Here we go guys, getting near the end, I hope you are ready for some pretty big plot twists!
In a moment I realized it partly might have been a distraction. From two sides we were attacked. Mitreah was engaged with one group on the other side of the room.
“Tre!” Proud yelled my name. I glanced to my left seeing her form between me and a squad that had come into the door. The next instant her form was bending over as the rounds from their rifles were entering her body. Her body moved a bit, dancing slowly from their energy hitting her. I had once found out she truly could take rounds in our physical dimension if she ‘lowered’ herself enough to the base level, but was bound by certain rules regarding the consequence.
“Proud!” I yelled to her slumping form as I lifted my unlimited Liner pistol and unloaded round after electro-magnetically propelled round into the group, leaving them holed and dead. I had taken out four skilled men with a commercially available pistol. That is how far I had come.
“Proud!” I yelled again, running to her.
She was kneeling, and turned her head towards me, tears in her eyes. “It hurts. What a terrible sensation! In future resets do not stand there so I will not have to feel this.” She managed a grim smile and went back to looking downwards. From her body there was not blood leaking out, but rather a light blue energy that was barely visible from her bullet holes before disappearing in the air. Her eyes were closed, and despite how bad her body was massacred, I would almost swear the wounds were disappearing, but why were her eyes closed!?
“Proud!” I yelled again, and then my eyes went wide as a fire ripped through my shoulder. The momentum from the bullet entered my shoulder and threw me to the ground, stumbling forward over Proud. I hit the ground, and panic from the pain threatened to completely take over my mind. Only the simple thought of noticing Proud trying to get back up kept me sane.
I lifted my head to see a heavily armed squad from the other door that was firing at Mitreah. A huge round entered her body, exploding out from her backside along with a grim mix of organic tissue and metallic substrates. She staggered for a moment and continued onwards into the fire. Another round hit her in her other arm, a piece of it flying off from the energy. I could visibly see how much momentum there was pushing against her in bullets as she staggered forward.
She stabbed the first one though the chest as another round from the man next to him ripped through her body. I saw her pause for a moment, gathering strength perhaps for her slash out of that body into the next one. It cut the next man in half while the final man backed up professionally, firing coldly at the target in front of him.
“Mitreah!” I yelled, coughing from the pain. I thought she was going to go down right there with her slumping form. She was slowly going down, then I saw a poise take over her body as she launched at her final target, stabbing her arm into him, pulling downwards as the two of them fell into each other, dead or dying.
Another person came from the other door. I used much of my focus I had gained with Mitreah while in extreme pain to line my pistol up and shoot the two of them dead before they could do anything to our wounded party.
‘No…It doesn’t end like this.’ I tried standing up, and when it failed I contented myself with crawling over to the railing. Below me was a spherical core of blue and white energy that hung suspended between two huge rotating metal braces, a white light softly radiating outwards. Though the light was white, I knew its true evil nature. I had been its victim enough times.
I activated the bomb, and lay there as a thought hit me. Should I just abort and try again? But…a deep fear came to the surface that maybe indeed this was ‘real’, that I had no second chance, and that all my lives were really just an illusion; that thought seemed easier to dismiss, but the idea that something critical had changed and I would not reset seemed likely. At the very least what if something had changed by me being so far in here? I could not take the chance. The sacrifices to get here been too great to risk it ending in failure.
I pressed on both out of a fear that maybe this really was my only life, and another feeling of if I really had lived a million lives that I just wanted this to end. I rolled to my side, grasping the bomb with the opposite, non-shot hand, and laughing once as I pitched it off the edge to the core a few stories under me. So this is how it ends…
I turned back around, maybe ready to die when I saw those three scientists still there. “Like I’m letting you out of here. We are all dying here.” I lifted my pistol and shot the three of them who tried to run, before I felt fire enter my stomach from a different angle and I blacked out.
“Uhh…pain…” I woke up half expecting the softness of my pillow I had seen so many times. But this time I was already standing, my body was trying to fall down held up by what seemed to be chains on my wrists.
“So the terrorist is finally awake, huh?” There was a voice in front of me. Something painful hit me in the stomach, and I coughed hard as my head swung back and forth. I felt some saliva leaking out of my mouth, but I could barely bring myself to swallow it. What was going on?
“Why did you do it, Trego? Why’d you sell out your whole race?” the voice asked. I couldn’t see anything. Was I blind? Fear flooded me at the thought of never seeing again. “Is ‘Trego’ even your real name? Who are you an agent for!?”
No strikes to my body from the voice, and no further prompts for a while let me think about what was just said. Something critical had changed in my reality. I definitely was not where I usually was when I ‘died’ or the cycle ended. Was the loop I was in over? The voice said selling out my race and being an agent. I remember once a long time ago I had indeed thought that maybe I was part of an experiment to see how long I would go before I’d break. Was this what it was about?
I thought not though, because I had lasted impossibly long. I had resorted to killing myself before going through with this; what more would a military or whatever want with me? How could I have passed the test any more so when I resisted for so long?
“What race?” I asked the darkness. Maybe I was not even Solarian, just a butterfly dreaming he was…
Damn, was I really an agent? No way…but why did I decide to blow up a reactor?