ナム

Offspring of the Cosmos

“No, no, I’m not an angel. Angels don’t exist.”

Two of Ligeia’s four arms crossed, one placed carefully on her forehead, another raising an index finger to emphasize her point. The antennae over her long green hair were drooping as her pink eyes stared straight at the petulant, short cryptid that she was addressing.

The cryptid in question was a head shorter than Ligeia, a mostly human looking girl with short white hair and a massive tail the shape and girth of a lizard’s of comparable size. With a one-piece hoodie an a zipper in front, two oversized boots and a band over one leg with sigils over it, she was no less imposing than Ligeia, and somewhat curiously dressed.

Ligeia continued. “None of the scientists were able to make one. Like they told me, no reference from the Sabateans, no genetic material from the Cohainim, none of that was useful to bring new life. They’re… not possible.” Two of her hands, the ones not belonging to the crossed arms, adjusted her one piece skirt as her giant Ulysses butterfly wings relaxed themselves.

The shorter cryptid was lying down with her legs against a wall of CRT screens, the tail coiled around one stack, as the rest of her body was lying down against the floor as she was staring at the ceiling, Ligeia’s presence seemingly paying her no mind.

With green, glowing eyes half open, she spoke in an unenthused monotone. “I saw them, I knew of them.” Her hood slipped a bit to expose two horns on her head to the light of the screens. “And if I didn’t see them, I wouldn’t believe in them.”

Adjusting her collar and bracelets, Ligeia raised in a curious tone, “How?”

That tail-bearing girl turned her head just slightly to look at Ligeia’s eyes. “Because I am the evil queen of Krynn, and I banished them all to the Great Devoid between piss breaks and Angband.”

Two of Ligeia’s arms were at her sides as one of her cheeks puffed up. “Liar.” A third arm pointed at the cryptid’s horns, the fourth drooping at her side.

“Okay, then would you believe me if I told you I was one of them?”

“Nope.”

“Figures.”

The horned one got up to take a closer look at the inquisitor, as Ligeia was a touch startled by the figure’s sudden burst of life.

“What kind of a demon are you?” asked the cryptid.

“Wait! Wait just a second… oof… what are you doing to me?”

The cryptid observed Ligeia’s long, human legs, jabbed at her belly, climbed on her shoulders and started to cling onto her as she tried to satisfy her intense curiosity. Ligeia’s wings were flapping in alarm.

“Studying you. For research.”

“In what course of science does poking at me count as research?” Ligeia’s two arms were trying to steady the unusually light cryptid as the other two were praying, hoping this interloper wasn’t going to hurt her.

“Anthropology, of course.” The cryptid put one finger up to her lips as her eyes searched the nonexistent sky for the right words. “It’s been long enough that we should introduce ourselves. My name’s Kezia. Site Reliability Engineer for Abriel.”

Ligeia stood her shoulders up straight, legs steady, eventually figuring out how to hold the tailed mass on her back. “Um, I’m Ligeia, of Watahiki Laboratory. That’s what Masaki called me.”

“Is Masaki that corpse you carried with you?”

“…Yes.”

“Did you kill him?”

“No! I mean, well, I think he got in a big fight. Lots of screaming. And, well, uh, can people be fixed?”

“Ligeia, he’s very not alive.”

“Well, the people in Watahiki could do all these amazing things with…”

“Did you break out of a mad scientist's lair?”

Ligeia nervously twiddled all of her fingers in pairs. “…You wouldn’t send me back, would you?”

“You won't live for long if I did.” Kezia sulked on Ligeia’s head, considering the predicament.

Ligeia's wings went still before flapping in a panic. “Really?”

“You came out here with a body, maybe the dude who let you escape. Maybe it’s an accident. Maybe you hypnotized him to kill everybody and open the door to your cage.”

“I did NO such thing!” Ligeia scratched the top of her head with one hand as another cradled the side of her cheek. “…but I do like to sing. Many white coats who came to see me enjoyed my songs.”

Kezia climbed down the back of the butterfly lady, a little disappointed that she wasn’t going to anything fun like fly in her current state of distress.

Trying to lift the pallor of gloom from the room, Ligeia continued. “It was a nice home, very sunny! Lots of palm trees and small friends.”

With a few choice footsteps, Kezia bent down to observe the deceased.

“Would you like to hear my song?” Ligeia strutted two arms at her side in an attempted show of confidence, two others outstretched.

“I’ll pass. We should give this fellow a proper burial before he stinks like worse shit.” Ligeia’s face bore a puzzled expression, pressing Kezia to explain, “That’s what humans do, even if it is pointless.”

“Mmm, okay.” Ligeia nodded, her wings settling into a more peaceful rhythm of opening and closing.

“I think Mem would be able to do a cremation if we asked nicely.”

“Who?”

Kezia waved one arm to her side, “Just another girl that walked out of a lab. We’ll see her in about an hour, whenever she wraps up teaching.”