"I'm not old enough," Ivan says to Stephen as he orders two beers from the bartender.
"I know." Stephen replies. "They're both for me." She returns with two beers and set them on the table with a sip of paper. Stephen takes the beers and downs one quickly. Ivan looks at the scrap of paper and sees a phone number written on it with the name "Mandy" scribbled on it. He looks back at the bartender as she stands behind the counter. She winks at him and goes to help a man sitting at the bar.
Stephen checks his watch and then looks at Ivan with great detail, just as he had since they first met almost 9 hours ago. The boy was an Impervium. A thing of legends and scary stories for magic-folk: a creature impervius to arcane magic. Ivan had slept the whole ride here and now was the first time for Stephen to ask Ivan the questions he had, even those already asked at the W.O.M. station in Manhattan.
"So Ivan," Stephen began his barrage of questions. "Where are you from exactly? I mean the U.S. Obviously your family is Russian." Stephen began with an easy question, trying to see how much Ivan was willing to reveal about himself. Ivan looked at Stephen and sighed, feeling guilty for misleading him.
"My name isn't Ivan," the boy said, dismissing the thought of trust Stephen had hoped for in the boy. "All I know is my last name is Cozzas. Or maybe it's my first name. or maybe not at all. I dont know. When I woke up inside that box I saw "Cozzas" written on the inside along with a lot of other words. I just picked a name." Stephen nods his head, comprehending what the boy said and trying to search for the word Cozzas in his brain of magical knowledge. Stephen knew about necormancy and undead more than anything and the word Cozzas certainly did not exist there. Stephen pushes the thought aside and checks his watch. He looks back up at the boy.
"How do you know you're an Impervium then?" Stephen questions the boy again, curious as to the answer the boy will give.
"I had heard it when they kidnapped me and when I had been kidnapped before." The boy says, the fear and sadness in his voice indicating the truth. "I always heard "get the Impervium", "kill the imervium", or "We can't let the impervium escape". There was no doubt that I was what they were talking about."
"So you've been kidnapped before?" Stephen questions quickly, trying to validate each detail the boy gives.
"When I was in my teens,"Stephen replies. "but i don't remember by who or if its happened other times. I wish i did though."
"Do you know the limits of your ability?" Stephen continues his bombardment, eager to learn about the boy and his ability. The boy shakes his head no. "Did they ever test you?"
"I remember being tested," the boy says, thinking back to his early teens and when he was taken by the wizards recently. "They blasted spells at me and had me touch wards and curses and nothing worked. I remember one of them saying something about dragon's fire or something. I wasn't born into magic I don't think. I dont remember any as a child, from what i remember as a child.
I only remember my life was blurs of time when i was in labs or in a restaraunt or as a really little kid. I can't remember anything else. I know I'm 19 because of a picture i have, dated with my first birthday in 1996. There's no name on the picture or anyone else in it. It's just me with a cupcake sitting in a highchair." Stephen nods, and then checks his watch again.
"May i see the picture?" Stephen asks, hoping it will give some clue to the boy's lineage or history. The boy pulls a severly bent polaroid picture from his pocket and hands it to Stephen. Stephen studies the picture for minutes, without looking up, thinking to himself. The picture shows nothing but him and a cupcake. A date written at the bottom and no indents where anything was written overtop of it. The boy, even as a baby was ordinary. An average size one year old, a full head of dark brown hair, brown eyes and fair skin. Now the 19 year-old boy is of average height and weight, with brown hair and eyes, he would never stand out in public.
The thought puts Stephen's brain to work.
Perhaps that was the point. This boy could go anywhere in human society unnoticed and even still in a magical bazzar if armed or wearing cultural clothing. His ability to nullify magic on contact could let him sneak past any ward or magical trap and shrug off any spell that did not produce a solid figure. No one is sure whether or not divine magic is dispelled by his touch o if it affects him normally. If it is, he could stop an entire army of demons or angels or clerics or paladins. So much power, born to a human who has no corruption in his heart nor soul. Why else would he ask to join the Warrior's of Mankind as soon as he was released? Wait...how does he know of us?
Stephen looks up and opens his mouth to say what he just thought but it is interupted by the clocktower's bell striking three times, indicating that it is now three am. Instead, Stephen smiles. The boy tilts his head to the side, confused as to why Stephen is now smiling.
"Three a.m." Stephen says with a grin, "the bewitching hour. The hour of the day when spirits are most alive and magic is strongest on an ordinary night. The time when odd magical creatures roam the streets and cause havoc in human cities. We'll continue our conversation later. For now, you are Cozzas and you will be until we discover your new name. Now, off we go to find what Massachusetts is famous for in the world of magic."
"And what's that?" Cozzas asks confused, knowing nothing of magic and it's habits.
Stephen looks at him and with a stone-cold-serious face he whipsers. "Witches."
Stephen and Cozzas now walk down an old Bostonian cobblestone road. Old houses line either side, some broken down and covered in Ivy, others broken but still with lights on. Small lights danced in the sky over the street. Some yellow some green, all avoiding the red lights that chased them around. Cozzas looks up at them, mesmerized by the sight.
"They're spiritlings, tiny manifestations of energy from the different planes." Stephen says, entertaining Cozzas' curiosirty. "They fight, waging their own war on a miniscule scale with our world in the middle. Our plane, the material plane or middle earth as it is called by some, is the cnter point of the planes, the point where all the planes connect and intertwine. That's the reason we have so many disturbances and issues in our plane. While many things lay on other planets, earth is still the focal point of some of the worst creatures and fighting on the plane. That's why we are here."
"Cool, but i was just kinda looking at the lights 'cause they are pretty." Cozzas says with a joking smile. He looks at Stephen but he looks unamused by his comment. Cozzas' sile fades and he looks back to the street, searching for what might be causing a disturbance, nott knowing what he is looking for. Cozzas notices a large black house cat walking towards them. He squats down and offers his hand out, coaxing the cat over. Seeing the cat, Stephen backs up and raises hand at it, reaching for the rune on his hand.
"Cozzas," Stephen says, terrified and cautious of what the cat may entail. "Get back. It could be an Imp or the servant to a witch." Cozzas looks up and back at Stephen. He smiles as the cat comes over to his hand and begins to pur and rub against it.
"Or maybe it's just a cat?" Cozzas says smiling. The cat simply continues to pur and rub its head and neck on his hand. Stephen remains cautious but lowers his arm from it. Cozzas picks the cat up and pets it head as he stands up. It purs and turns over on its back. Cozzas rubs the bottom of it's head and the cat looks up at Stephen. Its yellow eyes flash red, making Stephen jump back. He raises his arm and removes his glove again. He begins to focus arcane energies into his hand.
"Cozzas," Stephen yells. "It's an Imp, it's working for a witch." Cozzas drops it but before it hits the ground it produces wings from it's back and stops it from falling. It is now the size of a toddler but gaunt. Long claws come from its thin hands and it's sharp teeth drip with poison. It begins to fly up towards Stephen. He raises his hand and activates the rune on his hand. "Flante." he says, shooting a blast of purple energy from his hand. It hits the Imp and knocks it to the ground.
Cozzas lunges forward and stomps on it as it drives to crawl away. The small red creature lets out a shriek and hisses something in a language, not understood by either of the men. It writhes and wriggles under Cozzas' foot. It opens its mouth and spits a small bullet of magic fire from it at Cozzas. It strikes Cozzas' pants, setting the bottom of them near his boots on fire brifly but not burning his skin, instead producing blue sparks and extinguishing the flames as it contacts his skin.
"Nice try." Cozzas says, bending forward and picking up the small creature with one hand. It begins to shriek and try to writhe from his grip. He spits more fire at Cozzas, hitting his face. It strikes but does nothing more than create harmless blue sparks on contact. Stephen points his hand at it and prepares his spell again.
"Where's the witch you work for?" Stephen asks the small helpless creature. It snickers and spits fire at him. It strikes his jacket and sets it ablaze. The tiny demon giggles in excitement, watching Stephen take it off and stomp on his jacket, revealing the intricate runes he has tattooed on himself. It's laughter is interuppted as Cozzas squeezes on the small midsection of the creature with his hand and punches it's small face. It shrieks and then stop writhing, looking at the human immune to his fire. His jacket now laying on the ground partially burnt, Stephen moves close to the thing in Cozzas' hand angrily and asks it again. "Where is the witch or warlock?"
"Your mother's casona!" It yells in it's high pitched voice then laughs hysterically. Stephen nods to Cozzas and Cozzas punches it again. It stops laughing and then glares at him. "What you want? Kill witch? Power from witch? Or job? Or are you here for council meeting?" The creature pauses and looks at the confused faces of Cozzas and Stephen. "What? there no council meeting for witch's council. Me mean no witch council. Witches no have council...." It produces an unconving grin, attempting to retract what it just said.
"Stephen," Cozzas says, looking over at Stephen. "Would gathering witches cause magical disturbances?" Stephen nods slowly.
"Especially powerful witches all in one place, ripe to be taken down..."