Hope

The year is 2053 and humans are still the most predominant species on the planet, but within the depts of the districts, fraught with unstable peace, is the Other kind.
Dealing with your black market trades and dirty bounty hunting duties, the Other human like beings hide from the continuously threatening Superiors who wish to crush any of the refugees. The Others are not of this world, they're alien. Yet, with the first glance looks of any other human, the Others have made home between the neighbouring humans, making a life after a terrible war.
Hope is no one special and never intends to be, but finds herself and her relatively safe life thrown into turmoil when she encounters Helix, an alien bounty hunter seeking revenge on humanity for him and the rest of his Other family.
Will Hope find the peace she seeks in the Other kind, or face the reality of her human existence?

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3. Massacre

"It's...beautiful." Sera hushed, her voice lighter than a whisper. Had I not been stood close beside her, I wouldn't have heard what she said. 

"Indeed.." I agreed awkwardly, viewing a sight I had not expected to lay eyes on. The busy High Superior Court buzzed with life. Light chatter echoed happily from wall to wall of the almighty reception before us. People dressed in fine cloths trotted to and through, working endlessly but with the brush of a smile over their lips. I watched in awe at the easy atmosphere that encompassed our bodies and splurged endlessly from every individual we passed. For all we knew, these people were the same rich snobs who kicked us in the streets. And yet, they held no disrespect to us here. 

Gasping slightly, I slowly turned full circle, admiring the eccentric oil paintings that hung from clean walls, walls that glowed in all majesty with the sunlight that flooded from the many windows around the hall. I looked up to find the ceiling also a giant painting, timeless art drawn, painted and preserved above our heads, watching us pace the marble floors with their lifeless eyes. Our feet pattered over smooth rock, glistening our own reflections up at us. I tucked a stray strand of hair behind my ear as I noticed myself at my own feet. 

"You look fine." I jumped, looking up to find Sera stood before me, a warm smile gleaming between each of her ears. She linked her fingers with her free hand and tipped her head to the side, only brightening her smile. I felt my lips twitch upwards and reveal a small smile in return. 

"And you look perfect as usual." I retorted, slipping my smile into a loose smirk. 

"Hope~!" I followed her gaze, uninterested in the compliment I paid her. "They're beginning, come on! We need to catch up!" She took hold of my hand and yanked hard, pulling me along with her to the congregating group at the front desk, carved of a light wood. The patter of her small shoes on the marble masked by the thump of my own. 

"... Everyone here stay as a group! Our day is short and we have many things to see!" The tour guide finished her sentence and then gave us a displeased glance, ticking off our details. Her pencil skirt hugged her thighs tightly all the way to her knees and the heels fitted to her slim feet were not only impractical, but seemed painful too. On her torso she modelled a pastel pink blouse that fitted her neatly, the glasses perched on the end of her nose were thin, the frames visible due to her hair being tied up high from her face. She seemed almost too perfect, unreal. Almost.

"Eeek! Hope!" Sera gripped at my arm and dug her nails slightly into my flesh. I ignored whatever pain she caused and let her stay close. The tour guide flicked her wrist and a small screen displayed a little lower than eye height. The hand held PDM's of rich folk were almost invisible to spot but could be used for almost anything. They reminded me of what my father had told me a mobile phone used to be like, only, they were hand held, they actually existed as an item. This new contraption was pixels hanging in the air. 

"Stay close. We visit the High Superior's conference room first. There you will receive a welcome speech from Mr Alexander Cort, the 12th High Superior." I could feel my insides groaning at the thought of sitting in a small, stuffy room listening to another fat asshole babble on about his perfect life. Prying Sera's claws from my arm, I signalled that I was going to the toilet. She pouted in response and nodded, following the group into the conference room. As the two metal doors were opened, I could see that this room was as I expected, far too small and cramped for me. I sighed and slipped silently into the toilets across the hall. I didn't even need it, but missing as much of the High Superior's bullshit was exactly what I needed. 

The toilets were alike the rest of the building, far too fancy. It almost made me vomit at the amount of cleaning this place must need. As I stepped into the female's washroom, all but the doors to the cubicles was tiled in a marble rock that reminded me of a sepia galaxy. I swallowed down my pride and leaned over one of the large bowls buried within marble. Turning the stainless steel taps I let a calming trickle of water empty into the sink, splashing a small amount onto my face. I had to make sure I wasn't dreaming. With a flick of my wrist, I shut off the water supply and tapped at my face with one of the spare towels. It's material was the softest cotton I'd ever felt. I folded the small towel and glanced behind me, aware I was alone, taking an opportunity to slip the cloth into my back pocket. Stealing is wrong.

I was about to embrace my fate and rejoin Sera and the group when a small female ran through the doors, falling clumsily before me on the marble floor. Her clothes were the finest silks and explained why she had slipped. Her breathing was hitched and she was sobbing violently, her whole body racking back and forth as she tried to comfort herself, hugging her arms and sobbing some more.

"Hey..." I began, cut short when wet eyes glared up at me. They were emerald green, alike my own. Before me, crumpled on the floor was the High Superior's daughter. Tears continued to poor from her eyes, seemingly without conviction or will for them to do so. "You're.." My words caught back in my throat as I noticed one of her dainty hands tremble, reaching for me. She gripped my ankle and hauled her body towards me. Kneeling she dug her nails into my leg, alike Sera had done before. 

"You.. H-help-" She stuttered, her bottom lip trembled as another wave of fresh tears poured over her pale face. This girl.. Sera was right... She looked so much like me, the likeness uncanny. "Help me!" She shouted, after not receiving a response from me. 

"W-what do you want?" I questioned, stepping back which caused her to fall on her elbows. 

"They're... They're here." She mumbled, staring into the endless grooves of the marble tile she sat upon. One alone large enough to fit her whole body. "They... Killed them.. Coming... F-for.. me." She choked, sobs swallowing her words. My imagination shot into overdrive, surely she couldn't mean the Other's made it into the High Superior Court... Could she? "The Bounty Hunters, they killed... Papa... And all those people! Help!" Her words were almost inaudible, her incoherent state caused my limbs to go numb. 

Bounty Hunters killed Papa...


The High Superior's daughter... The High Superior... Is with Sera.

Without thinking my legs jolted forward, my knees locked and I hit the door, giving me chance to turn and take one last look at the terrified doppelganger on the floor behind me.

"Stay here, don't come out. You're not here." Her brows furrowed slightly as she watched me leave, but I hadn't the time to waste on her. 

"You... You're not me though." She called weakly after me, her words became muffled as I shut the door after her. The room was just across the hall, but already there was sign of turmoil. The peace that bounced between the walls of the hall echoed only with screams. Horror seemed to leak from the conference room as cowardly personnel zipped across my path, all heading for their own good. Their own safety. I barged past the tour guide, her skirt ripped, blouse untucked and glasses smashed on the floor as she collided with my body. I had not another second to spare. I ignored her, her life not important, not nearly as deserving as Sera's. She was protesting, screaming warnings at my back as I headed for the room I'd left her in. It didn't matter what she wanted, Sera wasn't under my gaze, she wasn't safe.

As my palm met with the cold metal door, I saw an image of Sera skip before my eyes, her beautiful smile shining brighter than all the lights in the world. My eyes prickled helplessly as I forced my body through the doors, stumbling into the scene. Upon entering the room, my foot caught under an obstacle on the floor before me, causing my body to fall forwards, to my hands and knees. Glass cut at the skin on my palms, my fingers trembled from the searing pain that spread throughout my hands. I twisted my waist, taking a glance over my shoulder to find a bloody, mangled corpse the cause of my downfall. I kicked away the man's body, his warm crimson blood poured from the gaping gouge that tore along his torso, allowing his intestine to unravel slightly, his guts sure to follow. Dead.

My head pounded with the thump of my heart, the temples in my forehead throbbing from the blood rush that swept my body. Dizzy and confused, my eyes searched among the dead and dying for the only human in the room that had the right to keep breathing. Her existence the only importance in my life. My miserable life. 

Deep blue irises locked with my emerald orbs, both filled with due fear. Her small eyes bulged wide, glistening with the presence of fresh tears. Tears flowed over the rim of her wet lashes, washing away more of her once perfect makeup onto the canvas that was her cheeks, retracing paths previous tears had taken. Her pastel yellow dress, once a beacon of the beauty that she held, was splattered carelessly in thick blood. Be that her own or that of the deceased around her, I didn't know. All I did know is that she was there. But oh how I wished she wasn't. 

Sera's body shook as it hung from the claws of the monster above the floor. The killer one of them, the Other Bounty Hunter, looked down upon me with disgust. His eyes had no whites, only a passionate red flaring. His elongated finger like claws tightened their grip around Sera's thin neck, as her freckled arm reached towards me. 

"Sera!" I screamed, my voice hoarse, the words tearing at my throat like knives. The Other being lifted his other hand from behind his back, it's design and movement identical to that of his other hand, but this one was pure metal. Its shining armor was almost comforting as the suns beams reflected from its surface. The Other tipped it's head slightly, alike Sera had done earlier as she whinnied against his hold. Her nails tore against his hold on her neck, trying desperately to free herself. The Other's eyes didn't let up their gaze, locking with mine. He seemed naive, confused. My face lifted as a gasp of air billowed from my lungs. The Other flinched and sent his metal claw straight through Sera's chest.

"Nooo!" My helpless plea was wasted on a corpse. Sera's body twitched and convulsed slightly as the Other lifted her further from the ground. His eyes watched me as I watched her writhe. He glanced over at his fresh kill and slowly tore his hand from her chest as she gave her last breath. His metal hand drenched in her deep pure blood. I grimaced at the snap of her bones as he tried again to pull his hand completely free of the carcass. With no avail, he slammed the body of my only friend to the floor. Her body oozed blood from it's wounds, dirtying her pretty face and dress more. He lifted his foot from the floor slowly, placing it on her stomach. "Get off of her! Monster!" I yelled, trying to scramble to my feet. The Other's head snapped up and his captivating gaze met mine again. I paused, mesmerized by his eyes. Using this opportunity, the killer used his foot as a weight to yank his hand from Sera's body. Another incoherent scream rattled through my body and out past my lips. I clutched at my chest as my eyes focused on what the metal claw now held. Between his silver fingers pumped Sera's bleeding heart. Blood poured out from the crevasses between his fingers as it thumped one last time. 

Finally making it to my feet I sped towards him, holding his horrific gaze. His red eyes slowly began to dilute, leaving way for a warm amber to fill it's place. Boiling vomit shot into my throat at the sight of my best friend's heart, but I swallowed it down as I headed for the murderer. My feet pressed against the sleek wooden floor boards, holding my ground as I neared him. I was so close to revenge.

"That's the one brother." A voice crooned from beside me. In the breath of an instant, my eyes peered through my flowing hair to see the devilish smirk of another Bounty Hunter, just as his arms hit me. Unable to remain stable, I fell in the direction I was pushed, my feet swept out from underneath me. Collapsing in a heap, I tumbled and rolled till I hit the far East wall. All air was knocked from my lungs in the collision. Gasping and panting I stared up at the partner in crime. 

Stood before me were two 'brother' Others. The metal clawed killer had snow white hair, though it was somewhat stained with victim's blood. His now amber stone like eyes stared calmly at my heaving body through his messy hair. It's strands fell awkwardly over some of his face, shorter in some places than others, it stuck out from every angle. His head cocked to the side again analyzing me. His other claw like hand was clean, in comparison to the metal blade like fingers which dripped with Sera's blood. The other alien stood with the utmost confidence, a sly grin spreading over his blood splattered face. His hair was the same in texture and style, though was pitch black. This one had both his original hands unlike the white haired monster. He leaned forward more, crouching, resting his claws on his knees. They were both dressed in layers. a jacket or two to hide their bodies with longs sleeves to hide their fingers. The white haired boy's sleeves rolled up past his elbows, and he wore a dirty grey shirt underneath his dirt coloured jacket. An off white neckerchief loosely tied around his neck with an animal tooth necklace beneath that. The other of the pair wore a black tight fitting shirt, that seemed wet, most likely with blood. Both of them wore tight dirty black jeans and had multiple belts hidden under their jackets, which held a magnitude of different weapons. 

"This.. One?" The white haired one spoke up from besides the crouched other. 

"Indeed. Look at those eyes, she's exactly as her picture portrays." The black haired one fished out a scrap of paper from his pocket and handed it to the other between his long claws. The white haired Other reached for it, his left hand, the one not clad in metal, was wearing a finger-less glove. He unfurled the paper and glanced between it and me. The raven haired alien was far too close for comfort, but as I tried to shift my weight, he clutched at my leg. "Nuh uh!" He sung eerily sending all his crouched weight down his right arm and onto my leg. I clenched my bleeding fists together and withstood the pain, fearful of my own death. My chest ached, numb with the sights the two before me saw as nothing extravagant. My eyes found Sera Wilkins' bloody corpse sprawled in with the others. I gulped down my sobs as the white haired Other pushed his partner's shoulder, stopping him from pressing down on my leg. 

"Stop it." He whispered, angering the raven haired Other.

"Shut it Helix, this is the mission you selected, don't back out now!" My breathing hitched further. You chose this mission. I thought absently, knowing that it was no coincidence they chose today for a massacre. "Hm? You okay your majesty? Hahaa!" The black haired one chuckled loudly with a disproving look upon my body.

"Matthew, stop." Helix, the white haired Other, complained again. 

"Oh? Does the High Superior's daughter want an introduction?" I closed my eyes, fully aware that my likeness to the girl I had met by chance in the bathrooms was the only reason I was still alive. I fluttered open my sore eyes and stared into the black abyss of the raven haired man before me. 

"Ha! You, my dear, are now an active kidnapped individual and you have no rights whatsoever! You're kidnappers are none other than the infamous thugs of the Under Resistance Society, Double Helix!" I coughed up some blood into my palm as my brain registered what had just happened. I knew exactly who 'Double Helix' were. No good, that's what.

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