. . . There was no moon, no sun, no point of reference. Only the mist was alive with light and movement, revealing his way even as it sought to disorient him.
Dubh walked faster, slicing a path through the haze. Although more than five hundred years had gone since he had passed this way, he remembered. He remembered the hut – a mere speck on the horizon – and he remembered the girl.
She was waiting. Niamh had grown to womanhood in his absence and she was waiting for him.
“Dubh an Súile,” she announced lightly. At the chime of her voice, the mists – the all-pervading mists that shrouded this world, that softened that which was not soft – bloomed with color. Golden yellow, blue and green danced within the current . . .
D: Oh, A. I knew you could do it!
A: Do what? Wait, do I want to know?
D: That scene – it’s new! I like it.
A: Gee, thanks, D. I think.
D: No, I really do. Finally!
A: You seem rather more excited than I would have expected. What’s up?
D: The sky. Birds. Is that a plane?
A: Helicopter. They’ve finally found me.
A: You get to be obtuse and I get to be random. It’s a thing.
D: I thank the gods that you write better than you speak.
A: You and me both! I repeat, what has you so excited, D?
D: It’s a scene. About me. I mean, being a “god impersonator” is all well and good, but I’m looking for a little depth, A. Some substance. Gravitas!
A: Does personality count?
D: . . . Not as much as you’d like it to.
A: Believe me, D. You have gravitas. Even a little panache. But this scene is to introduce a smidge of background. I couldn’t have you showing up as Commander Declan—
D: Still hate that name.
A: You don’t have it for long; Maureen will recognize you.
D: Thank heaven for small mercies.
A: Can I continue? I couldn’t have you showing up as Commander Declan without a little bit of history – not real history, your history. You were a bit too mysterious to me, so you were an enigma to the story.
D: Well, enigma no more, I have a back-story!
A: Oh, that was bad, D. Even for you. It’s not funny, and I don’t think it makes sense.
D: I know; I picked it out of your brain. You’re welcome.
A: That’s just swell.
“. . . But first you must find them,” Niamh repeated, taking her hand away and rising. Her insistence struck a deep chord in Dubh’s belly. “You must bring them home, before–”
“Niamh, since when are you concerned with the fate of mortals? I know my duty, and I will do it, but this urgency . . .”
“They must be tucked up in their little convent school before he acts. They are a risk – your history is not safe with them blundering about out there. You led them through, Dubh; it is your duty to finish it.”
“You know where they are, don’t you?”
“I do, and I wonder at how they got there. . .”