Michael continued to watch the Neutrals as they clawed at the door to no avail. He had no idea how he was going to get past them. He watched them for a while and when no answer was forthcoming he decided to try a different route and see if there wasn't some other way in.
He circled around the interior of the building several times but all the corridors lead him to the same place. It the labyrinthine hallways of the tower, this chamber seemed to be the centre. All paths led here.
Bollocks. I can't do anything here. I need to talk with Ursula and Gabriella, come up with some kind of game plan.
“Jesus Effing Christ!” Michael yelled as he materialised. “What the hell? Your... you...”
“Michael!” Gabreilla screamed as she pulled the bed covers over herself and Ursula.
“Out!” Ursula yelled. “Chair!”
Chair bounded in, scooped up a still spluttering Michael and carried him out of the room. The door locked shut behind them.
Gabriella poked her head up from under the covers. “Is he gone?”
Ursula sighed. “Yes. He seemed surprised. I guess you didn't tell him you were gay.”
“It never really came up. I didn't expect him to ever burst in on me having sex with a beautiful woman.” Gabriella said, rubbing her face along Ursula's collar bone and breathing in her scent.
“Mmmmm. Well, I think we better find out why he's back. I don't imagine being a voyeur was the only reason.”
“Do we have to?”
“Well, you could stay here and I could debrief you later.” Ursula said, raising a cheeky eyebrow.
“You already did that.” Gabriella said, followed by a throaty laugh.
Ursula snorted and tossed back her hair. “Come on, lets jump in the shower and then find out what this is all about.”
Gabriella jumped out of bed eagerly and followed Ursula into the shower.
* * * * *
Gabriella and Ursula walked out of the bedroom dressed in silk kimonoes to find Michael pacing nervously in the lounge. As soon he noticed them he began to apologise.
“I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to... I didn't know!”
“Shut the hell up Michael.” Ursula said as she took a seat along with Gabriella. “We're here, we're queer and we all know you're not some kind of magical teleporting pervert so lets cut the crap. What happened at Triad's tower?”
Michael avoided looking at them for a second, his face still red with embarrassment. “Where do I begin? I arrived where Triad was, but not in the tower. I arrived in the Aether somehow. It was like being everywhere at once, it's hard to describe. It was fighting the other Triad and something else. As it turns out, Johnathan Tetherson is still alive.”
Gabriella looked shocked. “What?!”
“He's alive, or at least he's not dead, not in the conventional sense anyway. He's fused somehow with the Lunar AI/Demon hybrid from a hundred years ago. He's like Triad but without a body.”
“And part demon.” Ursula added.
“It's Tetherson that's behind all this. He's been working with the demons, it's how they got the know-how to make their own Triad. I think what he wants now is to finish what he started when he was just the Lunar AI/Demon hybrid.”
“He's going to crash the moon into Earth?”
“Not quite, but he wants to achieve the same end. Total destruction. The wars, they're his doing. He's been playing other one against each other to achieve one thing. Aether bombs.”
“But that doesn't make any sense, they destroy the Aether, he'd kill all his demons lackeys and himself along with them.” Ursula said.
“Not quite.” Gabriella interjected. “After all, Tetherson and the Lunar AI/Demon hybrid survived the first bomb didn't they? It seems things didn't work quite as planned all those years ago. What I don't get is why Tetherson would become one with that monster. He hated the demons, he designed the bombs so he could destroy them.”
“He might not have had a choice. Maybe he was forced. Something still isn't right about the whole situation but right now it doesn't matter. What matters now is stopping everyone from nuking the crap out of each other.”
“What about Triad, did you speak to it?”
“I couldn't, not there in the Aether. I needed to get out of there before Tetherson tore me apart. The Neutral are all possessed in the tower, they're trying to claw their way into the main chamber and take out Triad in the real world. With Triad gone, there wont be anything stopping the demons from breaking through like they did during the Fracturing. They wont need to trick people into using the nukes, they can do it themselves. I couldn't do a thing against the Neutrals by myself so I, err... came back...”
“And got yourself one hell of a peep show!” Ursula laughed.
Gabriella smacked her on the arm and Michael went bright red.