Angelique’s delusions are as intense as my denial of them.  She not only thinks that we shall eventually be man and wife, but that Julia and I are lovers.  She sees me as a changed man because I no longer rage over her misdeeds.  To do so would be like raging at the wind.  No, no, that’s not correct.  It would be like raging at a little child who shows some moral flaw.  I must remember that she is not human and perhaps never was.  Our references for right and wrong are hardly the same.  Does she even possess them, or does she simply understand “I can have” and “I cannot have”?

Shortly thereafter, Julia’s journal was stolen by Angelique, forcing her to admit our entire future-history.  My hope is that this vast perspective might heal her.

Heal her?  What am I thinking?  She murdered Roxanne.

Why does this distract me from my woe?  Is my woe as profound as I say?  Is my preoccupation with Angelique more profound?  I claim indifference.  Yes, I have it.  I have it (to some extent) toward what she does.  I know that it is evil, and I know that it will cause harm.  Instead, I find myself more concerned with why she does what she does.

My only explanation for this is that the both of us lost our humanity long ago, and in that, we share something.  There is equal blood on my hands, and I do not allow myself to feel sorrow for it, perhaps because there is so much sorrow to feel.  I can blame Angelique for making me what I am, but many of the lethal choices made by me were just those: choices.  When I made them, I made them as something, well, not more than an human, but separate from one.  So very much like her.

The differences?  My remorse.  The fact that I strive to embrace humanity at every turn.  The truth that many of these deaths have been necessary casualties occurring in the pursuit of greater goods.  In that sense, the sense of my motivations, I have retained my humanity.  But I have seen generations born and die.  I have seen the hand of death wipe away the beloved.  I have seen humans made monsters and vice-versa.

I understand her tantrums and myopia.  But in that limited vision, I simply long for her to see one good thing as an example of what is possible.  Even her own reflection.  For the good in Angelique is as sincere as the wicked.  More than anything, I pity her.

Tonight, I must destroy Roxanne to prevent her from rising.  This is a terrible necessity, but it is a part of life whose edge is gone.

Death is business.



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