Chapter 9.13 – Dagger

Kacey cringes while Jopin re-applies his concoction of gross-smelling seaweed to Adam’s badly burnt limbs, chest, and face.
 
Deep inside, Kacey recognizes there is little cause for concern. She had personally suffered cataclysmic trauma. The sims around her had literally been shredded to bits by an explosion she’d inadvertently triggered in a secret, underground lab (see chapter 3.7) . And yet, she had somehow healed with no trace of the event. The only requirement was time. Coincidentally, this is what worries her most. Time, it appears, has become a scarce resource.
 
She senses the event horizon of something terrible approaching. Not knowing what it is scares her more than anything. Both Reid and Jopin had alluded to it earlier. They’d both seemed to also sense the looming dread. And what of Jopin? Who is he? She finds his timely appearance at the lighthouse almost too fortuitous. Had he been placed in her path via some manner similar to the boat on the beach? He’d told her that she and Adam wouldn’t be able to stay here much longer. The question remains, What did he mean by “here”?
 
Kacey lands the boat on the same shore she had found it, then walks cautiously up the bluff toward the ruined estate. The stench from the gutted building hangs in the air as a thick, black fog. Her stinging eyes widen in horror as she crests the bluff. She is greeted by the sight of wildfires burning out of control through the recessed parts of Sunset Valley not visible from the lighthouse. She can hear Hendrake, bellowing brutally from some far-off point in the distance. There is a moment of terror when she comprehends that what she sees is no simple wildfire. It is a host; his army. Hendrake intends to destroy this place looking for her.
 
The horde has already made its presence known, and it burns with the brightness of an unnatural pyre. Kacey does not know whether Hendrake is able to sense her presence or not. Regardless, Jopin was correct about one thing. She needs to find whatever she is looking for and get back to Adam. And then what?
 
 —
 
Heat and flame from the smoldering ruins of the estate are repelled away from Kacey’s body by some unknown force. It lends the visual effect of her moving about the ruins inside a vortex of fire and smoke. She ignores this, and instead reflects upon her ponderous sadness. Before seeing Reid today, she thought had shed her last tears some time ago, after sadness had became the norm. So many memories lay buried here now; memories of David, Mark, Hope, Faith, Doc …Gerard. All of it is gone. As far as she knows, Adam is all that remains of the Barimen legacy.
 
She finds a place among the smoldering rubble that captures her attention. A chest has survived the blaze, seemingly unmolested. She cautiously approaches, then opens the box. Those tears she had thought were barren, easily spring from her eyes again. She begins breathing in sobs, attempting to control her emotional response to the box’s contents.
 
A ring …the ring.
 
And her artifact, or something like it. Her artifact was old and dying. But this …seed … like an unborn child, is pure and bursting with life and potential. Through her confused tears, she reads the note written to her by Luke (See Chapter 8.24). She laughs, then cries, then laughs again. Then, after a short time, she hears an old Irish lullaby and wonders if she’s finally gone mad. She works to dismiss this as a relic from her profoundly vivid visit with old memories. But soon, it becomes very evident that the song is no figment. Her mind reels as suppressed memories from her terrifying childhood surface.
 
A deep, smooth, and reassuring voice calms her deep anxiety. She looks up to see a vaguely familiar face. Their last meeting was not a pleasant one (see Chapter 2.19). But everything is different now. It is the same, self-assured, confident, and silken voice she remembers …Julian? Having appeared through through the smoke, the aged Barimen founder offers his fraternal sibling a warm smile (see Chapter 8.10). Kacey’s face contorts in confusion and uncertainty. The lullaby stops abruptly, and is replaced by a sweet, soothing, melodic voice from her distant past. It is a voice she had not heard since she was a baby; since before the cave…
 
Eva, love, you’re so beautiful! Look how you’ve grown!
 
Any remaining defense against the unwelcome flood of childhood memories fighting to reclaim their place in her mind, is immediately smashed to splinters. The past forcefully occupies its long-empty compartment, while Kacey …Eva, stands with slumped shoulders, weeping. Desiree and Julian both support her for a long time; saying nothing, but speaking volumes.
 
Finally, Desiree steps back and gently consoles the angelic being she had carried and birthed. She quietly hushes Kacey, encouraging her to let go of the burden. The things that have happened to her are no better than having a long dagger repeatedly plunged into her side. Choosing to to leave the dagger in place, and attempting to ignore the pain, is completely understandable. Removing it is a very scary proposition. But it has to be done; for herself …for Adam. Yes, there will be some blood shed; and tears too. But she will never heal unless she first removes the thing causing her wound.
 
Julian’s deep voice, as usual, provides context; It’s already done it’s harm. Why let it continue hurting you?
 
For Kacey …Eva, there had always been something missing; though could never quite grasp or comprehend what or why. Radiant blue eyes stare into those of the woman whom she’d always missed so terribly, and longed to be comforted by; the way she’d been comforted as an infant.
 
And though the words never actually emerge, as they are obscured by Kacey’s weakly quivering voice and sobbing breaths, Desiree smiles as though they had been perfectly spoken. Kacey had never in her life used these words before, not even for David. But what’s important now, is that she’d attempted to use them at all. Desiree comforts the young being she had carried and birthed, then musically returns the long-overdue sentiment.
 
I love you too, deary… I love you too.
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3 thoughts on “Chapter 9.13 – Dagger

  1. OOoooh okay, so Desiree is her mom, Julian is her (step?)dad, then Kacey/Eva would be David’s aunt! That’s nuts XD And then down the line is Adam! Hmm…but who was Gerard? He wasn’t an heir I don’t think…Mark continues to be my favorite character of the legacy X) Mostly because of his tough teen years 😛

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    • The simple explanation is that Kacey and Adam are both alien symbiotes who used Desiree and Anna as gates into the physical world. The McAllisters were entrusted with an entity just like the Barimen family was. Desiree is the last McAllister. She and Corwin conceived Julian. Kacey was born at the same time as Julian, but she isn’t human at all. Just like Luke and Anna conceived Noah and the entity became “real” during her pregnancy. Anna gave birth to Adam, but he’s not human either. Does that make any sense?

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