Monster
Or: We All Become the Thing We Hate
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Boots pounding against the cobbles. Idiots ran into the old part of the city. This is my turf, my freaking turf, I've got them now. Hand draws my weapon, arm registers the weight. Light. Airy. Perfect.

A tall woman made all of stained glass dashes through the cobbled streets of old Philadelphia, long leather coat flapping behind her, combat boots pounding against the pavement - a war-drum beat to her hunt. Though it is a cool Autumn night, waves of heat crash from her flesh into the air around her, surrounding her with a haze of steam.

There is a stained glass sword in her left hand, and it hums with anticipation.

Left. Right. Left again. Slippery little punks, these. We warned them, told 'em to back off. Gods but I haven't done...that...in, what, a week now? Sword's getting thirsty. Shh, don't worry Agony, I'll get you something to drink. Wait. That alley is blind. I have them - ha!

She turns down an alleyway. She's beautiful, fit and athletic like a huntress, but her smile is malicious. Cowering at the end of the alleyway is a beautiful woman, a water nymph dressed like a Gothic street queen. The air around the nymph is full of laughter and the scent of Spring roses blooming, but her quaking terror betrays itself as she pulls a tiny knife. The stained glass woman laughs.

"Colors," the Gothic woman pleads, tears at the corners of her eyes, "Colors, don't do this, you don't want to do this. I'm from the Brotherhood, just like you, I swore the Oath, Colors please..."

Begging. I hate it when they beg. Maybe I should - no. She's angered Summer. Remember the fury. Grab hold of the wrath, Colors. You can do it. She stole from us.

"I'll swear any oath you want, I'll return the Horn, I'll throw myself at your feet in public, just please let me live! Please Colors! This isn't you! This isn't the woman who came out of the Thorns!"

Red haze parting. I could take her Oath, she wouldn't dare break an Oath on her own true name. No. Summer. I am Summer. I am wrath! I am fury!

"Ho la, OOOOOOOHDIIIIIN!" The cry pierces the air, rips from the stained glass woman's mouth as she rushes the Goth woman with her sword held low. Colors' face is contorted with fury, her eyes blind with hatred. Her victim goes to block low. The sword comes in high.

It only takes one blow.

* * *

Stained glass fists pound against the brick wall of the alleyway, cracking but not shattering. Crying out in pain, Colors slumps against the wall, her weapon cast aside near the corpse of her victim.

"Gods forgive me," she whispers harshly through the tears. "I'm so sorry. Gods I'm so sorry."

Colors puts her face in her damaged hands and cries as the blood dries into her clothes.