It was over a few seconds after I hit the red twisted with my black lightning. The green twisted might not go down easily to gunfire, but there were only two the soldiers had to worry about.
I shifted the opening of the space tunnel to drop the three green twisted Mary had tied up then closed the opening.
Once I was sure everything was settled I moved closer to the red twisted. Derek followed me over but didn't say anything. I stared down at the red twisted as the soldiers and Rosa moved past me to those who were hiding in the corner.
The red twisted was a male, probably bigger than Marshal, it wasn't moving at all, not even breathing. I knew he was dead, I hadn't held back the on the black lightning in my panic, but I knelt down beside the red twisted to feel for a pulse. Before I even touched it I felt a wave of mana rush into me from the twisted. I didn't need to check the twisted I was certain of its death, yet. I felt around its neck for a pulse regardless. I don't know why, maybe I was hoping to avoid the truth, but there was no pulse to be found and I had to admit it to myself. I had killed him.
In reflection I knew I would do it again. I was protecting the lives of the people in the corner. Yet, it was the first time I had ever killed anything.
I suddenly felt nauseous and as I turned to throw up a bag appeared in front of me. I pushed my head down to the bag then emptied my stomach into it. When I was done I lifted my head to see Derek looking down at me contemplative look on his face.
"Sir, Malloy got hurt!" A soldier yelled.
Derek closed the bag he was holding and handed it to me before running off to the soldiers.
I stood up unsteadily for a moment. I glanced at the group that was in the corner. It was a trio, a man, woman, and a little boy younger than Emily. I didn't know their story and I had no need to learn it. Though I was curious why the blue twisted had just been pacing around angrily rather than ripping them apart.
I followed behind Derek. I didn't have the healing ability, but I could try or get the girls here if it was serious.
'I'm fine.' I sent a quick thought to the girls so they didn't worry about me.
'Are you coming back soon?' Megan thought to me.
'As soon as we wrap it all up. One of the soldiers seems to have been injured.' I replied mentally.
'Stay safe.' she replied.
I found Derek standing over a young man with a gun in hand pointed at his head.
"Stop!" I yelled angrily at Derek.
"He was scratched by one of the greens. He is going to mutate soon." Derek told me coldly.
"I can fix it." I told him.
Derek lowered his gun, "You can fix the mutated?" he asked me his eyes wide with shock.
I shook my head. "No, I can stop it if he is in the process of mutating or just mutated, but anything longer and I can't help them." I replied moving to Malloy's side then putting my hand on his shoulder.
It was the first time running into someone who had been infected from a twisted. The mana in his inner space was acting more violently than those who were naturally mutating. Despite that the cure was still the same. I siphoned some of the mana out of his inner space letting it calm down. When the mana began to form a mana core and abilities I returned the mana that I took. As a soldier he was likely to need all the help he could get.
Standing up I smiled. "He is awakening now." I told Derek.
Derek looked at me in surprise. "Are you sure?" he asked me.
I nodded. "It isn't my first time. He is forming a mana core and ability cores as we speak." I replied.
"Can you see what he gets?" Derek asked me.
I nodded then placed my hand on Malloy's shoulder again. "Green core one star, body ability one star, wind ability one star, fire ability one star." I told Derek.
Derek nodded then looked at his other soldiers. "Anyone else get hurt?" he asked.
They shook their heads disappointed now, though I am sure they were happy it wasn't them a moment ago.
I took the opportunity to pat each of them on the shoulder to check their mana pools. Wilson, the Staff Sergeant who had escorted me to the hospital was the only one whose mana was starting to act up.
I helped him along as I had the others but like Malloy I returned the mana to him once his mana core started to form.
"You are awakening now." I told him just before he went down on one knee shaking.
Derek looked at me confused. "Seems we have more we need to talk about." he told me.
I cringed but reminded myself he was practically family now.
"Let's head back. Gorner you and Mitchel stick around and coordinate with the local PD." Derek ordered.
I walked beside Derek as I stroked the vine bracelet on my arm. 'You did a good job Mary.' I told her mentally.
Mary didn't reply but I could tell she was happy through the bond.
I spotted Marshal and Rosa speaking with the trio who had been trapped by the blue twisted. I waved at them as I headed for the space tunnel.
Seeing me Marshal and Rosa excused themselves then came over to me.
"Where are you heading?" Marshal asked me.
I glanced over at Derek. "Papago Hospital." I replied.
Marshal frowned. "Is everyone alright?" he asked worriedly.
I nodded. "Jessica's sister was staying there. This is Brigadier General Forel, he is Jessica's father." I introduced.
Marshal greeted Derek and Rosa who turned out to be a member of the Tempe Police Department.
"Marshal I need to stay here to speak to the officers who respond." Rosa informed Marshal.
Marshal frowned then looked to me with a resigned expression. "Keep them safe." He told me.
I nodded, I already intended too.
Marshal nodded the followed Rosa to the front of the store.
Derek didn't say anything but it was obvious he had been paying attention. I gestured for us to continue to the space tunnel.
Derek let me go through the space tunnel first then followed behind me.
As soon as I was clear of the space tunnel I was suddenly mobbed by seven females and a cat trying to ensure I was alright. After several reassurances they let me breath while Jamie and Jessica moved over to Derek to check that their uncle was fine too.
"I see where your loyalties lie." Derek chided them playfully only to get glares in return.
Once Derek gave the okay I closed the space tunnel while Derek ordered some soldier's to take a vehicle out to meet up with the pair of soldiers that had stayed behind.
Wilson and Malloy were immediately led off. I was sure the fact that I declared them awakened was going to get them extra testing.
I wrapped my arms around a pair of waists and hugged them close. I was still in shock over my first kill and the close proximity of the girls was helping. If there wasn't so much to do I would prefer to drag the lot of them into a room to play for a couple of hours.
"What do you want me to do with the twisted in my space pocket?" I asked Derek.
He frowned for a moment. "Can you keep them for a while?" he asked me.
I closed my eyes to peek into the space pocket holding the twisted. They didn't seem happy but looked fine. I mixed some air into the space pocket just in case then nodded. "I can, but it is a constant drain on my mana." I told him.
Derek nodded. "I will make some calls, I know there are a few who wanted us to try and capture the... What did you call them, twisted?" he asked and I nodded. "They wanted some of the twisted alive. Given their hostility and apparent immunity to drugs, it has been impossible.
I didn't let it show but I wondered if killing them would be better than giving them over for experimentation.
I reached up to my shoulder where Nala preferred to perch in her cat form stroked her fur. "Any idea what is happening in the zoo?" I asked her.
Derek perked up at my question.
"As far as I could sense, a new king appeared, but left immediately." Nala replied.
I frowned then looked at her. "How? Why?" I asked.
"Same way I did Lord." Dena answered for Nala. "The human form isn't common, but there is one other besides myself and Nala who had it. If the new king also developed it, it could leave with little trouble."
Derek was startled. "Who is the other one?" he asked urgently.
Dena frowned at Derek then glanced at me. I nodded to her so she answered. "The Gorilla King can take human form." she replied.
Derek's frown deepened then he left in a hurry.
I looked over at Dena. "Why didn't you tell him sooner?" I asked her.
"He didn't ask Lord." Dena replied.
I looked back to Nala on my shoulder. "Have the pair of you come to an agreement?" I asked her.
"No." Nala replied with a grumble.
"She probably wants to be Nala's equal rather than a subordinate." Calidia commented.
I looked at Dena who simply nodded. I used all of my willpower to keep my eyes off of her oversize bosom.
"Is there somewhere we can sit down and talk?" I asked Jamie and Jessica.
"My room!" Jamie replied immediately.
"The cafeteria." Jessica replied as if Jamie hadn't spoke.
I nodded. "That sounds good. I am sure some of us are getting hungry."
"Me!" Emily shouted as if I had asked a question getting a laugh out of most of us.
Megan and Karen stuck close to my sides as we were led down to a large room full of tables and chairs on the third floor.
"Get whatever you want." Jamie told us, "We will cover it."
Jessica glared at Jamie but didn't object.
"How about you two get whatever you want, and I will cover it." I suggested.
Jamie frowned but Jessica agreed immediately. "Uncle isn't made of money, and he needs some to court that pretty Major." Jessica told her.
Jamie snorted, "We both know he won't ask her out." Jamie responded.
Jessica sighed. "Don't crush my dreams." she moaned.
"Hello ladies." a feminine voice said from behind my group causing Jamie and Jessica to freeze in place.
I glanced back to spot a pretty blonde woman with a gold oak leaf insignia on her uniform.
"Hello Major Fressen." The twins replied together in shaky voices eliciting chuckles from my other girls.
The blonde woman smiled at them before moving past us into the cafeteria.
I led the way into the cafeteria, got everyone something to eat, then to several empty tables we pushed together.
"Are you alright?" Megan asked once we were all seated.
I nodded but I knew they could feel that I was bothered so I explained to them what happened after I went back to the store to help Derek. The girls took it well and sympathized with me. Jessica, Jamie, and Heather who were sitting the closest to me leaned in and hugged me. It proved to be a decent distraction.
"I have also been wondering if I can discover who the last two are by using the bond to speak to them." I told the group.
"Don't be a pussy." Calidia told me causing me to choke on my drink. "You can use your space ability to go straight to them." she reminded me.
She was right, I could do that.
"Did I say that right?" Calidia asked Megan who nodded with a smile.
I rolled my eyes at the girls then I looked over at Nala who was licking the tuna off a tuna sandwich in her cat form. "Can you sense any changes in the zoo?" I asked her.
'No excuses.' Nala replied mentally without looking up from her food.
I sighed, "Fine." I told them all then stood up. No time like the present, besides if they fell into danger when I was busy I would regret it later.
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