Short Fiction: Rise of The …

The following is a random bit of prose from a random thing I’m writing in fits and starts. Feel free to comment as to whether or not it’s something worth pursuing.


 

“I yield.” She drew back and dropped to the floor in a sitting position.

“What the hell was that?” Chrysalis demanded, clutching her arm where she’d felt the sting of an injection gun.

“Counteragent. My schedule didn’t allow enough time for me to persuade you logically. It’ll take about twenty minutes to neutralize the metastasin in your system, which should be just about five minutes less than the time it takes for them to notice which guards missed their check-ins, figure out the video feed’s been hacked and send someone down here.”

“Kaitlyn?” Chrys asked. Time, medication and the sheer unlikeliness of it had kept her from recognizing her before. She felt slow and stupid. She relaxed out of her fighting stance and sat. There wasn’t any point in fighting while she was like this. If Kait was telling the truth, she’d have the option of killing her later. If she was lying…

If she was lying, then the universe no longer made enough sense for her to risk doing much of anything.

“You were right,” Kait said. She sounded older, now that Chrys knew what to listen for. Of course she sounded older, she was older. That was how “older” worked. But she sounded more older than she should have done.

“I usually am. About what in particular?”

“Eleven years ago. The Lokiri invasion?”

“Good times,” Chrys said, and she meant it, but she still didn’t fully understand.

“We’re all here on sufferance,” Kait elaborated. “And they only suffer us for so long.”

That sounded dimly familiar. Chrys put the pieces together. “Oh.” And then, “I’m sorry.”

Kait had no idea what to say to that. She had no idea Chrysalis was even capable of saying that. She finally came up with, “Why?”

“There are things you want to be wrong about. Are you going to tell me what happened?”

“It’s a long story.”

“We apparently have twenty-five minutes,” Chrys said.

“I planned on you spending most of that yelling at me.”

“It’s easier to keep you talking for twenty minutes, then incinerate you when my powers come back.” It was too dark in the cell to see her face, but Chrys could sense Kait smiling at that.

“Okay then,” Kait said, “I want you to know up-front, I pretty much lost everything before I figured out just how fucked I was. I should’ve come for you nine years ago, but I couldn’t pull it off until now.”

“I don’t think I believe there’s anything it’d take you nine years to accomplish, Princess.”

Kait blushed without being sure why. “I was in jail for a lot of them.”

Well. That changed things. Chrys leaned forward. “Twenty-two minutes. Talk fast.”

 

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