Is love reason enough? That’s the question C. R. Gardner asks in Part 5 of The Two Faced Goddess.
The Two Faced Goddess Part 5
‘We’re being followed,’ said the Prince.
The Grievous One said nothing; she’d noticed once she’d calmed. She gritted her teeth, still annoyed at how easily she’d lost control.
‘We’re being followed by your dead soldiers,’ he repeated, his voice ragged, glancing at her. ‘The ones whose body parts decorated the tunnel.’
‘I know,’ she said, tasting his fear, keeping her expression carefully vacant, her eyes focussed upon the one she’d returned to life, walking ahead of them. Aside from the copious amount of blood smeared across his armour he looked fine, but she could feel the darkness inhabiting his soul.
She shouldn’t have done it – she’d let her emotions control her, and now she’d brought back something that was no longer entirely the Commander. She breathed out slowly. It was only a matter of time before she would have to return him to the dead.
‘Did your magic bring them all back?’
‘No. It is the darkness.’
The Prince sighed, ‘How long before it attacks us?’
‘Soon. We are close to the Door.’
‘Why did you bring him back to life?’
‘Your incessant questions are beginning to annoy me, Princeling,’ she said, menace giving her words edges.
‘Why did you bring the Commander back? I need to know!’
‘Why do you need to know, Princeling?’
‘Your reason is important!’
‘Why?’ she snarled, the claws on one hand encircling his throat, as she hefted him into the air with the other as if he were a doll.
‘Because,’ he gasped, desperately trying to loosen her grip around his throat.
Vexed, she tossed him to the ground. Scrambling to his feet the Prince saw something in her eyes that took him by surprise.
‘You loved him!’
She stalked off, ignoring his words, her eyes on the revenant Commander as he disappeared around a bend in the tunnel.
‘Who would have thought someone like you could love another.’
She stiffened, claws extending, scoring the walls as she followed her troops around the bend, fantasising about eviscerating him.
‘Love,’ laughed the Prince, following quickly, aware of the dark controlled dead closing in from behind. ‘Perhaps that will be reason enough. Love…’
He stopped abruptly, staring at the carnage confronting them. Before he could draw breath the darkness was upon them, swirling about him, caressing his flesh with cold fingers, while around him the Grievous One’s troops fell screaming.
The darkness cleared. The Commander stood before them repelling it with his laser sword guns – cutting, slashing, shooting – shredding it and driving it back.
‘Kill me, General,’ he said, turning to face the Grievous One, ‘Before the darkness makes me its own again. The Goddess knows you can defeat her. You carry the Nine. She is afraid.’
The Prince watched the Grievous One impale the Commander upon her claws. His skin prickled as she summoned the blood she’d used to return the Commander to life. It poured from his body in a red cloud, a million tiny red droplets swirling around them. The Commander collapsed against her. She held him, whispering in his ear, tears running down her face.
What had she said? Fear trickled down the Prince’s spine as the blood fell upon him like summer rain.