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This is set before the level "Phantom Wood"
With a roar of agony, the last of the gargoyles fell from the sky and hit the ground. In spite of the sweat pouring down his face, Logan rather enjoyed the fight.
“That was fun!” he said.
Near the fountain, he found a key that had fallen out of Garibaldi’s robe as he vanished. It was the key to the gate outside the cathedral.
“Bingo!” Logan happily exclaimed as he picked it up. “Finally, now I can open that gate outside the cathedral. With the gargoyles dead and the key in his possession, he knew his business here was finished. Hopefully, he would never have to return to this accursed building.
The sun by now was nearing the end of its descent into the horizon. Stars were slowly beginning to appear in the darkening sky and the moon was rising to replace the sun. Despite this, he had no desire to sleep in the cathedral. He would continue on his way and get as far away from here as possible. Now that he was officially a traitor to the Scourge, they would surely kill him on sight. No place near the cathedral was safe.
The outside gate leading into the dark forest beyond would provide some sanctuary. The gate had been locked for many years. Some of the Scourge members had recently made an expedition into the woods, but none ever came back. Whether they had died from fright or from the attacks of hostile creatures, no one knew for certain. In order to reach Dunkilus, Logan would have to enter the forest itself. He had no choice.
But first, he decided to pay another visit to the headstone marking the spot where his beloved was buried. Even though she was dead, the Scourge still regarded her with scorn and contempt as shown by the Scourge soldier who shot up her headstone. Never would Logan forget the rage he unleashed upon his former comrade-at-arms when he discovered what he had done.
He knelt before the headstone and ran one hand upon the stone. On it were the following words:
“Here lies Katrina, the traitor who defied Garibaldi.”
Logan felt his eyes water as the tears built up inside.
How could he ever forget that day almost a month ago? It all began when he walked in on Katrina and Garibaldi in the meeting room one evening. Several other members of the Scourge were gathered inside as well.
“This is wrong!” Katrina said. “You can’t do this!”
“Never tell me what I cannot do Katrina. These powers are good for one thing only, to take what I want and to do what I want! I have been preparing many years for this war to destroy our enemy.”
“Our enemy? They’re people! They’ve done nothing to you!”
“Nothing?” Garibaldi shook his head. “You have no idea, do you?”
“This is what we’ve all been training for? To slaughter our own people?”
Logan froze upon hearing those words. What was going on? Slaughter our own people? What was Katrina talking about?
“You do realize Katrina, you’ve spoken treason,” said Garibaldi, his voice ominous and dark.
“I’ve spoken the truth!” Katrina said aloud, her words shone with a powerful aura that would make anyone stop, stare, and listen. “Look, I joined the Scourge because I wanted to find my place in a male-dominated world, maybe even find some meaning to my life, doing more than just getting married and raising a family. But if this is what it means to be a member of the Scourge, I’m not sure that’s what I want to be anymore.”
Garibaldi crossed his arms over his chest and shook his head. “The Scourge demand total allegiance to their code. There is no place for disloyalty or fear.”
Two Scourge soldiers seized Katrina by her arms. Seeing his love like this brought Logan back to his senses.
“Take the girl away,” said Garibaldi with a motion of one hand. “Kill her now.”
What? Logan thought. Cold fear gripped his heart and froze his blood.
“Garibaldi no!” he cried suddenly running forward.
“Logan!” Katrina cried as her captors quickly led her away. He tried to reach out for him, but one of her captors pulled her arm back. “Help me!”
Two more Scourge members blocked his path. “Don’t interfere!” one of them ordered him. “It is the will of Garibaldi.”
But Logan wouldn’t stand by and allow his love to be killed. Whipping out his shotgun, he swung it through the air, striking both his comrades in the face.
“Katrina!” He ran in the direction Katrina’s escorts had taken her. There was a place in the cathedral where the Scourge executed their prisoners, and unless he hurried, that was where his beloved would meet her end.
He ran across a stone bridge with a garden on one side towards the execution grounds. Never before had he run so fast in all his life. But even so, he feared that it wouldn’t be enough and that he would be too late.
“Ready! Aim!” he heard voices on the other side of the door. He quickly threw open the door and ran beyond. Before him, he saw five members of the Scourge standing in front of a wooden pillar where Katrina was tied to.
“No!” Logan screamed. But his words were lost as the sound of exploding gunfire scattered throughout the air. Bullets and buckshot cut into Katrina’s flesh, tearing through her clothes, and splattering blood on the wall behind her and the floor at her feet. Through it all, she raised her face towards the heavens, crying out in anguish and agony. The sight and sound went sraight to Logan’s heart and tore it apart.
Those were the longest five seconds of his life. Forever would this moment be imbedded in his memory. Even despite his best efforts, not even they were enough to save her.
Finally, except for a small breeze, all was quiet again as the Scourge ceased fire and lowered their weapons. Katrina’s mouth was open as if to cry out, but the sound would not come out of her throat. The front of her clothes were stained with her own blood.
Logan ran down the steps and quickly cut her loose. Her strength sapped away by dozens of bullets and pellets, Katrina fell forward. He caught her in her arms and knelt down with her. Amazingly, even with all that lead in her body, Katrina was still alive. Even now, the Scourge would not grant her the mercy of a quick and painless death.
Logan felt tears flow from his eyes and down his cheeks as he gazed upon the face of his beloved for what would be the last time. Katrina reached up and touched his face to wipe away his tears.
“Katrina…” he whispered. He moved his face forward and put his lips upon her own. Not even for one moment would he close his eyes, not even to blink. He wanted his face to be the last thing Katrina saw before she died. He wanted to gaze upon her for whatever time she had left.
But for now, all he wanted was to have this last moment with her as he felt her weakened arms around him.
For ten long seconds that seemed like an eternity, Logan and Katrina shared one last kiss. Ten long seconds he held her tightly as if to desperately cling on to her.
And then, he felt her arms slip away from behind as the life left her body. He felt her face fall away, and as he released his grip, she fell to the ground, her face a smiling mask.
He gasped and touched her cold skin, hoping for some reaction. But nothing. He pulled his hand away in horror. Even though he knew she was dead, his mind would not accept it.
My god! This can’t be happening! It can’t be real!
She is…I couldn’t…
He buried his eyes in his hands. For the first time in his life since he was a baby, he wept. Tears streamed down his face like rivers. A man however does not cry out loud as other men consider it as a sign of weakness.
If only I could have saved her! I was so powerless!
He was so enwrapped in his own grief that not even footsteps behind him brought him back to reality. But then, he felt Garibaldi’s hand upon his shoulder and that did the trick.
“You killed her!” he whispered tearfully, his voice quivered with grief and anger.
“It was our duty,” Garibaldi said stoically. “Horrible as it was, we had to do it. Here in the Scourge there is no place for treason or cowardice.”
For the first time in his life, Logan felt the fires of rage burn within him. Katrina was many things, but she was not a coward. It had taken a lot of courage to stand up to Garibaldi. Now he would do the same.
He pushed Garibaldi’s hand away as he forced himself to his feet. He whirled to face everyone.
“I will never forgive any of you for this!”
But Garibaldi only smiled. “You’ll get over it.”
In a fury fueled by a combination of grief and rage, Logan ran back up the steps, pausing to look upon the scene one last time. “If any of you ever see me again, shoot first. Because if you don’t, I will!”
As he turned away, he activated the crystal cross he wore around his neck. A portal opened around him, taking him from this world, and back to Earth.
He removed the chain around his neck from where the cross hung and set it upon the ground. Then with a cry of rage, he pulled out his shotgun and smashed the cross with the gun’s handle. The sound of shattering crystal was barely heard over his scream.
Logan felt the tears streaming down his face again as he gently rubbed the headstone. By now, the sun had set and the dusk had become night.
“You’ll get over it.” Garibaldi’s words echoed in his mind. Damned hypocrite
“Katrina…I will avenge you, even if it kills me!”
Wiping his eyes, he stood and continued on his way, more determined than ever to destroy the Scourge…and Garibaldi!
But just outside the cathedral, was another one of the Scourge’s soldiers. He narrowed his eyes as he recognized another one of Katrina’s executioners.
“Going somewhere Logan? Or should I say traitor?”
Logan felt blood boil as the fires of rage burned brightly. “Damn it!” he exclaimed into the night air. “Where the hell is Garibaldi?”
“You think I’d give up his location that easy?” his enemy said calmly.
Logan reached into his trench coat for a gun. “I don’t have time for this! Either tell me or you die!”
“I ain’t telling you anything!” the Scourge soldier said. “And you really think it will be that simple?” A sinister smile spread across his lips as his laughter echoed around the surrounding air. “You underestimate me Logan! A mistake that will cost you your life!”
He pulled out his weapon, but Logan’s reflexes were even quicker. A pull of the trigger on his shotgun to unleash both barrels and it was over. Two shells worth of buckshot punched through his opponent’s cloak, bit through flesh, and drew blood.
“I believe it is you who underestimated me,” said Logan as his enemy fell forward.
He stepped forward, reached down, and took his fallen opponent’s gun. Even though his enemy was alive, Logan was not going to give him the mercy of a quick death. He and the others refused to give Katrina such kindness. Why shouldn’t the favor be returned? He gazed down upon the Scourge soldier, lying facedown in a spreading pool of his own blood. He made a feeble attempt to push himself up, but gravity pulled him back down. He raised his face upward to glare at Logan.
“I’ll never tell you where Garibaldi is!” the dying soldier said coughing up blood. “Such a waste of effort and ammunition! At least I die knowing you’ll never leave this land! No one has ever come out of that forest alive anyway!”
“We’ll see about that!” Logan said turning away and stepping toward the gate.
The soldier chuckled. “Cocky aren’t you Logan? You are brave, but foolish! Just like your precious Katrina!”
Logan stopped in his place. His lips pulled downward and his teeth clenched so tightly, his jaw began to ache.
“But I forget, she wasn’t brave at all! She was a coward, a foolish, treasonous coward! And that’s all we’ll ever remember her - ”
But Logan didn’t want to hear the end of his sentence. He reloaded his shotgun and stormed back towards the soldier. He put the barrel of the gun to his former comrade’s face, and pulled the trigger. The resulting boom was deafening in the night air. And when the cloud of expelled gunpowder dust faded, Logan met a gruesome spectacle. The soldier’s face was shredded, his skull shattered, and the ground around his head was splattered with blood and brain matter, silencing his tongue forever.
Choking down nausea and shaking his head in disgust, Logan continued towards the gates. His rage satisfied by the death of another of Katrina’s killers, Logan felt a smile spread across his face. Revenge was sweet indeed. But this was more than revenge. This was justice.
He unlocked them and stepped through, locking the gate behind him so any others from the Scourge could not follow.
The howl of a wolf sent a shiver down his spine. What horrors awaited him in these woods? Would he be the first to survive where others had perished? It was time for the ultimate test of courage.