The first thing I was aware of when I regained consciousness was white. So much white all around me. It was blinding after the impenetrable darkness that I had grown used to in… the past few minutes? Hours? Days? I had no idea. I had no sense of time when I woke up. Suddenly, the crushing weight of what had happened just before the pain and the blackness overcame me hit me once again and I wished I were still in blissful sleep.
My children were no doubt gone. Alton, Wade, Turquoise and Aqua… they’d all been taken away from me by that monster, Meredith. I tried so hard to protect them and provide for them and I failed. I was a pathetic excuse for a nymph… for a mother.
A dry, agonised sob escaped my throat as I covered my face with my hands. The pain of losing them all was too much. I wanted to die. How could I go on without them?
“Azure? Azure, shhh… it’s alright. Everything’s alright,” a low, quiet voice broke through my heartbreak and it winded me. I’d never forget that voice as long as I lived. I still heard it in my sleep sometimes, but I never thought I’d actually hear it outside my own head again. I was afraid to uncover my face. I was afraid that this was still some kind of dream and that if I took my hands away from my eyes, the voice would be gone again.
I felt warm hands gently pulling my own hands away from my face and my breath caught in my throat. It was him. Cycl0n3 was standing over me. I hadn’t seen him in almost ten years, but here he was at my bedside now, when I had reached my lowest point. He gave me a small smile. He was as handsome as I remembered, but he looked so tired…
“Cycl0n3… I missed you…” I whispered. “What happened? My children? I… I don’t know what happened… my babies are gone, aren’t they?” I choked out and dissolved into shuddering sobs again. Cycl0n3 shook his head and held my hands tightly in his. It was so comforting.
“They’re not gone. They’re with me… at least for now,” he assured me. “I told the cops I was the father of one of them and that I didn’t want my son separated from his siblings. They put all four of them in my care. They’re safe, Azure. All of them. I promise.” All I could do was nod, because I was still crying, but now they were tears of joy. My children were safe and with someone whom I knew was taking good care of them. They hadn’t become just four more nameless faces in a sea of unwanted, parentless children. Cycl0n3 continued to hold my hands, rubbing them between his slightly as he filled me in on the rest. “The police tasered you when you wouldn’t listen to their warnings. They used way too high a voltage for someone your size, plus you’re not human so they had no idea if you’d react badly to it. They almost killed you,” he scowled angrily. “Trust me, I’m making sure the media puts enough pressure on the Sunset Valley Police Department to conduct a thorough investigation into the officers who tasered you. The SVPD’s good name will be torn apart when the town reads about their misconduct.”
“How… how did you… find out what happened?” I asked, my tears starting to ebb away slowly.
“Well I work at the local newspaper. I’m an Automated Spell Checker Checker. All of a sudden, the place went nuts and the editor was sending out every journalist she had on staff out the door. When I asked her what was going on, she told me some crazy blue lady was attacking a social worker up in Summer Hill Court and the police were ready to shoot her down… I swear to God, Azure, my heart stopped. I raced over there in time to see them loading you into an ambulance and taking the kids. It was… horrible…” he admitted to me and I could hear a faint quiver in his voice.
I reached up and hesitantly put a hand on his cheek. I think I was still trying to convince myself that he was actually real and not a hallucination or a dream. Cycl0n3 reached up and covered my hand with his for a moment before squeezing it and I couldn’t help but smile a little. If he was here now, things would have to turn out okay. “What happens now?” I asked softly. I had no idea where to go from here, but I had to hope that whatever would come would be better. This had to be rock bottom.
“Well, first thing’s first… you stay here until you’re better. Probably a couple of weeks. That taser did a number on your nervous system. I’m willing to bet since you’re from the water, the electricity going through you was a lot worse than what it would be for someone like me,” he told me, that angry scowl coming back. “Social Services won’t let you have the kids back after seeing your property and after what you did, but you’re not being arrested, thankfully. The SVPD doesn’t want more bad publicity from arresting a woman they almost killed. I’ll keep the kids with me until you’re out of the hospital, then… I think I’ve got a way they can stay with you.”
“Really? How?” I asked eagerly, sitting up. I wanted my children back with me more than anything in the world!
“You’ll see,” was all he’d tell me with a grin and a wink.