Chapter Fifteen: The Truth Shall Set You Free
He would lie there unconscious for many hours before he finally woke up. He did not rest peacefully as the oddest dream he ever had came to him. This dream was completely different than any he had experienced up until this point. He felt the sensation of being pulled back instead of being pushed forward. His mind finally focused and he found himself in strange surroundings. He wasn’t looking through his own eyes which made the experience rather unpleasant. He normally had some degree of control of what he did but not this time.
It took him a while to realize it but the first thing he saw was a woman giving birth. He felt the head he was inside look side to side and he was able to see a few things. The decor of the room was from the 1970’s. At least that was his best guess from all the movies he had seen from that era. He saw the woman giving birth had red hair and was quite beautiful. The very same sensation he felt when he was close to a Death Knight crept up inside of him. In the corner of his eye, just above the headboard he saw a shadow. He could hear the woman screaming until the baby was finally born. He heard her call this boy Scott as the doctor placed the baby on a table to clean him. The shadow moved over to the boy taking the shape of a man then as it touched the baby it disappeared.
Anthony then saw the world melt around him and he was standing on a street corner. He knew the place that he came to this time. He was in Jamestown on a street corner not too far from his childhood home. Whoever he was inside of was waiting for traffic to slow down so he or she could cross the road. The walker whoever it was looked side to side seeing two cars approaching the intersection from opposite directions. He looked forward to see Remus across the street from him doing something rather odd. Remus was working his hands up, down then side to side in an odd dance. The light in front of Remus bent inward like it was being sucked into a black hole. It spread across the street just as the two cars got close.
Both drivers were distracted by what they saw which caused the two cars to slam into each other. The walker moved in to investigate the accident allowing Anthony a closer view. As the walker looked into the first car Anthony could not believe what he was seeing. That was his father behind the wheel dying slowly from massive trauma to the head. The walker ran to the other car to see a different man dying. The walker looked in the backseat that there were two car seats with twin red heads in each one. The symmetry of the situation did not escape Anthony as knew full well what was going on now.
Just as the epiphany hit him the world melted away again and he found himself somewhere else yet again. He was surprised to see Charles walking down the street. He guessed Charles was only about 14 or 15 at the time because of the shirt he was wearing. A black shirt with red letters proclaiming FEAR NOTHING. Charles wore that shirt all the time back then because he thought it gave him an edgier look. Charles seemed to be minding his own business when he suddenly stopped. Charles looked directly at whoever Anthony was inside of then turned to walk his way.
The person looked to his left and Anthony could see Amanda standing there. Charles was standing in front him soon enough. A conversation was taking place but Anthony could not tell what was being said. However, judging from his body language he could tell Charles was begging for something then he realized that Charles looking over at Amanda. Anthony concluded that Charles was selling his soul and his price was Amanda. Amanda was just standing there as if she were a statue. Anthony then realized who he was inside of at that moment. He felt like screaming but, of course, he could not because he wasn’t actually there. He was inside of Remus’s head which was extremely unsettling for him.
The world melted in front of him again and when the world was right again he saw he was by the river. He was inside Charles this time as he and Amanda were in what appeared to be a really heated argument. He couldn’t tell what they were saying but Amanda was obviously upset as if she was begging for something. Anthony got the impression that Charles was almost hesitant about something Anthony felt Charles’ hand strike her.
A moment later he was on the ground watching a fist strike his face. Anthony then realized that this was the first time he met Amanda. The scene played out just as it did when he was there a year ago complete with Anthony knocking Charles out cold. Before that happened, he noticed that Charles looked over at Amanda just one last time before trying to hit him. Anthony could tell that she was shocked at first but her expression changed quickly. She soon had a look of pure admiration on her face. She really did appreciate him saving her that day.
The world melted away one last time as he realized that this time he was back at the Seminary near his spot at that river. It could tell it was dark outside as he saw Amanda come out the back exit and walk towards what was now their spot by the river. She got there quickly and was looking around like she was lost. Then suddenly the water erupted around her as Remus flew out of the water landing right next to her. He saw Amanda’s mouth open quickly as if she was screaming. Anthony could tell Amanda was begging for her life. Remus obviously didn’t care because a moment later he pulled her into the water. A minute later he then saw himself coming out of the building running after Amanda.
Anthony’s eyes slowly opened and immediately the pain shot through his body. He gritted his teeth as he sat up straight. He realized he fell into the tunnel system that connected all of the buildings. He scanned the tunnel and realized it hadn’t been used in years. The air was old and had a bad musty smell that reminded him of his grandma’s root cellar. He felt pain from head to toe so he laid there for a very long time.
He pulled himself to his feet and looked up at the hole he made. He could see that it wasn’t raining anymore and it was still pretty dark outside. The only natural light he had was coming from the tiny opening several yards about his head. His eyes adjusted to the dark but it was still too dark to see much of anything. He started walking keeping his hand on the wall so he would know he was going straight. He could see light peeking down from somewhere above him but he could not tell where.
He tried his best to sort out the slew of images he received while he was unconscious. He knew a lot more information about the past than he ever did before. The only part that didn’t make any sense to him was watching that kid be born. The only thing Anthony knew for sure was that from birth Scott was touched by evil. He heard that name talked about by someone important but couldn’t remember who for sure. Anthony could only guess that this child would play an important role in something, otherwise he would never have been shown that part. One thing he has learned that he is being shown these things for a reason.
Anthony would stop walking on occasion to look back to make sure he was not being followed. He came to an access ladder that went up right into the main yard. He grabbed the first rung pulling himself upward hearing his armor clang. He slowed his ascent to make as little noise as possible. He got to the top immediately opening the hatch that led to the outside. He knew full well that his dream was now coming to fruition. He opened the hatch up all the way and climbed out. He was more than a little happy to be breathing fresh air again.
He looked around the courtyard seeing the rows of makeshift cells. He saw the first cell and his heart started pounding. He knew she was in there. He made a bee line straight for cell door not even bothering to look around. He knew in his dream what would come next so he kicked the door down. There Amanda hung chained to a post in the middle of the cell. She was hanging there unconscious but seemed otherwise unharmed. That was a surprise to him.
Anthony drew his sword then smashed the chains apart causing Amanda to limply fall to the floor. Anthony put his sword back into its scabbard then dropped down on one knee. He tried his best to rouse her and after several minutes he finally did. “ANTHONY!” She half yelled but Anthony put his hand up to get her to quiet down. The look on her face was one of complete disbelief as if she wasn’t expecting him to rescue or this was some kind of dream.
Showing her that half smile Anthony said, “I am here babe. Did you think I would just forget about you?”
“A part of me was hoping you would. Remus knew you would come here.” She stopped speaking just long enough to get to her feet with his assistance. “I love you, please believe that. I tried to stop this from happening but I failed you.”
He pulled her arm over his shoulders placing his left arm around her back. He used his right hand to pull her chin forward so she was looking at him while he spoke, “This isn’t over yet babe. One way or another you’re no longer under his control and after tonight you will be completely free. Let’s go quickly, I have a way out of here.”
He led her outside the cell when they heard the alarm go off. The hospital had an alarm system for escapees that appeared to still be fully functional. Anthony rushed her over to the tunnel entrance as five Death Knights came around the corner. Anthony climbed onto the ladder telling her to climb on his back. She fell suddenly but her hands caught around his neck choking him a little. She adjusted her hands so they didn’t choke him so bad. He climbed down as fast as he could, trying hard to keep her from falling.
As soon as they were down at the bottom Amanda slipped off him landing on her feet stumbling backwards. She crashed into the wall as Anthony looked up to the Death Knights were already climbing down after them. He turned around, picked her up and started running down the tunnel. He could feel every ache and pain from his earlier fall as he pushed himself forward. While he was running he could hear the Death Knights coming down the tunnel continuing their pursuit. They reached the place where he fell through the pipe.
He stopped, looked her dead in the eye and said, “There isn’t time for both of us to get out. When I can get you up there follow the pipe out to the side of the hill. Go to the Church in town and you will be safe there.”
She grabbed the front of his helm almost screaming, “I’M NOT LEAVING YOU.”
He pulled his head back forcing her to lose her grip. “I know what I am doing, trust me. I love you Amanda, and I know you didn’t want to hurt me in any of this. Just go so you can be safe.”
He lifted her up so she could pull herself up the rest of the way. Just as he let go of her the Death Knights were on him. Amanda looked down one last time to see Anthony being tackled to the ground. She fought the urge to help him as she turned away. Anthony fought as well as he could even though he didn’t even have time to draw his sword. They overpowered him without much of a fight because of the fall he suffered earlier. They carried him away despite his attempts to struggle free.
They took him to the exact same cell he freed Amanda from just a few minutes earlier. They brought in new chains and chained him to the post. They stripped his armor off of him and just threw it all to the side. His sword was thrown behind him where he could no longer see it. As soon as he was stripped down to his underwear the Death Knights started to beat him. It went on for what seemed to be forever in Anthony’s mind and just as abruptly as it started they stopped. His head was down but he heard the door open and soon he was alone.
A few minutes later a two Death Knights entered the cell with what appeared to be power tools. A chill went up his spine as he could only imagine how they would use them to torture him. He heard the roar of the tiny motor in what looked like a power saw causing his body to tense. He closed his eyes expecting the inevitable pain that he was sure would be coming. He then heard the sound of the saw cutting through the wooden wall of his cell. He looked over to see the Death Knights cutting rectangular holes. The noise soon as stopped as they finished their work. They then exited the cell bringing the power tools with them.
A few more minutes went by before they came back but when they did they were carrying what appeared to air conditioning units. He made a sarcastic remark about the heat which resulted in another punch to his face. The door opened again with yet another Death Knight entering while carrying a large metal bin. The Death Knight set the bin next to him and he noticed it was full of water. Confusion set in because he had no idea what was happening. The Death Knight lifted his legs sliding the bin under them. The water was ice cold to his feet as they were plunged inside the bin. He then heard the air conditioners turn on filling the room with cold air. Immediately he felt his body chill over causing good bumps to pop up. The Death Knights exited again leaving him there to freeze.
An hour went by and then a Death Knight entered carrying something big and set it down next to Anthony. Anthony looked at it and saw it was a little furnace. “Maybe they are going to warm me up now” he thought to himself. He then saw the Death Knight inserting pokers into the furnace then he thought something very different was about to happen. His thoughts started to race suspecting that torture was coming soon. As fear set in he thought of his fellow Knights that some were former soldiers and could probably handle this better than him. The lone Death Knight left the room leaving him alone for yet another long while. Then the door opened with Charles stepping through the door. Anthony could not believe his eyes which seemed to be rather transparent in his facial expression.
Charles spoke in a calm, almost friendly voice. “You sure look surprised to see me considering you left me for dead the last time we saw he each other.”
Anthony’s teeth chattered as he said, “Not really. I just found out a bit ago that you were alive. And I did NOT leave you to die. You wouldn’t let me save you.”
Charles waved his hand side to side dismissing what Anthony had just said. “Whatever. My Master wanted you here so we made sure you were here. Amanda didn’t play along like we wanted her to but as it turned out that didn’t really matter.”
Charles went over to the furnace and retrieved the first hot poker. He held it close to Anthony’s face so Anthony could feel its heat. “Failure to answer a question properly results in pain. Understood?” Anthony nodded his head yes. “How many Knights do you currently have at your base?” Charles lowered the poker to Anthony’s stomach holding it less than an inch away from his skin.
Anthony decided there was not he was going to sell out his friends that easily so he spoke with some sarcasm. “Not nearly enough for my liking.”
Charles’s facial expression immediately went to angry. “WRONG ANSWER.” Charles touched the poker to the skin on Anthony’s stomach. Anthony screamed as it seared into his flesh. Charles moved the poker to a different spot on Anthony’s stomach pressing into the skin again. All Anthony could do was scream in agony. Charles' posture straightened as he pulled the poker away again. His voice returned to its earlier calm as he said; “Now that was not a proper answer. I ask again. How many Knights do you currently have at your base?”
Anthony’s scowled as he said, “More than enough to defeat your group of wannabes.”
Charles stuck Anthony again with the poker only this time Anthony gritted his teeth holding back another scream. Charles started pacing back and forth clearly frustrated. Anthony was watching him as he decided that while this was bad, it could always be worse. He was getting to Charles more than the reverse which made him smile. Charles stopped pacing in front of the furnace grabbing the other hot poker. Charles held it up to Anthony’s face close enough to burn his skin from the heat that radiated off of it.
Charles hissed as he spoke saying, “Recognize this symbol?”
Anthony looked at it and knew what it was. “Remus’s mark. Amanda had a tattoo of it and so did the knife that you stabbed my hand with.”
Charles nodded as he said, “Very good. I am going to desecrate your body with it if you fail to answer my question again.”
Anthony’s head was bent down but kept eye contact with Charles. He eyes were showing just how serious he was as he said, “That doesn’t scare me Charles. Nothing you can do to me can make me afraid of you. Fire and death are not the worst things in the world. Did you think I chose to fight because I was afraid to die? No Charles, I fear no man.”
Charles didn’t even bother asking another question. He stuck the brand right onto Anthony chest just over the heart. Anthony tried his best to suppress a scream but it came out almost as a reflex. Charles held the brand there for a few minutes then as he pulled it away he grabbed what looked like a baseball bat. He proceeded to strike Anthony’s left side over and over again. Anthony could hear bones breaking as Charles began to laugh uncontrollably at the sound. Anthony could barely breathe by the time Charles was done. Anthony looked down at his ribs and saw blood trickling down his sides. Charles’s laughter was again burning in his ears. Between bated breaths Anthony asked, “Feel better about yourself now?”
“As a matter a fact I do.” Charles replied and threw down the bat as he exited the cell. Anthony was in immense pain and couldn’t catch his breath. He started to pray but before he could finish the world went grey and then darkness fell upon him once again. He passed out from the pain and lack of oxygen to his head. He did not dream nor had any thoughts pass through his head. He would be passed out for many hours before he would see anything again.
His eyes finally opened because Charles was slapping him. He could still barely breathe but noticed that his pain was a lot less than it was before. He noticed there was an I.V. in his right arm and figured that Charles was pumping him full of pain killers. His head started to spin as Charles stopped slapping him. “Are you ready to talk now? The drugs flowing through your veins are designed to loosen the tongue. It also kills pain but don’t think that is for your benefit. It’s just how the drug works.”
Anthony slowly nodded his head as said, “Not going to work. I can’t think so how can I answer a question.”
Charles scoffed at Anthony before saying, “That’s exactly why it works you idiot. Now tell me, how many Knights do you have at your base?”
Anthony tried to remain silent hoping that as long as he didn’t speak he wouldn’t say the wrong thing but felt his mouth move and the words just came out. “Six or seven hundred.”
Charles let out an elated laugh before saying, “Ahh, good. The drug is working correctly. Now, who are the leaders?”
Anthony fought himself hard. The compulsion to speak was very strong and just as he was about to speak the door opened. “Sir Charles we are under attack, get out here now and take your position.” Anthony recognized the voice as belonging to Remus. Charles left and Remus came in and stared at Anthony. Anthony could feel Remus trying to probe his mind with his thoughts so Anthony prayed to God for protection.
Remus allowed himself a tiny smile before he said, “You are so annoying when you do that. Our time is coming soon Anthony and you will know everything. HA! I have been waiting for this for a long time now.”
Anthony lifted his head in defiance as he said, “Why…Why did you choose me?”
Remus shrugged, “Why not you. You have everything I need to finish my father’s noble work.”
Anthony almost laughed before he said, “You mean Satan? There is nothing noble about him.”
Remus’s face got very stern. “He was once an Archangel just like the ones who help you. He commanded the greatest respect among his kind because he was the greatest of them all. His work is noble because of its importance to the world. You will know soon enough what I mean.”
Anthony raised his head as far as he could and said, “Both times I have seen you, Remus; you have mentioned the concept of “our time”. You should know that I will never serve you or your father. I would rather die before I do that.”
Remus took a step forward and said, “I believe you would never willingly serve us and you have caused me great pains so far with your attempts to thwart my work. You were able to turn Amanda against me and that is something I did not expect. Your compassion for her is perhaps your greatest weakness.”
Anthony stared at Remus with a look of contempt as he said, “You villains are all the same. You all think kindness and compassion are weakness. You obviously have no idea the strength it takes to do either. To treat others with less takes cowardice of the worst sort. You and Charles are weak because you prey on others. True strength lies in giving of yourself for the betterment of other people. And you are wrong about one other thing as well.”
Remus cocked his head to the side and asked, “And what is that?”
Anthony shook his head as he said, “It was not my doing that saved Amanda. It was between her and God and He used me as His tool to get it done. She still had the choice though and I think she made the right one.”
Remus smirked before saying, “Perhaps for you it was right, but there are many perspectives to look from. Her sister and her unholy brother are now suffering as a result. Her pathetic mother is now dead because of it. She knew what she was risking by turning and she selfishly chose herself at her mother’s expense.”
Anthony laughed as hard as his lungs would let him. “Amanda knew she would be damned forever if she didn’t follow her path to God. There is merit there that you will never know. Her mother’s demise is unfortunate but there are bigger things than life and death. Amanda knows we all make our own decisions and we are ultimately responsible for where we end up.”
Remus could not hide his disgust as he said, “Dogmatic nonsense. Your church is responsible for so much pain in this world. My job is to make that church pay for that pain.”
Anthony fought through the drugs to say, “You and your brother right? The so-called leader of the People’s Army.”
“Brother? Oh I think you mean Leif, right? How amusing that you think he is my brother. Sadly, you are wrong.” It was then Remus’s turn to laugh as if he knew some inside joke that Anthony did not.
Remus sighed deeply before he said, “Well, until we meet again Sir Anthony. I must depart now because it appears that Charles is losing this battle. I will see you when night falls.”
Anthony watched Remus leave as he heard the battle shouts of his brothers coming to rescue him. He waited patiently while the battle raged on just outside his cell. The door opened and his heart leaped. Jonathan was standing there and was more than a little shocked at Anthony’s appearance. He quickly smashed the chains that bound Anthony to the pole and helped him to the ground. Anthony didn’t see much after that as he once again passed out but his final thought was that he was grateful to be alive. Jonathan made sure that Anthony would be safe until the battle was over.