She smiled at me, the woman was incredibly lovely when she did, and reached back under the counter. My hand had never moved off my gun so we didn't have are little moment when she gently laid a burlap wrapped object on the counter where my boots had been. She looked at me calmly. I knew what it was and my breath caught in my throat along with my heart.
I didn't say it as a question either.
"I thought it was lost during the battle when...I couldn't finish it. I couldn't.
"No Gardener. Not lost. One of mine found it and brought it to me. You were thought to be dead so I sent it back to my hall to wait for you."
"It never occurred to you to return it after I was found alive?"
She shrugged, "I got busy. Sorry."
I glared at her. Then I mentally shrugged it off. She was very good at acting like a flake when it suited her but she was far from it.
I unwrapped it, held it in my hand, and stared at her. I liked the flicker of uncertainty in her eyes. She had taken Sword back because it could hurt her where nothing else would. It was of her time and named although I could never pronounce it correctly and I had gotten tired of her correcting me. She didn't speak to me for three days when I told I was going to call it Sword instead.
The blade was still blood smeared. It had never been cleaned since the last time I had used it. Memories of the day came flooding back in, none of them pleasant, the sound of automatic weapons burning ammo like they had an unlimited supply,which they did then, screams, dust in the air, noise of varying intensity from the explosions as they ripped us apart. We were falling back, trying to lose them, even the odds up by withdrawing deeper into the cover of the trees but it wasn't working. I stopped the tape right there and refocused.
"Why Freya? Why?"
I genuinely wanted to know.
She sighed, and for a second I saw the kid I knew once, "Because I was wrong about my power and theirs. They weren't warriors as I knew them. They were machines covered in metal and skin. They saw like I did but so much better and farther. They had power then G, unimaginable power, the power of the gods in their prime and they used it like angry children. I was so wrong then but I learned, oh yes I did." She grinned, if you want to call it that, I responded to that grin and felt the killing madness touch me.
I knew what she meant for I too had learned and a part of me wished I hadn't. Their way was cold, methodical and efficient. It was never my way but I had used it to kill them. In doing so it had quit being fun.