I felt like I was losing my mind, they kept calling me Sklave, and that was messing with my perception, I felt like a was losing the battle with myself and I was becoming Sklave again. As I watched Kimball fighting them, trying to free himself so he could help me, new tears started rolling down my face, I knew he was fighting that hard because of me, he wanted to help me, and he didn’t want them using him to control me, but every time he moved, a new shot hit his body. I opened my mouth to ask them to stop, but I couldn’t get the words out, part of me was stopping me. As Kaiserin, I never cried, I never begged, but as Sklave I never had any problem with any of that, I had spent all my time as Sklave begging for mercy that never came, I had no problem humiliating myself, and at that moment I wanted to be like that and do whatever it took to save Kimball, I wanted to help him, even if I had to be Sklave to do that.
“Don’t do it,” Kimball said, maybe noticing that I was about to give them what they wanted. “Don’t let them win.”
They were hitting him again for talking, but I was brought back by his words, he was right. I knew that at the moment they got what they wanted, Kimball wouln’t be useful to them anymore, they would have the control. Another shot hit Kimball’s chest, and my thought scattered again. I knew that his uniform was bullet proof, but the shots were too close, and they had to be doing a lot of damage, I guessed he had at least a few broken ribs because of the hits.
“I’m not a patient man, Sklave. Are you going to beg me? Or do you want me to kill him?”
“Don’t…” I didn’t know what to do or how to act, I was breaking and I wasn’t sure what would become of me. I didn’t want to go back to being the pathetic, weak, woman that Agmong had created all those years before, but I felt more like her every minute.
“I love your tears,” the impostor said, he was licking them, while he grabbed me by the hair, it was such a familiar feel, and I wasn’t surprised when a new electric charge hit me, it was a familiar feeling, one that sent me back in time, that send me deep into my memories.
I felt weak, I was under my enemies’ power, and my life, my Kimball was on his knees, suffering because of me, about to die. My mind was breaking and I couldn’t stop it. Nightmares and reality were blending together and I knew I would break and never be the same, I was about to lose the battle.
I opened my mouth again, I was about to tell them I was giving up, that I would do whatever they wanted, but then I felt the broken pieces fixing themselves, the emptiness inside me was filling fast, my powers were back. Kimball had saved me again, his gift had freed my powers, giving me a fighting chance, giving me hope and the chance of recovering.
The first thing I did, I connected to the weapons they were using, I knew the firearms they were using, and it was easy to disable them. I knew that wasn’t the solution, but it would help Kimball and give him a chance, I trusted that without the weapons he would have a chance to fight back, just like I did. With the weapons out of the way, I focused on the man next to me, his hand was still grabbing me hair, exposing my neck so he could bite me, while he was digging on the wounds on my back with his other hand, causing new waves of pain shake my body.
“Do you know what happened to the real Agmong?” I asked him. “He bleed to death, I nailed him to the wall and watched as the light died on his eyes, I watched as he fought for his life, until the realized there was no way out, I watched as he realized he was going to die at my hands, and that for the first and last time in his life, he was at my mercy. You will die the same way.”
The damage done to my body affected my powers, but that didn’t stop me from pulling a few stakes from the nearest wall and pushing the impostor to them. One stake pierced his lung, but I was careful not to touch his heart, I wanted his death to be slow and painful. Another one went through his stomach, that was a mortal wound, unless he got help in the next few minutes, the rest of the stakes got him through legs and arms, pinning him to the wall and stopping him from escaping. Almost as soon as I finished, the terrakinetic started working on reverting my work, freeing the impostor, but the damage was done, his face was already morphing back to his original features, like every metamorph, he was going to die with his original face. I watched the face they had brought back from my nightmares melt and disappear.
“Don’t stand there like fools, stop her!” Temur ordered, thinking they still had a chance of stopping me, but it was too late, the pain and rage inside me were fueling my need of vengeance.
I used my powers to connect to the chains holding me, and extended my power to reach the chains they had used to subdue Kimball, who was already fighting the soldiers that had attacked him. I could see his movements were slow and a little off, I wasn’t sure if he was still suffering the effects of whatever drug they had used on him, or if he was injured worse than I thought. I took the chains and wrapped them around the soldiers’ necks, and then I used them to hang them from beams in the ceiling, but some of them were psychics, and they were trying to use their powers to free themselves. I knew that pain would make it harder for them to concentrate hard enough to use their powers, so I broke their legs, and then their arms to distract them, and when the attacks stopped, I knew I had been right. Some of them were too busy trying to escape, but using their broken bones made it more difficult. The screams and grunts from the soldiers hanging from the ceiling were mixed with the terrified screams of the rest of the hostages, that I’m sure thought they were next.
There was just one person still standing, and that was Temur. There was no one else stopping me from going after him, my true target. He had tried to take Kimball as a shield, but even tired and slow, Kimball was capable of fighting back, and was not an easy target.
“Finish him,” Kimball asked, but not because he wanted him dead, but because he knew I needed to kill him so I could feel like myself again, and not like a victim.
“I told you, you were a dead man from the moment you decided to come after me,” I told him. Temur tried to attack me, and I knew that I had to stop him before he had a chance of to reach me, I was still vulnerable, hanging from the ceiling, my body was useless, and my powers were the only thing allowing me to fight back, powers that were fueled by my hate, rage, and even my fear.
Temur went to where the impostor was, he didn’t look like Agmong anymore, he was wearing his true face, and clearly fighting to stay alive, maybe thinking someone would come to help him. He stretched his hand to Temur, asking for help, but Temur didn’t waste any time thinking about his dying ally, he grabbed the gloves out of his hands, the gloves I already suspected were producing the electricity he had used to mimic Agmong’s powers, a power I wasn’t going to allow him to use on me again. Before Temur had a chance to reach me, I used my powers to build a stake that hit him in the chest, with so much force that he was lifted in the air, before he could move or escape, another one hit him from the back, holding him in place, I used my powers to break the stakes and build branches, that went through his body. He tried to scream, and one of the branches got out of his throat, killing the scream. It wasn’t my best job, it was a very basic and raw tree of pain, it wasn’t like the one I had used on Faakhir when I was strong enough to take care not to touch his vitals, this one was doing much more damage, and I knew his death was going to be faster, but I couldn’t focus enough to take care where the branches were getting out, I was just making the tree grow.
“Kaiserin?” Kimball was crawling to where I was, but he fell before reaching me.
I needed to get to him, but first I needed to get down. I used my mind to open the cuffs around my wrists. I hadn’t been that high, just high enough for my feet not to be able to touch the ground, but the fall shook my body and sent waves of pain through my body. My legs weren’t strong enough to hold me and I fell hard to my knees. My legs and even my arms were covered in welts, some of them bleeding, thanks to the whipping, and I could see a large bruise on my side from the kicks and even if I couldn’t see my face, I knew it was bad, I could hardly open one of my eyes, it was so swollen, and I didn’t even want to think about my back, it felt so raw and hurt so much. I tried to move my arms, and couldn’t, every time I tried the pain was so bad that I felt like I would pass out.
I used my powers to move Kimball closer to me, taking care not to hurt him, and as soon as he was close enough, he put his arms around me, taking care not to hurt me.
“Kaiserin, I’m so sorry… I failed you, I couldn’t help you…” I couldn’t see his face, but I could tell he was crying.
“I was able to escape thanks to you, your gift saved me again.” Using the contact with Kimball I connected to him to try and see the extent of the damage he had sustained, and I realized he was worse than I thought, at least three bullets had managed to get inside him, and I didn’t even need my powers to tell that his lungs were damaged, his breathing was both shallow and hard.
I was already suffering the effects of a psychic headache, and the pain was increasing faster than normal, and I realized I was under attack, again, one of the soldiers had to be a telepath, a strong one if he could get over the pain and attack me. I tried to move and look for the person responsible for the attack, and I found the faces of the other hostages staring at me with fear, and worse, with pity. I hadn’t realized the implications of them being there, but I didn’t want them witnessing my humiliation. But first, I needed to find my attacker, which was easy. I let his chains go, and he fell to the ground, I dragged him closer to me, and he tried to attack me, but Kimball found the strength to fight him. While Kimball was holding him still and punching him, I used my powers to move my hand until it rested on him, and I used my powers to steal his energy. I was so weak and hungry that I was able to drain him in a couple of minutes. Once I finished him, I felt stronger, so I repeated my actions and pulled the rest of the soldiers to me, so I could drain them too. It was actually a mercy, a quick death that they didn’t deserve, but I needed their energy more than revenge.
There were seven soldiers, without counting the impostor and Temur, and I was able to drain them all. Kimball was by my side, struggling to stay conscious so he could protect me. I used the energy I had stolen and focused on the other hostages, I couldn’t let them keep their memories of me at my lowest. Killing them to protect my secret was unfair, but there was another choice, and I knew how to deal with them, thanks to my father I knew exactly how memories worked. I knew that a big trauma would be enough to erase their memory of the last few minutes, with the adrenaline and the impact of the situation, I was sure none of them had had time to store the memories in the long term part of the brain, and a trauma would erase them before they had the chance. I gathered my powers and went inside their minds, letting the attack go and burning their minds. The last attack was too strong and too painful and I lost the battle with the darkness, I passed out.
“Kaiserin, Kaiserin!” Kimball’s voice was reaching me from far away, he sounded scared, worried, and all I wanted to do was to calm him and tell him everything was going to be ok.
“Kimball…” I tried to open my eyes, but my eyelids were too heavy.
“Please, just hold on,” Kimball said, but he sounded as bad as I felt. I remembered where we were, and why. The rest of the hostages had also passed out because of my last attack, and our enemies were either dead or dying. I finally managed to open my eyes and I saw Kimball, he looked bad. I took what was left of the energy I had stolen and gave it to him, he needed it more than me. “What are you doing?” he asked, he was feeling the energy and knew exactly what I was doing.
I started shaking, and I felt my nose bleeding. The psychic headache was hurting too much, but we still had to get out of that place, we needed to escape. Kimball would have to do it, because I couldn’t go on, I was at my limit, and I couldn’t hold on, I passed out again.
I woke up screaming, my shoulder felt on fire.
“I’m sorry,” Kimball said, his voice was weak and his breathing was getting worse. “I needed to fix your shoulder, I still need to work on the other one,” he warned. After the pain faded a little I realized I could move my arm again, but then Kimball grabbed my other shoulder, and when he pulled I passed out again.
I was surrounded by shadows, I was cold and was feeling those dark beings touching me and stealing the heat I had left, they were making me sick. I felt like I needed to be somewhere else, but I didn’t know where, I just knew I wasn’t supposed to be there, and I wanted to get away. I felt something pulling at me, and I found myself being pulled out of there.
“Kaiserin,” someone was calling my name. Everything was hurting, my body was on fire and my head felt as if it was going to break in two. “Kaiserin, we need to get out of here,” but that wasn’t possible, I couldn’t move, I was in too much pain. “Kaiserin,” it took me a moment to identify the person calling me. It was Kimball, my Kimball, my life, my love. How could I forget him even for a moment?
I still couldn’t believe what they had done, they had brought my nightmares to life, and it was thanks to Kimball that I was holding on, I knew that without him I would have lost contact with reality and I wouldn’t be able to differentiate between nightmares and reality. I could feel his arms around me, he was being careful because of my injuries.
“I just need a minute,” I asked, but my words sounded false even to my own ears.
“You need to activate the suppressor,” he said, “you are losing control, and the pain is only going to get worse, I can’t lose you because of a psychic headache,” he explained, but the idea of being without my powers again scared me.
“I’m scared,” I confessed. I felt like something bad was going to happen, but then I realized why he was so worried, the floor was vibrating with my power, and I realized my powers were out of control, I was about to get into a destructive spiral, but even then, the idea of being powerless made me hesitate. “Please, don’t let anyone hurt me,” I asked, even knowing that Kimball was also hurt. I managed to get my hand on my necklace, Kimball’s gift, and used it to save me again, not by freeing my powers, but by suppressing them.
An explosion shook the cellar, and a moment later I heard people running inside. I hugged Kimball and hid on his side. I heard voices, some of them sounded angry, others surprised, and at first I couldn’t even understand what they were saying, but I wasn’t paying that much attention, I was at my limit and afraid, because I was powerless. I thought about disabling the suppressor so I could fight, I could at least save Kimball.
“Is she alive?” the voice sounded familiar, and there was pain in his question.
“Kaiserin, it’s ok, help just arrived,” Kimball said, and tried to move to see who had arrived, but it took too much effort, and I couldn’t move that much.
“Kaiserin?” another familiar voice, that one close to me, too close and I couldn’t protect myself. I wanted to believe Kimball would protect me, that if he said I was safe, then I was, but when I felt a hand on my leg I did my best to move away from the touch.
“Don’t let them hurt me,” I asked Kimball, and I heard a weird sound, like a sob, and someone started cussing, I wasn’t sure why.
“They are here to help, not hurt you. Let Soriya help, she can heal you,” Kimball explained.
“I don’t need her help, I will be fine, I just need to rest and I will be fine. You need help, you are hurt, my fault, you were hurt because of me,” I felt the hand back on my leg, and I tried to get away again. I was able to turn enough to see the woman, and I realized she was crying.
“It’s ok, let me help.”
“I’ll be fine, help Kimball. I don’t want him to die, not because of me, I will be fine, I just need to rest,” I tried to let Kimball go, I wanted to give them space so they could help him, I had finally recognized them, and I knew I could trust them, they wouldn’t hurt me, they had sworn to protect me, and the best way to help me was by helping Kimball. “I just need to close my eyes for a minute, save Kimball, I will be fine, I will be ok…” I went back to the astral plane where there was no pain. I knew what I was doing, I needed to go up. In the superior astral planes I could find peace, I could recover.