Jim used the distraction of Spock's escape from the hangar to cover for him as he darted down corridors he knew wouldn't be used in case of emergencies like these. The phaser sat on his side, but Jim made a promise to himself that he wouldn't use it unless absolutely necessary—and that necessary's name was Nero. Surely, his father would be the first told of the intruders and the vessel that was currently being stolen and he would react as Jim expected he would. He'd sooner go after Spock than him, but one had to be cautious. Nero knew no one else aboard would harm him out of the bond they all shared, so it came down to either restless fighting until he or whoever he sent gave up, or Nero came after him himself. Jim was betting on the latter.
All kinds of klaxons and alerts sounded letting Jim know that Spock was doing well. He heard shuffling of feet some corridors away but kept himself hidden from view in little places he'd discovered when he was five years old. No one had caught him yet, and all the better to find Captain Pike.
Though Jim didn't feel very connected to Pike, the man had given him the opportunity he had now. Saving the man was the least of his worries since he'd sooner believe that Pike was killed rather than kept as hostage knowing Nero. However, he knew that at least attempting to save Pike would prove his loyalty to his new side. And now that he was captain, trust was very important if he wanted to make it back to the Enterprise alive.
If on the off chance they had decided to keep Pike alive, Nero probably would have had him placed in an isolated holding cell, rather than the Brig. He bypassed the elevators that would take him there and instead took an uncommonly used route to the catwalk chamber.
The catwalk chamber, though dangerous and where he'd very nearly met his death many years ago, was one place that could lead you to anywhere on the ship without having to use lifts or corridors. In order to avoid any other Romulans, Jim took this route and knew he'd make it to the holding cells quicker this way as long as he didn't run into anyone or slipped and fell to an untimely death.
When he entered, Jim had to stop and take a breath. It had been three years since he'd even thought about this chamber, and the shear mass of it overwhelmed him temporarily. The catwalks looked smaller than he remembered, and the empty space around him, larger. It took him a moment to compose himself and make his way across, careful not to remind himself that the paths had no railings to hold him in should he slip. Terrible design when you think about it…
Jim had almost made it across whilst holding his breath when a figure jumped in front of him and slammed hard onto the surface of the platform. The tethers holding the platform up made a small twang on impact, but settled quickly. Jim stood back, knowing it would only be a matter of time before he'd have to fight someone he knew—but he wasn't prepared for the one who had to do it.
His uncle stood in front of him, much thinner than he recalled, with his features drawn much like Nero's. There were no smiles, and the feeling Jim got from him was anything but homey. Both men stood facing the other, neither moving, only staring. Something was terribly wrong.
"Uncle," Jim tried with a steady voice, knowing that look from his father as one of true anger.
"I am not your uncle," Ayel started bitterly, "I am no more your uncle than you are Romulan." Jim narrowed his eyes, understanding what wasn't being said. "You are now the enemy." Ayel stated. "And as such—"
"No." Jim declared. "I will not fight you, Uncle. I don't care what Nero ordered you to do. I know I'm not Romulan, I know now what happened surrounding my birth and I understand who I am and who I'm supposed to be—but you, Uncle, you do not have to serve Nero anymore." He took a step forward, reaching out his hand to the Romulan, "Join me. Together we'll stop Nero and truly return as heroes. Don't you see? Nero is—"
"I know what Nero is." Ayel spat, stepping back. Jim's hand fell to his side. "He is my captain. He is my friend. He is my brother."
"He is insane!" Jim shouted. "Filled with this hunger for revenge! Topped with his hatred for a single vulcan that only tried to help and failed! What Nero told us was a lie! The Federation is not the enemy! With them we can find a way to prevent it from happening in this future and save everyone!"
Ayel's lips drew a grim line. "You speak against Nero—this means you speak against me—all of us! All of us who have raised you! Cared for you! Nurtured you!"
"I do not!" Jim cried, feeling heaviness in his throat. "I only wish to save you, Uncle. You and all of Romulus. Please, help me defeat Nero! You know it is right!" Without warning, Ayel lunged forward and tackled his nephew to the ground, placing his hands about Jim's throat and squeezing the life out of him.
"I know it is right…" Ayel barely whispered as Jim tried to tear his hands away, stunned by the unforeseen attack, "but I cannot… I belong to Nero…" His eyes turned black and his face snarled with pity, regret, anger, and confusion, "So you must die!"
Jim struggled under him, trying to fight for air while at the same time think of what he could do. He couldn't fight his uncle—he loved him too much. He almost gave in and let Ayel take his last breath, when Jim caught the single tear that dropped from the Romulan's right eye. In that single tear Jim could see all of Earth implode as Vulcan had before. He could not give up.
It took all his strength to do it, but Jim managed to break free from Ayel's grip and kick him backwards sliding across the tiny platform. Jim stood up quickly and prepared himself for hand-to-hand combat. Ayel, recognizing his stance, took up the same pose and glared down at his nephew.
"I will not fight you." Jim told him again.
"I am not giving you a choice!" Ayel darted towards him, hands drawn, but as he came to attack, Jim turned swiftly to dodge and swiped his foot to trip Ayel—but Ayel foresaw the move and jumped, instead planting a harsh punch to Jim's chest and knocking him back. Jim wavered close to the edge, seeing it was a long way down.
A foot came screaming to his head, but Jim blocked it with his forearm. Another kick came, but once again Jim blocked it. He ducked, dodged, and refused to hit back as Ayel rained offenses down on him. Ayel spun with a hard fist, but Jim twirled away making Ayel spin towards the edge. He almost fell over the side when Jim intentionally tripped him to keep from falling. Ayel hit the ground and rolled until he could grab Jim's ankles. The commander snagged him down and Jim hit the unforgiving floor.
Ayel rolled on top of him and pinned him, but Jim managed to kick him off without actually hurting him. Jim rolled away and stood up, facing his uncle from a small distance. "You will fight me." Ayel ordered, breathing slightly hard, "Or did I not teach you honour?"
"You taught me well in honour." Jim huffed.
"Then defend yourself."
"I choose not to harm."
"You are a fool!" Ayel shouted, clearly upset over something in his mind. And Jim was right to think so, for in that moment Ayel knew the only way out of this was for Jim to fight back and—kill him. He may have to follow Nero's orders, but as along as Jim fought back and won, Jim would survive. Thinking quickly, Ayel hit Jim where it would hurt the most. "I was a fool to think a coward would replace my sons!"
Jim paused, taken aback by the statement. His blue eyes were wide in disbelief. "Uncle, I am no coward."
"Coward!" Ayel barked with a stiff point. "I am glad you joined the enemy! Now I can hate you as Nero does! You will never earn your father's love and you shan't earn mine either!"
Anger began to rise unexpectedly in Jim's throat. "Uncle!"
"We killed your real parents!" Ayel continued with equal fervor. "We took pleasure in watching each vessel explode as we destroyed the evacuation shuttles," Jim's eyes blew in horror, "including the one with your mother! You are weak and a coward! I should have let Nero kill you when we ripped you from that whore's womb!" Ayel wasn't given a chance to say anything further as a tight right hook clocked his jaw and sent him flying back. Jim was on him quickly, tears stinging his eyes as he began to fight back.
Ayel was too weak to be a formidable opponent, and let Jim's anger wash over him as the human punched him, kicked him, and pummeled him into the floor. Romulans were not quite as sensitive telepathically as their Vulcan cousins, but he could feel every ounce of hatred in Jim's blows. He hated to do this Jim, but he saw no other way…
One last blow knocked Ayel so hard that he fell off the platform and fell on the platform below them. It wasn't until Jim heard the thud that he realized what had happened. Anger drained out of him like water rushing down a mountainside, "Uncle!" Jim called and rushed to the edge. He looked below and saw Ayel lying, bleeding and battered on the floor. Jim jumped down and was quick to his side.
"Uncle!" He called again, lifting his head gently. "What have I done?" Ayel, too weak now to fight, let his head rest in the caring arms of his nephew. Blood pooled from his lips and spilled down his chin, thick and green.
"You must finish me, Nephew." Ayel hardly got out. Jim shook his head.
"No! I won't fight you anymore! I can't! I'll—I'll take you back to the Enterprise with me, Bones'll heal you—"
Ayel hardly moved, but managed to shake his head also. "No, Jim. You mustn't. I have orders…"
"Damn your orders!" Jim cried. "It's not like you, Uncle, to say such things. You must want me to fight you… but why?" Ayel weakly smiled, Jim was always a smart one to figure things out.
"If I am dead, then no one can stop you." He coughed. "Please, Jim… you must stop Nero. There isn't much time." Tears found their way into Jim's eyes again and he tried to fight them back.
"Not without you." He took Ayel's hand and brought it up to his lips, kissing the knuckles that protruded unhealthily. "Of all the Romulans I have met, you were the most human, Uncle."
"Shhh," Ayel said, taking Jim's hand strongly into his and leading it down. "I have lived a long life, full of love, hate, abuse, regret, and you. Of everything I had, I was also given you and I do not regret that decision in the least. But," he coughed again, "I wish to see my wife and children, Jim. I wish to be free from Nero and see them once more." Here, Ayel lead Jim's hand to the phaser sitting on his belt. He pushed Jim's fingers open on the butt of the weapon, urging him to pull it out. When it was secure in his grip, Ayel guided Jim's armed hand to his forehead where he placed the phaser gently, but firm. "Give me my peace, Nephew."
Jim couldn't stop the tears, knowing what his uncle was asking of him. "No…"
"If you do not, I will fulfill my orders any way I can. Please, Jim, release me from my loyalty. Release me from Nero." Ayel set the phaser himself to the highest setting, the weapon still trained directly on his forehead. Jim trembled, feeling unsure and frightened. He couldn't. He just couldn't do this.
Long fingers entwined around his on the trigger. Ayel held the weapon with him now, but did not close his eyes in anticipation. He looked directly at Jim, regret and sorrow filling him completely, wetness running down his cheeks as he saw the coming future.
"I love you, Uncle." Jim choked out, knowing there was nothing else he could do, but he could at least tell the man he loved him to his face. This was Ayel's wish. For peace. To be at peace.
Ayel opened his mouth, the words fighting with him as his eyes slid closed and his fingers grasped the trigger with his nephew. "I love you too, Jim." Jim's eyes flew open wide in astonishment—
The blast echoed in the chamber.
The hand gripping with him released, dropping to the floor as Jim studied the phaser and the wound it caused to a now very dead Romulan. Green blood littered the platform and Jim, and silence was replaced with a soundtrack of crying. Jim threw the phaser angrily and clutched his uncle.
"I changed my mind!" He cried. "I changed my mind! Uncle, please no! Don't die! Don't! I don't want to! I love you!" he sobbed, clutching the unmoving body. "I changed my… I love you… no… no, no, no…" His voice became faint, echoing in the chamber softly. Jim buried his head into the chest of a creature that breathed no more, but Jim couldn't let go.
"Nero." He hissed, when the reality of the situation hit him. "NERO!" Jim bellowed through his sobs. The echo only added to his fury.
He would pay. Nero would pay.
This was hardly the time for mourning, but Ayel would not be denied his remembrance. It had only taken a few minutes, but using the fresh blood of his uncle, Jim painted the Romulan symbols onto his flesh—the marks of loved ones lost. Now that Jim understood Ayel had loved him too, it was his right to bear the markings of family.
Jim couldn't explain why he never saw it, but looking back, he could tell that Ayel truly loved him. He had just been too blinded by Nero to recognize it, and it had become too late to act upon it. But now, things were different. Ayel was right, if everything that he had seen and been told were true, Ayel had been the only one left who could stop him. Nero either needed to face him or suffer mutiny when Ayel was discovered dead in the chambers. It would not be long now. Nero's reign was slowing crumbling.
Jim checked each isolation cell individually, looking for Captain Pike, but turning up short. There wasn't any evidence that anyone had been down here in some time, but Jim didn't give up. Every cell would be checked before he moved along.
On the third floor, he stopped when he noticed a cell that was partially lit. Thinking it was Pike, Jim ran to the entrance and opened the lock. When he entered, he was greeted by a man hanging on the wall by his arms, immobilized with chains and looking as drained as a prisoner would.
"Pike?" Jim asked, unsure because the lightening didn't let him see the uniform entirely. When the man lolled his head up, only then was his identity confirmed.
"Kirk? Is that you?" Jim ran to him, making quick work of the bonds. "What the hell is all over your face, son?"
"We gotta move fast." Jim told him, ignoring his inquiry on the green markings. "Spock's handling the Red Matter device and we need to get back to the Enterprise." He forced open the last cuff and Pike dropped into his arms like a dead weight. He grunted with the man on him and turned around stiffly to escape, only to stop when they saw three Romulans standing by the entrance with their weapons drawn. Jim gulped, recognizing them as Chevak, Eron, and Nolen.
They stood in silence, each studying the other. Pike leaned over to his ear. "Don't just stand there," he barely got out, "shoot them. Where's your weapon?"
"I threw it away." Jim admitted.
"You what! How did you plan on a rescue mission without a weapon?"
Jim stared into the eyes of his friends, wondering what they were thinking right at that moment since they didn't understand Standard well and translators were normally issued to senior officers only. "I didn't think I'd need it."
"Just what kind of rescue mission are you on?" Jim didn't reply, he didn't have to. Chevak had put his weapon down and motioned for the others to do the same. They followed his example and Chevak ordered something in Romulan, before he spoke in Romulan to Jim. They all moved to the side, looking directly at the human.
Jim nodded, giving a small smile and started for the entrance. As they passed, Pike kept looking around for deceit and the coming attack, but none came. When they were safely out in the corridor, the one Jim knew as Eron closed the cell door and all tossed out their weapons. Pike quickly looked into Jim's face with scrutiny.
"What the hell just happened?" Pike had been taken hostage before Jim had admitted to everyone he was a Romulan spy. He figured this wasn't the best moment to announce that, so Jim gave him a neutral answer.
"Mutiny against Nero. They want us to win now." It wasn't a complete lie, but what Chevak had really said was that they were on his side now, not Nero's. To quickly escape before they were caught. What Hanaj had said had been true. They really were too weak to fight right now and Nero had run them ragged.
Once in the clear and heading for an area Jim knew they wouldn't be seen, Jim tried to hail the Enterprise. He shouldn't have been surprised that it didn't go through, but kept trying anyway. If Sulu didn't respond soon, he'd have to manually send a message to go on without them. As he went to clear the frequencies for a third time, a large jolt shook the Narada. Pike and Jim exchanged glances.
After Jim had left him to pilot the unusual vessel, Spock had managed to get out of the hangar and lead the enemies on a chase. Instead of going after his son, Nero had instead opted to chase after him. His detest and hatred of whom he was still evident.
Maneuvering the best of his abilities, Spock made it out of the hangar unscathed and flew out towards the drill tether. If he could destroy it, then communications and transporter functions would come back online. It took him a few minutes to figure out the controls, but once grasped, he was using the ship like a pro and set his lasers on the drill.
The Narada was already firing at him, Nero's message of death breaking out over the frequencies to match the shear disgust of the Romulan captain. Spock ignored him and fired.
The tethers didn't stand a chance.
Now I must destroy the Red Matter, he thought, and began to logically conclude how to do this.
Nero paced around the Bridge, his anger clearly written over his eyes and drawn brow. How had Spock managed to escape? That was an easy answer. It had been James—his worthless excuse for a Romulan son. It was good that Ayel was taking care of him so that he could focus on his true enemy.
"He's warping, Captain!" A helmsman reported.
"Then go after him!" Nero barked.
"But, sir, logically he's going to—"
"I said, GO AFTER HIM!" Nero screamed, threatening the helmsman with a clutch of his disruptor. The officer complied, gulping.
Nero watched the screen with intensity, furious that his drill had been rendered useless, but Spock wouldn't get away that easily. He saw the Jellyfish warp away in a blinding blink of light, and soon they followed after him, the ship lunging like a cripple. It was during this chase, the captain received a most disheartening report.
One of the last four women aboard the Narada came scurrying in. She was a nurse and was currently covered in green blood. She approached Nero like a scorned spouse, but kept her manners in check since he was the captain.
"I've come to report, Captain." She said plainly.
"The body count doesn't interest me, Nurse." He waved her off. She remained, clearly upset.
"No, sir, I'm certain you'd like to know this report." The captain faced her, daring her with his eyes to continue, but she didn't budge. She only reported the worst thing the Bridge crew could ever hear. "Ayel has been found dead. Phaser blast to the skull."
For a moment in time, everything stopped. Though they were currently blazing at warp speed, everything stood still. Officers turned away, unsure how to react, and some already began to fight back curses and hold their tears. Nero, however, only dropped the heavy anger from his face and looked like the nurse had delivered a punch straight to his gut. It looked at though his eyes had faded from angry black and turned into a watery brown.
"Ayel… is dead?" He asked so quietly.
She hesitated. "Yes, sir." Dare she continue? "Security cameras show that a particular Starfleet officer is one to blame." She moved her eyes around to everything but him, but thought better of it and faced him strongly. "It was Jim, sir. He's no longer on our side—he's no longer your son."
Nero's glare turned solid black again and he seethed. "Spock." He hissed. "It was Spock! Spock! Spock! Spock did this! Spock killed Ayel!"
The nurse was confused. "Sir, didn't you hear me? I said it was Jim, not Spock."
"He killed my brother!" Nero roared. "He took away my last remaining family! Spock killed him!" Glances switched around as the captain continued to curse Spock's name. Horror encased them as they realized the extent of Nero's insufferable insanity. Ayel's death had finally pushed him to the edge.
"SPOCK!" He raged and turned harshly to his helmsman with a direct point. "When we drop from warp, I want everything fired at that damn vulcan! Everything! I want him dead NOW!"
"But, sir, he still has the Red—"
"I WANT HIM DEAD NOW!"
As if on cue, they dropped from warp and saw in the distance Spock turn the Jellyfish around and prepare for a collision. Nero was shouting and barking orders to fire everything, to start shooting out people if they had run out of torpedoes. His arms flailed around like a child with a tantrum, tears streamed over his cheeks and his face was puffy with rage. But…
No one moved.
Not a single officer on the Bridge acknowledged a single order, but stood up from their stations and faced their captain with silent anger.
"What are you doing!" Nero screamed. "I gave you all orders! Shoot him now!"
"No." The helmsman dared. "No, Nero. We refuse to take orders from you anymore."
"This is mutiny, Captain." The other officer by communications told him, pressing a single switch on his console. "And I just sent a signal to the Enterprise of our location. We're going down with the ship."
Nero began backing up, furious but frightened by all the officers that were now crowding him in. "I order you to get away!" He was beginning to sound frightened as they all had about mutiny before. "I order you to fire at Spock! Get away! Back to your stations!"
"You're not the captain anymore." An officer said. Nero snarled, but continued to bark orders, all going unheard. So much attention was focused on him that all missed the impact of the Jellyfish into the hull of the Narada. The ship shook violently, more violently than a small vessel should have made.
The Red Matter had been released.
Three figures formed on the Transporter Pad at once, two of those figures together. Once finished, Spock was standing with his eyes closed and in what looked to be a vulcan prayer stance. Jim and Pike were arm and arm, confused but all smiles with the scenery.
Scotty cheered at the transporter console. "Wow! I've nev'r had to beam three people from two different locations to one pad before!" The man was truly proud and had every reason to be. Jim was certain they were going to die.
McCoy and his team rushed into the room, immediately taking Pike off Jim's hands. The captain looked to Spock who had now opened his eyes and looked perplexed to be alive, as subtle as the emotionalism was.
"What did you do?" Jim asked, a huge grin on his face.
Spock's answer was quick. "Logically, the only way I knew to destroy the Red Matter and injure such a large vessel was to—collide with the ship and self-destruct. The likelihood of my survival was negative. You must forgive me for showing minor surprise that I am alive." He paused and stopped to get a good look at his captain.
"Sir? Those symbols on your face—"
Jim didn't want to talk about it. "We need to get to the Bridge. The Red Matter is going to form a black hole large enough to eat us alive if we don't move fast," he told him while moving out into the corridors, "and—my family is still on that ship."
The Red Matter exploded simultaneously, each one eating the other to make a growing black hole near the hull of the Narada. All aboard her knew there was no way they would be able to survive.
Jim rushed out onto the Bridge with Spock walking in step behind him. Everyone looked relieved to see him and that gave him a tiny warm feeling in his heart. On the view screen, Jim could see the black hole twisting to life and sucking everything into its maw. There would only be minutes before they would become compromised too and lost in the gravitational pull.
"Uhura, hail them." Jim ordered. She complied quickly and just as soon as he had ordered it, his father's face appeared on the view screen, distorted, breaking, and angry.
"Father." Jim acknowledged with a nod.
"Spock!" He called over the calamity happening behind him. He didn't look at Jim, but kept his eyes directly pointed to the vulcan beside him. Something had changed in him, but Jim couldn't tell what. It was like his hatred and anger had become manifested in a strange aura around him. "You're alive! You're still alive!"
"Insanity has not reduced your observational skills." Spock replied stiffly. Nero focused on the vulcan and raged, not seeing anyone else but him.
"I'll kill you!" Nero snarled.
"Not this time." Jim offered politely, and finally his father looked at him, his eyes blown wide and a smile crossing his lips.
"Jim!" Nero began, and Jim raised a brow as his father had never called him Jim before. "You are still there! You can kill him! Now is your chance to make your father proud! Kill him, my son! Kill him and I will love you as you always wanted!" Jim's heart briefly caught in his throat. It had always been what he wanted, but the desperation behind his words and the soulless tracing of his eyes spoke volumes to Jim. There was nothing to gain from his father's love anymore. "I will love you, Jim! Just kill him! Kill him! Kill—"
Nero's eyes rolled upward into his skull and he fell hard to somewhere below the screen. In his place stood another Romulan officer, Salis the chief engineer. He looked tired, but mostly relieved. Others began to pick Nero up from the floor and carry him away in the distance.
"Jim, you are safe." Salis said in Romulan. "We are thankful." The screen distorted further but all could still hear him. "The mutiny was finally a success, Jim. There is no longer a need for you to stay. Go! Get away from here before you are pulled in too far."
"Wait!" Jim called, feeling frantic. "Are you all going down with the ship?" Salis nodded tersely. "But what about Romulus?" Jim didn't wait for an answer, but instead turned to Chekov. "How much time do we have before we're too close to the black hole?"
"Minutes, sair!" Chekov called, checking his sensors. "Less than ten minutes!" Jim turned back to Salis hurriedly.
"I already lost my uncle," Jim began, "I don't want to lose all that's left of my family. I may be human, but I'm Romulan at heart, Salis. I ask that you round up the remaining survivors and get to the transporter room. We'll beam over all that we can."
"But, Jim! That will compromise you! We are not worth—"
"You're my family, Salis! All of you! I must try!" Silence came over them, and eyes on the Bridge went wide. Jim didn't know he was speaking Standard though Salis was still speaking Romulan. Finally, Salis nodded.
"Acknowledged—Captain." Salis smiled, and then began making orders to the remaining Romulans for them to head straight for the Transporter Room. Jim was quick to turn and head there himself to make sure his family and friends made it okay. Spock stood in his way, but neither obtrusively nor showing any anger.
"We have little time to beam them all aboard and very little space to provide for them."
"I don't believe in no-win scenarios, Spock." Jim told him flatly. "I figured you'd know that by now." He pushed by him and went into the turbolift. Spock wanted to follow, but kept himself at bay. He was doing what Spock had done for his own people. He was trying to save them in the plight of danger. Spock nodded and decided to stay on the Bridge to maintain a safe distance from the black hole. A part of him knew the feeling and internally hoped they had enough time to save these people.
For Jim's sake.
Scotty had his hands full trying to rework the equation to fit and pull as many people aboard as he could. Jim was present, giving orders to officers as more Romulans were beamed aboard and having them taken to anywhere they could fit. They came six at a time, coming in, moving, more coming in, moving, over and over. Jim was getting dizzy but he was relieved so many had survived. He was certain to note the fatigued faces and the lack of weapons each Romulan had. They came peaceful, thankful, and with smiles to see Jim in command.
The Narada had begun with over 700 officers aboard her, but Jim had only beamed over 150. That was all that remained after the twenty-five years, the horrible Klingon prison, and those killed in action. Jim mourned for them, but as Salis, the last to be beamed over finally came, he took Jim by the shoulders and hugged him, tracing his fingers over the green markings on his face.
"Ayel would be proud, Jim." He told him.
"No," Salis warned, "thank you. For all that you have done and all that you have brought us. Truly, you are more Romulan than we." Jim smiled as another officer came and took the engineer away. Without anything to lose, Jim built up his strength and carried himself to the Bridge where he ordered a complete warp back to headquarters.
They had pushed it on time, and watching the Narada, his home, crumble like vulcan on the view screen made him homesick, but Jim let it happen. Piece by piece the ship was sucked in, but a frown wasn't to be seen on Jim's face. He was smiling.
"A good captain goes down with the ship." Jim said to himself, watching as the Enterprise began to warp away from the singularity, "goodbye Father. May your day find peace."
A/N - I believe there's only one chapter left of this story. There may be two, but I'm uncertain at this point. It was sad to see Nero become so encased with his insanity, and even sadder about how he reacted to Ayel's death. What do you think Nero was thinking about when he heard Ayel had been killed? Why do you suppose that was his breaking point?