“Ha!” Michael sneered. “What did you expect? Only an amateur conducts magic without ensuring they won’t be interfered with. Those wards will prevent all physical passage through them for as long as I provide them energy.” He turned back to Rachel. “Seriously: your boyfriend is a stupid loser and now I’m going to kill you both.”
On the ground, Ean groaned in pain. The board he’d used to lead his charge had shattered on collision with the warded circle. Shards had sliced his face, hands and jacket when they’d been blown backward into him. A particularly large splinter had stabbed into his lower left side hard enough to scrape his ribs. It stuck out like a lonely porcupine quill.
“Okay,” Ean admitted to me. “Time for Plan E.” Then he reached into his pocket and produced a compact, shiny pistol.
Michael, who had been curious enough to glance over at the mention of ‘Plan E’ started laughing. It was not nice laughter.
“Last chance,” Ean said through clenched teeth. “Let her go and we walk away.”
“Moron,” Michael threw back. “‘All physical passage’ includes bullets, dumbass.” He turned back to Rachel and raised his dagger once more.
Rachel squeezed her eyes shut in anticipation of the pain to come. Tears forced their way out at the corners.
And then Ean pulled the trigger on his gun, and a beam of light snapped into existance. It neatly intersected Michael’s head for a second before burning through and scorching the far wall. Then it vanished.
Ean let his hand drop. “And alien laser beams aren’t bullets,” he said. “Or physical. Science: Go figure.”