Most of the members of the coven were women, but a few were men, and they were in white or black tuxedos.Their demeanor completely changed. It seemed as if all of them wanted to meet Plumeria and Alika. They all commented on how lucky she’d been to have raised her familiar. Some of them were still waiting to locate theirs. The more Plumeria spoke to her fellows, the more she realized just how unique her situation was.
To be born on the spring equinox AND have a familiar born the same day 15 years later was unheard of, let alone having a new moon on their birthday that allowed them to come of age early. She was the youngest one there, though she could barely tell it. She found out some of the witches there were hundreds of years old. Witches didn’t age like people. They stayed the same age they were when they came of age, so most of them looked 21 and she would always look 16. She couldn’t wait to rub that in her brother’s face.
“Okay, quest time,” Iekika whispered from behind Plumeria’s shoulder. “Pick up Alika and go see Ailani. She is still in front of the fire.”
Plumeria located Alika, who was talking to another dark witch, and gently intervened to scoop him up and take him with her.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, Alika, but Ailani beckons us to the fire. It is time to learn what our quest is. By the way she was pretty cute. Who was she?”
“Just someone I was talking to.”
“You’re not thinking of defecting, are you?” Plumeria teased.
“Of course not! hy would you even think such a thing,” Alika said in a voice laced with melodrama.
They saw Ailani and she looked quite serious. But then again, she always looked fairly serious. Reading her was like trying to read A Pilgrim’s Progress–one couldn’t be sure how much was metaphor and how much was reality. Ailani saw them and frowned. Plumeria sensed she wasn’t angry, but rather worried.
“I’m glad you are here,” Ailani said, but her tone betrayed her. .Plumeria got the impression she wished they weren’t there at all, but maybe someone else? Plumeria was beginning to wish she and Alika were as far away from this place as possible. “I trust you have gotten to meet other members of your coven?” Ailani continued as if trying to set them at ease.
“Yes, but of course we are wondering, and you are about to tell us….” Plumeria paused and stroked Alika and kissed the top of his head before hugging him to her. He sensed her fear and discomfort, but wasn’t feeling much better about the situation himself. He purred in his anxiety. It was like being at the vet–he knew he wasn”t going to like it, but he could not stop it from coming.
‘Yes, the quest. I suppose you would want to know what you are risking your life for,” Ailai said while absently running her fingers through her hair.
“Wait. No one said anything about risking life or limb. I thought this was just supposed to be a test,” Plumeria said, ready to use her verbage to fight.
“It is a test. A very great test. We didn’t want to send you on a quest of this nature just yet, but you are more powerful tonight because your powers are still unchecked. In other words, you can’t control them like we can. That is just what this quest needs–unfettered power, raw and pure.
I’m not going to beat around the bush any longer, so to speak. Your quest is to find Kahuna the Secret and kill him. He is a rather new light witch who wanted to be dark, much like you wanted to be light. His powers include lasers and the white light of healing that all light witches possess. The problem is that he never uses this white light.
He only uses the lasers. For reasons we are unable to understand his are more powerful than a typical light witch’s. He has been killing animals, innocents and even one of his own kind in order to prove that he belongs to the darkness. He even killed his familiar, a goose, for disobeying him. That is why we painted goose blood on yourselves–for luck and in remembrance of one of our own.
He does not have dark vision, so striking tonight when it is going to be stormy in the mountains is going to be your best bet. He has been somewhat weakened due to the coven’s attempts to first bring him to justice, then kill him because he would’t listen to reason. He has broken many of our laws, especially by murdering one of his own.
Because your powers are new, they are more deadly. However, you are also more likely to miss. You will need Alika’s fog and the sound distraction to disorient him in order to electrocute him. When you kill him, cut off his hands and bring them directly to me. I want to make sure no one resurrects him and I want to study his hands to find out why his lasers got so powerful.
He has been hiding on the other side of the bamboo forest up the mountain. About halfway up is a defensible cave–approach it with caution in case he has acquired any allies. Last we knew he was unaware of any new witches or familiars being initiated, so we thought you would have the advantage of surprise. We have since learned that he somehow found out about tonight’s ceremony. He must have allies so be careful. Any questions?” Ailani said, out of breath after this long explanation of their quest.
“Is any of this written down someplace? I am afraid of forgetting something important,” Alika asked. Plumeria sighed, grateful for his foresight.
“Here is the briefing,” Ailani said, producing a file folder with one page and a photo in it. “You shouldn’t need anything else. He will probably be wearing black, not white as he is in his initiate photo.”
“Why else does he want to go through all this? Surely there is more than just wishing he could turn dark. Could you even do that anyway?” Alika was obviously going to be the brains of the operation. Plumeria was glad he was thinking to ask all these questions.
“No, we couldn’t turn him dark. No matter what he does, he can’t turn himself dark. What he wants is my position as leader of this coven. No one in the coven wants that–otherwise they could elect him. This is why we all want him dead. He would try to kill us all and start his own coven.”
Alika and Plumeria weren’t sure Ailani’s job security was the only reason to have the witch killed, but they would have to accept it for the time being and prove their worth to the coven.