Complete Consumption

- A Serialized Novel -

A child of the vortex, subject to an insatiable hunger, he fights against his own nature to consume.

Author’s Note: I think Tynan sums it up very accurately at the end of this part.

The Real Monster

“I have to believe that you would be the most interesting of any of your kind that has ever been captured or placed on trial.”

Tynan lifted his head, looking up at the matron, frowning. He did not know what to think of her words. He had not expected her to say such a thing, and yet he did not know why she would say it. He did not think that he would have a trial, even if they were used to putting the children of the vortex through that sort of farce. “Then… you have decided to give me a trial?”

“All your kind have trials, despite the protests of those outside. Many would say you should just die without any sort of trial at all. You are too dangerous to be allowed to live.”

“So you said before. You go ahead with the pretense that you are fair and generous, but none of you will listen. You did not listen before, and you will not listen when you put me on trial. A part of me does not even wish to bother with this. I know what it will be—a waste of all of our time. Inevitably, I will be sentenced to death. I will be executed, and all of this will have been no more than a pointless delay.” He rose, moving toward the back of his cell. “However, I believe that my story is worth telling. I believe that it must be told. I do not know that anyone will listen, now or ever, but someone must say that I was different, that the children of vortex are not always monsters, and that we could overcome our hunger and our nature if only we tried. If not for me, then perhaps for someone else who comes along, another of my brethren or even just for future generations. If Luna, a human, someone you consider unenlightened, can learn to see beyond what everyone assumes I am, what I told her I was, then perhaps there is still some hope.”

The matron folded her arms behind her back, pacing outside the cell. “You want hope now, do you? What would you know of hope?”

He sighed. “I have known a great deal of it. I hoped for many things when I was with Luna. I thought I could have control over my hunger—she was willing to hope with me and try to help me find that control. She is the sort of person that makes you believe in the impossible. That, I understand, is part of hope, isn’t it?”

The matron frowned. “I do not see how you can speak of all these things. I do not know how you know of any of it. You should not care or pretend to care. You defy everything, make almost a mockery of it, and yet your sincerity contradicts that. You believe what you are saying. You think you are different.”

“I have made no secret of that. I am different. I know that. You refuse to accept it, but that is not unexpected.” He leaned against the back wall. “When will the trial be? I want to have my chance to tell Luna what she should have heard before. It might never get to her, it might only be seen by descendants or people who never knew her or how special she was, but I will put those words on record when I can. I must do that for her. It is the last thing I can do for her.”

The matron shook her head. “Why does it matter so much to you what she does or what you can do for her?”

“I told you—she is my friend.”

“Yes, so you keep saying.”

Tynan glared at the matron, angry. He hated how unwilling they were to listen. She would not hear or accept a word he said, and it frustrated him so much that he almost wanted to hurt her. He’d never felt like that before, and he did not like feeling this way. He hated her.

He’d never hated anyone before, had he? He had hated things and feelings—hated not being able to touch, hated his fear of losing Luna, hated how he could not help her or keep her with him always, and he hated hurting her, but he did not know that he had ever directed hatred toward a single person before, not even Luna’s father, as much as that man had done to hurt her.

The matron, though, Tynan knew he hated her. He didn’t know how to feel about this, not at all. Why was there such a thing as hate? Why did it create this anger and division? He did not understand, but he did not want to know more about hate. They were teaching him, but he did not want to learn.

“I can have friends. I doubt, very much, that you do. If you are so willing to do this to me, if you are so cold and unmovable, if you refuse to hear, then why would anyone ever want to be your friend? Alvin and Luna want to be mine, and I do not understand that, but I can understand why you have none. You inspire hatred, not affection.”

She smiled. “The amusing part is that I would have said that of you. You are a black hole, after all. You are the monster.”

“No,” he said, unable to help a strange sort of smile. “You are.”

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