Episode 13--The Ibelis II: Betrayal Blaze
Radu leaves Ion in Esther's care while he goes ahead to secure the boat. Esther offers to let Ion lean on her; he angrily shoves her aside, saying he doesn't want to be touched by a Terran, but can only walk a few steps before collapsing. Esther sees that his shoulder wound has been reopened in the fall and says she'll rebandage it for him; again he haughtily scorns contact with such a lowly creature. Esther has had enough, grabs him by the shoulders and lets him have it: you call me lowly? You think I wanted to be stuck caring for an annoying little kid like you? But I have no choice! The wounded are like baggage!
--The little Imperial noble can't believe his ears. "You're calling me baggage? and a kid?!" ==Am I wrong? --retorts Esther. You couldn't escape without all this help, and now you can't even stand on your own two feet. Baggage is what we call people like that where I come from. He chokes with fury: why, you--! --and lunges at her, but is overwhelmed by dizziness and clutches onto her to keep from falling. Instantly she's filled with remorse and apologizes; he grudgingly gives her permission to tend his wounds. She apologizes for having aggravated his injuries. He says that's fair, since he tried to kill her earlier, but that the Terran he can't forgive is the one who shot at him earlier, even though he was acting as an official envoy and did nothing to provoke it. Esther tries to defend Tres, telling him about the Embassy bombing earlier than night and the deaths that resulted--under such circumstances, anyone would have been suspicious to find a Methuselah with Cardinal Sforza. Ion considers: but the only ones who knew about the meeting last night were me and Radu, he says...so who did start that fire…?…
Radu emerges from the shadows. Is the boat all ready?--asks Ion--but instread of replying Radu draws a gun on him. It's unfortunate, tovarash; I hoped to avoid shooting my friend with my own hands if possible, he says. Ion is stunned. Everything is just as the Terran suspected, he adds, and Ion can't believe it, throws himself forward, crying that it's a lie. Tell me it's not true, Radu! --he pleads. Radu tells them that it was he himself that prevented the meeting with Cardinal Sforza. But why? For our future, says Radu. It's impossiible for Methuselah to co-exist with Terrans, but our Empress desires peace with them. To correct that mistake...do you see? But, protests Ion, you'll never get away with this! If you feel so, why didn't you just tell the Empress? Radu replies that Ion--with his talent, personality, and noble bloodline--is a favorite at court, but he, Radu, would never have been permitted to speak so frankly, or would have influenced the Empress if he had. He'll never rise above the rank of attache' to a noble house. When someone powerless wants to make his thoughts heard, he has no choice but to change the rules of the game, he says. We will change the world…restore the world with our flames! (Esther reacts in shock and anger at hearing this tell-tale Rosen Kreuz motto, which she knows all too well.)
Esther-san! --cries a friendly voice, and into the cave sails Abel in a powerboat, saying he's sorry to have kept her waiting. Immediately Radu turns and levels the gun at him. Esther shouts to warn him, but Radu fires and stuns him, then turns back, telling Ion and Esther that they will both die here. Poor little Ion, in anguish at his comrade's betrayal, once more asks him why. Goodbye, tova-- Radu begins, and never gets there, taking a sudden shot in the back from Sister Paula.
The Inquisition! --cries Esther. Radu reels to his feet and shoots at the Lady of Death, who is too fast for him; with a chuckle he raises his hand and it fills with blue flame. Petros' voice rings from overhead: I've found you! I bring judgment upon you, monsters! Radu hurls a blast of fire at Paula, but the two Grand Inquisitors descend on him at once, and he coughs a torrent of blood. Radu!--sobs Ion. Radu looks back at him, smiles slightly, and pitches into the depths of the cave's dark lake. The surface of the water blooms with blue flame where he falls.
Abel recovers & orders Esther and Ion into the boat. Petros is furious to see he's still alive and gives chase as the boat pulls out of the cave, pronouncing divine judgment on them all. Esther snaps at him to be quiet, glaring fiercely; Abel tells her there's a blanket she can cover His Excellency with now that they're out in the sun, and she quickly obeys. Petros laughs: you'd risk your life to protect this vampire? I have to help him meet Her Grace! -says Esther, and he's taken aback enough to hush. She cradles the blanket-wrapped bundle protectively in her lap as Abel asks the Head Inquisitor to give them time. He scowls ferociously, but settles down in the stern of the boat.
Meanwhile, Sister Paula is very pointedly asking Lady Catarina why the very same vampire who attacked her has been taken under AX's protection. It's a necessary precaution; I'll take the responsibility, says the Duchess. If you want to arrest me, go ahead. I would like to, says Sister Paula, but we must take our own precautions: elimination of the vampires. Until that objective is completed on Your Grace's behalf, we must put all of Carthago under control of the Inquisition. By "on Your Grace's behalf" you mean "on your brother's behalf", don't you?--retorts Catarina coldly, knowing only Cardinal Medici could have given them such authority. Our utmost priority is rescuing the Head Inquisitor, who was taken away by those vampires and their supporters, replies Paula, and of course the death of any who helped the escapees during the rescue is considered permissible. [ Catarina gives her an icy stare for this barely disguised threat to Abel and Esther.] --Keep in mind, Paula adds, that I will report everything that has happened today to Cardinal Medici. ==[The woman's contempt for Lady Catarina is so total you can almost smell it.--cripes, finally someone with my name turns up in an anime, and she's a snitch, a war-dog of the Vatican AND a vampire hater. I just can't stand it…]]
Inquisition ships sweep the streets of Carthago with searchlights; Abel peers out from an underpass. It's totally under martial law, he says. Sister Paula has taken action, says Petros.
Esther is tending to Ion, and tells him he's lucky that shot only hit him in the shoulder, not the heart. Lucky?--says the young noble bitterly; if I'd died then I never would have had to see my friend betray me. Esther urges him to get some sleep and says she'll be outside if he needs anything; but he asks her to stay: I don't..want to be alone, he says. Outside, the floodlights sweep past.
Radu was my foster brother, we were together ever since birth, he tells her. He was my only tovarash...his fists clench in the blanket. Why? I would have given my life for him, and yet I didn't know anything about him--he was in such pain and I didn't even notice! I'll never know what he was thinking, because I couldn't save him! The poor kid sobs in despair, head in his hands, and Esther says she'll stay with him. She touches his hand and says--as Abel said to her-- that she's on his side, confessing her dream of a world where vampires and humans can live together. He tells her how different from other Terrans she is, how strange it is that she makes him feel secure..maybe he can believe in her… . They look out at the dark city together and he wonders if he'll ever see his home again. She feels sure he will.
Sister Kate tells Catarina that there's been no communication from Abel and his whereabouts are still unknown. Your safety may be compromised, she says, but Catarina is resolute. I will wait, she says.
Abel and Esther watch over Ion; Abel says they'll leave in the morning. Ion opens his eyes and smiles at Esther, saying he's fine. Esther giggles, and Abel can't help but notice there's something new going on... =)
And in the cellar of a ruined building where Radu is nursing his bloody lip and his grudge, there's a footstep on the stairs. Who's there? --he asks. --It's an elegant figure in Rosen Kreuz uniform. Don't say 'who is it' to me, Flamberge, chides the visitor, and Radu looks up to see Dietrich von Lohengrin. Oh, it's you, Marionnettenspieler, he says...
...go on to Episode Fourteen.
...return to Trinity Blood Episode Guide.