Kyle stood in the cold, spring air looking directly into eyes he had seen before. It was not only that he recognized the gray, lifeless orbs of any of Jack’s puppets. It was that the face surrounding the eyes was so familiar. It filled him with grief, and more than a little dread. Here he was, once again, ready to face a lifeless adversary, when the real enemy hid in some cavern or wood playing out the game like these dead people were simply pawns. It always struck Kyle how sad these situations were, but never more than when he knew the person he faced. This body was the hollow shell of someone he had known a long time ago, someone he had seen every day at one point in his life. But now, the bloodless skin and gray eyes darted from one side to another furtively. This was not the man he knew. It was merely a meat puppet acting as a sentry on the road south.
With a sigh of resignation, Kyle willed the light curtain, which surrounded him and kept the rest of the world from seeing him, to fall away. The searching gray eyes instantly stopped, focusing on the man who appeared before him. The dead body stared and let out a cool, dry whisper, “Kyle Ward.”
Kyle nodded, “Hello, Jack. I just wanted you to know we were back. Get yourself ready, the council will come calling.”