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Kat’s Cradle: installment 2
Remember, it’s raw and first draft…so grammar and spelling may be wonky
It had been two months since she’d stumbled from The Beast’s bunker, burned to a crisp, stinking of blood and sweat and the sickly feminine stink of the spitter bitch.
Kat had nearly given up then. Everything she’d worked for, known, believed had turned to ash as she lay on the cot, recovering from the burns she’d suffered at Theda’s hands. Well, Theda and the man she called Cain. The immortal and original Cain. Imagine it: the son of Adam, the god’s own fleshly grandson doing battle with the likes of a nobody raised to warrior status because the god had abandoned them all and left them in the hands of The Beast. It was deliciously ironic in an Alanis Morrisette kind of way.
He’d been cunning, that Cain, but she’d given back as good as she got, damn him. She hoped he was suffering still from the burns, the little prick. He deserved to agonize like she had: left alone by her hero to rot in a cell, torn between praying the pain would return because it would mean her nerve endings had regenerated, and hoping to never feel the agony of the searing sensation of having nerves ever again.
And then the ultimate humiliation of having her enemy thrust upon her in that cell, making her equal as though a spindly godspit addict was a match for the Red General. Any punishment would have been better than that shame.
“I wanted to hate her, frog,” she heard herself murmur. “I did hate her.”
Such glorious hate like that was as infectious as a chimera virus, multi-headed and triply deadly. But when antibodies squirm their way into a host like that, the virus must adapt or die. Lucky for the spitter bitch, it adapted in Kat.
Had it been two months already? Two months and a mere dozen murdered soldiers to show for her trouble. She was losing her touch, but she figured she could blame that on her unexpected hormone shifts and the horrible fatigue that also somehow made every muscle feel tender and swollen. Even so, time was running short. Kat had seen the images on the Promo that Theda and Ezekiel had blasted to the world after Ezekiel had nearly severed The Beast’s head. It was a mangled and grisly mess that, but she knew John wouldn’t stay that way.
The fools had him in some sort of isolation chamber, high on godspit if she recognized the signs, and while it would keep John down for a while, he’d regenerate soon enough. Was, in fact, regenerating at a decent speed, Kat knew, because the flimsy, second rate protection he’d offered her as his favored assassin had helped her heal after all the harm she’d endured in his cells. She’d healed to near perfection by the time Ezekiel had taken John’s head, and then that power abandoned her. Like John had abandoned her. So he was either dead or he was aware enough to retract her protection. Her money was on aware and brooding like a fucking sulky child.
What she did now, she had to do on her own, carefully and cunningly, because without John’s seal of protection she could actually die. Unlike John. Unlike Ezekiel and Theda. They were all true fallen, just like the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were. Marked by the god as protected until their duties were done and could return to their paradise if she understood things right. And now that the little spitter bitch had enlightened all those Horsemen with her psychic visionary hooey, they all had a new found reason to be good instead of evil.
Kat eased her eyes closed, letting go a resigned sigh. Paradise. She couldn’t even imagine what that might be. All her life had been nothing but hell pure and simple. When she’d first met John, she believed him to be her guardian angel. And later, when he bid her do truly evil things to people for his own purposes, she’d done them simply because she wanted to please him. She owed him. She’d have been dead or worse if he hadn’t entered her life. Later, when she’d admitted her beliefs to Theda, and learned the truth: that he had truly been an angel at his creation, it didn’t matter what he was. It never mattered.
It didn’t matter until he’d abandoned her.
So her god had been a false one, her duties as misguided as her deeds. No hope of paradise for her. Just death and nothingness, if she was lucky; death and eternal suffering if she wasn’t. Even so, if she couldn’t find redemption for her evil ways, she could at least make sure her anti-god suffered as much as she did. That was what she owed him now, and she would pay him back in spades. Even if it took every last shred of her blackened soul to do it. She just had to leave this filthy alley and do it. Just take the steps away from the bloody mess she’d left within and move on. She took a deep breath, bracing herself as though she was about to plunge into frigid water.
“Maybe we’ll meet again, frog,” she said over her shoulder. “When your mama isn’t such a fucking loser.”
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