Hurt & Comfort

Book 11: Creating Comfort

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Chapter 26: Revelations and Resurrections

"Maybe I should have broken that down into steps." Beau said reluctantly.

"Ya think?!" Andrew asked disbelievingly as he looked around and evaluated the situation.

It was obvious that Andrew was fighting to process his emotions as his gaze stopped on his unconscious father.

At Andrew's anguished expression, Ms. Mordigan quietly told him, "I think they'll be alright."

"I was just trying to get the nygo-husk shroud ready for the embodiment ritual. I didn't think it would hurt anything to do it all in one go." Beau fought to explain.

"You tried to do too much too fast. I get that, okay? But what you just did impacted people all over the mansion. Regardless of your intentions, I'm afraid that we can't take the chance of you overestimating your ability and control again." Andrew said shortly.

"You can't stop me now! All that's left is to install Fallen into the shroud." Beau urged Andrew to understand.

Andrew held up a hand and carefully said, "We can go ahead and finish what you've started. All of us want for you to do whatever you can to help Peter. But after that, we're going to have to severely limit your use of magic."

Louie looked up from the safety of Quaid's arms and called into the air, "Jesus! Are you and Steve okay?"

//I don't know yet. Steve had to stop and needs to recover a little bit more before he can decide if he wants to go to the mansion or go back to the gingerbread house.// Jesus answered with concern.

"When he's ready, tell him to bring you back here. I'm pretty sure that what just happened was the dangerous thing that Beau was worried about you being here for." Louie said seriously.

//It may take us a few minutes. It hit him kinda hard.// Jesus said anxiously.

"If he doesn't feel up to it, just let us know and me and Grandpa Lee will go and get you." Quaid said decisively.

//Give him some time to recover and I'll let you know what he wants to do. Right now he just needs to collect himself.// Jesus said seriously.

"Okay. Just call us as soon as you've decided." Quaid said firmly.

//Will do.// Jesus quietly responded.

* * * * *

When it was apparent that Louie and Quaid's conversations had ended, Andrew fixed his gaze on Beau and continued, "I'm going to call everyone in so that we can get your spell done right away. We need to get this over with and behind us before anyone can mobilize a movement to forbid the use of magic entirely."

"Do you really think they'd do that?" Beau asked anxiously.

"We're not all that far from Salem." Andrew said frankly, then added more gently, "I think that getting this over with as quickly as possible is probably the best thing for all involved."

"Andrew, can you do your portal thing so that Marc and Gar can see Fallen's embodiment?" Lisa asked hopefully.

"This isn't an induction to the team ceremony. While I can see the necessity of it, we need to get it over with and protect the people at the mansion from Beau's insane eruptions of magic." Andrew said seriously.

"Andy." Lee said from his place on the floor, with his head cradled in Mad's lap.

Andrew looked down at the sound and his panic melted away, overridden by concern for his father.

"Beau's just trying to help. Don't stand against him. Work with him. Guide him. Help him to understand. He's an important member of our team and you'll be helping no one by trying to make him afraid of his gift." Lee asked his son hopefully.

"There's no way we can continue forward never knowing if half the people at the mansion are about to be slapped down by yet another torrent of gale-force magic." Andrew said imploringly.

"You remember when I told you that I didn't have any magic supplies at all with me? This is why. I'm not planning on using magic all day, every day. I was confronted with a problem and I had a solution. Once it's done, I'm not planning to use magic again for a while. I got into college at the age of sixteen by doing things the mundane way. I can restrain it." Beau explained seriously.

"It sounds to me like you guys are on the same page. If you'll just go ahead and get it done, you've both agreed that Beau isn't going to make magic his full-time job." Lisa said reasonably.

"I'll use it when it's the right tool to get the job done." Beau said simply.

"Just be careful to only use as much magic as the situation calls for." Andrew cautioned.

"Try to fill a glass with water from a firehose. I'll do my best to hold it back, but sometimes it gets away from me a little." Beau said seriously.

"Is that what happened today?" Andrew asked curiously.

"Yes. Like I said when you got here, I should have broken it down into steps. If I had done it in four or five smaller spells, it probably wouldn't have had the same... impact. Of course, it would have also taken four or five times as long to get the same job done." Beau said honestly, then quietly admitted, "Sometimes it's hard to find the balance."

"Okay. Let's just get this done, then we can worry about what comes next." Andrew said simply.

"If you're ready to do it, I can summon Emily and Fallen right now, so that they can be on their way." Beau said professionally.

"Sounds good. While you're doing that, I'll get Dawn and Tara." Andrew said, matching Beau's tone and pace.

"Jesus, are you and Steve going to need a ride back?" Louie called into the air.

//No. Steve is feeling better. We'll be on our way in just a minute.// Jesus responded.

"Beau's about to do his spell on the door, so make sure you don't open it until he tells you to." Quaid said quickly.

//We need to get him a door of his own so that he can use it just for his spells.// Jesus said frankly, then added, //We're leaving now. Expect us in a few minutes.//

With some help from Ms. Mordigan and Brian, Lee and Seth were both working to get back onto their feet.

Andrew was looking into the distance with glowing gold eyes.

Louie and Quaid were still holding each other, although now they seemed to be mostly content.

"Is there anything the rest of us can do to help?" Slash asked as he looked around uncertainly.

"Yes. You can go outside." Beau said simply.

"Just me, or all of us?" Slash asked cautiously.

"I've done what I need to do in here. I need to gather a few things, but the embodiment ceremony is going to take place outside." Beau said seriously.

"Coming through. Make a path." Lisa said determinedly as she squeezed past people to get to the door.

"I'm right behind you." Seth called out as he followed in her wake.

"Beau, don't do anything destructive or insane for a minute, would you? I'll be right back." Andrew said, then was gone before Beau could say anything in his defense.

"Would you like for someone to hang back here with you?" Slash asked as the others filed out of the room, all of them careful not to disturb the diagram in front of the door.

"The brazier's already outside. I should be able to carry the rest on my own." Beau said as he looked through the bottles, searching for a particular one.

"That's not what I'm asking. Andrew came down on you pretty hard. I just wondered if you'd like some company right now or if you'd rather be alone for a minute." Slash said honestly.

"It's okay. I'm not some delicate little flower who can't handle some criticism. I screwed up. It'll blow over." Beau said as he gathered several bottles into a woven basket.

"I just wanted to be sure that you knew that just because you goofed a little, we're not mad at you or anything." Slash said seriously.

"I think Lisa might be a little miffed." Beau said honestly.

"I think if you'll just make a point of not doing things to make her heart want to explode, she'll probably get over it. She strikes me as the reasonable type." Slash said frankly.

Before Beau could respond, Dawn appeared right beside them.

"With a magic blast like that, you would've been right at home in Sunnydale." Dawn chuckled.

Beau looked at her with confusion, not understanding the reference.

"Give me that. You're doing an embodiment, right? I'll start the setup." Dawn said as she took the basket from in front of him.

"Uh, yeah. Thanks." Beau said uncertainly.

"When we've got more time, I'll tell you some stories about magic spells that went wrong a whole lot worse than yours." Dawn said cheerfully before slipping out the front door, nimbly avoiding the summoning diagram.

* * * * *

After a long silent moment, Beau passed his hand over the candles of the diagram, causing them to light, then quietly said, "Emily, the one who anchors you to this world summons you. Come with all due haste."

"Is that everything you need?" Slash asked uncertainly.

"If you want to grab that sack of bone dust, I might need it for the meta-diagram." Beau said as he pointed.

"This pillow looking thing." Beau asked uncertainly.

"Yeah. But hold on a second. I don't want to use the door until Emily gets here." Beau said seriously as he gathered a few pinches and dabs of things together in a pouch.

"When's your birthday?" Slash asked curiously.

"Later this month, December 28th. Why?" Beau hesitantly asked in response to the odd question.

"Just don't be surprised if you receive a strangely 'door shaped' present from the team." Slash said with a smile.

Beau turned toward the door, then stepped forward and opened it before saying, "Emily, if you and Fallen will follow us out, we will be doing the embodiment ritual in just a few minutes."

Slash couldn't see or hear any indication that Emily, or anyone else, was present.

Even so, as Beau walked through the door with a big poofy bundle of nygo-husk webbing in his hands, Slash gathered up the bag of bone dust and followed.

* * * * *

As Slash walked out to the open area in front of the cabin, he noticed that Andrew and Tara were already present.

"Andrew, can you please make a portal so that Marc can be a part of this? It's really important for him to be here with us." Lisa said imploringly.

Slash could tell that it meant a lot to Lisa that Marc feel included in the landmark moment as part of the team.

"Hey Beau." Slash said quietly before he could really think his idea through.

"Yeah?" Beau responded absently, paying most of his attention to Andrew, waiting for his answer.

Before Slash could respond, Andrew carefully told Lisa, "Remind me when Beau's ready to cast his spell and we'll decide then if it's safe for Marc to attend or not."

Just then, Steve slithered into the clearing with Jesus riding on his back.

"How are you guys? Are you alright?" Louie asked with concern.

"Yeah. Whatever that was rang my bell for a second, but I came back just fine." Steve said confidently.

Beau was lost in thought for a moment, then glanced at Slash and distractedly asked, "What was it you were needing?"

"Is there a way that you can make the embodiment ceremony have to include Marc?" Slash asked hopefully.

"How do you mean?" Beau asked curiously.

"From what I've seen of your magic, it looks like it's you describing what you want to happen when you let your magic loose." Slash said thoughtfully.

"Basically, yeah." Beau cautiously agreed.

"So, what if, maybe you could make it so you, like, define the team as part of your spell, so that when you do Fallen's part, you define Fallen as being what you want him to be instead of what he is." Slash said carefully.

After a long moment of consideration, Beau quietly muttered, "The rat, the rabbit, the snake..."

"What about them?" Slash asked hopefully.

"The Chinese zodiac, it's an incredibly powerful magical paradigm. If we can assign everyone their own astrological sign, then Fallen's assignment could be the last. The moderating force of all the other astrological signs should provide the glue to hold Fallen fast in place in his new shroud." Beau said excitedly, then added, "It could work."

"What sign should I be?" Slash asked curiously.

"Let me think... the chicken?" Beau said uncertainly.

"Seriously?" Slash said flatly.

"Beau. We've got the spell components laid out for you. Do you need to do any diagramming for this?" Dawn asked pleasantly.

"Yes. A Chinese zodiac with twelve houses." Beau said seriously.

"Twelve? What are you going to do with twelve houses in an embodiment?" Dawn asked curiously as Andrew turned to listen with interest.

"Install each member of the team into their house so that it can give structure to our overall dynamic." Beau said reasonably.

"No wonder your eyes are brown." Slash quietly muttered at Beau's side.

"Yeah. Twelve houses. I think we can do that. You'll have to tell us who's who and what's what." Dawn said thoughtfully.

"I think Steve, Lisa, and Jesus are probably obvious. I was just telling Slash that he might be well-represented by the Rooster..." Beau was saying until he was interrupted.

"Nope. Not the chicken." Slash said firmly.

"Tell me about the other placements then we'll see about what's left." Dawn said with a grin at Slash.

Beau noticed that everyone else had gathered around and were listening curiously.

"Well, I thought that Brian might be well-suited to the sign of the dreamer, the monkey... you know, because of his premonitions." Beau hurried to explain.

"Makes sense." Andrew cautiously agreed.

"For Louie I thought that the sign of the loyal partner, the boar." Beau said carefully.

"He is that." Quaid happily agreed.

//For sure.// Jesus added.

"What am I?" Seth asked excitedly.

"The goat." Beau said simply.

"Why the goat?" Seth asked with anticipation.

"Because of your horns." Beau said honestly.

Seth looked at him uncertainly for a moment, then slowly said, "That's it? Everyone else got theirs picked for who they are. And you picked mine because of what I am?"

//Not everyone.// Jesus said frankly.

"Yeah. Think of it as being automatically picked instead of having to try out." Steve said honestly.

"Welcome to the club." Lisa added with a smile.

Beau looked Seth in the eyes and said, "The goat is intelligent, dependable and usually calm. Not always, but when it counts. You make good decisions."

"Yeah, okay." Seth reluctantly accepted.

"Who's left?" Slash asked uncertainly.

"Lee." Beau answered, then looked him in the eyes and asked, "How would you feel about the sign of the dog?"

"I'm not one of your classmates. Are you sure you want me on your team?" Lee cautiously asked.

"Absolutely. You're Quaid's counterpart." Beau said simply.

"Besides that, you've lived out in the world and seen the ugly side. We need someone with his eyes already opened." Slash added seriously.

"C'mon Grandpa. Without both of us the team can't go hell surfing." Quaid said urgently.

"Okay. I guess I can't argue with that." Lee said warmly.

"What's mine?" Quaid asked Beau hopefully.

"The tiger." Beau said with a smile, already knowing that Quaid would love it.

"Awesome!" Quaid crowed.

"And since Lee is your partner, it makes a cat and dog, yin and yang relationship, which also serves the zodiac perfectly."

"What about Marc?" Lisa quietly asked.

"I actually thought about his before anyone else. When Marc was given the team name 'Archer', I automatically thought 'Sagittarius'." Beau explained.

"Okay." Lisa said slowly, not seeing the connection.

"Horses are energetic, outgoing, warm-hearted and intelligent. They keep the people around them happy with their humor and their wit. Does that sound like anyone you know?" Beau said frankly.

"Yeah. That's him." Lisa said with a gentle smile at the thought of her boyfriend.

"What's left to choose from?" Slash asked firmly.

"The rooster and the ox. I thought that with Fallen being six and a half feet tall, that he'd probably be more ox-like." Beau said frankly.

"What's yours?" Slash asked slowly.

"The dragon." Beau reluctantly admitted.

"Just how does that work?" Slash demanded to know.

"Hold on." Dawn told Beau, then turned to the group and continued, "Who here do you think is independent, capable, warm-hearted, quick minded and has great self-respect?"

After a long moment of looking around to see if anyone else was going to answer, Lisa finally said, "Both of them."

"Right!" Dawn triumphantly agreed, then continued by asking, "Which one of these guys do you think might have a natural gift for working with or exorcising spirits?"

"I'm guessing that you mean Beau?" Lisa said hesitantly, half sure that it was a trick question.

"Right. That's one of the attributes of the rooster." Dawn said seriously.

"I just thought it made sense for Beau to be the chicken because it's a bird... and so's the phoenix." Slash said frankly.

"Actually, that's a really good argument. I guess that I let my own preferences cloud my judgement. When we do the ritual, I'll be in the house of the rooster and Slash will be in the house of the dragon." Beau graciously allowed.

"If that's all settled, let's do some diagramming." Dawn said firmly, then pointed to Andrew and said, "Rat, ox, and tiger."

Andrew nodded and went to work.

"Tara, would you do the rabbit, dragon and snake?" Dawn asked with a tender smile.

A timid nod was Tara's response before she hurried off to work.

"I'll get the horse, ram and monkey. Which leaves Beau to set up the rooster, dog, and boar." Dawn said decisively.

"Is there anything the rest of us can do?" Lisa asked hesitantly.

"Just be ready to go to your house when it's ready. Once everyone has taken their place, Beau can bring it all home." Dawn said confidently.

"Good call on buying the bone dust. We should have just enough." Andrew said as he took a cup of bone dust from the sack.

"Andrew, remember that we're going to need Marc in his house when we perform the ceremony." Dawn called as she drew her diagram.

"Beau, do you think my portal will interact with your spell?" Andrew asked as he, too, was diagramming.

"No. Your portals don't interact at all. It shouldn't be a problem." Beau said with certainty.

"Jesus. If you'll come over here and stand in this circle, that's all you should have to do for a while." Andrew said as he moved to start on the next diagram.

//I'm just curious, are you casting this spell on us or on Fallen?// Jesus asked slowly.

"As I understand it, Beau's going to be defining Fallen's new state by his relationship to the team. Likening it to the Chinese zodiac gives it an established framework to solidify and stabilize the embodiment. It's really kind of ingenious." Andrew finished with a smile.

//You just tap danced right around that one, didn't you? Beau? Are you casting the spell on Fallen or on the whole team?// Jesus asked more insistently.

"Mostly on Fallen. The way it works is, I'm going to be magically stating what you already are, so that will carry over to establish what we expect Fallen to be. The stability of the other eleven houses will promote stability in the twelfth house." Beau said instructively as he worked.

//Got it. Thank you, Beau.// Jesus said sincerely.

"Lisa. I've got yours ready. Slash, I'm almost done with this one." Tara said with her typical half-concealed smile.

"Andrew, whatever you're going to do about Marc, it's time to do it." Dawn said as she indicated the freshly completed diagram.

"Right. Give me a second. I'll be right back." Andrew said before vanishing.

"Is it alright that I'm here, since I'm not participating in this?" Ms. Mordigan asked cautiously.

"The team will be a thing all its own. We might not be able to see everything clearly from inside of it. We need someone who will be able to look at our team from the outside and tell us where we can go to do the most good." Lee said frankly.

"What about you? If you're Quaid's grandfather, doesn't that give you a different perspective?" Ms. Mordigan asked curiously.

"I might be able to inject a little maturity when things seem to be about to go off the rails, but honestly, I think being here with the kids is reminding me of some things that a hard life and some bad decisions have caused me to forget. I have a feeling that I'm exactly where I need to be." Lee said thoughtfully.

"No. You need to be over here, in this hexagon." Beau said as he pointed to the freshly drawn diagram.

Lee flashed a smile at Ms. Mordigan before going where he was told.

* * * * *

A movement caused Steve to look up from his diagram to see Andrew, Dr. McCoy, Cynthia, and Bobbo standing in a wide doorway, behind Marc and Gar in their beds. Marc's bed was located mostly within the drawn diagram on the ground.

"It looks like you've got quite the support group, Marc." Steve said with a grin.

"Yeah. More like my own personal pit crew, ready to jump in and bail me out in case I crash and burn." Marc said frankly.

"No chance of that. If you start to fall, everyone here will work to catch you." Seth added from his place in his own circle.

"Fallen, I need for you to come over here and stand in this circle for me. When the time comes, I'm going to drape a shroud over you and it should bond to you and give you a vague physical form. Don't fight it, just let it happen." Beau instructed as he guided the invisible form of Peter to stand in his own unique diagram.

After a moment of looking around, Beau quietly asked, "Dawn, could you help me with something?"

"What's that?" Dawn asked curiously as she approached.

"It's possible that when I hollowed out the nygo-husk shroud for Fallen that I might have made it a little bit more... hungry, than it really needs to be." Beau said reluctantly.

"I'm guessing that by 'a little bit' you actually mean 'a whole helluva lot'." Dawn said with a slight smile.

"Pretty much, yeah." Beau reluctantly admitted.

"What can I do to help?" Dawn asked warmly.

"Just keep Emily over here with you and protect her if she's being irresistibly drawn to enter the shroud." Beau said hopefully.

"I can't see or hear her." Dawn cautioned.

"The slightest touch of the phoenix's power can grant the ability to see the forces of death and rebirth. If you will accept the gift, I can ask the phoenix to brush you with her wing." Beau carefully offered.

"The slightest touch of the phoenix's power can also squash a person flatter than an armadillo on a highway, but I'm not an ordinary person. I think I can handle it." Dawn assured him.

"Are you talking about armadillos because I'm a Texan?" Beau asked with a smile.

"Yeah. I thought I'd try to speak your language." Dawn admitted with a grin, then continued, "Go ahead. Lay it on me."

Beau slowly and carefully raised one hand, about two feet away from Dawn, however none of those watching could deny the impact that Dawn felt as she was thrown about six feet back.

Much to her credit, Dawn was able to land on her feet and seemed to be none the worse for wear as she walked back to stand in front of Beau.

"Just like Sunnydale." Dawn said as she checked to see that her hair and clothes hadn't become too mussed.

"Can you see them?" Beau asked as he indicated the pale young ghost at his side.

"Look at you! When I heard about a ghost I imagined someone about my age." Dawn said happily.

"Can you keep Emily safe while we do the ritual?" Beau asked hopefully.

"Yeah. No problem. Go do what you need to do and we'll be fine." Dawn assured him.

* * * * *

"How's this going to work with you being the one casting the spell as well as one of the represented houses?" Andrew asked carefully.

"That shouldn't be a problem. Thanks to everyone doing the layout in the correct order, all I'll have to do is stand in my proper house when I perform the naming. The rest of the time I'll be free to walk around." Beau said thoughtfully.

"Would it be easier if I did the naming for you?" Andrew asked cautiously.

"No. This spell is based in necromancy. The naming is death and rebirth. I have to be the one who does it." Beau said frankly.

"Yeah. Well, I'm just as happy to stick with fire." Andrew said honestly.

"If that's the case, then maybe you could attend to the brazier for me. I could do it myself, but it would take a lot of extra walking, adding ingredients to the fire after each naming."

"I would be happy to do that for you. Just tell me what you need." Andrew said seriously.

"It's all laid out beside the brazier. Just add a pinch of each thing to the flame, then wait for the next naming." Beau said instructively.

"Got it." Andrew promised.

* * * * *

Beau looked around the diagrams to see that everything was satisfactory for the spell.

Suddenly Beau seemed to realize that he had missed something and hurriedly asked, "Tara? Would you mind helping me with something?"

"What can I do?" Tara timidly responded.

"Could you just keep this shroud with you until I need it? I'm afraid that if I put it on the ground one little breeze could blow it away." Beau explained.

"Yes. I'd be happy to do that." Tara said timidly.

"Oh, and if Dawn or I tell you to run, carry it as fast as you can through Marc's portal into the MedLab." Beau thought to add.

At Tara's surprised look, Beau explained, "The shroud is a spiritual void which seeks to absorb displaced spiritual energy. If Emily or Fallen get pulled into it, we could lose one or both of them forever."

"I'll be ready to run." Tara promised him.

"You probably won't have to, but I want for us to be prepared." Beau assured her, then walked toward Marc.

"Are you okay with what we're doing?" Beau asked him quietly.

"Yeah. Lisa filled me in. I'm actually glad that you're doing it this way to make sure we're all on the same page as to who the team members are and how we relate." Marc said seriously.

"Your house is said to have a quick wit. You're already living up to the reputation." Beau said with a grin and a little extra drawl.

"Go on, Tex. Make it happen." Marc said firmly.

* * * * *

"Andrew?" Beau prompted.

"Creo Ignem." Andrew said clearly as he made a complicated hand gesture.

In response, the brazier burst into flame.

Beau smiled with approval at the result, then walked to Quaid's diagram before saying, "In the house of the tiger was one known to us as Quaid, now to be our brother, Godling."

Beau glanced over in time to see Andrew expertly adding pinches of the necessary spell ingredients to the brazier.

After taking a few steps, Beau continued, "In the house of the rabbit was one known to us as Lisa. Now and forever let our sister be known as Lepus."

Andrew once again responded by adding pinches of herbs and minerals to the flame.

With a smile, Beau quietly said, "In the house of the dragon resides one who I am proud to claim as brother, his name was Slash, but now is become Blackout."

Slash couldn't resist Beau's smile and broke into a beaming grin as all the color drained from his hair and eyebrows, making him turn completely white.

"Our newest brother be welcome. In the house of the snake Steve resides, where now he can claim autonomy from what has always been and unity with other people, sovereign of mind, working toward united purpose. So let it be for he, known as Nightfear."

Steve looked surprised for a long silent moment, then he quietly said, "Thank you."

Beau gently smiled as he walked to the next diagram and quietly said, "In the house of the horse resides one who was Marc. Through peril and persistence, he has come to us now as Archer, the heart of us."

Marc and those surrounding him looked on curiously at Beau's declaration.

Andrew added the required pinches and dabs to the fire as Beau walked to the next diagram in the circle and said, "In the house of the goat resides Seth, emerging from innocence into a world of wonders, both beautiful and profane. We who accompany our brother on his journey call him Sideway."

Seth had a curious look and seemed to be about to say something but then appeared to think better of it and simply nodded.

Beau walked to the next diagram and reverently said, "In the house of the monkey resides our brother Brian. By way of infinite possibilities and unfathomable choices this brother of ours has come to us to be known as Chesser."

Brian looked surprised by the words, but ultimately pleased.

Beau stepped into his own spell diagram and took a long slow breath before declaring, "In the house of the rooster I am Beau. Humbly I stand before you seeking to be accepted as your brother, Tex."

While no one responded audibly, the outpouring of goodwill from his teammates was nearly a tangible thing.

Not to belabor the point, Beau moved to the next diagram and said, "In the house of the dog is our elder, Lee. In this new way of being and doing, he is our equal, our brother, Hellport."

Lee smiled contentedly at the announcement.

"In the house of the boar resides Louie, he who transcends adversity. Likewise, his resilience will inspire us all not to succumb to despair. The enduring soul of us, our brother Kricket." Beau said reverently.

Louie beamed at the definition of him and his team name.

"In the house of the rat resides Jesus, who at a glance seems to be the least human of us. At the core, he is perhaps the most, our brother Vile." Beau said respectfully.

//You're really getting good at this.// Jesus said happily.

As Beau walked to the next diagram, which appeared to most to be empty, he held out his hands and received the large piece of nygo-husk webbing from Tara.

"In the house of the ox resides Piotr, whose death closed the door on more things than I can know. Here, we open a new door, so that our brother, Fallen, may rise from the ashes of his destruction and once again bring goodness into the world." Beau said reverently, then with his last word, cast the shroud like a fishing net high at the seemingly empty space within the spell diagram.

"With this shroud I house the freed essence of one held dear. I give of my own power to fuse this spirit with the substitute for flesh that we have created. Let it be." Beau said as he held his hands, palms outward, to channel his power into the shroud and Fallen.

There was a long moment when the group held their collective breath, waiting for what was going to happen next.

"Godling, I need a cube... a big one." Beau suddenly called.

"How big?" Quaid asked nervously as he noticed dark clouds rumbling in all around them.

"Surrounding all of us. I think my spell might have pulled in some rain." Beau said as he glanced at the suddenly darkening sky.

As Quaid made a grand expressive gesture, an enormous cube surrounded them just in time to stop a deluge of torrential rain from pouring in on them.

There was a long moment of silence as everyone watched the heavy rain pounding on the outside of the cube.

"What do we need to do next?" Ms. Mordigan asked, breaking the long silence.

"Nothing. It's done." Beau said as he gestured toward the black shrouded figure standing in the spell diagram for the house of the ox.

"Peter? Is that you?" Lee asked cautiously.

"If I understand correctly, no. Now I am Fallen."

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes: I love that Fallen is now incarnate.

It seems that there is a place for everyone and everyone in their place.

I am extremely pleased to see how everyone worked together to build a much more cohesive team. Everyone has a meaning and a purpose. It seems each has their own special gift, or ability in harmony with all the others.

A job well done.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher