25 Chapter 16: A Vengeful Red: Daki
I hear him. I hear him muttering to someone or something that wasn't there or that I couldn't see. I was worried but I lay on my side of the floor, I didn't know what to do, I didn't know what his anchor was, what was keeping him tied to his humanity? I wondered whether or not it was his mother but she was gone, he wanted to be numb to be free from the pain. I thought about my anchor it was my brother, one day it just hit me that he was dead, that he was the burned boy, blackened by fire. I thought about what he went through, I felt strangely relieved for him, my brother was freed. My mind was brought back to Lockan, he was held so close that he breathed his mother's ashes as she burned, she died screaming and he listened. He watched as the one person in the world who cared about him died. He now listens to her, it, The Angel of Unravelling and Ascension. "Lockan" I call for him he keeps whispering "Lockan, think of your mother, she would want to fight it, go through it, you owe her this" I had learned from the death of my parents that the only way to fight pain and win was to endure it. The unstoppable force and the immovable object.
I walked to the sermon along with Lockan and many breaking and broken others. There were few who fought back, they whispered "there's a ship coming"
"how do you know, someone saw the ship on the river, when they tried to escape" escape now I know that it was possible. Everything was on schedule, there was a slight anomaly, there was a strangely high amount of eyes watching Lockan, they were going to come for him. I was going to be ready. I tried to reach him, talking to him about his mother, about my brother and the people I cared about, I asked him questions he was unresponsive. His lips moved, they spoke no words, at least not to me. I begged I pleaded, I then resigned myself, I was going to get him out, maybe one of our healers can help him. I could only hope.
Someone came in, I freeze, play broken, as I sat there and the cultist looked at me I wondered, was I broken had the void already consumed me. In that moment I knew the fire could never really be snuffed out, it fought against the void that surrounded it. Even though the fire burned it was changed, it was broken then it rebuilt itself, made itself burn not a bright and living orange, but a crimson. A Vengeful Red. The guard turned his back to me, looking at Lockan. He made mistakes, he was supposed to be ascended, yet he came when there were no others, he turned his back to me when I was now standing behind, in a quick grab his head and snap his neck. He fell to the ground. Vengeful Red. I look at the body lying on the floor. Lockan had no reaction. He just sat there looking at the body. I search the dead man for keys, I found them, I grab it and pull Lockan "Lockan get up" my vision fogged "please" I start sobbing "I can't do this without you" his lips moved but he never spoke "Lockan, you have survived years of abuse from your father, you survived years on your own, you are stronger than this" I pleaded, I lightly tapped him on the face trying to bring him out of his stupor "your mother gave up her freedom, so you could live a happy life, you don't get a choice, you don't get to give up because then her sacrifice will be in vain" he seems to respond "you don't get to do that" I get up and pull on his arm. He gets up and I walk him out of the gate.
The halls are empty, I try to remember anything I could that could lead to an escape. The hallway seemed longer than it did before. I thought about all the others that aren't free, my neighbours I wasn't going to leave them behind. I hear whispering, I turn around to look at where it was coming from already knowing where it was coming from. "I will, anything for you" he turns to me "your sacrifice will be of great service to the angel" he smiles, an uncanny smile. He lunges at me, I feel his hands wrapping around my throat, my breath rasps and scrapes against my throat as I try to force it in and out. The edges of my vision darken, a numbness spreads through me growing more intense. The dark from around the edges of my vision and was growing consuming everything else, "your mother loves you" those were the only words that could escape my throat, it was a miracle that I could speak at all "please" I beg, I didn't want to die "stop". I try to push his hands away from me and remove it from my throat but he was stronger than me, "your mother loves you" I speak his mother's last words to him, trying to make the pain come back in, hoping that it would win against the battle of numbness, of the void. It dawns on me clearer than day, he doesn't want it to work he's letting the void snuff out his light because the fire burns and with that comes pain and he can't withstand it. I realise as the darkness grows and the numbness has spread and intensified, I realise that his light probably burnt bright and powerful and Life consumed it until was an ember then snuffed out with fire. There was no hope for him, there was for me and I wasn't going to die. I knew that the only way for me to kill him, I didn't want to, I didn't want to give up the closest person I had to a friend in this place, I didn't want to die. I knew that I had a choice to make before the dark and numb made it for me. I dig my thumbs into his eyes, he struggles, his grip on my throat loosening, I gasp taking in all the air that I could possibly get, I roll over so that I was on top I dig deeper, he wasn't Lockan anymore, he was one of them now, a dark desire to see all those who hurt me die screaming made me push my thumbs deeper into skull, he was limp now. I grab the keys and walk around unlocking doors some ran out and some didn't they stayed in there, it was too late for them.
Chaos erupts around me. I felt nothing, all I could think about was freedom and revenge, I walk along the hallways, freeing captives adding more energy to the flame, making it burn all those who burnt us, some people had energy when they ran, some limped. I keep unlocking the doors until I get to the last one. I open it and see someone who I thought was dead, my brother "Roan" I run to him and hug him never wanting to let go. I questioned whether or not he was real I saw the charred body, it was burnt they must've been lying, been trying to trick me into breaking, they wouldn't kill a child they were more impressionable, I chuckle slightly about how stupid I had been. Then I realise that I had to check, children were impressionable they were malleable, I looked at him, my happiness dies when I look into his eyes they held nothing in them, his lips moved but spoke nothing, "Roan, come back to me please" he doesn't react "I need you, you have to come back, you have to fight" I knew that there was no bringing him back. After years of caring for him and spending time with him making as happy as possible, there was one thing that I couldn't do for him, that was saving him, so I did the only thing that I could do at the time. I hug him once more and wrap my hands around the head, grasping the back of it, I hesitated not wanting to lose him but knowing that I couldn't be selfish, I had to do what I always did make necessary sacrifices for his happiness, "your sister loves you", I move quickly to spare him any pain and he's limp in my arms, I rest him there. I walk out not wanting to cry not yet. So I do what everyone else did. Fight.
I decide to fight. I needed an outlet. I wanted to hurt them, I wanted to make them hurt the way I did. I grab a weapon from one of the fallen cultists. I felt my fist tighten around the handle of the weapon. One of them was strangling a prisoner, so I stab him. One of them attacked me, swung my dagger, leaving a diagonal slash across her throat. I help the others, fight their way out. They were dead not all of them but some. The crowd had no strategy they just charged.We went up the stairs, people fighting their way to the top. The place was been rioting, there were more prisoners being freed because of the keys that were stolen from the cultist's corpses. We were going to escape, then I saw them a line of guards blocking the exit. I was getting on that ship if it even existed. There was no time to question the validity of that rumour. They charged, I stood where I was and so did a few of others, I wanted revenge but I wanted to live even more. So I waited. Looked for an opening, then there it was, as the line became more squashed I ran, I found myself in another hallway. I opened all the doors, found no exit but I found a window. I ran back to the battle, I wasn't going to leave them there. "there's an escape here!" I could barely hear my own voice over the battle cries. Some follow, I led them to the window, someone helped me up and I climbed through, there were others and I helped them up. I checked to see if there were others, but nobody else came. I walked with the group, across the rock, we could only find a boar every few miles. "You have anyone to get back to?" a girl said, her hair was black and her skin was pale, her eyes brown, there was a scar running along her jawline, she had freckles, her hair was long and messy "they're dead"
"How do you know?" she asked
"I watched my parents die and I killed my brother" she didn't ask any more questions leaving my answer with no context. I walked on, my toes were mangled still. My feet hurt from the walking but, I was able to endure. I survived worse. We walked for days, finding boars on some days and going without food on others, there were few lakes, we rationed and limited ourselves. I found a settlement, I was filled with energy, I needed somewhere safe I was tired of worrying about death. I beginning running towards safety. Running for me.