Magical Girl Syn
by Jennifer Kohl
“What a pretty little thing,” Feiticeiro said, and Ruthie could only coo delightedly in response. “And I can see her in your head, the girl I seek... Cynthia...” He tasted the name. “Yes. She will come to me, if you call.”
He placed a hand on Ruthie’s shoulder, and then the world around her shifted.
A woman Ruthie vaguely recognized from Civics class—the mayor?—looked up from her desk and beamed. “Master!” She rushed quickly over to them, and then knelt. Through her haze of confusion and pleasure, that seemed right to Ruthie. People should kneel to... Master? Yes, that was the name for him. She wondered, briefly, if she should kneel as well, but if he wanted her to, he’d say so.
“We have preparations to make,” he said. “We will have a visitor soon.”
The redheaded woman Ruthie had met before appeared next to them. “How may I assist, Master?” she asked.
“You may not, Carice,” he replied. “No magic you are yet capable of could withstand her power.” He fingered the medallion around his neck, and Ruthie studied it curiously, envious of anything which enjoyed so much of her Master’s touch. It looked vaguely familiar, a circle, half white and half black, but not neatly down the middle—more like black and white were trying to curl around each other. This wasn’t quite the version she was familiar with, however. There was something subtly different about the shapes of the white and black regions, something she couldn’t quite identify... But then she saw her Master’s fingers stroking around its edges, and remembered their warmth on her, the feeling of him inside her, the way her body sang...
“On second thought,” he said, “there is something you can do for me. You can take a message.”
Syn spun, her foot tracing an arc of light in the air, a high kick that became a shining wave of energy that drove back every tentacle it touched. For a moment, a few feet of hallway were clear, but only a moment.
That was enough for the others to rush in. Beccany, Maria, Morgan, and Lawrence hacked and chopped at the momentarily disoriented tentacles, slowly carving out space before falling back so Syn’s sheer force could make them another opening.
It’s working! Beccany thought. We just might make it out alive! But she could see Maria and Lawrence panting, their strokes not rising as high or falling as hard as they had at the beginning. Beccany’s own arms were starting to burn, and even Morgan was breathing hard. Only Syn seemed unaffected, her energy as boundless as when they’d begun.
“This,” Morgan gasped. “This isn’t working! There’s just too many of them!”
“If I could just get you all to safety!” said Syn. “Then I could go for the core!” I really hope there’s a core.
“When,” Maria said hesitantly. “When they... before...” She gulped. “They seemed more interested in you than us.”
“That’s true,” Grankitty said from Syn’s cleavage. Beccany boggled. She’d seen so much strangeness today, she’d thought nothing else would ever surprise her again—but here was a talking stuffed animal.
“Beasts are drawn to life, remember?” she continued, climbing up onto Syn’s shoulder. “Life, energy, matter, everything the Void lacks. And there’s no human with a fraction the energy and life you have in this form, Syn.”
“So if she leaves us, the tentacles will follow her?” Lawrence asked.
“Well...” said Grankitty, “yes and no.” She paused while Syn drove back a few more tentacles. “I mean, they’ll go after her for sure, but... if she’s out of reach and you’re right here...”
“So I’d have to be fast,” said Syn. “I... can do fast.”
“But what if they get her again?” Maria squeaked. “Like last time?”
“Then she reverts to Cynthia,” said Morgan. “And the tentacles vanish.”
“And given how quickly they came back last time,” said Grankitty, “after that, in very rapid succession she’s killed, I cease to exist, all of you are killed, and the curse finds a new host.”
“A virgin,” Syn said distantly, thinking of the woman of light. Then she thought of the woman who bled darkness, and added, “Six and six and six years old—eighteen.”
Grankitty nodded. “Whoever’s closest and fits the bill.”
“That won’t happen,” Morgan said firmly. “I know you can do this.”
Syn looked around at the others. “It’s our best chance,” said Lawrence, and the girls nodded.
“All right,” she said. “If it does get me, and the tentacles all suddenly disappear, I want you all to get out of here as fast as possible. Maybe you can get away before they return.” Then she turned, bent her knees for just a second, and plunged into the writhing wall of tentacles. It seemed to bend inwards in response as they chased her, and then it was gone.
The four she left behind formed a circle, facing outward, and hefted their axes and bats. “Very carefully,” said Morgan, “Let’s go back to the room. That way at least all the tentacles will be coming from one direction.”
Syn pushed, shoved, kicked, even bit her way through the tentacles, tearing them apart, deeper and deeper. But there were just so many, so thickly packed! She could feel the core of the Beast, its heart, out in the courtyard, but the tentacles got thicker the closer she got, and she just could not push through. “If only I could get that fire back,” she muttered.
A tentacle coiled around her leg, and she stomped it with the other leg, the heel of her Mary Jane smashing it to pulp. Another grabbed her elbow, and she tore it off with her free hand. Another tried to wrap around her waist, but she twisted away.
“I wish I could help,” said Grankitty. “But I never made the fire. The magical girl before me never even mentioned it before she faded away! I don’t know if she even knew about it, or she just never managed it herself.”
“There has to be a way!” Syn insisted, ripping off a tentacle that had tried to crawl into her bust.
“I don’t even know what it is,” said Grankitty. “I know the curse is part angelic and part demonic. The light is obviously the angelic half.“
“So what, is the fire the demonic half? Like hellfire?”
“I don’t know,” admitted Grankitty. “Does it feel evil? Or dark?“
“No,” said Syn. A tentacle coiled around her leg, and she kicked, yanking it apart. “It feels... I don’t know. Like power. Not good or bad, just... raw.”
“Fire can be good, too,” Grankitty admitted. “Holy fire, you know? Or neutral, for that matter.”
“Thanks, you’re a big help,” said Syn. “They said it isn’t from them, anyway.”
But Syn wasn’t really listening. The women who bled light and darkness had said the fire came from neither of them. But what else was there? They were the source of all her power, she understood that now. They in some way were the curse, the blessing, whatever it was. So where else could it be from? There was nothing in her except them!
Then a tentacle reached up under her skirt and stroked over her pussy. She felt it surging through her sensitive body, the wave of pleasure, but also the violation, the anger, the frustration—and in a moment of inspiration, she let it keep surging, keep flowing, up from her pussy, out from her chest, down her arm, and—
A puff of white fire enveloped the tentacle and disintegrated it completely.
“Syn! You did it! How—”
“It’s me,” she said, staring at her fingertips. “Not them. Me.”
“What?” asked Grankitty.
“It isn’t light,” she said. “And it isn’t dark. I think... I think it’s Cynthia.” Then with a wordless, laughing cry of sheer joy, she whirled and incinerated the tentacle that had been creeping up behind her. With a whoop, she renewed her rush down the hall, burning tentacles out of the way left and right.
Morgan, Lawrence, Beccany, and Maria barely got the barricade set up before the tentacles came looking for them again. It was crude, but the best they could do—shattered bits of door, a desk, a mattress, several chairs, whatever they could find in the dorm room to block the doorway in the time they had. The tentacles pushed at it, knocking bits down, but Morgan or Beccany went after any tentacle that made it through with axes while Lawrence and Maria replaced whatever piece the tentacles had knocked out.
It worked, for a little while. Until the tentacles learned to pull, anyway. They got a couple pieces of door, yanking them out and hurling them down the hall, and there was nothing to replace them with. Morgan and Beccany slashed at them while Lawrence and Maria tried to shift the rest of the pile to fill the gap—but then, while they were all distracted, tentacles wrapped around the mattress and tore it apart, then pulled the pieces out through the door.
Fluff rained down around the four of them while Morgan and Beccany hefted their weapons tiredly. Behind them, Maria and Lawrence scrambled to pick up theirs.
“Remember!” said Morgan. “We just have to last until Syn finishes the job!” One way or the other, she thought grimly.
“Stay together!” urged Lawrence. “Watch each other’s backs! We know they like to—”
He was cut off by a scream from Maria. A tentacle had her by the ankle, and before the others could react it had hoisted her into the air. She dangled helplessly, upside down, while their eyes followed its length—not to the door, but to the window. Then a dozen more burst in after it, and a second later, the ones at the door rushed into the room as well, trapping its denizens between them.
With a last gout of flame, Syn stepped out into the courtyard, panting. Before her was the central mass of tentacles, its dense, writhing, core. She was nearly done.
“Are you all right?” Grankitty asked. “You’re panting! You shouldn’t be—”
“I’m fine,” Syn managed. She batted another tentacle away with a puff of fire, but she was clearly struggling.
“This can’t—” Grankitty began. “You don’t get tired!”
“They don’t,” Syn corrected. “Cynthia does. And the flame is coming from her.“
“Then how—” Grankitty started, but Syn cut her off.
“I’ll manage somehow,” Syn said. Already she could feel her energy starting to return. The power that sustained her, that healed injuries and enhanced her strength, was taking care of the tiredness. Physically, at least. But there was no other option.
She gathered the flame in her hand, held it in front of her like a shield, and jumped into the core. Tentacles reached for her, struck it, and burned. I can do this! she thought.
But the flames flickered. Tentacles made it around the edges, grabbing at her, and there were so many of them everywhere. The fires guttered out as the tentacles wrapped around her, immobilized her. They were coming for her again, coiling around and over her breasts, vibrating against her skin in the most soothing, pleasant, yet arousing way, inching closer to her soft lips, her wet pussy, and she knew she had failed. There just wasn’t enough fire in Cynthia, in any mortal, to fight fully half the power of the Void.
But that can’t be right. It was her thinking that, but she could sense, too, that she was being helped. Something in that dream, something she had witnessed without realizing, or half-recognized, was rising to the surface now. The Void was everywhere always. It was before and after. If there wasn’t enough fire in Cynthia to hold it back, then why hadn’t it devoured her long ago? If there wasn’t enough fire in a single atom to hold it back, it would have devoured that atom, because it surrounded every atom. It would have devoured everything right at the beginning, if it could!
But it couldn’t, because of the fire. That was what the fire really was. Not Cynthia, or not just Cynthia, anyway. It was everything. Not Light, not Dark, not Void—nothing more or less than Matter itself, and Energy, and Reality. That single moment of fire that still burned in every inch of space, every second of time, every atom, every person.
She knew its name. A word that might have come from the bleeding ladies, or from Cynthia, or maybe from Someone Else entirely. In her head, it sounded a little like “Big Bang,” and a little like “In the beginning,” and a whole lot of other things she didn’t recognize, but what came out of her mouth, what Grankitty heard her say, was “Pyrogenesis.”
And then there was flame, and it was good.