"MY TWIN SISTER? WHAT THE FUCK!"
Dad had a sad little smile on his face as he drained the final drops of liquid from his glass. He stood up and turned his back to me, and launched into a tale I was quite unprepared for.
"Your Mother was a member of the Lesser Flight, a soldier of God who had but one rare gift from her people, the ability to see the future. Your mother had a repeating vision, of a child born of Light and Dark who would unite the warring factions and bring about peace. Your mother knew that she was fated to be the child bearer and left Heaven to come to Earth. She would find a mate and raise the child of both worlds, to hold all things in balance. She spent many months investigating the Dark Walkers before settling on me. Why me she never said, what qualities I posses I will never know, but she chose me."
He paused before continuing.
"When your Mother told me of her vision I admit I only saw the profit. A dual Walker had unlimited potential and I readily agreed to her bargain, thinking to kill her in the end. As we consummated the arrangement, something strange happened, a magic that coursed through us, binding me to her and your protection, an magic more powerful than my own."
He grew silent for a moment, as if lost in the memories before he continued.
"Our union had awakened magic long forbidden and both Heaven and Hell wanted the child. There was much debate as to who would raise the child, with what path to follow, but in the end it was your Mother who decided. She had another vision, one of her birthing twins. It was deemed by both sides that each would raise a child, your Mother would return with one to Heaven, and the other would be raised by the Armies of Hell. I was to be left out."
"The birthing process was very difficult and birthing the first born, your sister, caused much internal damage. No amount of magic could repair the injuries caused. Your Mother fought to stay alive to give birth to you. As your Mother lay dying, she used the last of her strength to cast a final spell, binding you to me to be raised on Earth."
"She had one final vision the night before you were born, of the fate of the world and our place on it. One child would become a destroyer, tearing the factions of the world apart. The other child a bringer of balance, the one she originally saw in her vision. Your mother feared the child raised by the Dark would become the destroyer, and bound my will, and your own, together. She believed that raised by me, she could avert her prophesy. What we both failed to consider is that your sister, raised by the Light, would herald the truth of her vision."
That had probably been the most my Dad had ever said to me. There aren't many times in my life when I am speechless but this was one. There were still so many questions, but I couldn't form the thought in the swirling mess that was my brain. I had a sister, raised by the Light, and she wanted to destroy all I was sworn to protect. A TWIN SISTER that I was never told about. A part of me wanted to wonder if he was speaking the truth, but deep down, I thought he was. I finally jammed my thoughts into some measure of order.
"Wait.... so Light Walkers took my sister back to Heaven, retreating from this realm in the process to train their savior, and left me with you? They thought that I would be the destroyer because I was raised by the Dark, why didn't they just kill me as a baby? Better yet, if you were sworn under a magic oath to protect me, why were you such a....well dick about it?"
Dad smiled, looking back to me.
"A bargain of peace had been struck, child for child, to each his own. To kill you then would have sparked a war of proportions that neither side was prepared for. The Elder Flight were quite... disturbed that you had been bound in my care. The mixing of magics that caused your birth were unlike any other in history. They could find no way to undo the spell. As they were never made privy to the prophecy, they left you in my care. As to how I raised you, I let fate decide what your path would be. You have become the person you are now due to my actions, favoring neither Light nor Dark, forging your own path in this world. Independence could be my only gift to you, for fear of either side swaying you to become the destroyer. I gave you that which you would need to survive."
That fucker. By abandoning me, neither side had claimed me. I could see now why he had offered me token positions in his kingdom. They had been tests. Tests of faith. By choosing my own way, I became my own person, beholden only to myself. Dad always was a smooth son of a bitch.
"Why did you never tell me about this? About my sister? About who I really am?"
Dad stopped to refill his goblet from the decanter, the rich darkly red liquid flowing into the glass. He savored a long sip and put the glass back.
"As part of the bargain or peace, each child was to be kept from the other. The possibilities of the two of you combining your knowledge was to great a temptation for either side to face. That is why the Armies of Light retreated to Heaven, leaving the Earth to fend for itself on the mortal plane. They relied more heavily on their Vatican agents on this world, and focused on the grooming of their savior."
"As to why I never told of the prophecy? I didn't know which one was which until now. I have never taken a risk where there is nothing to be gained. Prior knowledge could have affected your judgement, or your outcome. I knew that when the time was right, you would know what needed to be known."
"Okay Dad, let's say that I believe everything you have told me, that my entire life has been leading up to a moment like this. Why the fuck are the Armies of Hell trying to STOP me from attacking my sister? I've fought demons, ogres, trolls, and several conduits. Shouldn't they want to help me protect them?"
Dad slowly shook his head.
"That, son, I do not know. The fact that I was also visited tonight by agents of the Dark. Fell attacked me here at my home, in my mind thinking to find you. They fought well, but I feel we have not seen the last of them this day. There is another force at work here my son, a force that threatens Dark and Light Walker alike. I feel it is your fate to find out the why."
Why does this shit always happen to me? I futilely searched my pockets for another smoke, but had to contend myself with flicking my lighter back and forth. As I stood there, lost in thought I could feel the sensation of True Dawn pass over. I was going to be stuck here for a while, until nightfall and False Dawn before I could meet up with Quint and Bella and maybe shed some light on the rest of the answers I needed. It was my Father who spoke next.
"True Dawn has passed my son. It seems you will be with us for a short while. I will have your old room prepared and you can rest there. We will have a meal prepared when you awaken and we can discuss your next course of action. Then I will arrange transportation to St. Mary's hospital for you, surely the first stop of wherever this takes you."
Dad was right, I was tired and needed some rest. I pushed myself to hard today. He led me downstairs and had my rooms prepared as I cleaned myself up. I hardly recognized the battered asshole staring back at me in the mirror. I ran my hands through my ragged hair and inspected how sunken my eyes looked. The adrenalin of the previous day and the shock of my origin finally sinking in had started wearing off and I felt old and tired. I really wanted a smoke too. I turned on the shower and grabbed the soap before hopping in. It seems like as soon as that hot water hit my face, the weight of the night hit me. I scrubbed down hard, watching the trail of blood and dirt circle the drain before spiraling down.
After toweling off I saw that clean clothes had been paid out in my room, though the old ones still lay crumpled at the foot of my bed. Some one had also dropped off a sandwich and bottle of beer. Oh and praise fucking God a pack of smokes. I guess Dad did remember the stuff that mattered after all. I lit up the cigarette first before grabbing the pants and slipping them on. While I inhaled that sweet sweet flavor I grabbed my gear from the pile of that lay at my feet. I took a few minutes to empty out the pockets and sort my harness before inhaling the sandwich and beer. Eh, imported, but it still tasted good. I set the alarm on my cracked watch and laid back on the bed. I rested my eyes for a few moments, thinking about how I should call Bella up and check on her and Quint. I fished the cell out of my jacket pocket and thumbed in her number. It rang a few times before she picked up.
"Hey Bell, its Alex. Wanted to check on you, make sure that you and Quint were okay."
"Yeah Alex, Quint's in surgery right now, but the Vatican PD just arrived. Last I heard the docs said he had been stabilized. I'm sure that he'll be fine."
"That's good to here Bella, how are you holding up?"
I tried real hard to keep the level of concern down in my voice.
"Still pretty sore, they gave me some pain killers but I refused treatment. One of the Vatican guys is going to fix me up."
"That's great Bella, listen.. I just want to say how sorry.."
"Cut the shit Alex. You don't need to apologize for anything. I am a big girl and I knew what I was signing up for. You don't turn your back on friends, no matter what happens. So knock off the pity party."
Bella always was one of a kind. She still probably knew me better than anyone had ever, except Jules. I pushed down the melancholy and proceeded to tell her where I had went and filled her in what my Father had told me. I also mentioned that her Dad was sending over some re-enforcements that would help keep an eye out. She took the news far better than I did, agreeing that we had a lot to figure out. She was going to check with some of her contacts and get some rest while I did the same, agreeing to meet after False Dawn at the hospital.
I hung up the phone and laid back on the bed. It was good knowing that Bella was still with me. Tired, I closed my eyes and slipped off to a sleep far faster than I would have thought possible. I dreamt strange dreams of walking in the Light in my Dark Form and of battles with Angels. I dreamt of a sister I had never met, of fighting the only other person who could know what it felt like to be trapped by your own powers. Mostly I dreamt of failing.. Failing Bell, failing Quinton, failing Father Mal... and failing Juliet. All of the failures left in my wake, and of failing the one job that I couldn't afford to fail. My destiny.
It had been a rough sleep and it didn't take much to wake me up. It was a far off thump that first roused me. Then another. Suddenly it sounded as if hundreds of thumps banged against the structure of the house, shaking the furniture and bed. I bolted up and opened the door. The hallway was bustling with servants and minions moving towards the main quarters. I grabbed the first one I saw, a short goblin with mottled green and brown skin.
"What the FUCK is going on?"
"Its the Master's house. We are under attack!"
I dropped the gob and darted back into the room and quickly threw on my shirt and harness, shoving my feet into my boots at the same time. Whoever was bold enough to attack an Ancient in his place of power was either monumentally stupid, or powerful, and based on last night my guess was powerful. They had already broken one place of power, what's one more to get after little ole me. I glanced at my watch as I bolted out the door. Great. High fucking noon. Things just got real god damn interesting.
I pounded the stairs two at a time to get back up to the main floor, I could already feel my skin prickling as I entered the foyer. There was my Father locked in combat with a Light Walker. An Angel, of the Greater Flight at least. Golden skinned and white winged, glowing a fierce golden entwined with Blue. My Father's own aura flared Red and Black as well. Several of his minions clashed with other Light Walkers, but they had the number. It was a fight that was going to be out of control way to fast. It was another sight that concerned me more however, Users, one on the house, and at least one more that could be seen with my Sight through the open doorways to the outside. In the sunlight.
They were channeling as conduits, wrapped in pillars of Magic that were breaking the protective spells surrounding my Father's estate. A familiar sight that I had already seen once before, at St. Augustine's. Those had to be the primary targets, take them out and my father's Users could really even the playing field. The kicker was that at least one was outside, and there was plenty of daylight between them and us. That meant one thing. I would have to go. Out there. This job was so much simpler when it was just werewolves you know.
Guilt is a real mother fucker.
End of line.