Rating: T (as according to ffnet)
Characters In Chapter: Tobias, Rachel Berenson, Marco
Relationship(s): Tobias/Rachel, Tobias/Marco
I struggled to think. I should fight to protect Marco, but this darkness was much more inviting. All that helping to protect Marco would do is have me kill Rachel. The hawk mind didnâ€™t understand why I would want to save Marco. He wasnâ€™t anyone to the hawk.
No, wait, Marco was my mate. Part of me tried to convince the hawk mind of that. My lover was important because he really loved me. Rachel had done the actions, but Marco acted from the heart. The hawk mind was then on the side of protecting the boy.
Pushing the death wanting side of my mind to the background, I focused on a morph that would help me fight Rachelâ€™s Grizzly bear morph. My talons were the first to change and I as I rose up my skin turned green. My feathers turned green and seemed to melt into my skin.
As my wings barely made the change to Hork-Bajir arm, the blades sprouted out and I started to feel alive again. All the harm to my red-tailed hawk body was gone and now my body was uninjured. The final change was my two blades on my head indicating I was a female of the species. I felt them with my hands, grimacing at what would have to go down now.
I stood up and looked at Rachel and knew that she would kill Marco. I walked over at a quick pace and her only response was to look at me. She knew that she still had time to kill him. I would have to distract her and not give her any indication of what I had planned. I slowed down my pace to make it appear like I was barely even moving.
â€œRachel!â€ I yelled out with pain lacing every syllable my mouth let out. â€œWhy? I love you. It took three years for me to find a stable way to move on. Are you my Rachel? Or are you something else just wearing her skin?â€
Rachel laughed through her thought-speak and it made me shiver deep inside. Rachel was bloodthirsty, but she still had had humanity in her. The thought-speak laughter that I heard now was cold and there was no trace of the girl I used to know.
I was born Rachel Berenson. She said as she slowly stopped laughing. When I died, Crayak rescued me. He kept me alive. Crayak, who I used to think of as the enemy, took the time to rescue me and the Ellimist would have gladly let me die. The Ellimist is supposed to be the good person, but he isnâ€™t.
I noticed her getting angrier and sounding like I did when I thought of the Ellimist. The Ellimist who took any chance of a normal family away from me. It scared me how much she reminded me of myself even when it was clear that she had changed dramatically. It scared me so much that I stopped walking towards her.
â€œThe Ellimist can be an asshole.â€ I agreed and hoped my voice didnâ€™t waver too much. â€œHe took away my chance to spend any real time with Elfangor. He took away Lorenâ€™s memory of my father and I stay away from her to make sure I donâ€™t cause her any pain. He tricked me into giving me my morphing power back. But Crayak seeks to destroy before anything else. He used the Howlers to destroy entire civilizations. He used a perverted version of the Pemalites to counter the Ellimistâ€™s efforts at peace.â€
Rachel seemed to ponder my reply as I let the truth that she was the Rachel I had lost come fully come into my mind. She was the Rachel I had lost and yet that Rachel was dead. A single tear went down out of one of my Hork-Bajir eyes. I looked at Marco who knew any movement would attract Rachelâ€™s attention and he would die, so he stayed as still as he could.
But at least Crayak is honest about his intentions. The Ellimist just tells lies to make you do what he wants. Rachel finally replied. It took me awhile but I finally realized the truth. Crayak can be cruel, but he can also be loving. When he asked that I return to torment you I said yes.
I wish that Rachel gave a sign that the old Rachel was still there, but she didnâ€™t. The twinkle in her eye that I wanted to mean that she had taken the opportunity to come back to Earth to be with me for just awhile longer, but it didnâ€™t. It meant that she was glad to torment me and prove that she could leave her past behind.
I wanted to see her in her Grizzly bear eyes, but I couldnâ€™t and found myself still unable to move. It took all my control not to fall over crying. I had to stay focused for just awhile longer.
I was supposed to wear you down slowly, but he made me change my plans. She said, pointing a claw at Marco. He made me move quicker than I had planned and now you arrived on the scene. I wouldâ€™ve been fine with including him in my torment, but he is too smart for his own good. I had planned for Crayakâ€™s little torture of you two to throw suspicion away from me, but Marco figured it out.
No! No! Rachel would wake up. All the conditioning that Crayak had done to her would go away. She would become my Rachel. She had to.
I love you, Tobias. Marco said sadly. Pick yourself up a little more quickly than last time.
Before I could get my limbs to function, Marco made one last attempt to attack Rachel. As he swung his arm, I thought of how much he meant to me. How he had thrown the ball to save my life when I had tried to end it and our time together after the war. How he was there when I came back to him. He was strong in more ways than any of us had really told him.
And all that power, all that strength, was taken from the world as Rachel cut his throat with one paw and started gutting him with the other.
No! I yelled out in pain as I saw him try to appear strong as he died.
And then he stopped moving. Marco was gone.
It was at that moment I realized I would have to kill Rachel. It was either her or me. If I had not been so hesitant to attack her before, Marco would still be alive.
No! I yelled as I rushed toward my former girlfriend, my former angel.