Winter – Chapter 25 – 02

            As Aoife left the room to round up Gray, Kes, and Wat, Terézia sank back down into her chair before the desk and her small scrying mirror.  She took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly, staring blankly at the glass, at the table.
            Gods.  What are we doing?  What are we about to do? Her lips thinned and her fingers curled in, nails digging into her palms.  Is this something that’s possible?
            It’s got to be.  If the people I’m watching can affect me, I’ve got to be able to affect the people I’m watching.  She squeezed her eyes shut.  Have faith, Teca.  You’ll pull this off.  All of you will because you’ve got to.  If you don’t, Aoife’s brother could die.  You can’t let that happen.
            The door banged against the wall and her eyes popped open as she looked up.  Gray loomed in the doorway, his face like a storm.
            “What’s going on?” he asked, his tone slightly more gentle than his angry expression.  “Aoife’s freaking out and she said I needed to get my ass in here now.”
            She took another deep breath.  “We saw something she called a firbolg on its way to where her brother is.  She’s worried.  I’m worried.  I’m sure that we can do something.”  I’m sure we can. I’m sure.
            Gray frowned darkly at her.  “You think that we can do something.”
            “Yes, I do.  I know we have to.”
            “How,” he demanded, stepping closer.  “How the hell do you intend to do something?”
            “The same way they threw acid in my face,” Terézia said.  “Sheer force of will.”
            “Sheer force of will,” he repeated.
            She nodded firmly.  “Somehow.”
            He just kept right on staring at her.
            “Christ, Gray.”  She stood up from the table and pointed to the mirror.  “Would you rather we just stand by and watch it happen?  Do you think that Aoife would stand by and let that happen?”
            “Of course not,” he said.  “She couldn’t.  She couldn’t bear it.”
            “Neither could I,” Terézia said softly.  “So we at least have to try.  I need your help to try.  I need your strength to pull this off and so does she.”
            Gray’s jaw tightened, but he nodded.  “Fine.  Just tell me what you need me to do.”
            “Start thinking of how you’d kill something big, green, and ugly.”
            “Air strikes come to mind if we’re talking about the Hulk.”
            She snorted humorlessly.  “Think uglier.  Think a troll.”
            Gray frowned.  “Fire,” he said.  “If it works like the trolls that tend to pop up in fantasy, anyway.  Fire should do the trick.”
            “Do you think we’ve got a chance to make it spontaneously combust?”
            He smiled grimly.  “What is it that they all used to say?  Go big or go home?”
            Terézia glanced at the mirror again.  “We’re going to have to.  This isn’t going to be easy.”
            “That’s what I was saying.”
            “I know it.”  She sighed. “But it’s something we’ve got to do, Gray.”
            “Yeah.  I know.”

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