The figure stood immobile, concealed by the heavy fog, separated and
helpless. He caught snatches of the events which unfolded through
the intangible, but torturous mist. He wanted, needed to scream, to
make contact, to show them the lie, but Richard Ryan could not move.
He'd touched a creature from nightmares and now it controlled him,
held him prisoner and used his image on another to destroy his
friends. It whispered in his mind, taunting, commenting on the
anguish it orchestrated just out of his reach, describing the pain it
caused. There was laughter in his mind, amusement at his ensnared
rage, as it entertained him with the deception which played out
through the ethereal barrier.
He'd watched the Quickening, seen snatches of the grief in the
Highlander, and he'd fought the monster that pumped the life blood
through his veins. Yet he'd still been a silent, secret observer as
his two other comrades had arrived. The young man had seen the tears
begin and felt a similar anguish, one directed at the needlessness of
it all. Then he'd grabbed on to his anger, his emotions burning in
the face of the gloating control, defiant on at least that level.
Ryan's external demeanour was deceptively calm, the thing inside him
was even controlling his breathing with its sickening influence. One
brush of a body had brought him to this, a moment's collision with a
misleadingly ordinary mortal. How could something do this to him?
This wasn't possible, yet still he stood statuesque as he heard
MacLeod's heavy footsteps die away. It held him so close to the
others, Methos and Joe were but a call from him. That was the
attraction for this being - it enjoyed his reaction, revelling in the
frustrated, angry puppet it held by invisible strings. It manipulated
lives, channelling it's own hatred through them. This demon was
intent on the destruction of Duncan MacLeod and everything he held