The subway was deserted by now, mortals fleeing for their homes although they didn’t know why. They were a curse, even if they didn’t know it.
The girl bristled against my grasp, half carrying her behind me as we dropped from the station platform and onto the tracks. Like an echo I could hear the pulses of the Ascendants reverberating, seeking us out. Seeking me out. The girl twisted out of my grasp and took a few steps back.
“What’s your name?”
The tracks started shaking.
“That’s unimportant child. Come here. Quickly.”
I could feel the air begin to shift as a light appeared in the distance. Everything in this realm came down to time. Always too much or too little, like a fluid that changed shape as you tried to grasp at it. The girl crossed her arms over her chest and stuck up her chin.
“I’m not against hurting small children.”
Even for a child she knew her words had bitten deep. I turned my face away in shame and thought about just leaving her where she stood. It didn’t matter if she faced the train or her attackers first.
“I’m sorry,” she said, meekly.
It took every ounce of decency I had, but I picked her up, flipping her onto my back where she clung on like a limpet, causing my scabbard to dig in. Her body trembled, fear rising as she saw her pursuers rush out onto the platform.
“Tanos,” I said. “My name was Tanos.”
“Was?” she asked.
The train was rushing towards us now. Express line. Not stopping. Like a bullet it came and the girl began to scream. Swordsmanship was like muscle memory, but fulcrumny was one subject I never took to. My fist caught the train, pulling aside the metal.
The train split in half about us. I could feel the metal rending, bowing and screeching. I leaped forwards, up into a carriage and let my hand drop. As the train healed I fell face first, unable to even raise my arms to soften the fall. The child rolled across my back, scrambling to poke at my limp form.
I groaned. Like a squire after his first banquet my skull was killing. The train was still moving, the last pulses from the Ascendants dissipating in the wake of the tunnel. I rolled onto my back.
“You got a drink child?” I asked.
Her face appeared in my vision, blocking out the overhead lights. Her hair hung down, touching my own face. She scrunched up her nose, as if I was a moron.
“I’m a child. I don’t drink.”
“Just my luck.”
“And my name is Tatiana.”
“Your father’s not going to stop hunting us now you know,” I said. “You’ve Fallen.”
“The Titan is not my father. He’s a mean tyrant who’ll get what he deserves. You’re my father.”
Her saying it out loud was almost as bad as the train fulcrum. Normally when you Fell, you lost everything. And I had. More than most even. It was all I could do to stop myself from falling further. The mortal realm had caught me, and I’d made it my home, paying rent to the collectors of this world.
That was what had taken me to the Temple and it’s garden. When the Female Goddess visited, the holiest of holy months, all men were barred. The amulet would grant me a century of peace. And it had been so easy. Not a single guard within the walls.
Tatiana sat down on one of the worn seats, tugging at the dress she wore. So much like her mother. Chafing under ceremony. Desperate to escape something. Or someone.
Prompt originally posted by darkfenrir15 on reddit and received 24 upvotes.