The Hour Book2 Chapter 18

Glyph stopped a Hexzu he passed in the main hallway and inquired as to where he might find Greem, who as it turned out was overseeing the packing of dried food from the temple stores.

“I did as you asked Great One. The female demon is clothed, and under guard in the dungeon.” Greem said as soon as he approached.

“Thank you Greem. You read my mind.” Glyph joked.

Greem scowled at him quizzically, and shook his head.

Glyph found his way down to the dungeon and nodded at the guards as he entered. He found the female demon lying on some straw a short distance from the pillar she had been tied to.

“Oh. It is you.” She said flatly.

“My name is Glyph. You got a name?” Glyph asked looking her over, fighting an urge to fry her with lightning.

“The Great One has a name! Glyph you say; how very odd. I am not impressed.” The demon replied sarcastically.

“Let’s try this a different way. Tell me your name. Now!” Glyph demanded, placing his hand on the hilt of his sword.

Her eyes went wide for a moment, as if she were truly afraid. Turning her head away quickly she replied, “Zarabish.”

“Zarabish. Well, that sure makes me want to kill you less.” Glyph shot back at her. “Now that introductions are out of the way, why don’t we get down to business?”

“What do you want of me?” She sneered.

“Cooperation would be nice, maybe some information.” Glyph replied, calming himself down.

“Cooperation!” Zarabish laughed. “I will not betray my people to a filthy wizard.”

“In case you didn’t realize, you already did that when you begged me for your life, and gave me your blood oath. So we can do this one of two ways, there’s the civilized way, and the not so civilized way.” He threatened.

Zarabish remained silent, but shifted into a cross-legged sitting position.

“First, who is Tsach, and why does he want to kill me?”

Zarabish squirmed, then finally replied. “Tsach is our leader…He wants to kill you because you are the Great One.”

“Very nice, but you haven’t told me anything I don’t already know. Let’s be more specific.”

“Tsach is the Arch-Demon of Degruthras…” Zarabish trailed off.

“And?” Glyph prompted.

“He is a usurper.” Zarabish spat. “He came from obscurity and overthrew many higher ranked Demons.  Power determines rank in our society, so Demons rarely rise above their stations.”

“Where is he from?” Glyph asked.

“Heelix, our home world.”

“And he wants me dead because?”

“You are the Great One.” She said, and shot him a look as if that should be a sufficient enough explanation. Glyph just stared at her intently; finally she sighed heavily and continued. “Our ancient lore says the Great One will be the demise of Demonkind. Tsach seeks to destroy you before you do the same to him.”

“I don’t want to destroy him, I just want to get off this hell-hole of a planet and be left in peace.”

Zarabish chuckled deeply. “You ask some interesting questions. Do you not know you are the ‘bringer of life and death’?”

“What’s the life part about?”

“It is said that you destroy all who oppose you, and let live all those who would turn to your cause. The War-clerics believe that some demons will defect to save their own lives. These you will spare out of some disgusting notion of compassion.” She spat the last word out as if it left a bad taste in her mouth.

“Is that what you did? Defect?” Glyph asked.

“I did what I had to do to keep Tsach from killing me, just as I talk to you now to avoid being tortured or killed. I have no desire to cooperate with you. You are hunted, if not by Tsach, then by the next overlord.”

“Oh I see, you’re just doing it because you have to.” Glyph said, smiling. “You have such a strong sense of loyalty.”

“I am loyal to me! I do what I have to do to survive.” Zarabish quipped.

“I see how well it’s worked for you. I mean, you’re still alive, right? I think you’ve even been treated pretty well, for a prisoner.” Glyph said as he paced back and forth in front of her statuesque, yet slender frame. For some reason he could not quite explain, he admired her. She was nothing like what he had come to expect from a demon. “Perhaps you just need to be enlightened, or simply given an opportunity to make your own decisions, instead of blindly following the orders of your master. I’m not sure what that could be, but I’ll know it when I see it.” Glyph said, rubbing his forehead. “For starters though, I’m going to see if the others will allow you some freedom to move about the temple. The magic shackles have to stay.”

Zarabish stared at him with contempt burning in her eyes. “You have to ask permission? From the others? Have you no musk?”

“I have plenty of musk, but I’m not an overlord or a tyrant. I actually listen to what other people say, and consider their opinions.” He explained.

“Then you are a fool as well.”

“No, it just means I’m not so conceited and full of myself to think that someone else might not have a better idea than me. I would think that following Tsach out of fear is foolish. Following out of respect is called service, and a good leader always rewards service. Which, by the way, doesn’t include killing you via long distance possession.”

“Your mercy sickens me.” Zarabish spat.

“You get used to it after awhile.” Glyph smiled and walked toward the exit. “I’ll be in touch. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

Zarabish huffed in frustration as Glyph walked up the stairs in search of the others. On the main level, Glyph ran into Greem, who was once again looking for him.

“Great One, the others convene in the outer chamber.” Greem informed him.

“Let’s go.” Glyph replied and followed Greem up the steep staircase into the long hall that opened to a terrace on each side. A few gargoyles milled about. Glyph noticed everything else in the room had been cleared out. Most likely the contents had been packed and moved out of the city by now.

Greem opened the door, and Glyph sauntered in and leisurely trotted down the steps toward the large stone table that still sat in the middle of the room. A quiet discussion was taking place as Glyph approached them. Drayden, Lobrein, Ishea, Grot, and Crowf all looked up at Glyph at once.

“So what did I miss?” Glyph asked, taking a seat next to Ishea.

“Grot has informed us that most of the Hexzu populace will be ready to move toward the portal within a few hours. They are at the caves awaiting our arrival to lead them out.” Drayden spoke up. “Unfortunately, their scouts have just arrived with word that there is a rather large force protecting the gate, apparently reinforced with those that fled Okrune during the attack.”

“So we have to fight our way through?” Glyph questioned.

“Yes, Great One. That by itself is no great cause for alarm; however we just found out a few moments ago that Tsach no longer marches against us.” Grot informed them.

“Then where is he going?” Lobrein asked.

“Son of a bitch!” Glyph swore as the answer dawned on him. “He’s headed straight for the portal!”

Grot nodded his agreement.

“Why would he do that? How could he know what we were planning?” Drayden blurted out. The room got suddenly quiet as they all glanced at each other questioningly.

“There is a spy.” Ishea said.

“Who?” Drayden asked her.

“I do not know, but Tsach should not know of our plan, yet he does. Whether willing or unwilling, someone is leaking information to the other side.” Ishea replied.

“It could be anyone, on any level. Who knows, maybe one of the Hexzu that switched sides at the Bridge of Bones was on Tsach’s payroll.” Glyph offered.

Grot sneered a little.

“Can we reach the gate before him if we leave now?” Lobrein asked Grot.

“If we make good time to the caves, we will have all the Rukitan there a half-day ahead of Tsach.” Grot said.

“That doesn’t leave us a hell of a lot of time.” Glyph stated. “What if we head straight to the Portal from here? We could clear the way for the main populace then defend their rear as they go through the portal.”

“It would save us a few hours, no more.” Grot responded.

“Then we’ll split up. Grot, Crowf, and Drayden can head for the caves. Lobrein, Ishea, Greem and I will head for the Portal.” Glyph suggested.

“What about Amos?” Ishea asked.

“Amos will come with me.” Drayden said quickly. “I will try to prepare him for his next hour on Earth.”

“What about the prisoner?” Greem questioned, broaching the subject.

“What prisoner?” Drayden, Lobrein, and Ishea asked almost in unison.

“Zarabish. The female demon we passed on our way through the dungeon the other morning.” Glyph replied looking at Ishea and Drayden.

“You know its name?” Ishea asked a bit perturbed.

“By the Gods, Glyph! What have you done now?” Lobrein chimed in.

“Look, she has on the anti-magic shackles; she’s harmless.” Glyph said defensively.

Drayden turned his head and started to chuckle.

“Why then, do you want to bring it along with us?” Lobrein asked. “I suppose it has switched sides, and wants to help us.”

“No, but she swore a blood oath to me.” Glyph answered.

“Why would it do that Glyph?” Ishea questioned him looking serious.

“Tsach possessed her and she gave a blood oath to me to keep Tsach from killing her.”

Crowf stood up from the table. Lobrein sunk her head into her hands, and Drayden could still be heard snickering.

“So it is your slave? Is that right?” Ishea asked, and looked to Lobrein.

Lobrein nodded yes.

“So what have you and your demon slave been up to Glyph?” Ishea demanded.

“Talking. I’ve been interrogating her, trying to learn more about Tsach’s plans. Things like why he wants to kill me– .” Glyph was suddenly cut off.

“You have a relationship with it?” Crowf blurted out.

“That would depend upon your definition of the word ‘relationship’.” Glyph said calmly while staring Crowf down intently.

“There is your spy!” Crowf shouted. “Father! Are you so blind? He has been talking to a demon, one that has been possessed by Tsach! Who knows what he may have let slip that could be reported directly back to the demon lord!”

“Are you accusing the Great One of treason, Crowf?” Grot said loudly and firmly for all to hear.

Crowf backed up slightly. “No, I only meant the demon of which he had talked about. The one in the dungeon.”

“Then you will make yourself clearer the next time you speak, and you will address any concerns you may have to me in private, and I will determine if it is worthy to be brought to the Great One’s attention.” Grot paused, and turned to stare Crowf full in the face. “Is that understood?”

Crowf scowled menacingly, and for a moment Glyph thought he might even try to attack Grot. Then Crowf backed away and stared down at the floor.

Grot turned his attention back to Glyph. “I am sorry for the interruption Great One, please continue.”

“Basically, I asked her some questions, she gave me some answers, and in return I thought we might give her a little more freedom.” Glyph stated, still glaring at Crowf.

“No. Absolutely not. We cannot have a demon walking around the premises. The risk is too great, not to mention someone would try to kill it.” Lobrein said.

“What if she were under constant guard by, say, four Hexzu? What about then?” Glyph suggested. “She can’t perform magic, she’s bound by the anti-magic shackles around her wrists.”

Drayden shot Lobrein a look with his white eyes. Lobrein shook her head just slightly, and then let out a deep sigh. “Very well. But I for one wash my hands of responsibility for whatever happens to it.” Lobrein said reluctantly.

Glyph’s eyes shifted from Drayden to Lobrein, then back. He wondered if they were communicating telepathically. Maybe Drayden reminded her of the demon’s doomsday prophecy. “Grot, can you spare a few men to guard the prisoner?”

“I shall see to it.” Grot replied.

“So,” Ishea spoke up, “we are going to the portal, and they are going to the caves to lead the Hexzu retreat. We will arrive roughly six hours before the Hexzu Rukitan and engage the enemy forces at the portal.”

“Right, and if there are any demons left, Grot’s forces can help us wipe them out when they arrive.” Glyph added. “We’ll open the portal, and then protect the Hexzu from being attacked by Tsach from behind, especially if moving them to M’atra takes longer than we expect. Once everyone is through, I will destroy the Portal.”

Lobrein glanced at Drayden, then at Glyph. “Is this agreeable to you Grot?” She asked.

Grot nodded and stood from the table. “We must retrieve your friend and depart at once.” He said to Drayden.

“Give me a few minutes.” Drayden replied and stood as well, and with a slight twist of his hand, vanished.

Glyph stood and gestured to Ishea and Lobrein. “I need to make arrangements for Zarabish, and we’ll need some provisions.”

“I have taken the liberty of gathering supplies for us and your detective friend.” Lobrein said. “You will have to get something for the demon.”

“Like I said, I need to make arrangements for Zarabish.” Glyph deadpanned.

Turning to Greem, Glyph said. “Get four of your best soldiers, assign two of them to guard Zarabish and escort her to the terrace. We’ll all try to meet there in about ten minutes or so.”

“Just four Great One? Are we not headed straight for the portal to do battle? Perhaps a thousand would be better.” Greem questioned.

“No Greem, just enough to carry us there, and aerial support. I want to pull several surgical strikes on the remaining demons. Once they’re gone the others will flee, and that will make our job a hell of a lot easier.” Glyph answered.

Greem nodded his agreement. “I will see to it.” A scowling smile stretched across his face, as he turned and flew upward; pumping his membrane-like batwings, until he slipped through one of the openings near the top of the amphitheater.

Glyph shifted his head, and caught Ishea staring at him. He momentarily locked eyes with her and became suddenly aroused by the look she was giving him.

“We should go then.” Lobrein said.

Glyph nodded and focused on his quarters inside the temple; he could feel himself begin to fade, and a moment later was next to the large demon-sized bed. He reached in amongst the cushions until he found the book he had stashed there the night before. He scooped up his duffle bag and guns, and teleported to the dungeon.

“Back so soon?” Zarabish quipped after Glyph materialized a few feet away.

“We’re heading for the portal.” Glyph informed her.

“Which one?” She asked him sarcastically.

“The one to M’atra.”

“I take it Tsach is already on his way there.”

“It appears that way. How do you think he knew where we were going to go?” Glyph remarked.

“A spy perhaps? Of course, he may have just deduced it logically. You are from that world, eventually you want to return there, therefore taking control of the portal locks you in, and forces you to fight him and his army, and if you do not, he threatens to destroy the portal, forcing you to fight or risk being trapped here forever. Tsach did not get to his level of power by being stupid.” Zarabish offered.

Glyph hadn’t even thought about that; she was probably right, there was no spy.

Just then two Hexzu entered the dungeon and relieved the two guards that were there.

“Great One, we are here to serve in the capacity you requested.” The taller one said.

“Very good. Zarabish, these two Hexzu will escort you. Before we go, I have to ask you something.” Glyph said. “Are you going to be loyal to me, or stab me in the back at the first chance?”

“I will do what I have to. Release me,” she said waving her silvery shackles at Glyph, “and I will fight for you.”

“I don’t think so, we’re not even close to going that far.” Glyph laughed.

“Then I am useless to you.”

“I don’t believe that. You know how to use a sword, right?” Glyph asked.

“Of course, but it is usually enhanced by magic”

“Well, there is no magic for you; you’re a special demon.”

“What kind of demon has no magic?”

“My kind.” Glyph said and signaled the Hexzu to take her up. “Cooperate with them, or I will be forced to kill you.” Glyph said, and watched as the gargoyles ushered her up the stairs. This was going to be one hell of a trip.

Glyph closed his eyes and concentrated on the terrace outside the great hall. As he phased out of the dungeon the terrace became clearer until he found himself standing next to Ishea and Lobrein.

“Are you ready?” Lobrein asked.

“As I’ll ever be.” Glyph responded.

“Grot, Drayden and the others have left already.” Ishea stated, and Glyph could see the trail of black dots blotting out the sky as they flew west toward the mountains.

Greem, Aroth, and another Hexzu walked out onto the terrace and strode to where Glyph was standing.

“Great One, sorceresses, this is Orotet. You have already met Aroth. They will be your wings.” Greem said gesturing at Ishea and Lobrein. “The demon Zarabish will be here momentarily. Gorth and Crom will fly her as well.”

Glyph caught Lobrein rolling her eyes, but decided to ignore it. “Are these mine?” He asked pointing to a few bundles on the ground, and a fresh water skin. Ishea nodded, and Glyph knelt down and tossed the provisions in his bag, and slung the water skin on the opposite shoulder from his Mac-10 and AK-47. He already felt loaded down; he felt worse for Greem, who had to carry him there.

Within a minute Zarabish strolled out onto the terrace, and shielded her eyes in the bright sunlight. Gorth prodded her forward with the butt of his spear.

“Zarabish, these are my friends. This is Lobrein, Ishea, Greem, Aroth, and Orotet.” Glyph introduced, pointing to each of them in turn, “And you’re already acquainted with Gorth and Crom”.

“Why are we on the terrace?” Zarabish demanded suspiciously.

“The Hexzu have kindly offered us a ride.” Glyph replied.

“Oh no. I would rather die than be carried by a gargoyle. My feet will not leave the ground under their control!” Zarabish began to rant.

“We don’t have time for this.” Glyph commented, and stretched his arm quickly toward the demon’s head, then snapped his fingers. “Sleep!”

Zarabish staggered, dropped to her knees, and fell into the arms of her Hexzu escorts. Each gargoyle clamped onto her bicep, and took to the air. Orotet carried Lobrein, and Aroth followed them with Ishea. Lastly Greem lifted off and Glyph was sailing skyward.

They flew for hours, giving Glyph plenty of time to think about all the crazy shit that had been happening recently. Now that they were headed for the portal, Glyph began to wonder whether or not he would be able to destroy it. He didn’t want a repeat of the Bridge of Bones. The real key to his magic was still that state of supreme power that engulfed him when pushed too far. If he could learn to control it, he could set this whole mess straight again.

After a bit he let himself drift off to sleep for a while.

Greem alerted Glyph to their descent by dropping into a steep dive. Glyph looked around frantically, trying to determine what was going on. They pulled up just short of the ground and Greem set Glyph down lightly. The others soon joined him.

“What? What is it?” Glyph demanded.

Ishea pointed toward the northern sky. “Scorch.”

Glyph glanced up at the ominous fast moving black clouds, and realized why they had stopped in such a hurry.

“There.” Lobrein pointed, and began running across the sandy rock to a small hill of weathered stone. “It is not perfect, but it will have to do.”

Lobrein lifted her knee, clapped her hands together, and stomp-kicked the base of the rock. Pointing her clasped hands at the crack forming under her foot, she raised her arms, expanding the crack upward to head level. Pulling her elbows back she slowly pushed them forward and the crack in the stone peeled back forming a tunnel running upward a few feet then leveling off into a room.

By the time Glyph had walked the short distance to where she stood, Lobrein had finished. “It has to be bigger. There is no room for Zarabish.” Glyph said to Lobrein as he inspected the size of the tunnel.

“It cannot be any bigger without risking its structural integrity. The rock is not large enough to accommodate us and the demon. It will have to stay elsewhere.” Lobrein said snidely.

“You truly know how to make one feel at ease. You remind me of my mother.” Zarabish said groggily as she began to wake up.

Lobrein pushed Zarabish flat into the sand with pure mental force and held her there. Her eyes flared in anger as she marched over to the demon’s face, now half-buried in the sand. “Let me make this perfectly clear. You will never speak to me, or in my presence; is that understood?”

Zarabish nodded her understanding, “Definitely just like my mother.” She muttered under her breath, just loud enough for Glyph to hear it.

Glyph raised an eyebrow towards Ishea, who just shrugged in return, as if she didn’t know what Lobrein’s problem was either.

Turning away from them, Glyph swept his arm across in front of him, whipping the wind into a sudden fury. Closing his fist he pulled downward, dropping a tornado funnel to the ground, watching as it quickly become a spinning vortex of sand. Glyph shut his eyes and imagined a cylindrical structure with a rounded top. When it was the right size and shape Glyph stomped the ground, yelled, and released a brilliant white light from his palm. It flashed for a moment, the wind died instantly. Glyph opened his eyes and gazed up at the huge, foot thick, solid glass structure.

Zarabish nodded her approval and walked to the opening, which had an overhang to keep the scorch from entering. Crawling inside, she again sat crossed legged on the sandy ground and closed her eyes. Glyph hoped it would be enough to protect her.

Flashes of red lightning crossed the sky. Glyph followed Greem and Aroth into the large room Lobrein had just made. There was barely enough room to fit them comfortably. A moment later the temperature began to rise, and they could hear the scorch hitting the ground outside the opening.

Glyph peeked out to check on Zarabish, and so far she looked okay, at least what he could see of her. The scorch was sheeting off the glass enclosure in torrents of liquid flame. Greem pulled out some dried meat and the rest of them followed suit and ate dinner early.

“I wonder how Drayden and the others are doing?” Ishea asked.

“They are used to the scorch, dear. The Hexzu have invented numerous ways to avoid its destructive nature.” Lobrein told her.

“It is true, sorceress. Though we ourselves can turn to stone as a defense mechanism, our livestock cannot. The Lizbah lived in small numbers and stayed near the mountains for protection. Once we domesticated them we moved them to open spaces for better food to increase their population. We had to learn how to protect them from the sudden onslaught of scorch. Do not worry, your friends are safe.” Aroth explained.

“What’s a Lizbah?” Glyph mouthed to Ishea, who began to giggle.

“The lizard-birds that pull the demon chariots are the Hexzu’s main food source. They maintain several large herds to the north.” Lobrein said nonchalantly.

Glyph nodded, and the room grew quiet.

“I have to say, Glyph, you learn very quickly. You are also quite impressively imaginative. Using the wind to pick up the sand and changing it into glass, albeit a tad dramatic, was very effective.” Lobrein stated.

“What? I’m sorry did you say something nice? Cause that’s kind of what it sounded like.” Glyph remarked.

“It was a compliment, yes. Your plan seems to be working, even with this delay. If the scorch falls further to the east it may even compromise Tsach’s army.”

“Well thank you, Lobrein.” Glyph replied with a hint of sarcasm.

“The crucial question now is will you be able to destroy the gate?”

“I think I know how to do it.”

“You think? This is important Glyph. I see that you have power, and it is indeed great, but it is raw. If you can not destroy the portal, M’atra will be invaded.” Lobrein emphasized.

Glyph rolled his eyes. “I know that, and I will handle it.” Glyph shifted his seat. “You couldn’t just let it go. Why do you always have to be so negative?”

Lobrein remained silent, and Glyph noticed Ishea’s eyebrows rise slightly as she stared at them from the corner of the cave-like room.

“I am trying to gain a sense of your commitment to our problem. It is more than just our lives at stake, and if I have made a decision for those other lives, I want to be sure it is the right one.” Lobrein stated after a long pause.

Glyph stood up. “It is.” He said sharply, and went to check on Zarabish again. He could hear the five Hexzu talking softly on the other side of the hollowed-out cave. Lobrein was starting to wear on him; he hadn’t liked her much since she arrived.

He could see Zarabish sitting contently as the fire-rain washed over the glass dome. Glyph tried to attract her attention, but it looked as if she was in some sort of meditative trance. He turned to head back inside and almost bumped into Greem.

“Greem, this may sound like a silly question. Are you bringing the Lizbah with you?” Glyph asked.

“With me? I do not understand.”

“I mean your people, the Hexzu, are they taking the herds of Lizbah to the portal?” Glyph clarified.

“Yes, but do not worry Great One, Grot included this in his original time estimation.” Greem answered, hearing the concern in Glyph’s voice.

Glyph nodded. “Good, that was beginning to gnaw at me.” He glanced over at Ishea several times trying not to be too obvious. ‘I wonder why she’s being so quiet’ he thought. She hadn’t even spoken to him since they had made love, although he had slept some and been flying for most of the day. Still, that too began to gnaw at him.

“Great One, what does this place on your world look like? The place the Hexzu will live?” Greem asked.

“Just like this Greem, without the scorch. There’s more sand and less exposed rock, and the mountains are covered in trees.”

“It sounds interesting. We will be happy there.”

Greem said it as a statement, but Glyph wondered if it were not a question.

The scorch continued to fall.

“Glyph?” Lobrein said as she approached from behind. “What do you know of your purpose here?” She asked pointedly.

Glyph never took his eyes from Zarabish. “Enough to fuck things up, and not enough to make them right.” He stated dryly, and then turned to look at her. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, how much have you read from the Tome of Dark Lore, and what has it shown you?”

“I know the history of the demons’ occupation here, the Parcels, Bridge of Bones, and Sa Saran. That’s about it. Why? Are you afraid I might know too much?” Glyph said accusingly.

“No. It is, well, difficult to explain. The Demons have a prophecy of their own; it is known as a doomsday prophecy. This prophecy speaks of a great one from another world who will destroy demonkind, and end their civilization. On every world the demons invade they search out prophecy in that world, to see if there is any correlation to their own. When they first invaded M’atra, Drathus found a prophecy that spoke of a great man who will come to defend our world. It was Drathus who first made the connection, and decided that you were that man. From what Ishea and I have been able to piece together, this was the reason he sought you out, hoping to kill you and be elevated to supreme status among his peers by essentially saving the demon race from extinction.”

“Things are starting to make a lot more sense now, but Zarabish filled me in on the whole ‘demons will hunt me till I’m dead’ thing.” Glyph said thoughtfully.

“Glyph, the reason I ask the hard questions, the reason I press you to exercise your blue magic, and keep prophecy from you, is because you are the Great One. You are destined to destroy the demon race, all of them, and I’m afraid that knowing too much could cause you to make the wrong decision.”

“First, I’m not going to kill all the demons, no matter what prophecy says. Secondly, I was always taught that knowledge is power, and I’m a little lacking in that category right now, and lastly, your being a bitch doesn’t make me very enthusiastic about the whole thing. Everything I have done I did to keep Ishea and myself alive. I did it because she asked me to, and that’s my reason. Besides, if it is my destiny then how can I go wrong?”

“There are good and bad ways to achieve destiny. How you do something is at least as important as doing it. Maybe more so.” Lobrein put her hand on his shoulder. “Do you realize the horrific offenses that the demons have inflicted upon the Hexzu?”

“I know about Sa Saran, and that’s enough. I know whatever Cruix did to Ishea changed her from the person she used to be, and that alone makes me want to kill every last demon alive, but I won’t. I can’t. Cruix was one individual; they may not all be that way, and I won’t judge them based upon the acts of their sadistic leaders. Wars are started all the time on my world for just such reasons. Intolerance and prejudice are not acceptable reasons.”

“I had originally thought to talk you out of reading the Tome, but now, I think maybe you should. It is in your possession for a reason. Read it, and when you have finished let me know if you still feel the same. I hope it will enlighten you as to the atrocities they have committed not just on M’atra, and Degruthras, but countless other worlds as well. You are our savior Glyph, whether you like it or not.” With that said Lobrein turned and walked back to where Ishea was already sleeping.

Glyph watched the scorch spilling over the glass dome until it stopped about an hour later. They had a job to do, and it was time to go do it.

Greem gathered everyone together, as Glyph waved his hands and flipped the glass dome off Zarabish, sending it careening into some rocks about twenty yards away. She stood up as if nothing had happened.

“Put me to sleep, I do not want to feel those traitorous Hexzu touching me.” Zarabish demanded.

Glyph nodded and with a quick snap, knocked her unconscious. Lobrein’s words still stung in his ears. ‘Maybe she’s right.’ he thought for an instant, then just as quickly dismissed the idea.

The gargoyles lifted them off into the sky, and soon they were on their way. Darkness had already descended upon them, and several hours later Glyph had Greem set them back down in time for his hour.

“This is a good time to pass along any information to Grot or Drayden. I will be seeing Amos in a few minutes.” Glyph said as he strapped the machine guns to his back. Bogg would need them to defend himself when we get to Earth, and now that Glyph could use his magic there he no longer had a use for the weapons.

Greem handed him a small piece of parchment with coordinates and time estimates scratched on it. Glyph tucked it into his pocket and walked the short distance to where Zarabish stood. “Don’t start any trouble while I’m gone; I don’t want you dead when I get back.” Glyph said. Zarabish grunted an acknowledgement.

He turned and found Ishea standing nearby.

“I’ll see you in an hour.” Glyph said to her for lack of something better to say.

“Glyph, I just want to say…” She paused.

“Don’t worry about it, we can talk when I get back, or at least when this is all over.” Glyph replied.

Ishea looked torn. “Be safe.”

Glyph leaned in and kissed her cheek. Then took a few steps back as he felt the wind pick up and the sensation of breathing in the vacuum of space over took him.


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