Puzzle

Part 4

It was the afternoon after Elite's escape from the Cabal when the explosion came.

Elite was sitting at his desk, finishing the preliminary report on the Cabal when the building began shaking with the force of the blast. The lights instantly went red, and a computerized voice spoke through the loudspeakers.

"Breach in Maximum Security Section. Security Team 5 report to Maximum Security Section immediately."

Elite was on Team 3, nevertheless, he began suiting up, just in case. Then, a different computerized voice spoke over his personal speaker.

"Agent Elite, the attack was focused on object AG34873, stored at 2:38 AM today, your authorization only. Object has been removed."

"The Theta-Thingy!" Elite exclaimed, "Who took it?"

"Unknown." the computer replied, "Preliminary analysis indicates explosion was achieved by spellcraft. Mortal in origin."

"Mortal? Then it's not the Cabal." Suddenly, Elite remembered that Seliph said about the third and final piece being in the hands of the witches. "Oh, shit! Operations, this is Agent Elite. Give me full control of the Main Detector Array! Armageddon Priority!"

The roof of the building opened up, and the giant antennas of The Institute's Main Detector Array rose up. Damage from the explosion kept the array from being able to operate at full power, but what was available was more than enough to trace the path of the attackers. Elite had no problem determining where the attackers went, where they met up with others radiating the same type of magic, and, most importantly, where that group was now.

After shutting down the Array, Elite prepared to go out after the stolen Fhgbhdz. He had yet to pick up any replacements for his lost sensors, but he knew where they were, so he was hoping that he wouldn't need them. What he did bring, however, was his 9mm pistol.

When Elite arrived at the gathering-place, he was struck by the collection of shacks he saw. They all looked sturdy enough to be permanent structures, but they would never pass a building code, especially in the middle of a city. However, he had no time to ponder this oddity, as there was some type of ceremony going on in the center of the structures.

From his vantage point behind a stack of crates, Elite could see a group of people, all dressed in white, surrounding a pole. Tied to the pole was a rather average-looking couple, and next to the pole were a man and woman, both in blue. They seemed to be the leaders, as the man held the two pieces of the Fhgbhdz, and addressed the assembled group.

"Fellow John and Jane Does, today shall be a glorious day for the Coven. As you all know, two of our number were killed recently by the Cabal. Tonight, we shall replace them. These two subjects" the Blue John gestured, indicating the couple tied to the pole, "shall undergo the transformation, and our numbers will once again be complete. But more importantly, I have in my possession all three pieces of the Fhgbhdz! Tonight, it shall be assembled, and the world shall be ours! Now, let the transformation beg..."

The Blue John never finished his sentence, as three slugs from Elite's gun ripped through his chest. Taken by surprise, the members of the Coven panicked and fled as Elite ran up to the post.

"Run back the way I came in, towards those crates," Elite told the couple as he untied them. Elite stayed only long enough to pick to the two pieces of the Fhgbhdz, then ran after them.

As the couple made it to the crates, Elite risked a glance behind him. The Blue Jane was pointing a wand his direction. "Jesus! You two, take cover behind those crates!" Elite ordered.

Elite himself barely made it over the crates before a ball of fire exploded against them. "Here," Elite said to the man, handing him the pieces of the Fhgbhdz, "hold these for me."

"Uh, sure," the man replied, "By the way, is that a wire coming out of your gun?"

"Yup. Connects the gun sight to my glasses. Makes sure I hit whatever I'm aiming at." As he finished talking, Elite stuck his head up and popped three shots off at the Blue Jane. None of them hit.

"You missed!" The man exclaimed, "You just told me you can't miss!"

"No, I said I hit what I'm aiming at," Elite replied, "I never said I could aim worth a damn!"

"Well, in that case, the dead guy said this round thing was powerful. Why don't I just put it together?"

"What? NO!!!"

But Elite's admonition came too late. The Fhgbhdz was complete.

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