Tower of Babel
Author: Isaac Woulms

Chapter 44

Samael threw Trisha on a couch in the living room he entered. After escaping the Bio-Machina, they became lost inside the collage of quarters.

“We have to go back. Don’t you dare try and stop me.” Trisha jumped up from the couch and started jogging back from where they came, but Samael caught her with his tendrils and threw her back on the couch. She growled at him and grabbed her pendant. She only used a little of her energy to turn her hands into claws. “I’ll kill you before I abandon Ben,” she said in a low growl.

“He is your meal ticket after all,” Samael said.

She launched off the couch and tackled Samael to the ground. She put one hand around his neck and held the other in the air, ready to claw his eyes out. “I’m going to rip the smart-ass off your face.

“Ben’s not in any danger. He’s somewhere near by.” Samael scratched his nose.

She looked up and turned her head around slowly. “You’re right. I can sense him. He’s…sad.”

“He’s a little bitch if you ask me. What do you see in him anyways?”

Trisha relinquished her grip and let Samael stand up. Her hands returned to normal as she put them on her hips. “He’s in a little over his head, and he’s twice the man you are. Let’s go find him.”

Samael put a hand to his chin. “I could do that, but Shax’s room is pretty close, along with the top of the Tower shortly after that. So many decisions.”

Trisha’s frown deepened. “You’re a real piece of shit, Samael. Why can’t you just act normal? You think you have to act so hard all the time. I’m glad you were put in that cell. You should have stayed there. It’s not like anyone would have missed you.”

She slapped Samael across the face and walked off, holding her head up and wishing she had more time to punish him. Before she left the room, another reason he should feel miserable came to mind. She turned and said, “I wonder how long it would take for-”

Samael stood still, his head hanging low and his hands at his sides. He looked back at her with a rare look across his face, a look that proved he was still human. Without a word, he turned and started walking a different path.

She turned to walk away again, but stopped herself. I’m probably going to kick myself for doing this, she thought. “Sam, wait.”

He continued walking out of the room, but before he could make it to the hallway, he felt her hand grab his elbow. “You’re right,” Samael said.

“Maybe I went a little over the top with what I said.”

“Nah you were pretty spot on.” Samael then tried to regain his arm, but Trisha tugged it back and brought him closer to her.

She hugged his arm and said, “Stop pouting, and stop being an asshole.”

He shook her off and turned to face her. “Then I wouldn’t be the awesome guy that I am.” He smiled and winked at her.

“You have to stop that.” She put a hand on his shoulder and said, “Stop acting like you’re so tough. I remember you had that problem two years ago, and I can tell it’s gotten worse. Everyone knows that you are, The Samael, El rey or the king, whichever way you want to say it. So why do you feel like you have to keep reinforcing that over and over again?”

Samael crossed his arms and tilted his head to the left. “It’s not like I’m trying to win anyone over.”

“You sure are trying to gain the center of their attention. Sam, I’m sorry what happened to you and I shouldn’t have said those things, but don’t let what Shax did to you two years ago control the way you are now. You should move on.”

“I’ve built too much hype up for this fight. I would have to call everyone I told about the final battle with me and Shax and tell them it’s a no go. Then I would have to take down the posters, not to mention the air time I scheduled for the pay-per-view crowd.”

“There’s more than just revenge.”

His eyes pierced into hers. “I have nothing left, but revenge.”

Trisha shook her head. She wanted to walk away but she felt a tremor of anger leak from Samael’s mental state. “Just think about it. Now are you going to come with me or not?”

“And here we almost forgot the star of this fiasco. Benny boy, for one night only, come on down everyone.”

“So it’s jealousy then?”

Samael scoffed at her. “I’m just trying to help you,” midway through the sentence and already Trisha couldn’t believe what she was hearing, “detach yourself from the situation unless you want to give him a lobotomy along with the memory wipe when you bring him to Lilly. Do you have plans for making him into a pet or something?”

“No. I wouldn’t do that.”

“So it’s a no go on the brain wipe?”

Trisha turned and walked around in a small circle. “Let’s have this convo at a later date. We’re still technically being chased by cyborgs.”

“Hold on a minute. Is that… yep. Like any woman, you have no idea what you want. Typical.”

She clenched her teeth and said, “You’re the one that needs the lobotomy.”

“Come on now.” Samael sat on a couch nearby and patted the spot next to him. “Take a seat and tell me. You’ve got to work out your feelings if you’re going to share them with Benjamin, your knight in shining armor.”

She looked at him with wide eyes and an open mouth. “Since when is this about me? We’re supposed to be analyzing you right now.”

“Nah, I’m kind of flat in the personality department. The word badass sums me up, so let’s move on to the complexity of the dragon girl with the mixed feelings, shall we?” A tendril came from Samael’s right arm and wrapped around her waist. He gingerly tugged at her, bringing her to his side on the couch.

“I swear I will never know what I use to see in such a narcissist.”

“Please, stop. You’re too kind.”

Trisha crossed her legs and put an elbow against her knee, resting her chin against her hand. “When the time comes and Ben reaches Lilly we’ll have to erase his memories. It’s for his own good.” She picked her head up and dropped her arm. “It’s not like he feels the same way about me. He’s literally, climbing a Tower for Lilly and I don’t think she even thinks of him beyond a friend, if that. Guys always find her more attractive I guess.” She then gave Samael a disapproving look.

Samael put his hands up and said, “Guilty, but this Ben guy’s one of those softies. I’m sure he’ll go with you if you can get him to take the bait.”

“How do you propose I do that?”

“Put your ankles above your head. That was my favorite thing you use to do for me.”

“No. No more of just using my body. I want to know if he-” Trisha shook her head. “I’m done talking about this. Samael, you’re still an asshole and I’m not thanking you for trying to help me.” She was about to stand up until Samael put his hand on her leg.

“You’ve got nothing to worry about. He’s not here right now, but there’s no doubt he’ll be back soon. If his memories are deleted, I’m sure he’ll lose sight of Lilly and follow you around like a puppy. You can do whatever you want to him after that. I don’t have any need of him.”

“What does he mean by that?” Ben asked.

He walked in to the sight of Samael and Trisha sitting next to each other, his hand on her leg, both conversing over everything Baal had warned Ben.

“Ben.” Trisha ran across the room to hug him. “My knight is back.”

He softly pushed her off and asked, “Is it true?”

“What are you talking about?”

“You’re planning to erase my memories. This whole time Baal was telling the truth.” He looked at Samael then at Trisha. “Both of you planned this all along, haven’t you? Ever since Baal started talking to me I never wanted to trust him, but how else could I interpret what Samael just said?”

Trisha held Ben’s hands. “Don’t listen to Baal. He’s probably just trying to trick you. How many times has he talked to you?”

Ben took his hands away, and took a few steps backwards. “So you two have something going on still as well? I know I’m a stranger to you, but what was with all the flirting and all the talk about me being your knight?”

“Ben, listen to me. It’s not what you think.”

“Apparently not, I thought you were a friend, or at least someone not waiting to stab me in the back. What is wrong with all of you people? Everyone in this Tower is warped.” Ben struggled to find words in the pool of rage inside of him. “So all that England talk was just bullshit? What about when we flew together? That didn’t mean anything?”

“I meant to tell you, honest. I was trying to figure out what I could do to protect you. Ben, you can’t trust Baal and you’re not strong enough to get to the top of the Tower.”

“I don’t need protection.” Ben turned his back to her. “And I don’t need to deal with you anymore.”

Trisha’s hands balled and she ran around to challenge him. “Don’t walk away from me. Stand and talk. What do you think would happen when we got to the top? Lilly gave me the idea to erase your memories, if it wasn’t for her idea then-”

“Then what? You would have turned me in to the other Demon members? Why is it that the person you’ve been telling me I can’t trust has been telling the truth?”

Trisha grabbed for Ben’s hands again. “Just listen to me. I’m sorry. I was going to turn you in, but that’s changed now.”

Ben took his hands back and shoved her to the side. “Maybe I should have just ignored you, standing on that windowsill.”

Trisha stood, more hurt than offended, without a rebuttal. “Ben…” She reached out for him as he walked away.

Before he left the room, he looked back at her, the pain in his eyes shined like a beam of miserable light. “I want to believe what you’re saying, but I can’t. I want to travel the rest of the way with you, but how could I do that now? Just get away from me.”

“Damn. You’re going to take that, Trish?” Samael said.  He wanted Ben and Trisha to argue more, it was entertaining.

“Baal said he’d like to talk to me. I don’t see why that would be a bad thing.”

“What about Lilly?” Samael asked, partially interested.

“I… I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.”


Samael was at her side with his arms crossed, leaning against the wide doorframe they stood in. Trisha had not moved from where she stood since Ben walked away. He saw the hurt in her face, the dipped brow and curled lips, bringing back memories of the time that he himself was the cause of her pain.

I can’t look away, he thought. I have to remember. He took a step forward. The thoughts in his mind left his body idle and acting off impulse. Samael quickly put his hands behind his head and pretended to be bored. “Come on, Trish. Let’s go save your future ex-boyfriend.”

Samael started walking in the direction Ben took, but Trisha turned and wondered the opposite way. “I’m not following Ben.”

He walked a few paces behind Trisha, giving her space. It’s been a while since I’ve played this game. She was walking as straight a line as she could, walking around a wall or passing by lounge furniture. He let her walk some more before asking his questions. “So suppose he has a visit with Baal and Baal doesn’t rip his head off, do you think he’ll be safe?”

Her pace was unbroken. “Samael, you don’t have any reason to travel with me anymore. I’m done climbing the Tower.”

“What about Lilly? Have you tried talking to her? I know I have and no dice. She’s in trouble too.”

“Go chase after her. You did it before so go do it again.”

Samael held back a smile. Why can’t we just fight so I can literally knock some sense into her? Damn woman. “There’s still some length to walk before I reach the top and I need someone to pick on.”

Trisha reached the exterior wall and turned right, running her fingers along the barrier to the outside world. Samael tried to read her mind, but she protected her thoughts carefully. He could hear her humming a melody that sparked a dormant memory within his mind.

“Cut ties with all the lies, huh? Come on, Trish, let’s talk this out. We still have to deal with those cyborgs, and they don’t take to kindly to our kind around here.”

His jokes were unable to alleviate even a micrometer of her frown. She just followed the wall, humming along, searching. “Samael, do you know how I feel?”

“It’s pretty obvious how you feel.”

“That’s not what I’m talking about and you know it. Your face is completely healed, given the circumstances, that’s still remote for a human.”

“I used a lot of my energy towards impact reduction, I wasn’t hurt too badly.”

She laughed under her breath. I figure it out after you turned into a Demon member. What’s it like?”

Samael began closing in the distance between them. “If we keep talking then-”

“Is that another smart-ass remark from Samael I hear in progress? Is that what you use to protect yourself? I would ask what your disorder feels like but that would be ironic wouldn’t it?” She was still humming the tune, but now in her mind loud enough for the song to become background music in Samael’s subconscious. “Nothing funny to say about that? Come on, Sam. Make a chauvinistic remark. Comment on how confident you are about beating anyone who fights you. Talk about how big your dick is. That’s the cool thing to say.”

Samael kept his hands open to his side. He would not dare retreat to the only remaining natural reaction in his psyche.

“So does it all go away at once or do you lose them one by one?” Her fingers came off the wallpaper and felt glass. She found her elevator. “Are you even able to cry anymore? If your hand were burnt to a crisp, would you even feel the heat? What’s it like to not have any emotions?”

“I have emotions.”

“You can get angry, but that’s about it. You became a Demon and like the rest, you have to pretend to feel, to act out like you’re sad, happy, or excited, but in reality, you’re numb until something or someone makes you angry.”

Samael looked into her eyes. I haven’t hit her yet, but she’s really trying me, he thought.

“Oh really? Go ahead. I wouldn’t put it past you. As for the feeling dilemma, I can relate. The way I feel right now is pretty numb.” She leaned towards Samael and whispered in his ear, “I couldn’t imagine living this way. I hope you live a long life Sam.”

He took her by the neck and shoved her against the glass behind her. His eyes flashed black, but the spike of telekinetic energy he dispersed quickly dissipated.

“The funny thing is,” she said through his firm grip, “you’ve been neutered. The telekinetic chain you hide underneath your Kevlar wrapping has taken your masculinity from you. Why haven’t you removed it yourself? Has the chain tuned itself to your brainwave? That’s too bad. If only someone would break your bonds. You could do it yourself, but that would be a loss of all your telekinetic ability. It’s funny how when you think about the chain, while its being broken, you’ll lose the only thing you care about other than yourself.”

“Shut up.”

“Let it out Sam. Just give it to me. Does it bring back good memories?” She winked at him as she placed her hands on his chest. She gave a small moan as his grip tightened.

“Cut this shit out.”

Her hands started sliding down his chest and towards his waist.

Samael punched the glass behind her, shattering it to pieces and breaking a knuckle in the process. “Is this what you want?” Samael took a step forward and held her out the window.

She smiled at him and picked up her pendant’s chain at both sides of her neck, underneath his hand. She pulled it over her head, followed Samael’s arm to his shoulder, and let it hang there. Her scales disappeared and she was visibly naked.

“Your making me do this.”

“I’m not making you do anything. You can keep blaming other people if you want. Don’t stop running from taking responsibility though. It might catch up to you.”

“So it was my fault Dagan played with my emotions? It was my fault he died too, even though he used my friend against me, and was going to take Lilly from me?”

Trisha still had a smile on her face. “Look how Shax is now. No matter what happens he’ll always be as disfigured as you left him, and he’ll never see his real best friend again.”

Samael closed his eyes as tight as he could. He tried to dig up the memories. He tried to uncover what was lost to him for so long. He needed to prove her wrong, but his struggles did nothing but keep her in the right.

“You can try as much as you want. You’re not going to feel remorse. That’s something only humans feel. You got what you wanted Sam. The way you are is what you deserve.”

He throttled her and said, “You’re being unfair.”

Her reply interrupted from the gagging sound coming out of her nearly crushed throat. She pointed behind him.

Samael looked back and saw Sagitta standing on the other end of the hallway.

“Looks like you have two people to use your anger on.”

“We’ll have to-” His body froze before he could pull her back inside. “What are you doing?”

“I’m not letting you save me. You don’t deserve that.”

He put some of his telekinetic energy into his legs and fought against her hold.

“I’ve been carefully analyzing your body, not to mention all the times I’ve spent with it, I know it very well. I have more control of your body just by understanding than you have over your favorite little wraps you tie yourself in, but I don’t have control of the hand around my neck.”

Samael looked her over then back at Sagitta. She readied a bolt and aimed for his head. He fought against Trisha’s hold, but it was useless. His limbs just shook with wasted effort. Sagitta let her bolt loose and it flew across the room. The walls were bare, and there was no furniture nearby so there was nothing to block the attack. The telekinetic energy on holding Trisha lessened as she kicked to break free of his grip, to spare any energy on the bolt would release his hold.

He did what he had to. Samael focused on the bolt and reached for his face.

“Goodbye,” she said.

Trisha fell from the Tower and saw the window Samael dropped her out shoot up into the sky. As she fell, the pendant that Samael tossed down was catching up to her. It hit her chest and dangled in the air as it fell with her. The Tower appeared to grow higher into the sky as she descended past the outer walls of this citadel.

Her pendant fell at a fixed rate above her, but jerked to the right. Corvus deactivated his cloaking device and watched her as she tumbled through the air.

Trisha aimlessly stared up at him, putting little thought into his presence. At least I’m not alone. She desperately laughed. Actually, I am. I always have been. The wind running past her ears was getting louder. I made a real fool of myself.

Corvus followed her flight to earth.

All along, I guess I was meant to be alone. Why did he even bother with me? She remembered the way Ben talked to her. He wanted to be my friend. Trisha put her hands to her chest where the amulet usually rested. Then he kissed me. A tear came to her face. He saved my life twice.

Corvus drew closer to her.

What was I supposed to do? He was chasing after Lilly, but the way he treated me was…

Corvus looked closer into her eyes. Her tears were wiped away faster than they came, but he knew she was crying.

A smile came to her face. “I was so selfish with my feelings.”


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