I was pissed. I was royally, incredibly, honest-to-goodness pissed. That brother of mine had crossed so many lines in our joint lifetimes, but stealing my shit was the one that got me the most. It started way back when we were little; I’d be torturing some poor soul for practice and what would he do? Set them free, of course. Or I’d find a nice, peaceful mountain to sit upon and contemplate my existence (it was a phase) and he’d come and bring a marching band. Literally. Once, I found this gorgeous beach that was completely empty, save for a group of natives who treated me like one of them, despite my skin. It was incredible, I loved it; and then Sirio had to go and point that dick Christopher Columbus right towards it.
My point is, nothing irritated me more than Sirio taking away the things I loved or, in this case, even mildly tolerated. Ok, fine, I kind of liked the boy. Which was why I was going to go to so much effort to get him back. How much effort, you ask? So. Much.
Truth be told, I had no idea how to go about figuring out where SIrio was keeping him, but I figured a good place to start was searching the globe for somewhere with absolutely no shadows. See, Sirio had an advantage over me here, for Damian could see in the light, but his vision was too human to adapt to absolute darkness. Therefore, Sirio could just stick him in a room with no shadows, and he’d be just fine. I assumed that was what he had done, for that’s what I would have done in his position.
Now, this may come as a surprise to you, but searching every shadow on the globe was not an easy task. In fact, it was a long, tedious process that was getting me absolutely nowhere. I sat down in the Nether for hours on end, searching for some inexplicable bright spot, but I couldn’t find any apart from the room in the Guild’s headquarters, but I knew Sirio wouldn’t be stupid enough to take him there, not with what he was planning down the line.
I stopped eating. I stopped sleeping. I didn’t need those things; they were merely luxuries that I enjoyed, but there was no time for luxuries now. For every minute I wasted trying to find Damian, Sirio was probably winning him over with his snake-tongued charm.
For all my bravado while facing Sirio, I didn’t have the utmost confidence that Damian would be loyal to me. I thought we were working towards that eventual goal, but it was early, and his hatred of me was still substantial. I might have to be prepared to do something drastic to win him back. Regardless, there was still hope that he would resist Sirio’s persuasions. The hope was slim, for it was ingrained in the GITS that Light was good, and Sirio was in good standing with them. The only mark against him was me, and he could easily twist that into a rescue mission.
I became more discouraged by the minute. If I didn’t find Damian quick, he’d be lost to me. He’d have gone over to the Light side; how horrible. And then it occurred to me. For once, I didn’t have a plan. I, the master of plans, the master with the master plan, the plan master, had no plan. I was at a loss. It was a terrible feeling.
After twelve straight hours of searching for shadowless spots, I gave up and headed back to the upper world to brainstorm. Though, for some reason, the apartment seemed too quiet now. Had I really gotten that used to having company in just a few short weeks that now it seemed empty without some teenage boy bemoaning his life and irritating me in the background? Apparently.
I slumped down into the armchair and looked at Mr. Skullcrusher, who stared back at me with huge black eyes. Even he seemed as concerned as a dog could be, although he expressed it in the form of dragging his butt across the floor. I like to think my displays of agitation were a little more… refined.
I punched through the wall.
As the drywall dust settled to the floor, I withdrew my hand and looked at it despondently. Why was this bothering me so much? I didn’t need the boy to get the ring… or did I? Good luck getting the ring without the boy. Sirio’s words echoed in my head. Was Damian critical to this?
He couldn’t be, he was just another random-ass human. He wasn’t special. I mean, sure he was the only one in two millennia that I had taken the time to attempt to teach to control shadows, but that didn’t make him special. Only it did. It did, even if it was just to me. I was invested, and Sirio had wronged me.
It was time I wronged him back.
Okay, that sounded great and all, but there was one problem. If I didn’t know where Damian was, that meant I didn’t know where Sirio was. It didn’t take a genius to connect those dots. I sighed, sitting down again. Skull looked at me sadly.
“What am I gonna do, Skull?” I asked. “How am I supposed to win this one?”
He looked at me.
“I know, but I can’t just charge in there with guns blazing because, first, I don't have any guns, and second, I don’t know where ‘there’ is.”
“That’s an option, but I’ll pass, thanks.”
He tilted his head.
“No, that won’t work,” I said, sighing.
Mr. Skullcrusher drooled a little bit.
I rolled my eyes. “Well, what help are you?”
His eyes seemed to say that he was none at all. It seemed like I really was all on my own for this one.
Perhaps it was time I called in a few favors.