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   Chapter 67

Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 13546

Updated: 2017-12-12 12:04


Lucifer.

So it took some time. A little more time than I had hoped since gaining my own separate conscious, a mirror to what I suppose is my... master“s. I can feel my own presence only when he releases his aura, and every time he does, I grow stronger, more aware of who I am and what he is. I grew up beside him, evolved out of everything he tried to hide. I am his aura, his power, and he is my host.

Creepy, isn“t?

At least, it is to him. I“m fine with it. Hate my name though, hate that he keeps trying to push me out. Wish his conscious would die already from the shock. Stubborn thing though. I can hear him, even now, can feel him struggling to hold me back. He has such a hold on me that his—my—body, has gone into such a state I can hardly move. Storm and Juniper looking on at me, pale-faced. Their expressions match, equal parts horror, equal parts guilt, like they knew this would happen. Guess they thought their little boy would be strong enough to resist me, and oh ho, they were wrong.

Out, out, out, out, OUT!

You had your turn. You“re the puppet now, and I“m the puppet master. Get over it.

What do you want?

I shrug. It“s the first physical action I“ve been able to make, and a shiver of sheer elation rushes down my spin. My spine. I have one of those, and a body too.

Don“t rest easy back there, I tell him, everything you did, from trying to kill Heaven to hurting Jaylin, that was all you. Before you started seeing me in mirrors, I was just some sort of manifestation of your crappy inner thoughts. You want to call me an Id, sure. That“s what I was.

And now?

Even in the back of my head, he sounds impatient. Fidgety really, like he“s tapping his foot back there, maybe searching for a metaphorical broom to clear away all the metaphorical dust.

"Juniper?" I have a voice now. A voice. And it“s smooth and low and deep, like a melody, rich to my tingling ears. "What am I?"

Her eyes go wide. I smile, a gesture that comes easily to me, even if Angel could never quite get it right. "Answer me." I crack my knuckles. "Or I“ll tear you to ribbons." The thought makes me giggly.

Storm looks up, his face weathered and his eyes dull. Frown lines crease his forehead. He looks like an old man, something Angel never noticed. The age of his "parents," the stress. I am their stress. "Angelos?"

"That“s not my name."

Juniper“s breath hitches in her chest, her face so pale and her eyes so wide she reminds me a cartoon, the things Angel“s always been terrified of. The fear is written so clearly in her expression I lean back. Easy, this living stuff is easy.

Let go. I can feel him struggling, a bolt of pain through my neck and skull. Searing white burns my vision in slashes like claw marks. I blink for it to settle, another pain jarring like whiplash through my wings. I jump. Let go.

Tell me, Angel. Have you ever heard the story, about the wolves? I mean, obviously you have since I remember it, but clearly, you never let it go to heart. There are two wolves, and whichever one you feed, you grow. You fed me. I“ve grown. This is your fault, so suck it up.

And in the back of my head, I hear something soft, something like a whimper. "I“m waiting." I smile pleasantly.

Juniper swallows, glances at her feets. "A-auras naturally develop from their hosts, it“s the core to any super“s powers." She sounds as much like a textbook as usual, like she finds comfort in her methodical explanations and pretty words.

"A-and naturally," she continues, "they can only be used after they“ve been pulled out of their super“s body. They“re put into weapons, sometimes drugs. They“re like a part of the super, a g-ghost. That“s why super-enhanced drugs can cause insanity, because a piece of one super“s conscious popped into another person“s." She draws in a trembling breath and I wait. "Yours and Fallout“s auras were designed to be summoned from inside you, without having to be extracted. More power. You were supposed to be weapons, but it seems it didn“t work as planned."

I like t

grasp. Owl grips her sword, Gast limp on the floor in his usual useless heap. Juniper and Storm, struggling to stand, clutching twin gouges in their stomachs. Heaven leaps up, and Owl sneers.

Jaylin looks out, her face splotched red and pink as she looks over the hooded figures. Her eyes catch mine. She gives me no pleading look, no tears or begs for help. She just looks at me, and there“s no hope there. Just emptiness, like she“s staring at a stranger. Something about it gives me an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach. Makes me feel Angel kicking around in the back of my head.

She can“t hurt her. I can“t let Owl hurt her.

I blink a few times and step forward, push him back. "What are you going to do to her?"

"Why, child." She sweeps her gaze over me with a fake, sweet grin. Jay clutches at her throat, her breaths ragged and shallow. Owl lowers her voice, eying her flock of crows. To them, her words reverberate with an unspoken threat. "I“m going to kill her."

Heaven throws herself at Owl. Owl knocks her back with her forearm, chest heaving with rage. But Heaven is relentless, throwing herself at the villain with a rage I“ve never seen on anyone before. She moves like a flash, and with each hit dealt, the rage on Owl“s expression grows all the clearer, her good eye lit up, smoldering with an anger to match even Heaven“s.

His thoughts flow through my head like a second pulse, louder than it should be. More than a voice, a barrage of his thoughts, pushing back my own.

But I“m trapped. I can“t move my own arms, legs. I can feel Luce at the front of my head. Fear, pure and alive, worms into my every thought. It races through me, makes my thoughts come in staccato bursts.

But my heart beats at a steady, usual tempo. Breathing, normal. Temperature, healthy. Nothing in my body reflects a thought I“m thinking.

Luce leans back, watching impassively, looking out at the world like looking into a television filled with static—Wow you“re pathetic Angel you“re really narrating to yourself about me goodgoingyoupitifulpieceof—Let go, let go, let go. And the answer?

No.

I“m just here. Like a bubble. No body, nothing to stuff myself into, give myself shape. So I can“t leave when Luce chews me out.

Die already. Or at least stop thinking so loud.

Funny, how I meant to control my aura and now my aura“s controlling me.

Isn“t it?

I shake my head to clear away his narrative. But it doesn“t leave.

Save them. I have to save my friends.

My world explodes in stars and darkness, and as tears stream my face, sobs of horror and pain lodged in my throat, we“re gridlocked once more.

***

Hands down the chapter I had the most fun writing.

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