Vampire Slayer Ferdie, Chapter Nine:

“Well the Prophecy did say he would be the downfall of the Master Vampire.”

        Catching Bob took several minutes as the yellow kiwi was still in full heroic mode but eventually Ferdia managed to tackle him to the ground then sat on him while the others informed him that he was going the wrong way. However, if he calmed down, they would all go rescue Bobetta first, then try to find Ferdie before something else went wrong. Bob still insisted on leading the way, but at a less furious pace.

        This didn't cause a problem until he attempted to boot the golems standing guard on Bobetta's door. Luckily for him, the others weren't too far behind and came to his rescue before he became yet another wall splatter. Guards dispatched, Bob burst into his captive fiancée's room shouting, “Beloved I'm here to save you.”

        The rest of the group crashed into him as he stopped dead.

        “Moron,” Ivan snapped, extricating himself from the tangle. He shoved past Bob and stopped just as suddenly though he was leaning more towards laughter then sheer horror.

        It took some time but Bob finally managed to speak. “Bobetta, darling, why is he tied to your bed like that?”

        Ivan lost it completely.

        Stepping over the gray kiwi howling with laughter, Ferdia and Squeaks made it about halfway into the room before Ferdia broke down and started laughing as well. The others just stared in varying degrees of shock and amazement. Bobetta gazed back at them, frozen in place. Finally as though coming out of a dream, the yellow kiwi looked at the whip in her hand, dropped it, and then started screaming. Like something from a bad romance novel, Bob ran to her side, pulling her into his arms, only to be soundly slapped for his troubles.

        The monster tied to the bed winced in sympathy.

        That's when Bobetta burst into tears.


        All the minions watching were well aware of the fact that their master was not having a good day. Not only had he misplaced his fiancée but the invaders had actually breeched his inner sanctum, forcing them to withdraw to the secret temple. All this had succeeded in putting the Master Vampire in a very unpleasant mood. He was cheering himself up by making his minions suffer.

        “Where is Isis,” he screamed, glaring malevolently at several underlings who just shrugged. “I sent her to fetch my future queen, why hasn't she returned.”

        As if on cue, Isis strolled through the open doorway looking quite pleased with herself. She paused and bowed before her master, still with that strange smile.

        “Isis, where is my princess,” the fiend demanded in a poor facsimile of a calm voice.

        Isis shrugged. “I've no idea master, I could not find her.”

        Minions fled for their lives as the Master Vampire exploded with power but Isis remained where she was, completely unconcerned by his temper. Blade began to wonder if she'd snapped under the pressure.

        “I've brought a gift for you master,” the cat continued once the fiend stopped snarling. “Something I'm sure will cheer you up.”

        “I don't have time for you games,” the Master snapped. Then the full implications of her tone and demeanor finally got through to him and he paused. “And what does my precious kitty have for me,” the fiend finally replied.

        Isis grinned and practically skipped back to the doorway where she beckoned for someone unseen to enter. Turning she bowed low, then rose with a flourish, sweeping one arm out as she proclaimed, “Master, may I present to you, the Vampire Slayer Ferdie.”

        A pair of rock demons entered bearing between them one terrified, screaming bluebird.

        There was a low, ominous sound as the Master Vampire began to laugh in fiendish delight. “The Slayer himself. What a delightful present for me to play with. Thank you Isis, you've done very well. Take the Slayer to the altar now. It's time to bring his follower's to their knees. What a wonderful night this is turning about to be, eh Mage?”

        Isaac managed a sickly sort of nod. “Just great Master. Going to kill him now sir?”

        “Of course not, I have bigger plans for my rival. Tell him my Blade.”

        He turned and strolled towards the altar where Ferdie was being chained up as Blade glanced over at the wizard and grinned evilly. “Didn't he tell you Mage? Our Master plans to use the Slayer to unite the two worlds again.”

        Isaac's saving grace was his naturally pale coloring so the raccoon couldn't tell when he went dead white.


        Ivan was still laughing hysterically.

        He brought up the end of their motley and somewhat disturbed group, still cackling madly with glee. The others ignored him just as they ignored Bob, who was holding and attempting to comfort a weeping Bobetta.

        “If she doesn't stop crying soon, I swear,” Ferdia muttered in disgust.

        “Strangest thing I ever saw,” Hazel replied, shaking her head.

        “The power of the Master Vampire,” Sirius informed them. “He can twist you mind and make you do all manner of terrible things.”

        “Is that really true,” Lita asked quietly. “Can he really force you to do anything he wants?”

        Ravyn nodded. “All he needs is your truest name and he can take control of your mind. I'm afraid your princess didn't stand a chance.”
“She's not my princess,” Ferdia growled just as Iiwi looked up.

        “Wait,” the redbird exclaimed. “But Bobetta's real name isn't Bobetta Kiwi. Bob told me that once. It's only the name that she goes by.”

        Most of them stopped dead at that bit of information and the all turned to look at the two yellow kiwis who strolled on, oblivious.

        “I though she snapped out of it a bit too easily,” Sirius murmured.

        “True love,” Hazel lamely replied. “The sight of Sir Bob brought her back to her senses?”

        Ferdia snorted at that.

        “Perhaps,” Squeaks said quietly. “Or maybe she was never really under the vampire's control to begin with.”

        “But that would mean everything she did was of her own free will,” Ravyn quickly pointed out. “Is that possible?”

        “Okay, I vote here and now that we never have this conversation again,” Ferdia declared, barely suppressing a shudder. “Let's go find Ferdie.”

        They moved on though Ivan was heard to mutter something about honeymoons before he started laughing again.

        The evil, maniacal cackle had them stopping again as the searched for the source of the horrible sound.


“It's the Master Vampire,” Ravyn called out. “Somehow he's projecting his voice.”


Suddenly there was the sound of terrified shrieking.

        “It's Ferdie,” Ferdia yelled, charging forward. “I'd know that frightened whimpering anywhere.”


“We have to find Ferdie,” the bluebird shouted to the rest of them.

        “Ferdia wait,” Ravyn called after her. “We don't know where the fiend is holding him.”

        Ferdia came storming back down the hallway. “Well standing here sure isn't helping him. You heard what that vampire said. He's going to kill him.”

        “Unless we surrender,” Sirius put in, sounding resigned. “We can't find the Slayer and searching for him on our own may cause too much noise. It seems our best chance is to give up and let them take us to him. Once we know where the Slayer is, we can work out a way to stop the Master Vampire. I guarantee he hasn't let your brother out of his sight.”

        “Find one, find the other,” Squeaks concluded. Sirius nodded. “It's not the best of plans but it truly may be our only chance to save Ferdie.”

        “Fine,” Ferdia snapped. “Let's go find a minion.”

        Sometime later Squeaks found it necessary to point out to Ferdia the necessity of having the minion be conscious. “It's difficult to surrender to someone after they've passed out,” he informed the bluebird as she proceeded to pound yet another underling into the floor.

        “We'll surrender to the next one,” Ferdia half growled, booting the whimpering demon in a very vital place.

        “Didn't she say that three minions ago,” Hazel whispered to Ravyn who just nodded, eyes slightly wide with shock.

        “Are you sure she isn't the Slayer,” Sirius quietly asked, looking rather impressed. “It would make a lot more sense.”

        “We can't surrender if you keep scaring them away,” the white mouse patiently explained to his partner. “They bolt at the sight of you now. Eventually we're going to run out of minions.”

        “Yeah well this one went unconscious before I could tell him we were giving up,” Ferdia replied with a shrug. “I can't help it if I keep finding demons with low pain tolerances. I' m sure the next one with have more stamina. If not then we keep hunting until one of them stays conscious.”

        Seeing that logic wasn't really working on a highly pissed off Ferdia, Ivan stepped forward. “You know detective, the sooner we give up the sooner you'll find your coward of a brother. Plus there's the added bonus of all the underlings who'll be with him. You can introduce them to the concept of police brutality.”


        Beak was very confused. (Raise your hand if this surprises you.)

        The plan, Bob had told him more then once, was for the entire group to meet up then go in search of Miss Bobetta and the fiend holding her hostage. So he, Beak, had gone off with the Professor's group and helped them break down the main gate, then he'd left that group (they'd been winning anyway) and hurried to the entry hall to meet the others. Only no one had shown up.

        As far as Beak was concerned, that made no sense.

        Bob, with a plan, was a force of nature to be reckoned with. So now he was starting to get worried. Since waiting around seemed pointless, Beak had decided to go look for Bob and the others. However, so far, he'd found no trace of them. This was even more confusing as he was certain they couldn't have just vanished.


        Currently he was wandering the mazelike hallways looking for a familiar face and getting thoroughly lost in the process. The few fiends he'd come across just ignored him completely though they did appear to be searching for something. Of course quite a few were just running about in terror now. He paused a moment to ponder what could cause such hideous creatures to flee screaming into things like walls. Beak was fairly certain such a maneuver was both pointless and painful. Still, the brown kiwi reasoned, even if he couldn't find his friends, someone in the castle had to have seen them.

        It took several tries, but finally Beak was able to take control of a mind that held the answers he was looking for. Now armed with a guide and a vague idea of what was going on, he set off to rescue his comrades.


        It seemed to take forever but finally they found a demon who could lead them to the Master vampire and Ferdie. The room they were led to was at the bottom of a ridiculously long and twisted staircase that caused Ivan to mutter something about clichés and overkill. Ferdia went quietly, though she seethed the whole time and the others wisely kept their distance. They'd all been disarmed (although, in some cases, it was really a pointless gesture) and bound in chains before being escorted down. The lead monster appeared to be the only one with any sense, even if he did look like a walking shag carpet. Only one member of the group noticed Lita had disappeared sometime ago.

        The stairs ended before a huge black wood door with odd symbols carved in. Bob tried very hard not to notice how the symbols seemed to writhe about as though in pain. He was in his own sort of agony, more heroic in origin of course. Bobetta, having achieved total damsel in distress mode, was holding on so tightly by then that she almost had him in a stranglehold. In true manly fashion he stifled the whimpers of pain and did his best to comfort her.

        It took the combined strength of most of their escort to open the doors to a sight that left everyone of them completely speechless. Inside lay a temple, hundreds of feet tall and hewn from the very stone they stood on. Despite it's immense size it was filled with fiends, demons and monsters of every size, shape, and color imaginable. Creatures beyond belief or description mingled with things from one's worst nightmare. All illuminated by the flames from thousands of candles resting in every unoccupied niche.

        If her brother wasn't terrified out of his wits, Ferdia figured he probably would have been jumping for joy to see all the things he believed in come to life.

        (Actually Ferdie's chief reaction had been to wet himself).

        The poor abused bluebird was chained to a huge altar in the center of the temple looking scared, miserable and thoroughly soaked. Beside him was an all black cat holding a huge bucket and a very smug look on her face. All the other minions had backed away, either in pain or disgust. Standing opposite of the cat was a raccoon, glaring angrily at everyone in general. And between, on the raised dais or the altar stood Ivan's double, clad in long black robes and cackling maniacally. He fairly screamed evil (as well as overly dramatic villain).

        “Please,” the kiwi original snarled, rolling his eyes. “We look nothing alike! He looks like a reject from a bad silent movie, all he needs is the hat and moustache.”

        “Oh goody,” Iiwi muttered back, tone sarcastic. “Then all we need is a hero on his shining white steed and we're all saved.”

        “Right now I'd say we need a miracle.” Sirius snapped. “None of us are strong enough to defeat that fiend. Even if we could, getting close to him will be next to impossible. That's Isis and the Master's Blade standing at his side.”

        “They're the two who kidnapped me,” Bobetta wailed.

        “I wouldn't Sir Bob,” Ravyn yelled just as Bob valiantly charged forward, aiming for the two generals. He didn't even make it a dozen feet before slamming into an invisible but very solid wall. With a quiet 'urp' he fell to the ground in pain.

        Everyone looked at Isis who had one hand half raised and a pleased look on her face. “Don't even think of doing something brave. Should you somehow break free of those chains you'll still never get passed my protection spells. Though do try, it's such fun to cause misery to others.”

        “Isis was a witch,” Ravyn quietly explained as Bob was dragged back, “a mundane as well, before the Master vampire captured her mind. She's grown even more powerful since joining the dark side. I'm afraid Hazel's no match for her abilities.”

        “She is also psychotic,” Sirius added. “Though no more so then the Master's Blade. No one knows what he is but his skills are deadly. He serves the fiend as both a general and an assassin.”

        “Chain them to the wall over there,' the vampire suddenly ordered, strolling forward. “I want them to have the perfect view of my triumph. Have you brought the rest of the rebels here?”

        “Yes Master,” the Blade replied, bowing slightly. “Those that surrendered willingly.”

        Abruptly most of the group noticed the multitude of prisoners being brought in, among them the Professor, looking slightly bruised and battered.

        “So some chose to fight, even with the Slayer's life hanging in the balance, how interesting,” the fiend said, looking over his captives. “No matter, this will be more than enough for the feeding.” Turning with a melodramatic swirl, he crossed back to the dais and stood in the center. “Friends, minions, dinner, you shall now bear witness to my finest hour. Long ago a barrier was erected, cleaving our world into two sections. The bright sunny paradise you mundanes once controlled and the dark home of we fiends. Over time your pathetic history has forgotten the origins of your single protection against the darkness but ours has not. Bring me the book Mage.”

        A sort of silvery white fox came forward bearing a large, leather bound tome, which he placed with barely disguised reluctance on the stand beside the master.

        “How could a priest be here,” Ferdia heard Ravyn whisper in surprise.

        “Contained inside this manuscript,” the fiend continued, “is the true story of that barrier. How it came to be and how to remove it.” Shock, fear, and eagerness rippled through the watching crowd. “For a long time now I have searched for a way to use the knowledge contained in here to do just that. To remove the only thing keeping my brethren from overrunning this land. However one thing stood in my path to ultimate glory. The summoning requires a sacrifice, one of extreme power and strength. But surely no fiend would work, I reasoned, the sacrifice has to be one of you pathetic mundanes. But how to find someone with that kind of power, where to find him? These are the questions that plagued me until the answer was literally handed to me by *you*.”

        Those that could do so went pale and Ferdia began to struggle against her bonds, snarling at her captors. She glared angrily at the natives around her, particularly the Professor and his crew.

        The master vampire chuckled evilly for a moment. “Isn't it ironic? Your savior, your chosen champion, your only real hope will be the catalyst for your destruction. All thanks to your wisest leaders who brought a being, a mundane of such immense power to this world. Without their brilliant mistake I wouldn't be standing here about to become the supreme ruler of you all. Doesn't it make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside? No? Oh well, I feel happy. Isis my sweet, you may begin the summoning spell now.”

        “Ferdia,” Squeaks hissed, trying to catch his partner's attention. “Ferdia calm down.”

        “They're going to kill Ferdie,” Ferdia growled, pulling as hard as she could. “These idiots brought him here just he could be sacrificed. He's not the Slayer, he's a lamb or a calf awaiting execution.”

        “Calm down and look,' Squeaks replied, nudging her towards the entrance.

        Amazingly enough Beak had just wandered into the temple, looking both surprised and extremely confused by the sight around him. Somehow none of the guards had noticed him. In fact no one outside of their group seemed aware of his existence. Suddenly he spotted them by the wall and began to make his way over. That's when the ground began to tremble and shake, sending most of the spectators to their knees. A fissure formed down the center of the floor, slowly widening into a gaping crack from which steam escaped in huge clouds.

        “It is done Master,” Isis announced, taking up her place by Ferdie again.

        Before he could respond a voice like hot molten lava cascading over the land echoed through the temple. “Who dares to call me forth from my slumber,” it demanded.

        “I do,” the fiend shouted, racing to the edge and peering over. “I, the vampire Master Norwen, have raised you from the your resting place, dark one.”

        Up in the gallery there was the sound of hastily covered snickers.


        “So that you might grant my humble wish.”

        “All favors require a sacrifice first or I level this place to ash.”

        Grinning evilly, the vampire replied, “Of course, mighty Lord. Bring the Slayer to me!”

        Isis bent to undo the locks but paused when her master unexpectedly called out. “Wait!”

        All eyes turned back to him.

        “I will become the Master of this world only with my bride at my side. Come to me my princess,” he proclaimed, beckoning Bobetta forward.

        “Never,” she cried out, clutching tightly to Bob. To his credit, despite the lack of oxygen, he held on just as tightly.

        Meanwhile no one noticed as Ferdia instructed Beak to start freeing herself and Squeaks from the manacles.

        “You dare to defy me! I will kill your fiancé if you do not come here at once.”

        “I'm her fiancé you son of a hamster,” Bob yelled, shoving Bobetta behind him for protection. “Me, Bob Kiwi, the real hero of this story even if no one will admit it. Ferdie's just the cowardly comic relief!”

        There was a quiet “Hey!” as well as a “Wait, I'm confused,” from behind the fiend.

        “I don't care who you claim to be,” the vampire shouted back. “No weakling shall stand between me and my beloved princess. I shall prove your lack of devotion to her for I know your greatest weakness.”

        All of a sudden, standing before a now completely free Bob, was a coffee machine with a giant fresh brewed pot of dark rich Colombian supreme (regular of course).

        The yellow kiwi dropped Bobetta like a sack of unwanted eggplant and dove face first at the pot, crying with delight.

        “Coffeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.” ~WHAM~

         It was only after Bob landed on solid stone that it dawned on him that the coffee pot had been an illusion.

        “You monster,” he screeched, picking himself up off the ground. “This evil deed shall not go unpunished you fiend. No one kidnaps my fiancé, tries to steal her affections from my cute self then dares to dangle *fake* coffee in front of me. In the name of all that is adorable and righteous I shall hurt you.”

        Said fiend ignored him, focusing on Bobetta instead. “Your champion abandons you my princess now come to my arms.”

        Through out the years philosophers have debated over the exact nature of a miracle. Granted these same people also debate over the exact definition of a chair but that's beside the point. Just what is a miracle, they ask. Is it a divine act from above or can a miracle come from the very people who desire one. How does one classify the actions and consequences of others? Can a seemingly random series of events that culminate in something earthshaking be called a miracle if only the final outcome seems miraculous?

        More importantly, is it a miracle if the impetus comes not from the divine but a rather evil entity simply happily tormenting random victims?

        You see, Bobetta's reaction to the situation was most unlike her and only proved she was no longer repressed. Bob, realizing he'd essentially abandoned his fiancé for a cup of java, rushed back to her side. The vampire, sensing an opportunity, also rushed to her. Isis, royally tired of how pathetic her master was acting and wanting to get the ceremony over, dragged Ferdie away from the altar and across the floor towards them. And what did Bobetta do?

        She booted Bob as hard as she could (guess where she kicked him. Go on, guess).

        Bob's howls of pain had most of them covering their ears in self-defense. Bobetta, pushed to the edge, ran into the arms of Beak who, by now, had freed the most of the others from their chains, another fact no one had noticed. Ferdie remained on the floor, cowering in fear. Then Bob, writhing on the floor in kiwi agony glanced up and spotted his violent fiancée in the arms of his best friend.

That's when Bob snapped.

        Rising from the ground, somehow he pulled out his most powerful weapon.

His cell phone.

        Stunned and wondering just where he'd been carrying that thing, the assembled cast watched as he hit the first number on speed dial.







        <<Hello, you have reached the answering machine of the great and powerful Jennies. I'm not answering the phone right now because (a.) I'm being held hostage by the art demons, (b.) I'm invading Peru with the latest test batch of flaming Nerf weapons, or (c.) I've found my free pass to the clothing optional spa the Slayers cast usually visits, darn those faulty locks on the men's section. So leave a message and I'll get back to you when I feel like it. >>

        <<Oh and Bob, I really don't care. >>

        Now the question you should be asking yourself is, can a kiwi snap *twice*?

        Like a rubber band.

        Kiwi rage can be a deadly thing, the fiend learned, as Bob, so far past the proverbial end of his rope that even the rope burns had faded, turned on the closest being associated with his endless torment and humiliation. This individual was then booted with all Bob's strength in a place no creature had ever been booted before. A cross, stake or even holy water could have been avoided but no vampire ever expects to be viciously kicked by an enraged yellow kiwi. Caught totally off-guard, the fiend went flailing backwards where he collided with an immobile blue feathered object.

        Ferdie, cowering in terror and quite possibly attempting to claw his way through the floor.

        It has long been observed that, while the laws of physics govern the universe, when they encounter Ferdie they pretty much run away screaming. Instead of tripping and falling backwards, the fiend went flying, first in an upward arc then he began to fall.

        And fall.

        And fall.

        Until there was the sound of a crunch followed by a gulp and a small belch.

        All while everyone simply stood by watching, unable to move, unable to even really understand what was happening until it was too late to do any thing except stare.

        Finally, as though coming out of a dream, or perhaps a spell, those that thought of it turned to look up at the Professor, watching from the alcove above them. He gazed back, looking somewhat sheepish and eventually gave a sort of half shrug.

        “Hn,” he muttered, still loud enough to be heard in the absolute quiet. “ Well the Prophecy did say he would be the downfall of the Master Vampire.”

        “Besnarking literal translations,” Sirius grumbled.

        “I did it, I… Ferdie,” Bob snarled spotting the shocked bluebird. Anything else he said was drowned out by the sound of the voice from before.

        “Sacrifice accepted. Who makes this offering to me?”

        That's when Bob booted Ferdie, sending him flying to the edge of the chasm where he landed with a squawk of pain and turned around to glare at Bob. Then he realized just where he was and sidled back a bit from the less then stable rim. However, somewhat curious, he did lean over the side to peer down. Whatever he saw made him somehow turn pale and stumble backwards, arms flailing about wildly as he did. He also uttered a rather frightened shriek.

        “Speak small blue bird. In return for the offering, I will grant whatever request you make. What is thy desire?”

        Terror receding just a bit, Ferdie glanced around him, desperate for some sort of response. However, most of the onlookers still seemed to be in that same daze and his friends were no real help either. At that moment his eyes came to rest on Ravyn and that's when he got an idea.

        “Close the barrier permanently,” he practically shouted. “Make it so no creature can cross it in either direction ever again.”


        And because it's what's generally expected during such situations, total chaos erupted with a side of pandemonium just to make things interesting.


        It's amazing how the loss of their master has them so demoralized, Isaac observed in a rather detached manner as he hid himself behind the altar of the temple, grabbing the sacred text as he did. Truth be told, his carefully laid plans were rather tattered now but at least he'd accomplished the main objectives of his mission. That pathetic fool Norwen was gone and in a beautifully spectacular manner, the uprising was dead, and he had the book back. Granted he was going to have a demon of a time returning it now. Still, he *was* a High Priest, he'd think of something. Maybe They would give him a bonus for eliminating all the fiend that had betrayed Them. The mundane rebels were doing an excellent job of slaughtering the fools and good riddance.

        Except for those three. Isis, Blade and Bijou were still caught up in the spell he'd woven through the temple, leaving them quite helpless and motionless. The strange brown bird, Beak, had been very useful. Who knew such a simple mind could contain such complex abilities. Augmenting them had been easy and worked perfectly. Even his most loyal minions had stood by helpless when their master fell. However, despite his best intentions, he was actually somewhat fond of the two generals.

        “Guess I'll just have to save them,” he muttered before transporting all of them to a much safer location.

        Blade blinked. “What in blazes,” he snarled, staring around the quiet chamber. Next to him Isis stumbled slightly before catching herself on Bijou and shaking her head.

        “How did we get here,” she murmured still trying to wrap her mind around everything that had happened. She felt like she was finally fighting her way out of the thick fog that had trapped her.

        “Yes, that would be my doing,” Isaac said from behind them, causing all three to jump. “Figured it was better here then back in the temple being slaughtered. Those mundanes are quite enthusiastic, you'd think they had some sort of grudge against us.”

        “Send us back Mage,” Blade stomped forward as he gave the order. “We must fight. We must protect our Master.”

        “He's dead, remember? Fell into a pit and got eaten,” Isaac cheerfully replied. “Couldn't have happened to a more unpleasant vampire really.”

        “You,” Isis said suddenly, “somehow you caused all this. You were never the Master's servant, were you? In the temple, when we were all helpless, you did that.”

        “Very astute my dear.”

        Drawling one of his swords, Blade stepped forward and said menacingly, “I suggest you start explaining Mage or I start playing. Why would you betray our Master like that?”

        Isaac snorted. “Norwen was never my master I assure you. I serve a far greater power then that pathetic waste of flesh.” Blade let out a low growl and tried to lunge forward but something caught him short and left him dangling helpless in the air. “Ah, ah, ah. Naughty Blade. I would hate to have to kill after I went to all the trouble to save you.”

        “Why bother,” Isis muttered bitterly. “We're all trapped here now. The mundanes will slaughter us thanks to that blue feathered idiot's wish and it's all your fault.”

        “Only those foolish enough to stick around pretty kitty. The rest will eventually find their way home.”

        “How? We're cut off!”

        With a derisive laugh, Isaac raised one hand and formed a glowing ball of energy. “Think of this lovely trinket as our home. Suppose this black line is the now impenetrable barrier. Notice anything interesting?”

        Isis blinked. “It only…it's only on one side. But…. I don't understand.”

        “It was we fiends who created the barrier so long ago. We were vastly outnumbered then and needed someway to protect ourselves. Why else would the book containing the only spell to create and erase it be in our temple?”

        “Did the Master know about this?”

        “Of course he did. Norwen desperately wanted power and tried to become a high priest but They rejected. However, he discovered the secrets of the barrier and tried to use them. So They sent me to stop. It was pitifully easy to fool you all.”

        “You're a High Priest aren't you,” Isis demanded. He nodded. “So why did you say us?”

        “You three have potential so I decided to make you an offer.”

        “I won't go back,” Blade suddenly cried out. “I would rather die here then be hunted down and killed like the other half-breeds.”

        “Actually I had something quite different in mind. As a reward for my years of good service, I've decided to take a vacation, a permanent one in a lovely idyllic little spot I've discovered called San Viano. So, would the three of you care to join me in my trip to the Slayer's home world.”

        Isis looked at Bijou who rumbled something then at Blade who eventually gave a short, angry nod. “Can you give us a few minutes to pack?”


The Author: (settling back in her desk chair and glaring at the assorted Bishies) Alright that's the end now beat it the lot of you, I need sleep.

Bishies: (start to exit the room) Grumble.

<Suddenly a small yellow kiwi appears followed by various cast members>

Bob: Wait a minute that can't be the end nothing is resolved. Plus I'm still not the hero.

The Author: Where did you come from? Nevermind. Relax Bob; it's only the end of chapter nine, I've still one chapter to go.

Bob: And I get to be the hero again, right?

The Author: Uh, no. All chapter ten does is tie up some loose ends. Sheesh, doesn't anyone ever read the script around here?

Ivan: Read, him? Allow me to quell the urge to laugh. Now, haven't you figured it out defective?

Bob: (with a growl) That's DETECTIVE you criminal! And stop following me.

Ivan: Riiiight. Anyway, allow me to enlighten you on a few facts. You aren't the hero of this piece Bob and you never will be. The best part is, it's your own fault. Because of you that blue-feathered coward gets to be the hero.

Bob: (screeching in true kiwi rage) WHAT! You lie you foul fiend.

Ivan: (laughing) Hardly. You see, when you decided to attack that pathetic double of me – I want to speak to *you* about that later – you started a short but beautiful chain of events that ended with the coward vanquishing the big bad evil and saving the day. Thus, he becomes the hero and is (gag) worshipped by the natives all because you couldn't control yourself.

<They all look at Bob who is now lying on the floor basically foaming at the mouth. >

The Author: (quiet eep! followed by nervous laughter) Uh yeah, sorry about Norwen, the Bishies sort of sprang him on me and when they latch onto a plot device you know. However, Ivan is right. Sorry Bob but if you hadn't interfered Beak would have freed the prisoners and incited a riot instead. Without you, Ferdie would have never truly 'saved the day'. It's called irony. However, don't worry Bob I… Bob? Bob? Oh dear, someone make sure he doesn't swallow his tongue please. Can we get a sedative in here? MEDIC!


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