The Betrayal Chapter 41 snippet

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Kate clenched her hand into a fist and she tapped it against the machinery in frustration. If she had just not answered that distress call, she told herself, then maybe all of this wouldn’t be happening! She would’ve been cruising the same sector, bored to tears, but without having assassins on her tail! As good as she was, she reflected, the odds were stacked against her that she would be able to defeat five people trained identically to her.

Johansson planned this well, she thought with a sigh. I have to give him credit for that!

“Believe in yourself, sister,” Brown’s voice echoed in her ears. “I once killed eight terrorists myself to prevent a nuclear launch.”

“I’ve already done that,” Kate whispered. Despite everything that had happened, she still wasn’t sure if she wasn’t speaking to herself. Stranger things had happened in her life, she mused, so it certainly wouldn’t be a big surprise if she were. “I took on over twenty and survived.”

“Yes you did,” Brown said. “You were destined to, and it showed. You’re destined to win here too-if you only believe in yourself.”

“Destiny,” Kate snorted. “I’ve heard that word so much it’s meaningless to me. Whoops!”

While she had be debating with Brown (or was it herself?) the other woman had slipped closer to her. Keeping her back bent over so the other woman couldn’t see her move, Kate slipped across the machinery. After checking both directions for Benton, she slipped onto the walkway on the other side. Moving like a ghost, she started to work her way towards the opposite of the end of level.

“I don’t know why you scoff at destiny so much,” Brown said. “Didn’t you notice how the two of us look?”

“Are you kidding?” Kate grunted as she checked another intersection before moving forwards again.

“I told you this is real,”

“Am I’m telling you that I’m making this up in my head,” Kate said as she reached another gap in the machinery. Ahead of her was another skywalk to the wing she had previously left.

Crouching down in the machinery, she looked over her situation. If she continued to move forwards, she told herself, she was liable to walk into an ambush from Benton on the other skywalk. However, if she didn’t continue to move forwards, the only alternative was to go down, and it was a long way to the ground.

Faced with those two alternatives, she growled as she leaned back and closed her eyes for a moment. Her body ached with fatigue, her chest burned as she breathed. It was hard to believe how peaceful (compared to this, she groaned) her life had been just two weeks ago. Ever since they had answered the distress call, she hadn’t slept more then six hours in a night, and it was starting to show.
Moving her bionic limbs felt like it took all night to her fatigue-dulled mind. She licked her dry, cracked lips as she let out her breath in a long sigh.

If I don’t end this sometime soon, she told herself as she tried to build some energy up. Then Benton is going to kill me just from my fatigue!


“Let go and trust me,” Brown said.

“Jesus Christ,” Kate whispered as she felt the rage in her body build up again. “You’re not REAL, okay? Why am I sitting here talking to myself?”

“Who says you’re talking to yourself?”

“I don’t see any other alternative,”

“Really?”

Beside her, leaning back against the machinery, was the same woman Kate had seen in her hallucination. Everything was identical to before, and it was now that Kate noted her appearance. Long, flowing, mid-back length raven-colored hair tumbled over her shoulders like a dark mane. The other woman’s bangs marked the sides of her face just like Kate kept hers, and she looked at her with a set of deep blue eyes that were identical to Kate’s.

“My God,” Kate breathed.

“As I said,” Brown chuckled. “You weren’t talking to yourself.”

“Who the hell are you?” Kate asked, as she peered at the other woman who was still a distance away but closing in.

“I’m you,” Brown said. “And you’re me.”

“That doesn’t answer my question,” Kate sighed.

“We’re both one in the same,” Brown said. “The same person, separated by time and space.”

“Wait a second,” Kate said to the other woman. She was same person as this woman who had been born three centuries before her? How was this even possible? “I don’t understand.”

“I didn’t expect you to, Katherine,”

“Don’t call me ‘Katherine,’” Kate growled.

“It’s not time for you to understand everything, Kate,” Brown said. “Right now, you need to survive the challenge before you, or everything else is lost.”

“What’s lost?”

“If you don’t prevail here,” Brown said. “If these enemies kill you, then mankind is finished.”

“Mankind is finished if I die?” Kate found herself chuckling in disbelief. The very idea that mankind would die if she died was enough to make her want to believe that this was a hallucination.

“You are the one who will deliver them from bondage,” Brown said. “From both Carver and enemies to come. If you fail, then mankind will die in a darkness of the likes we have never seen.”

“Okay,” Kate said with a sigh as she saw the other woman drawing closer. “Let’s say this is true; why me? Why now? What is it about me?”

“I’m not allowed to tell you everything,” Brown said. “But what I can tell you is this: you are part a long line of warrior-princesses who have saved mankind from the beginning of time and stretching into the future.”

“Me?” Kate shook her head. “Like I told you before, I’m just a former slave…nothing special about me.”

“Au contraire,” Brown said.
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