Kyle thought quickly; he didn’t like watching the Enchanted man getting beat up by the bounty hunters, and would have liked to stop it on purely empathetic grounds. It didn’t help that they were the ones who were effectively trespassing. Moreover, he might actually benefit by helping the man. Jessie had said the Children knew he was a spy but wanted to win him over to their side. Maybe he could make it look like that was what had happened…
Kyle flipped his hand over like a magician finishing a card trick and said, “Flash!” Some of the magic he was holding flowed into a small spell and a dim red light appeared floating above his hand. “Stop fighting,” he yelled and then sent the spell over to where the men were fighting, positioning it so that it was directly above the Enchanted man’s head where he wouldn’t see it, but where the bounty hunters would be looking directly at it. Then he let his magic flood into it. He didn’t give the spell all he had; he didn’t want to permanently blind anyone, but he gave it plenty of juice and the spell was very efficient.
Even facing away, with his eyes closed, the resulting flash of light was bright. Red light washed through Kyle’s eyelids for an instant like he was looking at the sun, and there were several commendably mainly yelps of pain from the other end of the room. Kyle let the spell go and the light vanished as quickly as it had appeared.
He spun back to face the fight. Or at least to face where the fight had been. If he ever decided to give up his career in magic, which honestly seemed like a fairly good idea at least three days out of every ten, he might be able to get work as a bouncer. The bounty hunters had both staggered back and were rubbing at their eyes. Oddly enough, their movements were still somewhat coordinated which was yet more proof that they had some sort of combat magic.
The Enchanted had taken an even worse hit. He was laying on the ground, curled into a ball, shielding his eyes, and shaking slightly. Kyle hoped he hadn’t permanently injured him and wondered what he’d do if he had. It didn’t make much sense, the Enchanted man had been the only one who hadn’t been looking directly at the light. Perhaps the spell that had changed him came with a visual sensitivity? That would explain why he had been sleeping in a windowless room in a basement. Maybe the blanket over his door had been to cut out stray light. If that was true, Kyle felt better about helping him, well assuming he hadn’t blinded the man.
“Guys, I’m going to need you to get out of here.”
“What the hell is going on? Did you forget you’re supposed to be on our side?” Amadeus sounded pissed. No, Amadeus definitely was pissed. If he was a good enough actor to get that low taunt sound into his voice without a bunch of real anger to back it up then he was a fool for going into bounty hunting instead of acting. Hopefully, he was pissed even though he understood he wasn’t actually being betrayed.
Oh well, Kyle thought, I’ll explain later. He said, “I didn’t forget anything. I was never comfortable with this. I spent the morning with this group helping at a homeless shelter and now you guys are kicking the tar out of some guy who’s house we just broke into two on one! Which side sounds like the good guys to you?” Kyle was surprised to hear the thrum of anger in his own voice.
“If you throw in with them now, that’s it, you’re on their side. There won’t be any special consideration down the line. We’ll go after you twice as hard as the rest of them.”
“Yeah, well, at least I’ll know I’m doing the right thing. Plus what am I going down for? Defending the guy you were beating up? Good luck with that, because I know you don’t have anything else. Now go! I can do that light trick inside your chest, but I promise you it’s not as fun that way.” That last was a pure lie, Kyle had let go of his magic. He couldn’t have summoned it even if he wanted to, and he wasn’t up for murder. Still, he hoped it sounded threatening to the man on the floor.
Maybe it worried Amadeus as well, or maybe the bounty hunters knew what was going on because they stopped arguing and made for the door. They didn’t quite run, but they did hurry. They only knocked a couple of things over on their way, so their vision was probably going to be OK. Kyle went to check on the Enchanted hoping he hadn’t tried to prove his loyalty to the Children of Atlantis by putting one in the hospital.