The cave was suspiciously dark, with only a dark red light emanating from the volcano a few hundred metres under the cave floor. The hotness and humidity did nothing to rid the place of its horrid, musty stench – a fitting smell for a place so vile.

In the middle of the cave the bag lay still…….then the claw that was casually lying outside it contracted slowly, like something waking from a very long sleep.

The thick, crooked fingers flexed again, carefully. The bag started to move and out creeped a big, brusque creature – as his red eyes surveyed his surroundings, it glowed with an animal evil, accentuated by the ruby light show from the volcano.

He bent over, the hump on its back now more visible, and sniffed the food closeby. Then he started eating the food ; tearing through the potatoes like they were paper and thrusting clawfuls into his already full mouth.

The sheer gluttony frightened Netalisys, but at the same time fascinated and horrified, he could do nothing but watch the grotesque act of the grendel feeding for the first time.

After the animal fed, he laid down to rest, his huge belly heaving with the load of food that he almost swallowed whole .It wasn't long before Netalisys heard a contented snoring coming from the Grendel. The Shee carefully crept out of the dark that served as his invisibility and walked to the edge of the cave. Below him was a mass of bubbling lava, like a pot of thick soup – moving in slow currents as if it is being stirred. He looked back at the Grendel. As much as he liked the idea of a destructor that would tear Albia apart , that same idea was a two-sided sword. The grendel would be perfect , but it could never reign absolute. The other Shee would find some kind of weapon or preventative measure that would stop the destruction. He knew this because he knew exactly what the creature's mind was capable of – and that did not include taking over a world.

He looked back at the lava. Right at that moment, an idea hatched.

The two norns were still sleeping although it was high dawn – and the sun was baking down on the leave-blanket that covered them. Nikai finally woke to the sound of things hitting the ground. He lazily lifted his head , only to see Isis picking up sticks and branches and throwing them around angrily. He knew Isis – under the pretence of gathering firewood , she was throwing a tantrum as was her very familiar modus operandi.

He got up and walked towards her, dodging flying splinters and leaves.

"Been a good morning I assume?"

She just gave him a fierce look and continued what she was doing.

"Oh come on, stop doing that." And with that he stretched his arm out to grab her shoulder. With that she violently pushed him away and then kept a branch in front of her in a defensive way.

"Touch me and you get splinters in your eyes, you pathetic excuse for a lifeform!"

"Tell me what's going on, Isis." His voice was no longer coaxing, but commanding, like an adult reprimanding a child.

"THAT is going on! That…..whole…..righteous attitude of you! You are such a bastard!"

"I cant believe it. I save you, care for you and you accuse me of being a righteous bastard."

Her voice croaked. " Obviously not like the way you took care of Skyra." And she pointed with a stick in the other norn's direction, who had by this time woken up from the angry yelling.

Skyra got up and walked towards them. Upon reaching them, she sidled up to Nikai, her body half hid away behind his, and she slipped her hand into his. She rested her head on the back half of his shoulder.

Her voice was soft and she sounded defenceless. " But why would you hate me Isis? Ive never done anything to you. Surely you don't like Nikai? I really meant no harm."

Isis could spit fire at this point. "You! Miss Innocent-I-want-to-get-into-the-only-male-available's-bed! You are disgusting!"

Nikai was now equally angry. "This isn't about Skyra is it? You just have issues that you cant deal with and you are taking it out on innocent people."

With that he turned on his heel and walked away – but just before he was out of earshot he clearly heard Skyra's voice.

"Mutant."

He turned around. Skyra was smirking at Isis – the smirk seemed to disfigure her face, the beauty that he once saw in her dissipated the more he looked at her.

"Leave."

Skyra turned to Nikai and smiled. " That's right Nikai."

She walked over to him confidently. Alhtough he was looking at a bush above the norns' heads, out of the corner of his eye he could see Isis bringing her wrist to her head as if in agony. Skyra walked right up to him and tried to kiss him , but his lips were still like a rock.

"Nikai?"

This time he looked directly at her as he said it, more clearly this time.

"Leave."

"I thought we had something! She just clicks her fingers and you get rid of me?" Skyra's voice elevated in an alchemy of anger and resentment.

"She's not a mutant."

Skyra stomped her foot on the ground and pointed to the both of them.

"You better sleep with one eye open for the rest of your lives."

With that she grabbed up the toy car that Nikai was so fond of and threw it against the big tree stump so hard, it turned into shiny blue en yellow tin shrapnel.

When she was out of sight, Nikai sat down with his hands supporting his head.

He suddenly tired. So much tension in so little time.