"Nomine do you understand that I am grieving."
It is a question that cuts through a lot of noise and bullshit. "Is Sinthya really dead?" is another. "Did he rape her?" is a third. Questions that peel away skin and muscle, exposing the brittle bones underneath.
As her tears run freely, I tell her as much truth as I can. It is almost the same conversation as I had with Sinthya back when Morrigan went into the shadows, I am the last enemy, the last one who knows the long story, for them both. Reckon that means I got a duty to see more of em, rather than to paint em in my image.
Back in the now, I watch Morrigan`s face streaked by tears, no holding them back. She says she should have lived a little longer, so she could have protected Sinthya. I don`t tell her that I watched Sinthya get taken, that I could have killed her easily, spared her the pain. But giving herself to the Embrace, that was her choosen penance.Years ago, a few days after Morrigan had left this realm for the shadows, I found Sinthya. The ground around her blackened was, with an outer ring of grass, still on burning, even her clothes were on fire, eating away her clothes, but leaving her unharmed.
"Ya reliving the past Sinthya?"
"The past is gone. There is no point in reliving it."
"Yet we often find ourself visiting it." I took a seat on an old tree trunk, one that still bore the marks from another fight, that time it had been with Entriia.
"Morrigan is dead, Nomine". She closed her fists, and I watched her carefully from behind my mask.
"The only one left from my past now is -you- and I don´t know whether to make an attempt on your life or one to embrace you". The flames on her skin dies out along with the anger in her voice.
"You need to embrace me, more than you need to kill me".
She slumped down into the blackened dirt earth. Like she lost whatever it was that held her up, a shapeless, hurt, soggy mess of humanity. Staring on the ground, her shoulders trembling slightly.
We spoke some more on Morrigan, how the shadows claimed her, how they never keep anything forever and when it is returned it isn't what or who it used to be.
After a while, I called her closer. Sinthya sat down carefully, watching me like she did not know how to behave, what to expect, shared pain being a new thing after years of fighting. After a bit, she leaned into me, and I removed my mask before holding onto her.
"Mrr.. Irony would have it so that you´re the last ally I´ve got". She looked up at me, and I replied with a smile.
"One thing to call it I guess, Sinthya."
"What would you call it then?"
"Reckon we need to figure it out Sinthya, takes more time and a different situation than we have been through. --- Could call it allies, but that has yet to come in my eyes, an ya need to find yer footing again first I reckon."
"Mm ´tis a figure of speech."
She looks away from me, letting her gaze drown in the waterfall.
"What should we do, then."
"We will bury the book deep where no one can come to it easily. I know where."
"Core of it all."
"Mrr.. very well."
"Will they hunt for you?"
"Heartfang asked if I had a vision with ya Sinthya.
"Ay, a vision."
"Mmhm. And what'd you say?" I stroke her back for a few moments, trying to figure out the right reply to that question.
"Said I had a plan, but reckon her question was better than I first thought it to be. After all, plans are the down and dirty, life stained versions of a vision."
Sinthya nods "Visions can be unrealistic."
"Part of it is will be to find new reasons to go on Sinthya, to teach ya some of how I have control, an to temper, to harden yer strengths."
Sinthya gives a stern nod again.
"An to share what Lashela and I spoke of in privacy."
Sinthya gives me a quick glance, and I can see that she is intrigued, before returning her gaze to the water, biting her lower-lip briefly. Strikes me that I could seduce here right here and now. I decide not to.
"Ya were with Morrigan in the end, and ya don´t know how much I envy ya that. Reckon to help make ya whole will be a fair way to make that even."
"There is nothing to envy. She was barely coherent when I got there."
"Ya got to say goodbye; there is worth in that. I just gave her enough, so she could hold on until ya came. "
Sinthya thanks me then, before she leans fully into me, giving me a careful, timid little embrace, like somebody who never have dared to try doing that before.
We both admit to having cried for Morrigan.
I offered her a clean death, just like I offered Morrigan one. Neither of them took my offer. I reckon pain is a form of truth for both of them. Something to trust, something that won`t lie. Something pure.
I stay behind after she has left, remembering another time, back when Theramore still stood, years of war culminating with the leader of our Enemy, my captive. While I had broken and tortured Sinthya. Morrigan had remained close, the inability to protect the one she loved, being a torture in its own right, until that one day when she stood outside the house we used as a prison, eyes locked on the door, her whole body tense. Almost like she was trying to will herself through the door and into Sinthya´s room. The Sinthya she wants to see died, the one that are in that room is my creation.
Morrìgan says: I want to sssee her.
Nomine says: I see
Nomine says: Tell me Morrigan, would you pay to see her?
Morrìgan says: What do you want me to pay?
Nomine says: I´ll take that as a yes then. Would you pay through murdering somebody?
I look over her, my fingers tapping out a waltz on the flask.
Morrìgan says Yesss. Who do you want killed?
Nomine says: Even somebody who looks just like her?
Morrigan´s eyes never leaves the door. There is no doubt in her voice as she answers, and I wonder how much of that coldness is my doing.
Morrìgan says: As long as it'ssss not her.
Nomine says: Did you know she got a twin sister?
Morrìgan says: No.
I still had hope back then, for turning Morrigan, like I had turned Sinthya, make both of them into tools for a better future.
That hope vanished as Morrigan´s screamed, anger, hurt, hatred. Screaming to be let out, there was no emotion in Morrigan´s eyes when I let her out, nor when she turned to face me on the doorstep.
"I am going to kill everyone you care about. And then I'm going to kill you.---- I'm going to kill Devvy. And Chit. And every ssssingle Ssstarlighter I can get my hands on."
"And what will that achieve?"
"And I'll kill them sssslowly. Painfully."
Behind her Heartfang let out a low, slow grumble, all meanance. I don´t see Starlighters around us, but the voices on the stone let me know they are there.
"You are not going to kill any of us, not any at all."
I got a vision for Morrigan and both of us got debts to pay.