Episode 10 – Blood/Honor: Part 1

Fourteen Years Ago.

Year P-118.

I was a teenager when I first met Stane Lockheart, then Commanding Officer of the Royal Guard. Raised as royalty, I spent the first five years of my life learning to read, to perform calculations, and basic propriety. The next five years were spent learning the basics of the Nine Elements, how to channel each of them within myself (as a Cynd), the nature of my parentage, and the history of Trine…including the real story behind what happened to my grandfather.

After I turned 11, I took it upon myself to start learning more about the Ancient Families, to familiarize myself with the workings of the Royal Guard, and to start training my abilities. At 14, I managed to convince my father to arrange a meeting between myself and Stane Lockheart. My father seemed…apprehensive of this, but allowed it once I made clear how important I thought this was.

The day of my meeting with Stane Lockheart, we met on the private beach bordering the Cynd Palace. I sat in the sand, my chin resting between my knees and my arms wrapped around my shins, as I sensed him approach me from behind. I watched the shifting, shimmering waters of the Grand Diamond Lake as Stane paused behind me.

“Your Highness?” he asked.

“Welcome, Mister Lockheart.” I said, gesturing with my left arm, “Please make yourself comfortable.”

With an air of uncertainty, Stane Lockheart lowered himself to the sand to my left, sitting in a cross-legged position and sighing once he had. Like his Ancestor and countless Lockhearts before and since, Stane wore a black jacket emblazoned with his family crest. Where his differentiated was with the addition of the Royal Guard crest (a downward-pointing sword with a crown on its handle), and a black undershirt. That, combined with his jet-black hair and the sword Murzim strapped to his back, meant he looked something like what I imagined a much older Michael Lockheart would look like.

Except, of course, I hadn’t met Michael Lockheart yet. I wouldn’t for another fourteen years.

“What is it you wanted to speak to me about, your highness?” Stane asked.

“I wanted to meet with the current head of the Lockheart Family.” I answered, “To get to know you for myself. I’ll be meeting with all of the heads of the Ancient Families, but I started with you. Of the Nine Elements, I feel closest to Darkness. I imagine you relate.”

Stane chuckled lightly. “You’d be correct in imagining that, your Highness. I’m honored to meet you, as…unconventional as this setting may be.”

I bit my lower lip. “I selected this location because I find it relaxing, Mister Lockheart. I was hoping you would find it relaxing as well, so you may find it easier to speak your mind. I find that people speak more freely with me when they aren’t kneeling.” I turned to look at him, “Does that make any sense?”

Stane considered me, then nodded. He relaxed his shoulders and eased himself even more into his sitting position, closing those striking eyes of pearl and exhaling. “I understand what you mean, your highness.” he responded, after a few moments of silence, “It must be tiring to have everyone treat you like glass.”

“It is.” I confirmed, “People are scared to speak out of turn toward me. I feel them stiffen with fear when I make them angry. I watch their eyes wander when I ask them difficult questions. I wish more people would speak to me openly and freely. I’ve no intent to punish them for their honesty.”

“It is respect.” Stane explained, “The people of Trine feel indebted to the Cynd Royal Family. For your guidance, for your role in teaching us the Elements, for leading humanity’s expansion from the Valley to the Mainland, for your great-grandfather helping create humanity itself. Every human who lives and breathes on this planet owes something to the Cynds.”

“I didn’t do any of those things,” I replied, staring at the point where the water met the sand, “For all intents and purposes, I am a child. I recognize my power and my influence, but I am not the father of humanity, nor the creator of the Royal Guard, nor the current King of Trine. I have yet to contribute in this way.”

“I’m sure you will one day, your highness.” Stane replied, “And the Lockheart Family will be by your side when you do. Our dedication to the throne spans back decades, over a century.”

“Vincent Lockheart’s loyalty was to my grandfather.” I said, making eye contact with Stane as he opened his eyes, “And you know what befell them, don’t you?”

Stane nodded. “I am aware of their efforts to battle the Great Beasts, and their subsequent sealing.” Then he paused, and looked somewhat troubled as he asked, “Are you asking where my loyalties lie?”

“Yes.” I responded, simply. “Vincent Lockheart is not dead. Neither is my grandfather. Should they ever escape their imprisonment, where will the Lockheart’s loyalty lie? With my father, or his father? With your Ancestor?”

Stane didn’t hesitate. “I have spent my life in service to your father, and to the people of Trine. Nothing will ever change that.”

“So you would be willing to engage your Ancestor in battle, to protect my father? To protect me?”

“Absolutely.” Stane replied, “He who raises his blade against the Royal Family is an enemy of Trine. We Lockhearts all carry pieces of Vincent, of each other, in ourselves. I would consider it my duty to strike down any traitor, especially one of my own bloodline.”

“You are a strange man, Mister Lockheart.”

“Perhaps,” Stane replied, “But I made a vow a long time ago to dedicate myself to the people of Trine. To turn against them, to choose my blood over my honor, would violate that vow.”


R-132

Season One: Recursion

Episode Ten: Blood/Honor: Part 1


Today

Once I headed out to the floating islands, it didn’t take me long to find what I was looking for.

There is an ancient temple on Lamass, the only entrance to which was sealed off when the floating islands were initially colonized. This entrance was just north of the city, and appeared as a small, unassuming stone turret protruding from the ground, in the middle of a clearing hidden in the woods. Until recently, the doorway on this turret was covered by a large stone.

But now that I had found the entrance to this forgotten temple, I found that the entrance was unobstructed and emanating a very strong, distinct signature of Dark energy. The Royal Guard escort with me insisted on going with me or going first, but I knew they weren’t strong enough to survive in battle with whoever or whatever was inside.

“Leave this to me.” I ordered, “And begin evacuating the islands. This battle will almost assuredly endanger these citizens.”

“Will you be fighting one of the Lockhearts down there?” One of my Guard asked.

“Most likely, yes.” I replied, “But the Darkness coming through is so dense that I’m having trouble seeing through it. I’m not quite sure what I’ll find down there, which is why I can’t let you all come with me. You are very mortal. I am not.”

Convinced, my Royal Guard escort began to disperse, leaving me alone in the clearing as I walked toward the entrance of the temple. I closed my eyes and stepped into the darkness, beginning to descend down a long stairway that I knew would finally lead me to the end of my search. The Darkness surrounding me, while not my own, was still comforting and familiar enough for me to relax and rejuvenate prior to whatever battle I’d soon be fighting.

As I came closer to the end of the tunnel, I could sense Michelle Lockheart at last. I opened my eyes in the Darkness and sighed, conjuring my scythe into my hand and releasing a pulse of Light energy from my body that temporarily cut through the Darkness before it closed in once again. That, I rationalized, would let Michelle know I was coming.

That would give her time to accept her fate.


Fourteen Years Ago.

My conversation with Stane continued into the early evening.

“I’ve heard some rumors about you, Mister Lockheart.” I said, “People seem frightened of you. Why is this?”

We were both laying in the sand, watching the twin moons of Solum and Serenus above us.

“I am willing to do anything to protect the throne.” Stane responded, “Anything. Some consider my methods of interrogation extreme. They would choose to be merciful.”

“If they’re merciful, what does that make you?”

Necessary.” Stane replied, coolly, “Sometimes the only way to prevent pain is to inflict it on others. Sometimes, to protect people from death, you must become death yourself. I have done countless things in service to the people of Trine that they would consider monstrous, but I do so to protect them from the greater monsters in the world.”

“Like who?” I asked.

“Nine years ago, there was a terrorist cell known as The Seven.” Stane responded, “The Seven were Seven Sages of immense power, who struck in…well, sevens. Their manifesto, released before their first attack, went something like this:

In seven minutes, we will take our first victim

In seven hours, we will take our first colony

In seven days, we will take the Royal Guard

In seven nights, we will take your King.”

“I haven’t heard of this.” I confessed, “What happened?”

“Within a single day, they took over Colony 51 and murdered every member of the Royal Guard we had stationed there.” Stane responded solemnly, “By the second day, they’d expanded their territory to two surrounding colonies and done the same. It wasn’t just the Sages- they had followers, too, an army that had built under our radar for years. And they were everywhere. Members of the Royal Guard were being hunted, public figures and local government heads held hostage and executed. By the end of the third day, their kill-count was in the thousands and they were already among the worst terrorists we had ever seen.”

“How long did this go on?” I asked.

“Five days. Had we not stopped them then, they may well have succeeded in their goals.” Stane replied.

“How did you stop them?”

“The critical weakness of The Seven was their lack of information compartmentalization. While organized, even their surface-level insurgents knew much more than was necessary to carry out their duties. We interrogated those we captured to the best of our ability at the time, but we weren’t able to capture many. Their dedication to their cause was fanatical, and they killed themselves when the walls closed in. Those we did interrogate gave some information that helped us prevent further bloodshed, but one of the stronger ones refused to speak.” Stane’s face darkened, “He was the one I was responsible for interrogating.”

“What was he like?”

“A comedian.” Stane snarled, “He laughed. He just laughed whenever he saw me. Couldn’t seem to help himself. I didn’t understand why until the fourth day, when I learned that The Seven had captured my wife.”

Oh.

Oh no.

Young as I was, I knew where this was going.

“Me and my best men tracked their last known location to find her.” Stane whispered, “By the time we did, they were gone. But she wasn’t. The love of my life was in chains, covered in blood. They’d cut out her tongue. They’d taken the finger with the ring I’d given her the day we got married. They had mutilated and murdered the best parts of me.”

“I’m so sorry, Mister Lockhea-”

“So I went back,” Stane growled, interrupting me. “I returned to headquarters. The comedian wasn’t laughing when he saw me. He knew what had happened. He just smiled instead. I took the combat knife that my wife made for me when I became the commanding officer of the Royal Guard, and I started on that smile of his. I cut it ear-to-ear. He didn’t find that funny.”

I could feel the anger and pain boiling in Stane. I’d never seen or heard anything like this before, and I didn’t know how to process it.

“I took his fingers next.” Stane snarled, “He started talking after the first. I took seven, leaving his thumbs and his right pointer finger. I cauterized his wounds to stop him from bleeding out. I stitched his mouth back together. I had a healer on standby to revive him when he went into shock or lost consciousness.”

I could visualize it all. I didn’t want to.

“I made a deal with him.” Stane said, “He would tell me everything he knew, and in return, I would kill him quickly. We had a behavioral analyst watch him, make sure he was telling the truth to the best of his ability. And he did. He gave us actionable intel on their plans, where they’d strike next, who they’d be coming after. It was the turning point. It took another day, but acting swiftly, we killed all but one of their leaders and captured or killed the rest.”

There was something he wasn’t telling me.

“You didn’t honor your end of the agreement, did you?” I realized.

“I did kill him.” Stane responded, “But not quickly, no. You see, my reluctance to do what was necessary when I had the chance cost my wife her life. Hannah was my world, and they took her from me. And they took their time doing it, to send me a message, to let me know I was next.”

Stane raised his left hand and showed it to me. There were two identical rings. One on his ring finger- his wedding ring- and another, smaller one, on his pinky finger.

“Her hands were so small.” Stane reminisced, “I couldn’t fit her ring on any of my other fingers. The Sage who had tortured and killed her had kept her ring as a trophy. When I took it back from his corpse, I cleaned it and I wore it for the last session of the comedian’s interrogation. I let him see it, too. Admire its beauty.”

“What did you do to him?”

Stane turned to look at me. “He killed the love of my life. I did what I had to do. I don’t think you want to know what that is.”

“I don’t,” I admitted. “But I understand why. I’m still not sure I approve, but…it’s not my place to question you. Thank you for telling me all of this.”

Stane nodded. “I apologize if any of that scared you.” he replied, “But this world is full of horrors, and you wanted to know. It’s what we’re protecting the citizens of Trine from. People like them.”

I nodded.

“I have a question for you, your Highness.” Stane said.

“Ask away, Mister Lockheart.”

“There will be a time when you have to choose between doing what’s merciful and doing what’s necessary. Between your own morals and the safety of the people of Trine. What will you do when that time comes?”

“I’ll do what I have to.” I replied, “No more, no less.”


As I finished my trek through the temple, I entered what looked like an arena. A circular floor of cobblestone, held up by pillars, did not touch the walls. Aside from the entryway I’d come through, there didn’t seem to be any way out of this room…until I realized that beneath the cobblestone arena was a thin layer of Darkness, and underneath that was an uninterrupted drop into the clouds.

Floating island. Right.

To my left was a giant gemstone, embedded into the foundations of the island and the temple, pulsating with the energy of all Nine Elements. The seal. Or, at least, its power source. Where the Nine Great Beasts combined their energies to seal away my grandfather and the original Royal Guard.

This is the Site of Sealing.

“Hello, your highness.” Said an unfamiliar voice.

Michelle Lockheart stood on the opposite side of the arena, her arms crossed over her chest as she leaned casually against one of the pillars preventing the arena from plummeting into the sky below. She wore a black leather jacket, contrasted by the pale color of her skin and the bright purple of the T-shirt she was wearing below. Those pearl-colored Lockheart eyes stared me down with cool detachment between long strands of brown hair.

Strapped to her black jeans, on her outer thighs, were two rather large daggers in their sheaths. These daggers were called Tsukimono, crafted by Vincent Lockheart himself, and when she pulled them out they were likely to share the pure white color of all the other weapons crafted by her Ancestor. Vincent Lockheart crafted his weapons with moonshard, a material taken from fragments of our two moons, considered nigh unbreakable once reinforced and easy to sharpen and maintain.

I held my scythe at my side as I began to walk across the arena. “Miss Lockheart,” I said, raising my free hand, “I don’t want to hurt you. I’m not sure if you know what you’re doing, but it needs to end now. This is the only chance I can afford to give you. Please stand down and come with me.”

Michelle closed her eyes and chuckled. “You think I don’t know what I’m doing? That’s cute. You’re cute.” She pushed away from the pillar and, in a rapid motion, unsheathed and brandished Tsukimono, holding the daggers outward as she approached me. “I think you’d look even cuter strewn about this place. You are the missing piece to breaking this seal, after all.”

What?

“What do you mean by that!?” I demanded, holding my scythe at her, “How am I the missing piece?”

“It’s your blood.” Michelle remarked, “In the blood of a Cynd courses the power of all Nine Elements.” She continued, “To break a seal of this magnitude, I would need either eight willing partners, all with differing Affinities…” Michelle paused, and gestured one of her knives in my direction, “Or the blood of a Cynd to transform the energies to pure residual energy, which can then be destroyed or absorbed.”

I grit my teeth together as we both stopped just outside of my scythe’s range.

“Unfortunately,” Michelle said, flashing a rather murderous grin in the process, “I’m gonna need quite a lot of that blood for this to work.”

Just for a moment, something seemed off. I mean, yes, I was just threatened in no uncertain terms with a violent, gruesome death, but in a more subtle manner, there was something about this entire situation that was making me feel uneasy. It wasn’t the threat of death or the ensuing battle. There was something I was missing. Something that wasn’t adding up.

Something about Michelle that just…didn’t seem right. I’d never met her before, but this didn’t seem anything like the sweet older sister to the Lockheart siblings I’d already met, nor the granddaughter that Stane doted on before his passing thirteen years ago. No amount of grief could explain this kind of change, especially not so many years after the deaths of her mother and grandfather.

I didn’t have the time to ponder this. Michelle rapidly side-stepped to my left and threw one of her daggers at me, eyes glinting sinisterly as I used a surge of Light energy to dodge the dagger. It caught me by surprise, then, when she vanished and reappeared behind me, slashing at my back from an angle and grazing my right arm before I twisted around to swing my scythe at her.

She leaped just out of range of my scythe, grin as wide as ever, swapping her knives to a reverse grip and beginning to short-hop back and forth, fists raised to chest-level. It almost resembled a fist-fighting stance.

“Dark Step?” I asked, “I thought only Richter knew that technique.”

Michelle rolled her eyes. “My brother is the one who knows Dark Step, yes. But that’s not what I just did.”

Dark Step is a technique created by Richter Lockheart that allows him to instantly teleport into a shadow, most frequently the shadow of an enemy. Depending on the direction the shadow is facing, Richter can get a surprise attack from behind before the victim even has a chance to respond, but those who are aware of the technique and know who they’re dealing with can take countermeasures.

From what I could tell, Michelle had just teleported behind me. So if that wasn’t Dark Step…

What did she just do?

It couldn’t be raw speed. Darkness users can’t be that fast- they make up for their limited mobility with teleportation and illusions.

Was it an illusion?

I focused on Michelle. There was still something…not right about the entire situation, but none of the telltale giveaways of an illusion were present. I was seeing things as they were.

So, teleportation?

I glanced at my feet. The only source of light in the room was the gem powering the seal, and that was casting a long shadow to my left- what would’ve been my right when she teleported behind me.

So not Dark Step, either…

Then what?

Michelle sighed. “If you’re just going to stand there…” she flicked her wrists outward and solidified blades of Dark energy burst from her daggers, expanding their range to roughly that of a short sword, each, “Then I’ll take the initiative.”

She stepped into my range and I grasped my scythe like a staff, blocking a slash from one of her daggers and attempting to counter by swiveling my scythe, blade-first, for her midsection. She crossed her arms in front of herself and went completely still as my scythe…passed through her?

That’s not an illusion, eith-

Michelle smirked. I was wide open and she lunged forward, stabbing both of her daggers into my chest, leaning forward as she did. I gasped at the sharp pain and she chuckled, twisting Tsukimono and causing me to drop my scythe from the pain. “Looks like I win, Cynd.” she taunted, face a few inches away from mine.

I leaned forward slightly, whimpering as I did. I weakly reached my hands up to grasp the sides of her face.

“Do you want a kiss?” she taunted.

“No.” I gasped, “I just wanted to see the look on your face when I did this.”

I channeled a surge of Lightning through my palms and into her skull, causing her to scream in agony and pull her knives out of me. I followed up with a kick to her stomach, causing her to crash to the floor as I stumbled backward, channeling Wind to accelerate the healing of my wounds as I reached down to pick up my scythe.

Michelle pushed herself up to a sitting position, grasping her daggers as she did so. “Didn’t think you had it in you, your highness.” she panted, “Guess there’s a killer in there after all.”

I saw it again. For just a moment, my perception of this entire situation seemed off. I was seeing everything accurately…right?

“Who are you?” I asked.

Michelle pushed herself to her feet and brushed herself off as she did so. “You know who I am, prince.” She held her arms outwards, “I’m Michelle Lockheart.”

“No, you aren’t.” I realized, “You aren’t.”

She sneered.

“And what makes you say that?” she asked.

“No Lockheart since Vincent Lockheart has been capable of intangibility. Not even the ones wielding Tsukimono, which is said to possess the ability.” Grasping my scythe in my right hand and pointing my left at her, I asked again, “So who are you?

Michelle chuckled. “I gotta say, Nalia, you’re smart. Smarter than I thought. You’re right- no Lockheart since Vincent has learned intangibility.” Michelle did a mock bowing motion. “I’m Vincent Lockheart. Inhabiting the body of one of my descendants.”

How?” I demanded.

Michelle showed her daggers to me. “Every weapon I crafted has a purpose. Tsukimono was never made to pass on my intangibility. It was made to nurture yet another piece of my soul. Just as my descendants carry pieces of me, so too do these daggers.”

“Then why hasn’t this happened sooner?” I demanded.

“A combination of factors,” Vincent-Michelle said, beginning to walk to my left, approaching the direction of the gemstone. I mirrored her- his?- strides on my side of the arena. “Time was the biggest. It took awhile for the piece of me in these daggers to grow enough to do that. Second was proximity to my real self, which would allow me to connect with the shards in Tsukimono and the host.”

Vincent-Michelle stopped at the edge of the arena, looking down at the drop below and then waving her hand at the gemstone. “The piece of me in Tsukimono influenced Michelle Lockheart to find this place when she moved to these islands. This gemstone doesn’t just contain the energy of the Great Beasts- it carries some of ours, too. That connection was just enough for me to encourage Michelle to find the real seal. And once she did…”

Vincent-Michelle turned to face me completely and smirked, shrugging her shoulders as she did. “Here we are.”

“This seal is never going to be broken.” I declared firmly, “I will break your hold on Michelle Lockheart. I will bury this place. You will rot, wherever you are, for the rest of eternity.”

“No, Nalia Cynd,” Vincent-Michelle responded, “I will kill you. I will turn this gem into a ruby with your blood. Your corpse will be the key to my freedom. Unless, of course…”

Michelle began to walk toward me. “You kill me first, your highness.”

Necessary. Stane taught me that.

Necessary.

Michelle flung one of her daggers at me again, but this time I dodged, leaping to my left as the dagger flew past me and stabbed into the wall just outside of the radius of the arena and its surrounding pitfall. I saw Michelle disappear again and reappear with her hand on the dagger she just threw, clinging to the wall.

That’s it. She’s teleporting to the daggers!

Michelle lobbed the second dagger of Tsukimono at me, disappearing as the blade entered my range and I slashed my scythe.

She reappeared with her hand on the dagger, just in time for my scythe to slice open her chest, just below her neck. Michelle stumbled backward, then threw her dagger at a pillar on the opposite side of the arena, teleporting to it and swearing in pain once she was there.

Shit!” she hissed, “Looks like you figured it out!”

She pulled her dagger out of the pillar, sheathing it and placing her left palm against her wound as she grasped her right-hand dagger tightly, holding it in my direction.

“You knew my grandfather.” I remarked. “Surely you aren’t too surprised.”

Vincent-Michelle chuckled. “We’ll see how proud Max is once we break out and he kills your coward father. Shame you won’t be around to see it.”

“I’ve figured out your trick.” I pointed out, “It’s not going to work on me again.”

“You are smart, Nalia Cynd.” Vincent-Michelle said, raising her right arm and pointing one of her daggers at me as she did so, “But you aren’t that smart.”

A spike of Darkness shot out of the dagger. Channeling Light through my nervous system and limbs, I was more than quick enough to see it coming and dodge it.

In response, Michelle aimed downward and started firing these Darkness spikes at my feet. I danced around and away from them as they stabbed into the ground around me, and I realized quickly it was time for me to retaliate in turn. I channeled Light energy to dodge and weave around Michelle’s projectiles as they shot at me, and just as I finished covering the distance between us, Michelle vanished again.

But she didn’t throw her dagg-

Oh, shit.

I kicked my Darkness senses into high gear as I blocked a downward strike from Michelle from behind. Using my scythe as a staff again, I began parrying her strikes with my own.

“The spikes too!?” I demanded.

“That’s right!” Vincent-Michelle shouted gleefully, “You let me cover this arena with anchor points for my teleportation!”

I realized then that Michelle was still only using one of her daggers. The other wasn’t in its sheath.

She disappeared again, reappearing back at the pillar, which she’d apparently stabbed her other dagger back into while I wasn’t looking. Holding both of the daggers out, she began firing Darkness spikes throughout the room wildly.

I closed my eyes and focused entirely on my Darkness senses as Michelle disappeared and reappeared to my left. I swung my scythe in response, only to feel her disappear and reappear again, this time in the opposite direction.

You aren’t the only teleporter here.

I inherited a lot of abilities from my mother. Chief among them was the ability to teleport and sense all within the Darkness. Like the Dark Step, but with added omniscience and a much larger range.

I cast a Darkness barrier at the edge of the arena facing the gemstone, covering the room’s only light source and casting the entire arena in Darkness.

Now completely in my element, I smiled.

I teleported behind Michelle and, still stunned by the sudden change in lighting, cut through her back with a quick slash.

We disappeared at the same time.

I rematerialized on the ceiling as she reappeared in the center of the arena, swerving around in confusion.

“Where are you!?” Vincent-Michelle demanded.

Everywhere.” I responded, dispelling my scythe and manifesting a blade of Light in my right hand. “And I’m faster than you.”

Michelle disappeared as I dropped down on her.

As we both teleported throughout the arena, our blade-clashes illuminated the room. As the number of her Darkness spikes in the arena began to lower, I realized that they, unlike the main Tsukimono daggers, were only temporary anchor points.

I could predict where she’d be next.

When only one spike remained, I teleported a short distance away from it and started swinging my Light-blade. As I did so, I dispelled the Darkness barrier blocking the gemstone and the room flooded with light as Michelle reappeared, facing me. She moved her arm up to block the blinding light that had suddenly flooded the room and I slashed the Light-blade again, cutting open her midsection and cauterizing the wound as I did so.

Vincent-Michelle howled in agony and fell backward, close to the center of the arena. She laid there with her arms spread for a moment, then laughed. “Good! You’re good!” Vincent-Michelle cackled.

“What’s so funny about that?” I demanded.

Michelle pushed herself up, getting on one knee.

“You win, your majesty.” Vincent-Michelle sneered, “I clearly can’t beat you in this body.”

I furrowed my brow, dispelling the Light-blade and replacing it with my scythe. “Are you surrendering? You’re not going to get your descendant killed as a bid for your freedom, are you?”

Vincent-Michelle laughed. “I would, but no. I have a much better idea. I can’t kill you. But when he sees what’s going on here, he might.”

“Who’s he!?” I demanded.

Michelle chuckled as she turned her head to the left, staring at the only entry into this room. “I can feel him coming.” Vincent-Michelle chuckled, “Suffocated with Light as it may be, he still carries a piece of me.”

Michael’s here!?

I could feel his energy now, too. A strong Light piercing the shroud of Darkness on the way here.

“You’ve proven that you don’t have the resolve to kill me.” Vincent-Michelle taunted, “But when he sees what you’ve done to his precious sister, trust me…that won’t be a problem for him.”

Oh…

Shit.

To Be Continued In Part 2.