Chapter 8: Realization
Words in italics adapted from Greg Cox's novelization and no, I don't own Underworld. Updated 2/1/13
Michael knew the moment he was a goner. It was when Selene stared at him with such a longing, he didn't know what to do with it. In a way it reminded him of Samantha, but that was where the resemblance ended. Because Samantha wasn't a fearless, legendary warrior. She wasn't the mysterious, lithe and strong woman in front of him. And for some reason that unnerved him.
"Stop staring at me like that!" he commanded.
"Why? Michael!" she said urgently, "Don't you remember who I am?"
On cue, a million memories pushed against the dam, threatening to burst, yet he could only spew out the story that Crane had spoon-fed him.
"Yes, you're the one responsible for turning me into this animal! You ruined my life and for what? Your misplaced, self-righteous quest to avenge your family?"
The words were unbearably nasty and Selene flinched. Some part of Michael knew the real story—the massacre of her family at the hands of vampires, but he brushed it off. For Michael, it was not enough. After days of people evading his questions, she needed to respond.
"ANSWER ME!" Michael rattled her roughly by the shoulders.
"I-I, Michael you can't possibly believe their lies! You were dying when I turned you; they're the ones who lied. It was Crane who found you, right? He has manipulated the truth, turned you against me!"
"And why? Why would he do that when you're the vampire and enemy here?" he threw back at her, unconsciously gripping her wrists tighter.
But she did not even whimper. Instead she turned her piercing brown eyes and something within Michael roused.
He felt her heartbeat pulse within his head... The more blood he took in, the more synchronized the disparate pulses became…until at last they merged in a perfect union. A feeling of ineffable peace washed over him, carrying away all his pains, fears, and doubts.
"No!" she resumed vehemently, "You can't possibly believe this. I can see that you already don't. I know you Michael," her voice dropped down to a whisper, "and you know me. So please…"
Michael shook his head, perhaps once he had trusted her. "I'm truly sorry, but I just can't trust you."
"So what? You'll turn me in? I don't think so, Michael. You wouldn't dare harm another person if you could help it," she said with such a certainly that made Michael pause.
"Give me three facts. Three facts and I'll spot the holes in all of them. That's all I'm asking for," she stated and Michael nodded.
And so the questions started, and with each answer, he was beginning to believe her a bit more. Especially when his world once again did a somersault with the revelation that 12 years had passed. His mind began reeling at its significance.
He turned his head and found her alabaster features mere inches away, "Do you see now? Come with me and if your memories don't return you can always leave. I won't ever hurt you, Michael."
And he believed her; saw the truth in her hypnotic eyes. Another memory made its way through the cracks in the dam.
She cradled his head against her lap as the blood flowed between them. She came back….for me. A contented sigh escaped his lips, and for the first time he wondered why exactly she had returned, and how she had happened to arrive in time to rescue does it matter? he thought. She came back…for me.
"I didn't feel like watching you die today," she said coolly, as though what had just transpired between them was no big deal.
Yeah, right, Michael thought. He wasn't fooled by her hard-boiled soldier routine, but he let it slide. If that was how she wanted to play it, he was okay with it for now. Let her have her shell. I've heard her heartbeat. I know how much she cares.
The past and present merged and he intuitively asked, "Why?"
He didn't catch her answer because she suddenly convulsed in his arms. She clawed at her throat as a black choker came to life. He recognized it from the weapons development department.
When she fell, he caught her, but two pairs of hands soon removed her from his sight. Crane and his men had arrived.
"Well done Michael! Thank you for distracting her long enough to not allow her to escape. I'm so glad you finally saw the truth."
Michael started to rebel but thought the better of it. Instead he gazed at Selene's body, being taken to god knows where.
Crane patted him on the back like a good dog and they all retreated in the same stealthy fashion they arrived in.
Immediately Michael's legs gave out and he fell to the floor, absolutely disgusted at himself for letting Selene slip so easily out of his grasp. He remembered too late.
But what was the alternative? There were at least a dozen Lycans with Crane and tipping him off about his current state of mind wouldn't be wise.
He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to visualize where Selene was. He didn't expect it to work when images of the forest and a person running invaded his mind. Not questioning this miracle, he soared to his feet and began chasing the visions.
He saw the clearing and the dead trees he gazed upon earlier. Perhaps Selene had managed to escape and if she was being pursued, he would come to her rescue.
He transformed and sprinted through the forest, so quick he did not turn fast enough to avoid the figure he collided with.
It wasn't Selene. But a little girl dressed in a blue pea coat.
Her eyes widen in astonishment and her lips parted. Michael himself was stunned that his vision was coming from this adorable petite girl. But taking a step back, he observed her widened stance and out stretched claws.
"What are you?" he whispered.
Her next response knocked the wind out of him.
"I'm your daughter," the little girl exclaimed.
"M-my wh-what!?" he choked out.
"Yes!" she said exasperated, "Where is mum-I mean Selene? She left days ago to find you." Eve caught Michael's suddenly guilty glance and quickly asked, "What happened?"
Michael groaned and slumped against the nearest tree. He was such an idiot for letting Selene go. It was the cruelest of all ironies that he lost her when he finally remembered. It was even crueler to realize that he had a daughter unbeknownst to him for the past 12 years.
"What is your name?" he asked softly.
A perfectly fitting name he thought; the first of her kind.
There was no doubt that Eve was his daughter. Her full lips and soft facial features were reminiscent of her mother. But her eyes, the deepest black and – he suspected her hybrid nature – came from him.
His last memory before the gap was the night before their escape. He had been checking on some last minute details concerning the ship that was to take them away from the mess that Budapest was becoming. Then he saw her, slender and powerful, running towards him, screaming his name.
He didn't think twice. He ripped his shirt off, transforming into a hybrid, roaring at whoever tried to hurt her. His mind blanked out after a projectile threw him in the water.
That pain had only lasted a second, but what he was now feeling was crippling. Tears of anger and frustration blinded his sight. He was angry with himself for forgetting the woman who had saved him, the woman he loved. He wanted to yield to the hybrid whenever he thought of his daughter held by those bastards, deprived of her parents' love. His newfound feelings for the creature here—part him, part Selene—were intense.
He looked up at Eve, who was waiting patiently in front of him, but holding back tears of her own.
Overcome by a sense of protectiveness and longing, he gathered the child tightly in his arms and stroked her hair, repeating the words, "We'll get her back", like a mantra.
For what was a dozen years apart when these meant seconds in an immortal's life? Michael would simply have to spend the rest of his life making sure both of them were happy, for they had all suffered enough.