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[WP] The stronger your opponent is, the easier you defeat him. Sick and tired of seeing elite assassins and battle-hardened units fall, your worst enemy sends his six year old son after you. |TTI

[WP] The stronger your opponent is, the easier you defeat him. Sick and tired of seeing elite assassins and battle-hardened units fall, your worst enemy sends his six year old son after you.

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  2. A knock.

    I sighed, and cursed my younger self again. Dad had said, “go to law school, Mark,” but no, I just *had* to show off my powers, *had* to use them. See, I could just use my enemy’s ability against her. Tanks, guns, assassins, jets, governments – the stronger they were, the easier they fell. So one one thing led to another and I became the chief warlord of Earth.

    It was an accident, I swear.

    But after years and years of seeing your friends die, your wife turn against you, your dreams turn into nightmares – power loses its appeal. And so I’d left it all behind, stolen away in the night, my HQ abandoned, and had come to this small farm. I took care of animals, played with my dog and soaked the sun. It was a good life.

    Well, it *had* been.

    I gathered my power around me as I walked to the door. Who could it be? If it was some government assassin or insurrectionist I could take care of them. A specials ops team would be annoying, their gas would probably make the soil infertile. If it was Lisa…

    No. It wouldn’t be Lisa.

    I took a deep breath, my power ready and opened the door to find – no one.

    Huh.

    Was it a sniper? That wouldn’t really pose any threat to me, so I walked out of the door, trying to look around – and almost bowled him over.

    It was a kid. Short, couldn’t be older than six or seven. He had blond hair that covered his eyes, and was wearing a button down shirt and pants. He looked up at me through his hair, his eyes a startling blue.

    “Mr. Lawrence?” he said.

    “Y…yeah,” I said, “sorry for bumping into you.” *And what the hell are you doing here?*

    “No problem at all,” he said, and then, as if reading my mind, he continued, “I’m here to, uh…” he looked away from me and started wringing his hands.

    For the first time, he sounded like an actual kid instead of a businessman. “To what?” I said, “you can say it.”

    “…To kill you,” he squeezed out, and looked at his feet.

    *You and what army, kid* “I…I see,” I said.

    The boy nodded solemnly.

    I could just kill him of course. I had no need to use my power, a gun would suffice. But killing a kid…I had never been that far gone even at my worst, and I certainly wouldn’t do that now.

    The silence seemed to stretch until it seemed almost oppressive. I sighed. “Well,” I said, “if you’re going to kill me, you might as well eat something first right?”

    The boy smiled, a smile that could brighten anyone’s day. “Oh,” he said and slapped his little hand against his forehead as if remembering something, “I’m James by the way, James Gladwell.”

    And the world crashed down around me.

    I just stood there gaping at the boy, James for I don’t know how long. I snapped out of it when the boy tugged at fingers, a frown creasing his face. “Are you okay, Mr Lawrence?”

    How had I not seen it before? Only she would’ve taught him to speak like that, and he had her eyes, and he had my jawline. I could kill anyone but Lisa herself, and for her I would rip my own heart out. But Lisa hadn’t come herself, she’d sworn she’d never see me again, but she’d done the next best thing.

    Wondering if I was walking into a trap but having no choice about it, I led my son into my house.

    ***
    (minor edits)

    If you enjoyed, check out [XcessiveWriting](https://www.reddit.com/r/XcessiveWriting/)

  3. The man ran nimbly through the overgrown forest, weaving between trees, branches and insects when he saw a hazy figure in pursuit, causing him to remove his blindfold. His eyes still shut, he saw a figure in the trees, staring at him, at the white soulstone embedded in his forehead.

    Only grandmasters of his order should bear such a relic. But Kong was not a grandmaster nor even a good disciple of the ways of the clear eyed monks.But that had been why he alone out of the 1,000 monks had survived the massacre at the hands of warlord TianZun, had broken his vows of nonviolence, and now bore the burden of the stone. Alone.

    And that was why yet another assassin had come after him.

    “We don’t have to do this, TianZun isn’t worth dying for” Kong said to the assassin.

    Silence.

    Kong continued, “You aren’t the first, and I can assure you that you won’t be the last. I’ve defeated hundreds of assassins like you. I don’t want you to end up like the last assassin”.

    The assassin whispered, “and what would that be like.”

    The youth of the assassin was clear in the voice but Kong kept his discomfort beneath his calm exterior. Kong answered. “Left to the wolves and worms”.

    Then Kong saw a flurry of knives fly at him. He dodged and began to flee knives trailing him. The two dashed through the forest, Kong shouted as he ran, “You can’t kill me”, which only prompted the assassin to throw a knife where his head was but a moment ago.

    Kong continued to talk, “Do you even know what you’re up against boy, I have the soulstone, I’ve seen the souls of some of the deadliest assassins in the land. I’ve taken their techniques, knowledge, cunning…”, He suddenly spun around and roundhouse kicked his pursuer in the chest knocking him to the floor. “ brutality, and torture techniques, and I don’t want to use any of those on a mere boy”. With a few moves he restrained the boy and held him to the ground before continuing his speech.

    “This is a fool’s errand, TianZun has sent hundreds of assassins sent after me and every last one of them was better than you. I’ve absorbed enough from them that I didn’t even need to use the soulstone on the last assassin because he was weak but you’re even weaker than him.”

    Suddenly with a burst of speed the boy broke free of his grasp and punched Kong right in the face. In a panic Kong opened his eyes and saw angry eyes, red with tears. Then, Kong’s eyes began to glow as the soulstones energy flowed into them and he peered into the soul of the assassin.

    Kong saw the assasin’s birth through his eyes. He saw the boy’s mother, a frail sad looking creature cradle him for a second before he was torn away, bawling as the mother looked on, too defeated to even cry over the loss of her child. He experienced the boy’s childhood, the harsh training, loneliness, and craving for affection. Then he saw as the boy met his father for the first time.

    He felt the boy’s fear and hope as he walked into the room and saw three men, one of which was too familiar to Kong. TianZun. The boy crept forward, unsure which of the men was his father, scanning the men’s eyes for kindness or sympathy, he found none. TianZun began to speak, “Son”. For a moment the boy stood still as he met his father for the first time, a moment too long as rage clouded Tian’s eyes. “I see you have not been taught respect, well today you shall learn.”

    TianZun motioned at the two men and they walked up to the boy. Tianzun commanded “Show me your worth”. Confused, the boy didn’t even notice the first fist come at him. He stopped noticing every fist after the twentieth as he lay crumpled on the ground in a pool of his blood and tears. As his conscious faded he saw his father looked at him with disgust.

    When he woke up again he was in an sparse cell. Another man who Kong felt was familiar was watching the boy. Without words, the man tossed a weapon to the boy and pointed outside. The boy didn’t move. He sat there not even bothering to brace himself for the beatings he expected. What he didn’t expect was for the man to instead ask him “I suppose they roughed you up too much, sorry little one but I have to train you?”. The boy looked up and saw there was sympathy in the man’s eyes. “Where does it hurt” the man asked. Uncertain about how to deal with the first kindness he had ever been shown he just stared silently. The man just sighed and began to inspect the boy for injuries, “Could you at least tell me your name”. The boy mumbled, “I don’t have one”. Sympathy. He had never seen it before. Yet once again he saw it in this strange man’s eyes. “Well, how about I just call you Xiao for now, I’m Zhao, and I’ll be teaching you I guess”.

    Thus began Xiao’s tutelage under Zhao, an sellsword who worked for TianZun. Xiao later learned he had been abandoned by his father, much like many of his siblings from different mothers who had failed to pass the Tian’s standards. But he found happiness with Zhao as though the training was hard and he knew he would most likely end up as nothing more than an expendable weapon for his father he had found the care he so craved. That is, until one day Zhao left on a mission. He never returned. Kong had left him to the wolves and worms.

    With a jolt, Kong snapped out of his trance. With each soul gazing he found it harder and harder to come back. When he came back he felt less and less like Kong and more and more like the murderers, thugs, and monsters whose souls he had gazed into. This time was no different, but the child was no murderer, thug, nor monster. He looked down at his hands. It was the man who held that child’s body, savaged and brutalized. When he soul gazed, his subconscious would take over his body, a subconscious filled with the knowledge and brutality of the finest murderers in the land.

    He retched. Though he had never been a good disciple, he understood that the soulstone was supposed to be used to understand people to allow true understanding that would transcend any barrier. It wasn’t meant for this. A raven flapped by. He moved to shoo it away from the corpse when it croaked in an all too familiar, all too hateful voice,“Greetings Kong”.

    “TianZun”, Kong spat. TianZun was a powerful magician and animal possession was one of his many tricks.

    “You seem tired, and after I decided to give you a break with an easier opponent”

    “Why did you send him, your own son”

    “The charity in my heart was simply too great, I was going to send some men with actual talent, but the boy missed his teacher that he stormed into my throne room demanding to be allowed to take vengeance for him. I figured it’d be simpler to have you dispose of him instead of executing him myself. It’s killing two birds with one stone, isn’t it” The bird made shrieking caws that were a mockery of the human laugh. “But to see you struggle so much with a boy not even on the cusp of manhood, you’re slipping. Why not give me the stone, I can give you anything your heart desires”.

    Kong roared at the raven, “The stone was never meant to be a weapon, I will not let you corrupt it”.

    Still making that horrible mockery of a laugh, the bird spoke, “Even with soulsight you are so blind. To hear that come out from your mouth. Look at yourself. The only monk to kill, and kill you have. Why you even killed my precious son using that stone of yours. There is the blood of a child on that stone, on your hands. How many more, who else shall you”.

    In a rage Kong strangled the bird. The bird kept laughing all the while until its death.

    As he gathered himself, he took a look at the bird, its glossy eyes accusing him. He walked to a nearby creek and washed himself. Staring at his reflection in the river, the crystal seemed to have a tint of red. He told himself it was a trick of the eyes, he always did. Closing his eyes, he put his blindfold back on, buried the bodies, and prayed, prayed for Zhao’s soul, for Xiao’s soul, for whatever of his original soul still remained. Then he continued on his path.

  4. The most battle-hardened of us have a weakness. It’s a lesson that has stood the test of time, a lesson I learnt for life. For years, it was something I capitalized on, something I loved to use against my foes. It was the tool that even the weakest could utilize, for when one is weak and inexperienced, one still possesses the ability to destroy even a samurai. The weakness is often so well-concealed…it doesn’t seem like a weakness. Instead, it is one that the opponent resents as a strength. The guild taught me that even the best of us can fall to the worst, for the ball is always round. Anyone can fail because of circumstances, because their Achilles Foot was targeted. As I grew in strength amd skill, the idea was more prevalent, more challenging. I feared not what I faced and saw, but the hidden shadows and puppeteers I didn’t. What was a fight, if there was no opponent? Fear itself was daunting enough, *fearful* enough to be a worthy opponent.

    But even so, the masterful knew that fear alone, though a force not to be trifled with, could not take down the mighty. Instead, the most deadly of strikes came from those you never thought would strike. There lay the true danger people feared.

    And now, I knew its pain. The pain I had used and capitalized on to get to the very top of the warrior chain. A new opponent, trained in the arts I was fluent in, was challenging me. I could still see myself, my younger spirit, in the hot headed and impetuous youngster. Still he trusted in the power of those who seemed powerful. The strongest of foes dispelled by doubt and fear, by the weakest of words and punches. Assassins, tanks, squadrons; They all went back, even their own minds crying for mercy. It was *so* easy, to destroy someone mentally till’ even their own body refused to continue on. But I always made sure I was never susceptible to the poison I wielded. That would be dumb, to let the ruse I employed fool my own self. I spent extensive amounts of time making sure my time-hardened strategies had a homemade antidote. It would not be by my hand that I fell.

    But it was by my mind, eventually, that I was betrayed.

    I saw him. For the first time in so long, the gash in my heart reopened, gushing heartbreak and love into a pitless well. I’d poured years of love and yearning into him, calling him to come back. It was my own fault, my own flippancy, that his demise was brought about. Death came to all, but my desire to become what I was today forsook everything else. I remembered the family was the first to go. I’d been so careless, so uncaring, so *thoughtless* when I first made the decision. It was hard to believe, though true, that it wasn’t because I didn’t care. I was pretending. Pretending I didn’t care that my only son, my own kin, was suffering. Right before me, I saw my son in this child, a child I knew was an enemy, yet too little to understand his importance. I caressed his hair, like I’d done so eons before. He smiled, as my son always did. The smile on my son’s face only vanished when my love for him did, when I left him for the Reaper’s scythe as I left for the brighter future. But was it really brighter? For brightness, there must be light. There must be glory. But what glory was there in my actions?

    I was done. No more would I hold a position that I hated, that I detested. It was a living memory of my life’s biggest failure. A failure of love and affection. Ironically, is was the very thing that landed me in my spot that took my fame away. But fame was beside the point in my fracture sanity, in my clouded mind. *I had to find my son again.*

    The gun was raised, as the child looked on innocently. Tears streamed down as I repeated the thought again. *I had to see him again…*
    ______________________________
    More over at r/Whale62! Sequels at popular request!

  5. “My daddy sent me here,” says a young boy looking up at me from the steps.

    “Who’s your father kid?” I ask looking around the street to see if anyone else is around.

    “The Joker, he said he’s tired of you always winning and that I should beat you.”

    “How? What? You’re the Joker’s son?” My voice rising in octaves as I tried to work out exactly what was happening.

    “Yes. I will defeat you now!”

    “Alright, how?”

    “Um… ah, I’m pretty good at this old game Mario Kart, ever heard of it?” The young boy questioned.

    “Kid, I will destroy you. C’mon get in here, I’m player one though – house rules. Alfred! We’re gonna need snacks.”

  6. For as long as I have lived, I’ve had this “power” or a knowledge. I don’t know which, the line between blurs. Or both. Knowledge is power. People call me incredibly lucky, able to survive even in the most unlikely odds. That is because I see what it takes to not show weakness. Or should I say, I see weakness all around me. I just know how to avoid it, how to exploit it and how to use it. Every single person I have met and will ever meet has at least one weakness. I see right through them and I often feel pity how easily exploitable these people are, if only others knew. Businessmen could easily empty the wallets of their, quoting, customers if they knew exactly what honeyed words they needed to use to convince someone to buy something, something as ludicrous as a bag of sand in the middle of a desert. But I am not like that. I don’t want to cause misery to people.

    Despite my efforts to remain secretive and appear as normal as possible, the government has taken interest in me. I see things that would cause governments to collapse the moment certain information became publicly visible about them. I see the things they are hiding and I cannot help myself but to absorb the truth and have a compelling need of vent it out when you see and hear so much stuff. Eventually, someone who slips past the range of my powers hears about it and reports back.

    First the agents came to me,wanting to interrogate me. I declined. Then more agents, but with guns then commando squads, followed by entire armies. I defeated them all. I knew their exact weaknesses. I knew who would aim just a little bit too high, I knew who would panic in a cloud of smoke, I knew the person in a squad who would be too sensitive to give false alarms. I escaped every time, sometimes having to use the option of killing someone. I cannot say I enjoy killing but I have come to accept it as a necessary option to survive.

    Nowadays, I live abroad. Far away from my home. Far away from my family. I miss them all. I miss the times when I could pretend I was normal and nobody knew that I knew.

    I still sometimes get visits from assassins and hitmen. I still receive poisoned “gifts”. I have turned them all back. It has been so long since I have settled in. I’m always on the run. Always prepared to outsmart any foe who seeks to eliminate me.

    This cycle has been rotating for the last 50 years. They come, they lose and they’ll have to find me again. I must say, the government of my former home country is very tenacious. They are really afraid of loosing their status quo and I am just so tired of running. I must have quite a fat bounty on my head too.

    This whole rumble of being hunted is really taking a toll on my body and the mind. I have noticed I have grown more bitter every year and more null to my own power. I still see every weakness, I just choose not to care about it anymore. Where it is used to be like a juicy gossip to see someone’s weakness, nowadays thinking about them only makes me sad as the weaknesses of an individual are quite mundane, like weak heart. It just goes to show how frail our bodies and minds are. Thus I have decided to avoid as much contact with humans as possible.

    I heard a knock on my door

    I sense a small child. Six years old. I see right through him and to my surprise lacking self defense is not his weakness. Ability of self defense and lethality of a person are the first things I seek after decades of being hunted. I do see typical weaknesses of a kid, including gullibility but that is not surprising.

    I decide to open the door

    “Hello. Are you lost?”

    “No, I was just curious to see if my neighbour would like to play with me”

    “Oh, why is that?”

    “I don’t have other kids to play with” he sheepishly says and tilts his head slightly downwards

    Remembering all the lost moments with my family, having a moment like this is a very welcome one. Besides, I can sense anyone approaching before they can even see me so I should be safe, just like I have been in the past. A playtime session with a child, even if not my own, brings warmth to the weary heart of this old man that is me.

    “Great!” he excitedly yells

    “I even brought my toy” he tells and pulls out a gun out of his pocket and points it at me.

    My instincts take control and I swiftly hit the child to disarm him. The gun fires with a loud bang. It missed.

    “Dont. Fucking. Shoot me.”

    The child is nearly in tears and is obviously very startled. I am not sure if it’s by me or the loud bang of the gun but startled nonetheless.

    “I… I am sorry. I didn’t know it was so loud” he says

    Suddenly, I detect a malicious intent. Far away from here but still close enough. I do the lethality scan.

    An assassin. Probably with a sniper rifle… That does not lack piercing power. The gun is already set and the aim is impeccable. I sense another weakness. The assassin is ready to kill even innocents without hesitation. I immediatly think of the child.

    “Move inside! Now!

    But the child instead slumps by the door and starts crying out loud.

    ” We don’t have time for this”

    Then suddenly, I remember. I’ve felt this before, not often but I remember. It is my power, scanning closest possible target: Myself.

    It detects a weakness. I decide to ignore it. The child must be gotten behind the safety of the house walls. I forcefully grab him and make an attempt to drag him to safety.

    Bam

    At this point, I knew I was screwed. My mind can see foresee situations like this. That’s how I have survived. But I decided to ignore it. The assassin would of course aim at me over the child because I am the target. Been one so far for 50 years or so. I willingfully left myself exposed because I exposed my weakness too. I cared too much for the child of a stranger.

    My old body attempts to make a sudden dodge, but the bullet is faster than my reflexes. It hit my lungs, and I feel the air blow out of me, unable breathe.

    “Run” I attempt to say, gasping for air but only blood comes out of my mouth.

    In the heat of the moment, I let my own weakness get myself killed. It was a truly ironic mortal reminder, how could I exploit the weakness of others but let only a child exploit my own.

    “Are you alright?” I heard the child say

    Before everything went black

  7. “Haj-Agha Farahzad?”

    I heard my name being called. The voice was sweet, innocent, and angelic. The voice of a child. I did not turn around. I was on my knees, having just finished my prayer. I put my hands on my face, covering them, thanking God for once again giving me the strength to protect my country and religion.

    “O Allah, You are my strength and You are my support. For Your sake I go forth and for Your sake I advance and for Your sake I fight.”, I mumbled under my breath, but like always, my prayers were amplified within my soul, and I could feel a surge of powers flowing within me. With every word of my Dua, I felt the rush, my muscles stretching, and my senses heightening. Allah had chosen me as his sword, and I would slay millions, billions, until his Will had been done. For while Allah is All-Merciful, his Anger is Supreme, as it was revealed “Like Pharaoh’s folk and those who were before them, they disbelieved Our revelations and so Allah seized them for their sins. And Allah is severe in punishment.” I could sense the ground below my knees starting to move, and the walls of the Mosque start to shake. By God, my power was Great, and my Faith was Steel. The corpses of the unbelievers would be infinite, and the pure would rise from the ruins to rebuild Eden on Earth.

    “Haj-Agha Farahzad?”

    The interruption from the voice startled me, and I could feel the power flow out of me. I wanted to turn around in anger, for who had the right to interrupt me as I was in communication with the All-Mighty?

    But I didn’t, for the Quran says, “O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient”

    I gave my thanks to Allah, and turned around. In front of me was a young boy and I knew him instantly. It was Ali, my Brother’s son.

    My brother. He was like Adam’s son, Qabil, the wicked son of the first Prophet Adam, jealous, weak of faith, and a desire to kill his brother. But I was not Habil, I refused to fall under his murderous attempts to destroy me. Time and time again, he tried, to destroy my nation, my people, the religion of our fathers, for what? Progress? Liberalism? Secularism? It did not matter, he failed a countless times, and his followers would burn in eternal hell.

    But why was Ali in-front of me now?

    “Ali, my son, how did you get here? Did you come with your mother?”

    “No”, he replied. I knew he couldn’t have come with his father, for my brother would have been slaughtered by the mob the moment he set foot in our land, but how could a six year old be thousands of kilometers away from his parents?

    “Then how?”

    “Did not the Prophet Mohammad mount the heavenly creature, Buraq, to fly from Mecca to Jerusalem in one night? Did Buraq not take him to the heavens?”
    I pulled back. His voice started to changed, he seemed to grow. Was this Ali? Was this my nephew?”

    “For Allah can raise the dead and move the mountains, yet you wonder how I am here? How weak your faith is, Uncle!”

    The walls started shaking again, but this time, it was not from me. The power was elsewhere. I felt weak, weaker than I had ever been. Who was this? Was my nephew possessed by the Jinns?

    I gathered my strength. I would not be discouraged. I would break this creature’s neck, and His Will would be done.

    But I could not move my arms.

    Ali moved closer to me. His face was beautiful, more beautiful than I had remembered. I could feel his powers flowing out of him, suffocating me, but his eyes were gentle, and as he put his hand on head, I crumbled to the floor, and I had no doubt. This was not Evil. This was Good.

    Had I been misled? I had to know.

    “My nephew, please tell me, was Iblis behind my powers? Was I blinded by the Great Liar?”

    I could feel his hand pressed down on my head, as I moved myself closer to the ground. His hand was the weight of the Kaaba, and I was being crushed by the House of God.

    “No. Allah gave you the power.”

    “Then what did I do wrong?” Did my faith waver?

    “You did everything as per God’s will, Uncle.”

    I wanted to speak, but it was getting harder and harder. The walls of the mosques were shaking even harder now. The cracks were widening, and I was lying flat on the ground. My questions were many, and it seemed Ali could sense them.

    “And you wonder if my father’s action was wrong? No, Uncle, for that was also His Will. Everything is His Will. We are all his Creatures, and we bend to his desires. My father was right and so were you. The deaths were according to plan. It might seem like it might not make sense to you, however, all of humanity’s knowledge combined is like a drop of water in the ocean of God’s Eternal Understanding. All we can do is Submit and Surrender.

    Do you surrender, Uncle?”

    I did.

    ***

    This is my first time writing here. I’m an Iranian living in Iran, so English is my second language. I’ve wanted to try to write stories that are more suited to my background (even though for this story, I’m personally not religious at all!).

  8. The heavy rain weighed down on me as I tread through the muddy terrain that covered woods surrounding me, my long drenched hair covering my eyes. I walked slowly towards the cave I lay rest at, my long rugged blade dragging against the marsh ground in one hand the bloody remains of a poor hare that was now to become my dinner in the next.

    Trudging along for a while longer, I stopped to observe the atmosphere. The frantic chirping of the freezing birds dominated the sound as the sharp winds and battering rain played a nice background. But something else peeked my interest.

    Something odd. Something unnatural.

    The tinniest shift in atmosphere caused a small surge of adrenaline as my body tensed ever so slightly. My ears tuned and my eyes were sharp. I noticed everything; the smallest change in pitch from the birds, the slight difference in sound the rain made as it pattered the ground, the tiniest shift in wind. I felt it all.

    Someone was here.

    Tying my dinner around the remaining fabric of my belt, I grasped my sword more cleanly with my right hand as I waltzed forward more attune and alert now. The feeling never changed as I approached my cave and my eyes widened at what I saw.

    Not only was my potential opponent standing in front of me without fear or any cause for a sneak attack or trap of any kind. This person was a mere kid, no older than six years of age.

    The kid looked drenched, his hair barely drooping over his eyes as well as water droplets continued to drop from his body. He had a dagger in his hand and after one look into his eyes a feeling of dread washed over me.

    His eyes held no fear at all, they were cold, but even more…calculated. There was not only rage, but a measured sense of patience and anticipation. These were the eyes of an experienced killer, ones that mirrored my own at an age twice his.

    To have that at the age of six, chilled even me. The horrors one must go through and after taking another look at his hair, I had understood where it all came from.

    He was the heir to the family, I brutally, systematically, and ruthlessly slaughtered to the last man. I guess I had left one alive.

    That was when I knew, this kid was my curse.

  9. It was easy. I made them face themselves! Mirrored entities of what were, and what would have been.

    I was undefeated, for heroes, assasins, the greatest warriors could not defeat the wall of strength that was themselves.

    But this child was different. He knew. He overcame, and through him I saw …things… horrors best left unspoken.

    My only solace right now is that death has come to embrace me, and that my nemesis… His child will do what I have failed.

    End us all.

  10. “No stop that! Lord get off my leg!” I yell, desperately trying to find a crowbar or pepper spray or even a twenty dollar bill. Again I hear the little boy screech:
    “*I WANT COOKIEEEEEEEES!!!!*”
    “Goddarnit Jimmy! I don’t have cookies! I don’t have the ingredients to make cookies! and I can’t drive to the store with you on my leg!”
    He lets out another glass-shattering banshee shriek.

    “GAH!” I yell out of exasperation. I look up and lament to the sky: “someone, please, kill me.” I hear the hammer of a gun click, and turn to see my nemesis, Jimmy’s father, pointing a gun at me. “I will gladly oblige.”
    He says.
    “Jimmy!” I yell downwards. “Your dad wants to kill me, and I can’t get you cookies if I’m dead!”

    Jimmy looks up in shock.
    “Jimmy, we will get cookies after I shoot this man, okay?” He says. But he made a mistake. *After* I kill this man. Jimmy scowls and leaps off my leg, screaming: “But I want cookies *NOWWWWW!!!!!*” Jimmy latches onto his fathers leg, biting and punching him both on and *’between’* the legs. The dad crumples to the ground, distracted by his kid. I quickly duck to the side and get my emergency Glock 18 and handcuffs from under my table. I come back out and aim carefully. With a loud bang i shoot the gun from my enemies hand. Jimmy barely notices the noise. I lunge forward and latch one cuff onto the dads wrist, and try to latch the other onto the sofa. Meanwhile, I’m yelling the mans rights to him, trying to yell over the screaming. While Jimmys tantrum makes it difficult, but I eventually hear the cuff click around the sturdy frame. Finally, the dad is beaten.

    Moments later, Jimmy realizes this too, and again blames me for no cookies. I grow terrified and run as fast as I can to my car and drive to the store. 10 minutes later, the agency arrives to arrest the dad, and they find the living room like this: the dad handcuffed to the sofa, me, my eyes bloodshot as I aim my gun to keep the father in line, and finally Jimmy, sitting in a chair, tied to it with paracord, happily eating a box of chips ahoy.

  11. I knew they were cheats, liars, frauds, but to send their *son*, their *child*, in another attempt to do me in?

    I practically shivered with rage.

    The little boy, obviously the brash sort, misinterpreted my suppressed wrath as fear and grinned. “That’s right, Mister Bad Guy!” He crowed, pointing his toy gun at me. “I’m gonna stop you!”

    “I’m sorry, child,” I replied seriously, eyeing the plastic in his hands. “But I don’t think you can do that.”

    This gave the boy pause. He looked at me, confused by my statement. “Why not?”

    “Because for years, I have studied a secret martial art. The stronger the person I fight, the easier it is to beat them.”

    This had the little one’s attention. Good.

    “I’m afraid someone as strong as you would lose in an instant.” I lied, praying the child was as gullible as he was bold.

    He considered my words for a long time, then frowned. “But…Daddy said I couldn’t go home until I’d beaten you up, like Batman!” All the same, he lowered the toy.

    I relaxed infinitesimally. “And you think he meant it?”

    “Yeah! Mommy said something like ‘lee-thal force’, but I don’t know what that is.” He replied, sounding out the unfamiliar words as a child does. “She looked really serious, though. Almost like she does when big sis doesn’t do well in school. She gets a lot of bees.” The child then looked a bit perturbed. “But I don’t know where she’s getting them! Her school doesn’t have any beehives.”

    I did not like the sound of this. Of *course*, not only were they trying to murder me (though, in fairness, the lot of us had been around longer than we should have) they were horrible to their children.

    “How about this, little man?” I offered. “You can stay here with me, since you’re just too skilled to win. And you can go back home as soon as you want to.”

    The little boy didn’t hesitate at all. “Yeah! Let’s do that!” He agreed, jumping up and down in excitement.

    It looked like I had a new semi-permanent guest.

  12. There he was: red shoes, white face, and a stupid red grin. And yellow, why did it always have to be yellow?

    It’s been 6 years since the last time I saw him, but I thought I had finished him off. He had sent everything he had at me in a flurry. It didn’t matter, I defeated his every attempt on my life. But I wasn’t ready for what stood before me now. He was no more than a quarter of his original height and weight, probably only a 60 pounder. His less than super size gave it away, it wasn’t him. It was his junior but he was the spitting image of his old man.

    I knew I was looking at the death of me, this red haired boy in the yellow suit. How did he find me? Well I suppose I found him. I was after all only sitting at a coffee shop across the street from his dad’s old bistro. He hadn’t seen me yet though, so I ducked lower hiding behind my big MacBook laptop, perhaps he didn’t know who I was.

    Then suddenly, it was there. The familiar rumble in my stomach I was once acquainted with. 6 years to this day, danm. Why today of all days? But it was no use wondering. I might as well get it over with. I got up and walked towards him, my greatest enemy and greatest weakness. That’s when the smell hit me, and I knew there was no going back now. My death would be slow and agonizing, not quick like I had given his old man. He saw me and smiled, he knew I had already surrendered and given up any choice I had in the matter, else I wouldn’t be waking towards him.

    When I was within a foot of him, he looked me square in the eyes and asked me a volley of questions, to all of which I answered yes. It was done. I handed him my wallet, and my dignity, and then I found a place to sit down. Now all that was left to do was wait. He would deliver his first batch of vengeance in haste, but my eventual demise would take years.

    Moments later he arrived carrying my #1 value meal with a large soda.

  13. My whole career had been based on one secret. The stronger they were, the easier they were for me to dispatch. I’d practically created an industry among super villains, trying to cook up death bots and vat grown ninja assassins after me. Honestly it almost got boring. Not quite. The Takron The Dark sent his six year old son after me.

    Takron. Takron, Trakron Takron…

    You should have studied logic or math longer in school. My powers are not transitive. A giant robot being easier for me to defeat than a six year old does not mean a six year is hard for me to defeat.

    Still, no one feels good about using a laser spike to impale an enthusiastic six year old who just wants to help his dad. But, some days the hero business doesn’t feel great.

    We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

  14. A sigh of….of relief perhaps? Yes…after so long I am finally done in i think.
    I look down a….at the sword, it was a sssickly large thing for a six year old to carry.. dont yah think, old man?
    But…well…that’s how he got me…how absssurd….
    And I could feel every inch of that dull blade…its more of a cutting board than a…cutting weapon.
    At least equip your kid better…you bassstard….
    Its buried in body….I can taste blood.
    I’m coughing it up now…I… I Don’t tassste very good
    I never blinked…not once In all these yearss….
    When the Sssilent Asssasssin came…in the shhhadows…One look at these peepersss and she dropped dead.
    But All he did was look at them…For a moment….I saw myself reflected in those Dark Pools.
    And now….I think….blinking might’ve been ussseful..
    Which Stunned me…which…led to…well the impaling…
    And Now hes Holding me….
    which is…also just absssurd…
    Consssidering the amount of deadly toxxxin I’m releasing.
    Or…Is…he immune to that too?
    Cccertainly…Not….even that ssstrong Knight…with all that armor could…
    …I melted right through him….

    But thats the point of my specccies i guesss…
    Our eyes are magic sure…but they kill you by forcing you to live through all your wrong doings….And that asssasssin had years of wrong built up. this kid? im literally the fiiiirssst thing hes done wrong..
    And my Poison….is good against those who are afraid….but….its dimmable water to the brave. That sellsword feared the world outssside his metal shell. This kid…wouldn’t know fear..if…if it bit him…and i almost did…if i hadn’t impaled myself when i wrapped around him……

    ‘Now…now the smiling infant ssshall take the cresssted Basilisk’

    I look at him…one final time before the final sssleep

    ‘Hey….Do me a favor?’ I can only hisss..not because I’m dying….I could only ever hisss in the first place.

    He nods, stroking my silky body, his hands feel warm.

    ‘Boop…my…snoot?’

    His Pointer smells soo nice pressed against my snoot….such a Wonderful kid….

    ‘thaaaaanks-‘

    All But Black….Be safe out there….boy

  15. Boom.

    A deafening silence followed the blast. Bits of what must be human flesh clung to the sides of the parking garage. A red splatter on the ground marked the spot where once Edward stood.

    I sighed as I picked up another hot dog. The guy behind the counter tch tch’ed as he started to clean up his cart.

    “How long you done this?” His hand moved deftly across the counter, cleaning up the dirt, like me on a good day.

    “Too long, too long.” I remarked. A siren blared in the background and in a minute a police car pulled up beside me.

    “Working again, Mr. Andrews?” The cop asked, rolling down his window.

    “Just tying up loose ends.” I pulled out a gun and cocked it at the hot dog man.

    “Tch tch,” went the hot dog owner again as a bullet pierced his forehead and downward he fell on the pavement, a red pool forming below him.

    The policeman was staring at the freshly lathered buns on the counter, smacking his tongue when I turned. “You gonna have that hot dog?”

    A strange wind blew in the street. Between the high-rises, the sun was casting a strange reddish hue in the afternoon, hiding behind some clouds. A strange melancholy clung to the trees, leafs fluttering in the wind. Somehow, shooting the random guy who dared to over take me had lost it’s charm. Earlier the red mist that rose from the backside of the head would send my heart soaring, but now all seemed pointless.

    Taking care to hit the old lady standing on the side walk, I slowly stepped out of the car into the busy sidewalk. Everywhere, someone was getting killed, shrieks filled the air but for me a great sense of dread seemed to lay over the air.

    A tug at my coat tail made me whip around. Behind me, stood a boy no bigger than six.

    “Are you, Mr. Andrews?” He asked, his eyes filled with wonderment.

    Another young fan. “Indeed, I am.”

    “My father said, you are the best.”

    “I wouldn’t say best. But yes, I generally live and the other one dies.”

    “Whoa.” Said the young man, and pulled out a pipe bomb.

    An electric surge went through me as my fingers wrapped around the metal body of the bomb. Tears swelled up in my eyes, and I trembled.

    “Thank you son.” I said as the boy took a step back.

    I took the bomb and pressed it against my chest and waited for the sweet embrace of death.

    Boom.

  16. It wasn’t really difficult. The first assassin they sent talked too much, I hated him. After the first night he overdid the whole fake love thing, planning our future together and shit. I knew what he really wanted. Slit his throat before my eggs Benedict. They should have known me better, I never let a good lay get in the way of my conquests. Napoleon has nothing on me.

    They would of trickle in here and there. Some more covert than others. There was the contortionist who hid in my laundry basket (threw her in the dryer and held the door shut), the maid with the poison lemon pledge (she smelled like lemons for days), and the roof top sniper (we had tarred the roof, he couldn’t move if he wanted to). Honestly I thought the whole thing was rather amusing. Each stronger than the next, yet dead before the deed could be complete.

    By this time they knew. I had their profile already, saw it coming a mile away. But I guess they learned mine. Each city we killed the men, what can I say here? Wasn’t the most ethical thing I’ve done but we needed a new theme. Man was over, woman would rule. Each city, women were liberated, children spared and men set on the spike. Or in a pit. Or in flames. Or whatever the fuck else we could do to them. The quicker the better.

    I don’t remember how I met The Boy. It was certainly in one of the cities we freed. His mother killed herself at the sight of her husbands death. Leaving The Boy orphaned. I felt bad. Men suck. But children are innocent. I adopted The Boy.

    He was surprisingly normal for one that grew up in the times of men. He didn’t act like them. He always had a gentle curiosity. He’d ask me where we would go next, who lived there and why we had to kill the men. I gave him our truths. That men had ruined the earth with war and hate, the only way to fight a forest fire is to control burn the brush. And that’s what we did, fight fire with fire. He accepted.

    I grew to love him. The deep brown eyes, wild curls and unrelenting smile kept me fascinated. I almost wavered in my thoughts. Is this a pre-man? When he grows will he too be so unbearable? Are men simply The Boy on the inside?

    I’ll never forget the day. It was ugly and cold. Rain drizzled in the compound making the ground sink a little with each step. The Boy had finished with his lessons and was playing with the other children. Once the night crept up into the sky he hadn’t come back. Our patrols could not locate him. I was worried. Could he be hurt? There are no men here to kidnap him. What happened?

    And that was my weakness. I knew it once I got the email. The Boy was in shackles and crying. He was begging for me. They told me the only way he will live is with a life for a life. I’m sorry good people. I’m sorry generals, advisors, and friends. This will be my last statement. Ladies, please shield your children’s eyes. Avert your gaze if you are sensitive to violence.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    She carefully loaded the gun. It would only take one bullet but she’d always been set on everything being complete and in order. The child sat a world away, unable to see the nanny his father had picked for him. He knew it was all make believe. The funny lady whose head exploded for fake, the new nanny who he got to live with for a whole year! His father told him to not be scared of his new nanny, it was all just pretend. Like on TV. He watched to see what adventure she would have next. Daddy held a pretend gun to his head. His nanny sure did cry! *she will laugh when she sees it’s all a joke* he thought as he swung his feet in his chair.

    CRACK. Nanny’s head exploded, just like the fake lady.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Steven knew it was wrong. But the decisions of great men could never be wholly righteous. Alex looked ok. Seemed to believe the lie. He wondered how Alex would feel as he got older. He wondered how he would answer questions about the mission. If he would understand why it had to happen. He wondered if there was a chance Alex believed her lies.

  17. Annnnd you kill him without mercy and send him back in pieces. Pieces laced with human waste and layered in diseased maggot covered meat and liquid human waste. Knowing the Queen would want to bury the body intact, it will be handled, and as such the royal family will be poisoned, defeating the worst enemy before even facing them in battle. For the North!

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