"I'll do it again, and again, for her." —Elsie Bray
I'm living the definition of insanity. Repeating myself over and over, hoping something will change, but I know it's coming. Blood and betrayal. I've learned not to be fooled anymore. In any other circumstance, this mission would be hopeless, and I, a failure. Yet every time I come to that bitter end, I see a glimmer of who she was in her eyes. I know she's in there. I know that if I can keep her out of this, shield her from this world, I can save her. I can stop this madness.
At least that's what I tell myself these days. I thought I would grow numb, going through the motions. I'm not. It's always painful. Sometimes, I'm so angry at her for putting me in this position. There are times I want to end it all as soon as she finds me. Take her out and turn over in my cot, hoping this is all a dream. Save us all the trouble and heartbreak. But then we get there, and I see that look in her eyes—the one that tells me she's sorry—and I have to try again.
Then there were times I was weak. Gave in, hoping it would change the outcome. I thought it might save the world if we were a family again… It didn't. I couldn't live with the choices I'd made.
Then I'm right back where I started.
This time, I know what to do. The Vanguard has been keeping secrets. I was foolish to take them at face value. Clandestine missions to Mars… and beyond. Realms outside the boundaries of time. The Black Garden they call it. Darkness lives inside, beating, and pulsing. I believe it is the source of our misery. I'll see to its destruction… and I won't have to kill my sister ever again.