Again she tried telepathy, and again there was no response. Destiny sighed and reached for the doorknob, pulling hard. Huh, that was particularly odd. The front door was locked. Sure, they had locks on their own bedroom doors and the bathrooms, but not on the front door. There was no need, the only ones who could get here anyways were Infinities that knew a Fate’s real name, and the only ones who did were the three Fates. Destiny sighed and started knocking loudly.
“Anyone home? Demise? Fortune?”
No answer. It was quiet inside the house and inside Destiny’s head. Too quiet. Someone was interfering. And then she felt it, the power radiating behind her. Far more than just an Infinity, this was the power of a Creator. Ziarre.
Destiny spun around, facing the source of the power. It took her a moment for her eyes to adjust, in a second everything had gone dark. In Ineôcâ everything was lit by a star called the sun. Òrìsà didn’t have a light source, it was just naturally bright. The void that took up the majority of Òrìsà had neither color nor light, but all the destinations excreted their own glow. But now Ziarre was taking even that away, the light moved towards her, disappearing on contact.
She looked basically the same as she had during their first encounter. The same long black hair, floating around her and taking up space. The same long dress with swirling galaxies and twinkling stars. The same full lips, high cheekbones, dark skin.
There were only two differences from last time to now. Her eyes that once shone the blue-white glow of a full moon, were now were completely black, an eclipse. Solid black, darker than the void, endless, terrifying. And tonight Destiny didn’t gaze at the Creator nameless in awe, she trembled before the Creator classified and afraid.
Destiny knew she had done wrong; she had been to Chance’s home. And in the Creator’s eyes that was a big no-no. Destiny sighed and shakily got to her knees, bowing low before her Creator, lowering her eyes in respect. She knew that if she had any hope to get through this she had some major sucking up to do. She just had to try and act like Fortune and everything would be fine.
“Glorias and Powerful Ziarre, what brings you here today?”
The Creator’s form flickered for a moment, turning into the darkness that surrounded her. It lasted a fraction of a second, but Destiny figured it wasn’t good for it to be happening at all. Fortune had said something about having to deal with her after Demise’s test. Was this what she had to go through?
“How dare you call me that. How dare you call me by name after you have so blatantly disgraced me.” Her voice was low, tense, like a stretched rubber band waiting to snap.
Destiny missed the light airy tone she had at the Test of Classification, that one was a lot less scary. Destiny held her tongue, not daring to say anything else to make it worse.
“You dared to see him again. He messed up your results, he disobeyed the order. And you go to his house, meet his Concept and friends. You disobeyed me, you disobeyed your purpose. I made you so you could do your job, not so that you could ruin order everywhere!” The Divine Provenance glared down at the Fate, and all at once the coldness returned.
Destiny gulped, shaking on the ground. She couldn’t defend herself, Ziarre was right after all. Destiny had broken the rules. She had put her own wants above her job. She just hoped that whatever the punishment was, it would stay her burden to bear. She hoped her sisters and the Coincidences would be left out of this.
Chance, Karma, even Luck, none of them deserved anything bad to happen to them. And if it did it would be all her fault. They were all wonderful company. Sure they had their faults, not even Infinities could be perfect. They all made mistakes, but what mattered was whether or not they tried to do better. She couldn’t, no, she wouldn’t let anything bad happen to any of them.
Destiny shivered, she wished she had taken heed to Felix’s words and dressed warmer in the middle of winter. She tucked her arms into her torso, a vain attempt to get warm. Her bangs were tickling her eyes, but she left them alone. Destiny was cold enough as it was, taking her hand out to adjust a few stray hairs would not do.
“And yet here you are. You have the audacity to come here and ask for your sister’s help. You honestly think they would be willing to? They don’t care dear child. Order above all else. If need be they would abandon you, just like Demise was abandoned during her test. You are better off alone, do them a favor and don’t bring your family down with you. This is not something that can be fixed so easily. You brought this upon yourself Syviis. The Coincidence Concept is thankfully not my creation, so I’ll let Winchell deal with that. But I did make you, so I can control your punishment.”
“Why are you doing this? You are supposed to be our mother. You’re supposed to care about us!” Her voice was as shaky as her hands, but otherwise Destiny thought her statement was at least a little powerful.
“I am your Creator! If you want a mother, go find Ajayla. I made you and you will do as I say.” Her voice was fierce; her word was final.
Destiny didn’t like the sound of that. Demise and Fortune had warned her about Ziarre, that she was ruthless and had a slight dual personality. But only now was she truly beginning to understand exactly what that meant. One moment she was the Creator of the sky, watching over everything below the heavens. The next she was Creator of order, willing to do anything to set things back in balance. Right now she was all for order.
Destiny didn’t want to believe her sisters before, but now she had no choice but to face the truth. There she was, The Divine Provenance, floating a few inches above the ground. Her dark hair floated around her body, making her appear even more powerful and intimidating.
Do your duty. Obey the rules. Do exactly as you are told, no more, no less. And absolutely no exceptions no matter what. That is what the Fates were created to do, their duty. So when one pawn falls out of line and fails to obey the script, it is understandable that the puppet master is less than thrilled.
Somehow, somewhere along the line Destiny had forgotten that. Two humans and a few Infinities had made her change her priorities, and that was not something that would be easily forgiven. One small Infinity, one measly Fate, had managed to become the adversary of one of the four great Creators. It was clear now, Destiny had to be eliminated.
She could save herself. She had already fallen to her knees, all that was left was to beg forgiveness. She could be the perfect slave, like what Fortune had become after Demise’s test. But she wouldn’t. Her friends needed her. Her sisters needed her. She was not better off alone, they needed her and she needed them. And she would stick to her beliefs and see this thing through. And Ziarre knew that, the shivering was proof enough of where the Infinities loyalties lie.
The dark Creator looked down on her Infinity, lips thin pursed. “You will deal with consequences for your actions. I gave you a Rouhk and I can take it away. And I will. You think you are cold now, it will get much worse. You have Nexxis now, creation of mine. Eventually your Rouhk will become solid Crëwr Ice, trapping your essence inside. And after many years when your body finally breaks, you will have only your Abbaxa. You will not be seen by the humans, no more communication with lesser lifeforms. You will be confined to Òrìsà, just like before your test.”
Destiny shivered and glared up at her Creator through her bangs. Demise had told her about Crëwr Ice. She had been infected with it during her own test, slowly freezing under all the debris of Pompeii. But she hadn’t been given a Rouhk then, so the Crëwr Ice melted when her test was complete. Unfortunately, Destiny was not so lucky and this was not just a warning, this was the real deal. One screw up, and the Creator’s weapon was used against her.
All she wanted was some friends, someone who wasn’t part of her Concept. Was that really so bad? But Ziarre hadn’t mentioned the humans at all, so at least the Taveras’ will be okay. And the punishment didn’t extend to her sisters. The Luminary Virtuoso would deal with Chance and his brothers, though hopefully they wouldn’t get hurt. At least Chance and her sisters were safe for the moment, that was all that mattered.
Ziarre smirked, knowing the power she held over the crimson haired Fate. “The more you interact with that Concept the worse it will get. If you want this to be over cut all three of them out of your life. It’s that simple.”
Darkness appeared out of nowhere and swirled counter clockwise around the Creator. It wrapped around her body, enveloping her. It sucked her in, like a black hole. And then she was gone. The portal had carried her away, back to Crëwr the dimension of the Creators.
Destiny collapsed on the ground in a heap, shivering and crying. Hot tears ran down her face, she was grateful for the warmth. It had all started so simple. She just wanted to do good on her test and get a good job, becoming an Infinity that her older sisters could be proud of. Now here she was being friends with humans and caring about the Coincidence brothers and harboring some sort of pipe weapon that came from who knows where. How had everything gotten so complicated in less than a month? Humans had the right idea when they said life wasn’t fair.
The Test of Classification was supposed to be something for an Infinity to look forward to. It was a right of passage to prove that they were ready to live up to their Concept names. It definitely was not supposed to be something that was regretted, something that created far too many questions and problems.
It could have been so simple. All she would have had to do was not buy that cursed pipe. She could have ignored that strange power that that carved wood held, just resist the calling. Following instincts and being impulsive, that’s what caused this whole mess. If she had been a proper Fate, sticking to the list and nothing more, this would have never happened. If she had just left that darn thing on a shelf for some other unfortunate Infinity to deal with. But no, it just had to call to her.
Destiny lost track of time. How long had she been sobbing in her garden over a patch of forget-me-nots? Eventually her body became dehydrated so the tears stopped, but that didn’t make her feel better. The tears that had dried on her face were cold now. She should stand up, do something productive. So she did.
Gathering what little strength she had left, she began crawling to her front door. She wasn’t as cold anymore, distance from Ziarre and Chance seemed to be doing her good. A hot shower still felt like a good idea though, the warm water was always welcome.
A mental check on the Fate’s list told Destiny that her sisters were picking up her slack, crossing off their tasks quickly as they completed them. Their voices were back in her head, the comforting static of her sister’s thoughts combined. If she wanted she could probably ask them to come home, explain the situation. But she didn’t. At the moment Destiny just really wanted to be alone to process all that had happened.
She couldn’t always rely on her sisters to clean up her messes. She had to grow up eventually. And today would be that day. She was going to solve her own problems and look out for herself. And she would try her best to protect as many of her loved ones as she possibly could. Nobody would face the wrath of Ziarre except for Destiny. She refused to let her friends suffer on her behalf.
With that in mind she traveled back to Ineôcâ, back to Liliana’s basement. She couldn’t stay home right now; her sisters might show up. And they wouldn’t leave her alone until she told them what was wrong. So she went to her second home. It was still night time, about half an hour until dawn. At least here she had a few hours to herself until the humans woke up.
The basement was small, but it was finished with a bathroom and everything. The shower was small, but that was okay. Destiny was grateful for the hot water, it washed away the stress and made her tear streaked face look normal again.