Three waking days. That’s how long the folks at the Terrace have been waiting for me to answer their request for appearance. (I know what they are, and sometimes it’s just too much a mindfuck still to call them what they are. Angels.) But time moves differently here and there. What was 72 hours here was just a long night to them. My curiosity got the better of me and I appeared. K was there to greet me. We didn’t mention the name of contention in our banter. Ke asked me if I could still take on the angelus armor, to which I gave kir such a severe side eye that a tree burst into flame further on in my line of sight.
“We need your help.”
“After what your masters tried to do to me? Fuck off.”
“We were trying to protect you from yourself. You don’t know…”
“No, dammit! Your masters were trying to protect their asses from my wrath! Bullshit a whitelighter that still thinks you’re humanity’s guardians, but don’t you fucking dare try to bullshit me. I may not remember all of what I am, but I remember enough to be dangerous!”
“… I know.”
I laughed. “Who’s the mark? If I’m going to get my hands dirty with your laundry at least tell me what kind of stain I’m removing.”
K smiled an infuriating mix of smug and relief before frowning at the information summoned. “Are you going to write this [publicly]?”
“Maybe. Sometimes I’m compelled to, you know.”
“I must ask you not to reveal details of your… mark. Not this time.”
“That’s not how it goes, and you know that. If you want to ensure the output is restricted, you have to restrict the input.”
“Then you have to trust me. Again. And allow me to dominate you. Again.”
I stood still for a long time thinking what I could negotiate out of this. “[K], you are asking me to allow a force that tried to imprison me, twice, to take over my cognition and abilities to the point where I become your obedient sword, to take out something that is no fucking concern to me, but you guys can’t do it yourself? Fuck you. Pay me.”
As K and I stared each other down at the terrace, above us kir kin were assembling in swirling numbers. They remained far enough out of reach to not interfere or influence our discussion, but close enough that I could feel their anxiety. This clan of angels is no small force. I know their physical seat, and they influence a large swath of the Greater Los Angeles basin. If they can’t shift the source of their troubles, then what realistic chance do I have as a single mortal entity?
“Would you like to know more of yourself?”, ke offered.
“You are infamous for your use of [a thing], but I know you are impotent with [another thing]. It doesn’t have to be that way. I can unlock that ability for you.”
I was holding my magician’s cane. I was wishing it was the feathersword. But that would require a shift that would leave me vulnerable for the briefest of moments. And while K & I may be reconciled, I still don’t trust kir brethren to behave. “To do that, means reaching into my inner depths.”
“I’ll be there anyway. No one will touch you but me. I won’t be forcing [another thing] on you, I’ll just ‘unlock that door’. What you do with it is up to you.”
“Remember when you split the sky? Same thing. You let me in, I imbue you, you go on and resolve the issue.”
Against my better judgement, I agreed to the terms and conditions. I yielded to K. Ke asked me to summon and don the angelus armor, which I did. I remember clearly, ke placing kir black and white finger against the shielding helm so that kir fingertip was right between my eyes. “[Weaver], open to me.”, ke commanded
I remember… flight… an enveloping darkness that boiled sideways… others of K’s clan trying to force the assaulting shadows back and being pushed aside… not being surprised to find I was a source of blinding light or that the feathers of my wings shone like the sun… piercing that darkness to the surprise of the shadowy forces… piercing the interior… a throne on a three-tiered dais and the throne’s power standing to the side in surprise… noting that the power of the throne appeared like Snow White’s Evil Queen… shattering the floor of the throne room with a strike that also shattered the dais… throwing the power to the side with a radiant golden wing while I continued to hack and slash at the throne… intentionally not stopping until not one leg was connected to another, nor any leg connected to the shattered and crumbling dais… purposely not harming the power… leaving the shrinking knot of shadows as the extremities collapsed from lack of power… passing legions of K’s clan taking the field of battle and routing the enemy… coming to a terrace where a mortal was lying on her back while K’s hand was inside her face and skull…
A hand on my chest, holding me down but not in a hostile manner…
[Another thing] lashing wildly around me. I’m out of control. It’s out of control. I start to fall back on what I know, to add [a thing] to the maelstrom to take ownership of it.
“Don’t. Leave [a thing] out of this. This is you. Seize it. Control it. Call it back within yourself.” K’s voice was calm even as ke had to yell to be heard. I forced myself to be as calm as kir voice and [the other thing] calmed with it. “Good. Gently now.”
I grasped kir hand on my chest and pondered the sensation of temperature of it. Lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. Fitting. The terrace became peaceful and uninteresting again.
“Thank you, [Angelbane]. You did what we needed you to do. In return, I have unlocked [that other thing] within you. It now falls on you to learn how to control it. You should go back now. You know how jealous the upper ranks get when you do something they can’t.” Ke smiled as ke lifted kir hand. I chuckled. Ke had a point.
Instead of formally jumping off the terrace, I allowed my form to dissipate and my awareness to fall through the worlds. I woke up in a cold sweat and a budding headache. K was successful in keeping the identity of the mark from my waking self. But as I wrote notes about what happened, I noticed a play of words. Ke may have hidden the precise identity of the mark, but not the class of it. If I’m going to be involved in angelic politics (Again! /cry) then I need to know what was at stake.
Time for coffee.