Episode Sixteen: Bombs: Scene 21

I took the frustration out on a reinforced combat dummy at Thruor’s safehouse. It was the only thing I could do. If I didn’t, I’d end up taking it out on somebody else.

Clara could even be dead and there was nothing I could do. Absolutely nothing. I’d even managed to work out how to help Mike.

I couldn’t work out how to fight people who had a weapon that worked on me and, as far as they were concerned, didn’t hurt innocent bystanders. The fact that they were wrong…

I had to find whoever was making those bombs. The coven would rescue Clara. I was sure of that. And I was sure that if Clara was dead, Marie would know. And it occurred to me that sometimes I had to learn to trust other people to do things for me.

Odin delegated, after all. Not that I would ever be that powerful, but…

I felt fire within me. Pushed it away again. Not accepted, but not rejected either. Not until I knew what it meant. Not until I knew where it would lead me.

My phone rang. I knew who it was before even answering – and not just from the ring tone. “Kanesha.”


“Thanks for putting me in touch with the witches. Me and Seb are going in to grab Clara. We know exactly where she is. And Mike’s running backup.”

“Good luck.”

I wished, suddenly, for something like the base in the Flash TV show and ear buds so I could at least talk to them and give them directions, instead of having to wait this out.

Maybe Kanesha could set something like that up – but most of the time, we wouldn’t have anyone to run it. “We need a Felicity Smoak,” I added, forgetting I was mixing up my TV shows.
“Yeah, we do.”

She hung up. I looked around, then decided that I was going to look for trouble.

Or at least put myself somewhere where trouble could find me. I picked up my sword on the way out, slung it over my back.

As I did so, my phone rang again. This time it was the ring tone for an unidentified number. “Hello?”

“Is this Jane Rudi?” came a female voice.

“Yes.” I thought it was somebody after a modeling gig. I stepped outside, and then regretted it…there was some construction going on across the street. “Hold on.”

Whoever it was held on while I got further away from the power tools. “Sorry about that. What’s this about?”

“I could use your help.”

“Who is this?”

“I’m a friend of Monica’s.”

So…it was modeling stuff after all. “Alright. What with?”

“Uh…I don’t know that I want to talk about it over the phone. Can you meet me at Lark’s Deli?”

So much, I thought, for my patrol.

Episode Sixteen: Bombs: Scene 20

Actually, I almost felt worse. Her coven started to trickle in. She told me Clara was going to be initiated when she was old enough, if she wanted to be. That this coven was multi-generational.

I understood, though, why she had tried to keep her out. To protect her. I could feel their power and their connection.
This was what a coven of witches was really like and together, I was sure, they could take me out. Without breaking a sweat. “I can see why…”

“Why I wanted her to have the choice of a normal life?”

I shook my head. “Clara would never have the choice of a normal life in today’s society.”

Her mother…I’d finally caught her name, Marie…tilted her head. Then she nodded slowly. “You know?”

“When we first met she couldn’t take her eyes off of me.” I grinned a bit. “She finally realized I wasn’t available.”

“She thinks I don’t.” Marie quirked her lips. “She thinks I haven’t noticed.”

“Mothers notice a lot.” I wondered what mine had noticed about me. But we weren’t…no. I was sure she was watching more than she let me know about.

She was, after all, Fidelity. Would she not watch her daughter? Of course not. She’d probably still be watching me when I was fully mature and married and…yeah. She was going to be one of those mothers, an unavoidable part of her nature.

“Well. We’re going to make some plans. Got any thoughts?”

I followed her into the room. “They have one person making spirit bombs, hopefully. If we can deal with that person, then those of us vulnerable to them can come in.”

“Person or persons. Let’s not assume.”

“They don’t seem to have that many of them.” Which I thought was a good thing. “But really…I don’t want to hurt these girls. I want to make them think. And stop the spirit bombs.”

Before anyone else got hurt.

I got several nods. I could feel the power they had. It wasn’t like, say, Thea’s power. But it was real.

It thrummed in the air. “We think…”

“I’m assuming that they aren’t using a witch to get them but that it’s some kind of priest. I know it’s similar, but…”

“And they have Clara. That’s priority one.”

I had to agree there. I looked at Marie. “And they seem to be in Crystal City. There’s no way you can ward me from one of those bombs…”

“They set one off there…” Marie tailed off. “The population density is insane. It wouldn’t be as bad as letting one off in a hospital, but…”

“Okay. I guess I’m sitting this one out.”

Again, the frustration rose within me. It threatened to peak…

Episode Sixteen: Bombs: Scene 19

I hadn’t watched a really competent, experienced witch work. Now I knew why Clara had suddenly started learning so fast.

Her mother had hoped to spare her. The power. The work. The fights. But the tracking spell was done with mere words and gestures.

“Okay. Looks like they’re holed up in a cheap hotel…relatively…in Crystal City.”

I nodded. “Except I can’t go after them. They have spirit bombs.”

“Oh my. That’s not good at all.” A pause. “I don’t have a good ward to protect from that.”

“Which is why Clara was looking into it. And Seb. They’re less vulnerable to that.”

“Alright. Then I have to call in some favors.” She looked at me. “I suppose you had something to do with that horrible coven she fell in with.”

I didn’t mention the lust imps. “They’re still running.”

“Good.” The woman brushed back her hair. “I’d ask what you’re doing wandering around on Midgard, but I suspect you’d answer with Odin’s business.”

“More or less. Don’t worry. It’s not anything…bad.”

“It’s Odin. Everything he does is bad for somebody.”

I considered that. “You have a point.”

“As long as it’s not bad for me. Actually, there’s…is it me or is half the Valkyrie corps here?”

I considered. “Nah. Only two or three.”

She shook her head. “And I could have sworn I saw a fire giant in the pub. You guys are definitely up to something.”

I couldn’t exactly deny that. “Let’s worry about getting Clara back.”

She nodded. “I’m going to call my coven. And a couple of others.”

“These people are using the Templar symbol. But they’re all women.”

“Oh. It’s them.” She said them with much the same disgust I reserved for Tyz’vel. “My fault. I should have warned her.”


“The Order of Joan of Arc.”
“…who was from Lorraine.” That was the connection we’d been missing, right there. “They hunt…”

“Anything supernatural that isn’t them or directly associated with the church.”

“If they’ve hurt her…”

“Let us deal with it. You’re only going to get burned if you try.”

I knew she was right. I didn’t feel any better about it.

Episode Sixteen: Bombs: Scene 18

School was even more of a drag than usual with all of this going on. At least it hadn’t made it to school itself this time.

Yet, anyway. No fires, no Tyz’vel pretending to be a student. None of the hunters were in the school. Oh, and no weird teachers.

It was boring, but at least I could hope everyone would be safe. Except Clara, who wasn’t in class.

Which meant…I had to do something I never did. Bail on school. I had to find her. She still wasn’t answering her phone, I noted as I sneaked out, using magic to keep anyone from particularly noticing me. No. She was in trouble.

And I couldn’t safely go after her. Nor could Thea. And I couldn’t call Kanesha out of class.

So? I called Mike. “I know you aren’t supposed to act, but Clara’s missing.”

“What did she do?”

“She was looking into that narrow minded bunch of hunters. I think they might have abducted her.”

“That’s not good. What’s your evidence?”

“Not in class, not picking up her phone. I’m going to go check her home now.”

“Alright. I’ll see what I can do.”
Trusting Mike to handle it, I hung up and walked towards Clara’s home. I knew where it was. Knocking on the door made me slightly nervous. They could report me for being truant.

Her mother answered. I hadn’t met the woman, but the likeness was so obvious that Clara knew what she would look like in twenty or so years. “Hello?”

“Is Clara home sick?”

She frowned. “No. I called the cops, but they won’t do anything. She was hanging out with some friends yesterday.”

“Damn. I was hoping…she’s not at school.”

The woman opened the door. “You’re a friend of hers?”

“Yeah. Don’t tell anyone I’m ruining my attendance record.”

She considered that, “I would do the same thing so, no, I won’t.”

“I called the cop I know. He can look into it off the record.” I couldn’t tell her Clara had got mixed up in something…it was my fault.

The woman sighed. “She’s mixed up in something.”

I let out a breath, then nodded.

“I thought if I didn’t tell her she’d never find out. But she’s still my daughter.”

I felt a sense of relief. “Tell me you’re training her now? And tell me you can do a tracking spell on her? Seb’s supposed to be tracking her, but knowing him, he went in to rescue her and now needs rescuing himself.”

“I should be able to.” She studied me. “…you can’t?”

“I don’t have a strong enough connection to her,” I admitted. “She’s just a friend.”

“Then let’s find her.”

Episode Sixteen: Bombs: Scene 17


Kanesha was in my apartment. I wasn’t supposed to give a key to somebody who wasn’t on the lease.

I wasn’t the only person giving keys to people not on the lease. She was raiding my ice cream.

I went to get a bowl myself. “Cross of Lorraine. Can you find out who used it other than the Templars?”

“Sure.” She pulled out her laptop and got to work.

I settled down with the ice cream.

“Okay, let’s see. Equal arms or not.”

“Top arms smaller.”

“Okay, then…Knights Templar, Medieval Hungary…it’s on their coat of arms. St Euphrosyne of Polosk…a Russian Orthodox Saint”

“That sounds…that sounds like a women’s name.”

“She was an abbess. And…” Kanesha grinned. “A nerd. She ran away to become a nun because she’d rather hang out in a library than get married.”

I laughed a bit. “Doesn’t seem likely she’s connected to this, does it.”

“No. Finally…the French resistance used the symbol, because it’s associated with Lorraine, which was what the Germans invaded first.”

I nodded. “Right. I don’t see any good leads. Except this Euphrosyne woman.”

“Which still seems unlikely. A librarian?”

I considered that. “Would be good cover for studying large amounts of supernatural lore. But these women seem to be more worried about fighting bad guys than studying them. And a librarian wouldn’t be that ignorant. If it is Euphrosyne, she should send some angels to beat them up for her.”

Kanesha laughed. “Well…”

“William was sort of implying the real Templars wouldn’t be too pleased about the symbol being used by women, but if they can say it’s something else…”

I tailed off.

“Then they’ll probably back down. Euphrosyne. Never heard of her until now. I’ll do some more research.”

I had a feeling we were missing something, but if it wasn’t something Kanesha had found yet…then it was probably too obscure for them to be using.

“I think I’m going to start looking again tomorrow.”

“Good, because I have something for us.” She grinned and tugged out a DVD case from her bag.


“Original Buffy movie. It seemed appropriate.”

Episode Sixteen: Bombs: Scene 16

Wannabe female Templars? That suggested Clara was in danger, unless they thought witches were okay.

Or she worked out quickly enough to hide her magic. Clara had done this before, and I thought she could handle it. I wasn’t, though, entirely sure.

And if I was right about what was going on, I thought it was wisest to pull her out now. I tried to call her.

No response. And no fyrhund to track her. A tear started in the corner of my eye. I should have given it a name. Next time, I would give it a name – I had a feeling it was not the last fyrhund I would encounter.

But then, could I…it pulled me closer towards Muspelheim, didn’t it? Maybe…

But even if I was better off without it, what had happened was wrong and somebody deserved to pay for it. I knew exactly who that somebody was.

Clara not answering, though, was my immediate worry. She was clearly in some kind of trouble. Well, or she just turned her phone off.

I had a feeling she was in some kind of trouble. So, I called Seb. “Hey.”


“Appears our female warriors may be cross sex Templar wannabes. I think Clara’s in danger.”

“I have a tracer on her.”

I relaxed immediately. “Thanks. Keep an eye on her. They might decide to, I dunno, burn her at the stake or something.”

“If they don’t…”

“Priests could make a spirit bomb. I mean, they wouldn’t. Furthermore…we may have another issue, if they make too much noise.”

“Alright. Uh…why don’t you keep looking for the spirit bomb maker your way and I’ll watch Clara and call you?”

I nodded, even though he couldn’t see me. “Okay.”

I wondered about him not asking what the other problem was, but maybe he’d caught the point with “Templar wannabes.”

Driven. I could see that. And they would probably think I was a demon too. I just got the impression…well.

I decided I was going to look up the symbol anyway, to see if there were any other possibilities. Or, rather, I’d ask Kanesha to. She was so much better at that kind of thing than I was.

And I knew where to find her.

Episode Sixteen: Bombs: Scene 15

Don’t notice me, don’t notice me, I willed as they turned to leave. Either they were focused on other things, or it worked on whatever they were using to detect supernaturals.

I hoped the latter, and then they were gone. I stood up and walked over to William, who was glaring after them.

“Let me guess. They told you you were a failure as a priest and demons got into the church.”

He nodded.

“Demons wouldn’t have needed to use an accelerant. It wasn’t demons and it wasn’t fire giants. Or a magic user of any power.”

“Good point.”

“I honestly think it was kids annoyed about something.”

He smiled wryly, “Or somebody didn’t like one of my sermons.”

I tried not to laugh. I didn’t entirely succeed. “Maybe. Do you need any help here, or should I go see if I can find out who did it?”

“I’m going to call some people in. We’ll get this fixed.”

I nodded. I knew it wasn’t my place, but it would have been rude not to offer. “I want to ask what I came her to ask first. Do you know anything about spirit bombs?”

He frowned. “I’ve heard mention. I know they’re bad news.”

I tugged off my jacket. “This is just the edge of the bad news.”

He frowned even more. “They have them.”
“And they think anything not an angel is a demon.” I let out a breath. “They already destroyed one perfectly innocent spirit. I was tempted to set them on Tyz’vel, then realized I don’t want that to happen even to him.”


“I want any notes you have on spirit bombs and who can make them. I want to find their supplier.” I paused. “Also, what’s with the extra arm on the cross.”

“It’s the cross of Lorraine. It’s a Templar symbol.”

I frowned. “But they’re all women.”

“And real Templars wouldn’t use spirit bombs. The other group that uses it is the Crusaders of the Divine Church of Christ, but they don’t look Filipino.”


He furrowed his brow. “Oh, and Marilyn Manson.”
“They certainly aren’t Satanists, but the single sex thing makes me wonder if they aren’t trying to be female Templars.”


I resolved to look the matter up further. “If they are, then maybe we could call in the real thing.”

He shuddered. “Nah. You don’t want to meet those guys. They’re driven.”

I wasn’t at all surprised that they still existed. Or that they were driven. “I’ve probably met worse.”

And I doubted they would care much for wannabes.

Episode Sixteen: Bombs: Scene 14

I didn’t, as it turned out, have to find him. He walked in a moment later, looked at me, then frowned.

“Yeah. Somebody…talk to the firefighters.”

He shook his head, pulled out his phone, and stepped away. Presumably to call the police. I moved off to the side to let him do it, frowning a little.

I couldn’t do anything about the smoldering mess. I couldn’t really do anything without knowing who it was, but I had to admit…that the idea of, if it was stupid kids, hauling them back by their ears to face a lecture from William was very appealing indeed.

If it was something more serious, then…

And then two of the hunters walked in. I wasn’t in their line of sight. One of them walked over to the altar and the other towards William. I realized the spirit bombs might not be the only magic they had.

Or they had police band scanners. It was a shame that people so well organized had to be my enemies.

I glanced around, then dropped into a pew and lowered my head. I knew they had some way of detecting me – the two in the park had identified me right away.

But they might not be expecting me to be here or even to be able to be here. If I pretended I was praying…

I couldn’t, though, hear what the older of the two was saying to William. But it did give me a good chance to observe them.

They wore the same jackets. I now noticed properly the symbol on the pack – a two armed cross with roundels on the end. I sketched it quickly, hoping to look it up later. “Christian symbology.”

“Sort of,” a voice whispered in my mind. An entirely familiar voice.

“Hello, dad,” I thought back, not particularly surprised by…telepathy or whatever.

“You’re safe. They don’t have a bomb. But they think demons blew up the altar.”

“Wasn’t demons…” I tailed off. “Oh great. They don’t think holy ground works.”

“They think it only works if the priest is perfect.”

“Hrm. They’ll sense me if I move…if they haven’t already.” But the conversation between them and William was definitely starting to get unpleasant. I’d just have to trust that he could look after himself. “Did you see who burned the altar?”


I let out a breath. “I think I’m going to stick to my original plan.”

“What’s that?”

“Find them, drag them back here by their ear, and feed them to William. Have you heard his lectures?”
There was a ringing laugh, then the sense of Loki’s presence was gone.

Episode Sixteen: Bombs: Scene 13

I frowned, and then I thought about it.

No. I couldn’t accept that gift until I knew who it was from. I could already hear sirens, in any case.

So, I moved to the door and looked in. Somebody’d set fire to the altar. That was definitely an infernal act at at least some levels.

Was there a fire extinguisher? I saw one, but I wasn’t sure what they’d started the fire with, so I wasn’t sure whether it would work or make it worse.

Just put it out, a small voice in my head said. You can do it – you’re allowed.

Allowed? But no. I still could not be sure this wasn’t an offer from Surtur. Being caught by surprise was one thing.

I glanced around, then I grabbed the extinguisher and moved forward warily, pointing it at the flames. Then I pulled the trigger. Foam came out, and while it wasn’t putting the flames out, it did seem to be slowing them down.

Where was Father William?

A moment later, a couple of firefighters came in, looked at me, then one of them left.

“Good work.”
“Got better gear?”


“I’d bet somebody did it on purpose.”

I furrowed my brow. Tyz’vel? Hunters? Kids being stupid? It sometimes seemed that the last option had become the zebra in my world.

But in this case, I thought it rather more likely that it was kids being stupid. Or maybe amateur hour satanists – there were enough of them around.

The firefighters were dealing with the fire now, so I set the extinguisher down.

“Did you see what happened?”
I shook my head. “No, but the guy who called you might have.”

“Probably afraid to use the extinguisher.”

I walked over to the burned altar. The fire hadn’t spread in the most part because the floor around it was stone. I sniffed. “Smells like burning alcohol.”

The firefighter sniffed. “Good nose. Looks like they used wood alcohol.”

“So, it was arson, then?” I shook my head. “Who the heck would burn a church altar?”

“Somebody with a grudge against somebody in the congregation, most likely.”

“Or against the priest.”

I had to find Father William. Fast.

Episode Sixteen: Bombs: Scene 12

“Because people who get stalked develop an emotional attachment,” Mike said. I was at his place.

“Right. But it’s more that I also…look, I know how the world works, and I don’t want to erase somebody from existence. No matter what they’ve done.”

Mike nodded. “I can see that. But at the same time, is he ever going to leave you alone?”

“When I prove to him that he has no chance, I suppose. Snag is, that he seems…honestly, the more I avoid, the harder he chases.”

“Some men are like that,” Mike muses. “Sometimes it gets them into trouble.”

“But really, I suppose the ideal would be to get him locked up back in Hell for a few centuries. Long enough for him to move on to being obsessed with somebody else.”
“Or find somebody else who actually likes him.”

I shook my head. “He doesn’t want somebody who likes him. He wants somebody who can give his ambitions in Hell a leg up.”

I thought about that. I thought about it for quite some time. “And do we want him getting a leg up?”

Mike shook his head. “Probably not.”

“But even if I get a spirit bomb, I won’t use it.” I was determined on that. “I mean, I can’t use it myself anyway.”

He nodded again. “I need to get to the station.”

He’d been reinstated. The family, though…they were not being treated well. They were basically being accused of lying to try and get justice for others.

I thought of that little girl, and it was quite painful. I really hadn’t wanted to do this to them. It wasn’t any more just than Mike losing his job. So, I needed to find some way to help them.

Money wouldn’t, but it might be the only thing I could offer. Not much, but…

I had to do something, but it could wait. It could wait until the spirit bomb issue was dealt with.

I couldn’t call Clara without risking giving her away, assuming she was already trying to worm her way in. Maybe she could convince them she would be a perfect back up to their witch if they taught her how to do it.

It was the only magic they’d shown, though. Maybe it wasn’t a witch we were dealing with. Who else could make spirit bombs?

A witch, a shaman or…a priest. I headed out quickly – Mike’s place was empty anyway – and headed for William’s church.

I could sense something was wrong even as I approached the place. I could smell something was wrong.

And when I got there, there was a fire in the building.