Psycho Bullet Festival 2222 – Bout 04

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Disclaimer: This novel contains adult material including sexually explicit activities, strong language, extreme violence, mass murder, child murder, suicidal themes, derogatory language, and more. This work is not suitable for minors. Reader discretion is advised.

Psycho Bullet Festival 2222
Bout 04: Enter Miss Flare

Date: March 9, 2000
Time: 17:37 UTC – 09:37 LT
Coordinates: 38°N 122°W (California, North America)

I stared back at the girl in the mirror. A young woman, age 18. Her face wrapped in bandages. Her body clad in a light gown. She was a woman I had known for all my life. I had gotten used to this reflection. The sight of this face wrapped up, hidden from me. But now, after months of this, it was finally time to free myself of this mask and look at what remained of my visage after the incident. A nurse was to help me with this, but I insisted I do this myself.

I shut my eyes as I methodically unfurled these wrappings, wanting to experience the entirety of my face all at once. When I finally opened them, I stared back at myself… and stared… and stared. I struggled to find an emotion to latch onto in this maelstrom of feelings. I was elated, horrified, and humbled by what I saw. A brown face with black freckles, unkempt dark hair, and a sea of bruises, ranging from red to yellow to blue to purple. This face was fucked. It would heal, but the sight of this, the intensity of these wounds… left me lost for words.

Yet even with such a bruised and beaten face, she looks so beautiful… No. I looked beautiful. I looked beautiful because, despite this messy surgery, I was still me. I was still the same person I was from birth. The same person I’d always been. Maxxie. Maxxisaurus Omega Flare. The only daughter of the illustrious Flare family. An heiress entitled to a fortune of billions, for she was the only surviving child of Kenneth and Eleanore Flare. Both of whom tragically passed away this past December, murdered by none other than their only son. Tyler Flare.

I was there when he murdered them, fed up with the disdain they held for him. From birth, this boy was seen as a lesser. Somebody not worthy of his parents’ attention. All because the Flare family already had a daughter. They already had me. I was creative, I was skilled, I could learn things faster and better than other children my age. I was a prodigy, and I was well on my way to becoming someone of acclaim, someone destined for greatness.

However, I still offered my brother all the time I could spare, urging him to grow and express himself however he saw fit. Whether it be following in my footsteps or paving a new path forward. I was a good sister and… he loved me. I loved him. Which made that sight all the more horrifying. He stood next to two mangled masses of flesh that were once our parents. He murdered them, and bloodlust consumed him. So much that he struck at me, unable to see who I was through his fervent rage. He attacked me and, as I looked up at him, as he realized what he had done, he ended his life.

Yes. That’s what happened. And in trying to repair my mangled visage, fix the damage he did to my body and my brain, I have spent months away from my work and study… and I would need to spend further days here. For the doctors needed to confirm that I am truly healed and there are no more complications.

A knock then reverberated from the door of my room, followed by a muffled query from a cheery nurse.

“Maxxie, are you done taking off your bandages? We need to treat your face right away.”

Hearing my name brought me such elation whenever I heard it. And I knew that I would keep hearing it. Again, again, and again, for the rest of my life.

Date: March 17, 2015
Time: 23:45 UTC – 15:45 LT
Coordinates: 39°N 117°W (Nevada, North America)

I sat with my hand covering the left side of my face, elbow on my desk, as I looked over the reports on my monitor. It had been weeks since the experiment began, and while our findings were plentiful, we were no closer to finding what I was looking for. We were no closer to harnessing her immortality for myself. No matter what we did to her, she recovered. No matter how deadly the containment was, she escaped. My patience was thinning at a rapid rate, and as I saw my freckled visage reflected to me on my desk, I spied more and more signs of age. Signs that my youth was fading. That I was losing some of my moxie.

…That’s when the buzzer yelled at me.

“Come in. And please tell me you have good news.”

The door to my office opened, and it was Doctor Zoe Xing. He was tall, strong, and one of the finest men I had under my employment. Yet his eyes bore a fury and disdain as he clenched his tablet and walked toward me. 

“After implementing the trials for the fourth time, we have determined that Abigale Quinlan’s DNA is not compatible with human beings. Blood injected into the body is rejected. Her cells cannot be digested by humans. It is dubious to think that we can ever map out her genome and determine the source of her immortality, let alone—”

“Buddy, I don’t give you 400k a year just so you can bitch at me about how hard your job is. I pay you because I want results. And you, for some reason, don’t seem to get that.”

“Maxxie, I have been more than patient with you, I have tried to see it your way, but I am looking at all the factors here— we have ALL been working 12 hour days on this for WEEKS— and with every passing experiment, it becomes clear that this will not work. We have all the samples we could ever need, and then some. We have recorded everything we can without her cooperation. We are destroying equipment for nothing at this point, and Quinlan… something within her is changing from all of this torture.”

“Look Xing, I know that you just love the ‘adaptation theory’ running around, claiming that each of her powers was developed via trauma… but we cannot prove that, and there is no evidence to say that it will happen again.”

“In that case, could you PLEASE just let her go? We are burning MILLIONS on her every day and for NOTHING.”

“I have BILLIONS, with a B, to BURN for her. If I wanna keep her in Hell for another year, I can do that.”

“…Fine. Whatever you say, boss. But if she destroys this facility and escapes, you’re to blame.”

“Heh. A facility, a billion, a nation. So long as I get what I want, I don’t care what is lost in the process.”

Date: April 25, 2015
Time: 10:35 UTC – 05:35 LT
Coordinates: 42°N 74°W (New York, North America)

The sight of relentless destruction and death is a sobering thing to some. It demonstrates just how fragile human life is. How it can all end in a flash. To some, the sight of this, the destruction of hundreds of square miles, reduced to nothing but rubble, is a sight of abject horror and an indication that we should stop. That we made a mistake somewhere along the way.  

Normally such sights are relegated to a war zone… but if that’s the case, then the entire planet was a war zone. A war zone where the residents of Earth battled against Abigale Quinlan. Against a God who, when confronted with adversity and hatred, awakened her truest power. Something beyond her strength, her speed, her dexterity, and even her immaculate immortality. She became something beyond herself. Something that split the Earth open, that sent the seas stirring, that summoned winds strong enough to topple cities of steel. She could wield the force and power of nature at will… and she destroyed the world. She brought forth the Cataclysm

All because of me. All because I wanted myself, Maxxisaurus Omega Flare, to live forever. I tormented her. I learned everything I could about her. And I found little use. But now… I have something better. 

Before me are the remnants of New York, and the big hole. With a radius of 30 kilometers, and a maximum depth of 10 kilometers. In the center, in the bottommost region, we WILL find her. She has not moved, she has not fled, and she cannot be dead. She will be unconscious, and if she stays that way… all her secrets will be laid bare. Her body will be mine to manipulate, and I will get what I want. I shall become immortal. My goal will be cemented. And with this new power, I shall take this Earth and remake it anew, as its supreme ruler, Lady Flare!

Date: December 26, 2015
Time: 01:52 UTC – 18:52 LT
Coordinates: 32°N 110°W (Arizona, North America)

I stared at her dick. Her retractable third leg. Something with such length and girth it would put even a horse to shame. When we found it months prior, we thought it would be the answer to many mysteries, that it would give us two avenues for reproduction. But after half a year… we’ve gotten jack from this cock. Her ova cannot be penetrated by human sperm. Her sperm consumes human ova. Her sperm eats away at the human uterus like a vicious virus. We can fuck her, but she cannot be bred.

“I cannot mingle my DNA with hers. I cannot make her body my own. And I cannot have children with her. I used up all my… brother’s seed trying.”

“At this point, the most we can do is try impregnating her with herself,” my associate said.

“Is that even a thing? An animal with a penis and a vagina that can put the two together to make a baby?”

“Hm… our research materials are lacking, but I do not believe so. Hermaphrodites still require a mate in order to procreate, and species that make use of asexual reproduction do not use their external genitalia to consummate an offspring. It is possible that, not unlike an earthworm, there is a natural inhibitor preventing Abigale Quinlan from procreating with herself, but we will not know until we try.”

“Then I guess it’s time to Try Try Try! Get your team, get what your need, and try to make this bitch fuck herself! For the good of humankind!”

“Somehow I didn’t think this is what I’d be doing with my degree, but… well, nobody really expected any of this.”

“Yeah, yeah. The Cataclysm sucks, and you’re stuck working for me. But it’s better than trying to use your ‘degree’ to survive in a mutated hellscape. Take a crack at this theory tomorrow and give me a progress report ASAP! If your theory doesn’t tread water, then we’re gonna torture her until she wakes up.”

“W-Wait! It’s just an idea. I don’t have any true basis in it, so—”

“Make it fucking work or else your fucking head’s on the line. It’s been fuck up after fuck up with you fuckheads, and quite fucking frankly, I’m fucking sick of it. You’ve got one fucking job, make it fucking happen, or else your fucking dick is on the fucking menu come fucking January. Fuck’s sake!”

Date: November 18, 2019
Time: 00:42 UTC – 17:42 LT
Coordinates: 32°N 110°W (Arizona, North America)

I had grown accustomed to the sight of hatred. Of disdain. Or murderous intent. I have learned to become a ruler. A dominator. Of manifesting the aura that commands the panicked masses. I have embraced my “Psycho Psyde as it were. It brought me confidence, respect, and allowed me to look at any situation with confidence that I would get my way. Even as I found myself locked in my chambers with a man pointing a gun at my head.

The man was none other than Zoe Xing. His body heavily aged, his once bold face disheveled, and his eyes stricken with what could best be surmised as ‘the madness.’ ‘Twas the look of despair, of one who crumbled in the face of chaos. It was a piteous look, yet my only reaction to it was a smile. 

He was such a mighty figure, such a trusted figure, but even he could not survive in this new world. In my world. And now, he stood before me, thinking that he would end my reign… when he had enough rocks in his dome to know the futility of this endeavor. Men with greater strength and hatred had tried, and they all failed. What made him think that he had a chance of faring better? I could not say… and I did not fucking care.

“I cannot believe I’ve stuck with you for so long… I could have killed you back then, freed her, saved everyone, but you—”

“Don’t go gabbin’ ‘bout how you could’ve been somethin’. Gab ‘bout whatcha gonna do and then fuckin’ do it, ya fucklo. Iffin’ ya wanna ice my ass, ya got the cooler already, just pop the lever and get yer glass.”

Zoe clenched his hand as he tried to comprehend my intentionally garbled idiot speak, but I could tell that he was not going to shoot. He knew that the Flare Foundation was the best place for him. A place where he could be fed, sheltered, and do science. He could just leave at any time if he wanted to, and try roughing it in the destroyed world, but he didn’t. He was bold, but a coward at the end of the day.

“You know my death will only mean my successor will take control of the Foundation, correct?”

“The fuck are you talking about? Successor? Your seed is gone. Abigale rejected it years ago.”

“Heh. You recall the first child born of Abigale Quinlan, do you not? The First?”

“She escaped and killed four of our best men. I loathe to think— Wait, no! D-Did you lie to us—”

Zoe’s accusation was cut short by the sound of gunfire. His finger hit the trigger and a bullet went flying, where it pierced a hole in the concrete wall, no more than 30 centimeters away from my skull. I did not blink as I heard the noise, and kept my eyes fixed on his hand… or what was left of it. There was a hole in his right wrist. Flesh was missing, his radius was severed, and a look of abject dread was painted onto his face. Not from the pain, not from the loss of one of a human’s most valuable tools, but because he knew who did this. And he knew what else she could do to him.

“How shall I dispose of him, mother?” A voice muttered from beyond a thin wall.

The wall then turned open, revealing my daughter. Fiona Flare. Born as the first child of Abigale Quinlan, I adopted Fiona as my own. I kept her a secret from birth, and I claimed she escaped so I could raise her without outside influence. It was nearly three years since her birth, but she already resembled a pre-teen physically, and mentally she was already beyond a scholar in so many ways. 

She stood before Zoe, who crumbled to the floor as he locked eyes with her, knowing her power far too well. His booming voice became a timid quiver as he spoke to her, not to ask a question, but to make a plea.

“Please, kill me quickly.”

She did not. She kept Zoe in her chamber, and she kept him alive. She would twist and turn his body, treat him like a toy, a tool to test her Real Booting ability as she churned and morphed his flesh into all sorts of monstrosities. Her results were… impressively deprived, and seeing her show her creations remained a highlight of my evenings. Well, after her developing body

Watching her grow from a baby into a woman had kept me going these past few years and now, as she was on the verge of maturity, I was learning to love her in an entirely different way.

Date: October 11, 2022
Time: 02:22 UTC – 19:22 LT
Coordinates: 32°N 110°W (Arizona, North America)

“She woke up. She woke up, and she escaped. I lost her. I lost Abigale Quinlan. I had God within my grasp, and I lost her. She ran away, killed her latest born, and I know that Jack helped her. 7 years of trial and failure… and this is how it ends. I spent a decade pursuing her, lost so much in the process, and now… all I have is you Fiona.”

As she saw the despair slathered on my face like a viscous muck, Fiona began undressing herself. She was only 6 years of age, yet was fully matured, her body peaking somewhere in her early 20s. While I missed her small and youthful self, her beauty was absolute, and her embrace was the only thing that could quell these feelings within me. She knew it, I knew it, and within seconds, we were together, on our bed, fuckin’.

The sex was excellent— it always was— but after I reached my apex, when I motioned for her to disengage, Fiona instead drew me closer to her, wrapping her body around mine. I broke into tears for the first time in years, voicing how thankful I was to have her. She said the same… before speaking to me in an ominous tone.

“There is one thing about Abigale Quinlan you still do not know, even after all this time.”

“What is that?” I said between my tears.

“Let me show you, mother. Let me grant your wish.”

With Fiona’s dick still inside me, and my naked body up against hers, I felt her skin creep into mine. Her body became malleable and goo-like, spreading over mine and latching onto my skin. I could feel a vague something sink into my innards, and while the sensation was horrifying on at least some level, feeling a foreign substance creep through my back and uterus and into my guts, I did not resist her. I did not fight back.

My tears of sorrow became tears of joy as I felt what was happening. Without verbalizing it, I knew what Fiona was doing. She and I were becoming one. A being of one body, of one mind, and one consciousness. She was giving me what I had always wanted. The ability to live forever. She loved and cherished me enough to give up her own individual identity, and truth be told… I would have probably done the same if I could.

As this process began, my mind became overwhelmed with stimuli. My senses flickered on and off, pain mingled with pleasure, and my mind felt as if it was being consumed by something else. As if my sense of self was being bashed and flattened against a countertop like a mass of ground meat. I was scared, I was worried, but I had the utmost trust in Fiona, and through mumbled speech, I urged her to keep going. To continue until I stopped thinking of us and only thought of me.

My consciousness faded and when I woke up, I felt… different. I looked different. And even the way my mind worked was different. My intelligence was supercharged, I became a giga-brained genius overnight, and as I took in this influx of knowledge, as I gorged myself on this river of things beyond the scope of any single human, my madness grew.

My mental state was always troubled. I knew that deep down, but this was where I snapped. Where my floodgates were shattered by everything Fiona had within her mind. As our personalities, memories, and working knowledge all mingled, they gave birth to something new. Someone new. No longer was I Maxxie, and I was not Fiona. I was the two of them and more. I was Flare. 

As I accepted myself as Flare, I learned of Fiona’s plan. Her plan to take hold of this tattered and shattered world and rule it. Rule it alongside the woman who enraptured Maxxie for over a decade. The plan was set, all the pieces were in place, and all I had to do was play my part.

I looked at myself in the mirror before to scope out who I now was. My face was a true hybrid of Maxxie and Fiona, housing the finer and refined features of all Abigale’s offspring, while retaining many of the rounded and soft features of Maxxie, along with her delectable freckles. Beneath that was a lean yet muscular body, lifted largely from Fiona, but with upgrades to both the breasts and butt. Two areas where Maxxie always excelled compared to Abigale’s more modest sizes. Though the most perplexing change was the hair. My hair retained the silver hue that Maxxie adopted nary a week ago, except this time… it was not dyed. It was my natural color, affecting both my eyebrows and eyelashes. 

“Thus ends part one of Project Psycho Bullet Festival,” I said with my new voice, simultaneously commanding and as sweet as honey. “Now… Now the fun can truly begin.”

Date: October 18, 2022
Time: 07:57 UTC – 23:57 LT
Coordinates: 40°N 121°W (California, North America)

I was defeated. My plan failed. And my powers were sapped, rendered a fraction of what they once were, while she had all her powers. I thought my death was a certainty when I fell from the sky… but no. She did not end my life…

It was at the cusp of midnight by the time I finally wandered out of the woods, and I was met with a sight all too common. A desolate, lifeless wasteland with large stone pillars that rose up to the sky, defying all natural cause or reason. It was a sight I had grown used to these past seven years, and a sight that brought a tear to my faint crimson eyes.

“I did this,” I said to myself.

“I am the one truly responsible for this. I used to think that the biggest monster in all of human history was the one who ordered the systematic genocide of 6 million, but no. I’ve got him beat by a factor of 1,000. I cannot say that number is certain, but with no infrastructure, with nations eviscerated, with billions rendered homeless, I struggle to accept that more than a billion persons walk this Earth, let alone half of that.”

“It was not by my hand that this happened. I was not the one summoning tsunamis and evoking earthquakes. But I was the catalyst of the Cataclysm. All because they didn’t want me… because I wasn’t good enough…”

“Shut the fuck up, you retarded faggot!””

“How can you possibly blame ANYONE for being such a VILE, REPUGNANT, PUTRID PIECE OF SHIT?! You deserved death… but she thought better of you. She looked at you, the person who abused her, who raped her, who took her unconscious body and tried to fill it with your preserved seed, and thought you deserved a second chance… because you pulled shit like this. Because you DARED to manipulate her into pitying you.”

“You make me sick. You are FUCKING DISGUSTING! You had wealth, you had resources, you had to do nothing and your life would have been a prosperous one… but you just had to fuck it. You just HAD to become a freak within. Then you showed your true colors and murdered everyone— EVERYONE— who held even a fraction of fondness for you. You could have ended it there, you could have been part of the good 35%. You could have taken your own life, ended your corrupted genome then and there. But no. No! Like a wealthy parasite, you bent reality, you made science your bitch, you could not accept reality, and you fucked her. You took the person you loved, the one you admired, and you denied her death. All because you could not let her go. Because you hated yourself and wanted to be someone new… and you fucked that up. You fucked it like a fag!”

“You loved her. You idolized her… and you forgot who she was. Your evils were so inherent, so deep that… you turned her into a pedophile. Why? Why did you not plead for death? Why did you cling for life? So you can find fresh meat? So you can fuck more kids? That has to be it. Why else would you deny the world justice? Why would you let a daemon such as yourself walk the world? Because you believe you can be redeemed?”

“…No. I did wrong. I was a monster. I never wanted to hurt anybody and when I did I… I lost it. I should have never been born. The world would have been a better place if I killed myself back in 1999. But that does not mean I cannot do good going forward. That does not mean redemption is impossible. I can never make up for what I did. But… I never wanted this. I never wanted to hurt anybody. I was young, confused, and… and… I’m sorry, Mom. I’m sorry, Dad. I will build roads. I will make villages. I will create wells of water for the children of the next generation. I will do whatever I can, and I will continue without rest until this world is in a better place. Just like her… just like Abigale.”

“Pfft. You’re a freak in every fathomable facet and she’s a God. What makes you think your false name could ever be uttered in the same breath as her?”

“I don’t. I don’t deserve anything. I… I need to prove myself, and that’s my goal. I need to find someone in need… and help them. That is the first step in my journey. One person, then another, then another. I have the power and I have the knowledge. I am a fragment as strong as she is, but I can still help. I will help. And if I don’t, if I fail here… then I will welcome death. Then I will do what is just and someway, somehow, kill myself.”

Date: May 18, 2027

Time: 19:20 UTC – 13:20 LT

Coordinates: 41°N 88°W (Illinois, North America)

“Please, I just want to help you people!” I pleaded, my voice muffled from the gash along my throat.

“You can’t help ANYONE!” A man exclaimed. “You’re a monster! You killed everyone I loved! And for what? For FUCKING what?!”

“I just want to give you food, water, and essentials. I am nothing compared to Abigale, but I can help.”

“If you want to help, stay where you are, and we’ll put your immortality to the test,” a woman said, brandishing an axe in her hand.

“If… If that is what you want, I will comply. Burn me, maim me, rape me, do whatever it is that will bring you satisfaction. No matter what you dish out, it is deserved. It is just.”

With an emotionless face, I looked into their furious eyes. A community of 20 who had yet to be blessed with Abigale’s gifts, leaving me to fill in the cracks and do whatever I could. Some reacted to my offerings kindly, calling me a saint. Others, like this group, knew of my transgressions, and brandished me a Satan. It was a more deserved reaction, and… I was glad to help however I could. Glad that my immortality and suffering could bring relief to others.

Even as the men savaged me, filling my holes and creating new ones by ramming jagged junk into my body, I did not cry. I had no more tears to offer. I was above sorrow or pursuing my own emotions. I was an indentured servant to mankind. It would never make up for my grand genocide, but it would show how much I detest my past self. How much I wished to atone for my sins.

I just hoped that, after they made me their tool, they would accept my offerings. That their rage would not blind them to their true needs. If not, then I shall work around them, render the tattered wastes around me into something fertile, and plant the seeds of a crop to keep them prosperous during the summer and survive the winter. It was the least I could do for anyone I came across.

Date: September 9, 2051
Time: 21:34 UTC – 02:34 LT
Coordinates: 41°N 69°E (Uzbekistan, Asia)

I drifted in and out of consciousness as I worked, placing one brick after another, steadily but surely assembling a wall. It was a tiring and monotonous process, but it was one I volunteered to help with, as I knew I could achieve it in a fraction of the time. For most humans, building a structure like this would take months, but for me, it would only take a week. 

A week of non-stop labor, of taking the dirt and refuse around me and turning it into a foundation, before building on that foundation. I still had 6 days before I would reach the end result, and this looming threat of more hard and relentless work urged me to take a second for myself. To look up at the sky above and admire the stars dotting the sky, granting me light as I toiled from dusk until dawn. I groaned as I absentmindedly laid a brick wrong, and quickly went to correct my error, only for my concentration to be broken yet again.

“Why are you working, ma’am?”

From the voice alone, I could tell this person was a child. I continued to work even as I replied to them.

“I am working because I want to. Because it is the best way, I can help and aid your people.”

“But that’s not fair, is it?”

“No, it’s not. I do not deserve this luxury. But your people were kind enough to put me on such a rudimentary task, rather than use me as a tool to vent their frustrations.”

“Aren’t you tired?”

“I do not sleep. I have not slept in 29 years. I shall never sleep again if I have any say in the matter.”

“…Do you hate yourself?”

“How old are you?”

“I’m 10.”

“Old enough to have no recollection of the Cataclysm. You are fortunate to be living in these modern times, as your life will only get better and better as Abigale continues to enrich the world..”

“You didn’t answer my question. Do you hate yourself? Because it seems like you do.”

“If you were responsible for the deaths of 6.7 billion people, would you hate yourself?”

“But you didn’t want to. You did not try to hurt all those people.”

“That does not matter. No matter what defense you can devise about good intentions, unintentional manslaughter, or shared blame— nothing can escape the fact that those people died because of my actions. I lit the spark. I forced Abigale to bring about the Cataclysm. My motives and intentions mean nothing next to the results. And the results can be seen just by looking at your surroundings. This was once a bustling city with 2.5 million people. Now it is a collection of rubble with a population a mere 5% of its peak.”

As I continued to lay bricks, the child approached me, latching their arms around my torso.

“You are not a bad person. A bad person would not be doing this. You are doing all you can to better this world.”

“Save your kindness and pity for someone who deserves it. Leave me, child. Leave me.”

As I clenched my body as if it were a fist, the child’s grip loosened, and they did as I asked, slowly walking away from me. I never saw their face or knew their name, and I did not need to. I desired no companionship or connection to these people, for I was no longer a person.

Date: June 3, 2077
Time: 13:22 UTC – 14:22 LT
Coordinates: 49°N 2°E (France, Europe)

A mere three months ago, Abigale revealed the two tools that would change humanity forever, and lift us out of the Reconstruction Era. Real Booters: Machines that could replicate her divine gift and turn anything into anything else. And Machi: Androids that would exist to serve humanity. I did not question her decision, as I never would dream of such avarice. Yet this news instilled within me pangs of guilt and concern. If anyone could construct anything on a whim, what good was I? If humans had mechanical aides to help them with their daily lives and hard labor, then what good was I?

The ebb and flow of time, the advancement of technology, had rendered me antiquated. I no longer felt necessary or wanted in this world, and after the rollout of this technology was finalized, I knew that I would struggle to find a place in the world. I met one of these automatons, these Machi, and they relayed a message to me. They told me to come to this café, Foules Feoncée, at this time to meet with Abigale. I trusted her, but… it had been over half a century since I spoke to Abigale, and the very concept of greeting her again was enough for me to recoil in dread.

I was not used to sitting idly. I always ensured that I was working on something, no matter how petty, but as I waited for her… I could not fathom anything I could do. I was too unnerved to concentrate on anything, or do much more than stare at the table before me, at the chilled beverage a server brought to me. I told them I did not want anything, but they brought it to me regardless, saying I did not need to pay for it.

I did not want to drink it, for I did not require any sustenance. I had consumed food and water on occasion, to appease locals, but I had developed an aversion to drinking fluids decades ago. For water was too valuable to free my mouth from a parched, dry sensation. Yet I could feel the server looking at me. I could sense the emotion of those who looked at me. They looked at me with concern, and to appease him, I put on an act. I drank the sweet beverage and put on a smile. It was fake, much like all my smiles, but the server could not tell. He was simply glad to have spread a modicum of joy in someone.

As I finished the beverage, I looked forward and saw a woman clad in black. Her outfit alone made her identity obvious, and I was already wrapped with worry even before our red eyes intersected. My body froze as I looked at her and in response… she smiled. She smiled at me. At the one who tortured her. At the one who raped her. At the worst person in recorded history.

How? How could she smile at me… unless she thought it was time. I had done much in my 55 years, helped thousands upon thousands, perhaps even millions… but with the world at the cusp of a brilliant new era, I was no longer needed, was I? 

I wanted to escape, to run away, but I knew that would only result in a harsher death, so I remained where I was, my hands quivering as I prepared to have my body transformed into ash. I deserved it. I deserved far worse. And if she wanted to do far worse to me… I would not object. I could never object. It was deserved

“Terra, I did not come here to harm you,” Abigale said as she approached me

I heard her words, I knew what they meant… but I could not make sense of them. I had become so obsessed with my conclusion that I did not know how to process an alternative. I stared back at her, looking in her direction without seeing her until she was sitting in front of me. Until she had taken off one of her gloves and grabbed my hand.

“Do you still hate me?” I asked, remembering the last words I shared with her.

“Yes, I do hate you. But that does not mean you should hate yourself, Terra. You have spent 55 years helping people, and never yourself. You last said that you would figure out who you are now, and I don’t think you found an answer.”

“I… didn’t. I tried to find myself and I… I ran away. Besides, I no longer need anything. I no longer need sleep, I no longer need to eat, I no longer have the same material desires. I am not a human, and I can keep working forever, just like you Abigale.”

“So that’s it. You admired my actions, my devotion to the world, and wished to help everyone I could not.”

“I had your powers, and I wanted to use them well. I wanted to help people after I hurt so many. But now, with the Machi and Real Booters, I do not know if I have a true purpose. I did all I could to better the world— or at least I like to think I did— and now the world does not need me. Or at least it will not need me soon enough.”

“You have served the world and helped those in need when I was on the other side of the planet. You have shown your conviction and determination. You should not need permission to live life on your own terms— to put yourself first— but I shall grant it to you if you so desire.”

“But… my self is the one who caused so much destruction. It’s why the population is still under a billion. Why… why do you trust me to be any better than I once was?”

“…Terra, do you know how many people I killed of my own accord? Before the Cataclysm?”

“You said you hate murder, so I’m guessing very few. Maybe a couple dozen at most.”

“I killed hundreds of thousands… and I relished their deaths. I stood against armies and ensured there were no survivors. I razed villages and transformed their residents into grotesque beings whose every second consisted of an unrivaled agony. I supplied deadly weapons of war to vicious monsters whose words I believed in. I aided with the development of these weapons. I once thought humanity to be evil and wished to end the lives of all who bore a resemblance to those who hurt me so. I remember squashing the eyes of newborn children with my toes before stomping their heads in.”

“…I don’t believe you, Abigale. I cannot imagine you doing something like that, and I doubt any others can. They love and admire you too much to believe such a thing.”

“Regardless, it is true. But the person I am today is different from the person I was 200 or 300 years ago. I changed, and no matter what you think, Terra, you can change. You have changed. You are not the same person you were when you confronted your parents. When you led my torture. When you became one with Fiona. You have gone through many identities, and while your body may remain the same, that does not mean you need to.”

“I know, but I… I don’t deserve to—”

“You deserve to be happy, to be fulfilled, to live your own life. I appreciate all you have done for the world, but it is time for you to pick up where you left off. Where you left off in that forest in 2022, and where you left off during that fateful day in 1999. Take your time. Think it through. Become who you want to be. And the next time I see you, I do not want to see somebody so consumed by self-loathing and hatred that she thinks herself to be less than a person. I want to see Terra Flare.”

I had no words for Abigale, and simply sat there, a trail of wetness trickling down my cheek. As I silently wept, she left her seat and approached me, placing a hand on my head, her fingers flowing through my silver hair.

“I want to help everyone, Terra. And you’re part of everyone.”

Psycho Bullet Festival 2222 Main Page
Bout 01: Enter The 2-2-2-2
Bout 02: Enter Raiyne Underwood
Bout 03: Enter Abigale Quinlan
Bout 04: Enter Miss Flare
Bout 05: Enter Terra Flare
Bout 06: Enter Verde Dusk
Bout 07: Enter The Righteous
Bout 08: Enter The White
Bout 09: Enter Nari
Bout 10: Enter Punky
Bout 11: Enter Peatrice
Bout 12: Enter Jad Spencer
Bout 13: Enter The Genociders
Bout 14: Enter The Destruction
Bout 15: Righteous X Genociders
Bout 16: Raiyne Underwood X Punky
Bout 17: Terra Flare X Genocider Jad
Bout 18: Verde Dusk X Peatrice
Bout 19: Abigale Quinlan X Nari
Bout 20: Black Righteous God X White Genocider Daemon
Bout 21: Enter Shin Abigale Quinlan
Bout 22: Exit The 2-2-2-2

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