Anti Hero (pt. 6)
Anti’s back hits the wall, and that wild spark inside of him flares up in fear at being cornered. At being alone. And whose fault is that?
He throws a knife at Google’s shoulder and misses by inches, ducks Dark’s punch, and glitches behind them. Another knife in hand, he slashes at Dark’s back, but Dark’s aura twists the blade from Anti’s fingers and shoves him to the floor. Google slams the heel of his foot into Anti’s sternum, knocking the breath from the glitch’s lungs. Anti blinks tears from his eyes and glitches out of the way of another attack, but he can only manage a few inches.
And then he’s back in Dark’s clutches. His aura surrounds Anti’s head, filling his mind with poisonous thoughts, but Anti escapes again. His back is against the door when it suddenly slides open, and Anti falls backwards and out.
He’s so stunned that it takes him a moment to glitch to his feet, and he comes face to face with the person who let him out.
Anti jumps back, but Oliver hardly reacts. He just stares at him, at the knife in Anti’s hand. Sudden dread nearly takes Anti’s sanity from him as he sees what Oliver expects him to do, what Oliver is daring him to do. If you don’t care about me, prove it.
“Oliver!” Google moves quickly, but Oliver moves faster to shut his brother and Dark inside the containment field of Anti’s cell. Google slams his fists against the door, screaming something, but Oliver has muted them as well. He’s waiting.
“Well, go ahead,” Oliver says softly. “Here’s your chance.” His eyes flash yellow. “Rid the world of a useless piece of equipment.”
Anti grips the knife, dumbfounded. The Author’s influence reaches for him again, and this time, Anti is unable to shrug it off. This time the Author is pulling the strings. The message is clear: they can’t suspect anything.
So Anti darts forward, the knife flashing through the air like lightning. Google splits his skin open smashing his fists into the door. Dark’s aura floods the cell with shadow, and Anti sinks the blade into the center of Oliver’s chest just as the Host bursts into the room.
Anti feels a jerk on his strings, and suddenly the room around him melts away. He’s in his attic space again as the glitches fade from his vision. Anti stands there a moment, frozen, grease on his fingers and ringing in his ears. Did he really do what he thinks he just did? No, no—not to Ollie. Not his friend.
Anti glitches again, trying to go back, but he’s dragged back to his attic by the Author’s words. He cannot leave.
“Y̨̳͇̰o̵̜̹̙͙͙̪̞u̡̫̥͉͚̰̬̙ ̟p͇̝̯̙̼̣r̥̫̱o͉̥͓m̤̼͉͍̘̲͎i̷̤͈̖̗s̤̗̬͓e̥̪͡d̨͙̠̣̭!͕͔̞̞ ͠Y̷̥ou̡͓͍̰̤̣̯ ̙̦̲͕͜p̬̬̘r͖̰͔̠͢ͅǫ͖̙m̘̱̟͇͉̹į͙̠̹̟̺̜͓s̺̘̘͡ẹ̦͎̣͇̩͠d ̛͈̣̳m̜̼̘̲̤ͅe͏͇̺̝̫ͅ ̤͎ͅt̨̗̯̯͍̜h͚a͎̞̣͎t ̩̞y̝̼͇o̧̺͇͇̯̺̻u̵̝͈͓ͅ ̗̖͔̠͚̯̺w̶͓̦o͇̫̹͖u̶͓̥̳̮̱̠̫l̺̱̞̭̫͈d̴̮̪̮n͓̭̻̝͘'t͖̳̟̮ ̵h̞̭̥̣͉̕ur̞̤̙͇̠̙͇̕ṭ̳ ͇͚̪̱̣̫̲h̘̫̬͞i̷m̪͈!̶͎̘ͅ” Anti screams at the dusty air.
“And Hitler promised that he wouldn’t invade Czechoslovakia, but we see how that turned out,” Author says coolly, leaning against the wall like nothing has happened, like Anti’s world hasn’t just crashed down around him. “You should be thanking me. There’s nothing left there for you now, and you have the future to look forward to.”
Anti manifests another knife in his hands and glitches chest to chest with the Author before growling, “You’ve forgotten one thing in all of this, though, Author. With Ollie gone, y̯͔͕̱̝o̖̖̱͕̤͕͘u͏̱͎̮͉̭̮̦'̞̠v̢͇̯è̖͎͎͖ ̙̣̮lo̭̹̘͙͍̳s̷͈̯̱̭̦̠t̩͉͚ͅ ̳̲̲̬ỳ̬̞̳̬͕͓̩o̸̫͈̝̱͎ur ͈͕̝̘͙͍̕c̟͓o̗͓͞n̬̲̣̯͍t̝̩̗͔̳̫͕r̰͡o͍̗̖̖l o͏͚͔̝̳̳v̗̻͞e͈̹̤̣͎r͟ͅ ̣m̥̩͕̬̤͕̣e͟.”
The Author smiles and leans just an inch closer so that Anti is forced to move back. “But he’s not gone, not yet. Not as long as I say he’s not.”
Anti’s heart twists up inside of his chest to the point that he glitches uncontrollably, until he’s on his hands and knees and staring at the floor blankly. The Author steps away from him to admire some of his carved wooden figures all lined up on a bookshelf. “We’ve still got work to do, Anti, and until the time comes that you can no longer be of use to me, the little yellow bot stays.” Author smirks and inspects a little wooden otter fondly.
“After all, Anti, I’m a man of my word.”