Friday, September 11, 2015

Day Nine-Hundred-Twelve: Go for the head

A lot of things happened in a very short span of time.

A man, a man who looked very much looked like a pigtailed woman for a half a second, stepped out to meet Kierkegaard on the battlefield, disregarding his own safety. He began to talk, and many people on both sides of the fight listened.

Another man, propelled by a compulsion he could not control, raced out into the hills surrounding the battle to chase a woman he only tacitly recognized. An entire contingent of werewolves and hybridized creatures went with him, expecting an easy capture - and finding only slaughter.

On the fringe of the fight, a little girl in the form of a combat-hardened death machine cleaned her blade with her tongue. It was stained with the blood of one of her foes. Part of her abhorred this practice, but she couldn’t help it. She was programmed to be this way. She hated that.

Far away, a woman completed her final affairs. She knew she would be dying soon, dying with her son, and she was fine with that.

And at the centre of it all, outside a strange, wobbling, crawling, living tent, a soldier and a servant stepped up behind her commanding officer for the last time. He did not know she was there until it was far too late.

Blue had first met Doc in the void of codespace, shortly after their respective births. They were not brother and sister - Blue was loathe to consider Emmett even an acquaintance, let alone a family member - and he’d struck her as boorish, piggish, easily-distracted, and downright slimy. Even though they did not possess fully-corporeal forms in that inky blankness of the void, Blue divined a great deal about the man that would one day be her commanding officer.

When Blue was eventually assigned to Doc’s command, he did not remember her at all. She didn’t expect him to - her personality was far less bombastic, and therefore far less memorable - and it wasn’t as if it mattered anyway. He forgot her name for the first three months, consistently referring to her as ‘Titan’, her class of Non. She only managed to slip ‘Blue’ into his mind by attaching it to the class, hence ‘Titan Blue’.

She hated Doc. No, she loathed him. No, even that was not enough, there was probably no word for how little she liked the Non, because he’d made her watch and do things that were utterly abhorrent to any living being with even a shred of conscience. He’d stained her soul in profound ways that she’d never could have considered as a child. Her life would not be the same, having lived it in tandem with Doc for two years.

It was time to wipe away the stain. It was time to claim that house she’d always wanted.

Blue tapped Doc on the shoulder. He whirled around at once, the expression on his tiny face already irritated and dismissive, and he had two hands up to ward her away. His eyes widened, however, as Blue’s body began to change, shifting away from the hugely-muscular physique of most Non and settling back to the smoothly-lined blankness that she normally preferred. It wasn’t difficult for a Non to hide among her own kind.

“Oh,” Doc said. It was his last living word.

Grinning, Blue clapped her hands together, palms compacting Doc’s tiny head. It was a small target, an easy-to-miss target, but she’d dreamed of doing this very thing so many times that Blue couldn’t possibly have missed. She felt Doc’s head burst like a smashed grape against her fingers, and though the thought of brains on her palms filled Blue with a deep disgust, the incredible sense of satisfaction overrode the churning in her stomach. Doc’s chimeric body, still twitching, collapsed to the ground at Blue’s feet.

Blue wiped the remains of Doc’s head on the ground. No one seemed to have noticed her, or if they had, they didn’t like Doc enough to comment on his demise. Her job done, she crossed her arms, changed back into a non-distinct Titan again, and waited for the fireworks to begin.

The results were not immediately apparent, and Blue wondered if their hypothesis - that Doc’s death would bring so many of their troubles to a close - was, in fact, wrong. But then Doc’s tent began to sag, its fleshy folds losing their tenuous stability, and by the time the first gasping, pained burble floated out of the tent’s horrid interior, Blue knew they’d chosen correctly after all. 

She was only half right. Less than a minute after the tent fell to the ground, Doc’s minions went berserk.

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