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Programmed Killer
November 5th, 2014 by Coral

This is a scene from a story I wrote with a friend a while ago. This scene is it’s own standalone, completely in medias res.

 

Tanya sat cross legged on the bed, her head bowed. Her bangs hung in front of her face. The purple streak was long gone, and had been replaced by red only on the tips of her hair. She couldn’t remember if she had dyed it or if that had been the work of the Program. She had never wanted red before, it reminded her too much of blood,  but now….well, now, she figured, that association was fitting.

Her fingers traced the cold metal that lie on the bed in front of her. It’s shape was familiar now, and no longer sent the same shudder of revulsion through her that it once had. She closed her eyes as her fingers brushed the trigger.

Images invaded her mind. Her father, cuffed to the metal chair, gagged, glaring. A boy, scared but deadly, young but hardened. Faces she hadn’t had time to study, faces she had chosen not to study. Blood. Death. All faces of her victims. People she had killed for the Program.

She opened her eyes with a gasp, tears threatening to emerge from her eyes. She blinked to fight them off, but that brought on a fresh round of memories.  Tidas, telling her not to kill him.  The emptiness and apathy that had consumed her when she saw his face. She had almost pulled the trigger then.

“Tanya?” His voice accompanied a soft knock on the doorframe. Tanya did not look up.

“What do you want, Tidas?” Her voice was hollow. Her fingers continued to trace the deadly metal formation.

“I came to make sure you’re…” Tidas faltered, he knew as well as she that words like “okay,” and “alright,” could never describe people like themselves. He changed course. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Tanya shook her head.

“I think you should.” Tidas insisted, entering the room. Tanya tensed, her fingers at last closing around the gun and holding it. She felt Tidas hesitate as he approached her. Afraid, probably. As he should be.

“You once told me….” Tanya began, turning the evil thing over in her palm, “you told me that if the Program ever caught us….that if I didn’t want to be a killer….”  She paused, trying to maintain her grasp on sanity even as she spoke. “You said I should kill myself. Do you remember?”

Tidas’ voice was almost a whisper, “Yes.”

“But I didn’t. I thought you were wrong,” Tanya’s voice was even quieter, “I almost did it. In the first week, it was…..I almost went through with it. But something….stupidity, stubbornness, whatever it was, something kept me from doing it. I thought you were wrong.”

She paused.  “But you were right. I should have killed myself. I almost killed you, Tidas. You have no idea how close I came, when they brought you in….I…”

“Hey, I understand,” Tidas put an arm around her, which caused Tanya to recoil, curling back within herself further. She wished he wouldn’t do that. “They messed us all up pretty badly.”

“They made me kill my father!” Tanya nearly shouted, springing from the bed and pacing over to the window instead. “I killed him…shot him right in the head. They said they’d only let one of us leave the room alive, and I….I knew…”

Tears started to pour from her eyes. “I knew if I let him choose….he wouldn’t choose me.”

Tidas didn’t seem to know how to answer her, but Tanya wasn’t expecting an answer.

“But that isn’t even the worst part, Tidas.” Tanya stared down at her hands and their contents. “The worst part….”

She looked out at the scenery, a dreary city full of greedy people.

“The reason I never wanted to kill….I never wanted to be in such….such a position of power.” Tanya took a shuddering breath. “Because I was afraid….afraid that I would be like him. Like my father. The worst part in all of what they did to me….molding me into their killing machine…the worst part is that, the power it gives me….I…I enjoy it.”

Tidas tried to speak, but Tanya cut him off, fresh tears making an appearance.

“I don’t want to, and I hate myself for it.” She turned away from the window, not looking at Tidas.  Thinking of how she had almost ended him sent a fresh wave of anguish through her.

Tanya raised the gun, but did not aim it at him. “You were right….and maybe it’s not too late.”


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