The desperate Echo began to search the realms for help to regain her stolen child. Everywhere she went, people agreed to help her ... but all she received were empty promises. Blood Demon himself, in his rage, was willing to challenge Static -- but this the distraught Echo begged him not to do, fearing to lose not only her son but her beloved as well to the twisted being Static had become. Reluctantly Blood listened to his weeping love's pleadings, torn between his fury and the knowledge that if he were to fight Static, and die, Echo would be left with nothing. At last he agreed to wait. James challenged and fought Static. The stakes were Vezhan's freedom against James' eyes. James lost ... and was blinded, dependent first upon his link to the Force, then adamantite eyes provided him by Rak, to see.

The waiting dragged on. Each day Echo used a breast pump to fill baby bottles with mother's milk for her son, and cut herself to add blood to the milk. Static tauntingly told her that Vezhan, growing quickly as demons often do, had said his first word, calling Static himself "Daddy." He told her how he was twisting the child's young mind, teaching Vezhan to delight in cruelty, giving him a dead and headless cat as a pet and then, when the cat's body became too foul, giving Vez a live cat to behead.

Again and again Echo received promises of aid, but no aid. "You will have your child back by Monday," she was told once -- but Monday came and went with no change. Her appearance grew haggard as she dogged Static's footsteps, pleading vainly for the return of her child, her body and soul aching for the baby who belonged at her breast. Friends tried to comfort her, and condemned Static for what he had done and continued to do, but the only constructive help she received came from Baron Von Toc. He used his power to separate her mind from her emotions, allowing her to be calm again, to think clearly, to keep the agony in her soul from tearing her to shreds.

If Static was disconcerted when Echo suddenly ceased to weep, when her demeanor became stony, he gave no sign. He continued to try to torment her with videotapes of Vezhan walking, talking, playing with the hellish toys Static gave him. Echo watched these tapes expressionlessly. She continued to provide bottles of mingled blood and milk for her son, knowing that mother's milk provides a child with elements he can receive by no other means.

Empty promises ...

Then Static announced his terms for the release of the child he had stolen ... and the final torture was at hand ...

Back to June 14, 1997

To the Foyer


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Music: Rachmanninoff's Prelude in C# Minor