We have escaped the dark future of 1995 by the slimmest of margins.  Now, our only task is to prevent it.  No small task.

I have felt responsibility before, but never like this.  Julia’s bizarre actions resulted from Gerard’s bizarre control, but with the help of the young, blonde phantom, she escaped his grasp.  Elliot Stokes did not.  In my time… odd that I should refer to an era other than the 1790’s as “my time”… Elliot Stokes was the epitome of fearlessness.  In 1995, he was afraid of the very mention of the supernatural.  Nevertheless, he participated in a séance to reach Carolyn; one that summoned Gerard, whose very glance killed him.  Gerard then attempted such with Julia until the strange girl led us to a door off of the new nursery that led us to a staircase.  At the top of the stairs?  1970.

I do not know how or why, but I have discovered a staircase that transports one through time.

We are home.

We are far from safe.

The forces at Collinwood have been deadly in the past.  Angelique.  The ghost of Quentin.  But they were creatures of ritual and finesse and specificity and reason.  One always felt as if there were a fighting chance against them.  It was part of the ritual.  Angelique wanted me.  Quentin wanted Collinwood and David.

But what does Gerard want?  He rules a destroyed Collinwood.  He could have eliminated Elliot and Quentin and Carolyn years before.  So, why the sudden attack?  If I were a threat, why not target me?  Is he not strong enough?  Does the beast hold him at bay?  Perhaps it is the very reason that I am repeatedly bound to that loathsome thirst.

Gerard is very different than my past opponents.  He strikes for no reason, but not as a feral animal.  His strike is cold and deliberate and final.  He kills with a glance or touch and does not hesitate.  There is no respect or acknowledgement save a simple smirk.

How do you fight a foe who has no passion nor pattern nor purpose?  One who can appear anywhere and whose only goal is to terrorize and kill.

Evil does not frighten me.  Indifference does.  Shall we die after a glove has struck us in the face?  Or shall we die seeing only a shrug?

I sense that Gerard will not even give us that much.

I must think.  I must outmaneuver.  I must outlast.  The responsibility is mine.  But after all I have been through, I am simply not sure that I have the strength.  Not after the relentless barrage of attacks we have suffered.  It is as if a coordinated intelligence were attempting to decimate us, a force that tries, over and over.

The others look to me for steadiness, but what am I?  A broken, aging, loveless and unloved vessel for a beast beyond my control.  I may simply issue a warning to all and then leave Collinsport.  That would equal surrendering, but it would also equal survival.



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