“Looks like we’re all here. Jarod and Cosette hop in the DB5 then. The rest of you in the limo, so you can ask any questions you might have after Alma apprises you of the situation.” I stated, despite the lingering doubts plaguing me.
Alma looked completely confident. Thinking of the numerous times I had sparred with her, I could easily understand why. She was intelligent, strong, experienced, and came from a family that took care of this type of thing whenever there was need. I needed to have faith in her.
Only after the cars were moving did Alma speak, saying, “What we’re about to do might well be dangerous for some of you.”
The twins smirked, completely confident in their own abilities, but they didn’t interrupt.
“The necromancer that has been plaguing this city has been discovered. Mila, please show the footage from earlier.” commanded Alma.
The limousine’s television lit up, showing us the hallway in one of my hotels where a man in a long coat was walking past a service cart. He looked rather friendly with a slightly heavyset face and a kind smile.
“There. Did you see it?” asked Alma.
I shook my head, feeling a bit embarrassed at not noticing whatever was there. With how quickly I could perceive things now, I would’ve thought I’d have caught whatever mistake the man had made. Fortunately for my ego, none of the others did either.
Frowning, Alma said, “Mila, please rewind and zoom in on the anomaly.”
Missing what happened on the replay would have been nearly impossible with how much Mila was able enlarge the picture. The hotels’ new cameras were remarkable. Of course, the ones in my home were as well. The very edge of the man’s coat passed through the leg of the cart.
My embarrassment lessened. Seeing a fraction of an inch worth of material behave unnaturally wasn’t particularly obvious.
“That, ladies and gentleman, is quite obviously an illusion. Having noticed this, Mila increased her surveillance of this man and found this next clip.” explained Alma.
A somewhat grainy video came up, showing the man walking with two others, but I didn’t see anything that unusual about it.
“Did you notice the odd gaits of the men who joined him?” asked Alma.
“They seemed a little stiff, but their movement wasn’t that odd.” I told her.
“I’m with him, actually.” claimed Mai.
“Their walking wasn’t that odd.” added Ai.
The others didn’t seem inclined to comment on the matter.
Alma smiled as she said, “Then watch them in this next clip.”
Another grainy video appeared. As we watched, one of the men tripped and went sprawling. The way he jerked back onto his feet seemed completely unnatural, as if an invisible hand pulled him upright. Instead of walking quickly or jogging a bit to catch up, the man lurched forward in a brief sprint.
“I suspect those two who joined our target are zombies covered in elaborate illusion spells. Even when the one fell, the clothing moved rather naturally. Yes, the clothing could be real, but I doubt our necromancer would bother doing dry cleaning for his creations.” explained Alma.
“Is this all? I would hardly call this definitive proof of his involvement with the zombies though.” I told her.
Nodding, Alma said, “Quite right, but I consider this plenty to question him. There are more clips of the three. Unfortunately, nothing much stands out in them.”
“Sorry, master, but many of the shops don’t have digital surveillance systems, at least not networked ones. If they had, I’d have accessed them.” asserted Mila.
“If my suspicions are correct, he might well attack us when confronted. Assuming he does, I would like all of you to be on alert for more of his zombies. Obviously, you don’t want them to bite you. Though I doubt this man’s found a way to make the spells sustaining them contagious, they probably do carry disease. Furthermore, they’ll likely be far stronger than an average human. This man’s capabilities in constructing zombies are impressive. I’ve never heard of his match in this. Considering the explosions at the park, destroying the things at range is preferable.” continued Alma.
“Hopefully, none of you will have anything to do, but remember that we are in public. The limo sticks out enough in some neighborhoods, so try not to draw additional attention.” I told them.
“Master, the man has entered a cemetery. There are people present nearby.” stated Mila.
Sighing, I said, “Great. He’s probably out looking for fresh corpses. In case this is a man who truly is just out visiting the deceased, I still feel we should talk with him. Try to protect everyone if things get out of control. Portentia, I really don’t know how you get around town dressed like that, but you probably should wait in the limo unless things get messy.”
“Mila, will you please take care of any mobiles in the area should someone attempt to record something they shouldn’t?” asked Alma.
“Of course, Lady Pendreigh.” she replied.
The discussion continued off and on for the next hour and a half as we waited to reach the cemetery. There seemed to be a mix of excitement and nervousness in the group. The twins were jubilant at the prospect of destroying the undead. Brenna seemed nervous, and I couldn’t blame her. She was competent at a number of spells now, but I doubted she ever had expected to actually use them in a fight, unlike the twins.
Even Brandon looked surprisingly serious, possibly considering how he could help against a creature that might explode. I needed to get everyone trained in modern weaponry. I was certain Aaliyah could procure some, given what was in the DB5. We could use magic to muffle the noise. I should put a spell to reduce noise around my car, just in case she needed to unleash some of her weaponry.
Thinking of my car, I wondered how Jarod and Cosette were fairing. Mila surely allowed them to listen in, but they hadn’t said anything to us. I was glad that neither of them wanted to participate in this fight, assuming there would be a fight. If this man truly was the one who casually caused such harm at the amusement park, I couldn’t imagine him coming quietly.
“Mila, stop the cars.” commanded Alma.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, looking around. “Ai? Mai? What are you doing?”
The twins were getting out of the car. The others too. Alma created a spell on each of them.
“Ugh… he got us.” stated Ai.
“Sorry, Lady Pendreigh.” apologized Mai, looking ashamed.
“I didn’t expect this either, so don’t be. Get back inside. We’re parking farther back. Mila, are there still people ahead despite the time?” asked Alma.
“Yes, Lady Pendreigh.” replied Mila.
“Girls, what were you about to do when you got out of the car?” inquired Alma.
“We were just…” started Mai.
She looked over at her sister who was staring at her.
“We were about to go home.” stated Ai.
Alma appeared intrigued as she said, “Well, that’s convenient. There’s apparently some sort of warding spell to keep people away. The ones up ahead are probably zombies. I put a spell on all of you to counter the effect, but I want to look around before any of you get too close.”
I followed her out of the car after Mila parked and wished we would have just left the others behind entirely. Things were already going wrong.