Abe looked around the room they stood in, though he wasn't truly sure how they had arrived at this destination. One moment, they had been standing in the library, Molly had run off to talk to Morrigan, then they were both suddenly standing in a strange room. And strange was the correct adjective. The room was painted in different shades and hues of blue and the bed was adorned in a shimmering silver fabric. But, upon the walls, were crudely carved wooden and stone images of limbs, organs, and other pieces of the body. It was unsettling. Especially a set of silver carved eyes.
Molly looked completely at ease, though. She looked over the wall and smiled. She met his gaze. "The decoration is what worshipers would give to Sequana. It represented what part of the body the presenter wanted healed. They also made the pieces out of silver and bronze and placed them in a special pot in front of the alter. Eyes were very popular then. "
"I enjoyed those days," a flowing voice behind them. Abe turned and stared at a young woman draped in silk and a elegant diadem on her brown curls. Her face was youthful and smooth, looking quite innocent with her small smile. She stepped forward and inclined her head toward Molly. "It is very nice to finally meet the famous Guardian Molly Smithson. I heard you were heading Morrigan's case."
"Sequana," Molly said, keeping a polite face on. "I've heard ye're new to the Irish Gaelic court. What is the reason for yer stay?"
The woman blinked and said, "I did not know that a visit to another court was a crime that Guardians looked into."
"We talked to a friend of ours in the Underworld and he said that many of the victims Morrigan allegedly killed remembered being light headed before their death and seeing the colors of running water," Molly said. "Ye are a river goddess."
"So is Lir, Boann, and Sinann," Sequana said. "Why come to me?"
"Ye have motive," Molly said.
"So does Boann," Sequana said, crossing the room and sitting on her bed. The silk of her gown blended into the sheets. "If I remember correctly, she had an affair with Dagda and gave birth to his son Aengus. I believe Dagda stopped the sun for nine months so he was born in one day. Though it was a poor way to hide the fact that they had a child. The court learned of them not too long after that."
"I trained Aengus," Molly said. "He's a nice lad."
"I'm sure," Sequana said, not really caring.
"But Boann lost an arm, leg, and an eye when she challenged the powers of the well of Segais," Molly said. "Almost lost her life, as well. Even after all this time of healing, Boann dinnae have enough strength to even order something like this."
"What about Lir?" Sequana said.
"He has nae motive against either Dagda or Morrigan," Molly said. "And Sinann was a woman who died and came back as a goddess when she took the lid off the well of Segais and it flooded into the Shannon River."
"So you go to the visiting river goddess," Sequana said. "That's a large leap."
"Nae when ye're the only other goddess that has people throwing shields and weapons into yer river," Molly said. "Our source says the victims saw weapons and shields floating past them as they died. Now, who does that sound like?"
Sequana stood and clasped her fingers together. "Guardian, I don't much care for you coming into my quarters and basically accusing me of killing mortals and framing Morrigan."
"Ye ken, Sequana," Molly said, leisurely pacing around the goddess. "I've been thinking about this. Morrigan has many enemies, true, but none of them would be as dishonorable as framing her for gruesome murders. Most likely, they'd try to kill her to her face. Unless they were working with someone who had a serious grudge against her." Molly stopped in front of the goddess and turned to Sequana. "I believe ye ken a god named Neit."
"I've heard the name," Sequana said. "Everyone has. Morrigan was married to him and then had an affair with her current husband. He died."
"So everyone thinks," Molly said. "But what would a small time Gaul river goddess do if a wounded Irish god of war came to her, asking to have his body healed after a battle? Especially when he proposes a plan that will take out his old wife and give ye a position that ye've always wanted."
Abe blinked at Molly's very uncontroversial way of doing things, but was amazed at the result. Sequana's graceful and elegant features contorted into a mask of fury and her hands curled into claws. Abe instinctively reached out to pull Molly back, but she stood firm with an impartial expression. She looked almost bored.
"You have no idea what you are putting your nose into, little girl," Sequana growled, her voice reminding Abe of a fierce thunder storm.
"I ken exactly what I'm doing," Molly said. "Where is he?"
The goddess laughed mirthlessly. "Even if I believed you, what makes you think I'd tell you?"
Molly gave a small smile. "'During a Guardian's investigation of any case they precede over, any god or goddess being questioned, no matter what Mythology they may be, must answer all and any questions asked.' Guardian law 43, paragraph 8, section 2." Molly grinned, now. "Ye see, I can ask ye any question I want, and ye are bound to answer. After all, wasn't it the gods who agreed to these laws? What would the Irish court say if they found out you didn't adhere to the laws? You'd never be in the running for Morrigan's position if the case fell through."
Sequana growled angrily and snapped, "Fine. Neit is at my temple. He's staying in the back room of my chambers. Out of sight of anyone that might see him."
Molly smiled. "See. Was that so hard?" she said. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a raven's feather. "Sequana, Gaul goddess of the river Seine, you are hereby restricted to your chambers for the duration of this investigation. You are mandated to appear at the Major Tribunal Order in two weeks time. Failure to comply with these orders will result in the loss of your station as a god and your exile to the Otherworld. Do you understand these charges?"
"Understood," Sequana growled. Molly took Abe's hand, ready to leave, it seemed, but Sequana had to have the final word. "Guardian, it's useless in continuing this case. Danu will kick Morrigan out of her position and give it to me. It's inevitable. Morrigan may have Dagda's support, but I am a better fit take Morrigan's place."
Molly tilted her head to the side. "To my own opinion, doesnae the goddess of battle, strife, and sovereignty, as well as death, have to have a semi cool head on their shoulders? I've been able to anger ye in two minutes. That's nae too favorable for e, Sequana."
The goddess frowned. "You better watch yourself," she said. "Because you're pissing off two of the most powerful gods you will ever meet."
Molly shook her head. "Nae. I've just pissed off a wanna be river goddess and I'm about to piss off a god that many would like to know isnnae dead. Good day, Sequana." Molly raised the raven's feather and flicked it with her wrist so it was upside down.
Abe and Molly shimmered, then reappeared in the Bureau's library. Johann, Liz, and Morrigan looked up from the books they were looking over. Hellboy had his children in his arms, but looked up at Abe. "How'd it go?" Morrigan asked.
Molly let go of Abe's hand and sat down at the table. "Sequana hasnae out right admitted to the killings, though I'm sure she truly did it, but she admitted to having worked with Neit. He's staying in her chambers at her temple in France. Sequana is under Guardian Instruction nae to leave her rooms," she said.
"I knew it," Morrigan said. Whether she was talking about Sequana being guilty or Neit being alive, her face was hard.
"Aye," Molly said. "Johann, ye're gonna have to send a team of agents over to her temple and collect Neit."
"How vould you suggest ve collect him?" Johann asked. "Zomthing tellz me that handcuffs vill not vork."
Molly rubbed the side of her head and said, "The Guardian in the area of Sequana's temple is a friend of mine. Jean-Pierre owns a small bistro on the main road of a nearby village. Nae hard to find. He tends bar there. Tell him I sent ye and he'll go and use Guardian Instruction to keep him in the temple."
"Jean-Pierre?" Hellboy asked. "Can he get any more French?"
Molly rolled her eyes at the comment. She rubbed her forehead.
Abe stepped forward and asked, "Are you ill?" His hand rested on her shoulder.
She looked up at him and smiled slightly. "I'm fine," she said. "Right as rain."
Abe was silent for a moment and said, "You need to rest. Using the Guardian Instruction uses a power from the Guardian who issued it and creates a field that even the most powerful god could not escape." Everyone stared at him in wonder. "Molly is explaining it to me through my touch."
Molly snorted and put her hands on the table to push herself up. She swayed on her feet and fell. Abe caught her and lifted her into his surprisingly strong arms. Her head fell on his shoulder and said, "Sorry. Bit light headed."
"You need rest," Abe said and walked out of the library, heading toward her room. They passed only a small handful of people and no one really paid them close attention. When they reached Molly's room, Abe opened the door and laid her down on the bed.
She looked at him and said, "Ye ken, I can tell ye have questions."
"You need rest," he said.
"And I can do that while I answer yer questions," she said. "I bet ye're wondering about the Guardian law."
"It does have my interest," Abe said.
Molly shifted to her side and said, "The Guardians were established by when the Major Tribunal Order ruled that there needed to be a sort of enforcement group. Like the police but the kind that literally has power over the gods. So, the kings and queens of all Mythology sectors joined their powers and created a Guardian for each sector. The Gauls have Jean-Pierre, the Irish and Scottish gods have me, so on and so forth. But, because we have so much power, they provided laws that were bound to us. Our power is limited only to what the laws allow us. And every time we use the power, it takes our strength. Keeps us from over using them or abusing the power."
"Fascinating," Abe said. "It seems very thorough."
"And that is why most of them hate us," she said. "There are very little loopholes, if any. Gods like to manipulate people. Kening that something has more power over ye and ye cannae be able to manipulate them to be on yer side should ye decide to war against mortals or immortals, makes gods very upset."
"I can imagine," Abe said. "Now, why don't you rest? You'll need your strength for the trial."
Molly laughed and rubbed her head into the pillow. "Ye ken, ye're the only one that cares about me."
"Surely there has been others?" Abe asked.
Molly shook her head. "Nae many," she said. "There were a few children I raised that continued to care about me, but the others grew out of it."
"How do you grow out of caring for someone?" Abe asked.
"They are gods," Molly said as if it were as simple as that. Abe must have had a confused expression because she continued. "They're on a different thinking level. Feelings are momentary to them and things like love are fleeting. Nae all are like that, but the ones that arenae like that are very few."
"That is sad," Abe said.
Molly chuckled. "That is the world of the gods," she said. "They're a selfish bunch, having lived so long and more concerned with their pleasure after all these millennium of boredom." She closed her eyes and relaxed slightly. Abe stood to go, but Molly reached out and gently gripped his wrist. He turned to look down on her. "Don't go," she said. She sounded groggy and her eyes were still close. Best guess was that she was half asleep.
But Abe locked the door and returned to the bed, laying down beside her. He intended just to be close enough for her to know he was there, but she rolled over to face him and draped an arm across his body. Molly rested her head on his chest, her hair falling over his shoulder, and snuggled in for sleep. Abe watched her for a while before sleep called even him to darkness.
Sorry it took so long for this chapter and I made it long just for that. Hope you enjoy.