The Darkness Within

The Coliseum - Act I

"Love makes no sense. It shakes you up and spins you around. And then, eventually, it falls apart."

-Kirsten Miller

"Akiza?" I asked, confused. Why was she there? What was she doing in Rust Town? Was she following me?

"Jay." Akiza replied simply. I tried to think, but once again, that beautiful face kept distracting me. I- ergh, I couldn't concentrate!

"What-what were you doing in Rust Town?" I quipped. My heartbeat went into overdrive when she opened her mouth to speak.

"Sayer asked me to follow you." She replied simply. I could feel the collar tug already from my anxiety. But I wasn't surprised. Sayer clearly wanted me at Arcadia for a reason, a reason I simply didn't know at the time. But it sure wasn't because he cared.

If he did, then his way of 'caring' for people is sick and twisted.

"Why?" I asked simply.

"I don't know. When Sayer asks you to do something, you don't ask questions." She replied cryptically. I began racking my brain. So, most of the things she did was because Sayer told her so? When she told me about dinner at Arcadia? When she dragged my unconscious form into her room, and…

"Just like when you ate dinner with him?" I blurted out, and Akiza's eyes widened in response. Oh crap, WHY DID I SAY THAT?!

"It…it was you, wasn't it?" Akiza said. Her voice was wavering as she said it.

"…Yes." I responded meekly. I felt lower than dirt. My chances with her were already close to zero. Now, whatever chance I had was gone now.

'SMACK!' The sound went as her palm connected with my cheek. It hurt, of course. A lot more than I expected. Of course. My mark was still sore. Even after all this time, it was still a sore spot.

"You bastard." She growled.

"I know." I replied simply. I brought my hand to my mark and rubbed it slowly. It still stung from the slap.

"What is that supposed to mean?" Akiza said, confused.

"I feel bad about it, too. But I guess there's nothing I can do about that." I replied meekly. Akiza didn't answer.

"I'm going back to Arcadia." Akiza then declared, and turned to leave.

"No, please, I can-" I began as I grabbed Akiza's right arm. She turned towards me, and was about to say something, when I noticed something glow on her arm.

It glowed crimson, and it was shaped like a claw. She fell to her knees and clutched the mark in pain. "Akiza, I-" I tried to say, when my back began hurting like it was about to break, and I fell onto the floor, face-first.

"You… you have a mark as well…" I heard Akiza mutter. I turned my head as best I could, and looked at my back.

My mark was glowing as well, but not crimson red, like Akiza's mark. Mine was glowing purple. I tried to lift myself up from the ground, but the pain flared up in my back, and I went straight back to the ground. Akiza winced in response.

"It'll be alright, Jay." She muttered as she gently rubbed my back, as the pain slowly began to fade. "Yeah, I guess so."

Arcadia Movement, Midnight

Akiza and I walked alongside back to the Movement. And let me just throw this out there. No, we did not hold hands. I did try to, though. Akiza answered that with another slap to the face. Yeah, it hurts. A lot.

I did my best to control the out-of-control emotions that were rampaging in my head as she called for the elevator. Yeah. I just realized how contradictory that statement was. But it's true. My emotions were running WILD. Like my head was about to spontaneously combust.

And that would suck. I was focusing most of my brain power on keeping that in check. Akron was squabbling something snarky, but I didn't listen.

The soft 'PING' of the elevator broke me out of my thoughts. "Well," I began. "I guess this is my stop." I said softly as I stepped out of the elevator.

"Take care, Akiza." I said, as Akiza pushed the button for the fifth floor. "You too." She replied, as the doors closed, and the elevator headed upwards. I swallowed deeply, and began walking over to my room.

Yep, I was in love.

The only thing I really remembered after that was my face hitting the pillow. I guess I fell asleep then. I must have been tired, what with me having run into a small run-down town, and roof-jumping several miles back to the Movement.


Arcadia Movement, Next Morning

I was awoken by the sound of knocking on my door. My eyes blinked open, and I growled quietly in frustration. I walked out to my bathroom, and did my morning routine as I continued to hear the knocking.

First, I needed to wash my face. And so I formed a small cup with my two hands, and gathered water in it, which I then used to splash onto my face. It felt so invigorating and made me feel fresh.

Next, was to put on new bandages. I walked back into my room and found a fresh roll of bandages, which I proceeded to wrap around my eyes. I had to look fearsome, it helped quite a lot when you're dueling. Some reverse psychology and taunting can even make your opponent do something he or she normally wouldn't do.

Finally, I found my jacket, the one I stole from Sam back in the Satellite. Yes, I still used it. Shut up about it.

Then, I went to get the door. Whoever was out there was still knocking. On the other side, was another of Sayer's lackeys. And of course, he wore sunglasses and a suit.

"What took you so long?" The lackey asked.

"Had to wake up, you philistine. Now what is it?" I spat back.

"Sayer is holding an announcement. Report to the conference room immediately." He replied. He'd probably rehearsed that line. Quite a lot, I thought as he began to walk over to the next door.

I'd looked at a map of the building before, yes. I roughly knew where the conference room was. I hadn't been there before, though. I assumed I'd just go in the general direction, and when I was closer, there'd probably be others who knew where it exactly was.

And so I cracked my neck, and went to the elevator, as the lackey knocked on the next door. I pressed the ground floor button, and the doors shut close in response. The elevator made a soft 'whirrr' as it descended to the ground floor, and opened its doors before me.

I breathed in deeply, and began to walk to where I knew the conference room might be.

Arcadia Movement Conference Room, Early Midday

The conference room was mildly big. I mean, not too impressive or anything, but large enough to accommodate most of Arcadia's population. And in the middle, in front of the wall, was a speaker's chair.

That alone made me see Sayer as a dictator more than a friend. When he walked out of a door, followed by several armed guards, which only furthered my opinion. He was a dictator. But every single soul in the room applauded him as he entered the room, as if he was a beloved president.

He probably was seen as that by most of the 'populace' here, anyway.

"My friends, today is a grim day indeed." Sayer began speaking into the microphone, and immediately the applause died down. How was this day grim? Would he be talking for several hours, then? That, I would define as a grim day.

"We have found, a SPY within our ranks!" The crowd erupted into angry murmurs as Sayer spoke out loud. A spy? Who could have infiltrated Arcadia? Wait. That newspaper I read in the Satellite about the Movement, it mentioned someone by name. Adam. Yeah, that was it.

As my train of thought halted, two guards dragged in a boy, about 19 years of age, and the crowd practically exploded, chanting; "TRAITOR, TRAITOR, TRAITOR!"

"Now, I would like Jay Alkain to step up, please?" The crowd went silent. Just about no one really knew me, except for Akiza. "Out of my way." I said, as I pushed a few spectators out of my way.

"Ah, there you are, my friend! Come on up here!" Sayer said with a fake smile, and gestured for me to join him by the speaker's chair, and the crowd began to cheer. Why? Because I got to be around 2 feet from him? Christ…

"Well, Jay? Are you ready to give Adam what he deserves?!" Sayer cried out, and the crowd went into a mask of rage. "KILL! KILL! KILL!" They chanted.

Sayer then turned to me, and gave me an icy stare. "Remember, I still have the button to your collar." He spat, and gave it a light press, sending a weak jolt through my body. It wasn't painful, but I could feel it.

"Well, what do I do?" I asked him quietly. He turned robotically towards me, and spoke slowly; "Whatever. You. Want." His voice was loaded with malice.

"Go on then, Jay! Give him what he deserves!" Sayer cheered, and the crowd erupted into cheers.

I slowly walked towards Adam. He looked feeble now, restrained by two men and on his knees, gritting his teeth in ancipitation.

I…I can't do this! I'm not a killer! My mind screamed.

How many times must I say it to you, Jay? Akron's demonic voice boomed. You are.

Shut up! He's defenseless and unarmed! This isn't punishment, this is an execution!

That's right, Jay. And we're the executioners.


Yes we are. And if you're not going to do it, then I WILL!

Immediately, I felt my mind becoming dark. But this time, I tried to fight it. Keep it back. Akron was NOT going to use me this time!

What are you doing, Jay? Stop it!

No! I won't let you control me!

"AAARGH!" I cried out, as the darkness finally began to fade back again from my mind. The crowd stopped cheering and had gone silent. They were all staring at me. They looked…disappointed. What kind of people were they?! They wanted to see me murder him?!

"No." I said out loud. "I won't." I snarled. "Listen to yourselves!" I cried. "You keep screaming for me to kill a man who is defenseless, unarmed!" My voice slowly began to rise."You think that it's easy?! Easy to just murder someone in cold blood?!" My voice had turned into a yell. "It's not!" The crowd began to murmur. I couldn't make out what they were murmuring, but I didn't care, either.


I managed to say, before I felt the collar turn on, and I screamed in pain as the voltage coursed through my body. It went into my veins, like they were about to pop and roast my skin!

"Damn you, Sayer…" I muttered, as I fell to the ground. I heard footsteps come towards me. "Damn you..."

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