Judge Not

May 25, 2000, about 9:30 pm, near Midland Park

The night sparkled. Even with the street lights, the young aerobics instructor could still see a wealth of stars. The speeding cars out on Hunter's Road made a peculiarly soothing sound as she rounded the corner on the jogging path that would bring her into Midland Park.

The young woman stopped to retie a shoelace that had come undone. Her ears pressurized and then popped, a sensation associated with abrupt changes in altitude. A large shape blocked the path lights, throwing a shadow the size of a truck.

She looked up. Standing 3 meters from her were a pair of men carrying an unconscious one. The smaller man was wearing what appeared to be Arabic head dress, a dark blue in color. His suit was billowy and also dark blue; it appeared to be of one cut.

The other man topped her by about a foot and half, his shoulders and chest were broad and deep. His legs were the thickness of a fire hydrant. Chapel noticed that he had no discernible neck. The reason for the way his body was built that way was clearly evident. The man had the head of an elephant, complete with ears, tusk and trunk. He was caring an unconscious judge if the burden's clothes were any indication.

The three people stared at each other. The veiled man broke the deadlock first.

"Go," he gestured to the elephant man; his accent thick and hard to place. "Take care of her I will do."

The elephant man turned and thundered off into Midland Park, the veiled man turned back toward Chapel.

She gave him a faint smile. "Nice night for a friendly walk. What happened—your buddy scare your date?"

With that Veiled Threat showed why he had chosen that name. A faint mist rose up around him and he disappeared. Great, Chapel thought to herself, there goes my mouth again, need to know what's up with Mr. Elephantman. Okay, Chap, time to find out what the party is about.

Chapel had only a breath of warning, a slight breeze to her right where there had been none. She threw her body backwards, slipping easily into an acrobatics routine. Veiled Threat's first attack meet only open air.

Chapel balanced herself easily on the back of park bench. Time to throw some light onto the situation, Chapel thought, and it became fact. Over her right shoulder a small ball of pure light came into being, slowly it expanded until the area was well lit. Meanwhile, Chapel was busy evading Veiled Threat.

This can't go on forever, Chapel thought grimly. Sooner or later he's going to connect. Time to take the fight to him. With that thought, Chapel's hands began to glow. The energy formed into daggers of pure light, three in her right hand and two in the other. With one throw, Chapel spun the daggers of light towards her target, while performing a backflip.

One, two, three daggers hit the veiled man. The light met Veiled Threat's body and sunk into him. Veiled Threat doubled over and then with a whisp of mist he was gone.

Chapel waited tensely. When the veiled man did not reappear, she took off after the elephant man. As she ran there was a sudden disturbance ahead of her. An opening, a large hole, about the size of a large tire appeared in front of Chapel.