It was heading towards the hour of the wolf and at last she was almost numb. Half an inch of clear liquid remained at the bottom of the bottle. When that was gone she would have to face reality again. But for now she could be numb. Strangely, her thought processes were still crystal clear. Almost obsessively she analysed every moment of that last conversation.
There had been nothing behind those blue eyes. Nothing with a soul at any rate. Once she would have said nothing human but four years on Babylon 5 had taught her that that was species-ist and some of her best friends were non-human. And most definitely had souls.
Talia was dead. It was only her body that was walking around, inhabited by some Psi-Corps construct. Talia was dead her soul long gone to whatever hereafter existed.
And Susan had to wonder if she had ever really existed. Was it as Control had intimated, that the person she had known as Talia, the person she had loved as Talia had only ever been an illusion, a fabrication who had told her what she wanted to hear, what she needed to hear?
Her hand shook a little as she lifted the bottle to her lips and she glared at it until it stopped. She would not fall apart. This was it, this one night. She would grieve in the old way, reason it out, numb herself, scream herself hoarse if necessary. And tomorrow would be another day. She would do her duty. She would be Susan Ivanova, XO of Babylon 5, the right hand of God. No one would ever know the truth.
She had loved Talia. And she had come so close to telling her everything. About the Resistance, about herself.
She swallowed once, twice, three times the charm that emptied the bottle. She held it loosely intending to drop it to the floor but sudden anger speared her and she threw it against the wall. The noise it made smashing against the metal bulkhead was satisfying. No one would ever put that back together again.
Susan staggered to her feet and headed for the bedroom shucking off her jacket and loosening the buttons on her shirt. Her numb fingers wouldn’t obey her and she impatiently tore at the material. She was about to throw herself onto the bed when she saw it, glistening on the pillow.
One golden blonde hair. Talia’s. She could still make out the indentation of her head on the pillow where she had lain the previous night. The thunk of her head against the wall penetrated her numbness as she threw herself backwards. There was no way she could sleep there, not after today…
Susan slid to the floor and rested her arms on her knees, her forehead on her arms. There wasn’t enough vodka in the world to drown out what she was feeling right now.
This truly was the hour of the wolf and she could feel him gnawing at her soul.