"Cadence. You're alive."
"I am...who may I ask is calling?"
"Charles? Charles Fiable?"
"...The detective?" She didn't wait for a response, making an odd noise of relief. "God, what must the French Sanctuary think of me? What does the Irish one think about me? Oh jeez...I'm so screwed...oh crud, I'm talking to a French detective..."
Charles laughed. "I'm calling on behalf of Jasmin."
"Why didn't he call me himself?"
"He's had a lot on his plate recently. And he's been kind of captured. Had his phone taken away from him. Been mourning since he was broken free."
"Morning?" Frowning, she tried to work out the time zone difference between them, then realised she didn't actually know where Charles was speaking from.
"Yeah...Alice is dead..."
"Oh, mourning!...Wait...Alice? Jasmin's daughter, Alice?"
Charles hesitated. "Yes...she was killed..."
Lost for words, she just sort of collapsed back into her chair and covered her mouth in shock, half-aware of the other man's stare. There was an awkward silence lasting for the longest time. "And Jasmin? Is he okay? how's he taking it?"
"Admittedly not too well..."
She sighed, feeling tears sting her eyes. "Alice was seven, wasn't she?"
"And they killed her?" Nostradamus was standing beside her now. "They killed a child?!" Charles didn't respond. "A child?! That's sick even by their standards...right?"
"Depends on who does the killing." Nostradamus stated.
"Shut up, kid."
Charles hesitated. "I honestly don't know what to say on the matter. Obviously, I'm a bit shaken by this myself...though I haven't seen the body, thank God...Jasmin had the unfortunate honour of finding the body alongside the killers..."
"O-of course...you were closer to her than I was...don't comment on that, please...and...and Jesus...is he okay?"
"I don't think so. Like I said, he's taking it pretty hard...but it is his daughter, of course he's going to take it hard..."
Cadence nodded, then remembered she was talking on the phone. "Yeah, true."
"You're crying." Charles observed. "At least it sounds like you are..."
Nostradamus handed her a somewhat dirty hanky thing from his own pockets. She reluctantly accepted it. He was just trying to be helpful after all. "I...I'll be fine...tell Jas to stay strong, yeah?"
Charles laughed a little. "He's a strong man."
Cadence returned the laugh and bid him goodbye. Just as they broke conversation, Daemon returned to the living room, an awkward expression on her face. "So," she began cheerily, clapping her hands together, "Jack's dead. Turns out that potion stuff those Necromancer guys gave him was poisonous. So I called the Scottish Sanctuary trying to get in touch with them and was told they'd been murdered. Also Scotland seems to be under Mevolent's rule, so I suggest we find a new safe-house."
"Scotland? Mevolent has Scotland?" Defiance asked in shock.
Daemon nodded. "Yeah...the person who said was killed mid-way through the conversation, so yeah...they're getting really close..."
Erskine kept his head down on the desk a long while after Saracen had left. Things were getting very complicated. Someone came in and sat on the desk. He just ignored them.
"So what did he say?" The Grand Mage raised his eyes to look at his wife.
"The short version is we're doomed."
"The long version?"
"Three more countries have fallen, Mevolent is planning another attack on the cradles of magic, especially while Australia's weak, and...and something I promised not to discuss with anyone."
"You can trust me, surely?"
He thought for a moment. "I said I wouldn't discuss it with anyone. Anyone could be listening in."
Mist nodded thoughtfully. "I understand. I have something to tell you myself."
He perked up slightly at her tone. It didn't sound like bad news. "A surprise?"
She hesitated. "Yes."
"What is it?"
"If I told you, what kind of surprise would that be?"
"Weren't you going to surprise me by telling me?"
"I wasn't quite sure. I might have just given you the test and kept quiet."
"I may or may not be pregnant."
He sagged. "Oh. Wonderful."
"Well, granted that could have gone one of two ways..."
"Uh..." He drew out the hesitater until it became "are we going to keep it?"
"I felt it was open to discussion."
"Because it doesn't sound like you like the idea of being a father."
"We both work very important jobs. Who'd look after it?"
"We could work something out with your friends."
"Do You want to keep it?"
"I don't know, I somehow think I wouldn't be very good with little children."
"You'd be brilliant. Honestly, have you seen yourself?"
"Would it be weird if I told you Dexter wanted us to have children?"
"A little, yes."
"Would it be cruel to name it after Ghastly?"
"Because in the end it's not permanent and it can change it whenever."
"We're not naming it after Ghastly."
Jasmin seemed to be his same old self on the plane. He was moody, of course, as he sat there with his head tilted back, masses of tissue held to his pinched nose to stem the bleed. He seemed to be in a better mood than the last time he had been on a plane, though. He was chatting freely to Charles and Moineau as best as he could under the circumstances. Charles gave little more than single-syllable answers. He had felt nothing but guilt after the nightmare thing the night before. He felt even worse right then. Jasmin was still suffering over these deaths. In some way he felt he was to blame. It had been a fight Charles had started...it was Charles' fault. He had been the one who had been stupid enough to start a fight with that stupid English Necromancer. Of course, once first blood was spilt, by which time it was five against four (They had killed some of Repine's friends by the end), the others immediately joined in against these people. Eleven against seven was the highest it went. Flipping tourists, killing all his friends...He sighed and stared out the window.
"What was that about tourists?" Moineau asked.
Charles sighed again. He still had nightmares, but mostly he believed he was over it. He had made new friends. He had seen all but the original antagonizer die. He felt alright about his past unless someone reminded him it was his fault. An announcement came over the plane intercom thingy, but Charles paid no attention. A couple of his companions groaned. He turned his head, bored. Jasmin gave a kind smile.
"You weren't listening to the announcement."
"No, I wasn't."
"You've been in a rotten mood all day."
"The plane's on a detour."
"Oh?" He sat forward.
"We're landing in Ireland due to technical issues."
((I am officially a lunatic. That is all. Required ending message terminated))