I had to think fast. The gunman already had a shell chambered, and his posture showed he was ready to fire. Adrenaline spiked throughout my body once more. But there was more to it. Another forced seemed to flow through me, almost electric. It surged through me like a current. Time seemed to slow and I seemed to move faster. My reflexes were heightened. I was conscious of all going around me; the rapid breaths of the gunman, the pounding of his heart, the shaking in his stance. My vision was red once more. I could hear his blood. It cried in fear. I could feel him tensing, his finger about to squeeze the trigger. I did what I could; I acted.
I quickly spun around and grabbed the barrel, jerking it upward. I drove my knee into his gut, causing him to squeeze the trigger on reflex as he doubled over. I grabbed his head on either side and quickly twisted, snapping his neck. The force of it jolted his entire body, making him jerk as I severed his vertebrae from his spine. His grasp slipped from the shotgun and I snatched it away from his slacking hands. Once more I spun around to face Zimson, only to find that he was on his feet and had his own gun in his hand. The .45 revolver looked menacing. I hadn't even fully turned around when he fired.
I dropped to the floor firing the shotgun. The shot went wide and missed him entirely. The walls were suddenly pockmarked with holes and the air bore the stench of cordite and fire. The .45 slug flew beside me as I dropped, nearly grazing my shoulder. My elbow crashed into the smooth cement and pain shot through my body. Nothing is ever funny when you hit your funny bone was the old joke that ran through my head before it registered that I had been literally inches from death.
"Don't be a fool, Adrian." Zimson's voice rang out from the other side of the table. "You will be dead where you lie if you make another movement."
"You are the fool, Zegfreid!" A voice that was not entirely mine shouted from me. "Did you really think that I had not seen through your game? Whatever made you think I would join you?" It asked as I cocked back the shotgun.
"I never expected you to accept." The one named Zegfreid spoke from Zimson's body. I could feel him leaning to the other side of the table, trying to position himself to fire again. "In fact, at times I doubted that it was you inhabiting this human's body, Ta'ara'an. You changed so much..."
"Not as much as you have." The voice coming from me declared as I moved my body slowly, directly facing the table now. "I thought you once described humans as lowly filth, not fit for one such as you to inhabit?"
"If I have to sink to your level I might as well." Zimson shouted in that different tone. I could feel him inching over slowly to the side. I could see his legs from down here and I knew he knew that. A plan flashed in my mind. Something told me it would work.
"What do you hope to gain from this?" My voice asked. I tensed my body.
"To finally destroy you on my terms." Zimson replied.
"Today is not that day!" My voice cried as I fired the shotgun. I saw Zimson's body leap in that moment I fired, causing the buckshot to miss entirely. The split-second I saw him move I rolled back a little and kicked my legs up into my edge of the table. The strange electric current was buzzing inside my entire body and it seemed to pass into the table. There was a colossal bang and the table was flipping into the air, crashing into Zimson and throwing him against the concrete wall behind him.
I was on my feet as soon as he hit the wall, pumping the shotgun while running at him. He was on his feet but dazed by the move and I took advantage, jamming the shotgun into his gut. His yellow eyes stared directly back into mine, hatred and rage blazing inside of them.
"Back to Pandemonium with you." My voice said before I fired the shotgun directly into his gut. His entire body jerked with the force of the buckshot entering and exiting him. I stepped back as he fell to his knees, the yellow from his eyes slowly fading. He fell forward, revealing the fist-sized hole in his back now oozing blood. I could even see the tattered remnants of his spine, white amongst the crimson red. His head lay on its side. He was breathing heavily and raggedly. He didn't have much time left. I knelt down beside him.
"Motherfucker ya shot me..." Zimson breathed out.
"Where did he go?" My voice asked the dying man.
"He went back..." Zimson breathed.
"What does he want here?" My voice asked urgently. Time was running short.
"He wants..." Zimson started coughing, blood splurting from his mouth now. He seemed determined to tell me. "He wants ta destroy you... from takin' it all away from him." He finished. The dying man drew in another ragged breath.
"Why?" My voice asked. I thought it new the answer, though.
The dying man drew in one more breath.
"Na'ata'ala'a." He said before letting out one more breath. He never drew another. My vision faded to normal. My senses returned. The electric feeling dissipated. I was left to stare at the man lying in a pool of his own blood, a victim of something that not even I understood, even though I was caught in the middle of it.
"Rest in peace." I told the dead man. I dropped the shotgun to the floor and walked over to the briefcase in the room, picking it up before heading out of the soundproofed room. I quickly shut the door behind me, the scene of carnage hidden from view. The few spectators around greeted me once more with praise and admiration. I couldn't help but smile. Inwardly I frowned at myself, but outside I basked in the glory. What else could I do? I quickly headed up the staircase and found the exit, a little disheartened to have to leave this all behind.