- Though he'll never know it, I am the grandfather of young Albert Caldecott. I mean to see him safe.
- -- Shade
Appearing in "Times Past: 1901, Family Ties Part II"
- Mayor Rousseau (Single appearance)
- St. Dubris
Synopsis for "Times Past: 1901, Family Ties Part II"
At the same time, Rousseau, Mayor of a small village south of Paris was the sole man left alive after a mass killing spree that saw the death of the village's entire population. The murderer was a homonculus, who delighted in filling the mayor with survivor's guilt and horror. When the mayor steeled himself for his own death, the killer merely remarked that he always leaves one survivor, put on his hat, and left town.
Despite his penchant for opiates, Shade was a champion of moderation, and urged Albert to leave with him lest they waste away. As it turned out, Albert had come to Paris in order to escape his father's ire, having been disowned for his numerous vices - not the least of which his association with Aleister Crowley's Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Through the Order, he met a man named Otto Haddon, and fell in love. Otto was a real magician, and Albert had watched his work raptly - until the day he created a homonculus.
As it turned out, Otto lost control of the homonculus due to his dependency on laudanum. The demon possessed him, and ate his soul. It began travelling the country committing murderous acts of depravity, before returning to Albert. Apparently, the fact that Albert was present at his summoning forged a link between he and the demon.
Rather than dwell on the problem at hand, Shade asked about Albert's family and learned that the family had grown wealthy since he left. His former wife Elizabeth had moved on to work at a dispensing chemist's, learning chemistry as she went. She saved and eventually bought the shop when the chemist retired. The business boomed into a franchise, and soon became an empire. Shade hoped to reunite Albert - his grandson - with his family, and perhaps reunite himself with his aging wife.
When the homonculus finally returned to Paris, he hoped to torture Albert with more stories of his debauchery, but he found Shade waiting for him instead. Despite his intimidating show, Shade was aware that the homonculus was merely a servile demon, with little power, and said so. The demon became angry, and showed his true form, but Shade was unmoved. He took but a small piece of his own shadows, and flicked it into the demon's mouth. For a moment, the homonculus savoured the beauty of that shadow, before exploding and being consigned back to Hell.
Later, Shade accompanied Albert back to London, where his grandmother awaited. Albert offered to introduce Shade to his former wife, but as she was so old, and he hadn't aged a day, he decided it was best not to let her see him. As Albert reunited with his grandmother, Shade thought to himself that seeing Elizabeth again was his reward for the good deed he did.
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