He bends all four knees again, leans forwards and lifts. The effort is phenomenal. Mentally he instructs the motors of his gossamers to lift him. Their pitch rises until they are screeching, but the weight is too great and he remains floor bound. Eventually he gives up, reconciles himself to the fact that he will have to drag the second nugget, cubit by cubit across the floor and down the stairs. He looks around for something to serve as a harness. He sees what he needs on the bed and sets the nugget down in order to rises and pluck a single strand of golden hair from the target’s head. As he tugs on the strand, the follicle snaps out of the skull without warning and slaps across his face. It’s enough to disturb the target. Though she does not wake, she turns again and he’s subjected to a full frontal blast of her breath that sends his spinning backwards with both the airflow and the stench. Still he clings onto the hair, spinning out of control, downwards to the carpet. He hits it with more force than he should; much more force. He’s concerned the crash landing will have damaged his gossamers. But no matter now. Dazed, he picks himself up, checks his Obsidian is undamaged, then places it carefully inside his flight jacket – Q Division will have his hide if he brings back any more broken wands. Satisfied as to its safety, he winds the hair several times around the fuel nugget, binding it firmly. He then twists the other end repeatedly around his own body and across his gossamer wings, rendering them inoperable even if they are undamaged. But no matter. They are useless to him now anyway.

He checks the knots one last time to ensure the nugget is indeed bound firmly to his body.

He turns towards the open door.

It is then that he sees the cat.


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