Unexpected Gift

              My name is Kallista and I have lived for the past 26 years. As the rain poured down on my head and soaked my body, I recalled sensations that I have not felt for the past 18 months. Cold. Wet. Pain. It is ironic that I still manage to keep track of time, although I was suspended in it.

              You see, I was dead for the past 18 months.

              I still remember the day that changed my life for eternity. I had just recovered from the shock of learning who I was. What I was. What made me the most skilled and feared warrior of war. Of all time.

              I found out that I was a product of genetic experiments. My very being was conceived not out of love, but out of the need for scientific proof. As a specimen. Everything I believed my life to be, was a lie. I had been working for the enemy all along.

              All those lives I have taken...they really were innocent. It wrenches my heart to think... to think that it is I who banished them to suffering. Even now, I pray that their souls have finally found peace.

              I was heading towards the office to resign from my position as a General. It was extremely late at night, and no one was around. I was going to liberate myself and it felt good. I was determined to stop this madness.

              But that was not meant to be.

              A sound made me turn around. Maybe I was still in shock, but in a split second, a bullet tore through my body, right through my chest. The blood stained my robe red.

              Even I, who survived the worst of wars, was not immortal.

              My eyes caught two figures shrouded in shadows. One of them, my murderer, was a rookie mercenary who had recently joined the company. I could see the pupils of his eyes widen in shock, and smell his fear. But it was not his fault. It was not his bullet that killed me.

              My eyes shifted to the figure behind him, the man was congratulating him on a job well done. Nevertheless, the rookie was still upset. Surely the company would notice if someone as important as me went missing, he argued. Trowa, his superior, was unruffled. He would take care of it.

              My body now laid on the floor as I struggle to maintain consciousness. My mind was swirling with thoughts. I could not understand it. How can I, the great Kallista, whose very mention struck fear in the hearts of the enemy, could die in the hands of that bastard, Trowa?

              Trowa's face loomed into horizon. He wore a cruel grin on his face, but his eyes...

              His eyes were filled with lust.

              "Too bad you had to die, Kallista. I could've protected you," he whispered, as he pushed strands of my fringes to the back of my ear and cradled me in his arms. "The only blood on your clothes now..."

              "...Is yours."

              I wanted to slash open his chest and tear out his heart. My katana blade was still in my hand, but I found neither the strength nor the coordination to move it. I could not even tear my eyes away from his filthy sneer, they were locked. As was the rest of my body. Not a sound, not a movement.

              He kissed me. Kissed me the way a man would kiss his wife on their wedding night. Kissed me with nothing but unrestrained passion for a full minute, before laying me down.

              That was the single most hated minute in my entire life.

              "Rest in peace," he whispered.

              And that was the last image recorded in my eyes.

              His face.

              For the next eighteen months, I only drifted in and empty void, stripped of my voice, my thoughts, my very existence. I suppose I was at peace then. After all, I felt nothing. But it was short-lived.

              The first thing I remembered when I regained consciousness was Trowa, triumphing over my death. I opened my eyes and found myself hooked up to various mechanisms, beeping, monitoring.

              I panicked. I could feel alien contraptions in my body. I realized, with painful clarity, that whatever humanity I once possessed was once again cut in half. I grabbed the nearest thing to me, some sort of metal tube, and struck the man next to me. The scientists were surprised. I was not scheduled to wake up, not yet. I tore the wires out with ease.

              I grabbed my katana blade and slashed at the next man who tried to stop me. I smashed through the windows-

              I had no idea I was going to fall so long.

              My sixty-story fall impact was lessened by canopies and a thick growth of bushes. I rolled to a stop on the ground several meters away from the building. I was only slightly injured, and it marveled me. Then, I realized that I was part of a plan I did not want to be involved in.

              I realized I was half-cyborg.

              The security alarm rang, forcing me to flee for safety. As the rain washed away the past 18 months and revitalized my senses, I felt the immense power of life coursing through my limbs. I gripped by blade close to my side. It never left.

              My unexpected gift, was the gift of life.

              And I am thankful.

              But maybe my death can still be avenged.

              "Trowa..." I whispered.

The End.
DJ Lesser 1999

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