"I just..." I stammer, searching for words. "You shouldn't be alone." I finally say.
"I've always been alone," she mutters darkly. I refused to believe this was Aretha. Not really. She'll snap out of it, I'm certain- she just needs to remember why she fights. I need to remind her.
"That's not true." She's looking at me wearily. maybe I'm reaching her- I'll keep going. "It isn't, though, is it? You had this... Well, for the longest time I thought I was insane, but there was always this, presence- like a shadow, almost- watching over you." Her face is still blank. "Am I wrong?"
She's still unresponsive.
"Come on, Aretha," I continued, "Say something. Anything. Please? I know there's still a soul in you. I can see it." That last part is a lie- I can't see it, and that's what concerns me- but at this point I'll say anything to get a response. I do have faith that there's a soul in her.
"Get out." She finally says. Her voice is dark and threatening, but my eyes light up anyway, because she's speaking. And her voice is still beautiful, even if it isn't soft anymore. But she isn't finished. "Or I'll kill you." I wouldn't believe her, except that she's standing now and I can see her weight shift to the balls of her feet, ready to spring towards me like a tiger after a gizelle.
My brown doe eyes open wide with fear, and I race out the window, breaking it behind me. For a few moments I sit on the pavement of the quiet street, panting- then I pull my coat in tightly across my shoulders, shivering even though the wind has already died down, and walk quietly back to the Sanctuary, alone.
There, I finished typing my report, that should do it. I'll submit this to the Sanctuary as an official documentation of these events, and no one will ever know about my fanatical worship of the Faceless ones, or my relationship with Mevolent. I was, of course, informed by my collegues the moment that Mevolent had returned, and I knew straightaway that Aretha would be a problem.
She is, after all, the Sanctuary's best assasin, and she stays very well informed. She could've been very dangerous to our plans- if we allowed her to free prisoners, or organize something on top of the group already formed against us, the results could have been bad. So I reported her to Mevolent- quite coincidentally, this was just after he had caught her spying.
He instructed me to carve a symbol somewhere on my skin where no one would see- it was a control, he told me, for a symbol he would carve onto Aretha once he had tortured her. My job was to break her, by whatever means necessary. Mission accomplished.
Anyone can break a heart. It's easy if you try. See, I actually did have a huge crush on her... I still think she's hot. And yeah, it would've been nice to get to know her- I might've had a shot at asking her out (I never did find out whether or not she's straight) but bringing back the Faceless Ones takes priority. So all the time I had spent watching her, figuring her out so I could please her- once you know how a girl's heart works, you can either build her up, or destroy her. Once you know how, destroying is by far easier.
I knew she had a shadow, and she'd have to get rid of that first- so I willed her to kill anyone standing in her way. Done. Than, I made her go after her family. I know how important they were to her. Her parents were always supportive and never yelled at her in her life, and she never stopped talking about how sweet her brother was. And just to put the icing on the cake- because I know she was strong of spirit, and would keep fighting if she could- I had her repeat all the tortures Mevolent had inflicted on her. Before I was through, she would hear them scream.