“Hell pretty much fits it,” Alan said blearily, descending enough to lean on Morgan’s shoulder. Gold gleamed from neck and ears and arms, almost blending with the river of fiery gold hair; Simon took mental design notes as he came down from the adrenaline rush, because whatever Alan might think about Equip, an actor knew exotically impressive when it hit him in the heart. “The rukh in here-”
“I know,” Simon nodded. And if his hands were trembling a little at the thought, he doubted anyone would mind. “It – I saw it too.”
That snapped Alan all the way awake. “Are you okay?”
“We hung onto him,” Malachy said plainly. “Drakon helped.”
“My name isn’t… fine, whatever,” the agent sighed. “At least it’s not Dom….” He trailed off, as even Aladdin lifted his attention away from spellcasting to stare at him. “What?”
Morgan was blinking. Alan was making a few odd noises Simon identified as strangled laughter. Aladdin didn’t even bother hiding a giggle, before he shook his head at Simon. “You found him!”
“At least it wasn’t at spearpoint this time-” Simon cut himself off, feeling the world slide sideways a bit.
Drakon. Partevian general with an impossible name. Enemy turned reluctant ally. Back to back against the monsters with a gleaming sword and shield – a very useful shield, great for surfing waterspouts in Baal’s dungeon….
He remembered tasting his own blood, shed by soldiers in a backwater Partevian town. Remembered his cheeky grin at Yunan, before he dove through Baal’s portal. Dragons, eluding death, gripping a young noble’s swordblade with a bloody hand because he refused to lose-!
:Hold onto me, my king.: Baal brushed sparks through his mind like a prickle of cat’s fur, searching for harm. :All will be well. I did not expect this… but between Ja’far’s efforts, and my own… and yours… the darker times are still locked away.:
“Spearpoint?” Tiburon glanced between them, as if he couldn’t decide which king to shake first. “Are you okay, Simon?”
“I’m… not completely sure,” Simon admitted. Partevia. Imuchak. Reim. He could feel them, there for the reaching-out of his hand.
We’re at ground zero of a radioactive monster-making lab. This is no time to be wandering through old memories.