Flashback: Stain

The silence was maddening. No, not silence, vacancy. The air ducts whispered and the engines made the entire station hum, but here you couldn’t hear the shots, or the screams, or the panic as hundreds of civilians were rounded up to be… sorted, by those goddamn jackheel’d bastards.

It was not the silence, but the normalcy, the calm that made Johan want to scream. The bright lights, the beautiful chandler over a gorgeous ballroom, royal red, contrasting the dirty, bloody smear he’d made, still oozing life into the carpet.

He was split in twain, as the part that told him to rush, do what he needed to, smashed into the part that believed this had to be wrong. With no sound to replace it, his head still rang with the hollow thock the helmet had made as the emergency fire axe met its mark.

The hiss of doors opening into the cavernous space filled the vacuum, and Johan’s mind snapped back to order. He sprinted for the other door, which opened quickly, but didn’t close nearly as fast.

Johan heard shouts.

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