Key Nineteen: Warning:
What happened to the rest of Allen's party? Allen and Ophelia ended up back in the tower of the Fallen City. But where did everyone else go?
Harry and Tyrone ended up the east side of the outer ring in the seventh circle. They woke up on the sand in the middle of the vast space. The boys awoke to emptiness. They couldn't smell anything. No angels were visible in plain sight. The silence around them sent chills up and down their spines. They had no idea where everyone else disappeared to.
"Damn," Tyrone muttered as he rubbed the back of his head. "That was one hell of a drop." He turned his head and saw Harry staring at him. "You okay, man?"
"I've been better," Harry mumbled. The angels looked around.
"Where did everybody go?" Harry asked.
"I have no idea…" Tyrone said.
"Shhh, shhh," Harry whispered.
"What is it?" his friend asked. The one-armed angel's eyes shifted left and right as he looked up at the sky. A faint fluttered made his spine go stiff.
"We can't stay here," he said.
"What?" Tyrone asked.
"Let's go," Harry said. He grabbed his friend by the arm and ran away, dragging him behind.
Allen sat on the floor, huddled in a ball. He could still feel Aizen around in his body. Each step it took made his body break out in a cold sweat. It felt like someone was stabbing him in the veins and arteries. What made it worse was the crawling around. Allen felt froze in place as he heard the damned creature moving around in his body. It sounded like cockroaches in pipes or rats in the walls. Road ran her finger around in circles on his back.
"I only did this out of love," she whispered. The angel turned his head with a cold glare in his eyes. Road gritted her teeth, but refused to let him piss her off anymore. Instead, she leaned down to his ear.
"I know where your little friends are in the city," the monster whispered. Allen's eyes grew wide. Road felt a small tinge of glee when she caught his reaction.
"Right now, they are trying to look for each other," she said. "I gathered as much. Want to know how I know? Let's say that certain city angels do things for us for their protection." Road snickered.
"Kind of pointless if you ask me. They'll all get eaten in the end. Anyway, some of these little mutt angels have been spying on your friends. Here's the deal." She pulled Allen to her chest. A strange thrill ran through her body as she felt Aizen crawling around in his back.
"I could have your friends attacked and eaten by our dogs. They are pretty hungry and would do anything for a bite. However, I could convince them to look the other way when they pass by them. That all depends on you. Remember that." Road patted Allen on the back before she left the room.
Grace and Kit ended up the west side of the middle ring in the seventh circle. The sharpness of the cold winds around them awoke them up. They too found no one in sight. However, Grace found the cold unsettling. The distant howling made her stomach as Kit held her in his arms. She knew that they couldn't stay where they were for long. Grace informed Kit of this in his ear. They had no idea where everyone else disappeared to.
"Kit! Kit!" Grace shouted. "Where are you?" She paused when she heard a muzzled noise. "Hello?" The muzzled sounds grew louder, prompting her to look down. Grace found herself sitting on Kit's face.
"Oh, sorry," she said. The angel climbed off, letting Kit sit up.
"Thanks," he said after he caught his breath.
"Yeah. You have such a bony ass."
"Shut up." Grace punched him in the ribs.
"Ow," Kit complained.
"Serves you right." She stuck out her tongue at him.
"Okay, okay. I'm sorry."
Kit took a look around the empty landscape. "Uh… where are we?"
"Huh?" Grace looked around for herself. Her eyes widened when a cold breeze crept up her back. She leaned into Kit's ear.
"We cannot stay here," she whispered. Kit was about to ask why when he heard howling in the distance.
"Go where?" he asked instead.
"It doesn't matter!" Grace said. "We can't stay here!" She grabbed the other angel by the hand and began running.
While alone in his pain, Allen sat huddled in anger at his own helplessness. I can't let it end this way, he thought. He turned his eyes in towards his mind.
Leda. Marion. Can anyone hear me?