A/N: A new chapter of Haventon went up yesterday. Don’t forget to check it out.
Andrew spent the next several minutes pouring his heart out to Melissa about being kidnapped and the pain of knowing that he’d been a part, albeit an unwilling one, in what had happened.
â€œAnd now his egg is hatching,â€ he said finally.
â€œAnd you have mixed feelings about giving him another chance?â€ she asked gently.
â€œNo… yes… well, not really.â€
â€œThat sounds like a definite yes to me,â€ she said.
â€œYes, I suppose.â€ He stared at his hands and gathered his thoughts. â€œIt’s not what he did to me, not really. That was wrong but I could forgive it if he was genuinely sorry. But he killed millions of people. I know he didn’t mean to, but it’s his responsibility. And what he was trying to do was wrong anyway… you can’t go around rewiring people’s brains without permission.â€ He bit his lip and rubbed at his hands, wishing she would say something so he wouldn’t have to continue, but she just sat there with her head tilted, listening to him. â€œIt’s his fault, but we can’t kill someone in cold blood no matter what they’ve done and we certainly can’t kill a helpless baby â€“ even if they used to be an adult. So I’m not sure what we can actually do other than this. But what if he doesn’t learn, can’t be rehabilitated. What if he matures and tries again?â€ He hesitated. â€œAnd what if he does learn and is sorry?â€
â€œSixteen years is a long time,â€ Melissa said. â€œIf he doesn’t learn then the solution is sadly easy. If he does… well something will need to be done, of course, but what remains to be seen. He certainly owes a major debt to the whole world for this mess.â€ She patted his hand gently. â€œI won’t tell you what to think, Andrew. You need to work that out for yourself. But I will tell you what I think, if you want.â€
â€œPlease,â€ he said.
â€œOkay.â€ She leaned back in her chair. â€œMuch of what I’m thinking is surmise, though some of it might be checkable by a decent retrocognative clairvoyant. Let’s start with what I’m pretty sure of from what your parents have told us. I think he was a pawn; someone manipulated the situation to get him to do what he did. If I’m right, he still bears a heavy responsibility for all those deaths but the ultimate responsibility lies with the one who manipulated him.â€
â€œI don’t think that’s surmise,â€ Andrew said. â€œWe’re thinking the same thing.â€
â€œI know. This Xantaria person. The one who also kidnapped Kayleigh and Robert. I gathered. Now we get into where I’m speculating and where a retrocognative might be helpful. I think someone widened the tear after he created it and it was that which did the most damage. I know most people think the second widening was just it unzipping further but that seems wrong to me.â€
Andrew frowned thoughtfully. â€œIt’s not impossible, is it? We should at least check into it. Have you told my parents?â€
â€œNot yet,â€ she said. â€œI only just put my finger on what was bothering me while listening to you.â€
â€œOh,â€ he said. â€œWell let’s call mum in then.â€
â€œAfter we finish your session, Andrew. I’ve been a bad enough councillor already by hijacking your session. Let’s not make it worse.â€
â€œOkay,â€ he said. â€œBut I’m not sure what else to talk about.â€
â€œIt’s entirely up to you,â€ she said. â€œIf you’re not ready, I can teach you some calming exercises that will help if you get anxious or panicky.â€
Andrew considered that before nodding. â€œI think I’d like that, please.â€