Killing Time OST – 19a – Inception

<< 18c – Anger

I cursed at the automatic door; it ruined my entrance with its slow hiss and lack of proper slamming. Vexx waited for me, squared in the arch leading from the sewer entrance’s vestibule to the lab. I threw my bag to his face but he caught it before it hit the mark. Turning my back on him, I began taking off the rest of my gear.
“You have absolutely no reason to be pissed at me and you know it,” he murmured.
I spun on my heel to retort but he was already gone. The old me would have stumped after him, yelled and headed for her punching bag before she did something she regretted. Plain, simple and relaxing, ultimately. The new me was confused about how to react, afraid her brain might black out again only to awaken in a lab redecorated with Vexx parts. Confusion didn’t sit well with me; it preferred to snowball into an ever increasing amount of mind-boggling questions.
Didn’t I have reasons to be angry at Vexx? I felt like I did but his affirmation sparked a fair share of doubts. He seemed so sure he understood what I was going through but the idea of him knowing me better than I did myself rekindled the barely dimmed rage.
I exhaled.
Dealing with trouble by punching a sandbag might have something to do with my violent outburst earlier tonight. I had to drill my instincts toward entertaining other ways to cope or I’d look at the end of a barrel again soon.
I eyed the gun strapped on my hip. One spasm of the trigger finger and the headaches would stop. Vexx and Gabriel would have them. And other programmed assassins too, if they ever found out the truth about themselves. Too many people depended on this going right for me to take the easy way out. I had courted death for years and was quite a bit curious about its kiss but this was too early, though the stress of the night wanted to speed up the process.
As sedately as I could, I unstrapped my gun and pulled off my face. I forced myself to sit to take off my boots instead of the faster ‘stand on one leg and unzip the other’ method. By the time I joined Vexx in the lab, I had gathered some measure of calm and pinpointed why I wanted to bash his head in.
“You shouldn’t have let me go.”
Vexx shut off the holographic display where our hardly earned information was slowly organizing itself. “You were ready.”
“Was I?” I slid my backpack toward me to finish the emptying process Vexx had started. “Maybe your assessment was tempered by your desire to get your revenge rolling.”
Silence answered me and after a few seconds of it, I looked up. Vexx’s eyebrows were creased, his jaw slightly dropped. He shrugged and shook his head.
“How can you doubt I care for your well-being? After everything.”
The lump I heard in his throat fed the doubts I had regarding my own sanity. I said I trusted him and now I felt like my thoughts had betrayed my words. I almost didn’t say what I needed to.
“Because I wasn’t ready.”
The staccato on each word gradually smoothed Vexx’s forehead. Mine creased in response, waiting for the punch in the gut that was sure to accompany his return to serenity. His confidence even pushed him to round the counter and take my hands between his. I stiffened even more.
“Lor, I don’t think you measure the emotional strain of the situation properly.” His finger pressed my lips shut. “You’re bound to have a crisis or two. The average human being would –”
“– not kill on a whim.” I pulled my hands free and took a few steps backward. I didn’t want to risk his safety.
He chuckled.
“Really? That’s the best you can come up with? What about crimes of passion?”
“Fine! The average human isn’t programmed to kill with his bare hands.”
“Doesn’t really diminish my previous statement.”
I grunted and walked away. If he absolutely wanted to win this, then I absolutely needed something else to trample. The damned fool ran to catch up with me and block my access to the gym. My fist launched itself to his face before I realized. He parried and twisted his arm to grab mine and hold it down between us.
“What I’m trying to say is that the average human being is imperfect. He will make mistakes, sometimes violent ones. Especially when tried as hard as you are.”
“It doesn’t change the fact that –”
“– Yes it does!” he barked, releasing my arm with a rough push. “You snapped and beat up a guy who protects evil people for a living. Big deal! He’ll probably get a bonus. What matters now is how you choose to deal with the fact that you almost killed him.”
My fists closed but I exhaled. How confused could I possibly be?
“I don’t know,” I sighed. “I don’t know how ‘new me’ should deal with this.”
Vexx stepped aside, freeing the access to the gym and the punching bag that hang in the middle of it. “Go take a shower. You stink.”
I cocked an eyebrow, looking at both doors side by side: gym on the right, bathroom on the left. If they were color-coded, I’d feel like Neo in The Matrix. Vexx’s mind game was anything but subtle.
“You’re getting better at fighting,” I said.
“Your recent trip to Lalaland didn’t leave me any choice. I’d be black and blue all over.”
His smirk taunted me. ‘I know what you’re doing,’ it seemed to say. The old me couldn’t win but neither could Vexx. I turned around and headed for the stairs.
“I’m taking a bath.”
Vexx’s laugh followed me all the way upstairs. I knew he had manipulated me toward this exact decision but the only way new me was going to pull through the upcoming trials was if I chose to ignore how fragile the lack of tech made me.

19b – Inception >>

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

7 responses to “Killing Time OST – 19a – Inception

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