Bam was dead.
“Were you eaten by a fish?” It was an inane question. It didn’t matter.
He answered though. “The bull.” (more…)
It’s what you do.
Noise you don’t want to hear, fists thrown, bullets fired—all of it bounces back and strikes your attacker with the slightest bit of your attention, or even less.
Saruhiko caught his breath staring. No bone. No blood. No ash.
Mikoto gave a sort of bone deep weary sigh and leaned back with that tired look about him that sometimes made Saruhiko wonder if he ever felt regret.
“That’s too bad,” Kusanagi said.
Saruhiko blinked at him in surprise for the understated reaction, then looked down at his own hand. It was shaking. They’d said as much, but it was only hitting Saruhiko now that by taking Suoh Mikoto’s hand, he could have died.
A moment ago, there was a person. Now, there was nothing: no bone, blood, ash.
A pause, a silent gap stretching out into the distant horizon and over the edge—
“Your parents are dead.”
She closed her eyes, no longer listening to details that only confirmed what she’d already known. Pain, crashing, screaming of metal and flesh rending open to space—
“Queen,” she corrected quietly. She opened her eyes, collected herself, and rose to go find her brothers, dismissing the servant with a gesture. She let her bodyguards flank her down the too empty corridors to her oldest brother’s study.
“King,” she greeted him.
“Queen,” he greeted back.