She was lost, nervously moving through the crowd of shoppers until her eyes met mine. She clutched at the hem of my jacket, the old army green slowly fading. We were surrounded by a thousand faces but in that moment we were alone.
“I am a God. I need you to protect me.”
Words were irrelevant, just noise that gone in the way of communicating needs and wants and desires. For this young girl though, the need was utmost. Her whole body trembled as she waited for my response.
We weren’t alone. The Ascendant Ones could sense other presences, a pulse that radiated out from within them and reflected back by any of those deemed Touched. We were surrounded.
“Find your own path.”
The girl looked crestfallen as I pushed past her, striding off towards the subway. She caught up quickly, tugging again at my sleeve.
Words. Desperation. The crowd was thinning the further out we headed, faces of those I’d rather avoid confronting shifting in and out of focus. I looked down at the child, grabbing her loose hair roughly to reveal the mark made at the base of her skull.
“Huh.” She seemed crestfallen at my remark. “You’re no god. Not anymore.”
The pulsing in my ears continued to grow and by her wild-eyed glances I could tell she heard them approaching too. I shoved the girl away, sending her sprawling to the ground.
The name stopped me in my tracks. We were alone. The mortals had fled by unconscious instinct and no pulses reflected anymore. The girl sat on the ground, nursing a scratch. The red seemed to confirm her own mortality now.
“Where did you hear that name spoken child?”
“By the wet nurses in the tower.”
“Then you are…”
“Her daughter. The Titan, he found out, he… beat her. She told me to flee. To the mortal realm. To find you.”
She stopped staring at her arm, stopped looking like a little lost lamb. She stood, throwing back her head like the goddess to be she should have been, and stared into my eyes.
“I was conceived when my mother made pilgrimage to the Temple. When the Titan could not have followed her. When the Female Goddess was supposed to be watching over the amulet in the temple. The jade amulet.”
I drew my short sword from its scabbard slung across my back, hidden beneath the baggy coat. Ever since I’d entered that temple there had been a sword hanging over my head. The amulet had bought me time, but at a greater cost. And Callista. The jewel had been not the only thing I’d taken that night.
The first attacker came from the stairwell ahead of us. He landed on one knee, cracking the concrete, before pushing off with twin blades. I parried easily, centuries of practice guiding my hand. I kept myself between him and the girl.
The pulse alerted me to the second attacker just in time. He swung low, the spine of my blade pressing against the girl’s chest as I blocked the blow. More were coming already. I kicked the child in the knees, my shame overcome by the need for both of us to survive (itself an alien feeling) and thrust a second blade through where her chest had only just been. The attacker faltered, clutched at the wound and rushed upwards in a blaze of light.
His comrade fared similarly. The girl looked at me with horror in her eyes. She must have known what I was, why her mother would have been burnt so badly because of our consummation. But to see a Touched warrior kill her rightful brethren. She reached out for my hand and I took it.
Prompt originally posted by darkfenrir15 on reddit and received 78 upvotes.