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Nemesis This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

    Hit after hit. Relentless. The mighty and brash strikes to my cranium wouldn't let up. Blood was running down my cracked porcelain face, flowing down softly, then dripping off my pointed chin to the ground. I loved it. I've never felt pain like this before. It was fantastic. I loved feeling the blunt surge, then the fiery burning sensation, then watching myself drain like clothes on a wringer.
This wasn't like me, being hopelessly outgunned and cleaved like meat being prepared for serving. Of course, this would be embarrassing if there was anyone alive to see this happen to me. With, of course, the exception of him. He's the one causing me this shameful sensation. I really should be more concerned, rather than having the satisfaction of the sweet taste of death that I've longed for an eternity.
I’m off topic, I tend to drift off.
But having a fist attempt to penetrate my skull  and destroy my brain sure didn't help my already unstable train of thought.
Things were starting to darken. Every hit inflicted almost a miniature firework in front of my eyes, and with every tiny detonation, more darkness surrounded it. The expanse of colorless void engulfed my vision. Total darkness. My face turned completely numb. I was left deprived of the previous sensation. I didn't realize how quickly i had become hooked on it. I lost control of the useless mortal stalk i called my body. My legs gave in and i heard the shattering of my kneecaps as i hit the ground, both limbs rendered useless. I was on my knees now, at the mercy of my opponent. My neck strained as i felt a cold thin object on my throat. There was a tearing, which reminded me of paper, strangely enough. Then my hearing and other senses cut out. It looks like, after thousands of years, my wish of death had been granted.
Of course, death wasn't a permanent thing for me. Sure, my corporeal embodiment had been eradicated, but so have others in the past.
SO, allow me to go into detail...
When an entity such as myself has as many chances at life as it likes, it takes different paths on each of them, well informed they'll perish again, then start over. Only certain entities had the power to recall their past lives, and a select few had the power to recreate their previous host body. Obviously, they would learn from their past way of death and enhance their past form, and try again. It's almost like a video game.
You try, you die, you upgrade, then try again. But every so often, there'd be a player in that game that has much more power than you do. If you were to be slain by a stronger entity with the same ability, It's game over. Your spirit is destroyed. I eventually figured this out, after a couple hundred years. I bested all the others with any abilities, then I killed nearly everything else in existence to leech their essence and add to mine. But when everything's easy going after you beat the game, you want an enemy, a challenge.
And since nothing was left, I played God and made my own invincible being. With the exception of keeping some of the greatest minds alive to aid me in this process. There were typical delays in the project, but it was going as planned. I was impatient for my new nemesis to be combat ready. I would check on the masterminds progress from time to time. He was intimidating, floating in the mineralization waters. Pipes ran through him like a sewer system, and the stem cells in the water took commands from the main CPU to form him. A large digital clock hung the over the facility,counting down the days, hours, minutes and every second until he would emerge. It was also an omen of the first death i would have in thousands of years.


I’d never been a fan of sleep. With my current and most favored form, it was unnecessary. That night was peculiar. I’d felt especially drained from all the stress the nemesis project was causing. So, naturally,  I gave in to my primal urges, and allowed myself to rest. It was funny, actually. I had a blurred dream of death that very night.  And at the very climax of the dream, my eyes shot open. There was a flashing red light, that covered my room like paint on a canvas. The flashes were so quick and repetitive, they quickly became an annoyance. My hand ignited like a lighter, and with a whip of my hand, the disturbance was no more.
I shoved through my door and ran to the facility. Call it hunch that I knew the cause of the alarm was triggered there. I ran into the facility door, completely disintegrating it with my shoulder charge. I observed the scene. It took me a moment to grasp what had happened. The floor was littered with little white hills dotted with red. No, not at all. Those were bodies with spattered lab coats. My face lit up with joy as I slowly pieced the scene together, like a horrific jigsaw puzzle. I turned one of the bodies over. It flopped lifelessly. It had a three holes straight through the chest, all burned closed. All the roof lamps were destroyed. The glow of the mineralization chamber beckoned me. It was shattered. Some of its watery contents remained inside, while others were spread the metal floor. But HE was gone.
My nemesis had escaped me before I had been given a chance to meet my creation. I was enraged. I threw my fist through the steel walls with one hit. I slammed my head on the wall and screamed.
“UNBELIEVABLE!”
I could feel the fiery essence gather in my hand.  I flung a swarm of miniscule fireballs toward the farthest wall. The wall gave in to might my might immediately. I slung another. A bigger, sloppier mass of flame toward the next wall. I awaited an equal explosion. Nothing. I turned around utterly confused. There was smoke and a faint orange glow. In the heart of the glow, there was a silhouette in the shape of a man. He sighed, the smoke around its face cleared, which revealed him. The face id watched for weeks on end. Silently waiting for him to emerge. It couldn't be. Oh but it was. I glanced at the clock. It was ticking away second by second as usual. He woke up early. I looked back at the cloud where he stood. He was gone.
Mystery and  mind tricks was just what i wanted in a nemesis. I turned around and looked for him. My pupils rolled back into my head, and my huskish eyes lit up in a lilac flame. I observed the dark room, scanning like a machine. Then out of nowhere a force so strong bashed my head. This kept up for awhile, like I said previously.
Waiting on my fetus to grow to adulthood so I can engage in combat with the creation i've grown madly obsessed with was a very impatient process for me.  The creation is rather intriguing, and smarter than I had anticipated, having mastered a punch and being able to adapt to his environment at a significantly more accelerated rate.

Being a plant based life form was very handy at points. I had a specified area marked off in the case I was killed during the event of my nemesis’s awakening. All i did then was wait a few days, trapped with my own thoughts as i wisped around in my incorporeal form. It's fairly enjoyable watching your own body being developed.
But with the few days it took to finish incubating, I ghosted through walls in search of the location my new friend had set up camp. There's no chance of him escaping. When the alarm is set off, the facility goes on lockdown until further notice by me. My next mortal form would be done soon, but without additional time for it to incubate like my last one, i'll be a great amount weaker. That could serve as a massive problem due to the fact he quickly bested me previously. Let's say he destroys me again. With my predictions, ill become weaker after every time i'm extinguished. My estimate is i'll have about five  tries prior to a crippling drop in my strength. Fantastic. I'll have to be strategic with these chances. In the case i'm defeated five more times, i'll set the facility into nuclear meltdown. It was a victory for me on either side of the situation. I floated down the corridor in the direction of the scanner. Pinpointing him would be easy and quick. I began the scan, then closed my eyes. I instantly fell asleep, and lay there suspended in mid-air. I don't want to sleep more than three days tops. My physical instrument of murder would be ready for departure by then.
I awoke peacefully, hovering the same position i fell asleep in. i quickly flew into the incubation room, and leaped in my new body. My eyes fluttered a few times. I waggled my toes and fingers. I raised my hands into view. By the looks of it, all my motor skills were in check. I slowly raised up off the damp soil onto my fresh feet. Of course being a photosynthesising organism meant i had the cells and muscle of a plant, but the shape of a homo sapien. My face was built up of a more glass like structure, smooth as a polished vase. My body color was a very dark shade of green, while my face was a bleached white. A thin  vertical crevice ran up my chin, through my eye and up to my forehead, identical on both sides. I wasn't capable of making a full nose or nostrils, so i had a hole twin to a skulls. My eyes were like shadows, with the exception of my white pupils. My devilish horns were a dark, grey, the tips being a hot luminescent reddish orange. I skittered across the soil, becoming aware of my new form. I was ready to exit the spawn garden. This is the area where my spare bodies incubated, in large walnut shaped pods. I stumbled to the exit, and craned my neck around the barren corner. I was approximately 200 feet away from the scanner room, which held the location of my opponent. My feet dragged as i lumbered closer to my destination. I couldn't help but smile as i kept slamming my feet down, the rattling of the floor echoing like a cold wail  down the corridor. The flimsy lights shook and flickered with every one of my mighty steps. My motor skills improved the more i moved. I had reached my destination. I shoved my fist through the door. I felt the durasteel turn to a useless mass of slime in my fingertips. The rest of the wimpy door gave way to my sheer will. I trained my eyes on the location of where he was. I howled in laughter, then darted down the hall. As i ran the floor turned a molten orange mush with every step. I morphed my forearms in oversized thorns, then lit them ablaze. I kept up the pace. Only a few more minutes of this until i reached him. Then i'll make him wish i'd never created him. I laughed aloud, the sound dragging behind me as i sped up.
I had no recollection of where or who i was, but i was alone,  it seemed, due to my own actions in murdering what i suspect where the people that created me. Id driven my arms right through them, multiple times each. It was a strange feeling, the first time their entrails were so warm, but by the second or third, they began to drop in temperature. I was much larger than all of those life forms. Id ended them without thought… I recalled it so vividly. The color draining out of them like something was tearing it away. It was horrifying. I couldn't get myself under control in the process either. There was red flashing suddenly. And the next moment, something was banging through the door. It was about to give in, so i diverted all power to the lights, and due to that, they all shattered, glass raining from the roof. I hid, not knowing what was coming. A silhouette entered the room, a horrendous, vile smile spread across his ghostly face, as he scouted the scene out. He let out a piercing scream.  I covered my ears in reflex. He slung masses of a bright essence towards the walls. I tried running, but one had started heading in my direction. I froze. I realized that if i was of the same durability to the others i had slain, i was doomed. It slammed into me, yet it didn't move me or phase me strangely. A strange smoke surrounded me. Then i realized i wasn't normal. The being saw me. I dashed through the cloud and leaped onto the wall, circled around my feet steady on the wall as if it was no different from the ground. I circled around him, knowing he had lost his sight of me. I sprung off the wall and threw my hand into its head. Then kept going. I obtained a large fragment of glass, and cut the area between his main cortex. He flopped over, the exact same way the others did. I bolted immediately, through the exit the now dead creature created. I sprinted through the long narrow areas, bright flashes of red almost telling me to stop. I did just that, and was face to face with a room, full of weaponry, and what seemed to be more life. I rocketed through the air, and slammed my arms onto it. It gave in, hollow parts clattering onto the floor. They rattled for a few seconds. I was extremely curious, having been born about an hour ago. My brain had been equipped with a variety of information. The majority about tactics for fighting, and taking lives. My mind told me this was armor, and i could protect myself with it, giving me more of an advantage. I clumsily forced it on. It was difficult, i was engineered to be a prime example of strength and raw power. I was a powerhouse. All of my muscular systems were at the very crest of there size. The armor fit anyway, and adjusted itself to my insane size. I had chosen 2 weapons, two thin, sharp swords. My decision was to stay in this room and piece what was going on for a week or so. There was sustenance and information in this room i could use. I located a book on arachnids. Then began to read about spiders.
The armory was a foolish place for him to stay. It's so obvious. It was so very near, i could taste it. I could smell the stench of him, he'd been in this exact same corridor. I had him cornered now. I'd have a glorious battle, then emerge victorious! I halted at the door. I drew up my thorn, and blew a fire blast from its tip. The door crumpled to bits, the doorway charred. I ran in, slashing about, waiting to hear the sweet tearing sound i had lusted for. There was nothing but dry swings and the sound of the air being cut through. I was enraged.
¨WHERE ARE YOU, YOU IDIOT!¨ I screamed with all the oxygen in my lungs.
¨Above you.”
I threw my head up, then covered it with my thorn arms. There was a cut, then a singing pain in my forearms. He landed a few feet in front of me. There he was. Magnificent, such adequate detail. His veins on his forearms were throbbing violently, as if they were attempting to escape. It would appear he took advantage of the armory, a variable i hadn't accounted for.  He wasn't much stronger with such a light coding equipped, but those katanas he displayed were a major threat. They severely damaged my melee thorns, in one overhead blow.
“Your move.”, he suddenly rasped.
His vocals weren't yet completed, due to the fact he’d awaken early. I lunged with an explosion off my feet, propelling myself at him. He quickly evaded the powered assault, and i found myself arm in wall, hopelessly stuck. My head flew around quickly at the sound of footsteps echoing through the zone of the armory. I violently jerked at my arm like a fish caught in a net trying desperately to escape, to no appeal. He drew closer by the second. His katanas seemed to cut through the darkness, and i knew i was next. Out of haste, I threw my available arm above my head, the forced it upon the captured arm. There was a multitude of snaps as one arm betrayed the other, scathing through it like a scolding knife against butter. I jet out to the side, the nub of where my limb had previously been in torment. I bounced to my feet and heaved a blow at my nemesis. He almost dissolved into the shadows, and my charged attacked cleaved nothing but air. And to my surprise, there was a twinge of pain in that arm, and i realized it was sliding off. It flumped to the floor, and began to wilt. Since I was indeed plant based, i wouldn't have to fear crucial fluid loss. In fact, if i could get far enough for an unknown time period, both my arms had a chance to replace themselves. New plan. Run. i mindlessly scampered to the door in self preservation. I backtracked where i ran to get here in the first place. The garden.  I had to survive at all costs, even though thinking ahead of time, i already had another body being made in progress. My main focus as of now? Keep moving, don't look back at my own impending death attempting to snag my feet.
The creature took off into the hallway. I decided to pursue this hostile beast, an uncontrollable urge contrived me too. I began after it, sticking to the blinding darkness, using it as a blanket. The creature never turned back, and was clearly set on a target. It was apparent it was slightly faster than me, but i was still able to keep up. It seemed the creature was very different, and had not bled like the others. This one seemed familiar, like id encountered it previously. Out of nowhere, he dove into a room. Id never been in this region of where ever i was, before. I was hot on his heels, and lunged into the room he had entered. I touched down on a strange material, which, if my mind served me right, was soil. an  auroral light nourished my face. For the first time, i'd experienced sunlight. I gazed in awe at the room, it was a greenhouse full of man sized  perennial casks, similar to the one id emerged from. I shucked it open, to find a copy of the creature. I disabled it immediately, and came to the fact he was in this very room along with me. I had killed the one in the room where i was created. This was a replica. I planked my 2 swords together, and whisked them hoping for some kind of spark, to burn through this horrid garden.
There he was, standing there mindlessly. What a moron he was for not attempting to find me! Oh, when my limbs heal fully, he’ll regret stalking me. As of now they were making their way to approximately 75%. It was Only a few more minutes in this sunlight. I hid behind one of the incubators, and remained there until i was ready for my onrush. The rejuvenation in my arms was horrendously painful. I savored the feeling, although i knew there was plenty more to come. I observed him. He stood there, brandishing his katanas. Over and over he did this, until a flush red shard scraped off, and floated to the ground. My jaw hardened in anger. A sensation built up inside me and cauterized inside my stomach, and cremated throughout my body. Fear, i told myself. I greater fear this particular moment. I upsurged from behind the incubator.
“YOU IMBECILE! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” I bellowed. He turned his head over his shoulder.
“That's not my calling. If you wish to get my attention…”, he pulled out a booklet on arachnids.
  “Call me Spider.” he was so calm about this! Unbelievable. A fire began to gain momentum from behind him.
“What may i have the pleasure of calling you?” revealing my name and making small talk was one of my only choices.
The body i have fully incubated would have no harm from the flames, but it would be the last available until the entirety of the stalks had grown back, which may take dozens of months, even years. “Call me varixma,”  I smiled a hateful smile.
The fire behind me reflected across varixma’s dark eyes, the lilac pupil glowing with a swirl of orange. He glared through me, an unholy anticipation gleaming inside his crooked smile. Is arms had fully restored themselves, which was strange. I studied my surroundings. I took note that the smoke had blotted out the sunlight, which would make this fight more difficult vision wise, and limit both our oxygen. I held up my weapons and took position. It was time to cut the grass.
HE'S GOTTEN ANNOYING.
This wasn't supposed to happen. He's become to difficult to handle. Time to wash the itsy bitsy spider from the spout. I converted my arms back into the deadly thorns, and charged. The fire behind me was extinguished when i pushed from the ground and sprinted at him.
Just as planned. He always attempts an attack first. He charged, arms ablazing, coated in a thick flame. If this was a game, i was going to show him how to play. I scathed into a plant, the burning sap making my sword alight, red hot. I broke into assault formation, and copied varixma.
What a moron! He dulled his sword with plant sap then has the audacity to attempt an attack? No matter, i shouldn't complain over an advantage. He was getting closer now, neither of us slowing down, like 2 trains colliding head to head. I jabbed my left thorn out,and stuck my horns forward, in hope of wounding him in this joust.
An offensive move was incorrect. We butted into each other, he was stunned by my defensive push, and skimmed across the scorching ground, while his horns crinkled my metalic armor like cardboard. There was an unfamiliar sharp sensation where i was hit. I groped the area. My hand slipped off the now slick coated armor.

And so even the perfect man bleeds. I laughed at him. He helplessly fell to his knees. Ironic isn't it?  It would appear we switched positions. I began to step towards him. “The violent crackling of the fire, the footsteps of death, and the dripping of another enemies blood indeed means a victory, doesn't it?”

I didn't answer to him,  i needed to save as much energy as possible. I had an idea.

How dare he not answer his better when asked a question? Oh, well. He was going to die shortly anyway.  I was near him, and he still hadn't moved. How pathetic.

He here he comes. Step by step.

I loomed over him. I snickered as he drained like a fruit on a juicer. My horns where now glazed in the ooze. Dry from the fire. I was right in front of him now, ready to end this.

Now. i sprang up, launched both katanas in his cardiovascular,  he let out a brief yet ear-splitting whale. The  scolding sap bestowed upon my katanas drained into his lungs, then began to solidify due to the extremely chill insides of varixma.The katanas where now a permanent part of him, and so was the foreign now rock hard sap. It petrified his lungs, making them a still living fossil. He attempted to scream, but let out dry howls, as he grasped and clawed at the weaponry lodged inside him. He began to fuss at his throat and his eyes started to violently vibrate. I laid atop my back and crawled in the opposite direction.

I prayed to god the body had survived the fire. It felt as if beehives suddenly sprang to life inside my lungs. I began to black out. I abandoned the body, it had become useless. I scanned the room in haste, and there it was. The spare. I flew into it. But to my surprise… it was already killed by him.  I abandoned that one, and frantically searched for anything else I could inhabit, but to no luck. I floated above, spectating in my incorporeal form. The fires raged, and spider had indeed managed to survive.
  That day changed my entire life. My opportunity to form and control anymore bodies was past, Spider took the genetic code left in the laboratory and managed to create an entire subspecies, exact mirrors of himself. With the exception of the females he’d engineered himself. Of course the lad became much too crowded, so they departed. While i'm doomed to haunt this metal coffin. But from the ashes always comes a new sprout. My seed would grow from the carcasses eventually. So once again, i remained patient. I'll find Spider one day. The outcome then will be much different. I'll have plenty of time to think about what my plan of action will be. 






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