"Apparently someone randomly passing by, who didn't like her jacket."
"So the prophecy will be unfulfilled then?"
"Not exactly. You see, Raeza didn't die in the explosion..."
"Kelley." Raeza's voice was cold, blocking him out with a layer of ice, which shattered as she said, "Do you really think you can come in, murder my sister, try to explode me, and then...sing?"
"Maeve liked singing. I just thought..."
"Just thought what? That you could pretend it never happened?! Just like you pretended to have nothing to do with the day she died the first time!"
Kelley winced. Shattered ice was sharp. "I-I--"
"I know you were there, with Serpine," Raeza spat. "If you think I'm going to forgive you with just a simple apology, you're wrong! Guess what you said after my sisters died? You said 'I'm sorry,' but you didn't tell me the truth!"
Kelley began to fade to nothing, pausing only for a moment to see if she would call him back. She didn't, only turned away, eyes red. He slipped past her as nothing, as no one, insubstantial, and maybe that was the way he belonged. He reappeared on the edge of the property, when he couldn't trust his magic to last any longer, and he saw them.
Only one of the five soldiers was someone he even vaguely recognized, but that was enough. Mindy Almaz was thoroughly loyal to Mevolent and would only be here for one reason.
"They know she's alive," he muttered to himself, then started to shout "Raeza! Run!"
Unfortunately, though, he never had the chance to warn her. The sword swing was timed perfectly, slicing through his neck and making the puddles of water by the edge of the road begin to turn red. All that came out was a slight croak, and then he was gone.
The prison was dimly lit, in a stereotypical dungeon-y way, and Avalyn could see shadows and shapes that looked like people, some hanging from the wall and almost certainly dead. Everything went dark, and she gasped, realizing that someone was standing over her.
"So you're awake." The woman shifted position slightly, and Avalyn could see her face about as well as was possible in the gloomy basement-y place. She would have been gorgeous once, with striking hazel eyes and thick lashes, but her entire face was covered in scars, some random, as if from a fight, others more purposeful. This woman had been tortured.
"You're in one of Mevolent's prisons. Underneath an office building somewhere it rains a lot. It's not his main castle, but it might be an overflow prison somewhere in Ireland, or just a prison run by his army anywhere in the world. I don't know. I was unconscious when they brought me here." Avalyn took notice of the way she forced her last sentence out sharply, like she was kicking herself for messing up.
"Who are you?"
The woman hesitated. "I'm J.A." she finally said, "You?"
"Avalyn Obscurity. I work for the American Sanctuary. Mostly paperwork," she lied, with a shrug.
"I'm freelance." J.A. didn't explain what she did, exactly. Avalyn made note of this, but she wasn't surprised.
She hadn't mentioned her intelligence work, or the fact that she'd been intercepting coded messages between Mevolent's troops in Ireland and America. Unfortunately, she'd tried to report the information to the Grand Mage, which was all well enough except that some man named Croatoan had tortred Kerias and re-arranged her internal organs, and she was understandably unavailable when Avalyn had stopped by. Instead, there'd been a man named Prestidigitation, who, as it turned out, was actually working for Mevolent, and didn't want his plans told to the opposition. Avalyn's memory was fuzzy about the rest, maybe he'd hit her over the head when he'd captured her.
There was an awkward silence, then they heard a door creak open, and the loud clack of guards' boots as they entered the dark prison. A dim lantern glow appeared off to the left, illuminating the five or so figures in black, but not much else.
Avalyn heard the other prisoners shuffling around her, and felt J.A's hand on her shoulder, pulling her towards the back wall. "They're coming for you," she hisses.
"How do you know?" Avalyn whispered back, turning around to look at J.A., her face contorted in fear, confusion, anger, a hint of betrayal...
"Logical deduction. Do you want me to take away the physical pain, or the emotional?" J.A. pulled out a ballpoint pen and looked at Avalyn expectantly.
"Emotional, I guess, but how--why...?"
J.A didn't answer, only grabbed Avalyn's hand and drew a quick sequence of symbols on her palm, a sort of a grid, with a little fishhook-like squiggle sticking out. She retreated back into the shadows as the guards stopped outside the cell, the leader of them calling out: "Avalyn Obscurity?"
She didn't answer, but they knew she was there, anyway, and came for her. As she was led at knifepoint out of the main cellblock and into a better lit torture-room, she looked down at her palm again, and saw that the symbols were gone.
(Sorry I took so long to update the Raeza subplot. And AIEEEEEEEEEEEE I STARTED ANOTHER ONE! Whoopsie! Avalyn and J.A. are characters from some of my other stories, I've used them both many times, but somehow they hadn't met. Well, they have now! And, uh, I've sorta given up on keeping this thing at a post per day... I'm not immune to the business of this time of year, and I have a dance recital approaching that's taking up my free time. And school, of course...:-/ )