The footsteps that echoed belonged to a girl by the name of Camille. The colour of her hair was a boring brown, and her eyes were a simple green. She was not a girl who was particularly beautiful by any means either. Possessing an advantage in height and muscle definition alone, that was all there was to it. Nothing else about her outward appearance otherwise was worth commenting on.
But, the strength of her being was never through how others saw her.
Rather, it was the strength of character that set her apart from the rest. A strength of character that had brought her to her current situation, Camille sighed.
Nobody ever understood how serious Camille was when she said things. That was the unfortunate reality she lived in, one cloaked by lies, deceit and arrogance, it seemed that no one these days stood up for themselves. No one who so much had an ounce of courage. It was all quite pathetic really, and very very annoying. To someone who strived off success and domination of others, those without will or courage were no better than ants to her. Even less so, ants who strived off the suffering of good people.
Under the warm summer sun that was on the brink of setting, Camille gazed at her opponent.
Or to be more specific, opponents. A group of five delinquent girls who had been more than a slight trouble these days to both her and her friend, Camille supposed it was about time she taught them a lesson. A lesson of pain and blood, the scene would unfurl would be the prelude to her class session. And, in this classroom, the roles of who the 'teacher' and 'students' were could not be more clear.
"Do you know how screwed you are?"
The response to her words were only that of snickers and derision. A painful attempt at preserving courage in the face of their aggressor, the girls were without fear. In a alleyway where they outnumbered Camille five to one, the concept of something such as 'defeat' had never once crossed their mind.
Such was the folly of youth. Unable to understand the possibility of indignation, or much less despair, they instead laughed. A great laugh of more then a few people, it was like a choir of insult. Their laughs do not even stop, rather, they continue. Stretching over the time of a dozen seconds or so, it was only when a sixth singer joined, did they finally stop.
Wiping the tears of joy from her eyes, Camille smiled. Without any words left, all the delinquients could do was stare at their verdant eyed opponent in horror. As a indescribable feeling of discomfort settled through their body, Camille spoke.
"Do you realize how fucking stupid you look now?"
These girls did not understand. Was Camille really calling them stupid, right after laughing? Unanimously deciding that she was most bizarre, they were unsure what to make of the situation. But, unknown to them, their opponent already had. Tense as rock, Camille charged forward. A straight punch from her right pummeled into the face of her enemy. That was the technique she had chosen. One devoid of any great thought or tactic, it was one fitting for her enemies.
Enemies that she deemed as lowlives, they would not be granted the pleasure of an effort.
Devoid of any hesitation, Camille immediately directed her attention to the one on her left. Arms open for a hug and body lowered she dashed forward. Then, in one motion, combining both momentum and force, pushed her target straight into a dumpster.
Her initial element of surprise was now up. In the span of the few seconds where Camille had been occupied, the enemies had regained their composure.
An unintelligible noise of a grunt penetrated her ears. Rushing forward, with neither precision or grace, Camille simply lifted her leg out. And tripped her onto the concrete pavement. With the sound of shattered teeth filling her ears, Camille wondered with quite a bit of content at how much it would've hurt. But. There was no time to think about it for long. Just as Camille had looked up, was when a blur raced towards her. Getting closer and closer by the millisecond, Camille was punched in the face.
Only, it was not her, who suffered the brunt of the blow. But the girl who had initiated it. Bones, without adequate training, were no more than a structure. One without great power or strength, the common myth of unbloodied hands in movies was nothing short of a joke. In reality, where fighters broke their hands often, the idea of an amateur punching without injury is a myth.
A myth dispelled by another crack of bone.
Stumbling backwards ever so slightly, Camille sneered at her opponent and wiped her upper brow with her sleeve.
All of this was disappointing. For a group of delinquents and 'difficult' girls, they sure were pathetic. Full of talk and no bite, there really was nothing worse. In this world where the powerful rule, those without power, have no right to complain, much less pretend to be one. That was the philosophy Camille lived by. And so far, in this battle, it seemed as if she was the one that was powerful.
As if declaring victory, Camille trudged over the fallen bodies to her last enemy. While still conscious, they were no longer in a position to fight. And, surely, being alone and all, that girl wouldn't even dare to think of retaliating.
Her intuition had lied to her it would seem. Across the end of the alleyway, the girl which still stood brandished a knife. A short switchblade, brandished by designs of Arthurian legend, Camille forced herself to steady. No matter the opponent. A knife was still an object capable of killing with ease. One that could inadvertently slash a vein and leave her bleeding to death on the floor, Camille was forced to look for an advantage.
Muttering in annoyance, her eyes darted about. From left to right, to left to right again, Camille saw no object or item that she could use. Instead, what she did see was that the girl had charged. At an extraordinary speed fueled by adrenaline, a yell of fury pierced the air.
Then, without warning, stopped.
The girl who had been certain of her promised victory could only tilt her head up in horror.
"You piece of shit actually did it."
The fact of the matter was that the girl had landed her attack. And yet, even with what should have been an overwhelming advantage, she could not bring herself to move, or much less breathe.
Lodged between the flesh and bone of her own hand, Camille tightened her grip on the knife. Veins, which once laid dormant underneath her skin, now bulged to its surface.
Wrapping her hand around the cold metal, Camille yanked it from her enemy's hands.
The instinctual fear of death crept into the girl who now stumbled backwards.
There were no words to describe the delirious expression on Camille's face.
A carnal mixture of pleasure, anger and a savage desire to destroy any living being was inscribed into her being. The hysteria of a girl who had been tainted by the equal wish of survival, cruelty, and hatred could no longer be supressed.
Not only had her enemy damaged her precious hand, but she was too cowardly to finish the job. A weakling that `depended on tools and yet was still unable to succeed, there was nothing more despicable.
From the depths of her dry throat, Camille shouted with all the energy she could muster.
Three punches then shot out. To the throat, kidney then face. A sputter of air and spit came from the girl. Tossed to the floor, all she could do was stare in horror at her aggressor. Camille's actions, which had been limited by composure and attitude up until this point, was now out of control.
Readying her leg, she began to repeatedly kick the girl on the floor.
"Do you know fucking stupid it is, that a lowlife piece of trash like you can kill me?"
Over and over again. With just the right amount of force, in just the right places, Camille kicked, stomped and bludgeoned. Focusing on separate locations, she damaged each and every spot she could find. Enough to cause enormous amounts of pain, while subdued just enough to leave her alive, Camille continued until she could find no more.
It was a scene straight out of a nightmare. To those who still watched with silent tears and quieted breaths, they could see the girl as nothing but insane. A human completely beyond the reaches of human sanity. Nothing about her was normal. Whether it be the blood on her fists, her seemingly overreaction to bullying, or the twisted smile on her face, none of it made sense.
"Let me teach you a little something."
A single sentence was muttered from the cheery girl's throat. Turning her front to face the leader of the group, she carefully walked towards her and squatted down. To fully engage her foe in the lesson, she preferred if they were at the same eye level.
And sure enough, Camille now had a far better angle. An angle exposing all the subtle fears, tears and marks of violence that Camille subjected her victim to, it was perfect.
"If you really want to pick a fight, next time, have something to back it up beyond just a few chicken shit delinquents, ok?"
Out of perhaps an innate instinct for self-preservation or a desire to survive, the girl nodded. Much to the delight of Camille whose strange desires had finally been satiated, there was no longer any need to stay. Reaching for the coat that she had tossed on the wayside, she then put it on. Then without so much as the last word, Camille left. Knife still stuck in her hand, she greeted the rest of the day with a smile and strut of her body.
After such a workout, there really was nothing better. After all these years of upbringing and violence, Camille didn't suppose that anything could have ever been better than this. That anything would ever change or affect her 'disgusting' personality and that anything would ever rob her of her unadulterated passion and strive for power.
And yet, after a few years, it was precisely that, which occurred.
To put it in light terms, the delight and joy she once felt during her youth quickly transitioned into nothing. Polluted by numerous failures, and an indescribable feeling of emptiness, Camille had changed. A former husk of what she once was, the ambitions and delusions of grandeur that once was were now dust.
Ten years later.
It was a moment like any other. Lying in her bed, Camille was playing the newest MMORPG known as 'Hammer Art On-Line'. Which by all accounts was neither a very special name nor a great product. However, it did fulfil one simple task to the utmost a game as it could. That being that it was very, very addictive. So immersive to the point where one could plug themselves into it and experience a game as if it was real life, it was the drug of choice for many a geek today. Wishing to run away from reality and to take a break from the many troubles of life, Hammer Art On-Line was ideal. Able to provide the ideal power fantasy, connection, and experience all from the comfort of one's room, it was perfect. So perfect, in fact, that a certain someone had forgotten to eat or drink for the past few days.
So perfect that our dear Camille had died while playing it. Being the gamer that she was, she had lost track of time and well. There she was.
Lying face-up on her bed, she did not even realize she had died. For even in death, her smile was ever so bright. A smile brought by the acquisition of a new item. A smile of pure bliss, contemplating just how overpowered 'The Grand Hammer of Sigma' would be. Only worthy of the strongest of warriors, it not only had the highest strength threshold in the game, but was capable of quadrupuling the critical strike damage of any user! Worth thousands in real life prices alone, the value of such a product was undoubtedly lost on all those but the diehard fans of the game. Nevertheless, whether it be a combination of heart failure from overexcitement, malnutrition, or the works of some antagonistic force, Camille was dead. Her heart had stopped, and her soul was on the brink of vanishing.
But. This would not be the end of her story. While one might assume it to be the case, it was, in fact, quite the opposite. While unknown to even herself, the moment of her death was not her end. Rather, it was the start to something quite special. Something even better than the game she herself enjoyed playing so much.
Indeed. Instead of having video game powers in an already game world, why not have it in real life?