Whoever had just stepped onto the car was chanting in a language I completely did not recognize.
It was backup. The serpent was now between the two of us. It hissed…and then it coiled in on itself and disappeared.
The darkness didn’t seem quite so thick, although the power had yet to return.
And hopefully Kanesha had called the witches.
The voice I heard was female, but alto. Or was it a light tenor? I’d never had so many issues working out somebody’s gender from their voice.
And then the train lights flickered back on and I could see them. Not as dark skinned as Kanesha, but definitely not white. Our eyes met.
I walked towards them, and murmured, “I sent my partner for help.”
“Good. Can I meet up with your backup, lady?”
Lady felt a little weird. “I for one would like to know where that thing came from.”
“It was an Egyptian demon, a servant of the god Apep. And somebody probably summoned it.”
“It said as much.”
The train driver came over the intercom. Evacuation instructions. We trudged out into the tunnel and emerged at Pentagon City. Hopefully that was the way Kanesha had gone. I texted her as soon as my cell was working again. “Where are you?”
“Outside the station.”
I sighed a bit. “Which side?”
“By the mall.”
I was trying not to get frustrated, but really, this station was confusing unless you were very specific.
Finally. I headed up the stairs and out into daylight that made me blink. At least I didn’t feel as if I was about to burst into flame any more. I’d have to thank my dad for that one later.
Kanesha was standing there. “I called them and they’re on the way, but do we need them?”
“We need a conference. Maybe the Starbuck’s? And this is…”
“Zaid,” the stranger introduced.
I’d decided he was a man. Maybe. Zaid was a male name, I thought, but I wasn’t sure. Arabic was far from my strong point.
“He backed me up. It was some kind of Egyptian demon thing.”
Zaid nodded. “And we need to find who would dare summon such in a city. Will you help me?”
I nodded. “I sort of owe you anyway,” I admitted. “I don’t know if I could have beat him on my own and unarmed.”
“Lady. You are never unarmed.”