Fenrir, son of Loki, opens his blue eyes at the last command and stares around him. His cell is empty… yet…. he switches sight in the visual spectrum, checking the room from a dozen other perspectives finding nothing still. He listens; there is a small repetetive sound, at the periphery of his hearing, echoing from somewhere in the room. A heartbeat. His nose picks up a scent that fades, only to reappear then fade again. And he can feel it, like an air-current on his skin, the presence of something other.
Ghost, or perhaps spirit or sprite. “Reveal yourself!” He calls. “I think not”, a genderless voice answers back. Fenrir shrugs. It’s not as if a being like this can hurt him. Inconvenience him, yes, but not hurt him.” So what do I call you?” There is a pause in their conversation, as if the speaker is deciding how much to reveal. “T, you may call me T”, it answers with a sense of irony. Can it be, Fenrir wonders, that the speaker’s real name starts with a t?
“Then T, what brings you to”, and now Fenrir gestures to his simple cell,” my little abode?” “I come here on the purpose of one who spoke to you earlier. Who gave you that photograph that you keep under your bed”, T answers indifferently.
Fenrir’s eyes narrow. Circe’s benefactor, the one who offered to spring him from the Bastille. “I see”, he says. “Hahahhaha”, T laughs. “Ahahhaha”, T continues. Fenrir eyebrows rise. “Did I say something funny?” “Not really”, T retorts. “That verb…. ‘see’, it was aptly chosen, even if you didn’t intend it”, she muses. “You have lost me now, T”, Fenrir says, in an attempt to get the bearings of the conversation straight. ” A non-sequitur. Do they tell you news about the world in this place?”
“Some”, Fenrir admits. “Not as much as I’d like”, he says, thinking of a girl with black hair and blue eyes. “So you’re not aware of the happenings of the previous fall?” Fenrir shakes his head. “It happened in Fallowfell. A budding necromancer managed to get her hands on an ancient barrowman, and she used it to take what she felt was revenge on her classmates. It all culminated at the Bonfire Ball, where this young necromancer brought her undead out into the open” T recites. Fenrir listens with growing horror; a necromancer in Fallowfell? Undead walking out in the open?
“Luckily the teachers of Ochre managed to subdue the necromancer, her horde of undead and her barrowman, but not until they had been seen by mortals. Through the help of a lesser god and a Russian archmage they managed to erase the memories of those who had seen this altercation, but as you can imagine, the Council wasn’t satisfied when they heard about this….” Fenrir nods.
“… so they have declared Censure on Fallowfell and sent one of the Seven there.” Fenrir grips his sheets, hard. “Which one?” ” I am so, so sorry. Tam Linn“, T says in a small voice. Fenrir’s claws elongate and the sheets shred. Censure is bad enough with one of the more levelheaded members of the Seven being sent to implement it, but Tam Linn? The mad dog? Faerie-lost and weir? And in the middle of this whirlwind is Amanda. His granddaughter.
“Tell me, Fenrir”, T begins, echoing Circe’s choice of words,” would you like to get out of here? See the world again? Twenty odd years you’ve spent here, but you need not stay here one year longer”, T says. How did the line from that movie go? An offer that can’t be refused? With Amanda on a path that will collide with Tam Linn, and the two of them will eventually collide if they’re in the same city, he needs to be there.
“I would like to get out of here”, eventually responds. “Great! Then let’s be on our way!” “What”, he says startled,” right now?” “No time like the present”, T says. “But…” “But what”, T asks. “Do you have a wealth of belongings you need to gather?” Fenrir shakes his head. T is right. He grabs the photograph from beneath his pillow and slips it into one of the pockets of his overall.
“Lead the way”, he says.
There is a click and the door to his cell slides open. Just like that- the door he used to pound for hours until his fists were bloody is now open. Twenty years… little over twenty years he has spent in this cell. A sentimental person would regard the cell as home. Fenrir Lokisson isn’t a sentimental person. He crosses over the silverfloor, not bothering to hide the lack of reaction that would chock most people. “To your left”, T whispers in his ear. “Run”, she adds. He picks up the pace and follows the curving corridor. He reaches a crossroad. “Right”, T instructs.
He bounds forward. “Stop. There are two wardens around the corner. Try not to kill them, and do it quickly”, T orders. He doesn’t bother trying to confirm it; the hallways are warded specifically against the prisoner’s senses, a lesson he learned early on in his history of attempts to escape. “You don’t want much”, Fenrir mutters. He bursts around the corner and spots the two wardens; one is a younger darker man, the other is a pale woman with ornate blond hair.
Using the surprise for what’s it worth, he socks the man hard and swathes at the woman. The man slumps on the ground, seemingly unconscious but his claws slint off the woman’s skin. She hisses at him, revealing fangs. Vampire. She headbutts him with a head as a dense as steel. He embraces her at the same time, and using his divine strength, he snaps her neck. “Hurry, the elevator!”
He glances in the direction of the elevator, where the doors are rapidly closing. Without hesitation he throws himself at it. He manages to get in, but not before the doors of the elevator crushes his left foot.He presses the button labeled ‘1’, ignoring the pain. While the car makes its way up, he curses. The foot will heal, but not in time. He could assume his second form, but it would do little good in such an enclosed space. “What do we do now?”
No answer. “T?!” Still no answer. The elevator passes the second floor and halts. Alarms start to blare. He shifts massive claws and digs through the ceiling of the elevator-car. He gazes up into the shaft. Two floors to freedom. You can do this, he tells himself. He painstakingly leaps for the walls of the shaft, and starts to climb, using those sharp claws to dig in. Muscles strain and he roars. They get some time for exercise in the Bastille, but as his predicament shows, not enough.
A pink cloud with the consistency of cotton-candy streams down. On touching his skin big blisters form. He screams and loses the grip on the wall with one hand. He closes his eyes and take a quick breath. Fenrir restablishes his handhold on the wall, and then he pulls himself up in a race against the blisters and his diminishing breath.
Without noticing he reaches the upper part of the shaft. Now what? He can’t open his eyes, and without his eyes he can’t find the doors to the first floor. What should he do-whosh. He turns his head left, towards where the sound originated. Is that the doors to the first floor? He shrugs; it can’t be worse than what he is already experiencing.
He moves towards the sound, and through his closed eyelids he can make out light. He pulls through, and the doors close. He opens his eyes. The first floor. He is on the first floor, with a broken foot and covered in blisters. But there is one good thing, a silver-lining to the situation. Now he can shift.
The Maitre of Eternity stands at the hole Fenrir made when he escaped, staring flatly as the humongous wolf bounds down the mountainside. Sturgen isn’t allowed to leave the Bastille. If he were, then he could recapture the demigod in moments.
He reaches out with his magic, and kinetic energy, realized as a vibration causes the Bastille to shudder. Petty of him, but he’ll take what he can get. “Have someone message the Council. Fenrir Suneater is loose.”