Wings of Steel

August 6, 2008

Heaven’s a Lie: Act IV

Filed under: Chapter Nine — Mao @ 12:00 am

“And that fact alone is fucking terrifying,” Beryl replied, bracing herself with her arms. Her face was sorrowful, but her tone still had an edge. “Who would have thought that out of a billion people, I would be stuck with something like this? Me, this completely broken and lost individual… Valerie, you can’t even begin to understand how fucked up I am inside. I don’t know what I believe in or if I ever believed in anything. To ask me to accept some sort of divine purpose for the greater good of all of living kind–human, demon, angel alike–is like asking someone deaf, blind, and dumb to describe their surroundings.

“Maybe that’s it, though. Maybe that’s why I’m so fucked up… because who else would last? Who else would make it this far without completely falling to pieces? If there’s nothing left to lose, there’s no consequence…”

“That’s not true at all,” Valerie said, shaking her head. Never before had she felt so compelled, so completely sure of her words. Was this what her mother meant by making others understand the purpose behind sorrow? “And inside yourself, you know it. You are broken, Beryl, but so is everyone here… we have all lost something, can’t you see that? And despite those losses… we are strong, we carry on when others would have given up. You evaded death… not once, but twice. Even now, you prove nature wrong with the very fact of your existence. Say whatever you like, Beryl… but I know you won’t give up, ever. I know you can’t just stop, no matter how much you think you want to… because you know, you know you have a purpose… and you won’t stop until you find out what it is, what the reasoning behind all your loss, your sorrow, your tragedy is.”

Suddenly, the wall opened up and a familiar door appeared. Valerie felt the change and instinctively turned towards it. Gently, she stepped amongst the flowers, waiting for Beryl to follow suit. When she was sure that the red head had joined her, she said:

“It… looks like she’s ready for you. I’m sorry that we didn’t have more time…”

Beryl took another step forward, trying to muster her courage, “Valerie, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say you haven’t lost… I mean, Anto–your father–”

“No, it’s all right, because I understand now. It was the only way. My father, my mother… they didn’t abandon me… they did the only thing they could to protect me… to ensure that I could go on and live.” Valerie nodded solemnly, gesturing towards the door. “Now it’s your turn, Beryl.”

“Heh, so you keep saying,” Beryl replied, trying to ease her own nervousness. “Let’s just hope I’m ready for it.”


  1. OMG! Where is christian!? Grrr Mao why are your blogs only weekly?!

    Haha, sorry, Phil. This way I don’t have to take another month break. Weekly is manageable… I could not have a schedule at all and make you all wait, unknowing when the next one will pop up. ;)

    Comment by Phil — August 6, 2008 @ 2:27 am

  2. Oh wow, what an update. I was on the edge of my seat by the end with Onael storming off to find Samaria. I wonder how thats gonna turn out.

    Lets just hope that poor Nic doesn’t get the short end of Onael’s stick because of Samaria.

    You know, every time I see Val I sigh. She really does look lovely, and so mature. Poor Beryl, she’s had such a hard time. Its amazing that she even agreed to go there with Val. But I hope she can put it aside for a short while to help Sanctus Unus.

    I’m glad Onael storming off had that effect. I am also really glad you can see the change in Valerie. As for Beryl, I think she knows more than she lets on…

    Comment by Taryn — August 6, 2008 @ 3:58 am

  3. Ooh, the drama! At least Beryl’s being a bit more compliant. It’s interesting to see her in a weaker state, it’s a throwback to Valerie, but less annoying.
    The finger pointing starts. Reminds me of me and my sister when someone did something. “She did it!” Oh, Samaria actually is supposed to work? Did she really keep Nicolas holed in there that long talking about Christian? I don’t know why, but that thought makes me laugh.

    Haha, indeed! Beryl has grown quite a bit herself, and she isn’t as ignorant to the situation as everyone believes. Elesuh and Xavier were definitely acting like children! Samaria is supposed to work, Onael doesn’t give her ANY slack. We’ll see that soon enough…

    Comment by Fini — August 6, 2008 @ 9:23 am

  4. Great chapter but I feel like I have missed something. When did Xavier and Eluseth go and try to get Lazael? Beryl wasn’t as hard to convince like I thought she was going to be. Valerie has really grown. I am so proud of her.

    Sorry about that. We don’t see everything, because to see everything would just be… too much. We’ve had hints and mentions of them going after Laszael/etc for nearly two or three chapters now. This was the one that brought it into focus so we can prepare for what comes next.

    Comment by Detris — August 6, 2008 @ 9:40 am

  5. The interaction between Valerie and Beryl is so interesting. Valerie — earnest and tentative but ultimately able to come up with a convincing argument. Beryl being Beryl, although she gave in quicker than I expected. I love the way that door appeared, and the butterfly latch.

    And the second half…I laughed out loud! “He did it!” “No she did it!” E and X act like contentious siblings determined to blame the other one for the broken dish.

    So Onael is finally beginning to suspect all is not right with her daughter. Really well done — and in my opinion you nailed the mother/daughter thing. She certainly would not have put up with anyone else skipping out on her!

    Beautiful shots — Beryl is just so gorgeous!

    Beryl is more informed than she’d have everyone believe. She also doesn’t really have a choice at this point. Haha, Elesuh and Xavier really hate one another, it’s really funny. I’m glad, let’s see if it extends into the act where we actually see them interact as such. Thanks! I really love how Beryl looks in these final chapters.

    Comment by Beth — August 6, 2008 @ 11:15 am

  6. Did you ever mention who Samaria’s father is? If not, are you going to? I’d like to know.

    Fantasmic update Mao!

    Nope, no reason to. It isn’t a point/etc in the story. All we need to know is Samaria is Onael’s half-breed daughter. ;) Thanks!

    Comment by Kayla — August 6, 2008 @ 4:16 pm

  7. Once again, you are a total tease. ;) I loved the conversation with Valerie and Beryl, though. It was amazing to see Valerie taking charge in her new role and convincing Beryl (no small feat!) And Onael is PISSED. I would not want to be anywhere near her right about now. (Not that I would in any case, but still…) Although Xavier and Elesuh’s bickering was kind of funny. Like a mother and her kids – dangerous kids and a very, very dangerous mother!

    Hehe, I really don’t mean to be all the time! I’m glad. I was worried about how it would go, but I’m glad that comments so far have been positive. Valerie is stepping up her game. Onael is crazy angry, we’ll get to see that soon enough. Hehe, dangerous indeed.

    Comment by Cassie — August 6, 2008 @ 7:14 pm

  8. MAOOOOO. Why didn’t I get a Feedblitz update for this update? :(

    Beryl and Valerie’s conversation was fascinating, I’m still wondering the purpose behind all of it though, Besides Sanctus Unus being a crazy ho.

    Onael’s reaction to Xavier and Elesuh made me laugh. I can’t wait to see her conversation with Samaria- how long has she known she was deceitful?

    And good for Laszael to escape. ^__^

    Check your spam filter or junk mail folder, Josh. You’re still on the list and I still send out the emails like clockwork, every Wednesday around midnight EST! It’s probably been mistaken for spam. Haha, there’s plenty of purpose. Poor Sanctus Unus! Onael doesn’t know exactly what’s going on, but she knows Samaria disobeyed her directly, in front of others (by not showing up) and she’s hardly pleased…

    Comment by Josh — August 6, 2008 @ 10:46 pm

  9. Dang. well i feel for Beryl, to see the girl suddenly more than a girl laying a trip like that on her? “This is your destiny, your purpose… your very reason for existence.” wow, thats some deep shit!
    oh dang, that lil pep talk from Val gave me chills… *takes a deep breath as Beryl steps up to the door, holding her breath as she clicks the next page*
    GAH! Onael?! but Beryl was .. and she.. grrrr *sighs and continues reading* Onael is probably right, it was the bickering *snickers* they should just have sex and get it over with…
    Oooooo watch out Samaria, Mommy Dearest is catching on!! *rubs hands together* someone is soo gonna be busted!!!

    Haha, poor Ruby! I bet you expected me to finish that scene? We’ll have to wait awhile to find out what was said between Sanctus Unus and Beryl. ;) I hadn’t really thought of Elesuh and Xavier that way. Maybe they’re trying to tell me something? And yep, Samaria is in trouuuble.

    Comment by ruby — August 7, 2008 @ 7:25 pm

  10. With the Beryl and Valerie conversation, Valerie said all the right things, but they were both skirting around the real conversation. They have both changed, but Valerie is still trying to not make waves and Beryl is still blocking out anything that hits on too personal.

    Elesuh and Xavier bickering and finger pointing is hilarious, just being so wrapped up in hating each other to remember who it was they are talking to and how quickly she would get rid of both of them. They were made for each other I think. Surprise visit to Samaria does not sound healthy for Samaria, Nicolas or Melissande.

    Yep, you’ve pretty much got it. Valerie isn’t ballsy enough to stick up to Beryl, though, who is? Even Christian falters sometimes. Maybe Eckhard should be the one giving the “pep talk”, LOL! I’m sure that’d go over real well. Those two are something else. I’m not sure what’s going on there. Hopefully Nicolas is faaar away when Onael pays her baby girl a visit. ;)

    Comment by goodbye_sun — August 7, 2008 @ 7:41 pm

  11. dun dunn dunn.
    I liked the way Beryl’s hair looked in this update, and great update as usual. hmm, i wonder why you didn’t show Beryl’s full body, in the picture’s it looked like she waddled a bit. Is Nicolas still at Samaria’s little cave? Do you think she would kill all three of them on the spot [Nicolas, Samaria, Melissande]?

    I didn’t show Beryl’s full body? Oh, gee, it must have… slipped my mind. ;) Nicolas isn’t with Samaria right now, thank goodness. That would be very, very bad!

    Comment by jacqueline — August 7, 2008 @ 10:40 pm

  12. I have finally, FINALLY made it through all the chapters, all the acts and am completely breathless. I have so much to say, and I apologize for not having commented on each piece but I wanted to catch up!

    I have many suspicions about why Beryl needed to talk to Christian…their relationship sure has run the gamut. And the exchange between Beryl and Valerie was just as one would expect from those two. Even as Seer, Valerie has still managed to retain much of her humanity.

    I wonder just how far Onael will go in punishing her baby girl. I do hope Nicholas isn’t caught in the crossfire of it.

    I doubt you want me to take up space commenting on everything I have absorbed but let me just say that I really like the format you use to present your story, the chapters and acts. And your images are incredible! The depth and color, the composition are fabulous.

    Hey, Gayl! You are trooper to get through all that, but it’s good to have you. :D Thank you, I really appreciate it. As for Onael and Samaria, we’ll see that soon enough… hehe. I’m glad you like the format. It’s worked pretty well for me over the past year. When/if I do another story, I’ll probably change it up. There was a slight format change between KiD and WoS and I just like to keep things fresh.

    Comment by Gayl — August 8, 2008 @ 1:45 am

  13. I find it interesting how u avoided showing Beryl’s belly…

    Why, Eva, I don’t know what you’re talking about… ;)

    Comment by Eva — August 9, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

  14. Samaria is a curious character. She has her own agenda, that’s clearly obvious and Onael isn’t so blind that she can’t see it too.

    I wonder what Valerie saw that has made her embrace her fate so well.

    Great update Mao. I anticipate Samaria and Onael’s confrontation is going to be a bit messy, figuratively speaking.

    Onael isn’t your typical ‘baddie’, she’s quite perceptive and manipulative. You have to know your minions. Unfortunately, she doesn’t quite realize that Sanctus Unus is 100x more so, being the omnipotent creator and all. This bleeds down into a cycle, Onael thinks she outsmarting Sanctus Unus while Samaria thinks she’s outsmarting Onael, lol. Insanity!

    Comment by anghard — August 10, 2008 @ 9:26 pm

  15. Things were still on the tense side between Beryl and Valerie, but they seem to have smoothed them over now. It’s as if they respect one another more now that Valerie’s older and finally accepted the role of seer. I think both of them are nervous about what’s ahead of them, which is natural, but it’s as if they’ve decided “I’ve got a job to do, so as I can’t get out of it let’s get it done.”

    Onael’s not having a good day is she?! Pity anyone who gets on the wrong side of her temper at the moment, not just Samaria :D Xavier and Elesuh better be ready for fireworks next time Onael calls for them!

    *crosses fingers that Nicolas stays out of trouble*

    Nicolas, stay out of trouble? Ha! He is trouble. ;) Beryl and Valerie have a tenuous sort of peace. The past is the past and all that. Beryl has adopted that mentality, I can’t fight it, so let’s go and get this done. Onael never has good days, that’s probably why she is so cranky…

    Comment by Tanya — August 13, 2008 @ 12:11 pm

  16. OMG!! looks like Samaria will be in big trouble and not to mention Nicolas!!! Hahahaha I’m dying to see that!!! Great job…

    last chapter when I saw Valerie at Christian’s house, I thought that she had already talked to Beryl and that we were not going to read what had happened! So I was really glad to read their conversation in this chapter…. Valerie has grown a whole lot more than what had thought!!! and Beryl…well it is normal that she is scared…. and if she is pregnant, she has double reason to be afraid, sure that crazy bitch Onael will come in search for the baby…. lol

    Great chapter as usual!!!

    Thanks! Samaria will definitely be trouble, it should be her middle name. And yup, you get to see their conversation! I couldn’t keep that from you. ;)

    Comment by sandybvv — August 27, 2008 @ 10:25 pm

  17. Oh man… this is not going to be good…

    I hope Nicolas makes it out alive with his marrow.

    I think he lost his spine a long time ago. ;)

    Comment by Verity — May 2, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

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