Robert walked up the stairs and onto the balcony, he was about to open the door which lead to Woods office, when he stopped, having just had a rather unsettling thought. He walked to the rail and peered over the edge towards the glass cases and their journals, he felt a shiver run down his back,
"Maybe I should just go straight to the library and forget the annoying conversation!", he said sarcastically to himself, then turned and paced slowly back to the door, wishing he was about to do anything but this!
"Come!", came a familiar, cheerful voice, Robert screwed his face up into an expression of utter disgust, then straightened up and opened the door,
"Ah, Robert, better late than never!, come in and sit down!", Robert walked in and sat down opposite Woods, who was wearing a typical pin striped suite and his spectacles, a child like grin spread wide across his face, Robert was sure it was because he knew how much Robert would not be looking forward to another day in the library!
"So!", Woods beamed at him, "how is my little prodigy?!", for a moment Robert thought he meant him!, then he realised Woods had meant Eclipse,
"Prodigy?", Robert asked in a low, dangerously close to challenging tone, there was nothing he would like more, right then, than wiping that stupid smile from Woods face, "as I understand it, you haven't done much more than lock her up!, tell me, professor!, what kind of psychiatrist are you?!", Woods smile did faulter a little, but he regained himself quickly, obviously ready for a fight,
"A very good one!", he replied happily,
"Really?, so why is your idea of helping Eclipse, leaving her to her own devices?, I mean seriously, what if she hadn't been as strong as she is?!",
"But she is", Woods answered carefully,
"Thats a very dangerous approach, professor, especially considering how dangerous she...", he was about to say 'is', but thought better "....can be!", Woods seemed to pick up on his change of words,
"Why didn't you say that the way you wanted to?",
"I did!", Roberts teeth were gritted, his temper was sizzling deep down, he could feel it rising quickly,
"Oh I don't think you did, Robert, no, what you wanted to say was, how dangerous she is!, why did you stop?", Robert actually wasn't sure,
"Well, she has that room to.....",
"Oh" said Woods sighing, "I thought you were supposed to be good at lying?!", he sounded bored now, "you know, as well as I do, that Eclipse could lose control at any moment, without warning, she has done so twice in her past", he leaned in over the desk, to stress the seriousness of his next point, "and neither time has she regretted her actions!", Robert's mouth fell slightly open,
"What do you mean, of course she regrets it!",
"No", Woods sounded more stern now than Robert had ever heard, even more so than the night he had dismissed Eclipse in the library, "she does not!, you must understand that, these, I hesitate to use the word, patients, have all had the most horrific lives, but although this may shine a light, as it were, on to why they have done the things they have done, it does not excuse them!", Woods turned his in his chair, so he could cross his legs, he rested his left elbow on the table and began tapping a finger on his blotter, lost in thought,
"They are all killers, Robert, like you, but unlike you, they have come to recognise that being able to kill, without remorse or regret, is not a blessing, but a curse!".
Woods watched Robert, waiting for a reaction, Robert knew this, but was unsure what kind of reaction was he waiting for?
"Do you see the faces of the people you've killed Robert?, when you look in the mirror, or close your eyes to sleep, do they haunt you?",
"No", Robert was cold, his voice seemed to have regained some of the strength it used to hold,
"And I'm sure, your very grateful for that?",
"To be honest, I've never considered it!", Roberts nasty little sneer like smile spread over his face,
"I think its about time you did consider it!", Woods replied, his voice picking up a tiny trace of spite, "People kill each other all the time, and most murderers will tell you, the worst part is the memory of their victims faces, the realisation that you have just ended their entire life, all their plans for the future gone, a family memberless, all the ripples of pain and suffering your actions have created, and these are the people who will never kill again, the people who search for some sort of Absolution to their guilt! The others, the ones like you, who feel no guilt, remorse or regret, you are the ones I fear, like you, Wolf, Barricade and Eclipse have killed, without conscience...",
"So thats why their here, so you can teach them how to achieve absolution?", Woods laughed out loud,
"No", he stopped talking so he could finish laughing, Robert started to feel annoyed again, "they are here, to discover that what they want, is to want absolution!",
"So.....your here, to make use feel guilty?", Robert asked, now genuinely interested, but still losing his patience,
"I don't have to, you will do it for me!",
"And what makes you think I want to feel guilty?",
Woods smiled broadly and leaned back over the desk, "Because, you already do!", and he pushed the file, sitting on his left, closer to Robert, he had already recognised it though, it was Eclipses file,
"how have you felt, spending time alone with Eclipse?",
Robert really didn't want to answer, he knew that spending so much time with her was changing him, he knew something was stirring inside him, deep, deep down, and he knew, that when she had leaned in towards him, in the gym, he had wanted her to kiss him, Woods just grinned at him,
"Ah huh, yes, I think I see", he stood up, "shall we?", Robert wondered what he was talking about for a moment, then remembered the empty glass case.
He stood up and walked to the office door, then Woods called after him,
"Ah, you don't actually need me anymore, do you!, thanks to Eclipse not being able to follow basic instructions, show yourself out and down to the library, Robert, we shall talk some more tomorrow, Robert opened the door, strode out sharply and called back, seconds before the door slammed,
Robert walked out on to the balcony, annoyed and hungry!, he really wished he hadn't missed breakfast again, and if this journal was anything like the last two, he wouldn't be seeing food again till the next day! That made him even angrier, surely he could wait till after lunch before going to the library, or maybe if he rang the little bell, he could talk Eclipse into bringing him something to eat?!
He climbed down the stairs, turning briefly to look at the last two journals, he still hadn't seen anything of the sixth though? He turned to the library door and turned the handle, just as he was about to step in, the overwhleming and delicious smell of fresh bacon reached his nose, he turned to find Eclipse standing behind him, holding a plate with four bacon rolls on it, and a steaming cup of coffee in the other,
"Well, as you did miss breakfast!", she grinned and offered the plate and cup,
"Thank you", Robert said, trying very hard to stop his saliva filled mouth from leaking,
"Well, I'm off to the guest room, as your taking the library today!", for a moment he thought she was annoyed, and would have gladly offered the use of the library to her, then she grinned again, and he relaised she was joking, "have fun!", she called as she skipped off towards the lamp switch for the stairs.
Robert walked into the library and over to the red leather chair, the orb's light dulled gently as he approached. Robert found the journal sitting on his chair, he put his cup on the tiny wood table, next to the little gold bell, and picked the journal up, then sat down and rested it on his lap, then resting his plate of bacon rolls on the book. He ate happily, leeting his eyes wonder around the increasingly darker room, wishing the orb would stop for a minute so he could in more detail.
Once he'd eaten his fill, Robert swallowed a mouthful of coffee, then, putting his plate on the floor at his feet, he reached down for the tiny L.O.M emblemed key, and gripped it,
"COME BACK TO US"
He realeased the key,
"Seriously, everytime?!", he asked the book, then, ready to turn the key as fast as he could, Robert closed his eyes, and braced himself for the pain, he gripped the key and turned it as fast as he could,