Beyond Good And Evil


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title Beyond Good And Evil
Synopsis In their journey to 1957 to research Doctor Volken and Project Icarus, Kimiko, Xiuland and Hiro discover a far older, and far greater secret…
Date October 4, 1957

What if it were possible, that what constitutes the value of good and respected things, exists entirely because of the evil they oppose?

"There you are… that wasn't so bad, now was it?" Arching one silver brow, doctor Lewis Zimmerman withdraws a syringe from Kimiko's arm, pressing a cotton swap at the pointof injection and bending her arm up. "Just hold that position for a few moments, if you would?" A polite smile, and the syringe tossed into a medical waste bin, followed by the slap-crack of his rubber gloves coming off and joining them.

How far can an ideal like this change histories, cultures and even species?

"Mild disorientation, fever and headaches are common. If you start feeling unusually ill, just come back down to the lab and let me get a look at you." Rolling down the sleeves of his lab coat, Zimmerman looks to the doorway of the room, where a young Daniel Linderman stands with his hands tucked into his jacket pockets, a smile spread from ear to ear.

We are fundamentally inclined to maintain that the falsest opinions are the most indispensable to us; that without a recognition of logical fictions, without a comparison of reality with the purely imagined world of the moral absolute, man could simply not live.

"Ah, Daniel. It's good to see you up and about again, I'm glad that little accident is healing up nicely." There's some measure of sarcasm in Zimmerman's tone as he turns his gaze towards Kimiko. Clearly being dismissed after her injection, a painless and simplistic process, Kimiko makes her way with a click-clack of her shoes out to the hall.

The idea that the renunciation of false opinions would be a renunciation of life, a negation of life — to recognize untruth as a condition of life — that is certainly to impugn the traditional ideas of value in a dangerous manner.

It seems like forever ago now, that she, Xiulan and her brother were in the late 1970s, for the dusty surroundings of concrete halls and the unsettlingly white sterility of a surgical lab have for only the briefest moments made their new surroundings all the more uncomfortable when combined with the sounds of agony just beyond tinted windows. Where they stand in the darkened booth of an operating theater, looking down into a surgical room, a grisly experiment is being performed.

*And a philosophy which ventures to do so, has thereby alone placed itself…

A surgical scalpel slides effortlessly across the bared flesh of a pale stomach, splitting open skin to pool out blood and screams in equal portion. There, hunched over the bleeding form of a conscious and clearly unanesthetized man stands a tall and gaunt figure with balding gray hair and sunken sheeks, sallow eyes half-lidded and a pleased smile curled across his lips. "Francois," he whispers in a heavy German accent, "you and I have so much to be catching up on."

…beyond good and evil.

Fort Dadelus, Nevada


"You and I… are going to have a very long time to become acquainted with one another." The tall and thin doctor traces a horizontal cut across the previous one, then plunges two gloved fingers inside of the young man's abdomen, one gray brow rising on a bald forehead. "I never thought I'd see you again."

And so far, nothing.

Maybe the Formula didn't take. Kimiko's felt a little off, but not really to a degree of being worth notice, and she's more or less convinced the only reason she's felt off is because Zimmerman had told her to expect it. As she'd passed Linderman, she'd given him the faintest of smiles, idly wondering if he found her familiar, if Kaito had told him something. But she'd passed by without incident, and endured Hiro's quiet fretting after she'd showed him the bandaid that covered up the needle injection on her arm.

And so far, nothing.

She stands in the hospital theater with Hiro and Xiulan, a hand to her mouth as she watches the procedure below. It's not that it's a surgery…it's cruelty of what the man is doing. She believes what she's been told about Kazimir, just by virtue of this display.

Xiulan is still not entirely clear on what is going. She is, however, firmly along for the ride. Mind you, she'd had no idea that the ride would be half so grisly as what it apparently intends to be. It is about midway through that first cut that her face pales and her throat works to swallow. But it is around about the time that hands are reaching into flesh that she executes an abrupt about face and takes a very deep breath whilst focusing every ounce of her being on memorizing the exact color of the wall behind her. Why? Because so long as she is worried about getting that color exactly right, she isn't thinking about the 'show' going on below.

Sweat creates a sheen on the face of Kazimir's patient, bright beneath the lights, wild eyes of green staring sightlessly up. His mouth parts as another scream is drawn from him, ragged at the edges, when Kazimir plunges his fingers inside the surgical wound. Leather of medical restraints creaks in protest as his body surges impotently against him, dark hair plastered to his forehead.

Thunk. Francois lifts his head only to bring it sharply back down against the table, a grunt eliciting from the self-imposed impact, as if he were trying to knock the pain away and sense back in. "Volken," he rasps out. He doesn't see the faces of people through the windows, not when a blurry gaze is trying to land on the familiar face of the man above him. "Volken, you must listen to me. You— you would gain more from— "

Saltwater, tears mixed with sweat, make greasy smears at Francois' temples, hands curling into fists. His voice carries a hysterical edge, a plea that bounces off the walls; "Please!"

Never is it brought into focus that being a time traveller is harder than at moments like these. Hiro stands with the two women in the surgical theater, unable to take his eyes from the grotesque atrocity being committed. Fortunately they can get the hell out of here at any moment, but it's with a brow of furrows and disgust that he says, "I wish now we hadn't come here." English for Xiulan's benefit, since it's the language common to the three of them.

The narrow face of the weathered old man turns somewhat hawkish at the plea coming from Francois. "Have mercy?" The tone is entirely light-hearted as the bloodied scalpel and finger are removed, leaving blood to pulse and run down the sides of his patient's waist. "Please, Francois, you know exactly how this story ends. How many times have you and I had this conversation, Francois? How many?" Conversationally, the grim German lays down his scalpel in a steel tray, spattering the metal with blood as he paces around the table where the considerably younger man is restrained by leather straps.

The rhetoric is short lived, however, as a gloved hand brushes across Francois' forehead. "We banter back and forth, you prostelyze to one choir and I another. I find it tiresome, my boy." So different is this monster from the one Hiro Nakamura has seen only pictures of, so different is this Volken from the one Phoenix knew. Crushed under the weight of age far older than his body could attest to, the weathered old German looks and sounds the part, unlike the face he put forth decades later.

"We've been around this caged conversation, you and I, for how many decades now?" One gray brow rises up in whimsical speculation, "too many, Francois, too many." Tugging off his black rubber gloves, the elbow-length garments are draped one by one over a metal sink, wrinkled fingers flexed once free. "The time for you and I to talk philosophy is over, my boy. Nietzsche to Plato and back again, it has grown somewhat tiresome, you must understand." Blue eyes drift up and down the prone and shirtless man's form. "Well… there's really only one way to test the limits of your ability. I'm curious to see how — "

"Doctor Volken!"

The voice comes shouting thorugh a door into the lab, followed by a jerky opening of the door. The tall, gaunt German looks over one white-clad shoulder to a young man with dark hair staggering in to the lab in a suit and tie. To Hiro and Kimiko, it's easy to recognize the very young Lewis Zimmerman, over ten years younger than he was at Coyote Sands. "Doctor Volken I— " his eyes wander to the man strapped and bleeding on the table, lips parted and eyes wide. "I— " his words fail him.

"You what Lewis? How many times have I told you not to interrupt me during my experiments. I swear if you disrupt me when I am working on Project Icarus one more time I'll have you deported back east. Your only saving grace is your use as a lab assistant, and that you is rapidly thinning." Wringing his hands together, Kazimir approaches Zimmerman with brows furrowed, over-enunciating each word he says next. "What, is it?"

Blinking his eyes closed, Zimmerman's focus shifts shakily back from the man on the table to Kazimir. "There's— government representatives here. I— I'm— they said they wanted to speak with you. They drove in from the direction of the city." Kazimir's eyes roll back in his head with a sigh as he hears that.

"Of course there's government agents here, Lewis, this is a government facility. Kindly tell them to— " The next words out of Kazimir's mouth are, perhaps surprisingly, cut off by Zimmerman.

"They said they wanted to talk to you about Doctor Lancaster's disappearance." Those words seem to matter, and for all his worth Kazimir's shoulders stiffen and back straightens. His eyes sweep from the man on the table, up and over to Lewis with eyes slitted halfway shut. "I— already told them you were here."

"Incompetent." Is Kazimir's response, brushing past Zimmerman with a bump of his shoulder, headed out towards the hallway. Just as Lewis begins to speak up about the man laying bleeding on the table, Kazimir jumps over him verbally. "Leave him, Lewis. Come with me, show me where these men are." Zimmerman's focus lingers, lingers too long on Francois' bleeding form, before the both Germans are turning, headed towards the door into the hall, leaving the lab empty, save for one quickly dying man.

When Zimmerman bursts into the room below, Xiulan turns back around. Even so, she makes a pointed effort not to look to closely at the man bound to the table. "You are going to help him," she murmurs under her breath. To whom she is speaking is very clear when she slants dark eyes at Hiro and abruptly grabs his hand. "You can get him out of there." Yes, she /believes/ Hiro can save him. Does it make any sense that Xiulan believes that? Probably not, but she does.

Kimiko doesn't even wait for Hiro, as soon as the men are gone, she's opened the door to the operating theater and is coming down the steps, brow furrowed as she puts a finger to her lips once Francois can see her. "I am not a doctor." she tells him gently. "But what can I do?"

The immediate reaction from Hiro to Xiulan's words is an open-mouthed stare. Help him? The victim on the table? How many times has Hiro attempted to save the doomed with his power and failed, and then tried again and failed? He has fought with Destiny itself and found it unconquerable. And yet this girl asks him to do a thing he knows to be impossible.

For some insane reason, Hiro is determined to try anyway.

Ceasing to be where he was and suddenly appearing There, next to the table, Hiro teleports himself and Xiulan down to the operating room along with Kimiko. That's how he beats his sister to the finish line at least, but when Kimiko gets near enough for it to be easy, Hiro lightly closes his eyes for a moment and wills the four of them, the Nakamuras, Xiulan, and Francois, outside of the normal flow of time. Here at least they will have all the time in the world, or at least as much as Francois has left in him if Hiro can't think of something. "Francois," he says, using the name he heard, "you are not hallucinating. We are real. We are from the future." That's a start at least. Hiro pauses as he walks to get within Francois' point of view and hopefully put a face to his own voice. "How much longer can you hold on?"

"They are coming for you!" Francois cries towards the departing scientists when their foot steps still ring through the room, accent thicker with the rise of volume. "Volken! I told you— " And his voice weakens again, watching them depart, takes on a despairing tone, the one of someone very close to dying, in all likelihood at least. "I told you they would," he murmurs, to the empty room, and breathes at a hiss through his teeth, eyes shut. "Merde."

He lifts his head to observe the deep wound on his body, staring intently as if there were something to be done about it. Perhaps there is, although the blood flow only slows by the time the door is opening. His head snaps towards the stranger, green eyes wide and body tense with both pain and wariness. Then towards Hiro, his pale face somewhat drained of what blood there was, and he doesn't seem at first convinced that he's not hallucinating, a breath of tearful laughter as his head rests back against the table.

A pause, and then he nods. "I can hold on," he finally promises, voice shaking. "For long enough." He turns his gaze to Kimiko, takes a breath. "My restraints— s'il vous plait— I can treat and heal myself but I don't know what time there is, Volken is never far away. Who are you all? What future?"

Haunting stillness comes over the operating theater with time frozen. In this snapshot of istory, a single red droplet of blood halfway suspended in the air from where it flows over the edge of the table Francois is strapped down to glistens weightlessly. The lamps draining away color from the bleeding man's face have ceased their flickering and sputtering, the world has been trapped in a moment between moments for what could be all the time left in the world, if Hiro so deigns.

But for now, it means time enough, and it means time apart from the retreating silhouette of the ghost of past and the future seen muddied through the dingy windows of the lab's doors — Kazimir Volken.

While she /doesn't/ say it, 'I /knew/ you could save him!' is written all over Xiulan's face. So much so that she squeezes Hiro's hand before releasing it and moving to help Kimiko unfasten the bound man's restraints. It is with an inward sigh that she wrinkles her nose and slants a glance at the Nakamura siblings in response to the question. "Maybe you should just try to relax and fix this if you can? Questions can be handled once the situation is more ameniable." Just the voice of quiet reason, or so she hopes.

Kimiko will indeed release the man's restraints. "Project Icarus." she prompts gently. "What is your part in all of it? Aside from being Volken's experiment."

In spite of himself Hiro smiles a bittersweet smile. Because this situation is not yet fixed. Not by a long-shot. The prospects for the man on the table look better (for now), but Hiro has had some experience with these things. He knows enough not to celebrate yet.

Still the way Xiulan looked at him for that and squeezed his hand made the attempt worth it.

"We have all the time we need, Francois." Hiro tells Francois with calm certainty, remaining where he stands and allowing the two women to do the legwork of releasing the man from his bonds. "My name is Hiro Nakamura. This is my sister Kimiko and our trusted friend Xiulan. Please answer my sister's question if you can."

As the leather slips off his wrists and ankles, the straps high on his chest, around his knees, Francois manages to take in his surroundings, the frozen flames, the suspended blood. Another curse is uttered, and the man takes the time to cross himself from his half-recline on the table. But he believes them, at least, that quite suddenly, he's been given all the time in the world.

With a wince, his hand presses over the wound on his abdomen, concealing it. "It is good to meet you," he says, voice a little calmer, though edged with hysterical relief. "My name is— I go by Francis Allen. My name is Francois Allègre. I— " A wavering, suspicious glance is cast between the three faces, but what choice does he have? Several years ago, there was always time for racism. Here, where there is all the time in the world, he is quite sure there is little time for it now.

"Project Icarus," he sneers. "A continuation of the experiments he did for the Germans, his own research. I believe he is trying to understand himself, trying to harness it. I have been trying to stop it, and I— I got impatient. I made a mistake. He brought me here. But you must understand— I am the only one who can stop him."

His hand moves, and he glances down at the wound sliced into him— a wound that's diminished greatly through the smearing blood. Francois gives a hazy smile, obviously more tired now than in pain.

"Men always say that," Xiulan notes as she takes a step back from the table. Somehow men seem to universally believe that they are the -only- ones who can do a given thing. Rather then argue the point, however, she wrinkles her nose, braces her hands on her hips and glances around the room in search of a) a clean towel and bandages to wipe off the blood and ick. And b) something to pass for a shirt.

Hiro's face goes unexpressive in that Samurai Face he sometimes uses. It makes him seem almost like he's trying to be mysterious, but in actuality he's just thinking hard when he does that. He looks to Kimiko to tell her, "I never really knew. It was less what he could do and more what he attempted to do. And we should not discuss That here and now." His eyes go to Francois and he raises his eyebrows. So the man can heal himself. Perhaps he's saved after all. "How is it you can stop him?"

Getting up to sit, breathing through his nose as the movement jostles still somewhat broken flesh, Francois only shakes his head at Xiulan's words, but doesn't attempt to clarify, to argue. He takes the towel from her when she locates them, using it to mop up blood with a wince crossing his features.

"Volken is old," Francois agrees, voice flippant. "But his ability— I believe it is even older, and it is the true evil. It destroys things at a touch, it takes life against will, while I give life. Sometimes against will also."

He draws away the bloodied cloth, gestures towards where his shirt had been removed, discarded nearby. "I am the only one his ability cannot truly harm," he states. "And he is the only one my ability can harm." A glance to Xiulan and her comment, and Francois allows, "Or so I have gathered."

"You'll forgive me for pointing out that you looked fairly harmed when we got here," Xiulan notes. She does, however, cross the room and scoop up the discarded shirt giving it a quick shake in an attempt to remove some of the wrinkles before stepping over to hand it to Francois. "At any rate, I am glad you are all right." She really can stomach the thought of anyone dieing like that.

"You're a healer." Kimiko notes, exchanging a brief look at Hiro. A healer, like their mother. She looks back to Francois. "And if you are, than Volken is the opposite of that, one who brings pain, one who causes the body's destruction. Am I close?"

Making eye contact with Kimiko, it's clear that Hiro had the same thought. And he nods to it. That brings the total of known healers through history to a little higher than average. Somehow this is a recurrent ability. "We need to know everything you can tell or show us about Project Icarus, Francois Allègre. And then I will help you get out of this place."

The wound doesn't seem to be completely healed, but certainly tolerable, unlike the deep, free bleeding from before. Francois puts on the shirt handed to him, nodding, and manages a wan smile. "I was," he tells Xiulan. "I may have become a dead man on this table otherwise." His fingers at sticky with blood and fumble with the buttons, but he does it up, slowly, turning that look towards Hiro, nodding his understanding once. Though his pale features grow cold, some abstract fear that he would be left behind.

"Close, yes, correct. He believes himself a product of his power, I think, and I also believe it is harming him, as much as mine does me good." Francois lifts a hand to press against his own forehead, in an unconscious and somewhat futile attempt to gauge his own temperature.

"He is trying to find the source of it, what makes us different. To cure himself, to make himself stronger, to tame it, I do not know. I only fear what he would do with this knowledge. He shows no regard for life— none whatsoever, especially not of those who are different. Before this place, he carried out his research at the Dachau concentration camp, trying to find other people like us. I followed him here to make sure such things could never be repeated."

Once Francois has his shirt, Xiulan steps back and falls silent. Oh, she is paying attention to what is being said, make no mistake on that score. She is, however, keeping silent and making a passable attempt to keep up with what is being discussed while trying to fill in all the blanks in her knowledge of evolved goings on.

Reflections caught in that hovering droplet of blood hanging in the air. Three people who do not belong here, and one man who's destiny it is to be here. Bound as they are, together, the secrets shared in this small room between heartbeats in time can only be so precious as lifeblood itself. But the truth, the gravity of the words exchanged here, that is where the true value lies. In a way, it is not so dissimilar from blood; people will die without it. One way or another.

"So all you need to do," Kimi asks for clarification, "Is reach out and touch him? We could walk over and you could touch him right now." She looks over to Hiro. "Couldn't he?"

For some reason Hiro narrows his eyes at Francois and seems to be thinking very hard at the man. There is a nod to Kimiko as his eyes shift to her and then back to Francois. It's not an entirely friendly-looking expression perhaps because of the way Asianface looks when all serious and thoughtful like that, but he really isn't expressing any kind of ill will. It's more just, intense…suspicion? Perhaps that.

"Francois Allègre, I am sorry to tell you it is not your Destiny to stop Kazimir Volken. He will be responsible for atrocities that will occur in your future. If we allow that future to change then we will not get back to our time, and the world we come from will be lost. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

What is it? It's an ultimatum is what it is. Kazimir Volken cannot be defeated in this time.

"Mister Allègre. My ability is to control the flow of time and space. It puts great responsibilities on my shoulders, because I know that Volken lives past this day. It's possible that our Destiny was to save you today, but it's also possible that you were supposed to die on this table. I need you to give me your word of honor that you will allow our world to come to pass, because if you don't…" Hiro lets the implications of 'don't' hang in the dead air suspended between Then and Now.

At Kimiko's words, the Frenchman's head snaps towards where Kazimir's shadow can still be seen, breath catching in his throat and he doesn't really have to confirm that truth as Hiro comes forward with his words. The time traveler gets a look of utter incomprehension— or perhaps an attempt at incomprehension, because understanding what he's saying—

Francois slowly shakes his head, utter affront at the idea that this isn't his Destiny. It seems that the time traveler and the healer have something in common - a belief of these concepts. "But he will do such harm. He kills people only to sustain himself, you— would allow this to happen?" There's a quaver beat of tension, breathing in motionless air. "You would have me make this promise— then you must tell me. You must tell me if he's stopped." Perhaps surprisingly, Francois adds with as much conviction; "Or saved?"

Glancing between Hiro and Francois, Xuilan nibbles her lower lip, her weight shifting as she folds her arms over her torso. "If Hiro says that this is case, it is true." It is as simple as that. "Consider what you are saying? If you do not make the promise asked for then our future dies. How many are you effectively harming by that choice?" Course, she isn't really certain that is she helping, so she opts to shush. Even so, it's relatively clear she'd rather not have her friends all vanish into elsewhen.

The expression on Hiro's face softens as he understands the look on Francois' all too well. That much information Hiro has no problem sharing. He steps toward the Frenchman and tells him, "I understand how hard this is. I've had to do it before and it is never easy. I'll tell you this, Mister Allègre: Your power does eventually stop Volken. But you do not wield it. Do you understand?" At that point it might partly become clear just what Hiro is thinking, at least to Xiulan and Kimiko, who know much of what he does. "The kami you carry within you. But not you. And when it happens our species is saved."

Seated on the edge of the table, Francois studies those that speak, confusion at this concept that Xiulan is presenting, as if it's over his head in some regards, a breath expelling in a sigh that might have been words of denial before Hiro steps closer. Something said, upon the question of 'do you understand?'— Francois' eyes flash with recognition, stunned into silence for a moment.

Then, he swallows, and says, "If you are some new, cruel trick of Volken's— " There's no end to that sentence, and it dies on his tongue. There's nothing he could do, if that's the case. His raises a hand that trembles slightly to smooth through his hair, grip onto it in a gesture of frustration at the nape of his neck.

"My war is over," he says, almost too quietly, then casts a flicker of a smile. "I understand. Free me, and— we'll let fate take it's course, oui?"

Kimiko blinks a moment. Free me. It couldn't mean what Kimiko thinks it means. "You're already free." Kimiko says quietly. What is the man asking? Oh, no. He couldn't possibly.

Hiro Nakamura nods simply to Francois and holds out a hand to shake his. Because such is the least he can do for a man of such great courage. He doesn't restart time yet. But he does say with a cryptic tone, "Don't worry. We'll meet again." It will be the hardest of all possible roads, but he is sure he speaks the truth. In spite of himself Hiro finds himself wiping a tear from his eye. And this for a man he has known for one impossibly long heartbeat in the eternal march of History.

Hiro shares one last nod while looking the man in the eyes and then…

1979. The hotel. A familiar place to the three Asian time travellers. Outside the mundane beep of a car horn as someone tries to get the attention of another hotel guest still in their room. Outside is the shouting of a young child running past the window.

Hiro stands in the middle of the room among the two women who came back to the nearer future with him, pulled along by his gift and will. And almost immediately he puts a trembling hand over his face to hide his eyes.

Xiulan's initial reaction at the move is a sharp, sudden gasp. She can't help it, she really makes a horrid criminal, just too much heart, really. Of course, the fact that they've moved through time brings her attention directly to Hiro. It is his reaction, however, that stirs her pressing one hand against her lips before stepping over and wrapping one arm around his shoulder. "I am so sorry, Hiro," she whispers against his shoulder. -She- asked him to save Francois and now he's all hurt and upset.

Kimiko studies the pair for a moment, and then quietly heads for the bathroom. Closing the door behind her, she stares sadly in the mirror, and then briefly closes her eyes. Why is it so hot? She turns on the faucet, splashes water on her face. That's when she notices.

Her hands are trembling.

We opposite ones, however, who have opened our eyes and conscience to the question how and where "man" has come, believe that this has always taken place under the opposite conditions.

Silence reigns. The lab has gone still save for but the beating of Francois' heart in his chest, save for the blood rushing in his ears and the words of Hiro Nakamura ringing loud in the forefront of his mind. His war has ended, and by the count of the ghosts of the future, there will come justice for all of the misery Kazimir Volken has wrought.

This end had to develop into what it has become over such hardships, and his Will to Life had to be increased to the unconditioned Will to Power — severity, violence, slavery, love, secrecy, stoicism, tempter's art and devilry of every kind, — that everything wicked, terrible, tyrannical, predatory, and serpentine in man, serves as well for the elevation of the human species as its opposite.

A gunshot is the first thing that Francios hears, and it as if that gunshot dispelled the ghosts that were around the table, haunting him with visions and portents of the future. Then come more gunshots, a barrage of gunfire and then screams, the sounds unimaginable in their anguish and in their terror, the wail of more men than could be true, echoing up and down the halls as if some chilling font of the underworld had once and forevermore been opened — a door now that can never be closed just outside.

We do not even say enough when we only say what we must, we who find ourselves here, both with our speech and our silence.

Bare feet hit the ground when the racketing noises of the gunfire comes echoing through, Francois squeezing his eyes shut as he half-ducks behind the table, hands gripping onto the cold edge of it enough to turn his knuckles white. The sound of suffering is as much a physical twinge as the pauin in his gut, before he lifts his eyes to look at the door still hanging open.

What wonder that we "free spirits" are not exactly the most communicative spirits?

He can hear his heart, the draw of breath, as he moves around the table. Survival is a chemical that courses through his veins as tangible as adrenaline. What he once knew, what he once understood, lies as abandoned as the shed blood on the tiled floor. An arm wrapped around his still bleeding midsection, Francois leaves red foot prints on the ground as he goes.

that we do not wish to betray in every respect what a spirit can free itself from…

The was a Belgium soldier who took his hand, once upon a time, and told him there would be monsters in every war, before the touch of God shimmered through him as warm as blood. Echoing through the hallways, Francois fancies he can hear what that man had heard, of monsters being unleashed, but he doesn't stop it.

He could stop it. But he has a new purpose.

and where perhaps it will then be driven?

Through hallways Francois passes by men in white jackets, flesh turned to ash on black bones, hair chalk white and eyes shriveled like raisins in empty sockets. Beyond the halls, the trail of ash leads outside, out beyond doors to the bright sun of the Nevada desert high overhead, to the sight of black suits laying on clay red soil, wind blowing dust and ash off of bones. There, face down in the dirt, lays the body of Kazimir Volken, surrounded by so many black-suited FBI agents, their guns useless in skeletal hands, but the bullet holes perforating his form tell a tale of violence, and from his stillness, death.

And as to the import of the dangerous formula,

But there, beside one of the black cars, stands a man of dark hair and pitted skin at his cheeks, a thick moustache resting on a broad upper lip. The tired blue eyes of the federal agent stare across the divide of soil and baked riverbed towards the man standing at the opening of the doors. His lips curl back into something of a smile, something of a feral, wolfish grin. Richard Santiago, the badge on his breast proclaims. — And so the devil takes on his face.

"Beyond Good and Evil."

Freidrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

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