The Subject of Deicide
The room was silent. Roderigo sat in his chair, his hands folded under his chin, staring down blankly at the White Flame. The sword glowed faintly in the dim light of the room as it lay outside its scabbard across the coffee table. Roderigo wondered why the sword didn't burn the wood, but those thoughts quickly gave way to Fiona's revelation, replaced by a creeping uncertainty.
He turned his gaze toward the others. Pepper was alone, standing by the kitchen door and nursing a can of vanilla cola. She watched the group intently, studying their reactions. Carlton sat on the floor next to the front door, his eyes fixated on his weapon cache. He seemed nervous, almost terrified, and Roderigo could not blame him. Steven was also anxious, his body jitter and eyes scanning the doors and windows. He was fidgeting with the Nightwalker, repeatedly deploying and retracting the blades with a steady rhythm. In fact, the whole room was filled with a tense and foreboding atmosphere that only seemed to worsen with every passing moment.
The silence was broken by Carter, who asked the question that was on all their minds. “Twitch?” he said, attempting to appear stoic. However, there was a hint of dread in his voice that betrayed his facade.
“Yes,” Fiona said. “And she knows that I know.”
“How?” Carlton asked.
“A look,” Twister said. “A change in her heart rate, a deepening of her breath, anything really. And it could be so subtle that none of us would pick it up. Her mind isn't limited the way ours is... she probably doesn't need to filter information like we do. And she designed us, so she's probably far more in tune with our tells than we ever could hope to be. That's assuming she can't read our minds.”
“That's a terrifying thought,” Steven said. “A god that eats people, reading minds.... Yeah, I really hope she can't.”
“We have to kill her,” Pepper said. The others stared in disbelief. “We have to...” she said. “It's her, or the whole world. And it's not murder, at least not realistically, and to be honest I'd rather spend my life in prison or on death row than see everyone I know die.”
“Bad idea,” Roderigo said. “You're talking about a being that is at least several billion years old, with who knows how much power. Nothing we do could take her by surprise, and if we charge in blindly she will kill us all without a moment's thought.”
“You're immortal,” Pepper said. “You can't die.”
“Which would mean she can't either,” Roderigo said. “And you can. Considering what happens to the dead, do you really want that? Besides, we have a more pressing issue: Ash and Sabbath are living alone with her. We need to get them out of there before she turns on them.”
“That will be difficult,” Carter said. “But I agree. Unfortunately, this story's a little farfetched, and we won't be able to get him to leave Twitch behind without explaining the situation. No parent would ever believe that, and if you tried to get him to, he'd probably ask if you've gone off your meds. My credibility won't help much either.”
Pepper tossed the half-empty can in the trash. “What about your sword?” she asked. Carter rubbed his eyes in frustration. “You got it for a reason. Use it to take that bitch out.”
“You mean the Saloi-Asyai?” Twister asked. “It doesn't have the power to kill a god. The best it can hope for is to contain her for a while, and even then the user would need a great deal of power to get the task done. Roderigo doesn't have that power, and we can't exactly approach the other gods and beg them to help. They're not the Father. You can't pray to them without risking your life and soul. They don't care if we live or die; we're food to them. End of story.”
“I really don't think killing her is the solution to begin with,” Devon said. All eyes turned to him. “She's got Blades, and she's got that creature in the water. Chances are, it's on its way here. I think we should attack it, kill it, and deal with Blades afterward. We'll deal with Dheania when all that's over.”
“You do remember the prophecy said the 'kings of the ocean' will die, right?” Pepper asked. “Besides, the Coast Guard and Navy fit the bill for that role much better. Oh, and they've got cannons and depth charges and a million ships. What do we have?”
“Pepper's right,” Roderigo said, “but then again, it's probably the only idea so far that isn't guaranteed to get all of us killed.” He took a long sip of his coffee. “It's still a no-go though. I'm not certain we have anything powerful enough to kill that thing.”
“I suggest slugs,” Carlton said. “And the rifles. They should at least be powerful enough to get to a vital organ or two. It'd have to be exposed though--they won't travel far under water.”
“How about one better?” Steven asked. “What if we used an improvised weapon, one that could actually do as much damage as, say, an artillery shell?”
“How?” Carlton asked. “What the hell could you make that would do that kind of damage?”
Steven leaned back in his seat and grinned. “Have any of you ever seen Rambo?”