The Bad Guy Wins in This One - Chapter Forty Five (Alan Killjoy)

Alan saw his daughter smile weakly up at him. He tried to fight back tears unsuccessfully. He wasn’t sure why he bothered. Over a decade and a half of telling himself that he wouldn’t cry and he’d always known he’d fail.

“Do you forgive me, daddy?” his daughter asked quietly. More than anything in the world he wanted to tell her there was nothing to forgive. He wanted to let her know that it wasn’t her fault her mother and brother died. But he knew that hearing that right now would break her. Believing that there was a good reason for her years of torment was the single thing keeping her psyche together. He’d seen that, over and over, no matter how he tried to phrase it, almost as painful to watch as the thousands of years’ worth of torture he’d watched her endure in hundreds of possible timelines. More than that really, given the exponential nature of his viewing ability made it seem endless as he had to watch his own future observations in every possible timeline he considered going down. He’d had to endure watching his little girl suffer for what felt like an eternity each and every time he’d used his powers to reach this point. But now, it was over.

“Yes,” he said. “I forgive you darling.” Her smile widened and tears of joy sprung to her eyes. “I love you so much. Always remember that. No matter what people tell you later.”

“I will daddy, I love you too. I think, I need a nap now though.” She fell unconscious in his arms and he kissed her on the forehead. Sleep well my dearest. Even if they killed me in this moment, it would be worth all that I’ve done. He walked out of his daughter’s safe room back into the observation room.

Lilly stood there with a look of awe on her face. Next to her stood Reacher, brought in to help guide her in her task. Lastly Transfer stepped in and gave him a nod.

“You did well, Lilly. You washed away the evil power that gripped her. But I have another important task for you before we can rest. Transfer, do you have something for me?”

Transfer nodded and walked over to Alan. She placed her hand on his and he shivered as power surged through his entire body. He walked over to Reacher and placed a hand on him. Reacher smiled as the power flowed through him. Then Alan walked over to Lilly and touched her shoulder. She shook as the power flooded into her, boosting her for the first time.

“Ok Lilly, Reacher’s going to help show you something else that you can do. Something truly magnificent. I have to put my daughter to bed though and check on a couple of our other house guests. We have company coming soon, and I have to make sure we’re ready. Your brother’s coming to see you, would you like that?”

Lilly nodded in excitement at the idea. Alan knew she was wary about him using her power for anything else, but her guard was down from the success with his daughter. Curing his daughter was always his primary objective, but this secondary goal would be impossible without Lilly’s cooperation. If Reacher had tried to force his way into her mind she could have stripped him of his power before he fully took control.

But now that she’s let him in her head and nothing bad has happened, she’ll do it again with less caution. And without her guard up, he’ll be able to take control with ease. I can see how it all unfolds, right until Jared gets here. And by the time he arrives, I’ll have already won.

He pulled his daughter’s form closer, hugging her tightly. He slipped a note into her hands for when she woke up. He traveled deep into the bunker he’d built below his house for this day. He tucked her into a Queen sized bed and kissed her forehead.

“I’m sorry my love, you deserve a much better father than I,” he whispered. “Hopefully someday you’ll forgive me.” Of all the things he’d watched in all the possible futures he could see, he’d never been able to bear finding out.