John the Baptist? They had called L the equivalent of John the Baptist earlier, did that mean...?
Light felt his heart pounding as Sayu was led out of the church and into a large warehouse a few feet away. Inside, the warehouse was full of people. All of them turned to Sayu and smiled. As they walked through, Quilish politely introduced each of them as 'Brother so and so' or 'Sister so and so.' All of them expressed their joy at meeting Sayu, at how happy they were that she was joining them, that she was completely welcome.
It would have been more heart warming and less intimidating had there not been quite so many of them, and had it not come across as forced. It was also a clear that they had all been expecting Sayu. However, just as these negative thoughts fired across Light's brain at super speed, he looked down to see his sister smiling. She looked genuinely happy and impressed. Dear God, had she been taken in by them?
He knew Sayu could be naive. It annoyed him that here she was, much older, and yet that innocence and trust still was there. However, memories of Sayu as a young girl being cut by his crazed fan girl suddenly forced its way to the forefront of his mind. He remembered the haunted look on her face when telling 'Quilish' that innocents had been hurt by Mello aka 'Michaels' sense of justice. Sayu had seen firsthand more of the darkness of human nature than he ever had. Why would she be more naive than he? Could it be that Sayu was lonely? Thanks to the world he created, Sayu was treated like a leper or an outcast. She did not seem to have any friends, she was unable to get a job despite her qualifications, she had fought with both his future self and her mother, her father was dead; in other words she had no friends or family. Sayu was so ostracised from society, was it any surprise that she was soaking up all the warmth these people offered, regardless of the distinctly sinister edge contained?
They reached the end of the warehouse, arriving at a small door. "In here is the Brothers Office." Quilish knocked on the door first, announcing that it was he and 'Young Miss Sayu.' He looked at her and winked afterwards. She smiled tentatively as her invisible brother scowled.
A monotone voice granted them entrance. Inside, stood two characters Light had never met in reality, but who he felt recognised instantly.
It was the two warring brothers who allegedly killed one another during the fall of the Berlin wall. It was the supposedly dead brothers of L.
The dimly lit room the brothers sat in shouldn't have seemed all that impressive. It was exceedingly chaotic and untidy; the sort of room that Light felt queasy just standing in. It was reminiscent of the apartment the brothers had lived in as children, especially when the mother began to fall apart. (Light inexplicably found himself wishing he knew her name. He blinked and pushed that thought away. It was a stupid thing to desire.) It also looked like how Light imagined L would live, if Watari wasn't around to clear up after him all the while.
Light sniffed snootily and stood at the side of the room where he could see all their faces. However, despite the mess and general atmosphere of decay, the room matched the rest of the quick-fit church in that it held the feeling of being sacrosanct. It seemed holy somehow. The crooked shelves were full of images of the Virgin Mary and the Saints, alongside an assortment of Buddha's and Hindu gods. Vishnu was seated next to Saint Peter, the Torah was tossed on top of the Koran. Several versions of different Holy Books in various languages were scattered about the floor and table. Yet somehow, it seemed not disrespectful. It looked like the chaos of two intelligent and passionate men desperately searching for God. Whatever God was...
Sayu stood next to Quilish and the Taxi Driver by the door. The brothers faced the trio behind a desk ridden with papers, folders, newspapers and various Holy Texts.
Light analysed the two men. They both had the same long limbs, pale skin and thick, jet-black hair, only the slightly stockier one he recognised as the oldest had grey streaks. Oddly, both men struck Light as strangely handsome. It surprised Light how L (and his brothers) ugliness seemed lessened by the fact that they were so striking. When had he begun to find L's characteristics interesting, attractive even? Before he had always considered L hideous; his disgusting slacker clothes, messy hair, scrawny pale body and terrible posture. The fact that L's intelligence was almost a match for his own offended Light; that Light was comparable to such a lazy, egotistical, untidy creature made him blind with fury. L had been the only creature who could lower Light to the point to where he would physically spar with him, as if they were nothing more than two yobs in a drinking establishment.
Now Light still recognised those flaws...yet...they seemed less a sign of ugliness and more a sign of L's individuality. And it wasn't just his appearance, L's personality flaws seemed more like quirks. Maybe it was because Light had seen the other orphan children, the people who had raised them and some of L's childhood. Maybe now Light could understand L a little better, and from such understanding empathy (and even a grudging respect for how well L had done, in regards to all his difficulties,) had been borne. This change of heart wasn't directed just at L; unlike when he first spied them, he now considered the brothers in general in a better light in terms of appearance. Granted they were not physically ideal but they were aesthetically pleasing; like a piece of abstract art.
Unlike the brothers, whose dark hair and white skin offered distinct colours, the room itself was bathed in various shades of shadow. It reminded Light of when he first saw Future, its strange texture changing shades as it billowed in slow motion. It made Light feel sick. Quickly he focused back on the situation at hand.
"Hello Miss Sayu," smiled the older brother. His voice was very unlike the one of his youth; it was softer and wearier. Sayu sat on the edge of a wooden chair facing the older brother who was sitting on the desk. The taxi driver and Quilish stood by the door in a fashion reminiscent of guards, and the younger brother, what had been his name? That's it, Melor. Light remembered that the younger brother had hated it. (1) Melor sat on a ledge on the wall, disregarding the various paper and religious icons precariously propped on it. Unlike the older brother who seemed much calmer, Melor still had the aura of an angry, disillusioned and moreover dangerous man.
"As I am sure Brother Quilish explained, we have been observing you for a while."
"How long?" She asked again. Light doubted that, even with all the stress, that she had forgotten what 'Quilish' had told her earlier; she was testing them.
"Around four months." He answered easily. "I knew that you were unhappy with the current political situation and afraid for your brother. After watching you for sometime; we confirmed our beliefs."
"How would you know what I was feeling before you started spying on me?"
"Well, you might not believe this, but it came to me in a dream." Whilst silently scoffing, Light looked over to Melor. The younger man was scowling, his face etched with barely contained rage and jealousy. "I know it might sound strange." The brother chuckled softly, evidently Sayu's expression revealed that she was as critical as her sibling. "But how else would I have known to reach out to you? In the dream, my dearly departed brother, Lawliet, kept telling me to find Kira's sister. I did some research and found out all about you and the Yagami's." He reached forward and held Sayu's hand. "I found out that Kira had abandoned you. That you were all alone. I prayed for help and guidance, because I wanted to help you; I know what it is like to be estranged from a sibling, and to have a brother doing evil things in the name of the greater good." Melor was very still in background, the angry lines in the face now morphed into the blank featureless expression similar to L's. Light couldn't think of any real 'evil' Melor had committed, but then he had only seen a fraction of their adolescence. Maybe the older brother still considered Melor's anti-communist politics to be evil.
Regardless, both brothers had struck as being single-minded, relatively intelligent, angry and highly persuasive, which all provided evidence to Light that they had the potential to be very evil.
"You may call me Jude or Brother Jude." L's older brother carried on. "And that man over there is my younger brother James. Lawliet, the detective that tried to defeat Kira originally was our youngest brother."
"How can I believe you when you say that? I never met L. And I won't betray my brother if that's what you want."
"No, we're not here to attack Light! We know that under the villainous Kira, your brother still exists. We believe that your brother is being taken over by demons."
There was a brief pause before Sayu sighed-
"This is too crazy..." She made to get up, and the two men at the door looked as if they were going to force her back in the chair. However, 'Jude' raised his hand, and they settled back down.
"Please, hear us out." He implored. Sayu obediently sat down again, which made Light feel oddly jealous. "We have evidence. I promise we are not here to hurt Light. Originally neither I nor my brother used to be religious men. We were men of politics, our concerns were freedom, justice and how society should be run."
Light frowned. He wasn't convinced that that was all there was to the brothers. If anything, the scenes Past had showed him offered evidence that the two brothers were angry about their absent father- politics was simply an excuse for them to enact their violent rage. However, he continued to listen to 'Jude's' exposition.
"We were and still are very much part of the real world. We became interested in fighting against Kira when we saw his Devil."
Then the thoughts Light had had at the beginning of this 'night' floated back through his mind.
L was his Adversary; his Loki; his Eurynomous; his Satan; his O'Yamma.
"But no one saw L." Answered Sayu reasonably. "We were just told that he was...ugly and cruel. It was something out of a fairytale I never believed it. It was just a propaganda stunt."
"After the killing of Michael," all the men made the sign of the cross, "and his followers, Matthew and Nathanial; The Whammy Institute was revealed to the world as a Training Ground of the Illuminati, a group of elitist who rule the world from the shadows."
Light nodded to himself allowing a small smirk to grace his lips. That was a good idea. By killing the children on screen, Kira needed to explain who they were. Saying an 'Orphanage of Genius children' would evoke sympathy from the public and outrage at his killing of them. But by making the connections between them and the Invisible Oppressor people like to believe exist (be it aliens, lizards or Illuminati,) Kira was made out to be a person releasing mankind from the evil Bourgeois Rulers. It further emphasised the idea that Kira was bringing in a New World Order.
"My brother and I recognised one of the staff members who had been executed, a Miss Gala Danuve." Jude continued. Light suddenly remembered the bubbly, if somewhat dim-witted, girl who had looked after L when the Berlin wall fell. Though Light would never meet her, he knew she would stay with him in his thoughts. It was her (not even Sayu) that had made him decide to try to be less judgemental towards her sex; quite an achievement, for someone so like Misa Amane. Light felt a momentary sadness that, as Kira, she would have to be executed along with all the Whammy students.
"We thought she had died, as well as our baby brother. So if she had lived, then maybe our brother had too, as the last person who saw Lawliet had seen him under her care." 'Jude' was speaking quickly and far more naturally now. He was betraying genuine feeling; they really had tried to find L. "We couldn't see his name listed amongst the dead students or faculty, and there were no records of old students."
Light wondered if Future Kira had destroyed them, or if the orphanage did. It would make more sense that the orphanage did, while it was somewhat beneficial for Kira to not reveal old students who had possibly gone on to do great things for humanity (and therefore make him seem like a villain for killing them and their successors) it seemed more likely that the orphanage, in their desperation to keep hidden and secret, destroyed the records themselves as soon as their students graduated.
"My brother and I had often feuded during our youth. We almost killed each other at one stage. But," Jude sighed, "with age comes wisdom. Our homeland fell further into ruin, which neither of us had wanted. In the end, neither of us 'won.' Instead, we lost many of our friends and, even worse, our family. Lawliet was our little brother, and the night we managed to hospitalise one another, he went missing. Lying on that hospital bed, thinking over my misdeeds, I finally found God, and soon after so did my brother. We began to realise that we were never alone, that the Holy Father loved us, that our pasts could be forgiven. We learned about goodness, mercy and forgiveness. We became true brothers once more." He looked over to his shadowy sibling and smiled weakly, but with feeling. "We never accepted any particular dogma. No matter what religion or place of worship we went to we always found that they failed our expectations."
"So, you are not strictly Christian then?" Sayu sounded less defensive and suspicious now. Was she being sucked in? It was a little hard to tell. Light didn't know Sayu as much as he thought he had. However, if she was getting sucked in, he was angry. After all, despite how much 'Jude' was talking, he was actually revealing very little about himself or his brother.
"We think such labels and groups have done nothing but cause dissent, fractions and have done nothing more than distract people away from the real issue, God." He replied with a level of contempt and pompousness. "We do not follow any earthly sect. We study all religious texts, and we have come to know the real meaning of life and the real God." Light wondered how many other religious people had uttered those words over the centuries. 'Jude' leaned out and touched her hand. "And we want nothing more than to speak this truth to others." He leaned back and continued his discourse on their history. "All we wanted was to get Lawliet back and be a family once more. For years we repeatedly came to dead ends. Until Kira. Kira's propaganda team, whilst not showing a picture of L, described him well enough; a devil with pale white skin, long limbs, black hair and eyes such a dark grey that they appeared black, it sounded so much like Lawliet! Added to the fact that Gala ad been in this institute also, it was the best lead we had.
However, we didn't believe the lies Kira was spreading abut Lawliet. No way was our brother a demon and no way would he consort with criminals!"
Light curled his lip in a sneer. 'Shows what they know...'
"But," Sayu answered reasonably but with a level of discomfort, "not to sound rude Sir...but you didn't know L. You hadn't seen him since he was a small child."
"True, but I had faith in him." Jude emphasised the word 'faith.' "We insisted on seeing Kira, or at least one of his representatives, it wasn't fair that he was besmirching our family name. I wanted to talk to Kira, but my brother was less...trusting. In the end he went incognito, applying as one of the tutors for the Children of the Light."
"Children of the...?"
'Jude' blinked quickly, as if shocked that Sayu did not know who this group were. Standing up, he began to pace the small, cluttered room. "The Children of the Light was a continuation of what the Whammy Institute was trying to do. The Whammy Children were not really a group Illuminati. Not really. They were intelligent children collected from all around the world. The vast majority were orphans, but some had parents. Kira took the children an tried to re-educate them in his ways. He also continued the process, or at least his employers did, of searching for the most intelligent young people for special training." He finally sat down behind the desk. "The Whammy students have not been fooled. That's why Kira finally killed them all. Acording to James," he nodded to his brother, who still sat still and shrouded in shadow. "The Children of the Light are all indoctrinated in Kira's mad religion. Kira failed the Whammy Institute, he isn't looking for intelligence, just more sheep."
Light bristled slightly, but he could not think of a way to argue against what 'Jude' had said. For intelligence to blossom, he would need to allow people to question him. To question him would make people think of alternatives. And alternatives to his rule and his idea were out of the question.
"While James was acting as a teacher, I announced who I was," 'Jude' continued back on the main thread of discussion, "and after a DNA test, got to speak to the Priest Mikami. Unfortunately, I could not convince him of L's innocence. He insisted L was a demon and that his death resulted in Kira safely ruling the world and making it a better place." He snorted derisively. "James was able to find out from the poor children Kira executed, that Kira himself was possessed by a demon. Michael and his men had told them so. And they were able to offer proof."
Jude pulled a necklace that had been hanging beneath his shirt. The pendant was a small glass cylinder with a tiny, blank scroll inside. Unravelling it he tore a piece off and handed it to Sayu. "Do not be fooled," he told her as she looked at it in confusion. The scroll had faded lines across it, as if it had been torn out of a ordinary school notebook. Light felt himself go pale once more.
"It is a Holy relic." 'Jude muttered, his voice hoarse. The atmosphere was tense. "This will prove to you that your brother is possessed. Protect it and keep it safe at all costs." He opened a drawer of his desk and pulled out a necklace that was a replica of his own. Handing it to Sayu, she rolled the paper back up and put it into the cylinder. "When you next see Light, you will see the monster that is always with him." He took Sayu's hand. "We can save him, my sister."
Sayu's lip wobbled slightly, her eyes a little wet.
"She wants to believe," Light thought with trepidation. "She wants to believe, even though it's crazy, because this idea is still better than the reality that her brother is a psychotic god. She's being smart now, asking questions. But she isn't questioning enough. He hasn't told her anything, not really. Nothing of real importance. It sounds as if he revealed his life to her but he hasn't. But she can't see it. Because she wants to believe, it's only a matter of time before she will."
He looked around the room, his eyes resting on the new, slightly wet paintings and statues of the new Messiah and Saints; L and his successors looked back at him, their blank stares as inscrutable as always. His hands fisted together as he tried to remain calm.
His sister would be worshipping these people instead of him.
They were all dead, yet they still had followers, they still were considered gods.
Even where Kira had won and taken over the world, L still was his rival. He hated them. He hated them!
"It was after the revelation of the True Demon that I began to have prophetic dreams." 'Jude' spoke again, and Light silently began to wish nothing but pain and death on him. "My brother and I began to read through all of our religious work once more and then we realised that prophecy was being fulfilled; prophecy is being fulfilled even now as we speak! Christ has returned and died one last time. Now is the time of the final judgement. Then...then it will all be over." Sayu looked slightly alarmed and 'Jude,' who had taken on the same manic look 'Quilish' had earlier when speaking of 'Michael', calmed down. "But...but there will be time for that later. Do not be afraid! For now, we just want you to feel at ease Sister. For you to know that your brother is not evil and can be saved. He is just possessed. "
There was a moment of pleasant silence as Sayu was allowed to digest these words. Then 'Jude' clasped his hands together and told Sayu that she was welcome to leave if she wanted and that they would take her home. "Our alias is Sun-Protection, a business that helps looks into the effects of sun damage on the skin. Really, we are all Shadows. Call us any time you need us. Never feel afraid. We love you Sayu, we really do."
They all smiled and nodded.
Light felt sickened.