There are three things that I know for sure.
One, all planets are not alike. They are not built the same and I’m not talking about what science has discovered about the gaseous planets having nearly no land to speak of, or the temperature spikes on Mars either. I mean they aren’t built the same way earth is.
Here, the spiritual world is largely unseen. Here, heaven is divided into three areas and the Earth is the Lord’s footstool. That’s here. Mars is similar, so is Venus. But Jupiter? That’s a whole different ballgame.
Two, I only have what Raphael has spoken of to draw from. But, Jupiter is nothing like earth. On Earth, its atmosphere looks like pretty swirls of gas, there it is the spiritual world on display for the whole galaxy to see. No probe has gotten feed of how it truly exists. No machine can tell you that you’re being attacked and your flesh being ripped at. A machine cannot feel the cold of fear enveloping you or the elation of peace as you travel through one hellish layer to the nearest heavenly one. Heaven and Hell are on display every day and the entrance is… Yep, you guessed it. The Red Spot. That’s where you’re sorted and given access to only the layers of existence that should apply to you. Heavenly for the guiltless, and purgatories for the fallen. Guess where I get to go and gather information? Not the pretty part.
And three. The moons are a direct result of Jupiter’s own apocalypse, now eons past. Some are escape capsules so that everybody didn’t die. Others are prisons for the demonic beings that started the whole thing. Europa is like a siren. Constantly calling out to the wayward traveler. Beneath the crushing ice of the surface is the demon. Like a giant bubble encrusted with ice and spikes of arctic nickel reinforced by rivets of dark matter keeping the moon from imploding or the demon from escaping. It’s hungry and cannot lay dormant. It is seductive.
Callisto was a safe haven, and then was overrun. Then overthrown and now there is a struggle for power. And this is where I am going? How am I ever going to get Ares there without him suspecting that he is being led into a trap? I can’t very well start playing ‘good wife’ now. I hate him. A lot!
Getting him to trust me is hard enough as it is just so that he won’t do anything to hurt me. But, maybe some of this extra power Raphael gave me to make the jump there will also give me an edge. I mean, I do have an ounce of entrancing persuasiveness over vampires and silver banshees. Maybe I can bat my eye lashes or something… No. He’s too smart for that. I’d better have a ‘pretend’ heart to heart with him and sort make him believe he has a chance to make up with me. Then he’ll go. More or less.
I could just straight up kidnap him. But, then I’d be trapped in a hell on a foreign plant trying to stay one step ahead of him as he chased me through it. Nope. Back to plan A. Make up… more or less.
* * *
I walked down the corridors of Dracula’s castle trying to memorize the unfamiliar areas I had never been in. This could be useful just in case there is the need for a reconnaissance mission later to help Lorena or Belle when she finally does wake up. I should go check on her before I take Ares to Jupiter if I can get a good five minutes to myself. Maybe I will claim to be on my period and go to the bathroom or something. You’d think at some point in time I’d actually get to experience menopause just so I don’t have to deal with this anymore. But, no. Over 3,000 years old and I still have to deal with this. So not fair. But handy at the moment.
Ares had his fun with me already. I don’t feel as coerced as I did as first. All I could think of was how much Sam would hate me later. But, since Sam has given me his blessing to do what I have to in order to save our daughter… I guess maybe I should also take him up on the opportunity to see if my heart will sprout open like a flower and by letting Ares in enough to truly purge him I can finally fall madly in love with my husband.
Somehow the Jupiter mission seems easier and more likely. But ok Sam. For you, I will try. Anything for you Sam, even this.
I went to the bathroom in the farthest wing. I should have exactly four and a half minutes to jump to Petra. Well, maybe I’ll tell them I need to shower as well to give me more time. I stripped down to my undies and clouded to Belle, splashing down into the watery grave I’d left her in. A huge tub of water hewn out of the rock underneath the floor of… What hall is this again?
I looked for signs of life. At least now she seemed like she was breathing. I tapped on the glass hoping that she was just asleep and that she would wake up. Nothing. Well, she didn’t seem like she was breathing before, so I guess this is progress.
My poor friend. Stuck in child’s pose, in a glass case, in the middle of nowhere, literally buried alive and in a watery tub of rock. I wonder if she’ll be mad after she stops freaking out… one day… when she’s conscious again.
I said a prayer over her and proceeded to spill my guts telling her everything that had happened to me as quickly as I could. I’d been there for twenty minutes jabbering away and hoping that Ares hadn’t tried to join me in the shower I’d left running. At least he still thinks a woman’s period is gross. If it’s not a wound that’s bleeding then he’s usually not interested. Not the right kind of bloodshed for his taste.
“You know, they say that people in a coma can still hear those who are around them, talking to them, and just can’t participate in the conversation Belle. I hope that me keeping you involved in what’s going on doesn’t give you nightmares. But, more importantly… that you wake up prepared with as much information that I can give you so that you’ll have the upper hand and you’ll know if someone is lying to you later when all of this is said and done. Please trust that even though I left you here that I was under orders and that I really am your friend.” I said patting the glass.
I clouded back to my pretend shower and was lathering up just as Ares burst through the door.
“Can you pass me the shampoo?” I asked. I had purposely left it on the counter by the sink.
“You already washed your hair though.” He said.
“I know but I don’t like the gel I’m using. It’s too crunchy.” I said sticking my hand out through the shower curtain.
I hope he can’t see the slight tremble in my hands and that he didn’t hear me sigh. I got back just in the knick of time. I just hoped he wouldn’t get in the shower with me before I could wash all of the muddy water off. I held my breath.
He handed the shampoo to my outstretched arm and left the room.
(Photo courtesy of: http://www.graphicmania.net)
Music for this episode – Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve