“Oh this is glorious indeed,” said Bisset, key held aloft and eyes filled with fervour. He looked at Calliope. “As sure as it is my destiny, my right to rule and now Paris, nay all of France, can rejoice in the death not only of our foes but their very gods themselves.”

He waved a hand to pause the gargoyles, who now encircled the group.

“Do you see madam how perfect this is, that not only is the key returned to me, its rightful owner and heir, but the very puissance and power of my country, my kingdom, is displayed for all to see. Do you not see how your death ushers in a new era where France, with Paris at its helm, is the greatest nation on earth and in history?”

As he reached fever pitch, he turned to the circle of gargoyles and seemed about to gesture to them when a puzzled look crossed his face and he collapsed forwarded, the key dropping to the ground. Behind him stood Miss Henderson holding a large piece of wood.

“They always make these big boring speeches,” she said, “and they never pay attention to the maids.”

“Ela!” said Calliope. “Now what do we do?”

They looked at the circle of stationary gargoyles, patiently awaiting instructions. Miss Henderson picked up the key and they all stood to attention.

“Go back!” she said and waved the key at them. They all jumped back a couple of steps in unison. 

“More,” said Miss Henderson, waving the key higher and they jumped up higher.

“I’m not sure I’m the right person for this,” said Miss Henderson.

“Well at least they aren’t attacking,” said Calliope.

“Did I miss anything?” said Morag, sitting up, looking around and then at Calliope. “I guess I did.”

“Morag, are you alright?” said Miss Henderson, crouching down to be with her friend. As she did all the gargoyles crouched too.

“I feel like I’ve been punched in the head by a big fella,” she said. “You were shot? And now you’re up with a troupe of dancing gargoyles. I’m dreaming right?”

“This is reality,” said Calliope.

Morag looked at her in confusion.

“It’s sure has changed a lot recently,” she said. “Are we winning?”

“Do you know how to control an army of gargoyles using this key?” said Miss Henderson to Morag. “You know about this sort of thing.”

“You dinnae fancy knocking me back out do you?” said Morag. “And as for the question, not really, we didn’t cover gargoyle armies in alchemy school.”

“Sabine, Calliope?” said Miss Henderson. “Maybe you should have it.”

Miss Henderson held out the key. The gargoyle army all held their arms out too. Calliope stared intently at it.

“Felicity, I really shouldn’t even touch that thing, magical objects do strange things to magical people.” she said. “Besides, I think it should be a Parisien.”

“Per’aps” said a voice. “I could ‘ave it?”

All three of them turned and stared.

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