Chapter 323: Puppet Dancing On Strings
I hate myself.
I hate myself.
I HATE MYSELF.
Sophie floated silently in the vast empty space of her amulet as she saw through her eyes the gruesome fates of the remaining mercenaries.
Their cries and pleads for mercy went unanswered as the predator hunting them could no longer understand the concept of restraint.
What had happened to her once the bloodlust had fully taken control of her psyche was a bit odd to say the least.
Sophie was perfectly conscious of her movements and any sensations that her body felt, but it was like being a puppet dancing on strings.
It was almost impossible to describe how it felt to experience both a third-person and a first-person perspective at the same time.
The monster ripping into those freshly killed corpses was… herself.
Sophie watched silently as her hands became more stained with blood and fleshy chunks of meat fell to the ground.
These aliens had loved ones… friends, families, lovers.
They would never see them again.
Sophie was by no means a pacifist but seeing the effects of her rampage and the needlessly high death count caused by her actions took a heavy toll on her mental state.
Truthfully, only a small portion of the crew had to die during the mutiny and the mercenaries locked inside the holding room posed no threat.
If Sophie was in her normal state of mind, then they would have definitely lived.
Or maybe… that was the lie she had to tell herself to avoid fully succumbing to the depths of madness.
It was far easier to blame everything on the goddess’ gifts.
But she had known the risk and had still chosen to let her berserker state activate.
If… if… she had just tried harder to resist the urge…
Would things have turned out differently?
The connection to the clone was still active so Sophie felt a small amount of relief as she saw Lily dash towards the exit.
No matter what happened inside the starship… at least the blood of the child she had sworn to protect would not be on her hands.
Sophie had no doubt that if Lily had stayed with the clone for a moment longer, she would have been ripped apart and devoured.
It was that simple fact that was the most devastating.
Sophie had been called all kinds of nasty names during her years in high school due to her hybrid nature.
Freak. Ugly. Hideous creature. Abomination.
Yet as Sophie stared at the disgusting sight of the chunks of flesh scattered across the room, she could not help but think that maybe they were right.
Her hybrid nature had made her a monster.
A mere beast with nothing but the urge to kill and harm every living organism around it.
Why couldn’t she just use her powers without any side effects?
What was the point of being a vessel and having divine strength if the power simply controlled her?
Regret filled Sophie’s heart as only one thought echoed over and over in her mind.
She was no hero.
Only…. a murderer.
A ruthless killer.
“Goddess! Priestess! Please can one of you help me?” Sophie yelled out into the void. She had no idea if her prayer would be answered but it was worth a try.
She waited patiently in silent anticipation, but her earnest plead for help received a cold, callous response.
The multiple voices of the goddess echoed through the empty void with an emotionless tinge to her reply.
[Sorry my dear vessel]
[But this is a trial that you must overcome on your own]
“Bullshit!” Sophie growled darkly.
She didn’t care anymore.
It was time for some answers. There must be an explanation to why the goddess’ powers were affecting her more than a typical vessel.
And the hunter goddess should be able to cut off the connection at any time!
Intense rage filled Sophie’s heart as the mental strain of having to witness terrible atrocities committed by her own hands had finally caused her to snap.
“Turn it off! I know you can cut off the power because you are the source!” Sophie yelled furiously.
“Listen… for too long I have had to put up with this nonsense. Do you think I want to be constantly afraid of myself?”
“Knowing that I am always just a mere state away from turning into a berserker and maybe even killing the ones closest to me?”
Sophie could sense a mass of darkness rising up inside the void as the temperature plummeted to the freezing point.
It was a cold and frightening chill that sent shivers down her spine.
Multiple whispers in a language that she could not understand filled the empty void and Sophie could sense someone…
Or rather something staring at her from an unknown location.
[YOU DARE SPEAK TO A GOD IN THAT TONE?]
Sophie reflected on her hostile questions and concluded that it was possible that she had already gone mad.
Well… she was no stranger to reckless decisions.
Sophie gritted her teeth and spate out the words that had been trapped in her heart for the longest time.
“I never wanted to be your stupid vessel! I admit that your power is useful, but the drawbacks are just as dangerous.”
“AND I DON’T WANT TO PLEDGE MY SOUL TO A CRAZY LUNATIC LIKE YOU!”
Sophie shivered slightly as the strange whispers suddenly stopped and an enormous pressure slammed against her body.
There was a terrible silence.
Time flowed differently inside the amulet’s space and to Sophie it seemed that the pressure would increase with every minute that passed.
This tense atmosphere was unexpectedly broken by a happy peal of laughter that sounded both innocent and surprisingly child-like.
[My vessel should be proud, feisty, and unbroken]
[Never surrender your will to anyone… even to me]
[Good luck my little Arachnais]
The presence inside the void immediately vanished and Sophie could sense that she was once again alone.
There was no time to mull over the goddess’ parting words as something important had captured her immediate attention.
Outside of the mental space, Sophie could feel that her hunger had reached its peak, but the problem was that no more preys were left alive in the nearby area.
It was time for her body to search the other floors.
Perhaps this power was just a curse.
No matter how hard she tried to look away, Sophie found herself forced to watch and experience everything that her body did.
And her deepest fear was that the worst was yet to come.
“Grr… grr… more… more….” Sophie growled darkly as she licked the warm blood from her fingertips.
Sophie’s bladed appendages extended outwards as her body reacted eagerly to the chance for another tasty snack.
“No please!” a faint cry could be heard coming from the upper floor.
Sophie immediately cracked her neck upwards and used her enhanced vision to penetrate the metalloid walls.
There was a creature that looked just like her.
It was hunting down…
ONE OF HER SNACKS!
Sophie clutched her head in pain as the sudden burst of rage that coursed through her veins proved to be too overwhelming.
“Mine… mine… MINE!” Sophie screeched in fury.
She channeled small amounts of qi into her bladed- appendages and scuttled forward with movements similar to a crab.
The surroundings started to shift as Sophie accelerated rapidly until her figure could only be seen as a blur by the security cameras on the starship.
Not that there was anyone left alive to review the footage.
Only a few splattered bloodstains were left in the security office after Sophie had swept that particular floor on her way to the upper deck.
Animalistic noises and grunts escaped from the hybrid girl’s mouth as the territorial instinct to drive away competition was proving to be a powerful motivator.
Sophie’s fingernails lengthened into claws that scratched against the surface of the metalloid walls of the corridor.
Sophie rushed up the stairs and entered the floor above only to be met with a sight that caused her blood to boil with rage.
ALL OF THE FOOD HAD ALREADY BEEN SPOILED.
There was a humanoid figure covered in blood and merrily munching away on the leg of an alien corpse that was missing several body parts.
The rest of the mercenaries were scattered in gruesome postures all throughout the corridor with their eyes gouged out and their chests shattered.
“Grr….” the clone spat out a bloody chunk of meat and tilted her head in confusion at the sight of another version of herself.
“Grr… mine…mine…. mine…” Sophie muttered incoherently in reply.
The clone had no time to react before Sophie’s sharpened claws and bladed appendages sank into her body.
A dull coughing noise escaped the clone’s mouth as a small line of blood flowed out from her lips.
Both of her lungs and other major organs had been partially destroyed.
Sophie grinned ferally as she began to toy with the fake by sticking her arm inside the clone’s stomach and stirring around the intestines playfully.