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The Price of Victory
The crescent moon was suspended in the black, starless sky. It glowed yellow and smirked down at me, mocking my every move. I glanced away and tried to contain my rapid breaths. The only sound in the still night was the sound of my heart beating faster and faster. Thudding on and on like the beating of a drum, pounding against my chest and forcing the air out of my lungs. My blood pumped through my veins, almost painfully. I couldn?t feel it, though. My fear had long ago overshadowed that.
Somewhere, slinking through the shadows, someone was waiting. Waiting for the chance to strike. I only had to get past him, and complete my mission.
I sucked in one last breath, and sprinted off into the night, through the dark, deserted alley. I stepped lightly, trying to emit as little noise as possible. In the east a shriek rang through the chill air. A scream of pain. A voice I knew.
I immediately began running full speed, trying to hold in the tears. Knowing I couldn?t save him now. It was important that the mission was completed. If it wasn?t completed it would cost millions more lives than just one spy?s.
I heard the sound of footsteps near me. With a final burst of energy I darted out of the alley and into a field. The footsteps were still behind me, and there was more than one on my tail. I swallowed and ignored my aching legs, which were begging me to slow down.
Another shout come from behind. And then an explosion, and then there was just the sound of scurrying feet, gaining on me.
I realized then that I was alone.
My comrades were all gone, and I was left alone to complete the mission. My heart stopped, and for a minute I forgot to breath. A sudden weight crushed against my shoulders, smashing every nerve in me. I kept running, but my thoughts went blank, and my vision began to flicker on and off. I was suddenly compressed in silence, and the world around me became a vast clutter of black nothingness.
I gasped for breath, but the air wouldn?t come. I called, but no one answered. In my minds eye I saw the outcome of my failure.
My eyes opened and I continued running forward, a new strength rekindling inside my core. I would succeed. My companions, my friends, would not have died in vain! I turned a corner and smiled slowly. I was so close to success, I could taste its sweetness amidst the bile and blood left from earlier that night.
A mist encircled me as I lengthened my stride. I broke through it and ignored the throbbing pain in my calves. I wasn?t sure how many miles I?d gone, or how long I?d been running. It didn?t matter. Only one thing mattered now.
Ahead of me was a well, build from black stones. I stopped next to it and looked down into the black water, reflecting the yellow, grinning moon above. In one swift move I slipped my pack off and retrieved the orb. It was a clear, sphere, small enough to fit in a child?s hand, but powerful enough to destroy a nation. In it?s center flashed a jumble of a million different colors, hues, and shapes. It was smooth and cool to the touch, but it had begun to burn in my hand.
I raised it above my head and whispered the ancient words.
?Kjelvoi ghenho aneskeltur.?
Obliterate and abolish.
I slowly began to open my fingers as the orb shook.
?Stop!? someone yelled.
I smiled slightly, feeling the victorious feeling engulf me.
?It is already too late,? I whispered, and let go of the orb. It fell down, down, down, into the black pool. The moon?s reflection disappeared and the pool burst with colors.
At the exact moment and arrow was shot. It was well aimed, and hit its mark.
I felt only a great impact on my chest. I looked down and saw the arrow, and the warm blood beginning to cover my shirt. Suddenly, I was falling. Falling through time and space and air. Blackness consumed me, but I smiled, having completed my mission. Victory always has a price.