Achille’s Heel 2. [story part 23]
March 2, 2012 § 3 Comments
Now, you might think that, for the way I talk about her, I’m sure slow in taking the right choice.
But you have to understand, it’s not that easy. It’s not easy deciding to murder the person you love. The only one.
Because Regina was not just any other girl. Her death would not just affect me and her, it would affect a million other vampires, and at least that many humans also. And if, by any chance, all the history stories I’ve heard among them, are actually true, then I don’t even want to think how it would affect history. Or how it did these past five hundred years.
The reason I didn’t decide in killing her just yet was, well, because you see, I wasn’t sure if the way she affected the world was good, or bad.
She was 100% percent good, and in the same time, 100% evil. How is that even possible?
I’ve been raised, and taught, that things are either bad or good. Sometimes in-between. But this situation right here, was the biggest dilemma of my life, and I couldn’t even comprehend how is it possible. Regina wasn’t good, or bad, or in-between. She was both as good as she was evil. How?
And then I thought – this is impossible to reason. For once in my life, for the first time, I was faced with a decision which had to be taken with my heart.
And so it was.
Fuck the world, fuck all of you.
And like I said, decisions like these are not made in your brain, you don’t know where they come from or what line of thought you followed. They just happen, and you just act.
I pulled the knife from her heart as easy as it went in, but this time slowly. As slow as I could. I didn’t know what to expect, but I stepped back, went in a corner, left the knife on the floor, and waited.
It didn’t take long, I didn’t even have time to put my thoughts in order.
She woke as violently as she went down, it was as if her anger was frozen in time for a bit.
She instantly saw me, and snarled at me, the coughed violently. I was in the corner, scared out of my mind, looking at her face.
“Please don’t kill me.” – Lamest thing I could find, but it was the most sincere request I had ever made.
She smiled, turned a bit around and started coughing again. She was clearly weakened.
I took the chance, encouraged by her smile, to approach her.
As soon as I was in range, she pulled me on the bed, turned around and in a second was above me, holding my neck tight with her left hand and with her right hand on my heart.
She was listening and feeling my heart.
I was frozen. I was expecting her to grab my heart in her hand and just literally squeeze the life out of me.
“The most beautiful thing in the world don’t you think…?” She asked.
“The sound of a heartbeat…” She added.
I said nothing.
“AND YOU TOOK IT AWAY FROM ME!” She then shrieked.
“You took mine a long time ago…” I was being romantic, maybe it would work to water her anger down. It did.
“Suppose I should be happy now… you made your decision.” She said.
I didn’t understand at the time, but later on it made sense. You see, she always knew that I was split in opinion about her. She always knew that I would either decide to kill her at one point, if given the chance, or to protect her with my life. And she needed me to make my decision. This was me making my decision. I had decided to protect her life no matter what.
It was much like having a relative trying to commit suicide. He always says he will, and you try to hide the knife. But can you really keep a knife away from him all his life? No. So then what do you do? You give him a knife, leave him alone, and leave. When you return, if he’s dead, you failed, but if he’s alive, maybe a bit cut but alive, then you succeeded. You helped him make that decision. The decision to live. Because a man who really wants to end his life, will not cut himself just a bit, to attract attention. No, he will cut himself beyond any repair.
And I understood Regina, she gave me the chance, the knife and I took my decision.
But all this time, I was being fooled.
You see, the Codex Strigis does say that a human has the last say in the decision of murdering another, but in case of Regina, the treaty of Vienna that she herself made with the elders, clearly states that “you will all unite for a common goal and cause only if it endangers the queen or the kinship.” And what I done, checked both boxes.
It was, a very, very sneaky trick of her, making sure she was safe from human hands and protected from the Codex. But this is something that I’ve learned only recently, at the time I was very convinced that my decision would have been respected.
“Viktoria?” She asked.
“I think she’s alive.” I replied back.
“Should I thank you also for stopping me taking the life of my beloved?” She asked again.
I didn’t answer.
“You… a human boy. Not even of age… You are my Achille’s heel.” She continued.
“Not my heart, not my other weaknesses, no. You are the true weak point of me.”
And she was right. I changed her, and she changed me, in ways you rarely see these days. She gave me access to her most intimate thoughts and desires, and I gave her back something she always longed for: innocent smiles and desires, of a human child, a child that she once was. She always longed for bits and pieces of humanity, of pure human feelings, things that could keep her in balance.
She was still above me and without a warning, interrupting me while I was speaking, she leaned over me and struck. She dug deep inside my chest, with her fangs, she struck. Above my left nipple and to the right, above my heart. She bit so hard I swear I heard something cracking.
The pain was similar to the bite in the church months before. She was doing it on purpose. It hurt so bad I screamed my lungs out. It cut my breathing. It stabbed my heart like a thousand knives. This was revenge.
Nobody entered the room but I was sure the elders knew she’s with us again, and she was taking what was hers. Revenge.
Their face was pretty priceless when they saw me standing tall along her side when we left the room.
“Viktoria?” She said.
“Alive, barely.” Karl replied and led us down stairs.
Viktoria was in the same place we had left her, not bleeding anymore, missing an arm, conscious and in excruciating pain.
Regina approached her and spoke to her in Russian.
I don’t know what she said but she hugged her afterwards and then asked her in English, for us all to understand.
“Why did you do it my love? Why did you break my rules?”
“Envy my queen…” She barely replied.
“You have everyone submitting to your every wish…”
“And I’ve been lonely for centuries.”
“I need a pack because I can’t control the wolf within me no longer.”
Both me and Regina understood this, but also understood that Viktoria would be that much more dangerous with a pack of her own.
“Then you shall have it, but not like that. You will gain it through respect and devotion, not fear and strength.” And she was right again, because that was exactly the way Regina had her followers. Submitting out of respect, devotion and admiration. A pack that fears you is a pack that will attack you sooner or later.
“But right now, you need to recover.” I was keen on seeing that happen, and learned that Viktoria would indeed recover, but it would take months if not years. And until then, she needed to stay inside, protected, and powered down totally, mustering all her strength into her healing ability.
I had the perfect person in mind to do that. I knew it wasn’t fair, but I wanted a stronger connection between me, Viktoria and Blanche. So I called Blanche, told her all that happened, asked her to be Viktoria’s guardian for as long as she needs, and she accepted.
Blanche came in the days that followed, took Viktoria and went unseen. For months, Blanche was to do everything for her, she was to get Viktoria all the nutrition she needed to recover, every day.
I felt that this whole visit was a disaster. We had learned nothing, Moscow didn’t help and we were no closer to finding Regina’s maker.
But that was false.
The next day we left the mansion just as happy as we went in, but now with the elders having more respect and fear of me. I was a mere human, but Regina had shown them that I meant more than that. And I would have loved to tell them why, and how exactly I was connected with her, but that was not their business to know.
We had to find her maker. We had to find the black eyed children. We had to know what they want. We had to know what is their purpose. We had to know why was I given the necklace. We had to know so much, and Regina knew that only answering those questions, for me, would get me on her side, would get me to willingly accept – eternity with her.
I was not about to accept such thing, when we both knew, that Regina herself was the subject of such a deal, and now it was my turn. And she knew it also, she knew something was amiss. This was not normal, this was something ancient, this was something planned.
Aware of the tales of the old town of Sighisoara, she knew better than anyone else, that any ancient creature, that spans its plans over millenia, is to be feared of and watched against. The black eyed children had a plan, and we both feared in fulfilling their purpose, to an end that might not be to our liking.
The fact was, that Regina was drawn to me, just as her maker was drawn to her. And we both knew, that the necklace did that. My blood tasted different for her, it was a narcotic, and we both feared, that she once was a narcotic for someone else.
We both wore the necklace that saved our lives, we both wore it as a gift from the black eyed children, we both were helped but kept captive by the necklace. Only one thing could set us free – renouncing our humanity.
We didn’t understand how it worked, although we tried.
Regina was not one to be attracted or interested in magic, however we searched – we searched any explanation possible – and we did find it, but that only raised more questions.
What we knew about it up to that point was little. Physical characteristics told us that the platinum pendant itself was man-made, but the Jade inside is was a rock of Earth. Old as time itself.
We had also learned that the circle around the necklace represented the ouroboros, like a reader also noted. Yes, the ouroboros is an ancient symbol representing a dragon eating its own tail. It symbolizes ” the perpetual cyclic renewal of life and infinity, the concept of eternity and the eternal return, and represents the cycle of life, death and rebirth, leading to immortality, as in the phoenix.”
But the ouroboros can also represent “the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting before any beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished.”
All that is taken from Wikipedia of course. We had been told, the same things, along the same lines, from an older book which was given to Regina by an elder when she noticed him looking at the necklace. He recalled reading about the symbol in an old book of his, and also noted that it is strikingly familiar with the seal of Vlad Tepes, the seal of The Dragon Order.
I strongly advise you in reading more about the ouroboros online before stepping into judging my story.
What we didn’t know at the time would shake both of our strong beliefs against all that is supernatural.
We learned that it represented something else: energy.
We learned that the Jade did more than just look beautiful. It was more than a simple stone.
Since ancient times it has been known that certain stones and diamonds can resonate at certain frequencies, which occur naturally, if attuned properly and shaped accordingly. But that is for a later time of the story.
For now I’ll limit it to what we knew at the time.
We needed to find the maker and solve this mystery once and for all. It was now a quest not just for me, but for Regina herself in finding the story of how she came to be.
So we left the mansion the next day. The same as we arrived, together.
“I think it’s about time to tell me your plans.” I said.
“I would, if I had any. Right now I’m just closing leads one by one, until we find one that won’t close.” She replied.
“So we’re blind here. We’re just walking from door to door asking questions?” I asked.
“No, not really.”
And then we arrived at the airport.
“So where to now?” I said.
“We’re going to Sweden, to desecrate a tomb. Does that sound exciting enough for you little one?” I didn’t like her “little one” note, but it did sound exciting otherwise.
“Lars will receive us properly do not worry.” She added, when she saw my confusion. That didn’t calm me down, I didn’t exactly appreciate being around anyone else except her. They didn’t understand my relation with her and it just made things awkward, complicated and violent at times.
And there I was, side by side with a five hundred year old girl, riding a plane towards unknown lands, chasing stories and myths, in a time when others my age were falling love with Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, I was falling in love with the most shining star I knew.
We were two normal people, going in vacation in a normal way, towards a noble goal. Or so we thought.
The plane ticket once again read:
Le Mans (LME) France – Arlanda (ARN) Stockholm.
And as the plane took off and started shaking once again, I touched my necklace and looked at Regina.
She held my hand and smiled.
She was alive.
“Did you know that I could make this plane crash and walk away freely after?” She said.
I froze. What? I really hoped she was joking.
She was. Still playing.
As she saw my face she started laughing and then kissed me.
“You don’t know what you’re missing out on…” She whispered slowly in my ear as the plane smoothed out, those five seconds after the shaking of the take-off stops, those seconds when you feel you’re in the air.
I remember her exactly saying that, those were her exact, exact words. Because she was wrong. For once, she was wrong. I did know what I was missing out on, and I didn’t care.
I didn’t care for an endless existence, dictated by someone else. Not by her, not by her maker, but by the ones who started this whole reaction. The black eyed children – whether they were myth or real, I didn’t knew. I didn’t and I don’t believe in such non-sense. I refuse to, even when they are in front of my eyes.
The flight was short, a mere three hours, and by nightfall we were in the airport and sure enough Lars was waiting for us. How did he get here so fast, before us?
We took a separate car and for the first time I saw Regina driving.
I’m sure my face expressed a lot of things because Regina seemed amused by it.
“What? You didn’t think an old lady can drive?” Still playing, still joking. It blew my mind every time how such a creature could still have that joy and life coursing through her veins. After all the wars and cruelty she’s seen, and was a part of, she still had that innocent, twenty year old of age humanity in her. I was starting to think that it will never change, no matter what.
“I didn’t think nothing of it… but it is funny to see you do it.” I replied.
“You should see me mastering my horse then.” She said.
Now that would be a pretty picture I imagined. A picture that would be shown to be sooner than expected…