Run Man Run Chapter Two

edited August 2016 in Original Stories
Hi guys, just to be clear, this is a regular kind of YA short story, and is not going to have much xianxia elements. It will be sci fi based with plenty of monsters, exploration, and puerile imaginings which I know you all love. Also first person so a bit different. My goal here is just to get myself to write regularly so I can improve. Here's to writing more! XD

Chapter One: Monsters and Ghosts.

Oh my girl…my angel… my devil…the voice inside my head…the number of names I have for you is endless. I’ve hated you, spited you, loved you, and resented you through these long years. Ahhh a long time ago, you walked away from me, sent me to walk another path alone, a darker path. But all along, I kept hearing your voice, that angelic voice, guiding me in the dark. Or so I thought. Now I wonder. When I turned away, all that time ago, the memory still seems so fresh, so vivid, so TRUE! But do I really remember that fateful day like it was yesterday? Are my memories real? Because now… looking back…I don’t think I’ve heard your voice guiding me in my head for some time. The girl I knew, my angel, would never have said the things you say. I think that day, when I turned away from the light; your voice stopped talking to me! My ANGEL…you haven’t spoken to me since that day, have you? But then who…I’m scared to ask…or what…has been talking to me all these years? Who are YOU?!!!!!


                I awaken with a shudder on something cold and hard. Something I’m intimately familiar with. I remember that feeling, the cold hard feeling. My memory is shot like a man who has walked into enemy fire. It’s riddled with holes bigger than bullets. My head hurts. It aches. Throbs horribly, but I don’t have the luxury of waiting this hangover out. There’s a terrifying noise in the air.


                I bolt upright, lances of pain ignored in my brain. It’s a hardwired reflex, not my conscious decision. The noise is ungodly, a putrid sound which should not be. Where am I? Who am I? My hand automatically reaches down. It seeks comfort. It closes upon cool metal. Ah…that’s where I remember the feeling from. It’s from my pistols at my waist, and when I stand unsteadily to my feet, it’s also from the long straight blade at my back. I stare down at myself, looking for clues, anything which might trigger my shattered memories. Nothing arises. I find myself wishing for a mirror. I don’t even remember what the hell I look like. Who did this to me? How? Why?


                That noise again. It’s hell. Whatever it is, it’s hell. It stabs straight into your brain, something which you should run from it screams out! SCHREEEEEEE!! I cannot describe it better than that. It’s enough to make anyone break out into cold hives and sweat. I can’t gather my thoughts with it so close.


                It’s closer now. A lot closer… too close. Whatever it is, it’s also fast as hell. A rush of adrenaline, crystal clarity itself rushes through me. Suddenly, I’m whole, connected, one being with only one thought. Kill, or be killed. I draw a pistol, my hand automatically taking off the safety with a will of its own. I think I’ve heard this noise before, but when?


                It’s even closer now. My mind whirls, the adrenaline is intense. The world slows down, an infinite cycle of that hideous sound scraping across the too soft flesh of my ears. Each moment, each thunderous heartbeat feels like forever.


                I turn away from wherever the damn noise is coming from. I don’t even have time to assess my surroundings. Where am I? Who knows? No time to check. Gotta run!

                Some part of me knows. Knows this sound, wants me to stop and fight this sound. Was I trained for this? Because there is no way anyone who wasn’t trained would want to stop. The noise is too terrifying; no one would want to fight it naturally. I can hear something else now. Heavy steps pounding on the ground. Whatever’s making that noise is big. So big, I can barely hear my own footsteps over that pounding. It’s so damn FAST! I can’t pull away. I’m not sure where I am. I see a path ahead that splits off from the main one. The opening is small. Some sort of old service corridor made to fit people. Not whatever is behind me. I decide in an instant that it’s my only chance. I run through with a huge breath, stuffing myself as deep as I can inside. The corridor tightens quickly, I have to fight to hold in my breath as the narrow walls press against my chest. One hand plugs my nose and I stuff the other into my mouth desperately fighting the urge to gasp for air. My monstrous pursuer passes by without stopping.


                I hold my breath for as long as I can as the screams fade into the distance. When I can hold no longer, the spent air rushes out on its own and suddenly my gasps fill the corridor. I try to keep my breaths as small as possible, quiet, safe. That thing might be gone, but I have no idea if there’s more, or if it will come back. I slowly ease out when my breath returns and reenter the main corridor. It’s gone. I listen closely, I scan every shadow, every nook, and every cranny until I’m as sure as I can be that I’m alone. Finally, a moment to myself to figure out where the hell I am…

                I’m wrangling this problem over and over in my head. But it’s so slippery I can’t get a hold of it no matter how hard I try. It would be one thing if I felt like I could almost get it and then it slipped away, but I don’t even feel like I have the slightest clue what’s going on. Still, there’s something, of that much I’m sure. Something I need to remember, some purpose for why I’m here. As I try to puzzle it out, somehow, my pulse slows and I drift away into sleep. That’s when the dream came.

                There’s no words, only that hideous screeching noise, but not just one, more, many, many screeches. Everything feels so real, almost too real. I’m wholly convinced that I’m really awake. There’s a figure in front of me. I look closely, it’s a girl in a uniform, a scanner at her side and a rifle in hand. She looks over at me and I can tell she’s smiling for sure. But her features feel fuzzy, like I’d know the face if I saw it, but I couldn’t picture it if you asked. She’s yelling at me, and suddenly this hideous beast comes. Then another and another, twisted tangles of limbs meshed together, outlines blurred and intertwined with each other. The colors drain out of my dream, now it’s all bleached greys and blacks.

                “Get going! You still have things to do!” The girl in the uniform is still smiling. But now it’s a strained and sad smile. She knows what she has to do. She tosses me the scanner and starts shooting. I think there should be loud noises, terrifying shrieks, but even the screeches have stopped. Instead all I hear is my heart pounding and an all-encompassing feeling of regret. It fills my lungs, my heart, it fills ME. I turn and run though I want to fight. As I go, I snatch a last look back over my shoulder and I see that she’s looking over as well, her gun shooting blindly into the massed horde of beasts. Then suddenly she’s gone, the beasts are gone, I’m gone, everything turns to brilliant sparkling crimson red. Just like that I wake up, and for a second all I remember is that face and then the monsters which I need to run from.

                For the second time, I bolt upright. Or rather, I try to I’m already in a sort of sitting position head laying atop my shoulders, back propped against the narrow corridor walls. My body is twisted as deep as I can back into a narrow recess, trying to stay away from the open path, but my arms oddly are tensed out straight forward, as if I was trying to claw my way back from whence I came as my body tried to run away at the same time. I straighten myself and stretch everything I can, freezing when my own spine pops off several loud cracks as the beleaguered joints relieve themselves.

Pop Pop Pop

                I stare down the long corridor into the darkness expecting to hear a hideous screech at any moment, but there’s nothing, just darkness and quiet. I slowly relax and am about to resume stretching when my fears are answered.


                Steady, purposeful clacks make their way to me. Instantly I am a ghost, sinking deep back into my little side alleyway. One with the wall, one with the night, my breath turns fast. But while my body shrinks back, there’s a part of me that almost doesn’t want to turn back. This part of me is the one which is reaching with both hands to the pistols at my side. It wants me to step out while the enemy is still afar, draw, and…I don’t know. I’m not listening to that part of me. That part of me wants to die.

                My body is shaking so hard. My heartbeat is devastating, each pulse pumping hot blood to every extremity. Time is slowing down, but the steps make their way closer all too fast.


                Now they’re right in front of me and I am about to shut my eyes. A voice in my head, faint yet utterly forceful stops me from shutting them though, “Don’t ever close your eyes to the enemy” it says. My eyelids don’t obey the voice though, they’re too scared. I clench them shut and listen…just listen in the dark.

Tap. Tap. Ta---

                The steps are so close I’m sure I’m dead. Suddenly I realize my hands have somehow drawn both the pistols at my side and raised them to head level. They are rock steady unlike the rest of me, trained, deadly. My eye’s snap open when I realize what I’m doing, and I expect to meet my nightmares in the flesh. What greets me instead of the twisted monster I expect is a pair of iridescent blue eyes. Then a shriek but not the one I expect once again. It’s a human shriek.

“Ahhhhhhh! What the hell! Don’t shoot!”

The voice comes from a girl right in front of me. She’s wearing a lab coat and has an Omni wrench in her hand frozen mid-swing. I am currently leveling two guns at her wide eyes. I’m so shocked at the sight of another human being that I freeze just like her and simply stare into those scared eyes.

“Are you going to shoot? It looks like you’re getting tired, how about you put the gun…guns down?”

Her eyes are slowly crossing and dilating as she tries to keep track of both gun barrels. I realize what I’m doing and how hard I’m shaking. My body that is, somehow my arms are still rock steady. I try to lower my guns but it’s like they’re locked at eye level. It takes a huge effort to get them to slowly come down, eventually they reholster themselves and I shove my hands into pockets to keep them from unconsciously redrawing again. Why the hell can I draw a gun so fast? Who the hell am I to have this kind of instinct? The answers don’t appear and I’m starting to realize that they probably aren’t simple. I’m scared as hell that they aren’t simple.

“Thanks…I guess. For not shooting me.” The girl is staring into my eyes, and as she backs up a step I get a better look at her. She has wispy brown hair, those wide startled blue eyes, and she’s a little bit shorter than me. I have no idea exactly how tall as I don’t know how tall I am. She looks at my hands safely stowed in their pockets, and seems to assume that I won’t shoot her. The wrench in her right hand begins to smack ominously into her left palm.

“Now explain what the hell you’re doing in the engine block, and why I shouldn’t radio for Enforcers right now?”  

The smacking grows louder and more pointed. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything close to a good answer to her questions. I’m going to have to try the truth. I get the feeling this is not going to end well.

“Would you believe me if I told you that I forgot?”

I eek out something resembling a smile, at least I hope it does. My facial muscles are so stiff and there’s so much adrenaline in me that I probably look like I want to eat her. Then I remember.

“It doesn’t matter what I’m doing here, do you know the way out?!! There’s a…creature here, it was chasing me. It went that way, but it could come back at any time, we need to leave now! Do you know where the exit is?” I point the way it went, and I motion that we should leave frantically. I can’t believe I forgot about that thing, no matter how much memory loss someone has that thing will definitely stick around. Hopefully she knows how to get out of here. But despite my urgent manner and my obvious desire to leave, she just looks at me like I’m crazy. The wrench taps a fast beat on her hands and she smiles.

“Good one, a creature in the engine block, who put you up to this, was it Marc?” She definitely does not believe me and I do my best to impress on her the urgency of the situation.

“Miss, I’m serious!” She just chuckles wryly.

“Seriously man just give it up, I admit, those guns are a nice touch, and the…is that a sword?” She’s taking a second look at me now and I can see confusion starting to bloom on her face as she realizes somethings not right.

“The creature went that way, I swear to god, can we please just leave and I’ll explain how I got here later?” I motion frantically, but instead of going the way I want, she starts walking towards the direction I motion. “What are you doing! I told you it went that way! If you want to die, be my guest, I’m going the other way!” She however, completely ignores me and keeps going. Then she says the words which stop me cold in my tracks.

“This creature of yours, is it a ghost?” She raises her omniwrench and the built in flashlight flicks on. I stare in disbelief at the long “corridor” I thought the beast went down. It’s a dead end. There’s nothing there except a couple hydraulics pipes and some machinery.

“What the hell…?”

                I look around, I stare into the walls, I peer so deeply into the steel that I almost feel like I’d pass through it as well if I looked any closer. Nothing, I even rap the walls to make sure they’re solid. There was no way anything passed through here. I try to think it over, but my memory distinctly remembers the shrieks passing this way and then fading off into the distance. How can this be? Did I imagine it all? My brain hurts trying to make sense of it all. For now, I give up and start dealing with the more important question. What do I tell this girl?

“I…I’m confused, I don’t remember how I got here. Where exactly am I?” My words evoke a thoughtful look on her face, I’m anxious that she won’t believe me but there’s less doubt in those features than I expect. She’s surprisingly trusting, I definitely wouldn’t believe myself. She’s looking at me hard and I try my hardest to look innocent. Then she says,

“Don’t worry, I don’t normally believe people who point guns in my face and ask me to trust them, but I have to admit, you don’t look like you know where you are.” She walks up and raises her omniwrench. Instantly my hands slide out of their pockets ready to defend or grab the tool from her hands. She stops and looks at my hands which I’ve frozen mid grab with a cocked brow.

“Interesting…relax I at least don’t hurt people I’ve just met. You’re bleeding.” She points with the wrench to my temple, “a lot.” I’m not entirely sure what she means so I wrestle one hand away from its seemingly habitual combative stance and touch my temple where she points. It comes away with a mixture of semi congealed blood and sweat that dribbles out in a long clumpy line. A few splotches hit the floor and I look at the black blood in my hand as if it’s not my own. I don’t remember why I’m bleeding at all. The spikes of pain in my head certainly make more sense now though.

“Damn, you should get that checked out. Questions can wait until you get to a Medbay. You can’t answer my questions if you’re passed out.” She turns around and looks at me expectantly. I realize that though my hands are rock steady as always, the rest of me is starting to shake and I’m getting slightly nauseated. I follow without a fuss. She’s finally leading me away from this dark tunnel. Away from that damn monster. Even if it’s not real, I’m reassured to put some space between it and me. As we walk away I can’t resist the urge to look over my shoulder one last time. All I see without the light of the ominwrench is black. No monster, just a whole lot of black.



  • Chapter Two

    As I follow, my brain is still trying to run at light speed. But sadly, my body is letting it down. I can’t think, the pain in my head is just too intense. I can’t believe I didn’t notice this earlier. Suddenly a thought slices through all the disjointed and tangled noodles which are my thoughts right now. When did I get hit? I don’t remember bleeding earlier when I was running from that thing. If that even happened that is. At this point, I don’t know what’s real or not, maybe I was unconscious that whole time and it was just a wild dream I had. But I don’t believe that. It’s not that I can’t believe that the whole thing was a dream, I saw the dead end and lack of a monster plain as day. It’s that I don’t want to believe that it could have been a dream. If I admitted that, then I would really lose my mind, if something that could feel so real could be fake, then what the hell would I still be able to trust? What the hell could I count on to be real with the rest of my memories gone and the only thing I think I remember being a figment of my imagination?

    “Come on almost there. Don’t collapse please, I am not going to carry you to Medbay.” The girl is staring at me again. Unknowingly, I’ve stopped in the middle of a well-lit hallway.  I have no idea when we got here, I’ve been exploring the twisted dead ends in my head this whole time. A particularly sharp lance of pain strikes and I flinch. It hurts so bad I want to puke. But my stomach is coping pretty well.

    “Hello? You there? It’s just a bit farther, don’t give up!” She’s starting to look at me with what looks like concern. After a moment I try to take a step but end up stumbling as the walls begin to shake. Or maybe I’m shaking. I can’t tell. The walls probably aren’t shaking so I guess it’s me. The girl splits into three, and my head is pounding excruciatingly. I realize at this point that what I’m seeing is probably not real this time. There is definitely one girl in front of me and I’m just experiencing the side effects of head trauma and a lot of blood loss. The voice is in my head again, “it’s not real, just keep walking,” it whispers to me. I manage to find my footing again and I try my best to relax after hearing it. Now the walls are just vibrating a little and there are only one and a half girls instead of three in front of me. Her face is starting to scrunch up a little,

    “You good?” She looks at me doubtfully, seems to think for a bit, then she steps in and slings an arm around my shoulder.

    “Better than picking you off the ground, come on!” She heaves me up and with her support I start moving again. I keep thinking though. When did I get hit? I feel like I should remember getting this hard. But when I woke up the first time and ran from that thing, I felt ok. I think my head hurt a little then too, but I feel like I would have noticed if it was this bad. I did have a lot of adrenaline in me though, maybe I just didn’t feel it while I was running for my life. The alternative is…that someone hit me while I was passed out. I look at the back of her head. Or rather the three heads she appears to have at the moment, I’m starting to lose it. She acted like she hadn’t seen me before but can I believe that?

    “Doc doc! Get your ass out here now!” In a flash, the world shudders and falls out from under me. I realize that she’s kneeling and laying me out on the ground. A man runs out in full doctor gear, lab coat flapping. He shines a light in my eyes which quickly morphs into three lights while yelling,

    “Jerry! I need help now!” Then I’m out and the light’s gone. When I come to, there’s a slight beeping noise beside me. “EKG” the voice in my head whispers. It’s a voice full of knowledge and authority and I want to trust it implicitly. Then it’s gone.

    “Doc! He’s awake!” I look over, there’s a man I don’t recognize pointing at me in blue scrubs. He quickly strides over to where I am and shines that damn light in my eyes again.

    “Follow the light. How many fingers am I holding up?” I look carefully.

    “Three. I’m fine. Where am I?” My head still hurts but evidently I’m on painkillers as it’s nowhere near as bad as before. The world feels muted like I’m watching it through a thin blanket over my head. However, the feeling doesn’t feel weird or uncomfortable. It feels familiar like I’ve been like this before. It’s almost comforting. I don’t have time to puzzle out why as another man who I recognize as the doctor now is here. Jerry’s informing the doctor that I’m alive. He’s drawn him to the side and is whispering while glancing at me. He’s unaware that though he’s a couple meters off I can hear him like he’s right next to me.

    “Yes, everything seems fine; his vitals are stronger than mine for chrissakes. Karen says she doesn’t know where the hell he came from but wherever it was, they have some intense genmods and training… I don’t know. That hit he took cracked the skull, he should have been out like a light but Karen says she walked him here. Walked him! He should have been in a coma but he’s already awake. You know what that means right? Nanobots and high grade ones I’m sure. Possibly grade five or higher! We’re probably not even cleared to question him. I’m going to alert Enforcers if he doesn’t remember what the hell he’s doing soon. Until he remembers, Doc, we gotta be careful. Don’t even talk with him too much, if he says something he’s not cleared to say just because of the meds we got him on we could be hauled off to god knows what system for questioning!” Jerry out of breath finally finishes. This whole time I’ve been analyzing him and the doctor both. Jerry has long brown hair, almost stomach length. It’s messy and his hands are nervous and jittery. He’s about average height, a little shorter than the doctor. The doctor has wavy blonde hair and blue eyes. He’s staring at me with undisguised curiosity and seems startled to see me staring back intently. His hands however are much steadier. He’s probably a good doctor with those hands…

    “Hallo! Gave me and Jerry quite the scare today! Thanks for that, I haven’t gotten a chance to stitch someone up since Karen tripped on that engine coil!” The doctor walks over completely unaware that I’ve heard every word Jerry’s been saying the last minute. My face is impassive though. One thing I now know about myself. I’m good at keeping secrets. Too good, I wonder how many I’m keeping from myself right now?

    “Where am I?” I ask. The doctor replies without a thought,

    “You’re in the Medbay of quadrant 3d.” He looks at me like I’m supposed to know what that means. Seeing my puzzlement, he elaborates,

    “Wow, you really lost it huh? Well no surprise, Jerry here says that that hit you took fractured your skull. A little memory loss is certainly not strange in situations like yours. You’re on the Starrunner Wayward, a member of the Primoreum Alliance Exploratory Expedition. My name’s Lars, but you can call me Doc, everyone else does. Does any of this ring a bell?” I search my soul for any hint, any loose threads which might line up with the words he saying. The voice in my head echoes Doc for a second. “Primoreum…Alliance… fai---“ it fades off like interference on the radio. I’ve heard of this Starrunner before. The Starrunner Wayward, I don’t know when or how but I know this Starrunner.

    “So, I’ve told you my name, do you remember yours?” The doctor is talking to me but I’m lost in thought trying to clutch at the strands of my memories. I’ve finally remembered something even if it’s just the name of the Starrunner I’m on.

                    “I’m sorry Lars…I mean Doc. I don’t even remember my own na--” I stop talking midsentence as the voice quietly whispers in my head again, “Dante”. I repeat what I just heard to the doctor.

                    “Dante. I think it’s Dante. Dante.” I’m saying it out loud and some part of me is happy to just own a bit of myself. I think it’s my name. I’m sure of it. This feeling of ownership, it yells mine too firmly to be anything but my name. I try to drag out a last name from the black pit of my mind. I wave the first part Dante around like a burning flag hoping to illuminate the rest, call it to me, but to no avail. The doctor is watching my eyes sympathetically.

                    “Don’t worry, the rest will come back eventually. Just give it time.” He speaks as if he’s sure but my eyes catch a glimpse of the truth somewhere in his manner. He’s just saying that. He has no idea if my memories will come back. “I’ll leave you to get some rest.” The doctor drags the curtains back and he and Jerry leave. As they go I hear Jerry say quietly,

                    “He’s got a week or two. Tell Karen to be careful. If he doesn’t remember by then I’m calling the Enforcers, he’s not our problem!”

                    When I wake up next, it’s to the rustle of curtains opening. My eye’s snap open. The girl from before is there. I’m pretty sure the doctor said her name is Karen. 

                    “Hi you! You’re awake! I don’t believe it, Jerry told me you heal fast but I saw the scans, your skull was in more than one piece! Crazy…” She’s looking at my temple in disbelief. She’s wearing an engineer’s outfit, the tight fitting khakis are lined with many pockets and her omniwrench is tucked into her waistband. I’m not sure how to respond to anything she says, but luckily she keeps going without me having to say anything.

                    “So you really don’t remember anything huh? I thought it was a load of crap when you said you didn’t know where you were but after seeing that scan…” She shook her head, “I believe it. It’s a miracle you’re even alive after that. What’s the last thing you remember? I’m Karen by the way.” She sticks out a hand which is freshly washed. A whiff of sanitizer comes across as well as the smell of engine oil. It contrasts sharply with the sterile Medbay odor I’ve grown used to. I shake her hand after a moment and give my own name,

                    “Dante. The last thing I remember was waking up and finding you. Sorry about pointing a gun at you. I thought you were…something else.” I stop talking thinking of the moment, in the dark, the steps coming closer, nowhere to run. She says something breaking me out of my reverie.

                    “Guns.” I’m not sure what she means and I look at her askance. She looks at me completely seriously and makes her fingers into a gun shape. “Guns. Plural, you should apologize twice for that.” I look between her and her fingers pointed at my eyes, not sure if she’s serious. “Sor---“ she bursts out laughing before I can finish and slaps me playfully on the shoulder. “ Hahaha, oh shit, forgot you were injured, did that hurt? I’m just messing with you.” I don’t really see what’s funny but I let her laugh as I did point a gun at her. Two guns. Speaking of which,

                    “Hey, do you know where my stuff is?” I move to get up and alarmed Karen tries to push me down quickly. Tries and fails. I lack leverage in bed but I push her out of the way easily. She looks at me wide eyed.

                    “Damn Doc is gonna kill me for letting you out. But you’re definitely healed.” I get out and notice that I’m still in the clothes I was wearing before I got here. My two pistols and the sword are missing though. The voice whispers, “never let them take your weapon!” and then is gone again. I ask,

                    “Where’s my…stuff?” I motion to my empty holsters. Karen boldly says,              

                    “Your guns you mean? And that sword? Why do you have a sword again? Ugh nevermind you don’t remember. Doc has them in his security locker. Come on, I should probably tell him that his patient is disobeying his orders. On my watch…he’s going to be pissed!” She gives me a furious look and stares at the bed as if her look could make me get back in bed. It doesn’t.

                    “Take me to Doc then please.” I follow her lead. We get to Doc’s office and Karen knocks impatiently.

                    “Doc your patient is up! I tried to stop him but he’s too freaking strong! Come out and deal with it!” Immediately after her call there’s the sound of hasty movements and papers rustling. The door quickly opens and the Doc sees Karen before his eyes drift to me and my temple.

                    “I told you not to let him out of bed if he wakes up Karen! Jesus can’t you do anything. As for you!” He comes up to me and examines me closely, reaching a hand out to feel my pulse. My hands reflexively bat his away.

                    “I’m just trying to check your pulse!” The doctor looks almost affronted at my refusal to allow him access to my neck but then he looks at my completely healed temple and mutters under his breath, “Nanobots!” He gives up and lets us into his office. It’s fairly organized with piles of forms stacked neatly all over a desk in the center and several shelves lining the walls. There’s a complete lack of anything but official papers and my brain immediately assumes that he’s single. If he had a significant other or children there’d be signs of it in his workplace. This office is more sterile than the Medbay. He goes to a locker and turns the digital dial with his fingertips. The code is long and he does it fast but my eye’s see it easily 4-1-9-6-3-2. The locker clicks open and my guns and the long sheathed blade are revealed. He takes them out and shuts the locker. Before he hands them to me he says,

                    “I wouldn’t generally return these to you without a thorough psychiatric evaluation, but Jerry tells me that you probably work for the Enforcers or some other organization which I’m not cleared to know about and that I would be running the risk of being shipped to some distant system and locked up if I were to try. So I’m going to trust that whatever genmods and nanobots you have, they’ve done their job and I’m not arming an unstable patient. Can I trust you?” Doc stares meaningfully at me, and I nod.

    “Good. I don’t like having weapons in my office anyway.” He hands the weapons to me and I unconsciously holster the guns then look at the sword. I’m not entirely sure how this was attached to my back. Some part of me however does. It brings my hand up and behind my back and pressed the sword down. There’s a click as the sheath is sucked out of my hand and onto a hard section of the clothes on my back. No not clothes I realize now, armor. The sword and sheath stick there as if magnetized. The Doc and Karen stand there watching my actions as if hypnotized. I see their expressions have changed. I’ve seen the look on Karin’s face before so I know what it is… fear.




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