The Shape of a Gun
rating: +149+x

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Monica Pinkston hefted her 150-pound rotary-fire grenade cannon over her shoulder and sighed, surveying the smoldering wreckage of the building in which she had been imprisoned less than an hour ago.

Smoke rose from its roof as the fires burned. Alarms blared in the distance. From the top of the hill, Monica had a good vantage point on the valley below. She knew that she could shell the entire site right from where she stood and reduce it to so much vapor and ash. She knew that she could take great vengeance upon everyone inside, delivered through the barrels of a hundred guns. There was a small and dying part of her that wanted to.

But the rest of her didn't want to. Her heart had too many charred and broken corpses clinging to it already. She let go of her gun, and it fell out of reality rather than to the ground. She turned her back on what remained of her prison and walked away.

After half an hour of walking through rocky scree and dry trees, Monica realized that she was not in Manhattan. She admonished herself for not stealing a car on her way out. Or a helicopter.

She sat down on the softest-looking rock she could find and sighed. She had no survival skills, no equipment, no food, and no transportation. She had no idea where she was. And worst of all, she was nowhere near as alone as she wanted to be.

There was something inside her.

Now that her heart had slowed and her freedom was won, her mind started to work in the absence of more pressing matters. The echoes of the last hour reverberated through her, turning her bones to syrup. She fought back the urge to puke.

One hour ago, Monica had been named D-77777. This had made her somewhat noteworthy in the minuscule community to which she had become accustomed. Lucky Sevens, they'd called her. Her natural tendency was to stay invisible, learned from a life of being hammered down like the lone nail whenever she stood out. But a computer somewhere had elected to make her inescapably noticeable, with five black sevens embedded in the orange of her back like so many fishhooks. So people naturally assumed that she had to be interesting. That fate had selected her to be something special. So they gravitated to her like moons around a planet.

Monica was critically aware of how inaccurate all this was. She was a normal girl from a shitty neighborhood, too clever to be satisfied with what she had but not clever enough to know when to stop. A longstanding petty criminal with daddy issues, mommy issues, money issues, anger issues, and plenty more. Just another stupid, regrettable sob story among millions in modern America. A crater left over from some teenage catastrophe.

But no. For some reason, you could talk to Lucky Sevens. Sevens was quiet, and would listen. Sevens gave good advice. Sevens was a quick study and knew how to survive. Sevens had made it through trial after trial without getting her face torn off or her guts melted or her brain sucked out, and she could probably show you how to do it too. Just stick with Sevens, and you'll be alright.

This had happened without her permission. But convincing the rest that she really was a shitpiece waste of skin wouldn't have made anything better, so she kept her mouth shut and did her best.

Then the labcoats brought her here. They put that goo on her arm. Then everything was different, all at once. Her body and mind collapsed. She was no longer her own self. She became a cup of her own soul being drunk by something very thirsty. And then it had pissed her back out.

This had happened over the course of a few seconds.

Nothing told her explicitly that she had gained enormous power and that she needed to use that power to escape. The message didn't come in words. It was like smoke and iron filings in her blood. She felt things she had never learned the words for. The thing that was using her body like a cheap apartment had taken something from her, she knew it. She didn't know what, but it was gone. Something was gone. And in its place had been left an arsenal.

It had taken all her frustration, all her hatred, her misery and doubt and blackened determination, everything that she was as a human person, and smelted it into a shape. The shape that had hammered her life to pieces and defended the shards again and again. The shape that represented what she was to the world.

The shape of a gun.

She had thousands now. Millions. Pistols, rifles, grenade launchers, howitzers, cruise missiles, and other things that the human animal had not yet been able to imagine. Great expanses of black powder, rivers of bullets and endless fields of firearms now rested in a space just behind her own life. And she had used them to escape.

And they had tried to stop her. But every impact of their bullets upon her skin was just a hammer driving down on the blasting cap of her soul. Her rage detonated against their need to keep her still. And they died trying to make it so. Her body had become a divine bomb. A celestial landmine.

She understood none of it. She had just acted. She had had no time to see if anyone else could come with her; she had become too dangerous to be near. And so she was alone, but for the thing that had nestled deep within the superfluous folded meat of her body. The thing that spoke without speaking, the thing that told her only to live as she needed.

What Monica needed right now was a fucking cigarette.

She patted for a second and found the few that she had managed to smuggle into the compound. All but one was broken, but for right now, one was enough. And then she realized that even with infinite firepower behind her eyes, she didn't have a fucking lighter.

And then there was a blowtorch in her hand. She gave up. Apparently life was now literally what she made of it. She smoked on the rock and wondered whether she was going to die.

Then she heard a sound. The warm sound of an engine, getting closer.

She figured that made sense. She had started with the element of surprise, but she hadn't killed everyone and hadn't destroyed everything. Now that they knew what to expect, they'd send their manhunters out, with better equipment and a better plan. They probably had snipers in the trees, zeroing in on her right now.

Monica put her cigarette out and stood, walking forward into the clearing. She didn't care about being seen. Given what had already happened, she had no reason to expect that they were capable of killing her anymore. Even if they could… it didn't matter. Monica had made the decision to die shooting before and she had no issue with making it again.

A black vehicle, some kind of dune buggy. Fat tires, exposed metal skeleton. There was only one person in it. She held her fire – even after everything these people had put her through, Monica refused to shoot first.

The man got out. He was tall, and tan. Military-short hair. Muscular. A paint-by-numbers cutout of every action movie protagonist ever, all in black body armor.

He smiled in a way that made her want to hit him and held his hands up.

“Easy. I just want to talk.”

Monica's right arm became an enormous mechanized bastardization larger than her own body. She aimed its iron fist at him, and a barrel on the wrist glowed red-orange. The air hummed and thickened with exhaust from the pipes jutting out of her shoulder.

She replied, “Okay. I want to vaporize your ass with this fucking laser. But I'll let you go first, Jackboots. Talk.”

He kept his hands where they were. “I'm not here to try to bring you back.”

Monica whistled. “Wow. That's… that's pretty fucking smart, Heinrich! Considering the situation and all.”

His smile faded. “I understand why you'd want to kill me. I'd probably want to kill me too. Do you believe in second chances, Ms. Pinkston?”

She showed him her teeth. “Fuck you.”

“I think you do. I've read your file. I know about most of the shit you've been through. Where you come from. Who's hurt you, and who you've hurt. And I have a pretty good idea where you'd be if no one ever gave you another shot.”

She took a few steps forward and brought her titanic fist to within inches of his forehead. She could see the sweat on his skin, cast in the molten light from the laser's aperture.

“Telling me how much you know about my life is really bad for your health right now, you Nazi motherfucker.”

He swallowed, but kept his eyes on hers. “Here's the deal. I'm only alive now because I've got the sense to stay on the winning side. I know what's going on out there. The Foundation is losing. I'm not a loser, and now neither are you. I have wheels, equipment, money, contacts, and information. You've been out of the system for years, Monica. Unless you want to make a monster out of yourself, you need my help. All you have to do is not shoot me.”

Monica looked into his eyes, blue and cold, and made a choice.


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Queen of Spades, the Baroness of Old Vegas, watched as a floating blob of black plasma dissolved a mailbox a few feet from her head.

She rolled away from the growing, glittering slime and stood, directing the row of artillery cannons behind her to fire upon the scrawny dickhead at the end of the street.

The huge guns rattled the pavement and spat their shells down the block. A pseudopod of shiny black slime flicked up from the pool devouring the ground and swallowed them, erasing the explosive shots as though they had never existed.

Monica said, “Why does this little shithead have to show up every time we get this zone clear? It's like he has nothing better to do. Motherfucker needs a hobby.”

Jake said though her earpiece, “Beats me. We'd all prefer if you killed him, I think. I know Dozer is getting tired of repaving the roads.”

Monica dismissed the artillery cannons and summoned a battery of 6 surface-to-surface missile packs. She fired them all simultaneously, sending no less than 120 high-explosive missiles shrieking through the air toward the irritating freak.

“Well why don't you tell Dozer that he can drag his fat ass out here and he can try to earthbend this fuckhole into an early grave himself, huh?”

119 of the missiles were swallowed out of reality by writhing tentacles of black sludge, but one of them found its mark. The pale man wrapped himself in an orb of the dark gunk to shield himself from the fire, and the rest of the stuff began to retreat, leaving carved furrows in the ground where it had been.

Jake replied, “Got him. Press the advantage.”

The Queen was starting to sweat. She was reaching the mass limit. Enough was enough. No more evacuated districts. No more scared families. This fucker had to die.

Part of her was going to miss him. The perfectly black sludge with its somehow distantly sparkling stars was almost pretty, if you ignored the fact that it effortlessly devoured everything it touched.

The black orb at the end of the street gathered itself up and hurled more levitating globs at her. They traveled slowly, quietly obliterating traffic lights, lampposts, and fire hydrants as they advanced.

Monica extended a hand toward the sky and moved nowhere, calling down her coup de grace.

The Showstopper.

The air above the intruder wrenched in a way that was horrible to look at, and a thunderclap cracked the sidewalks as a colossal tower of churning metal appeared in the sky. It blocked out the sun, howling and smoking and torturing the air with its heat. The bottom end of the hovering citadel of dark iron glowed a ferocious white-orange, dripping molten metal which fell a hundred feet and splashed upon the blacktop. The enormous machine was barely able to contain its own energy.

So she let it out.

A deafening hum rang through the city like the chime of a great bell as the column of space below the orbital cannon transformed into a line of orange light. It punched into the earth and obscured everything from view, blinding and terrible, vaporizing everything in its path. Hot wind poured away from the laser and washed over Monica, searing her invincible flesh in a way that was tantamount to the orgasmic. This was destruction. This was the fire of the gods.

Then it stopped. The light disappeared, and with it went the Showstopper, the pale freak, and all his miserable hungry slime, leaving only a smoking molten shaft in the ground where he had been.

Monica swayed, mumbled “I think I got him,” and passed out.


She awoke in stages. Her entire body felt like it had been punched by one big fist, and her brain was full of rubber cement.

There was someone near her, so she mumbled, “What happened?”

Jake's smile was above her. “Morning, Your Majesty. You pulled the Showstopper on Voidboy. I'm not sure if he was able to teleport away before getting melted. Dozer's mad at you. Apparently you punched through a buried sewer main.”

Monica sat up, blinking. “Dozer can suck my dick.”

Jake laughed. “I'll pass that along. How do you feel?”

She blinked some more and looked around. She was in the Oasis's treatment center, in a private room. Dim lights, bad walls, no decorations. But the equipment worked, there was electricity, and she had hired actual doctors that were willing to do their work in Old Vegas, despite the inherent danger.

“Like one big bruise. Head hurts. Can I have some water?”

Jake handed her a glass from a nearby counter and she drank greedily.

She set the glass down and was silent, looking down at her hands.

The large man frowned. “Something wrong?”

Monica shook her head. “No, not really. It's just strange.”

“What?”

She smiled. “A year ago you were a site security captain for the fucking Foundation. And I was one of your prisoners. Now I'm some kind of bullshit wizard mutant, de facto brute force mayor of Las Vegas, and you're running an entire town while keeping my dumb ass alive. And we fight supervillains.”

You fight supervillains. I stay very far away from the supervillains and give you occasional advice.”

She nodded absently, and stretched. “Speaking of which. Did you learn anything useful yesterday? About the… whatever?”

He made an apologetic expression. “No. Turned out to be a dead end; guy only had level 2 security clearance when he left.”

“I don't know what that means.”

“There's five levels. The higher your clearance, the more you're allowed to know. I was level 3, and I only ever got hints and heavily redacted reports. So a level 2 guy isn't going to know anything we don't already know.”

“What'd you do with him?”

“Offered him an apartment in the Wreck. He looked at me like I was a giant spider. Said he'd rather take his chances in the desert.”

Monica scoffed. “Some people just don't want help.”

“I think some people don't want to live in the ruins of a city populated almost entirely by mutants and mutant sympathizers.”

“The nerve. We even have running water sometimes. And we're really nice people!”

“No. I'm really nice people. You're a big meanie.”

The Queen of Spades gasped. “You take that back.”

“Nope. C'mon, let's get some food in you, champ.”

They walked away together, one silently in love, the other glad to be alive.


Monica had accepted the role of totalitarian ruler foisted upon her by the citizenry, but she staunchly refused many of the expected perks that went with it. She insisted on taking her meals in the Oasis cafeteria with everyone else, and tried to eat with different people every time.

The dining hall obeyed the same rules as any other communal mealtime location. There were cliques, and segregation was common. There was no posted ordinance requiring mutants and non-mutants to stay separate, but they often did regardless. Human nature continued to assert itself.

The Queen stood at the end of the hall with her tray in hand, and looked around. Jake had left her to attend to some business, and so she had to decide who she was going to eat with today.

Near her was Dozer, the burly, bearded construction worker who had received the most fitting mutation she had ever heard of. He used his earthmoving power to dig out ruins, shift debris, and lay fresh pavement and concrete. Without him and his building crew, Old Vegas would have collapsed months ago. He sat with his workers and laughed heartily at a joke someone told. He had egg in his beard, but no one told him, because the Maintenance men thought that kind of thing was hilarious.

Another table further down was occupied by the Spookies, a small group of like-minded men and women with an array of strange mutations that made them stealthy or quick. Monica had made them her scouts and spies, and they did the job with quiet efficiency. One kept fading in and out of sight, having yet to learn to control her invisibility. Another was also hard to see; he kept himself wreathed in dense shadows to cope with his social anxiety. A third had a great number of multicolored eyes placed all through her face, and twitched frequently, able to see through walls for miles in all directions. They engaged in hushed conversation, choosing to keep their secrets from all but their Queen.

Further along were the fighters, the few mutants with destructive powers rivaling Monica's own. There were maybe nine of them, and while they were decent enough people, most of the others were at least a little afraid of them. One had been mutated to be utterly enormous, over nine feet tall, with cherry-red skin and large tusks. He had taken the nickname Ogre, but was known to be a sweetheart despite his fearsome appearance. Another had thorns and leafy branches growing from her skin. She was perilously poisonous, and Monica had once seen her regenerate from being blown to pieces by an anti-tank rocket. She wore pads on every exposed inch of skin to avoid accidentally envenoming anyone. A third had glowing blue veins under his skin and was doing tricks for the others' amusement, making silverware dance in the air with electromagnetism. He was capable of producing terrifying amounts of electricity, and had once supplied power to the entire district when a generator bank had gone down.

And one table, all the way at the end, was occupied by a loner. Norman.

Norman's mutations were among the most dramatic that Monica had ever seen. He was a confusing, borderline terrifying mess. A disgusting amalgamation of flesh and exposed organs, which levitated in the air, orbited by dozens of lazily floating disembodied hands, each with an eye in the palm. Parts of him constantly warped in and out of visible space, appearing and reappearing. Multiple copies of himself as he had looked before his mutation also made occasional appearance, popping into space and then fading away. Echoes of his former self, which he used to sit at the table and take bites of his meal while his huge main body hovered, ominous and frightening, over the table.

Just looking at Norman for too long gave most people a headache. Their minds recoiled at his very existence. People left him alone, unsure of how to approach him, much less engage him in conversation. Some had tried, but found it hard to eat with an undifferentiated, pulsating mass of human flesh literally looming over their heads.

He only ate in the cafeteria a few times a month, teleporting into the room suddenly and then warping away when his meal was finished. Monica had no idea where he went or where he stayed when he wasn't around. He had only been coming to the Oasis for a few months. He and Monica had been imprisoned at the same site, and she remembered him as being a quiet, contemplative kind of guy before his transformation. And she supposed that still held true, but she really wasn't sure.

She felt horribly for him, and made it a point as Mayor to eat with him whenever he was around.

She approached the table, into the outer orbit of floating hands, some of which turned to look at her with their many-colored eyes. None touched her as she came closer – they simply disappeared before coming in contact. She placed her tray directly in front of one of his fuzzy, out-of-focus clones and sat, looked at its eyes.

“How are you today, Norm?”

There was a brief silence. The clone's vacant eyes looked at hers without looking into them, and Monica felt a strange pulse move through her body.

I'M ALRIGHT. THE WIND IS RICH AND FULL OF SECRETS TODAY. I SAW YOU FIGHT THE VOID THROWER.

Norman's voice, if it could be called that, was difficult on the ears. He spoke with many voices at once, and sometimes conveyed meaning by directly injecting images or sensations into others' minds when words weren't enough. It was a profoundly surreal and sometimes upsetting experience, but Monica had gotten used to it.

She did her best to keep her composure and nodded, keeping her eyes on her tray to avoid looking at the dead-eyed clone in front of her. Its mouth didn't move when Norman spoke.

“Yeah? I'm not sure if he'll come back this time. I went the extra mile.”

YOU DIDN'T KILL HIM. I WAS NEARBY. I TRIED TO HOLD HIM DOWN WHEN YOU FIRED YOUR LASER, BUT HE ESCAPED. HE'S VERY STRONG.

This was unprecedented. Norman didn't make a habit of involving himself directly with life in Old Vegas, much less participate in the fighting.

“Do you know anything about him? Who he is, where he came from? And more importantly why he keeps trying to murder everyone?”

The clone disappeared abruptly, then reappeared on her right with its tray in tow. It continued eating. A second one also materialized at the far end of the table, apparently not doing anything.

HE HAS A STRANGE MIND. FEW COHESIVE THOUGHTS. A GREAT AMOUNT OF DARKNESS. HARD TO FIND INFORMATION THROUGH THE SHADOWS AND HATRED. HE APPEARS TO ONLY WANT MURDER AND DESTRUCTION. I'M NOT SURE HE IS ALONE WITHIN HIMSELF.

Monica raised an eyebrow, and said around a mouthful of egg, “Not alone? What do you mean?”

I MEAN THAT HE MIGHT NOT BE THE ONLY INHABITANT OF HIS BODY. I THINK HIS MUTATION OPENED SOME KIND OF GATE, AND SOMETHING CAME THROUGH. SOMETHING MEAN. BUT I DON'T KNOW FOR SURE. IT'S JUST A THEORY. I WOULD HAVE TO GET CLOSER TO DIG DEEPER INTO HIM. AND THAT WOULD PROBABLY BE BAD FOR MY HEALTH.

“Do you think he can be killed? I think I'd like to kill him. Considering he keeps trying to kill us.”

I THINK YOU WOULD NEED SOMETHING TO GUM UP THE SPACE AROUND HIM, TO STOP HIM FROM WARPING AWAY. I CAN DO THAT, BUT NOT POWERFULLY ENOUGH TO HOLD HIM. I WOULD NEED HELP FROM SOMEONE ELSE. AND I DON'T KNOW ANYONE WITH THE SAME KIND OF MAGIC.

Monica nodded, frowning in thought. “Hmph. Neither do I. You know, the more I hang with you the more I like you, Norman. You're a nice guy, even if you are kind of terrifying.”

There was the sound of laughter, made echoing and awful by Norman's many voices. But he made up for it with an image of sunshine and happy, colorful flowers, and a feeling of pleasant warmth, which he shoved directly into her mind without her permission.

I'M AN UGLY BASTARD. BUT I PREFER TO THINK I MAKE UP FOR IT WITH MY GLOWING AND HANDSOME PERSONALITY.

A thought occurred to her as she ate. “You can just totally look all through my brain, can't you, Norman.” It wasn't a question.

YES. IT'S NOT SOMETHING I DO ON PURPOSE. IMAGINE WALKING THROUGH A MUSEUM AND BEING TOLD THAT IF YOU THINK ABOUT LOOKING AT THE BEAUTIFUL PAINTINGS, YOU'LL BE PUNISHED.

“That doesn't really help with the… creepiness.”

Heavy gray clouds gathered in her mind, and a sad, soft rain began to fall. There was the sound of distant crying, and the fluttering of wings.

I'M SORRY, MONICA. I CAN'T HELP WHAT I AM. IF IT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER, YOUR SECRETS ARE SAFE WITH ME. IF I HAD LIPS, THEY'D BE SEALED.

She shook her head. “No, Norm, it's fine. You're fine. You just take a little getting used to, is all. You probably understand that way better than we do.”

The rain didn't stop.

IT'S HARD. I WAS GIVEN GREAT GIFTS, BUT A LOT OF THINGS WERE TAKEN FROM ME, TOO. I WOULD NEVER GO BACK TO WHAT I WAS, BUT SOMETIMES I THINK I WOULD GIVE ALMOST ANYTHING TO…

The words didn't come, but Monica knew what he meant. She had no choice but to know.

“You should come around more often, Norm. You don't have to stay away and be a stranger. You've got it worse than the rest of us, but we're all changed too, and we can empathize at least a little bit. You're valuable, not just as a tactical asset, but as a person. You don't have to be alone. You have a family, right here. You just have to give us a chance.”

A spear of sunlight stabbed through the clouds in Monica's mind. There was the smell of fresh wind, and the sound of proudly rustling trees.

THAT MAKES ME FEEL BETTER. YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE FOR A REASON, MONICA. AND SO AM I. BUT IT'S GOOD TO KNOW THAT OF ALL PEOPLE, YOU WERE GIVEN WHAT YOU WERE GIVEN. I-

Norman froze. Every part of him stopped abruptly. No pulsing, no drifting, no phasing. Perfect stillness. He was silent. Monica opened her mouth to ask him what was wrong, but he interrupted her. Lightning crashed in her head. Images of terror, agony, and chaos flickered across her vision uncontrollably.

His voice was as loud as thunder, exploding through the minds of everyone in the Oasis simultaneously. The cool blue glow that Norman gave became tortured and red.

SOLDIERS. HUNDREDS. ENTERING THE WRECK DISTRICT FROM THE WESTERN GATE. GUNS. ARMOR. WAR MACHINES. IT IS THE FOUNDATION. THEY'VE COME FOR US. THEIR COMMANDER INTENDS TO CAPTURE THE CITIZENS OF OLD VEGAS AND KILL ALL WHO RESIST. WE MUST DEFEND. WE MUST DEFEND OUR HOME! NOW!

The cafeteria immediately began to swarm with activity. Voices cried out. There was confusion and growing panic. Norman spoke directly to her.

I WILL PROVIDE A TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK. INSTRUCT YOUR DEFENDERS TO THINK THROUGH ME; I WILL ACCESS AND REVEAL THE MIND OF THE ENEMY. BUT FIRST I WILL BANISH THEIR HELICOPTERS FROM MY SKY. BE STRONG, MY QUEEN. LEAD US TO VICTORY.

Norman disappeared.

Monica slammed her fists on the table and stood. The room immediately fell silent to hear her words.

“All fighters report to battle stations! Team captains, use Norman to coordinate with your troops and muster all defenders at the western gate! Maintenance squadron, dig in two hundred yards back from 55th Street and break the road; stop those fucking tanks! Spookies, get out there and get eyes on the intruders; I want status reports every ten fucking minutes! Combat Squadron get the fuck topside and into phalanx formation! No more drills, people! Let's show these limp-dick Nazi shitfucks why you can't fuck with Old Vegas!”

The room exploded in a roar of defiance, loud enough to rattle the concrete and quake the hearts of the Foundation.


Monica stood at the end of 55th street and watched as the Foundation troops flowed in, taking attack formations. They held their fire. Behind her she had summoned a thick hedgerow of artillery cannons, squared upon the soldiers in black.

They outnumbered the Old Vegas defenders three to one. They stood in lines, in thick armor and gas masks. Their tanks, heavy and armored, idled at the end of the block, unable to traverse wide cracks in the pavement put there by Dozer and his engineers.

Their commander, a tall man with no mask, spoke aloud.

“Attention, mutants and mutant sympathizers. It is with a heavy heart that we come to you today. The Foundation cannot allow the inhuman infestation to continue to spread. For the benefit of all humanity, we ask that all mutants present lay down their arms and surrender, to be contained for their own safety and the safety of the world. I imagine I do not need to explain what will happen if you choose to resist. Please, for the good of us all, do the right thing and let this go.”

The Queen of Spades, Mayor of Old Vegas, stood at the fore, her people behind her.

Dozer, his body coated in a layer of shifting, flowing stone, cracked his huge fists together loudly. His engineers shouted, rattling the earth underneath their feet.

Ogre roared and swung his enormous steel club into the ground, splintering the pavement. The mutant defenders behind his red bulk cried out with him.

Norman hovered eldritch and horrible above them all, gazing downward with his hundreds of eyes, feeding the Queen the commander's innermost plans as he thought them and providing the defenders the profound unity of being able to think with one mind.

And Jake was just behind her, quiet and calculating, his assault rifle trained directly upon the Foundation commander's head.

Monica cried out, letting Norman broadcast her words directly into the minds of the Foundation soldiers.

“We will never submit to your tyranny! We are different, but we are still people, and we will die for the right to remain free! Come and bring your hate! Bring me your conquest! Push upon us, enemies of liberty, and know our defiance! We will turn you back! WE ARE THE FREE STATE OF VEGAS, AND WE WILL NOT! BE! MOVED!

The free men and women thundered their pride, their yearning to live, their right to thrive, and stood upon their ground.

And Monica let herself be wielded by the heart of her people, her soul forged into the shape of the tool they needed to defend their homes and lives from those that would take them.

The shape of a gun.

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