I've Become Him
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The young woman crouched upon the cold, granite ramparts as she watched her quarry step onto the dais. The maiden's emerald eyes narrowed dangerously as she watched the bejeweled man greet his court attendants with a smile and a wide gesture. His many-colored robes swung around him as he sat with a contented sigh on his golden throne. The young woman glared at the joyous mistresses, servants, and warriors that raised their glimmering, crystal glasses to their king.
"Fools," she muttered as her hateful gaze watched the court in disgust. "This man ruined millions' lives and you grovel before him like worms. All you know are these walls that keep you here. You have never seen the outside. The fields and villages this man and his gladiators have burned. The people they've killed." Images of the destruction that had branded itself into her memory so many years ago leapt forth, attacking her emotions with a passion.
Akira ran through the remnants of her village as fast as her short legs could carry her. Plumes of smoke rose off the framework of thatched houses and the pungent odor burning wooden and flesh assailed her nostrils. Who would do this? What had her people done to anger the Gods in this way?
The young girl stopped suddenly in her frantic search for survivors only when her own home drew near. The smoldering abode was but mere ashes and kindling following the fire that had hungrily consumed the miniscule town. Hesitantly, she walked forward. She glanced inside the remains and choked back the urge to retch violently. The slowly burnt skeletons of her parents and young sister lay within the wreckage.
Turning forcibly from the horrendous sight, she walked from the blackened corpses and framework of many homes. "I have no home now," she whispered to the wind. "I have nothing left to lose."
Akira shook her head forcefully and mentally ordered her clouded jade eyes to focus. "I can't be brooding now; I have to focus. I'll only have one chance at this little escapade." Crouching even further down on the stone wall, she pulled out her arrows and crossbow. She ran pale fingers over the curves of the bow and the bleached feathers of the arrows. She smiled at the thought of her people finally having vengeance sent a chilled thrill through her. Years of waiting, hunting for this demon of a man would finally have paid off in one shot.
Placing a single arrow in the crossbow's slot, Akira pulled the spring back and felt the bow quiver in her hands from barely restrained power and fury. She brushed her chestnut brown hair behind an ear and raised the bow to her eyes. She held her breath as she released the trigger and the arrow flew true. The king fell to the floor of his throne, the head of the arrow embedded into his chest. Thick, scarlet blood trickled down from his mouth and from the wound, soaking the vibrant robes.
Akira smiled darkly and lowered her weapon. She watched as the members of the court ran about and screams drifted up to her. Looking upon the dead man again, she noticed that his azure eyes had remained open even in death. They stared back at her, as if they could still see her. Akira shivered and reflected on what she had done. Thoughts whizzed through her head as she looked back upon the events.
This man had murdered her family, her friends, her people. Had she not avenged the dead? Akira gasped in shock and stared at the dead man.
"I've become him," she thought in terror. "I've become a murderer as well."
Sometimes, when you make an omelette, you have to kill a few people...