“I don’t care,” I said, still crying. “I don’t care anymore.”
She promised to let me get what I wanted for so long, and I turned it down.
Sacrifice sighed, waiting.
It was over an hour before I finally calmed down.
I sat up straight, wiping the tears of my face.
“Can we talk?” asked Sacrifice, surprisingly patient.
I paused for a few seconds, gathering all my might.
She got up. “Let’s go where there is light. Make more of your space while you are at it,” she said, picking my up by the hand.
I did so, and we walked until we reached a small room in a side hall.
“It’s just us, right now. You should know that,” said Sacrifice, sitting on a chair. I sat on the one next to her and rested myself on the desk. “Taker is trying to kill me and you both, or capture me and kill you or the reverse or anything in between and all alternatives. Your best bet is to kill him.”
“Why?” I asked, tired.
“Because of his powers. He claims he can ‘take away’ things, but his power is entirely mental. He has full mental manipulation of anyone he touches,” she explained carefully. “He brainwashes people. He brainwashed you-”
I interrupted her. “You did that. You were still pretending to be buddy-buddy and you let it happen to her. Don’t try and hide your own faults.”
She paused, not taken aback but more irritated I called her out.
“Fine. I approved of brainwashing Trau-”
“Ellen,” I snapped.
“Ellen. I allowed that to happen. I didn’t allow him to brainwash the other girl and all of my subordinates.”
“…Why hasn’t he done it to you?”
She smiled a little. “Blood runs through my entire body, making it impossible to mess with my mind because of it empowering me. If he wanted to, I would probably be running around at his beck and call in a cute little dress or something.”
She didn’t laugh. It wasn’t the time for jokes. Not with her, out of all people.
“He wants to be king.”
That got my attention. King?
“Yes. He wants to become a king. He’s going to try and become one. He knows how.”
“How does he know?”
“I-” she began, looking away. “I did what I did out of research. I wanted to know more abut powers, powers of all kinds. Texas had great scientists and inventor type supers before it got borders, and I was trying to ge-”
“Not answering, Sacrifice,” I interrupted again. “How does he know?”
“I know about the Kingmaker. I know a lot more than others do.”
“There were unwritten rules about Kingmaker, I think,” I shot back. “You really are evil, hiding that from everyone.”
Sacrifice got up.
“No point crying over spilt milk,” she said.
We wandered about some more, the tunnels and rooms chaotic.
“Where are we going, anyway?” I asked, breaking the silence.
“You think we can get to the top?”
“Yeah. The problem is Bloodwitch and Trauma.”
“I can ta-”
“You can’t. Trauma will trick you and Bloodwitch is still good at hand to hand combat.”
I smirked. “You think I didn’t practice hand to hand combat?”
“I know you didn’t practice enough,” she said, opening another door. “Years as a low level thug and then member of one of the most wanted super criminal groups in America verses a few months training? You’d lose easily.”
Not the confidence boost I needed.
“Just make a space around her, you know her powers and she wasn’t hiding any secrets.” The room was empty. We walked to the next one.
“What if I don’t?” I asked. The room door was locked, Sacrifice barging it down after a pause. A kitchen, this time.
“You still think you can take Bloodwitch yourself?”
“No, I’m saying I could let you two kill yourselves and run for it with Ellen.”
Sacrifice laughed, opening a fridge door. “She’ll still be brainwashed,” she said, taking out what foods she could find. “You’ll never get the old her back, powers or not.”
“Y-You don’t know that,” I stammered, distracted. “Why are you taking out food?”
“I’m hungry,” she replied.
I groaned internally. I was hungry too, now that I got reminded, but this wasn’t the place or time for cooking, or anything. I created a new space, filling the hallway outside, and some rooms too.
She picked out an egg, covered in blood as she stained everything. I quickly grabbed her wrist as she motioned to crack it over a frying pan.
I was interrupted as she smacked the head off the counter next to me in a single, swift motion. I let go and grabbed my temples, stunned. Sacrifice quickly turned and kicked me down, forcing me to skid across the room. I opened my eyes and she lay on top of me yet again, with a knife taken from a rack nearby, pressed lightly against my neck.
“Don’t get cocky,” she said. “Bloodwitch is just worse than I am, and by that I mean she wouldn’t fall flat on her ass if I ever did this.”
I could feel the venom drip as she spoke. The knife blade tickled.
“I want you to apologize.”
This again. I hated this.
“I’m sorry,” I said, quietly.
“For what?” she responded, moving the knife slightly in her hand.
“I’m sorry for thinking I could fight Bloodwitch,” I said. It wasn’t good enough. She picked me up with simple leverage and threw me onto one of the counters.
“Wait, I apologized!” I said, panicked this time. She shook me and slammed me down on the counter.
“There is more you have t apologize for!” she screamed into my face.
“Think!” Another slam.
“I’m not sure! I don’t know!”
She grabbed my hand and slammed it down, I looked up and saw where it rested. She pinned my hand against a chopping board, holding me by the wrist.
“Think! I’ll fucking cut one off!” she was angry. Very, very angry.
I gave in. This weak rebellion, this feigned, childish yet justified tantrum against her. Sacrifice won. I thought about the last time she scolded me. When I supported Merly in her fight with him.
“I’m sorry for talking about subverting you!” I shouted back, tears welling up.
She cut off my ring finger anyway. Pain shot through my hand as I reached to grab it.
“Touch it and I’ll cut the other off,” she snarled. “Last one. Don’t use your powers when I don’t say so.”
I put my hand back down, crying in pain. No use losing two fingers.
“I-” I began, pausing for a split second. “I’m also sorry for using my powers with out your permission.”
“Good,” she said, calmer. She scraped my finger away and let go of my hand, shoving me off the counter and letting me roll to the floor. Blood gushed out my hand as I held it, on my knees.
“One last thing,” she smiled, holding my finger in the air.
“Please,” I begged, “Not that. Plea-”
She swallowed it hole, one gulp. I saw it go down her throat as she swallowed it.
“I’ll eat a finger each tome you do anything I don’t approve of,” she lectured, opening a drawer and closing it. “I was being nice this time, but I’ll be choosing the important ones from now on.”
She found a first aid kit. She ripped it open, taking bandages, wipes and scissors.
“I’ll take your thumbs, and then your index fingers. Then I’ll work on the rest,” she said, grabbing my and and slowly putting my middle finger from my wounded hand in her mouth. She made a small biting feeling, and I nearly pulled my hand away before I realized she wasn’t actually biting it off.
She slowly pulled it out of her mouth, giggling at me as I looked on in pain and horror.
“Then I’ll work my way down to the toes,” she said, licking the blood off my hand. She started wrapping my hand up, to stop the bleeding.
“You’ll lose your ability to walk, not having your big toes. You’ll also be unable to pick stuff up.”
She finished bandaging my hand. She pulled me to my feet, grabbing my face and pulling it to hers as she looked down on me. I slightly pulled back at this sudden close contact as she still wore the bullmaskshe made.
“And if you still disobey, I have no qualms eating the two parts that don’t have bones in them. Take a guess which one goes first.”
She let me go, walking away as I grabbed the counter and screamed in pain again at the sudden movement of my mutilated hand.
“Don’t speak unless I speak to you, don’t use your powers, don’t even fucking breathe without my say so, or I eat another, got it?”
“Yes,” I murmured.
She put the knife on the knife rack, twirling the scissors in her other hand.
“Better,” she said, turning to face me. I looked away, at the floor. My blood was everywhere, again.
“Stand still,” she barked at me. I did as she told, no other choice.
She moved behind me, and I heard the sounds of cutting and tugging at my clothes. I almost asked what she was doing, but relented.
She stopped after four minutes.
“There,” she said, happier than usual. “No pockets. Can’t hide stuff with them, can you?”
I guessed it was rhetorical.
“Rhetorical question, kiddo.”
I was right.
She turned back to the food and began cooking, after cleaning her hands this time using sanitary wipes from the first aid kit and the sink. I broke down crying again, the second time in a day. She won again.