It was raining in Onsira. Vincente and Arialla had returned home the night before, and they were not at all glad to learn that Zarrek had left the kingdom. They had risen early to chide her for letting him go (arguing with Vénes and Shu-Giri had been done before they went to bed), and to ask her about what she had done in court on her own.
“He did the right thing, daddy!” Starshine said. She had not appreciated being pulled from her bed quote so early, and hoped to be able to get some more sleep before being expected to do anything else.
“Going to Thiizav was the right thing?” he asked her.
“It was the only way he could save their lives,” she told him, becoming frustrated that she had to explain it again.
Vincente gave a loud sigh. “This ordeal that he is involved in is exactly why he is no good for you.”
Starshine crossed her arms over her chest. “I know your opinion of him, daddy. I love him no matter what you say, and–”
She stopped suddenly. She could feel the glow even before she could see it, and it was expanding. Deep down, she knew what it meant.
“Starshine, what is going on?” Vincente demanded to know.
“I have to go to him daddy,” she explained as the silvery-white light grew as encompassed her. She unfolded her wings and began to float just inches off the ground. “Do not worry about me; we will be back soon.”
Even as Vincente reached out for her, trying to grasp her hands, the light became too bright for him to see her anymore. Then it collapsed in on itself, disappearing with but a twinkle to leave behind. Gaping, he looked to Arialla, who only shook her head; she had no more answers fr what was going on than he did.
When the light faded and Starshine was able to see again, she found herself in a room that was far bigger than its shadows let on. It smelled of things old and decayed, and she knew at once that she did not want to spend any more time there than she had to. She had made a promise to Zarrek, though, and she would not let the smell make her break it.
Starshine let her wings carry her downwards. Zarrek was kneeling on the filthy floor, bruised and bloodied, and she wanted so badly to embrace him. He was wrapped in chains, however, and she had enough sense to keep her distance. The being that held the end of those chains stood just at the edge of the shadows, slinking into them as though avoid her light. She realized then that her entire body was glowing, a beacon in the darkness of that terrible crypt.
“The Starr,” Lilith hissed. “What do we do with her?”
“She is too weak to be of any help to the prince,” Sasha replied as she looked her over. “Let her die with him.”
Zarrek turned his face up to Starshine. Tears streaked down his face, cutting through the grime in his cheeks to leave pale lines behind them. “Star…” he gasped out, too weak to even say her full name.
She looked down at him, still floating above him. “I am here, my love. I will put an end to all of this.”