I’d left Gus, Torvin and Jaelin in the waiting room and transported myself to the edge of the lava-filled chasm alone. I needed to dip the knife I’d used to stab Quinn and the nurse into the furnace below and that wasn’t a job that called for any assistance. I was about to attempt a series of precision teleportations and, for all Gus’s loyalty, Jaelin’s ability and Torvin’s expendability, none of them would be of any use here.
I stared over the cliff at the bubbling lava. The last time I’d intentionally flung myself into that fiery pit, I’d been trying to shake loose Halkkor, who’d stubbornly clung to me despite my repeated attempts to teleport away from him. I’d finally managed to shake him loose, but I’d dipped my leg into the lava and burnt it so bad that it didn’t heal until my miraculous and mysterious return from my second death. I wasn’t exactly anxious to reacquire that particular injury.
As I stood there psyching myself for my close and probably painful encounter with the flaming seas of Hell, my phone rang. It was General Gavsot.
“General,” I said. “How’s the war effort going?”
“Not well,” came a breathless response. “We are losing ground faster and faster. We just lost the Department of Manufacturing.”
“We have a Department of Manufacturing?” I asked.
“Where did you think all the devices used for the torture came from?” he asked. He sounded surprisingly irritable. The usually collected general seemed to be losing his cool. “Or your office furniture or your computer or the phone you are using right now?”
“Right, sorry, of course they have to come from somewhere,” I said quickly.
“Every warehouse and factory that is not a pile of rubble is up in flames,” he said. “Halkkor’s army seems to be moving back toward the Department of Torture. I do not have enough demons left to slow them down anymore. I cannot stop them.”