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Farewell

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The only sounds you could hear were the rhythmic sounds of boots, the metal shackles around your extremities, and the oddly steady sound of your heart beating.
It was dark, as you had a blindfold over your eyes, but you didn’t resist. No, you were calm, peaceful, and at rest, ironically.

“So this is it.” A soft voice whispers in your ear. You feel someone hold back the metal rope attached to your neck and you stop. “The greatest villain in history, who rose above the ranks faster than anyone else finally, meeting her end,” the voice pauses before sighing, “On the December 25th of XX34.”

You let out a sigh, and nod sadly, before the voice sighs as well, “I wish this didn’t have to end like this.”

A smile plays on your lips, and suddenly the blindfold is taken off and you are momentarily blinded. Your hands go up to cover your eyes and you are not so gently pushed forward, making you nearly stumble, earning a cheer from the crowd.
Once you regain your bearings, you feel someone harshly tug on your chains, making you stumble and fall face first into the smooth wooden floor. “Get up!” A familiar voice hisses.

Struggling, you get up, only to have your chain yanked again, but you manage to get up this time. Suddenly you feel spit on your cheek, and find yourself face-to-face with one of the most important people in your life, Steelheart.

A benevolent smile spreads on your lips, and you tilt your head, knowing full well that she’d slap you.

“To think, I could fall in love with a monster such as yourself.”

You shrug, and in a blur, she slaps you, nearly toppling you, but you manage to regain your balance. “I think that was a new record.” You murmur weakly.

She laughs before grabbing the long metal leash and yanking it, forcing you to follow her, “Oh how I wish I could do it every day.”

As you shamble behind her on the runway, you try to keep your eyes glued to the chair in the middle of the stage you were being led to. It was hard not to see the giant lightning rod attached to it, and the hundreds of needles hovering close by.

“You don’t deserve to die in such a painless way, monster.” Steelheart says again. As you both neared, a familiar blonde wearing a suit made her way towards you.

“It seems like the guest of honor as arrived,” she purrs while glaring at you, “The preparations are all set. All we need to do now is have our, opening spectacle.” She finishes before walking towards Steelheart and grabbing the metal leash, “Let me have this honour as well, love.”
Steelheart shrugs and hands it over, “You are pushing the button anyway.”

The Countess licks her lips, and looks at you, her smile cold and harsh, a smile you had only seen once, and that was before the 3 of you got together, “I know darling, that’s why I want to make it hurt some more.”

She violently yanks the chain, forcing you to lurch forward only for your chin to meet her knee, you could literally feel and taste the broken teeth in your mouth.
Another roar from the crowd and you can mutely hear Steelheart and The Countess talk before you see a bunch of V.A.N.G.U.A.R.D soldiers make their way to you and hoist you up.

Once you were strapped in the seat, you notice the dark clouds seemed to have gathered over to your area, and the needles seemed to be glistening under the light.
There were guards around you, each armed to the teeth, but you barely payed them any mind, no, you were going to go out just as you had wanted to ever since you were a villain, with dignity and some theatrical note.

“We are all gathered here today, to remove the threat which is…” You tone out the voice, and simply watch the sky, watching the gray clouds float by.

You peel your focus from the sky and see The Countess and Steelheart standing together, their hands resting on 2 buttons, and their attention raptly to the speaker, who was dissing your name. A forlorn smile makes its way to your mouth, as you realize had you been in this situation earlier, you would have desperately tried to fight back.

But times changed, and you aren’t the same person you were back then. “I hope you know, you did good and right here.” The same voice whispers. You smile and nod, “But I have to go now too, before they find out I was here.”

You nod one final time, and whisper to yourself, “Thank you, Drake.” And for the first time in a long time, you had no one to talk to. The Drake, a former rival, nemesis of yours, turned to be one of your most steadfast friends, going on many adventures with you.

The bond the 2 of you nurtured was a side effect from battling a psychotic telepath, who was forcibly mashing people together, who the villain believed were ‘soulmates’.

Had it not been for The Countess and Steelheart, the 2 of you might have ended up literally becoming one.

A nostalgic smile graces your lips until a sharp zap to your side jolts you from your memories and you find yourself looking at the Mayor of Merit City and the Director of V.A.N.G.U.A.R.D who both had a sour face on.

“Last words?”

You contemplate, before sighing, “What else is there to say?”

The Mayor of Merit City, a young woman, looked at you sadly, “Anything, as my word as Mayor, you won’t have anything happen to you while you say your last words.”
Unlike everyone else who was affected by the alien poisoning, she was actually resistant to it, alongside Drake, who both tried to save you.

“You have my thanks, Mayor.” You close your eyes and relax against the chair, “But I’d rather die now, and have the world judge me for the things I left behind and the memoirs I wrote.”

You can feel her sympathetic nod before she turns to address Steelheat and The Countess. “You may now spin the wheel.”

‘The Wheel’ is a device that V.A.N.G.U.A.R.D made for villains on the execution list. They have the best-worst way to die, and usually use it as a last resort for only the most hardened dangerous criminals, which in this case is, you.

Suddenly heat washes on you and your eyes snap open to find a wall of flame a few feet away from your face. Screams were heard, and you could hear Steelheart and The Countess hiss, especially The Countess.

A few seconds the wall disappears and you find yourself on a charred stage, with the Mayor and Director nowhere to be found, with The Drake standing there at the base of the stage holding her flamethrower, “Nice to see you!”

You frown, “Drake, I thought we both agreed that-,” the stage gives way and you find yourself momentarily falling until you land on a pile of burnt wood, and ash, only to have the same stuff cover you.

Struggling, you try to wriggle yourself out, only to see an unconscious Steelheart a few feet away, her body partially covered by debris. Filled with determination, you manage to pull yourself out, and approach her cautiously, making sure she really was unconscious before pulling her out.

A gout of fire nearly hits you, and you bite back a curse, before hoisting the unconscious form Steelheart and running out from under the stage before it collapsed.
Once you got outside, you notice the other V.A.N.G.U.A.R.D soldiers poised not at you, but at the Drake who was battling The Countess.

You quickly catch the attention of one of the soldiers and before they could shoot you, you motion to the unconscious Steelheart before running straight first into the skirmish, without any weapons or defence whatsoever.

Oh you were so going to die.

With practised ease, you climb up the stage, and using the debris, take a running jump, and to everyone’s surprise, tackle The Drake before she could scorch anyone else. You both battle it out for a bit, your martial arts prowess over her own, but ultimately you win.

“Drake, I told you, I’ve accepted my fate.” You were still in a combat ready stance, despite The Drake’s obvious physical condition. A knife stuck in her shoulder, bruises everywhere, you somewhat marvelled how she was still standing.

She rests the tip of her flamethrower on the ground, “This isn’t fair.”

You sigh, “Nothing is, but you’d do it for the people you love.”

She sighs and looks at you resigned, “I can’t stop this, can I?”

You shake your head, and she hangs her head in defeat, “Can I at least have a goodbye hug?”

You spread your arms wide open, and she moves to embrace you tightly, “I’ll miss you.” She whispers.

Before you could reply you suddenly feel the air inside you knocked out, and you were on the floor, with The Drake looking at you mournfully, “But I need to do this, for you.”

Your eyes follow her gaze as she looks away and you find V.A.N.G.U.A.R.D soldiers dragging the unconscious forms of Steelheart and Countess under the stage. “They made my job easier, no wonder why villains flourished.”

She looks at you again, and you search her eyes before shaking her head, “I’m sorry.”

Anger bubbles inside you, and you bare your teeth at her, “Don’t you dare.”

One last look, and she sprints, and you are filled with adrenaline.

Everything happens after this was a blur. You remember being vaguely shot on the leg by either The Drake or a soldier, but it didn’t matter. What mattered was, you stopping that grenade that The Drake had tossed under the stage.

Time slows and you push The Drake away just throws as she throws the grenade, and with your last push, you chase after it, grabbing it and swallowing it just before it explodes. The last things you see are the 2 people you love the most, looking at you.

“I had this printed out, and bound,” she opens the drawer from her desk and pulls out a thick book, “She wrote quite a lot, as you can imagine.”
Steelheart doesn’t say anything, simply nodding while The Countess was struggling to keep herself afloat. “Thank you,” she replies thickly, “I don’t know what we would’ve done if we didn’t….”

The Mayor nods sympathetically, “She gave me the notes when she was still in hiding, and asked me to compile it. She even allowed me to edit and read through it.”

The Countess nods before looking at the floor, “Thank yo-,”

“You know, the last portion, I think you should read it. There’s something she wanted to ask both of you and well, I think now is as good as ever.” The Mayor interrupts and points to the book with her chin, “Only if you want to that is.”

“Of course.” Steelheart speaks up suddenly, her voice empty and apathetic. The Countess looks at her before sighing, nodding as well.
Gently, The Countess gets the book and places it on her lap, and she flips it over to the last section. Steelheart rests her head on The Countess’s shoulder, reading. The Mayor could barely stop herself from smiling when she sees some life spark into Steelheart’s eyes and The Countess actually smiling naturally for once.

They both look at her, their eyes searching hers, “Did she really?”

The Mayor nods, “She really did. Even during the dark times, she continued to write, and I still continued to compile.” She reaches over and pulls at the smaller drawer and produces 2 velvet boxes, one dark blue, while the other was steely silver. “You know, she never stopped loving you both.”