In the back alleys of New York City, where only the special are called, is a nondescript bar called Cosmic Delights. There are no conventional doors the way normal folk experience them. The only way inside is through the veil.
The owner and primary bartender of this establishment is a timeless young man named Elliot. Sometimes he is fair of eye and skin, sometimes not. At times he appears tall and lanky as he laughs with his patrons; at others he is more thickly built, near beast like as he uses his potions and elixirs to throw out the rowdy witch from his place.
He doesn’t much like it when fights drown out the jazz hop that’s an ever-present background.
Elliot founded Cosmic Delights as a haven for all those of his coven. From Bly the Necromancer to Grey the Atomist, all those who call themselves his kin are welcome. And Heaven help you if you are not.
On a day much like any other, Elliot opened up for business. He dusted his many bottles and swept the floor. He opened the blinds so that patrons could see the night-life of New York pass them by. The front door opened, and at first all he could see was a dark figure against a sunny rest stop and hot desert. The figure stepped through the door, a hot blast of dry air following them, before the door slammed shut behind them. As his eyes readjusted to the dim light and the figure’s features came into view, the grin on his face grew.
“Aurora! Long time no see; how are you?” She returned his smile with a bright one of her own and rushed forward with her arms spread wide. He vaulted over the counter and bundled her smaller frame up into a bone crushing hug.
“Oh, it’s been too long, Elliot. I wish we had more time to catch up, but I didn’t come here to visit. Bara and Amethyst are in grave danger,” she said as she broke the hug and strode purposefully toward the door. A million questions filled the alchemist’s head even as he hopped over the bar and pulled a lever to reveal a cache of magical weapons behind the display case. He grabbed his gear, only slightly dusty from disuse, and hurried to catch up with Aurora.
“Grey, keep an eye on things here,” he barked at his only customer. Startled, Grey looked up from his book and scratched his cheek, nodding absently as he watched his fellow coven mates disappear through the door thick with the scent of magnolias and bright with moonlight.
The door deposited them at the end of a darkened cul-de-sac. It was quiet, and the night air was thick with the stench of iodized metal, the scent of space and spent magics. A quarter mile down the street, past row after row of darkened houses, a flash of light and the faint sound of swearing alerted them to their friends’ position. Without even a glance at each other, Elliot and Aurora started sprinting towards the sound of battle. As they got closer, the air became thicker, seemed to have more in it.
Suddenly Amethyst was beside them in a rainbow flash of light. Her normally carefully kept hair was in wild disarray, and there was a shiny wound on her cheek where the skin was gone.
“It’s those assholes from the CW Coven. They’re trying to steal the Galactic Heart!” Amethyst said, rage and disbelief at their enemies’ gall hardening her normally musical voice into a discordant clang. Elliot’s blood ran cold, and he didn’t even react as Aurora began to colorfully swear in Latin.
The Galactic Heart was their most prized possession. Forged in the heart of the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A Star, the Galactic Heart was the most powerful rune known to witch kind. Millions of magic users have tried to make a duplicate, and none have succeeded. The Heart belongs to the Cosmic Coven of Elliot’s Cosmic Delights, and the jealousy eats alive all who know of its power.
“Where is Bara?” Aurora asked. Elliot stifled his impatience. Bara, who bent space easier than she could touch her toes, was more than capable of taking care of herself. She wouldn’t want them worrying about her when the Heart was in danger. Amethyst patted her skirt pocket.
“I have it here in my purse,” she said, referring to the amethyst she kept with her at all times that could hold a near infinite number of objects. Aurora nodded, grimly pleased. Just then, Bara stepped into existence nest to Amethyst. She was breathing heavily, and her brown skin had a light sheen of sweat covering it. Her eyes were wide and wild with battle exhilaration.
“Stardad! And our fearless leader, too! What are y’all doing here?” Bara asked, sounding for all he world as if they had come to her house for tea instead of meeting in the middle of an abandoned housing development to fight. Despite himself, Elliot laughed.
“Uh, did you forget that our most hated rivals are trying to steal our shit again, Bara?” He asked incredulously. Before she could make a witty comeback, the tree in the yard next to the exploded.
“Fuck!” Shrapnel flew in all directions, and the ground trembled as, like a horde of zombies rising from the grave, twelve rival magicians popped out of the ground around them. Elliot’s arms stung where pieces of tree and sliced him, and his mouth was filling with blood from his bitten tongue, but he ignored all that. He was on autopilot now, reaching into his pack and grabbing pack and pack of Fox Fire, his signature incendiary powder that was more deadly than white phosphorus.
The rival magicians crawled out of the ground, the earth closing behind them. The trees followed the, creaking and screaming in agony as their enormous roots were dragged from the rich earth. Amethyst clapped her hands, sending a thunderous soundwave that blasted branches from the trees and liquefied the brains of those unlucky witches in her path.
Aurora and Bara took to the air, Bara compressing the space around the foolish magicians who attacked her until they were reduced to single bloody balls and Aurora opening the earth below them to swallow them whole.
“Ladies, move back!” Elliot shouted, throwing his pouches of Fox Fire and whispering the activation word as they broke on the remaining enemies’ bodies. The fire that engulfed them, purple in color, took on the form of a fox. The fire wasn’t the main cause of their death, though it did burn them to ash. It was merely a byproduct of the powder sucking the life force from them and throwing it up into space, forming the fox. It was a beautiful and lethal powder.
Quiet fell, broken only by their harsh breathing and the crackling of the burning bodies.
“Bara,” Aurora commanded quietly.
“Right,” Bara said, lifting her hand and collapsing the carnage into another space far away. Amethyst pulled out the Heart. It glowed in the palms of her hands. They gathered around it and allowed the healing light to restore their strength.
“I don’t know about you three, but I could use a drink or ten,” Amethyst said with a shaky laugh. They shared her laugh, shaking off the short and violent battle. Elliot looked around and spotted an abandoned house. Perfect.
“Let’s get those drinks. Killers get drinks half off for the next hour!”