Daphne petitioned the others, “Is something terrible happening, or is this just how people in Vegoz react to bad weather?”
Nick told her, “That darkness didn’t come from the clouds!”
All of the employees of the City Center streamed out of their various offices, and when they went into the courtyard, they gasped at what they saw in the air! It gave Daphne quite the spring of startlement to behold Whitney in the sky! She was in her fallen angel form, which was intimidating enough, but as she flew around the atmosphere, she was using spray paint to scribble a message! In bold, orange letters, she wrote out, “Surrender,” which prompted Lionel to raise his arms up in resignation, but Nick pushed them back down. When she finished, the communication read, “Surrender Dafney!”
While many were wincing and wailing, Daphne yelled, “Hey! That’s not how you spell my name!”
“That’s not important!” Whitney shouted from her lofty position.
“But it is!” Daphne refuted. “You’re trying to intimidate me, but it looks too silly to be scary to me!”
Whitney bellowed, “I’m not done yet! When you see the rest of the threat, you’ll become overwhelmed with fear!”
Daphne folded her arms as she expressed, “Not if your grammar continues to be atrocious!”
“Ooh! You’ll see!” Whitney seethed.
“Someone go get the Emerald Angel!” one of the salon attendants pleaded with the crowd. “The Ochre Angel is terrorizing us!”
Whitney cackled in delight to overhear the sounds of distress coming from the Emerald Angel’s staff as she wrote out, “Or else.” She addressed Daphne, “See! These folks know the consequences of daring to defy me! You’d do well to take their advice, and-!”
Prior to her having the ability to complete that sentence, an airplane flew by and smacked her! Everyone reacted in shock, and then Heathrow inquired, “Did she get hurt?”
“Heathrow, how many individuals do you know who can survive getting hit by a plane?” Daphne replied. Whitney popped back up, and Daphne had to retract her statement, “Well, I guess she can, so the answer is one.”
“Maybe only one half,” Nick kidded as everyone witnessed her flying around erratically with a glazed expression.
Whitney dizzily hollered, “Don’t think this changes anything! I’ll be back!” She was still traveling in staggered circles when the magic she evoked caused her to vanish.
The entire facility except for the five travelers were still panicking about her appearance. Daphne, Nick, and Heathrow gazed at Lionel in surprise, and he shrugged it off. “Normally, I’d be crying in the corner by now, but we’ve got the Emerald Angel here! Let her try and start something while we’re close to him!”
“If that’s true, then why are they going nuts?” Nick wondered.
“How are we supposed to go home to our families with her lurking around?” a personnel member fretted to her peers.
Something clicked for Daphne. “Oh! That’s the purpose of that stupid stunt! I mean, it didn’t seem like a very dangerous situation with some dumb, misspelled writing above our heads, but that makes a lot of sense! She doesn’t expect me to give up willingly, she’s trying to frighten us into giving up on our mission by making us anxious about going anywhere beyond this property!”
Lionel appeared daunted by the concept initially, but then he assured himself, “Eh! I’ll get my courage from the Emerald Angel, and then I won’t get bullied into backing down!”
“Yeah! And I’ll have the brains to outsmart her!” Heathrow chimed in. “And Nick will have a heart again, so he’ll-!”
“I keep telling you I’m not here for that!” Nick corrected him. “I’m here to collect evidence to build a case against her! With her behind bars, you won’t need your brains or courage! …Well, not for that anyways!”
A jumpy worker queried, “What’ll we do?”
From the other side of the courtyard, an elevator shaft opened up, and a man in a fine, malachite suit walked out. His slicked-back, black hair and flawless, porcelain skin gave him an aura of complete poise and prestige. Daphne posed to the other three, “Is that the Emerald Angel?”
“Attention, everyone!” the man vociferated. Everyone ceased their apprehension and gave him their utmost attention. “The Emerald Angel has seen your concerns, and he wants you to know that he’s got everything under control!”
“It sounds like that’s a no!” Daphne figured out the reply to her enquiry herself. “Unless he refers to himself as a third person…”
The man went on, “He says to go about your business and that everything will be fine!”
Most of the multitude breathed a sigh of relief, and some conveyed their gratitude to him with, “Thanks, Henry!”
“Henry? You wouldn’t happen to be Henry Toto, the Emerald Angel’s assistant, would you?” Nick questioned him as the collective dispersed.
“Are you all new here?” Henry catechized.
Heathrow chirped, “Very! We didn’t even get a chance to finish our beauty treatments!”
Comprehension dawned on Henry’s visage. “Ah, you’re the group that Charley mentioned. Listen, no one just sees the Emerald Angel. He’s very busy!”
“See, I knew it!” Lionel bemoaned. “We came all this way for nothing!”
“We did not!” Daphne disagreed. “The Emerald Angel has to talk to us!”
Henry raised an eyebrow to that concept. “Oh, really? The most powerful arc angel in the world has to chat with you all, huh?”
Nick countered him, “Yes! Our goals are mutual! His help to us will help himself too! We’re not here for some selfish, petty problems!”
“Well, they’re definitely not petty…” Lionel remarked.
“Interesting!” Henry eyeballed him with intrigue. “How exactly do you plan on helping the Emerald Angel?”
Daphne informed him, “We’re attempting to collect evidence to prove she’s guilty of murder and other heinous crimes. Obviously, the Ochre Angel is a menace to your organization, so incarcerating her would benefit him as well as us and the pocket of Vegoz that he protects!”
Henry gave this notion a bit of consideration. “Okay… but many individuals have strove to attain success in this endeavor, and how successful did their ambitions actually turn out?”
“Very?” Heathrow postulated.
“What makes you believe you’re different from the rest?” Henry probed.
Lionel gestured towards the area above them as he articulated, “Would we have a fallen angel doing this if we weren’t different?”
“Yeah!” Daphne confirmed. “But if you fill out paperwork about this, don’t go by her miswrite of my name!”
“Goodness gracious! This changes everything! I’ll go discuss this with the Emerald Angel immediately!” Henry dashed back into the elevator and exited their vicinity.
The quartet cheered at their perceived victory. Lionel rejoiced, “Yay! I’m gonna get my courage after all! I suppose my fears aren’t always accurate!”
Heathrow did a merry jig as he commented, “Hurrah! I can get my brain! Huh… I wonder what they’ll do with all the straw that’s in there! Hey, Nick! What’s the Emerald Angel gonna clean out of your chest when you get your heart?”
“Nothing! How many times do I have to tell you I’m here for my legal case, not my emotional space!” Nick somewhat vexedly reminded Heathrow. “Then I can go back to my precinct with pride after getting my car stolen and getting stuck in a sewer! And Daphne can go back home with a sound peace of mind!”
“Sorta! I don’t know if I’ll have much of a home to return to since that cyclone dragged it here! Ugh! What am I gonna do? Aunt Mae was my last resort after I lost my parents!” Daphne sat on a set of steps and gazed downwards in despair.
Nick sat beside her and put a sympathetic hand on her shoulder as Tater nestled up against her legs. “So, that’s why you have an emotional support cat! I’m sorry! I had no clue that your parents died!”
Daphne redressed him, “Oh, they’re not dead! They joined a cult and they’re ‘gone,’ you know…”
“Oh! I see…” Nick glanced around as though he was searching for the proper vocabulary to utter to her.
“No, you don’t! But that’s alright! It’s a weird set of circumstances, and I wouldn’t expect you to!” Daphne reached back and patted his grip. After lingering for a second, the two of them bore awkward fronts, and then Daphne abruptly stood up and affirmed, “Hey! Let’s not let my tragic backstory put a damper on this occasion! We’re about to meet the Emerald Angel, and our wishes are about to come true!”
Tater scurried to remove himself out of the path of his four human companions who all embraced each other as they anticipated this momentous juncture. They noticed that the elevator was returning, so they eagerly anticipated Henry’s reappearance. Daphne didn’t like how stoically he presented himself- it caused her to suspect the worst possible outcome to manifest itself! They held their breaths as he approached their proximity, and then…
Henry curtly announced, “The Emerald Angel says to go away!” He swiftly turned back towards the elevator before they got a window to react to this development.
They stood there in disbelief for a stretch. No one could quite process this setback until Heathrow observed, “Go away? He can’t even say three words to us?”
“Gosh, I was so happy too!” Daphne sank back to the stoop and began bawling.
“Don’t cry, Daphne!” Nick resumed his perch beside her and offered his empathy. “It’ll be alright!”
Daphne argued, “No, it won’t! For the first time in a long time, I felt like I was doing something right! But I was wrong! Trying to solve this murder was a fool’s errand! If no one else cares about a killer roaming the streets of Vegoz, then why did I bother to make an attempt to rein them in? I should’ve just stayed by my Aunt Mae’s house and guarded it! It’s probably gone now, and it’s all my fault! Poor Aunt Mae! She was so good to me! She took me in when I needed it the most, and I couldn’t even do her the favor of protecting her property! And unfortunately, I don’t even know if I can ever tell her I’m sorry! How am I supposed to get home now?”
Once a considerable measure had elapsed, Lionel caught sight of Nick and grilled him, “Dude, you’re crying too? What happened to not having any emotions?”
“I don’t! It’s my frickin’ allergies!” Nick sprang up and swiveled around so that none of them could read his mood. “What was in Whitney’s paint thingy anyways?”
“You are too shedding tears!” Heathrow contended after they heard a very audible sniffle.
Nick very honestly relayed to them, “That wasn’t me!”
He gazed past some nearby shrubs, and the other three curiously peeked too. To their astonishment, they found Henry weeping extensively from his hiding spot! His despondent frenzy was intense enough that he didn’t bother trying to evade their scrutiny whatsoever! He simply stated, “Please quit your hopelessness! It’s unbearable! I had an Aunt Mae myself! I’ll take you to see the Emerald Angel!”
“You will?” Daphne lit up with hope, but she remained cautiously optimistic in case she misunderstood his intentions.
“I promise!” Henry swore. “As long as you don’t voice anymore heartbreak! I can’t take it!”
Lionel warned him, “Deal! But if you’re lying to us, I’ll share my tragic backstory! Heathrow too! He’s homeless, so there’s bound to be a lot of material there!”
Henry shot up and ardently acquiesced, “No, don’t! I’ll do it, I’ll do it! Don’t reveal any of that, please! I’ll do it!”
As they awaited the elevator, Daphne wiped her eyes and nudged Nick, “Did you notice how emotions saved the day here? Not so useless, are they?”
“I’m admitting to nothing!” Nick acted in defiance.
“He doesn’t like emotions?” Henry pondered.
Heathrow griped, “He claims he doesn’t have a heart! What a ridiculous idea! Even I know that’s not possible, and I don’t have a brain! There’s only straw up there!” Henry looked skeptical about his premise, and Heathrow misinterpreted this move, “Don’t worry! The Emerald Angel will fix me up!”
Henry responded, “Perhaps! If you can convince him to cooperate, but… well… I’ll escort you to his office, but I can’t guarantee anything more than a hello!” With that grim assessment broadcasted, they stepped inside of the lift as the elevator doors opened.