Chapter 1

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"There, that's better, huh? You can get up now. C'mon. C'mon little unicorn." Uriel bid the unicorn to rise but the animal did not move. "Is something wrong? Are your legs stiff? Do they hurt?" he questioned. Uriel laid down his staff, bent over the unicorn and rubbed its legs but to no avail. It suddenly occurred to him that he had not seen the animal move whatsoever. Uriel quickly checked the unicorn. It was still soft and warm but Uriel could not find a pulse.

It assailed him as powerfully as the gales that blew around him. His death. The HIERARCHY. The Dark Ones. The weather. And finally the unicorn. He lost all command of his emotions.

"No!" he screamed in a harsh voice. "No, damn it, no! Not you too. Don't leave me. Don't leave me alone. Not again, not again. Come back, come back, come back," he pleaded with the unicorn. He hugged the animal's head fiercely and rocked back and forth. "You can live again," he whispered. "You… can… live… again," he mumbled once more, recalling those same words he spoke at the Portal, recalling a leaf growing from a dead limb.

Deep within Uriel, his inner-Self took control and forced a calm. He picked up the Staff of Peter and drew a circle in the snow with it, encompassing both himself and the unicorn. He then drew some esoteric symbols in the snow, knelt next to the unicorn, and touched the animal with the staff. Uriel heard himself speak irrevocable Words. Though his energy level was low, he felt it begin to build, felt the extreme pressure that was being exacted on his body and the pain that came as a result of it. He knew that to expend all his energy would probably kill him. It didn't matter anymore. He turned his full concentration on willing the unicorn back to life and directed all his energy to that end. He felt excruciating pain and white heat blaze from him. Uriel then fell into a deep, black nothingness.


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