Wings of Steel

October 8, 2008

The Great Destroyer: Act III

Filed under: Chapter Ten — Mao @ 12:19 am

Delighting minds
with my shadow
Rely on your way to grow
You want to decide
from your cloud
You’re lost in a world
that I have to repair

You want it all
the greatest smile
Who wants to deny forever?
You’re made of ice
I pay the price
for all you unforgiveness

Enlightening lies
with my shame
Beneath the veil
of your flow
Don’t try to deny
with your mouth
So fine it is knowing
you’re under the shade

Lacuna Coil, “Tight Rope”

“That really isn’t much of a choice.”

Sanctus Unus nodded solemnly, “I know, but it is the most that I can give. It is simply the way of things, Beryl Cross… the way that they must be. Surely you can understand this?”

“It’s a pretty shitty thing, actually. I don’t think I’m going to like what you’ll tell me… I mean, this whole purpose thing. It’s big, obviously, and that alone means I don’t like it.”

“There is no simple path,” Sanctus Unus said, closing her eyes. Her voice was soft and soothing like a mother’s. “No one person has it any better than the other. All must play their parts equally, all must forfeit something for the cause…”

“…because of balance, right?”

“Yes, because of balance. We cannot take without first giving. The balance must be restored for this world to continue its life. Without balance… everything is thrust into chas–”

Beryl interrupted her, rolling her eyes, “and we’re all screwed, right?”

“In a manner of speaking.”

“This is complete and utter bullshit,” Beryl spat suddenly, frustrated. She didn’t truly have a choice, it was just a disguise. She had to follow Sanctus Unus, there was no way she could carry the weight that came with disobeying or turning away. “But what can I do? Your choices suck.”

“This is true, I will not deny it… but must you always think of the now? You make this hard choice so that those that follow will not have to.” Sanctus Unus leveled her gaze on Beryl’s stomach. “Sometimes we must do things to protect those we love most…”

A warm, hot pain spread throughout Beryl’s body. It rushed to her, dizzying her. The truth, the responsibility, everything came over like a hard wave. She braced herself for the impact, feeling it spread over her like a great shadow. She would give up her right to choose so that others may have a choice.

It was a mother’s sacrifice.


  1. Still loving how we’re discovering what Beryl is meant for. It’s interesting also that she’s what gives Onael power. Now you’ve got me asking questions and coming up with theories. I’ll have to be patient though. :)

    Thanks! I was really hoping that gradually expanding on Beryl’s meeting with Sanctus Unus would go over well.

    Comment by E. Black — October 8, 2008 @ 2:01 am

  2. Oh WOW!!! I am literally near tears at SU and B’s conversation. The weight on Beryls shoulders, the ominous prediction… Yet so loving with her finally making a choice.

    A choice made out of utter love, compassion for her own child. Even though B is truly uncaring, LOL!

    Then transistioning into the loving, stern scene with sesana… Poor woman, so strong and yet so frail… and finally Val accepts a little maturity.

    Oh that sweet picture of her, the lighting the views, it is near heartbreaking… Along with Eckards obvious willingness to comply. Then again the man would be more than willing to be free of S. B. C. and everyone untied to Valerie and Abigail, LOL :)

    The final scenes between S and E… GREAT!!!

    And I am especially stuck on Eckards final sentence…

    “He wasnt so sure omnipotence did much when it came to creatures intent on free will.”

    How true, how so very true and what a glimpse. 80)

    Mao you’ve truly created a great tale here. 80) keeping us readers on the edge LOL! Everything from your beautiful screens down to your captivating writing so utterly enchanting!!!

    Aww, thanks, Cherie! I’m glad you found it moving. It really isn’t an easy thing to do. Beryl isn’t doing this for anyone else but her child, she doesn’t have a choice. She’s slowly, but surely, learning that even as damaged as she is, she is capable of doing something right by someone. To turn her back on this would be turning her back on her unborn child and denying them an opportunity they deserve and one Beryl was denied.

    Comment by Cheripye822 — October 8, 2008 @ 2:39 am

  3. Wow, Beryl is determined! I appreciate her stubborn character a lot! I am sure, she is the only right person to save Christian)) Now it is obvious, that Christian didn’t make a mistake spending so much time and so many efforts taking care of Beryl… And it is finally her turn! She turned out not to be as selfish as it previously seemed.
    Thanks for this update! I have been looking forward to it the whole week long)) Shots are perfect, as usual! Oh, I just can’t wait to find out, what happened next!!!

    She is fueled by a whole new fire now. And given what she knows, you’ll soon understand the weight it carries. Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it. :D

    Comment by Kathy — October 8, 2008 @ 11:26 am

  4. That’s Beryl, alright. She never listens to anyone. At least everyone’s coming with. She’s gonna need all the help she can get. I do wonder exactly what are Eckhard’s reasons for helping. Though Sesana does sound paranoid she has a point: He usually does nothing that won’t benefit himself.

    Beryl will always be Beryl, but her motivations are not contained to her own desires and wellbeing. That much will be made obvious soon enough. ;) It’s definitely right to be suspicious of Eckhard!

    Comment by Fini — October 8, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

  5. I’m getting new feelings from Eckhard now. He’s giving me the heebee jeebees, and I get this feeling that he IS up to something. That smug bastard.

    Beryl will ALWAYS win, Sesana. Once you accept that, you can be stress free! LOL Onward to save Christian! Woot!

    Haha, as well he should! He is very sneaky. Poor Sesana, she’s only trying to do what she feels is right… she doesn’t have the knowledge Beryl does nor the foresight that Valerie has.

    Comment by JMW — October 8, 2008 @ 12:27 pm

  6. “No one person has it any better than the other. All must play their parts equally” i had dejavu when i read that- my dad was telling me that jsut today!!

    Keep up the amazing writing!!

    LOL! Your dad is very wise. Thanks!

    Comment by Liz — October 8, 2008 @ 10:34 pm

  7. That is suprising of Eckhard, to agree with Beryl. Eeeck, I can’t wiat for the next Act, I’m on the edge of my seat here.

    Just hold on Christian, they’re coming for ya. :)

    Haha, they aren’t the only ones coming for him… ;)

    Comment by Taryn — October 9, 2008 @ 3:11 am

  8. Ominous and wonderful. I love the way Beryl is reacting to the choice that isn’t a choice — that damned maternal instinct is hard to get around!

    Eckhard…now that’s a bit of a surprise. Motivated by self interest, he certainly seems unlikely to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Great dialogue between Sesana and EK!

    I really love the transition between SA and Beryl and the darkness in the next scene. The way the light glints on the cross around Sesana’s neck, whether that was deliberate or accidental, it is sure beautiful and effective!

    Thanks, Beth! You’re right, it is. It’s a whole new beast that Beryl has never quite come up against before. She’s definitely reeling. You’re right, Eckhard isn’t being a hero, he has his own motivations… ;) The lighting in the forest scene was kind of deliberate. I liked the dramatic quality it added.

    Comment by Beth — October 9, 2008 @ 8:45 am

  9. I’m with Sesana, Eckhard being less confrontational and slightly less caustic than usual is very suspicious. He has to have worked a little bit more out about the overall plan, and whatever it is, he is oddly content with it. That has my radar up a bit. I know it could be his awe about how well Sanctus Unus mapped it all out, but he is to pleased for it to be just that. And Beryl has gone into her determined to just get on with it, no point worrying about it if you know what is going to happen already place.

    You’re right to be suspicious of Eckhard! The fact that he’s so… cooperative… should give some hints as to the final outcome. Or at least, what he perceives it to be at this point. Beryl is sort of in that place, but she’s realizing what awaits her and what she has to do in order to prevent what happened to her to happen to her child.

    Comment by goodbye_sun — October 9, 2008 @ 10:13 am

  10. *shivers and wipes a tear* wow, Mao. that was some talk Sanctus Unus and Beryl had
    Ah Valerie speaks. intersting. but whats this? Beryl is what gives Onael power? hmmm
    wow. Eckhard offered without hesitation. thats interesting. eeps 2 hours?! gah. of course that means next week’s update *pouts*
    oh golly. that last picture gave me a chill.. and not my usual Eckhard swoon ..
    *bounces on the edge of her seat* oooh this is so good. i’m going to need kettle corn for next week’s update.. for this one i needed tissues for my tears. such a roller coaster of emotions, whew!

    Aww, thanks, Ruby! Valerie isn’t saying everything, and while she’s hesitant, she knows she can’t stop Beryl from fulfilling her purpose. It’s not easy to be able to see what awaits people.

    Comment by ruby — October 9, 2008 @ 10:50 am

  11. I see Beryl is extremely intent on finding Christian, which is good. We can’t have any deadbeat dads around here! Although I do want to see what he’s going to do about Onael.

    Also, I thought the whole point of Valerie’s transformation was to give her power and strength, so why is she scared of talking when Sesana and Beryl are?

    Definitely, for more reasons than you may yet realize. LOL at the deadbeat dad comment! Valerie isn’t scared because she’s intimidated. She knows she can’t say anything that might reveal Beryl’s fate. She knows what awaits her and is having trouble coming to terms with the fact she can’t change it.

    Comment by Josh — October 9, 2008 @ 2:05 pm

  12. OMG!!!

    I hope with all my heart that Beryl and the baby will be ok… Christian is fine and he will be, I have no doubt about it, but I’m horribly worried about Beryl and the baby…

    Those little snaps of Sanctus Unus with Beryl are incredible, the whole interaction just makes me wonder what kind of pact they made, what kind of sacrifice Beryl will have to make…. whatever it is, it doesn’t look safe, at least not for Beryl… I’m really expecting the worst scenario in here. Beryl dies, Christian takes care of the baby… and then it all starts all over again…. but WoS wouldn’t be the same without Beryl…

    Valerie, I’m still hoping to see a stronger Valerie, more confident in her powers!

    I can understand Sesana’s concern very well, but I can also understand Beryl’s need to find Christian!

    It really sucks that Beryl has to give up “something” for everyone else to be ok…after all they did to her, after the miserable life she had, she has to save them all!

    The world is rotten probably she should just walk away and let it be… the great destroyer will happen sooner or later…

    But Beryl is not as selfish as me :D so I bet she will do the right thing :D

    Great chapter!!! :D I really love the last picture of Eckhard his expression is fantastic and the lighting works great, lol he looks kind of creepy and cool at the same time!! :D lol

    Anyway, great chapter! Bravo!!!

    You should definitely be worried, but that’s all I’ll say! I’m so glad you all are enjoying the gradual reveal of Beryl’s fate. I’m having a lot of fun with their conversation. I think it shows of lot of Beryl’s development and perhaps the softer side of Sanctus Unus. Valerie can’t find strength right now. Not when she feels so utterly helpless. Things are happening around her, horrible things about to happen… and there’s absolutely nothing she can do but sit by and watch. She has to wait for them to happen and then find some way to help everyone else pick up the pieces. Eckhard is definitely acting strangely… thanks, Sandy!

    Comment by sandybvv — October 9, 2008 @ 2:44 pm

  13. The set of parents and grandparents that this kid has… Man.

    I can’t help but agree with Sesana. Eckhard is a bit of an evil bastard. I mean I love him. I LOVE him. But this little streak of caring doesn’t really fit. I want to think that he could be helping for the benefit of the baby but I’m soooo suspicious.

    And in that last shot, he looks simply demonic. I mean, he totally is, but I usually look at Eckhard and go *swoon* not *ACK!*

    Okay I’m done.

    There will be several harsh realizations in this chapter about characters. I’m hoping to crush and ruin any possible “what if” factors with characters who readers seem to think “walk the line” between good and evil. Eckhard has never made any qualms about what and who he is and we may just see why soon enough.

    Comment by Veron — October 9, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

  14. The biggest theme in this chapter is ‘choice’ – there’s not much of it going around and everyone seems to have little choice in what they’re about to do, even Valerie who knows and has seen what will happen has no choice because she can’t intervene – it must be torture for her to know and not to say, sort of a bit like Cassandra who saw but would never be believed but on the opposite end of the scale.

    You’re right, that’s definitely it. There are choices, but they are hidden and well, selfish. But to have a choice is selfish because it is our own desires and wants that fuel our need to choose. Fun stuff. You’re right, it is hard. Poor Valerie. This will be a true test of her strength, the time for the Antony within her to come out.

    Comment by Ysbal — October 9, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

  15. I have a bad feeling about that, I’m not so sure Eckhard’s playing on their team. And what does Beryl mean about Onael’s “won’t touch her, because it gives her power or something”. Did I miss that? lol.

    Nah, you didn’t miss it. It has been vaguely been alluded to a few times, but now it’s being brought out into the open.

    Comment by jacqueline — October 11, 2008 @ 8:51 pm

  16. Eckhard, you evil thing you…what in the world is in this for you I wonder? He never does anything without some benefit to himself so I have to wonder about this whole “choice” thing. Is he manipulating SU’s plan for his own purposes? I highly doubt he has much interest in Beryl’s child other than what is in it for him.

    I feel for Valerie, but then I feel for all of those who are sacrificing for the greater good. And if there was a way for Beryl to do what she needs to and still come out saving those she loves along with herself, she will find a way.

    Stunning imagery as always. You really use light and dark, shadow and light so effectively.

    Thanks, Gayl! The lighting can actually be a big pain because of how it works. Sometimes faces are too dark and everything–it’s maddening. As for Eckhard, you’re right to be suspicious. He has his own motivations, I assure you. If there was a way to do both, there would be no reason for a choice. There usually isn’t a way to have it all.

    Comment by Gayl — October 12, 2008 @ 10:47 pm

  17. I love the interaction between SU and Beryl – she must have spoken to and dealt with a lot of difficult characters in her time, but I doubt that SU has ever had to deal with anyone quite like Beryl! :D Even she has to agree that, as Beryl says, her choices suck.

    Hmmm, methinks that asking Eckhard to tag along on the road trip is a very bad idea, and even though he’s obviously up to no good perhaps they really do need him if they’re going to find Christian.

    The crows better watch out, because I get the feeling that I’ll be stoning them very soon!

    Beryl is definitely a first for Sanctus Unus, and believe it or not, Sanctus Unus learned a lot through their exchanges. Hehe, you’re right to suspect Eckhard. He’s never up to any good! LOL! Poor crows…

    Comment by Tanya — November 5, 2008 @ 4:44 pm

  18. Yay… the whole scooby gang are getting in on the scene. Looks like it is going to be one fantastic showdown.

    LOL, scooby gang! Maybe, maybe not…

    Comment by Verity — May 2, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

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