Author's Note: This story serves a personal goal to write a new chapter every fortnight for the foreseeable future. The story itself takes place directly after the events of Repo! The Genetic Opera. For interest, I plan to include the song each chapter is written to as I usually listen to one on repeat when I write. If you feel it will enhance your experience please have a listen yourself while you read, all songs will be available on Spotify.
Song: Becomes the Color - Emily Wells
She was free at last. The cameras flashed violently in her face, blinding her, she turned and cast one last glance back at the carnage that lay inside the theatre. Shilo felt a pang of longing, a need for guidance, love. She turned and strode out past the crowds into the night. She couldn't go back. Yet she didn't know how to go forward. So she went home.
The Wallace house had taken on a different character for Shilo now. She had always resented the thick wood walls and high gates for confining her to a life of boredom, yet after the evening's events, she realised what they had been protecting her from. All desire to immerse herself in Rotti Largo's world had withered for the moment. Her father was dead. Shilo swayed in the doorway and grasped at the frame for support, her limbs felt heavy, her breathing laboured. She didn't want to think about Dad now. She staggered up the ancient staircase and took herself to bed.
Shilo woke slowly, uncertain of how long she had slept. She could not even remember taking her wig and shoes off before getting into bed, yet it seemed she had. Her body felt languid, her eyelids heavy, she had never woken feeling so unrested before. She sat up and a headache flared, blood racing to her temples and thundering past her eardrums. Wincing, she stopped a moment to catch her breath and gazed at the plastic quarantine sheets that surrounded her bed before snapping into action. Legs apart to steady herself on the soft mattress, she tore feverishly at the translucent sheets, pulling them from the ceiling and casting them into haphazard piles on the floor. There they shimmered with a slick sheen, almost psychedelic. It strained her eyes to look at them, so she didn't. She scrunched her eyes shut and clenched her jaw out of both pain and rage. Everything had been a lie. The fury and the grief for the wasted years boiled up inside of her, she grasped at her smooth scalp in anguish, feeling like she could scream. And then she caught sight of it, the Blind Mag poster she had lovingly placed in the prime position over her bed. Oh. Suddenly, the rage dissipated and her legs collapsed beneath her. She crumpled down onto the mattress and sobbed. She knew that Mag's death was the most unnecessary of them all, she wept for the times that might have been had her father not lied to both of them.
"It's my fault."
Shilo turned at the sound of the voice and gasped at the vision of her father standing before her in the centre of her bedroom.
Nathan continued, "You had a godmother, your hero, and I did nothing to help her. I am the reason she is dead."
She flinched and the anger rose in her again. He must have tried to repossess Mag's eyes the night of the Opera. "You killed her," she spat.
"No. Not me. How could I have? I was with you when she fell."
This was true, she tried to reject it, but could not refute his logic.
"But," he sighed, "I did not protect her from Rotti."
"Why didn't you? Did you not care? She was my godmother, Mother wanted her to be in my life. She wasn't a threat. She wouldn't have told him. I hate this. I hate you," Shilo gasped, furious. Her ears were ringing and her pulse was hammering in her head. The medical bracelet on her wrist declared a blood pressure warning, 'Medicate Immediately!' She panicked momentarily before recalling the events of the opera. She wasn't sick, she was poisoned. It must Dad's drug, she thought. She didn't need the medicine. Free at last. Freedom sure hurt like a bitch. Her body wanted her medicine, she wanted it. Is this withdrawal? Shilo took a breath, blinked, and her father had gone.
She slipped off the bed and slowly made her way downstairs, bracing one arm against the wall as she went for support. Aware of her growling stomach she headed towards the kitchen with food on her mind. All the while she was seeing the house with new eyes, the holographic portraits of her mother no longer seemed so normal. Could Dad have really killed her as the Largos had said? It made no sense. But maybe she had never really known him at all. He had been a state-sanctioned murderer all these years. Perhaps killing his own wife was an easy feat for a Repo Man. If that was so, what had stopped him from killing her? She had pissed him off often enough. She thought she had seen him snap. It could be that she had not given his self-control enough credit.
She reached the large kitchen and searched the pantry to find only a couple of stale bread rolls. The tiles were cold on her bare feet, she was already shivering and not eager to open the fridge. They would have to do. Shilo retraced her steps with her bounty in hand, staring at the flickering images of her mother all about her. Mag had been right, the house was a tomb. Marni's body was kept here, not in the mausoleum, what was the point of a grave if the body was in the house? The body. Shio turned and raced back past the kitchen and onwards towards the end of the hall where her mother's body was kept behind a glass window. She stopped short. Glass lay shattered on the floor, the pane had been smashed, her mother's corpse was gone.
"This can't have been Dad," she spoke to the space where her mother had once been. "Someone else as has been here." Someone could still be here.
Nausea rose in her as she realised this whole time the house had not been the haven she had presumed. She needed to get out. She needed help. She needed to know why. If this was done because of Dad's work that shouldn't be too difficult to find out. But if it was about her mother, if it was personal, she would need to know from someone who was there seventeen years ago. Everyone is dead.
"No," Nathan's voice spoke inside her head. "Not the children".
Shilo trembled at the thought of going to the Largo children for information. They must already resent her for their late father's fixation on her. They would laugh at her, scorn her, maybe even kill her. It was not an option for her. But it could be an option for a grave robber.