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Inverse Circulation

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Darkness fell all around her. There was only a slight scent outside her vision, and someone screaming. "Break me!"

It was always like that, she realized as she felt her eyes turn red and her pupils become cross-shaped. It was a painful, unnatural experience, but something called to her, and when she finally found it, it would simply be exhilarating, and nothing would stand in her way.

She felt something warm in her hands, something that came apart easily. Before her was a monster imitating a human shape. A Virus, the enemy. Those who would take that sweet scent for themselves without realizing its true significance.

That sweet scent, it still called to her…

Sumire felt unnatural strength flowing through her body, like fire, like wind. The Virus screamed as she ripped off its arm, and blood flayed everywhere, landing on her clothes and face. She licked her lips, her tongue catching some of the Virus' blood. It was a dull, metallic taste, almost like human blood but not quite.

Still screaming, the Virus backed away from Sumire, forgoing its arm entirely. Smirking, Sumire raising the dislodged arm to her lips and bit deeply into it, her teeth sinking into the soft, rotten flesh. The taste was horrible, but she delighted in the shock that came upon the Virus' face. How ironic, she thought bitterly; Viruses ate other human beings, and if she was weak, she would simply become prey herself…

"What kind of monster are you…?" the Virus spat, its voice low and gravelly. But even it couldn't hide its fear.

The moonlight reflected upon Sumire's red eyes, highlighting the cross-shaped pupils as her crazed grin became even wider. She threw aside the rotting arm and charged for the Virus.

"Break me, break me, BREAK ME!"

Before the Virus had a chance to react, Sumire had stabbed her arm through its chest. Just like when she had killed her first Virus, it was like sending her whole arm through something warm and moist. She could feel her arm brush against rotting organs, organs that no longer worked and were doomed to failure. What use did a Virus have for them?

And yet, they felt so very real. This Virus was a physical being, and once its organs had kept it alive. It was strange how something that only a handful of people had the ability to see could feel so real. But it was dead, only the simulacrum of a human being.

Her fingers closed around something thick and she ripped it out - the Virus' heart, or what reminded of it. It was warm in her hand, but it didn't beat. It still bled, and the blood continued to stain her already bloodstained hand. The Virus still screamed and flailed wildly as its body began to fall apart.

Her red eyes shone brightly, and she smirked, an unstable grin, as she brought the heart to her face and sunk her teeth into it. It tasted no better than the arm, and her lips became coat with rotten blood. A dark, vile taste, one she couldn't get enough of. With these hands, she could destroy anything, even this very world. This rotten heart was a symbol of the human soul, and there would come a day when souls wouldn't be trapped in separate vessels, as long as she could find that sweet scent…

Finally, the Virus' body broke down into dust, as did the decaying heart in Sumire's hand. The wind caught some of the dust, and the blood began to quickly dry, becoming almost blacker than the darkness that surrounded her. She let her hand fall to her side as she shook the dust off, and a sweet scent caught her attention.

"Break me!"

"Sumire!" Lucia's voice was still distant, and that sweet scent became stronger…

She could see herself piercing Lucia's chest with her arm, and blood would flow - real blood, not the rotten blood that flowed through the veins of a Virus, and the resulting light would…

Sumire froze, and a sick feeling formed in the pit of her stomach, as if she was about to vomit. No, she didn't want to break Lucia… Lucia protected her, she was a friend… "N-No…" Sumire moaned as a voice screamed in her mind, and she clutched her head with bloodstained hands as she let out a shriek.

The darkness surrounding Sumire shattered, as if cracked by her scream, and she fell to her knees as Lucia and Nahashi rushed to her. Lucia still held her gun, and Nahashi his thin sword. They were in an empty grassy field, a place where Viruses had been sighted. They had been dispatched to get rid of those Viruses, Sumire finally remembered.

"Sumire, you're covered in blood!" Lucia exclaimed as she knelt down next to Sumire. "What happened?"

Sumire turned her head to face Lucia, a vacant stare in her green eyes. "Lucia-san…" was all she could say, her voice barely more than a whisper.

Nahashi came up next to Lucia, returning his sword to his sheath. "Sumire-kun, you used your Berserker powers, didn't you?" he asked. "We have to run more tests before you can control them."

"I know…" Sumire mumbled, and her chest still hurt from where she had shot herself. The bullets carried that special Vaccine, but to shoot herself every time she needed her powers - it was like she was killing herself.

Lucia let out a heavy sigh as she helped Sumire to her feet. "In any case, let's head back," she said, lightly patting Sumire's shoulder. "A shower and sleep might make you feel better."

Sumire nodded wordlessly, and Lucia and Nahashi began walking, with Sumire trailing behind them. As they headed back to Nahashi's car, Sumire lifted a bloodstained arm to her lips and licked away some of the blood. It had dried, but it still tasted metallic and rotten.

She could still taste that Virus' heart on her tongue, her lips were still caked with blood, and that sweet scent still called to her… Tears began to flow down her cheeks, but she tried to keep her sobs quiet so that Lucia and Nahashi wouldn't hear her.