Even before the Council gathered to plan his capture, Farren sat drenched in the blood of the factory pawns he had slaughtered. He clutched his phone miserably hoping for messages he knew would not come. He had been a much of a pawn as the humans he had just turned into puddles of filth.
He had sent dozens of messages. Called just as often. No answer and no reply. No word of his daughter that he now knew he had left in the clutches of a woman whose agenda no longer included him. His part had been played and now he would finish life as a sacrifice. Another distraction to let Kava dig her claws in a little deeper.
Farren sat staring at the blank screen and wished for a slate just as bare. A fresh start. A second chance. There would be neither. He knew that. Farren, like so many others, only realized how precious life was when it was too late. He closed his eyes and could see the sweet face of his daughter. A face he would likely never see again.
“I just want to know that she is okay, Kava.” Farren murmured to the silent room. He had waited long enough amongst the corpses. He knew the Council would be systematically wiping out these dens of tragedy, his plan now was to aid them in their cause until their paths crossed. He didn’t bother cleaning up the mess, telling himself that the Council would understand his rage. He was not looking for forgiveness after all.
When the last of the pixies Farren had released wandered off he pulled himself up using a nearby railing and tucked away his phone. It seemed pointless now to even keep it, but he was still hopeful for it’s chime to bring his worries to an end. He passed a mirror as he cleaned up his clothes and laughed at himself.
“Marching to my death and still succumbing to vanity.” Farren was amused by the concept. It had the stigma of sin scarred onto it by the god of Heaven, but it seemed at odds with everything they were. He justified his grooming as he shifted into the bitter air of the city of Frost and stood in front of another warehouse. He finished his thought with wind whipping around him. “I’ve never seen an ugly angel. I may as well go out looking good.”
“Pardon, Mr. Farren?” A burly bodyguard by the door shivered as he greeted his boss nervously. Trying to warm his snow covered hands with his own breath as he tried to make pleasantries with a man that scared him colder than the snow ever could. “We weren’t expecting you.”
“Death often comes without warning.” Farren touched the mans shoulder as he opened the door. Before it closed behind him he heard the gurgling curses of the man choking his final thoughts on the blood welling in his throat. Farren sighed. “That will not be a pretty corpse.”
As he made his way toward the pixies, Farren unleashed his vermin and multiple plagues. He watched the humans dropping around him and obliterated the few bold enough to come at him with ease. The vile stench of bile, vomit and excrement soon became thick enough to offend even him and when he ducked inside a room filled with twittering voices he cast a spell to shield both them and himself from any further torture from the pungent sickness he had brought into the building.
“I won’t waste time apologizing.” Farren monologue as he opened cells and broke machinery setting free the creatures he had ordered captured himself. “A change of heart does not forgive my willing participation in this. Go home to your gardens and live, this realm is no place for you. It is filled with the selfish and easily misled and guided by worse.”
Farren shook the dust of their gratitude from his clothes and checked again for any word from Kava. There was nothing. He feared for his daughter. Once he was gone, with only Kava to lead her, what would the girl become?
“What is taking them so damn long?” Farren shouted. Lucifer’s lackeys were usually just a step behind him but this was the fourth warehouse he had emptied. He was out of patience and decided it was time to up the stakes. Even if changing sides was going to cost his life it was time to send a message to the Council. He needed to see Evadia. Even just once more. “You want a distraction, Kava? How is this?”
Farren set his little friends loose on the structure as he loosed his gathered strength into the walls and forced centuries of decay in seconds. Metal framework rusted and cracked under the weight and brick and mortar crumbled around him. His vermin tearing with tooth and claw to further pull apart the foundation as Farren jumped through collapsing ceilings and escaped the crash of the roof. As he landed in the dusty rubble of what used to be a working factory of torture he had helped set up himself he closed his eyes an turned his face into the cold flakes that would cover the mistake. He was too lost in his own hope that it would cover him as well to notice the attention he had already attracted from the city’s Circle.
“We will have to invite Lucifer’s Council for a visit, Lord Frost.” A grey-eyed demoness stood beside a vampire that wore a grin from ear to ear as he looked Farren over. “We seem to have found what they are looking for.”
“You make the tea.” Nei smirked as he drew a sword from the sheath on his back. “We’ll have a nice talk with him over our new centerpiece.”
“Now, now.” The girl drew her own sword and gently tapped down the blade of her companion as she giggled. “You know they want him for answers, my Lord.”
“Damn it, Presia.” Nei laughed. “I just wanted to rough him up a bit.”
“The last gentlemen you roughed up is no longer among the living.” Presia knocked snow from the vampires hair and replaced her sword in the sheath on her back. She stood beside her Master and crossed her arms as she looked at the demon on the collapsed factory. “You have caused our city quite some trouble with this disgusting game. My Lord Frost is not kind to those who disrespect the Circle of Drifa.”
“It gave me a chance to stretch.” Nei shrugged and sheathed his sword. “Goofy shit of a demon. You have managed to piss off too many of the grown ups. I don’t even get a stab at you. I have to wait in fucking line.”
“Then tell them to queue up.” Farren sat in the cold, dusty rubble that was crusting with snow. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“Just giving up?” Nei cast a glance a Presia to keep her on guard. “That is no fun.”
“The blood of so many innocents stains your fingers.” Presia sneered at Farren. “It is insulting that you will not even stand up for the cause that inspired you to such wretched acts.”
“The cause was not mine and I am here to SAVE an innocent.” Farren snapped at her and angrily tossed a handful of dust beside him. “Call on Lucifer and his following. I will pay for the blood on my hands.”
“Adjust your attitude, demon.” Nei walked over the rubble with rage burning in him. Presia stayed steps beside him and kept her silence. “I don’t care what answers Lucifer wants from you. Use that tone with Presia again and I’ll make myself a rug from your hide.”
“I’m not here to pick a fight with you.” Farren hung his head. An argument was as pointless as the vampires threat. No vampire was going to stand against him and win, let alone the spoiled Third in a frozen city.
“Wonderful timing.” Nei caught Presia in one arm as she stumbled and fell into a trance. “Come out of it quick, Presia.”
“The freed angel and the newling are breaking old laws.
The new mother… her name is not her own.
She is mad.
Life of secret and of lie.
The freed angel has found her name.”
“What?” Farren stared as Frost roused his demoness from her waking nightmare. The disjointed poetry was disturbing and resonated with him. ‘The new mother… her name is not her own.’ Farren swallowed his fears and hoped the woman’s vision was not about Kava. ‘She is mad.’ Farren slid down the rubble carefully to get closer. “A seer?”
“Among other things.” Nei steadied Presia and took her hand. “Relevance?”
“I’m afraid that is still unclear, my Lord.” Presia looked at Farren with the certainty that it was his presence that prompted the augury. “I am also afraid that he and it are connected and that it is all terribly relevant. It is time to contact Lucifer.”
“Proper channels, you beautiful thing.” Nei kissed Presia’s fingers as he sent a message through his phone to the Council. “I like to speak to Lucifer as little as possible. Feeling up to a lullaby?”
“I don’t think that is necessary.” Presia leaned against Nei and looked toward their captive. “He has surrendered. There is no joy in conquering the defeated.”
“I’m not dead yet.” Farren sighed. “Does being wanted not warrant some sort of rapid response? I have terms of surrender that involve the life of a child. What is keeping those fools?”
“They’ll be along.” Nei kicked Farren across his face. “That’s for drugging up my city with mutilated immortals.”
“Sorry.” Farren spit aside and rested his chin on his knee. “If it makes you feel better you can try and do some damage.”
“Lord Frost.” Presia winked at him. “Mind yourself.”
“The Council can decide what you deserve.” Nei smiled at Presia and ignored the demons arrogance. “The spread of this HiPi is over. I just want you out of my city with it.”
“Apprehended…” Maefyl pushed Nei aside as he arrived and rested his blade against Farren’s face. “Looks more like you are making friends. Get on your feet, Farren.”
“Fuck off, you spoiled twit.” Nei laughed and looked over the entourage Lucifer’s favorite had brought along. “You need this much help to haul away some trash?”
“Nice to see you have not changed.” Eidolon sighed as he grabbed Farren by his hair. “Lucifer will see to it you are rewarded for turning him in, Nei.”
“Stuffy as ever. Falcon.” Nei smirked at the Watcher’s insistence on using his unfortunate given name. “Good to see you, Eidolon.”
“Kyaa.” Kaneko glared at Frost’s Third as she squeezed Eidolons arm. “Is he a friend of yours?”
“Student.” Eidolon answered offhanded as he carefully took Maefyl’s blade in his fingers. The magic in it burned his skin as he moved it away from Farren. “This is unnecessary. Calm yourself.”
“Ke saba bol helkisa’tach.” Azrael touched Maefyl’s shoulder and stepped beside him. “Salek sansan ken.”
“Pathetic.” Maefyl withdrew his sword and sighed. Farren had been so arrogant before, now he wore sorrow and defeat on his face.
“That I am.” Farren chuckled sadly.
“What were you even doing here?” Sanguine shouted at him and hoped the broken remains of the factory beneath them was not the final resting place of more pixies.
“Putting an end to it.” Farren pulled his phone out and opened a checklist of addresses he had been working through. “This should be of use.”
“Why now?” Maefyl snatched it from him.
“Regret.” Raziel answered for Farren. Kava’s spells of protection were fading and emotion was coming through. “And hope.”
“Have fun ladies and gentlemen.” Nei excused himself rudely. “Presia and I have plans.”
“Eidolon, before you all arrived I had an augury…” Presia shared the words and he promised to take them to Lucifer. Once he had, Presia indulged Nei in his eagerness for a hasty exit and the two of them vanished in a swirl of wind and snow.
“Just take him back.” Maefyl pushed back his hair and inhaled the cold air hoping it would calm him. Eidolon escorted Farren to Hell and Maefyl told the others to go ahead of him. Raziel obeyed the request. Azrael did not.
“Sek kaat stava wazuni’tach.” Azrael leaned close to Maefyl’s face and blinked at him. “Kasu?”
“Too easy.” Maefyl sighed. “It’s never this easy.”
“Vet sana saba stava hela na sesa.” Azrael grinned. “Kabak makusa ken blekasu.”
“I’m almost starting to like you.” Maefyl shook his head and smiled at the sad truth of it. “You sick fuck.”
“De kofret sek, nus.” Azrael hugged him and shifted them back to Lucifer’s audience hall before he let Maefyl push him away so he could return to Gabriel. The anger in Gabriel’s eyes hurt him, but he grinned and blew him a kiss as he cuddled up to Samael.