Wings of Steel

September 23, 2008

The Great Destroyer: Act I

Filed under: Chapter Ten — Mao @ 11:05 pm

Watch out you might get what you’re after
Cool baby strange but not a stranger
I’m an ordinary guy
Burning down the house

Hold tight wait ’til the party’s over
Hold tight we’re in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house

Here’s your ticket pack your bag; time for jumpin’ overboard
Transportation is here
Close enough but not too far, baby you know where you are
Fightin’ fire with fire

All wet yeah you might need a raincoat
Shakedown thieves walking in broad daylight
Three hundred sixty five degrees
Burning down the house

It was once upon a place sometimes I listen to myself
Gonna come in first place
People on their way to work say baby what did you expect
Gonna burst into flame

My house S’out of the ordinary
That’s right, don’t want to hurt nobody
Some things sure can sweep me off my feet
Burning down the house

No visible means of support and you have not seen nothing yet
Everything’s stuck together
I don’t know what you expect staring into the TV set
Fighting fire with fire

Burning down the house
Talking Heads, “Burning Down the House”

“I have waited a long time for this moment, Beryl Cross,” Sanctus Unus said, calling Beryl’s attention back to her and away from the strange surroundings. “I trust you understand there is no avoiding it any longer.”

“For an omnipotent being, you sure do like to assume a lot,” Beryl remarked, face a mask of skepticism. Sanctus Unus was not easily deterred from the task, however.

“There is much to discuss and little time to do so. I am sure you understand that what I am about to tell you is not to be repeated, do you understand?”

Beryl was hardly impressed, “what? I can’t share my super secret destiny with everyone else? What a shame. And here I was sure I’d win first place.”

“You belittle your importance in this grand scheme,” Sanctus Unus said, mildly amused. Mortals were such strange, strange creatures. “But let it be known that you are the catalyst. You are the beginning and so shall you also be the end.”


“How can you be so indifferent to all of this?” Sanctus Unus was unable to mask her complete and utter shock at Beryl’s countenance. Fear, repulsion, or even vehement denial she expected… but indifference? “Do you not understand what you are?”

“Maybe I do, maybe I don’t,” Beryl replied after a moment of silence, her words cautious and guarded. “What I do know is that it doesn’t matter. I don’t have a choice or any control. So what’s the point in caring?”

“There is always a choice,” Sanctus Unus’ voice was uncharacteristically low. “You must simply choose to see it. It is not my will to write the destinies of every living being. Perhaps it is true you are tools… and perhaps it is even so that I am the hand that utilizes those tools. However, there is always a choice, always a split in the path. You may choose to accept your fate or you may choose to deny it, Beryl Cross. That choice is not mine to make, but yours.”

“I can give you a destiny, I can lay the groundwork, and I can do whatever I must to try and guide you down the right path… but in the end, only you can decide to walk. Only you can take the necessary steps, be they for better or for worse.”

Sanctus Unus paused, allowing it to sink in. She saw a change in Beryl’s face, the mask lifting, revealing her sadness, her hopelessness. So lost was she, so completely and utterly confused. An outpouring of sympathy found its way from Sanctus Unus to Beryl.

“I beg you, implore you, to choose correctly, Beryl Cross. Look beyond yourself and see, see what must be done to save us all.”


  1. BRAVO Beryl!!!

    I’m so happy someone finally sent Eckhard to hell and to F himself!!!
    Bravo Beryl!

    I love his expression in the last picture… he was simply speechless and he had no more option but to admit he had been wrong about her!

    The first page with Sanctus Unus, again was great, I love every word she said… Sanctus Unus has to be one of my favorite reads, I always look forward to read everything she has to say, lol so much truth and wisdom in her words and the best way, you write in a way that is easy to read and understand, no need for fancy words!

    And Valerie… will she ever believe in herself? in her powers? or will she always be self conscious and afraid to upset the others? She needs to believe in herself…

    I really hope that at the end we get to see a stronger, more confident Valerie!!!

    (and maybe Nicolas will fall for her awwwww, I’m know I’m dreaming way to high…I’m just a helpless romantic!)

    Great first chapter… I’m just sad that the end is near… I don’t want WoS to end…. :’(


    Thanks, Sandy! I’m so glad you like Sanctus Unus. Most people dislike her for the role she plays in this story. I’m also really glad she comes across as I see her and hear her in my head. I don’t think my words do her justice, but I’m glad they work! And yes, you should have known if anyone was going to tell Eckhard to stuff it, it would be Beryl. ;) Who else?!

    Comment by sandybvv — September 23, 2008 @ 11:24 pm

  2. We got a little bit of insight into what Sanctus Unus told Beryl. Enough to make my stomach clench. Loved the tension between Beryl and Eckhard because they’re both so damned stubborn. Hopefully Eckhard will help Beryl and by help I mean not get her into deep shit.

    Don’t worry, there is plenty more coming. :) Haha, yes, two stubborn people in one room is quite dangerous.

    Comment by E. Black — September 23, 2008 @ 11:52 pm

  3. I still side with Eckhard. I don’t know, I just like him I guess :-) Bad boys are always so much interesting.

    I wonder if Beryl is able to bring Christian back from where/who/what he now is. She seems mighty determined though and maybe she has untapped powers that even Eckhard is not privileged to.

    I was amused that he admitted he was wrong. It seemed somewhat a reluctant gesture on his part.

    Haha, you and your bad boys! ;) Nah, I know what you mean. It usually happens to me, too. Always feeling for the villainous. Beryl is definitely determined and she is definitely stronger than she ever realized or anyone else has.

    Comment by Ysbal — September 24, 2008 @ 12:50 am

  4. I absolutely love it, Beryl is back at least temporarily. LOL!!! Her whole interaction with Eckard, his response, beautifully written. And finally a clue to S.U.’s conversation, even though I feel this one one was seperate. I am not going to guess any further, cant or I will drive myself mad waiting for the next update LOL!!!!

    It’s kind of hard to smother an attitude like Beryl’s! Thanks, I’m glad it all worked out.

    Comment by Cheripye822 — September 24, 2008 @ 2:05 am

  5. Awwww such a short act!

    I was telling everyone how bored I was ’cause the tenth chapter of WoS wasn’t out.

    Didn’t Sanctus Unus leave the world? Eckhard is such a prig!

    Sorry about that, but there will be some short ones so I can keep the scenes manageable and broken up. Sanctus Unus did leave, but Beryl is remembering their exchange.

    Comment by Dragongirl — September 24, 2008 @ 3:42 am

  6. I’ve been wondering when Beryl would be presented with the choice. So right there, right then, it’s real. She does have a choice. Indifference is absolutely understandable if you’re going to be wheeled around like a weapon in someone else’s hands. I’m really interested in seeing how she reacts when she realizes the total impact of her choice.

    I love the soft, faint blur in the shots, as if the setting is a bit off-focus, like in a dream. Beautiful, beautiful work and writing!

    Everyone has had a choice, they just haven’t completely realized it. Freedom is something different to everyone. Beryl hasn’t got it completely yet, but she’s getting there. Her determination to get Christian back is the beginning. Thanks!

    Comment by Beth — September 24, 2008 @ 9:34 am

  7. I am happy to see Beryl like this. She’s been wandering around in a fog for so long. I hope she is about to get a happy ending after all she’s been through.

    Beryl and happy endings, unfortunately, do not go hand in hand. But at least she knows she had some sort of choice in her destiny.

    Comment by Beverly — September 24, 2008 @ 10:20 am

  8. hmmm.. their fate lies with Beryl. well we did know that.. its just wicked different to ‘hear’ it confirmed in such a manner.
    oh interesting conversation between Beryl and Val .. very intersting events they speak of
    *squeals and swoons* he knows? oh wow. and he’s going to tell her? bigger oh wow!!
    I cant believe its coming to an end. We all knew it was coming yet dreaded it. Thank you Mao for the great stories I (like all the others) loved them both.

    Aww, thanks, Ruby! I may yet have another surprise up my sleeve, so don’t get depressed yet. ;)

    Comment by ruby — September 24, 2008 @ 10:22 am

  9. What Eckhard backing down. Now that is a first. He has met his match in Beryl. Go girl. Great chapter Mao.

    These two are definitely evenly matched when it comes to attitude!

    Comment by Detris — September 24, 2008 @ 10:43 am

  10. I love that Beryl got in his face, he was starting to get a little annoying.

    Now will the scheme be revealed? :D

    Haha, Eckhard has been knocked down a peg. Now he’ll be useful!

    Comment by Josh — September 24, 2008 @ 11:21 am

  11. (cackles) I am thinking such awful thoughts about Eckhard and Beryl. I’m sorry I can’t help it! I think it’s amusing that they are all RAWR, and in the end Eckhard is all mischievous. I love Eckhard’s hard to figure out motif. And I’d blame Beryl’s outburst over her pregnant state, but I know Beryl enough to say she’s got a mouth on her! GO Beryl, Go!

    I’m signing up on the Save Christian Campaign. Kthankx! <3 (LOL)

    Haha, oh gosh. No dirty thoughts involving those two! I can’t see anything sexual between them. I think they’d be pissed at the sheer mention of it, well, Beryl would. We all know Eckhard. /rolls eyes LOL!

    Comment by JMW — September 24, 2008 @ 11:29 am

  12. Yes! Someone finally told that guy off! I was getting tired of him, even though if I were there, I’d be crapping my pants. :oops: Of course, it had to be Beryl. I love her for that.
    I am still amazed at the way Valerie still seems so fragile, even with her transformation. But then I got that feeling from her mother as well.
    I’m glad things have started moving again. And may I say I love that last shot of Eckhard? Oh, guess I already did, lol.

    I figured that would please a couple of folks. ;) Who better to do it than Beryl? You’re right, it’s something carried with both Abigail and Valerie. She’s stronger than she looks, though. She’ll realize that in time.

    Comment by Fini — September 24, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

  13. SOOOO…i pretty much can’t wait to find out what Sanctus Unus told Beryl…or to find out WHY Eckhard is telling Beryl where Christian is. Does he really want her and her baby to get hurt? And why is she more important than Eckherd? The baby, right? So many questions!

    I can’t believe the end is near!

    Hey there, Eva! Beryl is more important than everyone and the reason was in Sanctus Unus’ speech. One specific word. :) Don’t worry, we’ll get more insight as we go through the chapter!

    Comment by eva — September 24, 2008 @ 3:06 pm

  14. I just remembered it couldnt really be seperate, especially considering Beryl doesnt look preggo, and S.U. Has returned to sleep, so ignore previous comment. On this lOL!

    Haha, their discussion happened when Beryl was pregnant, you just can’t see it. It was when Valerie and Beryl met in the last chapter.

    Comment by Cheripye822 — September 24, 2008 @ 3:12 pm


    Hehe, I told you, silly!

    Comment by Phil — September 24, 2008 @ 6:09 pm

  16. Ok, I couldn’t help myself but to read the encounter with Sanctus Unus and Beryl once more.

    What does she mean that Beryl is the beginning? She wasn’t around for THAT long. Maybe it’s in reference to Christian…but that’s insane…Christian was around for far longer than she was.

    She’s some sort of catalyst…which must mean that she is the match that lights the fire in some way. Is that in reference is just Chrisitian or to the whole entire scheme of things to come?

    Also, I can’t help but think back to Christian and Santus Unus’ pact. Christian basically died for Beryl…or something along those lines. But then Sanctus Unus gave him another chance as a redeemed. He’s supposed to save civilization somehow. That just makes me think of the baby again. Why else would Beryl AND Christian both be so very important? Anyway, I quit. I should be writing my paper, not this comment. IF only I thought this hard about my schoolwork…

    I know there’s some underlying theme that I’m just not picking up on.

    You’re definitely on the right track, but you’re focusing on the wrong things. Beryl was the main character of KiD, so her importance outweighs Christian’s. Otherwise, Christian would be the main character. Beryl is the beginning of all of this, she is the reason the balance was shifted and power given to Onael. Beryl and Christian’s fates are directly interwoven, but it has been Beryl that influences Christian and not vice versa, as we are led to believe. This is all the result of Beryl. Their fates intertwined when he saved her from death.

    Comment by Eva — September 24, 2008 @ 7:50 pm

  17. Valerie is still floundering, I think she needs to do something that will give her a bit of confidence in herself, and I think you must be planning on just such a thing Mao.

    And I love Beryl – she may be stuck in a game she does not want anything to do with, but she is still going to have it her way, Sanctus Unus be damned. I can’t say I wasn’t amused that she put Eckhard in his place, but is it me or did he back of way to easy. Something clicked into place in that wicked mind of his, and he is about to set things in motion without her even realising that she just got put into play. I’m glad Beryl’s sass is back, but it always leads to trouble.

    Shh, I have no idea what you’re talking about. ;) Haha, and you’re right. He did give up too easily. Eckhard has his own plan, but he’s a fool if he expects Beryl to go against her nature and become predictable. She’s a woman on a mission!

    Comment by goodbye_sun — September 25, 2008 @ 12:08 am

  18. Hi! I’m a new reader and I just caught up. I started with Knock it Down last week and I have to say your stories are amazing. I usually just stay in lurk mode because I’m not so good at comments and rarely say anything constructive, but in this case I had to. Your pictures are gorgeous and the storytelling just blows me away. I know I’m starting to sound like a rabid fan but I can’t help it. Your characters are beautifully developed. I love that they have their own quirks and personalities. They seem so real. I can’t wait to see what happens next! Oh, and I love that Beryl got in Eckhard’s face like that!

    Hi there! It’s always great to hear from new readers and lurkers. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the stories! :D Thanks so much for the kind words.

    Comment by Araina — September 25, 2008 @ 11:26 am

  19. Hahaha! You tell him, Beryl!

    That was intensely amusing. I wish Valerie didn’t always feel so guilty. Uh, she just breaks my heart.

    Eckhard fucking Koenig. Priceless.

    Glad it gave you a giggle, hehe. Beryl and Eckhard in the same room is bound to cause some issues!

    Comment by Veron — September 25, 2008 @ 12:02 pm

  20. WOW!!! BERYL DESERVES A BOW! That took guts, but if Eckhard knows where he is, why didn’t say anything? And if Beryl hadn’t stepped up to him, would he have told her where Christian was or would he have kept it to himself? BTW, does this have anything to do with Nicolas and Melissande?

    Eckhard can’t directly interfere, but since Beryl already knows what’s going on, it isn’t a direct interference on his part. She just doesn’t know where exactly to find Christian. And yes, it involves them, but we’ll see that soon enough.

    Comment by Jacqueline — September 25, 2008 @ 12:47 pm

  21. *weeps piteously*
    How can you do this to us…?
    How can you leave us hanging like this…?
    Are you so heartless….

    Sorry! This chapter will be jumping back and forth, so you may have to endure…

    Comment by Tiffany — September 25, 2008 @ 6:21 pm

  22. I can not believe Beryl or Ava, what ever she’s going by is pregnant!!!
    Is it Christian’s? Will it look like Christian and Eckhard? And I still want Christian.

    It’s Beryl. She only went by Ava for that one chapter… and of course it is Christian’s, LOL.

    Comment by ze_Goddess — September 27, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  23. It is moments like this that I am reminded exactly why I have always loved Beryl’s character. It doesn’t matter that she knows her fate or her part in the grand scheme of things. She is still going to do it her way. As did Christian.

    Despite the fact that Eckhard gave in so easily (he is so predictable in his manipulations) I like to believe he is working for the greater good. I was smirking uncontrollably when Beryl took him down several notches. And I believe that when it is absolutely necessary, Valerie will find the strength she needs for everyone’s sake.

    Great act, Mao. Can’t wait for more.

    Aww, thanks, Gayl! Yes, Beryl tends to like things her way… even if it means some difficulty. But she’s really growing in this chapter and hopefully it shows. Leave it to Beryl to take Eckhard down a peg. ;)

    Comment by Gayl — September 27, 2008 @ 11:41 pm

  24. Hurray for beryl’s kick ass attitude! Yeah show that asshole Eckhard who is the boss! aww, my beryl is back in full force!

    Beryl is about to kick ass and take names!

    Comment by karen — September 28, 2008 @ 12:33 am

  25. I hate Beryl right now. She gets to have a Christian spawn.

    Haha, well, he is in love with her…

    Comment by ze_Goddess — September 28, 2008 @ 12:52 pm

  26. I started KiD a few months ago and I’ve finally caught up. phew, what a story. I am in awe when it comes to your ability to bring so many plot threads together.

    Beryl is gorgeous, especially when she’s pissed off.

    Hey, Jess! I’m in awe that you slugged through all of that, but I’m definitely glad you did. It’s great to have you. :D

    Comment by afterland jess — September 28, 2008 @ 9:43 pm

  27. That was a strange reaction… I wonder why Eckhard backed down like that. Though I would certainly back down if I had a huge pregnant angry Beryl flying at me.

    Ahhh, that is the question. Perhaps he has something up his sleeve? ;)

    Comment by Verity — May 2, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

  28. Beryl is so awesome – you tell that Eckhard where to go, Beryl!

    “you can go fuck yourself with that high horse you rode in on!”

    I just so wish I had occasion to use this on someone with real life. I rarely have a reason to be that pissed off though and it would be overkill. ;)

    If anyone was going to stand up to Eckhard, you know it would have to be Beryl! LOL I miss lines like this. ;) I’ve actually said something similar, but uh, Beryl’s attitude doesn’t exactly come from nowhere. Is it bad that it was a coworker? LOL Asshole refused to clean during Christmas. I liked getting out of the mall BEFORE 1am. I don’t swear in RL unless I’m really, really angry, lol.

    Comment by Carla — January 5, 2010 @ 1:48 am

  29. I love that you actually said that and I love that it was over cleaning!

    I come up with silly things when mad.

    Comment by Carla — January 5, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

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