The image played on the screen and the three people on the couch were silent. “N-no, no.” Celestia could only stare in horror as she watched her son- her child, of her flesh and blood- as he fought for his life. Lyall’s surprise of being able to watch her family had been wonderful. Celestia had gotten to see her granddaughter grow up. Even her antics in University had made the Queen of the Dragons laugh. And watching her find love had made her weep with joy.
Then the birth of her great-granddaughter. Getting to watch her son with Luna took some of the sting out of her not being able to be there with them. But then he’d gone to the precinct. And then to Bridgeport. Celestia and her husband could only watch in horror, helpless to do anything for him.
Now they could only watch as the events in the Sim world unfolded on screen.
As Sophia’s prayers reached Celestia’s ears, the Dragon Queen bowed her head, unable to stop the tears.
But amidst the horror and grief came a molten hot fury that seemed to flood her. She stood up, a gold glow beginning to surround her, her very energy beginning to boil over in her rage. Her hands were clenched into fists so hard that her nails cut into her palm, blood welling from the puncture marks to drip down onto the floor.
“That Child of Death does not know the wrath,” she spat, “but she soon will. She will pay, this I vow!”
“Celestia!” Lyall snapped, not quite daring to stand up. “You cannot interfere! I-I’m sorry, but there is nothing you can do!”
The Queen of Dragons whirled on her sister, her fury palpable in the air. “You dare speak to ME of interference!? It was your interference that brought me to the Sim realm in the first place! You saw to it that I had children and now, when I would avenge them, to protect what is mine, you dare tell me I cannot interfere!”
Lyall was very sure that in her fury, her sister would use the power that their siblings feared so. But then David spoke, his voice soft. “Celestia.” Just that, just her name. Her rage didn’t dissipate, but it was enough to pull her ire from Lyall. She looked at her husband. He leaned over and took one of her hands and gently unclenched the fist, then leaned down to kiss the half-moon shaped wounds her nails had dug into her palms. “She’s right, Celestia. You know she is.” He slanted a sideways glance at his sister-in-law, then looked up at his wife. “I hate it just as much as you. But… we cannot interfere.” His voice hitched. “D-draco is strong. But… if it is his time, it is his time.”
Celestia could only stare at him. She wanted to rage, to let out the beast inside her, the one that Lyall had caged with her serum. But while she was still the Queen of Dragons, her time in the Sim Realm had changed her. She turned away, looking back at the screen once more as more images flicked over it.
Her granddaughter’s wail of grief followed by the sobbing of her great-granddaughter had silent tears tracking down her cheeks even as she felt the disturbance in the energy flows of the Realms. “Draco, no! You can’t!” Sophia sobbed on the screen. “Don’t leave me!” Her cries tore into Celestia’s heart even as she felt her son’s life-force dim.
Grief swamped the Dragon Queen even as her husband came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her. Her arms gripped hers as the fiery light of her temper faded around her to be replaced with a heavy grief. Even as her vision blurred with the tears, she heard Lyall gasp. The Wolfen Goddess stood up, unable to believe her eyes. “It-it can’t be!”
Celestia dashed the tears from her eyes and looked at the screen in shock.
Then a slow, almost wicked smile crossed her face.
She turned to look at her sister even as David’s grip on her had slackened a little. He began to chuckle a bit. “Well, well, sister. Seems that your serum wasn’t able to suppress it all. There in front of you is proof of that! My heirs live on; not even mortality was able to rob them of it.”
Lyall frowned. “I see that…” She didn’t voice the rest of her concerns. What would this do to the balance? She had no idea, but they would need to keep a close eye on things.
Celestia straightened up even as the rest of the scenes played up on the screen. She turned to face her sister, David watching the two of them. “Send for Thanatos,” she told Lyall, looking imperious.
“Celestia… is that wise?” Lyall asked after a moment.
“Wise or not, do it. One of his Children wronged one of mine. I have the Right of Accusation. He’ll be required to come and hear it.”
Lyall sighed. “Very well, I will do so. I hope you know what you are doing.”
“I may have been out of the Game for a long time, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten how it’s played, Lyall,” Celestia reminded her quietly. “And now, more than ever, I will play to win.”
Lyall looked at her sister. “I do believe you do.”