Monster in the Mirror

Chapter 29

Weaving and slipping my way through the thick brush and trees, my vision became darker and darker until it was a very vivid orange, changing the color of the world humans take for granted. Tromping angrily through the snow and plants, I didn't stop until I came across the base of one of the mountains on the outskirts of town. 'As good a place as any I suppose.' I thought as I sniffed the air: confirming I hadn't been followed and that I was completely alone as my hoodie, beanie and pants melted away and became the body suit that caused me so many problems.

Focusing my now-orange eyes at the thick stone, I imagined seeing the Gentek facility being guarded by thousands of Blackwatch soldiers: weapons raised and ready to fire. Combining that image with what they've done to me…what they turned me into, was the final push I needed to release all the pent-up rage that came with their 'testing'. Pulling my lips back away from my teeth, I let the virus do my bidding as long, whip-like tendrils in the same shape and design as Xenomorph tails, rose from the back of my suit and moved around me like the tentacles of an octopus.

Watching the tremor ripple through my arms, I glared at the stone wall as the biomass claws took the place of my arms. "This is for all you've done you bastards." I growled before I unleashed the power of the Blacklight virus. Dashing forward in a black and red blur, I slashed, grabbed, crushed and stabbed the stone with the deadly claws: feeling nothing but rage as the blades sliced through the thick stone like a hot knife through butter. Once a deep trench had been created, I changed my right arm into my Whipfist and used the three finger-like appendages to pick up chunks of rock and throw them across the forest.

Growling at the imaginary army, I threw my Whipfist to the side in an arch, watching it stretch and slice through the nearby trees before I raised it up and slammed it into the ground: splitting boulders as big as a car in two. Yanking the Whipfist out of the dirt, I clenched my remaining claw into a fist before slashing it diagonally down the face of the mountain: leaving deep claw marks that were each a foot deep. Feeling the biomass consume my arms again, I watched as they changed into the bulky Hulk-like hands I called Hammerfist: not a very original name, but its suiting.

Flicking my gaze at the stones at my feet, I raised my arms into the air and punched the ground repeatedly: causing the ground to split and tremble with the equivalence of an earthquake before turning my pounding hands on the stone. I didn't bat an eye as bits of chipped rock hit me in the face as huge holes appeared in the rock: making it look as if the stone had turned into Swiss cheese. Shaking off the dust, I jumped a good ten feet backwards before changing my glowing, weaponized limbs again: this time changing them into thick, solid muscle ironically called Musclemass: it didn't change the appearance of my arms much, just made me look like a bodybuilder, however: I don't favor it for its looks.

Sneering at the broken rocks that were easily the size of the school bus, I picked them up and ripped them into tiny pieces before crushing them into dust. Staring at the gray stone in my unnatural grip, I imagined them to be the heads of the people who caused me so much pain and suffering. Smiling cruelly at the image from under my hood, I continued to crush, stomp on, and break them as the dust became their blood and their pieces became their brains: the very brains that had created me. Chuckling in bloodthirsty pleasure, I changed my arms again…this time into my all-time favorite offensive power: the power absolutely nobody knew I had a pair of.

As the long, double-edged black, red, and silver Blades gleamed menacingly in the sunlight, I glared at the rock before dashing in a headlong charge, the blades on both of my arms leaning behind me like a pair of metal wings. With a loud, savage war-cry, I thrashed and sliced my target relentlessly: never tiring and never wavering as the loud screeching of nails-on-a-chalkboard became nothing more than background noise as I let out all my frustration and anger on the innocent mountain. Despite the fact that my powerful tantrum has created a tunnel deep into the mountain base, my vision wasn't blurred or crippled in the least: that is until I quite literally stumbled into a cave nearly a mile into the stone according to my Navigation Instinct.

Panting heavily, I let the virus and tendrils retreat as my arms became visible and normal again: as if none of my weapons had even existed in the first place. Looking around the circular cave, (it was more of a room really, but since when does that matter?) I saw that there was a small pond of clear water surrounded by a few pine trees and smooth flat rocks that had been illuminated by a large sunbeam streaming in through a decent-sized crack in the ceiling. 'Looks like one of the caves in Skyrim.' I mused as I glanced around before walking over to look into the pond.

It didn't appear deep, but I wasn't going to jump in and test that theory as I took in the crystal-blue of the gentle rippling, ice-cold water. Feeling the overexertion of my power finally catch up with me, I sat down on one of the larger flat rocks next to the pond and rested my arms on my drawn-up knees. 'Now what? I can't stay here forever and I royally fucked up so I can't go home: but what exactly IS home to a monster like me?' I thought as a sad sigh escaped my lips as I stared at my reflection in the water as my orange-colored eyes faded away to my original sapphire-blue.

Wishing I could be like the cheerful songbirds singing their songs from the leaves above me, I picked up several pebbles and started absentmindedly tossing them into the pond: watching as my clear refection became distorted before becoming clear again. It wasn't until I had thrown the fifth or sixth pebble, did I notice that my reflection was joined by a second: one wearing a dark-purple hood, neon-green question mark, and black mask over the face. Concealing the fact that he had startled me by tugging my hood lower over my face, I threw the remaining pebbles I had into the pond, interrupting the birds of their pretty songs.

"If you're here to console me, don't: I'm not interested in hearing it so please…leave." I said without looking at the vigilante, instead focusing my attention on the slight breeze that had managed to force its way through the crack and rustle the leaves of the trees. "I heard what had happened with Cartman, it was uncalled for: even by his standards, and for that I will be having a 'word' with him." he said, ignoring my request for him to leave as he decided to occupy the spot on the rock next to me. "Why bother? I'm nothing more than a weapon that deserves to be destroyed: I'm hardly even human anymore, so why treat me like one?" I questioned him as I watched the tribal dragons around my arms glow and fade in a steady rhythm.

"You can't help being what you are, just like I can't help being what I am. We were both forced into lives that had been decided for us with no regard for our feelings or opinions. If you see yourself as a hero: you are a hero, if it's a monster you see: then that's what you will become…don't let other people's opinions of you change who you are because YOU are the one who decides what you want to be." he said as he stared intently at me, shocking me into almost sliding off the rock, had Mysterion not grabbed hold of my wrist to steady me. "You would be the first to actually care." I said as I looked down at my dusty boots and the red-orange flames patterned around my shins.

"We're in this together now whether we like it or not, you: just like all the innocents in this town, are under my protection. If anyone tries what Wendy has ever again, they will answer to me and the police for Attempted Murder, you have nothing to be afraid of anymore." he said almost…possessively. The way he said it was different from the way the scientists had claimed me: with them, it was if I were a prisoner in chains I had no escape from. But with Mysterion: it was as if he were giving me a choice whether or not to accept his help, as if I were in a room with the door to freedom standing wide-open.

"I thank you for your attempt Mysterion, but not even you can protect me from Blackwatch. To them: there's always The Right Bullet for the Right Job…it's their motto actually. They are so high on their horse that they have to look down in order to see the President, what makes you think they will put down their weapons for a nine year old?" I said as I glanced at him, watching as his carefully-guarded expression faltered at this new information he had just been given.

"But they're military! They can't do that sort of thing, it's against the law." he said as he tried to grasp the fact that Blackwatch HAD no laws to keep them from doing what they wanted. "Mysterion, as far as the rest of the world knows: Blackwatch doesn't exist. To further explain what those sick fuckers do: they purposely infect a city of innocent people with viruses and experiments, only to either napalm the streets, or nuke the entire city once the test is complete. They DON'T care about how many lives are taken, all they care about are dollar bills and targets to shoot: be them innocent humans, or rampaging experiments that Gentek created: myself included." I explained, stunning the vigilante into silence as I stared at the brown and red cardinals singing in the tree in front of me, wishing for nothing more than this to be one big nightmare I will soon wake up from.

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