One moment Destiny was in the middle of an empty art museum, surrounded by light and air. The next she was at the bottom of the ocean, being pushed down by tons of gallons of water pressure. It was dark, they were too far under for the light to hit them anymore. The water was cold, too cold. Add that with the Nexxis that was rapidly growing inside her Rouhk with every moment she spent with Chance and it was just unbearable. So Destiny went to her Abbaxa form in an attempt to get at least a little warmer.
It was fascinating, in a terrifying way. Pitch black, currents traveling through her, the water muffling out all noise. The only light was the slight glow of her essence, but it didn’t travel very far in the abyss. She couldn’t see the others; she was all alone at the bottom of the ocean.
Something about this was peaceful, being all alone and isolated. She knew somewhere the other Infinities were walking around as well. She could sense her friends nearby. Alone but not lonely. Destiny sighed, she couldn’t stay here forever. She had a job to do.
Slowly she lifted up one foot, pushing it forward and putting it back down. It was slow progress, but it was better than nothing. She wasn’t exactly sure where she was walking to, for all she knew she was heading away from the group. Whether it be coincidence or fate, she hoped to find them all eventually.
And then she heard the scream. Loud and deafening, and way too familiar. Destiny knew it was in her head, there was no way she would have been able to hear it with her ears. Half sobs and half screams, this was the sound of someone being forced to live a nightmare. Someone who was reliving a traumatic event.
Destiny ran through the water as quickly as she was able. Destiny recognized the scream, it was the same one Demise woke up with after her Test of Classification. She could only imagine what her older sister was going through about now. After so many years of trying to recover, just to have it all come back in one brutal slap to the face.
The cries for help continued, and Destiny was getting closer. She could sense it. Destiny mentally called out, searching for her sister frantically. “Demise, hold on. I’m coming.”
Destiny? Her voice broke with sobs as she tried to mentally communicate.
“I’m here, you’re safe. It’s okay, you will be fine, I’ll make sure of that. Where are you?”
“I don’t know; it’s so dark I can’t see a thing. I’m scared.”
Destiny had reached her now. They stood face to face, hardly a foot apart. It seemed as though they had the same train of thought, both of them were glowing purple Abbaxa’s. Only difference was Destiny was a few inches taller than Demise. “I’m going to grab your hand. Don’t freak out okay? It’s just me.”
Demise said nothing, nor did she nod, but Destiny took the silence for a go ahead. She reached through the dark water, grabbing her sisters purple hand. Demise gripped it like a lifeline and calmed down slightly. Well, the screaming stopped at least.
To their left something long and snakelike appeared. After a moment it became clear that it was some sort of an eel, long and thin with its right half blue and it’s left half green. Demise didn’t seem bothered by the fish, that creepy thing was right down her ally. Destiny took a moment to get over her initial fear upon seeing it and watched as it circled the two Infinities, not in a threatening way but rather to get their attention. The thing almost looked to be slithering with its body waving through the water like a ribbon. Its mouth was wide open, like it was trying to scream at the purple essences. Then it slowly began to swim away.
“I think it wants us to follow it.”
Destiny pulled Demise after her, following the fish through the darkness. And then the fish stopped, the other Infinities had been led to that place too, all in Abbaxa form, three whites and three purples. When the blue ribbon eel stopped swimming further a fish nearby lit up. A spark of light in the dark was all it took to create a domino effect, several new lights coming from every creature that swam by. The fish started swimming upwards, each one a little further than the last. There was no limit to how these beasts were designed: some long, some round and fat, some red, some blue. There was just enough light excreting from them to light up the fish stairways leading to the ocean surface.
Destiny led the way, Demise and the others following close behind. One of the white essences, Destiny couldn’t tell which but guessed it was Chance, kept getting distracted and tried to get a better look at all the fish. When they broke the surface the sun was high in the sky. They were in the middle of a cave with a hole in the middle of the ceiling, showing off the clear azure sky. They swam over to a rock in the shade, hopping out of the cool water and putting their bodies back on. Demise stayed as a purple Abbaxa, not wanting to go back to her original state of messy hair just yet.
“Where are we?” Fortune asked, looking around the beautiful scenery in awe.
“Melissani cave, it’s in Greece.” The Luminary Virtuoso was tall and slender with a deep accented voice to match. Baggy paint stained clothing hung loose on his form. Long curly dark hair was held in a bun with a paintbrush and pencil. His eyes were a cloudy white, he was blind. The Creator looked to be Italian. Italy was the land of art and history, so the country and its people were probably. his creations as well.
He walked across the water easily, heading over to the Infinities. As he got closer canvases started to appear all over the cave walls, from empty to half done to complete. In front of the finished ones a three dimensional model floated, showing what it would look like if it would come to life. Most were depictions of fish, but a few were new underwater flowers or plants. All of them colorful and creative, Destiny wouldn’t have expected anything less.
Destiny wondered how he could paint if her was blind. Then again, he did have sight once upon a time. For many eons he could see, so by now he had probably memorized what every stroke of the brush was capable of.
A little white blob jumped out of the water, landing on Luck’s lap. Its ears and tail were trimmed in black, as well as several little spiky things on its body.
“Oh a sea bunny, how cute.” Fortune commented as Demise leaned over Luck and started petting it until a similar one hopped out and into her lap, only this one was yellow.
“That’s a Jorunna Parva, it’s a type of sea slug. The real ones are less than two centimeters and can only be found in Japan.” Chance’s facts about fish were getting strange now. Destiny couldn’t believe him, seriously, out of all the things to study why pick fish?
“Right you are my boy.” The Luminary Virtuoso had reached them at last, though instead of getting on the rock he stayed on the water. He wasn’t walking on it as Destiny had originally thought, but rather hovering about a centimeter above the surface.
“Creator!” Karma stood up and jumped on his back, messing up his bun playfully.
Luck picked up the sea bunny, dropping it in Demise’s purple lap. Then he too ran forward, clinging to the Creator’s leg. “We missed you!”
Chance shook his head at his brothers, though a smile was playing at his lips. Destiny figured he would have done something similar if he didn’t have the Fates as an audience. Instead Chance gave his Creator a hug, ignoring the other two who seemed to be permanently attached to him. The Luminary Virtuoso must have been using his powers to create an invisible surface for them to stand on, no ordinary Infinity could walk on water and the Coincidence’s didn’t seem to have gotten a splash of water on themselves.
And just then Destiny felt a surge of jealousy in her gut. Watching the four of them celebrate their reunion like father and sons. That was all she had wanted from Ziarre, for her to be a parent, a mother. Instead she had gotten stuck with a crazy psycho who was willing to kill her own creations.
The Luminary Virtuoso laughed as his creations detached themselves and went back to the rock. “Luck, Karma, Chance, how are my Coincidences?”
Chance smiled and took a seat, kicking at the water with the toe of his boot. “Oh, you know, the usual. Big mission, secret weapon, nothing new.”
Karma bounced up and down, begging for attention. “Sloth gave me a new idea for really bad people.”
“That’s… nice. If you do anything illegal don’t get caught.”
Luck heaved his chest out proudly. “I’m sober.”
“Hi Sober,” The Creator got a twinkle in his eye. “I’m Winchell.”
The Coincidence brothers groaned collectively, they had expected a Creator joke sooner or later. The Fates glanced between each other awkwardly, not sure how to proceed. Fortune slowly bent her knee in a bow to show respect. Demise and Destiny quickly followed suit, still uneasy with how relaxed The Luminary Virtuoso seemed to be. Ziarre, though she laughed with them during Destiny’s test, still demanded respect from her Concepts.
“It’s been so long since anyone has bowed for me. It’s too formal, I don’t like it. Get up please. Thank you for the gesture but it is not necessary.” The Creator took notice of the girls after a moment, his eyebrows scrunched together as he looked down on them. Maybe he still had some sight left?
And so the Fates got back to their feet. At least now they knew where the Coincidences got their carefree lifestyle from.
The Creator took a step closer, inspecting each of the Fates. “Fortune, I presume. I’m sure you are just as pretty as you are said to be. Demise, glad to see you out of the house. And Destiny, the newest of the new. Good to see you ladies keeping these rascals in check.”
Fortune beamed at the praise from the Creator. Demise was shocked, she had never met any besides Ziarre, and therefore had never heard a kind word from one of them. Destiny was too busy trying not to laugh at the boys offended expressions from their Creator’s words. They couldn’t believe he would brush them off to sweet talk the Fates. Luck was mimicking him with his hand and Karma was sticking his tongue out.
The Luminary Virtuoso laughed loudly like Italians do, the sound echoing through the cave. “If you are going to mock me at least try and be discreet about it.”
Demise was still shaking slightly from the underwater experience. Destiny rubbed small circles into her sister’s back. As much as she loved the catching up, they really were here to do a job. “Look, Mr. Luminary Virtuoso —”
“Winchell, please.” The Creator interrupted, putting a hand up as an apology. “I’m not the best with being a ‘person of authority’ as the kids are calling it nowadays.”
“Okay then. Winchell.” Destiny bit her lip as she obeyed her orders. It felt off calling a Creator by their given name. Sure, she knew The Divine Provenance as Ziarre. But that was a different story, Ziarre was her own Creator. Concepts belonging to the Creator who made them were allowed to call them by their given name instead of their professional name. But if the Creator wasn’t theirs it was a sign of respect to use the professional name.
“That’s much better.” Winchell nodded in approval.
“We are actually here for business.” Destiny worried that they were asking too much, having a Creator meddle with Infinity drama. But he didn’t seem too bothered by that.
“Well, that is almost to be expected. You are one of Z’s after all. What’s up?”
“Stay still. It’s only weird if you make it weird.” Karma came skipping over to Destiny. He patted the redhead down, reaching inside her pocket and bringing out the case.
Fortune rolled her eyes, placing her hands on her hips. “You could have just asked her for that you know. It would have saved you the effort of… that.”
“Jealous?” Karma smirked, walking the case over to Winchell.
“No!” The blonde spat, a defensive undertone in her voice. “I just don’t think my little sister is comfortable with you touching her like that.”
Oh great, now Destiny was stuck in the middle of their squabbling. She honestly didn’t mind; she knew Karma didn’t mean it like that. But if she took his side she would never hear the end of it from Fortune.
Thankfully she was saved from having to answer by Karma picking up his usual excited tone. “So anyways Destiny went on this whole epic journey. She battled evil and nearly lost a tooth. She barely escaped with her life!”
Winchell raised a skeptical eyebrow in Karma’s general direction, knowing how much he loved theatrics. He looked over to Luck, waiting for him to say it as it was.
“Destiny got an old thing at Old Stuff. It’s a big deal because it’s a dangerous weapon.”
Winchell nodded, his smile gone as he reached for the case. It almost looked like his fingers were trembling when he popped it open. Taking out the Azarze and handing the case back, he traced the symbol engraved. Though his eyes didn’t work, he could still feel. His voice was a low murmur, hardly audible. “It’s different from last time I saw it. I can feel it.”
“What was that Winchell?” Chance leaned forward, trying to hear better.
The Creator shook his head, clearing his thoughts and coming back to earth. He turned to the youngest Fate. “Nothing. Where did you find this?”
“Just some old antique shop in Ineôcâ. It called out to me, like it did everyone here.”
He nodded and gave the Azarze back as well, though his cloudy eyes were still wide with shock. “I see. And who do you plan to use it on?”
“The Divine Provenance, we plan to kill her. She is turning into a black hole that will kill us all.” Fortune had a somewhat careless tone when talking of murder, and that unnerved everyone.
“Ask Urania and Speculation if you don’t believe us.” Destiny added.
“And we intend to stop her.” Luck spoke slowly, carefully. He knew his Creator wouldn’t be found of the idea, there was once a time when the four Creators were alone in the universe after all. It was unlikely that he would betray one of his longest friends.
Winchell nodded slowly, taking it in. He rubbed his face, looking rather exasperated. The Luminary Virtuoso turned around, walking across the water until he had reached the center. He reached into his hair, removing the paint brush so his hair fell around his face, framing it in long dark curls.
“And why exactly do you plan to kill our dearly beloved sky queen? What has my Ziarre done?” He snapped his fingers and a canvas appeared in front of him. The Creator was hardly paying attention to his work, painting and talking at the same time. It was just a nervous habit, going back to something that was familiar to him to ease his anxiety.
Destiny stepped forward, not wanting her friends to take any anger from the Creator. He seemed calm now, but he could just be a ticking bomb. “She is changing; we think into a black hole. She isn’t thinking straight anymore. She isn’t obeying her own order. And she infected me with Nexxis. That’s a bit of an issue, at least for me.”
“All of us.” Chance was quick to jump in. “If we lose Des, all of us will feel it.”
Destiny shook her head. Technically her Rouhk would die, but her Abbaxa would still be alive.
Winchell dipped his brush into another color and angrily started painting, his eyes narrowed at the canvas in concentration. Perhaps he could actually see after all, or at least he could see art considering that was his thing. “So you want to eliminate Ziarre because she has a possibility of going crazy. Another one bites the dust.”
Fortune flashed him one of her charming grins, but the Creator paid her no mind. “We know you are very busy with all your wonderful creative things. But we would really appreciate some help. Do you know her real name?”
Winchell glanced up, giving her a look that seemed to say are you really asking me that now? Apparently flattery would get them nowhere with him. Demise glared at him expectantly. Eventually the Creator caved and shook his head. “No, I don’t. We always got along great, she made me better. Her beauty reflected off me. But she never loved me like the way she loved Jay.”
“You mean Jay as in Ajayla, as in The Tranquil Sovereign?” Chance asked, just to clarify.
“Where would we find her?” Karma tilted his head and rubbed his facial hair.
“I don’t know about Jay, we stopped keeping track of each other after a while. Obayana on the other hand, he likes the sun and solitude ever sense – not the point. Try a dessert.”
“Well what are we waiting for? Time to get your pasty skins as nice and tan as mine!” Karma exclaimed with a joking glint in his eye, pointing to Demise and Luck as he spoke.
Winchell finished his painting and tied his hair back into a bun with his brush, still wet with paint. He smiled sadly and snapped his fingers, making his artwork float up to the top of the cave next to the hole on top. One person stood in the middle of the canvass, surrounded by weather from all four seasons. Though the world around them was blurry and transparent, like Ineôcâ and Òrìsà were overlapping.
“Good luck little Infinities.” The Luminary Virtuoso turned and walked away, slowly becoming more transparent as he got further away.
Luck turned to Demise, a worried look on his face. She had been sulking against the rock wall practically the whole meeting. Currently she was sitting down with her head by her knees and her hair back in her face. “Hey, you okay? You haven’t said two words sense the museum and you are shaking like a leaf.”
Slowly she became self-aware and her shaking gradually came to a stop. Luck helped her stand up and Demise took his hand. But she said nothing in response, remaining a silent Abbaxa. Even her thoughts were closed off from her sisters.
Fortune gave the boys a pointed look, silently warning them not to say anything else. She and Destiny wrapped an arm around their sister to comfort her.
“She wants to go home.” Fortune said quietly in a soothing voice. Destiny let go, letting Fortune take Demise back to the Fate’s mansion in Òrìsà.
Destiny sighed and glanced up to the three Coincidence brothers. “Guess I will have to take multiple trips. Who wants to go first?”