Buying Time

The irony of the situation was somewhat lost on Dagger. As wave after wave of pain lanced through his chest, he twisted and writhed frantically, screaming in agony. He had never felt such pain in his life, nor had he ever expected to have his own weapon turned on him in such a fashion.

So this is how it feels, he thought, so this is how it feels to die like a stuck pig in a gutter. No, there must be a way out, there's always a way out. I'm not done yet, I will not die like this!

"Damn you!" he screamed defiantly, trying to cover up the fear in his voice. "Damn the lot of you stinking, worthless pieces of dung!"

Lorden, however, ignored him. He was bending over Elenia, checking for a pulse. Dagger snorted, evidently the energy taken to control their descent had drained her. He hoped it killed her too, smarmy little traitor that she was. But she was powerful, they both were, how else would they have been able to get the better of him? Suddenly an idea struck him. The magic in his knife was powerful, but maybe, just maybe, it could be overidden. It was a desperate plan, but Dagger knew he barely had moments left. It was getting harder and harder to stay awake, and the unstoppable flow of blood showed no signs of slowing.

"Lorden!" he called again. The boy looked up at him, face twisted with disgust.

"Why can't you just shut up and die?" he snapped."Haven't you caused enough grief?"

"You can't let me die!" Dagger snapped back. "Not if you want to know the truth."

"What are you talking about? Are you mad as well as a traitor? What truth do you mean?"

Dagger permitted himself a small smirk. "Don't you want to know why your father died, and why you never knew your mother?"

Lorden stiffened, his eyes suddenly going hard. "My mother died when I was born, and my father was killed because he was an activist for the maggots. You can't tell me anything I don't already know."

Dagger coughed, a mouthful of blood splattering onto the pavement. "You're wrong. You don't know the reason why he was targetted, why he was the only one the CTOs killed that night. And your mother did not die giving birth to you, or any time after."

"You lie!" Lorden spat, angry sparks crackling at the ends of his fingers.

"But you know I'm not." Dagger hissed, enjoying the discomfort on Lorden's face, despite his own pain. "You know I speak the truth."

"Tell me what you know! Tell me or I swear I'll finish you off myself!"

"No," Dagger replied shortly, his breathing coming in ever shorter, more wheezy gasps. "I won't ... tell you ... unless ... you help me."

Lorden looked at him, anger and hatred blazing in his eyes. Dagger brought up another mouthful of blood and groaned. He wasn't going to be able to hold on much longer. If Lorden didn't take the bait then he was doomed. True he would just as likely kill him if he ever found out the truth, but at least that would buy him time.

And right now, Dagger's time was running out.

The End

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