"Liese is a giglet," Colt said.
"It's better than being a deorcynn!"
Thalia turned a harsh gaze on both of them. "I don't know what either a giglet or a dayorkewn is, but I'm guessing from the rest of what you had to say, that they're insults. Stop that. It's wasting time and not helpful in the least. Now, you two were going to tell me what's going on. I have an idea, but I still want all the facts, so we can avoid something like this happening again."
"That girl is the reincarnation of Annaliese, the woman responsible for the loss of my body. She also, despite the fact we were a proper pairing, slept with any man that would have her, under the pretense of 'rituals'."
Anna glared across the table again. "When you serve a fertility god, that kind of ritual becomes necessary to raise power, you idiot. And it's hardly my fault that you're short-sighted, impulsive, and didn't realize that insulting a god is a good way to get punished."
"You're saying that my little sister, Alien Anna herself, is the reincarnation of your ex?" Ruth asked, eyebrows disappearing behind her bangs.
"I'm not an alien, and yes, I suffered some kind of brain aneurism and paired off with that idiot during my first life. I've learned much better taste since then, I assure you."
"Wait, then is he a pedophile?" Will asked.
"No!" Colt shouted. "She was a grown woman when I last saw her. I don't touch children."
"How the hell are you a reincarnation?" Ruth asked her sister.
"Because I have a god I worship and he fixed it so I remember things. Technically, we're all reincarnations. Most people just don't remember. I do, that's the difference," Anna said, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Well that explains the accents you drop into and the weird words you're forever using, I suppose."
"You do know that Thalia's not a legal adult for another two months, right? So by definition, yes, you do touch children," Will said mockingly in Colt's direction.
"Our definitions on what makes a child are worlds apart, boy. In times past, she would be a woman proper, running her own household or preparing for marriage. Besides, she is mentally and physically mature, which is more than I can say about you."
Thalia fiddled with one earring, eyes on the far wall, not hearing the slowly rising voices around her.
"How can you not know how weird you sound when you act like you're from a different time period? You've been doing it for years, and if I believe you, you've been alive for like hundreds of years. How could you not learn better after all that time?"
Anna's gaze narrowed as she regarded her sister. "Because, I sometimes slip into my older memories and forget who I am this time around. Be glad it's only been words. I nearly caused an international incident when I slapped the French ambassador's son at a ball."
"Glad to know you've always been crazy."
"If you weren't invisible, you'd have been arrested a long time ago," Will snapped.
"I keep things within the bounds of propriety far more than you do, especially for someone she's related to."
Thalia's thoughts finally fell together, leaving her with an idea that had her jumping to her feet. The movement drew the attention of the other four, who saw the wide grin roll across her face. "Wait, if Anna is Annaliese, the woman who was there when you, Colt, lost your body, why doesn't she ask the god to give it back? It would solve all our problems. Colt wouldn't be a spirit any longer, so we wouldn't have to worry about him getting caught or found out about, and so the Builders would eventually leave."
For a second, no one made a sound. Then, almost as one, four sets of eyes turned to the youngest member. Anna winced and shrunk slightly underneath their combined gaze. "It's not that simple."
Ruth's chin rose. "How is it not simple? It sounds easy to me."
"Please Anna," Thalia said. "I know you and Colt don't get along, but think of it as a favour to me."
"You don't understand. A…a god gathers strength from their worshippers. The more worshippers, the more power. My god is…He is an old god, a pagan god by the Christian standard. His worship was outlawed many times over the years until things came to how they are today."
"You can worship whoever you like now, so I still don't see a problem," Ruth said.
Anna bit her lip and shook her head. "You can, but the damage has been done. My god's worshippers are all gone, except for me. I'm the last, and so he doesn't have the power to do something as major as return Coltrane's body. I'm sorry."
After a moment that was filled with tension so strong that it was almost visible, Thalia sighed. "Well, it was an idea. We're just back to where we were in the beginning. So, now that we are all aware of Colt and his condition, what does everyone think should we do about the Builders?"