Grr. There’s a little bit more here before I can wrap things up, but I will not be deterred from writing poetry. A month long cliffhanger is too long, so expect to see this story wrap up sometime within the next week. In the meantime, there will be poetry every day for the month of April!
“You deserved to find a better end,” Grigor said. “I wish I didn’t have to do this.” He paused for a moment, the sadness that defined his every thought seeming to deepen somehow. “It’s tragic that it had to come to this.”
Max’s world was pain. The scent of burning meat filled his nostrils, and though he could hear Grigor’s words clearly enough, everything else seemed to be coming from far away. He though he could hear Genni screaming, Trass’khar hissing and spitting curses. And Filip looked for all the world like he was dead, his body hanging limp in Grigor’s hands now. Sorry, kid. Sorry.
The world was getting dark. Say something cool. If you’re going to die, do it right. Tell him, “You couldn’t beat me. You had to use a gun.” Tell him, “You can kill us, but the People’s Army will fight on.” Tell him, “Look at the monster you’ve become.”
He looked up into Grigor’s eyes. Behind the unflinching expression and the cold metallic parts, there was a man that’d once been his friend. “No one made you do this Grigor. That’s the real tragedy. No one’s ever made you do anything.”
Before the world went completely black, it started to glow a bright, furious red.
* * *
Genni was sobbing when Max died. She was speechless when the kid exploded back into life moments later. She’d seen Grigor pull him through the air and watched as he’d gone limp in her brother’s hands. She figured that he’d killed him, but as the life left Max’s body the kid had started twitching, had let out a low feral growl. And then he opened his eyes and his mouth, and bright red psionic energy had started pouring out of him.
She’d seen Grigor’s awakening. Strong and overwhelming emotions tended to cause it. When their dog had died when they were children, Grigor’s eyes had glowed with the sadness he carried. He’d wept tears of purple.
Whatever the kid was feeling, it oozed out of him. Some kind of red energy poured from his eyes and his mouth like blood, sizzling as it fell through the air and lingering on the floor of the base for a few seconds before dissipating.
“You killed him!” he screamed at Grigor, breaking free from the older and stronger man’s grip. “You killed him!”
Genni saw something she’d never once seen on Grigor’s face before. For the first time in his life, he looked scared.
* * *
The little human was nothing, and then the little human was K’torrh, God of Anger. These creatures were warm-blooded, their emotions products of chemistry within their bodies. One of the first things Trass’khar had learned in his dealings with them was how to taste their emotions, how to pull the scents from the air, and he’d never witnessed a human so angry before. It spoke to some primal part of his brain, and he unconsciously pushed Genni behind himself to shield her from this new potential threat.
Filip roared like a serpentii fighting for a mate. The noise caused physical pain somehow in Trass’khar’s mind, filled him with thoughts of violence and revenge. The little human was a psyker now, it seemed. The psi-focusers on Grigor and Max’s bodies exploding from the backlash moments later confirmed the theory.
Grigor raised his plasma pistol to shoot Filip, but the little human moved impossibly fast, and he had the barrel of the weapon in his hands before Grigor could get the shot off. He tore it from Grigor’s hands, his own fists glowing with the red energy that still bled from his eyes and his mouth.
“I’ll kill you!” he screamed. “I’ll kill you!”
K’torrh himself would have been proud of the fury the little human brought to bear against Grigor. The base itself seemed to shake from the blows that he rained upon the villain. The traitorous scum did not look so proud now.
It only took a moment for Trass’khar to realize that the ground beneath his feet actually was shaking. He cast a glance around the room, and panic coursed through his body when his eyes fell upon the terminal that Genni had been trying so desperately to hack before Grigor had appeared.
Psi-focusers were not the only equipment that had been vulnerable to psionic backlash, it seemed.