Kali’s grin was vicious. “Sorry boys, but you’re a good nineteen years too late for that.”

She leapt forward, between the two of them, and her wings erupted from her back, somersaulting her over the podium where she could snatch up the artefact. Landing on the edge of the podium, she stood there for a frozen moment, letting the faces of shock, and even horror, at the sight of her black wings sink into her memory.

Before they could collect themselves, she crouched, and thrust herself upwards, an energy blast shattering the stone of the roof, showering the people below with rubble. Shaking the dust off herself, she swung low, skimming along the tops of the nearby buildings to hide herself within.

Angels. She spat the word out in her head. Turning back over her shoulder she could see the forerunners, their bright white wings stark against the darkness of the night. Demon’s wouldn’t be able to follow her, not without wings of their own. And Angel’s? Oh look, predictably going for height.

Kali speed up, the shadows playing around her as she sped along a straight road, out of the city. Passing over the last building, she flicked her tip up, and rolled upwards on a draft. They might have seen her at that point, but she was just as fast as them, and was quickly lost amongst the night clouds.

An hour later she dropped out, positive that no one else was around. How foolish Angel were to try to track her down like another puny Demon. She was the best and worst parts of both of them, they didn’t have a hope of catching her.

The forest was alive with night sounds as she breezed over it, the ruins almost undistinguishable from the trees due to the vines and plants which had taken over so thoroughly.

Settled down on a window ledge, she leaned out into the faint moonlight, and finally opened her hand to see that most precious treasure.

The lump of rock look like nothing special, just a piece of rough stone worn smooth by many hands over the centuries.

But to Kali? It was the best birthday present she had ever received.

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