THE MEDUSA FILES: CASE 10
Shards of Stone
No one left to trust…
After a disastrous hunt to stop the bomber and find a cure for the contagion that’s turning Kin into humans, Morgan is arrested and accused of colluding with the bomber. Every instinct she has screams the madman toying with her, Ander, is involved. Just like her instincts are certain a member of the Kin’s High Council is working with him. Except anyone, not just a council member, could be involved with his plans—even someone on her team—and Morgan doesn’t know how to escape the council’s custody or who she can trust.
The interrogator shoved Morgan — dressed only in an open-back hospital gown and her side aching from being stabbed with a door handle. She stumbled down the hall to the large rec room in Gage’s house, where she’d first met the whole team. Rika and Clayton stood on the far side of the room, Rika watching with glowing purple eyes. Her ears were spiked, indicating her glamour was down, but she didn’t say anything. Clayton was statue still, but with the interrogator’s chill sapping Morgan’s strength, the power suppression handcuffs numbing her powers, and her whirling thoughts from what she’d seen in Gage’s memories with the memory seal, she couldn’t focus enough to tell if his glamour was down as well.
Behind, in the hall to her bedroom where she and the interrogator had come from, Lachlin said something too quiet for Morgan to hear. Gage growled back, and the lights in the rec room and hall flickered.
Two men, devils with bony nubs protruding from their foreheads and leathery tails snaking behind them, came from the hall leading toward the front of the house.
“Take her,” the interrogator said.
They each grabbed an arm, making the cuffs dig into her wrists, and hauled her down the hall after the interrogator, out the front door, and to a waiting white van in the circular driveway.
She tried to look for Lachlin or Gage, but no one followed her out. The devils tossed her inside the van, onto the floor, and climbed in. They sat on benches on either side of her, their black beady eyes watching with veiled menace, daring her to sit up, fight back, do anything, but weakness weighed her limbs, and pain screamed through her side.
The interrogator climbed inside and told the driver to go. His chill swept around her, sucking more strength from her limbs, making it hard to think beyond anything but the cold. He pulled a cell phone from his pocket and dialed.
Morgan pressed her cheek to the dirty rubber floor mat and fought to concentrate beyond the pain, to figure out what had just happened. The Caalin hadn’t turned her human or made her insane. Somehow, she was immune.
Her mind stuttered. How the hell was she immune? It didn’t make any sense. Nothing made sense. Not her immunity to the magic-destroying Caalin, nor what she’d learned when she’d used the memory seal on Gage.
Cold swept through her, drawing a shudder and spiking more agony through her side and up her chest. Gage had lied to her. Ander hadn’t murdered Chava. Gage had. To hide something. Something Blake, the Council’s Sibyl, had foreseen and told Gage to keep a secret.
Except Morgan had no idea what the memory with Blake telling Gage not to let Chava know was about. Same with the memory of Gage in bed with Lorelei, who had told him to keep the gorgon close. That gorgon could have been Chava. But it could have also been Morgan.
The van jerked over a curb. Her muscles clenched in reaction, and more agony shot through her.
“The Sibyl was right,” the interrogator said into the phone, his voice cold, without emotion. “The half-breed gorgon is the cure. Get a team ready.” The interrogator turned his dark gaze on her and more cold — the chill of his power — swept through her.
Her teeth chattered and a mist, laced with shards of ice, swept around her.
“You don’t have to be in perfect health when you show up, half-breed. Dr. Tarr will fix anything serious.” The ice sliced at her skin, no deeper than paper cuts and just as painful.
One of the devils snickered.
Cold swarmed under her skin, searching for her soul, freezing her essence. Darkness swelled around the edges of her vision, dimming the van around her, and she prayed she was wrong about being immune to the Caalin and she’d really gone crazy.
If she had, then it meant Gage hadn’t betrayed her.
Her stomach roiled, and her throat tightened.
Except Gage had.
She’d trusted him. God, she’d had sex with him — it didn’t get more vulnerable than that. She knew he’d sacrifice anyone, even his family, for the good of others—
But maybe she hadn’t really known that. Maybe that was what he’d wanted her to believe. The whole thing with the Shadow House could have been a ploy to keep her — and even them — believing he was a friend. He’d said he hadn’t been able to kill Ander, but she knew nothing about what had happened with that. Only rumors. Everyone thought Gage had stripped Ander of his ability to make a fissure into the realm of magic and he was left with finding alternative means to remain a spellweaver. But she didn’t know anyone who knew the truth firsthand, except Gage. Ander might still be alive, might still have all his power, because he and Gage were in league with each other.
A nauseating cold shuddered through her, a mix of the interrogator’s powers and sudden, gripping fear. She didn’t know if anyone had seen Ander since the Great War, since his fight with Gage. What if Ander hadn’t been the one behind the conspiracy? What if it had been Gage all along?
The van stopped at a traffic light.
Except Gage being behind the war didn’t make sense. No one else behaved as if they suspected him of being the mastermind. No, it made more sense for Gage and Ander to be in league. If they kept their actions small, they might not create big enough ripples for a sibyl to foresee their future. And with what she’d gotten from the memory seal, Blake could be involved in all of it. It would explain everything, why Gage had lied to her about Chava’s murder, why he’d tried to convince her not to pursue any leads on Ander, and why he’d brought her onto the team and kept her close. Intimately close.
The van started again and drove around a corner.
The Council also didn’t treat Blake well — better than Gage, but still not like an equal. What if all of this was a plan to end them? Blake and Gage and Ander. That had to be what Chava had been about to find out.
They turned another corner.
Except none of those thoughts made complete sense, and Morgan couldn’t bring herself to believe any of it.
God, Gage had gotten under her skin. She had proof with his memories that he’d murdered Chava. He’d also murdered that other sibyl to keep him quiet. How many more had he killed?
The van pulled into the underground parking in the Council’s high rise and stopped. One of the devils threw open the door, revealing the glassed-in bank of elevators.
“Last stop,” the interrogator said.
The devils grabbed her and hauled her from the van into an elevator.
“How long do you think the half-breed will last?” the shorter of the two devils asked.
“Dr. Tarr will ensure she lasts long enough to cure everyone.” The interrogator glared at him, and his cold billowed, sapping the strength from Morgan’s leg. “Or at least her body will last. Not sure about her mind.”
The other devil snickered.
“Although I’m not sure how the Council will feel about that.” The interrogator turned his gaze to the numbers over the door. “They have questions for her and Alexander’s team.”
The elevator dinged, and the doors slid open, revealing a white and chrome sterile hall. Dr. Tarr stood halfway down at an open door, her arms crossed and her expression hard. “In here.”
The devils jerked Morgan from the elevator, and the sudden movement made her stumble. Her legs and feet were numb with cold, and she couldn’t regain her balance as they dragged her to a small room with a person-sized metal table in the center, angled half up.
Inside were two more Kin — one a pixie with shimmering fairy wings, the other with the same gold god-glow Tarr had. Both wore surgical scrubs and white lab coats.
“Strap her down,” Tarr said. “And get the power suppression bands ready.”
The devils shoved Morgan onto the table. Tarr’s assistants grabbed Morgan’s still-handcuffed wrists and snapped thick metal bracelets around each of them. The cold within her crackled and her teeth chattered harder. Pain seared her chest, and she fought to breathe, to think, to do anything.
The interrogator removed the handcuffs, but her powers didn’t flare across her face. One devil pushed her back while the other captured one of her wrists and secured it to the table with a leather strap.
“I can’t believe we need to infect the highest of Kin society with half-breed blood to save them.” Tarr grabbed Morgan’s other wrist, secured it to the table, and yanked the strap tight. The buckle pinched the skin on the inside of Morgan’s wrist, drawing a bite of pain.
“Work fast,” the interrogator said. “There isn’t a lot of time left for many of those first infected.”
“That’s my goal.” Tarr jerked her chin, and the pixie hit a button. The hydraulics in the table tipped Morgan back. Tarr turned to the others. “She’s just a half-breed. Let’s soften her up for the interrogator.”