Thadeus froze. He never heard her come in. He turned around, slowly.
He resisted the urge to oscitate when he saw her. When the Red Guard took her five years ago, she was but a squirt, a caterpillar becoming a chrysalis. Now, a full grown woman stood in front of him -- a dazzling butterfly.
“I was waiting for you,” he said.
Even after so long apart, their minds still worked in strange synchronicity. He knew why she was here. He was her graduation project. The Lacuna mission, trainees called it. A mission where they had to tear out their past like pages out of a book. Failing this final test meant death.
Her face was emotionless, but Thadeus knew better. He knew her. Or did he? There was a miasma around her he never felt before. She had changed. They both have. His image stared at him from the mirror on the opposite wall. Was he really that old?
“Do it quickly,” the calmness of his voice surprised even him.
Did her voice just tremble?
He looked away. It was easier. “I love you.”
“Goodbye, father,” she whispered as the blade fell down.