The Witches of Eriadne:
Fire Burn - Part 2: Present

by The Space Witches

Chapter 1} {Chapter 2} {Chapter 3}

Matthew Gideon very pensive.
Matthew Gideon very pensive.

Chapter 3

Angel sat resting her chin on one hand as she took another sip of vodka. The bottle in front of her was only a quarter empty, but already she was somewhat drunk. She snorted with ironic laughter; she never did have a tolerance for alcohol. Her mood kept swinging from amusement at herself to anger and sadness. She had hoped that the vodka would block her thoughts, but no such luck. Finding her own inebriation funny quickly turned to sadness, as she starting thinking about Lucas again.

Finally, she was facing the facts about him. She loved him so much that she had let him get away with virtually anything. He’d broken her link with her sisters; as a result of that, her power was gone. He’d taken her away from her home, and like a fool, she’d let him talk her into believing that he’d done it so they could be together. Then she’d forgiven him for it, letting herself believe that it didn’t matter as long as she was with him. [Idiot!]

Angel took another gulp of vodka, this time emptying the glass, which she quickly refilled. She continued to think about various things that had happened since they’d arrived on B5. In the beginning things had been great, but that had changed quickly. She’d started hearing whispers and rumors about him--that Lucas Buck was eager and willing to give a helping hand to those who needed it, but that there was always a price to pay. If someone wasn’t willing or able to pay, then something bad might happen. She’d heard of people’s lives being destroyed, had heard that Lucas was feared as much as he was respected, but she was so blindly in love with him that she had chosen to believe people were just jealous of him. Now she was facing the truth, and she knew that those rumors were probably all true.

What really bothered Angel was that Lucas had started spending less and less time with her. When she’d gotten upset about it, he’d told her that some sacrifices had to be made. He was gaining power and money, which would make their return to Eriadne possible--yet another lie she’d believed. The thought of Eriadne brought her thoughts back full circle, to the very thing she’d been avoiding. Lucas’s plan to kidnap her sister.

Angel couldn’t help but feel jealous. To think that all this time Lucas had wanted Demon. That had come as a complete shock to her. She knew Lucas and Demon had been together when he’d been in Gideon’s body, but she’d never suspected that Lucas was that interested. [Well, now you know,] Angel sighed; she really had been a blind fool. She couldn’t help wondering what that meant for her. It was clear that Lucas intended her to go with him. What did he have planned? Did he think she would help him get Demon? Or was he planning to take her back to Eriadne to dump her there and leave with Demon? Angel shook her head; she couldn’t bring herself to think about that right now.

She also didn’t want to think about what had happened with Smith, but it was a major part of the evidence of what an evil, cold-hearted bastard Lucas was. Angel felt her blood turn cold at the memory. It had all been part of a damned test. Lucas may not have known what would happen, but he was still responsible. He had sent her there, letting her think she had to sleep with Smith to get his ship, so they could return to Eriadne. He’d led her to believe that this was so they could stay and make a life together there. [All a lie!]

Angel continued thinking, the drink in front of her now forgotten. After nearly an hour of just sitting there, playing over in her mind what Lucas was planning, she felt herself becoming afraid for her sister. Given what she now knew about Lucas, how likely was it that he would be any kinder to Demon than he had been to her? Did he really want Demon or was it just the child she carried? And if it were the child, what would Lucas do to Demon after the baby was born? She came to a decision--enough was enough! She was not going to allow Lucas to carry out his plan and harm Demon and her son in any way. She was going to stop him. This time, he was not going to get away with it. His causing Angel to suffer was one thing; she at least had made the choice to be with him, but she’d be damned if she’d let him do anything to harm Demon.

Angel straightened in her seat. Her mind felt clear, despite the drink. She drained the glass in front of her. She knew of a way to stop Lucas, or more correctly, she knew of one person who would prevent Lucas from kidnapping Demon--Gideon. She’d send a message to Gideon. She’d overheard everything that Lucas had told the Drazi about when they would leave and when they would arrive at Eriadne. She would give Gideon all the details and warn him about Lucas’ intentions.

Angel amazed herself as she rationally began to plan how she would contact Gideon. She immediately ruled out using the comm. system in the apartment. Far too risky. She would use one of the public comm. units, and she couldn’t send the message herself, as Gideon would recognize her voice. Considering his feelings towards her, it was unlikely he would believe her. Angel chewed her lip as she tried to figure out a solution to that problem. She began to smile as it hit her. She would get a lurker to send it for her. She would write down the message and then get him to record it for her.

Angel looked up and saw the waitress and waved to get her attention. The waitress approached her. "Do you have something I can write with?" The waitress gave her an odd look, [Getting used to those,] but handed her a pen without comment. Angel gave her a smile of appreciation. "Thank you." She then turned her attention to a pile of paper napkins on the table and reached for one. Without hesitation, she began to write. She was so busy focusing her attention on her message that she didn’t see the waitress shake her head and walk away.

A little more than twenty minutes later, Angel had the message written down. She read through it a couple of times, and satisfied with it, she stood up. Immediately, she had to sit down again as a wave of dizziness hit her. She rubbed her face with her hands. Her mind might be clear, but her body was clearly affected by the alcohol and her head still ached from the recent beating she had taken. The bruises and broken bones might have healed, but the underlying weakness was still there. Angel took a few deep breaths. She couldn’t let that stop her from doing what needed to be done. She stood up again, slowly this time, happy when she didn’t feel dizzy. She left the Dark Star, taking the remains of the bottle of vodka with her.

Angel wandered for almost an hour looking for a comm. unit and a lurker who could send the message for her. She was pleased when she found both in the same place. She approached the shabby, dirty-looking man who was sitting against the wall beneath the comm. unit. "Excuse me?" she said as she came to a stop in front of him. She stepped back as the lurker stood up and looked at her warily.

"Yeah, what do you want?" asked the man, gruffly.

Angel smiled and showed him the napkin. "I need to send this message, and I was wondering if you would help me?" Angel gave the man her best smile. She tried to ignore the fact that his nearness was making her nervous. She’d heard that it could be dangerous for a woman alone to wander around Downbelow, but she braced herself. She had to do this.

"What do you want me to do?" Angel handed him the napkin, and waited for him to finish reading it before she explained slowly that she needed him to record the message for her. She could see that the man was wondering why she didn’t just do it herself, but he didn’t question her when as incentive, she offered him the unicorn brooch on her dress, the only thing of value she had on her. It had been a gift from Lucas, made of white gold, with the horn created from sapphires. It was a beautiful piece of jewelry. She’d been so happy when Lucas gave it to her, and she’d cherished it, but if it meant getting the man to do what she asked, then it was worth giving away--a small price to pay for her sister’s safety.

She stood and watched as the man eyed the piece. "I’ll give this to you after you’ve recorded the message for me." Angel informed him strongly. She didn’t want to run the risk that once the unicorn was in his hands he would run off before he recorded the message. She watched him as he debated her offer, then he nodded and turned to the comm. unit. Angel stood behind him and gave him the call sign for the Excalibur and listened as he recorded her message. When he was about to hit the send button, she stopped him, telling him that she would do the rest. She handed him the brooch, which he all but snatched from her hand. She watched as he scurried away down a dingy corridor without speaking another word.

Angel stood in front of the comm. unit, her hand hovering over the send button. She knew that the moment she sent the message there would be no going back. [You don’t have a choice, Angel. For Demon’s sake and for your own, you have to stop Lucas,] her inner voice spoke with gentle encouragement. She closed her eyes and let out a heavy sigh. Opening her eyes again, she took a long drink from the bottle of vodka and looked down at the send button. She pressed it with a shaky hand. Seconds later, a computerized voice told her that the message had been sent. Angel dropped the bottle to the floor and watched as it rolled away. Now she couldn’t change her mind.

She turned away from the comm. unit, suddenly afraid. She’d been so angry, upset and busy getting drunk that she hadn’t stopped to think about the fact that Lucas would have returned to the apartment to find her missing. For a moment, Angel considered not going back, but she knew that would be pointless--she didn’t have anywhere else to go. She stood trying to think of a reason she could give Lucas for having left the apartment. The dull ache that had started in her head made it impossible to think. [I just want to lie down; I’ll think about it later,] Angel thought, as she took in a deep breath to steady her nerves. Then slowly, she began making her way back to the apartment, wobbling slightly as she went, all thoughts of excuses forgotten.

The closer Angel got to the apartment, the more her courage ebbed away. She had no idea what mood Lucas would be in when she got home. Her head was feeling worse all the time. It ached and she started to feel very sick. What if Lucas knew where she’d been? What if he knew what she’d done? He had an uncanny ability to know what she was thinking. What if he saw her and was able to read her mind and find out about the message? She didn’t doubt for a minute that he would kill her for that kind of betrayal.

Angel stopped dead in her tracks, although swaying, just outside the door to the apartment, too afraid to go a step further, but she knew she had to. She had nowhere to hide. There was no one to go to for help, no one who could keep her safe from Lucas. She had to go back and try to act as if nothing was wrong. [Maybe Lucas isn’t that all-seeing, and maybe he won’t know.] She didn’t really believe her own thoughts, but she had to hope. Summoning all the courage she could find within herself, she slowly approached the door.

Lucas cursed for the hundredth time. Since his return to the apartment and his discovery that Angel wasn’t there, he’d been calling all over--MedLab, the Downbelow clinic, and everywhere else he could think of--to see if anyone had seen her. He stood looking at the comm. unit with a frown. He’d considered going to look for her, but he hadn’t wanted to leave the apartment in case she returned and they missed each other. [Where the hell are you, Angel?]

He had to admit that he was worried. There were a number of reasons why Angel might have left, and none of them were good. She might have had a concussion, or she could have tried to leave him. Lucas suspected that although she hadn’t admitted it yet, she probably held him responsible for the beating she had taken from Smith.

[To hell with waiting,] he decided; he had to go and find her.

Lucas burst out of the door and knocked Angel flying. She bounced off the far side of the corridor, her head giving a sickening thump as it hit the wall, then she slid to the floor. [Shit!] He knelt quickly and pushed his arms under her body, lifting her and carrying her back into the apartment and through to the bedroom. He lowered her gently to the bed, taking care to keep her head from hitting anything. [If she gets any more blows there, she’ll end up brain-damaged,] he thought as he strode into the bathroom, wetting a towel and returning to the bedroom.

Lucas laid the towel gently on her forehead and stroked her cheek. "Angel? Can you hear me, Angel?" Her eyes gradually opened, but she didn’t seem to be focusing properly. He wondered whether he ought to get her to MedLab, maybe the concussion was worse than he’d thought. "Angel, do you feel nauseated?" If she did, there was a good chance she was still suffering from a concussion. He watched her carefully.

Angel’s eyes slowly focused on him and she whispered, "Lucas? Where am I?"

"You’re home, darlin’. Where the hell have you been? Why did you leave the apartment?"

She blinked several times. "I don’t know. I can’t remember. What happened to me, Lucas? I feel so sick and dizzy. My head hurts."

Lucas took the towel away and pulled her to him, stroking her hair gently. "It’s OK, Angel-Face, you’re home now. Just lie down. I think you’re still concussed." He kissed her gently on the forehead and laid her back down on the bed. He stood and carefully undressed her, while she protested and tried to swat his hands away. "Now lie still, darlin’. I’m just trying to get you comfortable." Angel collapsed back on the bed and stopped struggling. He got her dress off and pulled the sheet up to cover her.

"I don’t feel very well, Lucas."

He stood looking down at Angel, considering. He really didn’t want to draw attention to them by taking her to MedLab unless he had to, and he wouldn’t take her back to the Downbelow clinic--it was too dirty and squalid. Lucas decided to stay with her and watch her. If she got worse, he’d take her to MedLab. Where the hell had she been? He wondered if she’d ever remember.

Angel curled up on her side. Her head hurt and she felt sick. She knew it was from too much vodka, but Lucas seemed to think she was concussed. She had no intention of telling him differently. She concentrated on not throwing up.

Matheson turned to Gideon as he sat in his command chair and spoke. "There’s a message coming in on the hyperlink. It’s marked for your attention, Captain. Personal."

Gideon looked up from the datapad he’d been studying. They’d been in orbit around this planet for days and the reports from the landing party kept flooding in. Pity none of them had found anything useful, but they continued to report anyway. "Does the message have a source code?"

Matheson nodded. "It’s come from Babylon 5."

Gideon raised an eyebrow. There was only one person on Babylon 5 who sent him personal messages, and it had been over a year now since he’d heard from her. Even so, he decided that he’d better take the message in private. "Send it through to the conference room will you, Lieutenant? I’ll take it there."

He strode through to the conference room, wondering what Liz Lochley might have to say to him after all this time. As he entered the room, the door slid shut behind him and he walked to the screen. Hitting the receive button, he sat on the edge of the table and waited for the message to run.

Gideon sat at the conference room table thinking through the issues the message raised. Calling it personal had certainly been accurate, but he wasn’t the only person affected by it. He lifted his commlink and keyed Matheson’s call sign. "John, could you and Max join me in the conference room? Thank you."

He sat brooding for the couple of minutes it took them to arrive, then looked up. "I’ve just received this message from B5. It affects all of us, so I thought you should hear it."

He stood and hit the receive button by the screen again. The view screen showed static. Gideon commented, "It’s voice only."

A man’s voice started to speak. "This is a message for Captain Matthew Gideon. It is not my message. I am being paid to read it to you, so there’s no point in trying to identify me from my voiceprint. I don’t know the person who is paying me. Call that person my patron. My patron tells me that you know a man named Lucas Buck, that he is your enemy, and that you would like to know some information that my patron overheard. Do not question my patron’s motives in sending you this information. In this instance, your interests coincide."

"My patron overheard Lucas Buck talking to a pilot he has hired to fly his ship. They will be leaving Babylon 5 in three days’ time. They will travel to Eriadne B, arriving two days later. When they arrive, they plan to kidnap a woman called Demon and take her away. My patron does not know where they plan to take her."

"This is all the information that my patron has. Please act on it." The message ended.

Gideon turned to John and Max who were staring at him in horror. Max spoke quickly. "What are we waiting for? Why aren’t we leaving for Eriadne now?"

Gideon shook his head. "I can’t do that, Max. The Excalibur isn’t my private ship. I can’t just drop what we’re doing and go off on a side trip, no matter how much I may want to. There’s work going on down on the planet which may help find the permanent viral screen that we’re so desperate for. I can’t take the Excalibur away at this point." He grimaced at this conclusion, then continued.

"And there’s another reason. This could be a trap. We don’t know who this came from. The source code identifies a public comm. unit on B5. This could be an attempt by the Drakh to draw the Excalibur into a prepared field of fire. I can’t take that risk on a personal matter."

Gideon went on, "But we’re only just over two days away from Eriadne, which buys us a little time. I have a plan, but I wanted you two to know about this. If Lucas tries to kidnap Deborah, then she’ll fight, and I suspect Ilas and Lily will fight, too. If Buck succeeds, they could all be badly hurt by the disruption of their link. We saw how badly they were all affected when he broke their link with Angel, so you have an interest in this, too. None of us want any of the women harmed."

The other men nodded and Matheson asked, "So what’s your plan?"

Gideon took a deep breath. "I’m going to call Galen and ask for his help." His mouth twisted in distaste at what he was being forced to do, but he couldn’t see an alternative. "I’m going to ask Galen to take me to Eriadne. I’m going to load his ship with every PPG sidearm and rifle I can get in there, then I’m going to arm the castle guards and shoot the bastard as soon as he sets foot in the place. There’s just one problem with this plan," he grinned at Matheson. "I’m going to have to go AWOL to do it. If Earthforce ever finds out about this little jaunt, I’ll be court-martialed."

Matheson nodded, then spoke. "Then that will make two of us, and we’ll just have to make sure they never find out."

Gideon protested, "John, that’s not necessary. I can take care of it, and it’s Deborah who’s most at risk, not Lily. I’ll brief Raven as soon as I get there and he’ll make sure Lily is kept safe."

Matheson shook his head. "Luke’s a doctor, not a fighter, and anyway, I can’t let you go off on your own. You’ll only get yourself into trouble and that’ll just make more paperwork for me to clear up. I hope we’re not going to be away for long. The monthly returns are due in and you got enough flak for being late with them last month."

Gideon laughed at Matheson’s deadpan expression. "Screw ‘em."

He turned to Max. "Do you want to come, Max? You’re a free agent and no one is going to put you up against a wall and shoot you for going AWOL."

Max grinned. "You think I’d miss a chance to see Ilas and Dureena? Of course I’m coming. And if I’m very lucky I just might get to see you shot, Captain, or at least someone who looks just like you."

Gideon snorted. "Thanks, Max. Heart as big as a house--as usual."

Matheson walked away from the conference room, deep in thought. Gideon had been suspicious about the source of the message in so far as it might be a Drakh trap, but he hadn’t questioned who it might be from if it were genuine. How many people knew that Matthew Gideon had a close personal relationship with Demon? Who would know that this message would produce an instant response?

This was one reason that Matheson had for accompanying Gideon, which he wasn’t going to disclose. He could think of only two people who might be on Babylon 5 who had that knowledge. If the message came from one of them it was a trap, but not the type of trap that Gideon thought. If it came from the other… Matheson decided that he would have to think long and hard about that before he shared any of his thoughts with Gideon.

Gideon stayed behind in the conference room and made the call to Galen’s ship. This was going to be hard. After their last conversation, he really didn’t want to ask Galen for a favor, but there wasn’t any other way he could get to Eriadne in time.

Galen’s face appeared in the view screen, lit from below, with the hood of his coat enclosing his head. The light and framing made him look less a human being and more like something straight from hell. The mouth moved. "Yes." The face was otherwise fixed.

Gideon swallowed hard, feeling his pride slide down his throat in a lump. "I need your help, Galen, and I think this is something you may want to be in on." He went on to explain about the message he’d received and how he, Max, and John needed Galen to take them to Eriadne, so they could trap Lucas and prevent him from kidnapping Deborah.

Galen listened in silence, his face a mask. As Gideon finished, he spoke quietly, "And just why do you expect me to help you, Matthew? You’ve made it plain that you find my presence distasteful, why should I find yours any more appealing?"

Gideon spoke a single word. "Angel."

Galen’s nostrils flared as he took a deep breath. Gideon continued, "There’s a good chance that Lucas will bring Angel with him. He does seem to hang onto her, for whatever reason. Maybe she’s a potential hostage for him, or perhaps he genuinely feels something for her--whichever, it’s likely she’ll be with him and we can get her back." Gideon had no intention of telling Galen about his plans for Angel after they’d taken her away from Lucas. He still had his promise to Dureena to fulfill.

"I’ll be with you in approximately twenty hours. Be ready." Galen’s image disappeared from the screen.

Gideon sat back in his chair and exhaled. The call to Galen had gone better than he’d hoped. He’d expected Galen to drag it out, making him wait and making it as difficult as possible. So he had his ride. Now he had to arrange the cover story.

Twenty hours later, Gideon, Matheson, and Eilerson stood in the landing bay, surrounded by crates. They waited for the ramp from Galen’s ship to descend, along with half a dozen crewmen who were there to help load the crates.

Gideon turned to the junior Lieutenant he was leaving in command. [And I hope to God nothing serious happens in the next couple of weeks. She’s good, but inexperienced.] "You have your orders, Jackson. You hold the Excalibur here in orbit for the next two weeks. We’ll be in touch as soon as we can. If you get any calls from Earthforce asking for Lt. Matheson or me, we’re on a field trip to another planet in this system, and are having some problems with communications. Understood?" He’d allowed for an absence of two weeks to cover their return trip to Eriadne and a couple of days on the planet waiting for Lucas, plus a few days as a contingency. If they weren’t back in two weeks then they weren’t coming back.

He watched as Jackson nodded. He’d told her they were going on a clandestine mission with Galen and that their orders came directly from Sheridan’s office. The mission was classified and she had to maintain the fiction that he and Matheson were on the field trip. Gideon hoped her acting abilities were up to the job. [Hell, I hope she never has to use them. With any luck, we’ll be back soon enough that no questions will be asked.]

The Captain turned as the ramp to Galen’s ship descended, then turned back at the sound of a voice behind him. "I’m coming too, Matthew."

Sarah Chambers was dressed for a field trip and carried a small kit bag. "You need a doctor on a mission like this."

Gideon cringed. If they’d been going on the mission he’d used as his cover story, she would have been right, but they didn’t need another doctor on Eriadne, and he didn’t want to take another person with him whom he didn’t need. [How the hell do I get out of this one?] He was aware that Matheson and Max were watching him, both expecting him to come up with some good reason why Sarah should stay behind. His mind was a complete blank. He had three different stories going already--the truth, the version for his crew, and the version for Earthforce. How was he supposed to come up with a fourth story just for Sarah? He gave up. "You’re right. Welcome aboard, doctor."

Matheson and Max stared at him in amazement. As Sarah walked ahead towards the ramp, Gideon hissed at them, "What? What did you expect me to say? Well, you come up with a reason why she shouldn’t come with us! I’m all out of inventions."

The three men followed the doctor, having a heated argument in whispers.

After a day on Galen’s ship, they were all feeling the strain. Galen had been at his most aloof and irritating, insisting that there was too much damage they could do if he let them roam the ship. He’d confined them to one large darkened area, which held four bunks and access to basic bathroom facilities. Gideon was sure that there were more comfortable quarters on board, but was damned if he was going to ask for more favors than he had to. But he did need to ask for one.

He made his way to the door that sealed them in, and pressed the buzzer that Galen had told them to use if they needed him. Galen’s disembodied voice echoed around the shadowy room, waking Eilerson suddenly from a light doze. "Yes?"

Gideon gritted his teeth. Galen was overdoing to mysterious Technomage act. "Galen, we should be in range of Eriadne by now. I need to call Deborah and let her know we’re coming. Can I use your communications system?"

An area of the room lightened as a spotlight focused on what appeared to be a standard comm. unit. [Has that been there all the time? Or did he just somehow create it?] Gideon shook his head as he walked across to the unit. Keying in the call sign for Eriadne, he waited for a response. The screen lit up and Deborah stood looking at him. She still looked tired and drawn, but her face brightened when she saw him.

"Matthew." Gideon could hear the longing in her voice. "I don’t hear from you for months, then twice in a week." She smiled. "How long are you in range this time?"

Gideon held out his hand to touch the screen where Deborah’s face was. "Quite a while. I’m on my way to see you." He watched as her smile turned into a huge grin and he could see that she was shaking with excitement.

"Oh, Matthew, that’s wonderful! When will you be here? How long can you stay? Is it just you, or are John and Max with you?" Somehow, all the weariness seemed to drain from her face and she looked alive and alert again. It was amazing to see what an effect a little happiness could have. Gideon became aware that he wore a grin as wide as hers.

"All three of us, I’m afraid." Now wasn’t the time to mention Galen. Deborah wouldn’t be able to see where he was calling from, as it was too dark. "Do you think you can find beds for us?"

Her smile turned into a look of pure passion as she answered, her voice low and sultry. "Oh, I think my sisters and I can find a space for you all somewhere. We’ll squeeze you in somehow. When will you get here?"

"In about twenty-four hours. I’m sorry we can’t stay for long. It will only be for a couple of days, I’m afraid." Gideon watched as her face fell, but she pulled herself together again.

"Never mind. Any time you can be here is good. We’ll just have to make the most of the time we have. How are you able to get away now?" Deborah looked quizzically at him.

"I’ll explain when we get there." Gideon became aware that the door to the room had opened and that Galen had entered. He didn’t want Deborah to see Galen, so he decided to cut the call short. "I have to go now. I’ll see you tomorrow." He severed the connection.

Galen stood directly behind him. Gideon turned as Galen spoke. "You didn’t have to end your conversation just because of me, Matthew. I would have enjoyed speaking to Demon again. She’s really quite tolerable--for a witch."

Gideon kept his expression neutral. "I’m glad you think so, Galen. I don’t think she would return the favor. She doesn’t consider you ‘tolerable’ at all. Not since you helped Lucas take her sister away from her."

Galen’s face froze and his voice lowered. "I had my reasons for my actions, Matthew. I cannot share those reasons with you, but nevertheless, they exist."

Gideon turned back to where Sarah, John, and Max sat on bunks, watching. He spoke as he walked away. "We all have reasons for our behavior, Galen. Some of those reasons are better than others." He felt a cold wind against his back and turned to see an empty space where the Technomage had stood.

Sarah’s voice came from behind him. "Now would someone care to explain to me why we’re going to Eriadne when I was told this was an in-system field trip? I wondered why we hadn’t got there hours ago."

Gideon turned to face an angry-looking doctor. "Well, Sarah. It’s like this…"

Demon faced the viewscreen that a moment before had held Gideon’s image. She was frowning. Something wasn’t right here. Where had Matthew been calling from? All his previous messages and calls had come from his quarters or his office. She had been able to see things around and behind him that gave clues as to his whereabouts and had told her things about him. She loved to watch his messages, looking for new clues to his interests. She had noticed the chessboard laid out on his desk and the strange orientation. Who did Matthew play with when the board was placed sideways? She’d seen the books on his desk, some of which she knew he’d taken from their library; pictures in frames; and many other things.

But this time there had been no background, just darkness. What part of the Excalibur would be kept in darkness? And why had he ended the call so abruptly? Demon shelved her suspicions for the moment and turned to leave her rooms. It was time to tell the others the wonderful news.

Chapter 1} {Chapter 2} {Chapter 3}

The Witches of Eriadne: Fire Burn

{Part 1: Past} {Part 2: Present} {Part 3: Present Perfect} {Part 4: Future} {Part 5: Conditional}

{The Main Gate} {HomePage} {Wytches World} {We are Family} {A Little Artistic Licence} {No, we don't mean "A"riadne} {Our Home Is Our Castle} {The Witches' Diary} {Witches Familiars} {The Gateway} {Webrings]