Title: Paradigm Shift
Author: Harper Kingsley
Genre: mm sci-fi, mpreg
Dylan breathed in through his nose and forced his thoughts to clarity. There was no time for daydreaming. Not when he was needed to enact the Law.
“Come on,” he whispered. The recyclers should cover any sound they made, but it was better not to test it.
He had the Law Officers position themselves in the rafters. They’d have a clear shot once he got Hanson out in the open
He’d keep his eyes open for more shock grenades. He wouldn’t put it past Hanson to have booby-trapped the Farm.
“Quick and quiet,” he said. He gave the Law Officers a two-fingered wave before sliding open the auxiliary hatch. The narrow metal ladder was in a three-foot by three-foot shaft that opened into the closet-like maintenance shed next to the water reclamation unit.
With luck he’d be able to take Hanson and his Acolytes from behind. They wouldn’t even know he was there until it was too late.
Dylan felt his battle lust rising. He was ready to show Hanson the error of his ways.
* * *
Gregor floated in the water tank and wished he’d found a better hiding spot, one that was far away from here. The annoyance of fish butting against his sides and back only added to the discomfort. He could feel his skin pruning and he’d already given in to his bladder and peed in the water.
He pressed himself against the side of the tank and listened for anything happening outside. He caught the occasional murmur of voices, but he couldn’t make out any words. He knew he wasn’t alone and dreaded making a sound.
A voice raised querulously.
Gregor breathed through his nose and held himself still. He recognized that voice as Hanson’s, and he knew that tone didn’t mean anything good. Hanson was about to throw one of his fits of rage, and considering what he’d made of himself over the years, things were going to get violent.
Gregor watched the tank opening, that narrow sliver of light in the dimness. He kept far back in case someone lifted the lid to peek in, but he was ready to respond if he was spotted. The metal bar was a comforting weight in his hands.
* * *
A couple of deep breaths, the comforting pump of blood through his veins, spreading the excitement and adrenaline, nd Dylan let himself go.
The well-maintained door didn’t make a single betraying sound as he swung it inward. His footsteps were light, not even a single scuff against the floor. He flowed across the stone tile, his dadao in his right hand and his gun in his left, both ready.
There was a quiet tick in his head leading him onwards. It kept careful time and held him in the moment. He maintained a sense of calm purpose, his hunting instincts carefully held in check.
A First that gave into his instincts was useless. That was one of the first lessons he’d learned about his nature. What followed afterward was eight grueling years of Training School where that first lesson was solidly reinforced.
Psychopaths like Hanson didn’t control their instincts. The need to hunt, kill prey, and claim mates was allowed to rule them and fed into their already dangerous hungers. A psychotic Two was deadly, but a psychotic First was devastating to a whole community.
A First was a born leader, so even the worst among them would cultivate followers. Criminals and the mentally ill followed rogue Firsts in a trail of destruction. It was a madness that could overtake a whole group of people as cults built themselves around out of control Firsts. It was disgusting.
Virgil Hanson had grown beyond smalltime cult leader reverence to become something closer to a force of nature. He’d grown so big that they were here, and it was Dylan’s duty to put the man in the ground.
It was instinct more than anything that had Dylan turn his head at the right second. The switchblade whipped past the tip of his nose and Dylan moved.
There was the dull pop of an elbow dislocating as his gun pushed against his attacker’s arm. The knife arched away in a flash of silver and Dylan stomped on the man’s instep and punched him three times in quick succession with his dadao.
The man wore an expression of pained surprise, but still tried to fight. Dylan slashed him across the neck and barely watched him fall before turning toward the real threat: Hanson.
It felt like the world slowed down. His own even breaths were loud in his ears, deep inhalations and measured exhalations as he used the releasing air to power his punches and slashes.
Hanson was a skilled fighter, his kicks and jumps graceful and acrobatic. He wore a fierce grin on his cosmetic covered face, his teeth a flash of sharp white. He kept close to Dylan, not letting him use his gun. Dylan didn’t really mind–he wanted to cut Hanson into small pieces.
They whirled around the room, punching and kicking, slashing at each other with blades. The scuff of their feet was loud on the stone tile floor, the missed strikes leaving gouges in the wall, door frames, and the water tanks.
Hanson missed stabbing Dylan in the neck with his knife and punched a hole in the warm-water tank instead. The floor became treacherous as they lunged and grappled, their battle lust driving them to fight and kill.
Dylan heard the sound of the Law Officers sniping at Hanson’s few surviving followers, but he didn’t have the time to care. He was in a battle to the death, and he wasn’t winning.
The world spun as he was flung through the air to slam hard against a salinization tank. His shoulders hit first, then the back of his head bounced against the hard metal shell. His teeth snapped together sharply and stars burst behind his eyes.
He shook off the shock and tried to get to his feet, but he was too slow. It was like magic to his dazed brain, the way Hanson appeared before him. Sharp, painted nails dug into the fabric over his arms and a knee powered up into his stomach hard enough that he tasted blood.
Dylan cried out as Hanson chomped his teeth into the apple of his left cheek. There was a tearing pain when Hanson jerked his head back, spitting out the chunk of flesh. Hanson’s teeth were red with blood that ran down his chin. He looked like a monster.
There were no words, only a fierce struggle to survive. Punches, kicks, stabs, Dylan refused to give up his life cheaply. He would make Hanson work for it.