What is a path? Nothing but a choice made to go in one direction or the other. What happens if you choose the wrong direction?
(Last Sentence challenge, Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson)


1. Prologue- Death

“I fear you may be too late, my confused, unfortunate friend.”

No!” The girl hissed, her eyes blazing. This girl was too young to have been Supressed, and even as the healer watched, red bolts of Anger flashed in the air around her head. An Empath. This could only mean trouble. “You can still save him!”

“If you had brought the boy to me an hour ago, perhaps. But now? There’s nothing I can do, child.” The healer did his best to keep his voice calm. He didn’t wish to anger the child, but he had to tell her the truth. To do otherwise would be cruel. 

“You will save him!” the girl growled. The red bolts grew darker, changing from Anger to Rage. She had so much anger for one so young, and the healer found himself taking a step back, away from her vicious intensity. It was rare you found such a concentration of emotions in a child like her.

“I told you, child, there’s nothing I can do.”

“Eternity take you!” she screamed. “You’re supposed to be able to work miracles!”

More and more, the healer wished that Eternity had struck down the boy before the girl reached his home. He turned to look at his doomed patient. The boy was maybe six or seven. Obviously the fits had taken him. Pain flashed around his head like dozens of tiny claws. Already, the emotions were fading. So the boy was an Empath too. The healer had never seen these two before. They obviously weren’t from this village, or the healer would have recognized them. Where had this girl come from?

Subconsciously, his hand went to his throat, where he kept a pendant inscribed with the symbol of calm. It was said to provide protection against the strange powers of empaths. He’d never heard of one outside the cities. And he’d never heard of two together at the same time.

On the table before him, the boy stopped flailing and went still.

“No…” for a moment, a cloud of Grief floated around her. Then the Grief hardened into a pure blackness. Hatred.

Eternity protect me. He prayed silently. 

The girl’s eyes began to glow. When the emotions of an Empath were stoked… 

The healer dove for cover.

Just in time, too. He could hear the girl screaming. Black bolts of Hatred hit the walls around him, darkening the wood wherever they struck. He could hear more bolts piercing the wood of the table, and he flinched back, careful not to let them hit his skin. And from above, the girl was still screaming. 

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