Anausa pounced upon Brick right as the larger man’s hands were occupied throttling a mantid. His daggers rose and fell in an inhuman frenzy, his movements as wild and violent as the mantids’ own flailing. The points found their way between the plates of Brick’s armor. They slid through muscle and struck against bone. They slice through veins, tendons, arteries, and the noise of the crowd fell away, the shrieking of the mantids, the pain of his wounds. There was nothing but the look of surprise, then pain, then fear, and then nothing upon Brick’s face.
The last thing Anausa heard before the world went dark was a voice screaming, “This is the Butcher! This is the Butcher!” for the horrified crowd to hear. But if it was Brick or it was himself, he couldn’t say.
* * *
Anausa opened his eyes to find himself covered in a sterile white blanket, lying on a bed in the infirmary. He raised his head and looked around the room, looked at the matching beds that either had patients who had been regenerated like him or else were awaiting them. He sat up with a grunt, his hand moving to his chest, to his face, where he still felt the pain of the wounds Brick had inflicted on him. Was his heartbeat irregular? Had his body regenerated with the mantids’ poison somehow an essential part of it?
That was impossible, of course. Memories of a past life playing tricks on him. He heard footsteps approaching. A doctor that wanted to check on him, to go through the steps necessary to acclimate to a new body, but he waved the woman away. So long as he never set foot outside of the infirmary, it was like he really did have a new life, one where he wasn’t a killer. One where he wasn’t surrounded by other murderers every waking moment. One where he could leave this backwater planet, build a loving family, live peacefully. That was what he truly wanted, but he never got it.
They just gave him the old life over and over again.
The end! I feel like this one got kind of meander-y. But the year is still young, and I’m still settling back into the swing of things. Check in on Monday for something new!