Chapter 9: One Thousand Bullets
A single bullet had lodged itself in my shoulder. My eyes widened as I felt adrenaline pump into my body to numb the pain. How? How did he fire so fast? Where did he get that gun from!? So many questions swirled through my mind in a vortex. My mind was clouded by anxiety. I never expected to see that there were Demons other than Genesis who could use Mind Gates.
“Pay attention kid. These are Mind Gates and someday you may be able to use their power.” spoke the voice of Genesis as it reverberated throughout the far reaches of my brain.
My mind spiraled at the sudden realization. The MInd Gate wasn’t just something that only Genesis was capable of. All Demons were capable of wielding that power. The power to bring their thoughts into reality. This power was the end game for a Demon, Genesis and Reaver had long since passed through it.
Reaver stood firm as he returned his pistol to the Gate. He just stood there watching as I clenched my teeth in pain. I felt my arm grow heavier and heavier as the adrenaline pumped through me and my wound begin to regenerate. The bullet was forced out of its fleshy cave by my regeneration and fell to the ground with a distinctive “plink.” Reaver continued to stare me down as I recovered. I quickly readied my blades and prepared to charge. If Reaver was going to stand between me and Nina, then I was going to carve him out of my way.
“What do you think you are trying to do?” Reaver said in a condescending voice.
I refused to let up as I stared down Reaver’s menacing glare.
“You’re in my way.” I growled.
“And you’re a fool who thinks to highly of his own power.” Reaver retorted.
I dashed towards Reaver. Nothing he said would change my stubborn mind. I was consumed with one thought. My one reason to stand. My one reason to live was right in front of me, but this one stranger saw fit to stand in my way. I couldn’t let that happen. I couldn’t let anyone stand between me and my reason to live. Nina had to die. She had to die. There was no other way. She had to die.
As I drew ever closer to Reaver I watched as he opened a multitude of Mind Gates. From each Gate came forth a single gun. A wall of gun barrels appeared behind Reaver and aimed itself at me. I stopped dead in my tracks as the wall of Mind Gates opened fire upon me. Instinct kicked in and I used my light blade to block any bullets that came too close to hitting me. I would’ve been stunned with amazement at the feat I had just accomplished were it not for my killing intent consuming my body and mind.
“You are pushing yourself too much Heaven.” spoke Hell from within his mental confines.
I shut Hell out without so much as a response. I couldn’t let him distract me. It was my moment. It was my time. Nina was in front of me, and I had two Demons to plow through. The concept of life had escaped me. Life in this instance was something meant to be taken. It was something that was given up when the wicked chose the path of evil. These were the consequences of their choices. I was so lost in this conviction that I had lost sight of myself. I believed the choices that Nina and her comrades had made yielded some kind of consequence. Yet I had failed to remember what Terra had taught me. Consequence was just an illusion. An illusion that had consumed me.
I stormed forward blocking any bullets that came towards me. As soon as I got close enough I readied my dark blade and shouted at the top of my lungs as I opened a rift that absorbed the hail of gunfire hurtling towards me. Within seconds I was inches from running my light blade through Reaver’s neck. However, as I prepared to end his life, he smiled.
“You really think you’re the hero here, don’t you?”
My eyes widened. A kind of dumbfounded rage that consumed my very core as I glared into Reaver’s eyes with my own ferocious gaze.
“What the hell did you say?”
I reached out to grab Reaver by the throat. Reaver swiftly blocked my outstretched arm and turned the tables on me. Within seconds I was at his mercy with several guns barrels pointing at me point blank range through the Mind Gates.
“Look at yourself. Do you honestly believe the reason you are standing here in front of me, fighting me, is the right reason?” Reaver spoke in an angered confusion.
“She has to die. That cold hearted bitch has to die!” I growled in defiance as Reaver kept his dominant stance over me.
“You are a fool to think that! What reason do you have to kill Nina!? What reason other than revenge!?”
“It’s not revenge! I just want to see my father’s soul pass on in peace. I have to fulfill my promise!”
Reaver looked at me with the most dumbfounded look on his face. It was the most disgusted look I had seen on anyone since rebirth. A look that was fighting off imminent rage. Something I had said created this look of disdain. I felt my heart struggle to hold its conviction. Reaver then did something strange. He closed his Mind Gates. Was he sparring me? The answer, unfortunately, was no. Reaver grabbed me by the collar and punched me right in the face and dropped my stunned body onto to the ground.
“You are a fucking idiot!”
My eyes widened as I struggled back to my feet and braced myself in case Reaver tried to pound my face in once more.
“How am I an idiot? I promised my father that I would see him to the other side. That I would avenge his death. That he wouldn’t have died in va-!”
Reaver had punched me once again. This time it was an uppercut straight to the jaw.
“I take it back. You aren’t an idiot. You are blind.”
“No. You are blind to follow her!”
I gasped as I felt a knee collide with my stomach. I coughed up a globule of my spit onto Reaver’s boot as I gripped my gut tightly. My eyes widened with rage as Reaver beat up on me.
“You are no better than her!”
Reaver came in with a kick that I dodged swiftly. I maneuvered around Reaver’s leg and came in with my light blade. I thought I would have been able to cut into Reaver’s neck and sever his cocky head from his spine. That was merely a dream that would never be fulfilled as I felt a sharp slug of lead burrow through my gut. I screamed. I screamed in absolute pain. I may have been able to regenerate, but that didn’t help with the pain. Even restoring my body to its prime condition hurts like hell.
“You are so unbelievably blind. You honestly think that you are on the right side. That there even is a “right side” to begin with.” Reaver spoke with a reprimanding tone.
“Nina has to die. She is a horrible inhuman monster! You weren’t there! You don’t know what she did! You could never understand the promise I made!” I shouted back in frustration.
“That is where you are wrong.” Reaver spoke calmly.
“I watched her kill all those people. I watched her kill your father. I watched you fight back. I watched you till the end. You never made a promise to him. That promise does not exist.” spoke Reaver with an almost cocky sort of confidence brought forth from a soured face.
“You liar!” I cried out in anger as I rushed as Reaver in an attempt to cut him to shreds.
I tried to cut a rift into negative space only to feel my hand get caught in Reaver’s clutch. My eyes widened as I tried to pull away from Reaver only for him to pull with greater strength and lift me up and over his own body. He swung my body like a ragdoll into the street. My body hit the ground hard enough to shatter the concrete below. Blood flew from my mouth as I felt every ounce of my breath escape me. Reaver placed a boot upon my rib cage and glared down onto me.
“That promise does not exist! That promise is a fabrication of your mind. It is an attempt to justify your revenge! You haven’t had a desire to avenge anything! You just want to see Nina die!”
I felt strength leave me. Was I wrong all this time? I just wanted my father to rest in peace. But I was then told that this dream was a lie. A lie I created just to bring about the death of someone else. I had become the very thing I was trying to hunt down. I had fallen so quickly. In fact I had fallen right from the start. Tears welled up in my eyes as I stared passed Reaver into the blue sky above.
“I… How could I have..? How is it a lie..?”
Reaver took his foot off of me and helped me up.
“The mind can do cruel things to itself. All humans seek to justify their own actions. I don’t blame you, but I still cannot allow you to harm her. I’m sor-!”
Just then, a ball of flame hurtled between me and Reaver. I turned and shot a glare at Nina as she stared down Reaver with pure rage.
“Reaver! How about you stop talking, and start killing!” Nina shouted in frustration.
“To think you would want to protect her.” I spoke softly.
“I am just as flawed as you are.” replied Reaver.
Reaver turned and faced Nina in defiance. He stepped forward towards her and stood down.
“You kill him yourself. I’m done here.”
Nina sighed to herself and slowly began to glide her tongue along the edge of her lips. Without warning Nina dashed towards me. I swiftly blocked the incoming strike of Nina’s fist with my dark blade. I watched as she fought through the pain of the matter in her wrist being erased. Her hand fell to the floor in a bloody mess and a new one grew in its place as swiftly as it left. I backed up as Nina unleashed a flurry of flaming punches. I blocked with my light blade as more and more burning blows came closer to my body. I ducked under Nina’s right hook only to feel her foot collide with my face and knock me into the air. Nina channeled flames in her palms and launched a barrage of fire bolts towards me. I managed to recover and descended towards the ground as I blocked any bolts that came near me. I ran at Nina, brandishing my blades as she attempted to blast me away with her flames.
“This is the end!” I shouted as I leapt towards Nina with my blades raised back.
A loud clash of metal rang out as Reaver appeared in front of me and blocked my strike with a rifle.
“Out of way Reaver!” I screamed as I backed off from him.
“Have you learned nothing!? I already told you! I will not let you kill her!” Reaver screamed as he opened another wall of Mind Gates and unleashed a bullet storm upon me.
I swiftly swung my dark blade and tore open a rift to shield me from the bullets long enough to close in on Reaver once more. We were right back where we started.
“Don’t get me wrong Reaver. I understand what has happened to me.” I spoke softly as I readied myself for the killing blow.
“I am faced with two roads, yet I already chose one path before I even understood what each choice meant.”
Reaver clenched his teeth tightly as I prepared to cut into his flesh.
“What the hell are you saying!?” Reaver spoke between clenched teeth.
“I already chose to become the very thing I hunted. The moment I set hateful eyes on Nina I became just like her.” I muttered to Reaver in an eerie calm.
Reaver’s eyes went wide as I swiftly glided my light blade across his stomach. Reaver leaned into me as my dark blade pierced through the wound I had already created.
“You fucking… Fool!”
I pulled my blade from Reaver’s gut and turned to face Nina with blood staining my face. Reaver writhed on the ground as he slowly regenerated his gaping wound. Nina looked tense. A sickening smile grew on my face as I approached Nina. If this was what I had become, then so be it. No human can kill a monster after all.
A faint giggle began to echo throughout the sunlit street. Nina was madly cackling in a fit of pleasure as I stared at her with monstrous determination. Nina smiled and licked her lips once more.
“I was right to let you escape! You have proven to be far more interesting that I could have ever anticipated!” Nina said with the ultimate bliss filling her body.
“This what you created that day. It’s time you took responsibility for my fall!” I shouted as I began my stride towards Nina.
“You created me. Your choices brought this upon me. Your choices clouded my own. I could have let you go. I could have forgiven and forgotten. I could have lived a normal life, never using these powers! But something inside me… Something deep in my heart longed for the satisfaction of seeing your lifeless corpse.”
Nina continued to glare at me with an incredible fascination.
“Terra was right. Everyone has choices to make, and I now know I made the wrong ones. I could say I have no choice but to see this through. But I do, and I already made my decision. I didn’t come this far to turn tail and run!”
I was within striking range of Nina now. It was time to end this quest for revenge. I had already decided. Even if it was a lie. Even if I never promised my father anything. Even if it isn’t the “right” choice to make. I was going to keep walking through the forward. No one is perfect, not humans, not Demons. This was a lesson, a mistake, that I could not run from. Nina would hunt me down as fervently as I did her. The conflict would not end until one of us was destroyed. This was the path we had set ourselves down. I have every choice to stray from it, but would that make me a coward? It didn’t matter. I had already decided.
Nina and I were ready to tear into each other. It was going to be my toughest battle yet. It was…
“Now, now, settle down children~!” spoke an unfamiliar female voice that dripped with a malice similar to Nina’s
The rest of us turned to see the Agent that fought Genesis. Accompanying him was a girl much shorter than him. In her hand she gripped a rather sharp looking axe.
“You have all been very naughty~!”