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The Angel and Demon wrestled with each other. Like mirror imaged, on light and one dark, they circled each other warily.
"We have caused much harm." said the light "let it end HERE, let me heal you!"
"I will never let you conquor me!" replied the dark. "That is not what I wish to do." pleaded the light.
Both spirits were so intent on each other, neither noticed when a priest and two others appeared. The Priest started chanting.
As the Priest finished his chant, each spirit was drawn into a human body, now they were trapped.
"You are bound for all time in these bodies. The only way to end the curse is to recover these tablets and free yourselves. May God have mercy on you, someday."
With that the Priest flicked his fingers at them and they both fell into unconscious slumber. The Priest sighed and walked back down the hill towards home. He hoped God would forgive him for what he did. For no the two spirits were contained in human form, the danger to the world was ended.......for now.
The sound that greeted Alex as she walked down the hall was not what she expected. She had awoken from a sound sleep by a particularly nasty 'vision, or was it just a plain old nightmare. The more coherent to the world she became, the more the details of the dream added from her memory. She was left with a profound sense of dread. Getting up, she decided to do what she always did to get back to sleep, wander to the control room and work. The last thing she expected to hear at 2:00 am. was the sound of Philip and Nick's laughter. She steathily crept into the room and looked over their shoulders. "Oh, geez!" Nick chortled, leaning against the computer desk, gasping for breath,"Good one Philip!"
Philip grinned back and typed the last words of the sentence in. They were conversing with someone online. Both men leaned forward, waiting for the reply. It was not to long in coming.
" OK. boys....you win! There once was a man from Nantucket.......but we won't go there!"
Alex was bemused as to why this particular phrase would cause both to laugh so uncontrollably.
"Alright!" she said "Let me in on it!"
"Alex!" Philip whirled around, "I didna see ya there!"
Nick gave him a dirty grin, "I did."
" What's the riot act for?" Alex mock-frowned at them.
Nick answered her. " we were downloading a new translation data program from the Tampa house. We ended up getting caught into a limeric contest with their resident computer geek." He smiled. "Oh. You mean Catherine Duran?"
Nick nodded at her .
"Who won?"She queried.
Philip arched an eyebrow at her and turned back to the keyboard.
"Alex just came in," he typed,"I guess we were too loud!"
"HI Alex!!!"came the prompt reply."Sorry to awaken you. The boys and I were having too much fun for words, although Philip had some very racey ones to share!" ;-)
Alex didn't have to wonder why Philip turned so red. She leaned over his shoulder and replied herself. "So, Philip going through his dirty limeric collection again, huh?" She smiled at his mortified look.
"Yup! By the way, the upload completed. I just finished writing this software so let me know of of any bugs. Hate to dash, got physical therapy now. Yuck! Bye all!"
Nick frowned at the screen. "I thought you were through with all that and back on the active list?"
There was a pause.
"Well.....It healed fine, but Jordan doesn't want to take any chances with it, so I'm still here. By the way, Jordan said he had a precognition about you all. Nothing clear, just a vague sense of warning, so be careful out there. Look out for fire, electricity and shadows. O.K.?"
Alex turned cold. It was the same as her dream that night!
"Alex? What's tha matter?" Philip noticed her pallor and became concerned. Did she have a vision too?
"It's nothing," She stammered," I'm going back to bed."
She fled the room.
Philip looked after the hastily departed Alex, "somethin's wrong" he said softly.
Nick looked up at him," yeah, she got a little jumpy there......Duran says 'bye', she's off."
" I think Alex had a vision, she was alright until Duran mentioned Jordan's." His tone was thoughtful. "Let's start on this tomorrow, I wan't to make sure she's o.k. I'll clean up and turn off."
Nick ran his hand over his eyes,"You got it pal, I'm headed to bed for some sleep. Later"
" Philip got out of his chair and shut the system down. Putting the tablet back in the safe, he shut off the lights and went to find Alex. He finally found her in the east garden.
"Alex?" he said gently.
She jumped at the sound of his voice, whirling around. She looked so troubled, he started to get concerned.
"Are you alrigh'?" He walked up to her." I felt something was wrong. What is it?"
"Just a bad dream. I can't seem to remember enough of it to tell."
"Maybe Derek can help you in the morning, you looked frightened."
His concern touched her, but she wasn't going to tell him what she saw. It would be unfair. "I'm fine now." She smiled at him.
"Let's go inside, tomorrow is soon enough to sort this all out."
"Your right, Philip, thanks." they both went inside and up the stairs to their respective rooms.
For Philip,his concern did not abate. Something was wrong, he could feel it. For him, sleep did not come for along time.
Alex lay in her bed staring up at the ceiling,she did not want to sleep, to open up to her dreams would mean she would see him die." No" she thought" I was right not to tell Philip that in my dream I saw him die!"
Duran shut down her computer. Boy, she thought, those two could really light up an evening. She groaned, time for PT. Yuck. She couldn't believe she was still doing it. The knee had stopped hurting months ago, but something in the reflexes kept holding her back from a complete recovery. She hated this.
A soft noise behind her interrupted her dark musings.
"Jordan! Stop lurking!"
"You told them about the dream?" was the only reply. Ever economical of speech, Jordan never spoke unless he had to.
"Only what you told me last night." An incident that had shocked everyone to the core. Jordan had volunteered information for the first it me in 20 years of Legacy work.
"I just had another one," he said looking grave.
That was a bad sigh that didn't bode well for someone at the San Francisco House. Someone was really going to get fried!
"Who?" I asked, wincing. I really didn't want to know.
Oh crap! "No mistake?"
"None," and then he was gone out of the room, ending the conversation.
"DAMN!" I quickly made my decision, leaving a note for my precept, Carla, I went to my room and packed. The Legacy did not need to bury another member, especially that one. He had much more ahead of him.
* * *
The next morning at breakfast, Alex was the last to arrive. Derek was a little puzzled by this. Usually he was the last one down. He always found Alex and Philip discussing work over their coffee and Nick just sitting and drinking his, attempting to wake up.
Today it was the opposite, he and Nick were talking when Philip stumbled in, looking like he hadn't slept at all. Picking up his coffee he just sat absorbed in his own thoughts until Alex appeared. Looking like she hadn't slept either. Derek began to get concerned.
" Morning, Alex," Derek greeted her as she walked in."Are you alright?"
Alex smiled wanly,"I'm fine, just some weird dreams"
Derek was about to ask her about them when his phone rang. Sighing, he picked it up.
"Luna Foundation, Derek Rayne speaking."
"Derek, this is Jordan Tate. From the Tampa house," came the soft reply.
Derek was shocked, this man had only spoken on the phone once in his known history. Something was up!
" Ahh...yes Jordan. What can I help you with?"
"Something is going to happen down there. I don't know exactly what, but it involves harm to one of yours."
"Do you know who?" Derek asked, the fear from his dream last night coming back to him with every heartbeat.
"I can't say anymore. One of our roving members is headed your way, she will help you. Goodbye." And he hung up.
Slowly, Derek hung up as well. This was not good. Yesterday workers found a piece of tablet in the area they were excavating for a highrise, It was thought that the Luna Foundation might be able to tell what it was.
"What's going on Derek?" Nick asked, he started to feel a little uneasy.
"That was Jordan from the Tampa house. He said some kind of danger was headed our way." was the whispered reply.
"Did he say what it was about?"Philip asked tightly.
Derek looked sharply at him, something in his tone was not right.
"No, just a vague warning. He also said a roving Legacy member was on her way."
Alex sighed, it was time to let it out in the open.
"I had a strange vision too." She looked at Philip. He smiled and nodded encouragingly at her. She proceeded to tell them about the fading dreams. They were filled with smoke, fire, lightning, and a vision that someone appeared to die. She didn't mention that it was Philip she saw, she didn't want to scare him.
Derek listened intently to her and when she was done, sighed.
"I have been having those dreams as well." He said to everyones astonishment.
"Why didn't you say anything to us!' Nick said angrily.
"Honestly Nick, I thought they were nothing more then bad dreams, they didn't have the same feel as my sight does. It was so different."
Nick was mollified. "I wonder if it has anything to do with the tablet that we received last week?"
" It might, Derek replied" Philip, where do we stand with the translating of it?"
"Nick and I downloaded the new software on ancient texts last night . I was going to start on it this morning with Alex." He nodded at Alex.
" Why don't you two get on it, Nick and I will see what we can find out about where it was found. Rachael is coming by this afternoon with Katherine, she might have the information we need about the material analysis." He looked up at three worried faces.
Philip got up and took his coffee to the control room, Alex followed right behind him. Nick looked at Derek.
"What aren't you telling them?" He scowled. "There's something else to your vision, isn't there?"
Derek sighed." The figure in my dream that died, looked like Philip. And I think Alex knows too."
"She's trying to protect him." Nick mused aloud.He look into Dereks eyes."And so will I."
"So will WE." The older man corrected.
"I'm going to check all the security systems and recent video from the cameras." Nick got up and left.
Derek rubbed his brow. This was going to get ugly, and he couldn't shake the feeling that it was coming down very soon.
It took Nick two hours to check that all the security measures were in place. He was now going over the tapes of todays security video. At first glance, it seemed nothing was wrong, but as he looked closer, shadows seemed to be moving. Someone was either there, or it was a ghost. He picked up the internal phone.
"Derek here." Came the voice from the other end.
"I found something, you need to see this."
"I'll be right there."
* * *
The shadow observed the house, The priest had taken the tablet to the library and was beginning the translation. As soon as he's done, I'll kill him and then get the tablet. SHE will never know how to be free, but he would. The shadow smiled, liberation would soon be at hand.
* * *
Philip had never been so challenged in a translation as he was now. As he suspected, it was not one language but many. Translating that had been easy, figuring out verb tenses, declinations, and other grammatical pitfalls was the hard part. He put his pen down, a feeling that he was being watched suddenly came over him like someone had just entered the room.
"Alex....." he said as he turned around. Nothing was there. Sighing, he was turning back to the newly, nearly complete translation when he saw the shadow move.
"What the...." was all he got out when an invisible hand knocked him down. Philip saw a man appear as if out of nowhere.
Philip was stunned, who was this person? How did they get through security? The figure turned toward him, a look of contempt on his face.
"Thank you for the translation, now I will take it and the stone. " So saying the man turned and reached for the stone tablet.
Philip knew he could not let that happen, he lunged at the man knocking him aside. Philip picked up the tablet and translation and made for the door. The intruder just opened his hand and pointed his palm at the young priest. Electricity snaked out of his palm and hit Philip in the middle of his left side, including the hand which held the translation. Philip fell instantly to the floor, the translation caught on fire and lay on the carpet setting it ablaze.
The intruder was livid! The translation was gone. He sauntered over to the felled priest. He was still alive. Bending down he picked him up and slung him over his shoulder. The stone tablet was put into his coat. The two shimmered and disappeared.
The only clue anyone in the Legacy house had that something was wrong, came when the fire alarm went off in the library. Nick and Derek had been checking the outside security cameras when it had been discovered that they were no longer functioning. Alex, up in the controll room, was the first to arrive at the scene. She had prudently grabbed a fire extinguisher from the wall, and was pulling the pin as she enters.
She quickly put out the small fire in the southwest corner of the room. When she had finished, she started to survey the damage. A square foot of carpet, several pieces of paper, and a bit of grey cloth which was lying on the floor, were all she could find of any interest.
The carpet could be replaced, but it was the scrap of burnt grey cloth that she held in her hands as Derek and Nick ran into the room.
"Fires out." Nick remarked, " Alex, what happened?"
"I don't know." Her voice was flat and unemotional
Derek was concerned, fire was one of the dream signs. It seemed as though only minor damage was done to the room. Why was Alex so agitated?
"Alex, what are you looking at?" Nick peered over her shoulder, then gently took the cloth scrap from her trembling fingers. In shock Nick remembered that Philip was wearing a Gray sweatshirt that day.
Derek saw Nick's face go pale, looking at what Nick held Derek suddenly realized what had happened. Quickly he looked for either the stone tablet or the translation that Philip said was almost ready. The stone was gone. On the floor, next to the burnt carpet, were several damaged pieces of paper. The words were barley recognizable. They were definitely in Philip's hand. It was the remains of the translation.
Alex stood up, this wasn't going to get them anywhere. She looked up as Derek bent down to pick up the burned pieces of paper from the floor.
"Is it the translation?" She asked. She knew the answer already, but didn't really want to believe it.
"Yes" Derek replied softly,"Some of the words are still recognizable, but for the most part it's been destroyed."
"Damn" Nick swore," He's been here all along and we never saw the creep."
"Are the security cameras working in the house?" Alex asked .
"As far as I know." Nick walked over to the wall and opened a panel.
"Yup,and they are on too." He turned and looked at Derek, " When all this began to come down, I left them running. Since we only really use them when guests are here or nobodys home, I thought it was a good thing if we kept a good eye out today."
"Good thinking Nick." The corners of the precepts mouth twitched. "Does this mean that we will have a picture of this room when it all went down?"
"Yeah, we should unless our 'Mystery Guest' has any other clever trick up his sleeves."
"Good, then we can find out what happened here," Derek paused "and where Philip went."
The three hastened to the control room where Nick turned the security camera tape from the library. Nick was seething, how could he let this happen right under his nose! Philip was like a brother to him, with all the bad things that he said recently left so unresolved. It couldn't end here. But the situation remained. Philip was missing, Nick was going to find him, that was all there was to it.
As the scene replayed to the stunned trio, one thought came to all their minds. How had the intruder just disappeared. How was that possible!
"How?" Nick began, another voice cut him off.
"I can tell you that," said an unfamiliar voice.
The three turned to find Rachel and an unfamiliar woman standing at the doorway. She had red/blonde hair, hazel eyes was about middle height and athletic looking. She wore black jeans and an oversized olive sweater. Nick found himself trusting this lady even though he didn't know who she was.
"Catherine Duran, from Tampa." She introduced herself and held out her hand to Derek.
He took it,"Derek Rayne, Precept. This is Nick Boyle and Alexandra Moreau."
"I know who you all are, I read your files before coming here. I saw the end of the security tape, I know this thing." Duran sighed, "I know it very well. I've been chasing it for 300 years."
Gasps of astonishment swept the room. 300 years! What was going on here?
"Nick, call up the file grudge match from the central database, the story is there. I'll tell you the rest after that." Duran sat down, head in her hands,"I should have come sooner."
Rachael spoke for the first time
"What is this thing to you?" She asked concernedly. She had just met the girl and now she was claiming to be 300 years old.
"Files up," Nick interrupted." He scanned it quickly "It seems that 300 years ago two spirits fought, a priest imprisoned them in human bodies and locked their freedom away in stone tablets," he paused, "the myth is that they were doomed to live forever until they were released from the tablets. In human form."
Every looked at Duran, who was nodding.
"And so it has been for me for 300 years, looking for the tablets, trying not to get noticed." She sighed. "The human bodies we inhabit can die, they just don't age while we are in them.I have had this particular body for 150 years."
"What about the soul inside the body you take?" Alex asked.
Duran smiled, "she's here with me, a part of me. When she dies, I will take the body nearest to me. We can only be parted by death, or release."
"So the stone tablet we had ..."Nick stated
"Was one of the two tablets that will free me. I have the other with me." With that Duran pulled open her purse and drew the tablet out.
"You have had the means for your freedom and you didn't use it?" Derek looked into her eyes. "Why not?"
"Because I don't know which tablet was which, he doesn't know either. He will have Philip translate the tablet, then he will know it may or may not be his."
"And if he's smart," Nick made the leap of logic "he'll want the other one too!"
Duran looked around at their faces. She knew they believed, how could they not? At least it gave them hope of finding the priest, for that she was glad.
Derek summed it up.
"We now need to get word out that we have another tablet and then we wait and see what the Demon will do." He peered at Duran. "I hope he's not too patient."
"He's not." Duran smiled grimly, "He's not!"
* * *
About that time a certain Parrish priest was waking up. Philip groaned as he tried to sit up and cradled his aching left side. The electrical bolt had singed him somewhat, the skin was raw and very tender.
"About time you woke up!" came a voice from behind him. "I was beginning to think you never would!"
Philip turned around to see he intruder from last night.
"What do ya wan' with me?" Philip thought he knew that answer.
"You know why." The man walked closer."I want to know what is on that tablet."
"What if I don't tell you?" Philip looked into the mans eyes and was suddenly afraid, nothing but blackness radiated out. It was as if the being before him was all evil.
The Demon laughed, a harsh and unpleasant sound.
"If you don't help me.I may just have to kill myself!"
Philip wondered why this sounded like a really bad thing. He began praying.
It was a waiting game, everyone at the Legacy house knew there was nothing they could do until the Demon tried to make contact. Nick was the worst, he knew nothing he did was going to make this go any faster. Still, he called all his street contact and put the word out. Maybe they would get lucky, maybe.
Over in the control room, Alex, Duran, and Rachel were running a search for known phenomena involving 'disappearing'people. It was slow going and not much ended up being useful.
Derek had called a repairman and he was with them in the library, getting estimates on the carpet.
No one was ready when the call came in.
Dawson, the head-of -house, poked his head inside the control room.
"A call for Miss Duran, line one." he said and departed. It had been seven hours since Philip had been kidnapped.
Frowning, Duran picked up the phone.
"Hello?" she said offhandedly. The voice that answered her chilled her to the bone. It was him! She immediately put it in speaker, and motioned Raphael to get Derek and Nick.
"Hello Ari. Been awhile,hasn't it?" sarcasm practically dripped from the phone.
"Hello Goth, where do you want to meet?" She answered him sighing.
"Ooh! No clever words? No chit-chat? I'm shocked, the few times we have actually gotten together you've been much more talkative!"
"I just want this over with, where do you want to meet?" She looked up as Derek and Nick came pelting through the door.
"I'll meet you at the Legacy house. I bring my tablet, you bring yours. Yes, I know you have itit. And we'll get this over with once and for all."
"Alright Goth, it will be done." She dreaded her next question" Are you going to bring the priest with you?" Everyone in the room held their breath.
Goth's harsh laughter was not what they expected. Something was dreadfully wrong.
"oh, I could bring him, but you may not like it! It took me three hours to convince him to help me, then he told me that it could be my tablet, or yours. I wasn't too happy about that." Goth paused," But we may yet need him. O.k. Ari, I'll keep him alive until the meeting."
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, at least Philip was alive. Now they had to deal with another visit from the Demon.
"Thank you Goth," Duran/Ari spoke up, relief evident in her voice" When can we expect you?"
"I'll be there midnight, same time as the first casting. So be ready." With that he signed off.
Duran/Ari hung up the phone. It was 8:00p.m. Four hours until the meeting. Would she be finally free, or would she finally die for all eternity. It was an unnerving feeling, after living for 300 years, in four hours, it would all end.
Raphael sensed her disquiet. "Are you o.k.?"
"No." she sighed. "For 300 years I have waited and prayed for this day, now I'm not sure I want it to come."
"Are you afraid?" Derek asked softly, coming around to look into her eyes. He caught her gaze and held it. The sadness contained in those eyes was boundless. He felt sorry for her.
"Yes, I fear this meeting. I will be free, or I will be destroyed for all time. There is no in between for me now." She saw Dereks expression of pity, and smiled. "But come what may, I will remember your kindness."
"Do you think Philip is alright?' Alex asked the room at large.
"Sounded like demon-boy wasn't too kind to him.' Nick answered her.
"He never is." Duran whispered.
"At least we know he's alive," Derek looked at he others."We have four hours, then we will know. I suggest we all rest until then."
The others filed out of the room ,lost in their own thoughts. At lest they knew that soon their wait would be over. Duran/Ari watched them go. Sighing, she realized that she wanted to go outside and see the ocean. Maybe for the last time.
* * *
Philip groaned, the last session had been brutal. The enraged demon had thrown him into the wall when he found that the tablet was not specifically his. For three hours he had tried explaining to the beast that if he spoke the words,it was 50/50 that he would be freed. It had been a painful three hours. Finally he had convinced the demon, and he had left the room.
The priest prayed silently that this would not put his friends in danger, he asked God to keep them safe.
When the demon had left the room, Philip had checked the door, finding it locked, he looked for other means of escape. Finding none, he realized that there was nothing he could do. His head ached, the burns on his left side were like fire, and when the demon had thrown him into the wall, he was sure he heard a rib pop. He began to wonder if he was ever going to see the light of day again. Then he heard the door open.
"Well, it seems we are going on a little trip." The demon beckoned for Philip to follow him out the door.
"Where are we going" Philip said through clenched teeth as he painfully got to his feet.
"I'm taking you home." The demon smiled cruely at his astonishment."There you will translate the other tablet and release me or I will kill all of your friends."
He took the priest by the arm and again the two shimmered and disappeared.
* * *
It was finally time. At ten minutes to twelve, all members of the Legacy house were in the conference room, waiting for Goth to arrive. Duran was the last one in. She wore a white shift, tied at the waist with a silken cord.
Alex looked a t her questioningly.
Duran/Ari smiled." This is what I wore 300 years ago when I woke up, it is only fitting that I wear it again." She answered the unspoken question.
"What will happen to 'Duran' if you are freed?"Derek asked.
" She will have her life to live. She was 28 when I entered her life, now she will be 28 again,and live to grow old as any other mortal would." Duran/Ari paused. "He's coming"
"'He's' here" Came a voice from nowhere. Over in a corner of the room, the light shimmered and Goth and Philip appeared. Philip held the tablet in his hands.
Derek's jaw clenched at the sight of the bruises on Philips face. But at least he looked coherent. The priests sweatshirt was charred on the left side and he was holding his ribs. But he was alive, and to Derek that was all that mattered.
"Where is the other tablet?" Goth asked.
" Right here," Ari pointed to the table, on it lay the other tablet. The demon pushed Philip at the table. Without a word Philip examined it. A startled expression crossed his face.
"It's the same!" He said aloud.
"What!" The demon cried, and came over to the table. He looked over Philip's shoulder. It was true, the two tablets were exactly alike. Like two halves of the same coin. Goth bellowed in rage,"What kind of joke is this!" He yelled, and went ballistic.
As Philip joined the two pieces of the tablet together, he didn't see the flailing arm until it was too late.
Nick saw Philip go down, the demon was now directing his attack at Duran/Ari, she struggled to hold him off . Nick saw they were not paying attention to him and ran over to where Philip lay. He pulled his friend into his arms, there was no breath, no signs of life at all. Philip was dead. "NOOOOOOO! Nick howled.
Everyone was either looking at Nick or the battle going on in the room. No one noticed a blue mist slowly seeping from the no joined tablets. It formed into a man who looked calmly at the scene before him.
The battle raged from one side of the room to the other. On one side of the conflict was Derek, Alex, and Rachel. On the other was Nick and Philip. Derek tried desperately to join Nick but to no avail. He had been knocked back to the others as soon as he tried to get by. They were stuck where they were, unless something drastic happened.
"Derek," Alex helped him to his feet. "Are you alright!"
"Just a little winded. I have to get over there."
Rachel looked over at Nick, he sat there cradling Philip against his body, tears running down his cheeks. Ever since his ragged cry the three of them had no doubt that the beast had killed their friend. Rachel felt her own tears slide as she helped Alex pull a woozy Derek to his feet.
"Maybe if we each go one way one of will reach them." Rachel too felt the need to go there as soon as possible.
"No," Derek whispered,"I don't want to lose another friend." He paused. "When the time is right, we will make our move, until then Nick will have to cope.
It was then that Alex noticed the figure.
"Derek! Look!" She exclaimed.
The other two followed her gaze and gasped. "Now what?" they all thought.
Ari was blocking everything he threw at her, it was almost a dance. Each move he did she blocked as if it was choreographed. This was all too familiar. It was 300 years ago all over again. This time death had already happened. Ari was never more sorry for a prediction to come true than now. Poor Philip, he did not deserve to die. She needed to end this but didn't know how.
Nick couldn't believe it, the feeling of relief when he saw Philip alive and somewhat well had given way to complete shock. He felt nothing. He looked up at the others, they were trapped on the other side of the room. The action of the two fighting made it impossible for anyone to get by safely. Nick looked down at his friend. So still, so silent. Now he would never be able to apologize, he had blow his chances for the last time.
The blue tinged figure stared dispassionately down at the scene below him. They were still fighting, it was not time. Then he saw the felled priest, remorse struck him. Goth had killed the priest because he had imprisoned them 300 years ago. A priest for a priest. It was time this ended.
In the heat of battle, Ari only knew she had to keep Goth from killing the others. He was no longer listening to any reason, she felt his despair as if it was her own. Then she noticed the figure above the tablet and stared at it in shock.
Goth noticed her shock and whirled around to see what had distracted her. He too stared in wonder. It was the image of the priest who long ago had trapped them, he had come back!
The figure floated down to the floor."I had hoped that you would have stopped fighting by now."
"What right have you to judge us!' snarled an angry Goth.
"He has every right, Goth," Ari smiled sadly."We would have destroyed the world had we not stopped."
"I don't care about that anymore" Goth was screaming now. "I just want it to end!"
Ari stared at him in wonder. Had Goth finally learned? Did he finally realize the truth? She looked hopefully at him, and stretched out her hand.
"Please Goth, let me heal you!" She was afraid but hopeful. " Let us become one again!" All four of the living humans were stunned by that statement. "'Become one?" what did that mean?"
"Of course", Derek made the leap in judgment,"Two halves of the same spirit. Two halves of the same tablet. Everything in twos."
"Yes," Answered the spirit priest "All except for one thing"
Everyone looked over at Phillips body.
"You need him to make us whole, don't you?" Ari said shakily
"Yes" was all the spirit would say.
"This is my fault," Goth looked at the priest," What can I do to make it right."
The realization that he needed to be one with Ari again brought back a flood of memories. For a few moments he was able to see past the negative thoughts and emotions and remembered what it was like to be free and whole. He had to be there again, no matter what the cost. He was not prepared for Ari's next words.
"I will give my life force to him so that he will live. Goth can go back to where we belong and he will trouble this world no more. The Father will forgive you as well, and peace will have been restored."
The Legacy members felt a brief stirring of hope, if only it could be. It was soon dashed.
"It is not enough, your life force for his is acceptable, but your spirit will still wander this realm. It too must go." The spirit was sad, he hoped with all his might that God would forgiveand let it all be right, but he understood that this was his problem. All things must be right for the pact to be accepted.
"I will take her spirit," Goth shocked even the priest. "I will be whole again. Only then will I be free."
An angelic light came through the window, a feeling of good will, peace and power flooded in with it. All knew that the curse had been broken. The stunned members of the Legacy watched as two spirits floated out of Durans and the other mans body. They touched and a brilliant light blinded them all.
When they could all see again, Derek and the others hurried to Nicks side. Where there had been two spirits, one Light one Dark, no there was one. Duran came over to stand with Derek. The man turned and sighed, staying where he was. The spirit of the ancient priest was gone, borne up to the heavens as the beings merged.
The newly rejoined spirit walked over to the men first.
"Tom, what I did in your body is not your fault, please forgive me." The spirit touched his forehead. All the pain he felt was taken away and replaced with love.
"It's alright," he found himself saying, "It was your nature."
The spirit smiled ad moved to Duran.
"Well sister, it is time. Are you content?"
"Oh yeah. I'm a little over 150 years old and I look like I'm 28. I'll be fine." Duran smiled and reached out and touched the spirits face."Bye, Arigoth!"
Arigoth moved on, the most difficult task was ahead. She knelt next to Philip's body and touched his forehead. Nick saw light flooding from one to the other, then Philip's eye's flew open and he took a gasp of air.
"Peace be unto you," she whispered and removed her hand. Her tasks done she looked at the others."He is alive now, but I cannot heal him. He will have to do that normally."
Alex spoke for them all,"Thank you for his life."
The spirit nodded and disappeared, leaving the living to their life.
Nick Boyle stood on the dock, gazing out over the ocean. The others were inside celebrating the fact that Philip Callaghan was still among the living. The object of their attention had refused to go to the hospital after it was discovered that he had second degree burns on his left side and two broken ribs. He had maintained that he was lucky to be feeling anything at all. Derek finally interceded and had Rachel treat him .
Nick had left then, he needed to sort things out. He knew Philip had died, knew it the second he had pulled him into his arms. He had seen alot of men die,he was sure. Now that his friend lived, he didn't quite know what to do about this. He knew he had to talk to Philip and work this out. But not tonight. He was not ready.
Inside the scene was very different, the Members of the Legacy house welcomed Duran back t the realm of mortals and welcomed Thomas Parsons back from demonic possession. Thomas was so grateful to everyone for welcoming him, he couldn't stop smiling. It seemed that he and Catherine Duran shared the memories of the divided spirit. This gave them a close bond. Thomas had even gone so far as to ask Derek about joining the Legacy.
Derek Rayne was happy, today had been full of some of the worst experiences of his life, and some of the best. Philips resurrection was probably one of the happiest moments in his life. He had watched his friend die and it ripped his heart in two. To see him reborn was a miracle. Derek began to see why Philip needed to be a priest. At that second that very same priest came down the stairs, he was arguing with Alex and Rachel.
"I tell you I'm alrigh'!" He sounded exasperated "I promise you Rachel I'll be good and keep quiet and stationary."
That did not mollify the good doctor.
"Rachel, I promise to do what you say, but I don' want to go to the hospital." He looked into Derek's smile as he hit the bottom of the stairs.
"Stop pestering him ladies, I'll make sure he behaves!" Derek fixed his friend with a stern look.
Philip raised his hands in surrender and allowed Dawson to lead him to a comfortable chair by the fireplace. The others settled around the room. Alex and Rachel on either side of Philip, to Dereks everlasting amusement and Philips chagrin. Alex smiled at him reassuringly and winked at Rachel, who winked back.
"You're outnumbered Philip." Duran laughed.
"So it would seem!" he shook his head. Then he frowned, something was not right.
"Philip, what is it?" Rachel asked.
"Where's Nick?" He looked around for his friend.
He remembered waking up from his 'death' with Nick at his side. Rachel had filled him in with what happened during the time he missed. She had said Nick was crying when he realized Philip was dead. The last thing Philip wanted was to cause pain to his friends, especially Nick who's friendship was still strained. What if Nick hated him now?
"He went outside," Dawson informed him as he gracefully handed everyone drinks.
Philip sighed, he needed to talk to Nick, now. He glanced over at his protectors and slowly stood up.
"And where do you think you are going?" It was Rachel in a concerned voice. Philip turned and looked at her.
He stared her down "Don' worry I'll be careful. I think Nick may need to talk."
Rachel started to argue, then saw the look in his eyes and gave in. He wasn't going to back down. He smiled at her and walked out of the room.
Dawson met him at the door with a cut and two bottles of Guiness.
Philip chuckled and took the beer and went outside to find his friend. It wasn't hard as Nick was in his usual spot on the dock. So intent was the ex-SEAL he never heard Philip approach.
"It's cold out, come inside." Nick jumped at the sound of his voice. When he realized who it was he glared at the priest.
"I don't want to talk right now." With that he headed off.
"Nick...." He was saying as he reached for his friends shoulder to stop him. The instant he did that, he knew it was a mistake. The broken ends of the ribs grated against each other painfully and he almost fell down. Nick caught him and eased him to the ground.
"Thanks Nick." He whispered "I'll be fine in a second"
He looked up at Nicks worried face and gave a weak smile. The paid faded and he motioned for Nick to help him up. Gently Nick pulled Philip upright .
"Maybe you should go back to the house" Nick suggested.
"You coming" Philip asked. Nick shook his head. "Then I'm not going."
"Damn it Philip! I don't want to talk about this right now!" Nick shouted
"Then don't" Philip retorted, and held out the beer "I just want to stand here and drink a beer with my friend. No talking required"
Nick was so taken aback that he actually started laughing. Philip smiled and offered a Guiness to his friend. Nick took the beer and opened it. The two men sat and watched the sun come up. Later they talked.
By the time they got back to the house, everyone was asleep, the two men went to their room and soon followed everyone into slumber. For once no one had any visions or nightmares, all was well in the house.