This is the part where I warn you about MAJOR SPOILERS! Seriously, if you haven't played the game and are planning to, or you are unfamiliar with the game's entire storyline, I would hesitate in reading this. However, if you already know what happens, then please enjoy the story and share your thoughts in the Reviews section. York and Zach predict that you will like it. The coffee never fails.
He was like fire. Something always burned within him - the need to find justice, the urge to solve puzzles, the desire to catch what was most elusive. The flame inside of his heart always propelled him forward. It pushed him to do things that no other man would do. And that fire never went out.
He was like ice. Something always kept him cool under pressure - despite the unjust nature of the world, despite time slowly ticking away, despite the necessity to bring a killer down. The frigidness inside of his heart always kept him from jumping without looking. It helped him to fight urges no other man could resist. And that ice never melted.
That fire burned hottest when he was on the hunt. Each clue that surfaced and victim that begged for help only fueled it. Perhaps that was why he never lost his man. No killer had ever escaped from him before. They may have scarred him, may have worn him down to his very bones, but that fire always prevailed.
That ice became colder when he began the chase. Each hint that appeared and casualty that must be accounted for only made it freeze harder. Perhaps that was why he never lost his senses. No monster had ever made him lose his cool. They may have scratched at him and chipped away at his exterior, but that ice always remained.
It was when the trail grew warm that he picked up steam. This one took him all over the country until it halted in Washington. The quiet, unobtrusive town seemed like a distant memory on the map. But it was here…the answer to the mystery that had ignited his drive and his passion months ago. That fire would burn brighter until this was solved.
It was when the trail grew cold that he regained his senses. This one dropped off at different points on the map until the latest stopped in Washington. The dim, sad looking town seemed like a dull marker on the map. But it was there…the end of the long trail that made him more determined to stop this insanity. That frigidness would remain until this was solved.
There were moments when the fire would burn at different rates. When the townsfolk seemed confused, inconsolable or even hostile, he could feel the flame grow weaker. Why couldn't they understand what he was trying to do? Why couldn't they just accept that this was how things were going to be from now on? What did he have to do to make these people see reason?
But there were times when he could feel the flame grow stronger by the second. Bringing all of the clues together for an accurate profile, receiving the missing piece of the puzzle from the most unlikely person, seeing recognition in the eyes of these silly fools when they finally saw things from his perspective - these things kept him going.
There were moments when the ice would start melting and then reform. When the people seemed ignorant, territorial or even downright stupid, he could feel the heat creeping in. Why couldn't they just stay out of his way? Why did they insist on clinging to things that were long dead? What did he have to do to force them out of the line of fire so he could concentrate?
But there were times when he could feel the ice hardening by the second. Picking out that one emotion that gave the suspect away, putting the puzzle together even without all of the necessary information, seeing the people finally concede when they realized he was right - these things kept him going.
No one had been able to make him feel cold before. Then he saw her. The initial impression had been positive. She was easy on the eyes, a hard worker despite her complaints, and willing to do things that made her uncomfortable for the sake of justice. When she looked at him, a part of him turned to ice. He felt vulnerable, like someone had begun to peel away his carefully crafted layers and laid him bare on the floor. And he found that he liked it.
No one had been able to warm him up before. Then his eyes met hers. The initial impression had been negative. She was uncultured, a woman trying to survive in a male dominated profession, and unwilling to give him a second chance. When she touched him, a part of him was set on fire. He felt exposed, like someone had stripped away all that made him and threw him onto the ground. And he found that he liked it.
The more time he spent around her, the more he knew that he would never be the same. The heat that had flooded his heart now spilled out into his words and his actions. He learned to hold back his comments and his desires. Instead of pressing forward and taking charge, he took a step back and gave her the lead. He discovered that not everyone in this town was hiding a secret. Maybe, he thought, she could be the one to help him stay cool in tough situations.
The more time he spent around her, the more he knew that his life had forever changed. The cold that had surrounded his mind began to thaw and release a wave of emotions. He learned to become bolder in what he said and did. Instead of calculating what to do from a safe distance, he took her hand and jumped head first into the situation. He discovered that not everything in this town was one shade of color. Maybe, he thought, she could be the one to help him be more impulsive.
It only took one moment for the fire inside of him to die. Everything he had worked for, everything he thought he knew had been destroyed the moment he saw her. Memories of his parents' deaths came rushing back, but the flame would not ignite. Here she was, begging for her life. He could save her, but the fire that he needed to push forward was gone. He understood why his father had acted in that manner now. Not that it mattered anymore. The light had gone out…
It only took one moment for the ice to completely melt away. Everything he had built up, everything he thought he could protect had been annihilated the moment he saw her. Memories of that night came rushing back, but the water would not freeze. Here she was, crying out for salvation. He could hand it to her, but the ice needed to remain calm was gone. He understood why his father had spoken those words now. Not that it was of any help. The darkness had taken over…
Her compassion and understanding snapped him back to reality. In one motion it was all over. She had been the giver of her own mercy. As the spark went out in her eyes, he felt it reignite inside his body. With renewed vigor he hunted down his enemy. There would be no justice good enough for this man. He had taken away the fire he needed to survive. And now this monster would know what it was like to have his life quenched while he stared into his killer's eyes.
Her boldness and impulsiveness snapped him back to the present. In one motion the journey had ended. She had been the architect of her own salvation. As the light went out in her face, he felt the hard shell reforming inside his body. With renewed vengeance he drove the animal into his cage. There would be no punishment worthy of this creature. He had destroyed the icy exterior he needed to survive. And now this man would know what it was like to lose everything he had worked for while his killer calmly walked away.
It was oddly rewarding, after the nightmare was over, to give in to the cold. But as he slipped away, he felt a warm hand bring him back. She was still with him, even though he had failed her. He realized, then, what love meant. He had given up his fire to bring her back to life, and she had given up her life to bring him back his fire. Now he saw it. There was a way to have both.
It was oddly disappointing, after he finally awoke, to allow the heat to flow in. But as he regained his composure, he felt a cool sensation over his heart. She was still with him, even though her body was lifeless. He realized, then, what love was. He had let the ice melt to bring her closure, and she had given him closure by returning his icy barrier. Now he understood it. There was a way to live with both.
And so the man who was like ice looked into the mirror and saw the man who was like fire gazing back. That flame burned as bright as ever in his face and in his heart. To his right, she smiled at them both. Her calming influence would always be at odds with his fiery personality, but there was balance.
He couldn't help but smile back at them. As the ice reformed and closed his mind and his heart off from the rest of the world, he felt at peace. If there was ever a need, all he had to do was look for the fire she had left inside of him. There would still be balance without her, for she had become a part of him that would always penetrate his frigid personality.
Besides, they were both the same at their cores.
Fire and ice…the strongest opposition and the strongest combination.