I have only one problem with driving: gravity.

Well, really, that's my only problem with doing anything. Sure, gravity does a few rather nifty things for people, like holding the atmosphere in place so humanity isn't suddenly wiped out by the freezing blackness of space, but otherwise it is a silly rule and I think it should be done away with altogether. In driving it's particularly annoying... can you imagine how much fun it would be if you could drive above people as opposed to around and behind them? But that's just me, and were I running the universe, things would be quite different.

I was a good little Angel, however, and obeyed the rules. Most of them at least, I made an illegal U-turn at some point, having gotten myself completely and utterly lost. With the help of a handy dandy road map, I managed to reorient myself in the appropriate direction and continue stalking Aeldrin.

My plan was simple. In the body of "Alex," Aeldrin was remarkably vulnerable, as human bodies are ill equipped to see magical occurrences before they happen, and he had obviously forsaken the larger part of his chaotic energy for an amount of stealth that Chaos rarely affords. In theory, if I was in contact with Aeldrin in any body he chose to mask himself in, I could summon the demon into the exact spot in which he was standing. If there was a strong enough locking/binding component in the spell, Aeldrin should find himself cut off from his source of power.

The problem was not the process or the power needed to put into it. I had a surplus of power and experience in summoning practices. The problem lay in keeping the son of a bitch from noticing what I was doing until he was cut off. I needed a diversion of some sort, something sufficiently distracting, but that wouldn't cause undue attention from those of the mortal variety.

I pulled into the parking lot as the bell rang. The absurdly teenaged Aeldrin would be leaving the building soon. I could see a group of chaos- worshippers outside the building, I could only assume they were waiting for Aeldrin as well. There were five of them, three mortal men, one mortal woman, and one masculine demon. The humans milled about and spoke in quietly nervous tones to each other while the demon stood still, one slim hand stroking a leather armband absently.

The humans went silent as "Alex" approached them. He did not look at all pleased to see the demon.

He spoke to them, raising a fist as if to strike the demon, who flinched and backed away. I strained to hear them, but the wards I had set up and the metal of the car were conflicting in bizarre ways that not only impaired my hearing but also caused everything I saw to be tinted green. Stupid wards. Stupid Subaru.

I didn't want to leave the slightly elevated amount of protection my car offered me, but I needed to be closer to Aeldrin to make the spell work.

Now THERE was a problem. What does one talk to an insanely powerful chaos demon about when one is supposed to pretend one doesn't know about said chaos demons chaotic demonic-ness? I imagined several highly unlikely scenarios, some beginning with "How 'bout dem O's?" but these were immediately discarded.

Looking as calm as possible, I exited the car and wandered over to where Aeldrin and his cronies were standing. Now that my silly vehicle was no longer able to impede my hearing, I was able to listen to what they were saying.

"...irritating me. I know what Jim's trying to do, but this is just silly. And it's not working well either." Alex/Aeldrin grimaced. "I can't sense him anymore, but I know he's following me. Jim said he's slowly giving up, but I can't believe a word he says anymore."

Before anyone else could speak, I interrupted, using my best "I am a royal ditz" voice. "Dude." I said. "Are you, like, in the mafia or something? Who's following you?"

The demon with the leather armband looked ready to kill me while the humans looked confused. Alex/Aeldrin turned to me, his young face betraying nothing of his actual form.

"Nah." He said calmly. "Practicing for a play outside of school."

Contact initiated, though poorly. I began the spell, bending and warping reality delicately around my target. "Cool! What's it called?"

"Whiplash." He had obviously made that name up on the spot. Didn't take an angelic knowledge of the universe to see that. "A friend of mine wrote it. Stupid thing, really. He's great with dialogue, my friend, but it's got no plot to speak of. Something about a man running from the police for a reason that's supposed to be revealed through a series of 'wacky hijinks,' but it never really is."

"Have you tried, like, asking him what the reason is?" Almost finished... so close...

"Yeah. He just acts insulted and asks me if I even read the script." Alex/Aeldrin was doing a masterful job at masking his frustration with this stupid little girl who would not leave him and his servants alone. His responses were natural, almost friendly. "What's your name, by the way?"

Ah, I see your game, you little snake you... Get my name and bind me so you can command me to leave. Bring it on, biatch. "Melanie. Melanie Charlton. I'm new here." I smiled at him, trying to reinforce the misconception that I was a ditz. "You're Alex, right? We're in the same Spanish class."

"And Geometry, yes. I knew I'd seen you somewhere before."

The spell was so close to complete. The proper manipulations of reality had been made, Aeldrin was sufficiently distracted, and there were no humans other than the chaos worshippers around. All I had to do was speak the name of the one I intended to bind. So close!

The demon in the leather armband interrupted our conversation. "It's her."

Alex/Aeldrin looked over at him. "...What?"

The demon growled. "It's her, brother. The angel."

Crap. I blinked, trying to look confused. "Um, my name's... Melanie..."

Aeldrin/Alex turned back to me, his eyes hard. "Is it really?"

I looked at him, dropping my fa├žade of ignorance and completed the spell. "By infinite power vested in me by the Lord God Almighty, I summon and bind Aeldrin L'dreth."

Power flooded through my body, shattering the wards that kept me looking human. Looking Aeldrin in the eye, I continued. "...Aeldrin L'dreth, summoned and bound, you are powerless. By the power of the Name I deny you contact to your god."

Aeldrin found himself powerless to move, but he managed to hiss out a command in the language of his native hellscape. His brother demon attacked me, only to be repelled by a blast of Miracle Energy strong enough to kill a human. The chaos-worshippers, seeing one of the demons fall, realized exactly how far out of their depths they were and ran. I barely noticed. The spell pulled at me, demanding to be finished.

"...You are cut off from any source of unnatural power. You are locked and bound, for as long as my name lasts." I drew a cross and a circle in the air and spoke his name again, and it was over.

Aeldrin looked at me then, his face absurdly calm given the circumstances.

"You will pay for this."

He walked away, his wards already beginning to crumble.




AN: I. Hate. This. Chapter.