Beautiful, multicolored scales lay scattered across the room. Between them ran thin lines and spatters of jet black ichor.
It all traced back to one point of the room.
Maya's eyes were fixed upon that one point. The point where the broken creature that had once been a man named Paul lay, taking in slow and deliberate breaths with its ruptured lungs. She took a step toward it once more, raising the knife one final time before bringing the point down through the exposed breast and into the heart, as blood spattered over the blade.
Its large eyes opened wide as its arms flailed for one last time. As its eyes began to close for a final rest, a battered windpipe and broken beak managed a final sound. And yet it wasn't some sort of primal shriek, instead came words. Words Maya was not prepared to hear.
She stood there, stunned, as the creature coughed up a small orb and then became still.
"E-Eseri... What have I done?"
You have freed him.
"I've killed him."
He was no longer the man known as Paul, Maya.
Maya knew she was right, but still, had the heart not still flowed red? It was hard for her to understand, Eseri's kind lived for centuries, working as a communal whole to progress. In comparison, she was only twenty five, had learned only two years ago, and acted on her motivations. Motivations that required her defeat the one stray soul from Eseri's kind. The one who had taken everyone from her. The one who had left her all alone.
Maya reached down and pick up the orb that was the essence of Tal'Shen; through it seeing a gaunt face looking back intensely.
My sister should be weak now, let us go.
She had to go.
For the family that had been taken from her. For the rest of man, unsuspecting targets or Lysanna's wrath. For Paul who, just as she had, had fallen into the interwoven fate of another race. And in that selfish way of humans, for herself.
Maya's grip tightened, shattering the orb to dust. Even in the enclosed room, a breeze blew, carrying the dust. Maya followed. This would lead her to Lysanna.
"The madness would end before long. Lysanna will not force anyone else to be alone as she has me."