2299: Perfect Enemy

Posted: April 26, 2009 by Kelly in fortress, league, stories

Perfect Enemy

“Wake up!” she shouted, kicking at the limp body beneath her feet. No response. The yellow energy of the regeneration point sparkled around them for a moment in a cascade of shimmering golden drops and she was having a hard time to keep her wits about her in the onslaught of restorative energy, but Zach was lying still… too still. The dried blood was caked all through his hair and over his face, staining his armour and his clothes.

Another kick. Still no response. May balled her fists in frustration and continued her tirade: “Wake up goddammit! I didn’t drag you all the way out here to let you die on me Zach, wake up!” She didn’t mind the fact that she was wide open for any attack. Her gun was lying on the ground where she had dropped it and it was out of immediate reach, but it was about the farthest thing from her mind.

On the dusty ground of the cellar, cloaked in shadows and the faint glow of the regeneration point, Zachary was lying for dead. And it shouldn’t be this way. “Face me!” she demanded, but he didn’t respond.

She had found him on the first floor, lying in a pool of his own blood.

Five minutes prior Stender had called out the names of the survivors so far, and there had been three names. Herself, Peter, and Zach; but Zach wouldn’t make it long anymore, Stender had added cheerfully. “Pity your big rival is out of the running, isn’t it May?”

The announcement had set her blood on fire: it wasn’t supposed to be this way.

Zach was hers.

And yet Peter Delmont, that despicable son of a bitch, had taken him out. No, it could not be. She had ran down three stairs and had found him eventually, lying too still, too quiet.

“Dead as dead can be,” Stender had commented, amusement lacing his voice. “Now you won’t get your final showdown with Zach. How about you duke it out with Peter, instead?”

“Fuck Peter,” May growled at the cameras, She’d picked up Zach and dragged him to the regeneration point. Zach was still breathing, albeit shallow and irregular. Head injuries bled like crazy, so she tried not to worry as she dragged him down the stairs. She tried pretty hard not to think about anything – she was dragging her rival into safety. Millions of livingrooms were watching her on live television as she was trying to save her rival’s life… at her own expense. She was trying to save Zach and leaving herself wide open for any of Peter’s attacks in the meantime. Something was not right in that logic, but she rejected the thought. It seemed like the only logical thing to do. Zach couldn’t die yet. So she was saving him.

Only to kill him, she told herself. He’s mine.

“You are MINE, Zach,” she said to the still body on the ground, finding to her surprise the anger bubble in her blood and her fingernails sinking into her palms as she balled her fists. “You’re my perfect enemy, I… I’ve lived for this battle for years. You are NOT dying on me! You fucking disappoint me!” May stamped her feet in utter frustration and bent over Zach’s body to check his credits. One more left. She’d already spent two on him, but she had to try. Maybe he was so injured that two credits wasn’t enough to heal him. And if he’d be dead, which he wasn’t, then that last credit was worth shit anyway.

The device on Zach’s hip blipped as the credit was used and around them, the regeneration point flashed wildly and yellow. May dazzled for a moment as she felt the regenerative energy around her surge through the body under her hands, but a slight spasm was all that happened.

“Regen points only work if the subject is still alive, May,” Stender commented mildly through the loudspeakers that were scattered throughout the whole fortress. His voice reverberated on the walls.

“Thanks a lot Stender,” May snarled.

This way, Peter would know she was at a regen point. He’d also know where he’d last left Zach, and that May was obviously trying to heal whatever was left to heal about her arch rival. Oh, he’d be laughing… and he’d be on his way to finish her off. Goddammit. She’d have to leave Zach behind and make a run for it to save her own life.

But, looking down on Zach’s pale face, she found that she couldn’t. “Wake up and face me,” she said softly. Her voice was trembling, and so were her hands as she covered her face as she thought of her expectations of this battle, of the two of them and their alliance – how they would team up to take care of all the other contestants and in the end, they would turn on each other to see who was best in the end. He was her perfect enemy, all the statistics said so. Why had this happened then? How could this be? When had they gotten separated? And why had he let Peter surprise him? “Why can’t you turn and face me?”

“Because he’s dead,” Peter’s voice cut clearly through the cellar. He was standing at the top of the stairs, outline by the light that came from behind. He was holding his shotgun in his hands. She couldn’t see his grin, but she could hear it in his voice: full of confidence, arrogance and amusement. “As you will be.”

Her own gun was out of reach.

“Fuck you,” was all May could offer before bullets riddled her body.

Her last credit wasn’t in time to save her life.

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