Summer Ashton: Let Vivian go. This is between you and me.

(I stare at the woman in front of me. I destroyed her life. I'm not sorry. The problem is, it's come back to bite me in the ass. I never thought I'd hear from her again, yet here she is, Exa Cution. That wouldn't be a problem if she didn't have my only friend as a hostage. A hostage missing one ear. That b**ch is gonna pay for what she's done to Viv. Exa shoulda left this between us. She didn't have to torture Vivian. She holds Viv by the hair. My friend doesn't even have the energy to move. She just sits on the ground in front of Exa with her head down. Who knows what the hag did to her.

As I stand here I reply the day in my head. From getting the package with my friends ear to reading the twisted note that was left with it. Exa gave me plenty of time to prepare for her ahead of time. Her mistake. Well, so I thought. Turns out none of my prep was worthwhile. I figured she'd play cat and mouse. I came armed with some blades. I was fully prepared to stalk her through the building...cut her down. Instead I found her standing in the middle of the building, holding onto my friend. She immediately had me toss my weapons. She's not as dumb as I thought. Now I stand here on a dirty floor asking her to spare my friend. She just laughs at me. Her eyes are glassy. Watery. Manic.)

Exa Cution: You sound like a cop in the movies. Who would have ever thought Holly Caust would sound like a generic lawman. How pathetic.

(She thinks she can get under my skin by using my former name. I could care less.)

Summer Ashton: It's real simple. Let her go. She isn't going anywhere. You can always kill her later.

(Vivian doesn't even react to my words. I'm not sure she's really even herself anymore. Some of the mental trauma could be permanent. It's not like I actually want Exa to kill her, but this will get her out of my way. Once Viv is out of the way I'm going to rip the scars right off this woman's forehead. She seems to puzzle over my words for a moment, but still smiles eerily. Well at least my destroying her life gave her a personality. She should be thanking me.)

Summer Ashton: So get her out of our way. You want to kill me right? Then come on! I don't have all night. I gotta get back home and re-arrange my sock drawer.

(She twitches. Maybe I can make some progress with her afterall. Of course I'm sure I'm about to hear her life story. You know the big, sad one about how big, evil me did this and that. Damn, and me without my kleenex.)

Exa Cution: Do you know how long I've thought about this? Do you know what it's like to have constant migraines? To have to re-learn to walk? To have fragments of skull sticking out your forehead?! You took everything from me! I've spent a long time thinking about nothing but you. Yet, you think I'm going to make this easy for you and toss your friend aside?

(Well at least she gave me the cliff note version. I smirk defiantly at her. I can see it run a shiver up her spine. Not one of fear though. Just that slight movement of muscles in my face has put her closer to the edge. Let's see if I can push her further.)

Summer Ashton: That's funny...I didn't even remember you existed.

(That helped. She recoils in anger. Her left eye begins to twitch. Her voice goes hoarse as she replies. Her grip loosens in Viv's hair.)

Exa Cution: That's a lie!

(I allow my smirk to grow bigger. I steel myself inside. I can feel a rush of adrenaline surge through my system. The emptiness within me begins to grow. I can feel its hollow touch within my chest. I haven't felt it this close to embracing me since the time I maimed Exa. She brings out the best in me I guess. I can feel the emptiness whispering within. It wants me to let go. To forget my cares. To forget what I think I am. It tells me it can make me stronger. All I have to do is let it feed on my apathy. Let it feed on my pain. Let it give me rage. I hold it off. Can't give in yet. Viv's still in there.)

Summer Ashton: Is it?

(My words strike the right nerve. Her eyes go wide. They show me she's not in control of herself. No words come from her mouth. Her grip loosens further. Her body shakes. C'mon, just let my friend go and attack will you? Just when I think she's going to do as I want she pulls Vivian up to her feet. With a manical grin she slams her own head against Viv's. A faint grunt escapes Viv's lips as she goes limp and slumps to the ground. Exa laughs. It's my turn to lose it. Watching her hurt one of the only people I care about on this god forsaken planet is too much. The emptiness within spreads. It consumes me. I can feel every tendon, every muscle, in my body tighten. My smirk is gone as I glare in her direction. I barely even notice Vivian is there now. I have no feelings. Only my anger and my bloodlust.

I see surprise register on her face as I begin walking towards her. She points at Vivian as if to remind me that she can kill the woman. Vivian Tate is as foreign to me right now as compassion is. I keep stalking towards the woman.)

Exa Cution: Maybe I did have you pegged wrong, you really don't care about...

(Her words barely register in what's left of my mind. Her sentence is cut off by my fist. She stumbles backward, holding her mouth. Her twisted smile is gone when she lowers her hand. It's replaced by a bloody lip. First blood is mine. I look at the crimson fluid running down from her quickly swelling lip. It's not enough. The emptiness wants more. I want more. I want to bathe in a river of her blood. It's the only thing that will sate my dark hunger. She decides it better not to try and hold a conversation. Words have no value now. Leaping forward she collides with me. Her hands are like claws as they tangle in my hair. I slam a knee upward into her gut.

I can hear the wind escape her lungs, but it doesn't persuade her to let go. Another knee and still nothing. Hope I break her ribs. Without bothering to regain her composure she slams her head forward into mine. Everything goes black for a split second. The sound of metal on bone echoes in my head. When my consciousness returns I'm on my hands and knees. My head throbs. She kicks dirt in my face. I look up at her bewildered.)

Exa Cution: I can tell by your expression you're curious. Thanks to you I have this metal plate in my head. I'm amazed you managed to stay conscious. Most don't. Good. I intend to take my time. Make no mistake. You're going to die tonight.

(I shake my head, trying to rid myself of the cobwebs. Feels like she hit my head with a damn truck. I move to get up and get a boot to the face for my trouble. Now I'm on my back. I can feel the wet liquid running from my nose. Blood. Good. She kicks me in the side. It rolls me over. Rinse and repeat. Another kick rolls me over once more. I reach out and grab a crowbar. It's kicked from my hand. I listen to it clang on the floor. Exa twitches in reaction to the sound. Guess the sound of metal on concrete doens't help you when you have constant migraines. I'll use that to my advantage if I can ever get off this floor. She kicks me across the face before giving it a stomp for good measure. My nose crumples. Water instanstly clouds my vision.

Well that's broken. I can't lay here any longer. Another couple shots like that and I'll be out, which means she'll kill me. She's the one who's leaving this planet. Not me. I completely give myself to the abyss within. I don't care if I die as long as I take this b**ch with me. My pain begins to fade. So does a portion of my mind. All that matters is her death. I move to get up and get a kick to the rib. I roll with it and manage to get to my knees. She moves to attack again. Not this time. I lunge forward and tackle her against a support beam. Her back pops from the impact. I hunch down slightly and leap up. The top of my head connects with the bottom of her jaw. A muffled groan escapes her lips. I toss her to the ground away from me.

As she lays on the dirty floor holding her jaw I spot my knives. The the instruments I wanted. I move towards them. Bending down I pick up the largest one and turn towards her. Metal collides with my arm. Damn! I hear myself scream in pain as she reminds me that there was a crowbar nearby. A bone in my arm cracks. It lays useless at my side. Luckily it was my off arm. I drop to a knee. I wave the knife at her and get a crowbar to the ribs for my trouble. Another swing of the bar causes me to drop it. Still, I stand back up. Every movement of my body hurts like hell. Like bone was replaced with lava. I can't let her win. I swear to myself now. The only way she's leaving here is in a bag. She swings for my head. I duck. I can't capitalize though. The movement sends sharp pains through my ribs. I grunt in agony. She steps closer to swing again. Big mistake. I jump forward, ignoring the pain, and grab the bar. We struggle. She moves to headbutt me again. If she connects I'm toast. I manage to yank the crowbar in the way. I can feel the impact reverberate through the crowbar. She lets go and stumbles back. She's not dazed. Something else is wrong.

Water runs from her eyes as she drops to her knees and begins franctically looking through her pockets. She begins to violently convulse. She manages to find a pill bottle and struggles to open it through all her shaking. Migraine. Good. No pills for her. I swing the crowbar into her hand. I hear a bunch of tiny cracks before I see the bottle of pills fly from her hand. The little pills crash to the ground all over as she screams in pain. She looks up at me. We both know what's coming next. Neither of us is sorry. I swing the bar and connect with her head once more. She falls over onto her face. I leave her sprawled out body there and drop the crowbar. I barely hear it clatter to the floor. I step over and collect my knives with my good arm. I put them back in their sheathes.

I turn and look at Exa for a long moment. She doesn't move. It's then I remember Vivian. The hold the emptiness has on me loosens. Disolves. It's a struggle, but I break its hold. I'm me again. I rush over to Vivian's side to check on her. She's still breathing. She's not conscious though. After several painstaking minutes I manage to put her over my shoulder. Having one good arm has some major disadvantages. I turn back and look at Exa once more. Now I have a choice to make. Do I make sure Exa is dead or do I not waste anymore time getting Vivian medical attention? The longer I take the worse shape Viv could be in. I really have no idea how bad off she is. She isn't looking too good. I make a decision that surprises me. I choose my friend's safety over the death of my enemy. I'm getting soft. I turn, with Viv over my shoulder and walk out of the warehouse. I whisper to Vivian.)

Summer Ashton: Don't worry. I've got you.