Challege: Void

The apartment door slammed open and startled Kate. She got over it quick enough to assess the situation. A man in a black suit with a black cape stumbled into her apartment and tumbled onto the floor leaking black blood. She recognized him and bolted to help him up.

“Voidguy!!” she turned him over and gave his tan, rugged face several light slaps. His eyes fluttered under his costume.

“…didn’t know …where to go…,” he mumbled, then passed out. She checked for his wound, then gasped. He had a hole in his left arm about the size of a golf ball ; it went clean through both sides and leaked out perpetual black ichor.

“Here you are,” a woman voice distracted Kate from Voidguy. “You can’t hide from,-” Kate saw the air in her livingroom darken and become pitch black; it reminded her of Voidguy’s powers. A tall, pale woman in a flowing black dress appeared while the darkness flowed around her. A pair of bone-white twisting horns grew out of her head. “Oh. You’ve already lost,” the woman said to Voidguy’s body with a small giggle.

“Who are you?” Kate asked. She lowered Voiduy’s head gently then stood to face the intruder. Ballisea tilted her head at Kate, then smirked.

“What is that one to you?” she asked.

“He’s a friend,” Kate replied. While she kept her eyes on the tall woman, she used her cybernetics to control all the weapon turrets around her apartment for just such an occasion. Kate was her civilian name; K-T was a cyborg super hero.

“A friend?” Ballisea giggled. “Do you really think so?” Kate stood her ground. She could fire her weapons at a moment’s notice, and she’d even had enough time to seal herself in her apartment with a forcefield. The rest of her neighbors wouldn’t be bothered. K-T’s next step was to try and lock the intruder in a forcefield, but she wanted to safeguard the building first. Her ability to get things done covertly using any technology in the area was part of the reason K-T was one of the best heroes in the city. “Do friends lie?” Ballisea asked. A brief flash of doubt filled K-T’s mind. Her eyes could see biometric data; she could tell when anyone lied to her. But, something in her believed Ballisea.

“About what?” K-T asked. She tried to scan Ballisea, but the horned woman was invisible to all her sensors.

“About what’s real,” Ballisea said. K-T stepped back when the horned  woman took a step forward out of her swirling darkness. The moment her pale, bare foot touched the floor of K-T’s apartment, it disintegrated into a white powder. The white, powdery hole in her grey carpet spread out from around Ballisea’s foot like wildfire.  She watched the walls disintegrate into white powder leaving nothing behind. Voidguy’s black costume disintegrated off his body and transforming it completely. His lean, muscled superhero body was replaced with an older, middle-aged man with a bald spot and beer gut. He wore only white swim trunks and the hole in arm was clogged with chunky dark red blood.

A stranger lay there, on a smooth, glowing white floor. K-T’s apartment was on the fourth floor, but she now stood on solid, barren ground. The white floor extended as far as K-T could see but there was no one else, nothing else around. She triggered her weapons; nothing happened.

“What’s going on? Where are we?” Kate asked.

“We haven’t moved an inch, this is your reality. That one doesn’t belong here,” she said.

“He knows about this?” K-T asked. She was trying to wrap her head around everything. She still didn’t quite know where ‘here’ was. Ballisea nodded.

“Why did you hurt him?”

“He challenged me to a game; he lost,” Ballisea smiled. “Now, he dies.”

“Wait!” K-T held her hands out. She knew she probably didn’t stand a chance; but, she was a hero. She protected those that can’t protect themselves. “I want to challenge you to a game!” She had no idea about what the game might be or the rules involved.  Ballisea smiled and shook her head.

“I knew you wouldn’t understand even when I revealed the truth,” Ballisea gestured at the white plain around them.

“Yeah, I get it. My reality isn’t real; whatever. I challenge you to a game for his life.” K-T didn’t quite understand where the world went, but she knew there were more than a few villains with illusion based powers. Ballisea shook her head again.

“You don’t,” she said. “You can’t. I only have to accept challenges from other players; you don’t qualify,” she said. “Stupid, silly little Zeros. If your reality isn’t real, what makes you think you are?”

K-T tilted her head at Ballisea, then felt a burning itch on her fingertips. She simultaneously looked down at her hands and brought her left hand over to scratch her right fingers. Her digits were gone and her palms were disintegrating into white powder. She looked around frantically for help. She glanced down hoping Voidguy was awake; she saw a black portal swallow his body. She looked back at Ballisea while the itching, burning sensation made its way up her arms and legs.

“I don’t want to die!” K-T shouted in a pic. Ballisea smiled as a black portal appeared at her feet and rose upward.

“Calm yourself, little one. There’s nothing to be afraid of. You were never alive anyway.”

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