Thursday, June 6, 2013

Chapter 13 Judgement

I tried to analyze the peace that had fallen over me as I made my way back to the lifts.  Throughout my life I felt as though I was at odds with the universe.   My soul vibrated at a slightly different frequency then the rest of existence.  Now everything shifted into perfect harmony with the universe. 

I surrendered myself to the moment and in return a divine peace fell over me.  I had a charter from God.  All the rage and pain that had fueled me was now a burning arrow of light made to destroy my enemies.  I was a zealot, anointed by god with Tasha’s blood.  I wore Tasha’s blood as my sigil as I went to take care of the person responsible for her death.

People saw me and cowered to the side.  I noticed everything; a security guard watching me, a man talking to his wife, a mother gathering her kids and running down the hall.   It was like the hyperawareness that came from being plugged into my pod. 

I walked to the lift and waited. The corridor that had been packed earlier was now practically deserted. Those who had been waiting for the lift when I arrived suddenly found they had something to do elsewhere. I turned and stared down the security guard who had been following me. He nodded politely and walked by continuing down the corridor. Going home tonight was more important than his shitty salary.

As I waited, the last few hours played through my head.  The whole setup had been a masterful plan created to inflict the most pain possible.  Geklov had brought me to his office, intentionally separating me from Tasha.  Allowing me to believe until the end that there was a chance she would be alright.  I had been wrong about his motivation and what he wanted. He wanted to make an example.

The lift opened and I strode in. Of the four other passengers, three immediately decided to leave. The forth was a young Caldari man dressed in a leather jacket and weathered jeans. His face was full of metal piercings and an Amarr tattoos covered his face. I smiled coldly as he tried to stare me down.  At the next stop he got off.

When I exited on Geklov’s floor, people loitering around the lift made a path for me. I fed off their fear as I stalked down the corridor.  This is how it always should have been. I have spent too much time thinking about right and wrong living up to a self-imposed code of honor. Now I realized I had put those standards in place to keep myself in check. Without those controls, I could unleash who I really was.

I walked to Geklov's office. I was in no hurry, he would be there. It was the will of the universe.  As I turned the final corridor I could see someone standing guard outside. As I got closer, I could see it was Herrier. I slid my hand down to my blaster as I continued my stride towards the door.  He did the same.  His eyes searched my soul as I fixed him in my gaze; confusion, followed by dawning realization spread across his face. 

I was ready, but he nodded and put his hands in the air as he conceded, “He’s fucked up too many times and is way behind on his payments. I quit.”

He retreated, keeping his hands in the air and eyes on me. I let him go. I never had a problem with him. We worked well together in the fight against the Blood Raiders. He was a good man as far as mercenaries go and I didn't feel any purpose would be served by killing him today.

I hit the panel beside the door and heard the click of the locking mechanism. I entered and waited for the door to close behind me. Geklov was standing in the office in front of his desk. If he was surprised by my entrance I couldn’t tell.  He didn't say anything as turned and locked the door. When I turned around, he had scurried to his chair.

“Lakasha, I don't know what has happened but I assure you we can work together to fix whatever is wrong.”  He was using his most charming corporate leadership voice. The same voice he had used to convince all of his corporation members that the Blood Raiders would not harm them. Lies of course. They were spared because some stood up and sacrificed themselves while Geklov worked a deal to flee like a coward.

Maintaining my own calm, I walked around the furniture and started up the steps. By the time I reached the top, he was cowering in his chair. I felt the anger explode inside me as I watched the slug take in a quivering breath. The anger didn’t make it to my face. Finally, I had mastered the fine art of concealing my feelings. Too bad it had taken so much pain to learn.

“Tell me what has happened and I will do what I can to fix this. Did Antov do something?” I could tell by the way his body flinched he was hitting the panic button on the floor.  He tensed as he prepared to dive under the desk. I stood, hands crossed over my chest, and waited for him to realize that no one was coming to help.

After a few uncomfortable seconds, his right hand started to fidget under the desk. I realized he probably had some kind of weapon concealed there.  This desk that would protect him from a bomb blast also protected me from the gun unless it had some kind of unarmored area to penetrate. I stepped slightly to my right just in case. If he was going to shoot me he would have to bring the weapon up over the desk.

“Did you kill Herrier, Lakasha? Is that what all of the blood is from?  Don't worry, I am not mad about it-- if that is the case. Whatever this is about, I am willing to work it all out.” His hand continued to fidget under the desk while he tried to calm me down.

I slid my hand down to my blaster and watched his eyes double in size. Everything happened in slow motion after that. His hand appeared from behind the desk gripping a small nickel plated carbine. As the gun came out and leveled on me his hand exploded in a mess of blood, clumps, and steam. It reminded me of a geyser.

Geklov's screams brought me out of my time-slowed trance. He pulled the stump of his right arm up against his chest and held it with his left. I looked down to see my blaster out and pointed at him.  He rocked back and forth in the chair screaming with each jerky movement. I waited for him to notice he was still alive and that I was still there.

He looked up at me with complete terror in his eyes. At first I didn't think he registered what was going on but then he tried to talk. Each time he opened his mouth, only a loud moan came out.  He placed his left hand on the desk, using it to try and stand. He managed to make it to his feet but he slumped over the desk.

“Please Lakasha, my men will be here soon. Just leave, I will let you go,” he cried out. I stood there and watched the once mighty man bleed all over his table. It was satisfying.

He couldn't fight anymore and his men never showed up so he started walking around the desk. Once he arrived at the front he stopped and took a breath. He never once looked at me. I could tell he was lost in his own thoughts and pain. I was not going to let him slip away so easy. He was going to suffer right up until the end.

I waited until he had covered half the distance from the desk to the steps to the living area and walked up behind him. He barely shuffled his feet more than a foot at a time. I watched each foot hit the ground and waited for him to shift his weight forward.  I brought my foot up and slammed it into the back of his knee with my steel toed boot; trying to drive my foot through the floor.

There was a satisfying crunch as Geklov's knee slammed into the ground.  His body followed, arms flailing. He screeched like a wounded rabbit caught in a trap. I stood above him and watched the show.

“Please let me go!” he screamed in agony.

“You are a disease, Geklov. Turn over!”

He didn't move and his pleas grated on my nerves. He was begging to live after being willing to sacrifice so many. Who knew how many people had died in his quest for power? I wondered for a moment if Tasha had begged for her life too, or if she had even been given the option. Even if she had, the result was the same. She was dead, and I would allow him the same mercy that he had shown so many others.

He refused to turn over so I kicked him in the ribs repeatedly. I couldn't hear any of them snapping but each kick felt a little mushier.

“Turn the fuck over!”

“Oh god, oh god”

I knelt down beside his head and ran my fingers through his blood soaked hair. “Prayers won't help. God sent me.” I growled as I yanked back on his head. He screamed for someone to help.

I stood, releasing his disgusting head.  He tried to turn over, pushing at the floor with his left hand.  He made it about half way and then fell back on his face. He pushed up again and this time I caught his chest with the toe of my boot and pushed him over on his back.

There was a pool of blood where his right arm had lain beneath him. One knee was crushed, and it looked like he had managed to break his nose when he fell on the floor. There couldn't have been much life left in him.  I think he knew that too because in that moment his eyes cleared as he tried one last time to negotiate for his life.

“Please...Lakasha. It's not too late. I will let you go. Just call the paramedics and leave.”

I stared down at him and placed a foot on each side of his body.  Rage burned through me as the peace evaporated.  The purpose that had filled me fled and I realized that all of this pain I was inflicting was my doing. No higher purpose was being served. In this moment, I had become one of the monsters I despised.  It didn't bother me at all.

I dropped to my knees and brought my gun to his head. His eyes widened and I thought for a second he was going to pass out.

“I will give you anything. You and Tasha can go; you can have money or whatever you want. Please you can have everything!”  He was bargaining with what he had taken away. He was losing his mind before I got a chance to make him suffer to the end.

I set down on him and ground myself into his midsection. “Mutually pleasing, Geklov?” I asked.

Leaning forward I grabbed his chin with my left hand. He jerked his head away fixing his eyes on the wall. I dug my fingers into the spot where his jaw connected to his skull with the intent of separating it at the joint if he didn't look at me. He tried to resist, but the pain was overwhelming and he found himself looking into my eyes.

I forced his mouth open with my fingers and slid the barrel of the blaster in as slow as I could. He mumbled something around the barrel, teeth clicking against the cold metal. I pushed the blaster to the back of his mouth until it hit something solid.

A wet gag was the last sound he made as I turned my head and pulled the trigger. There was a loud blast followed by the burn of vaporized blood along the side of my face.  

I stood up and continued to shoot. Each blaster bolt tore into his chest, sending clumps of goo and shards of bone into the air along with sprays of bloody vapor. I shot repeatedly until the blaster charge was gone. Eventually I realized I was dry firing and let the blaster drop to my side.

Lakasha Nachthexen you are an enemy of the Caldari State, drop your weapon and wait for security detainment

I caught my breath while I observed what remained of Geklov. His torso was, for the most part, ripped to shreds. The most disturbing part of his remains, for some reason, was a ribbon of flesh and muscle that ran along what use to be his side up to what was left of his right arm. There was enough left to remind your brain that the mess in the floor was a body. No matter how much I tried I couldn't stop my brain from wanting to reassemble the corpse.

I walked away from the body and stepped into the living area. Across the room was a full length mirror. I didn't recognize the person in the reflection. She was completely covered in blood from the top of her head to her boots. Large chunks of gunk clung to her hair and face. The only thing that wasn't red was her teeth. The teeth were visible because of the maniacal grin.

Eventually, I walked toward the door and headed for my ship. Killing Geklov would have made my security status drop well below what I needed to be in this system. I would have to be careful. I was covered in blood, and chunks of brain and flesh.  There was a chance that someone might decide to stop me. They would die if they tried.

I saw no one on the trip back to my ship.  It was waiting and ready for me.  I quickly ran the checklists, ejected my pod, and accelerated out of the hanger into space.

One down, one to go.

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