Book 2, Chapter 51

Later that evening a man who has been alluded to by other people was pacing restlessly.  He was short, with a conspicuous bald spot on the back of his head.  His frame was gaunt and his skin hung on it loosely.  He was dressed in a renaissance costume as was appropriate since he was much older than he looked.

He went by the name ‘Michael’ and he was the evil wizard that Mr. Tanaka’s crew had been keeping under observation.

He was not, however, the source of the building magical power in the city – a fact that was driving him as crazy as it had been worrying them.

"It can’t be The Council," he muttered.  "I have too many sources among their agents.  If enough of them gathered to account for this, I’d know.  And the council must not know about it, or they would have gathered… this power is something new, something they don’t know about.  I must make it mine." He finished with a growl.

Michael began to laugh: maliciously, then maniacally.  "I just have to find it," he hissed.  "And then…"

"Excuse me?"  The interruption came from behind him – an unexpected and unpleasant reminder that even evil wizards need an income and he was still at his day job.

Michael’s fixed smile was reminiscent of a skull.  "Pardon me," he said as he turned.  "I was just… rehearsing."

"Oh," said Rachel.  "I’m sorry to interrupt.  But I ordered some tickets for tonight’s performance earlier today, and I was just stopping in to pick them up."

Michael stared at her.  Or, to be more precise: he stared at the blazing aura of power that wreathed her.

"Um… It was a very good evil speech of evil," Rachel added when the silence grew too long.

Michael jerked his attention away from her aura and onto Rachel.  "Oh," he said.  "Yes, of course," he said as he stepped up to the theater’s service counter.  "An evil speech of evil.  That I was rehearsing.  So, tickets for tonight?  If I could just see an ID to check against the computer, I’ll have those right out…."

Et Alia, Book 2: Black Magic, Secret Agents, Shakespearean Tragedies and Interoffice Dating

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