I woke up dehydrated, sick, and tired. But I had to get up. Some unfeeling force propelled me up, to the bathroom – where I retched. Nothing came up. I wandered back into the room, and flopped back down onto the bed on my back. I stared up at the ceiling.
Events came crashing back to me. Bella, my family, Jade and Aaliyah. The complete destruction of my world. Was Kuryo even still alive? And Charr?
I lay there, stunned and useless. But I had to get up. I had to do something. I had to fix this. I had to.
My body just didn’t want to cooperate. I staggered to the door, then aimed straight back for the bed. I collapsed onto it, feeling weaker than I’d felt in ages.
Thoughts whirled in my head. I had to do something. I had to fix things. There was no giving up. There was just going up, right? I had to – the Sephira! And – Kuryo! Find them! And-
The door to the room opened. Lucifer marched in, followed by a one winged fallen angel. The servant was expressionless, but Lucifer looked cross.
Just to make a point, he stood at my foot and looked down at me. I looked up dizzily. You never noticed how much a room wants to spin until you’re trying to focus on someone.
“Chaos,” Lucifer snapped, crossing his arms over his chest. Which, by the way, was still on display. Did he even know how to do up shirts? It was distracting. Today’s attire was a silky black dress – like thing with lots of bling-bling. Ugh.
“Chaos!” he barked. My eyes flew back open. Had I closed them? I tried to sit up, but that was too much. I flopped back down.
“Vital essence decreasing,” intoned the fallen angel. “Not much power left.”
Lucifer snorted and tossed his hair over his shoulder. “Great. Why is it always me left to pick up the stragglers?”
I made an outraged choking sound. Lucifer turned his back on me and whisked away. The servant followed him, and the door was shut.
I lay back down, mind whirling. I had to have a plan. I needed to think.
Darkness closed over me.
I woke to the sound of Suzy sobbing. I looked around and there were these golden bars – oh for crying out loud, I was in a golden birdcage. Sprawled on a fluffy cushion, sure, but still in a birdcage.
I squawked and got up, rattling myself – and ohhh, I was concussed. Ouch.
Flopping back down I looked around. The apartment of sorts was made of steel this and iron that and, would you believe it? It looked rather modern, but bizarrely non-medieval. Like someone with a steel fantasy redid a medieval home. It was weird.
Next to me on the table was, you guessed it, more steel implements. They were all sorts of gadgets and gizmos that I hadn’t the slightest idea what they were for.
Okay, focus. I was in a cage, on a table. But the real problem here was whether or not I could travel. Maybe my head injury was to blame, and I had better lay tight until that cured. Maybe, just maybe, it also was my wings. If so, then I was screwed for a good few months – if this moron didn’t remember to keep them trimmed in the meantime.
So I tried again. I focused my will and power. I felt the aether, the life in the sun outdoors and the fire crackling in the nearby fireplace. I felt the spirits of the beings in the floor above and the floor below us. I tried to seize the moment and fly through it all.
Again, that lurch. The non-movement.
I opened my eyes and nearly had a fit. There the blond being was, peering at me with large blue eyes.
“You’re awake!” he crooned, waving fingers at me. “Are you hungry?” He drew out a crust of bread from the pile of junk on the table. He offered it to the bars, then smiled. “Will you be a good bird?”
I scowled as hard as I could, which wasn’t much. I knew two things. One) I needed to pretend to be a normal bird. Two) I needed to also stay on his good side so he wouldn’t eat me for supper or something dumb like that.
So I squawked and cocked my head to the side.
“What are you doing?” sobbed Suzy, still having a fit. “He’s a monster!”
“He’s going to feed us, and we’re going to gain his trust,” I soothed her. “Then, we will escape when he’s not looking.”
Suzy wailed, but I ignored her. Instead I focused on the Blondie, as I decided he was to be named. He was opening the cage’s door and holding out a hand. “Come here,” he crooned, holding the bread above his palm.
I hopped forward and pecked at the bread. Which was, for the record, medieval in structure and tastes. Ugh. Bran and whole grains and all that stuff. Not a good mouthfeel. Are crows even supposed to eat bread?
“What a good bird,” he crooned as he began stroking my feathers.
‘What a good human,’ I wanted to answer back. ‘Feed me more.’ But of course he wouldn’t get that. But I was in such a terrible mood that I wanted him to understand that I wasn’t his pet. So I slid into his mind, ready to tell him what a jerk he was. Except it was filled with images that had nothing to do with me.
There was images of the Academy, thoughts of war and conquering, gods and demons, and what oh what would they do with the Trinity?
I froze, beak full of bread. This – his mind was a treasure trove of information. Of something concrete that was going on.
“Of course!” Suzy wailed behind me. “He’s probably one of the seniors of the Council! They’re the ones trying to invade the dimensions!”
Of course. But- I tweaked his mind lightly, making him keep thinking as he caressed my back feathers. What of the Trinity?
A frown came over his face. The Damned Trinity, he thought.
With a scowl he stepped back, ushering me back into the cage.
Hey, wait! What about the Trinity?
But he was walking away, mind full of anger and boiling thoughts. I kept up the link as he paced about, but his thoughts were messy and uncategorized. It was hard to understand, full of strange references and numbers and details.
Frowning, I tried to piece it all together. I prodded some more at his mind, wondering what exactly ought to be done with the Trinity.
Destroy it, was the immediate answer. Destroy it and all those pesky gods.