The Taxi began to move. Van Dreg was trying to ignore the mix of curious, incredulous and bemused looks Harrison was shooting. Ekaterina had fallen asleep and the driver had asked a few questions about the scar across her face before being told to shut up by the other three. It was a deep, awkward silence only broken when Van Dreg asked how far away from Wylie Harrison thought they were.
The Australian mage shrugged. "Pro'lly just a few miles once we get into the village. It'll be good to see Wylie again. Last time was before I met you, Dreg."
"I feel sick." Hibernia moaned. They had waited for Fred and Dearth for two hours before finally hailing a taxi and heading for the airport.
"And how far from whichever airport we're going to is Wylie?"
"How long will the plane journey be?" Kat asked, raising her head off Harrison's shoulder. "I get sick on planes."
"Why does Wylie even have to be in Australia?"
"What use will we be to Ireland if we're in Australia?" Hibernia agreed.
"More than you might think." Harrison muttered darkly. Hibernia sighed and curled up against Scaramouch as best she could with her seatbelt and the feeling that she was going to hurl. Things would not be the same without Fred and Dearth, and they were leaving Cadence behind as well. It sort of left an odd feeling expanding in her chest. A sort of hopeless numbness. She hated it. It was like with Fred, who she had felt was cruel, heartless and hateful, and Dearth, quite the opposite as a sweet, loveable little brother sort of thing, had been part of her and when they had died they had taken a part of her with them. She decided to direct her hatred towards Fred. No, that wasn't right. Vile and Hazardous. Much better. They deserved to be roasted alive for killing her friends. Tears began sliding down her cheeks again and once more her brain told her that she hated Fred. These thoughts in turn led to guilt for thinking she hated a dead man. Potentially dead, she corrected herself. She hadn't seen Fred's body after all.
The body was there, though. Vile sent Alison down to clear up the bodies. Fred was nice and light since he was so unhealthily skinny. While unconscious, Hazardous had been killed by the effects of the symbol on the lampshade. Alison had to clear up her body as well. At least she was back with her stupid wimp of a boyfriend. Dearth was sort of...in bits...so she left his body. She would hoover up the remains tomorrow, when she decided whether to offer up the job of barkeep/landlord or shut down and maybe even burn the building.
Esra awoke with a groan. His head was sore, his chest burned and the last thing he could remember was a vampire choking on masonry. He chuckled slightly at the memory and grimaced. A hand brushed some of his hair off his face and he cracked open an eye. It was daytime and he was still on the roof, but his father was there with him and he was holding Lily's spider cage. He had a bit of a flashback to when he was a little kid and had broken his leg and his father was there keeping him still and safe and refusing to return to the war until he knew he would be okay. Esra had felt so important back then. He tried to sit up, but the pain in his chest and his father's hand pushed him back down. He shut his eyes again. "Dad, I want...I want to get away from here and forget any of this ever happened..."
"Esra, it's okay."
"No it isn't. Almost everyone I care about is dead. I want to forget they existed and forget Mevolent's back and live like a normal person."
"When it's all over, it will be worth it. I'm sorry you've lost so many friends, and don't even think for one minute that losing your sister didn't hit me just as hard...but once the Faceless Ones-"
Esra sat up and grabbed a chunk of his father's hair. "I would rather die than see them return! We're risking our own and other people's lives for utter monsters which will not hesitate to kill each and every one of us for the hell of it! Most goddamn religions are happy to worship without trying to pull their goddamn Gods to the Earth, because I'm sure with any being that damn powerful there would be catastrophic results, but you know what? With these, we're bringing back an army of psychopathic beings of extreme power! Yeah, best way to kill the human race ever." He let go and got up, groaning as the pain in his chest flared and he felt a little dizzy. He met his father's eyes, knowing full well he had just entered the danger zone. Serpine had probably saved his life or something after he had blacked out. Even so, he continued. He was getting out of there and that was final. He spoke calmly now, very different to the previous scream. "I've been allied with Vex this whole time, ever since he was first captured and I brought him for interrogation." He held his spear to his father's throat. "Vex and I are going to walk free. If I see that right hand of yours so much as twitch, it comes off."
Elsewhere, someone else was just waking up. The lights were dimmed so as not to hurt his eyes. He felt sore. Someone standing over him swam in and out of focus. She leaned in closer. "Memphis?"
Memphis Heatwave forced a smile. His stomach hurt like someone had ripped him open, taken out his guts and put them in a blender, but he felt River deserved a smile after all she must have been through. The baby was in her arms. Everything came into focus and stopped moving. "Hi, honey..."
River let out a sort of sigh-cough-sob thing of relief. "Are you okay?"
"Mostly. Wouldn't mind a drink, though, if there's any water nearby."
River looked blank for a moment before nodding and looking round for somewhere to put Jaime. Licking his dry lips, something he often did when nervous, he held out his arms to take the child off her. His arms were shaking and the look she gave him made it obvious she was worried the baby would hurt him, or he would drop his son or something. He gave a pleading look. He wanted to hold his son. Sighing, she handed him over and went to get him some water from the jug on the bedside table. Memphis sat the infant on his chest, a more natural smile coming to his face now. He let his wife try and hold a glass of water to his mouth without spilling it all over him. They both laughed as she failed. Jaime wriggled free of his father's grip and crawled away from his face. He sort of half-fell onto the man's stomach and Memphis threw his head back and hollered. Rvier jumped and snatched the baby away as he started crying. "Sorry about that."
"It's...okay...he's just...curious..." He took a moment to get his breath back and realised he was already exhausted. "When'd he...learn to crawl?"
"Finally got to mastering it a couple of days ago...how do you feel?"
"Amadeus saved your life, apparently. He dragged you all the way to the medical wing. He's blaming himself for the fact you got hurt at all...says he talked you into fighting and that his visions...but the way he told it, it sounds like he's blaming himself for nothing."
"Yeah. My choice...he's saved my life twice now...so have you..."
"Huh?" She laughed slightly.
"You pulled me out of the road...when a car was coming? Then shouted...at me for not...looking for traffic for...about half an hour..."
"Oh, that. That was nothing."
"It was supposed to be...suicide...glad you stopped me..."
Her smile faded. "Oh...I didn't know...you're welcome...I'm glad I stopped you too..."
He smiled. "Love you so...so much..." he seemed to fall asleep there and then. She kissed his forehead and whispered 'I love you too'.
Twist stood at the door of his castle for a few hours, waiting for some sign of McMooney or Motionless. The problem was he already knew Erin was amongst the number of vampires killed. He didn't know how he knew, he just did. The problem was that he and Erin had been friends since Esra was a little kid. For over eighty years. They had known one another since before Erin had been bitten and since before Twist had given up speaking, and since before they had met Niamh. Twist and another of Erin's old friends, a Mr Standard, had been the reason Erin had kept out of the war, as they would be fighting on different sides. Motionless had been part of the Church of the Faceless up until being bitten. The problem was that they had been friends through all that and even when Motionless had tried to distance himself, he had ended up locked in Twist's dungeon-basement thing because he still cared for his friend, vampire or not.
McMooney was back at the Sanctuary, and he was in trouble. "I didn't think you'd find out so quickly, Grand Mage."
"You're an idiot, McMooney! I told you no vampires for a reason! We had a plan of our own and now we don't! Besides the fact that your idea was a stupid and needlessly complicated and dangerous plan to begin with!"
McMooney blew a lock of hair out of his face. "Meh. You're on one side of the locked door, and I am on the other."
The cane Ravel had been using smashed through the glass pane of the door and McMooney shrieked. "You were saying, McMooney?"
Daemon had found the girl doing an okay job at fighting off the vampires, but there were a fair few behind her. She liked how Austin suddenly trusted her enough to leave her alone with this, his phone and to even give her back her object of power. Getting the girl out was a simple enough matter of shadow-walking to her and then the two of them shadow-walking back out.
Baritone was at some stupid cafe. Some girl and some boy had joined him at a table and he was smiling. His smile disappeared before returning twice as wide when he saw Daemon and Cadence approaching. The girl at the table was fair with long brown hair in a ponytail and some stupid flashy red outfit on. She looked like part of some gymnastics team. Maybe she was. The boy was also fair, only paler than the girl and with black hair and brown eyes. He wasn't very memorable, but they both looked alright. The girl was a little below average in terms of beauty, though. "Hi, Austin." Daemon cooed chirpily as she joined the table, pulling over another chair. Cadence pulled over a chair as well and hugged her little brother, who hugged back twice as hard. The brunette girl said 'aww'. Daemon got the impression they would not get along very well. The dark-haired boy took a swig from a coke can as he regarded her suspiciously. "Who're you?"
"I've never seen you, and I'm his best friend."
"You're cheerful. What are you, one of the Roarhaven lot?"
With nothing else to do, Daemon pulled a face. The girl laughed. "Don't mind Aleron." She insisted. "He's always moody. Like you said, he's one of the Roarhaven lot. I'm Katharine Burn, he's Aleron Hadrian. I'm Austin's girlfriend."
She didn't think that Katharine girl would be Austin's type from what she knew so far. She was so bouncy and girly.
"That's Daemon. This is my sister, Cadence." Austin replied, smiling. Daemon slid his phone back to him over the table.
"I added Belinda's number for you. She won't be happy to hear from you, but whatever."
Aleron was pulling a face like Daemon was a bad smell being shoved under his nose. Katharine had a stupid grin on her face. "I hope not all your friends are like them." Daemon whispered to Austin. The Necromancer laughed.
"Oh no, my other friends are much worse. Lilia and Amandine are the most stuck up, semi-spoilt and unpleasant young ladies you'll ever meet, Awesome is an idiot and Luna seems to think she's a celebrity...man, the girls I know are just...wow...Artemis is also like a banshee on its period. Don't know why I hang out with them."
"Right. Well, forgive me if I don't get along with any of them."
She sort of didn't pay much more attention to Hadrian and Burn, only really talking to Austin. Burn even got a little jealous. Hadrian just glared at her every five seconds and didn't really say anything, and God was Katharine's laugh annoying. Daemon hoped they would be gone soon, but no such luck...
"Oh God...they're back..." Austin was staring out the window.
"Who're back?" Daemon and Aleron asked at the same time before glaring at one another.
"The people who attacked Daemon and me..."
((Enter random message about itchiness and possible hospital here...also Esra went badass mode.))