Chapter Eight - Sunset - Theo
I look out the window. I can see Sophie Frond searching the grounds. She looks just like all the other officers. She is perfectly camouflaged, looking just like the rest of them. I look over at David. He has put the watch and the locket into his trouser pockets. I doubt he would ever deny working with Lydia. He has grown quite... fond of her. It will definitely be difficult to make him see it my way. Fiona still doesn't see it my way, even if she has agreed to play along for now. I seriously doubt her loyalty to anyone but herself and her so called 'Lord'. I wonder if she will ever find out... I guess if anyone were to tell her, it would have to be me, mum or dad. I won't let her know unless I have to. Mum and dad won't, either. Not unless it is the only way to save Lydia Turner from harm. Our purpose in life is to keep Lydia from harm, but to make sure she dies.
When James Turner was still alive, my ancestors were close friends with him and his wife, Marie. When Lydia was born, they were at her mother's funeral. They were at her father's funeral when his time came, as well. They were always there, at Lydia's side and they were there for a reason. As time went by and the years fell away, leaving Lydia alone and hardly alive anymore, it was the Grey family who held her up and helped her out. My ancestors were her godparents and they were there to look out for her and to make sure for James that, when she couldn't cope with her half life anymore, she would die quickly and painlessly.
James only found out that the need to survive in his dear patchwork daughter was a permanent one that would keep her shackled to her existence on earth long past her time when he was on his death bed. He couldn't change it, for he didn't have the time or the necessary equipment. So, instead, he made a box. This box activates whenever there is a person dying nearby. I don't know how it works. No one does. Not even my ancestors knew. Lydia doesn't even know that it exists, let alone how it works. But, whether anyone knows how it works anymore or not, it still does and it still sends of a message. As the person dies, James Turner's voice appears in their head. At the time, everyone believed in God, so he claims to be The Lord. He tells them to kill Lydia painlessly and as quickly as possible. He tells them that it their new purpose in life. He even made it so that his voice would tell them anything they needed to hear that would make them want to follow his orders. Only once they are determined to go along with the plan will the transmission stop. Fiona Brook is the first person to hear the message and survive long enough to actually try to complete the assignment. But something went wrong. She hit her head in the carriage crash and it did something. A little amnesia, I think, as well as a change in personality. As well as becoming religious, she also became a bit of a sadist. She has managed to keep pretty much all the changes other than the new religion hidden from her parents through all these years, but I don't think she will be able to hide it for much longer. There is one thing I am very pleased about when it comes to us finding Fiona and that is that she never met me. She would never have let Diana help out if she had known she had a homosexual brother. Then again, if she knew that I am Diana's brother, then Doubt she would have been so obvious about how much she hates Lydia and how much she wants to hurt her.
Diana was dedicated to this. She was prepared to give her life to help Lydia, but none of us, not even her, thought that she actually would. She was never supposed to die. When she did, we all stood around as her coffin was lowered into the ground. It was never buried and her body was never inside. We knew that Lydia needed new skin and eyes and it was what Diana would have wanted, so we gave the parts to the person who needed them most. In the morning, it looked like the coffin had been dug up and stolen from, but in actual fact, it had never been buried in the first place and there was never anything inside to be stolen. Fiona hates Lydia even more than she already had, though, now that her best friend's skin and eyes have been reused by her. It's a pity, really, that Fiona can't appreciate the delicacy of the matter. She doesn't understand how beautiful life is because she has never wished to die, and she can't come to terms with the fact that artificial life is still life. She won't believe that Lydia has feelings or that she is anything but disgusting and evil. It really is a shame.
After a good long time, the tower of metal is dismantled and completely unrecognisable as a machine of any sort. We all look about at one another and compliment each other's work. Fiona scowls and saunters of into a dark corner to plot destruction. Actually, thinking about it, that describes Fiona quite well. Ha! Fiona Brook in a nut shell: Scowling in a dark corner plotting destruction! I chuckle quietly to myself and get a few funny looks as a result. I don't really care. I'm way past caring what other people think. You kind of have to be when so many people hate you because of who you love. I am tugged quite forcefully from my thoughts by a the sound of the front door opening with even more gusto than football teams show after winning a game. We all turn to look at the door to the entrance room. There are two voices that we can hear over the rest. Sophie's is one, but, by the looks on the other's faces, none of us recognise the other.
"You, you, you, you and you, look through there. You, you, you and you through there. You and you through there. You, you, you, you and you, there. Stop stalling and get to it, do you hear me?!" He goes on like this for a while before Sophie's voice cuts through the shower of orders and insults.
"This is my case, Jason! You are not allowed to be here!"
"Do you think I care, sergeant Frond?"
"It doesn't matter whether you care or not, because our superiors will, and they will have your badge if you like or not!"
"Oh, get out of my way, you little, girlie, idiot! I don't care! This is my case, now, and there is nothing you can do about it!"
"Oh, yeah? And why is that?"
"Because you're a girl, that's why! You are a pathetic, idiotic, stupid, useless, girl!"
"Oh, I don't think so." We hear a few bangs and crashes before a quiet thud and some unsure muttering.
might be female," We hear Sophie say. "But I sure as hell won't be
shoved around by some bigoted sadist with a bulbous head. Okay, everyone. Back
to work. Your orders from before he turned up still stand. Now get to
it." Everyone start rushing about outside the room and we all look at each
other, nervously, wondering what exactly happened. Soon enough, Sophie opens
the door a little and sticks her head through to talk to us.
"Don't worry, you lot. Some idiot wanted to get a promotion. He'll probably get fired, though. The sadist. Still, it's all over, now. He is unconscious in the entrance hall, just to warn you. If he wakes up and you need my help then get more than one of you waving at the window, got it?" We all nod and she gives us a thumbs up before leaving. Another collective exchange of confused looks passes around the room before we get back to wondering what to do next.
After around 10 minutes of making sure the machine is completely ruined, we all turn to David and Lydia to find out what to do next. They never get the chance to make a decision. The door bursts open and a man with a rapidly swelling black eye thunders in to the room. I presume he is the 'Jason' officer who was being sexist at Sophie Frond a few minutes ago. He stares at all of us and Lydia hides behind the rubble.
"What is all this?" Jason asks crossly, giving James the cat a worried look and sniffing slightly.
"We were looking about the manor." David tells him with false fear and sincerity in his voice.
"We were going to leave soon, but the police turned up and we didn't know if we were allowed to be here or not, so we hid. I am sorry, officer." He looks down at his feet in shame. I never knew David could act so well. We all follow his lead nodding nervously and averting our eyes. He is completely taken in. He makes a rubbish police officer, if you ask me. Easily fooled, violent towards his colleagues and no good at following orders. That makes a rubbish colleague, really, it doesn't just apply to police work. He glares at us all and tells us to stay in here until the police have finished their examination. We all nod and he glares around the room one more time before leaving again. We all sigh in relief and turn back to David. Lydia comes out of her hiding place.
"Well, I guess we stay here for now, then." He tells us. We all agree and pull up chairs to sit on in a circle. Lydia stands. She says that she can hide easier if she isn't sitting and that an extra chair would be suspicious. She also tells us that she doesn't get tired and has no need to sit or sleep or eat or anything that would refresh a normal person's energy. We all sigh but let her stand by David's chair. I nab the seat beside him so that she is in-between friends. She smiles at me, then at David. She seems kind of shy, but I guess she just isn't used to having friends and all of a sudden she has 9. Sophie Frond counts, I suppose, but Fiona doesn't. She wants to kill her slowly and painfully and that isn't something friends do to one another. Obviously. As if anyone doesn't know that. I smile back at her and David does, too. She looks happy. I'm glad. I hope she's happy when she dies, as well.
As the day goes on, Jason and Sophie check on us, separately, from time to time. One or the other will stick their head round the door and make sure we are all still here. They are both trying to mess up the other's plans. Jason is determined to get Sophie sacked by ruining her case, while Sophie is refusing to give up trying to get rid of him. She wants him gone and he wants her gone. The way he looked at us was very off-putting. I told her about it when we saw her after the first time he gave us that look. She looked quite worried and told us to be careful. He is not to be trusted, she said. None of us think he is any good at his job. When he turned up next, he looked at us in that exact same way. I'm not sure what it means, exactly, but I try to describe it properly in my head so that I can explain it to the others. Finally, I find an adequate description.
"It's like he knows something about us and how to use it against us. When he gives us that look, It makes me feel vulnerable, like he knows our weaknesses and he intends on using them. He seems completely merciless! It's like he knows something that we don't want anyone to know, and if we don't do what he wants, then he will tell the police. I mean, he is the police, or at least, a police officer, but you know what I mean, don't you? " I don't know if I have explained well enough, but everyone nods and looks reassuringly nervous. We all spend the next hour or so sitting about worriedly twiddling our thumbs.
As the end of the approaches, the police group up outside and Jason makes his way back to us. We watch silently from the window as Sophie finds it increasingly difficult to keep everyone away from the ballroom. Suddenly, Ben yelps and we all spin around. Jason is holding him by the throat and his struggles are getting increasingly difficult.
"All right, everyone, I know she's here somewhere. Show me the robot girl or this boy dies." We all look at each other.
robot girl, officer?" David asks, putting on a very convincing mask of
fear and confusion.
"You know what I'm talking about, kid. The robot girl, Lydia Turner! The one who's supposed to own this house! I know as well as you do that she is here and that you have made contact with her. We all know what I'm talking about, now, don't we." There is no question. There is no more lying. He knows and he knows that we know he knows. The game is over. Time for the fight to the death. I get the feeling that he will track us all down and get us all killed if he doesn't get Lydia out of the way. He is perfectly willing, as far as I can tell, to kill Ben right here and now, whether he needs to or not. Like I said before, he seems to me, to be completely merciless. Unfortunately for us, David appears to be the only one of us who's any good at acting. Luke starts panicking and runs to hide on one of the balcony areas. Fiona is nowhere to be seen. Ben chokes as Jason tightens his hold.
"Tell me." His voice is a harsh growl, a dangerous whisper, and we all know that there is no reasoning with the glint of madness in his eyes. Maybe his carriage crashed, as well? He might have the same problem as Fiona, only without the obsession with 'The Lord'. Speaking of Fiona, she is still absent when David tells him, very calmly, to let go of Ben. She is also far from the trouble when he refuses and tightens his grip even more. There is still no sign of our dear friend when Lydia comes out of her hiding place and tells him sternly to let go of the poor boy's throat. He does as he's told in favour of throwing himself in Lydia's direction. He makes a grab for her neck but her hand shoots out and he stops in mid air, swaying slightly in her grip. She holds him off the ground by his throat for about 7 seconds before letting go. He sprawls gracelessly to the floor, chocking.
"Do not manhandle my friends, Mr. Jason, sir. I do not take kindly to people who favour violence over diplomacy and strategy. You do not have the brains for strategy, I think, and you are not in short supply of kindness so much as you are completely lacking it. Therefore, no diplomacy. No sensibility or thought. I do not wish to hurt you, but we have no way of knowing what I am capable of when a friend's life is on the line. I do hope you understand what I am saying, Mr. Jason, or do I have to dumb it down for you?" He glares up at her though he is taking shaky breaths and is obviously contemplating his chances of escape.
"You are a monster." He rasps quietly. He is, of course, over exaggerating the rasp in his voice, since she didn't choke him for nearly long enough for him to be affected for so long. She points this out to him and he stops rasping. He slowly stands and meets her eyes.
"You are a monster." He repeats.
"I know." She answers with a gentle smile and a slight cock of the head.
"How can you be so calm about this?" He asks, full of nervous energy.
"Well, I am used to it, as I am sure you can understand. I have been like this for more centuries than you have brain cells, after all." Jason seems to be quite fond of glaring. The argument continues thus until a loud crash interrupts. Everyone turns to the destroyed remnants of the machine to find the long lost Fiona standing by it. She appears to have pushed a large part of it out from a lot of other large parts and it is now starting to fall down.
"What have you done?" Lydia cries.
"You could kill someone!"
"That is the general idea." Fiona answers harshly, eyes shadowed in an extremely menacing way.
"What are playing at, Miss Fiona? I have tried my best to be kind and accommodating and yet you are destroying my ballroom and trying to kill me, by the looks of it! What did I do to you?"
"You stole Diana from me!"
"No, I did not! I took her skin and her eyes, but she would be dead, now, whether or not I was around! I had no hand in her departure to the heavens. I simply reused parts of her body!" Fiona growls dangerously and throws herself at Lydia. Lydia moves aside and pushes Jason into our small group. Even now, she's trying to protect him.
"Get out!" She yells at us before ducking a punch from Fiona. Ben and Blake grab an arm each and start dragging Jason out of the room. Grace and Jacob have a quick snog before helping them. They obviously don't think they'll survive through the falling metal. We sure did manage to pile it up precariously. Fiona grabs one of Lydia's arms and tears it right off. We all knew that she was very strong, but we never imagined this much muscle. It's probably the adreneline.
"LYDIA!" David practically screeches, running to her aid. I can't hold back a slight smile before joining in the excitement. I imagined danger, but I never dreamt there would be so much to take in in such a short amount of time. I mean, it was only around midnight yesterday that we first opened the manor doors. I bet some of us are regretting this by now. I grab hold of David and try to concentrate on keeping him away from the psychopath and the cyborg, rather than the feel of a man struggling in my arms. I chuckle to myself quietly. I always find amusement in difficult situations. It's my way of dealing with things, but it often confuses people.
"What are you laughing at, at a time like this, Theo?! Why are you holding me back? I want to help!"
"I'm not laughing about anything. I'm just thinking. But, anyway, David. If you go running in there then there is a good chance you will get killed. We both know that Lydia would never purposefully hurt you, but you saw what Fiona just did to her. Don't be stupid, David. Stay out of this. Let the women have their squabble."
"This is not just a simple squabble, Theo! It's a full out, two person WAR! I cannot, will not, stand by and watch! How can you even suggest it? How can you think I would just stand by and let this happen?"
"I never thought that you would stop trying to help, I just hoped you would be sensible and understand that you can't help. There is nothing you can do, and I just hoped that you would see that." David continues to struggle and yell while Fiona and Lydia fight with fist and tongue.
"YOU ARE A MONSTER!"
"Well, at least I am not a psychopath! At least I am a good person in all other respects! I cannot extend the same compliment to you!"
"I am The Lord's chosen one! I am blessed and you are cursed! How dare you suggest otherwise?!"
"Quite easily, Miss Fiona. You see, I do not believe that your Lord actually favours you, or is even real!" Fiona gasps and grabs Lydia's arm. David pulls free. I yell after him, but he slides in between them, surprising Fiona in to letting go of Lydia. She is obviously furious about this, because she takes David's arm, instead. She pulls it from his socket, simple as. She then punches him quite hard in the stomach. He stumbles back into Lydia before collapsing in a heap, choking up blood. Lydia gives a pained cry and takes a hold of Fiona's hair. With a harsh tug, Fiona is thrown against the mountain of rubble. With the impact of her body against the large pile of old machine parts came the rapidly escalated downpour of metal. Fiona was quickly hidden in the rubble and there was no sign of movement or life of any kind from within her temporary grave. Silence reigned for a heart stopping minute before David was stumbling to his feet and looking around, panicking, searching for Lydia. Finally, he spotted one of her legs sticking out from under another precarious pile of old machine. He doesn't waste a moment before running, wobbly as he is and still coughing up blood, to her side. I run after him and the others, who had previously been too busy trying to avoid being squashed to help stop Fiona or Lydia from their eventual ends, also rush to her aid. Throwing pieces of metal about as though it wasn't a life threatening hobby to take up, we exhume the poor android and David nearly faints, I think, before he realises that she is still alive. Or, at least, as alive as she has been for the last few hundred years.
"David..." She whispers and he places a shaking hand against her cheek.
"I guess you did want to die, Miss Turner." He says quietly, obviously holding back tears.
"Please let me go, now, David? Dear friend. We have hardly known each other two whole days and yet I see you very much as the best friend I have ever had. Even more so than Diana, and she dedicated her life to me. Do not look so confused, sir. Theo will explain the rest, I am sure. He is Diana's younger brother, after all. Oh, dear, now you look even more confused."
"Don't talk, Miss Turner. It will be easier if you are not trying to continue for the sake of conversation."
"Oh, yes. Good idea, David. Goodbye, dear friend.
"Goodbye, Miss Turner. Lydia. Sweet dreams." He leans down and plants a small kiss on her forehead and she smiles up at him, lifting her hand to place it over his against her cheek. Slowly, she lets out a slow, happy sigh, and she lets go. David closes her eyes with trembling hands. There is a long silence in dedication to the recently departed. I look out the window and discover that the world is turning dark. The sun falls from his throne leaving blood and fire in his wake. As the sky fades to the deep blue of night, the moon takes his place to shine her ghostly rays upon the world, quite fittingly. The silence perseveres until the rest of our group join us in our mourning. James the cat wonders around as though he is lost.
When the others get back with Sophie, David is still coughing up blood and cradling his dislocated arm, but he is now crying over Lydia's body, as well. Everyone looks at each other, worriedly, sadly. I stand and place a comforting hand on David's shoulder, but he shrugs me off and slowly curls into a bloody, broken, tearful ball. When the police arrive, Sophie has her things back and has thought up an excuse. I feel like everything has happened so fast that I need a little time to get to grips with it all. Unfortunately, the police have a different idea.