Monday, December 13th
Dearest brother. What have we become? In the many decades since we first ran from our home, the home spoiled by blood and by death, we have found nary a moments rest among our fellow man. We have gone from conflict to conflict, spilling blood and bone and bile, wishing naught but pain upon our enemies as our bodies refuse to let us sink beneath the ground to join our departed father. Oh father, how I wish I knew ye.
Brother, what was father like? Was he kind when the bottle did not have him in his sway? What was the life of a groundskeeper? In all these years together, I have failed to ask these questions of you. I know you would simply brush them off, as you did that night so long ago. When we took our first steps on the road to oblivion. To the place we find ourselves now, chained and bound and primed to be shot down. I fear I have no one to blame for this but myself.
I tried to stop you from making a choice you would regret. To defend thy honor, as a brother should. But I should have seen the glint in your eyes earlier, a faint but growing ember that is fanned and fed by the atrocities of war. I should have been the water that cooled it but it may be too late. I pray only that this next death allows for me to have a second chance at keep that fire from consuming all that I knew you were.
Tuesday, March 23
Hello again brother. It has been many years since I last wrote. Our work kept my hands busy, preventing me from placing ink to paper and thoughts to print and, after leaving you and those wretched men in the jungles with the Major’s strange rocks, I could not bear to think about you any longer. I shut you out of my thoughts and worries; I shut my past out completely, content merely to live a life of uninterrupted bliss in the mountains. Physical labor suits me, it seems — what a far cry from the sickly child I once was.
And yet, in the night, I dream of our father. I dream of the night we left, of the bones in my hands cutting deep into his chest. Of the confusion and the panic of the scene and the haste with which we made. All I can feel is anger and betrayal and an overwhelming sadness. Oh, how I wish this anger that lives within my chest had not found its way to my hands. These hands, stained forever with your blood.
I awaken, brother, when I am subjected to these visions, screaming, my hand extended, recreating that night with sick pleasure. Thank the lord my dear Kayla has not been harmed by my nightly outbursts. I do not know what I would do with myself if I were to be the cause of her demise. I fear I might lose my mind and become as a beast. Like what I failed to stop you from becoming all those many years ago. Perhaps I left too early, believing that the fire had consumed you. Perhaps you have doused its wrath, changed since I saw you last, and we may talk as we once did.
Wednesday, July 4
This was not the first time we have fought each other, Victor, nor will it be the last — not even bonds forged in decades of battle can prevent the occasional jostling between brothers. But this time, Victor, it is different. Before we fought with love still in our hearts, for we knew no matter the victor, we were still brothers at the end of the day. When the sun set, and our arms and bodies were weary, we could sit and laugh and find the time to pick ourselves back up, together.
Now, we fight with hate. I fight you with the hatred that has bubbled and boiled within me for nigh on a hundred years, a hatred that I tried to keep tamped beneath my love for you and for my beloved Kayla. Oh, my Kayla. You have robbed the world of an innocent soul Victor! Wade & the others of Stryker’s men were brigands and murderers; if you had not done them in, then they would have perished and met their gruesome end elsewhere, sooner rather than later. The world would not have mourned their loss and it would have gone on turning, perhaps a better place than before.Continued below
But now, now you have gone too far. The skies are dark and full of thunder as is my heart, which now beats with the fury of a man with nothing left to lose except, perhaps, his soul. Was that what you wanted? Was that what you meant when we conversed last? You may have escaped me for now but vengeance knows no distance and holds no quarter. I will find you, Victor, and when I do, you will feel the same pain that you inflicted upon Kayla and upon my heart.
Stryker does not care about my quest, he only cares about his own skin, his own hide, his own projects. He seeks to use me to further his ends but so long as they align with taking you down, I am more than happy to give myself to his program, to become a weapon once more.
Your brother no longer,
Thursday, August 2
I do not know why I still write to you, dear Victor, for my heart is full of fury and my claws long to cleave your head from your shoulders. But now, I find, that my only solace in life is writing these letters, baring my soul, my anguish, my fury to the only constant in my long, long life. It is comforting, in a twisted way, knowing that the object of my hatred used to be so close to me. What I do now is in service of that memory. What I have done is in service of that memory.
I have made a deal with the devil, Victor, with that man who brought nothing but misery to the world and pushed you further down the path towards self-destruction; I fear the price of this folly will be the end of all that I am. He has coated my bones in that strange rock we discovered, more metal than stone now. It weighs on me. Oh, how it weighs on me. I do not dare show how weary this makes me feel, as if the years have finally caught up with me and the souls of the damned hang upon my every joint.
I have lost many since you first saw fit to return to my life: most innocent, some deserving, but all once alive, now gone. Stryker has robbed them of their lives, all in his pursuit of me. He sent our old friend after us, with his guns and his copters. What else will Stryker do to keep me from my hunt, the hunt he said he wanted to assist? It seems that the Major is not one for meaningful words so I shall not give him the chance to say any more. After I take you down, Victor, I am coming for him.
He wished to take my past from me but that is all I have left. The past, and the ghosts contained therein.
Friday, August 4
Were I not so blinded with hate, I might have noticed it earlier. Stryker. That lying dog! He had you on his payroll the entire time! He used me, that I knew, but that he ordered you to murder my Kayla, to take out my heart and crush what little peace I had known since we were boys. . .why, Victor? What pleasure do you get from seeing me suffer? Once, we were brothers. Once, we fought, side by side, to the bitter end and beyond, because we knew that the only people in the world we had left, were each other.
I could not ask this of you as we fought again. It was too painful, and I, too distracted by the additional betrayal of the mastermind behind your actions. I have been nothing but a tool and a pawn, used and pushed, set-up so that I may be sacrificed for a greater position, while you, the knight, come in and massacre the board so Stryker may have a clear path to promoting his queen. This will not stand.
War makes for strange bedfellows, as you well know. The one called Gambit, who unwittingly saved you from my claws, has information about the where you and your master are hiding. Know that I am coming for the both of you. I am coming to end this.Continued below
Saturday, August 5
I did not think it was possible to stab me through the heart with this cage of metal surrounding it. Yet, here I stand, betrayed once more by the people I called family. You see me suffer, Victor! You watch with glee as I anguish over knowing that Kayla has been among the living lo these many weeks — alive but no more free than if she were dead, stuck on this wretched island, surrounded by suffering and tormented knowing that her sister lays but feet from her, and yet cannot free her.
But I will have the final laugh. For I know that Stryker will not give you what you desire most. He cannot and will not feed your appetites or enable you to become something he cannot control. You are already too much monster for him and he is afraid of you. As he should be. I hope that his inevitable betrayal helps you see the errors of your path and begin the long trek back towards redemption and penance. I must walk it far, with feet that bleed and eyes that sting, and it would be made, just that small bit easier, if I had you again by my side.
Victor, brother, I implore you. Join me before we both do something we will regret for the rest of our lives.
Sunday, August 6
I do not know where I am. I do not know who I am. All I know is from what I learned when I awoke many hours ago. I was surrounded by death and destruction, A woman lay cold next to me and in the distance, I believed I saw a man walking towards the sunset. The boy who found me said he is my friend, that he brought me here. I do not know how or why I was brought to that wretched place, only that I had no desire to remain any longer. There were pieces of memory, hazy and distant, that still call to me but they are too faint and far gone.
In my pocket were some letters. The handwriting is familiar but the words are all smudged, the details as empty as my mind, the name as lost as I. It seems, though, that I once had a brother I loved very much, for why else would I communicate via letter so often with him. It also seems my writing is antiquated, mismatched from the speech I produce, so ingrained that when I sit to write again, the words flow in this archaic manner. Why is this, I wonder? Does it have something to do with the strange nature of my healing? I do not think I wish to know.
I believe I shall begin anew, instead, leaving my past in the mists they are trapped. So, I believe this will be my final letter to you, brother. I hope you do not think ill of me, though, since I have not sent any of these before, it seems you are no longer with me anyhow. Perhaps I will burn these letters. Perhaps I will save them until such a time comes that I can remember why I wrote them. Perhaps. . .perhaps.
Sincerely, your loving brother,