Cree clung to the banister of the old house as the full impact of the Banshee’s mind blared through her own; the being’s scream was loud and was even heard through the cotton balls she had put into her ears, but the sound, the sight, even the wooden step under her feet became nonexistent in her world as one thing blasted through the link that she had forged with the creature. Pure, unadulterated, overpowering…
The kind she hadn’t felt since her mother died over ten years ago.
Old memories breached the surface of her carefully tied control; images of cancer slowing eating away at her frail mother as her father continued to get worse and worse, only making it go south even faster and bringing everyone down.
She could still see her mother slipping away from her on the hospital bed as Cree clung to her hand, begging her not to go.
Cree fell to her knees when she finally made it to the ground floor, tears flowing freely from her eyes as old wounds and torment were brought back to the surface. The whole world fell silent around her- even the banshee’s screaming had faded away into obscurity, the raw power of her repressed and unhealed mental scars blinding and deafening her to everything.
Then she remembered holding her sister that night.
And she remembered promising to keep her safe, no matter what.
‘ Focus! ’ said a Sergent-like voice in her head, ‘ One wrong move and your sister, your friends, and the whole world will pay for it. Get your head in the game, do your job, keep the planet safe, and get up. ’
Cree narrowed her eyes as she came back into attention; the world coming back in a flood of screams and ghastly lights, to which she ignored and turned her consideration back to the connection between her and the creature before her, the emotions still as powerful as they were before.
She had a job to do.
And it was about time she did it.