Alecia hadn’t been scared in a long time. In the past two years and a bit, the only thing that had gotten to her was Fey doing her thing, and jumping into Gaslight’s territory. Firebird kind of freaked her out. “My mother did just fine raising me.”
“Says the super villain who needs help running off her ex.” Firebird mocked.
What was it Owl had said about her, the version that got married instead of college, but her mother was a version that got married and went to college. Was that the point of divergence between the three? Of course Uriel had gotten married years after college. “We can’t all turn out as little angels, that would be boring.”
“I suppose not, the only angel we’ve got is Nightingale, but you seem to be trying to become one yourself,” Firebird said. “Are you nervous?”
Alecia realized that she had been fidgeting, and considered denying it even as she stopped. It was the first time in a long time she wasn’t the strongest person in the room. Even with her new abilities she couldn’t take three of Mag Mell, and two of them looked like her mother to boot. “Your powers freak me out; I’ve seen the videos that shit isn’t right.”
“You flatter me,” Firebird said with a bow.
“How did you get them anyways, everyone else I understand I used magic and tech, Fey did the same, I imagine so did Nightingale. Bluebird is more magic than tech, and Owl is like my mother pure tech. You are pure magic, which doesn’t fit.” Alecia asked.
“I killed some gods. Kept some of the power for myself.” Firebird replied.
“That’s an option?”
“Not anymore.” She looked entirely too pleased with herself saying that.
Alecia figured it was probably time to change the topic if only to quell Firebird’s growing ego. “So can I get some help with my ex-boyfriend problem or not?”
“Well we’re always happy to blow up some spaceships for family, but getting there is up to Rose. He has the final say on travel.” Bluebird said.
“That’s been bothering me, why only the girl versions of us? Apart from this Rose, we’re all girls.” Alecia asked. As she did Firebird motioned for her to follow down the hallway back the way they had supposedly walked through to get to this room in the first place.
“Male versions of me never marry Bernard, so most of the world ending stuff that happen due to your birth never happen, the world getting screwed up is usually your fault. As for why your alternates with us are female, well your male counterparts aren’t as willing to leave. Rose being the exception for reasons you’ll see when you meet him.” Owl said following Firebird.
“Me just being born ends the world?” Alecia asked.
“Well no, plenty of you don’t end things. It’s just a confirmation bias, if you don’t blow everything to hell there is no point in leaving.” Owl replied. “Also it should be noted that you don’t seem to be about to end the world.”
“That’s right suck on my non-world ending power.What about you Firebird, I know why Owl is here but how did I screw things up for you?” Alecia asked.
“You pissed off a couple of gods, singlehandedly started Ragnarok, and I had to bail you out,” Firebird said. “I even had to eat a fire giant, and they taste way over cooked.”
“Here we go,” Owl said turning to look at an archway that Alecia was pretty sure wasn’t there until Owl looked at it. She also noticed that the hallway was made of pink quartz and wasn’t entirely certain when that had happened. Or if it had always been that way and she just hadn’t noticed. The archway opened into quite possibly the most gorgeous, greenhouse she had ever seen.
The roof had been formed from millions of shards of different colored glass. They seemed to have been placed with no rhyme or reason, but the lead fillings created thousands of bird-shaped shadows flying through a multicolored world. The garden was filled to the brim with roses, of every variety Alecia had ever heard of, and many that she had not. Several looked like they might not have been from this world. She was fairly certain there were no rose trees in this world for instance, but in this garden twelve of them towered over everything. So tall that she was fairly certain they were providing structural support to the domed glass ceiling. Their mighty trunks were covered with creeping vines with buds so small the individual petals couldn’t be made out, but so numerous that the vines practically glowed with an array of colors.
At the base of one of the trees was a man with a pair of gardening sheers and heavy leather gloves. His arms were bare with his sleeves rolled up to his elbows. His arms and the knees of his dress pants were stained with green and covered in dirt. Faint scratches could be seen up both of his arms as well, some old some still so new they were dripping blood. He didn’t seem to notice as he pruned away at a smaller bush. Alecia couldn’t quite see what he was doing, but as he moved on the flowers where he had been working seemed more vibrant.
When he heard them come in he turned to look, and Alecia was stuck by his face. It looked tired, not the kind of tiredness she suffered when working too hard and didn’t sleep. He looked tired to the bone, the kind of face of a person who had lost everything and had seen far more than any human should have ever to witness. His face had be scored creating lines so profound they held shadows, his eyes were deep set and dull. This was Rose, and Alecia knew without a doubt that one day, a very long time ago he had been just like her.