Chapter 16:

My Daughter's First Steps

A Place between There and Now

I felt a few rays of light on my face. I blinked. I held my hand in front of my face and opened my eyes. The lights behind the windows were still on, or to be more precise, already on.

!$&"§!_ !$&"§!_ !$&"§!_

Still slightly drowsy I stood up. The room looked exactly the same as yesterday, nothing had changed. I didn't expect the lights outside to adjust to the actual time of day, but it still felt strange, maybe because I wasn't used to being in that classroom with that kind of lighting.

!$&"§!_ !$&"§!_ !$&"§!_

I looked around, my desk was facing the window again and so was !$&"§!_

And so was Yui’s table. What happened to Yui and him? Yui and the teacher, I looked next to me on the floor, his body was gone, as expected.

My gaze wandered to the right, to the corner of the room. She was leaning against the wall next to a window. She was asleep. It looked as if she was clutching something with both hands, but there was nothing.

I pulled my knife out of my right jacket pocket and walked slowly towards her. Anger was building up inside me. A child! A child killed me! How dare she! These monsters, no, this monster, I had long since resigned myself to it killing me. But that a child would kill me. That a child would do such a thing. I would kill her, I would have my revenge. That a child would kill me. That a child would kill this monster.

“That a child would kill this monster.” I stammered. I looked at my hand, at the knife. I could not blame the monster.

Yes, I could, I could blame the monster. I could blame myself. I had to realise, that teacher, was a monster, I hated him, and I would kill him if I saw him again, but he wasn't the only monster. I didn't care if there was even a shred of truth in all this talk about umbraus, I knew it anyway, I became what I wanted to destroy. It didn't matter if I was an Umbraus, I was a shadow, and I couldn't change that. Was she a monster? Was she like me? Was she like the teacher? Should I hate her, avoid her, ignore her or kill her? I killed her "father", she had every right to kill me, many children would have done that. But no matter what I did now, she would hate me. Whether she would try to kill me again or attack me I could not know.

I was a monster and she was a child. Just because I was a monster didn't mean I had to be humanless, I could still decide if I wanted to be a Xenomorph or a Sullivan. It was I who would decide what would happen to her, no matter how she reacted, it was I who decided whether she would live, whether she would hate me, whether she would forgive me, kill me, suffer and scream.

I didn't want to live with the knowledge of being a child murderer, a death for me was just a stone in my path, for her it was permanent.

For her it was permanent.

Why was she here? The day had repeated itself. I looked down at my shirt, no blood. I looked down at the floor, no blood. I looked down at her clothes, no blood. Was she like me, exactly like me? Was she a normal human being? Would she remember what happened yesterday if I woke her up? Did she exist several times or only once?

Did she die yesterday.

Many questions, many risks and no answers. If I wanted any, I would have to wake her up. I wanted answers, I wanted them more than ever before. I loved puzzles and I wanted to solve this one, I had more than one good reason to do so. After all, no matter how hard this was going to be, it couldn't be worse than Portal 3, so I had no reason not to give everything for answers. I walked the last few steps until I was standing right in front of her. Her hair was a mess and it looked like she could use another day of sleep. I slowly tapped her on the shoulder. Just then she opened her eyes, started screaming and lunged at me with her hands, which still looked like they were clutching something. Quickly I pushed her off me and stood up holding the knife in front of me.

"You asshole took the knife from me in my sleep?!" she said. I was puzzled, what was she talking about? Was that a knife she was clutching? Was that my knife she was clutching? "I didn't take your knife from you, you had nothing in your hands when you were asleep. Tell me, am I correct in assuming that you held my knife in front of you before you went to sleep so that you could defend yourself in an emergency?" She didn’t answer my question. "Don't pretend you understand anything, monster. If you understood anything, you wouldn't have killed my father. My father-"

Her gaze wondered across the floor. “What did you do to his Body? where did you drag him and why is there no blood?”

“I didn't do anything but at least that means you remember but you have no idea what's going on.”

“You, you did - you didn't do anything? That's a joke, is not it? You, why? Why are you like that, why can't you understand, every murderer would be ashamed to the core at the sight of the children who mourn the death of their murder victim. Many would kill themselves because of their guilt, but what do you do? You act like nothing happened! You question me as if I'm from customer service and then talk some stupid stuff afterwards. What will you do now?! Kill me? silence me? if you are not even interested in the suffering or life of a child, then what are you? what are you but a monster.”

“I am a monster, I have done many wrong things but I have never hurt anyone. I have done many things that are highly questionable but the murder of your so-called father is not one of them. I saw your father, he was dead, he was hanged".

“shut up”

“He screamed at me, drove me to murder, to degenerate, he was responsible for a large part of my suffering, directly and indirectly. Mentally and physically.”

“shut up, shut up, shut up!”

“Your father, he put me in some weird tube, he ordered the killing of some guy in a lab coat. Face it, I'm a monster.”


“But your father is one too.”

She fell to the floor. Her quiet sobs could still be heard. I didn't want to help her, in my eyes she could die quietly but I still didn't know what she was. It would be a bad idea to release a vengeful daughter of a madman like him who might even have the same powers as me. But what could I do, I could not comfort her, not after what I just said. I would have to give her something that would change her view of me, but I couldn't be too direct either, because she would perceive this as clearly an act, which it was.

I went over to her and put the knife on the floor in front of her and walked back several steps

“I am a monster and will not try to justify my actions, which I think no one will understand so easily anyway. But I will not kill a child, at least not as long as it has not done anything to me. I am a monster but I am not yet completely devoid of humanity. I am a monster, I can't die, but I feel pain like everyone else. If you want revenge then you can cause me pain, you can teach me the pain of death one more time, if that's what you want. it's up to you.”

She looked deep into my eyes and stood up. Her gaze wandered down to the knife, then back to me and again to the knife. A smile formed on her face.

“What do you expect when you give me the knife, I know that a good part of it was a lie, a bait and nothing else. I'm not going to forgive you or trust you because of some bullshit.”

She ran towards me, I stretched my arms in front of me and tried to stop her. What I didn't expect was that she didn't want to kill me, that was never her goal. She knew that my death would not bring her further, she had already learned that. She stabbed the knife cleanly through my right hand. I said nothing, blood flowed over her hand and down my arm. We stood there in silence for several seconds and listened to the drops of blood as they fell to the floor.

“Scream. Scream! SCREAM! Why? Why aren’t you screaming? Why can’t I win once, why?”

"because you can't achieve your goal with just force and violence. You have to use your head, you don't look stupid so just do what you do best". That was all a lie. I had always solved my problmes with violence since I got here and if that didn’t work I just used more violence.

“What was the murder of my father, besides senseless violence? Where is it written that one does not compensate bloodshed with bloodshed? Revenge is something natural, I am not evil! I am not evil! You are, so scream! Scream now!”

She tried to turn the knife while it was still in my hand but it did not move a bit.

“Please tell me, why aren’t you screaming?”

“Screaming is a reaction to a strong pain. How do I say this best. if you watch a lot of sad movies then you will end up crying less and less. You harden yourself, so to speak, and it becomes rarer and rarer that you find anything that really brings you to tears, at least in fictional space, as is the case with many things. The more you get stung by bees, the less the sting of a bee hurts you. If someone hits you in the face with full force, a ball hitting you in the head during a sports lesson will feel less painful. If you are stabbed about 20 times, blown up, poisoned, dismembered, or left to bleed to death while you are plagued by severe mental pain, you will eventually not feel a knife in your hand.”

"What are you?”

“A monster, one which is just barely still human.”

“No, you are the furthest thing from human!”