1866-10-21: Remembering
Summary: With memories returned, Emilia spends some time considering it all - what happened and what might yet come.
Date: 1866-10-21
Related: Of Plans and Dreams, Through Dangers Untold, and others dealing with the faegate mishap of Clara and Emilia.

It had appeared through one of the many doorways, unnoticed at first with only being about two and a half feet tall. Bald, green-skinned, and with ears that extend from each side of his head for several inches, the red-eyed creature blinks a few times….before thin lips pull back into a sharp-toothed smile….there is something a little more menacing in the grin that follows….Menacing…and perhaps a bit hungry.

She had been wrong, she had met a Goblyn. It had thought her brave or foolish for not screaming. Perhaps she was both, in truth. It had been startling, but the creature, the Goblyn had seemed as familiar in ways as had the faegate. More impressive than any of the gates Emilia had seen before, which was to say something. The exquisite free standing archway, near translucent. It was the light that had given it away more than anything. It all wasn’t a dream, but memories filtering back.

The walls to the hallways were smooth, lit by the same luminous globes as the gate room. Set upon the walls at recurring intervals. A labyrinth with endless turns and yet they had been guided, both of them, to the room. Everything was a little to large. And then He had appeared. An alabaster-skinned figure standing over seven feet tall, his arms and legs are just a bit too long for his already slender torso, just as his fingers seem a bit too long for his hands…almost as though the entire figure has been “stretched” out to some unnatural proportion. Sharply angled features frame a pair of black-within-black eyes, and long, completely straight white hair cascades down to the middle of the fellow’s back.

The flash of white that had puzzled her for so long, why it confounded Them as well. For all she had seen and experienced already, none of it had prepared her for moment, the impossible entrance. There was a hint of pink to Emilia’s cheeks as she recalled His appearance when He had first…arrived, so very nude before the robe had formed upon Him, moving like liquid water itself. But it was short lived the flickering embarrassment of a young girl as she remembered what came next, as They remembered.

At first…she could sense it’s surprise…even more shocked than Emilia and Clara combined. The Voices KNOW this one. And as recognition dawns and astonishment fades, it is replaced with…rage…and hatred…and fear, swiftly rising to a conflagration of negative emotion a great deal more potent than any Emilia has known so far, and quite possibly drowning “Emilia” in that crashing tide of malevolence.

It was still something bewildering yet, Their surprise, and the reaction that had come. Even now, the memories stirred Them. Emilia could feel the mix of rage and fear. The way it swirled and welled up within her. Far from the overwhelming level it had been. She shivered some at the memory of how quickly she had lost control under the onslaught.

There is a glimmer on the being's face then, perhaps the only tiny spark of comfort that might come from these few moments, as it betrays…emotion, and a depth of it that rivals that pool he just stepped out of. A combination of pity and melancholy that somehow manages to be reflected in those black eyes, so very like what Emilia's just shifted to. His hold is not a choking one, instead cupping her chin, and his arm may as well be Sidhe-Steel for all the effect Emilia's clawing and struggling has upon it.

She had attacked Him with all the fury and hatred. No, They had attacked Him. He had known, seen the difference. And He had dealt with her as if she were as weak as a kitten. Even Victor had not been able to deal with her so effortlessly. And Clara had seen it all, seen the monster within Emilia. She too was remembering. She knew and yet she remained Emilia’s friend, if not more committed to the friendship in knowing the truth of her.

«You tested yourself against me twice, ElK'a'athren, Child of the Blackened Wood, and both times were found sorely wanting. You were humbled by Lon the Hunter when he slew your Saal'a'ahaan. Now this slip of a girl proves herself greater than you with each moment she lives as herself and not your puppet. You are but a reflection of a shadow, and while I may have eternity, I find I lack the patience to put up with your impotent rage. Trouble me no further, or the miseries you have endured will seem but a pleasant midsummer's eve by comparison to that which I will inflict upon you.»

The words echoed in her mind as if she had just heard them but moments ago. The power yet upon Them was measurable, the turn of fear that came. It explained why They had been quiet when she had finally exited the gate. Why They had been so disquieted when They had resurfaced days later. Why now They were displeased…angry. Why Emilia knew the days and nights would be more difficult ahead. She could feel, hear the heated whispers. They had something to prove yet, even if They dared not rise against Him again, she…the mere slip of a girl was another matter. They were certain she would not prove to be greater in the end. Emilia felt that confidence in Them, and Their patience was gone in proving just that.

“I can remove that which lies within you, Emilia Cassomir. Here and now. For me, it would be a simple thing. For you…less simple, as it comes at the cost of your freedom, for were I to do this, you would need remain here within the Labyrinth until the end of your days. My power is great…but no power can truly be wielded without consequence, and such an alteration of Fate would be costly.”

She had promised to seek freedom, a cure from Them, and yet when given that very option, Emilia had chosen to remain joined. And yet, it had not been as simple as that. What would Raelyn…Jaren think…if they knew she had been given a chance to be free and had chosen otherwise? Would the cost for that freedom matter to them as it had for her? Emilia would never know, she could not speak of it to them. It had been her choice and she had made it, she would have to live with that and her questions, her uncertainties and second guessings (of herself).

“The possibility is not absent amongst the myriad that exist, and thus far never has been.”

The possibility for a cure remained. Always had. If the possibility were even found, would it not also come at a price? Just as to live had come with a price, the burden she now bore? There had been a price in ways to even be returned from the Labyrinth. How steep would the cost be if the possibility ever presented itself? Would she even have the choice as The Last had given her, to pay it or not? Clara was as determined as her family, as Lon and Sirrah were to help her to that end…But would the price be worth it in the end? Would she be worth it?

He gestures lazily towards Emilia without looking at her, “Take Emilia here…in all the span of Creation from the age before time til’ now, she is unique. None have endured what she has and survived, much less retained so much of sanity. Not a one. Until now.” The Last’s lips quirk in something that might approximate a hint of a smile, but it fades to expressionless only a moment beyond. “It is good to know there can still be surprises in this world. Even to one so old as I.” A glance towards Emilia and there’s no mistaking the grin that’s directed towards her now, “Or as old as one other.”

She was unique…but did that give her worth? He had implied she had importance even if she did not see it. She was not like Jaren…Raelyn…or Devlin….they had all done things of importance, people looked to them. Even if they demurred at praise, mostly, their actions and impacts could all be listed. All she had done was survive, endure. Yet it was a thing that had surprised not only Lon, but this Sidhe. Beings that had seen more than she could begin to comprehend. Had The Last seen something within the paths of Fate about her? Was her time yet to come, or was her importance simply in being stronger than the Shadow of ElK'a'athren within her and continuing to survive? To remain as much of herself as she had?

I’ll be sure to check in from time-to-time.

He had said he did not think to see her again, surely meaning He would continue to watch her story in what ways He had before….Had Goblyns been sent to check up on her in the same way as they were Lon? Lon….she was permitted to speak to him about what had passed, did he even know a Sidhe remained….and what would she actually tell him? A hand pressed to her temple as Their rage continued to escalate,”«Be of quiet.»” Turning her wandering thoughts away from the memories and focusing to one of the meditations, seeking to rein Them back in.

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