The Nightman Approached (Revision Two)
Faltering feet scraped the ground as the Nightman demanded control over his temporary vessel. His knees were bent & his back was arched slightly; he endeavoured not to hug the ground, but remain independent, like a revitalised old man. Even as time was running out, feelings of vexation & self-preservation were present within his faux sentience. He considered leaving; getting back onto a grid point and escaping into the network, but he knew he’d never make it out of the side-streets alive. His mind was set; calmly grasping a piece of leather on his belt, he swung his arm around to his side; a pixelated blade the consistency of glass materialised. It hummed with a low pitch, and radiated a faint blue aura. He then quickly adjusted his long duster jacket so that he wouldn’t stumble.
While the Nightman continued his advance, Psy knew he was progressively running out of options to escape. He was being backed in to an alley way and his only solace was the light above a greasy door he hoped someone would exit through. Between him and the brick wall were only rusted trashcans & plastic bags; he pictured a homeless warrior erupting from behind the mountain of garbage, but when looking back at the grinning face of his approaching judgement, he could feel the darkness of the creature in his bones. He started to panic, scrambling on the floor trying to find a weapon. After carelessly launching aside the bags from behind him, he seized a stumpy metal pipe; it was the last hope for him to survive, he was not going to let go. As he began to push himself up, the Nightman’s boots came into view; Psy began to notice what looked like a heat haze forming around the crippling body. The illumination from the street lamps intensified the light distortion, which Psy now realised was increasing. Suddenly, it detonated outwards like splinters, surrounding the Nightman in a ball of light which stormed towards him. Psy felt his entire body slam into the wall behind him before he could blink. A hand was around his throat, and the blade had pierced his torso. It was cracking the air as it vaporised the atoms it touched, even the wall was beginning to scratch & crumble as it was forced through the other side of his body. He struggled to open his eyes against the agony to look at the Nightman, but his body had become a dense, smoky chassis; he was dying. In a jittering metallic voice which stuttered due to the implant’s corruption, the Nightman said;
“Heavy minds hold a heavy price.”
He then dissipated into the air, and the blade de-materialised; the handle displaced the dust as it hit ground, with the jacket fluttering behind. Psy’s head immediately imploded with pain as he strived to stay on his feet. The feeling of terror has subsided, but was replaced by a crippling affliction of his nervous system. His knees eventually crashed into the concrete, and as he was descending towards his fate, he felt a calmness in his entire body. It felt like he was being lowered into warm water; he could feel it, but could no longer move. His body finally collapsed, and his soma consolidating into a pool around him; he hoped he could be saved, and while fading into unconsciousness he stared up at the greasy door, wondering if someone would walk through. He continued to lie motionless as the light above the door dimmed, becoming blurry; his eyes watered and as a faint creak registered in his ear drum, he blacked out.