Soulripper 12

Part 12: A Simple Plan

“I have just one question,” Lorne started. “Does Senor Diaz need to be conscious for this?”

Tara looked up from the spell book with a perplexed look on her face. “I don’t think it should matter. Willow?”

“It shouldn’t matter,” Willow said. The redhead lit incense candles all about the room. Willow then took the Crystal of Hekate and carefully placed it on a small stand on the table.

The Crystal was shaped as a prism, and was about the size of a baseball. When the light from the candles struck it, the Crystal bent the rays into a multitude of colors.

“So, for us laymen not educated in the art of magik, do you think you could explain this one more time?” Fred asked.

“It’s called an Adficio Spell,” Tara explained. “The idea is to drain him of his mystical powers so he can’t do any more harm.”

“So the Crystal of Hekate is used to store the power?” Gunn asked.

“No. By storing the power, there is always the chance that it could be freed. Diaz could find a way to reabsorbed his magik,” Tara said.

Willow finished adjusting the prism before picking up the explanation. “If we wanted to merely capture his power, we’d just use a mystical orb or some other device. But using a prism is different.”

“She’s right,” Tara continued. “When the mystical energy is pulled into the prism, the crystal has the same effect as it does on light waves. It actually disperses the energy into different elements.”

“And when the elements are dispersed, it’s like taking apart the components of a bomb,” Willow said. “The mystical energies are rendered impotent.”

“You can do this?” Gunn asked.

“Theoretically,” Tara said. “What?” she asked off his look. “It’s not like I’ve ever done this before. Sure, I’ve read about it. I’m fairly certain I can do this.”

“How certain, Cupcake?” Lorne asked.

Tara wrinkled her nose as she thought about it. “Ninety-four percent?”

“Are you asking us or telling us?” Gunn wondered.

“Uh, I’m telling you,” Tara decided.

Gunn, Lorne, and Fred did not look convinced. Groo was busy playing with the coffee maker, while Angel sat in the corner, listening to the conversation.

“You won’t be in any danger, right?” Angel asked. “If something were to go wrong, would you be harmed?”

“Probably not,” Tara said. When Angel was about to object, she defended herself. “Like I said, I’ve never done this before. But I am fairly certain I can do this. Besides, don’t the benefits outweigh the negatives? If this isn’t done, who knows what this guy will do? Maybe he won’t hurt you again but we saw how many beads were on his necklace. He’d stolen souls before, and if we don’t do this, he might do it again.”

Angel had to admire the resolve the young woman showed. But still, the doubt was there. “Willow?” he asked.

“She’s right, Angel,” Willow said. “The risk is too great to not try. And I believe she can do this. Tara is one kick-butt witch,” she said proudly. Tara returned the compliment with a shy smile.

“Then I guess that’s settled,” Gunn observed. “How soon can we do this?”

“As soon as I get a fire going,” Tara answered.

***********

The still drugged form of the soul stealer was laid unceremoniously on the mattress. At the foot of the bed was the table. In its center sat the Crystal of Hekate, and on both sides were a pair of lit candles. Behind the table sat Tara in one of the hotels cheap wooden chairs.

To her right on a small stand rested a metal bowl. A small flame burned gently inside it. To Tara’s left was another chair, and on top was tray containing various herbs that she would need during the incantation.

Surveying the room setup, and double-checking her ingredients, Tara finally decided that she was ready to go.

“Ok,” she said to the others. “I’m ready.”

Everyone gathered around the bed holding small bundles of smoking herbs. The group mimicked Willow’s motions as they all waved them in the proper fashion. Tara grabbed a small handful of a ground, yellowing substance and dropped it into the fire. A bright yellow flame shot up, almost causing Fred to drop her herb bundle.

“Goddess,” Tara beckoned. “I call on you to help us. Please give us your blessing and give me the power to fight this harm. Goddess, I beg you, help me remove the magik from he who takes souls!”

Tara took a handful of a bluish powder and tossed it into the flame. The fire once more shot up, casting a blue shadow over the room. “Goddess! Direct his power into your Crystal, guide it so he may never bring harm again!”

Suddenly, Diaz’s eyes snapped open. “Is this normal?” Fred asked fearfully. Diaz bolted upright, his eyes devoid of any recognition. His head was thrown back as his mouth dropped open.

“Goddess! Expel him of his power!” Tara pleaded once more. From Diaz’s mouth poured a black mist. Tara slumped in her chair, but Willow was soon by her side. Everyone else watched as the mist crawled towards the Crystal of Hekate.

“Did it work?” an exhausted Tara asked.

“I think so,” Willow said. “Look.”

The mist began to enter the prism. The Crystal of Hekate began to glow with a tremendously bright luminescence. In the darkened room, the sight was all the more remarkable, as the mystical energy was broken apart. A rainbow of colors shot from the prism as the now ineffective magiks were separated.

“Wow. Pretty,” Groo observed.

“Be silent now, pseudo-Angel,” Lorne said

“Ya gotta admit,” Gunn whispered. “You don’t see that every day.”

Diaz flopped back against the bed, the spell knocking him further into the drug-induced unconsciousness. While Willow tended to Tara, Lorne place a lid over the bowl to put out the flame.

“So what now?” Fred asked. “What do we do with him?”

Angel placed two fingers on Diaz’s neck artery. “Well, he can’t hurt anyone. I guess we put him on the first plane to Brazil, Honduras, or wherever he is from. I really don’t care.”

“Angel’s right,” Gunn said. “Now that Diaz has been neutered, we got more important things to worry about.”

“It will be tough,” Angel told them. “Where she’s being held is surrounded by many vampires.”

“How many is many?” Lorne asked.

Angel stared at Diaz’s form as he stated his answer. “Fifty, give or take a few.” A collective moan of disbelief rose from the group. “Their Master is a tribesman named Kelemoke. He’s strong and he’s smart.”

“Which means?” Gunn asked.

“This means he’ll realize how important Cordelia is and is probably prepared for an assault.”

“So basically, we’re fucked,” Gunn stated

“I could do a spell,” Tara offered. “It’d be enough to give cover until you get inside the building.”

“That should be good enough. Gunn, Groo, and Lorne can use that to sneak in the backdoor and get Cordelia,” Angel said.

“What are you gonna do?”

An almost evil smile played at Angel’s lips. “I’m going to go right through the front door.” He picked up his coat from the floor and went to the door. “I need to go make a few deals. I’ll be back by sundown.”

The vampire was gone before they could question further. Only a few minutes later, a new day began to rise. And all knew, one way or another, it would all end tonight.

PART THIRTEEN

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