Chapter Four - The Plan - Fiona
"Well I've changed my mind and you can't force me into it." Ben complains. I seethe.
"How could you have changed your mind? We haven't even set out yet. You can't back out now." I tell him with false calm in my voice. He rolls his eyes.
"I am not afraid of humiliation, Fiona."
"Aren't you? Well then you won't mind me telling everyone in town how you vandalised the church. This is your only chance at redemption, Ben. You will do this with me, or you will burn in hell."
"Well if you're right, then I will burn in hell for being a non-believer, anyway. And for the record: I wouldn't be humiliated if you told people about the church, I would be attacked. It's very different."
"That is beside the point. The point is..."
"Yes, it is the point." He interrupts. "It was the only thing you had on me. I will not follow your every command, Fiona! You have no power over me!" Ben has always been a little over dramatic. I sigh. Pretending to be calm is really tiring.
"Listen, Ben. Until Lydia Turner is wiped from the earth, this town will have no peace. And just think what would happen if she started prying on other towns! The whole world could be in immense danger and you want to 'preserve her life'. What life? Her life ended centuries ago. All she is now is a box of memories in a metal shell. All she is good for is mangling corpses and scaring people. It is a robot. That robot is not, I repeat NOT, Lydia Turner. It is not alive and it has no feelings. It only imitates emotions. You can't preserve it's life, because there is no life in it! Do you understand me?"
"Yes, of course I understand, I just don't agree. I think that she is like the Borg, but with feelings. Like Data from Star Trek. She is as alive as either of us, it's just an artificial life. Do you understand?" I face palm. Why can't he see this my way? Why does he insist on being so ignorant? He doesn't understand as I do. He thinks that he's doing the right thing, but he's just making everything worse.
"I know that you think you are doing what's best and I know that you think it will all turn out okay if we do it your way, but you just aren't seeing this the way I am."
"And what makes you so sure that your way is the right way? What makes you think that you aren't the deluded one?" I scowl. How can he be so stupid? Of course I'm right. I feel it in my heart. God is on my side. I am doing what's right and he is being stupid, just getting in the way of The Lord. So irritating.
"You, Benjamin, are impossible. I give up. If you won't help me then can you at least promise not to get in my way?"
"I can promise no such thing. I think that she should live and therefore, I will protect her life. If that means the end of our friendship, then I am willing to take that risk. I am willing to risk a lot for what I think is right and I think that Lydia Turner should live. I don't give a damn what God thinks." I gasp. Now that's just plain wrong. I will not stand by and let him disrespect The Lord. I slap him before I really know what I'm doing. I storm away. I don't want him to hit me back. I don't look back at him. I stomp from the room crossly to hide my regret. Regret is weakness. Anger clouds your judgement. I go to my bedroom and pray to clear my head. I can hardly believe he would say something like that about The Lord. I can't be doing with this. Our friendship is now and forever terminated. There is no going back. I will not let him hold me back or get in my way. My Lord has given me a quest and I will prove to him that he was right to choose me for the task. I will succeed or I will punish myself for eternity for disappointing Him. I will never rest happy again until what is left of Lydia Turner has been demolished and discarded. Until it is gone, I will never allow myself a single treat or reward. Everything else is trivial. I must come out on top or fall down to the lowest of the low. I will fly or I will fall. I will risk my heart, body and soul, for I am prepared to do anything and everything for my Lord.
It is watching him again. I think it's obsessing over him. He seems to like it, as well. He keeps pointing out reasons why it is human-like. He seems to think it is just as human as us, but with a different type of body. I can hardly believe him. There is no doubt in my mind that he will burn in hell. I hope he does. I hope it hurts. I hope he begs for mercy. I hate him. He likes it. He sympathises with it. With the thing. The thing of the devil. He is determined to prove its worth. Why do the others follow him? He is a natural leader, I know, but he is disgusting and undeserving. I wish they would follow me instead. I would show them the true way to go. I would lead them all to heaven. They would not suffer if they followed me instead of that blasphemer. David. Lord save me, I have to pretend to follow him, too. I must lie to follow you. But my way is the true way and when I lay in eternal rest then I will have a smile on my face. I am deserving and I will stay that way, no matter what, even if no one else does.
David and Turner are still at it. It's like they never shut up. They have not stopped chatting since they first saw each other this morning. I think that I will leave him to rot with his precious cyborg when I destroy it. They disgust me. I feel like I am living in a world of lies and hate and everything is wrong. I feel like I am the only clean thing here. Oh Lord, where have you put me? What did I do to deserve this? Or is this a reward? Have you placed me in this foul prison for the grotesque and unsaveable in order to help clean it? Am I here to clean up after the demons who wreaked havoc upon this earth, or am I here to destroy those demons? Are they still destroying this place? Have they yet to finish their task? I just hope I can complete this mission you have set me. I will never forgive myself if I fail. I think I have made it clear enough to you how devoted I am to this task. I will do whatever it takes and I will not disappoint... What. Did you just see that, my Lord? Did I hear that right? Did Ben really just tell Theo? No. No, it can't be. I will complete this either way. I definitely heard him say 'She wants to kill her', and I know without a doubt that he said it to Theo, but what, or who, he was talking about is unclear to me. Oh well. I will continue with the plan regardless. Their gossip is trivial next to my mission. I will not back down from a possible threat. I will never back down.
"Fiona? Can I talk to you in private for a minute?" Theo. Oh no. What does this mean? Calm yourself, Fiona. It could be about anything. Still, better not get to close or touch him. He might rub of his gay germs on me.
"Of course, Theo. What is it you want?" Too nice. Too polite. He's going to suspect something now. Calm down, Fiona. CALM DOWN!
"Fiona. What I'm going to say will probably upset you, but I just need to let you know. Ben told me. About the plan, that is. I want to help you. But I don't want to hurt her. I want it to be quick and painless. I don't want her to know, either, or it will upset her."
"I want to hurt her. She is disgusting and she deserves everything she gets."
"But is that what the Lord wants of you? You told Diana that you didn't remember everything he told you. I do. You see, he spoke to me, as well. He doesn't want to hurt her, he just wants her gone. The last thing he wants is to hurt her."
"I don't know how you know what I told Diana and I do not trust you. You are queer and off putting and I don't believe you... I cannot, however, ignore my Lord and since I have no way of knowing whether you are lying or not, I will make sure to lessen its pain. Other than that, I am not willing to let someone like you help me." He looks offended but relieved. He nods gently at me before scurrying away. It occurs to me that I recognise him even though I had never met him before last night. I dismiss the thought and start adjusting my plan to suite this new information.
Five Years Ago
"FIONA!!!" I can hear a voice. My mother's voice. She sounds terrified. I wonder why? Oh. Right. I'm dying. Of course she's scared. I'm dying. I'm dying. You are dying, Fiona. Hm. No reaction. I am suspiciously calm, considering the current situation. Fire. Fire everywhere. The carriage is burning. Mother and father have made it out without major injury. I know because I can hear them running around, searching for me. One of them is limping.
"FIONA!!! WHERE ARE YOU, FIONA? ANSWER ME! ANSWER ME! FIONA!!! PLEASE?! PLEASE?! PLEASE...? Please...?" Their voices are fading. Slowly. I feel numb all over. What's that? That voice? I don't recognise it but I feel like I should. I try to speak but I can't.
"Fiona..." It's just a whisper in the back of my mind.
"Fiona..." It sounds like a man. I think he's calling me.
"Fiona, I can save you... I can save you..." My heart jumps to my throat. I can feel a dull ache all over my body. I remember searing pain. Agony. I can only just recall it. Everything is just numbness now. He can save me. He can save my life. How?
"I can save you, Fiona... Don't question me. I am your Lord..." My Lord?
"Yes, your Lord..." He can hear me. I try to talk but it hurts too much. At least I can feel something now. Who are you?
"I am your Lord." Yes, you said, but who specifically?
"I am your Lord. I am the beginning and the end. I am the pure and the innocent. I am the protector and the saviour and I will save you, Fiona. But only if you do something for me." What? What is it?
"Do you remember the legend of Lydia Turner?" Yes. Of course I do. That's the story every local parent tells their children to stop them from being too careless.
"I need you to kill her." You mean she's real? Wait. That's impossible! She was around centuries ago, she can't possibly still be alive... Can she?
"She can and she is. She isn't technically alive, though. She is a robot. She is a machine and all I need you to do is turn her off. But remember: Anyone who stands in my way is my enemy and therefore your enemy. They are not to be harmed, though. Do you understand me?" Yes. I think so. But I don't think I could ever kill anyone.
"Well then I will give you the strength to do what is right. But try not to hurt her. Treat her as though she has human feelings and do not hurt them. I will save your life in return." Okay then. Yes. I will do it. Oh, Lord. I can feel myself getting stronger already! The fire is going out. It's raining. Of blissful rain, thank you! Thank you Lord. I will do your bidding... Lord? Lord? He's gone. Oh well. I know my true path now and I will do as he said. Nothing will get in my way.
Four Days Later
"Fiona!" Mother gasps. She is here, next to me. I don't care. I feel like I should but I can't find it within myself. All I care about now is my Lord. My saviour. But I can't remember why...
"Fiona, are you feeling okay?" She seems so worried. I still can't bring myself to care.
"Yes. I feel surprisingly good. Where are we?"
"Hospital, my dear one. There was a carriage crash. A drunk driver hit us. One of our horses died and both of his. I have a broken arm and your father broke an ankle and a wrist and he dislocated a shoulder, but we got off lightly compared to you! Oh my dear! My beautiful, darling daughter, we thought you were dead for sure!"
"Well I'm sorry to disappoint!" I smile grimly at her then notice that she's crying. I frown.
"Why are you crying?"
"Oh, Fiona... What kind of a question is that? We thought we had lost you! We thought you were gone forever! How can you think we would be anything but overjoyed and blissful at your recovery! But... Oh, Fiona, I dread to say it. It seems unthinkable. But... Well, my dear, the thing is... Well, the doctors say that you hit your head. They say that you might have had a change in personality. They say that something has happened inside your brain that they can't explain, but they think that it has changed you. I thought that it might have something to do with your talking about a Lord of some kind. A saviour. You were saying that he had saved your life in exchange for another. In fact you said 'My Lord' when you first woke up."
"I don't remember anything about a Lord saving me, mother. I can't remember anything after the crash." I decide to tell her about my lack of memory, not because I think I should, but because I think she might know something. She tells me about the fire and the rain. She tells me about the ambulance arriving and my unconscious body being pulled out. She says that I was muttering to myself. That was when I was talking about my Lord. I can't remember any of it. I don't care. It must have been traumatic. My Lord must have erased it for my own good.
Mother talks with me for a while longer, telling me about what has happened, then she leaves me to think by myself. I think about how I felt before the crash. I remember being atheist. I remember being lost. I can see the light now, though. I know where I am going and what I am needed for. I am not lost anymore. I know everything I need to know and I will not misuse the information. I will track down Lydia Turner and I will kill her. No. It. I will kill it. I must not think of it as a human with feelings. It will only make it harder to dispose of it. I vaguely remember something about hurting its feelings, but I can't remember whether I am supposed to or not. I probably should. I will take joy from its pain, physical and otherwise. That is what my Lord wishes of me and that is what I will do. I will do anything for my Lord. I can't believe I didn't understand this before. I am glad I had this carriage crash, because now I can see clearly through the mist. Now I am going home.
Three Weeks Ago
"Fiona, where are you?"
"I'm up here!" I call, looking down at my friend's blond head. Diana looks up and sees me in my tree house. She grins at me and starts to climb up to join me.
"What are you doing up here?" She asks once she is comfortable in one of the small chairs.
"I wanted to be closer to my Lord." I tell her. She smiles again and her green-blue eyes twinkles knowingly.
"You still want to kill Lydia Turner, don't you?"
"Of course I do, Diana!" I tell her exasperatedly "It is my Lord's will."
"I know. I understand. I want to help, you know that. I just don't know how we will go about it."
"I think that we must wait for there to be another theft, then it won't need either of our skins and we'll have a reason to give everyone for seeking it out."
"Good idea, Fiona... You are a sly one." She grins at me mischievously and her eyes are dancing now.
"We will wait for nightfall, then we will strike. I think we could do with some men to help us out on our, your, quest. The more people get redemption the better and we would have a more masculine force on our side." We're on a roll! I love plotting with Diana. She's like a sister to me. We met at church about five years ago, when I started attending after the crash. I told her about speaking to the Lord and she wanted to help me. I didn't tell her about wanting to hurt Lydia Turner, just about killing it. Diana is fantastic. My best friend. My only friend. Ben doesn't count. He just follows me around.
"I'll ask Ben to accompany us to its manor, shall I?" I ask.
does whatever I want him to, so he could be quite useful and it would
help him redeem himself, being an atheist and all."
"You ask him tonight when you see each other at the library. But I would try to find something else that you can take him in with, if I were you. Blackmail might be necessary in the end. You never know and the Lord would never hold it against you, seeing as you are his chosen one. Oh, and my brother will want to help. I'll ask him tonight." We grin at each other, then I remember the church.
"He vandalised the church." I tell her and she gasps in horror.
"Ben, I mean. He's the one who broke the organ. We could threaten to tell the Mayor about it." She nods furiously.
"Well I think that we should tell him anyway, but we might be able to get Ben under our control with information like that." We agree and decide to find more than just Ben. He can be quite useless at times. I do hope her brother is better. I've never actually met him, but I probably will when the cyborg strikes again.
It looks at me through Diana's eyes and it smiles as if it's nervous. I continue staring blankly at it.
"David?" It whispers. He looks up at her and begins to smile. Then he notices the nervousness and frowns slightly.
“What? What is it? What’s wrong?” He asks gently, as if trying to calm the fear she is showing him.
"It's Miss Fiona. She's staring at me again. I don't think she likes me at all, so why is she here?" His frown deepens and he looks at his feet for a minute in thought.
"I don't know." He answers finally.
"I thought that she was just interested in your legend at first, but I think there's something more. I definitely wasn't expecting her to want to stay here for any extended amount of time." She sighs gently and looks up at me sadly.
"I guess there is nothing I can do to make her like me. I think it has something to do with the manner of my life, you see David. I think that I cannot, therefore, change her opinion of me in any way." It seems resigned and sad. David tries to reassure it but it knows that I am decided. It understands that it has no chance at deceiving me. I suppress a smile. I hate it and it knows. I am glad. It won't come as too much of a surprise when I destroy it, this way.
No one is looking at me and I allow
myself a tiny smile for a few seconds. Ben looks up at me just before the smile
vanishes and he mouths out a word to me. I glare at him and look away. He’s
wrong. Of course he’s wrong. He’s got the wrong person. I am not what he
thinks I am. Turner is, but not me. I am no monster, as he thinks I am. I am an
angel on a mission for the lord and all who defy me they, they are the true
monsters. Ben will not go without punishment. No one will go without it in the