Chapter Fifteen



Chakira's coveners welcomed her back, as if she had not made the ultra- dumb mistake of marrying Morgead. They each gave her wedding gifts, as if she had not married Morgead, and she thanked them kindly. Chakira received a new set of robes, a new cloak, a sword, a staff, a new Hathor's Mirror, a better athame than the one she had before, and four new books. Such gifts for the High Priestess were hardly beyond the means of the Temple, and they took pride in it.

It was a few days after Sarah's return to the coven that Dark Mesa Temple got to use the spy tool that Val had promised them. They were led to a long, low, white building. It did not look too impressive from the outside, but most of the coveners were sure that it would hold a myriad of wonders on the inside. That is saying, most of them. Some of the coveners felt otherwise.

"That's all?" Athena exclaimed, appalled.

"What a rip-off!" Morgaine added.

"Not so fast, ladies." Val replied.

Val led them into the antechamber and shut off the lights. When Val was sure their eyes had adjusted to the darkness, he opened the door to the main room. Every one of the girls gasped in amazement. It was far better than anyone had ever expected. Even the ones that were expecting a lot got a shock.

"Your spy tool, ladies! Program the system and it will find anyone, anywhere in the world. It also keeps audio records for the past 48 hours and visual records for the last three days."

The room was aglow from the light of several different monitors. In this light, one could see buttons, knobs, dials, and switches, keypads and places that contained printers to print off readouts. There were eight chairs, sitting in eight different stations.

"Witches, man your battle stations!" Chakira called.

A cheer went up and the coven took their places, Chakira at the main seat. The group began to fiddle with the stuff in front of them, getting ready to begin working. The ladies were like kids in a candy store, but the High Priestess was not bothered. She was experiencing the same feeling of jubliation herself.

Chakira put on her headset. "Let's get my last speech on full audio."

There was a pause, and then Chakira and the other coveners heard the sound of a crowd, and Europa's last speech. Chakira pried her eyes away from the console before her, and looked at everyone else. They were cringing at the speech that their High Priestess had given so enthusiastically, only a few hours ago.

Chakira hit the stop button and her voice came over everyone's headset. "Well, that was a treat. Can we get Lucifer's last meeting on Screen 1, with audio?"

A brief moment passed, and Chakira's ex appeared on the screen. She watched the meeting, disturbed. It was all disturbing. More disturbing than Willem Dafoe's performance in the Sam Raimi movie Spiderman. After a little bit, she gave more orders.

"Transfer to Screen 8, but don't rewind."

Val began watching the meeting where Chakira had left off. After a little bit, the video ended. There was a pause. A loud paused. Then suddenly, Chakira heard Val's voice over her headset.

"That's not cool, Kira."

"I know." Was the reply. Chakira then proceeded to speak to the general coven. "Prepare to launch probe!"

The noise in the room grew louder. Everyone began to talk at once, and prepared to launch the probe. Now that Dark Mesa Temple knew the system's record-storing capabilities, they were eager to try out the probe's talents. Excitement equals much cool squared. At least, that's what someone said.

"Do we have cameras on the probe, Station 8?" Chakira questioned.

"Every place you want them, and in some places you don't." came the reply.

"Put the nose cam on my screen. I want 2 on butt, 3 on left, 4 on right, 5 on ventral and 6 on dorsal. 7 keep track of the inner radar; 8, I want you on audio. Who has launch and personage?"

"3 has launch, 5 has personage."

"Get a lock on Morgead O'Connell, Station 5."

"Got him!"

"Station 3, are we ready?"

"On your orders, Chakira."

"Launch...Now!"

There was a soft rumbling noise as the overhead door opened. Complete silence, then a loud, indescribable noise as thrusters on the probe lit, and it took off.

"Radar clear!" Station 7 called.

"No audio, except for wind." Val added.

"Let's get a report from Stations 2 through 6." Chakira said.

"I don't see anything." Station 4 commented. "It's all a blur.

"I'm not surprised. Keep your eyes open though, guys." Chakira replied. "You may see things that Station 7 won't be able to."

Things went smoothly for most of the probe's flight. No one said anything, until right before the probe arrived at its destination.

"I'm getting audio. It's a whistling noise that sounds like it's coming from the butt or the ventral side."

"Stations 2 and 5 check your cameras." Chakira instructed.

"I don't see anything." Station 5 said.

"Me either." Came Station 2's reply.

"Check the radar, 7."

"We have a blip coming in from the right." Was the answer.

"Station 4, check your scopes."

"It looks blurry, Chakira. Unless I'm mistaken though, we have a homing missile headed straight for us!"

Sarah caught her breath. A homing missile? That could not be good.

"What can we do, Station 5?"

"There's an abandoned building coming up on our left.

"You heard the woman, Station 3!" Sarah commanded. "Duck and cover!"

A few tense moments passed, as the probe dove into the building and shut off all, it's sensors, really fast. The missile, having lost track of the probe, dove into the building as well, and blew up. As soon as the rumbling stopped, Sarah ordered the probe to lift-off again.

It almost appeared that the probe was not going to make it. All the sensors came back online, but it was having trouble firing its thrusters. Just when everyone had given up hope, the thrusters fired, the probe lifted shakily from the rubble, and took off. Everyone cheered.

The probe found Gabriel quite easily after that. He was in a meeting with his most trusted officers, probably plotting the mission. Mandy and Gabriel had no clue that the Witches had one up on them. So much for a secret council! The Witches now knew all their plans.