Wings of Steel

October 22, 2008

The Great Destroyer: Act V

Filed under: Chapter Ten — Mao @ 11:59 am

“Well, what is it?” Beryl demanded, growing impatient. Any reward was better than nothing at all.

Sanctus Unus met Beryl’s eyes, “once I give this gift to you, you will not see me again. My time is short with this body… and I must go and prepare. I must know that you are ready.”

“I am, I am,” Beryl insisted. “How many times do I have to say it? I know I’m a flake, but I also know when I’ve lost. Clearly, I’ve lost. I have to go along with this.”

“I do wish it could be different, Beryl Cross… but there is simply no other way. Your destiny, it is… it has always been this. There is no other suited. Do you understand?”

Beryl nodded, but opted not to speak. Being quiet seemed to make things go by quicker and Beryl was anxious to see what this reward was. She watched as Sanctus Unus closed her eyes and tilted her head. Her sadness hit Beryl like a cold wave.

“And now, before we end this, I must give you a final warning… beware of Eckhard Koenig. He is no ally of yours nor mine. He is a danger to everyone, himself included. I am afraid our deal has soured in a way that even I could not have foreseen. I have not the energy yet to deal with him as it is fit.”

“You should know I don’t trust anyone, Sanctus Unus. Not even you.”

It was Sanctus Unus’ turn to nod. She extended her smooth, pale hand. Beryl watched it warily as it neared her, stopping before her stomach, hovering in the air, motionless. It was inhuman, the precision with which it remained steadied. It was intimidating.

“Take my hand, Beryl Cross. Know this body, this identity… know it for what it truly is and will be.”

Hesitantly, Beryl touched Sanctus Unus’ hand. A wave of energy hit her, threatening to knock her off her feet. Sanctus Unus’ grip was firm and she managed to keep her balance despite the energy coursing through their hands. Beryl closed her eyes, giving in to it.

25 Comments

  1. Rut-roh! I hadn’t thought Eckhard was so twisted inside, maybe a little, but I didn’t see how much so until now. It’s slightly understood, but then again, he should just get over himself and be nice. LOL If Valerie shows up, that’ll be the icing on his cake for sure. ROFL! Kind of feel bad for him… maybe he just needs a hug. *ahem* Mellisande, where are ya? Eckhard needs some loving. (ROFL)

    I also didn’t see Beryl’s power. I mean I knew she was one tough cookie, but wowza- she showed him! It has something to do with the pregnancy, doesn’t it

    Eckhard is very twisted inside! As for Melissande, they’ve parted ways amiably. It was just a sexual thing, mostly. Beryl’s power is a surprise to her, as well. She never anticipated what she would be until Sanctus Unus told her. It isn’t the baby, if that’s what you’re thinking. This is Beryl… and it’s a hint as what she will become.

    Comment by JMW — October 22, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

  2. Wow! am I wrong or is Evangeline, um I forget the name I think it was Zoer?

    And Beryl poor sweet beryl, crying softly for Christian and the baby and Beryl. And great surprise there, Take that EK. Serves him right. What a snake in the grass, yet truly you have been saying that all along.

    The final strands of the SU conversation I presume, Oh how terribly sad.

    Once again you have woven a beautiful, magical and emotional chapter within this story. BRAVO!!!

    No, not Zoer. Sanctus Unus said it clearly–she has been using the not yet existent body of Beryl’s soon-to-be daughter. ;) She is the exact same as Sanctus Unus, only with her true eye color and sans markings! Thanks!

    Comment by cheripye822 — October 22, 2008 @ 1:21 pm

  3. *flashes back with the flash back* something she doesn’t know she desires yet… intriguing!
    *gasps* dont trust my Eckhard? but .. but … well no you shouldn’t but still. to hear Sanctus Unus bluntly say it .. ouchies!
    OMG. OMGOMGOMG. that was brutal. I dont think that is a gift I would want. and ya, having to say good bye twice now. geeebus..
    TskTsk..Eckhard, you arrogant sexy man *shakes head* but whats this? a rush of black and red? oooooooooooo… neat! *clicks the next page*
    *trembles* I realize that my baby was never ‘good’ to begin with, so for him embracing his darkness doesnt frighten me nearly as much as him self proclaiming to be a true enemy of Sanctus Unus.

    Haha, Ruby! It was a gift for reasons we have yet to see. Don’t worry, they are coming! As for Eckhard, well, yeah. I knew you wouldn’t be surprised, I figured a few folks would see it coming… but you’re right, the proclamation is the big part!

    Comment by ruby — October 22, 2008 @ 1:30 pm

  4. Well, fantastic! Beryl was brilliant! And Eckhard has finally revealed his true face… I didn’t expect him to be THAT evil!
    Is it true, that the story is coming to an end??? OH, NOOO! I mean, I would really like to find out how everything will finish, but I got used to this story, I like it so much! I read Knock It Down in two days time (weekends), ignoring my university homework and kept ignoring it the next 5 working days as I was too busy reading Wings of Steel… Will you have another story started soon? Comfort me, please, answer yes!))

    Hehe, I was pretty proud of Beryl in this one, too. It’s about time! Yep, I am one of those folks who comes up with stories, intending them to end. I just can’t focus otherwise. I have a final installment planned, but I’m not certain whether or not I’ll do it. You can keep an eye out on my blog, I’ll post more info in the coming weeks! Thanks!

    Comment by Kathy — October 22, 2008 @ 1:34 pm

  5. I knew it and I knew it! OK so the form Sanctus Unus took was Beryl’s unborn child. How heartbreaking for Beryl to accept a gift such as this from SU. Not sure I would have reacted any differently than Beryl did at the realization. And Eckhard you miserable sack of darkness. Good on Beryl to kick his ass. I knew he would show his colors sooner or later although I will say I held out hope for him.

    I must say my heart weeps for all of them, who will die, who will survive. I can only hope the bigger picture here is in fact brighter.

    The emotions in your images were truly amazing. They really punched the story home. I am so sad that this may come to an end. I have so thoroughly loved each character, their flaws, their virtues, all of it.

    Brilliant work.

    Thanks, Gayl! I love how you called Eckhard a “miserable sack of darkness”–it’s so true. He’s such a black hole it is ridiculous. I’ve been battling with him in regards to this for awhile. As for the bigger picture being brighter, it depends on how you see things, I guess. Thanks so much, I am really trying hard but I just feel like it isn’t enough. I appreciate the kind words!

    Comment by Gayl — October 22, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

  6. Wow, I’m just in shock. I can’t believe WoS is ending, and I have NO idea what is happening. *hangs head in shame* Beryl has accepted her destiny, right? And she’s in labor?! And she’s going to find Christian. And Eckhard is evil! I need to know what’s going to happen! Great chapter, Mao! :D

    Aww, I’m sorry, Josh! You actually have a good part of it right, really. So I think you’re not nearly as confused as you might believe! And yeah, WoS is coming to an end in just two Acts. I can scarcely believe it! Thanks!

    Comment by Josh — October 22, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

  7. OH MY FRICKIN’ A!

    Evangeline is incredibly attractive.

    My chin was on the floor the whole time. Okay wait, maybe I’m a raging optimist, but saying goodbye twice? Is Beryl’s fate so tangibly sealed that it’s absolutely impossible for her to have a happily ever after and be able to watch her daughter grow up?

    My thoughts are jumping all over the place. And Eckhard! I mean I’m not surprised, but I’m totally surprised! I just couldn’t pin him as the bad guy despite him being the baddest guy out there. Ugh, that was amazing, Mao.

    The fiance found that picture of Eva quite haunting and I was glad. It is very creepy, but she doesn’t look nearly as much like Beryl as she might in that picture. Unfortunately, Beryl’s fate is sealed, but it isn’t what you think. Her purpose… well, it’s been hinted at like crazy, but finally, we’ll see it for what it is. :D Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Comment by Veron — October 22, 2008 @ 5:18 pm

  8. You know, I have been lurking for a while (I do comment on Boreal Springs occasionally), but this got me motivated to comment. I knew that Lucy/Sanctus Unus reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t figure out who. I had kind of decided that she looked like Adele from your desperate housewife challenge. This is much better!

    Hi, Laura! I’m so happy you commented here. It’s always nice to see that people read WoS, too. :D Especially since I’m a bit more “serious” about it, LOL. Thanks so much!

    Comment by Laura — October 22, 2008 @ 11:49 pm

  9. Oh my.
    I should have known you could’nt have a fairy tale in this story. I can’t believe that Eckhard is such a prick. And now he’s evil. How fantastic..that shoud lead to some interesting plots within the next few acts that remain.

    I think I get Beryl’s sarcrifice…does she have to die? I don’t understand why she has to though. But I loved the action in this act…I never knew that she had so much power…is that residual power from being the demon queen’s body, or is that just some pent-up power she has from being so special? So many questions. She’d better do something soon, we don’t want her delivering a baby alone in the dungeon. Hopefully someone will find her soon.

    Unfortunately, we won’t see Eckhard’s change in this. That’s for the final installment, if I actually do it. I hate to leave things hanging, but it is pretty much up to you guys if you want me to continue or not after you see how WoS ends. Beryl’s fate is tied into her daughter’s. That won’t be fully explained any more than it has in this, but it will make sense soon enough. It’s from what she will be. It has to do with everything she’s been through, but Sanctus Unus has awakened her true power within her in preparation.

    Comment by Eva — October 23, 2008 @ 12:28 am

  10. More baggage for Beryl. I know it would have only seemed proper to Sanctus Unus for Beryl to see for herself what its all about, but it was probably not the kindest way to go about it.

    I suppose there has always been a certain amount of feeling that Eckhard was waiting for something and was merely tolerating those around him, masking it all with his ego. And I know his nature was not benevolent by any means, but I wasn’t expecting him to outright snap. I suppose there are just only so many times you can be used a a chess piece and still not end up at the end with what you want before you just give into your true nature.

    You’re right, but time is scant and well, it was a scare tactic. I think someone mentions that in a comment. You’re right about Eckhard, too. He has been fighting me for awhile on this and I refused, but this, I couldn’t deny. He just… sort of took control and became what he was meant to be. This is why he never deserved Abigail. He’s just… so dark.

    Comment by goodbye_sun — October 23, 2008 @ 3:29 am

  11. OMG!!! Every single chapter is more interesting than the last… First of all I have to say I really love the last picture on page 2 Sanctus Unus extending her hand to Beryl was great, the description you gave us and the picture you used to illustrate that part was simply awesome, love the butterflies flying in the distance and the lighting is perfect. and the white flowers in the corner are such a sweet touch!!!

    I’m dying to know what is Beryl’s reward… I’m thinking that maybe she will be transform into something like Christian :D lol That would be so cool… then they can live happily ever after (LOL)

    OMG!!! page three is so sad, and disturbing, imagine to be in front of your unborn daughter and knowing that everything as you know it will end soon even you!!! :( Poor Beryl that was not a present at all that was blackmail… if she had any doubts about doing what she was told to do, now she has to do it, she knows how her daughter will look like, of course she wants to survive to be there for her :(
    Oh and I forgot to comment about Eckhard… I wonder what that selfish jerk is planning!!! Nothing good that’s for sure… if Sanctus Unus is worried, she must have a reason!!!

    OMG!! That Eckhard! Shame on you!!! YOu don’t treat a pregnant woman like that!!! LOL… stupid Eckhard, glad Beryl put him in place and throw him away, that will teach him!!!

    YAY Beryl she sure looks great as the hero!!! :D such a bad ass chick!!!

    But now I’m scared, :( Eckhard is creepy scary, insane!!! OMG… what will happen now!!!

    You know all your pictures are awesome, but I love the ones of Eckhard in page 4 and the last pic on page 5… page 4 he looks so full of himself and (handsome) in the last pic page 5 he looks all broken all confused and evil, I can feel the darkness coming out of him… lol I mean it!!! anyway what a fantastic chapter!!!! BRAVO!!!
    Bow to you again and again!

    ps. and You know I’m in front row to continue reading this fabulous story and I will read anything else you have in store for WoS or any other story… It will take me a while to get to your bit of fictions, lol holidays are crazy for me, I spent all December in Mexico with my family, but I will read as much as I can, I hope I wont miss any update… lol soooo please continue this tale!!! :D Please pretty!!!!! :D lol take care!!!

    Thanks, Sandy! You can keep an eye out on my blog for more info in regards to the final installment of this series. Sheesh. I never thought it would become so massive. It’s a bit overwhelming, to be honest. I really appreciate the kind words, too. Especially now. This has just felt like a completely thankless struggle and it is the nice words and support I get from readers that keeps me going, truly. And you’re right, Sanctus Unus used a scare tactic on Beryl. She’s seen the future and she cannot deny it life now. But it is for the best and Beryl will come to realize that, actually, she does now. A mother’s love is a powerful thing, even when it comes to someone as selfish and jaded as her.

    Comment by sandybvv — October 23, 2008 @ 8:17 am

  12. Eckhard . . . hmmm. I think the has a lot less power than he thinks he has. Still, he doesn’t need much power if he gets everyone else stirred up. Anyway, I am glad Beryl kicked his ass.

    You’re right, he isn’t nearly as powerful as he thinks he is… but his power isn’t necessarily the same as everyone else’s. He’s quite a bad person to have as an enemy…

    Comment by Beverly — October 23, 2008 @ 8:31 am

  13. Well, damn, Mao. I knew Eckhard was up to no good but to the extent of his “no-goodness” I wasn’t sure. We haven’t seen exactly what he’s capable of and I can’t wait. As for Beryl…what in the world has she become?

    I feel bad for getting people’s hopes up about seeing ‘evil Eckhard’… because that has no part in WoS. :( As for Beryl, hehe, you will see… sort of. If you can remember back, though, we’ve been given some hints.

    Comment by E. Black — October 23, 2008 @ 1:39 pm

  14. Is it sad that the first thought I was able to put into coherent words was “Burn and die, Eckhard”? I know he isn’t a nice guy, and I know he hates everybody, though I will admit I’m not sure why he seems to have it in for Christian. He needs to get over his violent, emo self! Wait, is he finally giving up on his long-dead dream? Too bad it had to be coupled with that little declaration.
    Really, what good is turning against them going to do him? None! Guh, I will repeat what I said before. I never found a reason to particularly like him, so I feel no guilt about saying: Burn and die, Eckhard.
    …Okay, I’m done. I hope you feel your muse soon, Mao! I can’t wait to see what happens now.

    Not at all! I fully expected some folks to hate Eckhard after this, but it isn’t a big surprise. I am also amused at your reply to my simfic50 site. I still need to work on some more past scenes. I really like the character insight you all are getting from them! Eckhard doesn’t care if he lives or dies right now, as long as everyone suffers the same as he has. So turning against Sanctus Unus enables him to exact his suffering on everyone else… ;)

    Comment by Fini — October 23, 2008 @ 7:17 pm

  15. Oh yes, I remember you saying a while back that we have seen quite a bit of the offspring, which I immediately figured was SU. so this just proves go with your initial instinct, LOL! sorry for spamming. ;)

    LOL, not at all! I’m happy that it makes sense for you now! This is why replying to comments really helps me ensure I’m not confusing readers. :D

    Comment by Cheripye822 — October 23, 2008 @ 11:53 pm

  16. Well I’m late as usual.

    What a powerful act, I knew there had to be something that Beryl could do, but I never realised she was that strong or that powerful.

    I must say, I’m quiet suprised by Eckhard. I always knew he had a lot of resentment built up inside himself. But I never thought it would turn to darkness. Although, really, I shouldn’t have been so suprised. We’ve had many clues that he has nothing but bitterness dwelling within him. I don’t think theres been a day of happiness in his life….or maybe one, the day he fell in love with Val’s mom (sorry, the name eludes me right now. Its the whole being sick thing, my brains on go slow, hee hee).

    That was certainly a very gripping Act, and with only a couple more to go, I can’t wait for the next one. Oh my, its all coming together….and in a very gripping way. :)

    Aww, Taryn, don’t worry about it. There is no late. :D I’m just happy that people are still reading! Thanks! Beryl’s power isn’t completely under her control yet and she isn’t nearly half yet of what she will become… Eckhard’s descent into darkness was only a matter of time. He’s been bitter for a looong time. No worries. I hope you feel better!

    Comment by Taryn — October 24, 2008 @ 3:18 am

  17. Wild speculation…but I wonder if there’s a passing of the torch going on here between SU and Beryl.

    I don’t hate Eckhard. Even self destruction is an act of self love. Are you sure there aren’t mirrors on the insides of those blind eyes?

    The detail and the inclusion, finally, of Beryl’s baby is fascinating! As is her continue ascent, emotionally and spiritually.

    Really hurtling fast down the train track now! Great update!

    Thanks, Beth! Sanctus Unus isn’t going anywhere and the position that it has isn’t one that can ever be filled… but Beryl is definitely taking on a much bigger part than most may anticipate! I laughed so hard at your reaction to Eckhard–yes, I’m sure! He is very vain, though… ;) I’m so glad reactions to Eva so far have been favorable.

    Comment by Beth — October 24, 2008 @ 9:08 am

  18. Oh, and BTW, I KNEW that sanctus unus was using beryl’s daughters body. Well, I didn’t know it exactly, I thought that she was Beryl’s daughter, but I am close enough.

    I was so surprised when no one offered up any speculation on SU/Lucy or even noticed the slight similarities between Beryl and SU/Lucy. I was also happy no one caught my slip-ups early on where I said Lucy had “sapphire” eyes!

    Comment by Eva — October 24, 2008 @ 12:44 pm

  19. Oh my goodness! I knew Beryl was a bad bitch but Dayum!
    This is getting better and better with each chapter. Oh please update soon.
    ^_^

    ~TiffyT

    Thanks, Tiffany! Beryl definitely kicked some butt in this Act for sure. I was happy for her to finally step up. :D

    Comment by Tiffany — October 24, 2008 @ 4:58 pm

  20. OMG!!! WHAT IS BERYL GOING TO DO!?!?!?

    Phil! You and your caps. I’ve kept you in caps almost the entirety of this chapter. ;)

    Comment by Phil — October 24, 2008 @ 7:58 pm

  21. I’m happy that Eckhard is finally going to embrace it all. What can I say? He’s my favourite character.

    Beryl – still spunky as ever particularly when it comes to her man and her baby.

    The next act is the last one? I’m interested to see how WoS concludes. It’s a very intriguing ride. Thanks so much for sharing it with the rest of us.

    Thanks! Haha, that’s an odd favorite character to have, but you agree with my fiance. He really likes Eckhard, too. ;) There are two more Acts left, actually. I must not have been clear enough in my blog or somewhere else. Yikes! One more would not be enough, unless it was huuuuge. Not doing that again, like the end of the Demon Queen arc in KiD. That was insane.

    Comment by Ysbal — October 27, 2008 @ 6:18 am

  22. I remember thinking that maybe SU had chosen the baby to carry on its work in some way (can’t remember if I said so in an earlier comment or not), but I didn’t notice that Lucy/SU was Eva all along! That really does explain why Beryl’s co-operation is vital to the plan, even though SU used the emotional blackmail tactic to make it clear to her.

    Eckhard fell right into the trap of underestimating Beryl didn’t he? He wasn’t as clued up as he thought, and with good reason as he’s going right over to the dark side. Evil is so much better when it’s wrapped up in pretty paper ;)

    I’m guessing that when Beryl first came back and was having the nightmares/visions about all of the blood, they were clues to the power she would eventually use against Eckhard. Brilliant stuff!

    Hahaha, I was sneaky. I masked Eva’s looks with that facial marking. It’s hard to tell, but in profile shots, she clearly as Beryl’s nose. She’s a good mix of both, actually. Eckhard learned a hard lesson. It was stupid, but he’s desperate and angry. Hahaha! Pretty paper! The blood/scythe/etc was actually foretelling something else. Beryl’s true fate, but it did have to do with the powers she has.

    Comment by Tanya — November 5, 2008 @ 5:50 pm

  23. Ok, I’m back finally! My goodness, I always thought eckhard is a bit dark inside but i never guess he was that dark. Hmm, you caught me by surprise…

    Welcome back, Karen! Glad I surprised you.

    Comment by karen — November 13, 2008 @ 8:56 am

  24. That was awesome! I am always happy to see Eckhard get kicked to the curb. Although it seems like now he is even more of a problem than before. And it looks like the baby isn’t waiting for a more convenient time to come into the world.

    If anyone is going to knock Eckhard down a peg or two, you know it’s gotta be Beryl!

    Comment by Verity — May 2, 2009 @ 1:46 pm

  25. Lots of surprises here!

    So all along, Sanctus Unus has been using Beryl’s daughter as her body? Even when she was Lucy? Wow…I did not see that coming at all. I’ll have to go back and compare pictures, because Sanctus Unus/Lucy looked different to Evangeline, to me.

    Eckhard was a shock too but Beryl sorted him out! ;)

    Sanctus Unus’ eyes were red and she had the same marking as Christian, but otherwise, they are clones. ;) Surprise! LOL!

    Comment by Carla — January 6, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

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