Wizard's Betrayer, Chapter 6: Confrontation
Dairine stood up. Kit had just explained the circumstances that led up to his and Nita's 'intimate encounter.' She had found the story mildly interesting, save for one detail, but she still had other problems to think about.
"Okay, before we move onto other matters, I just want to clear this up. You've been sleeping with my sister for months, starting just after the freakin' Pullulus incident?!" Dairine practically screamed this last part.
"Yes." Kit replied. Dairine nodded. "I'll pray to the Powers That Be to let my dad show mercy on you." she said, then continued, "Now, let's focus on the situation at hand. Nita's been taken over by the Lone One, and she's insanely powerful, partly because Kit got her pregnant, partly because He turned her into something like an Avatar with an independent mind. When she blasted me that last time, I could, for a second, actually feel her power. She could've slaughtered us if she wanted to, but, for some reason, she didn't.
"We need to get her back so we can try to reverse what's happened, but we were barely able to hold our own against her, even when it was all of us against her."
Kit spoke up. "Even if we could capture her, we don't know if we could do anything. I managed to sense her mind when she hit me, and it's . . . it's . . . different, somehow. Like she was brainwashed and then mentally 'reprogrammed' to serve him. He altered her memories, her thoughts, almost the very fabric of her being. We underestimated his ability to change her. We'd probably need the Powers Themselves to be able to revert her to normal."
"Or an Abdal and quite a few other wizards." Dairine said, grinning.
A few minutes later, they were on the moon with S'ree, a large amount of other aquatic wizards, almost the whole population of Mobiles, Ronan, Darryl, Tom, Carl, and most of the planet's total wizard population. However, missing from their ranks were Roshaun, Fillif, and Sker'ret, who had each gone to their respective worlds to ask for help from the wizards of their planets. Dairine herself had just sent a universal plea for help through the manual.
"Okay, we need to figure something out. Nita poses a huge threat to the survival of the universe. I don't doubt that she could wipe the floor with everyone here, even if we were fighting her at the same time. Also, we don't know what she's capable of." Dairine said.
"If you don't think we can take her on, then why should we try?" one of the younger wizards asked, and Dairine glared. "Because if we don't, then we might as well hand entropy the universe on a silver platter. Because she's my sister. Because she's one of us." she snapped back.
"Okay, okay, sorry I asked." he said, sticking his hands in his pockets and looking down.
"Now, the best strategy is probably to hit her with our strongest wizardries simultaneously. When Roshaun, Fillif, and Sker'ret get back with additional help, we need to start searching for Nita. We need to split into groups. Each group searches a few thousand cubic light-years at a time and contacts the others when they find something. As soon as you hear anything from one of the groups, you are to report there immediately. If you are the team that finds her, do yourselves a favor and don't be a hero; wait for everyone else to get there before engaging her in battle." Dairine continued. Just then, Roshaun appeared, followed by a large group of other wizards. "Every wizard on Wellakh has pledged their services to this effort." he said by way of explanation.
Just then, Sker'ret appeared. "There are several hundred more wizards on their way, many of which are of different species who received the message you sent and are using The Crossings as a meeting place before heading here. My Honored Ancestor is setting up a worldgate to transport them directly here."
Dairine nodded at both of them. "Good. Let's hope even more come." she said.
A few seconds later, Filif appeared with a very small group of other wizards of his species. "I gathered what I could." he said.
"Okay. You did your best." Dairine said. "Now we wait."
A few hours later, the number of wizards had grown to what Dairine guessed had to be way into the thousands. Finally, when the incoming flow of wizards had slowed to a trickle, she said, "Okay, it's time to divide everyone into groups!" Over the next half-hour or so, they divided into groups. After deciding that they would search one galaxy at a time, they divided the galaxy into sections and sent each team off to check out a section.
However, after only a few hours of searching, Dairine got what could be interpreted as the best news they'd gotten all day: Nita had been sighted. The only problem: she was tearing Wellakh apart. After signaling the other groups through the manuals, they headed to Wellakh. After they started arriving, Nita stopped wreaking havoc and simply waited for the rest of the thousands of wizards allied against her to gather on the destroyed side of Wellakh.
Finally, when all the groups arrived, Nita said, "Good. Now I can take out a decent chunk of the galaxy's wizards in a single go." before unleashing a massive blast of energy. Acting immediately, Filif and several dozen of the younger wizards activated a shield wizardry. The shield absorbed most of the blast, but shuddered under the impact. Furiously, Nita unleashed several more blasts of energy at the shield, which Filif compensated for by converting the shield wizardry to absorb the energy blasts and use the energy to strengthen itself.
It was time for Dairine's strategy to go into play. She signaled the other wizards by launching an energy blast of her own into the air. As one, they unleashed extremely powerful energy blasts at Nita. Nita casually stood there and let the blasts hit her. The impact zones on her body glowed with energy before dissipating.
"You really think that you can do anything to me? You can't hurt me. It would take the Powers Themselves to cause any serious harm to me, and even then They wouldn't be able to do much." Nita scoffed.
Finally, Dairine realized that they were just weakening themselves with each successive barrage. She knew they wouldn't benefit from just exhausting themselves, so she gave the order to use the wizardry that had been most reluctant to use: a wizardry Filif had developed that would channel all the energy they could use without dying into a single blast of energy that should at least incapacitate Nita, if it didn't kill her.
The shield went down, the energy was condensed into a bolt of energy, and the whole group of wizards added to it before launching the massive blast towards Nita.
As the blast traveled through the air, Nita uttered a few words in the Speech, then raised a hand. The blast of energy flowed into her hand. She pointed her hand towards the sun, then said, "Thanks. Now I can make sure you die."
A massive, continuous beam of energy, accompanied by a long spell in the Speech, launched from her hand towards Wellakh's sun. When the blast ended, she smiled. "I hope you like heat, because this whole planet is going to be blasted by a solar flare big enough to turn this planet into a molten mass of lifeless slag in a few hours. Don't even think about teleporting away; you do, and you'll simply bounce back here. I've set up a dampening field that prevents wizardries from working until after this miserable rock gets destroyed." she said, then laid down a teleportation wizardry and prepared to leave. Some of the wizards continued blasting her with energy, but Nita simply absorbed those blasts as well before vanishing.
In the seconds before Nita vanished, Dairine heard a voice in her head. It was Nita's. There's one way to escape. You have three hours, fifteen minutes, and twenty-seven seconds from the time I finish saying this to figure out what it is and act on it. I know you're wondering why I'm willing to help you survive. The facts are simple: I find fighting you amusing, despite the fact that my Master wants you dead and for me to kill you. I actively saved you during our last confrontation, but that was a one-time thing. He made it against the rules for Me to go out of My way to save you. You'll have to guess on your own. This will help. Use it if there's no other way.
Nita threw a small charm to Dairine. When the message ended, she blinked. "Everyone, get over here!" she called. When Kit, Ronan, Roshaun, Filif, Sker'ret, S'ree, Tom, and Carl went over to her, she said, "Nita left us a way out. We've got about three hours and fourteen minutes or so to figure it out and act on it. I'll try to figure out the spell Nita gave me. She said it would help. Tom, Carl, you're with me."
Over the next two hours, Roshaun, Filif, Ronan, Sker'ret, S'ree and all the other particularly skilled Wizards were trying to figure out the way out that Nita had mentioned to Dairine. All the while, Dairine, Tom, and Carl were trying to figure out what the spell Nita had given to Dairine would do.
Finally, Roshaun came up with the solution. "A shield." he said simply. "We encase Wellakh in a shield to absorb the blast."
"Yeah, but where are we going to get enough power to encase a planet in a shield strong enough to withstand a solar flare smashing right into it?" Dairine asked, and Tom spoke up.
"We have thousands of wizards here. That should be more than enough power to make it work."
"Yes, and, even if it isn't, it appears that the wizardry Nita gave you is an energy tap right into her own power. She seems determined to make sure she can keep fighting you." Carl said.
"Sounds good. Let's do it. But we don't activate the shield until the solar flare is almost upon us to save energy. Filif, get some people together and start designing that shield." Dairine said, and everyone agreed.
About an hour later, Roshaun reported that Thahit was about to unleash the solar flare that Nita had initiated. They immediately began laying down the wizardry. It used a system of interconnected "generator" wizardries, areas where the energy for the shield would be released, to cover the planet. The placement of the "generators" would determine where the shield would be strongest, which was on the side that would be hit, though the shield would cover the whole planet just to be on the safe side. The test revealed that they would need more energy, so Dairine laid out the wizardry Nita had given her and worked it into the shield.
Just as she finished, Roshaun called out, "It's starting! We've got about ten minutes!"
Dairine nodded. "Okay, everyone! Get ready!"
The flare was visible in the sky five minutes later, growing larger by the second. To keep people from acting prematurely, Dairine yelled, "Hold it until we've got under a minute before impact!"
As the seconds ticked down, Dairine waited anxiously. Finally, Roshaun yelled, "One minute!" Acting in unison, they began working the wizardry. The shield grew in strength as the flare got more and more powerful, but Dairine knew she would have to trigger the tap into Nita's power.
With the very heart of the flare mere seconds away, Dairine activated the energy tap. Suddenly, she felt the strength of the shield drop dramatically. "What the--?!" Dairine yelled as the full force of the flare smashed into the shield, which was still decreasing in strength rapidly. She felt the flare sear through the shield and impact the planet, slagging about a quarter of the still-inhabitable side and three-quarters of the already-destroyed side.
A few hours later, the damage reports and death toll had come in. The blast had killed at least a thousand wizards and 500-750 Wellakhit, due to the fact that they'd evacuated that part of Wellakh to minimize loss of life if the shield couldn't stop the flare. At this point, what Dairine was beginning to think of as the War Council, consisting of herself, Kit, Roshaun, Filif, Sker'ret, S'ree, Tom, and Carl, was convening to go over what had happened during the flare. They were gathered around a table in the Wellakhit palace.
"Nita tricked us." Dairine said. It was a simple statement, yet it was full of conviction and hatred. "She gave us that energy tap wizardry that she said would help us survive because, and these are her exact words, 'I find fighting you amusing.' Instead, the tap goes and pulls energy from the shield to feed the solar flare. Her treachery has gone too far. I hate to say it, but, we need to create a wizardry that will kill Nita. She's shown what she can do, but she's also holding back. It won't be long before the Lone One orders her to straight-up kill us."
Tom spoke. "I agree. As much as it pains me to say it, Nita is a traitor to wizards, to the Powers, to existence and life itself. We have no choice but to kill her to prevent her from destroying the multiverse."
Roshaun spoke up. "Just before we freed the Hesper, the Lone One suppressed all wizardry in the area. Nita did something very similar just now, when she prevented us from using wizardries which would reach beyond the planet to keep us from teleporting away from Wellakh. If we were to create a wizardry to duplicate that effect, we could lure Nita into a trap, create a small bubble to suppress all wizardry for, say, just a few feet in any direction, and then we could kill her using a single, lethal spell that we would exempt from the dampening field while she cannot use her powers."
"Okay. Filif, get a few others, and start working on that. An ideal location would probably be a planet in an uninhabited solar system. That way, we can draw the energy we need directly from the star, shortening its lifespan without endangering any potential species in the future."
"I will see if anyone knows a suitable location." Roshaun said.
"Good. We've got a traitor to kill." Dairine said.