Imperial March: Episode 2

[Decisive turning point of one of my main characters – I apologise for all the drama 😉 ]

Silence crept over the cold stone floor. It lingered at his feet, proceeded to stroke his legs gently. Numbness seeped in; it engulfed his body, his heart, his soul. Two of which he felt he had just lost forever.


It was barely a whisper and not more than a breeze of wind, barely even breaking the calm before the storm that was sure to come. The honey-coloured eyes were fixed on a spot only a few feet away from him, the heap of blood and more that he did not want to see – that made it impossible for him to avert his broken gaze.

He stirred back into full consciousness as he heard the steps that belonged to the feet he hated so much, felt the eyes resting upon him that he never dared to look into – that followed him into his every nightmare. As he raised his head, he realised that it had been a mere spectacle to him. His stomach turned to ice.

“Auden, my dear, my pet,” the dark, cruel voice sneered, curiously ending in something resembling a purr – if a purr could be dangerous. He did not have the strength of shudder, did not honour the torturous teasing with a reply. He felt the soft hands release him of the chains that had cut into his flesh, drawing blood from his wrists when he had pulled at them earlier, screaming, itching to help her.

They fell. Still he did not move.

“I take it you have enjoyed the little show. You know, it was your fault alone. You gave me no other choice.”

All of a sudden, Auden’s head jerked towards the other man. With a savage growl, he grabbed him violently. “You bloody bastard. I’ll kill you. I’ll kill you all, and if it’s the last thing I do, Xavier. All.” His expression didn’t indicate that he noticed any pain at all when he was pushed against the stone wall and his shoulders were caught in the bloody chains.

“Try me,” was the calm reply. Auden felt the hand on his wrist and noticed the disapproving gesture. “I do not like my things bloody. You should know. I shall see you later, little one.”

“You’ll see. Sooner or later, you will pay,” he snarled in reply.

“There is no use in trying. You are no match for any of us. You have nothing left to fight for, I saw to that.”

He stared after him. When he heard the key turn in the heavy lock, he felt the heat of anger rush through his veins. Had he had the tools of his trade at his disposal, he would have done it then and there. But no; not anger – hatred. The same hatred that he had built up for the last five years, now multiplied by an infinite number. It would be slow. It would be glorious. It would be neat. He’d show them how his training had paid off. He would give them what they wanted – the broken boy, the broken man, the creature they had brought into being. But he would not rest until every single one of them lay at his feet, their blood drained and their horrifying eyes never opening again. Even if it took a lifetime to wait for the right moment, he would be there to seize it when nobody would expect it. When they did not remember to be scared of their own shadows when he was around.

Auden slowly dropped to his knees, staring at the bundle of flesh and blood that had been supposed to become his family once. A few minutes ago, and yet they already felt like a century; a completely different life.

He extended his hand, not knowing whether he would be able to touch hers. Then he leaned forward, raised the unmoving limb to his lips. He pressed a final kiss on it, on the blood-smeared lips, and slipped the ring from her finger. His fist closed around the tiny silver object when he felt, maybe for the last time, precious, lonely tears run down his cheeks. Xavier was right. He had nothing to fight for anymore.

He had nothing left to lose, either.

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