Edwin asked.

“Yes, I am a Mageye.” Sadie said with an uncomfortable laugh.

Edwin looked Sadie over. He couldn't see a mark visible so she must be a lower rank.

“That could explain the hesitation about you going out alone.” Edwin said. “A lot of people still have a negative opinion on Mageye, maybe he did it to protect you.”

Sadie looked at the ground. “No, it's because he doesn't want me to embarrass him.” the pain in her eyes returned.

Edwin felt that kinship return. “What does your father do?” He asked.

“He's the CEO of a large business, you may have heard of it. It's called Herigerity Industries.” Sadie said towards the snowy ground.

Edwin thought about it. He had heard the name before, they owned a lot of businesses in the area and had begun to expand. They did not specialize in one particular field, instead doing all sorts of things. Restaurants, tech, clothing, they did a ton of things.

Sadie looked up at Edwin, staring at his mark. She turned back out, looking around at the lightpost that illuminated them.

“I can manipulate light.” Sadie said. “I can bend it around myself, wanna see?”

Edwin nodded, then Sadie stood up. She took a deep breath, then held out her right hand, and her face began to turn red. Edwin watched as she concentrated hard on her hand, and Edwin began to notice what was happening. The tips of her fingers began to vanish, then half her finger, then her whole finger. Finally, after a moment she stopped, her hand returning to normal.

“That's all I can do so far.” Sadie said with a laugh. “Father doesn't let me practice, so I can't really do much.”

She reminded Edwin of Harper. He suddenly felt bad for being out in the middle of the night with another woman while Harper slept at his dorm.

“What do you plan to do now?” Edwin asked.

Sadie looked at the world around her. “I want to explore, before I have to go back and.” She cut off, her voice leaving something in the air, something unsaid.

“What is wrong?” Edwin asked.

“I. I don't think I will be free much longer.” Sadie said, her eyes hollowing. “I think.” She stopped.

Edwin stood up. “I am a member of the Peacekeepers, if you are in danger we can help you.”

Sadie turned to Edwin, a small smile on her lips. “Do you promise?”

“Of course.” Edwin said, resolve in his voice.

The sound of a boot crunching snow rang out in the darkness of the park. Edwin turned sharply to see a man in a black suit, slick glasses over his hawk like eyes. His hair was greased back with so much gel that Edwin could see it reflect light as he entered the light of the street light.

“Now now my lady, you know better than to run from your guards, they are there for your protection.” The man said, his voice polite with a hint of fury.

Edwin shot Sadie a look. She was shaking, her face full of fear. Edwin turned back, moving to separate the two, holding out his left arm to protect Sadie.

“Hm?” The man said. “Is this your kidnapper?”

“No! Benton, he isn't kidnapping me!” Sadie yelled out, her voice shaky.

“Is that so?” The man, Benton said. “Well either way, your father wishes you to return, let us go.”

“She won't go anywhere yet.” Edwin said strongly. “Maybe you can answer some of my questions.”

Benton tossed an uncaring look at Edwin. “I am sorry, but I do not care for whatever you have to say.”

Edwin began to lower his body towards the ground, preparing to form another wall. The man Benton just strode forward undisturbed, closing the gap quickly. Edwin dropped swiftly, letting the wall rise between him and Benton.

“Do not come any closer!” Edwin yelled out. “This is your last warning, you both have questions to answer!”

Edwin could see the fractured image of Benton in the ice. The man changed his posture, bending as if to draw a sword from his hip with his right hand.

“Benton no please!” Sadie yelled out.

Edwin didn't dare turn away. He spotted the man pull out a tiny sheathed knife from his pocket, and began to draw it. A sudden shrill shriek like that of a nail on a chalkboard sounded out.

It happened in an instant after that. Benton swung his arms like he swung a sword horizontally. Then Edwin’s ice shattered into two pieces, the space where Benton had swung now empty of ice. Then Edwin felt his body being thrown back past Sadie. He landed hard on the ground and spun into a tumble, knocking free snow to reveal cobblestone below him. He laid there, his breath ragged as he felt his chest. A line of blood seeped out into the snow, his jacket and shirt cut horizontally.

Benton grabbed Sadie’s arm. “Come, you have caused enough issues. This man will die soon enough. Know that it is a result of your attempts to leave.” He said it as if his attempts to kill were just a regular occurance.

Sadie stared at Edwin bleeding out, her eyes filling with tears as she struggled against Benton’s grip. “Please, help him! Please!” She yelled it out as she was dragged away by the man.

Edwin tried to rise, but his body hurt badly. He must have slammed his knees against the cobblestone, for they felt bruised beyond belief.

“Shock, come on.” Edwin said, his right hand on his chest to slow the bleeding. His movements just caused more to seep out. He collapsed again, his body rejecting his attempts to rise. Before long, Sadie was gone, her yells gone.

Edwin pulled out his phone from his pocket, quickly opening up the phone app. He hit the third phone call, and let the phone ring.

“Hello?” Gema said after the third ring. Edwin had called her earlier to finish setting up his time to start tomorrow.

“Gema.” Edwin said, tasting blood. “My location, send someone, hurt bad. There should be two other Mageye near me, track them please.”

Edwin heard the sound of Gema typing furiously. Apparently Gema had been throwing herself into her work more since Loghain’s death, working later than even the closers.

“I see you, Reynard’s house is near there so I will send him to get you!” Gema said quickly. “I'm not seeing another Mageye in your immediate area.”

“How? There were two.” Edwin said, his body hurting. “One was a light manipulator, the other did something like make an invisible sword.”

“I'm not seeing anything.” Gema said. “How hurt are you? I have sent a message for an ambulance; they should be there shortly.”

“Just pills.” Edwin said. “We have to chase them, before they get too far.”

“Just keep breathing Edwin!” Gema said. “Don't move too much, I'm calling Reynard now.”

Edwin stared out at the location they had left form. He realized he didn't need to chase them, he knew where to look. He laid back, creating ice across his chest to slow the bleeding. Normally one would fear hypothermia, but the pills could fix even that. And so, he waited, the sounds of sirens sounding in the night. It was Reynard who found him. 

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