“Zeta, you haven’t paid attention to a word that I’ve said for the past twenty minutes. Do you want my help, or not?” He was really getting on my nerves today. I was trying to help him, but he wasn’t even listening! I took a few deep breaths to calm myself down. I couldn’t let him drive me insane.
“Of course! I called you over here, Exile, didn’t I? Listen… can we go over that one more time? And this time, try and make it a bit shorter. I can’t focus if you just throw information at me.”
“It’s a detailed plan in case anyone tries to attack us. Who do we know could attack us at any moment, because he’s been sending us threats? That’s right, King. Unless you want to let him win, I suggest you forget about whatever is distracting you, and pay attention before we get our asses kicked.”
“Fine, yeesh. Just give me some time to clear my head. I have a lot going on, you know.”
“Yes, we’ve all heard about your oh so complicated life, with Di-”
“Don’t you fucking dare bring her into this!”
“Fine, fine, but this is what I’m talking about. Push it back, out of your mind. Send those thoughts to your little serval friend.”
“That’s not how it works, Exile.”
“You get the point, though! For once, can you just listen to me? Forget everything that has nothing to do with King, and listen to the strategy. We can’t always wing it if we get attacked.”
“Ok, go ahead. What’s your plan?”
“I was practicing Astral Form with Rune, and we saw that not far from King there was a girl who appeared to be under his mind’s control. That has to be his power. Mind control. He needs people to control. He’ll be useless without his followers.”
“That actually makes sense, but how are we going to use that against him? Destroying his followers won’t work, he can always get more.”
“Think about it this way. He probably chose the strongest people he could get his hands on to link to. If we can find a way to get rid of them, he’ll have to choose weaker and weaker people until he is alone, and then we can take him down.”
“How long do you think we h-”
“Someones at the door. Who could that be? We’re all here…”
I rushed off towards the door, silently giving Zeta a look that told him to get everyone together. Something felt off. By the time I got to the door, my mind was filled with every possibility of who I thought it could be.
“Hello. I’m here to… sell magazines for my school. Yes, that’s it. May I come inside?” The girl looked about nine or ten, with shoulder length brown hair. She had a petite build, and she looked like she had just walked out of a Gap Kids catalogue. However, he pause in her sentence told me that she wasn’t selling magazines.
“No, sorry. I don’t buy from strangers.” I was starting to have a very bad feeling about this little girl. I looked into her eyes, and noticed a dull blue pulsing in the whites of her eyes. I needed to get her away from our headquarters, but how? I struggled to hide my smirk when the idea struck me. “Here, let me call the others. Maybe they would like something. Zeta! Come here! Bring everyone. There’s a little girl here selling magazines.”
In a flash, my teammates were by my side. I nudged Zeta and was about to try and make him look into her eyes, but Mirage’s voice filled my mind.
/Has anyone seen her eyes? She looks like something is controlling her./
/It’s gotta be King. Exile said she saw him controlling a different girl./ That was Zeta.
“So? Anyone going to do some shopping?” She looked at us, and aside from the steady blue pulse, her gaze was blank. After a brief pause, her foot started tapping as if to show impatience. It seemed that whatever was controlling her tried to give a “natural” performance.
“How about, instead of us giving money for fake magazines, you tell us why you’re really here? Who’s controlling you?”
“Everest, you can’t just ask someone why they’re being controlled!”
“Um, guys, you might want to stop your bickering and pay attention.”
Looking back at the little girl, it was visible that whoever was controlling her was trying to communicate with us. She opened her mouth, but her sweet little voice was replaced with a low, raspy growl.
“You’ve been warned, my opponents. I’m getting stronger by the minute, and when I attack, you will fall. This SVRA team will no longer stand. Fear me, for I am in control of your inevitable demise.”
The little girl suddenly spun around, then dug her heels into the ground, taking off at a sprint.
“What the hell was that?”
“Didn’t you listen?” Mirage dropped her voice an octave and mockingly repeated, “We’ve been warned.” before collapsing in a fit of giggles.
“Mirage! Not the time! This is serious, we need to start being careful.”
“Sorry, I just can’t take her seriously. How old was she? Nine? With the voice of an old man? Come on, am I the only one who found it just a bit funny?”
“I’m serious. We need to be on our best guard at all times. Now we know that King will attack through followers, in every shape and form. Don’t trust anyone, unless you can see that they aren’t being controlled. Look for the pulsing blue. Am I clear?”
We all muttered our agreement, and started heading back to whatever we had been doing before the interruption. A second later, Zeta rushed to the front of the pack to stop us in our tracks.
“Where are you all going? We have to train, we have to prepare, we have to be ready to fight!”