The full moon shone through the windows, being the only light source to the room containing the viscountess’ instrument. It sings in the lonely night, as her son laments alongside it. Silas didn’t turn up for the Evolution after Golden Intentions, for there were pressing matters to attend two. One was the discharge of Hidetaka Ito. The stubborn man not only voluntarily discharged himself but also got on a plane to the PPV. Silas had hoped that he and the Passenger, even if partially, would take on Lindsay Troy alone. But Ito’s arrival forced him to change his plans, and he didn’t want to change into the vile entity that lay within.
He lost the Paramount Championship, and in the worst way possible. Once again, Ito was blindsided, but not by Lindsay. A newer member of the roster, the ironically named Brandon Youndblood, ensured that Troy would win the numbers game.
He’s not sure what was more humiliating, losing the title or Troy successfully stealing it.
And still, he played the piano into the night.
Very late into the night, in fact.
HIDETAKA ITO: Silas?
He immediately stopped playing. The lights didn’t turn on. The moon was enough to show the silhouette of the master of the house, but he kept his eyes on his fingers and the keys.
SILAS ARTORIA: I woke you up?
No answers, but the long sigh of Silas was enough to fill the room. He was frustrated with himself. What kind of man would wake their guest up on the moon’s twilight?
SILAS ARTORIA: Apologies. I shouldn’t be playing in the middle of the night.
There wasn’t any speech to add on to that. He simply paused and contemplated on how he would respond, but nothing came to it. His fingers glazed over the pearly white keys and pitch black half notes in parallel, before he started to softly press them. He didn’t even turn to his guest.
HIDETAKA ITO: You hurt?
The song continued, like it was clouding Ito’s words or, more likely, their point from reaching Silas.
HIDETAKA ITO: You refused to go to Evolution, and now you’re playing your mother’s piano at 4am in the morning.
SILAS ARTORIA: And you think I don’t know that?
There was a brief, out of tune chord, as his focus briefly turned elsewhere. The song, in response, cut off abruptly instantly, as Silas mildly gritted his teeth. It was tempting to last out, but he didn’t want to harm the piano.
SILAS ARTORIA: Beckoning her was stupid, and I dragged you into this when you should’ve stayed in the hospital.
HIDETAKA ITO: And let that thing take over you?
There was a brief pause. His lip twitched slightly.
SILAS ARTORIA: [[Maybe]].
He delicately closes the lid on the piano, before laying a small handkerchief on top. He rested his elbow on top, and placed his face on his hand in complete dejection.
SILAS ARTORIA: Every night, every day, every second I walk upon the earth, I hear it scream and drag me around. It calls for blood and violence, and everyday it goes without such, their voice gets louder and louder.
HIDETAKA ITO: And your solution is to simply let them breathe?
SILAS ARTORIA: Do you have any idea what lingers within?
Finally, he turns to face Ito, face full of fear and anger, yet his voice is soft and almost desperate.
SILAS ARTORIA: I shouldn’t be here. My little Dark Passenger should’ve driven me straight to the insane asylum where I’d have spent the rest of my days in blissful ignorance, but my mind dances in harmony with them while my consciousness is forced to deal with the consequences.
HIDETAKA ITO: You’re still here.
SILAS ARTORIA: For how long? One of the two pillars of personal optimism has been demolished and the other has me second guessing on whether I can effectively protect them!
HIDETAKA ITO: Protect me?
Silas froze. He didn’t want to patronise Ito, but at the same time there was a sense of duty he had, regardless of what Ito thought. His voice was quacking under the pressure.
SILAS ARTORIA: I am your student, and you are my guest. Your safety is my responsibility, whether or not you believe so.
Ito laughed off the comment. Flattering, certainly.
HIDETAKA ITO: They haven’t seen what I can do yet.
SILAS ARTORIA: You’re not getting in the ring.
HIDETAKA ITO: I’ve left that behind. I just need to be a little more aware.
There a sharp contrast of two atmospheres present. On one hand, there was a jovial, almost father like attitude coming from Ito, seemingly unconcerned with anything but the prospect of Silas’ happiness. On the other, was fear, anxiety, and self-disappointment.
Seconds few by, before the silence was broken.
HIDETAKA ITO: You’re going to stop playing?
Silas simply paused, and his face finally relaxed in what felt like an eternity. Softly, he looks towards his prized possession, and gazed upon the sheer simplicity of its structure.
SILAS ARTORIA: Maybe five more minutes.
HIDETAKA ITO: Get some sleep. Goodnight, Silas.
The guest turns around and leaves, just as the master lifts the flap up once again.
SILAS ARTORIA: Yeah...I guess.
The song plays again.
The sun shines bright through the stained glass windows of the St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica, shining down upon Silas as he gazes upon the depiction of the crucifixion. While not religious, the loving look he’s giving indicates a sense of appreciation of art work. The coloured glass changes the tone of his face in a deep purple.
He takes a deep breath.
SILAS ARTORIA: “Cast in the Name of God, Ye Not Guilty.”
He turns behind him, as his smile becomes clearer to the frame. He’s far away, yet can be heard clearly within the stone walls of the Lord.
SILAS ARTORIA: There’s a number of quotes that are attributed to the holy books that turn out to be a complete fabrication. I don’t know how or why they are able to ascend into common vocabulary, but the one that always stood out to me was the one I just spoke.
SILAS ARTORIA: “Cast in the Name of God, Ye Not Guilty.”
A deep chuckle escapes him, amplified by the cathedral’s walls.
SILAS ARTORIA: It’s from a japanese anime about giant robots, of all things. A pilot comondeers one to take on a thematically symbolic monster, to defend a city within domes.
SILAS ARTORIA: And yet, they judge their pilots upon their seating. They pilot the machines and the machines judge them worthy or not. Ye, Not, Guilty.
He turns back to the stained glass window and looks upon the image of Jesus Christ, surrounded by notable onlookers as he hung from his cross, greeting the Father.
SILAS ARTORIA: Am I not guilty? Have I been deemed such?
SILAS ARTORIA: They do say that God has a plan for all of us. Does this include the pain within us all? A test, maybe?
He continues to look upon the window, before a deep breath is emitted and he turns to face the frame again. This time, he starts slowly walking towards the lens, away from the altar.
SILAS ARTORIA: Commandment number four. “Honour thy father and thy mother”!
Pause, as his walk continues.
SILAS ARTORIA: The bonds man has with those whom bore and weaved them are eternal and everlasting. The sins of the father do not pass down to their son, but the lessons and ideals do.
SILAS ARTORIA: In my case, it was my darling mother whom taught me everything. In a world and lifestyle as lavish and as artificial as mine, she was the only thing that seemed real. She taught me love, ambition, empathy, in a world as cruel as mine. To break that commandment is to dishonor your parents. A complete travesty.
Seven fingers held up affirmatively.
SILAS ARTORIA: Commandment number seven. “Thou shalt not steal”!
He points to the lens as he passes the halfway point between the frame and the altar, and yet, his voice was still soft.
SILAS ARTORIA: Miss Troy. You stole something from me. You tried and tried to assert yourself as the one to watch but you couldn’t get the job done. So you called upon someone to ensure my prize fell into your hands.
His arms drop, and his facial expressions harden with the evolution of his more affirmative tone.
SILAS ARTORIA: Master Youngblood’s time will eventually come, but rest assure we will meet again, just you and I, and I intend to take back what is mine by right. After all…
Ten, ten fingers.
SILAS ARTORIA: Ten, commandment number ten!
He keeps walking, getting much closer, as his arms slowly rest by his side.
SILAS ARTORIA: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox of donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
He stops. The chest upwards of his figure is in frame, and his face relaxes to a more neutral, emotionless less. His voice still soft, yet still commanding attention.
SILAS ARTORIA: The Paramount Title is mine. It was won. It was gained under the rules, and the lack of faith in yourself or your abilities meant that you took the ultimate shortcut. Just so you could get a chance to hold the belt like a champion.
The glare pierces the lens, before a small smirk escapes him.
SILAS ARTORIA: Consequences.
SILAS ARTORIA: Mr Ryan. I have little to no qualm with you, unlike my colleague, but rest assure that if you get in the way of my goal, you will truly understand the evil that lies within.
He slowly turns back the windows and the ageless tale. He whispers...
SILAS ARTORIA: Ye Not Guilty.
Back to the frame, smirk still on his face.
SILAS ARTORIA: Consequences.
His hands rise to a clicking position, prepared.
SILAS ARTORIA: You missed me last time. Time for the aftermath to catch up.
SILAS ARTORIA: See you in Havana.
The feed cuts out.