In the not-too-distant future, a being named Elerezel is cursed with a twisted, parasitic form of immortality. He is a serial killer and angel of vengeance in one. His whole existence is to hunt the targets given to him by some supernatural power and exterminate them. If his host dies, Elerezel is thrust into a new body and is given a new set of names.
This is the story of Elerezel, the Eternal Assassin, and he has a list.
Episode 27: Bluffing
I awake with a start and suck in a loud lungful of air. Everything is dark. It’s not pitch black though. To my right, there is a sliver of light—a crack under the door.
Did it work? Am I out? I climb to my feet and check the door. It’s locked. Not good, but it doesn’t mean they still have me.
I start to feel my way around the room. The floor and walls are concrete. They’re smooth and cool to the touch.
Then footsteps. Someone is coming. One person, wearing heels of some kind.
Two shadows appear in the space under the door. The person has stopped right outside.
The room explodes in light. I shield my eyes until they can adjust. As I’m rubbing my eyes, the door clicks and creaks open. When I’m finally able to see again, I look up and my heart sinks.
“Did you really think you would get away that easily?” Dressed in a black lab coat, Anatsia laughs. “I was told you knew about The Engine. Knew how it worked more than anyone. And yet you think you can stop it by putting a few bullets into the controls?”
I stare at her, doing my best to keep my face a blank mask.
The old torture hag just shakes her head. “You are utterly pathetic. As you can see, you failed.”
She steps closer. Two guards file in behind her and take aim on me. Anatsia gets right up to my face. “You’re still here.”
She turns and heads back to the door. “Cuff him and bring him.”
The guards step toward me.
I need more time.
Guard number two pulls out a set of digital submission manacles.
Dammit. They put those on me and they have control of my muscles and nervous system. Nothing I can do. So, I do the only thing I can. I bluff.
“You think I was trying to escape?”
“Hold!” Her voice breaks the silence.
The guards pause. Number two turns back to Anatsia.
She holds her hand up and steps closer, letting it fall as she passes between them. Her eyes narrow and she tilts her head a little. She’s studying me, trying to mentally call my bluff.
I have to push harder. I give a half of a laugh. “I understand there is no escape from here. Only way in or out is to die and that machine controls it all.”
Her chin lifts. She’s listening, scrutinizing every word.
“Look. I talked with Brutus.”
Anatsia’s eyes go wide. “You … spoke to him?”
I nodd. “Yep. And apparently, he and I used to be best buddies. Until all …” I wave my hands around. “This.”
I turn and take a step. The guards respond by taking aim on my head. Anatsia calms them with a flash of her hand.
I smile and continue. “The way I figure it. I disappeared. He felt abandoned and alone. Awareness Vectoring Oversight Network came in or was started and took over the project. As my right hand man, he was held responsible.
Coming back around, I’m facing her again. “He explained what’s going on here. AVOnet is a world-governmental body, answerable to who, exactly?”
Wait two seconds for dramatic pause … and … “No one, that’s who. So, Brutus started this. A chance for people to take Awareness Vectoring in whatever direction they determine, without the dictatorial oversight.”
Anatsia shrugs “So?”
“So? SO?” So. “So, AVOnet has been pushing me around, making me do their dirty work for the last two hundred years.”
I step closer to her, my wrists out for her to shackle. “You think I was trying to leave? I was making sure you had another body lined up for me here.”
“Then why did you shoot the console?”
“Why did I …” Shit. C’mon, come up with something fast. “Huh. I don’t know.” That was not it.
“Nice try, but, you see …” She gives me that yellowed-toothy smile. “Everyone here knows AVOnet was your idea. Brutus’s own words. He’s already told me what kind of a person you are, how you’re such a Boyscout. How you always believed in oversight and thought it was necessary.”
Anatsia steps up and pokes me in the chest. “So yes, I know exactly who you are and who you were.”
She tries to keep her smile from getting any bigger. “Yes, I do.”
“So you know who I was? Originally.”
She walks around me and laughs again. “Of course. I believe your original name was Ale—”
An explosion somewhere in the facility rocks the ground and walls. Concrete dust falls from the ceiling. Overhead, the light flickers for a second.
Anatsia looks up then whips around. She points her bony finger at the guard on the right. “You! Go find out what the hell is going on.”
The guard raises his weapon and leaves. Guard number two watches the other leave, and like a flash, I know this is my chance.
This body’s muscles react slower than I want, but it’s fast enough. I reach her just as her gaze lands on me. My hands plant against her chest and her eyes go wide. Using my momentum, I crash into her and then into the first guard.
The three of us slam into the concrete wall. Anatsia collapses to the floor from between the guard and I, and I press my advantage. Three shots, square to his jaw and his eyes roll up into his head. He falls to the floor unconscious.
Air comes to my lungs in ragged gasps. I close my eyes, trying to catch my breath. Between the gasps and the pounding in my head, I hear the whine of a stunner powering up. Damn.
When I open my eyes, I look up and see Anatsia. Blood trickles from the corner of her mouth and there is a lump on the side of her head.
“You’re a tricky sonofabitch.” She wipes the blood away with the back of her hand. “I’ll just have to make sure you are unconscious until we get you strapped in.”
Anatsia raises the stunner. She smiles then her eyes go wide. Her jaw drops open and a gurgle escapes her mouth. Tiny blue sparks dance between her tongue and the roof of her mouth. More sparks light up her eyes.
I watch as she falls to the floor, face first. A large splotch of red is in the center of her back and it’s growing.
I look up. A lump forms in my throat and my heart sinks again. Before me I see a mousy-looking woman in a lab coat, but her hair is pulled back into two ponytails. Neon red yarn holds her blonde hair in place. Additional pieces of yarn are interwoven in her ponytails.
“God, I always hated that bitch.” The woman is staring at the body of Anatsia, then looks up to me. “Honey, I’m home.”
Her name escapes my lips in a whisper. “Stilleta.”
“Aww!” Gothpunk Girl puts her hand over her heart, in mock emotion. “You really do care.”
#SaturdayScenes is a writing event that happens every week on Saturday in the Saturday Scenes Community on Google+. You can get the rules and guidelines in the community. You can share something new or something old, it doesn’t matter. Or, if you are just a reader, that’s fine too. Read, comment and enjoy.