Humans Are Such Easy Prey
may bingo, skylines high au • prompts: the terminator, alternate history • molly patton & nathan prior

dying as the sun is starting to rise is rather eerie. she always thought that she would die in the middle of the night or beneath blazing lights or maybe covered in her own slick, hot blood. she had thought that maybe the blood would have bubbled up in her throat, would spill down her front.

cinematic. beautiful, horrific, dazzling all at once. always the monster to be slain at the end, never the final girl in a movie.

she never thought it would be like this, lying in the grass, feeling her body growing colder and colder. watching the sun come up, her mind feeling slower and slower. trying to use that piece of her that could do much more than anyone else’s, reaching out for help. trying to summon the magic that used to feel like a bottomless well, trying to get it to reach out, to save her.

there’s a bitterness, an anger in her that she’s like this. never made it to eighteen, blood seeping down her front, life ebbing out of her. disappointment that she never got to see her real dad again, never got to speak to him. never got to get out of this town with adam, never got to see nora become a doctor. there is some satisfaction, though: at least her mother hadn’t done this, at least her father hadn’t been the one to snuff her out.

her eyes are fluttering. her mind is reaching out, trying so hard to communicate. to beg anyone to find her body, as the sun kept rising and rising.

margaret jo patton was dying alone, in a field, miles away from the home she kept running from. she was dying in full view of a sunrise, her hair growing redder as the light hit her, redder to match the blood staining her dress. the bulletholes line themselves down her clavicle, her stomach, her neck. her legs are splayed, knees bruised and dirty from her attempt to flee the man who had shot at her. her eyes flutter, trying hard to cling to what life remained to her, trying to reach with her mind as far as she could, hoping someone, anyone would find her.

she only had a few moments more of life in her, a miracle in and of itself. but they were fading fast.

A school full of the super powered and he’s almost surprised when someone gets the jump on him, sneaking by the perception of most through any number of means – technological advances was his first guess, invisibility and physical camouflage the next, telepathic manipulation the last. The last he’s familiar with, a tactic he knows well, but it doesn’t creep into his brain as readily as the fact he’s been shot and without healing, it only serves to spill red on the science room floor.

It doesn’t carry the same beauty. There’s no artistic expression. There’s no underlying concept of just desserts. It is more akin to war – grimy, dirty, and under-handed even against pristine tiles that echo with his attempts to maintain composure against the pain; not from the holes themselves or the slugs of metal that had burrowed them, but the necessary actions to secure his survival.

The tendrils of metal weaving their way across his skin eat away at his flesh, drilling out the intruders and what bullets they can’t remove, they simply assimilate – as if it was such a simple process to begin with. Years of keeping his telekinesis up to keep it at bay and now, Nate has reason to turn it off for just long enough. Long enough to stop bleeding, long enough to get on his feet and stretch out the foreign feeling of new spots of techno-organic materials, long enough to feel the edges of something unnerving at the back of his brain before his shields are back in place and a mad dash through the school becomes the next logical step.

If only he could slide he would get there faster, but all he can trust now is muscle while his mind reaches out, a guiding hand for the mind tethered at the other end that only seems to slip further from him even as he gets closer, physically, to her.

someone is on the other end. molly’s mind grasps on as much as she can muster, trying to not let go of whoever it is on the other end, trying to keep her tethered to her body.

the coldness in her body is spreading. she can tell, as the blood keeps tracking down her, that all she can do now is give them the smattering of images: of her feet banging against the ground, thet terror she had felt, the feel of bullets hitting her one after the other. her body hitting the ground, the struggle to get back up, the final crawl to where she was now. all she could give to him, no pleading, no begging, no attempt to ask him to speak to others, to express any regret, any anger. it’s too late for any of that now.

there’s only one thing she needs, and it is a need for her to be found.

she hangs on tighter, trying to wait for him to get there, trying to tie herself down with the last bit of magic she had. it makes her feel tired, eyelids fluttering, almost entirely spent.

Come on. He’s not sure if it to her, a hope that she’ll hold on just that little bit more, or to himself, to his legs and any iota of power he can actually put into making it to that field at that moment, before all hope was lost if it hadn’t already been - maybe not by him, but by the redhead in the field with the same gun shot wounds only made worse by the size of her body. They’re large gaping holes rather than covered over splotches of metal, and it’s all he can do to drop to his knees when he finally reaches her.

Too many to cover, too much to run the risk of infection; she might be strong, but in her current state, it would take more than super powered science and genetics to make sure she would be okay when the very same, without a telekinetic check, could just as well speed the process along.

His coat isn’t much, a layer to make him look the part of importance among students who would’ve rather made fun of the substitute than actually listen to what he was saying, but it serves well enough to cover her up - an attempt at warmth he knows might not seep in as well as he’d hope and certainly not to keep what flame of life there was alive.

Still, he tries in moments of comfort; in attempts to mentally block off the pain for her; in making sure her hair doesn’t stick to her face in such a way to suggest no one would be there to help her, however fitting the blood soak might’ve been in another life.

I’m sorry I wasn’t fast enough. Words take too much energy, but there is enough of a link, kept tight in close proximity as he tries not to deface his own face for emotions that would only make her worry - a poor girl, struck down in a field by armaments not meant to be turned on such. I’ll find this out.

the jacket is a poor substitute for real warmth as it settles over her frame. it’s still the last gesture of good will, of a kind world though, that she will ever have. molly’s eyes flutter open long enough to register the man before her, unable to move her mouth, or to do anything except let his thoughts roll over her.

the magic was weak, fluttering. she wanted to hold his hands, wanted to say more. her eyelids, however, are much too heavy anymore. she understands that the magic can’t keep her anymore. she wants to give him words, wants to give him something like gratefulness. there are only emotions left, though as her life ebbs away: gratefulness that she was found; a burst of confusion at his words, then acceptance of him, of everything going around her.

she breathes her last. her eyelids shut, and molly patton dies beside nathan prior, in a field, before she can ever reach eighteen years old.

It’s never how this should happen. In a world where tables are turned, where he is the sadly lost child, it may seem right, but in this one it is no such thing. She’s just a child, dying in a field, not by herself but with a son of another life who isn’t sure what to do or how he can save her in this life.

And maybe he can’t, but it isn’t outside of his ability to find where this timeline, disjointed as it is, might lead. He can save Molly Patton, just like he could save a lot of people, but for the moment, he is the anchor to hold on if only to make sure there was something, someone, to hold onto.

It doesn’t take any convincing to lift her up in his arms, scooting across the ground to make sure his legs can be a rest to her body while his arms make sure to do the heavy lifting.

“I’m so sorry,” he says, quiet. Whether his fault or not, the feeling remains. Someone cut out during their prime, a teenager who had a world ahead of her, chopped before they could be something, and well before there would be any reason for anyone to want to remove her from this Earth.

And he hugs her tighter, not caring about the blood or the implication that might be suspected. He can fix this. He knows he can.