As Wynn sat in the closet, he thought about the world he’d left behind and that which he’d traded it for. Wynn had been a part of Dee’s House for nearly a year now, yet the promises that Dee had made hadn’t materialized. Most notably, Wynn did not feel as if he belonged to his new social circle.
The thought that perhaps it was not just here, that there was no place where he’d belong tempted Wynn to despair. However, he was not the type of person to despair, even in these hours of sadness. His life had never been dominated by unendurable pain so much as it had been by loneliness, and he could take the loneliness. In fact, it was really only when he tried to bring someone into that loneliness, to try to introduce someone into the stillness and contentment of his world of one, that he felt the pain the sting of rejection. True, he’d had one friend, but only one—one success, weighed against a long string of failures and disappointments. All those people who, though restrained enough by their goodness and sympathy to avoid cruelty, were nonetheless harsh in the judgment they implicitly voiced in rejecting mutual intimacy with him, they saw what part of him they saw, and judged it not worth the effort to delve deeper. This meant, though, that if he never tried to bring another friend or romantic partner into his life, it would be mostly free of that emotional suffering. So, he concluded, if the world of society rejected him, he would reject it. He didn’t need their acceptance, their rules, or their approval.
With this thought in his head, Wynn stood up and looked towards the metal drum in which the seraph was stowed. The container still vibrated from the seraph’s frantic movements. Wynn believed earnestly that he could control it. He knew he could. He had seen Thorn do it. He could do that. It was simply a matter of confidence and daring.
He practiced the words in his mind. This time he was not overheard by the other members of the house—in this room he had genuine privacy. He imagined in his mind several times how it would play out, envisioned every step of the process.
When he was ready, he walked over to the drum. He opened the first gate, admitting the seraph into the tube. He would have to react immediately; the seraph would bolt out of the exit in a streak. Then he opened the second gate, admitting the seraph into the room.
Just as before, the seraph zipped out of the exit so fast it could barely be seen. The secret was not to track it with his eyes, but to feel where it was, and Wynn felt the movement of the seraph and commanded it to twist around him. He used a flurry of commands, just as Thorn had, to confuse the seraph and keep it under his control, and it worked.
At the beginning, when the seraph first exited he was in a panicked rush to gain control—his heart was beating fast and his body was tensed for instantaneous reflexes—but now that he had control, he was able to relax somewhat, to settle into the pattern that he had established. The seraph blazed around him, shaping a circle of light in its rapid orbit.
Wynn was ready to send it back into the container from which it had come. He had had held onto the door with one hand while he concentrated on the seraph. But something disrupted his concentration, and he lost control. It was the sound of the door to the room creaking as it was pushed open from the outside. His focus turned as his eyes turned to the person standing in the doorway. He lost hold of the seraph, and it shot towards this person like a bullet.
When he turned, he saw that it was Lola standing in the door, apparently having come looking for him. The seraph saw her too and viciously thrust itself against her nous before it passed out through this exit and completely beyond his ability to retrieve it.
Wynn watched with his eyes as consciousness left her, her legs buckled beneath her and she collapsed to the floor, her open eyes staring blankly upwards.