Snow Angel: Chapter 31

Printer-friendly version
snow angel.png


Chapter 31: Storms

Snow's whole life changes when the winter solstice arrives.


“By the spirits,” I muttered. Everyone should have been shuttered inside of their homes or shelters by now. “Lead the way Risha!”


Author's Note: Hey everyone, it's been a busy and kinda frustrating couple of weeks but I'm hoping for a new chapter of Snow Angel on my patreon sometime later tonight for my Patrons as well, and to be back on schedule this week but here is chapter 31 for my loyal Big Closet readers. Thanks to Big Closet and to all my readers for your support. I hope you all enjoy. Further chapters are (or soon will be) available on Patreon.~Amethyst.

Chapter 31: Storms

Our trip back to the FTL communications tower to pick up the others was quiet and without incident. While in flight we contacted Heather, Karina, and Lisbet to let them know that we were on our way, how things had gone, and to pass on our orders to return to base. By the time we arrived, the dragon’s corpse, and those of the other Demons that they had encountered during our absence, were completely taken care of and the three of them were ready to go home.

I was in the MIST’s pilot seat this time, so once they were on board and we were on our way, I had to focus on flying the ship. I couldn’t pay much attention to the boisterous conversation behind me as the three of them ate a quick meal from the food dispenser and Risha told them the basics of our trip to Ashburn. We were close to halfway back to Woodbury Base when Autumn, who was in the co-pilot’s seat beside me spoke just loud enough for me to hear but not to travel back to the others. “You’re quiet, Snowy.”

“I’m concentrating on flying; this is the first time I’ve done this outside of a simulation,” I replied just as quietly.

“Yeah, sure, Snowy. And it just so happens that you’re the team leader, and the one who decided who’d be piloting on the way home,” the redheaded Fay pointed out.

A sigh managed to escape my lips before I countered with, “It was my turn.”

“It’s an excuse,” Autumn countered with a sigh. “You feel bad about not telling Heather about what Desra told us yet, so you’re trying to ‘concentrate’ on something else so you won’t feel the urge to do it before we get back.”

“Spirits, am I really that transparent?” I muttered, risking a quick glance back toward where the others were talking.

“Only to me,” the Fay replied with a wan smile. “And maybe Karina and Risha. You’ll be able to tell her soon, and we can’t even be sure if the man who sired Desra was telling the truth about who he was.”

“The pieces fit though.”

“Yeah, they do, but you’re right to wait to discuss it until we’re back at the base,” she assured me. “If you told her beforehand it would only be a distraction to her if we run into trouble before getting home. I think we’d both rather she can think about what it all means in a safe place, so stop second-guessing yourself, Snowy.”

I tried to take Autumn’s advice and it was dark when we returned to Woodbury Base half an hour later. Once our MIST was safely in the Hangar and the post-flight checks were complete, I decided to contact my grandmother so we would know where to find her and Kelsie. “Connie, please call Archangel Abbadine Bengal.”

-= Connecting call. =- my NCI dutifully replied.

A moment later my grandmother’s voice responded, -= Snow? Where are you? =- Her voice sounded somewhat strained, almost nervous, and that was something that I wasn’t used to hearing from her.

“We just landed, we’re in the Hangar,” I replied in concern. “I was just calling to find out where you were so we could report in.”

-= Stay there and prep your MIST for immediate takeoff, Kelsie and I are on our way. You can give us your report while we’re in the air. Load up on ammunition while you’re waiting, double what you would normally take for a mission.=- That was all that she said before disconnecting the call, and that left me very concerned.

I quickly passed on the orders to the others. “Karina, start prepping the MIST for takeoff again. Everyone else, start making ammo for your weapons. Double portions.”

The next few minutes were a bit of a rush as we all took turns reproducing ammunition for our holdout sidearms and our primary weapons as well, for those of us who needed ammunition for them. I produced extra for Karina on my turn since she was preparing the ship for takeoff. Lissany and Risha took the longest, but their primary weapons required a lot more matter for their larger ammunition and we had to refill the matter reservoir with various small scrap found in the Hangar’s scrap parts bin.

By the time we were finished, my grandmother and Kelsie were approaching the MIST with grim expressions and a hurried gait. With them were six identical Human-looking women, carrying large bags with a red cross-shaped emblem on them. Each woman was nearly as tall as I was, with a shapely figure olive-colored skin, brown eyes, and black hair. The slight differences in the way they wore their hair seemed to be the only way to tell them apart. They all had long hair, but one had a center part, another a side part, the third pigtails, the fourth a braid, the fifth a high ponytail, and the last wore hers in a tight bun at the back of her head.

“Looking good, Marti, I see you finished the upgrades to your avatars,” Risha commented, though she looked as concerned about why the six might be accompanying Kelsie and my grandmother as I was.

“Thank you, Risha!” Pigtails Marti replied with a bright smile. “We only have a dozen or so finished so far, and the others are so jealous. We won the draw for first dibs and to go on this mission though. I’m so excited!”

“I should have passed on it,” Side-part Marti grumbled with a frown as they got on board and started buckling into the nearest passenger’s seats. “You do realize that if it’s bad enough that we might be needed, this could be dangerous, don’t you, Marti?”

“Of course! That’s what makes it so exciting, Marti!” the first replied chipperly.

“And we get to finally use our skills to help others again, Marti,” Bun Marti added sagely with a somewhat serious look on her face. That was when I noticed that each was wearing a tattoo of the Angel Corps sigil on their right hand.

The group had barely gotten strapped in before the First Angel ordered, “Set course for the capital.”

“What’s going on, Wingleader?” Lisbet asked nervously as she took the copilot’s seat beside Karina.

“We got word just before you landed, there’s a massive seed-storm sweeping across Misota, Sira said that it’s one of the biggest she’s ever heard of, and it’s going to pass right over the capital. It might get there before we do. Every Angel and recruit is being called in to destroy the Demon Seeds and Demons that crop up,” she explained. “Marti will be joining us to provide medical support.”

“Maryn’s team has already joined in the mobilization along the storm’s path,” Kelsie added. “It first appeared while our communications were still down. Fortunately, the Farspeakers weren’t affected and the villages and towns in its path were able to contact the capital and Eden Base before taking shelter.”

“Yeah, radio would not have been affected by the comms blackout; it is a much older technology that many people were phasing out as the FTL communications proved to be superior. Eden Base was built before people started to become dependent on the new system, and it was probably easy for the Tinkers to replicate it in the early years of the Corps. We really should have one as a backup for all of our bases and maybe a portable one for each team as well, in case of future communications disruptions,” Risha pointed out.

“A good idea, and something that we can discuss with Sira later,” my grandmother replied. “For right now, let’s have your report, Snow. You indicated that there was something important that you needed to tell me.”

I quickly explained to our superiors about the fight with the dragon at the tower, followed by our encounter with Suppression Team Theta, their issues, and then how we had gone to Ashburn with them and Risha had stopped a possible disaster by repairing and optimizing their AI core and any connected systems. Finally, I finished by repeating the story that Desra had told us about her mother.

The mood in the MIST became even darker than before as I finished. My grandmother frowned and said, “If true, that is concerning, and it would certainly explain a few things. I will have to talk to the other Archangels and Sira about this as soon as we’ve taken care of whatever Demons pop up from this seed-storm. Heather, do you remember anything that might hint at this being true?”

“Heather,” I pressed in concern when she didn’t answer right away.

She was clenching her weapon tightly with a distant expression. In her eyes though, cold fury burned. When I reached out to take her hand gently in mine, she seemed to come to her senses, though the anger was still there in her eyes, as she replied, “Nothing that can be proven, everything changed around when my grandmother died though.”

My grandmother nodded thoughtfully. “I was off raising Snow and didn’t get much news from the capital back then. I haven’t really had the time to catch up since I got back on duty either. Things usually change a little when a new Queen takes to the throne though, at least from my experience.”

“My little sister, Lisa, was born about six months before my grandmother died and my mother took over as the new Queen,” Heather began to explain. “I was almost seven then so I can sort of remember things but it sometimes blurs together. I kind of blamed Lisa for my life changing, but now that I really think about it, things didn’t really start changing until Mom took over as Queen. Before that, she was still spending what time she could with me, and telling me stories about the Angels, and you, Wingleader. She respected and admired you, and that made me admire you too. Even after my sister was born she kept telling me stories before bed, until she became Queen.”

“It’s not surprising that she would have less time for you after taking the throne,” Autumn pointed out. “I mean, running a country is probably a lot of work.”

“It wasn’t just that,” the former princess countered with a sad shake of her head. “She became distant to everyone and spent much of her time alone with my father when she wasn’t doing her duties as Queen. She practically forgot I existed, and Lisa was spending more time with the nannies too. When I did see her, it was like she was a different person.”

Heather paused a moment, gathering her thoughts before adding, “I wasn’t the only one who saw it. I heard some of the servants talking while they didn’t think that I could hear them. They said that she had changed. They were worried that losing her mother and having to take on the duties of Queen so soon after Lisa’s birth was too much for her. If my father really did steal that device from Desra’s mother, it would explain my mother’s sudden shift.”

“We’ll need evidence if we’re going to charge the Queen’s consort with high treason,” I offered candidly. “If she really is being manipulated by him, he has the advantage here. We will either need to catch him red-handed or find the device and prove what it’s capable of.”

“Good point, Snow. We can’t just go and search him, or the palace either, our authority is only given over matters of a demonic nature,” my grandmother added. However, from the look on her face, it seemed like she would have liked to do exactly that. I was beginning to see why she hated politics so much.

Heather looked like she wanted to do a lot more than that, and I wished that I could have waited to reveal this topic. We were going to be going into combat; there was no avoiding it if the storm was as big as Sira had told my grandmother. The last thing that I wanted was Heather, or another one of my team members, getting hurt because she was distracted and focused on some sort of vendetta against her father.

Not that I could not sympathize. I wanted to kill the bastard myself if even half of the things that we suspected about him and what Heather had told us since we met her were true. With the stuff that Desra had told us, and Misota’s new direction under Queen Sabine, I had to believe that he was every bit as bad as I’d heard. My grandmother was right though, we had no authority over matters like these.

Heather knew that too, we could all see that, but we could also see that she was angry. She wasn’t just angry for herself either. She was angry that her mother was being used like that, at the loss of the closeness they shared when she was little, that her younger sister was probably caught in the middle of this too, and for what had happened to Desra’s mother, and in turn, Desra herself because of him. Most of all, she was angry for Misota.

“He’s not just manipulating my mother, he’s manipulating the whole country, and the Angel Corps too. He thinks that he can just get away with it, that he’ll…” she fumed until Autumn and I both reached out to gently take one of her hands.

“Heather, we all care about you and I understand how you feel, but I need you to be focused on the mission. Can you do that for me?” I asked carefully.

The pink-haired Fay took a long deep breath before finally nodding. “Yeah, I can do that, Snow.”


“This is bad,” Lisbet said as we approached the capital. Even with the sun down, the approaching storm in the distance looked foreboding, a shifting blackness within the moonlit night that caused shivers down my spine as I stepped up to the pilot’s compartment to have a look. I was nervous enough as it was. Sure we had fought plenty of Demons, but this would be the first seed-storm that we would face since becoming Angels, the first that I hadn’t been in a shelter for or just seen the after-effects of.

“One of the worst seed-storms I’ve ever seen,” my grandmother confirmed gruffly from behind my right shoulder. “It’s covered a lot of ground too, even with all of our Angels and recruits working at it; we’ll be hard-pressed to find all of those Demon Seeds, and the Demons they create, to destroy them. We’ll be cleaning this up and fighting newly made Demons for weeks.”

“I haven’t heard about a seed-storm over the capital since I was a kid either. We’re going to be spread thin,” Kelsie agreed. “If I had both arms…”

“But you don’t,” the First Angel interrupted, “and your scythe is a two-handed weapon. You would just be risking further injury going out to fight like that. You can still be useful to your students by staying in the MIST and monitoring their communications.”

“I know,” the Foxkin replied glumly. She didn’t sound at all happy about it though.

“Karina, put us down in the academy courtyard so Marti can start setting up a field hospital there in case things get bad,” our Wingleader commanded. “We have Raven’s Veetol and all of those from Eden Base, ready to move any injured here to be cared for. Kelsie will stay inside the MIST and monitor Phantom Wing’s comms, and the rest of us will make our way toward the west gate. The city is locked down, and all of the people in the slums outside the city walls have been moved to shelters, but there are still rodents and stray animals that could be turned when the storm gets here. We’ll also need to keep watch for any Demons coming from the storm’s path. With nobody to operate the ballistae, cannons, and repeater guns on the walls, we’ll be the city’s last line of defense.”

“Just us?” the Devilkin asked as she corrected our course and began to descend.

“No, wings have been positioned at the northwest and southwest corners as well, and two recruit wings are patrolling the city for any stragglers who might not have gotten inside yet,” my grandmother replied grimly. “I know it’s not much for a city this size, but it’s the best that we can do right now. We have teams being dropped off from here all the way to the Dakoda border. Raven and the other pilots still haven’t got all of the teams in place yet.”

“Risha, what’s the range on your micro drones?” I turned to ask the Avatar seated with the Marti crew. “Could you use them to help keep an eye out for any stragglers or Demon activity?”

Risha smiled and nodded as she informed us, “I have over a hundred of them and they were meant for reconnaissance. Their effective range is roughly twelve miles, so I could monitor most of the city with them before they leave their effective range. It won’t be perfect coverage, but I can set them to get some altitude and scan the streets for any movement.”

“Okay, as soon as we land, send them out,” I told her. “Let me know immediately if you see anything that might need our attention. If one of the other teams is closer, we’ll let them know so they can deal with it. Otherwise, we’ll handle things ourselves.”

“Yes, Wing Commander,” she replied with a smile and a salute.

Five minutes later, we landed in the academy courtyard and while team Marti rushed inside to set up for any injured, Risha released her micro drones. She had to get her HESS armor to retract around her shoulders and then they opened up to release a swarm of tiny, fly-sized drones that immediately shot into the air and spread out in all directions. Once that was done, we headed to the academy gates so we could make our way to the western gate of the city.

It would have been faster if we used the MIST or the REVs but we didn’t want to risk using either publicly yet, which was why the MIST was still cloaked. If anyone caught a glimpse of either then rumors might spread and the people trying to take Eden Base from us might realize that we stumbled onto something even better. We didn’t have enough REVs for all of us anyway, so it didn’t really matter.

The emergency bell rang ominously through the otherwise silent city as we made our way through empty streets. The houses that we passed were locked up tight with shutters and doors tightly sealed against Demon Seeds. Seed-traps in the chimneys would be closed as well, only to be opened after the storm had passed and fires could be started in the hearths to burn any Demon Seeds caught inside.

We hadn’t gotten very far away from the academy before Risha called out, “Snow, wait!” Only once we had all stopped did she add, “I’ve got movement near the palace. Two people from the looks of it, maybe an adult and a child, going by their sizes. We need to hurry; my drones are picking up seedfall at the city walls.”

“By the spirits,” I muttered. Everyone should have been shuttered inside of their homes or shelters by now. “Lead the way Risha!”

The blonde Avatar took off at a run with the rest of us following behind as she led us through a maze of streets toward the palace district. By the time we caught sight of the two people in the distance, the storm front was getting uncomfortably close; I could see Demon Seeds falling a few streets over. The adult was running through the streets and half-dragging a terrified girl who appeared to be around eight or nine years old.

Heather’s vision as a Fay was as sharp as mine and a strained gasp left her lips as she caught sight of them. “Mother? Lisa?”

“Karina! Get them inside the closest building!” I ordered.

“On it, Snow!” the Devilkin responded before quickly covering the remaining distance in a teleport. Then she snatched up the young girl and vanished before reappearing a moment later to vanish again with the confused Queen. A few minutes later Karina’s voice came on comms. -= They’re safe inside but the kid is terrified from being dragged around and the Queen was fighting me so I had to knock her out. She was freaking out, something about it not being safe inside. I’m worried that she’ll try to bolt the minute she wakes up. =-

“Karina, get me in there fast. I’ll watch over them until the danger is passed and the rest of you can move toward the western gate to help keep the city safe,” our Wingleader commanded.

In response, Karina appeared and then vanished with my grandmother before reappearing once more to collapse to her knees. “N-need a minute, ‘porting while carrying someone is not fun,” she muttered while breathing heavily. I would say that ‘not fun’ was an understatement since the Devilkin was pale and looked exhausted.

“Rest for a couple of minutes, and then we can go,” I told her, placing a hand on her shoulder. “Great job there, Karina.”

“Can’t… let my best friend do all of the crazy heroic stuff,” she teased with a faint smile.

“Why… why would she run outside? During a seed-storm of all times?” Heather mumbled as she looked at the ground where her mother had been only a few minutes before.

“I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two don’t count,” Risha muttered bitterly. “Kelsie said that this was the first time since she was little that a seed-storm has passed directly over the capital. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. If I were a mustache-twirling villain with a mind control device, I think I’d see it as a golden opportunity to get rid of anyone in my way. I’d just need to quietly plant the idea in their heads and make sure someone witnesses them leaving while I’m innocently somewhere else. They become Demons and the Angels have to take care of business. With you given up your right to succession, how many people would stand to inherit the throne, Heather?”

“Nobody after Lisa, except for some distant cousins descended from males of the lineage who had no right to inherit. Nobody with a valid claim, it would just cause infighting, maybe even a civil war,” the former princess answered, her face gone white in shock.

“Unless the Queen’s consort stepped in. With the approval of the nobility, of course,” Risha pointed out.

“Are you saying that he somehow planned this, Risha?” Lisbet inquired with a look of confusion.

Risha shook her head in denial. “No, that would be impossible; I think that he just took advantage of the opportunity that this storm presented. I would imagine that he had some other way planned to take control later; this just allowed him to push up his timetable, and get rid of both the Queen and her heir at the same time in a believable manner. If it’s been obvious to others that she’s acting differently, he could just say that she snapped under the pressure or something.”

I sighed and tried to get my team back on track as Demon Seeds began falling around us. “Let’s let our Wingleader take care of the Queen for now, there’s not much that we can do about these accusations at the moment. We have work to do and we should go do it. Heather, are you going to be okay to… Heather?” The pink-haired Fay was gone, running around a corner and heading straight for the palace. “Shit! Heather, stop!”

“Sorry, Snow, I should have kept my big mouth shut,” Risha muttered with a shamed expression on her face.

“Autumn, go aft…” I couldn’t finish what I was about to say because at that moment it felt like someone had shoved an icepick in my brain and I was far too busy clutching my head and screaming in agony. Time, my surroundings, and my mission lost all meaning under the assault of the keening wail in my head. It was a pressure in my mind, questioning, desiring something from me. All that I knew was that it was the most pain that I had ever experienced before, even more than when my body was changed by the Angel nanites. “What do you want from me?!” I screamed at the presence that threatened to overwhelm my mind.

The pressure lessened, barely perceptibly as I screamed at it. The agony was still incredible but within that cacophony in my mind, there were words. The sound (voice?) defied any kind of descriptor that I might have tried to use for it. It was everything; my beginning and end, hope and despair, light and dark, beauty and beast. *I know that this pains you, child. I will try to be gentle, but your small minds are not built to comprehend my thoughts. It has been so very long since one of my children has evolved enough to hear me.*

Even its attempts to be gentle were so excruciatingly painful that I worried the sound might drive me mad. What was this thing? The pain lessened slightly again as it replied to my unspoken thoughts. *Indeed, many who have heard my thoughts before have gone mad, but your connection to me and the Aether is strong, and I hope that you can endure this. I am what you fear that I am, in the back of your mind, child. I have no name, I have existed for time immemorial without the need of one, but others from your world who have heard me have called me Mother Darkness. I have need of you, Snow Bengal.*

© 2021-2023 Amethyst Gibbs
All Rights Reserved

Further chapters are available to the public on my Patreon page.

184 users have voted.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos! Click the "Thumbs Up!" button above to leave a Kudos



And suddenly it’s a whole new world.

Great chapter, thank you that was brilliant


Amethyst's picture

Yup, that was a jarring change. And what will happen to Snow now?

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Oh dear

Well this sure aint The Beatles since she has just found herself in times of trouble but only Mother Darkness comes to her; nuh uh.

So this clanger of a cliffhanger leads to the obvious question of how she can shield her mind from Mommy Dearest. Snow can't get distracted in the face of this emergency so this is in incredible hard test for her.
Her superstrong seed-borne gift is now proving to be a double edge sword (just like her Claymore ^_^)

This can be an opportunity also though if Mother Darkness is the one sending those waves of seed storm. One must understand the enemy before one can take it out. Like it or not, Snow just got this task.

Cliff clanger?

Amethyst's picture

Yup she could be in trouble here and as you pointed out, great power is like a sword and can cut both ways. Hopefully she'll glean some knowledge here without losing her mind and still be able to fight.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Mother Darkness ?

and the queen was under some kind of influence?



Mother Darkness

Amethyst's picture

Sounds ominous doesn't it?

And it seems like the queen may have indeed been manipulated, or possibly controlled.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Well that's an ominous ending

Well that's an ominous ending.
I hope the rat bastard husband that sent the queen and her other daughter out into this to die gets what he deserves, hopefully he can't take over Heather's mind and she chucks him out into the street to be possessed by the demon seed so they can kill him with no backlash.

he's probably in a safe room

he's probably in a safe room deeper within the Palace, which itself is likely being used as a shelter


Amethyst's picture

He is a manipulator, and they often prefer to seen their plans carried out from somewhere that they personally are in no danger.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

There are various forms of

There are various forms of 'safe', especially in a massive seed storm. Who's to say that one of those seeds isn't moving a tad bit faster than "normal", aimed for his drinking chair.

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.


Amethyst's picture

Things aren't looking good right now. Snow may be out of commission and Heather really wants to kill her father. Wouldn't it be nice if she could give him what he deserves?

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Gee. I wonder if Mother

Gee. I wonder if Mother Darkness is... stuck. Normally moving around freely, but something's interfering with 5th dimensional navigation. (4th is time)

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

It's a possibility

Amethyst's picture

She wants Snow's help with something though. What remains to be seen. One of the theories posed in earlier chapters was that she's trapped in our dimension.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

"I'm rubber, you're glue, I'm

"I'm rubber, you're glue, I'm stuck, now talking to you."

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

So, is it one of the bad guys?

Or maybe a blessing? Surely it has some way to attenuate its voice.


Amethyst's picture

It's uncertain what Mother Darkness's intentions are yet, but she does seem to be making an effort not to drive Snow mad.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Of course

That just means Snow is more useful to her sane


TheCropredyKid's picture

Are you there?

Are you okay?


She did post up that she wasn

She did post up that she wasn't going to be as active for a bit a couple of days ago.

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.