Guiltless

On the 11th of January 1937 Johnathon Ignes is born. He is a suitable weight, in good health...but different from all the other babies in the ward, because he is born immune to guilt. 2 years and 235 days later, worldwide war breaks out.
Sent away as an evacuee, Johnathon grows up away from his mother, and meets Erebus, a cheeky paperboy. Erebus too, has no guilt, and under his influence, Johnathon grows up into a monster.
This is the story of how that monster, became a leader.
- The prequel to 'Souls' (but will make sense if you haven't read it) -

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72. Chapter 71

Johnathon ran.

Faster than humanly possible, he rushed away from the hunters and around the clearing, trying as he did so to figure out what to do next. Running was his immediate response, triggered by his subconscious to keep himself safe, but as his conscious mind caught up with him he realised he’d have to do a lot more than just run. As he ran at an incredible speed, the world around him slowed down, and he watched intensively as the hunters launched onto the crowd in slow-motion. He spotted Eloise, the other leaders, and Angelica with her father making a move to go, but gradually being surrounded by the enemy. Knowing he couldn’t just leave them to be slaughtered, he rushed into the battle. He skid down on the ground, knocking the hunters down to the ground. Before they had a chance to register what had just happened, Johnathon had flung them all away into the wood, eliminating the threat.

“Thank you.” Eloise sighed, her breath tight and panicked.

“Head into the woods, they won’t follow you there, they just want to take down the rally.” Johnathon instructed them, giving Peter a delicate shove in the right direction, seeing that the poor man was almost frozen in shock. “I’ll stay here and fight, I don’t think they were expecting a Dark Soul to be at a Songbird rally.” He decided, not giving them a chance to argue. He noticed as they were leaving that one was missing. “Where’s Felicity?” He asked. Angelica turned around sharply, taking her father’s arm. The two of them scanned the crowd, trying to find the recognisable face.

“I can’t see her.” Angelica winced, beginning to panic. Johnathon caught sight of a fresh band of hunters vastly approaching, and decided he had to put priorities into place.

“You go, I’ll find her I promise.” He tried to assure her, but Angelica wasn’t satisfied. As Johnathon launched himself once more he felt a tug on his arm, and realised with a disappointing form of horror that Angelica had grabbed his arm just as he began to run, causing herself to be dragged along beside him as he set off.

“What are you doing?” He yelled at her as soon as he realised what was going on.

“Finding my mother!” She cried back. Johnathon shook his head, knowing he had no choice but to let her catch a ride with him, if he let go, the shock of his speed would prove fatal to her. Angelica wasn’t used to the full-speed rush, and so couldn’t see clearly among the blurs, but Johnathon could, and he found Felicity battling a hunter head-on...and loosing. Her mouth covered by his gloved hand as he beat her over and over, showing no mercy whatsoever.

“Try to face this with an open heart, you wretched singing freak!” The hunter jeered, making a move to kill her. Johnathon put all the effort he could into rushing over to them, but with the additional weight of Angelica he was slowed down slightly, and got there a split- second too late. He arrived just in time for both himself and Angelica to see Felicity's lifeless body fall to the ground, her sun kissed skin stained by the mud and grass she fell on. With a firm and unforgettable 'thud', her head bounced off the ground, then back down again, tilting to the right, and then it was sickeningly still. As he stopped beside the fading spirit of Felicity, Johnathon took the hunter’s neck in his hands and swiftly snapped his neck. The rush of revenge was swift however, and soon reality settled in, as he fell to the ground before Felicity's body.

“Mum? Mum! Mum, no!” He could hear Angelica crying out beside him, but her voice was like a whisper in his ears. He staired at the dead woman before him, unable to look away. The powerful youth had grown up so much in the time that he'd known her, and he was only just starting to realise how fast the time had flown by. The timid girl who once feared her gifts had gone on to bring an entire race into the light, away from there own anxieties. Johnathon realised all too late that he was proud of Felicity Yung, and he never got a chance to tell her. As a final sign of undying respect, Johnathon leaned over and closed her eyelids. With the moment over, he glanced around and realised that Angelica’s whaling was causing a scene, and drawing attention to them both. Forcing his grief to one side temporarily, Johnathon let his darker side take over for a moment. Picking up Angelica he started to run again, and this time, he didn’t stop to try and save anyone else.

He could feel Angelica struggling in his firm hold, screaming desperately about her mother. Denial clouded her judgement as she struggled to get back to her mother’s body. Jonathan's vision began to blur as he realised there was a new sound in his ear, a voice, singing. His hands went numb under Angelica’s hypnotism and he dropped her to the ground. Angelica, having succeeded in getting free, rushed off to try and get back to the clearing, but Johnathon soon regained himself, catching up with the teenage effortlessly and clamping his hand on to her mouth to prevent any further singing.

“I know you’re upset, and that’s completely understandable, but there’s nothing you can do. Going back to the clearing will only get you killed, and Felicity wouldn’t want that.” Johnathon tried to sway Angelica, speaking directly into her ear, “I’m going to take my hand away now, but don’t you dare try to hypnotise me again. Okay?” He felt a Angelica’s head nod against his chest, and he released her. Angelica turned around to face him, her entire body shaking.

“I can’t just leave her body there to be dealt with my those...those animals!” Angelica shouted. “You have to take me back,” she begged, but Johnathon didn’t move, not willing to do as she asked, “Fine, I’ll make my own way back.” She turned and stumbled off towards the clearing. Johnathon’s face fell as he realised what he would have to do. Recalling an old trick from his earlier days as a young adult on the streets of Cantumville, he flashed up behind Angelica, knocking her out cold so that her unconscious body fell into his arms, choosing the best point of impact to cause minimal damage. With Angelica no longer an issue, her picked her back up into his arms, and began to run once more.

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