I really needed to get this out of my system. I feel better now.
Or maybe I'm just beginning.
I disclaim all rights to the Infamous games and their characters, etc etc.
The sparks died with the chaotic noise of battle. Half of New Marais was left smoldering in flames, the enormous body of The Beast on its knees, fallen.
Most of the populace either lay dead or dying, the Plague eating away at those who weren't fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be Conduits.
Stared down at the small machine in his hands: the Ray Field Inhibitor, the device that he had fought his way through a city of monsters and psychotics to power on.
The thing that would save all of humanity, and leave him and his kind dead.
It pulsed in his hands, beseeching.
It was time.
Time for him to do the selfless thing, time for him to be the big damn hero to a world that hated and feared him.
Time for him to do what those protestors in the streets had been shouting since he'd arrived in the city only days before:
Battered and weak, Kuo struggled to hold herself upright as she peered at him, pleading.
His arms were wrapped around her before he could think, holding her up, showing her a gentle touch when only moments before he had been firing bolts of electricity into her body, shocking her cold blood and leaving her broken before him.
He'd gone easy on her.
Her betrayal had upset him, surprised him, but he could not hate her now. He knew what had seen her jumping in to defend The Beast, stand against him and against everything he knew she believed in.
He'd heard it singing in her voice as she shouted at him:
Fear of death.
So he swallowed the thick lump of bitterness in his throat, pushed it down until it dissolved in the sizzling acid of his gut. Held her steady as she coughed, her lungs fighting the literal shock of his attacks.
She bent her head, ashamed.
"You made the right choice…hell, even Nix made the right choice…"
Dismay spilled from her lips. She was looking Death in the face and apologizing for not accepting it.
"I was…I am scared."
He leaned in, looked down at her, met her eyes and willed the fear in them away. He wanted to smile, reach up and wipe the frozen droplets of tears from her face. He wanted to tell her she was stronger than she thought, and that she was good, and if he could he'd snatch her up and together they'd hole up in a freight car with Zeke and drink beer until the world sank into Hell around them.
"I am too."
It was the only truth left to speak aloud anymore.
Her hand was cold against his, as they always were since being subjected to the torment of becoming a forced Conduit. He didn't mind it, not as much as a normal person would. He absently wished he could hold it while they perished.
But the RFI demanded all of his power and effort to turn on.
"Do it…do it."
Her eyes were somber, resigned, the twinge of fear lingering behind an attempt at resilience.
He held the RFI. Concentrated his energy.
It would hurt, just like the blast cores did. Knock him out...this time forever.
It would sear into his body and race into his blood, and every muscle would burn and every cell would scream. It would hurt her, too, and Nix, and the Ice Soldiers and the monsters roaming the swamps.
It would hurt every potential Conduit that John-The Beast- had activated along the east coast.
It would be an agonizing death, and they knew it.
He didn't look back at her.
It was time.
Peace would elude their fates in favor of torment, but billions of innocents around the world would continue on, blissfully unaware of plagues and mutations, unthreatened by what he had accidentally wrought upon the world that fateful day in Empire City.
They would live.
Zeke would live.
It was time.
I'm afraid, too, Lucy. It's okay.