Princess of the Shadows ➺ [FC Series Bk.2]

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Chapter 14: Diamond Destruction

“In the black of this room, I just have to use my senses in the absence of my vision,” I murmur while Dale’s front still heats my back as we are left together in Cherry’s Symposium for Matchmaking.

“Two choices, kitten. Whore. Warrior. What shall it be?” Dale unexpectedly murmurs a response I do not expect, “You can drop to your knees right now, beg me for forgiveness,” Dale suggests, “...and lick my balls and my cock for penance... or I can teach you a few things, things I know you want to know... but I only teach the hard way, you will be wise to understand this before you make a decision,” Dale suggests while standing behind me the entire time in the utter darkness of the jungle bedroom, which wasn’t getting any brighter, I might add.

“Whoring for the rest of my life is not an option. Lives are at stake. And there is no situation in which I will beg you for forgiveness when I have done nothing wrong,” I snarl this back - right before I feel his breath across my cheek and my neck tingles in response.

“Then the horrors of your first lessons in combat will begin right now,” Dale growls, “... the old fashioned way...” Dale’s tone fades as does the heat at my back as he backs off.

At the same time that I am given space, I hear panicked foot falls close by - running down the hall. Right before an alarm ring also sounds.

It’s quiet and not so alarming as it should be - but it rings never the less.

While I hear doors slamming open, yet more people run while flashes of light from torches brighten the brown carpet of this jungle bedroom from under the entrance door.

With the brief flashes of light I see Dale standing by the bed, gathering rope in his hands.

“What’s happening?” I ask, “Why did you put us at risk? We should have gone with Blue.”

“They’re evacuating,” Dale explains in a bored growl, “Police and solidiers of Avalon will storm the building. The power outage will be seen as an attack. It is impossible for electricity to run out of Avalon skyscrapers from their grid system. The building will be evacuated. Our prey will enter next.”

“Our prey?” I ask, as the flashes of light cease and the room is clouded in complete darkness once more, “Do you mean the police?”

“I mean our prey - prepare to get your nails lodged in a few throats, you might have to rip out a few... maybe even a few hearts,” Dale chuckles to himself, but he sounds serious.

“How can you joke about this?” I ask, “And laugh about something so fucked up?”

“Fear is a man’s greatest weakness, distraction his second,” Dale answers, “I’m assuming you still want to stick with warrior? If you do - you’re getting bloody. If you choose whore - we can have some fun in the darkness and you can get covered in something you can happily call an Ultimate shower.”

“I don’t even want to guess what you mean by that,” I hiss and there is a crack in the air.

It’s loud - like a whip... and I know Dale’s cracked one of the ropes he’s gathered.

As I go silent, another crack sends a whiff of sharp wind over the tip of my nose.

“Too close,” I whisper, “Stop it, I can’t see.”

“I just made some noise to make sure the prey come to us,” Dale murmurs from afar, clearly amused, “In all seriousness, kitten... I’m initiating you today. Since you so arrogantly flaunt your Ultimate design - we need to start breaking you in properly.”

“I’ve killed before,” I answer.

“Not with your hands,” Dale responds in kind.

“What are you doing with the rope?” I ask.

“I might hang a few soldiers up for display... a super solider’s portrayal of art,” Dale clearly has it all planned out.

“We need to escape, not die in action -”

“We will not die, kitten - but you’ll get fucked in a pool of blood if you don’t stop questioning my guidance. Now - shut the fuck up... use the Ultimate hearing you were born with... and listen,” Dale murmurs, “Blue will haul us out if we’re in trouble. Jose can still see what you’re seeing,” I do not answer, instead, I just close my eyes and shake my head. I slowly turn to face the door, “There are motion senses in every room here,” Dale also adds, “They know we’re here.”

“Fantastic -” there’s a crack in the air and a sharp pain descends across my ass, “Fuck!” I yell out and spin around, to hear Dale roar with laughter in the pitch black.

“S-Shhh...” Dale barely manages to shush me because he is so damn amused, “Kitten... first you’ll get bloody - then we’ll work out how to fuck some joy into you after your first real murders.”

“I have already killed,” I try to push that point home again, but another crack and more contact with my ass, has me hissing in a breath again.

“Don’t worry, sweet pea... only I’ll see your embarrassing first attempts in combat,” Dale drawls, “I won’t tell the ladies.”

“I won’t tell them either,” I murmur.

I expect a crack and I jump forward, instead I feel nothing and hear silence.

“You’re not referring to what I said, kitten - spit it out,” Dale growls this in a warning for me to choose my next words carefully.

“What I meant was, I won’t tell them that your balls are gone when we get back,” I answer with a smile and when I hear the crack, I jump to the side, but the rope just collides - somehow, right between my legs, under the dress - right on my clit, “No way!” I spin and stumble into a wall, glaring into the darkness, “...I have to admit... Dale... that was fucking s-” as I speak - a light flashes in the corridor.

It’s dim, but it’s there, so I shut up.

It briefly flashes two purple orbs of evil at me, amused and awaiting some murder as Dale stands mere feet from me.

I had no idea he’d begun to close the distance.

However, now he stops, a rope spread between in each hand as he stills, listening intently.

I do too and I watch as another light flashes across the carpet... and foot steps are heard in the outside hall.

As Dale and I fall completely silent, you can barely hear the breath from either of our lungs. I decide from the pattern of foot falls being taken... that there are only three soldiers outside the room.

I listen for more, but besides the occasional flash of light under the door... there is no more sound.

I wait as the light focuses opposite the door - which means we are about to be infiltrated.

Dale slinks away to the left, throwing me some rope, while I stand to the right adjacent to him. He squats and I follow his lead... in the bare minimum of lighting, he is smirking... his purple eyes completely focused on me... as he winks some reassurance.

He never looked happier.

The moment the door is smashed open... is the moment I hear a scatter of beads in the distance.

I can’t think much more of it as the door literally get’s blown off it’s hinges and the three soldiers storm into the room.

Dale and I hold the rope, camouflaged over the brown carpet and only visible at the last second when we raise it together and trip up two of the soldiers in front.

While I watch two face plant and tumble like ballerinas to the floor - I watch in sudden shock as Dale leaps gracefully to his feet and launches himself effortlessly at the third man, even with a gun practically pointed to his chest.

At the last moment, Dale grabs the barrel and shoves it upwards, under the man’s chin - where the bullet meets it’s giver. A spray of blood lights the ceiling in the blast and paints the walls.

I’m frozen again as warm splatters hit my cheek and my neck... and my arm... and my hand. I feel a drop slither down my nose and drip off to my lips.

I spit in fright, not sure if it’s blood or brain mush, while Dale suddenly closes the distance to me... he looks infuriated in the torch light.

“Don’t freeze up, kitten, never freeze,” Dale barks the order as his hand wraps it’s way into my hair and he practically hauls me upward and toward the two soldiers, who are wildly turning around after being tripped.

I land on one soldier’s side, and the soldier’s eyes widen as he reaches for his gun. I grab it and shove it into the ground while the second soldier points the gun at my face.

I gasp, expecting to die - but Dale just growls in disapproval as his foot comes down and practically kicks the gun into the carpet as the shot fires.

While Dale holds the second soldier down with one foot, I am facing my solider below me, who is ferociously jerking his gun back towards him.

I raise a hand and slap him - to no affect.

“Claw his eyes out,” Dale growls at me.

“What? Ew, no fucking way!” I yell, raising my hand, unsure how violently I should use my claws when true fear splits open and floods through the soldier’s gaze.

It’s like he knows who I am... with knowledge in his eyes... he begs me, “Please... please...”

I freeze again, unsure of what to do. There was only one time I was naturally amazing at combat - and that was facing my beasts. For some reason, engrained knowledge would show me how to fight.

Now, with a pathetically weak man below me... my instincts were off... I felt no need to kill.

“Goodnight,” the voice is new but familiar as a bullet suddenly lodges itself into the middle of the soldier’s forehead.

While the solider stills, I grab the gun off the solider and scramble to my feet... just as Dale slowly turns and freezes.

The lights flicker back on - the power restored out of the blue... and I lose the breath from my lungs.

Hacksaw.

He was holding a pistol with a silencer... he had a bead on his shoulder... and he was adorned in his black leather like suit.

“I put a diamond bullet through his head,” Hacksaw tells me, his voice completely relaxed, his drawl effortless and deep like I remembered, “...it’ll go right through his head like a knife through butter,” Hacksaw raises the gun to Dale while I aim my own stolen rifle at Hacksaw.

“Dale isn’t b-bullet proof anyway,” I stutter, “If you said diamond bullets... they’re meant for me... aren’t they?”

“It was a joke,” Hacksaw blinks while looking at me, “...Sammy.”

“...fuck...” Dale steps back and looks genuinely shocked.

As I glance at Dale, he looks rattled.

I lick my lips, nervous as I glance between the two.

“Have you never met him?!” I ask, Dale, almost yelling it.

While Hacksaw chuckles and smiles... Dale just watches Hacksaw like a hawk.

“The poor animal can’t believe his eyes,” Hacksaw murmurs, lowering his gun to his side.

“Have you never seen one another?” I ask again, a little panicked, I admit. I was rattled like Dale and I was more rattled because Dale was rattled.

Gosh damn it!

“I exist when I matter,” Hacksaw growls, looking at me in disapproval, “You will be quiet now.”

With his words... I can’t move my tongue, my eyes strain and my cheeks... even my jaw, feels completely and entirely numb.

“You’re my greatest enemy,” Dale speaks, low and clear but still in shock.

“Oh, I know - and you’re an army dog,” Hacksaw answers while his long metal hair lies perfect as always, down to his waist, like a picture that never changes... just like mine, except mine was shoulder length and tawny coloured, “You’ll crawl like one,” Hacksaw continues to drawl to Dale, “Get on your knees.”

I turn to the Lord of the Underworld... and he’s knees start to bend.

However, the moment they do, he stops descending to the carpet... he almost resists... before he falls dramatically to his knees with a loud thump into the bloody carpet.

Dale’s fists hit the carpet too and as I watch my beast fall... he slowly rises back up.

His face is utterly strained, there are tears of frustration and challenge rolling down his cheeks. Dale can’t talk and can barely breathe as he resists Hacksaw’s order to crawl.

“Sammy,” Hacksaw speaks a little more lightly, turning his gaze from Dale to me, “You can speak now.”

The moment he takes his eyes from Dale, I hold Hacksaw’s full attention.

It’s like no one else exists.

“My name is Alyssa,” I murmur, “...Alyssa.”

“Sammy,” Hacksaw shakes his head, “... I have a gift, for you.”

“Why don’t you tell me how you found me?” I ask.

“I’ve been watching you,” Hacksaw explains, like it’s obvious, “I have a gift.”

“Are you courting me?” I ask, “How do you even know what I want -?” I watch as Hacksaw whistles and behind the giant Ghost Legend of FC... a monster suddenly scuttles forward into the room from the hall.

I almost scream as the bloodied, mangled and swollen mess shuffles on all fours with scars over every inch of his body. I stumble back as the creature in a tattered, mouldy suit comes forward, pretending to ‘woof’. I don’t want it to touch me so I keep backing up, but Hacksaw just lunges forward and grabs the creature by the hair - throwing him back.

“Stay, you filth,” Hacksaw snarls at the mangled thing, while I begin to tremble all over.

Dale remains on his knees - fighting the compulsion to crawl.

However, Hacksaw seems to forget the beast exists as his eyes focus on me entirely instead.

“Sammy,” Hacksaw speaks gently to me, “... it’s Reuben. You were his slave and I could do nothing... but watch... and now, now he is your slave.”

“W-woof,” Reuben splutters, he barely garbles the word together while blood drips from his mouth as he smiles... compelled to do so.

Without thinking, I raise the gun and pull the trigger - it flies right through his head.

For that split moment - my instincts take over. It’s like my genes kick in and my aim is dead on perfect and my actions are smooth.

However, Reuben... he had to die. The forced smile on his mangled face - even changes to instant relief as he falls back to hit the floor, now dead. Hacksaw simply narrows his gaze in confusion as he looks me over.

“You didn’t like my gift?” Hacksaw asks me, seriously concerned, “That is okay, I figured this would happen - you’re still not ready,” Hacksaw says these next words so fast, almost like he is dangerously calculating his next move, “It’s okay, it’s okay,” he nods to himself while suddenly closing the distance in a heart beat.

He clutches the gun off me and throws it aside... it hits the back of Dale’s head while he still kneels off to the side... and Hacksaw’s hands both reach up to cup my face.

Gently, he holds my chin up... my hair does not cut him, because his hair is as sharp as mine.

It’s what cut the beads hanging in the entrance from the other room.

“Sammy,” Hacksaw murmurs down to me, slowly bringing us nose to nose even as I tremble in outright disgust and fear.

“I am not Sammy,” I whisper.

"Sammy,” Hacksaw hisses the name of the identity he thinks I portray, “You will be quiet and you will follow my lead... I see the questions and the turmoil of your soul fighting through in your gaze... shhh... I am doing all that I can, Sammy. Now, we teach you about you. About your real self... Lumen will fix you.”

“L-L-L-L-Lum...e-en?” I whisper out the name of STRIKE’s creator eventually, surprised I can fight through the compulsion, even as my lips tremble uncontrollably as I try to fight Hacksaw’s strange power with mind control.

Hacksaw’s eyes continue to watch me, burrowing into my gaze, trying to work me out. He is shocked I am able to resist him for even a mere word.

However, when he clears his thoughts, Hacksaw gets back on track.

“Yes, Lumen,” Hacksaw nods, “...I will take you to him. I will leave your dog alive - you must kill it to please me... as soon as you’re back, Sammy. As soon as you’re back. Now - fall asleep. I’m taking you to the home you now need,” his words fade as my eyelids start to droop, “... until you start to see me, Sammy - until you start to see me for who I am!"

Hacksaw’s snarled, frightening words are the last thing I hear before I fall asleep... into his arms... and into the greatest nightmare - full of unimaginable horrors.

Unlike Dale’s emphasis with words not long ago...

...the real horrors had only just begun.

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