Ares watched in awe as the fairies took the field. He knew what they were capable of; he had seen the footage, he had even fought Blackbird once. None of that had prepared him to watch these monsters.
Bluebird was the most prominent of course, as soon as she arrived her flames moved to cover the entirety of the dome. Cutting off retreat for those outside and trapping all but the strongest inside. The tanks proved to be only capable of short operation inside of her flames.
Firebird true to her name was soaring above the battlefield. Having given up her fake body, she was an eagle of flames burning bright till she was hard to look at. Despite her fearsome appearance, she had never been known to fight.
Every time her light passed over a dead body it began to burn. Ares knew they would keep burning for about fifteen minutes until reduced to ash. Blackbird who had been the first to arrive smoked every time Firebird passed over him, which was odd her light had never been known to hurt the living.
Blackbird was slow; comparatively of course moving at human speeds, he just didn’t stop. He was just as likely to cut his way through a spider tanks as he was to walk around it. As Firebird and Bluebird killed the weaker ones Blackbird hunted the invulnerable, his two knives sheering through skin and steel as if they were cloth.
It wasn’t all good, of course; Bluebird was indiscriminate she didn’t seem to care who burned, as long as someone burned. Heroes had gotten caught in her initial burst before he ordered everyone back. Firebird’s light burned all the dead, not just those of the invader.
Blackbird seemed happy to focus only on the invaders, but still Ares gave orders to stay away from him. Somehow Ares didn’t think Blackbird would stay his knives long enough to determine friend or foe. Koi annoyingly enough was ignoring orders and was staying at his side. He sent another order for her to withdraw.
Fifteen minutes were up from Firebird’s arrival, the first of the bodies were reduced completely to ash. “Fuck, I don’t want to see this,” Ares said.
The ash piles began to move, glowing like coals and lifting into the air.
Piling higher and swirling around themselves in small tornadoes they seemed to gain mass at their centers humanoid forms started to take form.
The ash eventually solidified in the form of who it had been before, even wearing clothes. Those brought back had cracks in their skin with wisps of flame escaping. Their eyes remained unrestored, leaving behind sunken burning pits.
They turned on their former allies fighting with all the cunning and powers they possessed before death. Ares didn’t know the upper limit to how many Firebird could bring back, or how many she could keep loyal to her alone.
“The dead walk the burning field, and death walks beside them,” Uriel said over the comm.
“Who are we in that poem?”
“No idea, it’s times like this that I like to get dramatic.”
“This is why I banned you from writing poetry,” Ares said.
“Well I guess the kids had the ground covered,” Owl said. She switched off the screens showing the situation on the ground and focused on the ones showing the more immediate surroundings of Mag Mell.
“Some of those kids are older than you are,” Rose said. He entered the control room from a side door leading to his greenhouse, holding a yellow rose.
“They keep saying that but sometimes I feel like the only adult here.”
“And they say the same about you, sometimes you take things too seriously.”
“This is serious.”
“Those who hunt monsters need to be careful, if you look into the abyss too long it will look into you; you have to choose.”
“What are my options?”
“To laugh in the face of madness, or to be consumed by it.”
“You’re remarkably lucid today Rose.” Owl turned to look at Rose; he was different than normal. His usually dirty hands and clothes were clean, he stood tall, and his eyes were clear.
“I’m always lucid Owl; it’s the rest of you that don’t make any sense half the time. Except Nightingale, she gets it.”
“I’m going to reject the possibility that I might be the crazy one.”
“You always do that when we have this conversation.”
“We’ve never had this conversation before.”
“You make that face every time too. But now it’s time for you and your granddaughter to go fight. Don’t worry I’ll keep our home safe, even protect that moon of our allies. I made sure they couldn’t tell we’re the ones that transported Alecia, don’t tell them.”
The rose in his hand, which had just been the flower then her walked in started to grow a thorny stem that proceeded to wrap itself around his arm. Out of the corner of Owl’s eye, she saw Mag Mell doing the same to the moon base.
“I didn’t know you could do that.”
“You don’t know me very well.”
“We should rectify that.”
“We’re going to play chess, check in forty-three turns, and you can have a four-stone handicap when we play Go.”
“I’m bulletproof, and my garden doesn’t burn.”
Owl stormed into the hangar where her giant robot waited. Nightingale of all people had already started prepping it, so Owl left her to it and got changed into a flight suit.
“I want to shoot him.”
“It doesn’t work, did he do the chess thing?”
“Yes. Why is everyone suddenly all talkative today?”
“We want to do it better this time.”
“I’m bulletproof too.”
“My robot has a railgun that fires one tonne tungsten rods, do you want to test that?”
There was a ding confirming that the prelaunch checklist had completed and returned all operational. Nightingale stretched her wings out as far as possible, the shadows in the room seemed to reach out to her slipping under her feathers.
“Why don’t we let our misguided family do that for us?”
There is an announcement, read my comment.