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change of heart


(Von Roar Estate, Germany – 1918)

Von Roar motioned with his hand, and two chairs slid towards Hans and Bren. That same unseen power then forced them to sit. The colonel, seating himself behind his own desk, put on a pair of black horn-rimmed glasses as he opened an envelope with a dagger. On the back of it, in gold relief, was a very large, ornate letter “B”. Breaking the seal, Von Roar, after holding it at arm’s length, read out loud:

“Dear Colonel Von Roar,

I am pleased with your progress with Hans. From your reports, his conversion is almost complete. If you succeed in your mission, I will extend our agreement a further five years.




Taking his glasses off, Von Roar rubbed his eyes, complaining, “I really don’t like these earthly bodies. However, they do have their little pleasures.” Looking at Bren and Hans he said, “Frankly, I like my assignment here and I would, as you heard, like to continue my employment with my master. You see, as long as I produce results, I am free to do as I please. Right now, I am killing quite a lot of people with my shock troops. I am continually amazed at what I can get men to do to other men with the right motivation. By my estimation, I have been instrumental in over 100,000 deaths in this current conflict. All in all, we are really doing quite well. Of course, the war is not going in Germany’s favor, but even if they lose, there will be blood. All in all, I consider it a win.”

An unfortunate turn of events

Turning his gaze on Hans, Von Roar said, “Boy, it is unfortunate that you have taken up with this Hunter. I thought you were coming along quite nicely. Yet, despite my best efforts, you seem to have had a change of heart that, I am sorry to say, is quite unacceptable”.

Walking around the desk, over to where Hans sat clutching the satchel with the documents, Von Roar held out his hand, fingers making a “give-me” motion towards the gun. Taking it, he reloaded the clip, inserted it back into the gun, and handed it back to Hans.

“Honestly, I never thought much of your manliness, but you were always rather clever. Therefore, I will give you one last chance. Kill the Seraph Hunter and I will allow you to live and, together, we will fix this mess you have made”.

Feeling oddly calm, Bren asked, “Why don’t you kill me yourself?”

Von Roar, looking surprised, shrugged, making a face as if to say, ‘Why not.’ Answering Brenzel’s question, he said, “When the Judge exiled us to Eden, He imposed certain limitations. One of these “rules” is that we cannot kill directly. In fact, our only real power is to tempt others to do “our will” Then, finishing with a slight smile, Roar said, “Fortunately, humans are easily manipulated”. Then, as if coming back to himself and the situation at hand, Roar inquired with deadly earnest as the house shook, “Why are you not afraid, Hunter?”

A change of heart

Staring for a moment into Bren’s eyes, as she looked back at him unblinkingly, he grew tired of the conversation saying, “Very well. Hans, shoot her and let’s be done with it.”

Hans, trembling, said in German, “All my life I have feared you and what you might do to me. Now I understand that I was right to be afraid.” Then with an air of resignation, Hans continued, “I will not do as you command and shoot my friend. She was kind to me even when I had done something terrible.” Looking at Bren, Hans said simply, “I am sorry”.

Von Roar, now truly menacing, shouted for the guards to come in.

At that moment, though, the calmness in Bren turned into an unearthly authority as she simply said, “No.” For some reason, no one answered Von Roar’s repeatedly barked orders and, when he went to open the door, it would not budge.

I forgive you

Bren turned to Hans saying, “I forgive you for what you did to Sam,” and standing, said earnestly, “now I need you to trust me” as she offered her hand to him. Hans, seeing her instantly transform into her Seraph Hunter attire before his eyes, simply nodded, slack-jawed. Turning towards the Colonel, Bren was about to raise her other hand when she suddenly felt a feather in her palm. Exclaiming, “What the…!” she realized that it was time to go and, placing the feather in her cap, took Hans’ hand and said, “Hold on tight and don’t let go!” as they both vanished from Von Roar’s study.

A stitch in time

Just then, all the guards burst into his office at once. They claimed, to a man, that they heard no command until that very moment. Von Roar, seething with anger, sat back down, dejectedly, at his desk. Glancing at his desktop Roar saw another letter with a large B staring back at him. Hands trembling as he opened it, he read,

“Dear Colonel Von Roar,

I regret to inform you…