“I…am touched, Eve. But when have I ever been ‘well?’” He licked his bloody lips and gazed once more over his shoulder to the child upon the swings. “Even with six years to think about my mistakes, to mend my shattered mentality I have still fallen short of achieving my goals, whatever those were. I am a figment of my former self, struggling to find a place in this world suitable enough for a misfit.” At this he drew from his coat a Nestle Crunch Bar, unwrapped it and picked away at the edge much like a child too occupied by to eat. His maroon gaze wandered from setting to setting, just to look at anything but Eve’s unwavering glare. As mysteriously beautiful as the woman was he could still detect a tinge of Deathseeker edge to her. Every word brought with it a reminder of the woman whose dark nature captivated and ensnared his senses. Even the manner, which she presented herself, now could not hide that which he knew her by first and foremost.
He could have easily answered her question, and told Eve the reason he’d come then be on his way, but it was far more difficult than the man anticipated. The questions he longed to ask were answered but brought with them a foreboding sense of responsibility. For quite some time it occurred to Faust that his youth made him naïve and stupid. Irrational thought was common with adolescence and he blamed such factors for his behavior, to justify killing Keiko. He would be damned if Keishen would do to her what she had done to him. In this sense he could relate with Eve, but Faust fell into the same trap he’d fallen into many times before. He was not being cold or malicious; in fact the man had believed his actions were noble though indeed they were not. By doing what Faust believed was right the man lost the respect his loved ones, became nothing more than a mad villain in their eyes. So came the slow spiral into obscurity.
Keishen turned him into that which he feared the most. Her.
“I didn’t wish for this, you know. What-or who I am-is a result of that madwoman’s doing!” The simple handsome features became lit with discontent and a tinge of anger then the curtain of oceanic blue to mask it all fell over his angular features. Faust did not bother removing the veil from his view. “I tried so hard to be the parent that my mother never was. I thought I could hide the secrets from Keiko and spare her the terrors I endeared under Keishen’s control, but I was slipping. How could I care for a child when I could not care for myself? I’m not proud of what I did, and I see the possible outcomes of more thoughtful courses of action but I was too young. I…I can’t bring myself to tell her who her true mother is, but doesn’t she deserve to know?”
A wave of unrelenting anger tore through his body as the images came rushing into his conscious. Remembering the pain his mother caused him, when she forced him into such a degrading act, taunting him every agonizing moment that drove on for what seemed an eternity. Not even time could do away with the nightmares that attacked the man in his sleep.
“Every birthday that goes by she doesn't think of the fact you wanted to kill her, she thinks of the fact that you gave her life -- and that now you're not a part of it anymore.”
“Eve, even if I do see Keiko again, and I really do, I cannot bring myself to tell her that her mother is-”
“-Papa, you said you would call me.”
Faust sighed heavily. Eve’Hana’s sudden interruption startled him from his onslaught of painful, repressed memories and back to the present. With his usual lopsided grin the man stood and took the girl into his arms. The child returned his smile and rested her head of raven curls upon his shoulder.
“I’m sorry. I guess I got distracted.” It was not completely untrue. He sat upright as they both faced Eve. “Eve, this is my adopted daughter. It’s complicated to explain, and I’m not exactly sure how it happened. At some point during our last encounter I acquired your DNA through a clump of hair particles from your scalp. When you left with Keiko my superiors decided to dismiss my failure to destroy Kieko. They decided, instead to create an exact clone of you, the very person they had been so fascinated in since returning me to life. This project would have been their revolutionary tool for international terrorism; consider an entity such as yourself with the advances of my regenerative qualities minus the complexities of life. An unstoppable killing machine trained to think, not feel and act rather than hesitate. And this was just the tip of the iceberg. Were it successful Xhane Corporation would have created their own private Deathseeker army.”
“If it had not been for you burning the place to the ground all this and more would have come to pass.” Faust breathed a heavy sigh, his fingers combing through the mess of tangled ringlets of Eve-Hana’s hair. “I believe I would be correct in assuming you knew nothing, but you have every right to know which is the main reason for calling you here. I did not do this for myself. Eve’Hana here is wise beyond her years. It did not take her long to force the truth from me, but in many ways I personally believed she had to know.”
It was unusual for a child to be approached by someone they didn’t know and not exploit some sort of shyness, but Eve’Hana did not back down from the woman who stood before. Large, dark-rimmed azure eyes peered up into those reflecting her own. To Faust it was like looking into a mirror that foretold the child’s path to womanhood, as if watching the cryptic transformation inside reality. Too mesmerized by this vision and confused by the constant narration of thought Faust took a small step backward and leaned his tired frame against a streetlamp, somewhat eager to see Eve’s reaction.