And the evening had started off so well... Kember had gone off with Navina somewhere, and Malice and her husband had taken to her room; in hopes of relaxing while their children were away and closely supervised by Lady Ellaria.
Dinner had been wonderful, and the stroll they had taken by the fire pits... Okay, so it wasn’t a moon lit walk on the beach, but the things Reh had whispered in her ears had kept her just as captivated.
The drinks had been an added bonus, though the bath had been far too much; and yet, he had pulled her into it nonetheless. The massage was sinfully divine, as were his hands around her waist as he slid between her thighs.
Her thoughts took off, reliving all the incredible moments they had shared, each one flashing by her eyes. Their first date and their wedding, and the birth of their children; children who had been viciously attacked and manipulated against their will.
“Malice, my love? You need to calm down.” His voice which usually soothed her wretched nerves, removed but a hint of her present turmoil, while his hands worked furiously at the knots in her back to make up for it.
“One does not just, calm down, and be done with it! It’s like an earthquake, with lots of mini aftershocks ripping through you at any moment.
Just when you think you’re safe, another one hits.” She sighed, and he shook his head. Malice was stuck in the middle of one such aftershock. From riding in his lap, to shaking as she balanced on the post at the end of their bed, her eyes daring him to come closer.
“We will discuss this in the morning.” He closed his eyes, unable to argue with her any longer.
“It can’t wait until the morning.” She hissed back at him, swaying as she regained her balance.
“He attacked our children. Our children, Rehoboam!”
“I know this, Malice!” He sighed, rising from the bed, naked as the day he was born within his sacred House of David.
His dark brown beard was trimmed clean, his eyes locking on to hers as he crossed the room. His shoulder muscles moved beneath his skin as he reached for his robe; a flash of red, and that sinful rear end was covered.
“Where are you going?” She inquired, suddenly afraid to be alone as his hand reached for the handle.
“I’m going to check on our children!” He smiled back at her, “To ease your spirit and get you back into my bed!” He added with a grin, and then the door was shut and he was gone. To ease her spirit.... Ha! There was no easing anything!
They should all be in the war room, discussing the end of Pathen once and for all. They should all be plotting his demise, just as she was now.
A swift kick off a cliff, with a few boulders tied to his feet. Or perhaps that cliff should overlook the bottomless pits on Samo’san? A bullet to the brain? Squishy bits flying everywhere! Too messy? But then, plan C contained a well trained arrow between the eyes as the bastard tried to dodge a barrage of her blades; while running through a minefield. Again, far too messy, and too quick; she wanted the fool to suffer. She felt the need to swing, though at what, she had no clue; but swing she did.
“Fuck!” She shouted, as she lost her balance on the post; and fell to her ass on the floor. Now didn’t that, just add injury to insult! She tried to sit on the lounger, and then lay in the bed.
Nope! Bad idea, seeing as how it had taken her five minutes just to sit back up again. She was down right broken! She had to stand up. That hip of hers was throbbing and there was no way, she was going to be able to sit for a while.
“Fuck this!” She let out, grabbing what she could as she lumbered towards the door, hiking up her leathers and sliding her shirt over her head, before she too, made off out the door.
“You should have seen his face when he saw her!” Kember told them, as Nyx dealt another round of cards.
“It was like he’d been given a blessing, his eyes all wide and teary... How could I not let them have their moment together?” She added with a sigh.
“I mean, I knew she was married!” She added, and tossed back another drink. Was she even fooling any of them? Nyx? Mia? Nissa? Anyone?
“Your turn!” Nyx replied, and tossed his chips into the middle.
“Demons are wild!” “Of course they are!” Mia rolled her eyes and shook her head.
“You want to deal, my love?” He glared at her, but she shook her head as she took a shot from the glass in front of her.
“Don’t you, my love, me!” She cocked a brow at him, and Nissa almost choked on his drink.
“What?” Nyx shot back at him. “Nothing, Homie!” Nissa shook his head, “But I think she should have dealt! I’m out!”
He chuckled, and tossed his cards on the table.
“It’s not my fault, I won’t let her go pull guard duty at the manor house, alone!” The Demon grumbled.
“I wouldn’t be alone!” Mia snapped back at him, “Kember would be there, too!” “And that makes it so much better!” He growled at her.
“Hey now...” Kember let out, “What the fuck, Nyx?”
“You’re not going!” He stood up, and tossed his own cards down. “Period!” And he stormed off towards the wall and vanished.
“So, who’s deal is it?” Nissa sighed, and poured himself another drink. “And another thing...” Nyx’s voice returned, and the Demon came walking out of the shadows, but he was cut off by a clamoring in the hall.
“What the, fuck?”
“Rats!” Mia laughed, and the look on his face, that cocked brow and nasty glare.
“Or not! Whatever floats your boat!” The sound of a door slamming shut again, and the mumbled shouts from.
“Is that, Reh?” Nissa asked, rising from his chair, just as the male came stumbling into the dining hall.
“Uh, good morning!” Rehoboam tried to smile, but it was clear to Kember, that the male had not slept much; if at all.
“Is it morning already?” Nissa raced to the door, “She’s gonna kill me!” And the Angel was gone.
“Guess I’m not the only one in the dog house!” Nyx chuckled, and stood there with his arms crossed over his chest.
“You’re only in the doghouse, cause you can’t accept the truth and get all snippy with me!” Mia told him as she passed on by.
“No offense, Reh...” She added, as she passed him too. “But you look like shit!”
“I feel like shit!” He grumbled, and took a seat at the table.
“Malice?” She grinned at him when he nodded his head.
“You married her!”
“And I don’t regret a second of it!”
“Did you tell her that?” Kember cut in, but the coolness in his eyes.
“I’m just saying...” She muttered, and rose from the table.
“She’s bound to feel that what happened to Ben and Bathsheba, is her fault.” Rehoboam glared at her for a moment, but then his eyes softened, and he relaxed a little.
“I can see why she likes you!” He chuckled, as Mia brought him a drink.
“Thought you were leaving?” He laughed, “Thanks!”
“Thought I was too, but this sounds interesting, and I’m bored...” She sighed, sipping on her own drink.
“So, what exactly is wrong with Mal?” Reh looked about the room, his beard all shaggy and unkempt.
“She’s pissed that the children were attacked.” He started.
“And?” Nyx urged him on, as he stood behind Mia. “And she’s seeking revenge.”
“Doesn’t surprise me!” Mia laughed, “Those are her kids, and someone tried to mess with them.”
“But they’re my children, too!” He argued, “I helped to create them, and she won’t even.”
“She fears that she will love too hard, and that it will happen again!” Kember replied, and the whole room went silent.
“You gave life to those children, and she fears that if more should come to see the light of this world, that they will fall to the same fate!”
“That, is ridiculous!” He spat out, tempted to rise from his seat.
“I know!” Kember laughed, “But her mind isn’t thinking clearly!” She reminded him.
“For all we know, whoever let those bastards out of their cells, could have bewitched her.”
“It can happen.” Nyx chuckled, “Did happen, last week!”
“She was bewitched, last week?” He seemed dazed. “Seriously?”
“One of my spells backfired!” Kember admitted, “It was nothing serious, but still.” And she hoped that Nyx would keep his mouth shut. Reh didn’t need to know that Kember had almost died.
“Have you tried talking to her?”
“You mean, when she was posed to attack me from atop the bedpost?” He cocked a brow at her.
“No, I have not. I can’t even find her!”
“What do you mean, you can’t find her?” Mia stood up from her seat. “Where the hell did she go?”
“I don’t know!” Rehoboam sighed. “And you didn’t tell anyone she was missing?” “I didn’t think she was missing, until now! I hoped she’d be here with you , or...” He looked at Kember.
“I promised to leave the two of you alone, and I keep my promises!” Kember smiled at him.
“She has not been here!” “Did you check the training room?” Nyx cut in.
“Yes! She wasn’t there, or the showers, walking the halls... She wasn’t even on the roof!”
“The war room!” Mia laughed, and disappeared.
“Right!” Kember giggled, and took Reh’s hand. “Come with me, we’ll take the stairs like normal people!”
“I found her! And what the...?” Nyx started, as he entered the war room and found Malice alone, standing in the middle of the war room table with one leg firmly planted beneath her and the other. "Are you, naked?” He added, taking in the whole, meditating in a vertical box split, thing; complete with toes pointed towards the ceiling.
“How does one even bend like that?” “I found her!”
Mia laughed from across the room, “Now shut up, can’t you see that she’s busy?”
“I can see a lot of things!” The Demon shuddered, unable to look away.
WOW! Both Reh and Kember stood in the doorway, neither taking their eyes off of the Valkyrie as she stood there, one leg down, one leg up, everything bared for the world to see; and yet she cared not.
Nyx on the other hand, got a sly look on his face, and started to move forward with the intent of tickling her, but his first step had Kember’s wrist tingling, and then Mia’s as the bracelets Malice had given them, began to glow.
Without warning, Malice’s armor covered her body, and she spun in a complete circle, like she was right out of some ballet movie; and ended up with the tips of her toes on her right foot, mere centimeters, from the end of Nyx’s nose. One step, that’s as far as he had gotten.
“Fuck, me!” He grumbled, and Mia let out with hysterical laughter.
“Smooth, my friend! Real smooth!” She howled, “Pucker up, my love, you’ll be kissing her shoes all day!”
“What the hell, Mal?” The Demon grumbled, moving to the left first, and then the right; and each time her foot followed him.
“Think to tickle me again, and I will kick your face in next week!” She grinned at him, still upside down and grumpy, but grinning; it was an improvement.
“Okay, point taken! Now, can you remove your foot from my face?” He sighed, “Pretty please?”
“Gods, I love you!” Malice chuckled, spinning about until both feet were on the ground once more, and her armor retracted. “You’re so fucking gullible!”
“Valkyrie boots, in my face, female! What the fuck, you could have mini swords that poke out of the ends, for all I know!” Nyx spat back.
“I don’t remember adding those, but that would be totally cool!” Malice laughed and poured herself a drink.
“Yeah, says the female whose mind is as warped as... well, Navina’s!” He grumbled again.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
“I, too, was wondering the same thing...” Rehoboam cut in, moving towards the chair across from her, and he took a seat.
“Though, not with those exact words...” He added with a sigh, and a cocked brow at the Demon.
“I couldn’t sleep!” She told them, stretching out some more.
“I gathered that!” He replied. “But why did you not come back?” Malice had to stop for a moment, and then looked at Kember, Mia, and then Nyx.
“Get Out!” She raised her voice, and all but the Demon, nodded their heads and took to the hall.
“Uh, what the hell, Mal?” Nyx growled.
“I would have words with my husband, alone!” She hissed at him.
“Fine, fine!” He mumbled, vanishing in a cloud of smoke.
“Assholes!” She heard his voice in the air around her, before he too could be heard stomping about in the halls. There was silence for a time, as Malice took some rather, deep breaths.
“I gather, you are still angry with me?” Rehoboam inquired, hanging his head. What was this? He was, what the bloody hell was going on?
“Mad at you? Whatever for?” She rushed towards him, kissing him on the cheek.
“I could never be mad at you, you are the Father of my children. I was angry, but not at you! I thought we discussed this already?” She looked at him with confusion in her eyes, and searched through his own to find the same.
“I came back to the room, and you weren’t there. I searched... for you... I thought you were...” Reh gave in, his lips kissing hers for but a second before she pulled away.
“What do you mean, you searched for me?” Malice stepped back even further. “You knew where I was, I told you as much; right before you went off to bed.”
She gazed at him again, searching those eyes for a hint of the times they had shared; but she found none.
“Euphamia?” She bellowed, stepping back once more and drawing her sword as the black and white hair whipped past her, and Mia stood by her side.
“Where, is your sister?”
“Uh, which one?” The female growled, not knowing the why, but her daggers drawn and ready.
“Zahara!” Malice replied, her eyes locked on the male before her.
“Bring her here! Now!” She ordered.
“What’s going on, Mal?” Nyx asked as he stepped into the room.
“I need Zahara!” She shouted, raising her sword at Rehoboam’s throat.
“Whoa, whoa... Malice?” Nyx was now on high alert, his long black hair hanging about his shoulders, masking the amber glow of his markings.
“That’s your husband, Homie!”
“That is not, my husband!” She hissed, finding nothing but fog as she ripped through the thing’s mind.
“Now find me Zahara, and let us see what you truly are!” Malice glared at the thing in front of her, its eyes barely registering the imminent danger it was in.
“What do you see, Malice?” Mia asked, playing her blades.
“Kember? Go get...” But the Witch was no longer standing there.
“Never mind!” She chuckled, as Malice carried on. “Who, are you?”
“I am Rehoboam, son of David. Your husband, and Father to Ben and Shebes! Come on, my sweet Valkyrie! It’s me!”
The thing pleaded with her, but those were not the words her husband would speak.
“Do not lie to me!” She raised the sword higher and a tiny cut appeared on his neck. A thin layer of black blood oozed out and her voice grew louder.
“Who are you?” She asked one more time, but an arrow through its eye, and the bastard went down in a pile of yuck.
“Who the...” She started in a rage as she spun around, to see Zahara standing in the doorway with Madrina’s bow.
“What the hell is going on around... Oh for fucks sake, in my war room?” Lord Eroch’s voice echoed off the walls. I
t appeared that everyone was joining the party, as Madrina and Nissa appeared behind Zahara, with Markus. Where were Lync and Navina? Weren’t they coming too, to witness Malice’s stupidity?
“Who was that?” Malice inquired, gazing up at Nyx.
“Was she one of yours?”
“Couldn’t tell! Mushed too fast!” He chuckled, plucking the arrow from the mass of ick and swishing it around.
“No markings or emblems... could have been an assassin.”
“Here? In The Null?” Kember gasped.
“Someone had to have opened those cell doors!” Mia reminded her.
“The question, is who?”
“So if that was a Shadow, then where’s the real Reh?” Nissa cut in.
“Where are my children?” Malice spat out, spinning around to face Madrina.
“With my Mother, and...” Madrina paused in her reply.
“And who?” Malice ordered. “
And Kalin!” Madrina sighed, hanging her head.
“You left the children, who both happen to harbor magic, with my Mother?” Kember choked out. “Are you nuts?”
“They’re with my Mother!” Madrina raised her voice at the Witch. “And after she helped you, I figured...”
“She what?” Kember was shocked, for the second time, in a matter of minutes.
“Nice one, Madrina!” Mia shook her head. “You knew about this, too?” Kember let out as her eyes fell upon her.
“We all did!” Malice groaned, “I feel that they are safe with your Mother, and I will explain more, later.” She managed a smile, but it didn’t last long.
“... but Reh is out there somewhere, God forbid, hurt.” She almost teared up.
“Who has been brought in, in the last few weeks?” Lord Eroch inquired, “How many fools have been brought in by your teams?”
“Eight!” Mia replied. “Three in the last two days, I’m told!” “Search, every cell. Interrogate, every prisoner. Someone’s got to know something down there!” The Lord of Darkness growled, and then spat on the ick at his feet.
“And someone’s gotta clean this shit up! Fucking Shadows, messing up the place.” He shook his head and made his way out the door and down the hall to his office.
“So much for our morning meeting!” Nyx chuckled,
“You start on level one, I’ll take two!” He told Mia.
“Malice, can have three and four!”
“Why does she get two levels to herself?” Mia asked him, rolling her eyes.
“Cause she’s pissed, and I don’t want to head to the mats with her like this! So she gets two levels, maybe four!”
“You barely touched your meal!” He grinned at her from across the bed, watching as her long black hair fell about her shoulders; nestling in around her nipples as if the locks themselves craved her touch.
“I was not hungry for food!” She sighed, letting him take the tray away.
“As in, you’re not hungry anymore?” Lync growled back, sliding his way up from the foot of the bed where he’d left the tray.
“Is there desert?” She giggled, feeling his hands on her legs.
“Does your head still hurt?” He asked.
“If it does, do I get desert?” She giggled again, but the tingles were cut off when the sharp pain began to stab at the base of her skull once again.
It was quite in the Null, so quiet, that she swore that all the others were sleeping; so why, had her head ache returned. “Are you playing around?” Lync’s voice grew more worrisome
, and he kissed her forehead as he helped her lay back.
“Vina?” His voice sounded again, but the fog was already swirling in.
‘You have to do this! Lornah is gone, and we have no other way on that ship!’
‘I can’t shoot you!’
‘It will look like you shot me, and then, you can run off and hide, and I’ll take your place! Come on Tanin, she’ll trust me if I look like you!’
What was this? What kind of trickery was unfolding before her eyes? Mountains and trees surrounded them, hundreds of crumbling rocks and... This was... This was Pentar! This had been home! Why was she here? And who, were they?
‘You have to do it, Tanin! She’s been there all night! So make it look like I’m the bad guy, and I’ll switch with you, and lead her off!’
‘And what am I supposed to do? You can’t just leave!’
‘We don’t have a choice! If we don’t finish this mission, then you can’t save Kion!’ The male reminded the one called Tanin.
‘So I’m just supposed to take off? What if they find me? I can’t do this alone.’
‘Fine, I will do it for you...’ The male replied with a sigh, and embraced the male,
‘Take this...’ He brought his sword to the front, and went to hand it to Tanin, but instead of the male’s hand, he pierced right through his chest, and Tanin fell to his knees.
‘I am sorry, my old friend, but it had to be done; for Kion.’ The male shed a few tears, huddled over the lifeless body, shaking his head as his body shuddered.
‘Tanin?’ Another voice rang out, and the male that had once been... she had no idea what his name was, or the shape of his face for that matter, for both seemed to change right in front of her.
‘Tanin?’ The voice sounded again, and the male rose from behind the broken boulders, and made his way out and into the open. The scene jumped ahead, and all Navina could see was the smoldering ruins of a cafe, and yet another male, laying dead on the ground.
Another, whose name she had not caught before he drew his last breath; but this new Tanin, held the weapon that had ended his life. She watched as the male called out to someone, and then made his way over a few blocks, before he made straight for the old watering hole.
He puttered about his ship, sending message after message, and then, with a grin on his face, he responded to the sensor alerts; and made his way back outside the puny little ship. ‘I was hoping you’d show up!’ His voice came from just outside, and Navina wondered who he was talking to.
‘Who are you? And what do you want?’ She heard the voice reply, and she knew exactly who the fake was talking to, and what was going to happen next; but she didn’t know, for the fog was billowing around her, and a long hideous shriek filled her ears. Of all the places she’d been and the things she had seen.... this, was....
The scenery changed, and the ground was covered in snow. Was she back at that fortress? One Vash? The wild howled as the snow fell, and off in the distance, she could see the remnants of a fallen star. So bright and beautiful, with flames so high, it could have only come from the Gods themselves. Shot though the heavens to crash down and... crack open?
It was then she saw the footprint, and the droplets of blood, and her heart began to race as she watched her vision play out, waiting for the moment the darkness would take over; like every other time before.
She wasn’t allowed to see this moment, Pathen had made sure of it. He didn’t want her to remember, whatever it was that she had seen that night; oh so long ago. But then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw another drawing near, another, in a long dark cloak, staggering through the snow in disbelief.
A figure that looked an awful lot like... She watched as it climbed the hill to the fire ball, wandering off to follow the footprints, and then encountering the male with the dark helmet that shone like the stars. That was her. That figure was Navina.
She had climbed that hill, she had followed the footsteps, and the droplets of blood. She had met the male, but she had had no idea that there had been another on board his ship. This was the moment where it always ended, this was where the world went black and she woke up with a killer hangover.
Instead, the vision carried on, and she watched the male fell to his knees, placing something at her feet that he had hidden behind his back. A sort of package, a bundle of cloth wrapped around... but she couldn’t see, as the figure began to turn away.
No, where was she going? What was that? Who was that? But it was no use, the further they got, the darker it became, until all she could see was the fog, and all she could hear was the voice.
‘It is done, my Lords! You may tell Pathen, that the male did not survive.’
‘And the child?’ Thousands of voices replied through the darkness.
‘It died in the crash!’ It told them.
It had lied to his Masters?
‘You have done well. We can now continue with Pathen’s plans!’
‘Yes, my Lords!’ The voice replied, and the connection was cut off.
“Vina? Dammit, Vina!” The room was spinning, and Navina felt as if she were going to throw up, but she had to pull herself from her bed and get dressed; despite the protests from Lync.
“Where are you going?” He called after her as she threw on her robes and tore off the door.
“Vina?” She had to go, for she knew exactly who the traitor was!
“We’ve searched every floor, my Lord, there is no sign of Rehoboam, as of yet!” The Angel replied.
“And down below?” Lord Eroch inquired, as he played with Ben on his lap.
“Nyx and Mia have cleared the first two levels, and Markus is trying to keep up with Malice!”
“There has to be something, we’re missing! Who would have had the knowledge that Malice was here, and how to get into the Null, undetected, at that?” Kember sighed, shaking her head.
“I should be down there with her!” She let out.
“Mia or Malice?” Nissa laughed and rocked back on his heels.
“You’ve had both, right?”
“That’s enough out of you!” Lord Eroch groaned, “So why don’t you go see if Nyx needs some help!”
It was more of an order, than a request.
“Yes, my Lord!” The Angel replied and vanished from the throne room.
“Malice?” She heard the voice and the sound of footsteps on the carpeted stone steps.
“Malice?” It was growing louder, and a moment later, Navina burst from the stairs and into the giant hall.
“Where is Malice? I must speak with her, or Nyx? Where is the Demon?”
“Slow down!” Lord Eroch’s voice was all but soothing, not even her nerves dared to disobey.
“Where is Malice?” “Mommy is hunting for Daddy, cause the bad man was bad!” Ben giggled, and tugged at a lock of Lord Eroch’s hair.
“Ow!” He let out, “What do you mean, ouch! Stop that, will you!” And the young male giggled again.
“What do you mean, the bad man?” No one had said a word to the child about his Mother or Father, and the last Kember had checked, he thought they were off on some ‘vacation’ with each other.
“Where is the bad man now, Ben?” Kember asked as she climbed the steps, and knelt down beside the throne. “
He came up from the dungeons, and tried to trick me.”
“How so?” Lord Eroch was trying to hold back his growl.
“He looked like my Daddy, but he called me Shebes!” The little one laughed,
“Said he was playing a game with Mommy, and wanted to know if I had seen her.”
“And what did you tell the bad man, Ben?” Kember inquired.
“That Mommy was sleeping, and he should be too! Then he left, he didn’t even kiss me or nothin! Just, closed the door!” The child looked saddened, but then the smile returned.
“But I know Mommy is going to find my real Daddy.”
“And how do you know that?” Navina asked with a raised brow. “Cause Mommy finds everything!” Ben giggled back at her.
“It is true, your Daddy is...” Kember started again, but the child raised his hand to her cheek.
“She knows where the bad man came from!” Ben told her, pointing to Navina.
“She had the dream too!”
“What dream?” Lord Eroch demanded to know, “Navina? Does he speak the truth?”
“Well, yes, but I don’t know how. That’s why I wanted to see Malice, I needed to tell her about Tanin!” Navina blurted out, just as Lync made it down the final steps.
“Your female has been dreaming again.” Lord Eroch chuckled “And you look like shit!”
“You and me both!” He grinned at the Lord of Darkness, and placed a hand on Navina’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry! But I had to get down here! I had to find Malice and tell her that Tanin was a Shadow, and that he was here, in the Null.”
“Uh, Malice, has already dealt with the Shadow!” Lord Eroch mumbled, hoping little ears would not repeat it.
“In the war room. Not a pretty sight!”
“What?” Lync was shocked. “A Shadow? Here?” His voice sank into a low growl.
“No, the war room!” The giant male laughed, and Lync joined in as he saw Lord Eroch nod at the child.
“She’s gone to find his Father!”
“I watched the Shadow take Tanin’s place! And then it killed another, before it met up with...” Kember gasped, the horror written on her face.
“You mean...?” But she couldn’t finish that sentence. “Then he was the Shadow, and Kion... Shit! What level were they on?” Lord Eroch shouted for someone to bring him the ledger.
“Three, before they were moved, my Lord!” A short, scrawny male ran forward with the book.
“One live, and one, not so alive!”
“Dammit!” Lord Eroch sighed, “Check every cell twice... There has to be a missing prisoner, cause that son of a bitch is in my... Fuck, me!” He shook his head.
“Ben? Could you go with Kember, while I talk with the others , please?”
“You can swear, Papa! It’s alright!” “Papa?” “Mommy calls you Pops!” He giggled, “So I will call you, Papa!”
“Right! Well you take Kember and go find Madrina, and Navina and I will go help your Mother!” Lord Eroch nodded for Lync to follow, and they both descended the stairs.
“Alright, Ben, what do you want to do first?” Kember asked, having never been let alone with a child before.
“I want to make stuff!” The child replied as he took her hand and followed along beside her.
“What kind of stuff?” Kember laughed, the child was slowly setting her mind at ease.
“I want a helmet, like the spaceship Captains wear!”
“A helmet? Well I think Nyx might have some stuff lying around, perhaps we could paint one of his?”
Well it was all fun and games for a few minutes. Finding the helmet in Nyx’s treasure trove of a room wasn’t as hard as she thought it was going to be. The thing had literally fallen from a shelf in his room and rolled to a stop at Ben’s feet. Creepy? Sure, but then, they had been in a Demon’s private abode.
Conjuring up some paint was a little harder, seeing as no one in the Null really painted. Red and black were easy to find, but they had had to turn to one of the Null’s kitchen staff to find the rest.
An hour later, Ben was painting his helmet and Kember was busy with the portrait she had started for Madrina.
“Ben, could you pass me the green?” Kember sighed, contemplating whether to add more grass to her picture of Sanctuary, or more rose bushes.
The young male pushed the dish of green paint in her direction, and then rose from the table with a huff.
“I need more black!” He huffed, and proceeded to the fire place.
“Be careful!” Kember scolded him, after she watched him pluck a near burning coal from beside the flames, and return to the table.
“You sound like Mommy!” Ben giggled, and returned his focus to the work in front of him. He seemed so intent on his design, so careful with the brushes, and now the coal; Kember couldn’t help but rise from her own seat and make her way over to examine all his hard work.
“Ben? Where did you come up with that?” She asked him, just as Nyx entered the hall.
“It’s a Spaceman’s helmet!” The child grinned, but it was like no helmet she had ever seen. Read about, yes, but in one of Navina’s visions.
“Now that’s a major improvement on my riding gear!” The Demon grinned, patting the young male on the shoulder; and eyeing Kember up and down.
“You okay?” She couldn’t find the words, the vision brought to life right before her eyes; all she could do was stare at all the black, with specs of stardust littering the entire shell. It looked as if Ben had plucked a section of the Verse from a midst the stars and...
“It’s just like the one in our dream!” She heard him giggle again, and he yawned.
“Where’s Maddy? I’m hungry! He added, putting the piece of coal to the side.
“She makes the best cookies!”
“Whose dream?” Nyx muttered, getting a good look at the speechless Kember. It never happened, Kember always had something to say.
“Who shares this dream with you?” His voice turned to a growl, and Ben sort of backed away. “It’ll be okay, kid, I just don’t get to dream, let alone share any!” Nyx grinned, trying to lighten the child’s mood.
“You don’t dream?” Ben looked so shocked, “I dream all the time! Daddy says it’s the way our ancestors communicate with us!”
“Your Father is a very smart male!” Nyx replied. “Is he the one you shared your dream with? Or perhaps it was another?”
“She likes you, so I can tell you!” He smiled up at the Demon, “It was Mommy’s dream, she shared it with me!” Ben yawned again.
“She dreams of the helmet, and the flames that are consumed... it...”
“Are you hearing’ this?” Nyx tried to whisper-shout at Kember, but she still couldn’t move, not as she continued to look down upon the black helmet that looked so much like the one Navina had described in her journal.
“Nyx? Can you take Ben to Madrina? I need to...” Her words trailed off as she gazed even deeper and the cold chill ran over her.
“I need to speak with someone...”
“Uh, yeah! Okay!” The Demon replied, and she finally pulled her eyes away from the bloody thing and looked over to see Ben, sleeping in Nyx’s arms.
“Oh?” She let out in a whisper. “Now isn’t that cute!”
“Yeah, cute!” Nyx rolled his eyes, “And heavy!”
“Take him to Madrina, I’ll come find you when I’m done!” She whispered again, and tore off towards the door.
“Where are you going?” Nyx called after her. “Kember?