Orphic Phantasia

37: Chasing Emily

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The foyer, covering the entire ground floor, wall-to-wall, with those four ubiquitous columns rising from its centre, bustled with an uncomfortable air of chauvinistic privilege as gangs of braying men in black suits and bow-ties gathered around vendors to demand their materialistic wishes fulfilled. One group in particular were heckling a girl no older than Emily to try on a variety of dehumanising dresses—if such a word was really applicable—for their own personal entertainment. When one man plucked free her bra to a chorus of cheers, Emily reached for her knife, ready to summon the wrath of the Macha upon them.

Chris raised his hand. “Don’t give them the impression you’re a fighter,” he said. “It will only encourage them. Breaking women is like a sport to these people.”

A sport? If they wanted sport, the Macha would show them sport. While they fled screaming, she would hunt them down, one after another, until they all lay gagging on their own genitals.

No, thought Emily, not now. Not here.

Cursing her alter-ego’s cowardice, the Macha slinked back into the shadows and Emily relaxed. “I hope you told the others that,” she said. “Our contacts, that is.”

Jonas Meeray had kept a low profile ever since they entered the tower, rarely speaking but to offer slight words of guidance when he thought Chris leading them astray. Beneath his shirt, the magic of the Sidhe radiated a cool blue light, enveloping them like a bubble and preventing Emily from perceiving the aether outside its limited reach. No doubt it was some kind of concealing magic, there to prevent Seelie from tracking them.

But I will watch over you, said that unknown voice, growing more familiar with every word and yet still a world away. I made a promise.

All Chris knew, however, was that Emily wanted to meet with the Veritas girls, her ‘contacts’ inside the casino. “Well, according to the identification I gave them,” he said, “Andromeda is a wealthy Malkuthian from the Fourth Terrace, Amanda is her mistress, and Katrina her butler. That was all Amanda’s idea, by the way, before you give me any evil looks.”

On the contrary, Emily couldn’t help but smile at the girls’ audacity. “That’s quite the cover story.”

“Indeed,” said Chris as they ascended the steps to the casino’s reception desk. “though I doubt playing the lesbian card will make much difference around these parts. I’m sure somebody will get it into their head that they can convert her. Or heal,” he added with a frown. “Nothing like a little rehabilitation to iron out those pesky human imperfections.”

She wasn’t named the Macha for nothing…