Sunday, June 17

The Unbanishing, Part III

I was just coming to grips with the feeling of drowning while still breathing and the tubes jammed down my throat when I felt the bullet pierce my wing through several folds. I winced in pain as I heard the muffled crash of glass through the liquid, then the roar as it poured down to the floor. I had no hope of keeping my balance in this state, I collapsed in a heap on the floor, wings tangled about me like broken umbrellas.

I slowly adjusted as I gazed up at Dr. Mason, pistol still gripped in his hand, held to the side.

"My apologies, but your added mass threw off the oxygenator's calculations. There would not have been time to reprogram it before you suffocated."

I wrapped my hand around the mask over my face and pulled it away with a suction sould, coughing as the tubes snaked out of my throat.

"Ever..heard of..escape hatch?"

"You couldn't have opened it in time. Neither could I. Your wings would have gotten tangled."

I tried to think of a clever retort, but was too busy trying to get my balance on all fours.

"Now you will listen to my conditions. I will move my equipment upstairs and you may dwell in this basement. You are not to interfere with my work as a doctor or reanimator. You will not disturb any of my creations besides Qli. You will not disturb any of my patients. Understood?"

I nodded as I found balance cross-legged on the floor. "Understood.." I slowly flexed my wings open and closed, hoping this greed gunk would dry off them soon. I sighed as I grumbled upon glancing back at the torn flaps in my wings from the bullet.

"You do realize," I said, "That we cannot be seen at the same place at the same time. Why , the tax implications alone.."

Just then, I heard the rapid approach of metal boots upstairs. There was a clicking of gears, and the hidden chute opened again. My daughter Qlippothic slid down the chute from upstairs, wearing her bronze skin and her new mechanical heart chamber installed over her chest. I recognized he bracelets, trigger mechanisms for the deadly Talons hidden in her arms in the event of danger.

"Father! I heard a gunshot! Are you alright? Fath.. Dr. Mason?"

Her head tilted to the side as she stared down at me.

"B-Blood..wing? DADDY?? DOES NOT COMPUTE!!"

She made one final double-take, then collapsed with a loud clatter on the floor.

My descendant and I stared at each other, then he stored the gun back in the cabinet before bending over Qli's body. I crawled over as well.

"I think she took that rather well...", we said in unision.


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