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The Soul Gem Darkens

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Summary Edit

"The Soul Gem Darkens" is a pair of threads from Season 4, February 20-21, 2015, in which Kiri's behavior suffers greatly due to her corrupting soul, and she eventually realizes that she must finish her tasks soon.

Full Text Edit

Part 1 Edit

"Is Captain okay?"

"She ain’t been herself lately…"

"Looks really tired these days…"

"Did you see what she did to Eirika in the ring?  Nearly killed the poor girl!"

Kiri tried to ignore the whispers.  Like the witch hunters could hide them from her.  Some were concern, some were fear… and some part of her liked that.  They should fear her, want to slay her, so one day when they would have to -

But they won’t know, will they?  You whose soul carries the despair of so many, the power of a Walpurgisnacht -

Shut up.  Shut up.

You couldn’t wash that bloodstain from the floor.  They suspect you.  They will kill you before you become a witch.

I have to become a witch.  For the future’s sake.

You’ll destroy everything first.  Destroy everything, good and bad, rid this realm of all that would hurt it.  Destroy both sides of any war.  Destroy, destroy, destroy until there is nothing left.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

Stop it.  Stop it. 

Cleanse your soul all you want.  You heal another’s soul, their despair goes back to you.  You’re going to be powerful, so powerful, when you are reborn…

Stop.  Stop!

Just destroy… be free… show the world that the one they thought useless is the most powerful, terrifying of all… kill all of them… rip them apart, the Rebellion, Central, the witch hunters, all who try… oh but wait, you don’t rip.  You cut.  You cut and slice, just like your name… Kiri… to cut…

STOP!

"Captain!  STOP!!"

Kiri came to her senses. 

In her right hand, the throat of a witch hunter, the head above it choking as veins bulged from his eyes and face.  In her left hand, one of her own handmade nadder spike daggers, stabbed through her right forearm as though trying to stop herself.

"Oh gods…"

She relaxed her hand and the man dropped to the floor, gasping for breath.  

She fell to the floor too, staring at him in horror.

"I’m sorry," she choked, holding her left hand to her mouth.  She left the nadder spike in her arm.  "I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry I’msorryI’msorryI’msorryI’msorryI’msorry - "

The others had come to the man’s aid, all of them easing him up, calling for healers.  There were more than came to her.

She couldn’t hear them.  Their voices were muddled, washed into a cacophony of scraping knives, all of them aimed at her. 

They know they know they know they know I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry -

She was fourteen again, faced with the witch that had been Lillith.  She was thirteen, useless and sick and helpless.

"I’m not okay," she whispered, standing.  "Don’t - just, go, everyone leave me, I have to go - " Kiri shook them all off and sped back to her quarters, praying to Odin that none of them came after her.

Part 2 Edit

Nothing made sense anymore.

Her quarters were her only sanctuary, where she could escape judgment.  She could be doomed here.  She could become a witch here and no one would know, they’d destroy her in self defense and wonder at her untouched body, but they knew didn’t they, they knew and were waiting and they had to stop her but they wouldn’t be ready they’d be destroyed she wanted to destroy -

Stop it.  Stop it.  Pull yourself together!

The room seemed so dark now but for the light reflecting off of the ice cavern walls, illuminating shards like mirrors and blades, all aiming at her.  Or protecting her.  She couldn’t tell.  It seemed too similar to her own barriers.  Or maybe it was all her own imagination.

You made the wish.  Why did you make the wish?  Remember why!

To save Lillith.  To save Stonegit.  To save any other soul.  To save her own soul.  Her own soul was damned.  She did this to herself.  Freeing souls of corruption and despair had added equal amounts to hers, and her witch was growing more and more powerful. 

And she’d knew this was coming.  She’d been stupid… so stupid…

But you healed those souls -

"Who cares!" Kiri screamed, throwing a grief seed across the room. 

You will be the last great witch.  There will be no more after you.

"Then I don’t need this then do I?!" she snarled, and she stormed to her desk, where her nearly completed book sat as a stack of pages.  She picked the entire thing up and flung it to the floor, sending parchment flying everywhere.  In a rage, she began stomping on them, grabbing them out of the air, ripping pages apart, because nothing was quelling her anger now.

Destroy.  Destroy destroy destroy.  Destroy all who might harm the Rebellion, destroy all those who created curses, destroy the armies that might appear, destroy any who might dare hurt her, destroy herself for destroying everything.

There were bloodied footprints now too, because in her fury she had trod upon her spilled belt of nadder spike daggers.  But her soul and body were too far gone, she didn’t even feel anything.

Walpurgisnacht. 

This was all Kiri’s fault.  Her uselessness damned Lillith those years ago.  Now her wish was bringing together all the despair and misery of every soul from the present to the future that had been healed, and combining them as one.  Depositing it directly into her.

Useless.

She’d show the world who was useless.

You must stop this.

Her soul gem was suddenly in her hand.  Kiri stared at it, the rapidly darkening blue taunting her.

That would solve everything.

She didn’t have to uphold her bargain with the white cats.  She didn’t have to unleash the horrifying storm of a witch onto them.  This misery could end.  She just had to destroy her own soul.

A nadder spike dagger found itself in her hand.  She could focus her magic there.  It would be enough to shatter the soul gem… stop the transformation… spare everyone from the Walpurgisnacht…

A dragon snout suddenly pushed itself into her back.

You’re not done.

Kiri dropped the dagger.  Then she dropped her soul and broke, collapsing to the floor.

Dagger softly padded across the room, retrieving the thrown grief seed.  She returned and gently placed it beside Kiri’s soul, rolling it just enough that the two touched.

"It won’t work, girl," Kiri said softly, curling herself into a ball.  "My soul gets too dark too fast.  It doesn’t get cleansed all the way anymore, no matter how much I try.  Ironic, huh?  I can heal any soul but my own."

You have to try though, right?

The corruption was already lifting from her soul, leaving it a dull blue.  Dagger lifted her head to gaze at Kiri directly.

You’re not done.

Kiri looked around her, at the destruction of her quarters, the spilled nadder spikes, the bloodied footprints, the shredded parchment.

Even if no one else knows… I will.  I will know the truth.

"You’re amazing, you know that?" Kiri laughed softly, leaning forward to rest her forehead on Dagger’s snout.  "Anyone with half a brain should have run away by now.  I wouldn’t blame them.  But not you…"

Dagger, her loyal friend, who was her single source of sanity now.  It suddenly occurred to her that it was similar to that time years before, with Lillith as she fell to darkness.  But this time, both the contracted and the friend knew why.

Lillith.

"I have to finish this," she finally managed, tentatively reaching forward.  She didn’t know if she deserved any affection or support after all of her behavior, after everything.  "I can’t have long left, not with the way things are going.  But I have to finish this.  I can’t leave Lillith."

Dagger pushed her snout in closer, crooning slightly.

Then… it’s time to go see her.

"Yeah," she whispered back.  "It is."

She didn’t question why she could somehow understand the dragon.  Souls were strange things after all.

They were silent for a few moments, human and dragon.

"I’m sorry for everything, Dagger," Kiri murmured.  "But… will you do something for me?  If - when - when it happens, no matter how horrible or demonic I’m acting… remember who I was.  Remember me.  And… stay with me until the end?  Please?"

Dagger closed her eyes.Of course.

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