Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Concerning Jaelin

After only a few minutes, we’d assembled a large pile of twice-bloodied weapons on the floor of the waiting room.  We spent a few more minutes carefully scooping them back into the crate. 

“Okay,” I announced to my small group of confederates, “This next part will be tricky.  Jaelin, I’ll need your help for this specifically.  The rest of you,” I added apologetically, “you’re useless here.  No offense.  Except for you, Torvin.”

Fearfully, Torvin asked, “You…you need my help?”

I snickered.  “What?  No, of course not.  I just meant that I actually did mean to offend you.  Just not them.”  I gestured toward Gus and Sylnie. 

Jaelin jumped into the awkward silence to change the subject.  “So what do you need me to do, sir?” she asked.

“These things need to be dipped into the lake of fire,” I explained.  “That was a tricky enough task for me to do on my own one at a time, but with five hundred of these things, I might need a second pair of telekinetic hands.”

She nodded.  I reflected briefly on how useful she’d been since Jorge had sent her to assist me.  I’d had none of the problems with her that I’d had with other demons.  She didn’t openly defy me like Azraal or Vilnius or Dramien had, and she didn’t try to manipulate me the way Kivra did (although she was cute enough and naked enough that I had to admit she could probably pull it off).  She wasn’t an impotent coward like Torvin and I could rely on her to support me in a tough situation—unlike Wyver.  Despite all of Gus’s unfailing loyalty, all of Sylnie’s pleasant obedience and all of Jorge’s shrewd assistance, Jaelin was probably my most powerful friend down here—except, obviously, for General Gavsot.

But I also didn’t feel as though we’d really bonded.  Was she really a friend or did she just appear that way because she hadn’t yet found a good enough reason to betray me?  She was a demon of a high order, after all.  Her species had been created for purely evil intent and her strength made her possible capacity for malevolence all the more dangerous.  Maybe I needed to keep a closer eye on her.  But while she still appeared loyal, it seemed like a good idea to utilize her abilities to further my own purposes.

I gripped the big crate with both hands.  “Meet me at the edge of the lake of fire,” I told her.  She nodded and I teleported away.

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