“We thought you were dead, you were dead, very very dead. How are you not dead?” Lawrence asked.
Lisbeth pretended to be surprised, “I’m dead?” As she spoke her ear fell off, and her face started to rot away. It was very gruesome.
Lawrence gave a long suffering sigh, and pulled up a chair at Lisbeth’s table. “Quit it with the cheap theatrics, how are you not dead?”
“I didn’t die I was just off world.” Lisbeth said idly stirring her cup of tea.
“Bullshit, we might tell people we have trouble finding people off world, but we both know that is crap. All that matters is the connections, and yours ceased to be.” Lawrence countered.
“I was off world, very far off world. I was also awake the entire time, and reality. I was off reality. So you see three very good reasons why you or anyone else couldn’t find me.” Lisbeth said.
“I don’t like any of the things those imply. How? Off world I can see you managing, we know about the magic so I can even believe the not sleeping. But off reality? No human could do that.” Lawrence asked.
“I agree, I did have help, Bill through me out, and another immortal brought me back. How did you know about the magic?” Lisbeth asked.
“After your fight with Bill your girlfriend let some things slip when you didn’t reappear, so we started looking into you a lot closer. Sinclair committed suicide after the diver got a look inside his head.” Lawrence said.
“Too bad, he was a good man.” Lisbeth replied.
“A good man? You mind raped him for years to protect you. He was trained to resist that shit too. Sinclair didn’t stand a chance once he figured out what had happened.” Lawrence said accusatorially.
“So this isn’t just a social call then, are you trying to figure out what my endgame is?” Lisbeth asked.
“Among other things, also to find Bill. We suspect we’re going to need him.” Lawrence replied.
“Oh yeah, you’re definitely going to need Bill, but he won’t be back. Possibly ever, sorry. But I can tell you the end game easily enough.” Lisbeth said smiling.
“Oh please do.” Lawrence asked.
“Simple really, I’ve been contracted to end this world. To do so I’ve trained a bunch of kids in magic, and created disposable drones. You’ve already seen the drones.” As Lisbeth spoke the room changed.
It went from the old style tavern to a very large artificial room. The floor looked like perfectly cut stone, and the light was too dim for the walls or celling to be seen. Giving it the impression of being massive, since it was still possible to see some ways.
Then the lights started coming on. One by one starting from just above them. With a loud bang for each. As the lights came on Lawrence could see that they weren’t alone in the large chamber.It was filled with drones, or what he assumed to be drones, they fit the pictures.
Large hairless naked men, identical in every way. Like they had been mass-produced, which in all likelihood they had. They didn’t have the wings of light, but they were still the same as those who had been seen across all three worlds wreaking destruction. There were thousands of them, in long lines.
“This isn’t real.” Lawrence said.
“It’s as real as anything in a dream is, no need to point out the obvious.” Lisbeth replied.
“That’s not what I meant and you know it. The details of this room are wrong, it doesn’t exist in the real world.” Lawrence clarified.
“Fair enough, the room isn’t real. I don’t actually know where the drones are being stored right now, but we should have about this many. And with me back it’s time to really kick off the offensive.” Lisbeth hadn’t gotten out of her chair, but she had gotten rid of Lawrence’s forcing him to stand.
“We can fight back you know, the Templars are all strong enough now, they’ve been trained in all forms of magic. Nerissa can even take three or four drones at a time by herself.” Lawrence said.
“Nerissa is fighting?” Lisbeth asked, doing her best to make her voice sound flat.
“Yes didn’t you know?” Lawrence answered.
“I just got back, I haven’t even gotten a proper report from my people yet. Whatever, one half trained magic user, and a bunch of templars aren’t a threat to me. I have my own templars, once they take the field the odds will be uneven again. I have been planning this for a while.” Lisbeth had retuned her playful voice as she spoke. “Is there anything else Lawrence? I do have other things I want to do tonight.”
“No that’s about it I guess, unless I can convince you to stop all this.” Lawrence said. Lisbeth just raised an eyebrow. “Too much to hope for.” He let himself fade out of the dream, leaving Lisbeth alone with her drones.
She had been alone for far to long, and didn’t want to stay that way. So she reached out and felt for the frayed connections that had once bound her to the world. They were reforming now, the dream walker ones had been the fastest of course, but others were coming back with similar speed. The ones that had been the strongest, the ones she cared the most about, the ones that were in their own way unique from the others.
It was easy to find Nerissa’s connection, it had healed first. Lisbeth seized onto the connection, and gave it a firm tug. Pulling herself to where it ended.
It ended with a great point of light, glowing as it had been filled with other smaller lights. Nerissa appeared to be dreaming, but she wasn’t alone. Some of the smaller lights she recognized as dream walkers, some politicians, and one light she knew quite well. But he was a problem for another time for now only one thing mattered.
With a thought and a push of power Lisbeth banished all of the lights. Not something she could have down before, but now all too easy.