The Darken Vessel: Minerva 10
Returning to the Problem at Hand ...
Amanda and Ethan arrive safely back in Brampton. They have been quietly discussing what has transpired back in the Northern Plains and the possibility of Amanda leaving one day.
“Megan will definitely not be happy with you transferring up North. She has comfortably settled down to the fact that you would be working with us here.” Ethan starts as they walk toward his stored vehicle.
“Yes, I know. That was the original plan until I met Henry Hamilton.” Amanda gives him a smirk.
“I know he’s already smitten with you. I can’t blame him though. You are definitely a far cry from Jenny.” Ethan laughs as he pushes the button on his Blue Maserati.
“I must admit—I find him quite desirable.” Feeling slightly uncomfortable, Amanda smoothly changes the subject. “Hey, tell me about Jenny.”
“Where can I start—oh no, I’m supposed to meet Megan for a lunch appointment in less than 30 minutes! Care to come along?” Ethan looks at his watch, then snaps his fingers.
“I’d love to come along, Ethan. Now you were saying—” Amanda is good at getting people back on track.
“Yes ma’am. It seems that Jenny was first married to a fellow named Anderson—Clay Anderson.” Ethan recalls.
“Clay Anderson? Humm ... what happened?” Amanda needs more information.
“He turned out to be only after her money.” Ethan stops talking to navigate a curve.
“Well ... go on.” Amanda coax after the highway is straight again.
“The man was previously involved with a necromancer named Viktoria.”
“Necromancer?” Amanda looks puzzled.
“Sorceress. They planned on conveniently disposing of Jenny and live off her money. It backfired and they both, Clay and Viktoria, wound up dead—victims of the same werewolf.” Ethan makes sure there’s no police in sight as he speeds up a little more.
“Hey, slow down or neither of us will have to worry about that luncheon engagement.” Amanda cautions and Ethan eases back on the accelerator.
“Anyway after that, she fell in love with Henry and they got married.” Ethan skips to the end.
“I’m sure there is a little more to it than that, but I’ll let Megan fill me in. I wonder how things have been in Brampton?” Amanda questions.
“Seems like there has been a rash of attacks since we’ve been away. People have been scratched up pretty badly.” Ethan recollects Megan telling him.
“Anyone killed?” Amanda further investigates.
“Yeah, a woman in her late fifties. When Madam Matilda left with us for the Northern Plains, the Director of the Brampton Civic Center decided to hire another lady to take her place. People didn’t find Audrey as fascinating as Matilda, but she held her own. Then she stayed over for a conference and it was late when she left. She got attack by some type of animal. It tore her heart out.” Ethan shakes his head. “Poor woman.”
“It torn her heart out?” Amanda responds in dismay. “That could have very well been Matilda.”
“I’d wager that’s who the attacker thought she was.” Ethan agrees. “It was Karma that you and Megan met Matilda when you did.”
“You know what this means, don’t you?” Amanda queries.
“Yeah, it means that Minerva has assume another identity. One that doesn’t need the strength of a full moon in order to kill.” Ethan replies.
“Minerva—Демон or whatever has found another body. One that will allow him or her to be less restricted. Now more than ever we are going to have to root out this villain.” Amanda balls her small fists.
“That’s going to be a problem because Megan’s and my supernatural abilities are clustered around the appearance of a full moon. This is why we needed the added services of a Адвокат Адъюнкт.” Ethan reminds Amanda.
“That’s why I am here.” Amanda remarks. “1st Echelon!”
“Right, but when you leave—”
“Let’s focus on the here and now. For the sake of convenience, let’s assume that this is Демон. Minerva would be restricted to the one form and not be able to undertake any other appearance. If he has chosen the embodiment of a cat, his powers are going to be limited. His strength is not as destructive as a cougar or panther.” Amanda calculates.
“No, but he doesn’t have to wait until the full moon to attack either. He will be able to present his façade during the day at any time. Plus, when the full moon does rise—he will again become that destructible force that we will need to reckoned with.” Ethan rejoinders.
“Have you forgotten what I have in my possession?” Amanda questions, showing him her right hand.
“Of course, the Star of des äußeren Reiches! Демон wouldn’t be able to lay a paw on you. You’d be able to make mincemeat out of him.” Ethan brags as he parks near the entrance to The Keg Steakhouse & Bar.”
Entering in, it doesn’t take too long for them to find Megan sitting impatiently at a booth. When she sees them, she rises to meet them.
“It’s about time you got here, Ethan.” Megan playfully scolds giving him a sweet kiss on the lips.
“I hope you don’t mind me bringing Amanda along. Or should I say Prefix Delma— Custodian of the Star of des äußeren Reiches and Адвокат Адъюнкт of the 1st Echelon.” Ethan announces.
“Oh my!” Megan exclaims. “Congratulations Amanda. You have been exalted to a very high honor. It will be impossible for you to accompany Ethan and me as a mere Counselor Adjunct. If I had known—” Ethan interrupts.
“There was no way that Vlatka would have allowed you to interfere with this plan. It was Vlatka’s idea after all.” Ethan reminds his wife.
“So, what the Stimme told me wasn’t just me having a strange dream. Jenny Hamilton is gone.” Megan looks from her husband to Amanda.
“You know the Stimme would never jester in such matters. Yes, Jenny Anderson is gone. Everything that the Stimme told you, believe.” Ethan reassures her.
“Even the part about—” Megan notices Ethan shaking his head. “I see.”
“See what?” Now Amanda is curious.
“In due course everything will be quite clear. For now, we must decide on a strategy for defeating Minerva.” Megan recites.
“Демон!” Both Amanda and Ethan say in unison.
“No—not Демон!” Megan’s eyes become too saucers. “Houston, we have a problem.”
“You got that right.” Ethan chides in.
Amanda has finally returned to the home of her brother Billy and his wife Julia. When she uses her key to open the door, her cat Cami tears across the room to meet her.
“That’s a lovely greeting—Cami you’re trembling what is the matter?”
Julia walks into the room carrying a black cat. She is delighted to see her sister-in-law. But as she approaches Amanda, the cat bristles up and shrieks—bounding out of her arms.
“That’s strange. I wanted to introduce you to my new cat. Showed up one night at my doorstep wearing a collar with a strange name on the round tag—Diablo!"
To Be Continued ...
The Darken Vessel: Minerva 11
- The Darken Vessel: Minerva 11
While Henry Hamilton puzzles over the fact that there are parts of his memory erased, Amanda returns to her brother’s home to retrieve her beloved cat and pack her luggage for a hasty exit. However, Демон will have none of that!
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS