As a surgeon, I have learned to steel myself for what comes after the operation. When the family and loved ones approach, their attentions hanging on my every gesture and expression. This was far worse.
Bloodwing's mother, Persephone, has returned from other worlds to visit this one. Not seeing my face, she greeted me with adoring tones. I had to explain that the Darien she was speaking to was the one that was submerged within his own mind as her son the demon controlled my body and took my name as his own.
Then I had to explain what happened to Qlippothic. And then I had to explain that the grandson she hasn't met yet was lying in a coffin in my basement. She calmly acknowledged the truth...that there shall always be a time for mourning.
Later, just as I was hoisting up the new flag for House Bloodwing on the generator (thank you again Herr Baron!) I spied a comet falling outside the Steelhead city limits. I hurried there as fast as I could on the shoulders of my Clockwork Man heavy construction clank. (It could have been a huge one for all I knew!)
When I finally found the crater, I must have stared at that Sphere for an hour. There was no doubt in my mind that it was part of the Qli I built. But it was so damaged I could not tell which Sphere it was, or if it was even stable. If pieces of her (and Nova, I suppose) were falling out of the timestream, perhaps Qli's soulchip was somewhere in re-entry?
In my laboratory, I concluded that the Sphere was beyond salvaging. If I found Qli again, I would have to rebuild at least this portion of her spiritual energy source from scratch. I began the procedures to dissect the Sphere. I was shocked to find an enchantment upon opening. There, staring at me, was an image of the past. It was Bloodwing, but without the wings, and two pairs of horns, and in my lab coat. His "badge", the talisman he used to allow me to perceive the world and communicate with him, was off. I would never have known he had done this. He did this behind my back when we were crating her!
Qlippothic, the phantom said in his regal and dealy serious tone, if you are hearing this message, it can only mean you have overridden your programming and activated your self-destruct sequence..
I couldn't hear the rest of it. I was too busy screaming to my own Creator at the top of my lungs, and cursing the Founder that interfered with the greatest Project I had ever created!
The image began to discorporate and the chamber pulsed with a dizzying patterns of light. I felt a pair of hands seize me from behind and shove me violently into a tight space before the explosion rattled the brain in my skull to the point of unconsciousness..
TO BE CONTINUED