I watched a building collapse today. The sheer force needed to achieve such a thing frightens me. I don't think even Eve is this powerful, or this brutal.
It started with a slow, mounting thrum, followed by a dull rumble. It was enough to get me to my feet and over to a small window, a luxury apparently afforded to the most prestigious of ambassadors. Next came a cloud of smoke, billowing out the base of a towering apartment complex adjacent to the palace. The whole building creaked... and, level by level, it collapsed in on itself.
People screamed. People ran. Soldiers included. The only soul left at the end of it, spied via a telescope mounted to a nearby desk, was a little ball of brown fuzz. It slowly picked its way out of the rubble and peered around, a stupid, simple expression on its cutesy face.
I have never been so chilled in my life. I immediately pushed the telescope away and buried my head in a pillow. I'm glad I did - more booms followed.
In... other news...
Libby is improving rapidly. The physical scars of her interrogation aside, she was mildly malnourished. She's much more energetic today, and with that energy came a renewed determination to find her fucking son and find her fucking husband and get the fuck out of this fucking place. Yes ma'am.
The palace continues to slide into disarray, and though I could probably find a way down and out, I doubt the same of Libby. On her best days she's not quite as nimble as I am. (Though, uh, almost no one is as nimble as I am, I guess.) I searched for stable stairwells leading back to the ground floor... buuuuut only found stairwells leading up. Sigh.
After three hours of sifting through rubble for a viable exit point, I had to return to Libby in failure. She was propped up in bed, staring out the window as I had, scowling.
"Any sign of Fynn? Dragomir? Anyone?"
I hadn't expected any other kind of greeting. I shook my head. "I'm sure they're okay, though. Enough tough guys to dig 'em out of a problem. Heck, your boy's pretty strong, I hear, eh?"
Libby bit her lip. "They... when the soldiers showed up, at the Dauphine, they clamped something on his wrist. Almost first thing. S'like they knew he could... do... stuff. Either way, he wasn't very strong after that. I dunno what happened. So... Fynn might not be much help."
"Oh." I sat down cross-legged, defeated. "Well. Fuck. Still, lotsa strong bodies helpin' out there. I'm sure they're fine."
Libby sighed, but didn't argue. She turned back to the window, watching a squadron of Mini-Dragons circle in the distance.
"'sides, we need to worry about us right now." I joined her, envious of the swooping Micro-Dragons, free of the terrible, terrible ground. They didn't appear to have riders. Must've gotten loose somehow. "That sloth seems to like this neighbourhood, 'n the more damage it causes, the more likely the floor's gonna fall out beneath us."
"Yeah, again." I swallowed. "I can probably get down on my own. Maybe I could, I dunno, bring a ladder - "
"Don't bother." Libby shivered out a sigh. "I know how we're leavin'."
A tiny flood of excitement lit my face. "Oh yeah? Really? What's the plan?"
She didn't respond immediately. Instead, Libby touched this diary, something she'd been keeping close to her whenever I wasn't writing in it. She smiled a little, a sad expression that spoke of deep-rooted discontent. An expression that wanted a normal life, not all this bullshit.
Then she pointed. At the Micro-Dragons. "Those'll do."
Aw, fuck me.
Skimming back a dozen pages, I notice that Celine mentioned the roost of the Micro-Dragons. Specifically, she said that it's the tallest point in the palace. She wasn't wrong - and the staircase spiralling up to the roost is one of the few places that's still relatively safe. Though it's a clear target, the sloth hasn't yet approached the roost.
I went up to check. I found discarded scout armour, saddles, cleaning tools, empty pens, and a lot of Micro-Dragon dung. No sign of a live Micro-Dragon. But if Libby's right - and I have no doubt she is - they're probably so used to this roost that, free of human control or not, they consider it home. At least one of the beasts will come back.
And when it does...
Oh, joy. Oh, joy.
I don't want to be a splat on the ground,
Logan the Thief