Dulled Mind – Chapter Two

Naomi rounded  the corner, pushing herself off the wall before she crashed. Her legs burned. Her lungs felt like hell. Panic pumped through her body, every muscle tensing as hard as it could. She could hear the people behind her, running as fast as they could in their armor. Faster than her. They were gaining, gaining!

Naomi’s mind raced, trying to figure out where to go. Panic clouded her mind. An elevator shot downwards through its tube. Naomi took the chance. She tore the elevator door open, straining through the panic to make her powers work.

She felt a prick in her arm, a tiny needle. It didn’t matter, it really couldn’t matter. She flung herself down the elevator shaft, and decreased gravity around her. Instead of plummeting, she managed to slow herself down and sort of glide to the maintenance ladder of the floor. The elevator had stopped some ways down. Maybe it was safe to jump? No, she wouldn’t take the chance.

Naomi descended down the ladder. Her muscles hurt. Her lungs ached. Every breath was difficult, every motion brought more pain. The little prick felt more like a match bad been extinguished on her skin. But she was safe.

Maybe not safe.

But safer.

Then the elevator started moving, this time up. Naomi’s eyes widened. Only one thought crossed her mind. Shit.

She jumped. Landed on the top of the elevator. Fucked up the landing, and felt her ankle twist. She sputtered, pulling in air with short, haggard breaths. She tried her best to reset it, but she couldn’t do much. She didn’t know which tendon to affect, which nerve was screaming, and so any attempt merely dampened, instead of eliminated. But it was good enough. She got on her knees, grabbing the emergency exit hatch of the elevator and throwing themselves down it. The rather shocked patrons of the elevator looked at the woman who had fallen into their midst. She raised the revolver.

“Stop this fucking elevator. Now.”

She had never seen someone move as quickly as the green-skinned man who slammed the stop button. The elevator came to a grinding halt. An alarm sounded. Not loud, but shrill, an ear-piercing shriek. Naomi tore open the elevator doors, waving her revolver again at the occupants.

“Help me up, now!” There was a small crack, just big enough for her to wriggle through. She was boosted up, and despite the fact putting pressure on her ankle felt like shoving a dagger through her foot, she got through. She was only two floors down, and that wasn’t enough. The antipsions would be here soon.

Naomi stood up, holding her arm. She finally rolled up her sleeve to see what it was. There was a small needle in her arm, barely the size of a bee’s stinger. But there was something under her blue skin, glowing a faint red. She scratched, trying to get it off. Whatever it was, she sure as hell didn’t like it. She pulled the knife from her belt, pricking the glowing dot. The glowing scattered, almost like a living thing scared of the blade.

They were probably nanite trackers, all things considered. No point in running, wherever she went, they would catch up. Naomi had to fight.

But if she had to fight, then goddammit she would fight on her own terms. She limped through the crowd, pushing people to the side. Every step brought a new shot of pain through her leg. But she still carried on.

“There, she’s there!” Someone behind her shouted. Her head shot around, looking to see three of the soldiers running towards her. So much for ‘on my own terms,’ she thought. The roar of a Mutilator filled the air, thick smoke billowing out from a side vent. The man with the mutilator ran at Naomi, arm raised up, ready to strike. Naomi raised her knife up instinctively, the steel smashing against the chain with a horrific crunch.

Sparks flew. Metal shards filled the air, pricking Naomi’s face and arms. The chain of the mutilator shattered, flying into the crowd. Naomi took the chance to run, dropping her knife on the ground. The people around her stared, save those tending to the poor bastard that the chain had caught full on the chest. Some of the onlookers kept their hands on their sidearms, ready to join if need be.

She rounded a corner, every step bringing a sharp report of pain up her leg. The alley she chose was small, barely enough for her to stand comfortably in. No way in hell the antipsions would come after her here.

She was, of course, wrong. One of them came through, aiming a Stinger right at her. With renewed strength, born of fear, she ran. A gunshot sounded behind her, echoing in the narrow alley. The wall in front of her exploded with a flash of light, knocking her over. Her ears rung. Her vision tunneled. Was there pain? She couldn’t tell.

Naomi scrambled around aimlessly. She tried to used her powers, but couldn’t tell what she was doing or where she was directing the effects. Terror flowed through her body. Her heart raced. Her mind couldn’t form a proper thought.

When she came to, the antipsion was struggling to move. Naomi still hurt like hell, but she could see clearly. The antipsion struggled to take a step, every movement was exaggerated and slow, like he had suddenly…become heavier.

Naomi sat up, and concentrated. Sent out a wave, trying to ascertain her surroundings. Everything felt normal, but the area around the antipsion was…denser. Heavier. She had surrounded the man in a bubble of altered gravity.

It’s difficult to move when your weight suddenly increases by three times over. It’s even harder to move, as Naomi decided to demonstrate to the antipsion, when that becomes three hundred. He let out a final, pained scream as organs burst and bone reduced to dust, the armor he wore turning into a weapon against him. Soon, he was reduced down to something that didn’t even look like it had once lived. Just a mass of white bone, red flesh, and black ceramics.

When reality returned to normal, Naomi left the alley. All who stared at her before now had their eyes firmly planted on the small stream of blood that leaked from the alley.

Naomi would find that Teluric. She had more than a few choice words for him.

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