“There’s something I can’t get out of my head Sam.”
“What? This stitch thing?”
“No, well, yes. But something else as well.”
“It was something the doctor said about Reese.”
“What did she say?”
“She said he started the Refuge.”
“I know, crazy right.”
“I feel like I’m dying.”
“You’re kind of right. Your bodies dying. Drink this.”
“Isn’t that like, I don’t know, a bad thing.” She took the cup of orange sludge and tried to get as much down as she could. Coughing, instead of throwing up.
“It would be, except in this case, we want to get rid of the soul that’s in there.”
“Oh.” Lucifer rubbed her shoulder and looked down at the ground in shame.
“Don’t feel that bad Lucy, she accepted this. She gets to go to a nice place afterwards anyway thanks to your purifying effects.”
“Doesn’t mean I shouldn’t feel bad for killing someone.”
“People kill people all the time, some even do it when they are sure that the person will go to hell. You’re not even really killing her, I am.”
“Then how are you okay with it?”
“I’ve been alive long enough to learn how to deal with it. That doesn’t mean I’m okay with it.”
Reese drew a circle on the ground around where he had propped Lucy up with a pile of pillows. He drew the symbols around it from memory. Lucy remembered what they meant in her language as he wrote them. ‘Bind, seal, commit’ repeated around the circle.
He handed her a large silver medallion without stepping into the circle. She inspected it, making sure it was tarnish free. Inscribed on the front was more of her language, it was her name.
“How did you get this?” He continued working on the circle lines and symbols without answering.
He straightened up and grabbed another medallion out of the box he’d brought to carry the supplies. Lucifer stiffened up in all the places she could still move.
“A vessel free.” Reese pointed at her. “A name given. Bind and bound and bind again, seal the soul for time remain. The Catalyst shall be me.”
“No! Reese!” The medallion in his hand went red with heat. He only held more tightly. “You idiot!” The room’s contents started to shake and tumble.
“What else was I supposed to use? There’s no other children with only one curse anymore!” He started to shout over the noise of slamming and crashing.
“There were other catalysts!”
“They wouldn’t have worked!”
“You can’t know that!” She was pulled off the ground into the air.
Her wings expanded out from her back. They were not feathered, two of them weren’t, well one of them was. The one on her right was not held together it was just the bone-frame, but it wasn’t bone. The wing was a black substance, it had no edge to it, like it was sucking the light out of the air around it. Silver letters in angelic script were inscribed around each finger of the wing.
On the other side another wing was pulsing and moving like fire spreading across a wall, the black waves curving and waving. The feathered one was not black but a dark purple, unlike the others that were rising up behind her, the purple one swept around her from the left. Feathers fell from that wing, disintegrating into sparkles and disappearing as they touched the ground.
Her eyelids grew bright, they opened bursting out blue light, thick trails of glowing tears streaked down her face. Her hair had instantly grown to waist length and flew as though air had rushed up from below her. There was a crack like thunder, her hair dropped back down revealing large pieces of gold swirling around her head. Each piece had the same angelic script on them as her skeletal wing, some of the bits were dented and cracked. Large gaps were evident in the halo swooping over her. The wings behind her dropped over her shoulders as she dropped her head.
As the room went still there was an eerie silence then another crack of thunder. Her head flew back, as did all of the wings. Her left shoulder had a large silver spaulder upon it now. It elegantly flowed up into two points. The rest of her torso was bare. She had kept the breasts of the human body but they were just skin, bare like that of a child’s doll.
More silver armour was wrapped around her feet and legs all the way up to her groin which was also nothing but skin. Her mouth fell open. She yelled, her true voice shaking the building, probably the whole area. A line of black symbols started to form on the right side of her face, each drawing themselves, down along her glowing tears. They didn’t stop at her chin, they kept drawing all the way down, over a breast and along the stomach until they reached the top of her silver legging. As she regained control over herself she swept her feathered wing back around. Reese stood in awe, he almost asked her to not cover herself, he didn’t think he was ever going to see a true angel again.
“How long will I be in this form?” Her voice was no longer thunderous.
“As long as the body takes to reshape. I probably should have mentioned this earlier but some of these things won’t be absorbed back into the body.”
“What do you mean?”
“Bodies are built around a soul, she can only contain so much of you, even after this.”
“So I’m going to be stuck as a genderless angel on earth?”
“No, no, no. From what I can guess, you’ll just keep the wings, maybe the armour.”
“Keeping the wings! But doorways and hallways?”
“They are spiritual in nature, they’ll act like they always have. Invisible to those without sight and untouchable to things without balance.”
“Wait.” She looked down at herself. “Will I get my clothes back?” Reese pushed his lips together and raised an eyebrow.
“I’m sorry but I don’t know.” She frowned but it was hard to see due to the shining lines down her face.
“There’s something else I wanted to ask you.”
“Then why haven’t you asked?”
“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hear the answer.”
“Well don’t leave me hanging now.”
“Since I’ve been in this body so long, I’ve started to feel much deeper emotions. Why? And will it get worse?” Reese stepped closer to the glowing angel.
“An angel is only emotion, you don’t have a shielding. Being in that body didn’t make you have deeper emotions, you’ve just started to realize what they were because the body made you feel the lack of emotion.”
“So what I feel is real?”
“More real than anything anyone else has ever felt.”
She uncoiled her feathered wing and flicked it out. She lightly nudged Reese with it. He stepped forward again. She got it up behind him and pulled him in without resistance. She grabbed him and planted her head in his chest again. He awkwardly placed his arms around her, avoiding the wings and worrying about glowing tears on his shirt. She was warm all over despite being mostly naked.
She continued holding him in with her wing and arms until she had regained a mostly human form. She didn’t get her clothes back, but she didn’t care. He pulled away a little and looked at her in the eyes. The glowing eyes and tears were gone, so was the broken halo. The line of symbols still ran down her right side. Lucifer lowered her wings and used them to pull herself up of the ground.
“What?” She asked
“Wait for it.” Her head fell onto his shoulder. Her wings no longer holding her up.
“Why can’t I move my head?”
“The thing about being attached to a body is that you’ll have deal with those extra body functions.”
“Eating and shitting? I’ve done that before.”
“But you’ve never slept.”
“That body has been awake for years.”
“Yeah, I’ll put you in my bed.”