It took Rebecca several days to cope with what had happened, what she had done, and what it took her to do that, to take a life the way she did. But eventually, she managed to sleep again, knowing there would be no more victims of the lust monster thanks to her. These creatures were nothing to feel compassion for, she realized. She had seen the way the succubus moved, and talked, and there was nothing, absolutely nothing human. These monsters were spawns of the Devil, and as the Bearer, as The Knight, it was her duty to send them back where they came from. The four men she had knocked down were pretty badly wounded, but all were alive, and they had no memory of being mesmerized by Lili. As for the fifth one, and Jamal, the shop owner, they never told the truth about what happened, instead making up some story about the wood on the first floor being rotten and collapsing by itself.
Rebecca was worried she had to fight humans to get to Lili, and she realized those demons she would encounter would never hesitate to use innocent people to protect themselves. That had to be where she should differ from them, she decided. If she were to fight the demons, she had to be their opposite. If they put so little value in human life, she would vow to cherish it and never, ever kill another human. And if they used the innocent for their schemes, she would vow to always protect the innocent.
When she finally came to terms with her new existence, another change occurred. Her lust for battles that had driven her to make mistakes had quelled. Now she only felt a calm, resolute sense of her mission, as if the Cross had understood she was now ready to act on her own. And at that moment, she realized something: she realized that hunting the demons and protecting the innocent couldn't keep her away from cherishing those who were close to her. She couldn't let Raj in, but ignoring him because she was too focused on her battle would only hurt him, and she couldn't stand the idea. That's why this Thursday, at noon, when the bell rang for lunch break, she went to find him in the dining hall and sat at his table.
"Hi, Raj! How are you?"
"Oh, hi!" he said, surprised. "You decided to talk to me again?"
"Listen, I know I haven't been there for you for the past few weeks, and I'm very, very sorry about it. I told you I had some problems I couldn't tell you about, but I'm much better now. So I would like to make up for it."
"You... you really think so?" his voice was full of hope.
"Yeah! And I was thinking, how about we go to the laser tag this Saturday?"
"Laser tag? You never wanted to go to the laser tag, and it's not like I didn't try!"
"Well, there's a start to everything. So, what do you think?"
Far from Richmond-upon-Thames, in the City, the financial district in the heart of London, there was a skyscraper named Tower 42. A column of triangular shape rising six hundred feet above ground, Tower 42 was the second tallest building in the City, and one of the most active, housing a number of office facilities for top stock market companies, banks, international corporations, and fancy restaurants. On the top floors were the offices of Hall, Ltd., the most successful investment company in Great Britain, and perhaps one of the most successful in the world. The secret of its success lay in the ruthless and careful strategy of its CEO Miss Lucy Rofocale, but she was so terrifyingly effective at her job, that it got people talking about other explanations... ranging from the usual corruption to the wildest stories of deals with supernatural forces. Few employees knew the truth, and Sophie, Miss Rofocale's personal assistant, was one of them. The truth, however, had long stopped impressing her. After all, she had a job to do, and for sixty thousands a year, it was her duty to stay professional under all circumstances.
She pushed the heavy red oak door and penetrated the CEO's office. Circular in shape, it was very large and at the same time dark and richly decorated, the walls covered in polished ebony panels framed with gold, on which chiseled electric torches provided a dim ambient light. There were two large windows, on each side of the desk, offering a magnificent view of the London skyline, glittering in the night like the moon on the ocean. Sophie walked on the large black carpet with a red, four-pronged cross in its centre – Miss Rofocale's crest – and reached the desk, a humungous piece of black chiseled marble. The CEO was sitting in her large leather armchair, her back turned on her.
"Milady," Sophie declared with a stern, professional voice. "Reports have confirmed that the succubus has been framed for the murder of Sean Bradford. She has been promptly terminated."
"Excellent," Miss Rofocale said as she turned to face her assistant. She had her usual beautiful Italian features, only this time she had gleaming red eyes. Sophie didn't mind, she was used to it. And Miss Rofocale only revealed her true nature to the initiated. "So there's no way this affair can be traced back to me?"
"Absolutely none, Milady."
"Good." She took a long cigar from a box on her desk, and lit it just by looking at it. "It would be bad for business if people got to know how I spend my free time, wouldn't it, Sophie?"
"Is there anything else?"
"Yes, Milady. Our reports indicate that the person who disposed of the succubus... might very well be the Bearer."
Miss Rofocale's surprise soon turned to a grin of delight. "So that worthless Moorcock was good for something, after all. Now we have the confirmation the Bearer has begun his undertaking."
"Her, Milady. Moorcock's report indicated a female."
"Oh, yes, a female. After fifteen centuries of boring male priests, I think taking care of this girl will be a delight."
"What shall we do, Milady?"
"We wait, Sophie, we wait. Patience is a virtue that is all too lacking in humans. Observe. This shall be very entertaining..."