doll joints dot click

fast, fast, faster than that. zero to sixty to zero in an interval so small it's practically a rounding error. the snow crunches under her feet; her enemy hovers on antigravity jets that makes the powder swirl into nodal patterns.

it's just the two of them, here. anybody else would just be a distraction. and besides, it's personal: each would never let the other die at anyone else's hand.

swords and guns and magic and fists. maybe if things had been different, if the Accord hadn't been violated, maybe--

but there is no maybe here, only the present.

when she finally pierces her opponent's core with her sword, she does not celebrate or taunt or sneer.

just a simple statement, met with a sad smile and a nod.


she repurposes her cutting edges to dig a grave. no words, no funeral rites. not like either of them believed in anything.

and then she sits next to the shallow mound of snow, head bowed, and tries her hardest not to think about what could have been.