No Greater Love Chapter 10

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“No Greater Love”


(John 15:13)

By Zapper


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Chapter 10

*Meka & John*

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John stood in the cold stream and shivered. Normally cold didn’t bother him much, but Meka didn’t have as much mass so dealing with the cold water had him shaking.

‘I told you this was a bad idea!’

John took a step pulling the ropes along behind him while making sure to sink a weight with every other step, until he’d crossed the stream. Climbing up to the far bank he was shaking so hard it was difficult to drag the ropes up and around a tree. The whole thing was heavier than he expected, but at last the net that hung suspended between the ropes was in place. John tied the bottom rope to the base of the tree and then the top rope just a bit higher.

Looking back John could see the gill-net was already settling into place with the top rope at its lowest point just above the surface of the stream. The second rope, weighted down every few feet with sandbags John had painstakingly tied in place had settled to the bottom of the stream.

“Y-You a-a-a-greed y-you w-were tired of eating canned food. T-this n-n-net will catch several fish.” John’s teeth were chattering so hard it was difficult to talk. He’d stripped completely naked before wading into the ice-cold water. Looking down he gasped, “I-I d-didn’t know nipples could get that hard.”

‘It’s the cold dummy. You know we still have to go back across?’

“Y-yes.” John turned around and then sprinted into the stream. When the icy water hit him he gasped, but kept on moving. Just as he got to the far side his foot slipped and he went down. The cold water felt like a hammer and he had to fight the urge to gasp. Struggling to the surface John inhaled, sucking in warm air, and then hurried to the shore, using his numb fingers he clawed at the grassy bank. Just as he was pulling himself out of the water his foot slipped and for a moment he teetered on the edge, and then he caught his balance and threw himself onto the bank gasping and shaking.

‘That sucked.’

“Y-y-you d-d-didn’t have t-t-t-to do it-t-t-t.”

‘True, but I feel everything you feel, remember?’

“O-oh, well, w-when w-we’re e-e-eating f-fresh fish tonight you’ll feel b-better.”

Meka had been working on reversing the spell on Cassandra for ten days now and this frustrated John on several levels. The first was that to do the job properly Meka had to be in control of their body. He wasn’t the most patient person and riding along watching someone else control your body was mostly, boring. The second issue was that, just as Meka had predicted, he started bleeding from her pussy two days after they called Gwen. Even with Meka in control the damn period just picked up where it left off whenever John took control. Meka had thought this was intensely funny and had explained that John’s body needed to get rid of the egg and would bleed until it was done. Thankfully, it had only lasted for four days, yet, it was easily one of the most disgusting things John had experienced.

The third thing was that John didn’t like taking orders from the Society. He was a St. Louis Guardian. After examining Cassandra they’d called Gwendolyn to report what they’d discovered. Gwendolyn had promptly ordered Meka to come up with a spell to free Cassandra. John had wanted to argue. To explain that once they’d found Max and restored Meka she could come up here and free Cassandra. Instead, Meka had just shushed him.

Once they were done talking to Gwendolyn, Meka had explained that up until the point when Max had stolen her body she would have agreed with him. She didn’t want to have anything to do with the war between the Society and the Syndicate. Now, however, with what was going on, with the Syndicate trying to bring magic out publicly and to dominate the world they had no choice. The mundane population would be enslaved to their magical overlords if the Syndicate had its way. John couldn’t argue with her logic, the threat from the Syndicate was just too real to be ignored.

There was also the fact that he missed Elaine and his kids. Even with Meka doing a magical sending every other day and talking to them, it still hurt. John couldn’t speak to them directly and while Meka had been great at relaying his words, it still felt like he was cut off from the best part of his life. Then John had been hit by the news that his partner Ben had been found dead and that the St. Louis Great Coven building had been raided by the Syndicate. He couldn’t help thinking that if he’d been home he might have been able to do something.

Lastly, there was the gender-swapping thing. John had enjoyed his body-swap with Meka four years ago. But he didn’t want to be a woman. Every day they spent together John felt more and more comfortable, when Meka gave him control, in his female body . . . well, other than the damn period. He could also tell that Meka was getting used to being male. She now dealt with his normal morning wood with a quick, happy, efficiency. More disturbing was the fact that while he still loved Elaine the thought of her no longer aroused him. This left him wondering that if by the time they were restored to their rightful bodies, would he be so far gone that he wouldn’t be attracted to women?

The only thing that John was reluctantly willing to admit was that he hadn’t spent this much time with Meka in years. She’d talked to him about her life in London. The projects she’d been working on and the men and women she’d dated. John had been a little surprised when Meka admitted that she was bisexual, but then realized it made sense.

John had told Meka about his life in St. Louis and his training as a Guardian. What Elaine had been up to and their hopes for the coming year. It all seemed so boring, to John, when compared to Meka’s life. Yet she’d been interested to learn what he’d been up too.

They’d also talked about magic and the principles that Meka had learned and explored. John learned more over the last ten days about magic than he had in the last four years working to catch rogue magic-users. It was during one of those late-night discussions that John realized that he had been missing Meka and even though their current situation was odd, uncomfortable, and had them trapped together. There was no one he’d rather have been trapped like this with.

Sitting up John grabbed the towel he’d brought from the cabin and started drying off. ‘You know, there are over a hundred chickens in the chicken coup.’

“Y-Yeah, it’s a good thing Cassandra had set up the feed on a gravity dispenser and had a fenced in chicken run behind the coup.”

‘Even so, they were half starved when we got here. You did a great job getting them fed and healthy. I’m sure Cassandra wouldn’t mind if we roasted one.’

“Maybe, but we don’t own them. Killing and eating a chicken is different than heating up some canned soup.” John said going back to the argument they’d had earlier about getting fresh protein. Slowly, the shaking stopped and John started to climb back into his clothes.

‘Why don’t you give me control? Then I’ll put on my clothes and get back to work. I’m really close to being ready.’

John eased back and felt Meka surge forward. The now familiar sensation of magic rippling over his body as it shifted was normal. John wanted to sigh as he watched his breasts vanish, while growing nine inches, and then the odd sensation of his cock and balls falling out of his body to hang freely between his legs. Meka reached down to stroke her man-muscle and John felt her grin, “Damn that feels good.”

‘I thought you had work.’

“Hey, don’t hate the player, hate the game!” Then, laughing, she added, “I do.” Meka reached for the backpack John had brought down to the stream. “I’m really close. I just need to figure out how to get past the blood component of the spell.” Meka climbed into the clothes that now fit her masculine body and stuffed John’s clothes into backpack before hurrying to the barn. John could tell she was already lost in thought about rules of similarity, resonance, conservation of magic, and blood.

John had known that Meka had progressed in her understanding of magic to the point where she was at the cutting edge of magical research. But knowing it and watching her build brand new spells, test them, and implement them was completely different. She had gone far beyond him and at times like this John sort of zoned out.

When this happened John’s Second-Sight seemed to kick in. There was something about the ley line here. It fed the energy that John used to See and the energy seemed to make his gift more active. Every night he’d dreamed of events in the outside world only to discover the next day they were real. The vision he’d gotten of the Hive in Louisville was scary. He’d woke up the next day and insisted they contact Victor. Victor confirmed that his estate had been occupied by the insectoid beings and that they’d begun constructing a hive.

A few mundane law enforcement officers had been captured but since that time the Great Coven had woven wards around the place that caused the mundane population to shy away. They’d tried to communicate with the Hive, but had little success. Each delegation that went in failed to return. It was only a matter of time until the word got out, unless they took extreme measures. John hadn’t wanted to know what, ‘extreme’ measures meant.

Several hours later Meka leaned back from where she’d been hunched over using a piece of chalk to draw designs and symbols on the concrete floor. “I think I’ve got it worked out. Are you ready to give this a try at moonrise?”

‘Sure, but why moonrise?’

“I’m trying to re-create as many of the original elements of the spell as possible. If I can take advantage of the law of resonance, then we might trick the spell into doing what we want.”

‘Okay, it’s a few hours until dark. Let’s check the net and see if we’ve got dinner.’

An hour later John was sliding the cast iron pan with a pan seared filleted salmon, fresh onions, garlic, carrots, butter, and potatoes from the garden, into the wood-heated oven. He’d already cooked the potatoes and was now just re-heating them with the vegetables and fish.

‘Wow that smells fantastic. Where did you learn how to cook?’

“Just because I’m a guy, you think I can’t cook?”

‘Well, you don’t look like a guy, at the moment, Betty Crocker.’ Meka thought laughing. ‘Besides, I’m a girl and I don’t cook.’

“When I left the Army and went to college I took a cooking class. I figured it was a good way to meet girls. Sadly, I didn’t find my soul mate. I did discover I like to cook.”

‘Well, we make a good team. You like to cook, and I like to eat.’

“Just like a man.” John said using an exasperated extra girlie voice. This sent both of them into gales of laughter.

After dinner John gave Meka control and they went out to the barn. The sun had just set and moonrise wasn’t for an hour. “Just enough time to get set up.” Meka noted looking at the sky before going into the barn. The spell to break the transformation was much longer and would rely on several elements, their Cavanaugh crystal, and the ley line under the property.

Sensing the time was right Meka started the spell. John watched in awe as she wove layer after layer of magic over the statue of Cassandra. Each built and reinforced the power of the previous layer. Finally, after an hour of casting Meka lifted the Cavanaugh Crystal, freed earlier from the battle rod, and shouted.

“Tu es libre”

Magic rushed from them in a wave of energy. Everything seemed to go hazy to John and if he’d been in control he’d have gasped. Then it felt like all the spells and power sort of snapped and Meka dropped to her knees. John felt the spike of energy that burned through their mind and both John and Meka groaned.

For several seconds, they both concentrated on breathing in and out. The world around them swam Meka had an intense feeling of vertigo. John wasn’t sure, but he thought they must have passed out. Then Meka slowly looked up at the still petrified Cassandra. “Well, this sucks.”

***

The Rolls-Royce Ghost glided into the parking lot behind the abandoned warehouse. The car couldn’t have been more out of place in the run-down shipyard area of East St. Louis. It moved silently as it came to a halt a few feet from where Max and Eli stood waiting. The back-passenger door opened and a tall handsome man in his early fifties, with dark red hair that had a touch of silver at the temples, climbed out.

“Mr. Drake.”

Eli took a knee bowing his head and a moment later Max dropped into a deep curtsy holding it while looking down.

“Rise, my friends.” At this both Eli and Max looked up and then straightened. “I’m pleased with both of you. Your work here, in the new world, has been superb.” Then he looked at Eli, “The Society is off chasing at phantoms without help from their Seer. Well done, Frau Ilse Hirsch you have come far and achieved your revenge in a spectacular way that has aided the cause.” Seeing Eli grimace Drake laughed, “I suppose you’re going by Eli Ó Flannagáin, now?” Then he reached out to grip Ilse’s new masculine shoulder, “You always were one to try to keep up appearances.”

Looking over at Max Jason Drake grinned, “Hello, Max, or is it Meka Petrucci, now?”

At this Max shook her head, “My cover’s blown. The Society knows I’m not the real Meka. I’m using her ID for the mundane world, but I prefer to go by Max.”

“As you wish, my dear.” Drake slowly, lasciviously, ran his eyes over Max’s leather clad body. “I do approve of the new look. Have you taken it out for a test drive?”

“Ha! Master. Max here has spent as much time with a dick in her little pussy as she can.” Eli chuckled, “You should give her a try.”

Max glared at Eli, “Hey, you were the one teaching me tantic magic. Can I help it if it requires me to have sex?”

“Mhmm,” Drake murmured steping closer and cuping Max’s delicate chin in his large hand. “My best assassin,” then he pressed his lips to Max’s mouth. For a moment Max went ridged then her body seemed to relax as Drake’s raw masculine sexual power washed through her. Max lifted her hands to twine them behind Jason’s head and she pressed her body tightly to his.

After a second Drake broke the kiss and stepped away grinning. “Oh, yes, this was the perfect body for you. I love the eye-patch, it gives you a very roguish look!” Jason looked around and his face became serious. “As much as I’d like to take you right here and now, on the hood of my car. We have more serious business to discuss.”

“Yes, master,” Max whispered, her cheeks flush and eyes slightly glassy.

“Our allies from the shadow realms are ready. The viel between realms has been eroded and now that we have the key to the Great Gate we are ready to put the final steps of the plan into motion. You will take the key and deliver it to the Queens in Lousiville. Once they open the Great Gate they’ll bring a swarm through and begin to create new nests. The socity has managed to ward the current nest but an invasion of this size will be all but unstopable.” Jason laughed triumphantly, “The fact that the Society fools have been hiding the current infestation will work to our advantage. When the swarm arrives the mundane population will be stunned and our agents in the media will make sure the Society is blamed for hiding the threat.” At this both Max and Eli nodded.

“Then the politicians we own will come out and accuse the Society of duplicity! The icing on the cake will be when our warriors, aided by the Winter Fae, smash the Insectoid nests. Of course we’ll have to wait for the mortals to lose the first battle or two. Once we’ve destroyed the Insectoid threat we’ll claim our rightful position as the guardians and leaders of humanity. By that time they’ll be begging us to protect them and trade their freedom for our guarente of saftey.”

At this Max’s lone eye burned with power, “Brilliant my lord.” Then she turned to Eli, “Is this the greater plan that you alluded too?”

Eli nodded, “Not many within the Syndicate understand that the war with the Society is a ruse. Our seemingly careless and open attacks that risk exposure to the mundane population, are actually designed to keep the Society busy. They rush in to stop us and we run away. Then they spend days or weeks cleaning up the mess. Once humanity embraces us the Syndicate of the Eldritch as their protectors, guardians, and Lords our first action will be to demand the wrong minded Society fools disband and join our organization.” The gleem of fanatisim shone from Ilse Hirsch’s youthful masculine face. “The rise of the true master race and the Fourth Reich is all but inevitable!”

“Yes. Now remember timing is everything.” Looking at his agents Jason continued, “You have the key?”

“Yes, my lord.” Max replied.

“Excellent, it is time to deliver it to the Insectoid Queens. They’re expecting you and know that this will allow them to open the great gate. The swarm is already gathered on the other side.”

“Won’t an infestation like that be difficult to stop?” Max asked more curious than alarmed. “I mean it could result in most of North America being overrun, at least temporarily, until we can push the Insectoids back.”

“That’s the idea. The only way to unite the world under our rule is to create a threat that endangers everyone.” Then after a pause Jason Drake grinned, “What are you waiting for? You have your orders. Time to go to work.”

***

“I’m not sure that I can do this.” Meka sat at Cassandra’s kitchen table staring down into the bowl of cereal she’d made for breakfast. John had offered to cook but Meka hadn’t felt like eating much and was trying to figure out what she’d done wrong the night before. “I mean, if I were in London, and had access to some of the more advanced tools I might be able to break that damn blood lock.”

‘Is that the main problem?’

“Yeah, it is. There’s a reason blood-locks were so popular once. They’re easy to set up and only a blood relation can open the lock. In this case, it was used as a trigger and it’s woven into the entire spell.” Meka brought her powerful masculine hand down on the table causing the bowl to jump and clatter with the force of her blow. “If only I had some of her blood or if we knew of a close relative.”

‘Are you sure there isn’t someone?’

“Yes, I checked that with Gwendolyn two days ago while you were sleeping or daydreaming or whatever it is you do when you disappear.”

‘Mhmm, does the blood have to be fresh?’

“It’s better if it is, but no. Why?”

‘Well, when I had the vision of the attack on Cassandra, I watched her use a knife to cut her finger. She sat the knife on her work bench. I think it’s probably still there.’

“WHAT! Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

‘Because you didn’t explain that you need some dried blood.’

Almost before John had finished the thought Meka was up and moving. The run to the sanctum only took a minute in John’s body and then Meka was pushing back the door. With a gesture and a word the crystal overhead came alive with Meka’s customary purple-white light.

“Where is the knife?”

The workbench stretched almost half the length of the barn. ‘To your left.’ Meka moved forward and then spotting a small knife rushed forward. “Is this it?”

‘Yes.’

“Fucking-a! You see, here on the blade? Blood! We’ll scrape the dried blood into a beaker and re-hydrate it with a potion that I’ve seen Gwendolyn use. John, I could kiss you, if we weren’t sharing a body!”

***

By the time the sun was setting Meka had everything in place. The original spells from the day before had been re-cast. This time Meka had been quicker and used the rest of the day to prepare the tiny phial that now held what looked like no more than a few drops of fresh blood.

‘Are you sure this will work?’ John asked for the hundredth time.

“I’m as sure as I can be.”

‘If this doesn’t work, we’re going to admit defeat and go hunt down Max, right?’ I can’t explain it, but I’ve got a feeling that if we don’t do something about him soon, something really bad will happen.’

“Define, really bad”

‘I can’t, damn it, call it a hunch, or the Sight, or women’s intuition. I just know.’

“Well, I like women’s intuition? Hehehehe.”

‘Oh, you’re funny.’ John thought sourly, while mentally shaking his head, although he could see the humor.

Meka looked over her shoulder. “The moon is just about to rise, it’s time to give this a try.”

‘Alright, good luck!’

“Thanks.” Meka using witch-sight checked the spells she’d woven around the sanctum and on the statue of Cassandra. Then she carefully went to the work bench and using a glove, picked up the ruby crystal. Slowly, careful not to step on any of the runes she’d drawn on the floor Meka was soon standing in front of Cassandra.

“Where, exactly was this thing when she activated it?”

‘Just in front of your left foot, and slightly to the right.’

Meka carefully sat the crystal down and then pulled out the phial and unscrewed the top. She allowed a single drop to fall onto the crystal and said, “Tu es libre!” Again, John felt Meka draw heavily on the power of their crystal and magic blasted out. Instead of bouncing back the magic seemed to flow down a half-dozen channels racing along the runes in the floor until the light from the ground was brighter than the light from the crystal overhead. Abruptly, the energy raced back in heading to the crystal at their feet.

The crystal glowed with red light and rose into the air spinning around slowly at first. Then it picked up speed turning faster and faster and the light changed going from red to a light purple. Then it pulsed.

Once.

Twice.

Thrice.

On the third pulse a ring of purple-white magic blew out. The magic hit Meka and John and their whole body started tingling. Then it was done and Meka fell to her knees just as the crystal dropped to the floor shattering into a thousand pieces. Distracted, by her own ragged breathing, it felt like they’d just sprinted ten miles, even in John’s body it took Meka a moment to look over at the place were Cassandra had stood.

‘IT WORKED!’

Cassandra had collapsed onto her side and as Meka pushed herself to her feet she saw the slow rise and fall of Cassandra’s breast.

“It worked.”

Moving stiffly Meka went to Cassandra’s side and scooped her up. “I think she’ll be out for a few hours. This kind of magic is a pretty bad shock to the system.” Feeling tired and sore Meka carried Cassandra to the cabin.

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