Some days, the only thing that kept Aglaya together were the memories, though some days the one memory that haunted her the most was the one that threatened to rip her apart.
The battle of St. Petersburg was terrible, and while Project Solomon fared better in combat with the Devouring Earth then others from previous engagements, the number of the Devoured were far larger then they had been at Moscow. For every creature taken down by the fledgling heroes, three more stood in its place.
Aglaya and Xenia were stationed on the bank of the Neva river to the south east of the city with a company of soldiers. Their job was to keep the Devoured from using the river as a route into the city. It had been easy at first, not many were coming their way, and the ones that did didn’t last long to the duo’s icy touch. The water made it even easier, with plenty of moisture in the air to freeze around the monsters. As the day progressed however, the two began to tire, and as they tired, more monsters pushed in around them, and the more monsters that came, the quicker the soldiers died, and the slower the sisters were able to disable the abominations. The situation came to a critical point when a Greater Devoured flung Aglaya into the river and the water began to freeze around her legs, rendering her immobile. The monster screamed in victory and charged at her in a berserk rage, braking through the ice she desperately was trying to form between its thick legs faster then she could freeze it.
“Aglaya!” Xenia screamed and launched herself toward the towering beast. It whirled and caught her in its tentacled maw and began writhing as she projected her coldness under its skin. It shrieked and released her but it was too late, it was already starting to freeze from the inside out. It dropped her from its maw and she hit the ground running only to find Aglaya surrounded. She screamed and razor sharp ice shards formed from the wet air and fell from the sky, slicing at the creatures and repelling them for the moment.
Aglaya struggled in the water, desperately trying to move her legs to no avail, while simultaneously immobilizing the creatures that were swarming her, trying to keep them from melee range.
Xenia stood on the bank, gasping as she shielded her sister. More waves of freezing cold emanated from her as she formed and tossed shards of razor sharp ice. Suddenly she staggered, collapsing to one knee as the fine tracery of veins under her pale skin started to flush a vicious, sullen green. Aglaya watched in growing horror as her sister turned to her. She could see greenish ice where the Devoured’s tentacles had ripped into her sister’s flesh, injecting her with mutagenic poisons.
Xenia’s face contorted in horror and pain, as her lips moved one last time. “I’m sorry, Snezhok, I think this is the end.” She whispered as she closed her eyes then concentrated. A sudden ripple ran from her body as she collapsed, a sphere of intense cold radiating in all directions, freezing the Devoured, the soldiers, and the very water of the Neva river. Birds fell from the sky, frozen in midflight, and a gentle snow fell, covering the lifeless bodies of the Devoured, the soldiers…and Xenia.
Aglaya was alone, the only survivor of the battle on her front. Even the sight of Consul Cole flying at the head of his Super Corps could not penetrate the frozen emptiness in her heart.