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 Death of a Monster; Birth of a Legend

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Aviaris_Sevanthis
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PostSubject: Death of a Monster; Birth of a Legend   2017-10-01, 11:44 pm

It wasn't as if this was the first time she had been in this situation. No, she had been in this exact situation more times than she cared to remember. It was routine, really. Something she could do so casually and effortlessly at this point that she was almost glad she was effectively alone these days. Someone like her... someone like her was not deserving of love and adoration, of that she was sure. Her family, bless them, had always been behind her. Always at her back, encouraging her, supporting her. Most of them, anyway. A rift had formed between her and some of the younger ones due to a past event, but she felt their love all the same.

She wished she didn't. It would have made it far easier to be what she was supposed to be. 'If only I had no attachments,' she thought. 'If only there were nothing anchoring me to this world, there would be nothing stopping me from being what I am.' It was a depressing thought. She'd never give up her family for anything, that much she knew. Her family... it trumped everything. She could weather any storm, any fallout, any indignity imaginable for the sake of her family. That's what she was. A column. A pillar. A wall. A mountain. A mountain that's foundation had been shaken in the past, but had become all the stronger for it. She would not bend, nor break, so long as what she was doing, was for the sake of her family's safety and happiness.

Even if she had to make them hate her. As daunting and impossible a task as that was likely to be.

She looked down at her hands, at deep cuts along them and her upper arms, delivered by a blade designed specifically to cut through her skin, and that of those like her. Her opponent had been skilled, of that much she would agree. But she was more so. More than that, she was also stronger, faster, more focused. Better. In all ways she was her opponents superior. All the ways except the most important one.

She sighed heavily, and surveyed the damage to the room. Blood spatter here, vomit there. She'd done a real number on him once she had disarmed him. Not that she was pleased with this. She prided herself on being efficient, not on drawing out a fight. Fights should be determined in the first few seconds, if not the first blow. Any longer, and the odds of a favorable outcome became less and less likely. Even if she won, she could be injured, her opponent could set a trap, kill a bystander. No, fights should not be drawn out like this. Her superiors had insisted, of course. They always did. This fight was not for some noble purpose, or even an unsavory one. It was simply for the sake of seeing what she could do.

A senseless fight, which would end in an equally senseless death.

She hated it. She hated the fighting, the lack of control over her own life, the things she'd been forced to do... but more than anything, she hated herself. She had willingly become a monster in an effort to spare her family the same fate. Success had been... moderate, at best. At the very least, she had spared them some of the horrors of this life. She knew one of her sisters was made to be an assassin as well, but she was nowhere near the caliber that she herself was. And so her sister was kept from the worst of these jobs.

She would do anything. No matter the way it made her heart ache, no matter the nightmares it gave her, no matter the endless and bottomless well of hatred that she felt toward herself... she would bear it all, for the mere chance to shield what remained of her family from the worst of it. And yet... and yet in this moment, her conviction wavered.

She was kneeling next to him now. His battered and broken body on the ground before her, laying in a mixture of his own blood, puke, and piss. Judging by the smell, he may have done more than that. Not that she could blame him. When she was like this, every move she made was designed to instill fear in her targets. Once he'd been disarmed, and the gap in their abilities had been made clear... and yet she had been made to simply toy with him, like a cat playing with it's prey... uneasy confidence had been erased in the face of overwhelming terror.

The man didn't want to die, and was begging to be spared. He'd tried to surrender after she'd shattered his elbow. That had been half-an-hour ago. Now, she was poised to deliver the killing strike, to end his suffering. She would do this gladly; causing pain was not something she had ever enjoyed; and while she hated to kill, she would rather do so than allow this man to continue suffering.

"Hold." She blinked, as the command came over the intercom. She was shocked that they would allow this man to live. From what she had been told, this man had been chosen for this exhibition because he had attempted to steal company secrets. He'd been given a weapon, and told that if he killed her, he was free to go. A lie, but it was something he'd believed. She stepped back from the man, who seemed to be thanking whatever God he believed in, as the door to the room opened. One of the nameless faces in a suit walked in, followed by a young boy in handcuffs. The one in the suit... she recognized him only as one of her 'superiors' in the company. There were so many that she didn't bother to learn their names properly.

The boy, however... his face was familiar. He looked like... no, she was sure he was either the son or younger brother of the man she had just brutalized. Suddenly, she knew why she had been told to stop. '...Disgusting...'

She tuned out the man in the suits words. It was the same old thing. About how an example was to be made. No doubt, she was to kill the man in front of this young boy. This child. To terrify him and ensure he didn't attempt to get in the way in the future. It was a foolish tactic, in her mind. Such actions could indeed instill a deep-seeded fear, and ensure the boy had no desire to ever get on the company's bad side again. But it could just as easily light a fire in the boys belly, and see that he grew up focused on doing everything in his power to bring them down.

True to her predictions, she was made to execute the man in front of, judging by the boys screams, his brother. Then, with a mask of cold indifference on her face, she approached the boy. She was to give him a 'parting wound' as well, to ensure he had something to remember this day, and why it was unwise to defy them. A scar?  A broken hand? Gouge out an eye, perhaps? It was hard to say, as she watched the terror in the boy's eyes. He viewed her as an unspeakably evil monster, and why would he not? She felt the same. She knelt down in front of the boy, taking a firm grasp of his arm. If she was careful, she could break his arm in a way that it would satisfy her superiors, but not be too crippling for the boy.

But, something made her look up into his eyes. Eyes filled to the brim with unshed tears, and a primal fear... but there it was. That unmistakable glint, that spark of fire, simmering behind the terror and the tears. She knew it then, that this boy would not simply lay down and take this. He would not simply let his brother's murder be lost to time. He would fight.

And it was most like she, that would be made to kill him. And as she looked into his eyes, and saw that future so clearly... another face seemed to overlap with his. A face from her past, of someone just as fierce and unwilling to simply lay down and die at the command of these men in suits who believed the world was theirs for the taking. She didn't notice the look of shock on the boys face as tears filled her own eyes, a weak smile breaking through her mask.

"Asta..." The image of her brother faded from her mind... and a clarity that had seemed to elude her for so long, finally broke through. She had tried to be strong. Tried to shoulder the burden by herself after her elder sisters had gone. Success had been minimal, but more than that... she didn't have the strength to continue. Even if she had... it was the coward's way. Her brother... her brother had been the strong one. He had made a decision, refusing to let them make him into a monster. And for that, she had been forced to kill him herself. To snuff out the light of their rebellion before it could truly be lit. She had walked the path of a monster ever since that day... but no longer.

Slowly, she stood, releasing the boy as she slowly turned to face the man in the suit. Today... today, she would take up the torch Asta had left in her care, and that she had been too much of a coward to take up until this day. It was all so clear to her now. To protect what remained of her family... she didn't need to bear the weight of it all in silence. She didn't need to be a shield to keep the darkness of this world at bay. As she slowly drew one of her alloy nails, slowly spinning it on the end of it's chain, she couldn't help but smile. It was a liberating feeling, refusing her programming so thoroughly, to see the man in the suit's features twist from a sneer into utter terror.

She would no longer be a shield against the darkness for her family.

She would be a sword that cut it all away.

------------------------------------
"Attention Vertex staff; this is a priority alert. Asset VX-5, codename 'Akantha', has gone rogue. Repeat; asset VX-5, 'Akantha', has gone rogue. All security forces advance to the third floor labs. All other personnel, move to your designated lockdown stations. Repeat..."
------------------------------------

Ultimately, the lockdown would prove to be the worst action. It kept Vertex employees close by, in rooms with only a single exit. And as it became increasingly clear that day... they had succeeded far too well in creating a weapon of death. Low level employees were mostly spared, but those with any level of clearance high enough to know the details of the VX program, were not so lucky.

------------------------------------
[Warning!] All citizens be advised; the rampaging VX-Series android has broken containment within the Vertex branch laboratories. Initial assessments indicate that it is moving toward Vertex headquarters; evacuations are underway in affected cities, and military response is inbound. Local law enforcement advises that those not in affected areas still remain in your homes. Martial law is being put into effect until the android can be brought down. The current death toll remains unknown, but an estimated three-hundred within the laboratories alone has been estimated. [Warning!]
------------------------------------

Akantha panted heavily, wiping the blood from her face as she looked down on the smoldering remains of the military vehicle that she had just dealt with. Not without consequence, however. She glanced to the bleeding stump of her left arm, before turning her attention to the tank that was turning the corner. She paused, then looked over to the Vertex Tower, headquarters of the entire company. Just a few city blocks away. The tank fired, and Akantha disappeared as if she had never been there in the first place, the ground she'd been standing upon exploding in a hail of debris and shrapnel.

The tank's secondary guns tried to track Akantha's movements and she charged them, shifting position so quickly she seemed to be teleporting from place to place. Then suddenly, she was gone again.

~~~~~~~~~~

"This is Gata Fields, reporting for Channel 18 News from a VTOL above the carnage of the androids murderous rampage! The android has currently been stalled mere yards from the Vertex Tower, coming under heavy fire from Vertex security forces and the military! After the androids terrifying act of destroying a military tank by spearing it with a compacted plate of another vehicles armoring, and decimating an entire platoon of soldiers that had managed to surround it, despite the loss of an arm, I'm not afraid to admit I was worried there would be no stopping it!

However, thanks to the coordinated efforts of the two forces on the very grounds of Vertex Tower, this monster is finally being pinned down! Ladies and gentlemen, this nightmare may be over sooner than we thou- did you get that?! The android just used it's own severed arm as a javelin and... it exploded! The android detonated it's severed limb in an attempt to clear a path! Ladies and gentlemen, this is carnage unlike I have ever seen before! This android is cutting a swathe through heavily trained men, kept at bay only by sustained firepower! This is exactly the kind of thing Vertex is criticized for; dangerous creations that are not properly controlled! We have to question if-" The feed was suddenly cut as a stray RPG struck the side of the VTOL, sending it into a fatal tailspin.

~~~~~~~~~~

Akantha grit her teeth as she slowly dragged herself through the front doors of Vertex Tower. Her legs were useless now. The crashing VTOL had seen to that. She couldn't help but let out a pitiful laugh. If she hadn't leaped up to try and pull the civilians out of it before it fell from it's precarious perch in the side of a building, maybe she wouldn't be in this state. Maybe she wouldn't have to watch as the CEO of Vertex, the head of the snake itself, slowly approached, gun in hand. She didn't even listen as he made whatever gloating statement she knew was being made. She didn't care.

She had single-handedly crippled Vertex, and humiliated them. It was not a fatal wound... but it was enough. There was only one more thing to do.

As the CEO, Alex-something as she recalled, placed the gun to her head, she surged forward with all the energy she had left. The surrounding security quickly tore her apart with a hail of gunfire, but not before she had taken a firm grip of the man's neck, and wrenched his head free of his body in a ghastly display of what little strength she had remaining.

VX-5, 'Akantha', died that day, in the lobby of Vertex Tower, having taken the head of it's CEO after he had foolishly tried to gloat over his 'victory'.

Akantha died... but something else was born that day, something that would have far reaching consequences. Not just on that world, but on countless others throughout the universe, and even through time itself.

Fates were about to change.

_________________
"There is no such thing as 'Coincidence'. Only 'Inevitability'." ~ Yuuko Ichihara

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