“it’s like the whole world goes away and I only know one thing: that I’m gonna win and they’re gonna lose.”
[a not-quite AU about how Kali struggles to find balance between vengeance and blood lust → a gift for @janes-mike, you know what you did 🦋]
When Kali was eight-years-old, it was the first time that Papa let her go outside. The excursion was accompanied by guards of course, but Papa joined her as well. She felt the grass underneath her feet and the air on her face and it felt like she was breathing for the first time. She experienced what felt like true magic for the first time too — not what she was poked and prodded over. Instead, a gentle butterfly delicately landed on her hand and she was transfixed.
But when she ran back to show Papa, fist clenched tightly so it couldn’t fly away, she always experience the world shake and roar as it broke apart around her.
Just like the wings of the butterfly in her hand.
“You have the power to end life,” Papa had whispered proudly, a hand snaking out to wipe the tears from her cheeks. “And there is no greater power than the one to control the life of others.”
And Kali had looked back down at the butterfly in her hand and smiled.
On the run in Chicago, those words still ring through Kali’s mind ten years later. Papa was right, she does control the lives of others. At first it was those who were against her. The ones who had shoved needles in her arms and shined lights in her eyes. Those who had run tests on her had then run from her. She was a storm of flames enveloping them, taking back herself like a fire took back the land.
But the chase became too easy. And she found herself balancing on that tightrope. She couldn’t bring herself to call herself a vigilante, not when sometimes the wrong people fell into the line of fire and she fought to find herself to care. This world wasn’t made for everyone and if she had to claw her way out of it, then so could others. She’s gotten this far with only a select few who she trusts (and even then, it’s not complete trust — she knows better). But the stakes keep getting higher and she has to scramble to stay ahead of the law and Brenner who is now trying to chase her down.
But she’ll be ready for him when he comes for her. The bloodthirsty drive that courses through her veins powers her through the days, and she’s never felt more in control. More powerful. The more death that surrounded, the more alive she felt.
Except for those nights when she sits on the roof of her building, creating small blue butterflies that fly out of her hand. Away from her and away from this world she’s built.