- Dogma Daze: How to Fight Back and Be Happy in Spite of it All
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He tries to rise but a blow from her boot sends him sprawling. The world has become a dark, swirling nightmare that he cannot escape. You're nothing. Stray makes one last attempt to rise. A wordless scream rips through the night air. Even the warriors perched above flinch back in shock.
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Years of training and experience desert him. His schemes and ambition, his triumphs and victories, even his brutal drive to survive are worthless now. Rage surges through his pain, but it is impotent and directionless. Because the person inflicting this humiliating defeat is the one person he could never use that fury to destroy. And you know what? I just took this long to finally see through you. The words should rend his very soul. They should destroy him. But he is beyond that now, lost in a daze of pain and guilt. How can those words hurt him? But a small part of him fights on, feebly thrashing on that lonely water-soaked roof.
He has never begged. He always knew it would never save him. And this last desperate plea earns no mercy. And Stray falls back the final few steps. His feet catch on air and he falls. A hand stretches out to catch the roof—his organic hand, still bent on survival. It should be a simple task to pull himself up, but he is exhausted. A lifetime of guilt weighs his body down even as his legs thrash feebly, unable to find purchase on the rain-slicked wall. His fingers are already beginning to lose their grip. In a few seconds he will plunge into the darkness.
How far down to the concrete below? The fog and darkness shroud everything. Perhaps it will be a long enough fall that he will die instantly and not lie broken on the street for hours until his body finally gives out. He can still see Cassandra, just over the roof ledge.
Dogma Daze: How to Fight Back and Be Happy in Spite of it All
She kneels in the center of the rooftop and stares after him. She makes no effort to cross over to the ledge, to drag him up or kick him off. She just kneels there in silence and watches him die. There is no more use in begging. He should just let go and save himself a few more seconds of pain. But he cannot let go anymore than he can pull himself up. He can only cling to survival like he has always done.
He cannot see the pain, the tears, her face twisted in a madness of her own. Because this is the hardest thing she has ever done. The hardest—and the easiest. He cannot save himself. She knows that, and she is the only one who can do anything about it. But she will not. But that is no difference at all. She wanted him dead just moments before. It would have felt good to wring his treacherous neck then. It will feel good to let him fall now. But if he dies, a part of her dies with him. And she would not feel this agony if she truly wanted him dead.
A few more seconds of hesitation. Stray awoke to aching joints and an empty pit in his stomach. He blinked up at a cracked, molded ceiling already lightly painted with slivers of light. Scowling, he clenched his fist over his rough blanket and twisted his head across a makeshift pillow—his bulging assault bag—to look over at the light source: the slats of a window tilted slightly open.
The voice emanated from his helmet, stacked atop his armor in the corner of the dingy apartment room. Some people told you everything just with their tone. Juno might not be a person in the strictest sense of the word, but she was certainly one of those people. He flinched as a tremor of pain coursed up his leg.
Grimacing, he glanced back over at the helmet.
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His fist tightened against the blanket. More recent memories—betrayal, destitution, the Created sweeping over the galaxy—crashed over him like icy water. Something on your mind? She was a lot like her sister in that regard. He pushed himself upright, wincing at the pain even this motion sent scurrying up his chest. Naked save for a pair of faded trousers, he shivered in the cold morning air.
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There was muscle pain in his legs, but his right leg hurt even more in the place where Cassandra had kicked it during their battle on Talitsa. The bones had never had a chance to heal properly, not with all that had happened since then. Painkillers warded off the hurt for a time, but they always wore off in the end.
Which, I might add, is hardly top of the line. Even the simple motions strained his arm and he gritted his teeth in frustration.
http://agfox.com/blog/wp-includes/boone/7565.php Where had he put those damn meds? Perhaps the sleeping trouble is a side effect of—".
Stray glared at the helmet. He pulled a syringe from the kit and jammed it into his neck without hesitation. The needle was long and sharp. The pain receded from other parts of his body, replaced by a new sense of energy. Stray breathed out with relief.