Fikhos stared straight at me as he died. He didn't look angry or even particularly surprised. He looked scared. It seemed weird to me that demons could fear death, considering that I'd always assumed that kind of thing to be a human trait. But eventually, his expression slackened, the demon who'd slain him removed the Firstborn blade from his body, and my late Director of Housing fell lifeless to the cavern floor.
I turned to face the leader of the group as his loyal assassin returned to stand at his side. "I demand that you let my friends go and explain exactly what's going on here," I shouted toward him.
"You're in no position to make demands of me, Abomination," he spat. "I owe you nothing."
To that, I could only impotently respond, "Who the hell are you, anyway?"
Ignoring me, the leader barked to his followers, "This location has been compromised. We need to move the operation to our secondary hideout. Take the psychic with us, but kill the other one. We have what we need from him. And kill the Devil, too, if he doesn't scurry away first. Anyone whose identity is revealed and anyone who is careless enough to be followed…you know what you can expect." He gestured toward Fikhos's corpse and disappeared. And that's when every single demon in the room turned a creepy masked gaze in my direction.
It seemed best to act with swiftness. I teleported to Tithenai and yanked the gag out of her mouth.
"Thank you very much!" she gushed. And then, inevitably, she continued, "Mr. Roboto, for helping me escape just when I needed to!" It struck me as amusing that, in such a stressful situation, she'd managed to use an unusually relevant lyric.
"Sure," I said, speaking quickly. "Listen, I need to know—." Before I could finish, the assassin appeared, gripped her by the hair, and whisked her off. Perhaps she'd just been transferred to the group's secondary hideout.
I moved over to Torvin and, rather than wasting time with removing his gag, I set fire to the cords around his wrists and ankles. That was when I noticed his raw abdominal wounds—the same kinds of wounds typically found on inmates in the Department of Enforcment. His captors must have used the limiting cocktail on him to keep him confined. "You can't teleport, can you?" I asked him.
He pulled out his gag. "No!" he shouted hysterically. "They kept draining me of my power, over and over again!" Then his eyes focused on something behind me and went wide with fear. I whirled around just in time to block an attack from what had to be the same demon who'd killed Fikhos.