Friday, October 23, 2015

Day Nine-Twenty-Seven: The Real Eve

The Baron’s tiny ghost had lived inside Eve since before her birth, controlling her actions and tainting her soul. It was as much a part of her as her failing organs, her unmatchable muscles, her strong heart, her very soul. It hid in a small niche in her intestines, never harming her, but always allowing The Baron to dictate her habits. He’d known he would not have been able to control her killing instincts to any sort of degree without that tiny ghost, a manifestation of his puppeteering powers.

The Baron had made the mistake of casually mentioning this fact to Kierkegaard. So when Kierkegaard created the other end of his portal, the last portal he would ever make, he knew exactly where it had to go. His claws caught the tiny, bespectacled spectre off guard, and with a quick snap snuffed it out.

Eve lost control immediately.

Her epic battle cry did not last long. Pulling one arm back, Eve launched a vicious, stabbing punch into Kierkegaard’s body. The first blow pummelled the life out of the penguin, but Eve punched again anyway, again and again and again, obliterating the spot where Kierkegaard had lain, shredding his body. The impact sent Dragomir sprawling to one side, shocked, fully awake, and unable to help himself.

Eve ignored her father. Howling, she launched herself at Antonio, and Cedric beside him. Antonio raised his arms to defend himself, surprisingly quickly… but Eve’s punch launched him into the air, catapulting him into the distance with utter killing intent. Dragomir didn’t know what happened to him, but he heard a loud ‘snap’ as Antonio’s arms broke.

You bitch,” Cedric hissed, and he kicked out at Eve. “You fucking - “

Eve casually knocked the kick aside with a chop of her hand. Cedric’s rotted body, already weakened through wear and tear, crumbled easily under the force of her hand, and the lower half of his right leg dropped to the ground. Eve grabbed the stump and whirled Cedric around in a tight arc, hurtling him into the air in the same direction she’d sent Antonio. Cedric’s surprised yelp frightened Dragomir.

In the distance, Dragomir heard the frantic padding of feet. He supposed that was Plato. Eve threw a quick glance towards the platypus, eyes narrowing, and her body tensed -

- but she redirected her anger at once as a cannonball flew towards her face. She batted it aside with a flick of her wrist, and it exploded in the distance.

The Sky Bitch hovered nearby, unleashing a tightly-controlled barrage of cannon fire at Eve, plainly taking pains not to strike Dragomir in the process. Eve batted each ball away with casual ease, coiling her legs and springing towards the nearest unmoving Nothing. Landing lightly beside the great machine, she grabbed at its foot and wrenched the heap of tangled metal and slimy black oil from its moorings. The leg creaked loudly as it flew into the air -

- and the Sky Bitch rocked as the leg struck, and ruined, its port side. The airship sputtered, veered off course, and, one side of it almost instantly ablaze, zipped off into the distance. Its dying cries floated to Dragomir’s ears a few seconds later as a painful rumble, the telltale sound of a crash landing.

Dragomir wanted to pray for the safety of his wife, and for every person he knew on the ship, whether they still liked him or not. It was entirely possible they did not. But that barely mattered now, because the apocalypse Eve had promised the world for so long seemed to have finally come, and Dragomir found himself staring it right in the face.

Eve thudded into the ground at Dragomir’s feet - Foot, he dimly amended, the other one’s fucked off somewhere - and loomed over her father. Her face was no longer the blank, controlled mask Dragomir always associated with his daughter, but instead that of an uncaged animal: eyes wide and twitching, mouth pulled back in a snarl, teeth bared. She leaned in close, sniffing at Dragomir, dripping drool onto his body. He wondered if she wanted to eat him.

“Hey… kiddo…” Dragomir struggled to say, only now aware that he’d landed on a rock. It was digging into his back, and it made talking difficult. “You… you gonna… kill me again…?”

Eve leaned in so close that she was now drooling on Dragomir’s face. The unsteady twitch of her eyes made her look absolutely mad. Yet Dragomir didn’t fear her - he was just sad that this, apparently, was what she really looked like, because he had at least a dim idea of what Kierkegaard had done in his final moments. He’d set her free. This, this, was Dragomir’s actual daughter, and despite how frightening she was, she could never frighten him. Not anymore.

Eve grabbed Dragomir by the throat, hoisting him into the air. He dangled from her grip like a rag doll, staring at the landscape around him with only mild interest. It was one of the more horrid battlefields he’d seen, and, he supposed, it would also be his last.

“Daddy… daddy still… loves you…” Dragomir promised, and he closed his eyes. “Daddy… always… loves… his Eve…”

And then, whether through miracle or conscious decision, Dragomir found himself flying through the air, tumbling freely with all the grace of crumpled parchment in a windstorm. He watched the world around him flip over and over, and moments before he hit the ground he caught sight of the blackened hole his Catastrophe had cut in the sky. He admired the stars blinking inside that jagged scar, and wondered if they were the last things he would ever see.

The ground where Dragomir landed was kinder than he’d expected. But it still hurt like a bitch.

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