Encounter 14: The Revenge
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After three hours of travel, the van came to a sudden halt. I was not sure where we were, as there were no windows I could look out. Raiyne told me to remain seated for the time being. Seconds later, the back door was opened by two men in military attire, with another two behind them holding assault rifles, pointed in the general direction of Raiyne and I. As I stepped out of the van, I felt as if I had stepped into a piece of fiction.

The metal walls, high ceilings, collection of vehicles parked around me, and groups of men and women holding firearms. It all seemed unreal in my mind. But, at this point, I’ve already done the impossible and seen the invisible, so I may as well try to touch the untouchable and break the unbreakable.

As Raiyne and I exited the vehicle, the four men surrounding us were joined by another dozen fully armed soldiers. I looked at Raiyne cautiously, who shot me a concerned smile. The sixteen soldiers then began escorting Raiyne and I through the base. I thought about asking a question, objecting to this kind of treatment, but instead, I kept my head low, followed orders, and hoped my obedience would earn me favorable treatment once we reached our destination.

After walking past a few gates and several dozen military men and military women, Raiyne and I were taken into a large empty room. One furnished only with a series of metal chairs and a series of wall-mounted cameras that would capture our every move from every reasonable angle. I nervously crossed my legs and took a seat beside Raiyne, who kept a calm and collected demeanor.

It was then that the door behind us opened along with a loud clunk. I naturally turned around to look at this person and saw an older man wearing a plain suit. His skin was scarred, coarse, and chalk colored, almost matching the stark white hair that poked out of his skull. His tall and large stature further added to his intimidation, but what sent me quivering in my seat was the look of hatred that stained the man’s face as he glared at me with dead green eyes.

The man then reached into his suit, pulling out a handgun. He pointed at me and fired. The bullet pierced my chest, digging into my organs, striking bone, and instantly engulfing me in agony. I had no idea it was even possible to feel such pain, but I did… if only for a slight second. The man fired his gun again and planted a bullet into my skull. 

I was greeted by nothingness as all of my senses fizzled away. It was in a land of no sight, sound, or texture. I even lacked a sense of existence, a feeling of placement in the universe. For a second, I felt like I was nothing. I did not exist. I was gone from this universe. It horrified me, and the instant I could feel something, the moment where I regained a sense, I focused on it, refusing to let it go. Refusing to let myself succumb to nothing.

When I regained sight, I found myself on the floor, my turquoise sweater stained with blood, and the man’s gun was still pointed at me. When I could hear, I heard Raiyne shouting at the man, her voice louder than the hysterics escaping my mouth. When I moved my head to look at my teacher, I felt something drop from my forehead. A small, warm, metal object that fell onto the concrete floor. It was a bullet. The bullet that ruptured my head.

I knew that I could not die. I had, in a sense, already killed myself. I should not have felt such sorrow, but… I did. Somebody had hurt me, had shot me— twice— and for no apparent reason. I heard nothing said by the man or Raiyne. I simply curled up and cried, hiding my face from the world. The face that got me shot. The face of a monster. The face of a demon. The face that I was forced to call my own for the end of time… 

I regained cognizance of the world around me when I felt a cold metal tube touch the top of my head, its icy grip piercing through my dark hair. It was the same gun that shot me twice.

“Look at me.” A rough voice ordered, the gruff tone reminding me of cigarettes, hard liquor, and sandpaper.

I obeyed the voice and saw the white-haired man looking down at me. His green eyes crossed with mine. His were full of righteous fury… while mine were full of tears. I felt guilty, awful, and I could not look at a face with such intense hatred radiating from it. For disobeying his orders to ‘look at him’, I was shot in the knee, and the man stomped his boots onto my head. He did this three times before he was stopped.

“Get the fuck off me, you bitch!” The man shouted, causing me to look up at him once more.

Raiyne was holding onto his shoulders, and the man’s gun was on the ground. The man, unable to strike her with his arms, threw himself towards the metal walls, slamming Raiyne against it. With Raiyne bruised and dazed, the man freed himself of her clutches and socked her in the face, causing a spurt of blood to burst out her mouth as she stumbled.

“You’re out of fucking line, Kikansky! What are you even doing here?” Raiyne barked at him, blood dripping from her torn lips.

“What am I doing here? How can you sit next to this abomination? Did you forget the hell it put you through?” Kikansky shouted, lacking the grace to refer to me using human pronouns.

“She’s not Abigale Quinlan! When have you ever seen Quinlan cry? Fucking when?” Raiyne pointed out, grabbing Kikansky’s shoulder.

“Irrelevant. It survived a bullet to the brain, that’s all the proof I need. I don’t know how you captured it, but you cannot leave something as dangerous as this outside of a cage.” Kikansky said as he shoved Raiyne’s hand off of him.

“Oh, right, a cage! Hey, remember when we placed her in the last cage, and remember what she did to the guards? Have you forgotten their faces, Colonel? Have you forgotten their mutilated faces?” Raiyne shouted as she berated Kikansky, their eyes locked.

“It’s General now, Underwood. And no, I haven’t forgotten their faces! Why do you think I want this thing dead? To avenge those it slaughtered!”

“Avenge? There’s nothing to average. The Abigale Quinlan you know is dead. This— This person right here, they’re Jad Novus.” Raiyne shouted.

“…Jad Novus killed my son,” Kikansky said, devoid of emotion. 

Kikansky repeatedly bashed Raiyne’s head against the metal walls, knocking her out as the blood began seeping from her skull, likely damaged to the point of a concussion. With my face doused in tears and eyes burning with fury, I walked up to Kikansky as slowly as I could. But Kikansky did not so much as give me a chance to speak before I felt a bullet pierced my flesh, sending more agony through my body. He then shot me with another bullet, followed by another, and another, and another. A total of eleven bullets entered my body. None of them pierced my head. And all of them soon oozed from my flesh. The wounds healed immediately afterward, while my khakis and turquoise sweater remained doused in dark crimson stains.

Kikansky attempted to shoot me more, but his trigger pulling produced nothing but a click. I walked up to him as such and grabbed his shoulders. I did not look at him with anger. I did not have enough of that in me. I was in pain. All I wanted at that moment was for the pain to stop. I powered through the tears and locked eyes with Kikansky.

“I’m sorry. I’m not Abigale Quinlan. I know I don’t look like it, I… I’m Jad Novus. Please, I’m sorry for anything I may have done. I didn’t want this. I didn’t kill anyone. I didn’t kill your son. I didn’t kill Yuccot. Please, please stop hurting me. And please, get Raiyne a doctor. She doesn’t deserve this. She… just wanted to help me.” 

I then let go of Kikansky and fell to the floor.

While my body did not writhe with pain or agony beyond a few seconds, it still lingered in my mind. I knew that bullets hurt. And they did. But I could not mentally recover from the pain they caused. It was a dissonance between what I knew human bodies to be capable of, and what my body was capable of now. It was strange, it was unnerving, and it made me a bit sick to know just how… inhuman I truly was. 

Time lost meaning as I was enveloped in that extreme state of sorrow. What was this wretched nightmare I had been so cruelly thrust into? Why was it becoming so much darker and so much more gruesome than it was before? Where was my salvation? Where was the resolution I had grown to anticipate? Why, oh why, was I in such a wretched situation? I had no answers.

When I regained awareness of the world around me, I was surrounded by masked military personnel, eight of them, all with firearms pointed at me. Kikansky and Raiyne were nowhere to be seen. One of them ordered me to get up and follow her. Disheartened, I complied like an obedient sheep following their shepherd, not registering my surroundings, simply looking forward and following the woman before me. I had no reason to disobey, I only wanted peace and a place where I could cry until I felt better. Though, that did not seem to stop me. I left a trail of tears as I walked, sniveling as the military personnel did not show any reaction to me.

I was in the body of a figure to be feared. Yet here I was, sobbing like a child who just lost something precious to them. They surrounded me and walked for a while, going downstairs, through gates, and past dozens of people. Eventually, we stopped, and the group showed me through a thick metal door, sealing me in a hallway with a single door at the other end. I walked through the lifeless concrete corridor, cameras capturing my every move, before I made it to this other door.

This door took me to a large room adorned with a tall ceiling, large vents, several cameras, and walls encased in metal. It was cold enough for my breath to linger in the air, but not enough for me to shiver through my dilapidated and bloody clothing. I would never be cold again, would I? I wasn’t that cold when I was sleeping in that snow, and I wasn’t cold when dashing through the December night, with nothing to cover my head. Just another ‘perk’ that went with this body. 

The door then shut behind me, sealing me inside of this large empty room. I gently tried to open it, but it did not budge. I was stuck here, in this room devoid of anything of substance. 

Why? What did I do to deserve this? I’ve been assaulted, I’ve been mauled, I’ve had to deal with Peatrice, and I’ve lost my body. I just wanted to get back home. To reclaim my life. To make it mine after it was so callously stolen from me. And now, just as I was at the precipice of returning to my life, when I was so close to making it mine again… I’m imprisoned. Alone, isolated, and covered in blood… 

My emotional state was flimsy, dismal, and… I could not take it anymore. I ran. I punched. I shouted. I screamed. I begged. I cried. I caused such a ruckus, such a worry, that a violet haze began to filter through the walls of this room. It was a calming, soothing mist that I couldn’t help but breathe in. It calmed my nerves, freed me of my frustrations, and caused my anger to dissipate. Everything around me obscured, and I flopped to the concrete floor beneath me, blood seeping out from the back of my head as a smile developed on my face.