A horn grazes bone; Helena drops to one knee and cleaves the creature in twain. Moving quickly backwards, and rolling while a hooved killer crashes through the floor next to her. It will be back soon. Jump up, not fast enough; her pants are snagged, flesh torn and she's yanked down. Her face meets the floor with a sickening crunch. She twists her hips and manages to hit an antelope breaking its left front knee. Rising up she barely manages to put up her arms as another of them pushes her with its horns. The creatures gleaming eyes are pools of malice.

I see a broken picture before me. I’m losing consciousness. What is this on my hands? Vision swims through muddied waters. Who’s dragging me? I can feel my legs and slowly rise. Is that a woman? What is this room? At a quick glance I see a few shelves, candles and a table with books and bottles. It smells stale. She fell down. She’s the picture. She’s hurt. I am too. Click clack and shattering sounds. Did I just break something? Table holds me steady. There are two holes in my hand. Venom coursing through. I bite, suck and spit. For a minute? Somebody is singing. I go to her. What is my name?

Her back takes the brunt of the blow when the abomination plunges her through a wall; something breaks in her spine. She concentrates and the shade of Nótt is obliterated in a shower of sparks, but the momentum carries her across the room through the bathroom door. She’s healing fast, but not fast enough. One, two, three running steps and one shadow-fang lunges at her and buries a knife deep into her scapula. “Die bitch!”

Who are you I ask from the crumbled form lying beside me. “Cicero?” she whispers back. My name is Keijo. I tell that to her. She smiles trough broken teeth and shakes her head. “It’s you... save me, the moon has fallen... and I've gifted my sword to the black knight” I do not understand, but feeling that something is moving on the edge of my vision I turn my head. Some of the poison is gone, but I’m still at a loss about most things. It emerges from the doorway. A thing that should not be neighing with insane delight. She grabs my arm feebly. “Mark Antony sends his regards.” How can an animal grin?

Taking hold of the assailant's hand she yanks the knife out and pushes it to the assailants throat. “You should have run fool!” she screams, one part pain; one part anger, and then breaks its hand against a stone sink counter. Both are ruined beyond recognition. Wind howls through the open roof and, now, all of the sorry motherfuckers are running away in every direction. She can feel the Night Mare closing in. One of the replica-gods runs towards. She throws the twisted thing at it. The impact is so hard that neither of them rises. She strides over them bleeding profusely.

She has brought light tonight and Nött will not forget. It is wounded.

Warmth spreads through me, clearing the some smudges of disarray from my mind, finally. Yes, it is me Cicero. The one that lived through a beheading, thank the deities. I kiss her and stand up to the creature that is stamping its hooves at the entryway. I tell it that it was a good plan, but it has failed to surprise me in my inner sanctum.

“Go away. I will come for you soon.”