Riftline 1.5

//Evrika Tower//

“This can take one of two courses. You can either call for help and I level this whole tower, or be still and listen to me.”

Katryn had wrapped her hands around his metal alloy wrist, struggling in his grasp until the options were given. As much as her gut instinct told her to scream at the top of her lungs she knew he had the ability to flatten the tower and kill everyone within. She had made him after all. With a shaking hand she held up two fingers to indicate her choice, the grip around her throat too tight for her to speak. When he finally released her she slid off the desk to drop to her knees, gasping for air while he backed away to flop on to a couch on the other side of the room.

“I realize this is a tragic time but you must hear what I have to say,” Wintier made himself comfortable, not a shred of remorse or sympathy in his tone, “The death of your daughter is not a random act of violence. She’s part of an intricate plan to better the world.”

“…you killed her?” she whispered, not daring to go a decibel above what he approved of, tears already threatening to spring again.

“Yes, I executed her myself.”

The sorrow turned to rage, Katryn rising to her feet and preparing to lunge at him with shaking fists but he held up one single finger which stopped her in place. The atmosphere of the room had already been tense, now it felt like the moment just before the first crack of thunder broke the peace. She wanted to tear him apart, she wanted to throw him through the glass and watch him plummet the dozens of stories to smash against the ground. It all would have been fruitless, he was superior to her by far in so many aspects she didn’t dare to count them. That’s how she built him.

“It’s all part of a grand redesign of society,” Wintier went on, anticipating her question of why, “You promised me your daughter in exchange for what I have given you. By rights I could do whatever I pleased.”

“You were supposed to marry her, not kill her,” Katryn still had her fists at the ready, though now she was digging her nails into her palms to try to keep some semblance of self control, “You were supposed to protect her.”

“The agreement was that I would protect her from the coming war, of which I have done since she will never see it now,” he rose from the couch, closing the distance between them in a slow prowl, cold white fingertips brushing Katryn’s cheek as he slyly smiled down at her, “Yet, you knew I would do such a thing that’s why you have a clone of your daughter down in the labs. That’s why she felt unwell last night, a side effect of the synapse download.”

“How-?” she had started to say, the surprise of him knowing she had cloned her daughter overrode all other emotion. That particular project had been kept off the books, there wasn’t even a memo in an email box anywhere. Either he had been to the labs himself or she had a rat hiding in her staff.

“You’re predictable,” he answered before her entire question could be said, “You never wanted to surrender your only daughter, yet the problem is now that clone can never come to light. The murder is too publicized because of your stature and the manner in which she was slain. You may change the clone’s genetic material for a different appearance but it won’t suffice. I have effectively killed your daughter and every copy you could ever make of her. You will never have her again.”

Caution was thrown out the window, Katryn’s hands curling into fists again to pound against his chest as she wailed in agony. She knew he was right and it stung worse than the death of her daughter, her child’s entire existence halted. Wintier let her hit him, he didn’t flinch as she tired herself out to the point of dropping to the floor, sprawled out as she clawed at the carpet. Tears streamed down her face, no longer caring if anyone heard her or not, there was nothing more he could do to her as punishment if she disobeyed. All he did was watch her fall, hands folding behind his back as he waited for her to quiet down.

By now Bianca had arrived, quickly closing the double doors when she saw Wintier. Her first instinct was to call security but she knew better, Katryn would have her head if anyone even had an inkling that the man was in the building. With her head bowed low she rushed past him, kneeling next to her boss to lay a comforting hand on her shoulder. Still the mother sobbed having met her wit’s end.

“Please, you’ve done enough,” Bianca pleaded, trying to sound stern despite being afraid of him, “Please just leave us alone.”

“I only have one more thing,” Wintier reached into his pants pocket, fishing out a small desktop trinket sized hologram projector. As soon as he set it down in front of Katryn an image of her smiling daughter and Wintier holding a newborn flickered to life, “If you stop cooperating my son, your grandson, dies.”

Before another word could be said he disappeared into a cloud of black smoke that dissipated along the carpet, leaving the two women in shock. With shaking hands Bianca retrieved one of the tablets that had been thrown earlier when he had first arrived, tapping her fingers on the screen to navigate the directory. She already knew what Katryn was going to ask of her, wanting to get the information as quickly as possible. The Pixie turned pale as soon as she found the answer, the mother taking the tablet to see for herself.

The synapse databank projected memories as most would see in their mind’s eye, anywhere from slightly to majorly blurry with muted colors and choppy audio. What Katryn saw was from her daughter’s point of view which was the birth of the child, yet the location wasn’t discernible. The newborn had the ears of his Elven mother and the eyes of his half-breed father, with the smile of an angel. He was the last remaining piece of her daughter, so tiny and innocent, and in the care of Wintier.

It took all she had not to break the glass and fall to her own death to end her misery.

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