SCALES-24

It flickered across my mind that I was headed for a horrid death. Why couldn't I have gone in my sleep? Or just, I don't know, have passed on in the middle of a coffee high? 

Okay, scratch that. What a dumb way to die.

Weren't all ways of dying dumb? I mean, honestly, you spend all your life trying to get financial security, a nice job, kids, being good, and when you finally do-bang. It's all over, and someone else gets to eat the cake. 

Come to think of it, life was dumb too. It was an endless cycle of work, rest and the occasional entertainment. It never went anywhere. 

I wondered then why I had so much time to come to such philosophical realizations. And then it actually occurred to me. 

Time wasn't just slowing in my mind. 

I stopped falling altogether a foot from the ground and dropped gently a moment later.

My vision was hazy but I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a hooded figure disappearing into thin air.

I sat up and took a few deep breaths, checking to see that all of my limbs were intact. I was alive.

"Commander!" Eversio called, running out into the courtyard, "Are you alright?"

"I was just attacked and thrown off of a tower, but other than that I'm fine." I managed, rubbing at my eyes. Maybe it was all a vivid hallucination.

"What? By who?"

I struggled with my memory.

"Some...guy in grey. Said he was part of the 'grey fist'. Pretty funny, actually."

Eversio looked stunned.

"Them? They're a militia group from Purgatory. How did they get in so close-"

"Probably teleported." I muttered, "Everybody seems to be teleporting these days, must be some kind of trade secret. Why am I the last to hear about these things? I'm like a technologically crippled old woman in the information age."

"Zara?" Eversio asked, "Are you...sure you're okay?"

"Oh, of course, of course." I assured him, waving his concern away.

A second later I flopped to the ground, unconscious.

I woke up who knew how much later, and the pain in my neck had multiplied by a thousand.

"Am I dead?" I asked weakly, squinting up at the stone ceiling of the room I was in.

"No, you were poisoned by the assassin. Don't try to get up."

I squinted towards the source of the voice. I saw a blonde head of hair but when it turned the eyes watching me were silver. Lucifer.

"How did he poison me?" I asked incredulously.

"The inhabitants of Purgatory have their own talents. One of which is poison that can be released upon contact with skin." 

"So...am I going to die?"

He laughed.

"Not yet. I'm not that bad a healer."

I blinked, my eyes heavy with pain.

"Wait...you said...assassin?"

"Purgatory knows that you're our High Commander. This extremist group probably wanted to send a message. I wouldn't worry about it." 

"What if...they try again?"

"That's not about to happen."

Just then, grey dude materialized in the room and punched Lucifer hard enough to throw him to the ground.

Great.

The End

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