"Okay." Sam didn't start walking again. She took a slow breath. "Please let me get this all out before you say anything. Maybe you know everything I'm about to say, or maybe you'll disagree with everything I'm about to say, but I need to say it and I need to know that you understand." She paused until Cady gave her sign.
Sam nodded and tried to speak steadily without letting the words rush out too quickly or sound too harsh. "Cady, there are some things that are wrong. Most, I don't think you'd ever do. You're not a murderer, or a liar, or a thief. Sometimes those things have grey areas…even white areas. Not everything does though.
"I think I made it clear that I don't care what you are: It's what you do that matters. The issue is devil magic. I'm not talking about arcane magic. There are people all over the place who use that and there's nothing wrong with it; I'm talking about what you did in the Pit. You didn't know that you could do that then and you couldn't control it then, but it's not okay to tap into that power again."
She felt herself faltering and took another slow breath. "Devil magic isn't just power that's simply floating out there for the taking. It is death, and pain, and suffering. It's husbands who will never hold their wives again, mothers who will never see their children again, and children whose parents are never coming home. That is what devil magic is. It's not okay, and I can't tolerate it or make excuses just because you're my sister.
"Do you remember in Dravina how someone offered up Sel for sacrifice? It's because she's young and healthy, but mostly pure. They don't want the lives of the old, or the sick, or the corrupt. If they had killed Sel, would you have been able to visit with Asmodeus, or use the power you're linked to knowing what that had cost? But, it isn't Sel. It's Maloria's parents. It's Maloria's husband. Hells, it might even be my family. We have no idea what his disease did in Cold Harbor.
"Knowing what the power is made of, could you still look Maloria in the eyes? Could you still look me in the eyes? More than that, I don't want you to wake up tomorrow, or next week, or a hundred years from now and not like what you see inside of yourself. That is a terrible place to be, and a hard place to come back from.
"I want you to be happy. I really do, but you're not a five year old accepting a stolen toy without understanding what the word stolen means or the difference between right and wrong. The power of devils comes at the price of lives and using it when you know makes you just as culpable as the person holding the sacrificial dagger. You once said, ‘If it's a choice of the whole world suffering or a handful of people in pain, I'd chose the handful of people. Every time. The fewer in pain, the better. ‘ Thousands have died to provide your grandfather's power - maybe hundreds of thousands. You know that. Somewhere inside your heart, you know that.
"When you use that power yourself, you become directly responsible for the loss of life and the ripples of suffering and rage that it caused. Even if you think that you are using it for good, that doesn't make it right. The ends do not always justify the means. I can't be a part of that…" Sam trailed off. She was struggling toward then end, reciting the words she'd written but never sent so that she wouldn't forget any of it, but they had run out and she was on her own again.
"That man in Katar who tried to kill Johan – his name was Samuel – and he did it because Asmodeus told him to. I condemned him for it. …My people are watching my every move. I'm Helm's last Chosen, the remaining symbol of what held them together, and I don't have the luxury of overlooking and forgiveness can only be given by the wronged. If I start being wishy-washy, then I may as well have told my people to scatter to the winds. I love you, but the responsibility I accepted comes first. I love you, but I really need to know that you understand the position I'm in here."