- May 9, 2021
The Thrill of the Kill
You always hear how wrong it is to kill someone, to hurt someone. To take a life is to kill everything they ever were and everything they will ever be… some real deep stuff.
Yeah, I never got that, and that was back before I was traveling the multiverse and my dumb ass thought there were only 12 billion people in the whole world. I mean, if there’s that many, is killing a few really that important?
Then I found out that there were infinite worlds with infinite people, and once you start throwing around infinity, your shit just doesn’t seem to matter.
So I always get asked, “How many people have you killed, Jetta?” And when I don’t shoot them, I always tell them that I don’t kill people… not anymore anyway. To call the things I hunt people would require a mutual respect I don’t give.
What? Killing scumbags pays, killing people doesn’t, so I stopped doing that. Also did wonders for my social life.
“How far is this fucking bar?” I groan out loud. “We’ve been walking so long we’ve probably crossed the whole city by now.”
Smoak, pronounced ‘Smoke’, this weird poncho wearing, beanie loving, sweet, annoying, little hybrid monster turns around to give me the strangest look. “This whole city, is a planet, we have most certainly not walked the diameter of a planet.”
Venatrix, or Vee as everyone who likes her calls her, is twiddling a bullet between her fingers as she laughs, “We’ve been walking for literally five minutes, we just got off the shuttle.”
She sometimes has these cases of ADD, so its usually not a bullet between her fingers unless she’s trying intimidate people in bad neighborhoods. She’s deeper than her leather jacket, I promise.
“Why do we hang out with her?” Smoak asks Vee.
“I don’t know, she’s good at killing people,” Vee smiles and shrugs, “not as good as me but-”
“That, is highly debatable,” I assure her.
The two of them complain about me, in a funny, giving me shit kind of way, it’s not malicious, but it is mean. I mean, I’ve said way meaner so I’m not going to complain until it would be the most annoying time to do so.
They do this thing as they talk where I can’t tell if they just have a good rapport with each other, are flirting with each other, or are already fucking. I don’t know, I don’t do that myself so maybe that’s why it’s always hard for me to tell.
Looking at the two of them, they would make cute babies, annoying babies, cause aren’t they all, but they would look cute.
They both got this straight black hair, but Smoak’s is more dark brown. His is also really wavy, though that may be because of the black beanie that holds it down. I don’t get why he wears it, especially since his hair goes down to his chin.
Vee’s hair is really black, like a raven, like it turns blue in the light instead of black.
A lot of people don’t know that. Real black hair is rarer than red in humans, and you can tell what it is by whether or not it turns blue or purple in the light, where dark brown turns black. Not like, neon blue, but bluish, slightly blue, baby blue.
Okay, maybe not baby blue, I’m a hired gun, I just know fun facts, not everything about them.
Yeah, but Vee’s hair looks eternally drenched as it flows straight down to her ears- and that’s just like Smoak. I wonder who copied who. Still, she looks like she’s been playing host to a powerful daemon.
Actually, she’s host to powerful dead archangel, but that’s probably why she’s so pale, and her hair looks like the color of the abyss.
I wonder what that would look like, with her being paler than snow, and Smoak being that strange mulatto color that his kind are. He looks human, but he’s looks like he’s black and white. I’ve met his parents… from a far… through binoculars, they look a lot like him.
Never met Vee’s parents though. I think they’re dead.
Hopefully, they had better fashion sense than her. You’d think she came out of the 90’s with the cargo pants, and a white t-shirt with bandoliers, grenades, dual pistols, and a shotgun strapped to her.
You know, this place has a whole army dedicated to security, you’d think they’d stop us from running around with weapons, but no, that’s actually pretty normal here. I mean, most people have powers of some kind, so most people don’t really needs weapons.
Vee’s powers got no range, unlike Smoak, that’s why he only has his… his… what kind of sword is that again? Who cares, he must think he’s so mysterious hiding it under that poncho.
I really hate that poncho, it’s not like he’s from Mexico, or anywhere south. It doesn’t look like one from anywhere that speaks Spanish either. Its a circular pattern, revolving between blue and white. That’s such a-
Wait, wait, it’s like that for of his tricks. Yeah, that’s right, I forget that Smoak sacrifices fashion for battle strategy, because he’s uses magic and shit.
I think they stopped talking about me now, and speaking about me… I pull one of my swords form my back. I have two of them lined up in an ‘x’, If I put them straight down they’re so big they’d scratch the ground, but I can hold one in each hand.
If it sounds like I’m bragging, I am.
The swords’ blades are wider than my head, and thicker than my wrist, and my wrist is decently sized, I have muscle to carry these.
And the length… don’t let anyone tell you size doesn’t matter.
Just kidding that’s a joke, calm down.
But seriously, this sword is longer than I am tall, and I don’t think I’m short. 5’10” is a respectable height… well, for human girls, I guess to aliens I’m still pretty short. Can’t win.
Want to know that this all means? Not only are my swords great at killing everything, they make good mirrors, because you know, I keep them clean and need to keep my teeth the same way.
There’s something in my molar that’s really fucking annoying me.
When I look at myself, my hair is tinted red by my circular sunglasses. Yeah, I know, wearing sunglasses at night is douchey and asinine, but that’s what I’m going for.
Wow, my hair is getting long, like past my shoulders long, and these split ends, I gotta do something about them, the white color isn’t going to hide them. The curls are strong through.
Oh shit, what the fuck is this crust on my denim? This jacket is supposed to be blue, not yellow… just like some sandwich I had.
“Shit, it’s on my shirt too,” I complain, trying to scratch the cheese off my top. When was the last time I washed this outfit? When was the last I washed the bandana? When was the last time I wore something different?
God, maybe the frat boy was right last night, we’re all just anime characters in disguise, especially me.
It’s pretty late, but of course there are still a lot of people out at night, and I hear someone snicker. I only have to turn my head to catch sight of dozen different people looking at me.
This Regamorph, one of the terran mofos with silver skin, gives me some kind of stink-eye. I stick my tongue out at her.
I do the same to the next Dinoran, a giant fucking cockroach thats eyeing me. Wait, that might not have been his eye, I’m not well versed in their anatomy.
The head honcho of this city-planet not only lets people in from across the multiverse, but across different species too. I forget that sometimes, I don’t pay much attention. I should get out more often. I can barely name half the aliens I’m walking past.
There are these walking gorilla rocks called Techanots, I hear they’re new here. There are a bunch of big ass intelligent bats too, and Serpents with two arms and legs that look ripped right out of Monsters Inc.
A couple just look like humans only different colors. Fish people, bug people, living gas people, frog people… wait, the fish and the frog people might be the same, I’m not very good at this.
Actually, now that I think about it, this was a man-made planet, so are we all aliens, or are none of us aliens?
Better question is, who cares? Not me, my attention span clearly doesn’t last long enough for that.
“Asshole, stop that,” I hear Vee yell. I assume she’s talking to me, which is a safe assumption, so I move down my sword.
“Me?” I still ask, to annoy her with coyness.
“Yes you, who else picks their teeth and uses a giant ass sword as a mirror? you haven’t listened to anything I’ve said.” She bitches at me with this scrunched up little nose she makes when she gets mad.
She usually never gets mad she tells me, that it’s usually only at me, but I call bullshit.
Though it could be also just be work, and we work together a lot, could be getting between our friendship when I’m not looking. Doing jobs for money usually sucks the fun out of shooting stuff for her. She much rather be shooting daemons and angels or something.
“Now you know how I feel,” Smoak jokes, with this big smile growing bigger with every word.
“I am not that bad!” Vee yells at him. I don’t even know what they’re talking about.
“If there’s not money on the line, you’re more laid back than her,” he jokes, without meaning to insult her, but that prompts an argument between the two of them.
Well, if a one-sided insult match where Smoak closes his mouth and cowers as he walks counts as an insult match.
As we walk, I have to say, I haven’t paid nearly as much attention to this place as I did our outfits. I think about that a lot, we wear the same thing a lot.
That frat boy really gave me some drunken wisdom.
I finally get the cheese off my top. This is the last time I have a chili cheese dog before work, so unprofessional.
Maybe I should mention that this place is Cornucopia, it’s a man-made planet as I said. By that, I mean, there’s a gigantic glass dome, and inside it are rotating structures that coil around the core, with pillars connecting them… sometimes.
They switch it up as they move so that one pillar which has enough people and structures to fit a county, but none of them are ever lined up with the same rotating coil in the morning.
Ever seen Star Trek? Specifically, the new ones? Wait, they may not be new outside of my dimension.
Well, not my problem. That’s what this place looks like on the inside. Clean, spick and span, with flying cars and air driving lanes, shining white and silver walking paths that are confusingly connected, and gravity is never one way.
At any time, you feel like you’re on the ground, but you can look up and think people are walking on the ceiling a few miles away, a few yards away, or a few feet…
This place is constantly rotating, moving, and shifting, it’s amazing that there isn’t a huge problem with getting lost, but I hear there’s an app for that.
Right now, at night, there are thousands of lights from the buildings, which all seem to be really big on being concave or convex if they’re skyscrapers, but other than that they just look like cleaner version of 22nd Century architectures. Everything is so familiar to me that I can tell the chief architects were humans.
But if anyone didn’t know that, the statues would give it away.
As I follow Vee and Smoak, the place gets more and more seedy, with enough neon lights and flashing signs to give the red light district a run for their money. But like everywhere else there are statues. Some are of the head honcho’s seven generals, some of his best friends, but this one that floats by us we cross the bridge, is of the head honcho himself.
That seems like a strange name, but with the multiverse there are a lot of people who share a name and face, alternate realities can really blow. This means there are a lot of nicknames that have become more important than the names people were born with. I’m lucky enough in this regard to have never met another me, if there is another one who can hop between the multiverse.
But the Assassin, this dude is the most famous person of all. Based on the way everyone looks at the statue when they pass it tells me that people really look up to him, even though they’ve definitely seen it or one like it a thousand times.
The fact that the head alone is wider than six car lanes tells me that there’s a large ego behind it too.
The clothes they sculpted him in tell me he’s a conqueror, and when the playground is a multiverse, better believe that’s a lot of territory to cover.
He’s dressed in what seems to be futuristic armor, but he doesn’t wear a helmet. Can’t tell what color since statues are all one color. But I must reiterate the thing worth pointing out, he doesn’t wear a helmet.
He wears a hood, and his eyes hold a special pattern I’ve seen many times before… on a certain someone pretty recently actually.
And the swords he holds assures me that he didn’t earn this statue from a castle or an expensive skyscraper. With their serrated, sharktooth edges… I think there must be some truth to the legends, that he is the strongest one here, or at least the most vicious. There are people capable and responsible for shattering whole universes, and this guy is supposed to be the one no one fucks with, so that’s saying something.
The fact that the statue is gold, only cements each and every one of the above things to be true.
More to the pattern of his eyes… they definitely have to do with some kind of superpower. They make me look at Smoak, considering his poncho is in the same design.
“Hey Smoak,” I call to him, already smiling, thinking about the shit I’m about to give him. He turns away from Vee’s wrath, thinking I’m going to save him, but I’m only going to make it worse.
I point the statue of the Assassin, the feared and powerful conqueror of our multiverse, the strongest of the Guardians, leader of his people, slayer of Incarnations, Pagans, Archangels and Demon Kings, and ask Smoak, “Isn’t the big guy with the square jaw your grandpappy?”
Smoak looks up at the statue, and his face twists in this embarrassed pain. How terrible it must be to be related to such a famous, powerful face. I bet he knows more than the children who study 40 hours a week to pass the history test on this guy.
Smoak chews on his tongue as his eyes shift from the statue to my cruel self, but Smoak’s a nice guy, nicer than Vee will give him credit for. Most spoiled, royal brats would go on and on denying their heritage. They talk about how they’re gonna strike out on their own and be better than their old man. The worst are the entitled ones who think they’re better than they really are because of whoever they came out of.
Smoak isn’t any of that, he just answers with a painful, “Yes,” and adds with a bit less pain, “but his jaw is a lot pointier than it looks there.”
He makes me laugh.
“How was that?” Vee asks him. Like everyone else I now realize, we have stopped to bask in his statue’s presence as it floats past us. “You know, growing up with a multiverse conqueror as a grandfather probably wasn’t easy.” You know, the more people call him that, the more it gets old to me.
Smoak turns to her with his mouth hanging open, clearly wanting to say something, but he holds back. He’s definitely going with his well-crafted second thought instead of his first gut reaction. “Not as cool as it sounds, not as bad as you would think.”
Smoak turns his eyes to me with this snide grin on his face, and turns the conversation back to me. “Better question, Jetta, did you listen to anything Venatrix said about your target?”
“Oh, um, I-uh,” totally wasn’t paying attention. I didn’t admit that last part. Instead, I raise my hands up and behind my shoulders, chuckling. After a few seconds of disappointed glances…
“Nah, I’ve already seen what the bug looks like, all I gotta do is kill him.” I own up to it, and try to keep walking, hopefully, away from this upcoming lecture.
Vee keeps from letting out the loudest groan at that. Instead, she starts walking again as she begs me, “Please, for the love of every dead and non-existent god, if he offers you double the bounty, fucking take that shit.”
“You know I don’t care about money,” I tease her, leaning over and whispering it back to her like it’s the most obvious choice in the world. “That much, I mean I got bills but I don’t need to overpay those bills.”
She shakes her head, assuring me, “Oh, I know, but I have too many bullets to pay for and an addiction to killing angels to fuel, so if you don’t mind…” She glares at me, with a stray hair passing over the growing vein in her forehead. I wonder how long before it bursts.
“I’ll think about it,” I tell her, making no promises.
Promises are sacred things that should be kept, that’s why I don’t make them.
Smoak contains his laugh but not his smile as he asks Vee, “Why do you bother partnering with her on your paid gigs?”
Vee turns back to him to ask, “It’s not like I can partner with you.” I see the twitching eyebrow on her head that begs for him to disagree.
His smile turns snarky as he agrees, “You’re right, you can’t,” earning a groan from her.
“You two both fucking suck,” she says, and as her eyes narrow on the building dead ahead of us. “Just in the nick of time.”
Vee points ahead and says, “That’s the place, he’ll be.”
Instead of doing the logical thing and look where Vee is pointing, I look over the bridge now that the asinine statue is out of the way. Cornucopia is a beautiful thing at night, even a slob like me can see that. It’s the cleanest hive I can think of, with lights in all the right places, with stars filling in all the spots between. A decent self-sustaining rock floating through dead space.
Kind of like this seedy bar, ‘Devil’s Cave.’ It’s a pit of wood and steel, made for the worst of the worst I’m sure, floating and shifting around Cornucopia like a little fly no one will go out of their way to swat. Think of any underground bar from any sci-fi movie, and you’d think this place went through a prohibition.
There’s no line to get inside, so it don’t look like a dancing club, but you can hear the music blasting to drown out the voices in everyone’s head.
I follow behind Vee, and Smoak slowly trails to stand behind me when we get to the door. Something’s up with that.
Vee knocks on the door and that old classic slit slides open to reveal a line of yellow eyes, with little space between them. I think that’s another Dinoran, they would make pretty good bouncers. They’re one of the more common species, I’ve had to kill a lot of them. With their huge size, lack of pain reception, and terrific informational memory… they make the best bouncers.
“What do ya want?” he asks, but being that he’s a ten or twelve foot tall insect, his voice has that buzz.
“A drink, what do you think?” Vee questions him, but the perverse look she gives him truly sells that there ain’t no other reason we’re here.
“Nobody just comes here for a drink,” the bouncer retorts.
“You do if you want to learn everybody’s name,” Vee tells him. She wants him to think that we want to meet the seedy people here, and in all honesty, in our line of work we might just wanna to do that.
Vee’s gotta pay for her magical and non-magical bullets alike. She can’t just summon them from nothing like me.
“Hmm,” he grumbles, deciding whether or not her logic is satisfactory. He closes the slit and we can hear him unlocking the door.
When he opens it, I see that he doesn’t have the usual horns on his head, and instead has tusks, which means we’ve been talking to a bug lady.
She extends her head and states, “IDs,” like it was non-negotiable.
Good thing Vee made me re-up mine.
Vee goes first, sorting through the ammunition in the inside of her jacket for her ID. “Can’t find your cornpop?” I tease her. It’s a nickname for them, because we’re on Cornucopia, and we pop them out? Yeah, guess you just got to live here.
“Got it,” she says and hands it to the nice bug lady.
“Species, Human Angelkin,” she reads and lifts her head right back up to look Vee up and down. “Name, Venatrix Dawn. Maturity Reached.”
We’re not savages, we don’t let minors drink, affects their growing process.
The bug lady’s ten eyes all narrow on one fact over the others. “Universe, Unknown. How do you not know your home universe?”
“Didn’t you read it?” Vee asks her. “To become an angelkin you have to go to Heaven first, and believe it or not, once you escape that shithole it’s hard to figure where home is.”
“Hmm…” the bouncer grumbles, even as he reads the last and most important part on her cornpop. “Power Level, Planetary.”
Power levels are judged by what you could destroy in an hour, with varying degrees for each one.
Being Planetary means you’re anywhere from being able to wipe life off the face of a planet, and utterly it scorch in an hour, to being able to turn a planet into dust. I have yet to see where Vee lands on that scale.
The bouncer eyes turn towards Vee in a threatening manner. Cornucopia has people with Universal Power Levels, with some who say that Smoak’s grandpappy and his cabal have Multiversal Power Levels, so that all means this place either needed to trust everyone to keep their cool, or restrain them.
I’ll let you guess on which one they went with…
Guessing time over.
This place nullifies powers so that not even the Continental Power Levels can do serious harm. There are only a chosen few who have access to their full strength, but it’s for the better. Not everyone who lives here is a Guardian or warrior like them. They’re just either related to one or fucking one.
Fewer are like me and Vee, mortals who became interdimensional travelers.
The bouncer tells Vee, “Don’t start any fights or we will call Sector.”
Remember how I said the Assassin has a bunch of generals? One of those seven decided to make a security force when the people in charge made this place, and a lot of those guys have full access to their powers.
While a restrained Vee isn’t extremely dangerous to Cornucopia, she can still easily kill everyone lower than her, and do some serious property damage. It’d be like Wonder Woman walking on a group of mortal henchmen, their fists bounce off her, but she can punch holes in their chests. At the same time, she’d have to work hard to bring the building down on her head, and bullets she doesn’t dodge hurt.
Vee teases the bouncer as she gets her ID back, “Party Pooper.”
“Grrr…” the bouncer growls.
“I promise to behave,” Vee says as the bouncer lets her walk in.
I go next, and unlike the unprepared Miss Dawn, I have my cornpop out and ready. I give it to the bouncer as Vee waits right behind her, watching. She goes through the whole schnick with me. I bet there’s a recorder, so incase Sector needs to find anyone who comes in, or in case someone is just really anal about the guest list.
“Species, Human Host… huh, special crowd tonight,” the bouncer says upon reading. I’m kind of like my angelkin friend. Where she holds the soul of an Archangel, I got something inside me too, but it ain’t as well known as the pain in the ass she has.
“Name, Jetta Jo Jackson,” yes, I have three first names, you now have every reason to never trust me, “Universe, 125-42. Power Level, Continental. You can enter.” She gives me back my cornpop and I take one step in before the bouncer asks Smoak for his ID.
I turn around as the bouncer stops mid sentence, and I see that Smoak isn’t giving anyone an ID. Instead, the bouncer’s arms hang at her sides, and her huge back bump that ants have falls to the ground. She looks like she’s in a trance, and its because of Smoak’s eye.
His right eye has the same color scheme as his poncho, his sclera being blue, with a white symmetrical pattern as the iris. It looks less like a pentagram, and more like a kaleidoscope around his pupil.
It only lasts a moment, and then the bouncer stands up straight, ignoring his presence like it never happened, and Smoak walks right on in.
My first reaction, “Why didn’t you do that for us?!”
“I’m not looking to draw my grandfather’s attention,” Smoak tells me as he covers his right eye, like he has some eye pain.
“Making sure to leave a scar is a lot harder than not,” he groans.
When he notices Vee and me still glaring, me with my hands on my hips and her arms crossed, he reminds us, “You two want attention, I don’t.”
“Sounds to me like you just don’t want to do us any favors,” Vee teases him.
He stops holding his eye, and now it looks like his normal brown. He shakes his head, chuckling at how difficult we like to make life for him. “You know what, maybe I don’t, maybe I do. Better question, is your guy actually here?”
Yes, back to work at hand.
Looking around, there are a distinct lack of terran species, and by that I mean Humans, Regamorphs, Cameloanians, all the ones that would sleep with Captain Kirk.
In here, we got slithering snakes, muscle-ly Cthulhu looking wackos, one of the rock people, several Waverite bats hanging around and drinking on the ceiling, there’s even tiny Rivertan bartenders, which I now remember are amphibians, not fish.
The bar itself reminds me of home, I bet this place was originally owned by a Human with a few dartboards and pool tables, but a lot of things have been added too.
First thing I notice is that our guy isn’t here, he’s a short Illivan, one of the Cthulhu looking guys. Illivans are almost terrans, but the lack of consistency in size and the fact that they can reproduce asexually or sexually disqualifies them.
Also, none of the patriarchy wants to admit they’d make out with a squid so…
I know our guy isn’t here. Even if he was shorter than my sight line, we would still find him since he’s always being followed by two bigger body guards. We know he’ll be here since he’s always coming around to flirt with the Illivian bartender, who I’m pretty sure owns the place.
I start to hear Vee talk, but most of it just ends up being background noise. I try to listen, but something else is always catching my attention.
Second thing I notice, I tell Vee and Smoak about.
“Is it me, or are we surrounded by a bunch of Star Wars cantina rejects?”
“No, it’s just you,” Vee tells me.
I’m in shock as my head swivels to look at her. I thought she would see it instantly. “Are you serious?”
“No,” she jokes, “but I like the surprised look on your face.” I stick my tongue out at her.
Smoak says, “Someone got seriously lazy with their creative freedom.”
“So what do we do now while we wait?” I ask them.
“Gee, I don’t know, what do people do in bars, Jetta?” Vee mocks me, squinting her eyes like it should be obvious.
I whine at the idea honestly. “But I want to kill things, not drink with them.”
Smoak and Vee ignore me to walk towards the bar with Smoak assuring me, “Who knows, maybe socializing will make you less murdery.”
I cross my arms as I mockingly use his voice. “Oh, maybe socializing will make you less murdery, more like it will make me more.” I know he can hear me, but he ignores me so I just follow them to the bar.
The first thing we do, is drink.
The second thing we do, is drink some more.
By the fourth drink I’m armwrestling with some Illivians as some of the snake people make bets with the Rivertans. Smoak and Vee are talking as this jock Cthulhu struggles to bring my hand to the table. I guess this is a low power level bar.
I nearly break the table in half when the back of his hand meets it.
And as soon as he goes down, we got bouncer ladybug coming to step up. I think she’ll be a better challenge.
And when her hand grips mine, and I have trouble pushing it down, I smile, because I was right.
“Okay,” Smoak starts saying to Vee, as neither cares as to what I’m doing, “I’ve noticed this with my best friend, my girlfriend, you two, my brother, my sisters, and everyone else who looks likes they’re about twenty-five…” Bouncer starts pushing me back inches as I get caught up in listening, and I wince as I try to gain back ground. “… why am I the only one who doesn’t have a thing for wearing tight leather?”
“You’re weird!” I yell to him as the bouncer is putting me through the ringer.
“Thank you, Jetta!” he calls back to me.
I can sense the stupid shake of the head that Vee gives him. “I don’t know why Jetta wears leather pants to a fight, but the leather I’m wearing is a heavy jacket, perfect for laying low but also to protect me in a fight.”
“Does it stop bullets?” Smoak asks.
“Does your poncho?”
… the bouncer put me through the table.
As I lay on the ground, numb, splinters all around me, I look up at the bouncer with light shining around her.
“You okay down there?” Vee asks as she takes a swig of her beer.
I’m staring up in awe as the bouncer offers me her hand. I take it, and I find myself realizing, “I may be asexual, but I ain’t against romancing you.”
When she pulls me up she says, “Yeah, well, I’m anti-asshole.”
I raise my finger to her expecting something witty to come out of my mouth, but I got nothing. “Fair,” is all I say and I think fall again at that point.
Smoak catches me this time, as Vee walks up to challenge the bouncer. “Care for a second round?”
“And smash another puny Human? Why not?” the bouncer says.
As Smoak carries my dizzy butt to a stool, I see Vee take off her jacket and her guns. Hey, where did I put my swords, and my jacket? I think I know why my shoulders are so cold, nothing’s on them.
When Vee sits down, I holler, “The jacket is off, time to get to it!” and suddenly the crowd around me is cheering. Yay, people like to do what I do.
My head hurts, I hit the ground hard.
Smoak asks me, “Don’t you mean the gloves are off?”
I get confused. “What? No, she took her jacket off, not her gloves?”
Out of nowhere Vee breaks a table with the bouncer’s hand. “I fucking missed it!” I scream, and I turn to Smoak who distracted me, and push him out off his stool. “Asshole!”
After that we become celebrities, and this place stops being a bar for sour pusses and one with me as the life of the party.
Drinking and dancing with my best pal in all of the worlds, my other friend with granddaddy issues, this snake buddy who has some cool dance moves, a singing Cthulhu, and even an amphibious waitresses making good tips.
I almost don’t want our target to come. Almost.
I eventually find myself sitting on the snake dude’s lap, and get this, he was surprised when I did it! I didn’t notice till now, but with no annoying Humans, douchebag Regamorphs, or touchy Cameloanians, not a single creepier tried to grind on me once! Am I the creeper now?
And as it all starts to die down, I want to make sure I’m not bothering the nice, oversized danger noodle. “Am I a creeper?”
“Uh, um, no, but maybe,” he says without hissing, but then he says, “but maybe you’ve had too many drinkssssss.” Ah, there it is.
“No, no, no,” I assure him with a shake of my head, “I can’t get drunk, this um… wolf in my head, a mean god really-”
“You have a god in your head?” he interrupts which is rude.
“-a rude god, who also interrupts me while I’m talking, and he… he burns through alcohol like no tomorrow.”
“Are you sssssuure he’sssss jusssst not sssssslow to catch up with the all the drinksssss you’ve had?”
My danger noodle friend makes a good point. I call to the parasite I’m hosting in my head and ask him. “Hey, Fen, are you making me less drunk?”
Trying and failing, he admits in his gruff, deep, annoying manly man voice. It sounds like he’s talking through fangs all the time, its annoying. I always talk through my fangs, I’m a wolf!
“You don’t have to be annoying though.”
“Me?” snake dude asks, looking at me very confused.
I bring my finger to his lips to assure him, “No not you, sweetie,” and I point to my head, “the wolf god remember? Keep up.”
I think you drank a whole carvan’s of wine, or several gallons of rum, or maybe a pool of whiskey if you’re so drunk I can’t burn it from your bloodstream, Fen complains, completely overwhelmed with the alcohol that no doubt affects him too.
That’s why he always tries to burn through it as much as possible. It’s fun to be drunk in your body, probably not as much when you’re stuck in someone else’s head.
That’s why I tell him, “Actually it was tequila.”
Oh, that explains it.
And I feel the steam coming from my skin as he burns it away. Good thing I didn’t put on my duster, I’d be really hot, but now I can show off.
“Hey danger noodle,” I tell my drinking mate.
I flex my abs and my arms to ask him, “What do you think of my muscles?”
“They are quite large and impresssssssssive,” he tells me.
“Aw, that’s so nice of you,” I tell him, and I recognize the basic tone I’m taking, which means Fen is working extra hard to burn the tequila out of my system.
“You’re not like mossssst Human women, are you?”
“No, I grew up with three older brothers, so I’m not like most girls, I had to get into guy things,” I tell him.
He arches his brow, or I think that’s his brow. Do snakes have eyebrows when they don’t have hair? Whichever, he raises it and asks me, “Why issss that?”
“Well, I had to get tougher, Loki was head of the chess team, Mars cried at every movie, and Yaweh loved to wear our mum’s cocktail dresses, it fit him better honestly,” I tell him, astounding him with every word as I drink the shot in my hand.
Don’t do it.
I’m doing it.
And I keep talking too.
“I mean, I couldn’t let people make fun of them, Humans are really mean like that, they don’t get what really matters, so I had to be tough. Skinny girls have a hard time beating up people bigger than them, unless they know taekwondo, or get powers or-”
“Are thossssse really the namessssss of your brothersssss?”
“No, but if I told you their real names you’d know who I am,” I tease him, and then start to finish my thought, “but yeah, I got my powers really late so I spent a lot of time working on the abs.”
“They are mossssst impresssssssive,” snake guy tells me, hitting me with double flattery.
“Oh you’re so nice,” I tell him as I boop his nose, “and you know, you’re not handsey, I like you, I won’t kill you.”
His eyes with their yellow slits open wide. “Um, thank you.”
I go to hug him as a ‘your welcome,’ but Fen’s burning of the alcohol from my body is really getting uncomfortable.
“Ugh, the worst thing about being the host of god who won’t let you stay drunk is the sweat,” and I try to readdress my top as I complain about it. “This top is always riding up under my boobs when I sweat.”
“How often do Humanssss ssssssweat?” the good snake boy asks, clearly listening. Reptiles are good listeners.
“Before every fight,” I answer.
Vee, drinking from across the bar yells, “Then why are you wearing a crop top?!”
I yell back, “Because I like the way it looks, asshole!”
“That is completely, inefficient, battle wear!” she yells back.
“Well, I heal so it doesn’t matter!” I yell back louder.
“Yes it does!” she screams and I find her yelling from the bar.
Everyone’s heads swivel to the piano that someone’s magically playing a guitar beside. I’m pretty shocked when I see that the person is Smoak actively trying to get someone’s attention.
He tests out the strings before he looks up at the crowd, quite enthralled by what the humanoid is about to do.
He starts playing this slow, methodical melody. There’s a twang as he struggles to get his grip on to strum the strings of the guitar. He pushes the string back and forth to test it.
And then in a moment it’s like magic.
Not his guitar playing, it’s flawed, it’s slow, and he struggles to play a light melody with any kind of speed. The magic comes from knowing that Smoak can sing.
“Away, across the ocean and sky. Away, over the plains and sigh. Away, from blood and bones. A murder of crows…
Away, black as the night. Away, over the Hound of the Night. Away, from the White Moon, and the bright, bright day. A murder of crows…
Away, a murder of crows. Away, over raven and bones. Away we fly, away we dine…
On bodies and blood, on the dead and gone. We dine on bone. We dine on bone. We murder of crows. A murder of crows…
Sword, gun, shield alike, we dine on bone, we murder of crows…
Not wolves, nor lion of the sun. We scour for rabbits and murder undone. We murder of crows. We dine on bone…
World after world, we murder of crows, mistaken for wolves, mistaken for wolves. We dine on bone, we dine on bone.
Blood seeps through the streets, yet we cannot see. We do not see. We do not see…
Not wolf, nor Hound, nor Lion of Day, only statues of gold and great decay. We murder of crows. We murder of crows…
We feast, we dine, on spring bloody bone.
We all run cold, we murder of crows…
Our dark wings, bright in the night, a falsehood of old, born of crows.
We murder of crows. We murder of crows.
A murder of crows.”
I should get him to sing more often.
Not something this depressing, of course.
And as melancholy as his performance was, the slow clap builds an applause, I hear the bell of the door, and Smoak does as well. As the bar claps its thanks, Smoak’s eyes don’t thank them, and instead lead me to my prize.
An Illivian walks in, short, stout, in a rubber suit, barely mimicking Human style. He walks around like he owns the place, and even if he does, he won’t in a moment. You can’t take property to hell.
I hop off my snake friend’s lap, and grab my duster and swords from the chair I put them on. With a little stretch and crease of the leather, I’m armed and ready.
Be glad you’re sober too.
As if being drunk would make a difference.
Smoak sees, and tries to stop me from making a scene, but Vee straight up calls out in what sounds like a growl, “Jetta, wait, not yet, Jetta no!” She gets everyone else’s attention just as I walk up to the bodyguard and rest my left hand on my sword.
I get told that a lot, ‘Jetta no,’ especially as I’m approaching a mark like I am now. I always say to myself… Jetta no?
How about… Jetta yes.
Down goes a big Illivian bodyguard, cut in half by a big fucking sword and a big arm holding it.
The thug’s upper half slides down his body and hits a puddle of blood on the floor. The target in question, he turns around and makes a high pitched noise more pathetic than a scream.
The second bodyguard moves to act so I duck down and pull out Mi Amor Cherie.
Mi Amor Cherie is a submachine gun if it wasn’t obvious. I fill the second Illivian with more bullets than a school shooter uses in one sitting.
Do you really think that’s funny?
Fen, I’ve literally thought about violently murdering people for two decades, what do you expect from me at this point?
Class, as bloody as it must be.
Sorry, I’m not a classy lady.
And onto the target at hand, a squibbling shaking, 4’2” mess, I walk up to him staring up at me in fear as chaos erupts in the bar.
A big Dinoran, same kind of bug as the bouncer comes out from behind me, and I swing my hand into his face without looking. He knocks a bunch of guys down as he flies backwards.
Vee running at me as she takes out her pistol, likely to shoot me of course, but ends up shooting at a guy coming at me, protecting me like the good friend she is.
She needs better friends, like the one I have. I’m sure she had a plan that involved kidnapping our target and stringing him out for more money and then letting him go.
But I don’t do that. More often than not, I get paid to kill drug makers, drug dealers, drug sellers, serial killers, business mongers, politicians, war criminals and worst of all, defense attorneys. I don’t believe in letting them go free.
But I do believe in making a game of it.
The short little thing looks up at me in complete fear, and I’m sure behind the red lenses of my sunglasses, my eyes are turning red.
“Go on,” I tell him with a nod of my head, “its more fun for me when you run.”
That’s when he stops hyperventilating, and his blood runs cold. Now he understands who’s taken up the bounty on his head.
He’s frozen in place… which is boring because I wanted him to run.
Gunshots are go off, and bodies are flying as Vee is fighting to get to me. I can hear her calling my name, “Jetta, stop!”
I look over to her as she takes out her other pistol to dual wield in this claustrophobic environment. She’s backhanding creatures twice, maybe three times her size with ease. It helps being an angelkin, but she can’t pull out her deadly shotgun that runs on energy bullets. She’s stuck using the cheap hollow points lathered in the blood of Gluttony daemons.
After taking a shot at me…
She actually blows out the brains of the bartender with a shotgun, and takes the time to yell at me, “There was a plan!”
“Yeah, well, I didn’t listen to it!” I yell back.
“Where did he go?!”
“Right…” I turn around to see the door closing, and through the window I see the fat little Illivian running for his life towards a flying car. Those are pretty common place here.
“… here, the fat squid is fast on his feet, I gotta give him that.”
I turn back to Vee right before the bouncer thumps her from behind…
… smacking her right into the ground.
I pull out Mi Amor Cherie to shoot the bouncer as she raises her arms to hit Vee again, but the bouncer must be a Guardian or something considering she’s bulletproof. Vee’s in for a world of pain as its too late to throw the blade in my hand.
The bouncer brings her fist down…
… and there are a lot of close saves going on here.
Smoak catches the bouncer’s wrist, having covered half the bar faster than even I could see, and holds it like it’s nothing with this crackle of electricity coming from his hand.
The Dinoran bouncer turns her head towards him in fear, and with his other hand he grips his sword’s hilt.
He slides it out just a few inches, and it lights on fire, just as his left eye transforms.
It goes all white, and veins bulge like a pentagram over it. The veins turn black, and take the place of an iris and pupil.
“Hurry, Jetta, you’re mark is getting away,” he tells me, using the eye that can find anyone, anywhere across the multiverse.
I can’t remember if that was a gift from his dad, or his grandpappy, but whichever it is, it reminds me to check outside and see our target getting in his flying car.
I run towards the door, waving, “Thanks!” and trusting him and Vee to kick the ass of everyone in the bar, for me of course.
I’m out the door as I hear Vee screaming, “Don’t just ki-” I’m outside before I can hear her finish her sentence, but I know what she was going to say.
“Don’t just kill him,” but Vee, my friend, killing is all I do.
Well, killing and drinking, but I’m not quite as good at the second one.
My mark is already pulling away into air traffic as this section of Cornucopia floats away, which means there’s a need to use some glorious godly strength.
Don’t you dare.
Don’t worry, Fen, I don’t need your power to leap buildings in a single bound, even here.
I run full speed at the railing. In two steps and two seconds, I cover yards, and in one second I leap from the railing.
With a “Hyah!” for sound effect, I fly hundreds of feet into ongoing traffic.
Ongoing traffic going both ways, across a dozen elevations, with flying cars. Easy peasy.
I stick my leg out at an oncoming car, and kick off the roof to get to a higher lane, sending that flying car hurdling down.
As I soar through the air and grab the side of a flying truck heading in my direction, I see my mark flying in the futuristic version of a convertible space car. I can see his fat tentacles flapping in the wind as his robot chauffeur drives him.
He would drive a convertible, they really make this too easy for me.
I also gotta get away from this truck, I leap faster than this thing flies.
It takes seconds to fly through the air, like a hyena on the savannah, laughing as flying cars become the stepping stone for my flight.
How do you consider this flying?
I run across one in three steps and leap forward, the flashing lights of the city at night lighting my way better than the cars’ headlights.
Don’t ignore me.
This… the hunt before the kill… the chase… it’s the best thing about the ones who don’t fight back. Ones who fight back are better… they test me… but it’s always nice to mix things up.
I use the muscles in my legs to fly up and over the car, twirling and spinning over my mark’s head, because… why not?
I watch him look up in awe as I take both swords off my back, thinking about how this chase was the best way to mix things up.
“Are you insane?!” the thug screams as I slash an ‘X’ into the hood of the car, destroying the engine and whatever else keeps it afloat. We both start falling in tandem before I place my feet on the hood of the car.
With my powers, being a temporal pit of energy, the soles of my boots stick to the hood of the car. The looks on his and chauffeur’s face are just delightful, and I’m laughing throughout our fall, down into the alleyways below.
We crash between buildings that stand tighter together than Smoak’s backside and his ex. The cable cords, the zip lines, the hallmarks of a poor neighborhood, we fly through all of them. You’d think that there wouldn’t be a poor neighborhood with the most artificial of economies, but not even a tyrant dictator likes drug dealers and low class mercenaries out in the open. Though, I guess the poorest places here are richer than the wealthiest middle class of America.
And as the flying car scrapes against the walls it flies between, I’m waiting for it to all come crashing down. I have to say, with me and my jacket in the way, the chauffeur is flying pretty-
I hear the crashing and the explosions happen all at once. I feel dizzy, numb even, just like when the bouncer slapped me into the ground, but I don’t feel pain.
Any pain less than continent damaging is something I don’t feel. Sure, I feel the movement, the touch… I get icky feelings when I get stabbed or punched hard enough, but there’s no searing pain. It’s all numbing to me.
That’s why as I lay in the alley, with my legs broken in two different ways, probably what’s a fractured spine, and an arm sliced off by my own sword, my physical suffering is really little more than a pain in the ass.
Dup. Dup. Dup.
Oh great, it’s beginning to rain. I know there are species to keep watered, and plants to raise, but does an artificial planet really need rain? It’s not like there are any artificial forests outside of a few zoos.
Maybe the fact that it can rain provides people with a sense of normalcy. A lot of people weren’t born in Cornucopia, they moved here, and having to check the weather everyday is something to add to the normalcy of living on an artificial city planet, moving through space, with no solar system or sun.
It’s not the big things that make life normal, it’s the small things.
That’s why I’m not normal, I’m broken if you ask any therapist. The small things to me are everyone’s big things, and my big things are all dedicated to my pleasure.
Like getting the mobster who survived the flying car crash, turns out, seatbelts are still useful in flying cars.
His chauffeur though… he’s dead, like, really dead and sticking out the window.
I see my mark get out his car bleeding from his head, walking with a limp, and that’s all that really matters though.
He looks at me, and I wink at him. He screams, seeing me torn apart, and then he notices that I’m healing.
People come running, thugs, mercenaries without training or good powers, who can’t rise all that high under one of the Seven Generals. They walk up to my mark as my spine realigns itself.
“What the fuck happened here?” the first joker asks, a human male, surrounded by a mix of werewolf looking Lupians, elvish looking Cameloanians, the silver Regamorphs, and more of the same. They all got cheap light sabers on their waists, the equivalent of finding a handgun on a poor kid in Trenton.
My mark walks up to them, and with the future’s version of a smartwatch, offers them money. “I’ll pay each of you a hundred thousand to kill that witch!”
You’re in trouble.
I’m surprised and wounded that Fen thinks these twerps can kill me, even while I’m down.
No, Vee is going to kill you when these ants help your mark escape.
Oh, that’s actually a pretty good point. I need to be up and Adam a whole faster. I’ve already pissed off Vee, surely, but if I lost the mark, she’d probably find a way to cause me pain.
Fen, do you want to help with that?
I don’t have much of a choice, when you feel pain, I do, when you die, I do, so when Vee takes her understandable anger on you, I’m an undeserving victim.
Sound like you should do your thing, oh, Fenrir, Wolf God of Destruction.
And oh boy, he does.
So rarely do I get to feel the physical energies flowing through my body as they do right now. It’s like a mental flow, I just turn the valve to get more of the power I want, but when Fen is giving me power… it’s like the valve broke.
When this happens, I feel everything flow through me. My bones rearrange, my wounds mend, and it happens so fast the blood outside my body turns into red steam.
That makes the ants curse under their breaths, but they start screaming their heads off along with my mark as soon as my white hair turns black, and black fur grows down my chest and over my forearms. The grossest thing must be how my nails extend into wolf-like claws.
I suddenly have more in common with an animal than most people, furries not included.
And with my legs back stronger than ever, we can make Vee mildly less angry.
My mark starts bolting as I flip to all fours, and I look around me to see my swords laying on the ground between me and this group of worthless thugs.
The solution is simple, and it happens between the drops of rain.
The water freezes in the air. Well, it looks like it freezes in the air since I’m running faster than the rain can fall, and sure as hell faster than these punks can see.
I grab my lefty sword stuck in the ground, swing it over my head, and bring down through the front man’s shoulder.
His blood spray slows with the rain.
I make an outward swing and sever a man’s head from his neck. His head will still be flying before I finish getting through his friends.
I cross my right hand over to grab my right sword, and together I swing them both to cut a werewolf into four pieces, separating his head, arms, and legs into four separate pieces.
Then I spin and bring my left sword into a reverse grip. I stab behind me and it passes through a silver terran. I pull out my sword and a dead Regamorph appears to float over my head with his blood spraying down in slow motion.
I swing with one sword, and cut halfway through a man’s torso.
And I swing with the other to cut clean another’s shoulder.
I crack an octopus’s face into a million pieces with the flat of my blade.
I spin, slash, swipe, and crack, killing someone with every move, all faster than the speed at which rain falls and blood flows. I knee, kick, punch, and elbow everyone I get close to for being too close to me.
And for the last one, I hold both swords back to my side, parallel, and swing them together to cut the last Lupian, werewolf looking alien in half.
I cut him into three slabs of meat, and find myself on one knee, head down, and meat in the space between my swords.
Dup. Dup. Dup. Dup.
Plump. Plumf. Plump. Plump.
Bodies fall with the rain, and blood falls on me. I’m coated in it honestly, but the rain will wash it off. So many dead, five, six, no way more than that. Maybe over a dozen close friends dead because they had the misfortune of meeting me.
Standing up and looking back at the dead bodies in my wake, it’s hard not to feel a sense of pride, especially as I put my tools of death back on my back.
Oh hey, my glasses survived the fall. I see the circle glasses on the ground ahead of me, and start running. I slide, grab them, slip them back on my face, and take off to catch up to my mark, all in my wolf form.
I break out into the street where there are a ton of people walking and running to get home and out of the rain. Reminds me of an alien version of Chinatown with the neon lights, street stores, and an absorbent amount of people.
One would think it hard to find my mark with all of these people, but despite all the conflicting smells, I catch his cheap and stale cologne without trouble.
To avoid people, I leap up onto a neon sign, and snarl with my wolf fangs out. I look around and see my mark, looking up at me with more horror than the people around him. He takes off running down the street, pushing people aside, causing a panic.
Well, it might be a bit hyperbolic to call it a panic. Most people just start clearing the way, knowing that its not worth the effort to get in the way. Sadly for them, I’m not about making things easy for myself on the hunt.
I leap to the other building, using my momentum and claws run across the wall. I watch as everyone runs in the same direction, down the straight, carless street like fish in a barrel. They’re lucky I’m only after one guy.
Hell, I’m lucky we crashed in one of the weaker of districts, or at least most passive.
I leap, grab a clothesline and swing to an overhead tent as my mark is running around the wall. He looks back as I’m running towards him, but still taking my time. He screams at the flash of my red eyes, I’m sure. I’ve been told they’re terrifying even from behind my glasses.
He turns down another busy street and I leap when I reach my corner.
With a roar that makes people scream in surprise, I plant my claws into the wall and even put my hand through it. I get metal and dry sheet between my nails but I still claw across it like a mad animal.
I see the small Illivian get pushed around as he heads towards the stairs up a building. Now why do something that stupid? Does he want to make it fun for me?
I smell and hear him running up the building so I jump to it, and start climbing my way up to keep up with him. I reach the top and with one hand flip myself over, throwing my body into a twirl as he opens the door to the roof. He may be fat, but for Illivians, apparently that means they can still run.
As he comes up with the choice to run across rooftops in one of two directions, I come landing down on the railing in front of him.
He falls backwards as he lets out an emasculating screech, so to add insult to injury I growl at him, “End of the line, it’s been fun.” I stand up on the stone railing, letting the pebbles I’ve smashed fall down.
He’s cowering and waving his hands at me, begging for mercy, but the best I got is a quick chop of the head. He made this fun, worthwhile, let’s reward him for that.
So I grab the handle of my sword-
An explosion hits me in the back and sends me flying across into a wall, part of the roof. As I fall to the ground I see the blinking white and red lights of Sector police hitting my back, and over my hand.
Shit, shit, shit.
Sector means Guardians, and Guardians means a high probably that they’ll send people who can stop me. I turn around and hiss, and see that I was worrying for nothing.
Sector didn’t send any Guardians, none of its precious army of world conquering warriors. I should have remembered, this is a poor shit district, and what do they send for those?
Some of Templar’s shitty drone robots.
Templar being the technopath Guardian that runs this place, and his drones are state of the art nanobot machines, armed to the teeth, capable of wiping out mortal populations.
But they’re nothing compared to the embodiment of a multiversal god, fueled by all his representations and lesser versions across the endless universes.
You’re lucky they sent so few.
I appreciate the warning from Fen, and raise him the claws he gave me, along with the increased speed and healing. They’re nothing more than metal lunchmeat.
The drones look like men if they were coated in steel, with the joints being dotted in the number of their kills. Okay, probably not in the number of their kills, but that’s how they look, like some African warrior that only dots the elbows.
Actually, that’s probably just where the nanobots do most of their shifting so they never go smooth, but I like my hypothesis better.
At least they don’t have a dumb hat, just two eyes, and a smooth buttery face for me to hit with my sword.
One raises its hand with its blaster turned on high. It threatens me, “Stand down or-”
I don’t give it the chance to finish.
I threw my sword and it embeds itself in its face.
I leap a story up and forward to plant my toe on its handle. I grab my other sword from my back as I slide my first out of the robot with my foot, tearing out its brainy bits… if it had any.
“Stand down!” one of them yell as they fire blasters.
There’s three of them, each with the ability to rebuild themselves from any wound. I’ll have to be fast if I want to put them down for the count.
I twist my one sword with my ankles as I hold the other with both hands. I deflect three blasts in succession with one…
DING! DING! DING!
… and slice the same bot with the other.
All while mid-air, I kick my blade so I can catch it in my left, and set my sights on my first target.
The eyes of a Wolf god search this tin can up and down. I see every fucking inch of it. Time to go to town…
Skinch! Skinch! Skinch! Skinch! Skinch!
I cut it to pieces, slashing with each blade a thousand times a second with all the strength and speed Fen can give me, and cut it down to its very molecule, but I’m careful not to split one of those. Before too long…
… it looks like I’m turning the machine to dust.
And after a few seconds it is dust.
I summon some meager power into the heel of my foot and stand in the air as the drones look at their friend, nothing but dead cells, and they’re next.
I dash and I vanish before them. For a moment they look for me, without the ability to find me. In reality not even their super processors can perceive me as I dash between them.
I appear floating between the two robots, and stab both my blades forward, stabbing right through their chests. I’m going to make this one slow, not quick like their friend. I know they’re not living things, but I can pretend since the sound of scrap metal is still so satisfying to my ears.
I tear out my blades and twist to slash them with the opposite sword!
I slice up one’s shoulder and down the other’s chest!
I cut them in half at the ribs!
SKIT! SKIT! SKIT! SKIT! SKIT! SKIT! SKIT!
I flip one of my blades, infused with my pagan energy, and it spins like a giant goddamn buzz saw into the stupid bot! Now I can focus on the other, and for that I take my sword in both hands.
I cut an ‘X’ into its upper half, twist my wrist and then stab my blade forward as fast as I can like when I destroyed its friend. I thrust my sword and I stab tiny little nanobots, one at a time, millions a second, until I see the dust flowing downward.
If they all float down, the robot can collect itself from the remains. I can’t have that.
I flip my sword, and turn it into a gigantic buzz saw, and I flip backwards as it not only spins but twirls to create a 360 degree spinning blade.
I flip backwards, and as I float upside down, I summon Mi Amor Cherie, fueled with the magical bullets derived from the power of destruction.
Now this is a little harder, aiming a gun at dust particles… a sword is much more manual and well controlled.
But my gun is automatic, filled with Fenrir coated ammo, a bottomless clip, and the itchiest of trigger fingers. It’ll do the job.
The bullets radiate red with Fen’s power, and I can see it erasing even the dust into non-existence. I twist around, see the two drones turning to microscopic machine dust that seems to be connecting.
I’m all for good fights, but repetition I am not.
I let my gun dissipate, twist in the air to timely grab the hilts of my swords, and flood them with the power of the wolf that tasted Odin’s flesh.
Fenrir’s red energy floods from me and my swords send out a pulse that obliterates everything it touches. The nanobots, a portion of the roof below me, the air around me, and even the light. The world around me goes black, and light floods back as I let myself fall towards the ground.
Rather than fall into someone’s house I bounce power from my foot and flip to what remains of the roof.
With a flick of my denim, I can’t help but feel like this was all getting easy. “Too easy.”
I stop channeling Fen’s energy, no longer needing it. Besides, its better I not rely on it. The stronger my base form gets, the stronger my transformations will be anyway.
Besides, I don’t much like the fur and the claws. I like my hair white and curly instead of black and formed into spikes.
That sounded oddly racist.
I roll my eyes, because I’m clearly talking about hair.
I know but the word choice.
“Speaking of racism, time to kill that-” I was about to transition into killing my mark, but I don’t see him anywhere.
“Fuck, how fast did he run?” I groan out loud.
Borrow my sense, scent the hair, listen for his ragged breaths… find your mark.
His power burns my nostrils as it flows through my nose, but it clears out my ears. I hear every heartbeat, and smell every shit and piss for several miles around me.
But most importantly, I smell his cheap… stale… cologne… as if its blood in the water.
“I’ve got him.”
Now go get him, and don’t waste your time.
I leap into the air in his direction.
He’s running through the alleys, alone and out of breath. He can’t tell if the beating sound he hears is the rain against his head or one of his two hearts beating in his chest.
The world is so blurry from exhaustion that he grabs the wall near him as if it were some kind of lifeline. When he doesn’t recognize the brick wall as anything he knows, he flails off of it in a panic, stumbling and sinking his hand into puddles.
I wonder what a man like him must be thinking about. All this because he conned the wrong criminal.
“Is that what he did? Hmm, like I said, I wasn’t paying attention.”
No, you rarely do, but I did. You should tell Vee that sometime.
Of course, but that’s all it was. The bounty is nothing compared to the money he has. He just ruined a relationship with the wrong soul, the pettiest if they hired you.
You know that’s why they do this, hire Jetta Jo Jackson, the Wolfsbane, the White Devil… because you don’t care about the money, and everyone knows you can’t be paid off a job once you’ve taken it.
“Because I never do it for the money, but everyone who hasn’t met me thinks it’s because I have honor.”
No one’s talked to you for more than two minutes thinks that, that I know.
“Aww, you pay such nice compliments.”
Now finish him.
The mark wanders down the alley, with a door at the end of it…
That light gleaming from its crack is his little ray of hope. He trots and nearly crawls to it like a little hobbit, I almost feel sorry. I don’t think I’ve felt this close to sorry for someone in a long time…
Dead pets notwithstanding.
And when he gets close, about to reach arm’s distance, I steal all of his hope right then and there.
My sword slams into the door, the blade passing through the handle and stopping at the guard, the cross and the handle being the only things not inside that building. What the mark must have hoped was on the other side is lost, because my sword is keeping that door nice and shut.
When the mark turns around, I look into his eyes, and see myself.
Laying across the electrical cords and wires, I block out most of the neon light behind me, and my white hair reflects the rest. The only other thing he can see are the red eyes behind my groovy sunglasses… the eyes of a wolf about to eat him whole…
I leap down, making a splash as he cowers against a door that he struggles and fails to open. I reach behind my back for the other sword as I walk down the alley, him nothing more than a cornered rat.
“It’s been fun, real fun, but all good things have to end sometime,” I call to him.
He turns around, his two hearts rising and falling in his chest. “Not for me,” he gasps, “none of this… has been fun for me.”
I pause for a moment. I don’t know why I’m surprised, it would be stranger if he did have fun. “No, I suppose not.”
“I’ll pay you double,” he offers.
I smile, laugh even. After all this, he really thinks I can be bought… that I can be reasoned with.
“No,” I almost sing, as if it were a beautiful song.
“I’ll triple whatever the bounty is, more if need be… I can pay whatever cost,” he offers, right before he starts begging for his life, which is usually my favorite part.
“Oh babe, you just don’t get it,” I tell him, right as my shadow touches him, and blots out all the light. “It was never about the money, at least, not to me.”
Take his head already.
He raises his hands to protect his face as I stand over him. “No, no wait! Please!”
The begging still is my favorite part.
It was always about the thrill of the kill.