(Only metal surrounds me beneath the dirt. Nothing but steel corridors. About what I expected for the lair of Circe. Finding the location wasn't difficult with Vivian's coordinates, but getting in here was another story. Fingerprint scanners were on the doors to get in and are on the doors inside too. I stare at the box a moment before raising my hand to it. A severed finger is held between two of my own digits. Unfortunately for its owner, he chose to investigate the trap door Angel used to get in at the wrong time. Also unfortunate, this was the only part of him I needed. His life was not spared. [Refreshing bloodlust].

I press it against the scanner and the door opens. I'm ready for someone to be on the other side, but this corridor is as empty as the previous one. I take a breath and allow the shadows to envelop me. Their black tendrils pressing and moving against me. Their cool touch lowering my body temperature nicely. Slowly, I make way through this underground maze. Each silent step feeling one further from freedom. The longer I'm in here, the more my mind tries to tell me the place is deserted. [It's a lie]. I'm aware that it can't be true. I wouldn't have been supplied with a finger if no one was here. After searching for a half hour through empty hallways, I catch a scent. Something stale. Putrid. I feel my nose wriggle as I sniff the air further. It's not difficult to follow. Whatever it is, it's not pleasant. The mental images it gives me are of rotting wounds in dying, woodland creatures and decaying human corpses. Neither of those scents is unfamiliar, but there's something different about this. It's like the two of them blended together with something else. Something I haven't encountered before. Obviously, it's where I need to go.

I move quickly towards it, but not so fast that I sacrifice tactical awareness. The scent continues to increase. Pungent. Foul. I slow down at the sound of voices ahead. Not just any of them is Angel's. I approach cautiously. Remain hidden. Screams of agony. Angel's. I hate this. [HATE]. I should have gotten here sooner. I finally reach where they are. Angel's on the ground. Struggling to stand. The torment in his face impales my heart. My insides cry red. The alabaster creature in front of him is a hulking mass of muscle and scar. Angel's pain in my heart instantly focuses my hatred on this thing.)

Hulking Creature: We have orchestrated every event in your life for near a decade. This one is no different. The sooner you realize this, the better. For both of us.

(He talks to Angel as if he is beneath him. As if he owns him. It grates against me. Angel tries to force his body off the ground in defiance. In vengeance. He manages to make it to a knee. The monstrous man-thing pushes a button on a device. A scream eminates from Angel before he falls back to the ground. His eyes close. He's killing him. [~Throaty Growling~]. The man walks heavily towards Angel. Get away from him! [DIE!]. I make my presence known from the shadows. His surprise is obvious.)

Hulking Creature: What?

(I pull two blades from their sheathes. GET AWAY FROM ANGEL[WHAT IS OURS]!)

Hulking Creature: You?

(I don't waste time. I throw the first blade. Watch it move through the air before sinking into his skin. Taking residence in his shoulder. [I can smell the blood from here]. The screams of searing pain fill my head. The roaring agony. It's earth-shattering. [Wonderful]. I pull myself completely from the shadows. My other blade ready to go. Angel is mine[ours]. You can't have HIM! The massive man-creature yells at me angrily through the pain, but can't find any real words as he backpedals.)

Hulking Creature: You!

Eclipse: Me.

(I throw the next blade. It strikes as true as the first. Buries itself just below it. My ears are rewarded with another scream. [Beautiful]. He pulls at the blades, but they aren't coming free. They are too far embedded. There is no thought process on staying and fighting. He flees. Damnit[DAMNIT]! There's no point in chasing. Not with Angel in the condition he's in. I hurry to his side. Look over the blood seeping from his nose and mouth. It's now I truly notice the vacant child behind him. Frozen in time. I can't worry about that right now.)

Eclipse: Angel. Get up. Get up, Angel.

(I fight with his dead weight. Try to get up him to his feet. He's not helping me much at all. He forces my name from his lips when he shouldn't be trying to talk.)

Angel: Ec..lipse...

(I know what he wants to say. After our fight. Our separation from each other. There's no time for that now. I love him. His words didn't change that. It's why I'm here. He hurt me. Badly. He didn't kill my feelings for him. I can't let myself delve into those feelings right now. We can talk all he wants when we are free of this place.)

Eclipse: Not now. Now it's time to go.

(This would be much easier if he could help me, but I manage to have him at his feet and ready to slowly move. He stops me again.)

Angel: Ec..lipse...

(The desperation in his tone catches me off guard. Penetrates my defenses. My hardened exterior drops. The part of me that is a sad little girl in love surfaces. [Blech]. Worries about him. Dwells on the things we said to hurt each other. Maybe this can't wait.)

Eclipse: What?...What is it? I'm here, Angel. I'm here.

(He struggles to express his feelings.)

Angel: Be...hind you.

(I had completely misinterpreted his desperation. It wasn't to make peace. It was to warn me of danger. All emotion drops from my face as I turn to meet the next threat. We'll talk later...right now it's time to [KILL].)


(The mirror stands in front of me. Breaks down the distortions of the world. Reflects the truth. I stand silently in front of it shirtless. I turn my back to it while looking back. The wounds in it greet me. They show me what was done to me. [What you allowed]. Circe didn't just hurt me. They didn't just experiment on me for those few days. They also revealed something to me without knowing it. They showed me a truth. Much the same way that the mirrors do. Just looking at these wounds brings forth images of my time there. They flood my mind and then pull me in.)


(I'm not exactly sure how long it's been since I was swarmed and captured. Maybe long enough to undress me and strap me down. Otherwise they'd already be doing whatever it is they plan to. I was so close. I killed the female beast that Angel warned me was approaching. I would have saved Angel. I don't know what happened to him. Where he is. If he's safe. I can only hope they don't have him too. That he made it out. That he'll be back for me this time like he said. Because the alternative is...I can't think about that right now. I push away my fears of captivity. I'll have plenty of time to dwell in those thoughts if I fail to escape. Right now, I'm laying face down on a table. Mostly nude. My arms and legs are shackled. I'm not alone in this darkened room, but they have strategically faced me a direction that doesn't allow me to see who is here. How many there are. They're smart. Are they smart enough though?

I've been quietly testing my restraints with light motions while pretending to still be unconscious. They're used. That's a mistake. There's a slight crack in the one on my right wrist. Probably not detectable to the eye, but I can feel it clearly. I just need to wait for my chance. [Kill them, kill them all]. Oh, they will die. [Painfully]. I notice peripheral movement to my right. Someone is coming towards. Perfect. The dim lighting reflects off of something metallic in the person's hand. Blade? Can't be sure. I control my breathing. Make sure I still appear to be unconscious.

On the outside I'm still, but beneath the surface...well that's something else entirely. I focus on my hatred. [yes]. Let it completely inhabit me. These bastards are the ones who tortured Angel. My Angel. I picture them cutting him open. Pumping him full of drugs. The density of my hatred increases. [Yes]. Now, I assume, they intend to do the same to me. Keep me in captivity. Make me want they want me to be. Thrust me into eternal darkness. Like the darkness I was born into. Fear tries to overtake my hatred. What if they succeed? The thought is more than I can bear. That can NEVER happen. I crush my fear into dust. Let it swirl with the hatred till my insides churn. Till my chest aches. Till my veins burn as the darkness within fills them with acid. A tidal wave of black, liquid rage slams against the walls I've built to contain it. Control it. The walls shatter. [YES].

As the person approaches my right side something claws and scratches deep within me. Something ancient. Something evil. It screams towards the surface in a piercing shriek. I'm deafened by it. I'm seduced by it. The part of me that has been suppressing this let's go. I give in. The person to my right bends down to check me...the grating shriek reaches the surface. I erupt. A loud, throaty roar forces it's way from my mouth as my arm slams the cracked part of the cuff against the table and snaps it. [I'm free! I'm free again! HahAhaHAhaHaHa!]. I hear it's raspy voice within me. It's manic laughter. Watch my right side raise up as my hand grips the person's throat. Not sure what it is. No eyes. Just tubes coming out of a mask. [GIVE ME BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD!]. I don't care. They all [MUST SUFFER]! [I slam against the other shackles. I will get loose. I will KiLl. I feel his throat crush in my hand, but I'm not letting go. THIS VICTIM IS MINE!]. [NO. Get OFF of ME]. For all my demon's rage, we are still shackled to the table and there are hands all over us. Pushing us down. We[I] thrash against them as we feel sharp pains. Needles. [No, not needles, never needles. NOOOooOO!]. We don't let go of the creature we've killed. The world inside me shakes violently as it dims. We've been drugged. [THIS CAN't be....damn]. I fall into the empty abyss of unconsciousness.

I'm floating. Aimless. In the void. My body feels so very far away. So very disconnected. There is nothing. Just black. No real sensation. Suspended in emptiness. Is this it? Am I dead? A beastial voice hits my body. It hurts.)

Voice: [GET DOWN HERE]! 

(I'm abruptly yanked downward at high speed. My stomach lurches in protest as I endlessly descend. Will I ever stop falling? My question is answered soon after. I crash to the ground like a meteor. The concrete shatters and gives way. Buries me in a hole. My body is on fire. Broken. Crushed. I could lay here forever and just let go, but I won't. I painfully force myself up. Climb to the surface. Emerge from my cement tomb. I'm greeted by something I didn't want to see. The cage holding my demon. I can't see it clearly, but from what I do see, its size has increased dramatically from the last time I was down here. I haven't just been feeding it lately. I've been pumping it full of steroids. It must be 40 feet tall. The cage is completely flexed. Onyx muscle pressed against it's entire surface. The bars in the front are bent apart. I giant clawed limb is stretched out through the created hole. The taloned hand, or paw, holds something against the ground. No, not something, someone. Humanity. My Humanity.

Her body is so frail. Her skin in ribbons. Most of the color has faded from her. Gray. Her face is cracked. Deadened eyes look in my direction. Weak, pathetic sounds of air eek out from her broken lips as she tries to speak to me. It's revolting.)

Humanity: Wha...why...

(A hollow ache fills my chest. I feel terrible for her, but even worse, she sickens me. I try to answer, but nothing comes out. What can I say that will ease her pain without making me vomit? Nothing. Instead, I just hang my head. That's when I hear its raspy, wrathful voice. The hollowness of it sending intense pain through every fiber of my being. It's strength oppresses me until I'm dropped to a knee. Unable to stand against its hatred.)

Demon: [This is your fault Eclipse]....

(It's angry we've been captured. Right when it was about to enjoy itself with my body. I say nothing.)

Demon: [You waited too long to give me what I want]. [Pathetic human]....

(It snarls angrily at me. It's breath almost knocking me over. I let it grow too big. I thought I was controlling it. Using it. It's all been a lie. A lie I told myself. I've been doing nothing but feeding this thing. This thing within that wants to control me.)

Demon: [Come here whelp]. [Destroy this creature in my grasp and I will let you live]. 

(I look at Humanity. The pain etched into her ruined features. A part of me wants to listen, but I don't. I can't. I won't. My voice is defiant.)

Eclipse: No.

(It screams something unintelligible and thrashes against the cage. Rubble falls from the ceiling and slams to the ground around us. I agonizingly force myself to my feet against the weight of its presence. I will not be cowed by this thing.)

Eclipse: You can't kill me. We would both die. You can't kill her either. If you could, she'd already be dead. She will live...

(It goes wild. The force of its thrashing tries to take me off of my feet, but I refuse to allow it. I will not give in. Not again. I already let it take over earlier. It was a mistake. I lost control. I let my hate, terror, and rage consume me. I won't be listening any further at the moment.)

Eclipse: Throw your tantrum. It changes nothing. I will restore her.

(The thrashing stops. The darkened outlines of it's massive body suddenly show some color. The eyes. The dark blue, swirling eyes. Their madness and hatred wishing to crush me.)

Demon: [In the end I will be free, it's inevitable whelp]. [I'm the real you...the one you've always wanted to be]. [You are mine]...

(Is that true? Is that what I really want? I can feel myself weakening to its mental assault. I should never have tried to use it. I should have left it locked up and buried where it was. Now, I'm struggling against it. Though it feels impossible, I refuse it yet again. I can only hope I always will. I reply with a snort as I turn away and begin walking.)

Eclipse: Once we're free from this place...I will starve you...

(It screams, makes threats against myself and Humanity, and loses its mind. I ignore it all despite the pain it causes me. Despite my fear that I can't back up my icy words. I just continue walking.)


(The truth I learned was that I was lying to myself all along. Using it at all only gives it power. If I am to diminish its hold on me I have to lock it up and give it nothing. Fight my own violent urges. The ones I have to feed to keep my mind from coming apart and bringing me pain. I have to break this endless cycle. I'm just not sure how I can right now. I'm losing control. Feels like I'm losing the battle. Even now, I feel its hunger just below my skin. The murderous rage boiling in the pit of my stomach. How do I stop it? How do I avoid becoming the demon?)