Torment

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Chapter 11

Iris

I’m warm. I don’t know how, but I am. Slowly, my consciousness is coming back. As it comes, I feel pain. My skin feels as if it’s on fire. My bones are aching. The ones that are still attached anyway. I groan in pain, and have to fight to open my eyes.

The room is blurry, but there’s a warm glow coming from the fire in the corner. I blink a few times, and try and sit up, but can’t do so. I’m in such much pain. Tears begin falling down my face from the pain.

“Try not to move.” I jump when I hear an unfamiliar voice. I look to the sound of the voice, and see a man I’ve never seen before walking towards me. He has a tray in his hands and there is a kettle of some sort on the tray. He sets it down on the table, looking at me. He’s obviously Leviathin. Probably the first Leviathin I’ve seen that actually looks older. His eyes are slightly blurred, I’m guessing from loss of sight.

“Who are you.” I croak. My voice is barely above a whisper. He moves next to me, holding the warm cup to my lips and helping me drink. It tastes bitterly disgusting, but it’s warm and soothes my burning throat.

“My name is Acacius.” He turns away from me placing the cup down before taking a seat.

“And you are Iris.” He says. I stare at him in confusion. Why am I here? I should be dead. I felt Remus’ mother take my life and throw me over the edge of a cliff, so how is it possible that I am alive?

“Where am I?” I ask. He looks around.

“The center.” He says.

“How did I get here?” I ask.

“I brought you here.” He says.

“But why?”

“I’m sure you remember what happened.” He says. I lay my head back on the pillow, and look up at the dark ceiling.

“I brought you to the center of the planet. It’s where we held Remus’ mother all those years ago. For some unknown reason she wasn’t able to escape, so I figure she won’t be able to detect your existence here. You have a few broken bones, and-”

“Why would you save me?” I interrupt in irritation. He lets out a deep sigh.

“You didn’t deserve to die like that. And you may very well be the answer to our prayers.” He says.

“You’re talking in circles old man.” I say. He laughs softly, and sits back in his seat.

“I suppose I can give you a little history lesson while we wait. You see, long ago, when Remus’ mother first arrived on this planet, we weren’t really anything too special. We were like children. Trying to find our way. We were primitive. Constantly fighting each other, and trying to survive. She came to this planet, and raised us. She created all the advances you see today. She extended our life span. She cultured us in ways you couldn’t even imagine. We went from being savages on the brink of extinction, to the thriving empire she created. But when she arrived, she wasn’t alone you see. She had a boy with her.” Now he’s caught my attention. I turn my head and look at him, and he’s looking down into his cup.

“Remus. He was just a child then. But so vey dangerous. And evil. He resented his mother, for reasons unknown. He constantly fought with her, and threatened us. So what his mother did, was put him in a coma. She suspended him in time, so that he wouldn’t be able to do anymore harm than he was already doing. I never understood it, but she was so afraid of him. I had never seen her so fearful of anything.” He smiles softly.

“And then, when she released him, it seemed that whatever kind of hold she had on him, damaged his memory. He couldn’t recall who he was, nor was he angry. So as the years passed and he grew, she would continuously suppress his memory. And when she fell in love, her watchful eye on her son weakened, as did her power over him.” He pauses and takes a sip of his tea.

“As Remus grew, he eventually fell in love. Several times over the centuries. And each time, he would come close to bonding. But before he did, your mother would get rid of the woman, and wipe his memory. Because it seems that with emotion, Remus’ memory comes back each time.” He takes another sip.

“So she embedded an intention within him each time she would wipe his memory. It prevented him from falling in love. From even tolerating the idea of it. So imagine how confused we all were when he came back from the planet he hated with one of its inhabitants and a newly formed bond. And with that bond came his memories.” He explains. For the first time in my life, I feel sorrow for Remus. This new revelation of his past explains perfectly why he is the way he is. His whole life is basically a lie. He’s been manipulated by his mother.

“My dear, why are you crying?” I’m pulled out of my thoughts as Acacius takes note that I am in fact crying. I shake my head, not wanting to answer. Remus has always been so untrusting. Even Ezra said so when it came to him and Xion. This must be why. His mother. At the back of his mind, some part of him must know.

“How do you know all of this, about Remus.” I ask. He sits back in his seat.

“I was there. I helped raise him. I was his mothers closest friend and advisor. Until my people turned against her, and locked her away down here.” He says in regret.

“When Remus left... he went to see his mother, didn’t he.” I say. Acacius nods. That’s why he didn’t know me. She wiped his memory again. Then I remember what her words were to me, when she tried to kill me.

“What will happen if he regains his memory?” I ask.

“He’ll kill us all.” He says. I gaze at him in shock.

“What? Why?” I say. He shakes his head.

“I’m unsure. His mother would never tell me where they came from, or what Remus and her even are. But whatever he is, encoded in his DNA isn’t something that we can handle.”

“Why are you telling me this. Why save me? If according to his mother its my fault he’s even remembering. Wouldn’t it be best to just kill me, and wipe his memory again?” I ask. He shakes his head.

“Remus is a growing man. Whatever he is, his rate of production is increasing. New cells form quicker with each passing year. She cannot delay the inevitable. He’s going to remember who he is. I’d rather him have you by his side when that happens, than dead. You may be our only hope for survival. To stop the monster he will become.” He says. I scoff at him.

“I couldn’t even save my own planet. What makes you think that I can save your people? Why even should I? You’re the ones that took my home from me. Why should I do anything to save yours?” I ask.

“Out of all the times Remus found a lover, he never bonded with them. You were the only one that he bonded with. Whether he wants to acknowledge it or not, he’s very fond of you. He has a strong connection with you. You instilled something in him that no one has seen ever. I’m really unsure of the effect you will have on Remus, I’m just taking a chance here. As for why you should, I know you have a better heart than what you’re letting on. I just hope that you’ll do the right thing.” He says standing.

“I’m afraid I don’t have healing capabilities like Remus and his siblings. So you’ll have to heal at your normal rate. Which by then I’m sure Remus will regain his memory.”

“I hope you enjoyed the world as it was before you came here. When you re-emerge, it will be completely different.”

He walks out of the room, leaving me alone with my thoughts. I can’t believe that all this time, Remus has been nothing more than a shell of himself. I try and force myself to be hateful towards him. I even think of all the horrid things he did to me, but I just can’t. His own mother, has been manipulating him all of these years.

I think back to when we were on Earth, and he was talking to me about her. He had so much love and affection for her. And he had no idea what she was really doing to him. Both Acacius and his mother said that Remus is dangerous. I lay my head back on the pillow, wondering what exactly kind of alien war have I been dragged into. There is no way I can do anything to change Remus’ mind.

~

Xion

We always end up standing together, watching the festivities. Because up until recently, Remus didn’t have anyone to call his own. And now that he does, something has happened to him where he doesn’t even remember her.

Remus is next to me, gazing out over the crowd. Almost as if he’s looking for someone.

“I dream about her.” He says out of nowhere. I look over to him in confusion.

“Who?” I ask. But I’m sure he’s talking about Iris.

“The human Ezra has with him. Iris. I dream of her, yet I’ve never met her.” He says.

“Remus... what happened to you?” I ask. He hasn’t been the same since he came back from mothers.

“What do you mean?” He asks. I look out over the crowd.

“What do you dream about?” I ask. He shrugs, closing off the conversation.

“I feel like I know her.” He says. “Yet I’ve never met her.” He says. So he doesn’t remember her. What could have happened to him to not remember her? I look out over the crowd and see Ezra coming towards me with a panicked expression. I step down and move to meet him halfway.

“She’s gone.” He says in a panic.

“What?” I say.

“She’s gone. She’s nowhere to be found. I can’t even sense her anymore. It’s as if she doesn’t exist.”

“Who?”

“Iris!” He hisses. My eyes widen.

“You don’t think-”

“No! Don’t even think it!” He interrupts me. He opens his mouth to say something else, then his eyes widen and I see the fear in his eyes as he looks behind me. I turn and see Remus standing behind me.

“What are you going on about.” He says to Ezra, who for the first time is tongue tied.

“I...”

“He has to go.” I say. I look at him, and he stares at me, taking the hint. He nods his head, and takes off. Remus watches him as he leaves, narrowing his gaze. He can always tell when we’re lying. He opens his mouth to respond when he pauses. His gaze focuses on nothing.

“Remus?” I say. He doesn’t respond. I look around in a panic, but no one has noticed us.

“Remus!” I say again, but his eyes are not focused. He takes in a sharp breath. He grabs his hair and drops to his knees.

“Remus!” I try again, I place my hands on his back but he doesn’t respond. I gasp when I see tears running down his face.

“Remus please!” I say, but he’s squeezing his eyes shut as if in pain. He finally looks at me, and takes in a sharp breath before releasing an ear splitting screech. It’s an inhuman sound. And with it, everyone within fifty feet of him is sent flying back, including me.

I brace for impact, and sure enough I’m sent into the wall. I collapse as the debris falls around me. I look up in confusion, seeing the people around me panic as well. I try and clear my head, looking around for Remus.

“Oh God.” I murmur when I see him. He seems to be glowing from within. There is so much energy surging through him. The ground around him is beginning to shudder and rise. He’s looking at his hands in confusion.

I look around the room, and everyone is taking off in a panic. I immediately search for Chris, but I don’t see him. So I search for him through our bond.

“Run away as far as you can, get to safety.” I say before closing off our mental block. We’ve had this discussion between each other several times. I am stronger than him, and it would be less worrying for me if I just knew he was safe. I look up when I hear a scream of horror. Remus is attacking people. I can’t comprehend what it is I’m seeing right now. I watch in horror as he rips someone apart.

The amount of energy surging through his body is insane. His hair is beginning to flow like our mothers. I feel fear deep inside of me as I watch my brother become a stranger. His gaze roams around the room, looking for his next victim. And he sees her. A woman. He lunges for her and I don’t take the time to think. I jump between them, making sure to form my weapon seconds before the contact.

My body is jolted from the contact. Remus looks at me and I can see all the rage and anger in his eyes as he looks at me.

“Remus! Stop!” I shout. I shift just in time to see his fist come at me. I bring my hand up, and his hand collides with mine sending me flying across the room. I use my blade to slow myself down, but the moment I stop motion Remus is in front of me. I gasp. Shit he’s fast.

He punches me right in the stomach, and I smash into the wall. I cough up and pain explodes from my stomach. I’m sure he broke something. The stone around me closes in on me, and I try and get out of the wall, but struggle, falling to the marble floor. Remus is above me in seconds, and has a blade in his hands. He let’s out a cry as he brings it down.

Within seconds, Another blade is in the battle, blocking Remus’ inches away from my face. Sparks fly and I look to see Ezra on the other side of that blade. I take the moment of surprise to force myself up, and land a kick to Remus’ chest as hard as I can, sending him across the room.

That won’t keep him down for long. I try and get up, but fall on my knee, cringing in pain. Shit. He really did heavy damage.

“What the hell happened?” Ezra asks next to me. He tries to help me up, but I stop him.

“I don’t know. One second he was fine, and the next he just started attacking everyone.” I manage. I can’t hold back whatever is crawling up my throat, and cough, and stare in shock at the blood that comes out of my mouth.

“Xion, we need to get out of here.” Ezra says next to me.

“We’re no match for him-”

“No. Take Sky and Chris, and find somewhere safe.” I say quickly I look up when I see Remus walking towards us.

“No I can’t leave you like this!” He says.

“You have to! I’ll hold him off.” I manage. Remus takes a step, and the entire building rumbles and quakes before dissipating. My eyes widen. He’s not playing around. He means to kill us. I grab ahold of my weapon, using it to steady myself. I feel Ezra holding on my shoulder.

“Xion. You can’t.” His voice is abnormally calm in the situation. He gives me a bitter smile.

We can’t. Not alone.” He says. I stare at my little brother, who I’ve been yelling at all these years to grow up. His gaze is serious. His face grim. I nod my head. I slowly stand, and we both face Remus.

Whatever has happened to him, it's not good. He isn't Remus. He's a bloodthirsty beast, hell bent on destroying any and everything in his path. If Ezra and I can't stop him here, there is no telling what he'll do.

There’s energy radiating from his fingertips, into his blades as he walks towards us. I can’t help but wonder if I am looking death in the face.

Remus disappears in front of us, and I have to fight my surprise and hone my senses. He appears right next to me, swinging his blade. Luckily Ezra sees him and blocks the blow just as I bring my blade up, aiming for his throat. He dodges, and quickly swings towards me, while deflecting Ezra.

It’s a literal battle for our lives. Remus is much more powerful than we could have possibly imagined. Ezra and I try with all our might to at least land a blow on Remus, but he’s too quick. And I realize all too late he’s only toying with us.

He smiles as he grabs Ezra’s arm, quickly snapping it. Ezra cries out in pain but his cry doesn’t last for long before Remus hits him and I hear the crack of his rib. Ezra is sent flying across the room, and I turn all too quick to see where he lands. Remus takes the opportunity to attack me, grabbing me around the throat. He squeezes so hard, I immediately can’t breathe. I use the abilities our mother taught us, pulling any and everything towards us. Luckily a chair comes towards Remus, and he gets momentarily distracted. I use it as the perfect opening to bring my leg up, and hitting him square in the face.

He drops me, but isn’t even affected by my blow.

“Remus, please! I’m your sister.” I cry out as I dodge his blows. I also try and find Ezra anywhere but I can’t seem to see him. I can still sense him though, so he’s alive.

Remus swings at my head, and i dodge, taking the moment of open contact to force him backwards. I gather my remaining energy, and push him far away. He flies far enough for me to go in search of Ezra. I find him, where the entrance to the hall used to be. The building is all in shambles at this point, nothing but the night sky cast over us.

I look up in fear. Where could our mother be at a time like this? I kneel in front of Ezra, trying to pull him out of the rubble. He’s unconscious. His arm is bent at an unnatural angle. I feel tears falling down my face. There is no way we’re going to escape Remus. His eyes flutter open when he feels me touching him, and he looks up and then at me, in confusion.

I let down my mental block, trying to find Chris. To at least give him some form of last words. To tell him how much I love him. And in my moment of weakness, I feel Remus’ presence all too late behind me. He’s there in an instant. I don’t even have the time to react.

I don’t have to though. Ezra pulls me to the left, switching places with me at the last second, just as Remus’ hand goes straight through him. I gaze at the unnatural aura surrounding his palm as he rips through Ezra’s back, straight through. Ezra screams in pain, and I don’t think I use all of my energy around me, and slice the edge of the cliff we’re on. All of the rock goes crumbling as the mountainside gives way. Remus jumps back, ripping his palm from Ezra’s chest.

I can feel the gravity pulling us and the whole edge of the cliff down to the wild waves below. The rocks are crumbling beneath us and we fall. Remus moves away, and watches with a blank expression as we fall with the crumbling mountainside below. Not an ounce of recognition. Or regret. It's the most terrifying sight I have ever seen in my life.

I hold Ezra close to me, tears falling down my face. I squeeze my eyes shut, and brace for the impact that I know is coming.

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