Previous Chapter / Next Chapter
So, we went back to Earth, after saying goodbye to the people on the planet and promising we would come back to visit and check on them. Well, most of us did. Athena and a few others were going to stay behind to keep working with these people for the time being. After all, they still needed to be taught how to protect themselves better. And apparently they were going to go into those tunnels to look for any more of the Seosten tribals who could have been left behind. We’d already had guards watching over the actual portal entrance into where the Revenants were, just in case, but still. Better not to leave the fanatics out there to do gods only knew what.
Also, we weren’t going back strictly by ourselves. A few people from this world were going back to Earth with us, as sort of an ambassador/exploration situation. They wanted to see what it was like away from their home, maybe take back some new ideas or concepts when it came to putting their own society back together. One of those people was Beilela, the younger girl who they kept calling ‘The One Who Said No.’ She was famous in that first city we’d gone to for being the person who–well, said no. Specifically, she had refused to be a ‘willing’ part of that last round of sacrifices Fossor had been making before we cut off his power. More importantly (and amazingly), she had literally thrown a bucket of paint over one of that piece of shit’s statues before flat out saying she refused to lift another finger to do a goddamn thing for Fossor. She knew he could–and absolutely would have killed her for the defiance, but she didn’t care. This kid was a completely ordinary fifteen-year-old who told Fossor to go fuck himself while knowing there wasn’t a single damn thing she could do to stop him from absolutely destroying her. She had assumed it would happen, that she would suffer for the defiance, and she still did it.
Yeah, Beilela was a bit of a badass, and she deserved to visit Earth, or anywhere else she wanted to go.
And, of course, Rahanvael was staying on–uhh, Rahanvael. She was very clearly still embarrassed and sort of ashamed of the fact that these people had named the world after her. But she deserved that as much as Beilela deserved to visit Earth. It was just going to take time for her to understand that nothing Fossor had done was her fault. I was pretty sure staying and helping these people find their own place while learning the history of their world, which only she could tell them, was going to help an awful lot with that. I hoped it did, anyway.
There was more going on, like the fact that the regular Seosten people were still sending a ship to check in on this place. But we had at least made them promise to extend the truce deal from Earth to this world as well, convincing them that their… cousins, for lack of a better word, had already been through enough and didn’t need to be dragged into more fighting. Between that and the agreement to find out if they could help with the whole pregnancy/child crisis situation, the Seosten leadership were being pretty nice about it. At least, enough of them were being nice. According to Chayyiel and Athena, there were still some of the Seraphs who were arguing for direct invasion and control of Rahanvael. They were simply outnumbered by those who were being more clear-headed, which was about the best we could hope for.
In any case, all of that would be stuff for others to worry about for the time being. I was going to be pretty busy with my own thing. Or rather, with Ehn’s thing. I obviously had no idea how it was going to go, but I was relatively certain I wouldn’t have time to really focus on things like how Rahanvael (the person or the planet) was doing, or the search for Gaia. I just had to hope they’d be okay, and that everyone else could handle it.
“Are you sure about this?” Shiori asked, as she, Avalon, and I stood in my attic room back at the house in the Fusion School. And boy did it seem like it had been forever since I’d been here. After spending so long on the ship going to the other world, and then these past few weeks on the world itself, I could hardly remember the last time I’d actually slept here in my own bed. And from the sound of things, after these few days I had to get myself together and say goodbye to people, it was going to be a long time before I did so again. It kind of made me sad, thinking about all the classes I was going to miss with this whole thing. Sure, I’d be learning, but it wasn’t the same. Was it too much to ask for Ehn to wait and do this over the summer? Yeah, probably.
“Not in the least,” I replied while tossing a baseball up and down idly. “Trust me, I have no idea how this is going to go. But I do think it’s the best choice we’ve got. I’ve got this power, both of their powers, and I need to learn how to use them. I need to get stronger.”
“That’s what Manakel is for,” Avalon reminded me sharply, arms folded against her stomach. She didn’t like this idea at all, understandably. “You’re learning how to use that power from him.”
“And I still will be,” I pointed out. “That’s why he’s coming with me.” That had been one of the agreements we made with Wukong. I was bringing several of my ghosts along, including Manakel so he could continue to instruct me with the whole Necromancy stuff.
Giving an audible sigh, Avalon took my hand and pulled me closer, putting her other hand on my shoulder. “Listen to me. When you do this, you have to be careful. Yeah, you’ll be able to call for help through Tabbris or one of the ghosts, but this guy is more dangerous than anything we’ve gone up against. I don’t think any of us could get there in time to stop him if it’s an emergency.” Her voice cracked a little bit as she was speaking. “I think you’re right about him not wanting to hurt you or anything. But if he changes his mind, if he decides it’d be better to have some other Heretic take that power, or something like that, he just… watch yourself, Felicity.”
“What she said.” Shiori’s voice was quiet as she leaned against the nearby wall, staring at me almost forlornly. “If this guy could just walk right out of that special prison like it wasn’t even there, I don’t think there’s much he can’t do.”
Yeah, one of the first things we had done when we got back here was check on the status of Ehn in Gehenna. And sure enough, they had informed us that the man was simply gone. No one knew how he disappeared, or at least they claimed they didn’t. But he wasn’t there. Obviously, Wukong knew where to find him, but he wasn’t going to tell those people. Nor were they likely to be able to re-capture him if they tried. Something told me neither of them would be going back to that prison ever again unless they personally chose to. Actually, I didn’t think either of them had ever been there without choosing to be. That ‘prison’ was more like a free relaxing hotel for people like them.
“Which means if anyone can help me get strong enough to actually stop the Fomorians, and participate in that himself, it’s this guy,” I pointed out gently. “I don’t want to leave, guys, I swear. You know I don’t. But this whole situation is more important than just what any of us want. If I can help stop those monsters, I have to try.”
We didn’t talk about that anymore, not right then anyway. We didn’t have time to dwell on something that wasn’t going to change. No matter how hard it was to leave them like this, even temporarily, I had to do this. Instead, the three of us discussed how we were going to stay in contact as best as we could, and how I was going to let them know things had gone wrong if it came down to it. Between our plans and those my mother and the other adults were cooking up, I was going to end up with over a dozen failsafes when it came to sending for help. And, if we were lucky, maybe one or two would actually work.
That might have been a bit pessimistic, of course. But hey, I’d rather go above and beyond with so many options and assume only one or two would work, than settle for only having a couple and having end up not being able to get through at all.
More importantly, at least as far as my sanity went, we just hung out. The three of us talked, played some games, watched a movie, we just relaxed and enjoyed our time together. All while I tried not to think about the fact that it would be a long time before we did this again, once I headed off to train with Ehn. I couldn’t dwell on that. I just had to enjoy what I could get.
To that end, I turned to face both of them and caught one of each of their hands with my own. “Look, guys, this is basically like I’m going away to camp for a while. I’m going to be back before you know it, and you better have done your parts, okay? I mean, if I’ve got to miss all the excitement around finding Gaia, waking up Arthur, and all that, you better experience it yourselves so you can tell me all about it.” I left out the fact that we also needed both of them just in case the Ehn thing went wrong and he refused to let me leave. We were all thinking it, there was no need to actually say it out loud.
Avalon squeezed my hand, meeting my gaze. “You’re right, we’ll do everything we need to do back here while you’re busy.” Her free hand moved to poke me in the forehead. “But you be careful. Yeah, we have our emergency stuff, but you know he’s probably too dangerous for that to work if he really wants to stop it.”
Shiori’s head bobbed up and down quickly. “We know why you have to do this, and that it’s a good idea. Or at least the best idea we’ve got, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. Be careful, and keep telling us everything that’s going on, okay?”
I promised to do so, before we went back to talking about other things. Happier things. After a few hours together like that, I spent a couple more alone with each of them in turn. First Avalon, then Shiori. Tomorrow was going to be the big group party with all my friends and anyone else who wanted to come. My last day, before leaving, would be spent mostly with my family. This, right now, was time alone with my girlfriends.
And I was sure as hell going to enjoy every last minute of it.
The next day, as promised, was my group farewell party. Which I honestly thought was a bit weird, since I hadn’t spent all that much time around school lately anyway, but still. It was more of an excuse to hang out with all of my friends together for most of the day. I heard all about stuff like how they had rescued Harrison Fredericks and captured one of Kushiel’s Olympian children, the one with the explosive teleportation. Aureus, the gold girl. Apparently she still wasn’t the least bit happy about being here, even after several people, including Abigail, had tried to talk to her. She was pretty violent about the whole situation, so they were mostly leaving her alone for the time being.
So that was yet another thing I was going to have to let other people deal with while I was gone. By the time I got back, she would probably either be staying willingly, or have left already. Whatever happened, all I could do was wish the others luck. From the sound of things, they were going to need it.
Kushiel, the Rebellion itself, Gaia, Arthur, all of these things might just end up being resolved by the time I was done with Ehn. Assuming I survived the training he had in mind. Either way, I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. Fortunately, in some ways, I was probably going to be too busy to think too much about that.
Besides, now wasn’t the time to think about that stuff. Instead, I was eating cake while playing a bit of doubles table tennis, with Columbus on my side and Sands and Sarah on the other. The four of us were chatting about–of all things, the first day we’d met over a year and a half earlier. Throughout the rest of this large rec room we had appropriated for the next few hours, my other friends and family were playing games, watching movies, talking, just… hanging out. People kept coming by to talk to me about anything that came to mind, or just to wish me luck with Ehn. I was doing my best to split my attention and give everyone a chance to talk. Fortunately, it seemed like this whole thing was more of an excuse to hang out in general than it was specifically about me. Thank God. I really didn’t think I could handle being the center of attention for three days straight.
“I thought I was going to pass out while we were waiting for you to show up at the lighthouse, Flick,” Columbus was informing me. “Seriously, Shiori and me, we uhh, we spent a long time talking about how we probably didn’t belong there, how they were totally going to tell us they made a mistake and send us home. Before we actually went to the island, we were waiting for them to show up with the Men In Black neuralyzer thing. Then when we actually got there, I was just… I felt like I was gonna throw up. When they took so long to come meet us, I thought ‘picking up another student’ was an excuse.”
“You thought they were having another meeting about whether they should kick you out anyway, and really they were voting about whether to let me in to begin with,” I replied with a snort. “Can you imagine how different everything would’ve been if one more Committee member voted no so Gaia couldn’t break the tie?”
Sands caught the ping pong ball between two fingers in mid-bounce, examining it critically. “Everything would be a hell of a lot worse, because we wouldn’t know the truth.” She frowned, looking at me. “I’m serious, Flick. Stuff may be dangerous and hard now, but I’d rather have dangerous and hard things to do than be someone who would have killed as many innocent people as those bastards wanted. I know it was hard for me to believe you at first, and maybe back when this whole thing first started, I kind of thought it would’ve been better if you hadn’t said anything. But I was stupid. I wouldn’t change this back to the way it was for anything. I don’t want to be the person they wanted to turn me into.”
“You’re afraid they’ll erase everyone’s memories again like they did with the first rebellion, aren’t you?” Columbus noted.
Sarah spoke up. “They won’t. They can’t. Not without warning.”
“Yeah, what she said,” I agreed. “Remember, we’ve got eyes on the Committee too. In more than one way. If they started moving along those lines, we’d get enough warning to stop them.”
Bouncing the ball a couple times between her palm and the table, Sands nodded slowly. “Yeah, I know. But still. I have dreams sometimes about forgetting, about the sort of person I’d be if they wiped my memory and made me–” She visibly cringed then, dropping the ball before turning to embrace her sister, who was waiting for that. The two of them hugged one another.
Looking over at Columbus, I offered a shrug. “You gotta help take care of them while I’m gone, you know?”
“I’ll do my best to fill in,” he agreed with a small smirk. “But I don’t think I look that good in a blonde wig.”
“Eh, you could pull it off.” That was Tristan, who showed up with Koren, both of them also eating cake from small paper plates. “But I know a guy who could totally grow your hair out and color it instead, if you prefer.” As he said that, the boy reached over to put his hand on the top of Koren’s head, making her hair extend another few inches before turning light blonde. Apparently he had another power I wasn’t aware of.
Koren, swatting his hand away, used a couple fingers to pull her hair up and grimaced. “You better change it back. I don’t wanna be blonde.”
Grinning, Tristan did so, also shortening it a few inches higher than it had been before, at her request. “See? I’ve got a strong career as a stylist ahead of me if the rest of this doesn’t work out.”
“And we’re all so relieved for that,” I informed him with a small smile, looking back and forth through not only them, but the rest of the people who had come for this party. My friends knew what they were doing. They would be okay while I was gone. I just had to trust that, and focus on learning everything I could from Ehn. After all, it wasn’t every day that someone gave you the opportunity to learn from a Dragon-Heretic so you could become powerful enough to stop an entire species of genocidal monsters from destroying the universe.
At least, I really hoped that wasn’t an everyday occurrence. I was exhausted just thinking about it.
Whooo, new chapter and Flick gets a party! That’s a bit different when it comes to her having to leave everyone behind for awhile, huh? But you know what I hope isn’t different? You boosting this story on Top Web Fiction by clicking right here! Thanks so much, and for reading as well, and your tags are: Avalon Sinclaire, Columbus Porter, Extra Points If You Remembered Koren Wasn’t Blonde BEFORE Tristan Made Her That Way, Felicity Chambers, Flick, Koren Fellows, Oh Good Manakel’s Ghost Is Going With Her‚ I Bet That’ll Make Her Family And Friends Feel So Much Better About The Whole Thing, Sandoval Lucas, Sarah Lucas, Shiori Porter, Tristan Moon
LikeLiked by 1 person
Oh Good Manakel’s Ghost Is Going With Her‚ I Bet That’ll Make Her Family And Friends Feel So Much Better About The Whole Thing
Why wouldn’t it? He’s such a great guy.
LikeLiked by 1 person
That is true, he’s much better than he was before. Unfortunately that doesn’t prevent complicated feelings from past experiences.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I was actually doing a sarcasm, but u rite.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Oh yeah I recognized that fact, but him being better still deserved to be addressed.
After all, it wasn’t every day that someone gave you the opportunity to learn from a Dragon-Heretic so you could become powerful enough to stop an entire species of genocidal monsters from destroying the universe.
Not every day, unless you are in a Grim Grimoire style loop.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hah, fair point
Litonya: Alright here’s the plan. As soon as we break in, I’ll go find their principal. Ruthers, you can take care of Felicity Chambers. I trust you won’t be outsmarted by the whelp twice
Ruthers: Understood (T_T)
LikeLiked by 1 person
Haha, poor Ruthers… except yeah, I think most people would like to see that