The Final Hunt

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This chapter was crafted by the amazing JMills_


"Abby. Can you hear me?"

Eyes fluttered and her mind wandered as Abby awakened from her brief slumber. Hazy in vision and semi-conscious, she looked about her surroundings, hoping that the nightmare was finally over. Even though she knew it wasn't, that small shred of doubt tickled on the edge of her brain, grinding away until the throbbing headache smashed against her cranium once again.

She moaned from the pressure building inside her skull. It hurt to think, let alone find the will to live. Her throat was parched, her limbs were weak. There wasn't an ounce of strength left within her aching bones. A piercing light engulfed what was left of her vision with an eruption of pain. She looked away, scrunching her eyes from the burning on her retinas.

"Abby, it's alright. You're safe now."

She recognised that voice, but as for who it belonged to, her muddled brain couldn't decipher. Rubbing at her eyes, she tried to focus on the blur of black and grey shapes bubbling about her. Constant beeping noises emitted from unusual contraptions, a robotic conversation drowning out even the thought of a thought.

"Who are you?" she managed to croak. Her voice sounded foreign to her, raspy. The shapes finally moulded together and revealed the outlines of her little buzzing companions, the flying drones. A smile cracked her countenance from the memory of her little friends.

"Don't be alarmed. It's Sampson."

Her smile faltered. A pair of hands grabbed under her arms and hoisted her up from the foetus position she was in. Pain wreaked havoc through her bones, every sensation tingling through the fibre of her being. With childish steps, as if she were walking for the first time, Sampson guided her to a chair.

Abby slumped into the seat and immediately regretted the decision. Flares of discomfort spiked along her spine, adding to the general soreness of her condition. The sound of a cup slamming onto a table jolted Abby to her senses. In haste, she grabbed the cup and drained it dry. Ice cold water trickled down her throat, cooling the persistent stabbing feeling in her throat.

"Don't think this is the end of the line. Things are about to heat up," Sampson announced, tapping his hand on the table. Each thud was louder than the last, as if they were in some gaping cavern.

"What are you nervous about?" Abby inquired. She shifted her gaze to Sampson's face and saw nothing but a blob of red surrounded by white. "Why do you look so messed up?"

The insistent tapping stopped. "Nobody messed me up, okay? Everyone is gonna pay."

"Who?"

Sampson started to pace about the room. His footsteps thudded on the concrete floor. Abby listened intently. Each step echoed out into oblivion. They were somewhere vast, perhaps a hall of some sort?

When her sight finally grew accustomed to the eternal darkness, she saw her ex-boyfriend, Sampson, aggressively pacing the expansive space. Slamming the cup on the table, Abby finally caught Sampson's eye. He glared at her like how he had done so many times before, but this time, everything was different.

"Well, for starters, the Addingtons, your silly 'resistance', those Underground wannabes, and the rest of the families associated with the Hunt, especially the Westcotts. I want to show the world the true colours of the Hunt."

Sampson walked toward Abby and slammed his hands on the table. He glared at her with such intensity and hatred. Blood started to trickle from his broken nose as his face reddened. Without taking any notice, he ground his teeth and snarled.

"Everyone will see themselves for what they truly are. And with FrindyPeeks being the pioneer of it all, the world will succumb to the true spirit of the Hunt."

Abby shook her head, confused with how her old flame was acting. She'd never seen this side of him. "To make the Hunters the Hunted won't solve anything."

His eyes narrowed. "We'll see about that."

With a click of his fingers, the tiny robots followed him towards the exit. Just before he left the room, Sampson looked over his shoulder, "This is all to keep you safe. It's always been about keeping you safe. I hope you know that."

A door slammed shut behind him, the echo reverberating through the desolate space. The snap of a lock soon followed.

Abby frowned. Nothing made any sense to her. She shook her head. The number of strings he'd have to yank to pull this off would have been near impossible. There was no way he was doing this by himself. Maybe, just maybe, the Government was involved in some way. Who knows, with their shady dealings these days.

A groan echoed from the far side of the hall, drawing Abby's attention away from her own dismal spot. Her head lolled to the side. She could make out a shape moving at a slow pace towards her. Whoever it was couldn't walk, not very well at least.

"Who's there?" she called out, half expecting a reply. When the shuffle of feet brought with it no response, she asked again.

"Tony," the limping shadow announced. He stepped into the light and rubbed at his temples with one hand. He shook his head and looked around. "Where are we? Are you okay?"

"I've seen better days. No idea where the hell we're holed up though..."

"I wonder if anyone else is–"

Loud groans surfaced from the nethervoid, chorusing like the song of the dead from a zombie movie. Frowning, Tony spun around. "Show yourself. Who are you?"

The men from the resistance walked out of the shadows. Most of them seemed unharmed, but dazed, much like the leader. Some rubbed at the wounds on their head while others patted themselves down, wondering where all their gear had gone too.

"What's going on?" Tony asked, his eyes blazing in bewilderment. "One second we were going to rescue Abby, the next..."

"It doesn't matter, Tony. Sampson has lost his mind," Abby said, locking eyes with him. She ground her teeth. "He wants more bloodshed, after all of this. You can't fight fire with fire."

"Abby," Nick's voice called out. Footsteps clapped thick and fast against the cold ground. Nick knelt down in front of her, gazing at her in awe. "What have they done to you?"

"Nothing. I had to survive. You would've done the same."

He shook his head slowly, as if willing himself not to. "Not like that, Abby. It looked... It looked like you were enjoying it... like you enjoyed every minute."

Discomfort grew in the pit of Abby's stomach. She licked her lips and bit her lip before answering. "It was all an act, you know, for the crowd. I did what I had to do."

Tony interrupted, "The main thing is that you're back with us."

"Now we just need to find a way out," Abby sighed.

Before the Resistance could continue, loud scratching noises plagued their eardrums. Dozens of heads snapped to the sky towards where the sound was coming from. The night sky seeped through a thin slit in the roof, enlarging with each passing squeal. As moonlight filtered through, Abby suddenly realized where they were.

Flying gizmos of all shapes and sizes whizzed about with large metal sheets, large steel beams, and an assortment of other building materials. Beeping and booping, they used infrared lasers to effortlessly merge metal with metal, forging some kind of steel warzone. Astounded by the sheer volume of activity, the Resistance withdrew as a multitude of flying contraptions ushered them back with their clackety hands.

Floodlights suddenly revealed the concrete surface encasing the old grassy grounds that used to host the 'primitive' sport before the Hunt. The old event stadium had been abandoned many years ago, when normal pastimes such as football and rugby had been more popular; before the hunger for bloodshed had taken over. Thousands of drones worked at a frantic pace, diligently shaping the grounds into a twisted construction designed specifically for the deranged and psychopathic entertainment that the Hunt brought to the masses each and every week.

One last Hunt to end them all.


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