When deserts freeze over.
Davina stayed awake and waited until night descended. She spent the whole time following the shifts of the Grotes. Was there a pattern or a system? Could she glimpse the Chimera? Nothing.
Davina bit her remaining slithers of nail and spat them out. She would recognise the Chimera if she saw her wouldn’t she? Davina watched and made numerous plans to get inside the tower. Surely if the tower rotated people by the window would fall out? Why weren’t the humans attacking the Sideways Tower?
Davina waited until the glowing red sun touched the tip of the surrounding hills. She made her way back to the cave and woke Johnny and Ghost who were both in the depths of sleep.
‘So much for shifts,’ she muttered.
‘Fairy cakes with white icing,’ Ghost muttered.
Davina prodded him and he woke up with a jerk. ‘Oh Davina… Why did you wake me up? I was dreaming about cakes. I was just getting to the part where I actually ate them,’ he said sadly.
Davina smirked, of course he was dreaming about cakes.
‘And Johnny what were you dreaming about?’ she asked.
‘I don’t dream,’ he replied.
‘Well then I just don’t remember them.’
Davina gazed at her two friends; did she really want them to risk their lives in a fight that wasn’t theirs? ‘Look if you want… you two can stay here. I don’t want you getting killed for no reason.’
Ghost frowned, ‘Davina I’m in this whether you like it or not!’
‘I have a sister to save, so you’re not getting rid of us that easily!’ said Johnny definitely.
Davina studied the two boys in their woven white outfits. She felt a moment of sadness and her lip quivered, ‘I’m so glad you’re both here.’
The boys didn’t like all the girlie emotional stuff. Both crossed their arms and did their best to ignore it.
‘Thanks,’ said Johnny.
‘You too,’ said Ghost.
‘Davina you’re acting all strange… Is there something going on? You’re not turning into a chicken on me are you?’ asked Johnny.
Davina shook her head, ‘No I’m not turning chicken!’
‘We’ll be leaving as soon as you’re ready. I’ll wait outside,’ she said turning to go.
‘Davina… do you have a plan?’ asked Ghost.
Davina nodded, ‘I’ll be using everything I have to draw her out!’
Davina stood outside the cave, at the top of the hill. Behind her the forest spanned for hundreds of miles and in front of her the vast wastelands looked desolate. To her right, a volcanic gorge had been gouged from the earth. None of it felt right, her gut reaction was full of unease. Davina glanced at the tower; it was still rotating against a bright red sunset. The sun slowly descended beyond the dunes and the moon rose. Davina glanced over her shoulder at Wanda and Solomon; they silently drew up alongside her.
‘Why am I doing this?’ she asked.
Wanda stepped forwards, ‘You’re battling for a better world and you’re saving Gargantuan,’ she said.
‘Why? What’s the point?’
‘Davina do you really want the world to live under the rule of the Chimera? The Chimera who’s so full of anger and hatred that she will happily lava bomb cities full of innocent people?’
‘But she’s trying to force people to face nature,’ she said.
‘No she isn’t… She is doing it to make herself feel good. It’s all about power,’ said Solomon in his deep, rumbling tone.
Davina sighed, it was all wrong! ‘Well it looks like we have no choice.’
‘Davina you always have choice. We could leave this all now and nothing would change. Is that what you want?’ asked Wanda.
‘No it isn’t what I want. I want the world to be free and I want the Gargantuans to be alive again. So it’s down to me to make the changes, but I just don’t want the Goyles dying for this fight,’ she said adamantly.
Wanda admired Davina’s harrowed face, ‘Death is inevitable – as is birth. Now make your decisions wisely.’
Wanda nuzzled Davina, ‘You’re a brave girl. Look how far you’ve come and what you have achieved. Think of how you imagine the future. Is it a world without humans and derelict cities? Or is it a place where people can live and learn by their mistakes?’
Davina knew what she wanted; she didn’t intend to answer the question. Instead she turned her attention to Johnny and Ghost who were faffing about. When the pair were ready they mounted the Lizers and drew parallel with Davina.
‘Nice to see you are up and about,’ said Davina sarcastically. ‘Actually Ghost can you have one last look to make sure there’s nothing out of the ordinary going on.’
Ghost raised an eyebrow, ‘Out of the ordinary? Hmm.’ Ghost kept his thoughts to himself and scanned the area. ‘I think they are half-grown Grotes lying in the earth. I guess they’re the ones who didn’t finish rising. On the tower, there are still thousands of Grotes waiting. Other than that it looks normal – if that’s what you want to call it.’
Davina nodded and took a deep breath and began to tap the Shamaventus. ‘Then we are ready. I will begin.’
Davina closed her eyes and chanted. As she did so, the Shamaventus flame grew in size. Both Johnny and Ghost watched curiously, they had no idea what Davina was up to. Davina sent out a blast of light, which created a thick residue of web that coated the wastelands.
Johnny watched closely, not quite understanding how that web would work.
Davina continued to concentrate and called the winds, ‘Please stop the tower rotating by gusting at it.’
The winds did exactly as they were asked, turned back to the desert and blew the storm away. The tower slowed its rotation until it came to a standstill.
Davina closed her eyes and mentally summoned the Ice Maiden. Within seconds, she skimmed over the trees making a tinkling sound. ‘I didn’t think I would be called so soon,’ she said in a sparkly, sharp tone.
‘Welcome. May I ask you to please freeze the tower into one position and coat the wastelands in a layer of ice which is thick enough to stop anything emerging from below the earth and please spare all the people inside the tower.’
The Ice Maiden studied Davina, ‘Are you sure that is what you want?’
‘Yes that is exactly what I want. Thank you,’ said Davina definitely.
The Ice Maiden curtseyed, turned and blew into the wastelands. As soon as the first ice particle hit the earth, the wastelands, dunes and moors froze over. The second blast of ice secured the tower in one position, held it there and then coated it with ice. Davina watched the remaining sunset reflected in the sheet of ice, it made the sorry scene appear beautiful. Davina guessed her opponent would not be enjoying the view. She would more than likely be brewing with anger. How was she going to react?
Ghost frowned, ‘I don’t get why you did that Davina.’
Malchus stepped forwards. ‘Davina is letting the Chimera know of our presence. If she wishes to fight, she will now be forced to leave the tower. The ice covering the wastelands stops any sort of uprising from below the earth.’
A time passed, many of the group grew impatient. Davina gnawed at her stumpy nails.
‘Davina can you stop that? It’s so annoying!’ said Ghost slapping her hand from her mouth.
Davina sighed loudly, for what felt like an eternity, there was still no response. When she was just about to give up, a God-awful roar came from nowhere. That deranged call summoned all the Grotes in the area back to the tower. The desert sky filled with the hideous creatures. They covered the remaining clouds of the sunset and flew through the dark red sky back towards the tower.
Davina trembled; she was up against something colossal. It was worse than she had expected. Davina looked to the sky and called all her Goyles. They responded instantly and flew to the edge of the forest. Each landed and gazed at the sight before them.
She watched the frozen desert before her fill with Grotes. The dark sea of hideous creatures revealed their sheer volume. Davina’s stomach knotted: it was really going to happen.
As far as Davina could see, boulders littered the forest. With a deep breath, she glanced back at the tower. ‘Let there be as few casualties as possible,’ she muttered under her breath.
A shape resembling a goat crossed lion mixed with the face of a woman descended onto the ice. The way she moved was elegant yet powerful.
‘Malchus, I didn’t know she had any human characteristics,’ Davina stared at the figure.
Malchus gazed sadly at the figure.
Davina frowned, what was Malchus doing?
‘That isn’t human it’s Fluxion,’ said Malchus.
‘But…’ she followed his gaze towards the Chimera; something dawned on her. ‘Malchus?’
Malchus gazed at his daughter. ‘Davina this has to be!’