“I’m going to destroy it. It’s mine to destroy.”
The lights of the SVT DC headquarters building did not reach the part of the street where Arya paced. A fence surrounded the grounds, spotlights marking blind spots, drones on patrol, some AI, some Humans, now because of the climate, even some EMC uniforms came and went from the grounds, even at the late evening hour.
All she had to do was walk in there. The human’s couldn’t stop her. The AIs posed more of a challenge, but not one she hadn’t faced before. She’d been a warrior on Seteri, and other lifetimes and she had not fought a worthy opponent in such a long time. It would be fun. Besides, she didn’t need to hold the building, she only needed to get into the akashic records chamber.
And break them all. Every. Single. Fucking. Crystal.
“What’s happening, Mother?”
Arya stopped her pacing, reaching up, grabbing at her hair. She couldn’t remember. She couldn’t remember the face of the pretty young woman who had asked her that. Who wasn’t afraid of her.
Arya had gone to great lengths, lost her own sanity, in order to remember. All of it. Every lifetime. When They came to her, whispering in her ear, promising her revenge, promising her power, she took it. She would be no one’s victim. Not anymore.
They would help her, and in turn she would help Them.
Puppet, Eve had called her.
That was the first fucking crystal she was going to break. She might eat that one, crunch Eve’s crystal in her teeth and let her blood taint Eve’s stupid fucking crystal, and then she would spit the pieces onto the floor…
… Michael would be mad at her if she did that. So would London. And Dante. Maybe even Coda.
WHY DID SHE CARE?
Arya looked down at her robotic hands, hidden underneath the gloves. She ripped off one of the gloves, then the other, so she could see the truth of the metal. She could have skin added. She could make them look human like. But no, she didn’t wanted that. She wanted the truth. She wanted to remember…
Okay maybe she deserved to have her arms cut off but no one should fucking want to remember. Not the pain. Not the endless cycle of meaningless lives that just continued over and over again, when there was no end in sight and no peace, and no way to stop the pain and…
“I wouldn’t want to do that. I’m London, and I want to remember every lifetime because it makes me strong and other stupid words that I said.” Arya mocked in a high pitched voice, once again pacing the concrete, snapping her gaze towards the building, back to the line of her pacing. Over and Over.
She could do it quickly. Get her victory. There was no one to stop her. They weren’t on this planet anymore, they were farther than she could reach them for once without expending power she didn’t want to expend.
She wondered if they were all right.
Oh, they were fine, they had stupid Michael with them. Stupid Michael who was SUPPOSE to be her friend too, like London and Coda, and Dante were, but nooooo, Michael was mad, because-
“I’m Michael and I love Gabriel so much, even though he’s a fucking whiny basic little man, that I didn’t have to manipulate that hard and still tries to talk to me and blah blah…” She was talking to herself again, mocking them again.
She hated them. All of them. Stupid friends. Stupid. Stupid. They weren’t her friends. Roman told her so… wait, no, he was an idiot. Never mind him. No it wasn’t Roman that mattered it was… it was Them.
She hated Them.
But They didn’t care if she destroyed the crystals. Arya took a step forward-
“What’s happening, Mother?”
Arya’s steps halted. The woman hadn’t recoiled from what she’d seen. The woman had taken a step towards her. Towards Arya. The woman looked at her like…
The woman loved her. Not romantic. Different. The way Arya looked at her grandfather that lifetime before he’d died.
Someone loved her.
“Excuse me ma’am? I’m sorry but you can’t be here. We need you to-”
The Security Guard halted, a muscle in his forehead pulsing as he fought back against her mind control. He reached for his radio, his hand shaking, grasping it, trying to pull it free from his belt –
Arya rolled her eyes, marched up to him and snapped his neck, violently. Cleanly.
“I’m thinking and your interruption was rude.”
It wasn’t until his body hit the concrete that Arya realized exactly what she’d done.
Michael wouldn’t be happy. London wouldn’t care. Arya bent over him, speaking in enochian “On behalf of Archangel Michael go to the afterlife peacefully and next time don’t interrupt women when they’re talking, even to themselves.” She patted him on the forehead, as if that were how one finished funeral rites and stood up again.
She crossed her robotic arms and chewed on the tip of her finger. Her eyes moved towards the building again.
They didn’t care if she destroyed it.
They didn’t want her to remember the woman in the other dimension. The woman who called her mother. Her daughter?
“I have a daughter,” Arya whispered.
Her brow pinched. Her hand moved to her hair again. She hid things from Them you see. Even on Seteri… They wanted her to turn off Cadenza sooner. She had… not. She had… a little section of her mind… just hers… but it was hard to… keep it all straight… because their voice was always there… that presence was always there… she could feel them… inside of her…. Soul.
She fucking hated Eve.
Eve was perhaps… correct.
And she was no one’s puppet.
Except she was.
But she was a… mother… a friend… she….
Arya looked down at the dead body on the ground. Oh, reincarnation was a thing was murder so bad?
Arya looked back at the building. Sighed. She reached down, grabbing hold of the dead security guard’s arm and dragged him across the concrete, closer to the fence so that the drones and AI would pick him up on their next rotation easily.
She could destroy the akashic records chamber another day. It didn’t have to be today. Maybe she would wait until she was sure it was what she wanted.
There was no rush.
Michael and London would be so proud of her.
“What’s happening, mother?”
Arya picked up her gloves, putting them meticulously back on her fingers, as she strolled casually down the street, whispering, “I will remember you, my darling. I will.”