Postmortem

Chapter 3

© 2008 by Aurea Freniere

This page was last modified: 2009/01/04


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Kanon needed to check something before he went back to his temple.

He walked down the Twelve temples heading to the cabins that were built near the limits of the Holy Ground.

In previous years the area had been designated for training newcomers. Now it was filled with little cabins that, before the Hades War were meant to host guests since unlike other living places around the area, had every commodities a visit could need during their time on the Sanctuary.

But after the wars no one would visit the Sanctuary and soon, the cabins became the storage area of the Holy Ground.

Past the cabins lay a trail that led to the mountain of 'Trelos', which meant, in coloquial greek "out of his mind". In what some would consider a fitting end, Saga passed his days locked away in a little cottage, far away from curious eyes.

Kanon stopped in front of Saga's house. It was built into the mountain as if it grew naturally out of the stone. It was a beautiful place to live. Athena herself had ordered it's construction so that it could be a decent resting house for a man who, despite his mental disability had carried out his duty as a Saint in the best way he could.

Despite the beauty, Kanon had hoped that he wouldn't need to come this soon.

The last time he had come, had been after finding a note stuck on the door of his temple with message "shit all over the walls. Come quick". It had been only two days ago, the same Friday when he had found Milo's body; cleaning your twin brother's shit off the walls, and later finding a dead body wasn't prescisely Kanon's definition of a fun Friday night. It didn't matter that at the end, luck had been on his side and he had found one of the men he disliked the most jammed dead into the ditch. Both tasks had been equaly disgusting.

There was also the fact that 'shit on the walls' aside, it was difficult for Kanon to see Saga, because it reminded him that their fates would be always ominous no matter the direction in which they tried to lead their lives.

During the Hades War, Kanon thought they both could leave their past behind. He had joined Athena's ranks oficially and fought aside legendary Saints such as Dhoko and Shion, helped to defeat Hades and destroyed his threat to the world. Saga had done his part as well, returning from the death, this time as an ally and not playing the part of their enemy as had been the case for quite a while.

Both had died during the war, but Athena had brought them back to life as a reward for their services. For six months everything seemed just fine. Even with Saga's diagnosed dissociative identity disorder, that had led him to overun the Sanctuary, he seemed to be adjusting to his new life pretty well, abdicating his rank on Kanon's behalf and retiring to civilian life to enjoy Athena's gift to its fullest.

But then tragedy struck again and Saga soon began to hear voices. This time, the 'voices' weren't reflected into multiple personalities. They were only in Saga's head.

It was a matter of time for Saga to be diagnosed with extreme schizophrenia, which the physicians claimed to be a direct result of his recent resucitacion that had caused a chemical imbalance in his brain, that among other things , caused him to suffer from heavy hallucinations.
And so, Saga's health started to decline. The voices were the beginning of the madness. He would spent most of his time alone, but when he would agree to meet other people his behavior was completely erratic. He would scream at them, accusing visitors that they had come to his house to kill him.
He would sometimes cry over the death of Baby Athena, no longer able to remember the past. He would see Aioros and believe that he was a ghost who returned from the grave to punish him for his sins against the order.
He also claimed that all the people he had killed during his reing upon the Sanctuary had come to haunt him and he would point and stare blankly at the corners of the room, very sure that his victims were there, when there was actually no one else inside the room but himself.

All too soon the little moments when he was lucid and in control of his mind were very scarse and people began to talk.

The first months Kanon had to endure being pointed at, mostly because some of the villagers still confused him with Saga, but even those who knew that they were twins were afraid of him anyway, because there was no telling whether he would go insane just like his brother had.

Saga had to be put away for good and even when Kanon had forgiven him for his incarcelation at Cape Sounion, he began to harbour hard feelings against him.
It seemed that nothing they could do would make them had a decent reputation.
It was as a whole something incredibly hard to deal with.

"I know you are out there," Saga said out loud, and snapping Kanon out of his memories. He sighed, opening the door and entered the house slowly, scanning the surroundings to check that everything was in place.

Most of the fowl smell was gone already, but he could still see part of the wall paper that had to be stripped off three days ago and the memory lingered.
The rest of the house looked the same as before. There was a simple wood bed with white linen sheets against one of the walls near the window that faced to the city. Next to it, there was a small desk with books piled up and a lamp and in the center of the room a table that had a bowl filled with apples.
There was also a small entertaining unit that once had a TV and a radio, but those later had to be removed because Saga kept complaining that the images and sounds that came out from the devices where like pointy shards that hurt him.

After various incidents the centre became the place where Kanon kept Saga's clothes, which were very few garments, as the former Gemini Saint started to spent some time naked lying catatonic on the floor.

"Hello Saga," Kanon greeted him, looking around and checking that nothing had been altered in the last two days when he had been out of town running errands.

He had to admit the minute the coroner mentioned that Milo's murder could have been comitted by a madman, he had been afraid that the rest of the Gold Saints would have come here and manhandled his brother in search of answers.

But nothing seemed to be out of place. Saga was calm and so Kanon relaxed. As the commander, he would have known if somebody had been there during his absence. Everyone knew that the area around Sagas's house was off limits. There was no way to be sure when he was lucid or not, and so far during the schizoid periods, the former Gemini Saint would only tolarate his brother's presence, or the the maid who had been appointed by Kanon to do the house chores. Any other person around could send Saga into a frenzy and countless times Kanon had to be called to calm his brother down who would be on the verge of hurting someone or even himself.

Saga didn't look at him though. He was staring at a corner, half naked, and counting something.

"One, two, three, four, five."

Kanon streched himself to see what it was, but he could't see a thing as his brother massive back was covering his view and he knew better as to not approach him.
The corner was Saga's safe place, no one could touch him when he was there.

Kanon wanted to go back to his temple to sleep, but he stayed. Part of him needed to talk to someone that would share his opinions on the murder he just had witnessed. If Saga hadn't been crazy, he would have shared his point of view. He'd disliked Milo as well.

"How are you today Saga?" Kanon greeted him, looking instictively to the table for a chair.

Of course there were none, as those had to be removed too because sometimes when Saga sat on one, he could no longer tell where the chair ended and he began, and more often than not Kanon would find him yelling his lungs out because he wanted to move the arm rest at will. As if the arm rest had been a part of his body and therefore, it could respond to his brain like every other part of his body would have.
So he sat crosslegged on the floor.

"Alive... if that's what you mean. Six, seven eight..."

Kanon sighed heavily feeling miserable and overwhelmed. He had been hoping that today his brother would act like a normal human being. Of course this had been wishful thinking.

He leaned back, supporting his weight with his arm and stared at the wall he had cleaned just three days ago and wondered about his brother. How could a man so powerful be reduced into something like this?

"Why did you wash my brown? One, two, three, four five," Saga asked still counting.

He turned around and stared at Saga. Sometimes his questions were completely idiotic and out of context. Maybe he was playing with him, or maybe it was just that he was really that mad. Still he indulged him to state the obvious. "Because you can't expect me to let you live surrounded by shit, Saga. That's why"

"What's the difference?" Saga retorted "What was on the wall, is still out there, where I used to live, were you are. Shit is everywhere Kanon. All over the Sancturay."

Kanon laughed in disbelief while standing up. "What the hell are you talking about? It doesn't matter if the order has gone through rough times - all thanks to you, by the way- but even so we are warriors Saga, we are the bringers of justice, we are..."

"Killers," Saga interrupted him, this time turning slightly around to see him "We are the shit of this country and we deserve to die. All of us...."

"Very well then," Kanon said while walking to the table. "Then it wouldn't come to a surprise to you that Milo is dead."

He knew he shouldn't use sarcasm with Saga. At least not now as his brother already had problems to separate fiction from reality. But he couldn't help himself. Sometimes Saga's inner dialogue and schizoid paranoic antics usually ended pushing him to the edge.

"Oh, I know."

Kanon blinked "You know? What do you mean you know?"

"You and I were dead too. Remember? We died and then we were brought back to life. I don't know what you are getting at."

At this point Saga turned around, completely facing him. He just needed to be sure. Very sure.

"Yes, I do remember Saga, but the thing is that...Milo was killed three days ago."

"Is that so?" Saga asked tilting his head to one side. Then he took one hand and lift it and started playing with his hair on top of his head, making little knots with his fingers. He always did that when he was talking to people "I already knew that too."

Kanon couldn't help but feel goosebumps. What the hell was Saga talking about?
It was true that word spread quickly around the premises, but there was no way that Saga knew this. No one knew outside the Gold saints that Milo had died.

"Too?"

"Yes, the voices told me."

"Told you what?" Kanon pressed on, leaning slightly forward, very sure he was going to have a heart attack any time soon. Saga then turned his back on him.

"Yes, they told me they would kill Milo and then they would come to kill me after they were done with him and when you didn't show up yesterday I was worried that they'd got to you too."

Kanon sighed, relaxing completely and feeling happy about the presence of the voices for the very first time "No Saga. I had to go outside the Sactuary to run an errand for Athena. As you can see I'm fine."

"Don't count too much on it. We'll all soon be dead..."

"You are crazy Saga..." He said under his breath and turned around looking for something to drink.

"Where is the water? I'm thirsty," Kanon asked, walking to the small fridge that was in the opposite corner to Saga and started looking for bottled water on the inside. Unfortunately the bottles were already empty "Fuck. I told that girl to bring you fresh water every three days! Can't anyone do their job around here?"

Kanon slammed the door of the fridge and rubbed his eyes impatiently "Saga where is Adara?"

"She's in the back. Eleven, twelve..."

He turned around and stared for one minute at the back door that lead to the garden.

"Never mind. I'm not in the mood for arguing with the maid. I'll have some water when at my temple..."

"You look tired." Saga said turning around to see him again "Are you sad about Milo?"

To this Kanon couldn't help but laugh. Why would he be sad? Saga knew he hated the motherfucker, for crying out loud.

"Of course not. I'm just mad because I've been running errands for almost three days on account of him. As if that son of a bitch deserved it, I bet this wouldn't be happening had Athena had the power to bring him back to life."

Saga was now in front of him, in less than a fraction of a second, staring at him with his eyes wide open. His hand still locked in a strand of hair on top of his head.
Kanon fliched a bit when he felt his brother's breath on his face.

"Poor Kanon. You have climbed your way up to the highest rank of the Sanctuary, and got forgiveness from Lady Athena and acceptance from the order. But you still are a bitter, bitter man. Poor Kanon... poor Kanon."

And Saga took both his hands and placed them on either side of Kanon's head. They remained for a while like that and for a moment, Kanon could see past Saga's eyes, finding a trace of sanity. A trace that indicated him that Saga understood what he was going through if only for a brief moment.
Finding the body, the struggle to find any information avaliable and then the feeling of not being trusted no matter what he did. It was very exhasperating, as it was being here. Talking to Saga was like watching a humming bird near your window pane. You never knew where it would be off again.

"It works for you though..." His brother said bringing him back to reality, while taking his hands off Kanon's face "But don't get too comfortable. I'm sure Milo will be back in no time."

"No Saga. He won't. He can't. He wasn't killed in a war and according to the new laws among the Gods Athena can't..."

"Oh, but he will be back," Saga interrupted him."Because his friends will ask her to do something about it. Yes. His friends will ask her and Lady Athena will do her best to bring Milo back."

"You don't know that," Kanon protested, starting to feel angry while Saga kept counting again between whispers.

"Listen to your big brother. I was a Kyoko and I once was, above all of them."

"Well, things have changed since you were the headmaster of this Sanctuary,Saga."

"Yes, but unlike the position I stole," Saga began, looking at him sternly as he used to do when they were little and he was trying to teach him good manners "Friendship remains pretty much the same Kanon. You might be great with ordering people around, but you have no idea of what having a friend is."

Saga's comment was like a bucket of cold water to Kanon's pride. But then again, their conversations, no matter how well intentioned they were, always ended like this. Saga being the great wise warrior and Kanon being the idiotic fool.

"Tell me something Kanon,"

"What?" He snapped, clenching his jaw and breathing slowly.

"When I die, will you plead for me to be returned to life? Or will you be happy to get rid of me as you are with Milo?"

"Why are you asking me all this? You are not dead!" He said, almost yelling. Saga just blinked, tilted his head and turned around dragging his feet across the room.

"I know," said Saga kneeling again on the corner," I meant when the voices kill me... will you do it?"

But Kanon didn't answer this time. He walked away and left Trellos mountain, feeling more frustrated than ever.

The End of Chapter 3 -- Continued in Chapter 4


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