23: Spinning Fate
“Fate, much like a clock, spins with the gears in the wheels of time. The threads that bind one to another sometimes fray at the ends and separates or become knotted and intertwined. The gods of Thanonal can see the threads of Fate and manipulate events around a potential Fate to fray the ends or knot them together.” - The Great Unknown.
Charmeine mind collapsed back to the dream been having. The repeated dream had him preparing to slay a demon of immense power.
The column of flame stretching skyward, lightning arced out the infernal tornado. He could see the damage to the city he did not recognize, the scorched land blasted by the ring of fire.
Demons, small and large. Many misshapen abominations with oversized muscular arms and small legs ran about fighting each other.
Charmeine lay in the protective circle with his daughter. He could feel her healing powers flowing into his wounded body. ”Father hold on; I will have you back in the fight in no time!”
The ground shook with each step the giant behemoth of a demon took. The massive beast looked the size of a small castle, easily a hundred feet long and maybe thirty feet wide. It's thought scaly green hide protruded with red boney spikes. The creature walked on all fours destroying the buildings and anything in its bulky path.
The black-winged angel healing him said in a reassuring voice, “Mother will be here to protect us. She is coming!”
Charmeine knew what he had to do; he had to protect his family.
Out of the inferno, the succubus steps out. Her golden chain armor lightly dressed her body. The bracers on her arms dragged black serrated chains. The black horned beauty’s eyes glowed a solid pink as the symbol burning through her chest revealed a circle with a chained fist. The demon holds a golden short sword in one hand and another golden dagger in the other.
A loud thunderous voice, “KA’AZALIN!” the demon behemoth roars, upsetting knocking over stone with the creatures mighty roar.
The succubus approached the protective bubble that Charmeine was held in. “Charmeine, Agatha, what are you doing here? This is no place for you.”
The black-feathered celestial responded with a grin, “You know we could not stay out a fight like this one mother. Besides, father really wanted to help out.”
Charmeine waved half-heartedly. “Hi Ka’Azalin, long time no see.”
Ka’Azalin smiled warmly, “You are still my favorite feathery fool. If you really want to help, protect the townsfolk. Most of the remaining ones who were not able to flee are held up in the main castle. You are sure to inspire some hope; that’s what you two do. Daughter, take care of your father. I got to defeat that thing before that demon causes anybody else trouble. I promise to come and visit later.”
Agatha nodded and watched as the Demon Goddess red wings expanded outward and promptly climbed into the sky, flying towards the behemoth, slowly crushing its way through the remains of the fiery city.
Charmeine awoke, Ka’Azalin laid on his chest asleep. Most of the last night’s lovemaking was truly amazing. He had never made love to a woman before. He stroked her silver hair, slowly, he could still see the wound on her side; the damage had started to heal, but slowly where his spear had entered her side. He had to accept the pact they made; if lost, he became her husband. Charmeine had admitted defeat and performed the intimate deed on his unexpected wedding night. He could still feel the grace she held inside her, but the rhythm had changed, no longer rough and unstable, more in harmony when he touched her. Andrea had been in his mind, projecting her thoughts into his, sharing her feelings and his feeling across the bond she created. It was a strange sensation; he could feel her body as she could feel his. He felt no hatred or pain in her touch, he was for sure if this was love for her, but this feeling was something else entirely. He now knows he was wrong, and Oliver was right. She had a soul, and she needed light, and at this moment, it was him.
“Still upset that I spared your life?” Andrea asked.
Charmeine grinned; he now felt he could be completely open with her, “No, I still am more than likely correct. Just these dreams I have been having lately have been so intense. They are about you and me.”
Andrea looked at him with a bit of concern on her face. “What dreams, dreams are a dangerous thing I have come to learn. The gods like to talk to us in our dreams. I rarely have pleasant dreams anymore. What have your dreams been telling you?”
Charmeine embarrassingly said, “You might think of this to be foolish.”
Andrea’s eyes rolled, “No foolish is what we did last night, a couple of times. I did not think my back could arch that way; I am not that great of a lover yet.”
Charmeine flushed red, “No, no, you are fine, good, the best.” Changing the subject, he went back to the dream. “Repetitively, I had this notion that I had to slay a powerful demon. A creature capable of creating a column of flaming lightning. My angelic black-winged daughter was healing me. My daughter told me that the mother was coming to protect us. I took the demon I was supposed to slay was you?”
Andrea looked at him, “That would be bad. You can’t now. Our wedding pact to prevent you from hurting me.”
Charmeine added, “No, the dream continued last night. The demon that stepped out of the flaming pillar was you.”
Andrea looked at him again, “Show me.”
Charmeine looked at her with a bit of curiosity, “What? How?”
Andrea took a deep breath, “My feathery fool, show me. Remember your dream; I am inquisitive now. I have not really been in your head, so to speak. I have not probed into your memories or placed anything false. The most I have done is looked at your surface thoughts during our lovemaking, and god, that was a wonderful experience. I had not tried that yet. But the dream I worry about now. I will look for any mental block or wall for false memories.”
Charmeine paused; she used the words feathery fool, the dream came into play once again.
Andrea paused, “I recently had a bad experience where somebody created such false memories to entice me. I ended up hurting people that did not deserve the punishment I gave. So I now have to vet the information I get more serious. Could you show me? Just think about the dream.”
Andrea reached into his mind, gently. Reviewing his dream as he went through fragmented vision. Price by piece, looking for signs of false memory emplacement, a mental block, or wall. She found nothing; the dream was as he said. She was intrigued by the pink eyes of a true goddess.
She pulled out his mind and laid back, “Damn, I found no sign of false memory.”
She had a sudden realization, something that the dream version of her was wearing. The golden chain armor was had a small red gem attached to her throat. Andrea got up and moved over to her personal pack and began rummaging through the bag. A moment later, she pulled out the small golden chained choker she had retrieved from the Vault. She brought it back to Charmeine, “look at this.”
Charmeine studied the small piece of jewelry; it looked a lot like the material of the armor. The choker had a red ruby in the center and bound by several golden smaller chains, some of which hung down. He raised his hands and nodded his head. “This looks like what you were wearing around your neck. Except, more golden chains hung from the necklace, covering your body.”
Andrea took the jewelry and finally cast her detection and identification spells to reveal the magic hidden in the device. She had not had time after the raid on the Vault to identify the item, and Katalina did not tell her what it was other than to pick it up. Andrea never uses an unknown magic item; this can get you into a lot of trouble. Items sometimes held curses and such or just a compulsion to do something other than what you really wanted to do. She then looked a little saddened and slumped back against a support beam of the old house.
Charmeine asked, “What is it? What is wrong?”
Andrea looked back, worryingly into his crystal blue eyes, “The choker is armor.” She placed the choker around her neck and stood up before Charmeine. Reaching to touch the center red jewel, the magic activated. The chains began extending, clinking, and binding together. The chains rolled down her naked body forming a protective suit of golden chain. She looked much like the image from his dream, but with a much sadder face.
Charmeine's eyes lit up; just like a dream, he was truly fated to be with this goddess. “Wow, you look amazing. You truly look like a goddess.”
The chain armor had thin links, and form fit her body, every curve shaped to fit. The armor was not meant for hiding; the chain glinted in the morning light too much.
Andrea knelt back down to Charmeine, “Yes, I probably do. I keep running into this problem. Other gods want my attention; I don’t know really why? Katalina says she’s training me to be a god. A god of what? Demons, I wouldn't say I like demons. I hate myself at times." Andrea paused to catch her breath, "Somebody wants to tear Master away from me and set me up with Mr. Morgan. Another god wants me to have a child with you. I set that into the pact I made with you BEFORE you told me of the dream. Would you have challenged me if you were not fighting to protect your family?”
Charmeine could see she was showing signs of being distressed; he took her hand. He could feel her grace bouncing around again, becoming unharmonized. He could feel her emotional state through the vibrations coming from her grace. “No, I would not have. We all accept the gods to make plans for mortals. A choice is provided, and we make one. I chose to fight you and enter into a foolish contract with you. I let my pride and arrogance override my better judgment. Look at where that got us. I am now married to a Demon Goddess. I hate to think how this will look; my family is going to be either pleased or upset.”
Andrea's eyes narrowed in confusion, "How so?”
Charmeine replied, “You are more than just Blooded; you are a Hand of a God. That means your offspring will be first-generation Blooded and new bloodline at that. Katalina has no known Bloodline with the other noble families. The noble families clamor for the power that Blooded brings.”
Andrea sat down in front of him, “Oh goddess. this might be very bad then.”
Charmeine smiled, “Why?”
Andrea replied, “I am a succubus. I am very ummm, promiscuous. I think of sex a lot; sex and feeding are now interwoven into my personality. I don't even know if I can have children, but if I can. I may be just a baby factory of terrible monsters. Katalina is the Mother of Monsters." Andrea placed her hands on her head.
Andrea felt a bit of tension between her eyes, "Am I to be Katalina's baby breeder? Is she going to make me have babies and spawn chaos in the world? Am I going to be barefoot and pregnant all the time? Just more questions I will have to talk to the goddess about. I don't want to think about it anymore today." Andrea touched the red jeweled choker, and the armor retracted back inside.
Charmeine tried to reassure her that this was not the case, "The dream-child, Agatha, did not look like a scary nightmare child. The feelings I got were very divine and graceful."
Andrea's eyes held his, "Charmeine, make me forget. I was hoping you could do what you did last night; make me forget. Your touch is pure bliss. Make my body tremble, and my eyes roll. I don't want to think about anything really right now."
Charmeine reached over and pulled her to him and hugged her tightly.