“You are the only one thing that reminds me of the truth…”
His hands held tightly, as if missing a feeling he had a while ago. Reagent had just given up Syn’s Memory Orb—his last contribution to the Mirage. He, along with Syn and Steven created the machine, unaware of its true purpose. The knowledge became too late, however, and one of them has to sacrifice her life just for the truth she was fighting for.
“I can’t let you fight—even if it’s for the truth. I’d rather you bear the pain of silence than your death,” were the last words he told her before she escaped Neo-Gaia three years ago.
“Well I’d rather die, than deceive all these people with a life far from reality. They didn’t ask for it, Reagent,” Syn reasoned, wanting him to understand. “They deserve to live own their life!”
The time pulled his grip off her, was the same time he lets go of her forever, and little did he know it. Later he regretted— not for being unable to fight for her belief—but for her.
“You are the only thing that reminds me of what is true… in this world of confusion…” Reagent closed his eyes and sighed—trying to ease the pain, but the thorn was still there in his heart. “Now I am lost—blinded by the light.”
He opens his eyes, and to his surprise, he comes across to the very man he wouldn’t want to see—“Steven,” he groans, trying to calm his heart even though the sight of him brings the pain and anguish to his heart. Steven on the other hand, did not notice him—or at least, tried not to. Instead he walked blindly, leaning on the walls to help his path. He seemed drunk—that he passed by Reagent without a word or greeting.
But he wasn’t drunk—only the fear and sorrow gave him such paranoia that he is afraid of Reagent, knowing that the man loved the girl whom he killed. However Reagent sensed his fear, that he stopped a distance away. A mix of pain and hatred in his heart gave him the urge to speak, at least, in case he should hurt him.
“You will die. I will see to that.” He threatens, as Steven looks back at him, his eyes showing that he is terrified, but was expecting it from his old friend. Both walked away in different paths, both feeling the cold, empty pain, missing the warmth of the heart that had once often healed it.
“There is such pain and loneliness in your heart. I wonder where it comes from?” the Mirage says, bending down to wipe the tears off Syn’s eyes. “You are dead, you have no more pulse, yet there is so much in your heart that you still cry.”
“There are so many things,” Syn mutters, leaning her head on the Mirage’s lap. “Some which cannot be explained. I cannot bear to look at this world. This world after my own thought. The world of ideal but there is no feeling.”
“There is but one.” Mirage answers, her calm, bland voice echoing through the woods. “The thing you called happiness.”
“It is fraud.” Syn answers. “How can you realize happiness if there is no sorrow? No grief? No anger?”
“Perhaps,” Mirage says, brushing her hair with her bare white hands. “If you would be brave enough to see what’s around you, you will understand.”
Syn stood from her knee, in her face lies an expression of a new thought.
“Are you ready to see the New Earth?” Mirage asks.
“Why must you let me do this?? Why must you die in my hands???”
“Sir? Are you alright?”
Steven turns conscious from his trance as he felt a tap on his shoulder. Both his fear and pain produced this seems to be never-ending nightmare that haunts him from day to night. As he looks up to his secretary he smiles pathetically. “I’ll be,” he answers. “Maybe I just need some rest.”
“Okay then, I’ll be outside if you need anything,” the secretary says, closing the door after him. Steven was left alone, stroked his forehead to ease the anxiety. In a minute then he felt better, that he stood up and opened the Venetian blinds of his glass window to see his machine work.
“This is the Mirage… our ultimate creation.” He remembers as he and his friends looked at it after months of painstaking labor. “At last. It’s finished.” The three of them—him, Reagent and Syn, worked hard to finish the project Mirage in knowing that it will be hope for the people who is living in darkness at the aftermath of war. However, the officials betrayed them. Their prized machine became a ghost of folly, with Syn as a sacrifice for all the Neo-Gaia’s ideals, and him, a puppet that follows their orders without hesitation; blinded by the rank given to him as the leader of Project Mirage.
“It is finished.”
He closed the blinds and went back to his chair to sit—the ache starts again. “No. This wasn’t meant to destroy us,” he mutters, shaking his head regretfully. He pulls the drawer from his desk and took a silver pistol—the same gun he used to shot Syn that night. Three times he pulled the trigger—one bullet goes right in her left shoulder, the other in her stomach, the last in her head. She could’ve run, but she chose her death. Then he realizes, that the same night Syn died, he died too—and so did Reagent.
“Reagent lost his heart. But I—,” he groans, “I lost my soul.” He took the pistol back into its case and shut the drawer, but neither its existence nor his deed did die away. Instead, it grew in silence. As Steven continued contemplating at his loss—visions of the night in the forest returned to him.
“Kill Syn. Unless she serve Mirage she is worthless. If she wanders around the earth the rebels will kill her. It is better she die in your hands—a short painful death is better than years of torment the Neo-Gaia will grant her for betrayal.”
“I have only thought of what is good for you, Syn,” Steven mutters. “If you only knew what anguish this has brought to me you will realize I am hurt the worse. I am alive, my heart is beating, but I have lost my soul—I am considered dead.”
His eyes strained on his palms, recognizing the same hands that killed his best friend. “I am not afraid Reagent will kill me. It is better to die than to live like this, at least, my blood will be enough pardon for the times I’ve wronged you.”
“We created the Mirage, but it destroyed us.” He concludes. Steven grins and lights a cigar as he nervously puts between his fingers. “So much for nothing.”
The sound of the requiem continues to play; as the rain drips upon the walls of the house of Neo-Gaia.