“Eris,” Arianna’s voice is low and hesitant.
“What is it? You know that I can see what you’re feeling so don’t hesitate to ask something, we both understand that it’s unnecessary,” I tell her still going through the list Griffin’s people gave us.
“So we know that there are the Mortis Auxilium, there’s also you. We both are responsible for the balance of things on this planet...” She looks down at her hands, I feel that she’s about to cry. “Do you have any idea if there’s anything after death? Do you think I’ll see Baldur again?”
“Oh... I see,” Baldur died a few years ago in a plane crash. I don’t need to imagine how painful and hard it is on Griffin. “To be honest, I’ve never seen Nature, never felt its actual presence. I know that there are entities which represent Life and Death. Yet they have never revealed themselves, they never intervene, they just... exist.”
“I miss him so much,” she looks up at me, tears running down her cheeks.
I make the floating list in front of me disappear and blink myself next to her. Producing a handkerchief which will always be dry and consume any liquid, I hand it over for her to clean up her beautifully sad face.
“I know,” I say and hug her, radiating calm, supporting vibes. “I miss him too. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you when it happened. I’m not sure why but I felt his death. As if I too was tethered to him in a way I can’t explain.”
“Where were you?” She releases me, her look full of grief and indictment. "I know you couldn't save him but you could've at least come to me, you could have shown that you care."
"I do. I do care, for him, for you. You two are the only ones who keep me awake and intact on this planet," it's true, if it wasn't for her I probably would be living on an island as far away from humanity as possible. Isolated and alone I would hibernate until I would be needed again.
"Then why haven't I heard from you these twenty-six years?" Arianna asks me as if I feel time the same way she does.
"I don't know. To be honest, after leaving you two and dealing with those cataclysms I created a home for myself. I started to live like people yet rarely interacting with them. I don't like the noise the cities produce, I miss the silence. Of course, I could stop listening in on stuff, making myself deaf, but that way I could completely lose track of time." I look at my human hands that I came to love over the years. "When you live as long as I do, it's hard to care for anything and feel time at all. For you twenty-six years are long, for me, it feels empty. I could close my eyes for what might feel like a second but in reality, it'll be years. I know it's hard to understand, I just hope you're not angry and can forgive me for my absence."
"Eris, I'm not angry, I never was. I just wanted to know what happened," she embraces me again. "I do now, and I'm glad you found your way back to me."
"Me too, my dear," and I'll miss you so much when you'll be gone...
It's been weeks since I received the list and I still have no leads. Can it be that there is another creature, unknown to me, who can be invisible and untouched? I don't think that's possible but there has to be an explanation to all this shit...
"Ugh, I'm starting to think like a human!" I shout at myself in Griffin's basement which became my home, my little hideaway, in the past week, I stay here most of the time when I'm not with Arianna or chasing someone from the list.
As much as I hate to do this, I have to locate all of the Mortis Auxilium. I might be able to get more information this way.
And again I insert myself into Earth, becoming part of it, feeling every living thing on the planet. It takes a while but I manage to connect to all of Griffin's kind. Their minds echo in mine and it isn't very pleasant. Every mind is different in their own way, some are only in their first stage of splitting, some are on their last breath of the cycle.
And there it is, one who is dying before its time. Momentarily I relocate myself to him, staying in the shadows. I'm still connected to Earth and try to figure out who could have given him the poison. Ha! I found you...
I make two bodies for myself, one stays with the dying man, whose name is Jessy, the other follows the killer.
"Jessy," my voice is soothing, trying to calm him down. "I'm a friend, I'll help you out, just hang in there."
He is paralyzed, where the fuck is his duplicate? I touch his forehead and reach into his mind.
Jessy, I need you to relax your mind, I need you to give me an image of the person who gave you the poison.
What are you talking about, what is happening to me?
Calm down, where is your dup? Where is Essy?
He's coming. Here, this one pricked me in the shoulder.
He puts an image of a man to the front of his mind, making it easier for me to see. It is the exact person my second body is chasing right now. I get out of Jessy's mind right when his duplicate runs into the room.
"Who are you and what did you do to him?" Essy is loud, scared, and annoying.
"I'm Eris, I'm here to help," not taking my eyes off of Jessy, I put my left hand on his heart and the other on his shoulder. "Stay silent if you want your original to survive this mess."
I steady his heartbeat, slowing it a little, this way Praesentia can't spread fast enough. Now I only need to suck it out of his system. Carefully pulling my right hand away from him, a thin stream of blood and poison follow my movements. When I'm sure that I got everything out, I make the liquid disappear and help Jessy stand up.
"Feeling better?" I ask, not actually looking at him, my attention is on my second body which successfully chased the attacker down and knocked him out.
"Yes, thank you," his voice fades into a whisper. "What are you?"
"You don't want to know, believe me," I lock my eyes back on his. "But if I were you, I'd stay somewhere safe for a while. If you'll get in trouble again, I might not be able to help you next time."
I disappear, not in the least caring for his reaction, getting into the second body. I surround myself and the almost killer with dark red fog, which will teleport us back into the basement, after I make sure he's completely unconscious, his mind locked in a dark box of mine. I'm going to have fun with the interrogation.
After soundproofing the basement and locking up the house I wake the fucker who tried to assassinate another Mortis Auxilium. I know that I could simply look through his mind, but where's the excitement in that?
"Look at who woke up. Slept well?" I'm still in my human body but if he'll be hard to crack, I might turn into something much more interesting. "Let's start with an easy question first. What's your name?"
He says nothing, look full of hatred. When he tries to spit me in the face I simply reflect it, making the spit land on his own face.
"If I were you, I would think twice about your next actions. This can go the easy way, or the chaotic way, and I really hope you'll choose the latter," I grin at him, slowly transforming it into a devilish smile. His eyes widen, yet his mouth stays shut. "Awesome, then we can have some fun, you and I."
I disappear and start to fill the room with blood, slowly rising from it again, only this time with horns, eyes glowing gold and three fingers on each hand with long claws.
"Will you talk now?" My voice tactfully turns demonic by the end of the sentence. "Who are you working for?"
Yet now all I get is screams but I force him to stop. Making him look at me, I infuse his mind with paralyzing pain.
"Feel that? This is what you do with people when you poison them with Praesentia," I growl so loud it might even hurt his ears. "If you want all this to stop, you simply need to answer my questions. Would you like that? Blink once if your answer is yes," he does and in that blink I turn everything back to normal. "Now speak."
It appears that he didn't know much in the end. When I'm done I add his name to the list and, knocking him out again, erase memories of everything that happened in the past few hours. I let him go with a little tracker in his mind which will eventually lead me to Friends & Co.
But a few days later he disappears. What's even more astounding is the fact that he is in his apartment when it happens and I have no idea what happened or how I didn't notice anything.
"What the fuck!" My whole body turns into blue, almost white, fire. "How the fuck is this possible?"
"This situation is getting weirder with every day," Ari points out. We're in the living room again, they both are sitting on the couch as if everything's fine, whereas I am standing, head down, on the ceiling. "Arianna, you should lie down, have some more sleep."
"Okay. Wake me if something happens," Griffin stands and walks out of the room.
"I can't believe this," I say in a calmer voice. "I'm fucking Chaos and some little shit is playing with me."
"What kind of creature could be this powerful?" Ari whispers, deep in thought.
"I don't know," for the first time in my whole existence I feel weak.