“She's gone,” Steven said. He buried his face in his hands for a moment, and then stared at the floor. “She's dead, and when you die... that means....” he stood, and began pacing. “I don't want to think about it. I can't--I can't let that image get into my head.”
“None of us can,” Fiona said.
Roderigo did not answer. He stood silent by the window, a cold cup of coffee in his hand, staring out blankly at the distant flashes of lightning. As Steven turned to say something, he head Carter say, “Leave it be. This issue doesn't need to go any further right now.”
“It's fine,” Roderigo said, keeping his back turned. “I know what you know. It's unimaginably hard, but there's nothing any of us can do.” He turned to face the group. “Not for her, anyway. Not for Princess, and not for Anne, and probably not for ourselves, but we still should be prepared to fight for our own lives.”
“That won't be easy,” Carlton said. He held an icepack to his bruised and bandaged forehead, shielding his eyes from the light of the lamp. “Most things man-sized can go down with a single blast of 00 buck, but that thing... he tanked my shots. All of them.”
“You should see a doctor,” Fiona said. Carlton ignored her.
“I'm less worried about Blades than I am about his master. She's a far more terrifying thought for me. Think about it--a god, probably completely invincible, is our enemy. We don't know what she's capable of, but we can be sure it's more than we can handle. And she's actively trying to kill us, using her follower as a weapon. What happens when that weapon's gone, or is no longer able to get the job done?”
The room was silent. The group took their time to let that thought sink in. They didn't know what a real god could do. Was she like the Greek Gods, limited in power and able to be killed? Or was she more like the Christian God, creator of the cosmos, all powerful, all seeing, all knowing, and omnipresent? Or was it something in between?
“It really does suck that Roderigo got downed so easily,” Pepper said, interrupted the group's though. “I guess immortality doesn't equal invincibility.” She placed a stick of pocky in her mouth. “Except in Blades' case, apparently. Too bad.”
Once again Roderigo didn't answer. Instead, he tossed his paper cup in the trash and went upstairs. “Nice,” Steven said.
“Not my problem.”
“Pepper!” Fiona screamed. Her niece froze, dropping her cup to the ground. She apologized, and went upstairs after Roderigo.
“Fine, I'll get it,” Fiona said in annoyance, rushing into the kitchen and emerging with a fistful of paper towels. As she began wiping up the mess, she said, “I don't know what we're going to do. It's clear that those guns won't help us. Blades is too skilled, and we don't stand a chance in hell against a god.”
“Who says we don't?” Carlton said, setting the icepack on the table beside him. “We know that this god has a mortal form. If we find out which of the little rugrats she is, we might be able to kill her.”
“And risk the death penalty,” Devon said. “Which, to be fair, is better than the other alternative, although not by much.”
“You guys are playing too much God of War,” Steven said. “We can't face her head on. Hell, we don't know what happens if the kill her avatar! Who's to say she doesn't get a massive power boost and drop a comet on us right then and there?”
“Either way,” Carlton said, “we're better off knowing who we can and can't trust.”
“But nothing really prevents the other from being in league with her,” Steven said.
“I think we have reason to believe she isn't,” Devon said. “Fiona, didn't that prophecy say that Dheania wouldn't know her sister?”
“Yes,” Fiona said, “It did.”
“There's the possibility it wasn't even referring to her.” Twister's voice startled them. Looking upstairs, they could see him leaning on the railing. “The Beast has a sister of her own. But even if it isn't her, I doubt Dheania would try to turn a little girl to her side.”
“So exactly how do we figure it out?” Steven said. “We need them both in the same room at the same time, and we need some way to figure out which one she is.”
“We have Princess' warning,” Fiona said. “It was pretty scrambled, but there's enough there to go on. As for them being together, I don't know. We obviously have to be discrete, and showing up out of the blue isn't going to accomplish that.”
“I have an idea,” Twister said. They all looked to him again; this time he seemed glowing. “Ash approached me a few days ago. He asked me baptize Sabbath.”
“Ash?” Steven said. “Baptize? He's still Jewish, right?”
“He is,” Twister said. “Sabbath wanted it, to honor her mother. And I think it's our best shot.”
“Were we even invited?” Steven asked. “Because I haven't received any phone call.”
“Sorry about that,” Twister said with a chuckle. “With everything that's happened since I got her, it kind of slipped my mind. I was told to ask you to attend.”