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The Death Of Mordecai Pt. 3

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Otherverse (Planet: Avdain)
The thunderous storm reappears worlds away, in the skies above Avdain. This is the world Mordecai and Valerie had traveled to, the ancient home world of the Vampyrum, in a different timeline where it had not been wiped out. This was where he had hidden Oliver before Valerie had killed him, meaning they are not just in another system… they are in another reality. They appear in the fields of long, wind-stricken grass just as they had been at the tavern: Valerie is still standing, Mordecai and Matilda still grounded. With a sharp intake of breath, Mordecai finally pushes himself away from his daughter, the energy used to bring them here nearly killing him on the spot. But he has to hold on. He has to tell them why they are here, and more importantly, how they can get back.
Matilda chooses to stay on her knees, despite the wooden floor a moment ago now being replaced with a bunch of grass and gravel. She’s just too tired, too weak to move right now, so she’ll save what energy she has left for when she needs it. She looks around softly, not able to move her neck much. But she can see a treeline, some clean, untouched forestry. And the mountains in the far distance are high, with sharp, pointed peaks that from here, look like they reach up into space! Between them and those mountains, she can make out a cabin further out in the field that they’re in. She says nothing through all this observation. Mordecai will explain. He always does.
Valerie was on her knees the moment they were transported elsewhere. She didn’t want to stand anymore. Honestly, all she wanted to do was cry. But the shifter wiped away whatever tears were left and took a deep breath. He wasn’t dead yet. Val recognized this place right away. She remembered killing Oliver as if she’d done it just the day before. Valerie never forgot the face of someone she killed… Which is probably one reason why her nightmares were never ending. Val didn’t bother to look around much. She just sat there in silence, waiting for Mordecai to explain why he’d brought them there. She hadn’t let go of his hand. In fact, she might’ve squeezed it a bit. Val didn’t want to let go.
“This place… this place was ravaged once by our kind,” he says to Matilda, sitting there between the women. He doesn’t let go of Valerie’s hand either as he keeps talking. Meanwhile, the wound in his stomach has also begun to glow, and every now and then he pauses to wince, or just catch his breath some. “It was beautiful once, and we uglied it with our evil. Still… it wasn’t like that always. There was a time before us, a time after us… even a time during. In another world.” Resting his other hand on Matilda’s shoulder, he nods toward the cabin, making sure Valerie sees it too. “I have an evil in me I would never be rid of. I have to keep you safe. Both of you.” Seemingly speaking past his urge to kill them both, which is still present but taking a backseat, he clenches Val’s hand again. “This place should be yours. You two don’t deserve to be scared for one another’s lives forever. Take this, my last… my last chance at helping you both have some kind of life.”
She was silently bewildered. They’d gone from tearing at each other and literally cutting each other to pieces, to having last words and handing over planets with personal houses on them. Of all the days she’s been un-alive, this was a strange one. Still, she reaches up with that one remaining hand and grasps one of his fingers, squeezing it as a quiet thanks to him. It would be nice, not having to suffer every day of their lives together in fear of the rest of the population. People suck, let them live as secluded as they’ve always wanted to. It’s a good last effort from him, but it lets her know he’s himself again… here at the end of his un-life.
To be completely honest, she welcomed this sudden change from trying to kill each other to just talking somewhere completely different from where they just were… Valerie couldn’t remember seeing that cabin the last time. Maybe she’d overlooked it before… As he spoke about the place, Valerie could honestly imagine a life here. But… a life without constant battles was hard for her. She was, after all, a warrior. And what was a warrior without a war? She did want a normal life. Valerie always thought about having one. What it would be like not to have to worry about someone she cared about being killed. Something peaceful… If it meant she’d have to leave Consequence to do it, Valerie was willing to live somewhere else. She really was. All Val wanted was for Matilda to be happy. And let’s face it… they both needed a break from the constant death and destruction that Consequence offered to all who lived there. The shifter looked between Matilda and Mordecai. They looked like shit. Valerie was…barely touched. How, she couldn’t understand. But she was. “Morde, I…” Valerie’s voice cracked and she lifted her free hand to wipe at her eyes as she was unable to finish that sentence. She wished things didn’t have to end like this.
Things did have to end like this. They always do. He looks at Valerie as she breaks down, finally able to see his friend again. If it was going to end, he would rather it be as this then as enemies. “There’s just… no normal life with me. Something has to change. Something… has to go.” He drags a thumb across the back of Valerie’s hand like he always did when trying to console her during a hard time. He lays back against Matilda, putting his head in her lap and looking up at her. “You’re even beautiful when you’re upside down,” he says, reaching up with his free hand and stroking her unburnt cheek. “You get that from me. There’s not a single piece of your mother in you. Never forget that.” It was important Mordecai leave an impression in his last moments, to make sure she never went down the darker path like Emeline did, or even himself, he had to admit. “Both of your parents were complete fuck-ups… but you’re stronger than both of us. Better.” He looks at Valerie, his eyes telling her that she would play a pivotal role in keeping his daughter on that right path. “It is what it is, and it… it was always going to be this.” Squeezing her hand, he looks up at Matilda again. Such a beautiful child. “…Okay… I’m ready… End it.”
His simplicity is killing her. Hearing her father tell her to end him like he is nothing has her chest heaving. She wants to cry more, but he’s asked her to end his suffering, more importantly than that, his evil. There’s just no normal life with him. Good or no, he would always be a wild card that could ruin the lives they build. They can’t risk that, and all three of them know it. Looking up at her Valerie’s face, Mat’s cheeks are once against stricken with rolling tears, but she keeps looking at her. She doesn’t look away, even when she reaches back with that one remaining hand, picking up her runic dagger. Even as she reaches around Mordecai’s neck, taking a moment to squeeze her arm around his head. One last hug, for the road. And the hardened woman continues still to look into Valerie’s eyes as she draws the blade across his throat, slitting him open from ear to ear. Her shoulders shake with the incoming sobs, and she holds back nothing more.
There was nothing she could say that even she would believe at this point, if she were to try and argue. It was always hard to argue with Mordecai… he was always right. And he never failed to make her feel better with just the touch of his hand. The shifter gave him a nod as she looked into his eyes. There was an unspoken promise there. She would take care of Matilda… keep her on the correct path. Val squeezed his hand in return taking a deep, shaky breath as she looked up at Matilda, then back down at Mordecai. The death of someone by your own hands was never just nothing. It meant a great deal. With Matilda looking straight at Valerie, the shifter looked right into her eyes. Her expression said ‘everything’s gonna be okay’. Because somewhere down the line, they would be okay. Even if it took years. After Matilda ended Mordecai’s suffering, Valerie’s grip on Mordecai’s hand loosened. But she still hadn’t let go. Her other hand was on one of Matilda’s legs as her gaze drifted down to the older male. “Mordecai.. yu gonplei ste odon.” She spoke, choking back her own tears so that she could finish. “May we meet again..”

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