Hey! This is for Siriusfan13, in response to her review in my other story iMagic
I own absolutely zilch when it comes to the world and characters, especially in this chapter. This is a prologue, which is the last few scenes of the movie from Balthazar's point of view. This is a refresher as well as a little peek into our favorite master-sorcerer! Enjoy!
Balthazar took a deep breath as he flew off on the Chrysler Building's eagle. He was worried that his true love wouldn't make it in this new world without him, but he was positive she wouldn't make it if left by herself. He sighed as he came in sight of Battery Park. He patted the eagle and told it to wait nearby. He might need a quick get away. Always the optimist, he thought.
Then he stopped and smelled his last breath of clean air. Well, as clean as anything in New York was. Then he began to see Veronica kneeling by a wounded hawk, giving it life again. He remembered her laughing at a spell of his gone wrong. He remembered her look at him the last time he had seen her. "I'm sorry, Veronica. I'm doing this for you."
Then he closed in on Battery Park, allowing him only to think of the battle at hand. The last thought of her he allowed to distract him was hoping that Dave got the necklace to her. That she survived. And that his willful apprentice didn't come searching for him and get himself killed.
Then he pushed it all from his mind, maybe forever.
He could hear chanting. "Ospiritus Sintevorvey etremorey perterrible' vine verterores ETRE!"
Veronica. No, Morgana in Veronica's body. He was too late.
He gauged the battle ground through the bushes. He could see Veronica's body, Morgana's spirit, casting the pentagram. He knew that she was distracted enough to take down, but Horvath would stop him.
Horvath was currently preparing to burn the grimhold. Balthazar couldn't let that happen, it might be useful later.
Balthazar cast out a handy device he had inherited from Merlin. It was, essentially, an invisible, portable, pit. He waited a second then made a break for it. Leaping inside, he gasped for breath, trying to ignore the insane chanting. "Ergo vogo chi totet," the woman said.
Balthazar peered over the edge of the pit and levitated the grimhold from the fire. Horvath whirled around as Balthazar caught the black doll. Horvath broke Merlin's Pit.
"Enough of your old tricks, Balthazar," he admonished. Balthazar put his hand behind his back and conjured a plasma bolt.
"As you wish," he said and moved to cast it... but couldn't. He tried and failed again. Horvath chuckled.
"Time was, we were pretty evenly matched, you and I. But as you can see, I've acquired some new jewelry," the evil sorcerer said, flashing Drake, Abigail, and Dave's rings at him. Balthazar winced to see Merlin's ring on Horvath's staff.
But before he could do anymore, Horvath threw him a wind, that sent him flying out the park. He barely caught the fence in time. His side shrieked in pain. He hissed. He was panting and his side had a gash in it, not to mention his fractured hand from the impact.
Horvath began to advance on his former friend. Balthazar stared at him in a silent plea he would not allow himself to voice. Maxim was his friend. It wasn't Balthazar's fault Veronica wanted him! But, no. One petty difference, and Maxim would turn on his friends; his family. He would allow Morgana to kill Merlin, nearly kill Balthazar, and allow Veronica to nearly give her life up imprisoning his new mistress. He would steal the spell that would end human life. He would torture his best friend. Because of jealousy.
Balthazar was still panting when Horvath smiled. Crap. I'm not ready to battle right now. "A Matador, gored by a bull can take up to three days to die. Sounds unpleasant, doesn't it?" Horvath asked.
Balthazar looked at the man in horror before turning to see a bronze bull charge at him. He ducked and ran, holding his arm protectively, and slid behind a car. He gasped for a breath before the car hit him, causing him to lose his balance. He peered at the window and the Bull snorted, breaking the car... to find Balthazar already in front of another car. C'mon you big, stupid animal. Take the bait, Balthazar silently said.
The bull charged, just as expected. Balthazar lurched out of the way and bull was stuck.
Before he could do much more, however, he was knocked off his feet and sent flying by a newspaper stand. He landed on the pavement hard.
He winced. Balthazar did a mental check-over of his condition: his hand was fractured, his side was torn, at least two of his ribs were broken, and he thought he had some internal bleeding by his lungs. Fantastic. Oh, and out of energy to fight or heal myself with, too. Way to go, idiot, he berated himself. He had forgotten Horvath's new strength, and it would cost him his life, Veronica's life, Dave's life, and human life as they knew it. Where's Merlin when you need him? Balthazar thought futilely. The answer was obvious: Merlin was dead.
"The Circle is nearly complete," Horvath began. Balthazar turned his glance to the man towering above him.
"It must be awful," Horvath said. Balthazar stiffened. Yes. The pain of defeat was almost as bad as the injuries he had sustained.
"To spend all these years to keep this one moment from happening," Horvath continued. Balthazar winced as a spasm in his side sent flashes of pain up his side.
"And then coming up short."
Balthazar's grief and despair was interrupted by confusion. "That's my car!" he said. He knew that old Phantom anywhere. But how...?
He couldn't see the driver, but from the Tesla Coil on the hood, he knew who it was. A flash of light and Horvath's staff went flying. Balthazar gathered himself and threw a wind bolt at him, sending the sorcerer unconscious. At least Dave could turn back, now. But of course, being Dave, he didn't.
The bull broke loose and charged. Balthazar winced away, knowing the action was pointless. But the steel eagle grabbed it at the last second. "Thank you!" Balthazar called up to Merlin. What? Someone had to have sent it!
He looked at the thoroughly shaken Dave, who had gotten out of the car.
"Dave! What are you-?" he asked. Why? The world's one chance at survival and the idiot boy had come here, to die.
Dave shook his head and gingerly helped his master onto his feet. "No time. Becky's trying to disrupt the signal of that... that... that thing she's casting. The spell will break, but we still have to take care of Morgana. Hey, are you okay?" he suddenly asked.
Balthazar waved the concern away with his hand, "Yes, I'm fine. Thank you, by the way. " Dave nodded. "Any time."
Though Balthazar would probably never admit it, he was proud of Dave. It took courage and ingenuity to come here with the 'coils, and with Becky already accomplishing what they could not.
But then the two sorcerers felt it. The Rising.
"We're too late!" Dave said hurrying towards where the sorceress was casting the wicked spell. Balthazar followed as close behind has he could.
Then, the power backlashed and Veronica fell. Dave mentally thanked Becky for helping. "Veronica!" Balthazar cried and leaped to her side, lifting her gently. He ran his thumb along her neck and felt the steady beat of two pulses.
Dave stood by awkwardly. "Is she... uh..." he asked, trying to be tactful, bless him.
Balthazar shook his head. "They are both still with us," he corrected. Then he took a deep breath and moved his hands from her forehead to his own, his ring glowing. All his strength, all of his own training, had been saved for this moment. He had to succeed in bringing Morgana to his own body. He had to give his loved ones a chance! He bent his head and gave his beloved one last, lingering kiss and felt Morgana's soul being ripped from Veronica's body.
He gasped a breath as he pulled away, and breathed in Morgana's essence. He gasped in pain as the vengeful soul aimed a vicious kick at his broken ribs. "Ahh!" he moaned. Veronica opened her dark eyes, and they filled with horror.
"Balthazar! What have you done?" she demanded in her lovely accent. He heaved himself to his feet. "The same thing you did... for me," he grunted.
He tossed the grimhold that he had been clutching to to Dave. "Remember your promise- you would do whatever it takes to destroy Morgana," he told his apprentice. He could tell from Dave's expression that the promise was pretty much a moot point, and he was right.
"No! I'm not going to lock you in this thing!" the boy protested. Veronica stood. "Neither am I," she said.
Balthazar lost his mind. His lungs were on fire, his ribs in acid, and he was sure his spine wasn't in good condition. He could feel his lips moving, could hear the double tone to his voice, and his eyesight took on a blue tint. "How sweet," the sorcerer said evilly.
No! He could feel Morgana escaping. He stumbled back and collapsed on the steps, trying to regain control. He opened his eyes moments later and was lifted by Veronica to see Dave standing still and Morgana in a hideous half-form.
Veronica had to get out of here! Dave was going to get himself killed for nothing. His body couldn't possibly be a shield against the powerful enemy for long, and it would take much longer than that for Balthazar to regain his strength.
"Now we end this," Morgana said, forming a fire ball. Balthazar's life flashed before his eyes- all of his centuries passed by in seconds. Only three images remained: Veronica, Dave, and Merlin. He had failed Merlin, lost Veronica, and now would kill Dave and Veronica.
"NO!" he shouted and lurched forward, though he knew he could do nothing. It couldn't end like this for his love or his apprentice. They were too good, too deserving. Dedicated, strong, and dying in a park without anyone to notice or care.
The fire burst forward and Balthazar closed his eyes, blocking death's bullet with the age-old coping mechanism: if I can't see it, it isn't real.
But nothing hit and he looked up in wonder. Then pride filled his features. Dave stood there, his ring-less hands open and blocking Morgana's spell. Dave looked back to his master. "No ring," he said as though he couldn't believe it himself.
Balthazar was filled with pride- his apprentice had become the Prime Merlinian, accomplishment- he had found and trained Merlin's heir, and hope- they had magic, now! Even if Veronica was still too weak from containing Morgana, even if Balthazar was dead on his feet (or knees, as the case was), Dave could and would fight on.
"It is you," Balthazar said with a fierce sense of rightness. Let his apprentice see how far they had come together. He managed to stand beside his beloved and his apprentice. He would not kneel before this Morganian!
Dave let the shield drop, forgetting that Morgana was waiting. "Fools!" she cried with glee and aimed three plasma bolts.
Veronica and Dave managed to block fairly successfully, but Balthazar struggled to make it in time. He took a hard hit. He was back on his knees. Idiot, Dave! Pay attention! He growled. Then he saw Morgana aim for the girl, to torture Balthazar a minute longer, the sorcerer was sure. "Veronica!" He shouted in warning and leaped in the line of fire... his shield didn't make it. His last conscious thought was, Dave, save her. Don't let her die. Please.
His mouth couldn't move. He lay there on the pavement in sheer agony for a second, and then the world went dark.
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