Show's Over

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This chapter was written by a huge friend of The Hunt, ChristopherOpyr

   

"No, no, no," Gerald shouted at the screen. "Get back up!"

He couldn't bear it. Not only had his valkyrie brutally slaughtered his former lover, leaving herself as the bloodstained pride of his collection, but now even she might not survive the night.

His emotions twisted, in one moment caught on a tempestuous, storm-ravaged sea and in the next moment smoothing out in the calm of the eye. He wanted to rage at the death of Tabby Cat, and he wanted to skin her butcher, and yet at the same time he battled with a warm sense of pride in his new prize. She hunted as if a seasoned veteran, fighting for her life with a tenacity and a ferocity that could only be admired. She was glorious. There was that word again. Glorious. She ripped out his heart; yet she earned it with her fury. As rage and admiration battled within him, Gerald knew no final verdict could be reached. Not then.

Right now, only one thing mattered; Silent Death had to survive this night.

Once more, Gerald returned to the forums. As he chimed in requesting another favour, a familiar handle greeted him.

   

Undergroundguru69: Christ on a stick, mate. Again? This isn't a choose-your-own adventure. Just watch the show.

TheUnderlord_92: 75k. Another Stim Pac.

Undergroundguru69: Look, one Stim Pac, whoops, our bad. Two and everyone knows the game is rigged.

TheUnderlord_92: 150k.

Undergroundguru69: Sorry. No can do. Boss's orders.

TheUnderlord_92: 250k.

Undergroundguru69: The audience wants to believe the lie. Shatter that illusion and you break The Underground.

TheUnderlord_92: Listen here. I am the damn audience. I might as well be your patron fucking saint! Now give her the damn Stim Pac.

TheUnderlord_92 has been blocked.

   

"Shit!"

Gerald hit his fist against the keyboard. A few keys popped off and a satisfying snap sounded as the plastic mould cracked, yet it did little to alleviate Gerald's frustration, and much to worsen his mood, agitating his bad leg with the sudden movement.

A sharp pain stabbed up from his knee radiating into his thigh, causing Gerald to bite his lip to stop himself from screaming. Had he not already been seated he would have collapsed to the floor - collapsed like his valkyrie.

As Gerald tried to ease the pain in his leg, massaging it with one hand (which was about as effectual as bailing out a sinking freighter with a teaspoon), he calmed his nerves and tried to focus. Silent Death had to survive for the next Hunt. He had lost Tabby Cat; he would not lose this prize, too. She had a taste for blood now, one that he could craft into an insatiable thirst, yet for him to do that she had to get up off that floor... or, he realized, The Grim had to die before he found her.

He smiled as his out crystallized before him. He could save her without saving her; he could orchestrate her survival in one bloody act. Unfortunately, that moment of joy quickly soured upon his tongue.

He had been banned from the forums. Sure, he could bypass that, but that tipped his hand. He preferred that the Westcotts believed that they truly ran the show. The whole arrangement insulated him from blowback, plus, subordinates were far more compliant when they not only thought that they were in charge, but also that your decisions were actually their choices. Once he shifted that dynamic, once he revealed his control over the entire scenario, then suddenly the Westcotts had someone to rage against - an opposing party upon which to lay their frustrations and to blame for their grievances.

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