David enjoyed the cool air of the evening as it swirled around him and his wife. His gaze was pointed up to the sky but he was only too aware of her next to him. Since he had awoken in Simgardheim- that was the name of this place, a place where the Gods of Simanity resided- he’d actually become used to quite a lot. It was a protected world, he’d found out, one filled with wonder, but also with dangers of its own. The first “person” he’d encountered had been Lyall. She’d smiled at him and welcomed him to his new home. He had been so confused, he hadn’t had a thought in his head, let alone been able to speak. “Don’t worry,” the Goddess had told him. “Your wife will along shortly.”
Lyall had spoken the truth. He had been afraid that it had been a dream, that his life with Celestia might have been some hallucination. He’d always been able to feel her, her vibrancy and her energy. He had stood in front of the easel Lyall and provided and lost himself for a little while, trying to make sense of things, a part of him feeling as if he were missing something vital. Then… in a moment of perfect clarity, everything righted itself. He’d turned… and there she was. His Dragon Queen.
He wasn’t sure how much time had passed since they’d both awoken here, since they’d… well, died. It was a pretty distinct memory in his mind. He missed his family, but being able to watch them, even from afar helped a little, though worry marred his countenance a little. The undercurrents in Simgardheim were vast and bound to pull the unwary below and would drown them quickly. It wasn’t much different from the Sim Realm, really, in that regard anyway. With a quiet sigh, he leaned back a bit and just looked up at the gorgeous night sky, his wife beside him.
They had sat there in silence for a long time, neither really needing words. But David felt compelled to ask after a long moment, “Thanatos is due to arrive soon, right?”
His wife nodded slowly. “Yes. I’ll know when he does.”
“Celestia…” he murmured, hesitating for a moment. She turned her head a little to look at him out of the corner of her eye.
“Are you sure about this?”
“I am, David. I am.” She turned her gaze back up to the night sky, letting her husband absorb that. He gripped the hand that was beneath his securely and let the time slip away.
It wasn’t long though, before Celestia sensed Thanatos’s presence. David had gone to another part of the large mansion to wait for her. This business was hers alone to deal with. She sat in the office, the same office that she had met Lyall in when all this began. The irony of it was not lost on her. Here she was again, this time cast in Lyall’s place. The door opened as she sat lost in thought and in walked Thanatos, the God of Death.
Slowly, Celestia stood up, her face a blank mask even as the dark hood came up, looking at her. She couldn’t see any eyes, but she didn’t need to. She could feel the way he measured her. “Celestia,” he intoned, his voice a dark resonance that seemed to echo within all that darkness.
“Thanatos,” she murmured with a slight incline of her head.
Silence reigned for a long moment as the two studied one another, neither wanting to be the first to break the silence. It had often been thus with them. Celestia and Thanatos had once been neutral parties in the petty squabbles that went on around them. But many things had changed. Finally, Thanatos broke first, a hint of impatience in his voice. “Why have I been summoned here?”
Tilting her head to the side, Celestia acknowledged the concession briefly before she intoned, “I claim the Right of Accusation against you.” Her words seemed to echo around them, the very utterance of them holding some kind of power.
Though she could not see his expression, hidden as his countenance was by that infernal hood, Celestia knew by the way he crossed his arms over his chest that she had startled him.
He said nothing as Celestia laid the charges before him: one of her children, her flesh and blood children, had been wounded, had technically been killed by one of his. The rules governing the Gods’ flesh and blood offspring were many and myriad, but their protection was absoluate. The fact that Celestia’s son would have died because of Thanatos’s daughter was a serious matter indeed.
When she finished speaking, Thanatos said nothing. Finally, he intoned, “What is your price? What boon or what punishment do you require to right this wrong?” His words held as much power- and as much of a binding oath- as Celestia’s had.
Something appeared between the two of them. It was an orb. The mortals called it a Moondial, but this was a finely crafted Looking Glass.
It was a precision instrument and used for viewings of many types. Celestia had thought to use the large screen that Lyall had had commissioned, but Celestia knew Thanatos was old fashioned, a traditionalist. She thought he would appreciate this more and it would keep the advantage to her. The boon she was asking was unheard of.
Letting a trickle of power flow through her, that golden glow surrounding her, an image began to swirl inside the globe of the viewing sphere. As it coalesced into a discernible image, that of a person, Thanatos flicked a glance at Celestia. The image was that of a vampire, his red eyes glowing brightly, his handsome face vaguely familiar somehow.
“He is the price to be paid.”
“You wish his death?” She could hear the uncertainty, a sure sign that she was hitting her mark.
“No, his life. He is no longer one of yours, Thanatos. His life now belongs to me and mine.”
The silence that fell was glaringly loud in its intensity. Celestia waited, her body seemingly relaxed, though she was coiled tighter than a spring. “As you wish… sister. It is done. He now belongs to you. The debt is paid.” With a crack of sound, he disappeared in a cloud of yellow and black smoke, leaving Celestia alone.
She wasn’t alone for long though. Lyall appeared, looking at the globe, but more importantly, the image within it. Celestia leaned against the desk, letting some of the tension drain away.
Lyall frowned, her brow furrowing. “You’re responsible for Luna’s dreams. That’s her “vampire prince”, isn’t it?”
“Yes, I’m responsible,” was all the Queen of the Dragons murmured. She waved her hand and the image changed. This time, there was a young girl there, and though there wasn’t any outward indication, Celestia knew that power flowed through her veins.
“I hope you know what you’re doing…” Lyall murmured.
“Me too,” Celestia whispered as Lyall disappeared once more. She continued to stare into the globe, watching the girl within it, her expression troubled. Then it became determined.
This would work… it had to.