When I walked back to the center of the city, I glanced at a clock in a nearby store and saw, to my shock, that it was already a quarter to midnight. I had wasted all that time on a talk and some blood. I sighed. There was nothing else to do then, but to face what was up there.
Part of me wanted to fly there, it would only take me three minutes, but something inside of me told me it would be a good idea not to fly to the roof directly.
So I took an alternate route.
After making sure that no one was around to watch me, I rose up in the air and moved swiftly through the rain, to the building. I wasn't quite sure what it was, a hospital I thought. There were a few lights on, on several floors. But no open windows. The rain had seen to that.
From outside I couldn't see anyone walking inside on higher floors. Just the guard sitting at his desk.
It was of course completely quiet here, but filled with cameras. Even if I did manage to sneak in past him, there would be recordings. Proof of my presence here.
Flight it was then.
With some hesitation, I sought the corner of the building where I could see some of the stairways through the glass, probably the emergency stairs. Staying unseen, by hiding behind the wall, I slowly floated up. The building was, unfortunately, well insulated. And without any open windows or air ducts, there was no telling what was happening inside. The rain didn't make that any easier either. It drummed everywhere, on the walls, my face, the air. It rushed and crushed, searing and pounding vibrations that camouflaged the world.
The roof was in my reach.
Instead of flying up, I climbed the last bit.
It would have been possible to climb all the way up here, theoretically speaking. If it had been dry dry, not as dark and craggier walls. It was just a minor facade, but it could prove to be important.
When I climbed up, I ended up right behind the staircase entrance to the roof. I opened the door silently, no one yet in sight, and closed it again with a soft noise. No one jumped me.
Was I alone up here?
I walked further up the roof and saw a single person standing at the edge of the roof, the edge that led to the swimming pool below. A person, small and frail looking.
She turned around and leaned back to the roof. "Hello Amy, you're the first."
It couldn't have been more than three minutes to twelve. Would it really happen at midnight exactly?
Isabel walked towards me, the center of the roof. From here it was possible to see anyone coming out from the entrance, so of course my eyes were pulled there automatically. Bad move.
Behind me I heard a strange twanging sound as drops of rain started to hammer on an unsheathed sword.
As I turned, it was just possible to see Muriel with her sword drawn. She didn't strike yet, she was looking from me to Isabel. What could I possibly say to my defense?
"She asked me here. You to?"
Muriel shook her head. "I followed her trail, which was difficult enough. I spared you last time so you could run away, as patron of Afentis. I will not offer you the same courtesy again."
I tried to speak fast, Isabel was just listening amused on the side. "I spoke to him, he told me of you, what you had become. A hunter for The Light."
She nodded. "Good, then you know for what crime you must atone."
I stepped back. "No! Don't judge without knowing!"
She stepped closer, sword ready. "I judge as I see. You know her, you didn't kill her. That is your crime. Kin should always recognize evil."
She pulled her sword back for a strike when a new sound crept through the rain. Someone opened the door slowly, and stepped out in the rain. Khuna and Valerie looked at me, Isabel and Muriel. They stood still as Muriel turned to them and smiled.
She really was a goddess... Perhaps my vision had been clouded by the emotions of Afentis, but even in these simple clothes, fighters clothes, she emitted brilliance. She was a beacon of light, not because of her duty, but because of her being, of how she carried her body like she held the world in the palm of her hand. The sword was a natural extension of her being and appeared all the sharper for it. The rain didn't matter, it was just background for her existence.
She was the first one who found her voice.