Apocalypse Dawn: The New World - Chapter 20

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Chapter 20: Unfinished Business

The game is over, and reality will never be the same again.

 

My little white-haired sister barely managed to get over her fit of giggles before turning that smile and those bright blue eyes of her on me. “Taya make one too? I wan’ Taya al’ays wif me.”

 


 
Author's Note: Here's chapter 20 of book two of Apocalypse Dawn. I was hoping to have it done earlier this week but work has been keeping me busy and tired. I hope you all enjoy.~Amethyst.
 


 
Chapter 20: Unfinished Business

Once the attendant had disconnected all of the tubes, medical monitors, and muscle stimulation patches, and then removed the helmet and breathing mask, we got our first look at Agent Jones since he had been placed in the F.I.T. His eyes were wild, darting around like a caged animal until they focused on me and he tried to jump out of the tube as he lunged at me. He was stopped by Lissany and Nishalle before he could even get close and they held him in place by his arms while his gaze remained on me, his eyes frantic and desperate.

Jones collapsed, falling to his knees with his arms still held firmly in the grip of my sister and my Guardian. “Why did you do this to me, Helen?! Oh, God, make… make them stop, make us stop remembering. Please, Helen. We can’t take it anymore, all we know is pain. Kill us, make the pain stop.”

A wince had me take an involuntary step backward. His eyes, and the desperation in his voice, would have been heartbreaking if it had come from any other person. Wait, Helen? Wasn’t that his wife’s name? Did he actually think that I was her, or was he just that detached from reality? He used ‘we’ and ‘us’ rather than ‘I’ too. Dear Goddess, he was a very special kind of crazy and if he wasn’t watched carefully or put in a padded room, he would likely take the first opportunity to end his suffering.

I gritted my teeth, reminding myself that this was no less than he deserved for what he had done to his wife and son. He had earned this punishment when he had put countless others through that which he now feared the memories of, for the crime of not being human. As much as I might have wished otherwise I could not go back on the justice that I had decreed for him.

“You ask for mercy, Agent Jones?” I asked bitterly. “I will show you the same mercy that you gave those whose memories you share, and those who were not fortunate enough to live through your brand of mercy. When you awake, you will be in a place where you cannot try to harm yourself.” With that, I cast a sleep spell on him.

Jones collapsed onto the ground as his arms were freed and Nishalle looked down at him with a look of distaste warring with pity. “You know, before he came out of that F.I.T, I was ready to try to figure out how to place my soul-claim mark on him. I’m not sure that any personal hell that I cooked up for him could possibly top that though, Sis,” she said darkly. It hurt, but I couldn’t help but agree with her.

With Agent Jones no longer in a state to harm himself or anyone else, Alysse would be able to clean him up and dress him in his clothes again. I had chosen her as the F.I.T attendant for Jonesy’s tube since she had been attending mine while I was playing Apocalypse Dawn and I both trusted her and knew that she was both professional and loyal to my Mahair and me. In fact, before Amoiraishe had left to find my mysterious older half-sister, she had decided that Alysse would be the Autumn Court’s representative in the capital.

“We will return shortly to take him somewhere where he can be properly watched and cared for, Alysse. I need to check on the progress of a few things and then we can take him off your hands. Don’t worry, he won’t be waking up for at least twelve hours,” I told her as I glanced down at the agent’s sleeping form.

“He will be prepared by the time that you return, my Empress,” the pretty Nyiir’dhraí vowed.

Jonesy was in good hands for the moment so I quickly made my way to my first stop with Lissany and Nishalle in tow. The part of the meadow that we were approaching was being kept clear on my orders for incoming shipments and once we arrived I quickly sent a wind whisper to Whisper to make sure that I was clear to open a portal there. Whisper had managed to learn the portal spell but keeping a large one open for the time required to move freight through would have exhausted her. That was doing it just once; doing it several times in a day would have been sure to overexert her. Not everyone has my inexhaustible mana reserves.

A moment later, I received the Witch’s reply stating that things were all clear and I quickly opened a portal to the warehouse. As we stepped through to have a quick look around, Nishalle let out a whistle and said, “Damn, it looks like we weren’t the only ones who kept busy today.”

The warehouse was almost full. Some of it was food and other supplies from the food wholesaler but there were also the first shipments that had arrived from two of our other suppliers as well. The first was from the fabrics and sewing-related supplies warehouse, and the second was a huge shipment of wood and other infrastructure necessities that I had ordered through the local lumberyard and home renovations depot. This was going to make both the Atlanteans and my fellow Fae very happy.

It took over half an hour for me to use my telekinesis spell to move all of it through the portal and into the empty part of the field. Whisper and Grell had tried to keep everything organized by type of supplies, so at least it would be easy for those in Varüus’kiel to sort through. Other than receiving deliveries, the pair had been working on various other tasks that I had assigned as well. Grell, for example, had finished building a server that would eventually host the Varuus’kiel government websites as well as sites for the various services and businesses that our people had planned.

Whisper had been mostly too busy overseeing the shipments to do much on the website mockups though she did create wiki pages for the Fae, Witches, Atlanteans, and other official races of Varüus’kiel. She also created wiki pages for Nishalle, Lissany, and me. She thought it would be a good idea for us to have them, so she had also done some updating to Danu’s wiki page, and a few others well. I wasn’t too sure if that was a good idea, declaring ourselves as Demigoddesses to the internet but Whisper thought that we needed to start having some control over our own press and she was the only one who had the authority to edit the pages she had created.

She and Grell did finish one thing that had me ready to kiss them both. Under Grell’s supervision and using his experience as an Artificer, Whisper was able to finish her intelligent computer program, teaching it every little trick that she knew about getting into online places where she wasn’t supposed to be. As she had promised, it would only accept orders from her or me and the little worm, who she had decided to call Jim, was able to make short work of the cyber security for certain three letter agencies in the United States, giving us the locations of all possible black sites where they might be keeping non-humans.

Armed with that information, I went in search of Narek and the queens and since the most likely location seemed to be outside the growing Moon Palace, I started there. It wasn’t hard to find since the mass of glowing crystal now rose high into the sky and its light could be seen from anywhere in the occupied parts of the meadow. It was taking up most of the tip of the peninsula that it had been set on to grow and I imagined that once it was complete, it would be a landmark to guide all the residents of our future city.

To my surprise, we found Amoiraishe with her fellow Queens of the Courts and Narek. As we approached, the quartet turned to regard us and dipped their heads in reverence as they said, “Your Majesty.”

I frowned at the bowing and titles, wondering if I would ever get used to them when Amoiraishe wrapped both Nishalle and me in quick hugs before looking at us intently. “I heard that things were interesting while I was away,” our Mahair commented, looking pointedly at my sister’s glowing eyes.

“That’s a bit of an understatement, Mahair,” Nishalle agreed with a smirk. “Lissany got caught up in the whole Demigoddess thing too after killing Ares but the great mother has some Gods that we can trust helping us to learn the stuff we’ll need to.”

The Autumn Court Queen’s brow rose in interest as she gave my Guardian another look, noting her glowing green eyes. “And what aspects did you receive, Lissany?”

“Uh… War, courage, and protection, your Majesty,” the jaguar Beastkin replied with a blush.

“I can think of no other who exemplifies courage and protection better than you, Lissany,” my Mahair offered with a satisfied smile. “I am proud of you, and I’m sure that Venika is as well. You set a shining example for those who will be joining the ranks of the Guardians.”

Lissany turned bright red and was having trouble replying so I decided to change the subject for her sake. “How did your search go, Mahair? Did you find our sister?”

“Yes, little rose, Aine and her companions are in a F.I.T simulation so that she can learn the skills that she will need as the Princess of the Autumn Court. Had I known you would be coming home today I would have waited a few hours before getting them settled in. She is even more unsettled in her new role than you were at first and the time in the F.I.T will allow her to get used to the idea and her new self.”

“I was looking forward to meeting her but I can understand how she feels,” I admitted. Then I turned to the other heads of the Courts and decided to address the real reason for my quick visit. “We’re here to let you know that more food has been delivered to the drop-off site. There is also a shipment of natural materials and sewing supplies for making Fae-friendly clothes and wood and building supplies for getting a start on infrastructure.”

“That’s wonderful,” Anatha commented with a smile. “We already have several buildings dug and constructed with nature magick and ready for doors and windows on ground level, including the hospital. The F.I.Ts and servers that are not currently in use are being moved down to the bottommost floors, and Jhuras and the other Artificers are working on the artificed equipment and lighting since you wanted the hospital to be a priority.”

Qwenyth nodded as the Queen of the Sumer Court added, “Jennifer estimates three days before the Moon Palace is fully grown, so it should be finished around the time that Salem and her group of transformees and trainees are out of the F.I.Ts. Once it is complete the Sül’shael will be able to start making doors and window shutters for it. Hadrick and the girls are prioritizing your new armor, and weapons and armor for Guardians first though.”

“Well, I’ll be sure to tell Jhuras and Jennifer that we likely won’t need to worry about greenhouses. I discovered that I have three other domains today. One is maybe bigger than Varüus’kiel and in a tropical climate with plenty of wildlife and a lot of space to start farms and orchards. The smallest already has a large vineyard and orchard established that we could harvest soon. The last one has several islands, with wildlife and sea life but there may be a danger of dragons so that one will be off limits to anyone but my Priestesses or me until we are sure it’s safe.”

“Priestesses?” Amoiraishe asked in sudden interest.

War Priestesses,” Nishalle clarified with a grin, causing our Mahair’s eyebrow to rise even further.

“Uhh… yeah, over five thousand Succubae and their mother, Lilith. Well, there are close to six thousand, I think, but only five thousand are battle-tested adults. They’re all warriors, though quite a few are skilled as Healers and Magi as well. The whole brood was loyal to Inanna and served as her Priestesses and army. Inanna was good to them, I only hope that I can be half that good, but they all see me as her chosen successor and have sworn their service to me. If Varüus’kiel ever needs an air force, they’ll be a good start.”

“Yeah and they’re all as determined to protect her as me and Lissany,” Nishalle added. “I won’t be surprised if we have a small escort squad of Succubae watching over us from a distance whenever our Empress has to be out in public.”

All of the queens’ eyes went wide at that. And Narek stared at me, dumbfounded for a moment before asking, “You have over five thousand battle-ready Succubae as your Priestesses? That is… impressive. I have fought a Succubus once, there was a misunderstanding and she could have beaten me if we hadn’t cleared things up. She was a fierce warrior and talented Magus. She was not as bad as the Humans make her kind out to be and she had a strong sense of honor. She was every bit as eager a lover as any Fae too.”

There was a smile on his face at the memory and I groaned. I did not want to hear about my Fae father’s sex life. Ewww. Great, now my brain had gone there. For all that I knew, one of those Succubae could be my half-sister. Nope, not going to think about that, I do not want to know. Instead, I sighed and answered, “Yes. I do. And they will all be citizens of Varuus’kiel as much as anyone else… which should make the next Jhashaira ceremony very interesting. They live on one of the sky islands in my largest domain though and only they or I will be allowed up there, to preserve their lifestyle.”

“Sky islands?” Jhuras asked as he approached. “Apologies for interrupting, your Majesties, but I noticed that Empress Taelya was here and I thought that you might all wish to know that the workshop domes are set up beneath the lake and we can start to automatically produce mana batteries, lighting, and other necessities for the new homes and other buildings with materials that we recovered from Atlantis.”

“Hello, Jhuras, you should be getting more of those materials on your wish list over the next couple of days,” I promised. “As I was telling the others though, with my new domains we likely won’t have to worry about artificed greenhouses so that will be one less task for your people. As for the flying islands, one of my domains has islands that float in the sky due to an ore that Inanna created. It defies gravity when an electrical current is run through it.”

The moment that the words left my mouth, I had the High Artificer’s complete attention. “The uses for that… Would you be able to bring me a sample, your Majesty?”

I laughed and extracted the sample that Lilith had given me from one of my belt pouches to hand it over. “I thought that you might be interested in it, Jhuras. I’m hoping that we can reproduce the effects somehow or use earth magic to extract small amounts from the smaller islands. I’d rather not take too much if we can help it though. I don’t want those islands crashing down on top of the farms we build there or something.”

“Yes, indeed,” the Atlantean replied with a sage nod as he studied the ore in his hand. “I shall see what we can do, your Majesty.”

Since Jhuras was now puzzling out the stone and barely paying attention to the world around him I turned to Narek and offered the USB drive that I had gotten from Whisper. “I have something for you too, Pájar. The files on here contain all of the information that Whisper could dredge up on possible black sites where they might be holding non-humans in the United States. I know that you had the Winter Court looking into it and possible rescue operations, so hopefully this will help you plan.”

There was a brief look of surprise on his face before it gave way to a grateful expression and he nodded. “I have some scouts looking over one location that we suspect might hold information on some of our missing people in New York. Once they return, I will gather our rescue teams so we can go over the information that they have gathered, and what you have on this drive.”

“Good, I’m going to go drop off Agent Jones somewhere safe so we can get home then,” I said, drawing the impromptu meeting to a close. “I will see you all soon.”

I wasn’t able to take my leave quite yet though as Narek quickly caught up as we were walking off and asked, “Taelya… wait a moment.”

I covered a groan. You would think that with my dislike of the titles and formality, I would welcome somebody calling me by name but this was Narek, and him not using the title probably meant that this was something personal. That could only mean that it was something concerning our awkward father-daughter relationship. That was not something that I was really in the mood for given the long day I had had and having to find a safe place to stow Jonesy. “What do you want?” I asked. It came out a little harsher than I had intended though, and I immediately felt bad about it.

“I… have some time and Tíana is old enough that I was planning on making a viyr’kuor with her. It’s a tradition of the Winter Court to keep family close even when you can’t be… She’s taken to you, she constantly talks about the other children she’s met since we came here and her big sister. She’s been asking about you a lot and wants to spend more time with you. You will need to teach her about being a Queen someday and this could help you to build a good relationship with her so… I was… hoping that you might join us?” Narek wrung his hands and looked at the ground as he spoke, uncharacteristically nervous.

“I am well aware of the tradition,” I countered bitterly. How could I not be, I had Rhaennan’s memories of doing it as a child with Narek. Of her wanting to have a father as much as I had growing up with only Karin and our mother. “Why do I need to be involved? Do you need to store some DNA again? Do you think you might need a backup in case I don’t work out as Empress?”

Narek visibly winced. “I… deserved that. Taelya, you’re my daughter, and I realize that I haven’t been the best father to you. I manipulated and tested you from the start and saying that I did it for our people might not be the reason that you want to hear but it is the truth. I should have considered your thoughts and feelings more but at first, you reminded me so much of Rhaennan and I was afraid that I was going to lose her all over again for the sake of my plan.”

“I’m not Rhaennan,” I snapped, clenching my fists as Lissany and Nishalle watched on, uncertain whether or not they should get involved. “I might have her genes and a bunch of her memories but I’ve never been her. I’m not a replacement for her.”

“No, you’re not,” he agreed. “And I lost sight of that while trying to make sure that you would be the princess that we needed. You’re Taelya and I couldn’t be prouder of the person that you’ve become, of how you’re unifying our people. You are Fae; you have taken that to heart in ways that I never expected, so I know that you realize how important family is to our people. You don’t have to forgive or forget everything that I’ve done; I am just asking that you give me a chance to try to be the father that I should have been from the moment we first met.”

“What? No asking me to do it for Tíana’s sake?” I poked.

Narek shook his head sadly. “No, Tíana may want the time with you but this is your decision and I won’t use one daughter to manipulate the other. I want this for my sake and your sake. I may not have shown it very well but I have come to care about you a lot since we met, Taelya.”

The image of Narek charging through a group of Suvas’taäl on Ghost’s back and carving through them like the embodiment of death flashed through my mind, followed by him reading me the riot act and watching over me after I had nearly killed myself by channeling too much mana. At those times, he had felt like a father to me, even if our relationship at the time was awkward and strained as hell. Would it really hurt to give him a chance and try to start over? I had given Daenyss a second chance, and now Harley too, and both of them in positions that were close to me. Shouldn’t I be willing to give my Pájar a second chance too?

I sighed and finally nodded after a moment. “Fine, I’ll give you a chance. I do need to find a place to stick Agent Jones before it gets too late though.”

My Pájar’s face lit up in a smile as he reached out and grasped my hands tightly in his own. “Thank you, Taelya. I will not make you regret this.”

We followed Narek to a somewhat secluded spot where Tíana was waiting with a pair of guards. “Pájar! Taya!” she squealed in delight as soon as she caught sight of us. Then she ran over and practically knocked our mutual father over as she jumped into his arms. Nishalle and Lissany decided to hold back a bit and give us some space and Tíana’s guards decided to do the same so they wouldn’t intrude on the family moment.

“Hey there, my little snowflake. Just as I promised, we’re going do something very special together today,” he said as he placed her back on the ground, kissed her forehead, and tickled her sides, setting her off into a fit of giggles. “I’m going to make viyr’kuor for us today. It will let us always have a part of one another with us, even when we’re far apart for some reason. Since your sister came to check on how things were going here I asked her to come to join us.”

My little white-haired sister barely managed to get over her fit of giggles before turning that smile and those bright blue eyes of her on me. “Taya make one too? I wan’ Taya al’ays wif me.” Oh damn, she was just too adorable for words. Even if I hadn’t resolved to give our Pájar a chance, I probably would have melted right there.

“I sure am, Tíana,” I said giving her my best smile in return. “Now let’s sit down so Pájar can tell us what we need to do.”

Weaving the grass into braided cords gave me a sense of déjà vu, only this time it was my littlest sister who had a difficult time getting her hands to weave the cords. Since we were making two each, I had been worried about this possibility since I remembered Rhaennan being older in the memory of making hers, and she barely managed the one. Tíana’s little hands were having trouble doing the fine work and she was getting frustrated halfway through making the first one.

Her expression was so determined though as if she was determined to make them no matter what. Therefore, the minute that our father’s back was turned by some noise from the edge of the woods that was totally not me using my nature aspect, I winked at her and used a quick spell to finish weaving both of her cords together, and mine as well. “What’s the matter, Pájar? Me and the little snow bunny here are already done.”

I wasn’t fooling him, he knew exactly what I had just done, and I could see in his eyes that he was just playing along as he said, “You’re both so good at this.”

He went back to starting on his second cord and I managed to hold back the comment about how you would almost think that I had done this before. I was trying here, for all of our sakes, but it was going to take time before I could actually see Narek as the father figure that he was trying to be. His hands moved deftly and it didn’t take him long to finish and tie the cord off so it wouldn’t unravel. While he did that I let Tíana play with Willow, who had woken up from her nap.

With the cords woven and tied, our father took a small dagger from his jacket and cut a lock of hair from each of us, then we watched as he divided each shorn lock in two and cast the spells to encase each half in crystal. The crystals around my hair samples were violet while his were like smoky quartz and Tíana’s were an ice blue. He had made each crystal with a hole at the end wide enough to run the cords through and once we had done that, we tied them off so that they were long enough to put on or remove as needed. Or rather he and I did, Tíana needed some help with hers.

Soon, we were all wearing a pair of crystal pendants. I snuck in another spell on the pair of violet ones with my hair inside that would let me know if the bearers were in any sort of danger or seriously injured, though it was more for Tíana than our father. He could handle himself just fine; I had seen enough of his handiwork on the battlefield to know that. I was still unsure of the weight of the smoky crystal around my neck but the thought of the blue one made me smile as I gave Tíana a hug and a kiss before leaving.

“I will try to be back soon,” I promised. “Love you, snow bunny, you be good while I’m gone.”

“I will, Taya!” she eagerly vowed.

“Good girl,” I said. Then I kissed her on the forehead and turned to Narek. “I’ve got to go, I’ll see you later… Pájar.” There, I managed to say it in a non-formal situation. I took a deep breath and then made my way back to Nishalle and Lissany so we could make our way back to where Jonesy was snoozing. Neither of my protectors said anything about that awkward family moment, just letting me think things through as we made our way to our destination.

We were almost there when a familiar gleeful squeal from above caught my attention. “Inu’Mahair!” Xixie and a couple of other Sül’shael were flying toward us and gracefully landed even as their fiery wings and hair extinguished. They just stood there for a moment, beaming at me as they bounced on their toes, looking about ready to explode from excitement. Xixie blurted out whatever they were so happy about but I hadn’t been able to catch it because the pair with her had blurted it out as well, or something similar, and their rapid-fire speech overlapped making it hard to determine what they were trying to say.

“One at a time please,” I said with a tired sigh. It had been a long day and I was tired and hungry but I didn’t want to snap at any of them. They were such good girls and so eager to do well for me. I saw them all about to blurt it out simultaneously again and I raised a hand to stop that from happening. “Xixie, please explain what has you all so excited?”

“We finished your armor, Inu’Mahair! Hadrick heard that you were here and he sent us to get you!” she exclaimed like a hyperactive Wisp eager for attention.

I unconsciously reached up to pet Willow, who was sitting on my shoulder again as I regarded the girls in sudden interest. I really needed new armor, I was worried that I was going to get into some huge fight and end up fighting in my street clothes, or end up ruining another really nice dress. “Okay, girls, let’s go,” I said with a grin, suddenly feeling much more energized.

The girls were so eager that they half-dragged the three of us to Hadrick’s forge where the Dwarf was looking very pleased with himself. “I thought that it would take longer to finish my armor,” I accused cheerfully as we approached.

“Aye, yer Majesty,” the Dwarf admitted with a smile. “The dragon hide likely won’t be cured an’ ready to work with fer a few more days. But these girls were eager to finish their part for ya. So, ya won’t have the dragon skin body sheath ‘til then but we thought that a little bit of Nythrin armor is better’n no armor at all.” He gestured to the pieces laying on a makeshift countertop and my breath caught in my throat.

The silvery blue armor was practical, not that I was expecting a chainmail bikini or something from Hadrick of all people. He took too much pride in his work for that. Yes, it looked like that chest piece would probably mold itself to all of my now-considerable curves but it would cover me from hips to neck and even had a neck guard. The back had slits for my wings to emerge that would be covered by spring-loaded plates when my wings weren’t manifested.

Full bracers with attached wrist guards and greaves that would protect from ankles to knees came with it and each piece had adjustable leather straps that fastened with ingenious metal clips. There were no armor pieces for the upper legs or upper arms but with the dragon skin body sheath underneath they wouldn’t be needed and would only hamper my mobility. Though there were a pair of loose pauldrons that had clips meant to hold a cape or cloak in place. The pauldrons were made of interlinked thumb-sized Nythrin plates that would offer protection while still providing a full range of mobility in the shoulders.

Overall, the armor was ingenious and breathtakingly beautiful with the usual Sül’shael etched patterns all over them, including a large tree with a crescent moon overhead on the front of the chest piece. On the back was a pair of wings that Xixie had copied from the tattoos on my back. Once Hadrick showed Nishalle and Lissany how to help me get into it and it was on, I was surprised by how light it was. It was as if I was wearing aluminum or something. Both of my protectors were as impressed as I was and Nishalle was told that hers would be ready around when the dragon hide pieces for mine were and that her chest piece would be similar to mine. Hadrick was hoping that they would have at least a good start on the new armor for my Guardians by then as well.

“You girls did a wonderful job,” I told Xixie and the other gathered Sül’shael with a smile. “This is beautiful and I am sure that it will protect me well.”

“Oh, Liss,” Hadrick said with a grin as he reached behind the makeshift counter for something else and produced a Nythrin war hammer. “Yer armor may not be ready yet, but this should give ya something to play with in the meantime.”

The hammer was as beautiful as my armor, the head fashioned into the shape of a saber-toothed cat’s head with a nasty-looking spike on the back end. The etching that the Sül’shael had done to make it look like it bore fur made it look almost real. My Guardian stared at it in awe for a moment before grinning, picking it up, and giving it a couple of practice swings. Her eyes widened as she did so. “This is heavier than I thought, as heavy as my current hammer.”

Hadrick nodded, that big grin still splitting his face. “At its core, it’s made of the same ultra-dense alloy I used on yer old hammer to add some weight behind yer swings an’ keep the head from blowin’ apart. We coated it with Nythrin to make it more durable though and so the girls could pretty it up for ya. Needs to match yer new armor after all,” the Dwarf added with a playful wink.

~o~O~o~

Lissany was still happily playing with her new weapon of localized destruction when we returned to where Alysse was watching over Agent Jones. She had him dressed and ready to go and the only things that hadn’t been returned to him were his gun and his wallet with his badge inside. After thanking Alysse for her efforts, I cast a portal to the parking lot of Vancouver General Hospital where I cast quick glamours over Nishalle, Lissany, and myself. Then we half dragged the sleeping agent to the mental health ward.

The woman at the intake desk looked extremely bored, only looking up once I had placed my illusory CSIS badge and ID in front of her face. I had based them on Jonesy’s but I made the appearance on the ID match my current glamor. Then she was suddenly all business. “Oh. What can I do for you tonight, Agent Smith?”

“Got a crazy here,” I replied with a shrug and a nod toward my companions in similar black suits that were holding Jonesy up. “He attacked me and started ranting. Took my gun and tried to off himself, probably would have succeeded if the safety wasn’t on.”

“Mmmhmm, do you have any information on him?” she asked as she started filling out a form.

“Not much, he’s a John Doe as far as we know. He’s obviously suicidal and he was shouting things; begging for me to ‘make them stop’ and to ‘kill us’. Since he tried to off himself and was referring to himself as ‘we’ and ‘us’, I think that this case is probably more your line of work than ours,” I replied. “Whole world is going crazy if you ask me.”

“Tell me about it, freaks and monsters have been appearing all over the place lately. It’s enough to make anyone snap. We got a girl in here earlier who thinks she’s Elvis come back from outer space,” the woman grumbled as she continued to fill out the form and paused to press a button on her desk phone. “The orderlies will be right out to collect him. They’ll place him in a padded room so he can’t hurt himself until one of the doctors can assess him.”

“Good, I sincerely hope that they can help him,” I muttered. Only once Jonesy was strapped down to a stretcher and being taken away by the orderlies did we turn to leave. It had been a long day and I just wanted to curl up in bed with Rei and Daenyss.

Copyright © 2021-2022 Amethyst Gibbs


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