"THE POWER OF ONE"
Inside the BAY-MIRROR's parking lot, the four people approached the figure sprawled on the ground. Daley glanced down at the fallen witch. "Step one completed," she noted with an air of satisfaction.
One of her lieutenants - Clive - said to the remaining two people nearby, "Ramon, Angela . . . pick her up." He asked Daley, "How long do we have to hold the witch?"
Daley sighed. "Don't bother to wait. I'll send all of you to the factory, where you can kill her. Dump her body in the bay." Instead of leaving, Clive and the other two hesitated. "What are you waiting for?"
"You don't mind giving us a lift, do you?" Clive asked.
"Oh. Yeah." Daley waved her hand and the others orbed out of the parking lot.
Then the sorceress chanted a brief spell. Within seconds, she transformed into the middle Halliwell sister. Daley then checked her appearance with a small, compact mirror. Satisfied by the results, she climbed into the witch's car and drove away.
The two figures emerged from behind a large Cadillac. "Ugh," Harry commented, grimacing at the vehicle. "I didn't realize that gas guzzlers were still popular with some people." He turned to Paige. "Think you can track Phoebe?"
The Charmed One sighed. "Maybe. This is more Leo's gig. But I'll give it a shot." Paige closed her eyes for a few seconds. She sensed . . . nothing. Then she took a deep breath and tried again. Finally, a sense of her sister's presence hit her subconscious. "Found her. Let's go."
The young couple held hands, before Paige orbed them out of the parking lot. Seconds later, they appeared in the middle of a half-deserted office, where they found an unconscious Phoebe stretched out on a black leather divan. A man and a woman flanked her. A second man with light brown skin stood near a desk . . . holding a needle.
The woman, who wore long braids to her shoulders, glanced up. "Clive! We've got company!" Then she flung her hands out, while screaming some word that Paige did not understand. Seconds later, the couple found themselves flung against a wall.
As the pair struggled to their feet, Paige murmured, "Okay, I've had enough." She disappeared from Harry's side and reappeared beside the woman. Then she caught the latter off guard with a punch to the jaw. The woman lay sprawled on the floor.
The woman's companion regarded Paige in a threatening manner, as an energy ball formed in his hand. To the Charmed One's surprise, Harry cried out, "Pain!" The energy ball disappeared, as the man clutched his head. Screaming in agony. He then dropped to the floor, unconscious.
Then the Charmed One orbed the needle out of the second man's grasp. Before she could do anything further, the needle dropped out of her hand, as someone's foot kicked her in the back. Paige fell forward and ended up sprawled over Phoebe's unconscious form. She barely heard Harry call out her name. A hand - apparently belonging to the woman she had just punched - grabbed hold of her hair and jerked her bodily to her feet.
"Ow!" Paige cried, before she orbed out of the woman's grasp. She reappeared behind the woman, tapped the latter's shoulder and knocked the woman unconscious with two punches.
The second man waved his hand and sent Paige flying back across Phoebe's body. He turned to Harry, but with a series of kick, the latter sent the man reeling to the floor. The man reached out for the needle and it flew into his grasp. He telekinetically sent it flying toward Harry, but the latter muttered a word, "Gwyro!" and the needle zipped back toward the man . . . before its tip slid into his flesh.
Paige slid off of Phoebe's body. Along with an equally fascinated Harry, she watched the man's eyes widened in horror at the sight of the needle protruding from his arm. Then his body convulsed for a few seconds and fell into a heap upon the floor. "What the hell was in that needle?" Paige demanded.
Heaving a sigh, Harry replied, "Who knows? Maybe an overdose of Ms. Bakker's Methacathinone. Right now, let's grab Phoebe and get the hell out of here." He unfastened the middle sister's bonds and slung her over his shoulder. "Okay Scotty, beam us up."
Paige shot the red-haired witch a dark glare. Then she grabbed his forearm and orbed all three of them out of the office.
Daley guided Phoebe Halliwell's Mini Cooper into the family's driveway. She checked the rear-view mirror and noted with satisfaction, her exact resemblance to the columnist/witch. She took a deep breath, grabbed the witch's belongings and climbed out of the vehicle. Then she made her way to the manor's front door.
For nearly a minute, Daley fumbled with the witch's keys to find the right one to open the door. After she finally managed to open the manor, she closed the door with a relieved sigh. Piper's voice cried out, "Paige? Phoebe? Is that you?"
Daley hesitated before she responded, "It's me, Piper! Phoebe!" Then she recalled the youngest sister. "Paige isn't home, yet?"
Piper emerged from the Solarium. "No, not yet." The oldest sister continued, "I guess that Paige is still at the shop, trying to find that last ingredient for the potion."
Potion? Piper's words piqued Daley's curiosity. "You . . . uh, really think that this . . . potion will work?"
Doubt seemed to creep into Piper's eyes. "I'm not sure. But since it had worked with Barbas, last year, I'm sure that it'll work on Don . . . I mean, Daley Bakker." She shook her head. "God, I keep forgetting that Donna isn't her real name."
"Yeah." Daley gave a quick, nervous laugh. Inwardly, she could not help but wonder how they had learned her real name. Then she heard a baby's cry and the more, important matter returned to her attention. Trying to sound as casual as possible, Daley asked, "Something wrong with Wyatt?"
A sigh left Piper's mouth. "Oh . . . no. It's the same problem, as usual. Wyatt's been a little fretful, ever since that bitch took his powers. I guess that he's lost a bit of himself."
At that moment, Daley felt sorely tempted to kill the Charmed One for the remark. And she would have, if the sound of an infant's cries had not filled the house. Wyatt.
Piper turned to the disguised sorceress. "Listen Pheebs, could you look in on Wyatt for me? I want to start preparing this potion. He's in the Solarium."
All thoughts of killing Piper vanished from Daley's mind. Opportunity had knocked on her door. The sorceress gave the Charmed One her most supportive smile. "Sure honey. I'd love to." The moment Piper turned away, Daley headed toward Wyatt's cries.
The red-faced infant sat inside his crib, ignoring a red butterfly that fluttered around his head. Daley allowed herself a brief smile, as she approached the infant. She transformed back to her former self. "Hello Wyatt," she cooed, while removing a hypodermic needle from her jacket pocket. Then she picked up the squalling infant. "Time for us to finish our little business together."
Using her newly acquired telekinesis, Daley removed the needle's plastic cover.
Before she could slip the needle into the child's flesh, four people teleported into the room - Piper, Cecile Dubois, Andre Morrell and the half-daemon, Cole Turner. "I'll take Wyatt, thank you very much," the daemon commented. Daley gasped as he beamed the infant out of her arms and into his own. Angry at being foiled again, the sorceress lost her temper.
The sorceress' eyes turned red. "Son-of-a-bitch!" she hissed, as a stream of red heat poured from her eyes and beamed toward Cole. The latter immediately raised one hand and deflected Daley Bakker's attack toward her. She orbed away just in time and the heat beam blew a hole in the wall.
"Good grief!" Andre cried. "Was that one of Wyatt's powers?"
Daley reappeared beside Piper and pointed a hypodermic needle at the latter's throat. "No, it's mine! Now, put the baby on the sofa." She glared at Cole. "Either do it now or she's dead!" Cole hesitated. "I mean it!"
"Do you?" the half-demon coolly murmured.
Piper cried, "Don't do it, Cole! Don't hand Wyatt over to her! I'd rather die first!" In a swift motion, she yanked the amulet from around Daley's neck and tossed it on the floor. Before the sorceress could plunge the needle into her neck, Cole teleported Piper out of harm's way and by his side. He handed Wyatt over to her.
Daley waved her hand, as she cried out, "Antoine! Remy!" Two men appeared by her side. She called out more names and four other people appeared - two men and two women. "You know what to do!" she ordered. "Leave the daemon to me!"
Before Cole knew what was happening, the sorceress' people attacked. He wanted to help the others, but he had his own problems dealing with he. As he deflected one of her energy balls, he felt sure that without the amulet, he would easily defeat her. He discovered that he had underestimated the sorceress' ability to utilize Wyatt's teleportation power. The woman moved so fast that she managed to strike his shoulder with a fireball just seconds after she had orbed behind him. In retaliation, Cole used his telekinesis to send her body slamming against the wall.
The half-daemon glanced at his companions and saw Andre engaged in hand-to-hand combat with one of Daley Bakker's companions. The houngan finally subdued the man with a magical binding ring around the latter's body. Cecile managed to send two of the sorceress' companions on their knees and crying in pain. One of them dropped to the floor with a brain aneurysm. Piper froze one of the females and placed Wyatt in the crib. Before she could freeze another minion, the latter muttered a chant and a large bolt of electricity shot from one of his hands and toward the Charmed One. Cole quickly reversed the positions of those concerned and the young bokor ended up being struck by lighting.
Daley Bakker eyed her fallen companions anxiously. She struggled to her feet, glared at Cole and began to chant in the Fon language. At that moment, a red butterfly hovered beside her head. Cole spotted it and waved his hand - transforming the butterfly into Olivia. The red-haired witch snatched a knife from one of the sorceress' henchmen using telekinesis. Before Daley could react, Olivia slashed her side with the knife, and tossed the latter to Cecile. "Use it!" she cried to the mambo.
An enraged sorceress cried out in pain. She flung an energy ball at Olivia. The latter quickly raised her hands and cried out, "Gwyra aes!" A shield immediately materialized before the witch. As the energy ball struck the shield, its force and power sent Olivia flying back against the sofa.
Cecile removed a large cloth that covered the coffee table, revealing a Vodoun altar. A strand of Wyatt's hair wrapped with bloodroot sat in one small bowl. The mambo allowed a few drops of the sorceress' blood into another bowl. She began to chant in Fon, "Oh Legba, God of the spiritual crossroads! Re-open the pathway first done so by Kalfu on the eve of the moon's first quarter. Please reverse the spell and return to this child, his powers previously stolen. In your name, I beseech you!"
The sorceress gripped her side and cried out, "No!" But it was too late. A beam of light emitted from her body and shot straight up to the roof. It eventually formed an arch, before it finally settled upon Wyatt, who squirmed inside the crib. The Bakker woman glared at Cecile. "You bitch!"
One man grabbed the beleaguered sorceress' arm. "Daley! We have to leave! Now!" He muttered a quick chant and disappeared. Along with Daley Bakker.
"Shit!" Cole exclaimed. "I didn't think they would . . ." At that moment, the rest of the sorceress' companions disappeared.
Andre shook his head in self-disgust. "I should have known that would happen. One of them must be a teleporter. Or used a teleportation spell."
Piper anxiously glanced at Cole. "Can't you get them back?"
"Sure," the half-daemon replied. He lifted his hand.
Cecile stopped him. "Don't bother. They're gone. Wyatt's safe and he has his powers back. End of story."
"But we can't let them get away!" the Charmed One cried.
A sigh left Cecile's mouth. "What are we going to do, Piper? Kill them the moment Cole returns them? Two of them are already dead, thanks to Cole and me."
"I could arrest Ms. Bakker for breaking and entering," Olivia commented. "Or the attempted murder of a nine month-old infant. Only the murder weapon is missing and I can't very well tell my captain what really happened."
Frustration tightened Piper's lips. "Fine. I get the message," she growled. "I just can't stand that the bitch got away." Her expression then softened, as she gazed upon her son. "At least Wyatt is safe. And back to normal."
"That's good to hear," Cole commented. "Because after that little battle, I need to rest." He glanced at his right shoulder. The wound left by the fireball had completely healed. "By the way, I didn't realize that Wyatt was a latent fire starter. Or an electrokinetic."
Piper continued to stare at her son. "Yeah, it is a bit of a shock." She shook her head and sighed. "Boy! Wait until Leo hears about this."
END OF PART XVIII