“What’s this all about?” I had to ask. It was confusing, seeing what felt like the Hunting Party play a game right in front of me. Sacrifice and Taker had no concept of tension, apparently. Event Horizon struggled to get up.
Taker turned to me, explaining away.
“Well, I thought we weren’t having any fun. So I thought that maybe we should just deal with whatever powered capes we encounter one by one, starting with our dear leader, Sacrifice.”
He smiled a little, placing an arm on Event Horizon’s shoulder. She looked dazed, like her energy was drained from holding Merly’s ball bearings while he struggled to move them.
“Make no mistake, You and her will not be involved in this game, right Sacrifice?”
Sacrifice was staring down Merly as he listened, curious.
“Yes. I,” She began, hesitating. “Yes. That’s what I decided.”
Merly cocked his head. “A duel? in the middle of a war?”
“There are more of us than there are of you,” replied Sacrifice, tense.
She was right. Even if he attacked us, there was Bloodwitch, Fractal, Glutton and Ellen to deal with. If it comes down to it, Even me and Event Horizon would end up fighting. He can’t beat us all.
“Very well, a duel it is,” said Merly, revving up his bike.
An instant later, he vanished, replaced by several floating ball bearings. Sacrifice leapt backwards as they smashed into the ground around where she stood, nearly throwing her off balance. the Rest of the Hunting party quickly backed away, with Bloodwitch grabbing me and Taker pulling on Event Horizon.
“Seems he has a lot of strength in his telekinesis,” mumbled Bloodwitch, staring on. “What do you think?”
I couldn’t care about this. “Don’t treat me like a friend,” I whispered harshly.
Merly came back into view behind Sacrifice, charging at her on his bike. She dived out the way into the pot hole Merly created in the road.
“Dammit,” Sacrifice, muttered, picking herself up.
Several ball bearings had removed and lifted one of the back doors for the van. They floated along the sky, carrying the door in the air. Sacrifice didn’t notice, She was busy avoiding falling over as more ball bearings burrowed and destroyed the ground below.
“How many do you think he’s using? I counted twenty balls,” said Bloodwitch, again.
“I don’t want to talk,” I said again, sternly.
“Hey, that’s unfair. All I have for company are old coots and Trauma,” she joked, acting as if everything was normal.
“Her name is Ellen,” I growled, baring my teeth.
Sacrifice struggled to get a decent hit in, being led around with the ground breaking up constantly. Merly had stopped using his motorbike or the cloaking ability he had.
“Don’t think I didn’t read up on you. I know what you can do. I’ll notice if you use your powers on me,” I said, continuing my quiet rant.
Bloodwitch giggled, holding the red scarf around her neck to her mouth.
“I’d tell you the truth, but I’d have to kill you,” she smiled.
The door fell. Sacrifice didn’t even notice it as she dived backwards into its trajectory. A satisfying thud and crunching filled the air. I had a moment of joy, distracted by Bloodwitch’s threat.
“Yes!” I shouted on instinct. “You killed her, thank you!”
Merly looked at me, confused. “You are not with her?”
“No, fuck her,” I replied, smiling. “Sh-”
She was alive. Sacrifice got up, smiling deeply, clothed only in dirt, her own blood and the dried blood of the sheep’s head she wore. She wore a deep cut from her chest to her pelvis, Rib bones showing and intestines clearly severed.
“There was a reason I hunted Bloodwitch down for three years,” she said deeply, staring at me. She was angry at me. She was angry that I thought she’d die so easily, that I’d be free of her. She was livid. Bloodwitch squeezed my arm hard as her name was said, and I quickly glanced at her.
She was crying tears of pride.
“Do you want to see why, Ryan? I’ll show you my secrets.” she said, almost smiling. Blood continued to pour from the gash in her body.
She raised her arm, and buried it in her chest. I nearly threw up at the sight. She mover her hand about, then took it out, forcing the other inside. “Now then,” she said, taking out her blood soaked hands. “Let’s get fully prepared.”
She washed her feet in blood. Even Merly was appalled.
“Dear God woman, what are you doing?” he asked in horror.
“Setting the stage,” Sacrifice responded.
She placed her feet down after ensuring they were totally caked in blood, and she leapt from my focus to about a foot away from Merly in a single bound. Merly panicked and tried to accelerate on his bike, but Sacrifice was quicker.
“Not so fast.”
She grabbed the rear of it and squeezed, bending and crushing the seating with her bare hands.
“Don’t damage it,” interrupted Bloodwitch.
“I’m trying,” Sacrifice replied, frustrated.
Merly got off his bike and made a run for it, ball bearings tearing up the ground behind him. Sacrifice seemed to ignore them, closing the distance in seconds.
Merly became invisible again.
“Dammit, I hate doing this,” Said sacrifice, sticking her hand into her wounds yet again. She poured the blood she cupped onto her face. Her eyes, her nose, her mouth was all covered. She removed her mask to make sure her ears were covered too. I noticed she had short black hair.
“If you can’t tell, this is the reason she calls herself Sacrifice,” said Bloodwitch. “Any blood empowers her. Drinking blood cures poisons, bathing in it restores youth and heals wounds. Her legs move faster, her arms get stronger,” she described, smiling with pride. “She chose me because I can help her. I’m not like the others, I’m necessary.”
This bitch is crazier than Sacrifice is, and she’s fondling her guts in public.
“I think that’s enough,” said Sacrifice, rubbing her stomach and chest along her scars. The gash appeared to begin healing, visibly dissapearing.
Sacrifice took a few seconds to look at the members of the Hunting Party. Event Horizon was pale. Her powers; my powers were nothing compared to that.
She turned around and grabbed the air, Holding it with both hands. It took me a second to realize what happened. She caught Merly while he was invisible.
“I win,” she said, as blood gushed onto her chest and the sound of Merly’s skull being crushed filled the air.
Merly was still invisible, a silhouette of red. She let go and he fell down, limp. She did a small stretch, and knelt down, rummaging through his clothes. She suddenly appeared as normal, but still dead.
“Anyone want the thing he was using for invisibility?” she asked. “Our guests exempt.”
Glutton raised his hand. “I’ll take it.”
She tossed to Glutton while walking back to us, who caught it easily enough.
Sacrifice killed Merly easily. How could I kill her?
“My boss,” said Taker, rubbing his hands. “I think that’s one for one, right?”
“One for One?” repeated Sacrifice.
“Well, isn’t Jawbreaker down for the count?”
Sacrifice righted the overturned van.
“He’ll be okay,” she said, pointing at the unconscious villain laying in his seat.
“Glutton, you drive. I’ll put Jawbreaker with you, right Taker?”
Taker smiled. “I’m thinking of having the young boy with us. You can have Jawbreaker and Glutton.”
Sacrifice paused. “I’m the leader of this group,” she said quietly, almost to herself. “We can’t have the two hostages working together.”
Taker smiled again, licked his lips and turned away. “Right,” he said, walking to the other van. “I’m just a subordinate.”
The silence was apparent.
“Taker, take your group and go ahead. I’ll need to do some repairs.”
Taker walked off, with Glutton following him, carrying Jawbreaker over his shoulder. Druggie dragged Event Horizon behind him. She didn’t resist, much.
The van drove off as Sacrifice knelt down, leaving only me, her, Ellen, Bloodwitch and Glutton in the road.
“Ryan,” she said calmly. “I’m going to have to have a private conversation.”
“I’m not tal-”
“You’ll fucking do it,” she fumed. “You’ll fucking listen to me and do as I say or I’ll swear I’ll turn your fucking friend here into a human fucking Pretzel and I’ll make you watch it. Do you understand?”
I said nothing. She got up and grabbed my arm, still wet with blood. “Everyone else, keep watch,” she barked. Everyone but us moved away from the van, away from earshot.
In one swift motion she tossed me into the back of the van, and pinned me down, her hands tightly squeezing my arms.
“Stop struggling,” she murmured.
“Get off me,” I snapped back, writhing as hard as I can. She squeezed so tight on me I was afraid she would break my arms.
“Listen to me,” she said, harsher. Sacrifice still dripped with blood. Some dropped from her nose onto my face. I turned away.
“If you wanted me to do what you say,” I said, calmer now, “You shouldn’t have kidnapped me.”
“You walked into that trap easy,” she nearly laughed. “you honestly deserve-”
“I meant the first time,” I cut in, with a harsher tone. “You ruined everything.”
I hate her. Get off me and die. Stop threatening Ellen, stop ruining lives, stop nearly dying and getting my hopes up. Just stop.
“I don’t care,” she said. “This is more important.”
I tried to adjust myself, but she held me down with all her weight.
“Did you notice anything with Taker?” she asked, after a lengthy pause.
“What?” I said, shocked.
“Did Taker look suspicious to yo-”
I cut her off, laughing.
“Let me fin-”
I laughed harder, facing her.
“Taker usurped you, right?” I said, stating what I realized all too late. “The big bad wolf got her pack stolen from her?”
She slapped me across the face, hard.
“You and I are in real danger here,” she whispered. “That girl of yours in the van with him is in even more.”
That got my attention.
“What the hell are you talking about?”
Sacrifice eased up.
“Taker, myself and many others lie about our powers. It’s a common thing.”
“Cut to the chase.” I said, impatient. I earned another slap, harder. I nearly started crying.
“I’m still in control, kid,” she said, pausing.
Glutton opened the back door.
“You done with him? We need to catch up, boss.”
Sacrifice turned back to me. “We’ll continue this later.”