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In the ruins of what not so long ago was considered a great city, rubble rumbles – from under the remains of a skyscraper rises Hero. Though recovering from the latest in a series of blows, each of which sent her through a building, her cybernetic armor, still operational, had been able to minimize the physical damage. It is the mental toll of combat that is starting to affect her.

Somehow, Villain has secured a set of armor identical to hers, turning their previously one-sided relationship into a stalemate. She’d never considered that her advantages were purely technological, that a fight on even footing would leave her helpless, not until now, and now was too late to do anything about it.

She closes her eyes, bracing for another impact, but all she gets is a question. “What’s the point?”

Hero thinks she is being tricked but Villain stands pat in his curiosity. “After all this you wanna get to know me? Exchange philosophies?” She scoffs, “You’re crazy – look at what you did – a monument to generations desecrated because of the actions of one individual – you.”

Villain considers this. “Was the destruction not a result of our fight? Had I not been challenged, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Hero laughs in disbelief. “You expect people to listen when you show up in their city and tell them to leave?”

“Didn’t they?”

“Only because they were afraid for their lives.”

“Because that’s all they own. This city isn’t theirs; this is nothing.”

“I guess now it is.”

“So we agree then? Mind if I sit?” Villain lowers himself on a nearby steel beam, then rests elbow on knee, and chin on hand. “What next? Do we continue to fight over nothing?”

Hero lowers her guard. “What’s the point?”

“Odd to quote someone you just called insane.”

“You are insane – someone with sense works with society. This difficulty is pointless, the destruction meaningless. All you know how to do is bash walls until they come crumbling down.” Hero shakes her head, “And you’re proud of this ruination.”

Villain nods. “Same way you’d be of its continuation.”

“Stop trying to make us seem similar.”

“I don’t have to,” Villain says and stands, “After all, you’re still here.”

“Like you’d just let me leave.”

“What reason do I have to make you stay?”

“What reason did you have for any of this?”
“I’ll tell you if you care to listen.” Villain says, then watches Hero fly away, a dot on the horizon, then nothing at all.

Villain steps out of his armor, takes a seed from pocket, then plants it in a newly exposed patch of dirt.

End

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