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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/998331-Chapter-Four
Rated: XGC · Book · Action/Adventure · #2237710
Following the events of The Tower, the lives of our heroes take a turn for the dark...
#998331 added November 14, 2020 at 3:26am
Restrictions: None
Chapter Four
Beth had decided to make a quick stop by a local pawnshop for a resupply and to pick up an additional item. The meeting wasn't until tonight and currently it was just a little after one, so she had some time. The cabin was a good ways out, but she wanted to make sure she had everything she needed. She was going to make sure that not a soul left those woods alive, and as an added measure she was going to use Pamela to drive her message home.

She entered the pawnshop with her gear still on, but her hood tucked under her arm. The place was several blocks from the Church of Megabutt, so she wasn't worried about drawing unwanted attention from the local police. The clerk looked up as the bell sounded; a middle aged man who was balding, and sported some dirty clothes to go with a rather perverse face. Beth paid him little heed as she set about trying to find what she needed. It didn't take long for her to locate the ammunition she needed, .357 rounds for her twin pistols, and soon after she spotted a camera on sale. She called the man over and asked about the price. He smiled as he asked, "Doing some hunting or are you looking to have a little fun?"

She stared at him with cold eyes for a moment while she debated her answer. "Both," she finally said.

His grin widened and his yellow teeth began to show as he said, "Tell you what, the price is about three fifty for all of that, but I've got some bootleg DVDs in the back. You seem like the type of girl who enjoys a little pain, maybe a little gore, I've got one that's a real gem. Birdboy getting his ass handed to him and getting used by what's her name...Kaitlyn, I think or maybe that crazy Footgirl chick. Class A stuff, buy these and I'll throw in one of your choosing free of charge!"

Beth stared at him for a moment longer while her blood began to boil. She closed her eyes and slowly made for the exit. The thought of watching Jake suffer once again made her sick and spiked her anger. She supposed a little warm-up before tonight's festivities couldn't hurt. She reached the door and turned the open sign around before locking the door. She heard the man calling out to her asking what she was doing, but she didn't bother answering as she put her hood back on. She walked back over to him and before he could say anything grabbed the back of his head. He was about to protest when he found his face smashed into the glass case he stood over. He groaned from the impact and went to stand. He reached for a gun under the counter, but Beth was too fast for him and she once more rammed his face into the glass this time shattering it.

He let loose a pained cry and fell backwards. Beth leapt up onto the remnants of the counter before kneeling down to stare at him. Men like this were nothing more than a poison to her city, a cancer waiting to be removed and she was the surgeon to do it. She hopped off of the counter and placed a boot on one of his hands. He cried out as she began to grind the sole of her boot on his fingers, and the sounds of bones cracking began to fill the small shop. She stepped off before kneeling down and pulling out her pistol. She aimed it at his head before saying, "Say cheese," and pulling the trigger.

The gunshot rang out and the place fell silent. She looked around the place, and decided that after she took care of the security feed she would help herself to what she needed. There was plenty of ammo and she would take the camera to ensure that Goth knew she was serious. It was sure to make for a meaningful message, and one that she would never forget. Actions have consequences and that went for everyone, even those that believed themselves to be Gods.

Beth went through and stocked up on various magazines, boxes of ammunition, and even spotted a few grenades tucked behind the counter. She scowled as she pulled out the box; this explained where some of the city's villains and mobs got their weapons. She would have to be sure to investigate other pawnshops once her business with Goth was concluded. She decided that before leaving the small establishment that she would have a look for those DVDs the shopkeep had mentioned. She couldn't leave things like that just lying around, and while it wouldn't bring her friend back it would be a way to preserve his legacy.

She searched the shop front for a bit, but came up empty handed. She remembered hearing the man say that they were in the back. She made her way towards the lone door in the back and pushed it open. Things looked fairly average, but she knew something sinister was hidden from view in this room. She began combing through various boxes and containers to find the aforementioned DVDs. After the third box she hit pay dirt; a large box containing multiple DVDs covering a wide variety of fetishes. She became more disgusted when she noticed more than a few that contained underage girls. She had done the city a favor by killing that pervert; she finally found the one she was looking for, but she couldn't leave the rest just sitting here. She decided that the best option would be to burn these infernal things after she dealt with the security footage. With a few quick movements she successfully erased the footage of the day before grabbing the box and exiting out a back door.

She came out in an alleyway where she dumped the contents of the box. She realized that she didn't have any fuel or a lighter so she turned to leave, but a familiar voice gave her pause, "You've had a busy day."

She turned back to see Alexis leaning against the opposing wall. When had she gotten here? She was certain she hadn't been there when she exited the shop. "Why are you following me?" She asked.

Alexis pushed off of the wall and walked around the discarded pile of DVDs that formed a small pile in the alleyway. She inspected a few of them before wrinkling her nose in disgust. She produced a small vial from her pocket as she said, "Just thought I'd check in and see how things are going. Didn't expect you to be out murdering pawn brokers, but after seeing this I can't say I blame you."

Beth watched as she emptied the vial's contents onto the pile before her. "Is this supposed to be another one of those 'we're not so different' talks because I am not in the mood," she said.

Alexis threw her head back and laughed as she said, "Oh I don't think I need to tell you that anymore. No, I'm just noting that I probably would have done the same in your situation is all. You get everything you needed for tonight?"

Alexis produced a matchbook and handed it to Beth with an eager look on her face. Beth took it and said, "So you're saying you have some morals. You play the hero when it suits you, is that it?"

Alexis nearly doubled over laughing at her question, "Hardly," she said proudly, "I'm nothing more than an agent of chaos. I thought you would understand the clarity that comes from chaos by now, but I guess you just haven't gone far enough down this road. You're not getting cold feet are you?"

Beth scoffed as she struck the match and tossed it onto the heap of disks at her feet. She watched as the fire immediately sprung to life and the disks began to dissolve into an unrecognizable mess. "Hardly," she said coldly, "I'm going to make that bitch suffer, and then I'm going to send Goth a little gift to return the favor she did me."

Alexis grinned as she watched the rising fire and said, "Oo someone is getting creative~ I like this new side of you. Keep this up and you might have a secret admirer."

Beth rolled her eyes behind her hood as she began to walk away, "Yeah, you can keep that shit to yourself," she said, "I want nothing to do with whatever clarity you have to offer, and besides last I checked I wasn't interested in girls."

Alexis called after her, "I seem to recall having you at my feet more than once, and you never know what the future holds Kitty Cat!"

Beth shook her head as the memories of being forced to worship Footgirl's feet came to the forefront of her mind. She shuddered as the familiar taste of toejam and sweat entered her mouth along with the memory, but pushed it aside. She had a job to do and needed to get moving. Her little detour had taken longer than she anticipated, and she didn't want to keep her company waiting.

Pamela sat in a large upstairs room waiting for the city's crime bosses to arrive. She'd taken the liberty of setting up a large table in the open room for her little meeting. She felt a bit excited at the prospect of being revered with the same fear that Goth received. She was grateful for the opportunity she had received, and she looked forward to demonstrating just what the will of his Black Matron could do when obeyed without question. She checked the time and noted that she had roughly half an hour before her 'guests' arrived.

She stood from her large char at the head of the table and began double checking her appearance. An ornate mirror hanging on a nearby wall showed her near pristine reflection. Platinum blonde hair that fell down over her shoulders and framed her strong angular face. She checked her makeup to ensure it would have the desired effect; her eyeshadow and lipstick seemed satisfactory and were as black as midnight in stark contrast to her olive skin. She nodded to herself and prepared for the arrival of the city's crime lords. Her job was simple, instill faith and loyalty or instill fear of the consequences. She wasn't going to fail her Goddess on her first official outing as an emissary for her.

The cabin was fairly remote and was nestled deep in the woods outside of Metropolis. It was far beyond the city limits, and it would make the ideal spot for a discrete meeting. Beth had been here a few times with Jake before everything spiraled out of control. The last time she had been here it had just been the two of them, and they had wrestled with the conflict of potential feeling versus the responsibility to their city. She felt a pang of regret for not pushing the subject further, but reminded herself that she couldn't change the past no matter how hard she wished she could. She pulled a pair of binoculars she had swiped from the pawnshop and surveyed the area. Several cars had been arriving and various individuals in fancy clothes exited the cars before heading inside. She silently seethed with rage and anticipation for the night's events, and she began checking her equipment. This would be a night that would haunt these people even after death.

Pamela sat still and silent as the last of the envoys entered the room and took a seat at the table. She waited until everyone was settled before addressing the room, "I'm glad you all could make it, your Goddess has been hearing that there is some...unrest amongst your little operations."

One of the women stared her down with a skeptical look before speaking up, "Who the fuck are you supposed to be? I was under the impression that the Goddess was going to be meeting us personally."

Pamela narrowed her eyes as she stood up and approached the woman. She was a rather stout looking specimen, but behind the facade of bravado she put on she could feel her fear. It grew as she approached and began speaking, "Such insolence from a pathetic weakling, you assume that you Goddess has nothing better to do than to meet with petty criminals? I assure you that she is a busy woman, and that you should be grateful that she has sent one of her court," she paused as her eyes began to glow and she looked deep into the woman's eyes, "As for who I am, I am the right hand of your Goddess and you may refer to me as such. My name is not to be uttered by such pathetic, sniveling weakling, and I suggest you watch your tone, Marcie, before I decide to teach you what respect is."

Marcie began to convulse as Pamela invaded her mind. She was weak and had taken to crime in a vain attempt to compensate for past failures. She had cut a bloody path to the top of her little organization, but deep down she still struggled with feelings of inadequacy and deep seeded fear. Pamela closed her eyes and broke the link as she looked away from her and back to the group. The stunned stares of the men and women spoke volumes to the shock and awe that radiated off of them in waves. She drank in their fear and savored it; she was positive that she would be showed the respect she deserved by these whelps now. One of the men cleared his throat as he spoke, "Alright, we get it you're a powerful witch like the Goddess. No disrespect intended there, just saying that you don't need to show us anymore...tricks. We came here because we all want to make sure that we have the protection you and your Goddess promise."

Pamela tilted her head and began to walk around the table as she spoke, "I assure you that whoever is attempting to cause your operations harm will be found and dealt with. Whoever they are, they are no match for myself let alone the Goth Goddess herself."

One of the men scoffed as he said, "She was certainly a match for Mega Butt."

Pamela eyed the man suspiciously and asked, "What was that?"

The man shook his head as he spoke, "The Feral paid a visit to Mega Butt's church this afternoon. She not only beat her, she fucking killed her. Crucified her in her own church of all fucking things; this mother fucker isn't backing down, and forgive me and anyone else for being nervous about who's next."

That was news to Pamela. She hadn't expected to hear that this evening, and she wasn't looking forward to informing Goth of the death of her sister. Maybe she would take one of these sniveling cowards back to Citiville with her and have them explain. She could use another toy since her last one had broken so easily, perhaps Marcie would be fun to play with. "You're telling me that this...Feral I believe you called it, killed Mega Butt?" she asked.

One of the men slammed his fist down onto the table as he said, "Yeah and my guess is she's probably coming for us tonight."

Pamela scoffed before saying, "I assure you that this meeting is extremely private and only those in this room are privy to this location."

"Is that right?" the man asked, "That freak knew about the clocktower and that was supposed to be a secure location. How the hell do you know that they're not already here?"

"I will remind you to watch your tone," Pamela warned, "I will overlook your tone due to your fear, but raise your voice to me again and you will suffer a fate worse than death."

At that moment the lights suddenly shut off. Pamela narrowed her eyes at the strange coincidence. Something didn't feel right and it wasn't the fear that permeated the room. "Shit they're here!" someone yelled.

"Calm down, it's just a simple power outage," she said with more than a little annoyance.

Beth had made her way to the fuse box downstairs before deciding to pay a visit to the filth up stairs. She cut the power and pulled her pistols. The meeting was being held upstairs and the few guards they had assigned to the bottom floor met a quick and bloody end by her blades. She wanted the element of surprise and intended to show everyone here the meaning of fear, especially Pamela. She slowly made her way up the stairs and double checked her pistols for the slaughter that was about to happen.

A figure cast a terrifying silhouette as it rose from the darkness of the stairs. Pamela strained her eyes to make out who it was, but she couldn't recognize them. A storm had began to move in outside and a flash of lightning briefly illuminated the room giving her and everyone a glimpse of just what the individual looked like. A heavy coat with baggy pants and boots underneath that all rested beneath a strange looking purple hood. She looked to her side as one of the men cried out, "Shit they're here! I fucking told you!"

Beth looked around the room waiting for someone, anyone to make a move. Her hood had night vision and her eyes quickly found Pamela standing beside a dazed looking woman. "How kind of you all to get together for me," she taunted, "You chose a nice spot for your final resting place. None of you will be leaving this place alive."

Pamela snarled at the boldness of this person, how dare they interrupt her? She locked in on their emotions and was immediately hit with a searing hatred directed at...her? Who the hell was this person? It didn't matter, she would find out once they were dead. "What are you all waiting for?" she demanded, "It's one person, kill her for me and your Goddess. Prove your devotion here and now, and earn the protection you crave!"

Beth watched the room for any sign of movement and took aim at the first one stand and speak, "She's right! Let's kill this-"

He never got to finish his sentence as a bullet lodged itself in his skull. That was all it took for hell to break loose in the room. Men and women alike threw their chairs back and began shambling about the dark room. Gunshots rang out and thunder boomed from outside as they began firing wildly in an attempt to finish her. Beth took off in a crouched dash and headed for the person closest. She threw an arm around his knee and yanked him off of his feet. He yelled as he hit the ground, but she silenced him with a deadly stomp of her boot. The sickening sound of his skull crushing filled her ears, and some part of her savored the sound and the feeling.

The man close by watched the exchange and began to panic, but she quickly wrapped an arm around his neck and pulled him to her. She used him as a shield as she fired several consecutive shots across the room. Six shots for six criminals and all but one fell to the ground. The man she held twitched and convulsed as his body was filled to the brim with lead. She heard the shots cease and decided it was time to move; she gave the man's body a hard kick that sent him careening into a nearby criminal that fell under the weight of his ally. Beth rushed by him and produced a knife before launching down to his flailing form. She had to move while she could, she didn't have long before their guns were reloaded.

The sounds of slides hit her ears and she dove into a slide that knocked a man's legs out from under him and sent him to the floor. He landed on top of her and began attempting to get a handle on either her or his gun, but she was prepared for it. She snaked a leg one of his and gave it a firm twist that sent a loud pop between them before he screamed. She rolled over on top of him and placed the barrel of her gun in his mouth before firing. Blood splattered her clothes and hood, and as she heard footsteps hitting the ground behind her she turned and opened fire. Bullets ripped through a set of knees and howls of agony began filling the room. She was just warming up as she rose from the dead man's body.

Pamela was in shock as she watched The Feral rip through these men and women. These were supposed to be trained killers and mob bosses, and whoever this person was, was running through them like they were civilians. She made an executive decision to put some distance between herself and the slaughter that was quickly filling the room. These weakling could survive and bring her the corpse or they could die by their hand, but she wasn't about to stick around find out what happened first.

She bolted out of the room and pulled out her phone. She needed to let Goth know what was going on and fast. The sound of gunshots and wails of pain and terror still filled the air as the phone rang. Her Goddess answered in an annoyed tone, "What is it Pamela? Don't tell me this assignment is proving too much for you already?"

She was a little distraught and forgot her formalities as she spoke, "Goth! There is someone here and I don't know who they are, but they are tearing through these criminals like child's play!"

"Calm yourself, Pamela," Goth said trying to reassure her, "Whoever it is you can handle them. Remember what you have learned and you will be fine. Steel yourself and bring them to me alive or dead."

Pamela steadied her breathing as she said, "Yes my Godess it will be done."

The line disconnected and she heard the distorted voice from The Feral calling her, "Pamela~ where~ are ~ you~?"

She barred her teeth as she was blatantly mocked. How dare this Feral taunt her, she was a student of the Goddess and her right hand. She clenched her fists as she summoned her strength and prepared for the oncoming battle. She was in an open hallway with various items scattered about; small tables, a large mirror, a few candles, and various other objects here and there. The figure came into view and she took hold of one of the tables, but refrained from hurting at her. "Here I am you pathetic wretch!" she said.

Beth grinned beneath her hood as she saw Pamela with one hand out stretched behind her back. She was a telekinetic like Goth and she was planning on surprising her with it, but Beth was well prepared. Getting close to her would prove to be no small task, but she hadn't come this far to lose. Pamela would suffer just as Jake had and be the final instrument in her message. She continued her slow approach and holsteded one of her pistols; she would need a free hand for dealing with the little witch. Little being a relative term as she unfortunately found herself looking up to her eyes.

Pamela waited until The Feral was halfway to her before launching the table at her with a confident smirk. Her face fell when, to her surprise, they leapt into the air and kicked off of the table to propel themselves forward. She took a step back before pulling the table back in the direction of her attacker, but to her dismay they fired their gun behind them and shattered the small object. Frustrated she began taking hold of whatever was nearby and flinging at them. Much to her irritation they proceeded to dodge the objects or blast them to bits with deadly precision. One of the bullets rocketed towards her leg, but she had a trick up her sleeve. She had been studying under Dilatrix and had learned to manipulate small pockets of time in confined spaces, so she used her newfound power to slow the bullet long enough for her to move out of the way.

Beth watched as her bullet seemingly stopped midflight and Pamela easily dodged it before it resumed its trajectory. That was new, but it didn't matter she had a plan. "You've learned a new trick," she said passively.

"Who are you?" Pamela demanded.

"I am what you made, Pamela," she replied.

That threw her for a loop. She hadn't created anything or anyone, such abilities were beyond her power. She narrowed her eyes as she took hold of the large mirror on the wall and said, "You lie, I haven't made anything."

She launched the mirror, but it was quickly shattered and shards of glass sliced her pristine skin as The Feral said, "Oh but you have. I'll make sure you remember before this night is done."

This was growing tiresome and more than a little annoying. Pamela roared as she summoned everything she had and hauled The Feral by hoisting her up. She strained to hold her, but all she needed to do was choke them out. It wouldn't take long and she taunted them, "If you won't tell me who you are then I'll see for myself once your unconcious."

Beth tossed a flashbang down as she was lifted into the air. She still had control of her arms and began firing blindly in an attempt to distract Pamela. It worked and she found herself dropped to the ground; she landed on her feet and prepared to rush forward. She waited for the grenade to go off, and fired a few more shots to keep Pamela occupied.

Pamela held up her hand and stopped the oncoming bullets as she taunted, "Is that the best you can muster?"

Beth grinned as she said, "You're easily distracted, let's see how well you can cast while blind."

Pamela furrowed her brow, but looked down as something touched her boot. Her eyes went wide as a small object released a loud bang that both blinded and deafened her. Her senses were rendered useless except her sense of touch. She felt a hand wrap around her neck and something sharp stick her there. She grunted and struggled, but soon found herself losing consciousness. The little shit had injected her with something, and the last thing she thought as everything faded to black was revenge.

Beth grabbed Pamela's body as it went limp and began dragging her to the balcony. She had spent a lot of time out there with Jake, and it seemed a fitting place to conduct her business. She slid the door to the balcony open and heated Pamela's body outside; she was heavier than she looked, but then again she was taller and technically dead weight at the moment. She set her against the railing and turned to head in and retrieve her bag from downstairs, but she gave her body a good kick for good measure. She swore that she would make her suffer and beg before this night was over. She removed her hood as she entered the cabin and pocketed it; she wanted her and Goth to see the face of their demise and know that this was all because of them.

Pamela slowly began to stir, but her head felt heavy. Her mouth was dry and it was difficult to focus. Whatever that little shit had injected her with wasn't out of her system yet, and she tried to move her arms. She scowled when she realized she was bound to something by handcuffs. What the hell was going on? She squinted as a figure came into view. It was The Feral, no, the closer they came she noticed a familiar shade of pink hair. She looked up at her attacker and asked, "Kitten?"

Beth walked up to Pamela's bound form and crouched to look into her eyes. She had cuffed her hands together to keep her from fighting too much, but she had left her legs free. She wanted a little fight from her prey, but something told her the toxin that Alexis had given would prevent even that. She narrowed her eyes at the pet name Pamela insisted on using as she said, "Not anymore, Pamela, I am The Feral and all thanks to you and Goth. I should really take a moment to thank you, if it wasn't for your words that night I might not have become what I am."

Pamela tilted her head as she tried to understand what she meant. It was hard to think straight, but she managed to ask, "What are you on about?"

Beth smirked at her as she quoted her, "Heroes are pathetic, predictable, and weak or don't you remember? Your words and that...that damned video your Goddess sent me gave birth to a new breed of hatred, and now...now you get to witness it first hand. Smile for the camera Pammy."

Pamela snarled at her as she saw the camera positioned not far away. If she could just focus enough she could get out of this and make the little bitch suffer, but no matter how hard she tried her mind wouldn't cooperate. "What do you want, Kitten?"

Beth stood and went to her bag to produce a large knife. She had been saving this for a special occasion, and what better one than this? She brandished it at Pamela as she walked back to her and said, "What I want is for you to suffer just like he did. I want you to beg me for mercy, for your life, and then before I'm through I want you to beg me for death. The choice is yours, you can either beg me and maybe I'll give you a quick death, or you can suffer in silence until I'm through. Either way I'm sure you've noticed that you can't do much, but don't worry soon I'll give you something to focus on," she paused to turn back to the camera before continued, "I hope you're watching closely because this is nothing compared to what I'm going to do to you."

Pamela swallowed as a creeping fear began to set in. She was right, she couldn't use her powers and she was starting to get nervous. Surely, the great Cat Girl couldn't be serious. This had to be a ploy of sorts, but then she remembered one of those weaklings saying she had killed Mega Butt. Her doubts were put to rest as she felt the cold steel of the knife drag across her thigh. It moved at an agonizingly slow pace, but the pressure and pain were immense. She bit her lip in an attempt to stave off the pain and soon the blade left her skin. She sighed before gasping as she felt it return to the opposite leg, and this time the pressure was increased. She fought back a scream as she realized that not only was the blade serrated, but Beth was sawing at her leg. She closed her eyes to block out the pain, but she felt a hand roughly grab her face as Beth said, "Look at me, look at me and suffer!"

Pamela opened her eyes to see Beth's face mere inches from her own and a grim expression on it. She tried to summon her mind control powers, but all it did was make her head hurt. She was powerless to stop her and completely at her mercy. She winced as she felt the tip of the blade begin to work its way into her arm. She held out as long as she could, but when Beth began to twist the knife she screamed, "Stop!"

Beth grinned as she continued to twist the knife. She would stop when she was ready and not a minute sooner. Once the blade was halfway into her arm stood and left it embedded in her flesh. She intended to pay back everything Goth had done to Jake, and she had snagged a tool just for this. She strode over to her bag of tools to retrieve a whip. She hadn't had much practice with it, but what better than a living and sadistic target. She unfurled the whip with a devilish smile as Pamela's eyes fell on it. She began to kick against the restraints, but all it did was delay the inevitable. She wasn't going anywhere except straight to hell, and she wasn't going there until Beth was ready. She reared back and gave the whip a fierce crack as a roll of thunder sounded out along with a pained scream from Pamela.

Pamela watched as the whip lashed out and struck her. She winced as it connected with her face, and as she felt warm blood began to trickle down she suppressed a whimper. She tried to prepare for the next strike, but there was no way to prepare for something like this. The cracks were wild and without direction, but they found her all the same. Her skin and clothes began to tear as the rough material ripped them both asunder. She gave a wail of agony as the pain continued to come, and she tried to find some way to block out the pain. She could still use her empathic abilities and decided to try to focus on Beth. The hate rolling off of her was nearly overwhelming, and she nearly abandoned the tactic until she felt something else. There was something behind that hate, but it was buried deep beneath it. She began focusing on unraveling whatever it was; she had to do something to combat this near constant pain she was in.

Beth lost count of how many times she'd cracked her whip, and the concept of time was lost in the heat of the moment. She stopped to examine the bloody form of Pamela before her. A tattered dress and olive skin stained with fresh crimson from the myriad of cuts she had received. She noted that despite the many, many lacerations she had, she was no longer crying out. Beth took a long slow break before deciding to move on to the next part of her evening. She dropped the whip and reached into her inner coat pocket to produce a few small knives. These were the ones she normally reserved for throwing, but tonight they would serve a new purpose. She approached her victim and took hold of her hand in preparation for what was to come.

Pamela fought through the sting of the whip to concentrate on unlocking the secret that Beth had hidden so deep. It was the only thing that kept her from succumbing to the bubbling pain both inside and out. She didn't notice her hand being grabbed over the sudden spike in emotion from Beth, but she certainly took note as an ungodly pain hit her. Her concentration broken, she looked down to see Beth slowly driving the tip of a blade under her fingernail. Her screams began once more as the pain began flooding her senses. All her thoughts went to finding some way to stopping this sadistic torture. She had stayed strong for as long as she could, but she finally broke and began to beg, "Stop! Please just...sto-ah!"

Beth had finally gotten what she wanted to hear out of Pamela, but there would be no stopping and no mercy this night. She wiggled the knife beneath her nail as she asked, "Did she stop when he begged? Did she show any mercy to him?"

She began seething with rage as the film replayed through her mind. She left the knife embedded in Pamela's fingernail as she moved on to the next one. Pamela began to cry as Beth worked the next blade under her nail. "No, but please, please this isn't you," Pamela said as she began to sob.

Beth glared down at her and gave the knife a sharp twist that caused her to howl in pain. "You don't know a thing about me," Beth said coldly, "Even if you did, the day he died is the day the old me died. This all because of your Goddess."

Pamela couldn't stop herself, as the pain overwhelmed her she blurted out, "He's alive!"

That gave her tormentor pause. The painful sensation of the knife wedging itself under her fingernail subsided, but the fierce ache remained. She panted as tears rolled down her cheeks, and she forced herself to look up into the face of Beth. Her empathic abilities had resumed, and as she looked into her eyes a subtle understanding began work through her mind. Pain, that was what was behind the hate rolling off of her. The mention of hope that her friend was alive had brought it to the surface if only for a moment, but it wasn't just the pain of loss she felt. No, this was more complex than that. The pain was a mixture of loss and feelings of weakness blended with inadequacy. The longer they sat there, the more she began to unravel the mystery before her. This girl, this hero blamed herself for Jake's death even though it all rested on his own shoulders. It wasn't just her coming to Citiville that elicited the pain, it ranged back to the events in the tower. Beth blamed herself for everything that had happened to Jake, but it wasn't her fault. These feelings were all consuming and what had given way to the intense hatred she felt.

Pamela felt a strange and unexplainable urge that she couldn't quite understand. She felt the urge to...comfort Beth? Something about the pain the girl felt was so raw and overwhelming and she couldn't wrap her head around it. Of all things to feel in this moment, why was this what it was? Where was this coming from? These feelings and questions swirled about her head as she watched Beth suddenly stand up. She couldn't bring herself to look away from those eyes stained with hate and hurt.

Beth stood in front of Pamela and had her own mental war waging inside. She couldn't be telling the truth, could she? This had to be a ploy to save her own wretched skin, but if Jake was alive...no she'd watched him die and couldn't afford the luxury of hope anymore. The conflict within herself began to manifest itself in an ugly way on the outside. She clenched her fists and threw a wild punch at Pamela's face as she said, "You lying little bitch, you would dare to give me hope? For what?! To save your own life?! I watched him die!"

She began throwing more and more punches without thinking or aiming. Tears threatened to spill out as she continually beat Pamela. She delivered countless punches, but she received no response from the woman except for some labored breathing. She was still alive, but she wasn't begging or arguing. All she was doing was staring at her, and it was beginning to get a bit unnerving. "Say something! Anything! Beg me, hate me, just...say something!" Beth demanded as she continued to beat her.

The beating went on for some time, but Pamela couldn't bring herself to say anything. Something about the eyes that stared her down with crystal tears dotting the edges was all consuming. She wanted to reach out, to touch her, to take away the pain and tell her it wasn't her fault. She could do none of those things as in her bound state she was being continually brutalized. All she could do was stare her down and hope to convey her feelings, but it didn't look like that was working. It had been a strange night and certainly unexpected, but all she could think about was the pain that this girl felt right now.

Beth began to get frustrated and she could feel tears beginning to stream down her face. She screamed out of frustration and confusion as she drew her knife. Why wouldn't she say anything?! In a split second decision she quickly slashed the blade across Pamela's throat. She watched the red droplets begin to pool up and run down her neck. This wasn't her first kill and by now she should have been used to it, but something in those eyes was unsettling. It almost looked as though Pamela were sorry, but that couldn't be right. She was one Goth's students, a prized one at that, and she was supposed to be as heartless as Goth. Then why did this sting so much? She couldn't understand it and it tore her up inside. Between the possibility of Jake being alive and this, she didn't know what to make of it. She stood there motionless and watched the life leave Pamela's eyes; the whole time her gaze never wavered, and she remained focused on Beth.

She walked to the camera and killed the video feed. Once that was done she walked back up to Pamela's body. She stared into the lifeless eyes for a moment before closing her own. She slowly and gently put her hand on her face to close the woman's eyes. She gave her lifeless form a parting look before taking a deep breath and gathering her things. She removed her knives, rolled the whip up, and retrieved the camera before putting the items in her bag and heading to the edge of the balcony. It had been a strange night, and as she fired her grappling gun to a nearby tree a single flash of lightning cut across the sky. The thunder boomed as she flew through the night with a somber attitude.

Alexis was sitting on her couch when Beth entered in. The smell of blood and her feet hit her first. She inhaled deeply as she said, "You smell like death, and I love it."

Beth removed her hood and set her bag down before shaking her head and saying, "You're so fucking weird."

"Not my fault you can't take a compliment," Alexis said before asking, "So~ how'd it go?"

Beth began removing her coat and boots as she said, "It's done."

Alexis gave a mock pout as she said, "Oh come on you gotta give me more than that! Did you have anymore good lines?" she paused to imitate Beth's serious tone, "You'll suffer and beg me for death," she stopped to laugh before continuing in her normal voice, "Give me the details!"

Beth turned and snapped, "I said it's done! Can't you just leave it at that?"

Alexis looked at her with surprise and asked, "Jeez was it that bad? What the fuck happened out there?"

Beth looked down and contemplated telling her. She was a sworn enemy once, but now the crazed girl was one of the only friends she had. It felt strange to think of Footgirl as a friend, but these were strange times. She decided to open up and she sighed before speaking, "Before I finally killed Pamela she just...kept staring at me, but that wasn't what got to me. She had this look in her eyes like she was...remorseful or something. By the end of it she just kept staring as I beat her and slit her throat. Even as she bled out that fucking look never left her eyes, and it was...unnerving to say the least."

Alexis gave her a confused look as she spoke, "So you tortured her and beat her, but all she did was stare at you? That's fucking weird even for me."

Beth nodded as she said, "Tell me about it, but that's not all. Right before she stopped screaming and begging she said...she said that Jake is alive. What if I'm doing all of this for nothing? If he's alive then I've been murdering and maiming for nothing, and the worst part of it...part of me doesn't care and doesn't want to stop. What is wrong with me?"

Alexis gave her a serious look as she jumped over the couch and put her hands on her shoulders. She looked into her eyes as she said, "Nothing is wrong with you. I told you we aren't that different, but there is one difference. You're doing this for a reason, and if Jake is alive then you need to find out. If he isn't then you'll get your revenge, but you need to see this through either way."

Beth looked at her before smiling and chuckling, "That...actually makes sense," she said.

Alexis let go of her and walked off before calling back, "Yeah well, don't get used to it and for fucks sake don't tell anyone that. I've got a reputation to uphold here."

Beth shook her head at her newfound friend. She was certainly crazy, but she wasn't all bad. She followed behind her as she entered what used to be a kitchen. Between discarded and filthy dishes and the stench of rotten food, the phrase used to definitely fit. It looked more like a storage room for trash, but she watched as Alexis grabbed a bottle from one of the broken cabinets. "What are you doing?" she asked as Alexis began pouring.

Alexis looked at her like she was stupid as she said, "Don't tell me you heroes never drink because I will call bullshit so fast. Looks like you had a rough night, and I find that the best thing you can do after days like today is to get drunk. We can either drink to forget or drink to remember Jake, but either way don't be a little bitch. Here."

Beth took the cup that was thrust at her and looked into it. The smell of cheap whiskey hit her nose, but she didn't care about cost or taste. As much as she hated to admit it, Alexis was right. It had been a rough night and she could use a drink, so she turned the cup up and let the burn of the alcohol overtake the strange feelings welling up inside of her. The two continued to drink well into the night until they each passed out on the couch. Tomorrow would be a new day, and one to remember. Though drunk, they both agreed that Beth's message needed to be sent and resolved to send it tomorrow morning. Goth and her cronies would learn what was in store for them soon, and whether Jake was alive or not Beth vowed to make each of them suffer for what they had done.
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