The Phil Phorce is a fictional periodical featuring my favorite characters from my own writing. It comes out in episodes, once every three months or so. To find out more and to read previous episodes, please go to these two pages: About the Phils and the Phil Phorce. Please enjoy Phil Phorce, Episode 7.
Quirk crouched behind a mound in the Blanks’ arena, trying to determine the functions of his spheres of soap.
Phoenix ducked behind the mound and glanced at him. “Anything look interesting?”
Quirk shook his head. “I still can’t figure out what everything is supposed to do.”
Phoenix handed him a wad of paper; instructions for each type of sphere.
“Why do you keep getting instructions and I don’t?”
“I stole them from the lab where they make the soap,” said Phoenix. “You have to admit, it’s handy.”
“Sure,” said Quirk. “Is this sphere magenta or violet?”
“I’d say magenta,” said Phoenix.
“Are you sure?”
“This is important. If I accidentally use the wrong sphere, Percival’s nose could become sentient.”
“His nose already has enough of an attitude as it is,” said Phoenix. “Just pick a sphere and let’s go. They’re winning again.”
“Did I tell you how I defeated the Flit with a blue sphere?” asked Quirk.
“Yes,” said Phoenix. “Several times.”
“It was pretty awesome. Did I tell you about the coronation?”
“It’s weird to think of Isaac as a king,” he said. “I just… don’t want things to change. I wish he were still here, still a prince. I wish we hadn’t been so hard on him to make him leave.”
“Sphere!” shouted Phoenix, pushing his head down as a yellow sphere splattered on the top of the mound. They scrambled to their feet, Quirk running one way and Phoenix the other, flinging spheres to cover themselves. They joined up again behind another mound.
“I mean, it just bugs me that while Liam was Head Phil, he was content, but with me as Head Phil, he wants to leave. Liam wasn’t even that great.”
“Liam was definitely better than you,” said Phoenix. “Personal opinion, of course. Don’t take it to heart.”
“Thanks a lot.”
“Run!” shouted Quirk as Sebase stepped around the side of the mound. He ducked a sphere and threw one of his own into Sebase’s face, point blank. Sebase swelled up like a giant beach ball. Quirk rolled him along, using him as cover until he could get to another mound.
“Seriously, though,” said Phoenix, joining him. “Isaac wasn’t just discontent with you. When Liam was possessed by the Castle Under the Cloud, Isaac tried to go home, but had to come back.”
“Feiron made him come back because his father was getting murdered,” said Quirk. “It was a bad time for the whole family.”
“Is that what happened? Still, Isaac’s discontent is nothing new. I’m amazed that he lasted this long, actually.”
“Are you trying to encourage me?”
“Was I? I sure wasn’t trying to. Give me a sphere.”
Quirk gave her two of his remaining spheres. “Use them wisely.”
“Can I have the blue sphere too?” asked Phoenix.
Quirk shook his head. “I’ve had pretty good luck with these spheres. I’m keeping this one.”
Phoenix shrugged. “On three?”
Quirk nodded. “One… two…”
Phoenix ran before he could say three. Quirk muttered to himself and scrambled to his feet, but Percival stepped around the side of the mound, already throwing a red sphere. Quirk froze as it hit, immobilized by the soap.
Percival grinned. “Payback,” he said as he pushed Quirk into a transporter pillar.
After thirty seconds of pure pain, Quirk found himself in the viewing area, watching the action with Jordan and some of the other Phils through a one-way mirror. He grimaced, but he had to acknowledge Percival’s well-timed attack.
And what Phoenix had said— was that true? Isaac wanted to leave anyway, even since Liam was Head Phil. He couldn’t decide if it was annoying— he should have been a better Head Phil than Liam, and made Isaac’s experience better— or gratifying. But one thing was for certain: Liam had ended his reign in death and destruction. How could Quirk do any worse?