Wednesday, March 23

falling to pieces

"I must admit, I have never seen an organic repair himself quite like this."

Bloodwing did not respond to Nova's observation. He had the sinew pulled taught with his teeth as he drew the needle over the last stitch of the surface of a deep, jagged wound and pulled it shut.

"Once we reach the homeline, I'm sure Doctor Mason can..."

"No." The narrow ribbon fell from his lips as he gathered it and meticulously tied a thick knot at the end of the stitch. "I must never lie on his table. No Spark must reanimate me again. I only require mend..."

Bloodwing froze as he watched the new stitches pop one by one and dissolve. He heard the rending as other stitches he had placed on a dozen other wounds likewise shred apart. No longer able to support himself where he sat, he collapsed against the bulkhead of the Sixes and Sevens.

Nova leaned over the pale demon. She pulled a device from her belt and peered at the swirling colors in the lens. "Bloodwing, magic isn't my area of expertise, but your entropy levels have spiked..."

"A curse..." The demon tipped over on his side, crushing a wing stripped down to bare bones. "The hag's magic must be reflected..."

"So we need to find a practitioner of the Arts similar to Baba Yaga's tradition to counter the curse? Lady Darkling, perhaps?"

He smiled wistfully. "She has gone to raise a son."

"Madame de Brauerhoff?" His neck trembled as he attempted to shake his head.

Nova arched a brow. "Surely you don't mean Mrs. Underby?" she asked doubtfully.

"Fauve." He whispered. "Fauve..."

Nova stepped back as Bloodwing collapsed and fell to the floor. She calmly called out to the helm.

"Six? We need a rather large container..."

The android looked down to survey the twitching components of the exiled demon prince.

"...and a mop.""

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