Glig Season 1 Finale (Part 1)
“I don’t understand her,” Mahani said.
The three of them sat against the wall, staring at the floor, watching the shattered gem fragment twinkle in the dim newt-light, holding hardtack and leftover mutton and honeycomb, not eating it.
“I mean,” she continued, “If Sal was a demonologist, then wouldn’t starting a war between heaven and hell just, you know, reduce her supply of demons to summon?” She pulled a dry speck of mutton off, offering it to a disinterested newt before putting it in her mouth.
Chael sighed, setting down the hardtack, “Eventually, I guess. But wars also tend to create a lot of weapons and armies, too. The Machine of War, and all that. And that could actually increase her power, right? Think about it. Instead of farmers, she’d be summoning militia, even with her lower-level spells.”
“Breep,” added Glig.
“Right,” nodded Mahani slowly, “A lot of demonic species even mutate and develop new abilities during times of stress.”
“And angels get reassigned to new mantles,” said Chael, reaching over and picking up a piece of honeycomb, looking it over, “Every time there’s an attack, the palace yanks a few hundred poor muses from their studios, throws red on them, shoves spears into their hands, and tosses them to the front lines.”
“Okay so the hotter the war gets, the stronger she would be. So she came in here, smashed these gems, to destroy the barrier and fuel the war. So then why did she leave that one like that?” Mahani pointed to the flickering pink stone, “Why not smash them all?”
“Breep.” said Glig.
“Huh,” said Chael, licking some honey off their fingers, “That makes sense actually. She knew the stress from the machine would eventually destroy it, but this way she could get some distance before everything came crashing down. I mean, who knows what will happen. We’re talking about the apocalypse after all, there could — ”
A long bellow echoed down the halls.
“That sounded like — “ Chael started, but Mahani was already up.
“The elk.” Mahani said, already up, putting on her boots, shaking her head in self-disgust.
“Hey, you shouldn’t go alone,” said Chael, sucking on the honeycomb, not getting up. “It’s a dungeon. And we still haven’t explored half of it.“
“Br — “
“No!” snapped Mahani, “Sit down, Glig. This is my problem. I caused it. I’ll take care of it.” She stormed off, trailing the army of phosphorescent newts, leaving Glig and Chael in the dark.
Glig sat down, shaking his head.
“She’ll be okay,” said Chael, smiling to themselves, “She’s the only one here who knows what’s she’s doing.”
“Breep,” agreed Glig.
The two of them sat there in the dark, picking at their food, listening to the sounds of the dungeon echo through the halls.
“Breep?” said Glig finally, holding out the mutton.
“Huh?” said Chael, looking up from their honeycomb. “Oh. No. I can’t. We don’t eat meat.”
Glig nodded slightly, bringing the mutton back to his lap.
“Thanks, though.” said Chael.
A single wayward newt crawled past them, hopelessly lost. Chael and Glig watched it pass, watched it work its way across the entire chamber.
Glig sighed, looking up at Chael finally, “Bree — “
“Don’t,” said Chael.
“Bree — “ pushed Glig.
“No, listen. Don’t. You don’t need…” Chael sighed now too, a pained smirk crossing their face as they looked down at their bandaged finger. “You don’t need to say anything. You were right.”
Glig shook his head, looking down at his own hands now. “Breep.”
“Permission?” Chael laughed. “You should have, what, asked my permission to torture super powers out of me? Who told you that? Mahani?”
“Breep,” said Glig quietly.
“Listen. Glig. A hero would have asked permission. A hero wouldn’t have even considered doing what you did. And that hero would have died in there. Along with me. We’re not heroes.” Chael gestured to the shattered crystals. “I’m definitely not.”
Chael set their food down and leaned forward. “You’re a demon, okay? No matter what Mahani might think. You’re going to do what demons do.”
“Breep?” asked Glig, narrowing his eyes.
“What do demons do?” Chael laughed, “Well, ripping the fingernail off an arrogant do-gooder angel sounds about right.”
Glig tried not to laugh, too.
Chael sighed, laying down on the flagstone floor. “Glig, I was there during the Attack at Bronze Gate. I think you called it the Vengeance Campaign over there.”
Glig nodded. He had heard about that. A lot of people died.
“It was my first week wearing the Red Mantel. My first battle. My first time even seeing one of you up close.” Chael turned their head and looked right at him, “I know what demons do, okay? I’ve seen it. They fight. They kill. They terrorize the enemy, use fear as a weapon. They fight dirty and never stop. They’re tricky. Stubborn. They’re always a move ahead, always have a scheme, a solution to every thing that comes at them. They’re nasty, they’re brutal. And they do it all to protect their families.”
The newt wandered past them from the other direction, still lost.
Chael propped themselves up on an elbow, “Hey, I know of another vessel angel who lives here on Materia, maybe they would know how to get you home. We could — “
“Breep,” said Glig, shaking his head.
“Huh? Why not? Glig, I know you’re tired. Believe me. But if there’s a chance we can get you back to your family, you know, before things get worse — “
“Breep,” said Glig, getting up, dusting himself off.
Chael sat up, bewildered, “Glig, are you — “
“Anyone want to see a purple elk with four broken legs,” Mahani stormed back in, covered in sweat, “I mean, I just fixed them, barely, but don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll get another chance soon enough, since I just love to yank herds of peaceful herbivores from their warm, cozy, otherworlds into places filled with natural predators, and monsters and, you know, extremely dangerous pit traps.”
She marched right between them, grabbed her mutton, took a bite, and continued pacing, “In the last week I’ve brought hippos into a river filled with psionic crocodiles, an entire colony of panic bats — they eat fruit you know — into a den of torture-loving kobolds, and brought a herd of elk into a dungeon. A DUNGEON!” She laughed, mutton flying from her mouth.
“Oh!” she pointed down at the newts, following her around like a string of ducklings, “And the newts! Right!” She laughed again, choking a bit, “DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY FLIES THESE THINGS EAT? Where am I going to get flies I wonder? Oh I know, I’LL JUST TEAR SOME FROM SOME OTHER WORLD!” BECAUSE — “ She coughed, “Because I’m sure the newts OVER THERE DON’T NEED TO EAT THEM.”
She took a deep breath and rubbed her face with her hands. “I brought all of them here, just to try to get one back. And now I can’t even do that.” She looked up at Glig, “I’m sorry.”
“Glig doesn’t want to go home,” said Chael.
“What?” said Mahani, looking at Chael, then back at Glig.
“Breep,” confirmed Glig.
Chael pointed to the empty pedestals. “He wants to fix the barrier.”