“No,” Lugh exhaled. Utter shock drained the strength right out of him. His spear clattered to the floor with hardly a notice that he’d dropped it. If not for the quake that pitched the building and lurched him forward, he might not ever have broken the paralysis of shock. “Danu…”
Lugh scrambled forward as the very world gave a shudder. The Mounds were crumbling. Dying.
As the All-Mother was dying.
Lugh gathered the tall, thin frame of the Sidhe All-Mother into his arms, rolling her body as he lifted. The handle of a silver dagger gleamed, driven to the decorative hilt in the very heart of Danu. Twice again as ancient as Lugh, Danu’s delicate beauty remained unchanged from the innocence of grace she possessed at seventeen. Not even the pallor of bloodlessness could rob her of her Sidhe perfection.
The Creatix of the Mounds… The All-Mother of the Tuatha de Dannan… The people of Danu… The Sidhe… The single unbreakable tie binding together all magic in this fey realm…
Stabbed in the heart.
“No!” Lugh rose to his feet even as the light and illusions beyond the balcony flickered and crashed down from the sky. Her hair and the drape of her long skirt spilled from Lugh’s arms and reached the floor. Embracing her limp body tight to him, Lugh rushed to the back of the throne room, to the great crystal globe balanced on a pedestal and throbbing with centuries of magicraft. Lugh kicked the globe, driving it from the pedestal. It crashed down onto the floor and shattered into flakes of enchantment like a pile of snow. The barrier against Glamour and teleportation disintegrated.
Jhaer’s strength finally faltered. The precious minutes the Unseelie bought Lugh were spent. A great crack and rumble shook the building as the ceiling of the Mounds gave way to the tons of rocks and earth above. It hit the rotunda, which stalled its descent only a fraction of a second. The Mounds came down with crushing force just as Lugh teleported Danu away.
Part 5/7 of "End of the World" coming on 11/15/11!