A few hours passed until both Organo and Ooga returned to the office, which startled a sleeping Sarah awake - which made the pair feel guilty. After a lot of apologies and ‘no problemos’, Organo got to work at telling her what they had been up to. At first, he went back to the house which accidentally awoke Ooga, so he got involved with everything and caught up on the whole debacle.
Then he went around to high-ranking magical officials, alerting them of the possibility of an incoming attack, but to keep it away from media. While it was a dangerous idea not to let the people know, they had suffered a lot of shock and despair in light of recent events. He thought it would’ve been unfair to let them go through all of that again on a possibility that even they don’t understand.
The three of them sat around in the office, spinning in their comfortable chairs when they all simultaneously received a message in their head.
It read: “ALERT: IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE NEEDED. LAT 38°, LONG -77°.” The message was vivid in their heads for a few seconds, before they were able to take control and get straight into action. Although it did not send any details in the slightest, they all had the melancholy suspicion that this was related to Hell. Due to this, they worked incredibly fast, as they ran through the indigo portal, arriving at their destination.
An extensive crack ripped through the otherwise ordinary blue sky, blood-red crimson seeping out of it. It was like a ripple through everything they held dear, and it quite literally looked like an opening to Hell. Small, minuscule rips in comparison to the larger one spiked out of it, looking like someone had just stuck a sticker to the sky.
Bewildered birds fearfully flew to and through the consternate crack. Horrifying, outrageous, disgusting… it was the visible reminder of death. As if the situation wasn’t hard enough, Sarah was having vivid flashbacks to the torturous, tragic time she spent in there, like an unknown PTSD had struck her. The mere sight of it was enough to send her on a panic attack, but time slowed as she began to ground herself.
Five things she could see: trees, taller than she ever realised. Birds, soaring through the interrupted sky. Grass, greener than normal for this time of year. Organo and Ooga, the two most supportive people she had ever met.
Four things she could feel: wind slowly breezing past her, gradually picking up strength with every second the crack remained open. The hairs on the back of her neck standing up, as if she was being watched - surely the Empress wasn’t here already? Sweat sliding, meandering its way down her head, the heat from this ripple being hotter than anticipated. Lastly, her own cloak as she subconsciously fiddled with it, keeping her hands occupied like she had taught herself to do.
Three things she could hear: the faint cawing of crows, or perhaps other species of birds in the nearby vicinity. A typical whooshing noise as the wind cascaded through the dying leaves of trees, giving a faint whistling noise. In the far distance, screams. Screams coming from the sky. Still… screams.
Two things she could smell: flowers by her feet, dying with every second as more of their petals began to whittle away. Cologne, that one of the two men must’ve been wearing. It was surprisingly comforting.
Lastly, one thing she could taste: her own sweat, by the tangy yet sweet sensation in her mouth.
Her heart continued to beat rapidly, but she was able to take control of the situation anyway. As soon as she stepped forwards, her hands moving erratically in preparation for her to start speaking, the crack widened. In a matter of seconds, it had gone from being an elongated, yet thin destruction of Mother Nature, to be a colossal disruption.
Although they were far from the crack, it was simple for them to see the dots falling from it. Hundreds in quick succession, multitudes even. It looked uncontrolled, as if they were forced out for whatever reason; then again, it must be hard to control a jump like that.
All three of them started running over to where they were about to land, before a humongous yellow portal appeared. Everything who was plunging to their inevitable doom slammed through the portal, making goop fly into the sky and drip to the ground. Apparently, the Empress was able to do that now.
“Shut ya gob, the pair of ya. I know you were thinking of saying something.” Sarah blurted out, pacing in a straight line, spinning on her heel, walking a few steps then continuing the process. “We’ve got to get rid of the crack still, but how?”
“No! Seriously, wait.” Organo challenged her power while Ooga looked in skeptically.
“Why? It could get bigger, it could drag things in.”
“There’s something about it… I’m having a small premonition… Do that seeing spell thing, my mind is too focused to think.”
Sarah tilted her head at him, confused as to what he was thinking. With a lot of trust in him though, she looked up at the sky and proclaimed wildly, with a loud, booming voice: “Revelio!”
Immediately, millions of microorganisms became tiny, but visible dots in the sky. Organo’s face went from bewilderment to smugness.
“You can wipe that off your face until you can tell me what they are.”
“Must be the remnants of the plague beast thing. Surely?”
“What makes you say that? It could just be a bunch of ants or something.”
“Trust me, Sarah. I wasn’t just good at premonitions for nothing.” Jamair’s expression was assertive, but also confident. It was enough for her to take faith in his answer anyway.
“Alright, so the plague is now in the Hell chamber. But now what? We still need to close it!”
“That’s true, any ideas? You wouldn’t happen to know any superglue spells would you?”
“Hmm, yeah, of course I do. While I was out making life-changing spells, I looked down and went ‘You know what, I could really do with a SUPERGLUE SPELL!’” Her tone was getting agitated now, bordering into anger.
“Sarah, Sarah. Take a few deep breaths and compose yourself. You’re stressed beyond belief, believe me, we all are. Let’s just come together and think.” As they were all about to get into a team-hug, something both magnificent and petrifying happened.
Far into the distance, along the wide plains of the grassy surroundings, a figure draped in black stood dominantly, perched upon a small mound. With a smoky aura about themselves, they raised their bony hand, carefully holding what appeared to be a stick of wood, or in magical terms, a wand.
Immediately, it began illuminating a deep orange colour, luminescent in itself, almost as if someone had entrapped the sun within their wand. Progressively, it started to get brighter until it made it hard to look in that general direction, even when squinting, until it abruptly ceased.
Then it exploded into the sky. Orange cascaded into the sky, flying through the air, practically blinding with how bright it was. It was like a wall of fire, as dazzling as the stars, with such an intensity. This was clearly the work of fantastic magic as it coursed through the sky faster than anyone could’ve expected.
However, none of the trio were expecting this shimmering blockade of light to enter the crack, rather than just fix it. Additionally, none of them were prepared for the humongous eruption of blazing light from the rupture, unable to cover their eyes in time.
Ooga was the first to momentarily recover, glancing up to the sky through his squints, noticing that it was merely the old-fashioned yet comforting blueness. Any other day, he may have called it dull, but right in this moment, it was like an early Christmas present.
Sarah had something else on her mind. The millisecond that she was capable of looking, her eyes darted to where the figure had once been, but nothing remained. Faintly, she could observe the black smoke in the area that they had once remained. As much as they were everyone’s saviour, she knew deep down inside of herself that the unknown character must’ve been the Empress.
“Are we all in agreement on who that was?” She asked the trio, squinting as she used her hand to block the sun from her view.
“Her…” They both spoke in unison with the same amount of disdain in their voices.
“Are we in her debt now? Please tell me we aren’t?”
“We aren’t?” Organo sounded as if he was questioning his own words.
“Fantastic, very reassuring. Let’s just go home, we’ve got a lot to deal with.” She said, engulfing the trio in the standard indigo portal. They reappeared in their dining room, bags under their eyes from the lack of sleep and the amount of stress from their workload. Just like usual, then.