Orphic Phantasia

41: Unmasqued

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She checked her cellular and smirked; Chris Shaw’s program had done its job. With Mireille’s key at her disposal, all of Avalon’s secrets were at her command. Wrapped in Dante’s cloak, she started gesturing her way around his computer files, downloading various pieces of information to her cellular as she narrated her conclusions to an audio message. There were things beneath Avalon, powers slumbering in its depths that nobody, not even Seelie, knew about. But, thanks to Jonas Mireille, she had seen them all, if only for a moment. She had peered through the mask and found the truth. All it took was a crack.

One of the dolls came over to her, asked if she wanted refreshments or needed her hair drying. They knew no better. They did their duty, and that was all. They didn’t even have names. She dismissed them with a wave of her hand, finished her thievery, and recorded the last of her messages. The others could figure out the rest. She had plans of her own.

Ketos. If Mireille’s idol to his benefactor was any indication, Ketos was a woman of majestic beauty with thick tendrils of hair that wove around her naked body to clasp to her chest the glowing blue crystal she offered her followers.

You must hurry! said the voice. Dozmary! Find Dozmary! I promised her!

Placing her fingers on the crystal, she reached out across the ocean, towards that shadow of a figure standing upon a shrouded beach. Who are you? she asked. Who did you promise? What did you promise?

There was a pause, then, Caelia. She called me Caelia. So I promised her I would protect you. I promised Phantasia! And she promised she would make me whole again. She promised!

Caelia. It wasn’t familiar, but it was enough. If Phantasia trusts you, so will I, she replied. In truth, she would have done so even without mention of the Princess’s name: there was something about this Caelia, about her trembling, insecure shadow of a voice, lost and confused, that she—that Aliza Adel—could empathise with. She was a kindred spirit. An ally.

Behind her, she heard Jonas Mireille stir from his fantasies, pick himself up, stagger towards her, one wet footstep after another. “A—Aliza?” he asked. “What are you doing?”

Caelia is pronounced with a soft ‘c’ (so, ceel-ya), as opposed to Caelestis, which uses a hard ‘k’ (Caelestis as in ‘Phantasia Caelestis’. Remember her?).