â€œThis is the P90 Submachine gun,â€ Esvera said, holding up the gun to show Q, â€œItâ€™s a very compact gun and it shoots fully automatic so itâ€™s perfect for close-combat and clearing a room. When you run out, you eject the magazine by pressing this button on the top and the magazine will pop up. To reload it, you push the magazine into the slot and press down on it until it clicks.â€
Esvera ejected the clip and put it back in to show him what she meant. She handed the gun to Q and pointed at the target only about five yards away.
â€œTo make sure the gun doesnâ€™t overheat or to ensure better aim, you must fire the gun in what is called â€˜Three-round bursts.â€™ Itâ€™s near to impossible to shoot only three rounds each time, but the basic idea is not to waste ammo. Small bursts of ammo is what you need to conserve ammo and keep your aim. Go ahead and try it. Pull the trigger, but try to get it down to three shots.â€
Q stopped, a little surprised at how fast it happened. Esvera laughed a bit.
â€œGood, now that youâ€™ve shot, you can start working on getting it down to three,â€ she said.
â€œNot bad,â€ Esvera said, smiling, â€œweâ€™ll start work on the obstacle course soon, then you can really test out your close-combat skills.â€
â€œEsvera,â€ Q said, lowering the gun, â€œI have something I have to tell you.â€
â€œYes, what is it?â€ Esvera asked, wondering why he was so serious.
â€œIâ€¦I think I lost your book,â€ Q said sadly, â€œI canâ€™t find it anywhere.â€
Esvera smiled. â€œI took it back,â€ she said. Q looked up surprised. Esvera nodded. â€œIf you are going to use your negator, then you must forget completely about your Rez and your Ki. If you are not going to rely on it and use it to its full potential then I want you to forget it even exists. You will rely fully on the skills I teach you and the ones you learn on your own. But your Rez is, as of now, non-existent. You will not discuss it. Do you understand?â€
Q nodded. Esvera smiled and patted his shoulder. Suddenly, a shock wave shot through Esvera. Her eyes widened and she looked down at Q, who was messing with the clip on the gun. Something wasnâ€™t right. She could feel his Ki? There was no doubt about it, somehow it was seeping out. Leaking, like the negator had holes in it. Something was wrong with his negator. Was it breaking? This could be bad. If it broke, there would be Seekers crawling all over the place. Then what could she do? She had to get it fixed, or get a new one.
â€œYou keep working on it Q,â€ Esvera said, â€œI have to make a phone call.â€
In her office, Esvera had been contemplating exactly how to deal with this. If someone who could sense Ki came to fix it, they would surely sense him too. However she didnâ€™t know of anyone who would be able to fix the limiter that couldnâ€™t sense Ki or Rez. She would have to just order a new one. And she knew just the person to ask. But.. Something told her, she should call Edmond first. Negators were expensive, after all. And Q was partially his responsibility as well.
She dialed the number and waited for it to pick up on the other end. Edmond was in his home, doing whatever it was he did in his free time. They exchanged pleasant conversation for a while- something they hadn’t done in quite some time, as they lived far from eachother. But finally Edmond asked what she was really calling for, and Esvera had to give in. She told him she thought the negator was breaking.
â€œI can feel his ki, Edmond. I thought you might want to know.â€
On the monitor, the Monte Criston looked a bit confused.
â€œWell does he know it’s breaking?â€
Esvera shook her head. â€œI don’t believe so.â€
â€œI thought the point of this whole thing was to help him control his rez,â€ Edmond replied. â€œIsn’t now the best time to kick-start that?â€
Esvera went on the defensive. â€œHe’s not ready. He’s scared to death of it. I need more time, and I’d like another negator.â€
â€œYou seem pretty scared yourself,â€ Edmond stated, cocking a brow. â€œWhat’s wrong?â€
Esvera’s mind went to that night. The penciled underline of the Soul Stealer chapter in Resonant Philosophy, the fear Q felt when she tried to touch his negator. She had her doubts before, but now she could feel it. The Soul Stealer. She didn’t want Edmond to know. He didn’t seem like he knew yet. He didn’t need to.
â€œIt’s… Nothing, just. I would feel more comfortable with the negator.â€
Edmond creased his brows and pierced his lips. â€œFine,â€ he finally relented. â€œI’ll pay for it. Do you know who you can order from?â€
Esvera nodded. â€œThank you… I’ll talk to you later, Edmond.â€ She said as he severed the connection.
Unfortunately, she only knew of one person who could produce a negator as strong as she needed on such short notice. And she was a part-time seeker.
Despite her worries, she dialed the woman named Tedie up anyway.
A couple of days later, Esvera was training Q in a large gym-like room, when she heard a knock on the door.
â€œYou wait here Q,â€ Esvera said. The negator must have come in. Tedie did a great job on getting it to her early. She opened the door, but was surprised to see Tedie herself standing there.
The woman had short dark hair and very tanned skin. She was always exploring so the sun did a number on her.
â€œTedie?â€ Esvera asked, suddenly worried, â€œWhat are you doing here?â€
â€œWell I figured I might as well bring it myself and see my old friend,â€ Tedie replied.
â€œThatâ€™s great Tedie,â€ Esvera said, â€œunfortunately nowâ€™s not a good time. Iâ€™m afraid I have no time for visitors.â€
â€œWell thatâ€™s lame,â€ Tedie said, somewhat annoyed, she noticed Q from across the room, â€œIs that your pupil?â€
â€œYes thatâ€™s him, weâ€™re right in the middle of an exercise so Iâ€™m afraidâ€¦â€
â€œIs he that the kid Edmond was talking about?â€ she asked.
â€œYes, now please,â€ Esvera said, getting antsy.
â€œAlright, alright Iâ€™m going!â€ Tedie said, handing the small box to Esvera.
â€œEsvera?â€ Q asked.
Esveraâ€™s hair stood on end. Q was right behind her? When did he? Her heart jumped into her throat as glanced over at Tedie. No, Q was too close! Surely Tedie wouldâ€¦
An electric crackle shocked through Tedieâ€™s body. She turned around, eyes glaring at Q.
â€œYouâ€™re theâ€¦â€ she couldnâ€™t believe what she was sensing. Although the negator was blocking out a lot of his power, Tedie could definitely feel his Rez. It was him, the Soul Stealer, right here. Tedie smiled and pulled her hand back, a ball of electric power building up in it. She threw it at the boy.
Esvera pushed Q back and threw her hand up, her left eye glowing. Tedieâ€™s blast bounced harmlessly off of an invisible barrier.
â€œWhat are you doing?!!â€ Tedie screamed, â€œWhy are you protecting it?!â€
â€œYou donâ€™t understand,â€ Esvera replied, â€œheâ€™s different.â€
The electricity continued to build around Tedie.
â€œYouâ€™re a fool! Heâ€™s going to help her destroy the world!â€ She yelled back.
â€œYou donâ€™t know that!â€ Esvera replied.
Esveraâ€™s shield was bombarded by multiple electric blasts. Slowly, she could feel her Ki being used up bit by bit. She shot her force field out, blasting Tedie to the ground. Esvera approached her.
â€œTedie, please,â€ she said, reaching down to pick her up, â€œheâ€™s not the same, we can train him, we can save him from his fate.â€
Tedie reached out to accept Esveraâ€™s hand. Esvera screamed as an intense amount of electricity flowed through her body. She fell to the ground, gasping for breath.
Q rushed at Tedie, shooting the P90 he had been training with. Tedie jumped back and used her electricity to deflect the bullets.
â€œLeave her alone!â€ he yelled. Tedie blasted a powerful electric burst into the ground in front of Q, throwing both him and Esvera back.
Tedie approached the two. She raised her hand to finish the job.
â€œRosie what were you thinking?â€ Tedie said sadly.
The blast bounced off uselessly. Esvera was reaching out a weak hand and had managed to get up a barrier. The glow in her eye grew dimmer and dimmer. Q looked up and saw his teacher losing the fight. He felt so useless. His gun was blasted too far away for him to reach.
Suddenly, he felt extremely warm. He couldnâ€™t see anything as a bright light burst from his body. He reached out and grabbed his teacher, trying to pull her away from the attacker.
Something was wrong. Esvera felt Q pull her back, but his body was too warm. Esveraâ€™s force field shot out, knocking Tedie back again. Esvera felt very warm. Peaceful. She knew what was happening. Qâ€™s negator must have broken completely. Her soul was being stolen. She knew it was an accident. Q didnâ€™t know what he was doing. She had failed. Failed him, failed the world.
With her last few moments she smiled, at least she had fulfilled her own prophecy.
Tedie stood. She looked over at the two lying there. The boy had gone unconscious and Esvera lied in his arms, dead. Tedie couldnâ€™t feel her Rez, her Ki, or anything from her. She was gone.
â€œYou stupid brat!â€ Tedie yelled as she charged up. She walked over to Q and raised her hand.
â€œFor the good of the world,â€ she said as she was ready to let loose.
Suddenly, a pain in her stomach. Startled, Tedie looked down, a long, thin piece of metal was protruding through her middle. She recognized the weapon.
â€œEdmond…?â€ she said, wavering. The rapier was pulled out of her and she slumped to the floor.
Edmond had arrived about five minutes ago. Just in time to watch as Qâ€™s powers sucked the life out of Esvera. He looked down at the unconscious boy. He picked up the small box that was lying on the floor, dusted it off and opened it. He placed the new negator on Qâ€™s neck and looked over the scene, debating what to do.
â€œWhat a mess,â€ he sighed.