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I'm sick as a dog a dog a dog a dog. . .
Alexandra regards Nahr with the curious expression of a small girl who has encountered something new. She nods when Nahr finishes speaking with an air of ah, it is all clear now. "So you're a. . . scion, then?" she says carefully. "A scion of what?"
"Never should've come," Kitsuki is muttering. Then all her fur stands up as Winter addresses her, ears swiveling towards Winter and then back as she cringes. "What? Bad thoughts? Me? Ah ha ha ha ha ha!" The nervous laughter trails off as Kitsuki inches away, tripping over Mo`re's foot and almost landing on her rump in the dust. As it is, she settles for flopping over both of Mo`re's feet with all four paws on the air and a resigned look her on face. "Kill me now."
Kaligo looks more amused than anything else. "You know, you can change back now."
"What? And be a bigger target? No way."
Stanos regards Gen incredulously before remember himself. She's only human. No, she is not human. She is something above human. She can call the All-Mother from where she sleeps in the center of the world. "I am referring to you, Milnaigh," he says slowly. "It is. . . a title. An honorable one."
And when a dragon--especially a Black dragon--says that something is honorable, it is honorable indeed. Even if they have some strange ideas about honor.
It's cold, I'm happy. This sucks
"Ah, my dear, many have tried. Gods, demons, cosmic entities. My... job... just doesn't afford me the luxury of not knowing before it comes to past. I dare say I'd be a piss poor scion otherwise, and my dear cousin would never let me live it down."
//Winter is glad...// He just stands there for awhile, leaning against Kaligo. He starts, then turns to wag a finger at Kit.
//Kit not have nice thoughts. thoughts loud, too.//
"Do I want to know?"
Gen looks to either side of her, not quite sure who Stanos is referring to.
"Who's Milnaigh? Tiamat left..."
This will suck because I have a headache the size of Alaska.
"That's a shame," Alexandra says sincerely. "I think surprise is one of the key elements to enjoying life. I shall have to remember to throw you a surprise party sometime."
"Our 'friend?'" Kitsuki almost-sneers before remembering herself. "Er. Yeah," she mumbles. "Be a shame if anything happened to 'im. But I'm sure nothing will." [insert incoherent and slightly malicious thoughts here.
"I'm fine," Kaligo answers automatically. "At least, um, I'm not hurt. You saved me. And Gen, too," he adds.
Stanos was not prepared for the voice inside his mind. His head and shoulders jerk as his eyes widen. He is barely able to catch the rather cryptic comment before the All-Mother has gone, leaving him trembling in the wake of what, to him, verges on a religious experience. Or maybe has already gone beyond a religious experience.
But what did she mean?
"Milnaigh," he whispers thickly, still staring stubbornly at the ground, "forgive me. I--" here he stumbles over his tongue, as if not quite sure what to say, "--I was not expecting you." There is another nervous pause here. "Please, come with me," he says at last, beseechingly. "You must come with me."
, and Stanos
No mythology, just cheap CSS tricks
"Well, my dear Alexandra, I can't speak for Asmindr, but as far as Mo`re and myself goes, there's nothing truly able to surprise us. Me moreso. It's a bit sad, actually, I can never get a decent surprise party..."
"Oh lighten up, Kitsuki-luvluv. Gen's many things, but she's not a cold blooded killer. ...now killing in a fit of rage, maybe, but never in cold blood. I doubt if anything serious and irrepairable happens to our stalwart friend back there."
"Mo`re, permit me a crude moment, but your reassuring techniques sucks."
"And here I thought I was doing so well this time."
The sprite sighs, his emotions calming down just a bit. Maybe it was all a mistake, a misunderstanding. If they explained to Stanos, surely he'd see Kaligo is not to blame.
After all, Winter couldn't count how many times Kaligo protected him. Almost as much as Gen...
//...Kaligo okay? no hurt?//
The small dragon suddenly takes flight, landing on top of Mo`re's hair to get a better look at the strange phenomenon taking place.
"What?" He looks in the same direction, blinking a little as he understands.
"Tiamat's stopped. I wonder what Stanos and Gen are doing for that to happen..."
Indeed the towering Goddess has gone still, looking down at some point the group can't see. From their distance, they cannot witness the events taking place at ground zero.
Gen steps forward, her anger somewhat muted, though the majority of it is contained by Tiamat herself. That was usually the problem with summoning certain entities. Once here, it was sometimes next to impossible to maintain control over them. Most times Gen didn't bother. Wanton destruction was usualy the desired result anyway. But having the Goddess holding the mage herself back was an unexpected development.
Why? I just want an apology for Kaligo and Winter. What are you doing?
He understands, even if just a fragment.
...that stuff again. I didn't ask for that, you know.
I will make him understand about the sprite. He can teach you what he knows of the past.
...get on with it, then.
The goddess looks down at the kneeling Stanos for a time, until her voice echoes almost gently inside his mind.
I create, as I destroy. Dragons lose their hearts, as demons find theirs. Protect the gentle spirits, who in their innocence possess the keys to Life.
...and she's gone, leaving a still annoyed mage alone with Stanos.
~So what exactly did that accomplish?~
Where I pull mythology out of my ass!
"You'd be surprised," Alexandra murmumrs, and for some reason she is smiling. Like she knows a secret. But there are a thousand secrets that she must know, like the jokes the gods told to each other as they crafted the world, what the stars are fashioned from, and the day of the end of the world.
"I know," Kaligo murmurs absently. Mistakes happen, although in this case he can't really say that he's "only human." But mistakes happen to demons, too. There are just some mistakes that shouldn't.
"You're all waaaaaaayy too calm about this," Kitsuki grumbles, crouching in a sulky heap next to Mo`re's foot.
Stanos's response to Tiamat is rather normal. Panicshockhorrorfear. This is standard. And he hears her cry not with his own ears but the senses of all his ancestors, from back to when dragons first unfurled their wings to rule the skies and the world below.
And instead of curling up into a little ball and crying for it to go away, Stanos discovers the emotions peaking into something like white noise and then going suddenly silent. Calm. And somewhere, in the back of his mind, come words that are his own and not his own, a memory that every dragon knows by heart from the day he is born without ever having to be told.
Tilbairn, the All-Mother, the one who gave birth to the world.
Is it her? Is it really her? But who could call the All-Mother herself?
Ah. She must be the Prophet.
(There are many legends about the All-Mother, the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing, Maker and Devourer of Worlds. All of them are real, and all of them are equally false. One of them is about the rebirth of the dragons. It is said that when all of her children are dead, she will swallow the world and cleanse it so that her children can rule again.)
Stanos drops to one knee, hair cascading over his shoulders as he bows his head. He touches the fingers of his right hand to his forehead, briefly, and then taps the right side of his chest with his knuckles, the dragon sign of fealty. "Milnaigh"," he whispers. "It is an honor."
, and Stanos
I feel better now. Sorry for the delay.
Both Mo`re and Asmindr look at each other a moment before turning oddly calm eyes to Alexandra.
"A million years of prejudices can be unlearned in a single moment, with the right motivation..."
"...and we're afraid Gen has that motivation."
Winter is oblivious to the dangers of what the rest now know as Gen's growing temper. Having never experienced it for himself, he wouldn't know the warning signs anyway...
...even if he's usually connected to it in some form or fashion.
//Stanos wrong, Kaligo. Winter know Kaligo not mean to. spells no work right all times. Winter knows Gen's no work right lots of times.//
He didn't know they were about to work too right in a few moments.
"Which do you think she'll use?"
"I put my money on her Hell's Gates summoning. You?"
"I'm going with the Reaper's Rhapsody. What about you, Nahr?"
Nahr chuckles, stopping to lean again a tree for a moment.
"She knows she's dealing with a dragon. From my initial guess, Stanos is a very strong one. And stubborn. Add to that, he wrongly accused Kaligo, who Gen considers a friend. And to top it off, those same accusations made Winter sniffle. There's only one summoning spell she'll use, ladies and gentlemen, and that..."
Around the group, the winds still, if they had ever existed at all. Any light that manages to enter the forest flees, perhaps knowing as well the horror to come. Not even the normally nocturnal sounds living among the trees plague the area, a complete and utter silence heralding whatever nightmare would soon come to pass.
Though, in retrospect, nightmare would be an understatement. From the tops of the trees come a sound defying any and all description. A sound born of creation and destruction... of the infinite chance and impossibilities... of everything and nothing... light and dark and the miniscule specks of life daring to survive in between. A sound of true chaos that is the very essence of all existance.
Part glistening cosmic serpent, part winged animal, she appeared more dragon than anything else, but none would dare confuse the ancient goddess for anything other than what she is. And she announces her presence with a scream of power than would kill an average human upon hearing it with naked ears of weak flesh.
"...that, my friends, would be Tiamat."
"...sooo... think she'll kill him?"
"I doubt it. I think just seeing ol' Tia is going to be enough this time."
"...what if Stanos is dumb enough to try and fight?"
Despite the supposed gravity of the situation, three voices rang out through the forest in hearty laughter.