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Of Shadows and Monsters

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"The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn't angry enough."
—Bede Jarrett

 


 

She screams when he crumples. It isn't one of those high-pitched screams like in the movies, one of shock and surprise. Instead, it's a sound of absolute horror, a sustained note of his name. She knows the shot is good, right between his ribs and likely to nick the left side of his heart. Her voice breaks, and something within her breaks at the same time. You're good, kid, Slade always said to her, but you won't be good for anything if you don't get angry. That will be the day you take these bastards down.

Today, Felicity Kuttler is angry in a way she's never been before.

She looks at the man in charge, the one still holding the gun in his hand as smoke billows from the barrel. If it's the last thing she does, she's going to make him pay for killing Slade Wilson. There aren't any weapons around the warehouse, except for the swords on Slade's body. As much as she hates robbing his body, Felicity takes solace in the fact he'd want her to have them.

When she pulls the swords from their sheaths, they feel familiar. Once, they were heavy and awkward, but that was four months ago. She lets them drop to the ground, and her eyes focus on the leader through the strands of black, tangled hair in front of her face. Her right leg is still healing from where Jackass Number One broke it, but she's learned how to compensate. It aches—as does her busted lip and her bruised ribs—but she has the element of surprise on her side.

Murdering Bastard laughs when he sees her with the swords, their smooth, spotless blades gleaming under the fluorescent lights. "The bitch is finally going to fight!" he crows to his friends in Mandarin. In English, he taunts, "What are you going to do, whore? Little girls shouldn't play with sharp toys. You could hurt yourself."

The others laugh at her, including the man standing right next to her. Big mistake. For the first time in her life, she lashes out with the intention to kill. Swinging the familiar blade, she goes straight for his throat, unsure if it's sharp enough to slit his throat. To her surprise, it slices his head clean off with a wild spray of blood that leaves a wet, sticky feeling against her face. Felicity should probably feel disgusted, but instead, she feels nothing—except, perhaps, a little impressed with the blade.

"This little whore could hurt you, too," she counters in Mandarin.

For a moment, the ten men gathered around—the ones who just beat Slade into submission before shooting him—just stand and stare. After an impossibly still moment, chaos breaks out. Murdering Bastard screams orders at the men and several pull guns. Unfortunately for them, she's been trained for that. While guns have a longer reach than Slade's swords—than her swords—they also have a difficult time hitting a moving target.

She, however, does not. The motions jar her injured leg, make her ribs ache, but soon the adrenaline kicks in and she doesn't feel it anymore. She moves for the one closest for her, the man holding a short knife. He slashes at her with it, but instead, Felicity blocks it with one of her blades and thrusts upward with the other, into his chest. He uses his last breath to scream as she retracts the sword, leaving him to collapse on the floor. Another makes the mistake of thinking he can sneak up behind her, but he catches sharp steel through his chest, going through bone as if it were butter.

Oh, she is so keeping these swords.

Another gunshot rings out in the chaos, and this time her shoulder feels like it's on fire. Rounding on the next cartel member, she throws the sword and it pushes through him. He falls back, and it protrudes with a bloody mess at the end. Felicity leaves it, using her other blade take off a man's hand when he fires at her. In a mix between a limp and a sprint, she dives for her other blade, pulling it loose with a sickly sucking sound.

One of the men with a gun makes the horrible mistake of stepping into her range, and she thrusts the sword through his liver. Another pulls her away from the body, and the bloody sword slips from her hand. The muzzle of a gun presses to her forehead, but before he can squeeze the trigger, she reaches across herself and slices his hand off, accidentally catching her own shoulder in the process. It definitely feels worse than a paper cut.

He screams, a shrill sound that hurts her ears, and she winces before running the sword through his throat. Still, Felicity doesn't allow it to affect her. She catches the gun before it can drop to the ground, peeling his fingers off of it and letting the dismembered hand fall to the ground. Though she's never held a gun before, she does remember Slade's brief lesson: There's a reason I don't use guns—they're not efficient and they make people stupid. But if you ever find yourself using one, aim and squeeze the trigger. Once. Don't try to fire the whole clip—only idiots do that. And you, Kuttler, are not an idiot.

Lining up her shot on the next man takes longer than expected, but she doesn't rush it. When she fires, though, it takes her target between the eyes. Not bad for a beginner. She catches Thug Number Seven with another shot, this one in the throat, while simultaneously taking the Handless Horseman from earlier down with a slash from shoulder to opposite hip.

Murdering Bastard closes in on her, but she ignores him in favor of the only other man standing. He fires two shots, the first landing in the fleshy part of her thigh. The second misses the mark, and he doesn't get a chance to fire a third. She puts a bullet in him with the gun she snatched off of his ally before turning back to the Murdering Bastard in charge.

He empties the clip in her direction. One goes through her arm and a ricochet catches her right in those bruised ribs, so hard she see stars for a moment. Despite that, she takes him down with a bullet to the kneecap. He screams, dropping the now useless gun as she stalks closer to him.

Felicity drops her own gun and draws closer, taking a moment to pull her other sword from the limp body on the ground. Blood drips from both of them and she points it at the now trembling man's throat before shifting it just under his breastbone. From her lessons with Slade, she knows that if she thrusts it upward, she can pierce his heart with the tip. Unable to resist, she asks in a low, dark voice, "Are you scared now?" When he nods, she sinks the blade into his flesh, slipping it easily through his diaphragm and chest cavity.

To his corpse, she whispers, "Good. You should be."