It had been a long day, but no one could sleep. Ash had been asking questions all afternoon, and he had more than a few–even after they explained the situation repeatedly, he had trouble grasping what had happened. Some things had been easier to accept–namely, Yvonne’s death and Twitch being an otherworldly being–but his faith was a major roadblock when it came to the finer details.
Still, he tried to wrap his mind around it, and with each attempt he seemed to understand a little more. There was one detail that constantly seemed to evade him, however, and any attempts to get it across were bound to fail.
“She’s not your daughter,” Carter had said, his blunt statement seeming to hit a nerve.
“I watched Anne give birth to her,” Ash said. He buried his head in his hands. “I raised her. I watched her speak her first words, take her first steps…. I know she’s not… like us, but I just can’t accept that. Even if she is a god, I know she’s mine in some way.”
“Her body is a shell,” Jacob said. “It’s alive, but it has no soul. Dheania herself is driving it. But while the body and blood are your daughter, the being at the wheel is not. She doesn’t look up to you, she doesn’t love you, she will never respect you and any attempt by her to pass herself off as your daughter is nothing but a gambit. And you are nothing more than a pawn at best, and at worst, a snack.”
Ash bit his lip. The others could see he was conflicted, but it seemed that at last he was turning around. “If she’s not mine,” he asked, “then what was the point? I’m sure something as powerful as her doesn’t need a cover.”
“We don’t know,” Roderigo said. “She could have been hiding from her sister–her real sister–or it could have just been fun. Either way, she’s dropped her facade and trying to pretend she’s yours is going to get you killed.”
“Was she ever?” Ash looked up, his eyes filled with shock. “Was she?” he asked again, and when he got no answer he stood and began to pace.
Finally, Fiona said, “We don’t know. Twister says that it’s possible she wasn’t always aware of who she is, but she’s been aware for a while now. Either way, she was always Dheania.”
Ash stopped pacing. “So… do we kill her?” he asked. It was clear he still felt an attachment to her, but no one could blame him. For ten years he’d raised her as his own.
“I don’t think that’s possible,” Jacob said. “It’s beyond David and Goliath. It’s a mortal who is made to die trying to kill a creature that may have existed before the universe was even born. It would be like a fly trying to swat an elephant.”
Ash covered his mouth, and his eyes began to glaze. “I think I’m going to be sick,” he said, and he raced down the hall toward the bathroom.
Pepper smirked. “I think that went well,” she said, her voice lacking any hint of sarcasm. Carter glared at her.
“So what do we tell Sabbath?” Fiona asked. “I mean, it’s hard enough for Ash to swallow, what do we tell her twin sister?”
“What if,” Roderigo said. He began to move toward the center of the room. “What if she already knows?” The group stared at him in shock. “They’re twins. Twins are known to be more in tune with each other than any other family member can be. There was that case, in Wales, where two twins who only spoke to each other, and in a language only they could understand. They mimicked each others’ movements perfectly, even to the point of synchronizing their eating habits. They were so dependent on each other, that when their therapists attempted to separate them they went catatonic. It’s the most extreme case I know of, but not the only case.”
“What’s your point?” Pepper asked.
“My point is the bond between twins makes them connect to each other on levels that normal family members can never reach. Assuming Sabbath was able to make a connection like that, it’s highly likely that she at least suspects that Twitch isn’t really her sister.”
“We won’t know unless we ask her,” Carter said, “and I doubt that’s a good idea.”
The sound of small footsteps could be heard coming down the stairs. The group turned to see Sabbath standing on the last step, smiling.
“Like my room, Sabby?” Fiona asked.
“It’s great,” Sabbath said. “I love your collection.”
There was a twinge in Carter’s chest, uncomfortable but painless. He wondered if Roderigo was right. After all, the bond between the twins was close, and yet this girl seemed to have no problem with leaving Twitch behind. There was no shock, no fear from watching her sister dissipate, and no stress–if he hadn’t known better, he would have assumed that she had never had a sister at all.
It gave him the creeps.