“No, no, no,” Lynx was repeating. He was leaning over Alexander, his clothes soaked in blood. How could this have happened?
I felt tears coming but I held them back. A few Tethians were surrounding us. “Lynx!”
I killed the first one with mind control. I told him to swallow his sword.
“Lynx, you have to get up.”
The next Tethian came at me uttering a spell but I sliced his head off. “Get up, nïxï.”
When the last Tethian came charging at me, my head was clouded. I was holding my sword with both hands but thinking about fire and Lynx. I stepped to the side a tiny bit and accidentally chopped the woman’s right wing clean off.
She screamed and screamed until I stabbed her through the heart.
I stared at her wing I had cut off. Then I looked at my broadsword. It was glowing orange. It must have been fire surging through my sword.
I looked back at Lynx and Alexander. I couldn’t look at Alexander’s body for too long. It was absolutely gruesome. Lynx’s face, hands and clothes were drenched with his boyfriend’s blood. My heart ached.
“Lynx, you have to keep fighting. The war isn’t over yet.”
He looked at me and I felt sick at his expression. He was in immense pain, looking like he too had just got cut in half.
I gathered him in my arms. He cried while I sat there, warding off attackers with telekinesis and element control and mind control. I knew when Jae spotted his brother when a sob rand out from just behind us. Jae was there, his forehead pressed against Alexander’s.
“Lynx, we really have to get up. We’re losing,” I said.
He leaned back and wiped his face. The look on his face said he was ready to kill. He stood and flipped two daggers in his hands. I was surprised he hadn’t lost them all. “Let’s go.”
For a while, Lynx and I fought back to back. Then Jaeel joined us. I started to feel like we had a chance at winning.
I felt that for about five minutes.
I glanced over and watched as Princess Drea plunged a sword right through Caelum’s bare chest.
Suddenly my hearing left me. All I did was act. From across the field, I snapped Drea’s neck with my telekinesis. I sprinted to Cal. Golda’s mouth was open wide, probably screaming, but I still couldn’t hear. I looked at Caelum. The sword was short and thin. His eyes were closed. He appeared dead. Where was his armor?
That was when I lost my vision. I knew what was about to happen. “Go,” I barked to whoever was there. I didn’t recognize my voice.
I felt my wings broaden. Without my permission, I flew high into the sky.
Then went my logic.
I opened my mouth and took from all the little winged creatures, just enough for them to collapse. I laughed. I wanted to have some fun.
One with black wings flew up to me, trying to stop me. I laughed again and used the wind to disturb his flight pattern. He spiraled to the ground.
Someone with white wings tried to fly up to meet me but I made my hand into a fist and took all the air from her puny body.
I landed on the ground and a bunch of aliens charged at me. I used my new ability and shocked them all. I grinned when they yelped in pain.
I walked up to one I hadn’t electrocuted and snapped her neck with my hands. The next one, I told to kill six people including herself. That was fun to watch.
Next I took out my sword, killing a handful of inferior beings.
I flew to the sky again and took more life forces. I was feeling hungry.
Suddenly I felt a sharp pain around my tail bone. I ignored it and took more. Then there were two pains on the top of my head. I stopped inhaling lives and raised my hand to feel my—
Abruptly, everything went black.
I was on the ground according to my feet. I felt around with my hands but nothing was there. I groaned.
I used my fire to light the way. I still saw nothing.
I spun around and what I saw was inconceivable.
Sitting on a throne made of fire, was the Devil. The fëŵåš Devil.
Well, that was who I guessed it was.
He was a gigantic beast with rough red skin. He had red wings slightly bigger than mine and black horns. His eyes were a reptilian yellow and he had hooves for feet. He was terrifying.
“Who are you?”
He chuckled deeply. It my skin scrawl. “Can’t you tell?” He gestured to his horns and tail that was thick and red.
I felt my head with both hands. There, where the pains had occurred, were two long horns sprouting out of my head. I felt my back and nearly screamed when I felt a tail behind me. I flexed it.
On the inside, I was beginning to lose it but on the outside I remained calm. I stared the Devil straight in the eyes. “Who are you?” I asked again.
“I am your father.”
“No. You are the Devil.”
“Well, I suppose that is true too, Amelia.” He paused. “’Amelia’. I’m not sure I would have named you that. Perhaps Stacia, the one who shall rise again.”
“You are not my father.”
“Do you really believe that? I know your mother told you that you aren’t Orion’s. She mated with something far more sinister. The Devil, my dear.”
Deep down, I knew he was right. He was my father. And there was nothing I could do about it.
He must have sensed my change in demeanor. “Good. Acceptance is the first stage.” He laughed. “I must say, that energy sourcing power comes in handy. In Hell, it’s called being a succubus.”
A succubus? “Where are we?”
“Hell, Stacia.” I still couldn’t see anything but him and his throne.
“How’d I get here?”
“Technically you aren’t really here. Not yet at least.”
I raised my eyebrows.
“I have a proposition for you. I want you to take your spot in my army. You can replace Abaddon. Hell, you could replace most of them. If you say yes, you stay here. If you say no . . . Well I can’t do anything to you from here.”
I was tempted to say yes. The root of all evil was calling to me. I would be able to destroy and control the entire universe.
It would be heaven, I thought ironically.
But something, or someone, at the edge of my mind told me to say no. I wasn’t sure what it was but it made me uneasy. “Would I be your equal?”
“Of course, Stacia.”
I thought about it. Billions of people to slaughter. Overseeing Hell.
That same voice came back and screamed no this time.
It was . . . my voice?
“I can’t.” As the words came out of my mouth, I felt they weren’t mine. Like someone else said the words for me. The other me.
“And why not?”
“I don’t . . .” I trailed off. The fog over my head started to clear.
The Devil stood and he was easily seven feet. He walked towards me and I shrunk back.
“Stacia, you would be happy here. Killing people who upset you. You would never have to be Amelia again.”
“No, I have to go.”
He grabbed my arm, his claws drawing blood. I flinched. “Stay, my daughter.”
“No!” I yanked my arm away. “Let me leave.” The fog was nearly gone and the reality of the situation hit me.
“Stacia, you are my daughter. We are one in the same. Practically the same person. We’re alike.”
“I am nothing like you!” I bellowed.
Suddenly I was back on Enceladus, laying on the ground.
There were a ring of people around me, a good several feet away. They were all just staring.
I sat up and noticed that where the Devil had grabbed me, there were no marks, only phantom pain.
I felt my head and the horns were still there. I cursed. Then slowly and incredibly painfully my horns went away. Sunk back into my head? I felt the tail disappear as well.
This is weird.
Talia came out from the crowd. Her golden hair was all over the place. She had one glove on and no sword in sight. “Princess.” She kneeled down in front of me. “Is it you?”
At first I wasn’t sure what she meant. “It’s me.” Then I started to cry.
Talia inched closer to me and gathered me in her arms. No one else would come as close to me as she was. No one would dare. “It’s okay.” She rubbed my back, soothingly. “Amelia, we won the war.”
I wiped my face and looked up at her.
“We won. You won. You did it.”
I sat up and glanced around. The only ones left standing were Enceladians. How had I managed to only take from the people of Tethys?
But I specifically remembered killing Enceladians. A lot of them.
“How many of us did I kill?”
“A lot,” said a new voice. I looked past Talia and saw Delphinus. She was bloody but alive.
I stood as Lynx, Cass, John and Golda came out from the crowd as well. They were all battered, with cuts and bruises.
“But you saved a lot more,” Del continued. She patted her stomach as if to say “this one too”.
I gave her a small smile. “Caelum?”
“He’s alive,” said Cassiopeia. “He’s in some sort of coma.”
I exhaled heavily in relief. “Is Amara dead?”
Constable Asger and several guards stepped to the side and behind them was Amara and dozens of her citizens. They all had dazed expressions on their faces. “We told them not to use their powers. Or speak,” Asger said.
“We’re handing them over to SE. Let them punish them,” said Cass.
I nodded. Some of the Enceladians were gathering themselves and walking back to their sectors. I heard some people crying.
“We should go back to the palace,” Golda said. “Get Prince Caelum to the doctor.”
We all started to move towards the palace.
“Where did you go?” Talia whispered to me.
I paused, not wanting to say. Then I remembered what happened to Alessa. “We have to get Alessa.” Saying Alessa’s name reminded me of Lainie. I had to see if she was okay.
I took off without another word.
“Lainie!” I shouted, running up to Lynx’s room.
From the other side of the door I heard Lainie saying “stop”.
I kicked open the door.
A Tethian was on top of Lainie trying to get her clothes off. Another one was rifling through my brother’s desk.
It didn’t take long for my reasoning to say goodbye. Then I was the monster.
I used my electricity to zap the Tethian to a crisp. When I finished, all that was left of him were ashes. I looked to the other alien and lit him ablaze.
Under the first Tethian, his ashes, was a girl. A human girl.
“Well, hello there.” I felt those pains again on my head and back. My horns and tail were back. The first time, I didn’t like them. This time, I knew that they made me appear more terrifying. Good.
According to the expression on the human’s face, my knowledge was correct.
“Amy, please come back to me,” she said.
“My name is Stacia.” I didn’t know why I said that. What my father had proposed started to sound great. Why hadn’t I said yes?
“It’s me, Lainie.” She stood and her eyes were filled to the brim with fear and tears. “You don’t want to hurt me.”
“I’m sure I do.” I took her chin in my hand and inhaled her energy.
Soon before she was dead, I heard a sound. I let go of the girl and spun around.
The door was wide open but I saw no one. I scanned the hallway. The alien who was on fire was now laying down, blackened. I turned back to finish the girl.
“Let’s wrap this up.”
That was when she shot me with an arrow. I barked in pain. It went straight through my shoulder, the arrow sticking out the back. The blue haired human was holding her bow, trembling and crying.
“Zü ðüå.” I walked toward her to snap her measly neck when I felt a dizzying pain on the back of my head. I fell to the ground and blacked out.