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Looking for redemption

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The moment her feet slipped into the water she could feel the coldness. Her hands were shaking, but that wasn’t related to the temperature of the water. Slowly she waded away from the shore, her eyes directed to the dark sky. The stars shone bright above her. If this was the end, at least one of the last things she would have seen was her favorite view. Or second favorite.

Water flew around her body as she got deeper into the sea. Suddenly she saw Laura’s face, the disappointed expression of the last day on her face. She heard the words again. “We’re done.”

Her body tensed and more determined than on all her way out here she dived through the cold surface. In the darkness she couldn’t see far, even her vampiric night vision wasn’t helping much.

With forceful strokes she swam along the underground until it suddenly disappeared and revealed the endless depths of the sea. Complete silence and darkness surrounded her, the little light of the stars and the moon vanished as she moved further down.

The increasing pressure of the water against her body and the almost vertical cliff behind her, almost out of sight, were the only indications that she was still swimming in the right direction.

Slowly but surely it got harder to dive deeper. She felt the tons of water above her body, but a little struggling wasn’t something that could stop her now. After everything she did in all the centuries, she’s been to this earth, all the pain she caused and suffered, there was nothing left that could scare her. Not even an ancient weapon on the bottom of the sea. Not after the last days.

She would decease, if not on the attempt to get the Blade of Hastur then in the next days, while fighting the Light and its servants. After everything that happened the previous day, it was all she had left to do and she was looking forward to it.

Laura deserved better. Just as Ell had deserved better. And if she could save her by sacrificing herself, that’s what she would do. For her there was no hope left, not with all that opposed her. Redemption awaited her, redemption from a lifetime of pain and guilt.

 

She reached a narrow terrace on the cliff. She wasn’t sure if she was far enough under the sea level, and maybe she drifted away since she entered the water, but she began to search for signs of a cave. This could take some time. It didn’t matter. If this went well, the only time limit she had was Friday to get back to Silas campus.

Slowly she made her way along the rocks. Multiple times she thought she’d spotted something that looked like the entrance of a cave, but every time it was just the darkness and seaweed tricking her eyes. She had no idea how much time had passed since she first set foot into the water and she was most certainly to deep down, that the light of the morning could help her sense of time.

There was nothing here, she decided, swam to the edge of the underwater terrace and further down into the cold darkness.

Her body had adjusted the pressure in the time she was on one level, looking for the cave and as soon as she forged ahead in the depth, she felt the resistance of the water even more.

From the corner of her eye she saw a dark spot between the rocks she was diving along. She almost missed it, because the crevice was hidden behind various underwater plants. She questioned how anyone ever got down here to hide the blade in the first place. The passage was really narrow, she could barely swim in it, so she partly swam and partly pulled herself deeper into the cliff.

Somewhere in there was the smallest glimpse of light and she was glad that she had the eyes of a nocturnal predator for once.

Suddenly the walls on both sides of her opened and she was at the edge of a small cave. In the middle of it, on a natural pedestal, it laid. Unaffected by elements and time the blade glowed in a pale blue. It was barely longer than her forearm and unornamented.

The impulse to grab it crept over her and she needed all her self-composure to remember the words her mother said earlier. “It’s a blade meant to consume everyone who wields it. Why do you think the Cult of Hastur buried the wretched thing?”

She untightened the cloth that was wrapped around her arm. Even though she wasn’t sure what would happen, if she took the blade, she could at least try not to touch it with her bare hand. And if this failed, Laura would think she did what she told her to, to run and hide, so it wouldn’t change anything.

Slowly she moved closer and let the black cloth slip on the grip of the blade. She hesitated for a second and then closed her hand around the weapon.

 

She lifted the blade. The small thing felt heavier than she expected it to be, especially under water, but besides the weight, there was nothing.

Now even slower than before, she made her way back through the narrow crevice, headed towards the open sea. She reached the other side and started to swim upwards. Then it happened for the first time.

She felt the pressure of the water painfully on her body. The liquid around her seemed to thicken and darkened in front of her eyes. She tried to swim, but she didn’t seem to move. Her sense of orientation was lost. She lashed about. Panic gathered her. In despair she clung on to the blade in her hand. She couldn’t lose it. It was supposed to be her termination, but not here and not now. And not in vain.

 

As fast as it appeared it was gone. The water around her had its usual consistency and its normal color back. She could recognize the cliff at some distance. She saw the entrance of the cave and realized, that in her panic attack she moved in the completely wrong direction. Only a little further, and she would have been lost. It could have taken hours, even days, to find her way back.

Still unsure of what exactly had happened she started again to swim up towards the surface. She hurried, the hope in mind that maybe soon the light of the day could guide her way up. She passed the terrace where she first looked for the cave and saw something moving next to her. She turned and looked closer. She stared at a familiar face.

“You killed me, monster.” Panic took her over again. This couldn’t be true. She heard the voice in her head, even though the figure in front of her didn’t move her mouth. “You never could have loved me. And I never loved you.” She couldn’t move, she felt herself sinking into the depths again. “I would have been better off, if I had never met you, and so is your little girlfriend.”

The truth in that last sentence made her come back to her senses. For a moment she stared at the spot, where seconds ago the spirit of her past had been, but she saw only Seaweed. The vision, or whatever it was, was gone, she was all by herself and she started moving again.

When this was over, she could never ever hurt anybody again. No one could ever say, they would have been better off without her. That thought gave her strength.

 

As her head broke the surface of the water, she realized it was still night, or maybe night again. With the last stokes she reached the shore, and she saw that she was not that far away from where she first entered the sea. Soon she found the place, where she had hidden part of her clothes and her boots. She let the blade slip out of her fingers into the sand and slumped down on a nearby rock.

She let her eyes travel over the sea and up to the sky. She made it. She survived the first difficult part. She was back at the shore. She had the blade. And a quick glance at her phone told her, that it was still the same night. So there was still time.