Word has it on the wire
That you don't who you are
Well if you could jack into my brain
You'd know exactly what you mean
Mothers are trails on stars in the night
Fathers are black holes that suck up the light


Was It Worth It?

Call me a hypocrite. I once told Madame Director Renuka it's not our place to ask that question. And yet, the question remains. In light of the price I've paid, the sacrifices I've made, can I honestly say that everything I've achieved, the lessons I've learned, where worth what they've cost me?

Would I make the same choices again?

At least I had a choice.

There were about a million innocent bystanders who would answer the question with an unqualified No. They didn't have a choice. They died because Hart betrayed them all. And because we couldn't stop him in time. God knows we tried.

Was it worth it for Hart? I doubt he thinks so. He did it all to get his son back, and now the blood of a million people is on his hands. In the end, he agreed to pay the price for what he'd done, and we never found his son. And yet, Hart proved himself capable of doing great things before leaving office. He set the City he had betrayed so horribly on its way to recovery.

And he did the bravest, most foolhardy thing I could imagine him doing. He sat down alone with me, and told me the truth. I never saw it coming. I simply couldn't get used to the idea of Owen Hart being honest, about anything. He had no way of knowing how I'd react to what he had to tell me. If I had decided to kill him when I learned the truth, no one would have been there to save him. It was a scenario I had dreamed of many times in weeks past.

And suddenly, there we were. But I had wanted to kill him because of his lies. Now that he was telling me the truth, he was perfectly safe. Perhaps he knew me better than I thought. It really wasn't fair--how could I kill a man for being honest with me? He had a confession to make, and he wanted to apologize to me. All I could do was sit there and listen to him, as he confirmed my darkest suspicions. Everything fell into place as he spoke to me.

I knew my possession hadn't been an accident--the "hunter" Entity being summoned simultaneously with a bomb threat was too convenient. But I always figured it was X-SWAT's doing--they were the Entity experts, and Cadbury needed someone to close the portal if the Ordinus Seal failed. No, it was actually Hart. He had wanted an Entity-possessed cop to look for his son in Omega sector. But Cadbury had grabbed me for X-SWAT, and Hart's creation had been turned against him. It explained a lot of his rancor towards me in the past. But that didn't matter now.

So much has happened since that night I so nearly died. I'd become a nearly-indestructable cyborg. Killed Entities with my bare hands. Been soul-gazed by a sorceress. Ventured into Omega Sector. Founded the Angelus Volunteers. Fought Masada at the Wall. Disarmed a nuke. Taken down Gurzorath. And finally, seen Jamadigni Renuka take her rightful place as Alice Cadbury's successor.

And I've made sacrifices. I had to leave behind my old job and my family. Most of my body is gone, to say nothing of my face. I've given up my humanity, and possibly even my soul. For a long time, I simply wanted to take revenge--to make sure the enemy sacrificed more than I had, before Death took me. But Alice Cadbury taught me better--sacrifice isn't about keeping score. It's about making a choice.

But that didn't make losing her any easier. I'm sure she'd say it was worth it. She made her decision to give up her life, to complete the Ordinus Seal, because she knew it had to be done. And we had to respect that. Whatever our reasons for wishing she was still with us--our love for her, the fear of losing her, questions only she could answer--they were nothing compared to that kind of commitment. It wasn't for us to question that by asking; was it worth it.

If the Ordinus Seal hadn't worked, it would have been me instead of Cadbury. I was the only one who could make the one-way trip across the portal in Omega, to the Other Side, and close it. Cadbury would have been died anyway. And there would be no more sorcerers. The thought of Jamadigni Renuka without magic still makes my blood run cold. And I still give thanks to whatever God still watches over her that I didn't have to do that, because I would have, if it was necessary. It would have killed every last Entity in the this World.

That's why Hart's confession and his apology meant nothing to me, because I had finally remembered what Cadbury knew about me all along. I'd been so caught up in the events of the aftermath that I had forgotten what really happened that night, so many weeks, hell, months ago. All the pain that I'd gone through, and the guilt, the doubt, fear, hatred, rage, loathing, and everything else I'd tortured myself with for months had distracted me from that one, single moment of truth.

It doesn't matter who made me what I am, or why. Even before I was possessed by the Hunter within me, I was already an Entity killer. When the Entity first attacked me, I made my choice in a heartbeat, detonating a bomb that should have killed me, in order to destroy the creature. Regardless of what Hart, Cadbury or anyone else had planned for me, I was willing to die, without hesitation, to kill a single Entity.

That was my choice. And I'd do it again.

Because it was worth it.