Doctor..Darien..wait..don't do this..
"No more of your deceptions, Demon! I finally have control of my life again and the only ones who who accept me as the real Darien are Fuzz and Qli! It's hard enough to get the masses to understand my Gift..or even accept me as a Doctor of Medicine without them worrying when I'm going to turn back into the Spirit of Lust!"
I've always respected your quest to become a healer, Doctor..and was it not I that set you on that path?
No, Darien..remember..back on that horrible night seventeen years ago..when you found your precious family pet lying dead in the toolshed? You remember that smell don't you? You've smelled it since, haven't you? That wasn't just from her paints..it was..
I gasped as the images and the cloying smell assaulted my senses, like I was there all over again.
"Chloroform! She was put under so the paint would kill her off! But who.."
I shuddered as I lowered the pistol from my temple.
Yes Darien. I am sorry. Your Father was a Doctor as well..he knew Lucian was with child before you did. That is why he wanted her killed.
Serpent lurking in the family tree was revealing to me the evil in all the branches of its branches.
You would have died there, Darien, trying to revive her. The family line..MY mortal line.. would have ended with you. That is why I told you the Spark of Prometheus. Remember..
Blurry human hands kneading ebony and blood red fur, desperate to revive but lacking the skill. That is when the Demon first appeared to me as a vision..scarlet wings spread wide to reveal pale skin ornate with dragon marks, crimson eyes glowing on painted face, Pale red hair crowned by majestic horns. His right hand he held up was wreathed in flame.
I said to you..'Hear me Child so you and yours may live. A god gave me this flame in exchange for his freedom. Listen to the Truth. Life and Death are illusions...only defined by which side of the River Styx in which you dwell.
The burning hand entered my chest like it was smoke. An intense instant of agony, then the incredible awareness of carrying the secret of Life within me.
Place the flame inside her so her soul may find its way back.
A moment of hesitation and my hand flicked alight like the Demon's had. I repeated the same feat..and in the vapors I saw the shade of Lucian, confused yet hopeful as her feline eyes met mine. And in her paws she carried the smallest, sleeping black kitten..with crimson ears and tail and flexing paws..
And that is all I remembered until waking in the hospital a week later. To hear from my father what I knew in my heart was a lie.
"Yes, Bloodwing..I owe you our lives."
And you owe me yours. Allow me to live in my home and my town again. Only your body will do.
"Why don't you try my other body?"
As the Demon paused to make sense of my suggestion, I flipped a lever. The greet steel cylinder rotated to reveal my clone floating green bubbling fluid, connected to the machine by tubes for respiraton and digestion. This was the same healing chamber that regrew the body I currently inhabited.
It is you..but I sense no soul..
It is me..down to the last strand of DNA. I decided to keep a spare body in case an even worse mishap occurs. There is a brain in this one. I was going to record my essence in wax cylinders to replay back into this creation on my demise. But instead..I hand him to you. Now we can both exist at once.
There was a jolt as I felt the spirit exit my chest the way it came. The white mist circled the chamber until it found the oxygenator and pulled itself inside. I saw it slowly drift through the tubes until it reached the clone's mouth and nose, and vanished inside.
The transformation was sudden, as there was no soul of the host to resist. The skin blanched and designs erupted. Twin plumes of blood tainted the green waters as horns jutted from the skull. The body twisted and squirmed as red wings expanded as best they could in the cramped space. Crimson eyes stared back at from behind the mask strapped to his face.
I lifted the revolver and fired the slug into the chamber. There was a deafening crash as glass shattered and life-preserving solution flooded the chamber floor. Bloodwing tumbled out as the feeding and respiration tubes ripped from the jolt and severed from the jagged glass left in the device. I took a step forward and stood over the helpless demon in his helpless new host.