His feet pounded into the dirt of the village path as his breath blew out in heavy pants. But even as his breath left his body he didn't stop mentally berating himself.

You knew they would catch up if you stayed.

He pushed his bare feet harder against packed dirt of the village trails, desperate for even the tiny boost in speed it might give him.

You knew and you stayed anyway like an idiot. This isn't like convincing yourself that eating instant ramen for every meal won't make you sick.

The dread in his abdomen grew as it feasted on the panic and resigned pain that tugged at the aching chasm of his dust filled lungs.

There are lives at stake here

His feet skidded under him kicking a cloud of dust onto the wall of a nearby hut as he tried to turn without losing speed. His arms flailed out around him in a desperate bid for balance.

Lives other than yours

The building tears that grew at the corners of his eyes were quickly absorbed into the streaks of drying mud caked on his face.

He had been welcomed here for the good he could do. His minimal knowledge of medicine more than enough for these people who had seen so little of it in their lives. He had better control now, and with no hulk sightings he thought foolishly that those chasing him wouldn't find him, but he was wrong, so so wrong.

And now they are going to pay for you. Their homes will be ransacked and broken for even a hint of where you will go.

He choked a little on his next breath as his vision blurred and he prayed, payed to anyone listening that the kind people he had gotten so close to in the few weeks he had been in this tiny village would be able to come back to their homes and complain about the audacity of foreigners.

Prayed that they would make it through this experience.

Tears finally rolled down Bruce's cheeks as he heard the screams of his once neighbors, saw the smoke curl off thatched roofs as they burned.

The beeping of Bruce's heart monitor was dangerously fast but he couldn't stop running. He learned at much too dear a cost that running away was the best way he could help these people.

So he ran; he ran from his past, He ran from his future, He ran from his love, He ran from his life. He ran down the back alley, speeding unnaturally quickly away from the khaki colored men chasing him.

What else could he do?

Bruce burst out of the alley and into the market street, and froze, eyes widening with desperate disbelief. They had cut him off.


He was surrounded. The grief in his stomach tore leaving him a husk of empty tendrils.


The resounding crack of the gunshots silenced the world for a few scant moments before the roar of terror incarnate shattered them brutally.