“No Greater Love”
“No Greater Love”
*************************************** Chapter 6 *Meka & John* ***************************************
*Meka & John*
John felt Meka close the door and then move to stand in front of the mirror just over the sink. The feeling of walking, moving, opening and closing doors, but having no control over his physical body was one of the strangest experiences he’d ever had. Once in the bathroom John was suddenly irrationally glad, as his OCD had kicked in, that the ritual had forced him to take the time to clean the room. He felt his hands move up to touch his face, the three days’ growth of whiskers felt like sandpaper under his hands.
“Oh, wow, I forgot how this feels.” Meka noted, and then reached down between her legs. ‘I can assure you everything is where it’s supposed to be.’ John commented, dryly, feeling a little embarrassed.
“Hey, cut me some slack. I’ve only been a guy once before and having this thing between my legs is hard to get used too. I mean your schlong gets in the way every time I try to take a step.”
‘You get used to it. Don’t you think we should focus?’
“Sure, focus on what?” As she said this Meka slid her hands around feeling her new ass. John tried to ignore his own groping hands.
‘For starters, what happened to you?’
Meka paused and then shook her head in disgust. “I think I was the target of a Syndicate attack.”
‘Well, duh. Can you elaborate?’
Meka let out a deep sigh, “Victor tried to warn me. He did a sending while I was out running Saturday morning. Sadly, I didn’t take his concern all that seriously. I had to go into work to examine a few artifacts. While I was researching an artifact that I think is a portal to other Realms of existence I was attacked.” As she spoke Meka stripped off the robe John had been wearing and tossed it to one side. Then she moved to the mirror and started flexing. “Damn John, do you ever stop working out?”
‘I need to be in shape to do my job.’ John replied feeling embarrassed. “HA! Are you blushing?” ‘How can I blush? You’ve got control of my body.’
“True, and I think it’s our body, for now. I can sort of feel this embarrassing heat in my mind. You’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.” Meka ran her hands over her washboard abs down to the flaccid tube-steak between her legs. “Ohhhh . . . now this I remember. Come to Momma.”
‘Come to momma? Seriously? Can we get back on topic? You were attacked?’
“Yeah, I think it was one of the crystals. Not the one that held the Aelf, there was another crystal. It had an evil feel to it, so I was saving it for last.” Meka stopped playing with her now semi-hard cock and thought for a moment. “Yeah, I bet that was the attack vector, the research institute was too well warded for it to have been anything else.” Her hand returned to stroking her new appendage. “Anyway, the spirit of some Syndicate agent took control of my body. Although, he couldn’t hear me or feel my presence, unlike right now. I think he thought my spirit had been pushed into the afterlife.”
Meka paused, “Stop what?”
‘Stop masturbating, damn it. It’s distracting.’
“Oh, sorry,” Meka giggle. “I forgot how it felt to own one and then when I started playing with it, it got all hard and stuff. Plus, it feels really nice, like having an enormous clit.” Meka looked down at the now fully erect cock between her legs. “Don’t you think we should finish? I mean, it sort-of-aches . . . is this what, “blue balls” feel like?”
‘Aches? And no. I mean, yes, this is what blue balls feel like, but if you ignore it, it’ll get soft again.’
“Party-pooper. Anyway, the agent, I think his name was Max, gave the artifacts to his Syndicate handler. Then we went back and . . .” At this Meka stopped touching her cock and settled onto the edge of the bathtub and put her face in her hands, “Oh, God. John, I-I . . . she-he blew up the research institute and killed, I don’t know, a lot of people.”
John could feel the shame and horror of the event running through her, ‘Meka, it wasn’t you. You weren’t in control.’ John thought trying to wrap his mental arms around Meka.
“It was my body John, and he-she could access my memories, skills, even my magic. I-I was so helpless.”
John could feel the tears running down his face as Meka spoke and he tried to focus his thoughts on how much he cared for her, and what a good person she was, pushing all the positive energy he could toward her. ‘If it helps, Gwen knows. I called her after your last message. She was going to set a trap. We should try to get in touch with her to see if she captured Max.’
At this Meka seemed to perk up, she reached a hand toward where she’d left the crystal sitting on the pile of robes. John felt her draw in magic and the crystal responded with a light purple glow. Then John felt Meka reach out and form a connection to a person she knew in London.
“Gwen, its’ me, Meka. John tells me you might have caught the Syndicate Agent who stole my body?”
There was a long pause and then a golden light flared within the crystal as a connection was established.
“Meka? This isn’t a good time. The short answer is, yes. Where are you now? How is it you can talk to me?”
“The short answer is that I’m in America sharing a body with John. The spell I had John use pulled my spirit into his body when it restored our crystal.” Meka replied throwing Gwen’s words back at her.
“Good, then you’re safe. We’re questioning the Syndicate agent now. I’ll be in touch soon.”
With that the connection ended. ‘You see? They don’t blame you. I bet Gwen can figure out a way to restore you as well. Now, please pass me control. It’s really weird to be a passenger in my own body.’
“You’re telling me? I’ve been stuck this way for days.”
John felt a sort of movement within his mind and focused on pushing forward. Again, there was the sensation like the bursting of a bubble and he tried to flex his fingers. As he did a tingle of energy raced through him and he felt the odd sensation of flesh moving around, re-shaping. Breasts blossomed from his chest and he lost several inches of height as his hips pushed out. His short light brown hair, worn in a standard high and tight, darkened and grew. In a few seconds his hair fell past his shoulders and became a darker brown with a few hints of red. Then a tingling sensation raced through his groin and he looked down between his new, soft, mounds-of-flesh in time to see his cock pull up into his body along with his scrotum.
When it was over and John let out a soft sigh. “Fuck, I turned into you again.”
‘Hey, it’s not so bad. As I recall you seemed to like being me a few years ago.’
“That was different, we were on vacation. Remember?” John stood up and considered his reflection in the mirror, and felt shock run through Meka.
‘OH MY GOD! John, you-I-we have both eyes!’
At this John blinked and ran his new delicate fingers over his soft face and nodded, “I wonder why?” John could almost hear the buzz of Meka thinking. ‘I suspect that when the Cavanaugh crystal was made whole again it sort-of-considered us one being as well and it restored us to what we were, physically, when we divided the crystal. Why it decided that you were the female version of us and I’m the male . . .’
Resigned, John nodded, “I guess we’re stuck, for now. Although, something’s been bothering me. Did you say an Aes Sidhe of the Winter Court was trapped in one of those crystals?”
‘Yes . . . uhm, you do realize I can feel you playing with my boobs?’
John let out a startled gasp and he dropped his hands and felt his face heat up. “Oh, well, they feel nice and I was just . . . you know . . . checking them out.”
At this he heard Meka giggle, ‘Fair is fair. It does feel nice.’
John couldn’t help grinning ruefully, “Victor’s estate was attacked by a small group of Aes Sidhe of the Winter Court. Could it be connected?”
‘It’s too much of a coincidence not to be.’
“Shit, if they’ve got some Sidhe noble trapped and are blackmailing the elves into supporting the Syndicate . . . this could be bad.” John shook his head feeling the new distraction of hair swishing around. “It makes no sense. The Sidhe have a very hard time entering our Realm. They’d never be able to enter with enough numbers to be a threat.”
At this he could feel Meka disagree, ‘There are a few artifacts that can bring them over and in numbers, like that Gate I found. I think if the Syndicate uses that, they won’t be limited to just a small group. It’s only big enough for one at a time, but the gate can stay open almost indefinitely unlike a way. They could, over time, bring through hundreds, maybe thousands.’
“This changes everything.” John said. “We’ve got to get to Victor. If those artifacts are in the UK then we need to recover them before this gets out of hand.”
There was a knock at the door. “John, are you okay? I’ve put away all the stuff from the ritual and cleaned everything.”
‘Shit, its Ben.’ John directed his thought toward Meka.
‘No need to shout. Yeah, okay?’
‘I’m not sure we want to tell him what’s going on. The fewer people who know the better, for now.’
‘Okay, then you’d better give me control, unless you think you can disguise your voice.’ Feeling John’s reluctance, she added, ‘Besides, unless you’ve got a set of women’s clothes, we need to change into our male incarnation so we can get dressed.’
‘Our male incarnation?’ John thought reluctantly giving up control, as he pulled back he felt Meka surge forward. This time the change happened faster, almost as if their body was getting used to this form of magical shapeshifting.
‘Of course, what else should we call the male and female versions of us?’ Meka wondered as she took control. “God, I love how strong I feel.”
“John, are you alright?” Ben’s voice sounded concerned.
“Yeah, sorry, give me a sec.” Meka announced, her deep voice booming out. Then she looked around and spotted the pile of clothes John had been wearing. She quickly climbed into them, only adjusting her new appendage once or twice. Dressed, she spotted the battle rod and the obvious place intended to hold the crystal. ‘What is that?’
‘Hehehe . . . it’s so phallic. Boys and your toys . . . soooo predictable.’
‘It allows me to channel more energy and is attuned to combat magic.’ John thought defensively. ‘Most Guardians, even the female Guardians use a Battle-Rod.’
‘I’ll just bet they do!’ Meka mentally giggled. Placing the crystal in the socket there was a slight surge of power and an audible click as the crystal joined with the rod. Then Meka went to the door and threw it open.
“I need to get back to Louisville. There’s a Warlock there I need to talk to.”
Ben nodded, “Victor Montrose? The regional Commander? Shouldn’t we report in to Sarah first?”
‘Meka, Sarah, is my commander here. She runs the St. Louis Guardians.’
‘We don’t have time to go down to St. Louis and then back up to Louisville and explain to everyone what’s going on. I have a feeling that time is of the essence. We must recover the gate and the crystal. Besides, my body is in London and I mean to take it back!’ “Ben, I know this isn’t standard. But we’ve got an emergency. I succeeded in restore my crystal and I managed to create a connection to Meka. I’ve got to get to Victor since he’s got a gate to London. Tell Sarah I’m taking a leave of absence.”
Ben nodded, “Are you sure you don’t need me? I’m your partner and an extra set of eyes watching your back might be important.”
Meka nodded, “After you report in, if Sarah will let you go, then meet me at Victor’s estate. But I won’t wait for you, so if you’re coming with us-er-me, then you’ll have to hurry.”
“Oooh, I like your car, it’s so manly. I’d ask if you’re compensating, but I happen to know you’re not. Hehehe!” Chuckling, she slid behind the wheel.
‘Hey, can I help it if I love something with a little power under the hood? Can you give me control? I don’t think you’ve ever driven a car like this.’
“Sure, I could, but what would you wear? These clothes wouldn’t fit right and besides, my body is so much smaller than yours’ you’d have to change the seat and mirrors. Just relax, I’ve got this.” Meka started the engine and grinned at the deep growl the Challenger’s massive V8 produced. “I’ve gotten used to using public transportation. I forgot how much fun it can be to drive.”
John wanted to grab onto something as Meka sent dirt flying. The car fishtailed slightly before she had it moving out of the driveway and onto the dirt road. ‘Be careful!’ John thought at Meka in a mental screech. At this Meka let out a deep manly chuckle. “Don’t be such a girl.”
A non-descript van pulled out of the private, gated, estate and turned toward London. The driver maneuvered the vehicle slowly and cautiously not wanting to do anything to draw attention. “Hell, you can drive a little faster. At this rate, it’ll be two in the morning before we reach Sheffield.”
“Better late than never. I’m not taking any chances with . . . her.” Barney replied, pushing his thick glasses up before glancing sideways at his diminutive partner.
“Bah!” The petite brunette said and glanced back at Max. “She’s out cold. I mean I don’t know what Gwendolyn did to get her to talk, but I bet she won’t be causing trouble anytime soon.” Then Eira added, “Besides, she’s such a tiny thing, I could take her. A big guy like you, it shouldn’t be a problem.”
Barney shook his head, “I’m not worried about her, and I’m worried about the Syndicate.”
“As well you should.”
The soft spoken words seemed to come out of the darkness around them and it took both Society soldiers a moment to comprehend that it was their prisoner who’d said them. Then Eira glared at her, “You shut up! We want no talking, from scum like you! Killing your own kind!”
“Yeah, you were a big shot, but it was all a lie! Well, the prison we’re taking you to was built to hold Syndicate witches, sorcerers, and even wizards.” Barney paused and then added, “They have ways to make sure that even turn-coats can’t escape.”
Dim light reflected from the metal collar, handcuffs, and foot shackles as the van passed under a street light. Each link of the silver and steel chain held a tiny glyph etched into it reinforcing the physical strength of the chains and preventing the prisoner drawing magic into her manna-well. Instead of responding she closed her eyes and appeared to be either meditating or to have fallen asleep.
“Nothing to say? Good.” Barney muttered devoting his attention to the traffic. At this time of night, the traffic on M-25 wasn’t too bad. The drive around the west side of London became a quiet one as the guards no longer felt like talking. Barney didn’t let his guard down until they took the ramp that led from M-25 to M1 north. With London behind them Barney glanced into the rearview mirror and saw the prisoner hadn’t moved. Then he reached down to turn the radio on. Music flooded the vehicle and Eira looked up from where she’d been playing with a small crystal set into the handle of a foot-and-a-half long Kopis, “What are you doing?”
“What? I’m just breaking up the boredom with a little music.”
“Well, I can’t hear anything with that stuff blaring.”
“What’s there to hear? Noth’n but a quiet van.”
At this the small woman nodded but looked uneasy as she settled back into her seat. The night seemed to close in on them and traffic died away the farther they got from London. For a while Barney seemed content to hum along to the music, much to Eira’s annoyance. Then feeling the need to talk he turned to her, “Tell, me, Eira, where are you from? Not the UK, that’s obvious.”
The little woman glanced over at him and for a moment Barney thought she wouldn’t answer. “Macedonia originally, but I grew up in Greece and America.” Then all at once she cocked her head. “Did you hear that?”
Leaning forward Eira turned the radio off. “Hear that.”
Off in the distance behind the van Barney thought he heard a noise. “What is it?”
“Sshhhh.” Eira said going quiet, eyes closed, as she focused. The sound was faint at first, like the wailing of the wind, high and shrill. Like a storm as it races through a high mountain pass in the depths of winter. Then Eira blinked, “Oh, shit.”
“What?” Barney glanced at his partner. She pointed and when he looked back to the road in front of them a white wall of fog had rolled over the highway. Barney slammed on the breaks trying to slow down. He hit the fog bank and instantly ice started to form on the window. “Bloody hell?!” Then Barney felt the van begin to slide and released the breaks and counter steered. For a moment it seemed like they were about to skid off the road but then the van turned. With a feeling of relief Barney managed to bring the van to a stop. “Damn, that was close.”
“N-No.” Eira murmured.
Appearing out of the fog four warriors on horseback rushed the van. Their armor glowed blue, green, and a slivery white and it felt like a switch had been thrown as the thunder of their hooves drowned out all other sounds inside the van. The first set of riders lowered their lances aiming for the Society guards through the windshield of the van. At the last second Eira managed to draw her Kopis and throwing the door open diving out.
The wards on the van flared in response to the runes burning with a silvery white flame on the shafts of the lances. It made no difference. Each spear penetrated the wards and burst through the windshield with over a ton of force behind them. The first lance blew through Barney’s personal wards smashing into his chest and pinning him to the van before the Knight let go to race down the driver’s side. The second Knight unable to retarget the fleeing Eira threw his lance and swerved trying to draw his sword before flashing by.
The next two Knights, one a female in form fitting plate armor, drew their sabers and raced past the van looking for targets. The Knight who moved down the passenger’s side saw Eira come to her feet and swung his blade. However, the tiny woman was ready. A bright red light flared from the crystal in the hilt of her Kopis and the blade glowed bright red. When the swords met the Kopis sliced through the Winter Knight’s blade as though it were nothing but smoke.
The horseman thundered past and Eira spun around pointing her blade at his back, “Ignis!” Instantly, white hot fire burst from the tip of her blade and lanced toward the back of the knight. The fire was as thick as Eira’s wrist and the white mist that had closed in around them leapt back from the heat of the flame. Then it hit the back of the knight and his shrill inhuman scream range out, ragged and raw, filled with pain. Both he and the warhorse he was riding blazed up creating a pyre that rose almost twenty feet into the night sky. It threw back the icy mist giving Eira her first clear look at the area around the van.
“Take that, ya Fae bastards!”
Then from around the back of the van the female knight wheeled her horse. In an athletic move, she threw her saber. Eira watched as if in slow motion as it tumbled toward her. She lifted her Kopis forming the word ‘Praesidium!’ in her mind. Before the she could release her power the sword fell toward her head and then everything went dark.
Esistiel Talvathar leapt down from her horse, the pain from the wounds she’d taken the day before ached, but she showed nothing. The healing magic of the winter court had made her whole; what was a little pain? Moving forward she enjoyed the sound of the flash frozen grass as it crunched under her boots. Then putting one foot on the chest of the dead witch she pulled her saber from where it had split Eira’s skull. There was a clatter of hooves and Esistiel looked up.
“Nikerym, i' defenders naa ba?”
The words echoed weirdly in the mist and Esistiel nodded, “Ron naa. Panta i' carriage, Spear-Cora.”
The knight nodded and moved his horse around behind the van, with the ease of long use. Then he tossed a rope weighted with a bronze hook at the back window. The heavy hook smashed through and then, when pulled taunt, ripped into the soft metal door. The knight set his spurs to his all black war horse and the door came free of the van with a shriek of tortured metal.
Esistiel jumped into the back and looked down at Max. “Free yourself human.” Then she tossed Eira’s Kopis to Max. Max looked at it for an instant before picking it up. To bond a new focus would take time, but she knew she should be able to use the crystal. Slowly Max picked up the short sword and felt for its power. Using Meka’s knowledge she placed the edge of the blade against the grommet holding her to the van. “Ignis.” She whispered and suddenly the metal glowed with heat. Sawing through the grommet took only a moment and then Max pulled the chain free. In a few minutes Max climbed out of the van, free of the chains and looked at the Winter Court Aelf. “Might I know the name of my rescuers?”
“I am Nikerym Esistiel Talvathar.” she responded, “in your tongue, Knight Captain Esistiel Talvathar of the Winter Court. Come, we have many leagues to travel before the dawn.”
The first rays of predawn light filled the dirt parking lot behind the boarded up and closed 7-Eleven. A freezing mist boiled up from the trees in defiance of the hot humid air of early fall in Massachusetts. Through the trees the dark images of three riders appeared and then solidified. Each of the Elvin riders carried shields and spears and wore heavy plate armor. Behind the only female of the group, clung a tiny brunette human woman. Her teeth chattered at the cold and she used one hand to hold onto Esistiel’s waist while clutching a naked Kopis in her other hand. When they stopped, Max spotted the BMW sedan and a young man leaning against the hood. A feeling of relief washed through Max and she slid from the back of the horse.
“Ilse-er-sorry, I mean Eli it’s good to see you.”
Eli stood up and glared for a moment at Max, and then looked at the Winter Aelves. “Hail, Knight-Captain Talvathar, it looks like your mission, this time, was a success.”
“Do not taunt your betters pup. I bite!” With that Esistiel grinned showing fanged teeth.
Max risked a quick glance around and saw that in addition to the three knights that had rescued her four more had joined the band. They came in from the left and right, effectively cutting off all means of retreat. Slowly, Max moved toward Eli, as she did she ran her thumb over the crystal in the Kopis pulling as much magic through it as she could. Since she hadn’t had time to bond it as her new focus, this task was harder than it should have been.
Eli tossed a stone toward Esistiel. The underhanded throw carried the stone about ten feet before it dropped to the ground. Abruptly, light burst from it forming a window that hung in the air. Max heard Esistiel gasp. “Tarien!” then she looked at Max and Eli, her eyes glowed silvery white, “Where is the Princess?”
Max managed to glance into the window before moving around to Eli’s side. His one look told him it was the Aelf he’d seen trapped in the crystal. She was chained to the snow-covered ground in a clearing. The cold didn’t seem to bother her, but the chains had left red, raw, burn marks on her wrists and ankles. For a moment Max wanted to rub her own recently shackled wrists in a sympathetic response.
“We have done your bidding human, release her majesty!”
At this Eli laughed, “That wasn’t the deal Captain. The Princess will be returned at the conclusion of the campaign. Lord Drake is almost ready to open the Great Gate in the West. Is your army ready?”
For a moment Captain Talvathar’s eyes glowed malevolent red but then she nodded. “Aye, human, even now the red arrow has been sent and the first Clans have come.”
Just then the window hanging magically in the air disappeared drawing everyone’s eyes to stone glowing softly on the gravel. “You can have the stone. With it your Queen may check on her daughter, and thusly see that she is unharmed.”
Captain Talvathar dismounted and moved silently to retrieve the crystal. Then after she returned to her horse she looked back at the Syndicate Agents. “It has been many years since my kind roamed this realm. Perhaps we shall meet again.”
Eli shrugged, “It seems likely. Since your use has been given to my master until the completion of the coming war.”
“What will your humans, who have no power, do once the veil of secrecy is lifted and our armies carve out new nations?”
“They will learn the true order of the Universe. Those with power rule, those without serve. Is this not the first law?”
“lle naa eithel Edan.” Talvathar said. “You are correct. Yet, I wonder if you truly understand.” With that she spun her horse around and along with her warriors disappeared into the trees.
Max turned and glared at Eli, “What was all that about? Gates? Nations? Aren’t we already at War with the Society?”
“HA! Sometimes Max I forget that you’ve only recently come into power. As close as you are to Lord Drake, on a personal level, you have never been in his inner counsel.”
A surge of rage rushed through Max, yet not a flicker of her emotions showed on her face. “What are you saying?”
As if explaining something obvious to a simpleton Eli replied. “I’m saying there is a reason Drake put you in that body. Not just to strike a blow to the Society from the inside. You have Meka Petrucci’s knowledge, skills, and her power! She was one of the most formidable Witches in the Society. Drake elevated you from a simple mundane assassin to the ranks of the gifted. This is how he shows his favor.”
“So what is the bigger plan?”
“Get in, we have a long way to travel tonight and you need to spend most of it bonding your new focus.” With that Eli climbed into the waiting car.
Max ran a finger over the crystal feeling its power. It wasn’t nearly as powerful as the one she’d lost, but it was powerful and it had been forged in a strange way into the Kopis. ‘Perhaps this is a better fit for me anyway.’ She thought before moving to the passenger side.
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