“Sadistica,” Skulduggery said. He turned to Valkyrie. “Didn’t she die, what, five minutes ago?”
“Why is it that all the bad guys these days never stay dead? Is there a guard on the Other Side being lazy and not doing his job? I mean, I’m cool with being lazy, but not when I have to clean up the mess.”
Sadistica cleared her throat.
“Oh, yes, uh, you’re under arrest,” Skulduggery said. “Because you… What did you do again?”
“I killed her—“ Sadistica pointed at Valkyrie with a long, thin finger— “and she became this raging thing with all sorts of necromancy. Of course, by the time the Elders had arrived, you had flown off with an innocent little Stephanie and I got the blame.”
“Oh. Valkyrie, why don’t I remember this?” Skulduggery asked.
“Repressed memory?” Valkyrie suggested.
“Me kicking your butt, obviously.”
“Of course. But all that matters was that I was completely unfathomed and didn’t cry.”
“Actually, you screamed—a lot.”
“Oh, what do you know? You’re just a mass of dark magic.”
Valkyrie scoffed and crossed her arms.
“Anyway. Yes, Sadistica, I have to arrest you.”
“But I didn’t do anything wrong!” Sadisitica exclaimed.
“You killed me,” Stephanie said. “That’s illegal. It’s a crime. We’re the people who take the criminals into custody.”
“Girl, please. You asked for that whooping. Look, I just wanted to be friends, but nah, she had to go all high-and-mighty and insult my hair,” Sadisitica said, tears brimming in the corners of her eyes.
Skulduggery turned to Valkyrie. “Now Valkyrie, did you insult this young lady’s hair?” Valkyrie remained silent, eyes suddenly fascinated by her boots. “Valkyrie,” Skulduggery said, voice serious, ”Apologize. Right now.”
Valkyrie looked up at Sadisitica and smiled. “Your hair is ridiculous. How you can even walk around in public like that is beyond me.”
“Valkyrie, why—“ Skulduggery soared backwards in a rush of silver. He smacked into the wall, pinned up by tiny bits of metal sticking through his body.
Valkyrie instinctively struck out with her foot and caught Sadistica in her knee. Sadistica cried out, but only swayed. Her arms, coated in metal, forced her into a hunch. She somewhat reminded Valkyrie of a Hollow Man. Sadistica’s legs suddenly began to coat themselves in metal, clothes included. In the blink of an eye, she was a complete metal-man… except she was a woman.
Sadistica growled from deep within her throat and lunged, taking Valkyrie to the floor. They rolled until Valkyrie got a full blow to the face from one of Sadisitica’s fists. Valkyrie’s sight blurred to the extent of non-existence and all she could hear was a ringing. Sadistica was still laying punch after punch on her body.
Then the door burst open. Standing there, Cleavers at his elbows, was Ghastly.