The Destruction of Beautiful Things

"They give our Master a crown of thorns, why do we hope for a crown of roses?" - Martin Luther

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20. Chapter Seventeen

As soon as Silas reached the crossroads where him and Millicent had parted ways, he knew something was wrong. It was more of a feeling then actual knowledge of what had happened, but the first thing that had given it away was the blood trail. He didn’t know who’s blood it was, whether it was Millicent’s or Nathaniel’s, but either way it would lead him to them.

He was about to go, and then a hand was on his shoulder.

“Kenja,” Silas said, and hugged her before he even realised what he was doing. She wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him back before pulling away, “Why are you down here? I told you to stay on the top floor.”

“It’s been more than an hour, I had to make sure that you were okay,” she said, a hand placed on his cheek.

“Something’s wrong,” Silas said, “I can’t find Millicent.”

Kenja drew a gun and followed Silas as he continued to follow the trail of blood. It twisted through corridors that all looked the same. Whoever was hurt had lost a lot of blood. Finally, they came to a door. Silas tried the handle, but it was locked. They couldn’t kick it down – it was made of thick metal and the only way of getting in would be to scan an ID card. Then they heard the screaming.

It was a sound unlike anything Silas had ever heard, and he immediately knew it was Millicent.

“How will we get in?” He asked urgently.

Kenja said, “By knocking.”

“What?!”

“If I knock then somebody will come to the door. They’ll open the door, I knock them out and we both go in.”

Silas couldn’t think of a better idea, and since neither of them had an ID card, it would have to do. They waited until the screaming stopped, and for a moment Silas thought it never would. What were they doing to Millicent?

Kenja nodded at him when it finally stopped, and she banged her fist on the door three times. At first, there was nothing, but then movement sounded from within and they could hear the door unlocking. Kenja motioned to Silas to stay behind the door.

When the door opened, it revealed a nurse that must have been in her mid-forties. Kenja used the butt of her gun and hit the lady on the head, catching her before she fell and made any noise. Silas helped Kenja move the nurses body outside of the door before they both entered the room and the door closed behind them. The screaming started again, but this time it was louder because the door didn’t muffle it. They were at the top of a set of metal stairs. Silas went first, Kenja following behind him. As the descended the stairs, Silas took in the scene before them.

There was a long corridor, and on each wall of the corridor were cages. In the cages were women, and from what he could see on the stairs Silas noticed that many of them were pregnant. Beyond the corridor that caged the women, Silas saw that Millicent was laid on a metal table with Doctor Ellsworth hunched over her. He held a machine in his hand, and every time he flicked a switch she would start screaming.

And then there was Nathaniel. He was tied to a chair at the foot of the table, watching in despair as Millicent screamed and thrashed on the table.

“We need to get his attention,” whispered Silas.

Kenja seemed to pale at the sight of the women, but only said “The women, they can pass on the message.”

Silas waved his hands to the woman in the cage nearest them. She looked at them with wide eyes, and Silas mouthed get his attention, and pointed to Nathaniel. She nodded, and prodded the woman in the cage next to her. She whispered the message, and the woman in the second cage did the same thing to the next woman, and the next, and the next, until finally the woman in the last cage stretched her hand out of her cage and tugged on Nathaniel’s trouser leg. He looked down at her, and she merely pointed at the stairs.

Nathaniel didn’t make it obvious that he was looking over, but Silas knew that he’d seen them. Silas and Kenja made their way slowly down the rest of the stairs and now stood at the beginning of the corridor. Neither of their footsteps could be heard over the sound of Millicent’s screams. He was so close now. Silas took his gun out of the holster at his hip and, before Doctor Ellsworth had time to react, hit him with the butt of the gun. Ellsworth fell to the floor with a cry of pain, and Kenja went over to Nathaniel to untie him.

Silas stood over Doctor Ellsworth and pointed his gun at him. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Nathaniel and Kenja helping Millicent up from the table.

“You can’t kill me,” seethed Doctor Ellsworth, “it will only bring me back. It needs me.”

“What needs you?” Asked Silas.

“Eidolon.”

Just as he spoke, a dark mist began to appear on the floor. Silas tried to kick it away, but it was getting thicker and thicker. Doctor Ellsworth began to laugh, and Silas walked over to him and kicked his head, rendering him unconscious. Silas darted over to the others.

“Are you okay?” He asked Millicent.

She nodded. She was conscious, but her head was throbbing. Nathaniel had an arm around her waist, and Kenja held her hand to lead her out.

“The mist,” Millicent mumbled, and then her eyes widened and she started to back away from the lab and towards the women, “we need to go.”

“What’s wrong?” Kenja asked her.

“It’s here,” she said.

“What’s here, Millicent?” Nathaniel held her tightly.

“Eidolon.”

One of the women screamed. The looked over, and the mist was forming into a shape. They were running out of time.

“We need to get them out,” said Kenja.

Silas rummaged in Doctor Ellsworth’s pocket and found a chain of keys. He handed it to the woman in the cage nearest to him.

“Free yourself,” he told the women, “and get the next boat to the continent. It’s not safe in the city anymore.”

Some of the women started to cry, others shouted their gratitude. Millicent was started to waver, and Nathaniel caught her before she fell.

“We need to leave. Now.” Said Silas. He held Doctor Ellsworth’s ID card in his hand, and they started running. The mist was beginning to form legs now, and arms. Silas helped Nathaniel get Millicent up the stairs, whilst Kenja ran ahead and opened the door. When they were out, Kenja left the door open for the women and led the way back to the elevator. By now, Nathaniel had forgotten all about the pain in his leg and was only focused on getting Millicent somewhere safe.

The elevator took them to the ground floor, and they left the manor house quickly. They weren’t quiet this time, and the other Bodybringers saw them and went to help. Mason and Madison had the boat ready by the time they got to the bank. They sat Millicent down in between Nathaniel and Bruce, and the others began to push the boat back out onto the ocean.

Silas sat at the back of the boat and watched as they leaved the island behind. What would they do once they got back to Shalom? They had to warn everyone. Eidolon was coming.

He watched as the women poured out of the house one by one and waited by the docks for the next boat. Silas hoped they made it.

Silas began to make out the lights that light up the city at night. He smiled, but then as they got closer to the city he realised that they weren’t lights.

“What the fuck is happening?” Someone asked.

Silas felt like asking the same thing.

Because half of the city was on fire. 

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