Revenge consumed me, devastating logic and reason, Its fire purged my being.
The Antax itself became the engine that fueled my hatred.
â€¦…She reached for my hand….
â€¦.it was an ambitious move for someone of her stature.
In the pale moonlight of a Cold Alexandrian night, I watched my former reckoning rise to meet my body.
To see her was to watch the executioner rise onto the platform, her touch is the bloodied axe upon my neck.
My thoughts trailed the shady way she crossed her legs as she walked, her eyes watched me with the vigor of an organ thief.
Those cold hands moved up my arm, and as they reached for my face, I reacted, crushing her fingers in the palm of my fist. .
She cringed in pain, her eyelids begging each other for relief.
â€śYou’re stronger than I thought..â€ť
White Glove arched forward, falling into a pose.
â€śâ€¦Am I?â€ť I threw her hands at the concrete landing, her body trailing behind.
She kneeled; her crystal white hands rubbed each other, consoling the wounds that I placed upon her body.
â€śHow did you find me?â€ť
The desire to know burned in the depths of my being.
â€śI saw you…I see everyone, itâ€™s what I do best…â€ť
White Gloveâ€™s voice echoed dimly, I couldnâ€™t find any trace of emotion or personality in it.
It was far too monomaniacal for comfort.
â€śI find it needless to ask if you remember me…â€ť
The tonality of her words fended me off, distracting me her plan.
My eyes pierced her soul, my heavy heart poured contempt upon her guilt ridden body.
â€śYouâ€™re a murderer!â€ť
Her leg sprung upon my knee caps, shooting me into a pillar of stone supporting the balcony above us, and crippling the support structure of the once famed city hall.
Swift motion brought her left hand around my throat. The other hand reached into the back of her unbuttoned jacket as I stared into the strange womanâ€™s determined eyes.
â€śIâ€™d hardly define it as murder if its in the job description.â€ť She held her switchblade to my face.
I resisted the urge to move, sheâ€™d expect that.
…Her plan must become my own…
â€śYouâ€™re confident for a small woman…â€ť
Her hair perched over her temple as she tilted her skull towards my shoulder.
The insincere smile made me loathe how close she was to me.
The knife circled my shoulders, coming ever so close to destroying the jacket that covered my suit.
â€ś…confidence and bravery are tools for the strong…â€ť she ripped the cloth open, exposing my symbol.
â€ś…But you don’t come from strength, do you?â€ť
â€śStrength was thrusted upon me…it wasnâ€™t a power I stole as my own…it was a weapon that was wielded inside of me…â€ť
Those transcending eyes looked onto my chest in disgrace.
â€śAnd in a bid to make yourself feel strong, you put on a symbol and mask to hide your weakness? The only real strength is the strength we gave you….the power of the Antax.
You were meant to be greater, Damienâ€ť
White Glove smiled as the knife rubbed the corners of her mouth.
â€śItâ€™s just that, a tool, nothing more!â€ť I spoke in response.
â€śOf course…and thats how you use it. We gave you a hope, and you betrayed us! Do you believe that this machine will save you?â€ť
I could feel her grip loosen, I no longer held her attention….
My fist uppercutted her jaw, loudly crashing against the bone marrow in her skull.
Clusters of blood and tears fell from her nose, steadily dripping to the concrete tiles.
I forced her hands away from her bloodied flesh. Strings of oozing fluid stuck to the palms of her gloves, gradually thinning out and falling back on her body as I dragged her across the City Hall entrance.
She tried to resist, but the pain was too much, she couldnâ€™t fight against the power of the Antax. The shear strength of the machine overpowered her, she was useless next to it.
I held her under my arm, throwing my fist into her ribs, over and over again, each throw growing stronger then the last, and when she was too limp to stand, she fell to the steps.
â€ś….it brings me to my weakness, so that In it I find strength, the will to overcome….â€ť
She rolled over cautiously, her hands grasping her rib cage. Blood spurted out of her mouth, projecting like a water pistol onto the pristine pathway.
â€śYouâ€™re right…I AM meant for greatness…but itâ€™s not your greatness…not through power…â€ť
â€śThere is no other greatness, to be great is to rule, to dominate!â€ť
â€śThe greatness through service, the ability to put others above yourself…thats the true greatness…the humility you lack destroys you…but if you devour your pride, if you upheave your ego, then you become a new man entirely.â€ť
I watched the witch expel masses of pus infected blood. It was difficult to avoid the spewing fluids, but as she came to a calm, I heard her voice cry out to oppress me…
â€śWhat would they think Damien?â€ť
I could hear the frailty in her voice. Attempting to understand her was difficult at best, the occasional spout of blood separated syllables, and tears flooded her cheeks.
â€ś…Donâ€™t you remember?â€ť
I moved to walk away, but her words stopped me yet again.
â€ś….they cried for you… they begged for daddy…and when they knew despair…we ended their hope, we sent their candles to the fire….â€ť
My feet stood upon the hallowed memories of my sons.
I heard their souls cry for revenge….
â€¦and In their pain I fathomed my own desperation again.
My face sat as silent as my words…a response would satisfy her…acknowledgement was too forgiving.
â€śThey would be proud, Damien. Youâ€™ve done well.â€ť
How far was she from me? Maybe twenty feet or so?
….the Antax should work that far.
â€śSheâ€™s close enough, use me.â€ť
â€śOh, I will..â€ť
My lower body sat still, but my torso reversed to face her, and in a fluid movement, my elastic arms reached for her feet.
It had this mechanical strength, the absence of my human ability almost relieved me as the Antax seized me.
I consumed the strength….I became it.
My torso returned into its natural form, my arms dragged her to my chest, coiling like a pistol.
â€śWhat if she was right?â€ť
â€śMaybe iâ€™m the only strength you have…â€ť
â€śBut we both know there is more to you then that…â€ť
The fingers on my right arm clutched her temple, and as she leaned against the outside window, I watched her conscience begin to fall.
I couldnâ€™t do this…
…Its too much…
I let go of her head, only to reach for her throat.
â€śDoes it hurt?â€ť She spoke through the pain.
Her words were so soft they almost went unheard.
I saw the hues of normally colored flesh exchange with the purple tint of aged air…
…And as she began to slip into the cold abyss, the space between reality and imagination grew thinner, trapping her in the hands of fate.
â€śWhat am I doing???â€ť
â€śControl it Damien! Control!â€ť
â€śYouâ€™re NOT the machine.â€ť
â€śYou canâ€™t become this.â€ť
â€śParalyze her, injure her…â€ť
â€śâ€¦ but donâ€™t kill her.â€ť
Her eyes readjusted on my face, but after a moment, they turned to my right, looking out towards the distance behind me.
She couldnâ€™t fight past my grip, it cut off her words.
My hand released her throat, but my fingers regrouped around the roots of her hair.
No words came, only a grin.
She had this strange satisfaction, as if she thought she won!
â€śRun!â€ť she whispered to me, demanding that I feel intimidated.
A shadow larger than my own overtook both our bodies.
Two massive hands clasped my shoulders like handcuffs, the ironclad nails pierced into my skin.
â€śAlways listen to a lady, she knows best my friend…â€ť
The warm voice sent me into a frail of mental shock.
Every path, trail, and road lead me to him.
I just didnâ€™t think it would be this soon…
…Iâ€™m not ready.
â€śI see you have found our mutual friend, havenâ€™t you Miss Beckham?â€ť
White Glove stood up and slowly walked towards me, her hands wrapped around her chest as her limp began to straighten out. .
â€śNo general, not a friend…but something valuable nonetheless.. .â€ť
Her left fist crushed my nose, .
Blood ran down the suit, covering it in stains of red and blue.
â€śAntaxide is a lovely lovely thing…isnâ€™t it Mr.Boyd?â€ť
White glove held her finger to the stream, closely examining the blue and red mixture that intertwined on the glove.
Voltaire watched the way the two chemicals bonded with each other,it was a phenomenon never before seen in nature. The antaxide embraced the blood as its own,holding it the way a father holds a newborn son.
â€śHarmony is gorgeous….the natural element of blood embraces Antaxide! The simple substance brings an amazing strength.â€ť
He could feel my body tensing up, it was everything I could do to not lose control over my sanity.
â€śRelax! The still man always dies the easiest…and an easy death is the dream of everyone,is it not?â€ť
He dragged my arms across the roadway as White Glove held my feet in the air.
The duo rushed me towards the boardwalk at the other side of the street, I was powerless to stop them, my own fear crippled my senses.
I struggled, resisted the pull of the monstrous man above me, but even with the Antax, I couldnâ€™t physically break free.
It was too much to bare.
â€śI donâ€™t see your men…am I that big of a prize for you to take alone?â€ť
Three bullets struck the bricks around me, each one landing in the space between my limbs and body.
â€śA militia of ghosts beats an army of flies, Damienâ€ť
White Glove threw my feet down at the edge of the wooden dock as Voltaire propped my back against a stake.
â€śIâ€™ve been busy since youâ€™ve been goneâ€ť
He held a bullet to my face, the silver reflections of light shined in the depths of my cornea.
â€śBullets made of Antaxide…brilliant isnâ€™t it?â€ť He loaded it into his pistol, and held it close to my lips.
â€śItâ€™s the first bullet of its kind to tear through human tissue without losing momentum. Unlike the conventional bullet, the Antaxide dissolves human flesh, and can puncture the body like a bag.â€ť
The gun pointed at my stomach, his trigger finger set its place upon the gun.
â€śAnd now that we have you, we can fulfill your reckoning…â€ť
Red dots from nearby snipers shined on my forehead and chest, revealing their untold presence in the shadows of the nearby skyscrapers.
â€śTry to swim and youâ€™re dead in minutes…â€ť
Voltaireâ€™s bullet flew through my stomach, smashing every organ and bit of flesh in the way.
I didnâ€™t realize it at first.
…It was hard to believe….
…but It struck the Antax…
Blood flowed out of this hole in my back, I could feel power being stolen from me.
Voltaire pulled my shoulder over the edge of the dock, and smiled as I fell into the cold water, watching me descended to the Earth.
I slipped into the depths of the Potomac river, the cool of the water against the heat of my injuries paralyzed every thought and sense in my body.
From the surface you could see this light…
…and the longer you watched it…
…the dimmer it grew.
Story by Andrew Purdum
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