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18.) Proditio

Beckett announced the arrival plainly, like he has no fear, but looking up at him I can see for a fact that he’s afraid. That alone brings a rock to my gut, Beckett never shows fear.

The man laughed, it’s high pitch, not at all matching the slow methodical pace of his voice. Finally he gets close enough that I could see him for the most part, and I wished I couldn’t.

His skin is a sickly pale color, and it sags off the bone to make him look as though he should be on his deathbed. Parallax’s hair is the color of corn silk, and it looks like it too, falling in thin straggles down his face. He’s tall and slender, like he’s going to cave in on himself, and he wears a freshly tailored suit. One of his hands looks decayed, blue and black and not like a hand at all. His other hand is nothing but razor sharp claws that start at the wrist and extend to fine points.

He looked like he was about to die just standing here. I’ve been afraid of a man who looked as though he can hardly stand, it’s almost comical. But at the same time, this is the holder of a deadly weapon. A weapon that very well can destroy the portals to the Dream Realm and release hell on earth. He’s the cause of the war that took many lives, and destroyed the lives of others.

He’s the reason my parents are dead.

That thought alone makes any fear leave my body, and I’m left with a burning rage.

“My favorite part was when you guys screamed at each other, very fun to eavesdrop on. But we all know what must happen now. Astra? Come here, darling. Give me the souls.” My body recoiled in disgust as he extended his decaying hand, I stepped even closer to Beckett.

“That’s going to be a no from me,” I say, trying to sound as gusto as possible. He laughed at me and stepped even closer.

“Well I could just take you, you know.” Parallax said, his voice slow and venomous. I raised my eyebrows and raised my palm that held my energy.

“And I could take out every vamp here with one swipe of my hand.” My voice was fierce, even as it failed to reach my core. I’m not sure if I’m actually that strong, but I can certainly pretend to be. This makes him laugh, the vamps behind us break out into laughter as well. Stupid little followers, doing exactly as he says.

“Yes, I suppose you could. But will you?” He taunted me, I let the orb grow larger.

“Which of ours is bigger? Mine or yours?” I taunt back, trying my best to keep up my facade. It dawned on me I can’t seem all that impressive while cowering beside Beckett, who seemed for the most part unbothered. Except his eyes, they gave away his terror. For what? Parallax? We had a feeling this would happen, was it not him who was prepared?

I stepped away from Beckett, who reached slightly but quickly retracted his hand as though the action had harmed him. Despite his malicious words, and confusing statements, I wished to be closer. But that can’t happen right now.

“Darling, everyone has a weakness.” And with that, a flick of his wrist, a black tendril whipped out of his palm and launched at Beckett.

“No!” I extended my orb and pushed it, creating a shield between him and the tendril. It whips at my shield and tries to harm him, but I won’t let it.

With a nod of his head he released his vamps, and they charged at his back. With my other hand I threw orbs at them as they charged, downing them as fast as I could. Beckett, I see, stands absolutely still. He doesn’t even try to defend himself or me. His eyes hold agony, they watch me protect him and try to defend us against vamps.

“You leave yourself unprotected? Silly.” Parallax says in a disappointing tone, as if he had expected more from me.

I realized what he had done as it was too late, as a vamp I hadn’t seen grabbed me from behind. My arms were ripped behind my back, my shield fell and as I tried to kick away or rip my arms free shackles were placed around my wrists.

I tried to release my energy to break the cuffs, but I feel none of my power now.

“What did you do to me?” I growled, trying to launch myself at Parallax’s pathetic body.

“Beckett? You wanna teach her about the cuffs? The ones you programmed with your magic to silence hers? Or should I just do all of the talking?” What? My whole world shatters, Beckett? Why would Beckett create something to harm me? Parallax had to be lying.

But Beckett won’t meet my eyes, which only proves his guilt. My world crumbles around me, and shatters any hope I had in my heart.

“You? You did this! You’re working with Parallax?” I screamed, my throat grew raw with my words but I didn’t care; the monster in my gut was pissed.

Parallax laughs at my anger, and comes up to me, he grabs my chin with his claws. I can feel the blood drop down my neck, but I don’t give him the benefit of seeing me flinch.

“You really thought he cared for you? A measly little nothing?” I glared at him with all of the anger I could muster, which is a lot right now. If looks could kill, if I wasn’t wearing shackles that doused my power I’m sure my energy to eviscerate all of us and this whole building.

“I am not nothing!” I spit out, “I am Astra! Creation of the stars-” he slapped me, my head jerked to the side. Through teary eyes I thought I saw Beckett flinch, but I had to be mistaken. The sight of him makes me sick, traitor.

“Yes, Astra. Creation of the stars, the very reason for my impending doom. Right? That’s what you were told? Because of course you’d believe what Alatar told you. Alas, my darling, you were only created because my very existence struck fear into the hearts of the mighty. You are nothing but a small girl, and will die at the hands of my creation.”

His words sent terror down my spine, but I refused to let on. With his face so close to me I can smell death on him, and with him here I can see his black sunken in eyes.

“I am here because you can’t be trusted! You’ve only proven the defenders right, by creating vamps to kill innocents. You created a weapon to destroy the world! And I will stop you, I have proven people who underestimate me wrong time and time again. Your weapon is useless against me!” My words felt empty, even to me.

“Yes I suppose you’d think that.” Parallax laughed at me, I tried to struggle against my hold with no prevail. Without my power I am nothing. “My weapon is currently deactivated, as I’ve been told that you were for eighteen years. Which is why try as I might, I just could not find you. I found your parents though, pretty easily. And shocking as this may be, they were very easy to kill.” I spit in his face, anger taking over, and I tried again to launch myself at him.

“You’ll pay!” I screamed, but he only laughed some more.

“No? I don’t think I will. As soon as I activate my weapon, you will die.” He stands up straight and sighs, “it is such a hassle that Alatar must put suppressors on the weapons.” I thought Alatar had only put a suppressor on me? If he had put another suppressor on someone else with harnessed magick...

“You.” I say, my voice failing me as disbelief just clouds my mind. Beckett won’t look at me, of course he won’t. He led me to my death.

“Astra, you’ve met Beckett, right? My son? My weapon.”

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