Finally, the train arrived in Victoria City. The Demon could have carried Qli's engine under his arm, but I required a cavorite-lined steamer trunk..with wheels..just to pick it up at the baggage claim. I had no idea what lay before me, so I wasn't going to trust their telehubs..this is sensitive equipment!
Add to this I had to retrieve the hardware of that other Qlippothic. I was planning to pick up my surviving daughter first, but as soon as I gathered by baggage I was accosted by two sinister-looking fellows in black uniforms! And by accosted I mean "doused with holy water while the other sang Jerusalem from a prayerbook. I found the water refreshing and the singing off-key. Obviously news of the Demon's demise had not yet reached all of Caledon. A blindfold was tied over my eyes and I was stuffed into a carriage. I overheard them arguing to each other as to whether I indeed was who my luggage tags claimed me to be.
I was rudely pulled by my vest out of the carriage, carried indoors and dropped down into an armchair. When the cloth was lifted a very irate Colonel O'Toole was standing over me, demanding to know what had happened to his agent. So..I began to explain the nature of Temporal Physics, specifically the dangers of Paradox associated with reckless use of Galvanic Tesseraction..
After only a couple hours of my elucidation, the Colonel was fast asleep. I carefully placed his ungloved hand in his pot of still-warm tea and confidently strode into the foyer. The guards stood up from where they sat playing Old Maid, obviously confused by the turn of events. In the most boastful, self-conceited imitation I could muster I said,
"Your Colonel was no threat to me. Now will you escort me to Tanglewood with the dignity so deserved of Royalty, or would you like to share the fate that has become of your superior?"
I may have the Demon in me no longer, but his constant, pompous boasting and intimidation is forever engraved in my memories.
I was ferried to Tanglewood in a most impressive combat-worthy vessel, but I can describe it little more, for my knowledge of things nautical is limited to knowing my port from my starboard. Before I disembarked I admonished them to ship the remains of "Agent Steele" to House Bloodwing in all due haste.
I arrived to a marvelous sight. The trees reminded me of the mighty Redwood forests that lay not far from Steelhead. However the leaves more closely resembled that of the oak family. I did pick up a few acorns, leaves and bark scrapings for further study. I'd be a fool not to suspect Fae or at least Druidic intervention in the foundation of the ecological system!
Of course the Elytis abode had to be all the way across the island from where I had arrived! I had already gotten dark, and the tree cover blocked all of the moon's glow and starlight. The only illumination came from the silent dance of the fireflies, th distant glimmer of hearths behind curtained windows, and my own lantern that danced mysterious patterns on the leaves floating gently along the ground above my feet.
There, at the edge of the water, on one end of a bridge that lead to nowhere, the pale light of the full moon flooded my vision. There on that bridge, lying face up, my daughter lay, silent as Death. Her arm hung off the edge of the bridge, fingers trailing the surface of the placid water, leaving the faintest wake in it current.