CHAPTER 16: A DARK SPOT
“So you’ve come to kill me at last? I can’t say much for your punctuality.”
Isabella froze. The chamber behind Nyquist’s altar was pitch black, and she could not even see five inches in front of her. But she knew the voice was Joriel’s and she felt a little sugar rush of joy. We’ve found him. At last.
“No, no. I’ve not come to kill you Joriel.”
Cold fear washed over Isabella. That voice talking with Joriel. She knew it, as anyone in New Gomorrah would have.
“I will not go back to Groethuis and his knives and poisons, Mabus. Nor will I trade one cage for another.” said Joriel.
“My, it’s dark in here.” Mabus mused, as if he hadn’t heard him “Shall we have some light?”
“I can see perfectly.” said Joriel “But by all means, if you wish. There’s a lamp on the table to your left.”
Un-oh, thought Isabella.
She heard Mabus’s hand press a switch and a small lamp flicked on, bathing a corner of the room in muted yellow light and casting shadows over everything.
Isabella looked around and breathed out in relief. The room was divided by a thick black curtain, which she was standing behind. Inside the curtain, invisible to her, Joriel and Mabus continued talking.
“Oh dear.” said Mabus sympathetically “They have not been treating you well, have they?”
“This is not their doing.” said Joriel, and Isabella realised the angel’s voice sounded so much older than when she had last heard it “Apart from keeping me here in chains, they treat me well enough.”
“I assume they found you after the battle outside my chamber?”
“Yes. I retreated to the sewers. I was badly injured.”
“Shot off a helicopter, I believe?”
“I am sorry. I hope you know that there was never any malice in my imprisoning you. I needed to be sure my New Matter weaponry would work. I needed to test it on someone. I just hope you don’t think it was personal.”
“I don’t see how it could have been.” said Joriel “You stole my wife, after all. Not the other way around.”
“Well. Ancient history.” said Mabus “Quite literally.”