I knew I should not trust him, but I found myself in a black towncar, driven by a uniformed chauffeur. “I am not leaving town again.”
“And calling her Ladyship?”
“Possibly. I hate to involve her directly, but things have gone too far. They drugged one friend of yours, they kidnapped another.”
“And who she is, is that another thing I’m not allowed to know?” I was irritated, but whoever this was, I needed to know if she was another dangerous individual I had to worry about.
“Just my boss.” A pause. “She’s not a supernatural entity, but she is an extremely powerful witch and diviner. She knows what she’s talking about.”
“And there’s a prophecy.”
“A prophecy. You will either start Ragnarok or stop it. It’s…ambiguous.”
Ragnarok. The winter of the gods. The very word made me shiver, far beyond all rational thought on the matter. And it fit somewhere, like a key into a lock somewhere in the depth of my mind. “I don’t know that you were supposed to tell me that.”
“The thing is, we don’t know which you’re going to do. Maybe the Norns do, but if so, they aren’t talking. Except maybe to Odin.”
I digested that. “And I guess…talking to gods isn’t going to happen, but maybe I’ll keep my eyes open for ravens.”
Had it actually been a crow that had warned me? I was suddenly not sure. Ravens were bigger, and that was pretty much the only difference.
“You never know about talking to gods. I’ve found they show up in the oddest places.”
I laughed nervously at that. “But your ladyship is only a witch.”
Only? There was probably not very much only about it at all, but next to gods? I knew I should be afraid of them showing up, but I was more afraid of Mr. Otter; and that only in a ‘What is he up to?’ sort of way.
The idea of gods didn’t scare me at all.
“She has a fair bit of power. But this prophecy scares her. Whichever way we jump is wrong.”
“And without knowing what it is I do, I can’t come up with a way to do it or not do it.” And if it was something to do with existing or not existing?
Would I kill myself if I found out that was how to save the world? Then again, there seemed little point in taking everyone else down with me.
No, there seemed little point in that at all. I looked at him again. “So. You aren’t the only one who wants to work out this prophecy. Didn’t it occur to you guys just to talk to me from the start?”
He lifted his hands. “It occurred to some of us. We got outvoted.”
I nodded. “Because you couldn’t trust a kid not to be…selfish, I suppose.” I won’t destroy the world. And I’d do what I had to do to save it.
Maybe that was part of it, though. Maybe what I had to do was make a choice, somewhere. “What if…what if it’s something I do and what I choose is what makes the difference?”
“That could easily be it, but that still brings us back to not knowing what. I’m going to drop you off here.”
Here was the Alexandria waterfront, and I hopped out then watched the towncar leave. Then I went to the edge of the pier and stared into the water.