The Bonfire Ball (The Thieftaker Remix)
Merith watches as Gomagog and Perenelle herds the normals into a cohesive group, answering their questions with the kind of vague answers that politicians have given the the public for centuries. It’s not strange– Perenelle has been a queen and a advisor of queens while Gomagog in his own… crude way ruled.
Her left arm, and her ribs ache, reminding her that while she might not age, nobody is immune to pain. She reaches into her Source, the center of her stolen magics, and finds something that might help. She sprouts fur along the broken limb, and reigns it in, reveling in its healing properties. Werewolf perhaps. Her hairy limb turns smooth and unbroken again, and the stolen piece of magic is spent. Through the ages she has tried to gain permant control of the magic she steals. Even managing to use the magic for a time of tenth longer would make her so much more powerful, but hard as she has tried, it has always failed.
Merith’s phone vibrates, and she checks her messages. “Excellent”, she mumbles to herself. She gently puts the phone on the floor, mindful to put some distance between the device and her body. Binary numbers in orange fills the two-dimensional screen. The numbers descend from up to down in a frantic torrent. The phone vibrates further, like a beehive in summer. The vibration stops abruptly, and the numbers switch direction, this time coming from left to right in a horizontal wave. Her phone repeats this procedure thrice, before the numbers break free from the screen.
Zeroes and ones twirl in the air like snowflakes, forming an opaque orange dome. The single digits descend down the dome like in a lottery, and when a perfect sphere of zeroes have been formed, the numbers scatter, revealing two men.
These two men could not be more different; one is a god, the other a mere mortal magic-user. One wears jeans and a torn shirt a la heroin-chic. The other wears a classical white toga that could never be mistaken for a cheaper one worn at frat-parties. The mortal one is pale; the immortal has the bronze skin of a man that is exposed to sun on a regularly basis.
“As we have discussed. I call in my favors”, Merith proclaims, in a stately voice. The pale mortal nods, jerkily. The immortal god stares at Merith, then at the normals clamouring for attention. His purple eyes glaze over for a second, before snapping open.
“The Compact has been broken.” The pale magic-user pales even further. He raises his hands in a defensive position. “Hey I don’t want-” “The Compact may have been breached, but if you two do your parts instead of arguing, we can… fill it in”, Merith interupts in a harsh voice, before the elder-god can say anything else. She cannot pled or beg; it would make the two of them change their already recalcitrant minds. She must command.
“Do this for me now, and I will accept full responsibility before the Council. Do this for me now and I will never bother you again. Do this for me now and you will be free of obligations.” Three times she asks. There is one final resort she could use. She could use her magic on them. In turn steal their magic. But they would never forgive her, and using someone’s else magic is haphazardous.
Eventually the younger man nods. The god sighs, and he too nods. Merith gestures to the crowd of normals.
The pale man walks up to them, grabbing a phone from one of the pockets of his jeans. “Smile”, he says, and most people stare into the camera of his orange phone. A flash of light and the previously rowdy teens are now as docile as children that have been fed.
“You forgot one”, Gomagog comments while carrying a annoyed Sara Eksjö. “You can’t do this”, she screams. “We deserve to know-” The flash of the phone causes her pupils to dilate and her flailing stops. “Thank you Andrej”, Merith says. One to go, but as for ther other…
Merith turns to the elder-god, except that the two of them met when he wasn’t as old, and when she served a pharao that history has long forgotten. “Yes Merit-Ptah”, Morpheus starts, using a name that she hasn’t heard in four millenia,” I will do as you bid.” He sweeps a hand towards the normals, towards Sara Eksjö and like domino bricks, they fall. He flings a hand to the south, to the west, to the east and to the north.
The somnolence that the God of Sleep uses even affects some of the supernaturals with weaker wills. Merith notes that none of the girls of 1A nor Kai Blut are particularly affected.
“What will they dream of?”
“Happy dreams”, her former lover retorts. “They will dream happy dreams. And when they wake up, they will remember something different from what actually happened.”
High in the skies above Fallowfell, Nevena Stanislaw sits in the claw of a creature whose kind is said to have exterminated the dinosaurs. She has created a layer of heat around her body, because supernatural biology or not, it’s cold at this height.
Speaking of height, she thinks to herself and glances down. She can make out trees and streams. She flips around, careful not fall down, and she can make out the glowing lights of Fallowfell in distance.
She wonders exactly how fast they’re going.
Rune Fallowfell hangs suspended in the air, imprisoned in a cube of heavy-density water. Rage, primal rage drives him right now, and none of the words that the blue-skinned man with the female voice says reaches him. If anything, they just make him more mad.
The man makes a motion with his left hand, which Rune’s serpentine eye tracks carefully.
A girl with long dark hair and olive skin step out of the shadow of a nearby tree. His single eye trail her path.
A single word forces its way through the mindshattering rage that makes him want to attack and bite and kill: sister.
Sister. Sister. Sister who? The girl with long hair walks around the cube, inspecting him. The moment she leaves his line of sight, he feels an anxiety coming onto him. An anxiety only cured when she enters his sight once more. Sister who? Sister his. Yes. Family. Fallowfell, that is… his name, his surname.
Except… he smells the girl that is his kin. She smells like familiarity, like home, like dead flesh. Alexandra is her name, and she is dead. His eye hones in on the blue-skinned man. A man yet a girl. Helena. Helena Gravsten, whose surname means ‘Tombstone’ in English. She brought his sister back. She has killed many people, and she killed Elena.
Elena who? Elena his friend. Rune’s friend. His friend. Everything comes back in a veridian flash that turns scales to skin, fangs to teeth and green to brown eye.