Haryk was very upset with himself, for as he was being shrunk to the size of a beetle, roughly, he had forgotten to ask Andril which of the love birds he was going to attack first. He himself was still leaning towards Abraxas.
While the woman who was wearing a blue sparkling topaz gown faced her victims, Haryk and Andril would literally grow from puny specs until they were full sized. She’d of course have no idea. With this freakish ex-girlfriend from Ket out of the way, they would most likely save Areia and also the warrior princess as well. Haryk doubted Andril felt a conviction or debt to these prisoner’s safety, but both of them had saved their lives on First Isle. Haryk knew that Andril would want to clear the bar tab, at least. Besides, then they’d have Abraxas all to themselves. He now thought of Abraxas as a thing, for obviously Abraxas was no more a man, than Thrak was. All this way he’d come expecting to battle a dragon. And now all was revealed. Abraxas the ancient was a shapeshifter. His mind put it all together now. The injured beast on Black Lake, the injured beast in the tournament. The injured man here. All one and the same. Some incredible tinkering that must have taken he thought, but then he remembered what he saw under the thing’s study, deep in his laboratory. Whatever Abraxas was, he was not long for this world.
The woman stood before him, and she, like the room around her began to shrink. With her bright topaz dress, and her golden hair, she gave the effect of a sunrise over the sea. Haryk was going to have a hard time shooting her, he knew. With her back still turned, she lifted the head of the dying man before her, and stared into his eyes. Unlike her, he was barely clothed, nor were the two prisoners hanging from the wall next to him. Each was covered in dirt, and blood which oozed out of gashing wounds. Their blood dripped to the hard stones below them, pooling into one large puddle.
Abraxas’ onyx black eyes met those of the woman whom he had said, he still loved. Haryk could see, as he stared at the eyes, that it was true. This was a man, about to die by the very hand of the woman he obviously cared for, the woman he now could not stop. Abraxas let his eyes fall, like the rest of his spent body and mind, and heart. Haryk imagined her gaze was all intensity and his was weakness.
She cackled with delight and stooped over so he could see her emphatic face anyway. “The once high and mighty Abraxas! Now, where is the power of your ancient texts? Your…. seeking?” A fly buzzed around her face and she waved her hand at it to brush it away. She continued, “You cannot see anymore, Abraxas! You have lost your pride, your courage, you no longer trust to anything except for those worms that you think will one day rise. Look who has risen now!” As Haryk’s form grew to full height, he could see her face now, and it’s reflection in the stones at his feet. Her look of derision was fully engulfed on her shaking face. Her lips curled back in disgust. “They are scum, filth. Look at you now!”
Abraxas said nothing. There was moaning from Areia who was hanging next to him on the wall. Now that Haryk was in the chamber, he realized how wounded she was. Was she even alive?
“I nearly destroyed you protecting those urchins. Why, why must you continue the fantasy?” Spat the woman he know knew was named Hasai. She ran her hand along Abraxas’ cheek, tracing his cheekbones with a delicately pointed finger.
“I will put you out of your misery my love. I will remember you as the mighty Abraxas. Not as this sad bag of bones.”
Haryk then recognized the chanting of magic, the words that when combined just right gave the magic-user the power to control that which existed in the world. He had learned much about it recently. Abraxas chains went taut, and his body lurched. His mouth opened, and he blasted out an uncontrollable scream. Haryk knew he was not going to have to kill Abraxas, he was dying already.
Just then he saw Areia’s face lift and he saw the familiar puffed nostrils. The eyes searing with hatred. They burned at the woman, and she cried out.
The woman waved a finger at her and tsked. “Oh dear. Oh dear. Is she…?”
With what seemed like the last of his breath, Abraxas cried out, still writhing in pain against his bonds. “She is nothing Hasai. She means nothing to me! End this, end me. Do not harm her. She means nothing to me.”
“Does she now? Shall we find out?” Hasai moved to Areia as if she were casually going for a stroll. All the while, Abraxas’ body convulsed and writhed as if a fire was burning inside of his flesh.
“And yet you fought by their side, right until the end Abraxas,” said Hasai coldly. “I watched you myself. I chased you, sought you. My mistress told me of how you followed her, always seeking. How you trust in her.”
Haryk turned to Andril. He was now fully grown as was he. Andril was lifting his hand slowly towards the woman. Haryk waited for the signal. He was sweating now, watching every detail before him. He was right in front of the prisoners, but not one saw them as they grew to full height, standing not feet behind their attacker. But Haryk saw, near the bonds of Areia, hiding in such a way Hasai could not see, a tail, a bushy tail now sticking out from behind her back.
Hasai, not seeing the tail, nor them behind her, moved to Ulua. There was a menace to her walk. Haryk thought the air felt even heavier now, as if her anger were making the air in his lungs thicker.”And what about this pretty little thing? Eh? My mistress requests both of them alive. Can you believe that Abraxas? They alive. You, the mighty Abraxas, she cares not!”
“You can not… give them… to her, Hasai!” Abraxas choked out the words, and this time, Haryk saw that his gaze had finally passed his tormenter. In his final moments of agony, he had seen past her, and what he saw was Andril and Haryk.
“I can do what I like you great fool. Because I am not beholden to the slaves of the surface as you still are. Were! You made me what I am my love. Remember? Now, I unmake you!” With a flash, she brought her hand around to Abraxas and the chains tightened completely arching his back. Haryk could hear the sounds of bones cracking. He was only inches now from the woman’s backside, his pistol raised to the center where her heart would be. It would be a simple kill.
“Something smells here, my love. Something…small.”
Haryk squeezed the trigger and instantly the explosion rocked inside of the small chamber.