Refusal (Guardians, Ep. 3)

I flexed my will, old, unused muscles of the mind reshaping metal back into flesh and bone.

“My service is done. My term served. Your people ‘released’ me, remember? Or did they keep that tidbit from you? Now go away and let me grieve.”

The wind caught her hair again, and it changed as it played out behind her. The black of iron, the red of rust, bright copper, faded verdigris, clear glass. I was tired of looking up at her. I looked back at the tree. The sky was becoming turbulent, like my mood. I didn’t think I’d done that myself.

“This time is different. The terms of your service were fulfilled, yes, but your duty beyond remains. You took our gifts and changed them into something unique. Terrible. Majestic. This may be beyond us. Everything that is, that could be – all that we are, depends on you.”

I listened despite myself. The undertones of pleading, resignation, pride and fear – and knew she was in my mind.

“NO! Never again!”

I reached within, grew wings, and fled to the sky.

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