A Fool's Game

Disclaimer: Characters and Premise are borrowed from the show "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer."

I can't even grieve for my uncle. I warned him that people would die, it only seems fitting that he should be one of the first to fall.

Especially after his spiel on serving vengeance rather than justice. Vengeance is an evil master, it gives no satisfaction and it always hungers.

What the demon Angelus did to my ancestor was awful. He seduced then killed a beautiful young girl who should have had her whole life in front of her. The loss of a child is a loss to everyone. Yet the damage Angelus did to my people was much less than the toll vengeance has extracted from us.

For a hundred years we have been obsessed with tormenting an unfortunate soul that isn't even responsible for the crime it suffers for. Angel is not the demon which killed that girl. He's a good person, loving, protective and sweet. He is not capable of the things that the demon is guilty of.

My people's choice of punishment is ridicules as well. The demon wasn't capable of suffering deeply enough for us so we called back the soul of a long dead boy who was as much a victim of the demon as the daughter of my tribe. That boy we didn't even have to punish the demon's action caused him more pain than we ever could.

I was raised to believe in the rightness of my people's actions but meeting Angel, Rupert, Buffy and the others forced me to re-examine those beliefs.

They do things because it is the right thing to do, my people are angry because Angel is saving people instead of drowning in despair.

For decades Angel existed at the fringes of society so guilt stricken he could barely bring himself to kill the rats he fed off of, because he felt they were more worthy of life than he was. Back then my people were happy, well except for their fear that he'd take his own life and escape their punishment that way.

They actually used to send people to talk to Angel about his Catholic heritage to discourage him from committing suicide. We not only wanted him to suffer we wanted to watch his pain.

In the end it's all we had, our whole existence was centered on the misery of one unfortunate boy, it was pathetic.

But not our crowning stupidity, that was reserved for the loophole in the curse. We left the demon a way back into this world. One of the most brutal vampires Europe had ever known and we leave him an opportunity to wreck havoc on the world again. What is the sense in that?

Taking his soul back didn't hurt the demon, it revels in its rediscovered freedom. But it does harm the world at large, most particularly the girl who dared to love Angel.

Buffy asked me what she was being punished for, I couldn't tell her she was being punished for my people's shortsighted vindictiveness, but it's the truth.

She is the one who bares the burden of having killed her lover, she is the one who will have to destroy the demon who bares his face and possesses his memories.

My people's vengeance punishes the world, it punished the boy Angel had once been, it punishes a girl who was born a century after the crime was committed, but it leaves the demon responsible for that crime untouched.

Vengeance is a fool's game, and I am ashamed of my part in it.



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