Powers clash and are claimed in Part 7 of The Two Faced Goddess.
The Two Faced Goddess Part 7: Rings & Guns
‘Ah, my Grievous One,’ purred the Goddess, ‘Always exceeding expectations. You have the rings?’
‘As if I would give them to you!’
The Goddess laughed, ‘I will have them, Grievous One, whether you give them to me willingly, or not. You cannot keep them from me, my dear, I am the Goddess of War, after all.’
‘No. You are Eritrayeaux, the Goddess of Love.’
‘Never call me by that name!’ screamed the Goddess. Power and light blazed around her, commingling and fusing to form two midnight swords, one for each hand. ‘I was the one born with hatred flowing through my veins! I should have been the Goddess of War, not her!’
‘So you killed her, your sister?’
‘Of course I did! And I claimed her power as my own!’ With that the Goddess sprang into the air. The Grievous One leapt to meet her. Swords and claws clashed, metal shrieked and sparks flew.
Around the sarcophagus, trapped by creeping stone, they watched, wondering if the outcome of this battle would have any bearing on their fate. The Prince watched his brother run towards the stairs. Cresting the top the Prince’s twin threw himself sideways as one of the Goddess’ swords punched through the stone. The Grievous One’s claws took advantage of the Goddess’ distraction and sliced the Goddess from hip to shoulder. Her blood splattered upon them like rain.
‘Shit!’ said the Prince’s twin, tapping the hardened stone encasing his brother’s legs and hips.
‘Apparently it’s the Goddess’ way of keeping us safe,’ said Lieutenant Huxley.
‘It seems to have slowed a little,’ said Dorian.
‘That’s because my sister’s power is focused elsewhere,’ said a disembodied voice. Light flickered before them, coalescing into the form of a woman, not dissimilar to the Goddess fighting above them.
‘You’re Erris?’ said the encased Prince.
‘But the body in the sarcophagus…’
‘Eritrayeaux’s. When she killed me it was all I could think of to delay the carnage that would follow.’
‘How? If you were dead…’
‘Your ancestors, Princes, they were very helpful.’
‘Can you stop her?’
‘Erritayeaux gained the power she longed for by killing me. I am little more than a whisper on the wind. It is you who must stop her.’
‘There are nine rings,’ she said fading away. ‘Use them.’
‘What did she mean?’
‘The Grievous One collected nine rings for the Dark Lord,’ said the Prince’s twin, staring at his brother’s finger.
‘If I’ve understood this, the Dark Lord and the Goddess are the same,’ said Anson.
‘How does that help?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘The Goddess also has one ring,’ said Dorian, ‘The one Sofia dropped.’
‘What do we do?’
‘We can’t do anything, Alex,’ said the Prince, looking at his brother. ‘The question is, what can you do?’
Dorian sighed. The Prince’s brother had brought a flicker of hope, but it had since gutted and died.
‘Dorian,’ a voice whispered in his mind.
‘The numbers are always important,’ she whispered and was gone.
Numbers and images flashed before his eyes like a strobe light. Nine subway routes, twenty-seven survivors, then thirty-three, one ring, two princes, two pistols, nine rings, one door, one sarcophagus…
He turned his head to study the pattern on the sarcophagus. It was the same. Closing his eyes, Dorian used his photographic memory to overlay the patterns from the sarcophagus, the Door and Sophia’s arms.
Nine individual patterns shone like stars from within. One for each ring. Nine lives would be required, but whose? He opened his eyes and saw them shining like beacons. Above metal screeched, more sparks and blood raining down. Dorian felt warm blood on his face, followed by intense heat and pain. The stone encasing him was on fire. He screamed.
Alex spun round, the flames reflecting in his pupils. Beyond them his eyes fell upon a pair of familiar pistols lying discarded.
‘Colonel Dimitri’s pistols!’ Without thinking he ran, diving between the sarcophagus and the flaming Dorian, sliding, grabbing a pistol in each hand, twisting around and firing two shots at the burning rock as he continued to slide.
The blazing rock encasing Dorian cracked, splitting open like a cocoon. In Alex’s hands the pistols grew warm and began to glow. Still sliding he fired again, shattering the rock encasing his brother. He rolled, launching himself to his feet and diving as the Goddess’ black sword sliced through the air where he’d been, still firing and setting the prisoners free, wondering how he was doing it.