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Stygian Sunrise

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(Some Days Prior to Tainted Love)

Luna Hawk landed at the hospital as the sun began to rise. She had dreaded this moment, dreaded it all since she'd heard from a third party that her mother was dying. She tried to focus her breathing and calm herself but her right hand twitched in spite of her attempts.

She made her way into the building and was allowed access to her mother's room where her mother, once a proud and strong woman, was now little more than a living stick, a shattered vision of what she had once been. The woman she called mother had darker skin than her father, an Egyptian from a family of immigrants, she had always been a wonderful and strong hearted person. Luna Hawk felt her strength melt away when her mother struggled to turn her emaciated head.

"No, please." Kendra said and rushed to the bed side, folding her wings she took her mother's hand in both of her own. "Don't stress yourself, you need your strength to fight it."

"Kendra..." She spoke, her voice a weak rasping sound. "Let me see your face."

"No I..." Kendra tried, her own voice breaking.

"Please." Her mother insisted.

She took a breath and slowly removed the helmet.

"There's my beautiful girl." The dying woman said with a little smile on her thin lips. Kendra averted her gaze, tracing fingers over the tubing and machinery that kept her mother alive and in as little pain as possible. She tried to prevent tears but her famous Hawk Lord stubbornness and strong will was of no avail against the ravages of time. Instead she removed her hand from the instruments and felt it ball into a fist at her side.

"Why are you angry Kendra? This is life...everything ends eventually." Her mother said gently

"It's not fair." Kendra whispered in reply. "It's not fair at all."

"Life, my sweet, isn't always about's about taking the good with the bad and carrying love in your heart."

Kendra turned her golden eyes to her mother's ravaged face. There was no grief there, nor anger...not even despair...only acceptance. Her mother had never so much as said a bad thing about anyone and even ravaged by disease she couldn't manage to lift a moment of anger at her own condition.

"What use am I if I can't protect the people I love?" Kendra asked.

"Use? You listen too much to that god of yours." Her mother said with a little smile. "You're a person."

"I'm a warrior servant of..." Her mother managed to raise her hand and put a finger on her daughter's lips to silence her.

"You are my daughter." Her mother said with as much strength as she could wasn't much.

"I can't save you." Kendra said, the tears flowed freely at this point, she did nothing to stop them.

"God has chosen to take me home." Her mother said gently. "There is nothing you, I or your stubborn father can do about it. Just because I will not be here...does not mean I will not be here." She moved her hand down to touch the place over her daughter's divine heart. "Sometimes you forget who you are, you wrap yourself in your other identity, but you are still Kendra Munoz Sanders. Never forget who you are. You need to speak with your father."

Kendra looked away. "We don't agree on much anymore."

"My last wish is for my daughter to make amends with my husband. Do that for me...please."

Kendra shifted her gaze back to her mother. "He's so stubborn and.."

Her mother smiled lovingly and interjected. "And willful and filled with pride? I think if you two were any more a like he would sprout wings." Her mother shifted a little and reached shaky fingers to the leading edge of her daughter's nearest wing. "You have always been my angel." Her eyes closed, she didn't have the strength to keep awake any longer and drifted off into a state of deep sleep, almost like a coma. Her hand fell to her side and Kendra carefully replaced it on her mother's lap.

She stood, wiped the tears from her face on the back of her glove and slid her helmet back into place. She took a few moments to regain her composure and stood for a time in silent vigil.