“An impressive power,” Death commented. “Too bad it has no effect on eternals, Life.”
“Says you,” Christian retorted.
“He’s right,” DS chimed in. “I’ve tried to use it on both of you, but it didn’t work.”
“You’ve tried to do that to me before,” Christian asked the assassin. “How many times?”
“Every time we’ve met, Christian. You both must be immune to it.”
“Life,” Death began, “You know that no mortal can kill us. Only other eternals, like me, can accomplish that. And you know I will not do it. So you’re stuck with your life.”
“You know what, Death? Fuck off.”
“Such obscene words coming from one so cultured, it’s a shame you have lived among these humans so long. Let us get back to business. Get out of my way, Life. The assassin is scheduled to die.”
“The only way you’re getting to him is over my dead body.”
“Then let it begin.”
Christian positioned himself between Death and DS. His counterpart advanced on him. The assassin watched as Christian made the first move. DS was in awe. The two eternals fought as if they were dancing. Every move had a subtle brilliance. Each defense made way for opportunities to attack. He considered himself a good fighter, maybe even a great one, but these two made him feel completely inferior. DS wondered how many times before that they have done this. It seemed as if they knew each other’s moves before they were made.
With the battle at a stalemate, DS decided to become involved. Both of these men wanted him dead, but he felt the best hope of survival lay with Christian. So with Death in an attack move, DS flew in with a flying kick to his chest. Death, caught by surprise, fell to the ground. Now, with a clear advantage, Christian pressed his attack. Death, after taking some hard strikes to the face, started to waver. He looked at his two opponents and began to chuckle. “I will give you this round, Life. I will spare him. Remember this, though, you cannot watch over him all of the time. Sooner or later, your guard will drop and he will receive his punishment.”
Before Christian could respond, Death disappeared. DS looked at his protector, thinking of Death’s threat. Christian started pacing. After a few seconds, he screamed and began kicking the patrol car. “Damn it,” the eternal shouted.
“What’s wrong with you,” DS dared to ask.
“What do you care, mortal?”
“Because I owe you my life…and my daughter’s.”
“Bullshit. I care nothing for you. I just did that to piss him off. Nothing more.”
“Why save Bethany? If you don’t care, why save her?”
“I have seen that man take thousands of my family. I wasn’t going to let him take another one.”
DS looked at the saddened expression on Christian’s face as he said that. He’s not totally heartless, he thought. Christian, noticing DS staring at him, slapped him hard across the face. “Never again look on me with pity, you little bastard.”
DS took the blow in stride. “What do we do now,” he questioned.
“Now we go our separate ways.”
“What? What happens to me if Death comes back?”
“Then you die.”
“I thought you wanted me alive so I could kill you.”
“You already said that you can’t, so what’s the point?”
“So you’re just gonna leave me to die?”
Death, discouraged at his failure in the fight against Christian, decided to get back to his job and have an indirect role in DS’s demise. His travels took him to the Rosewood Hills Psychiatric Hospital. Nobody could see him, for he kept himself invisible. Looking around, he saw a few that he would be visiting soon. That made him smile. Then he saw the two he was looking for. Whiting and Father Michaels sat at a table in the corner. Slowly he walked over to them. He made himself visible to the priest. Father Michaels started to squirm. Death smiled again.
A man with a frightful appearance materialized right behind Whiting. At first, he thought he was hallucinating. That happened sometimes when he took his medication. Then he remembered that he hadn’t taken that pill for a couple of days. He started getting nervous. A look of fear crossed his face as the man continued to draw near. Father Michaels began to freak out. He started screaming and backing into the corner. Looking at Whiting, he wondered how the reporter remained so calm.
Whiting wasn’t calm, but he hid it well. Even though he couldn’t see Death, he could feel his frightening presence. A strong feeling of dread washed over him. As the orderlies came over to sedate the priest, Whiting sat still, too afraid to move. The drugs took effect immediately. The last thing Father Michaels saw before sleep overtook him was Death smiling at him.