Miles followed the unmistakable sense of a dark spell down the stairs and out the building to a park that was nearby. As he approached the source, the sense got heavier and thicker. He could almost see the dark magic that had gathered by the time he reached the locus of the spell.

“Here it is,” he said softly. “Warden Hassett, it’s so dark. It’s almost palpable.”

“I can see it,” Hassett whispered. “That’s unusual, right?”

Miles nodded and knelt down to look more closely, dispersing the spell he’d followed to the construct. “It’s here. It was buried by its creator but I think it’s still active. I’ll have to seal it so we can bring it back to the lab. Serenity can analyze the hair and fiber to determine the origins.”

“Armand can too, right?” Hassett said. At his answering nod, he asked, “How do you seal it?”

“It takes a spell and it’s a little dangerous. If the mage senses me trying to seal it, he could activate it and it could… attack me. So just watch me, please?” He pulled a different wand out his bag and waved it as he envisioned the proper glyph.

Somehow he wasn’t entirely surprised when a hand shot out and lifted him off the ground. There was a roar, several screams interspersed with the soft pop of a dart bow. Miles kicked his feet and struggled. He was choking, he realized as his vision began to gray around the edges. Suddenly his foot connected with something and he dropped to the ground.

“Dart bow doesn’t work,” he rasped. “It’s not alive. I have to seal it.” He stood and once more focused on envisioning the glyph for the sealing spell. He had to back away as the construct continued trying to grab him while he worked. Finally his efforts were rewarded by a bright flash and the sight of the construct collapsing to the ground.

With a sigh of relief, Miles also sank to the ground. “Well, that was exciting,” he said. “Please don’t tell Emery. He’d only worry and I’m fine.”

“You can say you’re fine after a medic checks you out and says that you’re fine,” Hassett snapped. “Is it dead?”

“It was dead already, Hassett. It’s a construct of the parts of various cadavers. It’s sealed. The mage who was controlling it has lost contact and can no longer animate it. In addition, since he activated it before I sealed it, it probably sent a backlash on him that at the very least gave him a demon of a headache.” Miles stood, albeit somewhat shakily. “If he put enough of himself into the spell, it might have given him a heart attack or a stroke.”

“You just killed someone?” Hassett asked softly.

“I sealed his construct. He killed himself trying to kill me with it,” Miles snapped. “He might not have, if he was careful. We should get this back to the lab.”

“Can you trace the mage with it?” Hassett asked softly.

“Medic first,” Miles said, massaging his throat. “What made it let me go?”

“You kicked it in the… it’s cees, Miles,” Hassett said. “You kicked the monster construct thing in the private place.”

Miles shook his head. “Why would you make a construct with those – oh… oh my. This mage is one nasty fellow.”

“I don’t want to know, Miles,” Hassett said. “I really don’t. Can we just leave him or do we carry him with us?”