Rush Of Blood To The Head, part 6.10.
“Are you… are you sure about this, bro?” Imoen gasps, trying to catch her breath. She appears to be still half-asleep and trying to keep up with me then is not an easy thing to do. The unusually cold night makes me want to hurry up with this vampire hunting - luckily the Graveyard is only a few minutes walk away.
“Will you sh… oh, I’m sorry Im,” I turn around to look at her apologetically, “it’s just that you have been asking me this question every five minutes since I woke you up. You were so loud for a master rogue, I wonder how we didn’t wake up Viconia… do you always sleep embraced, by the way?”
“Lately yes,” she replies nonchalantly, “boy, am I gonna get yelled at, in the morning… Vic might never forgive me such recklessness…”
“Heh, isn’t this cute – I am worried about receiving the same treatment from my significant other…” I chuckle, “but what we are doing will be pretty safe for us, Imoen, while Jaheira and Viconia might be in a great danger…”
“I dunno… I’m more concerned about you using those lobster powers… I hope that you know what you’re doing,” Imoen only sighs.
“Umm, I am sure that using them once won’t make a huge amount of difference, Immy,” I smile at her encouragingly, “relax, everything should go just fine… here we are, now do you have everything with you?”
“One Invisibility spell, a couple of invisibility potions in case the spell runs out, Elhan’s vials and a pair of wooden stakes… I’m all set,” Imoen proudly declares.
I open the creaking gate and we pass inside the graveyard, sticking to the shadows of the crypts and carefully proceed towards the entrance of Bodhi’s lair, knowing that at this time of night there is a great chance of us being suddenly surprised by a random vampire, gone hunting. We make it to the door leading into the lower crypts without any difficulty and I open it to look inside the dark emptiness.
“Any famous last words?” I look at Imoen, who is hopping form one foot to another in order to warm herself.
“No… I don’t think so… oh, wait! Crap! You didn’t tell me what am I supposed to do with that elven holy water…” she exclaims.
“Well, I don’t know either… I guess you should splash Bodhi with it, when you have a chance – I can’t think of anything else. Just be careful and don’t get into my way and watch that your invisibility doesn’t get dispelled,” I warn her.
“Yeah, yeah… now you are repeating yourself every five minutes, it’s bloody annoying,” Imoen grumbles, “now, are we going or not?”
I turn around to descend into the crypt, Imoen following me as silently as possible. We hug the walls, using all our stealth to avoid some minor undead critters and giant spiders that infest the passageways. I know the way from my memory and soon we arrive to the set of blue doors – they have not been placed back after the mage’s golem crushed them from their hinges. Imoen sneaks over to peek inside and from the look that she gives me I understand that there are plenty of vampires inside…
“Geez… there must be at least a dozen of them, there… and I didn’t even see Bodhi amongst them,” Imoen explains.
“That’s ok, I know where she is hiding, I’ll track her down,” I try to sound reassuring, but in the same time I am worried as I have no idea exactly how much control I will have over that… thing.
“Now cast your spell and stay away from me or you might get hurt… make sure that you have stoneskins cast before that, sis…” I tell her.
“Really… you don’t have to explain me everything, Theo…” she pouts before proceeding with the spells and soon enough I am alone in the huge hallway. I close my eyes and try to concentrate - soon enough Bhaal responds my invitation.
“SO YOU DECIDED TO USE MY ADVICE – HOW WISE OF YOU, SON,” Bhaal sounds pleased.
“Just this one time, Bhaal… you won’t trick me into using your gifts again,” I retort.
“ONCE YOU HAVE SEEN THE BENEFITS, IT WILL BE HARD TO REFUSE,” Bhaal laughs.
“Good luck trying to convince me, daddy… now, will you give me the power this once or no?” I become impatient, knowing that the duration of Imoen’s spell is not everlasting.
“ENJOY YOURSELF, SON,” Bhaal’s voice booms in my head and suddenly I feel that my awareness of the surroundings has diminished almost completely… I don’t feel my own body and my vision is very blurry. It seems as all my senses have deserted me and I am frightened at how very little control I have over my body. I know that something drags me forward, even if I can hardly feel my body moving… a smell, so alluring and tempting… is it blood?
I can hardly make out the outline of the room I am in, but I know well enough where I am… somehow, my legs have drawn me into the room, full with vampires and now my body is methodically smashing and slashing them to pieces. Vaguely, I can discern flying body parts and showers of blood all around me, but the instinct is too hard to control… it drags me from one body to another, leaving only shattered corpses in my wake.
“CONTROL WILL COME WITH PRACTICE, SON,” the voice says, “MEANWHILE, RELISH THE POWER!”
“I… I don’t want to practice this, you monster,” I fight back weakly, barely conscious of what is happening around me, but the instinct draws me down the passageway, leading me towards the next group of victims… I know well enough, that had any of my friends been present here, the instinct would make me attack them and I would have little hope of fighting the Slayer back and preventing the tragedy.
I know that I am in Bodhi’s throne room now, again tearing up her servants to pieces, one by one. My current victim that is being pummeled by the creature’s claws, is desperately pleading for mercy… and since it takes me that much longer to make minced meat out of this one, I conclude that it is Bodhi, herself. Knowing this increases my anger tenfold and Bodhi’s screams are intensifying, so shrill that they burn my ears, complementing the cracking noises that accompany the breaking and shattering of her bones… she ceases her struggles finally as her skull is squished as easily as an eggshell and she slowly slides down on the floor in a sea of blood.
The instinct is satisfied… there is no one else to kill, I realize as I feel my full awareness and control over my body slowly returning.
“I AM PLEASED WITH YOU, SON,” Bhaal sounds satisfied, as I silently watch over the carnage that I have caused.
“Im? Immy? Are you here?” I scream aloud and jump suddenly as someone jerks me by the hand and I see Imoen slowly becoming visible. She looks rather pale and I can fully understand why, looking at the aftermath of slaughter at our feet.
“That… that was… um, Theo… I am not sure if I want to see that again… Theo, I don’t want you to… to become that thing…” she is close to tears and I hold her firmly, until she calms down.
“I… I didn’t even get to use that holy water… I was so scared that I could hardly move…” she looks at me solemnly, “promise that you will never ask for this power again. Seriously. Promise me that, brother.”
“I promise Immy… you know, it scares me as much as it scares you,” I strike her soft, black locks, “but we have to finish the job – now get that stake and pierce Bodhi’s heart, that should probably release the part of your soul…”
“Do… do I have to?” she looks slightly disgusted.
“I am not sure, but I think it would be better if you would do it – maybe it won’t work if I did it,” I muse.
“Shucks… oh well, I suppose I will just have to be brave…” she smiles weakly and crawls towards Bodhi’s crippled form.
“Theo… err… where is her heart?” I hear her asking after a little while.
“The left side of her chest, I thought you knew.”
“Err… I know that, but… you see, her ribcage is open and the heart is… well, it is not inside… ewww…” Imoen is trying hard to oppress the disgust.
“Oh… I understand… err… I think I see it…” I point at a tangle of bloody tissue, nearby Bodhi’s corpse.
“Do you expect me to… stake that?” Imoen asks slightly shocked, but as I stay silent, she reluctantly crawls over and places the stake over the bloody mass. I turn away in aversion as I hear a loud splash and a split second later, Imoen is busy throwing up…
“Well, feel any different?” I ask her as she finally rises from the floor and wipes her face clean.
“Hey! It’s a great feeling! It’s… it’s… almost as good as a huge portion of vanilla-strawberry ice cream! Boy, I can’t wait to tell Vic the good news, come let’s ditch this joint! Theo… Theo, what is wrong with you? Your face – it is so pale… what is wrong? Speak, brother…” Imoen’s joy is quickly replaced by concern as she shakes me by the shoulders, but I don’t feel a thing.
What is wrong with me? A sharp pain, like a shocking discharge of electricity pervades through me, and suddenly my legs grow so weak that they can’t keep me upright. I fall on the ground, screaming in pain as one powerful convulsion after another grips my body and the pain increases with every each of them… it is so intense that I almost lose my consciousness, but somehow through the waves of pain I can feel someone holding me and whispering something calming to me… the last thing I register before the darkness overwhelms me, is the feeling of coolness in my throat as Imoen empties a healing potion in hopes to lessen my suffering…
Rush Of Blood To The Head, part 6.10.
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