“James, coming?” asked Alma after she stepped out of the limo.
I nodded and followed after her. Alma took my hand and casually walked toward the cemetery, appearing as if she didn’t have a care in the world. I wished I was that relaxed. With my fears plaguing me and the cause of them hiding in this massive area, I wanted to hurry. I felt like charging through the cemetery in search of the man who caused all this. I wanted him stopped. Sadly, part of me just wanted to leave this all behind. I knew what the man’s fate would be when we caught him. I had seen Alma kill before, but the sight wasn’t something to which I was accustomed, not even close.
“That’s odd. They’re not even approaching us.” stated Alma.
We were halfway between two sets of zombies, and they didn’t even seem to notice. Alma turned and started walking toward one of the groups. At first, I didn’t think they were going to do anything, but they sprung toward us as soon as we were within ten feet. Alma turned them to ash just before they reached us.
“I can’t determine whether this man’s protections are sloppy or brilliant. The enchantment seems quite well done, but these zombies are worthless with how they’re spaced. What do you think?” asked Alma.
“I’m more concerned about whether he’s been killing people or dug these bodies up. The corpses look very fresh.” I replied, hoping she at least considered the idea.
“Quite, but we can concern ourselves about that part later.” she claimed.
“So execute the man and then figure out what he’s guilty of doing?’ I asked.
“James, you know he’s killed people already. Does the number really matter so much right now?” she asked.
“No, you’re right. He needs to be stopped as soon as we find him.” I admitted. If the man had only killed in self-defense, I would have been more forgiving, but such indiscriminate killing as he had done at the amusement park was unforgivable.
We continued farther into the cemetery, ignoring the other zombies. The place seemed relatively normal, at least for a cemetery. Tombstones, mausoleums, and the occasional tree surrounded us. There was no one roaming around, nothing for us to fight.
“Oh. That’s funny.” stated Alma as she suddenly stepped away from me.
I was about to ask what when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. A zombie was crawling up out of the ground.
“He attempted to grab my leg as we passed. Do you think this necromancer loves zombies movies?” inquired Alma, smiling even as the zombie turned to ash.
“I suppose he mi…” I started, stopping when a fog arose around us.
“This necromancer must have spent some time here. Feel the moisture? The fog is real. A spell such as this should have been quite noticeable if it wasn’t already in place, waiting for a trigger.” commented Alma nonchalantly.
I was more worried about something else I was hearing. There were noises coming from all around us as if the entire cemetery had suddenly come alive.
“Yes, he’s definitely been busy. Let’s get back to the others.” I told her.
“Don’t you feel the temperature raising? I wonder if he means to cook us. Maintaining a fog in winter is tricky. I doubt this will work out for him.” stated Alma, ignoring what I had said.
I heard something like an explosion, but the noise was dull, barely audible.
“Did you hear that? I believe he even created sound dampening spells of some sort throughout the area. Remember the one I created when we were at that club together?” she asked.
“Alma, please! We need to get moving. The others might be in danger.” I urged.
“Oh, fine. I’m certain they’re quite well. Between the twins and your car, the zombies wouldn’t be a problem, but the others are there too. Emma probably has the creatures all wrapped up in plants by now, and Portentia is surely having fun.” she replied.
Alma turned the zombies immediately surrounding us to ash as we started back toward the car. I wanted to move faster, but she insisted on walking, claiming we might miss the necromancer otherwise. More explosions could be heard in the distance, and I wasn’t confident in my sense of direction while surrounded in the fog, which I admitted aloud.
Despite the zombies being destroyed around us as we walked, Alma laughed and said, “The fog’s gone. This is an illusion of fog now. Not feeling hot? You… Ah. I see.”
“No, I’m not bothered by the temperature. I feel fine.” I admitted.
“No, not that. The temperature stopped rising at thirty six point nine degrees celsius.” she replied.
“Okay, and..?” I asked.
“That’s an average temperature for human bodies. He’s blinding me in a sense, which would mean he fought someone with similar abilities before.” she claimed.
“Wait. You what?” I asked.
“Haven’t you noticed? I know where people are by their body temperatures. Mother made me hone my skills till I could state the temperature of anything around me.” she calmly explained.
“I do admit that you seem to have eyes in the back of your head at times. I had thought that your hearing was just that good.” I replied.
Smiling, she told me “It is, but my magic is typically more reliable.”
My phone buzzed in my pocket, so I pulled it out. I had received a message from Mila. “Goodbye, Master.” was all it said. I started sprinting through the fog as best as I could, dodging through zombies, tombstones, and everything else as I saw them. When I arrived at the road, I paused, seeing the fog extended up ahead. There were corpses everywhere. Some were burning, others were cut, and others were in too many pieces to tell what happened. The smell was horrid, but I was thankful that I didn’t see any of my friends among them.
“James, what’s wrong?” asked Alma.
“Mila told me ‘goodbye’.” I replied.
We hurried forward, and my heart sank even lower upon seeing the carnage in front of me. The limo and DB5 were in pieces. More corpses were surrounding the area.
“James!” Emma called.
I barely could see her through the fog. I hurried over to her and was thankful to see Ai, Mai, Brandon, and Brenna nearby.
“Is anyone injured?” asked Alma.
“Brenna’s got a broken arm. Mila’s.. well…” stated Brandon, nodding toward the limo.
He looked angry, and I shared his rage. Mila’s new body was sprawled in front of the limo, unmoving.
“Where’s Jarod, Cosette, and Portentia?” I asked.
“I don’t know.” replied Ai.
“Jarod!?” called Mai.
“Coming!” he replied, sounding shaken.
“Mila ejected ust!” called Cosette.
I looked up to where I heard the voices, not seeing anything. My eyes went to the motion as part of Brandon’s shirt ripped off and joined with parts of a house to form a splint around Brenna’s arm.
“What about Portentia?” I asked.
Shrugging, Emma said, “She took off, chasing our attacker.”
“What precisely happened?” asked Alma, peering around as she did.
“This fog suddenly rose up, so we got out of the car.” started Ai.
“Then there were zombies. Hundreds of them.” added Mai.
“We were fighting them off when more came out of the houses, but I managed to ensnare them at first.” explained Emma.
I heard a couple thuds nearby and ran to the noise. Jarod and Cosette were there, extricating themselves from parachutes.
“Are you okay?” I asked them.
Jarod shrugged, and Cosette nodded.
“Mila’s gone, man. Something cut right through her.” declared Jarod, looking as shaken as he sounded.
“What happened? The necromancer?” asked Alma, coming to my side and still looking around us.
“I don’t know. Everyone was fighting. Mila started shooting into the zombies after they started coming out of the houses. Then there was magic seeming to shoot from everywhere. Mila fired missiles into the areas with the spells, but then I got shot up into the air. Being ejected from a car isn’t nearly as fun as it looks.” insisted Jarod, his voice cracking. “But look at her… Her hardware’s destroyed.”
Jarod knew better where Mila’s central components were than I did. With her body not moving, he was surely right.
“All of you, escort Brenna to the hospital. If anyone asks about your dishevelment, say that you were attacked by some thugs but managed to scare them off.” ordered Alma.
“What?” asked Mai.
“Us too?” asked Ai.
“Yes. James and I will find Portentia and take care of this necromancer. Now go.” replied Alma.
I was surprised. Despite the sternness of her tone, I felt no magic. She didn’t seem to be sharing my anger. Still, I followed. Maybe this was how Alma was in a fight, cool-headed and prepared. We would find this guy.