Chapter 32

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Nothing was going the way it was supposed to, everything was falling to pieces around me, every turn I took was blocked by yet another obstacle forever one step ahead of me no matter how hard I fought. I'd dug myself so deep into this pit, so many high hopes, so much ambition and I'd hadn't been able to see the set up in all of it. I'd been so convinced that I'd foiled the grand plans, that I'd achieved something that should never have been possible only to realise that it wasn't to be, that it had all been a part of Lucifer and Malick's grand plan all along and that I was still chasing my own damn tail trying to get all of us out of this mess.

Patrick had been changed, or was in the process of changing and I was pretty certain there was no way to reverse the process. Lucifer had found his key, the key to taking over all of Hell and Malick also had his though, surprisingly his plans were of a much grander scale. The old cleric had surprised me, obviously not in a good way. He was despicable and I couldn't let him go through with his plans – I just didn't know how to stop it not now we'd seemingly reached the point of no return.

"We have to find him, now!"

"And do what, love? This is over, we lost. Best we can hope for is to get out of this place with our skins in tact"

"No. No it is not over. It can't be over, we need to do something. Anything to stop this. We helped Jesse to remember who he is," I looked at the distraught expression on Jesse's face, he was experiencing a maelstrom of emotions and I was certain the volatile cocktail was due to explode at any moment. "We might not be able to change him back, but I'll be damned if we let him be a puppet for either Malick or Lucifer."

"Give it up Rayne,"Lucas sighed, slumping down into one of the chairs that surrounded Malick's huge desk, "I hate to say it but Frank's right, we should just get out of here before Lucifer and the Faces can get their claws into us. There's no place in Hell for any of us now, the best we can hope for is that we'll get away unscathed and unnoticed and that they'll leave us alone."

"Fat chance of that happening." Malick cackled beneath my weight still pressing him to the stone floor.

I'd almost forgotten I was pinning him down as I ran frantic scenarios over in my mind, but his words drew my attention back to look direct into his dull black eyes.

"No, I suppose there isn't, because you'll be the first one to rat us out now won't you. If your own plan goes nowhere you'll just go back to being my Father's lapdog until you find another opportunity to betray him, and selling us out to him would certainly buy your way back into his good graces."

"Then the solution is obvious." Jesse spoke for the first time, and he didn't need to add any more than those simple words for me to know exactly what he was thinking.

"You're right, he's a loose end, plus the whole damn universe would be better off if he weren't around any more."

I continued to stare down at Malick, knowing exactly what I should do, what I had to do for the best of everyone that I'd come to care about, but a part of me wished there was another way. He deserved to die, of course he did,for all the evil he'd committed, but a part of me deep down pitied him. He was a delusional fool with visions of grandeur, hoping to find a way to make himself better than he was born to be, wasn't I just like him,  in a slightly skewed and twisted manner? And above everything else I was exhausted. Tired of killing of death and dying and what I really wanted more than anything was for the whole damn convoluted affair to be over.

"Let me." Jesse said, offering me a hand to stand back up again. "He's the reason my whole family has been destroyed, that my whole life has become a shit show, I'll take great satisfaction in doing it."

A part of me was afraid of that, of Jesse embracing his new demonic nature and giving in to the baser instincts that would govern him for the rest of his existence. But much like his father there was nothing I could do to change what he had become, it was probably be better in the long run if he got used to it. Spilling first blood was a monumental moment, it should be something worthy of him, and nothing was more 'worthy'than Malick.

"You sure?" I asked, allowing him to pull me back to my feet.

Jesse nodded, "I need to be the one, you all need to go find my Dad. He might not be the same again, but like you said neither am I, he'll need help and I'd rather it was you than Lucifer that finds him.

"Don't worry, we'll find him. Meet us in the Void chamber when you're done, but don't take too long. I know you'll want to savour this moment, but they aren't wrong we do need to get out of here." I turned to Lucas and Frank with a grave expression on my face, "And I suppose you two should go grab anything you plan on taking with you, clear out my chamber too please Lucas, and I'll meet you both at the Void. I'll get Patrick then we can get out of here. I'm sorry to say I don't think any of us will be coming back."

"You shouldn't go after him alone, Love. You know Malick will have set a trap."

"I can take care of myself." I protested.

"No you can't, which is why we're still around. I'm going with you, Frank can grab supplies, he'll be able to carry more than either of us anyway."Lucas smirked and Frank shot him a dirty look before he stomped out of the room leaving me no further opportunity to protest.

"Well don't all go getting yourselves killed without me around to see it now." Were his parting words, muttering something else incoherent about being a pack mule as his footsteps faded away down the corridor.

"Okay, fine, let's just get this over with. Make sure you're there, Jesse, we don't want to leave you behind." And with that Lucas and I left the room, letting the door shut behind us on whatever Jesse had planned with Malick. He'd earned his revenge and a part of me wished I could be there to watch but bigger fish to fry and all that. What I hadn't planned on telling any of them yet was that I wasn't leaving with them.

I'd get them all to the Void and see them sent off to safety, but I was staying behind. As things were now we could run, we could lives our lives hiding in the human world above, but we'd never be safe and we'd never be able to return to Hell. I wanted to do one last thing to change that. I had aplan. It was probably suicide and it might not even work, but I'd never forgive myself if I didn't at least try.

Lucifer couldn't be left to get away with his plans. Malick might have had grander ideals but if the Cleric could see such potential in this power then I knew it was only a matter of time before Lucifer saw the same. The universes whole existence could come crumbling down around us and a large weight of the blame for such a potential catastrophe rested on my shoulders. I had to make it right, even if it was the last thing I ever did.

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