It was dark, and it was cold and I hugged my knees to my chest and waited for something to happen. I don’t know how long I was in the cell before he came. The jailers slid open a small hatch to look in on me at standing eye height. The red of his eyes and glimmer of torchlight from the hall behind him was dazzling bright after so much solid darkness.
“You are ready to speak what we want to hear yes?” he asked. I slumped back into my corner.
“No. May I please have some food, or water?” I asked. He made a disgruntled noised and clapped the small portal closed. I rested my head on my knees and tried to forget my hunger and thirst. It would not kill me. The immortal don’t die from things like that.
Time dragged on, I think it was every week or so that they came always with the same question, always with the same denial on my part and always with the same result… Left to rot in the dark, alone, exhausted and growing weaker by the hour, by the day, by the week, by the month? I thought of Elethor and I prayed and eventually I grew to accept what I must do to continue to keep him, and the ones I loved in Elysea safe. I closed my eyes, or at least I think I did, the blackness being the same both ways and I tried to sleep.
“Wake up child.”
I opened my eyes and this time was greeted by a diffuse glow around the cowl of a stranger…
“Father?” I asked weakly.
“No, no… but he sent me.” The kind voice was soothing and almost musical in quality and his hand was soft where it held mine.
“Who are you?” I inquired.
“I am His Avatar child, I am Aion given physical form for however long He requires it. You may call me Tamat.” He took my hands and lifted me to my feet and I stood, suddenly not tired, not thirsty and more so not cold or hurting.
“Thank you.” I breathed, and he nodded his head smiling. “Why have you come?” I asked.
“Isn’t it obvious?” he asked, and I shook my head. “I’ve come to take you home.” I worried my lip between my teeth and considered him.
“To Elysea?” I asked, and my heart began to sink when his expression, what I could see of it grew solemn.
“No child, not to Elysea.”
“To my Elethor then?” I was strangely calm when the being shook his head once more. I tipped my head back and back and relaxed my shoulders, the tears slipping free.
“Is He angry with me?” I asked.
“No, no child, not angry He could never be angry with you. He placed too much on your shoulders He sees that now. He forgives you for being unable to do what it was He asked. If anything He is disappointed in Himself for what has transpired.”
“Will Elethor be all right?” I asked the first subtle sob shaking my shoulders.
“He will not, for a while… but time heals all wounds and I am sure he will love again.”
I looked down at my body, so dirty and rail thin crouched in the corner. Eyes glazed and staring at nothing, growing cloudy all ready and I hugged myself. Tamat put his arms around me and murmured, into my hair.
“It is time to go child. He wishes to see you. Please do not fret, your time to hurt is at an end and I promise you some day you will see your man again. Though it will be long for him it will be but a blink of the eye for you. Come now; let us leave this place behind.”
“Can I see him one last time?” I asked and Tamat simply shook his head. I sobbed and leaned heavily against Tamat and felt plate armor beneath his simple homespun robe and cowl. I could see now, the filthy stone walls covered with damp and ichor and I looked back at my body once more.
“I am ready,” I said finally. “Tamat, take me home.”
Jailor’s log – 06-03-110
The Elyos female captured at Asteria has expired, proving their inferiority and frailty compared to the greater Asmodian people. She gave us nothing. Her Asmodian lover claimed her body and shed no tears, burning her in a pauper’s pyre started with his own magic outside the city walls. He has remained mute since the time of her death – weak fool. I have finished my report on the matter and sent it to the Shadow Court for review. This matter is at a close.