Author Topic: Chapter 7  (Read 9586 times)

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Offline Daen

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Chapter 7
« on: August 25, 2022, 04:40:47 AM »
Chapter 7

The silence was deafening. Gil turned slowly to face his uncle, and Meera’s face went still as stone as she did the same. “The first casualties will be ordinary humans, unfortunately,” Tyler went on. “As infected shifters go into Stage Three, they’ll start attacking anyone they find. It will be panic and chaos in the beginning. Then they’ll start dying themselves, as the disease overtakes them. But it won’t last more than a few days, as you’ve seen.”

“Why?” Gil asked after trying unsuccessfully a few times. It was really the only word he could think, to say, given everything he’d just seen.

“You mean you haven’t figured it out yet?” Tyler shook his head. “This virus only affects shifters, Gil! That’s its most valuable trait, other than forcing them to show the world what they really are. Everyone else is completely immune. If all of these shifters start changing, and attacking people openly all across the world at the same time, it will be impossible for them to keep the secret anymore! There will be thousands of examples, from witnesses, to CCTV, to cameraphones taking home videos. For the first time in history, they won’t be able to hide what they really are!”

“You haven’t answered my question,” Gil ground out, all of his shock and horror turning into anger. He took a step forward, but Tyler merely gave him an amused glance. “What’s your endgame here, Uncle Tyler? You have to know that a secret this big, being revealed globally all at the same time will trigger massive upheaval. This will be on the scale of the Black Death itself! It’ll probably topple whole governments! Are you prepared for that?”

Tyler only smiled.

Gil put a palm to his head. “What am I thinking? Of course you’re prepared for that. That’s what the campaign plans are for! You’re going to use the terror and fear to get yourself elected to a position of power. What, are you going to tell them all about Grimms, just to make sure that they know you’re indispensable?” He shook his head, trying to think of what would happen after that.

“The first outbreaks won’t spread very far. This disease just acts too fast for that. Let me guess. Once you’re in power, you’ll use the military to launch more of these rockets. Enough to spread this virus over the whole planet.”

“Most of the planet, anyway,” Tyler admitted. He admitted it, openly, as if he had nothing to be ashamed of! “We can’t wipe them all out. We’ll keep a few thousand in isolated parts of the world, and then unleash an infected one in a populated area every few weeks just to remind the public of how dangerous they are. We have to keep our guard up, after all. Constant vigilance,” he held up a clenched fist. “That’s what the people will need, when this is all said and done.”

“You mean after you’ve wiped out millions- hundreds of millions of people? They’re not even your enemies, Tyler! Most of them had nothing to do with the Third Reich or Black Claw! Most of them just want to live their lives quietly and normally!”

Tyler shook his head slowly. “You haven’t been one of us long enough to really look at the history of just how much they hate us, but shifters have been trying to kill us for thousands of years now. They’ve tried to take over the world at least twice, and I’m not about to give them another shot. This ends, now. We win, and they lose.”

“It doesn’t have to be us versus them, though,” Gil urged, taking another step. Meera moved with him, probably automatically. She was probably just as overwhelmed by all this as he was. “Grimms and wesen have worked together before. Hadrian’s Wall had both of them fighting Black Claw side by side! Your own files prove that!” He gestured back at the computer.

“Shifters, Gil. Call them what they really are!” He responded with perhaps the first tone of actual anger since coming down to the basement. “And look what happened to Hadrian’s Wall because of those shifters! They’re dead and gone now, because they couldn’t trust the people at their side.”

Gil threw up his hands and turned away, his mind still spinning. Tyler softened his voice slightly. “I had a hidden microphone in the room with you and Sanders. That’s how I knew you were coming down here to check the database. I didn’t delete any of it because I wanted you to know. I want you at my side on this, Gil! Every Grimm is precious, no matter what their histories or beliefs are. We’re a family, and we need to stick together.”

A horrible suspicion clawed its way up from Gil’s subconscious, and he turned back. “What about my mother? Did she stick together with you? It wasn’t the wesen she was hiding from, was it? I wondered why she never told her own brother that she was pregnant, but now it makes sense! She was hiding me from you!”

Tyler sighed, and looked up at the ceiling briefly. “Maria was always soft-hearted. She had a hard enough time accepting what our father did during the war, and then what he did afterwards to increase our numbers. After Dad died, she was all I had left. I told her my plans, but that turned out to be a mistake. That’s when she and Dan abandoned me. They were going to go to the authorities, so I did what I had to.”

“You mean you murdered them! What, did you have one of your military contacts make sure that my dad died in an explosion? Then, did you stab my mom to death yourself, or did you have one of your pet cops do it for you?”

Tyler’s expression hardened. “Whatever else she was, Maria was a Grimm. She deserved a worthy opponent, and she got one. As I said, I did what I had to. We all do,” he added, looking over at Meera.

Gil had almost forgotten she was here, given what he’d learned. After a moment, Meera stepped over to him. “He’s right, Gil. I didn’t know about this plan to spread the virus, but it’s a good one. It might be a year, or a hundred years, but eventually the shifters will try to take over again. This way, they’ll never get that chance.”

“What about Blip? He’s your friend, isn’t he? You both practically raised him! What will happen to him in this new ‘world order’ you’re insane enough to try to create? Catching the virus once before didn’t make him immune, but you have to know that already. What, will he just die along with everyone else?”

Meera gave him a soft smile. “I’ll always think fondly of Blip. He’s funny, and eager to please. But this is a war. Sacrifices have to be made if we’re going to survive.”

“This isn’t a war anymore! The fighting is over- Black Claw is gone! You don’t have to do this, and you know it.”

“But I want to,” Meera responded sadly. “You remember what it felt like when you first saw a shifter change, don’t you? You remember that feeling when you found out that you were being hunted just because of what you are? I lived with that feeling for years before I was old enough to start fighting back. I don’t want any of my descendants to have to go through that.”

“But you’re fine with wesen descendants being hated and hunted just because of what they are?”

“Think about it, Gil,” Tyler said, moving closer again. “When this is all over, we’ll be on top of the world! All Grimms will be, even idiots like Burkhardt and Rubel!”

Gil let out a frustrated growl. “Wasn’t that Bin Laden’s plan, though? To start a large-scale conflict between two huge people groups, in the hopes that he would be put in charge of one of them? You’re acting like the wesen won’t fight back. For all you know they’ll be able to stop this, and then instead of your insane Grimm-supremacist world, we’ll have a world at war!”

“They won’t get the chance, and you know that,” Tyler responded. “Shifters are the cause of almost all crime there is, Gil. All the violence and agitation here, and overseas. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were responsible for larger-scale events, like the Arab Spring or climate change. I know how much you hate fighting and killing, so just think about what the world would be like without them! The world will be so peaceful for a change, and your life would be so much better than it has been. You’d be respected, appreciated, even worshipped eventually. Women would be begging you to give them a Grimm child. You’d be a great healer, world renowned. You could go anywhere, and people would love you wherever you ended up!”

He took Gil by the shoulders and gave him an intense stare. “This is going to happen with or without your input. The wheels are already turning. You can either spend the next few months locked up in this building, so that you won’t be able to cause any trouble… or you can come with me. You’ll be able to show the world another facet of what it means to be a Grimm. A healer Grimm, instead of the soldiers or early-warning systems that most of us are. What’ll it be, Gil?”

It wasn’t even a contest. “Then you’d better lock me up right now, because there’s no way in hell I’m going to help you with any of this,” he said angrily.

Tyler nodded. Disappointment in his features was mixed with respect. “I figured you’d say that. You’ve got too much of your mother in you. It’s a pity; I was really hoping to work with you.” He looked over to his right. “Meera?”

Gil didn’t even feel the blade at first. It was in and out so quick, that he was barely even aware he’d been stabbed. As he collapsed, Tyler caught him and gently lowered him to the ground. “Grimms should be dealt with by Grimms, no matter their past. It will be quick, and mostly painless. I’m sorry, Gil, I really am.”

Part of him had known that this was inevitable, despite Tyler’s talk of just locking him away. Gil had hoped he was wrong about this, but at least he’d planned for it.

Feeling blood on his lips, Gil let out a strained smile. He was gratified to see them both look at him in surprise. “You… have a habit of recording people without their knowledge,” he managed to say, barely. “I guess… it runs in the family.”

He turned over slightly, and a phone dropped out of his pocket onto the floor. Blip’s phone.

-.-

From a skyrise a block away, Blip watched the FBI descend on his former home.

Gil had planned for everything, first by convincing Blip to listen in on the whole conversation, and then by making sure that he had the evidence he needed to pass on to the FBI. They didn’t know what was actually in the rockets of course, but just the presence of those weapons had been enough to convince them to act. Even now, Blip imagined the counterparts to the FBI, in various foreign nations, conducting similar raids at the same time. Most of them would be unaware of shifters and Grimms, but enough of them were in the know that they’d be able stop the entire organization. Tyler and Meera would be arrested, on a huge list of charges including attempted bioterrorism, and wouldn’t be able to carry out their genocide. So would their allies all around the world.

He missed Gil already. He’d flinched when he heard Meera’s knife go into and out of him, with his enhanced otter hearing. No, his enhanced Luisant-Pêcheur hearing. He was a wesen, not a shifter, and he should start using the right words.

He’d only known the medic for a few days, really. Aside from their conversation at the arena, he’d never even spoken with Gil for more than a few minutes. Still, the man had left an impression. Probably because he’d been so different from all the other Grimms Blip had met in his life.

They were all Endezeichen! He still couldn’t believe it, and he’d heard the evidence with his own ears! It seemed almost all Grimms were, with a few possible exceptions in Portland. Murderous monsters who didn’t value shifter-wesen!- life in the slightest! Even Meera, who he’d once fantasized about being with, had viewed him as a pet at best, and an experimental guinea pig at worst.

It was shattering. But somehow freeing at the same time.

He’d spent his whole life with them. A wesen, helping Endezeichen Grimms. He was a traitor, not that most other wesen would know it. He’d only ever met one other wesen, and then one of Meera’s strike team had killed him. His sick, twisted family was now gone. He had to find his true one, if any of them were still out there.

Mr. Harrington had told him his parents abandoned him as a baby. Not that Harrington’s words meant anything now. Blip could have family out there, waiting for him. He didn’t know where to start- he didn’t even know his own real name! He’d always just been a blip. An anomaly in an otherwise straight line.

Well, he wasn’t that anymore. Deciding on a whim to call himself Will, in honor of his fallen friend, he got to work finding his family.

« Last Edit: August 25, 2022, 04:57:15 AM by Daen »