Monday, June 30

shall I stand a total stranger on this day in this stone chamber

Not one being known to dally as a bloody pulp across the barnacles of an aether-going trireme, Bloodwing vanished in a gout of flame before the two whirling ships collided. Over the heads of the rescue team below, the Master Fleet of the Imperial Navy of the Obsidian King was shattering against itself. Most of them failed to notice as they hastily donned their life-support masks in the dying atmosphere, even as they held back the tentacled abomination blocking their escape path with coherent energy beams, lead pellets and blessed sodium crystals.

A burst of flame in the Engine Room heralded the arrival of the Fleet's former Captain. He loomed over the shape slumped over within the energy-chains, the flame of his crown the only illumination.

"Qlippothic?" He lifted her chin, and let it drop. With a moment of hesitation, his red hand unlatched the transparent portal of the android's fusion reactor. It was cold as the Void that all but drained every last breath of air from New Erebus.

"You're not here! That damned Council always interfering in Sovereign affairs! All they're missing are emerald power rings..."

He lowered his horns and shook his head at the lifeless eyes. "I am so sorry Qli...I would have allowed you the glory of martyrdom...until the last moment at least." He looked up at the darkened controls. He pulled back his wings and paced a few moments, shaking his head. "The Council will pay for this...indeed...just not by me..." He took several deep breaths of the now trace atmosphere and reigned down on the android's body with two flaming fists. Hardware shattered in all directions. He grabbed hold of the floating links of chain. And poured his own demonfire through them with glowing limbs rippling down his veins with burning ichor.

He gritted his fangs as he struggled make the ship an extension of himself. "Qli made this easy..."

"Yes, she did...didn't she?" His concentration was interrupted as he looked up to see a crossbow aimed at his chest. The head of the quarreled glimmered from enchantments. He smirk spread across his face at the sight of Jeremiah Mason in an aether suit, facing him down with an ancient weapon.

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