By Armistice 14 Comments
Quintus Knightfall has died for the second time, and in a fashion fitting for a man of his reputation he had to one up everyone and make someone do it twice to make it stick. Outside of the assassin who murdered him in cold blood I am currently the only one to my knowledge who knows the entire story of his passing, leaving the unenviable task of telling this tragic tale to Ellie and the rest of the surviving Knightfall clan on my shoulders. Having seen up close the suffocating effect of losing her twin brother the first time, I cannot imagine what her reaction may be to having to face it again. The details of the method used may be only described as much a horror of sadistic nature as it is a tactical masterstroke.
(Links: Charlemagne LeBeau, Red September, HALO Corp, Isadora LeBeau)
The illustrious Knightfall clan were among the earliest metahuman profiles to be added to my personal database, having come to my attention years before my reaching out to Ellie for our first meeting. At the time I was still acting in my role as the United Nations Security Council's covert operative for metahuman affairs, and the moment they unofficially authorized me to eliminate the Knightfall Legacies I knew they were an organization worthy of further study. To this day no member of the family other than Ellie is aware of my former association with the UN, or that I refused to carry out the order to eliminate them in their defenseless youth.
Over the years even as Ellie and I became closer, we both decided that keeping our relationship away from the family was in the best interest of all. Until the past year I had never interacted socially with any of her relatives, including Quintus, and all of my interpretations of him were through limited observation and the information derived from a twin sister displeased with her other half. I had allowed my personal feelings to interfere with my standard operating procedures and my data of this time period is limited, what can I say, she always knew how to get what she wanted from me even when I knew better. Looking back today I am left to wonder if I had kept a closer eye, would I have seen enough to alter his dark future?
(Links: UNSC, Knightfall Family Tree, Operation: Dayspring)
This all changed when the family, especially Quintus, seemed no longer content with staying to the previously established “family business” and gradually began to set off on their own paths. Suddenly the established legacy was simply too confining and the next generation wanted to branch out and make their own mark on history. Each wanted to be their own bright and shiny star, and Quintus would not remain satisfied unless his shone brightest.
What came next was Quintus inserting himself in practically every major metahuman conflict, and as expected always taking center stage. Over this period his actions were nearly impossible to anticipate as his chosen alignment and allies seemed to change from day to day. His action at this time could be described as arguably heroic, yet anyone who knew better was aware he had yet to play any side other than his own. While his escalating activity during this period warranted my attention and growing suspicions about his methods, his sinister turn coincided with of all things his falling in love with Ziccarra Liafador.
(Links: Illuminati, Amaranth Strix, Impero, Warsman)
Then began his decent into madness as he led his Shadow Cardinals at the side of his dark consort and her already established Red Cardinals and Venezuela was left devastated in their wake. What followed was a meteoric rise in the power and influence of their unholy union that met as swiftly a fall when he met his first death at the hands of his closest friend, Impero. To this day the reasons for the final showdown between what to my knowledge were practically brothers, may never be known. Suddenly the power structure that toppled a nation fell apart as allies drifted and a heartbroken widow set aside a throne to return to anonymity with her yet unborn child.
In many cases this would be where his story ended, but then again when did Quintus ever do anything the easy way. Months later my sensors picked up his distinct bio-signature and after verifying the accuracy of reading I investigated to find a caravan of travelers led by a scarred twin of Quintus himself, and guided by the Amazing Angel. The troupe had the means and intentions of reviving him and his father for unexplained yet obviously nefarious reasons. Against my better judgment I followed them into the depths of hell itself and aided in his resurrection, as well as turning away those who meant to use him. As this was done under one of my rarely used personas, no one to this day is aware of my part in his return to the living.
My direct involvement was no question out of character for me, I have played God far too much in my life already and yet here I was literally raising the dead. But outside of my desperate want to relieve Ellie of the pain of losing her closest kin, I also knew that his rather sudden and twisted change in personality was a medical one as much as his numerous character flaws. Quintus suffered from a deteriorating cerebral condition brought on by the constant and excessive use of his mental powers, constantly pushing them against or past their limits. I can only speculate that this may be a genetic condition passed throughout the family after Andres own dark period. It had been Ellie's wish during his final days to somehow redeem him, by bringing him back and repairing the damage done I hoped to do this small kindness for her.
(Links: Gambler, Jayden Knightfall, Ellie Knightfall, Morte Knightfall)
There has been no hiding my feelings of Quintus in his earlier days, many a time did I bite my tongue when his sister would once again defend him against what deep down she knew to be his fault. I grant him a charm and charisma that were undeniable, but only as a mask for a consummate bullshit artist and silver tongued devil. He was a hero of convenience and like every other action the only thing that mattered was if it suited him, born a prince of a respected society he wore his status on his sleeve and sneered at any he considered beneath him.
Leading up to his final days I can say with a now lessened sense of pride that he was a different man once given his second chance. Fatherhood seemed to bring out the his best qualities and temper his worst, and he showed a level of devotion to his daughter that none of his relatives had ever seen in his first life. A life up until that point wasted on foolish pride and selfish pursuits, only to be yanked away just as he was becoming the man he was meant to be, at least in my eyes. Upon his second death I will mourn not for the man as he lived, but of the man that could have been.
Observation Level – N/A
Potential Threat Level – N/A