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26 September 2009 @ 08:15 am
010 Sixth Sense  
Title: Darkness Overwhelming
Fandom: Mystic Force
Prompt: 010 Sixth Sense
Summary/Warnings: A Dark Wish AU. Somewhere, all wishes come true. Clare begins to live up to her responsibilities.
Word Count: 1004

010 Sixth Sense

Chip led them carefully through the streets. Clare’s directions had been fairly specific, considering she didn’t know the town; an old building, probably stone, near running water but very private. It would either have been a very green area to begin with, or it would have become one over the last few years, with a lot of trees and odd plants.

Chip had identified it straight off; the house sat on the highest point in the town, and the owners were reclusive but not unfriendly. They were perfectly pleasant when they came into town, and anyone who ventured up to the house was received cordially, if not over-warmly.

Xander had hated the whole idea. He and Nick had had a long argument, giving up only when Clare and Vida joined in against him. Vida just wanted them to be quiet, as Hydiacs were passing by. Clare, though, had promised to slip out on her own if he didn’t let her go, and he’d reluctantly agreed that letting her go with the two boys was slightly better.

“Chip, wait,” Clare said when he would have started to climb the gate.

“They’re locked,” he pointed out.

“They’re not the way in.”

“Your people don’t use gates?” Nick asked.

“Not these ones. Those gates are iron.” She studied the hedges on either side of the gate. “There.”

“There, where? That’s a hedge.”

“It’s a path. Look.” She pushed through the thin branches.

“Good eye,” Nick said as he joined her.

“It’s sort of a sixth sense,” she said carefully. She and Nick had decided not to tell the others about the magical side of this; she was afraid it would cloud the issue, and Nick had reluctantly agreed. “Wait here.”

“No way. We’re coming with you.”

“They won’t talk to me if you’re there.”

“Then you’ll have to be satisfied with looking. You’re not leaving our sight.”

Clare hesitated, looking from Nick to Chip and back. “Then will you promise not to say anything? It’s really important.”

“It’s your show,” Nick agreed. “Lead on.”

They had another argument at the base of the main steps, but Clare won this one. The boys stayed at the base at the steps, as long as she promised to stay out of arm’s reach of the door.

Taking a deep breath, she banged out a particular rhythm on the door. “This is Clare, apprentice and heir to the White Witch! I bear her responsibilities and come here in her name. Will anyone speak to me?”

There was silence for long enough that Nick started shifting restlessly, but Clare stood absolutely still until the door opened. A dark haired Elf stared at her. “The White Witch fell when the Darkness rose.”

“I was there,” Clare agreed evenly. “Now I’ve come in her place. I have no power; I can’t help you, nor get you out of the city. But you’re not forgotten, Slannen.”

He glanced over her shoulder. “Who are they?”

“My friends.” She shifted enough to block his view; Nick was getting antsy, but that was better than the alternative. Nick had been pinging what was left of her magical senses since she’d met him; she didn’t want the Elf paying too much attention to him.

“You know that Necrolai is in the city?”

“We know. We’ve lost a few already.” He studied Clare. “Can this be fixed? The magic’s gone, not just turned.”

“There are Power Rangers on the outside working towards that now. They will take down the Master.”

“Where are the Mystic Force?” someone yelled from inside the house. Slannen made a face and stepped out onto the porch, closing the door, but the voice carried. “The Master will fall only to the Legendary Ones!”

“They didn’t come, did they,” he asked.

“No,” Clare admitted softly. “And Rootcore is destroyed.”

“The White Witch is alive.” Clare blinked, and he continued, “Powerless, but alive. Koragg keeps a servant, a Troblin. He has ensured word of her survival has spread, even to us, here.”

“She’s alive,” Clare murmured in relief. “This Goblin…”

“Troblin. If there’s a way to free her, he’ll find it. Phineas is a canny soul.”

“Thank you.” She glanced briefly over her shoulder. “I’ll come back in a few days to see how you are.”

“No,” he said firmly. “You can’t risk crossing the city, not with Necrolai around. Don’t you know the Master wants you?”

“What?” Nick said sharply. Slannen ignored him, watching Clare.

“Niella was the Gatekeeper. She cast the spell that locked him away. You’ll open the gates, if he can get you. You will not put yourself in danger.”

“But I have no power.”

“He doesn’t need power. Just blood.”

“I can’t ignore my responsibilities, Slannen.”

“Your responsibility is to keep yourself alive.”

“My responsibility is to keep you alive.”

He considered her for a moment before looking over her shoulder. “They may come. Just them.”

“Thank you.” Clare bowed, turning to leave.

“Gatekeeper!” Slannen called after them. Clare turned to see a young Elf had joined him on the porch; the child held out a woven bag. Clare took it with a smile, looping the strap over her head and shoulder.

“Come on,” she told the boys.

“What did they give you?” Chip asked, eyeing the bag.

“I don’t know. It’s rude to check while they can still see us.”

“We’re not stopping outside, either,” Nick added. “You didn’t tell me the Master was after you personally.”

“I didn’t know. Koragg only wanted Udonna, not me.”

“But if your mother sealed him away…”

“I didn’t know that, either.” She pulled off the bag and slid gingerly through the hedge. When the boys joined her, she continued, “My mother died in the War, but so did a lot of people. Including Udonna’s husband. I never asked her about it because it upset her. I didn’t know my mother was special.”

“She was your mother,” Chip murmured.

Clare nodded, remembering that Chip’s parents were still missing. “Yeah. She was my mother.”