space
rating: +2+x

Nobody looks for the hunted among the hunters.

It’s not like you were ever that powerful. You just push space around, like sticky clay in between your fingers. When you step through a doorway, it might leave you down the street or it might just slam shut behind you. Sometimes, when you’re scared, people disappear, but they’ll always show up. At the same time they left. Just not right there, not close enough to hurt you. But it’s enough.

You know what they call people like you.

You know what they call people like you because you stand among them. You could belong to any number of different foundations, initiatives, coalitions, with your nondescript paramilitary uniform and your regulation length hair, but you're here. In this one. There's a star on a pocket above your heart, claiming you. It is protection, and it makes you a target.

When you pull something too big out of your pockets on outfits that don’t have them, you blame it on your prey, and they believe it because you are the best of them. There is nothing like the stability of a gun in your hands, your finger pulling the trigger.

You feel the chase pounding in the back of your skull, a pulse that’s so heavy you can’t breathe without it.

Once upon a time, you felt pity for your prey. Once upon a time, this armor was a mask, and you’d hesitate to pull the trigger. The bullet would be ever so slightly off target. Just the first one, but enough to alert the prey to your presence, and that was enough.

Until it wasn’t.

Until you broke the neck of one that's supposed to be your own kind, and you’d felt the sudden, sharp departure of the twisted time.

The space stayed sticky. Moving it is never easy. When you spend too long forcing people apart, forcing them together, you find yourself out of phase. Dizziness. Headaches— the bad ones that leave you clutching at your skull and knowing how easy it would be to have that skin just not be there anymore, until your hand dug into that aching organ.

It’s not power. Your fists are power. Your deadly aim is power. Your quick mind is power. The strangeness of space around you is just a glitch.

You fire. The recoil shakes your body. You hit the target, directly.

The other soldiers slap you on the back as you walk away from training, telling you how good of a shot you are, and you don't clench your fists like you used to. They say you're brave for going up against the worst of the worst. You don't feel brave. To be brave, you'd need to have fear to overcome.

All you have is the taste of iron in your mouth and the ghosts at your back.

You could be a better person. So many of your targets were good people, who promised, with tears in their eyes, that they just wanted to help. That they’d learned about their magic by undoing some great tragedy. Their blood splatters brick wall just as easily as that of the monsters you cut down.

Reality warpers cannot be controlled. They must be exterminated.

And yet, you survive.

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