"Get her!" Serpata screamed
The Collector grabbed a
metal bar and ran toward her. He swung it at her head, then fell back
screaming. The pole dropped at his feet and disintegrated.
Serpata roared in anger.
"I'll kill you now!" He moved forward and swung one mighty arm toward
her. "Die!" His hand stopped about one foot from Yasamin's head. White
lightning wrapped itself around his hand. Serpata screeched and backed
away. The snakes snapped at Yasamin, their rattles vibrating furiously.
"What is it?" he shouted. He
rubbed his smoking hand.
"As I said, set Arash free,
and I will give myself up for your sacrifice; otherwise, you have
"What trick is this, girl?"
"It is no trick. It is
light. I travel the road of silk."
If such a thing were
possible, Serpata appeared to shrink in on himself. "You're too young to
know such a thing," he whispered as much to himself as her.
"No one is too young to know
right from wrong, Grandfather. You chose darkness for your own
selfish end. I choose light to help those I love. Let him go if you want
Serpata stared at his
granddaughter for a long time. At last, he nodded toward The Collector.
"Release the wires."
"You're setting him free?"
The Collector stepped toward
two wheels on the wall. Winding them counterclockwise, Arash's body
began to lower to the floor. When he reached the concrete, Arash lay
"Arash!" Yasamin cried. She
rushed to him and cradled his head in her lap. "Arash, can you hear me?
Open your eyes, please. Talk to me."
Arash's lids fluttered open.
He gazed at Yasamin. His cracked lips tried to from her name.
"Arash, you must get up. You
must leave now while there's time." Even as Yasamin spoke the words, she
saw Arash's gaze drift past her.
She turned just as The
Collector grabbed her and pulled her to her feet. "Got you now, bitch.
Not as good as you think. You can't do two things at once."
It was at that exact moment
someone else spoke. "Let her go."
The Collector swung Yasamin
around and hit her on the jaw. As she went down, she saw Goliagoth,
sword in hand, standing in the doorway. She thought it, but couldn't get
her mouth to form the words "look out."