163 Too Little, Too Late
For a long moment, nothing happened. Then Zoey lowered her weapon.
She had a choice. Markus Rellen, the noble son of one of the strongest northern noble families was at her mercy. She didn't know how many lives this man had personally ruined, but the chances were that there quite a few. There was no question that this man deserved punishment, but was she to be the judge, jury, and executioner?
She was only aware of his attempts to capture her, and aside from that she did not know of any other crimes he had committed. It was all speculation from what she had learned from her spy drones in Brumau and her experiences before and after then. If she were to judge him on what she knew all she had was attempted assault and kidnapping, hardly a death sentence.
But it seemed that he was already prepared to die anyway. Was that due to some other factor? His brother maybe? She was a little curious about the circumstances of this event.
"Tell me, how many other Harmonic Heritage carriers have you ruined?" Zoey asked, watching his reaction like a hawk.
Markus opened his eyes in surprise. It seemed he had truly not expected that she would question him instead of killing him outright.
For a moment he didn't respond, then he answered, "None, thanks to my brother. Even you would have been taken by him the moment he found out."
It seemed like he was being truthful, but Zoey was not convinced.
Markus saw the disbelief in her eyes, and continued after a moment with a wry smile.
"I am the youngest in my family, and the least important. My brother, he always took from me anything that was remotely useful to him in any way. Any Harmonic Heritage carriers that our family found were utterly consumed by him.
He is a control freak and what make is worse is that he has a special talent that allows him to control people, and until I met you I was also under his spell. Nothing but a puppet."
He paused, a tired look on his face, then continued, "I was still… aware, my actions were my own, but his control was ever present. Something happened that night by the crater that made me aware of it so I could break free. I have been searching for you ever since."
This was more information than Zoey had expected to get, but it did help her understand the situation, if it was true.
"You mentioned an armada?" Zoey questioned.
Markus nodded. "Every single Kreppelin that the Rellen family has control over is heading this way, including the famous dreadnought of our family, the Zephyreid. The crazy bastard even pulled our sister out of the hole he locked her in after his attempts to control her failed.
If you fear nothing, at least fear my sister. She is chaos and destruction on a level that even Cornelius respects. It's his trump card to make sure that nothing is left after he takes what he wants."
"How does he know where I am?" Zoey asked, still watching his expression.
"My talent. I can track people. Once I see someone, I can track them across the planet if I need to. My brother has someone that can copy talents, and as you can guess, mine was copied. Somehow they managed to get a track on you like I did, and they are following you here. You may have only a few days before they arrive.
Zoey suddenly had an idea. If Cornelius Rellen was really tracking her, she needed information in order to prepare. Luckily fate had delivered to her the perfect source of information; Markus Rellen. The only issue was how she could keep her cruiser and crew safe and keep him around at the same time.
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After a minute she had a plan. Using her Aether Engineer talent she fabricated a modified Eve that would use her Null Field Rune to prevent any magic use by the wearer. It would also be monitored around the clock by Eve, and if Markus tried anything, he would be stunned by a bolt of electricity from the bracelet.
She handed the new Eve to Markus and spoke; "Put that on."
The noble complied after a moment of hesitation, wincing slightly as the Eve device tightened into place.
"So, I'm to be your prisoner then?" He asked in a self mocking tone as he looked at the bracelet on his wrist.
"For now," Zoey replied as she turned around. "Let's go."
Markus obeyed, following her and Viridi as they walked to the edge of the sinkhole. He was confused at the moment. He had not expected to survive, but now he had been made a prisoner. He knew that the bracelet that he had been ordered to wear had somehow sealed his magic, rendering him basically helpless. But what would she do with him?
He still did not know her name, only her image was burned into his mind. Would this mysterious woman kill him? Feed him to her draconic pet? His fate was from this point on a mystery in the hands of this woman.
They reached the edge of the cliff where they stopped. Markus stared at the churning clouds below, wondering why she had been down there and what was hidden in the depths below.
The next instant, he felt a force on his back that pushed him forwards and over the edge of the sinkhole. There was a moment of realization that perhaps this had been her plan all along, right before he plummeted into the darkness below.
Is final thought was regret. He regretted that he could not fix the wrongs that he had done. But now it was too late.
Too little too late.