The Church Part Two

The Church - Part Two

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I can remember that day so clearly. It's about the only one that still stands out in my memory, now. You might think that the mind would pick a pleasant moment to immortalize, but no— it's the awful ones that never seem to die.

I was young then, still a promising initiate within the then-flourishing Followers of Jerry. I had just completed some kind of important ceremonial mission, and they saw it to reward me for the time I'd spent with them afterward. I recall being so honored by it at the time… a part of me couldn't believe that they had noticed my escapades amongst the sea of other initiates. Hell, some part of me is still surprised by that.

They sent me to receive my reward at a church called "Jerry's Salvation". Back then, it was an expansive sanctuary where all of us could worship and pray in singularity. It was the kind of place where all the younglings such as myself wanted to be stationed at, if only for a chance to meet the high council and bask in the glory of the building itself.

And here I was, walking through the filled pews of that very church, the whole building filled to the brim with spectators of all notoriety within The Followers. All gathered there to watch my moment of glory. It felt like heaven— no— it was heaven.

My whole life was ahead of me. Ready to be destroyed.

I turned to my right, where Father Raven stood next to me, ready to deliver a most prestigious gift on behalf of Sinclair Beckett herself. All the work and perseverance I had sunk into the group thus far had finally come to a climax, and I could never have been happier about it.

The Father produced a small silver box from within his coat, and presented it in front of me. I opened it, and was met with the sight of a glass cannon— a highly respected symbol of power within the group. I'd never before seen one in person, but frequently heard whispers of the men who carried them— they'd fire one shot, leaving the gun destroyed and the target obliterated through flames.

To say it was an honor would be an understatement… it really meant the whole world to me.

I thanked the Father and gripped the weapon, tears welling up in my eyes.

And as I did so, a group of Argos knights burst into the church.

I can see you.

You, in all your glory and frustration.

Your armor, shining. Your knives, glistening.

Though your memory has faded with time and body has tired with age, your soul has not changed at all. You are still angry with yourself. You are still hateful towards the world.

You see The Heretic as he enters the church. That all too familiar and god-damned church. You swore you'd never enter it again. Not after the slaughter.

You were wrong.

Though it takes all your willpower to do so, you manage to push open the rusted double-doors and face down Alasdair as he beckons you from the end of the hallway.

He didn't know that you'd been following him— tracking his footsteps and mapping out his every move— but he's going to make the most of the situation regardless. He is going to kill you.

Your armor creaks as your feet push themselves further into the building's rotted floorboards. Your breath, once silent and calculated, is now groaning loudly with anxious anticipation. Fate begins to call, begging for you to enter the abyss.

Though this church was once considered a holy place, you can tell that no god is here to protect you now. Not even myself.

Soured with age and weathered with scars, I stand across from the sanctuary that once housed my only family and gaze longingly at its now-rusted entrance. Time has treated it about as well as it has treated me, evidently.

I tighten the grip on my old glass canon as a familiar target enters the building.

The canon had also rusted in time, but not due to any kind of frequent use. If anything, the opposite was true: I chose to hide it for ages, partly ashamed at the sight of it, and partly because I had decided to save its bullet for one singular person.

The Ghost Killer. The bastard who waved the flag of Argos as his men plundered my home and attacked my people.

It has been years— decades, even— but the sight of him entering the church once again is more than enough to re-ignite my hatred. I had tried my hardest to avoid it for so very long, but now it is time for all those locked-up emotions to take ahold of me. They command my every decision now, and give me only one prime directive:

"Go after him. Get the bastard."

I load the weapon in response, for the first and last time.

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