Lera teleported the group onto the bridge. The people around, some sneering and laughing, while others were hard at work. Clearly some knew what was going to happen. Lera just looked away from them.
"That-" Before Ayanni could comment on Drahyun in front of him, Paroppe punched him in the face.
"I just doesn't feel right when he doesn't feel it." Paroppe commented.
Lera could see the sneer on his face looking at where she had been in that chair. His face was in her nightmares and seeing it here, didn't help her. She was starting to back down from this idea.
"It's alright Lera, we're with you." Byyuan came from the left and grabbed Lera's hand. It gave her the strength to stay, but she was still nervous. Her grip tightened.
"Lera, can you move us somewhere else?" Ayanni suggested to the group.
She thought about her Void home and created a blank room that would be enough for all of them in it. Putting a table between them and five chairs on one side and a single one on the other. She made the five chairs comfortable for them and made the table and chair where Drahyun would be sitting created out of metal. Also made sure they couldn't be moved.
As she teleported them into the room, she noticed Ayanni open the door behind her.
"We're back in your home. I see, next to the lab." He commented as he closed the door and took one of the seats.
Lera sat in the middle with Paroppe to her left and Ayanni on the edge, while Byyuan took the seat to her right and Jev on the edge on the right side.
"Can you bind him, like he did to us?" Jev brought up a valid concern.
She listened to him and when Drahyun appeared his head was facing the left. His hands were bound in cuffs and chained to the table, while his feet and legs were connected to the ground.
Even as she made that happen, it made her feel terrible. It just felt like too much. Should she even be doing this?
"Do you think this is right?" She wasn't asking anyone in particular.
"Right? He shouldn't even have hands." Paroppe said, letting out her frustration.
"Dear… It's fine as is Lera. He needs to be restrained, just in case. Afterall we are in your home, I don't want him getting out and doing anything." Ayanni stated after trying to calm Paroppe down.
"Ayanni, there is nothing to worry about if we are all here." Jev leaned back in his chair to look at Ayanni.
It quieted down, there was some silence before Lera spoke up.
"I'll unfreeze him now." She waited a moment, just in case someone wanted to stop this and take over. She didn't think the pressure would feel like this when she wanted to talk to him.
"Ha ha ha… Oh." Drahyun tried to move his hands to his nose as he winced in pain. Lera could see Paroppe and Jev smiling. Byyuan and Ayanni had similar neutral faces. "Hmm…?" He started sniffing the air and licking his lips. "Not a virtual environment… You're alive? How fascinating. All of you." He looked towards the ground. "Carpet and dark walls… Where's the light coming from? I don't think it's my birthday, yet you bring me such a wonderful present?"
"Why did you do it?" Lera asked with a lot of effort. The others next to her were being quiet for now.
"Do 'it'? You're going to have to be more specific?" He laughed as he looked at her.
"Why did you try to… kill those people?" Lera specified her question.
"I didn't do anything-"
Paroppe jumped up and punched him in the face. "That made me feel better." Ayanni pulled her back to her chair. Jev gave her a thumbs up.
"How could you do that to me?" Drahyun said in outrage. "I was just following orders."
"Orders? Why would I even try to hurt others in the first place?" Lera couldn't help but ask. Maybe there was more to his story than she first thought.
Actually she hoped there was.
"I can't tell you or he will hurt them!" Drahyun became defensive. He lowered his head and started crying. "He'll hurt my family. I don't want to put them in danger."
"We can help you…" Lera started to say, but fell quiet when Drahyun started laughing.
"Come on… Who are you people? Letting some child run things here. Pathetic." He started to laugh harder. "You're the best toy I've ever had Lera. After I injected you with those nanobots, I'd thought I would be done with you. Instead here you are, living and 'breathing', in front of me. Oh and you believed me too, priceless." He smiled with a wide grin.
This time Jev got up and grabbed his head and slammed it into the table. Blood started to flow from his nose.
"Do you want to know who hired me? Is that it? I never talk about business." He spit blood across the table.
Lera cleaned everyone up and healed him. "Why would you hurt those people?"
"Huh? What was that? This is intense… ooohhh. Is this what the Talaon Corporation is working on? Some new virtual tech?" Drahyun avoided the question. "You even… no, you didn't. Unless you are messing with my connection to my SPINE. It shows there has been no time difference between me being on the bridge with you and now. Very interesting." He turned to Lera instead of looking around the room. "I was very wrong in trying to kill you. Clearly you are the best toy, I'm sorry for trying to kill you. Now could you come here and take these off me?"
"She isn't a toy." Byyuan stated.
"I called dibs on her first. She's mine." As he said that, Jev smacked him on the back of the head. "Ouch. If you're going to be like that Jev, could you at least buy me dinner first?" Another smack hit Drahyun's head.
"He's never going to answer you Lera." Ayanni told Lera.
"No, I'll do it." He was speaking in a calm voice. "Lera, you wanted to know why I tried to kill those people?"
"I'll tell you then." Drahyun paused for a moment. "Because…" Another pause. "It's fun!" He laughed like it was the most funny joke he had ever heard. "Your face is priceless. Did you think that I had a reason? That maybe I was being forced to do this? Oh, you seriously did!" The laughter picked up again.
Lera didn't know what to do. She didn't expect things to go like they don't.
"Let's step outside." Byyuan pulled Lera out of the hole she was falling into. A dark place she very much didn't want to be.
Leaving the Ayanni, Paroppe and Jev in the room, Lera was out in the small hallway. The door to the lab was across the hall and to their left the computer with the universes and further that way the living room. They walked over there and sat down.
"I'm so stupid. Why am I so dumb?" Lera was feeling frustrated rather than sad. Tears did form at her eyes, but she was just so angry at herself. "I don't know what I expected." She grabbed the cushion on the couch and threw it against the wall.
"Calm down Lera." Byyuan raised his voice to get to her.
"It's alright to feel that way you did. He tried to hurt the people you cared about."
"I don't understand how he can think like that. Fun? Hurting others is fun to him? Maybe I should- No, I won't ever do that." She flopped on the couch and covered her face with her hands.
"Lera, when I was an adventurer I faced many adversaries. Yildera… that woman was just like Drahyun. She enjoyed inflicting pain on others just for the fun of it. To stop her… I threw her off a cliff. I don't know if she survived, but I was better leaving it to chance. Her words were venom that stuck into me and if I killed her then, with my own hands, I would have never forgiven myself."
"Why would you think that?" Lera needed to ask.
"Back then, we met on a trip once. She saved my life and was a good friend. When we met up later, she had lost it. I don't know if that version of her had been there in the past, but when I saw her then, I knew it was over. She couldn't be forgiven for what she had done. I prayed to the gods back then for her after I watched her fall, but well… I never saw her again." Byyuan deflated next to Lera. "It's good I never did see her again. I couldn't face her after what I did to her. Even if she was a monster, I still cared for her."
Lera got up and turned to Byyuan with her hand out towards him.
"Let's finish this."
As Lera entered the room, it was a mess. Blood sprayed on the floor, walls and table. Paroppe and Ayanni were in the corner. As she saw Ayanni holding back Paroppe, both their fists were covered in blood. The one in the chair bleeding just received another punch to the face by Jev.
"Don't ever say that again." Jev's words held a real threat to the man bound in the chair.
"I'm sorry. It's just your sister-" Another fist was planted in Drahyun's face. He laughed as he moved his head back up to face Lera. "My toy's back!
The original plan was to lock him up and let the authorities take Drahyun away. To not harm or kill him. But then she saw his face. Covered in blood while a sneer was directed at her. He thought she was some object. A toy…
Lera breathed in deeply and closed her eyes. She was building up the courage to do something she didn't want to do. It went against her values and morals. It was something she knew could lead her down a dark path. Even if she wanted to rationalize it, that it was better this way, she still wanted to do it. Just to hurt him by a means that she hated the most.
To force him, on thought or action of attempting to harm another person, to inflict harm on himself. Mess with his mind and body in a cruel way. Controlling Drahyun's actions through force with her powers. Omnipotent powers as she understood. Nothing could change that if she willed it.
But then she took a breath, when Byyuan took her hand again. His, no, her family's support for her brought her back from an edge. One where she would lose herself. Lera's head cleared up in that moment.
"Drahyun, this is the end. You will go back and be tried for your crimes-" Lera began, before being interrupted.
"Do you seriously think they would lock me up? I could easily get out and start this all over again. I'll pick you up after I wipe out your friends-"
Lera couldn't take it anymore.
Drahyun smacked his head into the table. Then again. And again.
The others around her just watched as he hit his head on the table. Lera squeezed Byyuan's hand.
"That's weird. What did you do to me?" His head smacked into the table again. More blood pooling around the table. "You didn't my SPINE is unaffected. It's not hacked… You're good. I'll give you that. This virtual environment is so real, but you've managed to disable my SPINE. Feeding me false responses. Whoever you got doing this, give them a raise. Clearly they're under paid. If you can hear me, I'll give you a lot more if you work for me." He screamed that last bit at the walls.
"This is real, Drahyun." Jev leaned in and told him.
"I doubt-" Drahyun smacked his own head into the table. "Yea, sure." He turned to Lera, having trouble focusing his eyes on her. "Anyway, when we going to have fun again?" His head went down to the table again, but he didn't move. "You're going to need to stop that or we won't be able to have any fun." His head twitched, then they heard some laughing. "I bit my tongue." His words were starting to slur and Lera could tell that he tongue had been bit from how his words came out.
"Did you do something?" Byyuan asked Lera. She let go of his hand and took the chair in front of him.
"You like to hurt others. You think it's so fun, yes? Every time you try to or even think about it, that will happen. Drahyun, you will harm yourself instead." He just laughed in response to Lera. It made it feel like everything she did was nothing compared to this man. It strangely made her feel powerless.
She got up and left the room.
Lera started to hyperventilate in the hallway. She knew air was getting into a body that didn't even need to breathe, but she still felt like she couldn't breath. Tears popped up and she started to cry.
She was cruel to Drahyun. What she did was unforgivable. It was a mistake, one she could fix, but as soon as she saw his face in her head, it felt like the right decision.
Byyuan, Paroppe, Ayanni and Jev all came out of the room to find her. Lera covered her face to hide herself in shame.
"I did it. I used my powers to mess with his mind. It's so wrong… But I won't undo it. He deserves it." Lera screamed at her family. "Why… am I-?"
She felt a hand lightly bonk her on the head. Looking at Paroppe in front of her, smiling, she didn't know how to feel.
"You're right, he deserves it. Going by how much he kept hitting his head on the table, that just showed how much he wanted to hurt us. But you're also right, that it is wrong to do that. Jev and I are more than capable of doing the same to him, so there is no need to dirty your hands Lera."
When Paroppe leaned in for a hug, Lera looked at the others standing around her. They were showing her care and support.
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