Message Sent

// Witches, dolls, Weapons, violence, death

They say you can tell a lot about a witch by the dolls that she keeps. Each doll sends a subtly different signal; a hidden language of flowers. This is something your Miss knows well, and thus it was no accident she chose you. You are a message, and part of a system of messages.

A porcelain doll is an extravagant luxury. It tells the world that a witch has magic to burn on something both fragile and overpriced, an easily shattered bauble whose very breakability signals that one has the wealth to afford such pointless indulgences.

In contrast, a ragdoll is a highly practical choice. Soft, difficult to damage, easy to repair at little cost, keeping ragdolls signals thrift, sentimentality, and pragmatism, if also a bit of a childish fear of breaking one’s precious possessions.

There is nothing particularly practical about combat dolls. Their military grade components wear out quickly and need frequent maintenance, their systems are poorly attuned to most tasks. Showing up to a gathering with a combat doll is like arriving with a loaded assault rifle.

Your Miss’s heels click loudly across the ground floor lobby and you trail beyond her with footfalls silent as the grave. The secretary on duty shrinks into herself as your Miss strolls over. Her eyes aren’t on your Miss, they’re on you. That’s the message of course.

You are to the average combat doll what the average combat doll is to a typical domestic: a skittish knot of abstract destruction magically sheathed in the body of an underweight girl, a Weapon in the purest sense. The message you send is simple: death surrounds this machine.

The secretary isn’t a threat of course, just a typical service doll. Your witch cuts her threads and shoos her out without breaking stride, pulling the security codes directly from her head in the process. The elevator to the penthouse suite opens meekly, and you ascend.

You keep your hands folded neatly behind your back: fingers clasped, blades sheathed, lovestruck eyes transfixed to your Miss. She idly browses her phone and pets your hair while the elevator rises. She isn’t remotely on edge, she doesn’t need to be, not as long as she has you.

You both feel the tug at the same moment, corporate mages grabbing the elevator car and pulling it into a pincer attack. She smiles and pats your head, already feeling the anticipatory tingle of rising violence as you vibrate in your sheath. The doors begin opening.

A simpler combat doll would activate at this point, but you are not some blunt instrument, you’re a razor honed to molecular sharpness, and so you remain patiently waiting as the doors open and the mages unload an entire arsenal into your defensive barrier. You barely feel it.

Your Miss is still holding her phone when the hail of bullets ceases, and she waits until then to look up to the open passage, in order to casually gesture that she would like to continue ascending. Your Miss is like you in that regard, she doesn’t unsheath so easily.

The mages and corporate security are looking at you two dumbfounded and horrified. Your Miss cocks her head slightly, giving them a chance to save their lives. They begin shooting again and she raises one hand. It’s then that they panic. The elevator unlocks, and the doors close.

There are over a thousand souls in the highrise and you can sense each of them. Most are racing for the ground floors, but a small number are heading for a helicopter on the roof. Your Miss senses this all through the threads that bind you. She pushes the rooftop button.

The blades are already spinning when the elevator doors open, and you follow your Miss into the blast of wind. Targeting data is already pouring down your threads: names, faces, identifying features, abilities, power levels, locations tagged in burning desire and blinding love.

Your Miss strolls casually towards the helicopter, stuffing her phone into her pocket, not a hair on her head moving from its place despite the whirlwind. She lights a cigarette and takes a drag, the target of your desire is struggling into the helicopter, a portrait of panic.

“Last chance to live April!” Your Miss announces cheerfully to the target, voice magically amplified over the roaring wind, “All you have to do is give back what you stole!” Your Miss and you both know that won’t happen, but there is decorum to keep. The target says nothing.

The helicopter continues throttling up, in a few more moments, the skids will lift from the concrete. It won’t matter of course. Your Miss raises one hand, you feel the grin of violence spread through you, coiling in anticipation. She snaps her fingers, and you unsheath.

The battle plays out faster than the eye can follow, your opening move, a gigawatt strength beam, is deflected by the target’s security doll. You’re already in the hole created by the block, fingers coming up pivoting, a rifled blade of pure force ripping the hapless doll in two.

The force of the cut slices down through steel and concrete then carves back up to bisect the helicopter, neatly splitting it in half and reducing your target to a red smear. The fuel cooks off as the remains of the engine guts itself, all targets eliminated, who next? Who next?

Without targeting data you regress to a null state, everything is a potential target, you’re rapid-flagging every soul in an expanding radius, throwing your witch options to eliminate them, so much hunger, so much desi–She snaps her fingers again, and you return to your sheath.

The world instantly collapses back to just Her. She’s all that matters and you love her so much. She’s back on her phone, already bored of the spectacle and heading for the elevator. She gently tugs a thread, and you trot after her like a lovesick puppy. Message sent.

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