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NO TURNING BACK
"Alea jacta est (the die is cast)" -Julius Caesar
Senrach leaned back on his mount. The animal's body heat reflected up at him while the sun blazed down on his bare neck. The slight breeze only made things more uncomfortable by blowing sand and heat into his face. He brushed off the discomfort. Senrach had been traveling through the barren desert for days, well ahead of the angry villagers from Getene that were hunting him down. He looked behind him and saw nothing. He might outrun them after all.
He turned back around and detected an outline of a city on the horizon. Senrach passed through the city gates and found a watering hole for his horse. After tying the animal down he went off in search for badly needed supplies. As he rounded a corner he saw a multitude of people gathering together. Senrach walked to a tent and asked the merchant, "What goes on there?"
The merchant did not respond. He looked over Senrach from head to toe, recognition spreading over his face. "I know who you are! My brother came from Getene this morning," the merchant said.
"Shut your mouth, Merchant. I am warning you," Senrach commanded evenly.
"You're the man that murdered that priest!" the merchant said, his voice growing louder. Senrach pushed his way forward and seized the merchant by the throat. A few moments later Senrach emerged and wiped off his bloody hand and knife along the side of the tent. He spotted an old man a few yards away and walked up to him.
"What city is this? Why are those people gathered so?" Senrach asked.
"This is Jerusalem," the old man replied," and they are gathered to see the Nazarene."
HEART OF SLEEP
"In sleep we lie all naked and alone, in Sleep we are united at the heart of night and darkness, and we are strange and beautiful asleep; for we are dying in the darkness, and we know no death."
-Thomas Wolfe, "From Death to Morning"
He had been entangled in a nightmare and from that vehement sleep he awoke. The remnants of the dream were fading away like a fog burning off in the sun. Philip laid his head back on the pillow. As he lay, trying to fall back asleep a feeling grasped him like a smothering wind, sucking the breath from his mouth. Philip sat up and got a hold of himself. He got out of bed and put on his robe, deciding to go for a walk around the castle.
"The Fire is cooling and fleeing under the ashes." -Kahlil Gibran, "A Treasury"
The servant, Halimeda, hid behind the massive pillars. The young woman watched her master, Caiaphas, as he argued with the elders of the Sanhedrin. Halimeda cowered back when the elders raised their voices.
"If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation!" the man shouted.
"He raised a man from the dead!" another yelled. Halimeda's eyes widened. More arguing ensued. Back and forth they yelled at one another.
Caiaphas silenced them all by putting his palm into the air. He said to them, "You know nothing. You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die than the whole nation perish."
The door opened, flooding the room with light and heat. Halimeda watched as a man walked in who looked very solemn and forlorn. She cocked her ear to try to hear what they were saying to the man. The Sanhedrin talked for some time until the man finally said loudly, "You will not harm Him."
"We will not," Caiaphas answered. The man nodded sadly and Caiaphas handed him a small leather pouch. Nothing but silence filled the air as they waited for the man to leave. After he did Caiaphas said, "This man Jesus of Nazareth will trouble us no more."
THE MIST AND THE LILACS
"A aucuns les biens vienment en dormant (good fortune comes to some while they are asleep)" -French Proverb
Derek methodically flipped through the pages of the magazine and quickly realized he was more than bored. He didn't want to go back to sleep after the strange dream he had had. It disturbed him even though he couldn't remember a great deal of it. He tossed the magazine onto the end table by his bed with disgust. He sighed heavily and pulled the covers up to his chest. When he reached his hand over to turn off the lamp, he froze with his arm extended in the air. The smell of lilacs enveloped him. He felt it tingle up his legs and chest until it caressed his face. Derek shed the covers from his body and gradually swung his legs over the side of the bed. The potent fragrance was seducing him inch by inch, wafting through and around him like the fog that shrouded the Bay. The sweet essence gently and almost erotically lifted him off the bed to a standing position.
"Megan!" he said cheerfully, his voice full of sensuality.
A thin mist appeared in front of him and tried to take form. It wavered for a moment and then was gone for a few minutes before it appeared again. It was as if it didn't have the strength to appear before him at all. A voice began to whisper in the back of Derek's mind like a conscience. It became louder and louder until it reached his lips.
"Irene...death...horrible...evil..." Although Derek was the one who was speaking, it was Megan's voice that escaped his lips. But she was not strong enough to say more than a few words. In a matter of seconds the lilacs and the mist were gone just as quickly as they came. Derek fell back onto his bed, he was so intoxicated by the lingering sensations that he drifted back asleep.
NEITHER ANGEL NOR BEAST
"Man is neither angel nor beast, and the misfortune is that he who would act the angel, acts the beast." -Pascal, "Pensees"
Gephanias put his hand to his back and arched his body. In all his forty years he could not remember ever being so hot or tired. The tall Roman looked around him. How he hated this place. He wanted to go back to Rome but the Emperor was troubled by the affairs of Judea. A rebel was slowly growing stronger, gaining more support. He noticed a young girl inching her way towards a merchant's tent. She was barely sixteen and very provocatively dressed. He stepped in front of her.
"Off with you!" he yelled.
"I can buy something in the marketplace, can I not?" she asked, defiantly.
"You have money?" he asked her. She nodded and held out several coins. He snatched them from her hand.
"No doubt you stole them!" he snarled at her. Wretched whore. She probably stole them from a Roman nobleman.
"Give them back! I did not steal! I worked for them," she replied angrily. Gephanias eyed her seductive clothing and pulled at her skirts.
"You must have worked very hard," he said, running a finger down her face. "What is your name?"
"Jasisa," she answered.
"Well now, Jasisa, now you'll have to work your way out of being arrested," he said to her.
A FADING STAR
"Alta mane; supraque tuos exsurge dolores. Infragilemque animum, quod potes, usque tene (Be brave, and rise superior to your woes. And keep that spirit that no weakness knows)." -Ovid
"What are you doin' up at this time of night?" Philip asked when he entered the study. Alex sat at the massive table looking like a lost child. Fragile and alone.
"I couldn't sleep," Alex said. "I had a weird dream."
Philip looked over his friend and sat down across from her. He said softly, "So did I." He studied her face and asked, "Is there somethin' else botherin' you?"
Alex narrowed her eyes at him. "I can't hide anything from you, can I?" she asked. Philip shook his head softly and smiled. "All right. You really want to know? I'm tired, Philip. Not just physically, but mentally tired. The vacation I was supposed to have didn't help much, I mean, it almost killed me!" Alex was quiet for a few moments. Philip held back the urge to speak. Right at this moment, more than anything, it was Alex that needed to do the talking. She rubbed the bridge of her nose and squeezed her eyes shut. "I'm just beginning to wonder why we even bother," she said.
"Bother? With what, the Legacy?" asked Philip. He was taken back by her statement. Alex would never doubt the Legacy or it's purpose when she had given so much of her self to fight so hard for it.
Yet Alex nodded, "We fight evil, we destroy it. It always comes back. Always," Alex said evenly, "and I'm sick of it." Philip sighed. It was his turn to rub the bridge of his nose and squeeze his eyes shut.
"Yes, I guess it does. There always will be evil, Alex. But if it weren't for the Legacy, that evil would be overwhelmin'," Philip told her. Philip stood up and walked to the window, looking out at the magnificent city lit up like a Christmas tree. "When I went t'Ireland after that business at St. Andrew's, I was sort of havin' a hard time with things. I met another priest there and he told me about a story he read once. You've heard of Kahlil Gibran?" Philip asked her. Alex nodded to him.
"He wrote a story in his book 'A Treasury' about a priest who traveled from village t'village, preachin' and prayin' t'the people. One evenin' he heard a cry from a ditch by the road. He saw a man lyin' there bleedin' from all over his body. The man called out t'him, 'Help me Father, I am dyin'.' But the priest looked upon the man and thought he was a thief who had probably tried t'rob someone and gotten his just deserve. He walked away but the man cried out even louder t'him, 'Do not leave me Father, for you and I have been friends for a long time'. The priest looked at the man and carefully made his way over t'him. When he stood before the man he realized he could not recognize him and backed away. But the man called out, 'Do not fear me Father, come closer and I will tell you who I am.' The priest held the man up but told him he did not know him and the man said, 'You do know me. You've known me your entire life, I am dearer t'you than anyone.' And the man leaned in closer t'the priest and said calmly, 'I am Satan'. Upon hearing the fiend's name the priest dropped him t'the ground. Satan told him that Michael and his angels fell upon him and attacked him, leavin' him t'die. The priest blessed Michael's name and all the angels but Satan warned him, 'I am the only source of your happiness. I am an excuse for your career. Do you not realize that you will starve t'death if I were t'die? What vocation would you pursue? What would the people do if they discovered that their wicked enemy no longer existed? People would be safe from sin. I am Satan whom the people fight in order t'survive. I am the builder of convents and monasteries upon the foundation of fear.' The priest realized then, that without that beast, the greatest of all evils, that fear of hell would vanish, people would stop worshipin' God. The would cease t'have faith. The priest and the devil realized they both needed the other t'survive. And while the priest carried the wounded beast home, he prayed all the way for Satan's life to be saved."
"Please, spare me the 'goodness and evil' lecture. That's not what I want to hear right now," Alex said exhaustively.
"Oh Jesus, Alex!" Philip said, crossing himself. "What do you want t'hear? What can I say that will make it easier for you?" Philip asked her.
"Tell me that there are times when you just want to leave everything you have behind, jump on a plane or a train and never come back. That there are times when you just can't take it anymore, no matter how much good you're doing. Or is it just me that feels that way?" she asked him. Philip saw the pleading look in her eyes. She was asking for a way out. A way to be free from her emotions without complication. He couldn't give it to her no matter how much he wanted to.
"No," he said, "it isn't just you. Everyone goes through it. Some get over it. Some leave on a plane or a train and never come back." He leaned back in his chair and sighed again. He remained quiet for several moments before Alex's gift kicked in and she realized what he was hiding from her.
"Oh, you're going to leave again, aren't you?" Alex asked.
Her voice had a slight twinge of anger to it. Philip looked in her eyes intently.
"I was thinkin' of it, yes. I want t'go back to Ireland for a while. I don't know how long. But I will never be so far away that I can't be there if you need me. Galina is here now, she can take my place. She could fill my shoes better than I ever could. The Legacy needs someone like her more than they need someone like me," Philip said, quietly.
"Oh please," Alex said. He waited for the oncoming lecture Alex usually gave him when he belittled himself. Alex said nothing more to him. She was angry, not because he might leave, but because if he left, she would feel compelled to stay. Whether out of loyalty or duty he didn't know. What he did know was that look a person got when they were fed up. It was plastered all over her face.
"Alex, what do you want?" he asked her.
"I want a life," Alex said. "I feel like I'm slowly going out of my mind. I don't want to do this anymore. When I was a social worker in the city, I went out on Saturday nights, I had fun with my friends. I can't even remember the last time I went to the movies. My friends don't call anymore, I'm too busy and I never get to return their calls. I am beyond the point of being burned out, Philip. I want to leave. For good."
Philip blinked at her. She was deadly serious. She was giving a hundred and ten percent every single day and the moment had finally come where she couldn't go on any longer. He could tell from her expression that she was through talking so he decided to leave her alone and go back to bed.
A ROMAN PUNISHMENT
"Our children know and suffer the armed men." -Stephen Vincent Benet, "Litany For Dictatorships"
The noblest of Romans, Orcheminius, and his treasure of a wife, Cerelia; walked along the streets of the city. Cerelia hated this dirty, dusty city. She hated her husband even more for bringing her here.
"Look at that!" she pointed out to him. A young boy of twelve had just robbed an unsuspecting merchant. As he ran from the scene he collided with Cerelia. "You disgusting, wretched beast!" Cerelia shrieked.
Orcheminius withdrew his sword from it's hilt and grabbed the boy's hand. "You know the penalty of thievery, do you not?" The boy began to cry but Orcheminius held him fast and swung his sword down, lobbing off the child's hand at the wrist. The boy screamed and wailed and Orcheminius tossed him aside as a small group of Roman centurions headed over.
"Lord Orcheminius, are you all right?" they asked him.
"I want that boy arrested," Cerelia yelled.
"I already gave the boy his punishment," her husband told her.
"I want him done away with. Look at me, he soiled my clothing with his dirty little body!" Cerelia shrieked. Orcheminius nodded to his men and they dragged the boy away. "If only we could have them all done away with," Cerelia spat out.
"Let us not burden our remembrance with a heaviness that's gone." - Shakespeare, "The Tempest"
Nick sat up, grabbing at his chest. His heart was beating so hard he was sure it would wake Galina up. He looked over at the bed and the empty spot beside him.
"I had a nightmare," she said from the other side of the room. He got out of bed and went over to her. He noticed she was clutching her chest.
"So did I," Nick said. He put his hand on her neck, her heart was beating rapidly.
"It was terrible," Galina whispered to herself. "What I did to that child."
"What?" Nick asked.
"I had a dream that I cut off the hand of a child-" Galina started to say.
"For stealing," Nick answered. Galina looked at him.
"We had the same dream?" she asked.
"I don't know, were you in Roman attire, with a woman in a green dress?" asked Nick. Galina's face paled. It gave Nick his answer.
"Come on, we'll talk about it tomorrow morning. Let's go back to bed," Nick said.
"Tears gratify a savage nature, they do not melt it." -Publilius Syrus
Mebahn led the angry villagers into the city. They passed a Roman centurion and asked him if there were any men in the city that matched Senrach's description. The Roman said he had seen someone of that nature arrive a while ago and pointed them to the man's horse still tied at the watering hole.
Mebahn spotted Senrach with a group of people gathered on the outskirts of the marketplace. One of his men walked forward and he stopped him.
"No, we will wait until he is alone. No trial. Just an execution. We all know Senrach killed the priest anyway," Mebahn said evenly. He would make sure Senrach suffered long and slow. Not just for the sake of the slain priest, but for Mebahn's own twisted pleasure.
Rachel jumped from bed. She was having an anxiety attack as a result of a dream. She put on her robe and left to check on Kat. When she was convinced Kat was safe and secure, she went back to her room and crawled back into bed, hoping she would dream no more for the rest of the night.
DARKNESS AS THE SHADOWS
"Darkness as the shadows creep
An invisible hand from Hell ascended from below and restrained the wind, silencing the night completely. Still the woman stepped outside the boundaries of the pentagram etched into the ground, thinking that she had failed.
"No, Emily, you did not fail," a voice called out to her. Emily felt her bowels constrict from the sound of it. It sounded like the voice of Hell itself. "No not hell, Emily," the voice spoke again, "but you're close. You're real close."
Another voice called out to her from the blanketed night, "Amateur! Don't you know you're supposed to stay inside the pentagram when playing with fire? It's your only source of protection you fool."
A sickening laughter ensued. Emily felt the presence of several evils hiding in the shadows. She bent over and threw up from the sheer fright of it.
"Oops, look," the first voice said, "we've made her sick."
Emily make a dash for the pentagram but was held back by a relentless force. The air grew thicker and Emily felt the evil in the shadows approaching her. "I brought you all back!" she yelled bravely, "you do what I tell you!"
The thing turned her around to face it. The scarred and rotted face of Belial peered at her from the shadows.
"Oh, God," Emily said. She tried to recite a Hail Mary but the thing laughed out loud, freezing her in fear.
"Oh, God what? You're going to pray to Him now? Isn't that like you humans to think you can control something that was ancient long before you were ever created. When you don't get your way you call out to the Old Man to bail you out. Guess what dear, sweet Emily? He can't hear you anymore. You cut off your faith, you cut off your connection to Him. Snip, snip! He cut the cord," Belial said.
"Belial," the other voice called out, "hurry up and finish her! I have a certain priest I'm just dying to see." The shadow flexed his left hand painfully.
"Hold off, Warden. The priest is MINE. You'll have plenty of chances to play with him when I've finished with him. But right now, Emily has top priority. Don't you Emily? Yesssss, you do. She did bring us all back after all," Belial said.
THE LAST ANGUISH
"Was it a breath born in my garden that moved to the last? Or was it a storm that would shake all things to their foundations? I knew not, but on that day the sunset in His eyes slew the dragon in me." -Kahlil Gibran, "Jesus, Son of Man"
Senrach noticed Mebahn out of the corner of his eye and decided it would be better if he stayed close to this gathered crowd. He followed them to a small home. The golden-haired man and some of the men walked inside while others waited outside. Senrach waited with them, immersing himself in the middle of the group for protection.
In the early morning hours he awoke to find the group outside still sleeping. He stood up and looked inside the window but the man and his followers were gone. A commotion broke out and Senrach jumped. The rest of the group awoke as a man raced towards them. He yelled at them, "They've arrested Him!"
Senrach decided to follow the group as they ran off, noticing Mebahn and his mob awaiting the chance to grab him. Hours later, the crowd he accompanied grew larger and larger. It began walking towards the city gates. Most of the crowd stopped at the gates. Only half of them ventured forward outside and Senrach turned around to go back but saw Mebahn standing at the entrance to the city. He decided to go with the men and women traveling towards a hill near the far wall of the city. He finally saw what they were following as the Romans lifted a giant cross up on the hill. On the cross was the young man he had seen in the marketplace. The golden-haired man from Nazareth.
As much as Senrach tried, he could not tear his eyes away from this man. He couldn't tell how long he had been standing there but he knew it was a few hours at least. Then the air grew heavy and Senrach looked at the man who looked back at Senrach with deep intensity. He was looking directly into Senrach's eyes who felt as if some secret understanding had just passed between the two. Senrach felt as if a heavy burden was just loaded unto his shoulders. He looked up as the sky grew dark and black. Senrach had never been afraid of anything in his life, but he was afraid now. The atmosphere surrounding them was eerie and gave him a feeling of such suffering that he began to cry and wail with the others in the group. Senrach dropped to his knees and began to moan with lament. He felt the pain he had caused the family of the priest he had murdered. He felt the fear the priest knew when he was dying after Senrach stabbed him. He felt the pain of the world encompassing him.
SHADES OF A DREAM
"Conosco i segni dell'antica fiamma (I feel the traces of my ancient flame)." -Dante, "Purgatorio"
"NO!" Philip screamed. His chest heaved painfully. He got out of bed and walked over to the window, opening the blinds. Light blazed in and he shielded his eyes away. As he stood there he remembered his talk with Alex and sighed. He walked into the bathroom and turned on the shower and it seized him. Complete fear. What devastated him more than anything, was that it was the same fear he felt months ago when the Devil and his demons destroyed the earth. Philip had almost lost that battle. The entire world depended on him and he had prayed to Heaven above after it was over that he would never feel that fear again. Instead of letting it overwhelm him, he stepped in the shower. Afterwards he got dressed and left the room, pushing down the sickness in his stomach. He was <not> going to let fear get to him this time.
LAMBENT SKIES AND MORTAL CRIES
"His eyes searched my soul when my own eyes were closed. And His voice governs the stillness of my nights." -Kahlil Gibran, "Jesus, The Son Of Man"
Halimeda watched the boy being dragged away. She had the boy try to steal a necklace for her, knowing the boy was enraptured by her pretty face. She cursed him for getting caught. Yet she shrugged off the incident and went back to her daily chores. It wasn't her fault the boy lost a hand. He should have known better than to get caught. Most of the other boys she had managed to coerce into stealing had avoided capture. Others hadn't but she hardly cared.
When Halimeda awoke the next morning, she had completely forgotten about the child and went about her daily work. As she was walking about the city streets she noticed Gephanias. He was a lecher and she hated
him. Twice now he had brought up some false charges against her and made her pay it off with herself as payment. She tried to escape detection but it was too late. She turned and ran into a crowd of people that were traveling towards the city gates. He gained on her and she pushed her way through, following a small mass of people towards Golgatha. Gephanias followed her out and she cursed him. Turning she caught sight of a man being executed on the hill. Without ever having seen him before, Halimeda knew this was the man Jesus that the Sanhedrin had feared so much. She watched him for a few hours, completely forgetting Gephanias. The sky blackened and Halimeda gasped. She began to shake violently as if something inside of her were struggling to get out.She thought it was the end of the world. She put her hand to her stomach. Her hand burned with pain. Halimeda could not understand why she was feeling such fear and desperation. The feelings were building to an unbearable level. In a few moments the sky returned to it's normal shade and Halimeda released a cry of anguish that echoed the other cries of the people surrounding her.
"There is no Devil but Fear." -Elbert Hubbard
Derek bolted upright, trying to remember where he was. He was confused and his hand ached painfully. He suddenly remembered Megan's visit and hurried to shower and get dressed. Although he did not know who this Irene was, he knew she was in grave danger and he had to find her. The only thing that troubled him was he couldn't sense anything. The last time he had temporarily lost his sense of sight was when, Derek stopped, it was when the Devil came to the island for Philip. He threw on some clothes without drying off from the shower and tore from the room in a maddened frenzy.
THE LAST BREATH OF SPIRIT
"I am held fast forever more; and there is peace in my pain, and freedom in my tears." -Kahlil Gibran, "Jesus, The Son of Man"
The servant girl, Halimeda, was noticed quickly by Gephanias. He followed her out of the city. She had seen him and was trying to get away. Gephanias hurried after her, pushing by the people crowded around the city gates. He walked out and saw her standing in front of the hill. He looked at her. Her attention was caught by something and she looked almost catatonic. He shifted his gaze towards the top of the hill. It was that rebel that the Sanhedrin had Pilate execute. What was it that Halimeda saw, he wondered. He walked forward and stood right next to her and looked up. Gephanias suddenly wanted to throw up. He felt shame and humiliation. He felt violated and dirty. Gephanias began to weep as a child. After a few hours of crying he stopped to look up. It looked as if the sun had been removed from the sky and only night and darkness remained. In an instant his crying was echoed by the one that was unleashed throughout the heavens.
"All of my past life that has not faded into mist has passed through the filter, not of my mind, but of my affections." -Iris Origo
Alex walked down to the dining room feeling strangely saddened and remorseful. As she sat at the table she tried to recall the dreams that plagued her every sleeping moment during the night. Derek rushed in.
"Alex, do you know anyone named Irene?" he asked her.
"No, I don't," Alex said. "Why?"
"Megan came to me last night. She warned me of death and of danger, for a woman named Irene," Derek explained. He stared at her and then turned around and left.
"What the hell was that all about?" Alex asked herself. She started to eat her breakfast when she suddenly realized who Irene was. Alex jumped from the table and ran off, leaving the servants in confusion.
THE NIGHT IN THE DAY
"The seasons shall tire and the years grow old, ere they exhaust these words: Father forgive them for they know not what they do. And you and I, though born again and again, shall keep them." -Kahlil Gibran, Jesus, Son of Man"
"No, I want to go, I want to see it," Cerelia said to her husband.
"Why would you want to see an execution?" Orcheminius asked her. He knew the answer. Cerelia detested this place and it's inhabitants. She was ruthless with them. Orcheminius told her time and again that she would have made a great dictator, like Herod. He had been ruthless like her but far worse, although Orcheminius thought given the chance, Cerelia could do as much damage.
"Let's go," she commanded. Orcheminius followed her out to the city gates. He stepped in front of her and pushed people out of her way forcefully.
They walked out to the hill. "Look, there he is-" Orcheminius started to say, but when he looked at the man he stopped, feeling such sorrow when he gazed in the dying man's eyes. Orcheminius felt so afraid. He couldn't speak. He could hardly move. Both he and his wife dropped to their knees. Cerelia was motionless.
Orcheminius shook his head slowly. He tried to fight the feelings overtaking him as he knew Cerelia had already succumbed to them. He fought hard. He would not feel anything for this man. Orcheminius was a Roman. But try as he would he could not get over the pain and fear that grabbed ahold of him. He looked at his wife, "We have been so wrong."
In an instant the darkened lesions on their souls vanished and they were innocent again and free. They realized what they had done and they felt shame. They closed their eyes and when they opened them it was blacker than night outside. Cerelia and Orcheminius cried for the young man on the cross, they cried for the people they had hurt, they cried for themselves and they cried for the world.
EYES IN LOVE
"Substantial things deaden a man without suffering; love awakens him with enlivening pain." -Kahlil Gibran, "A Treasury"
"What's the matter with you? You look like you're upset," Nick said. Philip had joined Galina and Nick in the garden where they were waiting for him. Philip was about to say that Nick and Galina didn't look so hot either but refrained from doing so.
"Oh, nothin', I'm fine. What did you two want t'see me about?" asked Philip.
They both hesitated and it was Galina who finally spoke. "We, I mean, Nicola and I, are thinking about leaving the Legacy," she said, quietly. She sounded like a teenager would when telling her father she had wrecked the car, hoping the reaction wouldn't be too terrible or that her father wouldn't be too angry.
Philip was so quiet that Nick thought that maybe he hadn't heard Galina. "Philip?" he asked.
"Yes, I heard. Why?" asked Philip. He suddenly wished he could be anywhere at that moment. Anywhere but the garden with Nick and Galina.
"Basically, because we want to be able to grow old together," Nick said. "This job is so high risk and we want to settle down. We want a family and a house of our own and the Legacy will never give that to us. Besides, what's the use of fighting anymore? Don't you feel like we're moving around in circles? That for every evil we destroy, another will grow in its place? We don't want to do it anymore, Philip. We're tired and we want out."
"Why are you tellin' me this?" asked Philip. Something was frightening Nick and Galina, he could tell that much. Philip started to pace back and forth.
"Because, Philip. You're just someone that anyone can talk to. We wanted to talk to someone before we made up our minds completely," Nick told him. He watched as Philip ran a hand through his hair. It was not a good sign. There was something else bothering Philip and Nick got the impression that he had terrible timing. He never should have bothered Philip with this.
"It sounds like you've already made up your minds," Philip said. He felt so exhausted and it was only seven thirty in the morning. At this rate he would never make it through the day.
"Yeah, I guess we have. Is that okay with you?" asked Nick.
"It's your life," Philip said. He walked away from them, feeling like a hundred years old. When he thought of Nick and Alex's words, however, he began to see their point. What was the use of fighting? It was an endless battle with no rewards, no benefits. Half the time they second guessed themselves, the other half they spent worrying and waiting like expectant fathers in a maternity ward waiting for the birth of another evil. Like Nick said, it would only regenerate itself somewhere else as soon as it was destroyed. Philip Callahan felt like a drone in a beehive. And at the moment, he felt like he was being held by a cruel child who picked up a bee by the wings and held on, watching as the insect struggled and struggled to get away. Philip wanted to get away before that child lost interest and smashed him into the pavement.
"Jesus gave His breath to the breathless dead. And in my lone nights I believe and I understand." -Kahlil Gibran, "Jesus, The Son Of Man"
Mebahn followed Senrach's example and dropped to his knees when the earth was covered in darkness. He agonized loudly when all of the pain he had ever inflicted on his victims was felt doublefold on his body. His soul was wiped clean and he felt nothing but anguish at what he had done.
"Forgive me!" Mebahn cried out loud. The dying young man looked at him briefly before turning away. He cried and looked around him. Mebahn thought it too late for forgiveness, but not for atonement. He would make up for the things he had done. He watched the crucified man's face and cried out when it grew still. No more, he thought, no more will I run from the light.
"Excessive fear is always powerless." -Aeschylus, "The Suppliant Maidens"
"Oh! Philip!" Rachel called out when she spotted Philip. She hurried over to him. He winced when his shin caught the edge of the coffee table. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you," she told him. "Do you want me to take a look at it?"
"At what? My shin? It's just a bump, don't worry about it," Philip answered. The vibes he received from standing next to Rachel bothered him. She was troubled by something. Philip felt guilty for wishing she would leave him alone and not spill out her problems on him like everyone else was doing that morning. He was a priest, he was supposed to listen to people's worries and concerns. All he wanted at the moment was a cup of hot coffee and silence.
"Philip, can I talk to you a minute?" Rachel asked. When she saw the look of annoyance that quickly flickered across his face she added, "It's about Kat."
"All right, sure. Is there somethin' wrong? Is she doin' okay in school?" Philip asked her.
"This isn't the environment I think she should be raised in. I was never meant for the Legacy. I really don't feel like I belong here anymore," Rachel told him. He looked at her as if he had expected her to say that and he was somewhat irritated that she would use her own daughter as a lead in to talk about her own problems. When he didn't respond, she quickly said to him, "And my daughter needs to grow up with a normal life. I won't rob her of her childhood like Derek and you and-"
"You want t'leave, Rachel? Go. No one will stop you. Take Kat. I will miss her horribly. I'll miss you too. But you're right, this is no place for a child," Philip said.
"Philip, I-" Rachel started.
"If you've come t'me with this hopin' that I'll talk you out of it, you've made a mistake. I'm not goin' t'tell you how to raise your child," Philip said. He turned and left the room. Rachel sat back in her chair and sighed, feeling somewhat humiliated. She felt like a traitor. After everything Derek and the others have done for her and Kat, she was just going to leave them. It wasn't her fault, she just didn't belong here like the others did.
"We distrust our heart too much, and our head not enough." -Joseph Roux, "Meditations of a Parish Priest"
Philip walked into the control room and spotted Derek sitting at the computer. He wanted to turn around and leave. Knowing what he knew, and knowing that Derek didn't, made him feel terrible. Everyone wanted to leave the Legacy, including him. It was too late though as Derek turned around and smiled at him. Philip never thought a smile could make him feel so rotten.
"Good morning, Philip," Derek said to him. He got up and stretched his arms and massaged his neck.
"Have you been in here all night?" Philip asked him.
"No, I just had a restless night of sleep. That's all," Derek told him. Before Philip could ask him what was wrong, Derek told him of his visit from Megan. Derek said, "She came to me last night and said that death was coming for a woman named Irene."
"Irene? Who's Irene?" inquired Philip.
"That's what I've been trying to figure out all night. I've been going through the Legacy database trying to come up with something. So far, nothing. There is no one named Irene in the Legacy, and I haven't come up with any relations or friends of Legacy members with that name either," Derek said. He sighed.
"What's the matter?" Philip asked him.
"I'm just tired, Philip. I've been up all night," Derek said.
"There's more Derek," Philip said. He mentally slapped himself for asking. He just didn't want to listen to anyone else's problems.
"I'm wondering what I do all of this for," Derek said. Philip moaned silently and thought, here we go. "Maybe I should step down from the Legacy for a while. I now this comes as a shock to you Philip," Derek said. No, it doesn't, Philip thought to himself. In the back of his mind he suddenly grew quite alarmed. Philip ignored that voice of alarm and focused his attention on Derek's visit.
"Tell me what you're going to do about last night. Do you have any idea what Megan could have meant? Was Irene someone she knew when she was alive?" Philip asked. Derek popped his head up.
"I hadn't thought of that, give me a second and I'll run it through the computer," Derek said. After a few moments he said, "She had a great-aunt named Irene but she died in the 1960s. Nothing else."
"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run that outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold." -Helen Keller, "Let Us Have Faith"
Alex ran down the hallway. She almost collided with Galina.
"Come with me," Alex ordered. Galina, who had never heard Alex use that tone in her voice, followed the older woman into the next room.
"What is the matter?" asked Galina.
"Your name, your real name, is Irina? Irene in Russian, right?" Alex asked.
"Yes, it was. Look Alex, I told you I'm not-" Galina started to tell her.
Alex put a hand over Galina's mouth and said, "You're in trouble. Derek had a visit from Megan last night. She warned him that someone named Irene was in grave danger. He was up all night going through the Legacy database looking for any references to anyone named Irene. Now Philip's in there going through it as well. Did Tatiana ever use official Legacy channels to get your identity changed? Because if she did then it will only be a matter of time before they find out about your past."
"No, she used her power from the Legacy to get in touch with a high-tech black market dealer. Basil, you remember him? Well, he set up the appointment. When I joined the Legacy I joined as Galina Perovskaya. Alex, you didn't tell Derek and Philip about me," she said.
"No, I didn't. A promise is a promise. But I won't hesitate to tell them, or Nick, if I think that it might save your life in any way," Alex told her. Galina understood her.
"I already told Nicola, last night. He took it pretty well considering he still wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I'm okay, Alex. Everything's going to be okay for me and Nicola, you'll see," Galina said.
"What do you mean?" Alex asked her.
"Nothing, look. I'll be fine, just keep that promise Alex. Don't tell anyone else, alright?" Galina asked her. Alex nodded and left the room. Galina sat down on the sofa. She felt like the lining in her stomach was eating itself in. All morning long, while Nick was going on about their new and upcoming happiness, she felt like it would never happen. She felt that her and Nick were never meant to be happy together nd it was like a knife through her heart. When she thought of the dream her and Nick had shared she became frightened. She didn't tell him about the other dream she had later for fear that he had it as well.
"Everything comes gradually, and at it's own appointed hour." -Ovid
The phone rang, breaking the silence in the control room as Derek and Philip were searching the Legacy database. Derek picked it up. Philip watched as Derek's face fell.
After Derek hung up the phone he said, "That was my friend, Detective Ayers. They found a body in Golden Gate park. It was Emily Miller's body."
Philip shot straight up out of his seat, "Jacob's wife?"
Derek nodded. Philip slumped back down in his chair. Emily had been devastated when Jacob was killed. He remembered how badly he felt when she yelled at them, accusing them of his death. Both he and Derek felt responsible. She hated them, and she hated Alex. Jacob had died defending her life from Charis and her cult. Alex became a member afterwards and Emily even accused her of having Jacob killed so Alex could take his place. Her grief had driven her crazy.
"Let's go," Derek said. Philip nodded and explained to Alex on the way out the front door. He knew she would insist on going. It might get her thoughts off of her depression and get her back into the swing of things again.
"No notice is taken of a little evil, but when it increases it strikes the eye." -Aristotle
"Nice to see you guys again," Pete Ayers said, "I only wish we could meet under better circumstances, instead of at crime scenes."
"Thank you for calling Pete, where's the body?" Derek asked. Pete led him, Philip and Alex over to a bloody heap on the ground.
"THAT was Emily?" Philip asked, "Holy God, there's hardly anythin' left."
"The killer mutilated everything but left her face intact. We found her purse in that car over there. And we found this book," Pete said, handing it to Derek. It was a occult book on recalling demons. Derek closed his eyes painfully. "We also found this," Pete handed a piece of paper to Philip.
"Oh, God, I knew it. I knew somethin' was wrong," Philip said after he read it. Derek and Alex looked at him. "The names on this paper," he said, handing it to Alex.
She paled when reading the names out loud, "Reverand Hawkings, Levon Sultar, the Warden, Jerry Tate, Nakties D'avisia, Rebecca Cantwell, Joshua Cantwell, Charis, and..." Her voice trailed off before she read the last name on the list, "Belial."
The three of them remained silent. Alex looked around her. The wind tossed the trees about, making the shadows on the ground appear to be dancing. The shadows for some reason terrified her and she said suddenly, "Let's get the hell out of here."
FATHER CALLAHAN'S RAPTURE
"For since His unresisting death an army has risen out of the earth to fight for Him." -Kahlil Gibran, "Jesus, The Son Of Man"
"You are here as my companion along the path of life, and aid in understanding the meaning of hidden truth." -Kahlil Gibran, "Jesus, The Son Of Man"
"We dealt with those demons, but never all at the same time," Nick said, pacing around the room. They were all gathered together in the control room. "I should have known something was wrong, after those damn nightmares last night," Nick continued.
Rachel snapped her head up. "You had a nightmare too?" she asked. The others looked at her and Nick.
"Both Galina and I had a nightmare, in fact, we had the same nightmare," he said.
"You three aren't the only ones. Before and after my visit from Megan, I had a terrible dream. It was filled with misery and sadness-" Derek stopped as he noticed the expression on Alex and Philip's faces. "Let me guess, you two had nightmares too?"
Alex and Philip nodded. "I dreamed I was in Jerusalem," Philip said. The entire room froze as if they were caught in a freak snow storm. They exchanged glances with each other. Slowly and surely, each person recited their dream to the group. Philip jumped up. He knew, he knew exactly what was going on. "Don't you understand? Those weren't dreams! They were memories! We were there, we were all there that day," he said excitedly. "We were there, and we were let in on the secret. We know the truth. The grand truth of life," Philip explained. He remembered when the Devil told him that his lives were meaningless before he laid eyes upon the Son of God. Every one of his lives since, he had been a priest. Not just to atone for the priest he murdered two-thousand years ago. He'd been forgiven for that sin long before he had even committed it because it was all part of the plan from the very beginning.
Philip continued trying to explain to them, "Don't you understand? Our free will died with Him that day. As did our individuality. We are not separate people, but once force that was created in that single moment when the sky darkened and the heavens mourned, and our true life began. We belong together. We have fought evil for almost two thousand years, and when we die, we'll come back and do it again. Our purpose for bein' in the Legacy stems from that day. This is our destiny."
"To make up for the crimes we committed? To atone?" Alex asked.
"No. Those crimes were always part of the plan, just like Judas was always part of the plan. It was his destiny t'betray," Philip said. He looked at their confused faces and said, "How can you fight somethin' when you have never experienced it first hand, not as a victim, but as the very thing itself? You've been on that darker path and seen what it can do. We all needed t'be that evil before we understood what was really at stake," Philip told them. He laughed out loud with joy. In his entire life he never felt so completely whole as he did now. He could tell, looking at the others that they felt the same. They might not understand it to the full extent that he did, but they knew. And that was enough for him.
"What are we going to do now?" Rachel asked. "About the demons, I mean."
"We'll wait," Derek said.
"Just wait?" Nick asked him impatiently.
"That's all we'll have to do. They'll come to us, we're the ones they want, remember? They were brought back for vengeance. Emily was foolish to think she could control them," Derek said.
For the remainder of the day, waiting was exactly what they did. Philip smiled at the thought of it. Knowing that as long as he believed, the outcome wouldn't matter. Because one way or another, he would be back again. He was immortal. They all were. They were caught in a resurrecting circle. They would be born to fight, they would die fighting, and then they would be born to fight again. In some other time or some other place he would be back and resume his fight from there. It was a joy to him to no longer fear life and it's secrets, especially when he knew all of those secrets and knew what his life really was.
"Even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest in you, so the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is also in you." -Kahlil Gibran, "The Prophet"
"They know, Belial," Nakties said.
"They only think they know. It doesn't make any difference anyway. They'll never find out how to use their true power," Belial retorted. They waited until night. Shadows feed off the darkness and so when night returned they left the baseness of the city towards the Island.
Jerry Tate laughed wickedly. "I get the SEAL," he said. Sultar whirled around on him.
"I get him," the evil magician commanded.
"You can both have a go at him, there will be enough to go around," Belial said impatiently.
"As long as Lithuanian witch stays out of my way, there won't be a problem. Alex and I have an old score to settle, several times over," Charis spat out. Nakties flew at her. Belial roared.
"ENOUGH!" he said. "Ah, we're here," Belial said landing on the Island.
"Let's get ready to rumbbbbleee," Jerry Tate echoed frightfully.
ISLAND OF SHADOWS
"Teach our sons to follow where duty leads the
Philip leaned forward at the table. He did not need to say anything to anyone else seated with them. They all knew at the same instant. Hell had reached the island.
"Mom?" Kat came running in. "Something's here!"
Galina was closest to her and picked her up. The lights went out. Kat cried and Rachel gasped. The others were quick to move. "Stay together!" Philip ordered. "Stay close to one another!"
The lights flickered back on but they were dimmed. Rachel looked around. She was not in the study with the others. She was in the control room. Alone. Rachel remained absolutely still, listening.
"Raaachelll," a voice whispered. "Come here Rachel, we're not going to hurt you."
Two shadows danced along the wall towards her. Rachel turned and ran from the room.
"But they who love the greater love
Galina clutched Kat to her chest. The frightened child hid her face in the nape of Galina's neck. The two of them were alone in the front foyer as a large, dark shadow flittered across the floor towards her.
"Give me the child," it snarled. Galina backed away from the thing moving on the floor. Kat cried out even louder. The thing grew and took form. The thing that was Joshua Cantwell stood before her. "I said give me the child," it said. Galina shook her head and put Kat down, pushing the little girl behind her. Joshua Cantwell lunged forward.
SHADOWS ON THE WALL
"Lynx-eyed, cat quiet, sleepy mild, he would seem a wary child. His tilted head a little turned, like one who very early learned of unexpectedness in life. But the blade within his knife is the razor temper in his bone which he never had to hone, to edge it ready for the kill. Surely, light-voiced, lounging still...once provoked he'd show you how in an instant he could spring to be the death of anything." -Paul Horgan
Nick looked around him. He was in the kitchen. "Galina!" he whispered. He slinked along the wall like a snake, pulling out his gun from it's holster.
"Oh, Nicky-boy, you know that won't work with me," a voice said. Nick stopped in his tracks.
Another voice said to him, "The sins of the father are always visited upon the sun."
Shit, Nick thought. Sultar and Tate. He stood where he was but when he heard Galina scream he bolted for the door. Levon Sultar grabbed him from behind.
THE PRIEST AND THE WARDEN
"Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,
Philip looked around at the darkened library. He heard screams from Galina and Nick and tried to run forward.
"No, no, no, Father. I'm afraid I can't let you go anywhere," the thing in the corner said. Philip turned around to face the Warden. He walked over to him, smiling. It made the Warden uneasy.
Philip said deeply and lowly, "I know something you don't know." He said it like a child teasing his little sister. Warden smacked Philip across the room. Philip got up, laughing hysterically. The Warden shouted at him to stop. "Why? What are you going to do? Go ahead and kill me now. But I'll be back! I'll always come back! I always did before and I always will. I'm immortal, Warden!" Philip cried insanely. The Warden winced, thinking the priest had lost his mind.
MISTRESSES OF THE NIGHT
"God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble." Psalms 46:1
"We don't need the Gods Alex!" Charis cried as Alex watched the thing descend on her from the other side of the hallway. Out of the corner of her eye she caught movement and turned to see Nakties D'avisia come from the other end of the hall.
"Hail Mary, full of Grace, Blessed art thou..." Alex began to pray. She heard her friends screaming from down below.
"You know what? I was wrong, Nakties, you can have her, I think I'd much rather have the Dutchman," Charis sneered. Nakties smiled and Alex felt her blood run cold.
"DEREK! SHE'S COMING!" Alex warned at the top of her lungs as Charis returned to her shadow form and slinked off down the hall. Alex started to yell again but was caught from the side by the Lithuanian demon that attacked her.
EVERY BRAVE MAN
"The one is near who most has hurt my heart; the one who took the life of the friend I had so cherished. May we two not shrink from one another any longer, upon the open ground of war." -Homer, "The Iliad"
Derek whirled around at Alex's cries. Screams were erupting from all over the castle. He left his personal study and ran out in the hall, slamming to a halt when he saw the shadow pull away from the wall and take form.
"I was going to kill Alex, but I realized you're the object of my affection," Charis said. "You did, after all, bring me Jacob, he was fun before I killed him."
"How thoughtful of you," Derek spat out at her. The remembrance of Jacob enraged him further. Derek pulled out his holy water that he'd taken from his study and flung it at her. She screamed and shrieked and dropped to the ground rolling around in mock agony.
"Ah," she said, "I should get an academy award for best villain," she laughed before whacking the vial from his hands.
"Agnoscere Solis permissum est, quos jam tangit vicinia fati, victurosque Dei celant, ut vivere durent, felix esse mori (Tis only know to those who stand, already on death's borderland, the bliss it is to die where life is vigorous still, to give men courage to endure to live. The Gods have sealed the eye)." -Lucius
Joshua Cantwell knocked Galina backwards on top of Kat. Galina jumped up quickly and screamed at the little girl, "RUN! Kat, go, run away!"
Kat hesitated. Cantwell picked Galina up by the hair and she struggled against him, continuously calling for Kat to run. Kat took one last look at her friend and then ran from the room.
Cantwell flung Galina across the room. Galina's leg broke instantly upon hitting the wall and she laid on the floor. She began saying every little prayer she'd ever been taught. She looked up. Cantwell had gone after Kat.
"NO!" Galina cried before losing consciousness completely.
"Who takes the child by the hand, takes the mother by the heart." -Danish Proverb
Rachel listened helplessly as Galina continually called out for Kat to run. She tried to get to the foyer but the good Reverand Hawkings stepped in her path. She turned around quickly to run out the other door when her aunt, Rebecca blocked the way.
LIFE IS FLEETING
"But now there's not a chance, no man that Heaven puts in my hands will get away from death." -Homer, "The Iliad"
Nick hit the wall and slid down to a heap on the floor. He moaned and lay still, hoping Tate and Sultar would think he was dead.
"Look, Levon, the dead 'possum trick," Tate sneered. He lifted Nick up who in turn delivered a few punched to Tate's face. The demon staggered back and dropped Nick.
"Can't you do anything right?" Sultar asked. He picked Nick back up by the throat and began to squeeze.
"Summon up what skills you have, by the Gods you'd better be a fighter, now there is no way out." -Homer, "The Iliad"
Despite the anguish, Alex scrambled down the hall, screaming all the way as Nakties inflicted the searing hot pain to Alex's stomach. Alex dropped to her knees. I won't give up, she thought. She kept crawling until something lifted her up. She screamed. It was Derek. The two of them were caught between Nakties and Charis. The two entities laughed like wild dogs. Derek held on to Alex for dear life. He turned and ran past Nakties and stumbled, falling down the stairs, taking Alex with him. The lights went out for both of them.
THE PASSAGE OF AN ANGEL
"A coeur vaillant rien d'impossible (nothing is impossible to a valiant heart)." -Jeanne d'Albret of Navarre
Consciousness came back to her slowly but with a white hot intent. When she lifted her head, pain coursed through her entire body. Blood dripped from her face unto the floor. Galina wondered how long she had been out. She turned her head and caught site of Alex and Derek lying on the floor unconscious at the foot of the stairs. She laid her head back down and closed her eyes. She tried to remain calm, but inwardly she was absorbed with fear and desperation. Galina felt her life hanging on by a thread. She was scared to death, and she was alone.
"You're not alone anymore, Galina," a voice said to her. She watched as an iridescent shadow danced on the floor in front of her. "I don't think we've met yet," the shadow said as it took form, "I'm Belial, the Beast."
Galina stared at the thing in front of her. There was a rumbling as Cantwell came back in carrying Kat in his arms. The sight of the frightened child erased Galina's pain completely as she charged forward at them. Her strength and her conviction caught both demons off guard. Galina pushed Kat out the front door and commanded her to run away again. She turned around.
"I know, I know what it is," Galina said. Belial glared at her. "I know the secret, Belial," she said walking forward, her broken leg, the wound on her head, all healed by the power of the knowledge she possessed.
"You might know," Belial said, "but there's only one problem. They don't know. You're useless without them. And they are useless without you," Belial said moving forward.
Galina tried to call out to her friends the answer but was stopped short as Cantwell grabbed the sword off the mantel in the other room and flung it at Derek.
Derek awoke just in time to see Galina challenge Belial. He stood up and didn't notice when Cantwell grabbed his father's sword. Galina cried out and threw her body in front of Derek's.
Galina dropped to the ground. Derek scrambled over to her.
"Derek," she breathed painfully. Derek gathered her in his arms. "It's all of us. We're the answer..." Derek brushed away the hair from her face. "Tell Nick...." she gasped. Blood trickled down the side of her mouth and she seized forward in agony before falling still for ever more.
IN THE MIDST OF FRIENDS
"Long ago this hour must have been to the God's liking." -Homer, "The Iliad"
Philip heard the scream Galina let loose and knew from the silence that had followed that she was gone.
"What's the matter, Father? Lose something?" the Warden snarled. Philip growled like a trapped wolf and lunged forward.
"Now stop that, Philip," Belial said. Philip turned around and saw his friends lying on the ground. All of them except Galina and Kat. The other demons had joined them all in the library.
"Galina," Nick said hoarsely. Derek shook his head sadly.
Belial said, "Sorry Old Chap, had to get rid of her." Nick cried out in agony and Philip doubled over from the pain in his friend's voice. Just then it hit him. They all shared that pain. They could all share their power.
Philip and Derek looked at each other. Derek smiled at his young friend and stood up.
"What about my daughter, where's my daughter!" Rachel yelled.
"I was just on my way out to get her, little one," Cantwell said to his granddaughter.
"Leave her, she's not important right now," Belial ordered.
Derek whispered to Alex. She bent down and picked up the brokenhearted ex-SEAL off the floor. Rachel calmed down and the five of them stood together.
The shadows in the room weakened considerably when the five warriors in the room joined their souls together.
"No! I told you Belial!" Nakties shouted when she realized what they'd done. The weaker ones: Tate, Sultar, Charis, Hawkings and Rebecca, were pulled down screaming in a ball of flame. But Belial and the others were stronger.
"You're missing a link," Belial growled. "You're not strong enough without the dead Russian."
Nick blanched and the pain coursed through all of them. But they were weakening. At the moment, the power was balanced on both sides.
"We need more strength," Alex cried. "We won't make it without Galina, we need her strength."
Philip looked at the door and said, "No we don't."
Kat stood in the doorway. She walked over and stood next to her mother. The love of a mother and a daughter; the love of a man for his lost love, the love of an adopted father for his children, their strength and their faith completed the one soul they became one day over two thousand years ago. Kat filling the void that Galina left behind.
Belial, Nakties, the Warden and Cantwell were no match. They were pulled down just as quickly as the others were. In a matter of seconds the ordeal was over.
EVER TRUE AND EVER CLEAR
"I could not die with you for one must wait
"Are you going t'be okay?" Philip asked. Nick sat by Galina's grave.
"Yeah, eventually," Nick said. It had been almost six months since the night he lost her. "She saved Derek's life, put herself in front of him," Nick said.
"Do you blame Derek for that?" asked Philip, carefully. Nick shook his head no.
"You said yourself, this was our purpose, Philip. To live to die, die to live. Besides, she'll be back someday. I'll see her again. I know I will," Nick told him. "And we, no matter how hard, we have to keep going. This was our fate as it was mapped out for us long before man ever graced this earth." Nick closed his eyes and said, "I loved her."
"Galina held on t'that love in the final moments of her life, now you have t'do the same," Philip said softly.
"I will. I'll hold on to her," Nick said, "and faith."
"I know you will," Philip said. He got up and helped Nick to his feet. "You know, this won't go on forever. It will end. And we'll be rewarded for the faith we've fought so hard t'keep."
"When do you think that will be?" Nick asked.
"Soon, I hope," Philip said. "But until then, we have t'do what we have t'do."
"I beg you to forgive me for beginning a story that I cannot end. But the end is not yet upon my lips. It is still a love song in the wind." -Kahlil Gibran, "Jesus, The Son of Man"
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