Chapter 42: Wind
Ada listened absently as the rats went about their business. She had stopped trying to repel them by kicking or shouting. In fact, their presence provided some kind of comfort. The mere sound of a living creature helped remind her that she lived, that she was not alone. That she was not losing herself in the nothingness.
She felt no anger towards them, not any more. Such emotions served no purpose. There was no justice or mercy in this world. Her friend died because she got in the way of someone stronger than herself. The rats were chewing at her flesh because it was their nature. The strong will feed off the weak, and the living will feed off the dead. Nothing was right or wrong. Except for power. Power was always right. Might defined right.
Ada had wielded power, felt it surge through her, felt the ecstasy as she unleashed fire from her own hands. The shard catalysed and multiplied her powers. Now it was all but spent, pulsating slowly with the faintest hint of radiance. One last time, Ada pressed the stone against her heart, reaching out.
A warm draft gently stroked her naked arms and neck. She shivered from the touch. Ada’s heart quickened.
‘Live,’ the wind whispered.
‘You found me!’ Ada gasped.
She smiled as its warm presence embraced her cold skin, like the first southern wind in spring.
‘I need you,’ the wind said.
Blood rose to her cheeks, thawing her face. ‘I need you, too,’ she said. It was true, though she never knew until now.
‘I will send for you.’
‘I will be ready.’ In delight, Ada squeezed the starfall shard and absorbed the remaining energy.
The shard dissolved into fine powder between her fingers. Ada didn’t mind.
He had found her.