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Shepherd

Shepherd

My grandfather was a shepherd.

He tended his fields with kindness, mercy, and honor. His sheep obeyed his every command, because he treated them as his own children. They ate at his table.

Then came the wolves.

Vicious and hungry, they struck hard and fast at the flock. They took all that their mouths could carry in their vicious assault.

Wroth with anger, my grandfather relentlessly hunted the wolf pack. When he descended upon them, it wasn’t unexpected.

It was inevitable.

Bathed in blood, he ripped them limb from limb before returning to his flock. As he hoisted up a bloody arm, he didn’t realize he’d made a fatal mistake.

He left one of the wolves alive.

Wounded, but alive.

And as long as one wolf remains, the sheep will never be safe.

The next morning, my grandfather discovered his flock, his beloved sheep, had been slaughtered. Even wounded, the wolf was more than capable of taking his revenge.

History has a way of repeating itself.

For I am a shepherd also.

The flock I tend are the men under my command. Loyal men, who would do anything for me. Because I also tend my domain with kindness, mercy, and honor.

For those who are loyal.

When Xavier invaded my fields, he took all that he could. He struck hard and fast at my sheep. It demanded an answer.

So I hunted him. He knew I was coming, yet there was nothing he could do about it.

Inevitable.

I ripped all of his cybernetics out, rendering him less than a man. I even celebrated with my flock, men who were like sons to me.

But my mistake was that I didn’t finish the job.

And just as my grandfather discovered, one living wolf renders the flock unsafe.

Now that flock, my sons, are gone.

My grandfather worked to rebuild his empire. He found new sheep to tend. He moved on from the wolf, and lived a long full life.

But I am not my grandfather, Xavier.

You took loyal men from me. They sat at my table, ate my food.

Kindness. Mercy. Honor. Relics of a different time.

Of a different man.

This shepherd died with his sheep.

That’s the funny thing about this story, Xavier. To the wolves, they were only doing what they had to do to survive. When the shepherd attacked them, it was no different to them than what they had done to his flock.

Sheep. Wolf. Just repeating measures in a circular symphony of violence.

My grandfather ended that circle by moving on. He chose to take his losses and rebuild anew.

But I am not my grandfather.

Now I’m the wolf, stalking the shepherd who destroyed my pack and left me wounded.

And when I descend upon your domain, the Slaughterhouse, I will not be as generous as you were. There will be no kindness, mercy, or honor.

Just bloody murder.

You took something precious from me. Now I will take everything from you.

The only way the cycle of violence ends is with your death.

It’s the natural way of things.

The only way.

It is inevitable.