Wednesday, August 7, 2013

13f Dark Grand Canyon

“Well then excuse me I hadn't realized that I had been in the presence of the most powerful kirogoth in all of the abyss. would you also happen to be hiding the fact that you are a prince from the rest of us. There are legions just over the last ridge waiting to come in and save us from the wrath of the fiend when he comes to finish us off?”  As odd as the gesture looked coming from a feline body Oristhnx shrugged as he turned and moved to go stand facing out of the cave mouth.
“Us? No my waiting legions would not save you. they would come for their prince.” His voice was deadpan and Niath couldn't tell if he was joking with her or if he believed it.
“We will know soon enough how powerful they are because the human will be dead soon. his mind isn't causing him to recover as quickly or as completely anymore, he has broken.”  She looked back down the passage into the darkness that covered the dieing human. The position of his head had changed slightly but other than that he hadn’t moved since before she had gone down to check on him. “What plan do you have to battle this most powerful of foes when he comes to devour us?” she asked. the level of sarcasm she was using didn't even sound sarcastic anymore it sounded forced, to the point of being comical.
“There will be no battle for now. you are going to heal him. I am not ready for him to die. I want to know why something as powerful as a pit fiend would even have taken notice in him let alone want to insure his survival.”
“So I am to try and heal him now? it might not take hold he is willing himself to death at this point. He doesn't want to live anymore.” The succubus sounded distracted as she stared at the human. She was only partially concerned with getting him to survive any longer. she was much more concerned with how the next encounter with the pit fiend would go.
“You are a succubus are you not? he is only human after all. give him a reason to live. You have time to do what you think you need to we are leaving again. If there is a Fiend near us I would know where, we are going to scout for him. I have never hunted a demon of this magnitude before.” There was much to much excitement in his mind with the last part of the statement for Niath’s liking. The winged panther turned to the other two and nodded out the cave before leaping into the abyss beyond. The two goat-men traded looks both wondering if maybe they had moved beyond the original scope of their bargain and if the kirogoth would even honor his end or decide to try and kill them in the end. After another heartbeat they both followed him back into the dead brown mists that covered everything beyond the portal.


                Once she was alone again Niath hoped that they would find the fiend and that he would find them too. that would make her life much less complicated. she went back down next to the human. he was worse now than he had been a few minutes before. She pondered her situation for some time when she realised that it was really a simple solution something that she should have thought of as soon as the kirogoth ordered the healing.


                Danny was there in the deepest part of his mind. He had withdrawn as far into his mind as he could, trying desperately to find a place far enough in that he could get away from the torment his life had become and wait for the end. How could it have all gone so wrong. If he even attempted to wonder about how his body was doing it opened the floodgates and he began to drown in torment. Even hidden from the actual physical sensation of the pain there was the despair the knowledge that he had failed in everything that he had set out to do. There was nothing for him now, Renault would be trapped as a ghost in the physical world forever or until what ever that beast was that wanted him finally got him. He would never see Monique again he had followed his own path and the last person he even had a somewhat civil conversation with was a demon. The end would come, he would welcome it and then he would go from here to hell as far as he could tell. Hell couldn’t be worse could it? From what he understood about it all, Hell had rules that had to account for something. Danny realized that he was actually trying to make Hell sound like a good thing. He was so screwed. There was a storm raging around him here, a storm of foulness dark feelings, pain, anger, depression, hate, rage the feelings brought their own effects to the storm he had no way of knowing what effected what he could only feel that there was a connection they had their own colors as well the colors made themselves known in a million different ways. One flash of lightning would be some dripping goldish red color the next a sickened greenbrownsilver these would never be things that could even be explained to someone without showing them in person and that might break their own mind to try and understand what they were seeing. There were a few times where he was almost sure that he felt another presence inside with him, at one point he thought there were two but he just tried harder to push himself deeper and hoped that some random piece of himself would give them a hard time, if that was even possible. Randomly he would see things in the storm that raged around him, a face or the hints of a face sometimes he recognized them other times not so much and he wouldn't even give it much thought, there was no point in remembering he was just counting the time before it was over and he wouldn't have to remember anything ever again. Then again he reminded himself that by all the accounts that he had ever heard hell was more of the same of not worse and he already had it on good authority from an archangel no less that he was headed that way. He noticed something as he sulked and waited for the end. One of the faces that had come and gone in the storm came but did not go. It was Monique it was another shaft of ice slamming itself through his heart to see her there. He forced himself to look at her telling him it could be the last time and as he watched rather than eventually fade away it grew more defined more solid and more real. Soon a neck and shoulders and finally a robe made of cream colored material covered her body. she looked distressed as she stared at him. Danny was on his knees sobbing he could not look away and wished to loose his sight at that moment to have that vision of her be the last thing he would ever see.
“Danny I am no vision.” As she spoke she rushed towards him and knelt down beside him.
“Danny you have to get up I don't have much time.” her soft voice was urgent. She placed her hands on either side of his face and tried to turn him so that he was no longer looking at the place where she had been standing but instead was looking her in the eyes. With some effort and some pleading he turned to stare at her his eyes seemed almost blank like he was looking through her and not at her.
“Danny you have to listen to me. It was a trick what the angel told you He mislead you because you embarrassed him. No one should have been able to call me to him the way that you did and it was his charge to make sure it didn't happen but you did it and he tricked you to punish you for it. I couldn't stop him, I’m sorry. I want to come back to you. I need to come back to you. but if you die here we will never be with each other. we will be lost to each other forever.”  she was pleading with him but still only the same blank stare she felt like there was some faint glimmer of recognition deep behind his eyes but he seemed to be telling himself that it was a trick and trying his damnedest to deny himself what he was seeing.
“Danny my love.” she leaned in a kissed him a long soft kiss. something that would only be shared between two people who deeply loved each other in a way that transcended the basic passion that most relationships were built on. The kiss ended but her lips lingered there on his for a few heartbeats her eyes directly in front of his, her pleading expression begging him to acknowledge her. She could see the light in his eyes more strongly now. Danny was coming back to her at least a small part of him.
“Danny listen to me. I don’t have much time. The veil between the abyss and heaven is much thinner then it is between heaven and home. I’ve learned of a way for you to pull me from here to home. I don’t fully understand it but I know it would work nothing in heaven can confuse or mislead. If the book was not true it... I cant explain because you haven't been there. You have to believe me, you have to live and you have to save me.”  she stood up and took a step back from him. as she did she gave a panicked look around and then looked back down at him. he wasn't kneeling anymore he was sitting back on his backside his hands on either side holding him up. He looked dumbfounded as he stared at her.
“I can communicate with you through the abyss you need to figure out how to get me to you from here. I'm so sorry that I can’t stay longer. Danny it kills me to see you like this. you cant give up, not on yourself not on us. you are the only one who can save us.” she looked around again and then vanished one minute she was there and the next it was like she never was.
Danny screamed once it sank in that she was gone. It was a long and drawn out thing something that was primal and angry it had nothing to do with all the pain he was in. It was a deep rage that came from being separated from the person he cared for most... again. He cursed himself for denying her while she was there he had her there and he did nothing. He stared at her and sat there and did nothing. She was gone and he wasted all of it. He felt himself falling again the storm which seemed to be letting up if only slightly began to rage again. All of the feelings brought on by his complete failure were tearing through him once more. His arms gave out from beneath him and he fell back onto the ground. The warlock lay there and kept waiting for the end to come, the faces came and went in the storm the same as before, some he recognised some he did not.
               
As he lay there he saw her face again it was brief like all the others no matter how much he wanted it to stay and be her again it did not. The next face in the storm was the one that did something to him. It was the face of the Angel, even created in the maelstrom of his own dieing mind the face was perfect in its symmetry and there was the look that conveyed both contempt and disdain for him. The face was already beginning to fade into the storm like everything else but it never finished.
                The explosion blasted it to fragments long before it could fade. Asmodan was on his feet then his right hand held out palm aimed at the place where the vision of the lying angel had been. there was a faintest remnant of flame in the space where the contemptible bastards left eye had been and the warlock held it there it did not get to be blown away into the storm. He pumped his hate for the Angel into it and changed it. it was no longer a mental extension of his desire to destroy the angel it was at that moment hell fire and it was no accident it was a fire set with intent. The flame was set loose on the fear in the storm and it spread as fast as the storm would carry it. watching it go Asmodan realised that apparently in his mind it was the colors that had the traces of blue in his mind that were related to fear and he watched the red, white and greenish flame of his fire burn all trace of that blue from his mind from horizon to horizon. As the flames spread he felt the immediate change it had on him. The fear was burned away not only the fear of the demons or of death or failure he didn’t stop the fire once the fear from those things had been consumed he let it go and it scoured every aspect of his soul until it was as if he had never known fear and might never again feel it. Once the emotion of fear was reduced to nothing more that  a word that he understood the definition of then the flames died on their own. Asmodan began to rise from the deepest most hidden parts of his mind and as he did be began to plan as he climbed back towards consciousness he decided that ultimately he didn’t want a plan he only wanted revenge.


                Niath waited in the upper chamber of the cave. She was planning her way out of Agothe. she had failed and she was not going to be anywhere in the vicinity or the plane when the Dark torturer came to punish her. How long could she hide before he found her she wondered. She walked over to the small ramp that led down to the lower chamber and looked down at the human shaking her head. She stopped mid step, the mortal was not laying craven in the center of the floor, he wasn’t laying at all. he was kneeling bolt upright against the rear wall. His hands were resting palms down on his legs just above his knees. The fingers that had been chewed off one of the Casaganoth were in the process of growing back. she actually watched the wrinkles in the skin reform on the knuckles and continue down to the finger tip and the finger nail begin to press its way down along the top of the finger to join the fresh skin at its tip. She must have found him just as he had started the rejuvenation process on himself because it only lasted a few heartbeats and there was no sign that he had be damaged at all, his clothing had even been mended.


“Lady Demon. The time that I bargained with you over is near. When the Kirogoth and his minions return you must not be here if you are I cannot guarantee that my revenge will not consume you along with them.”
“I understand. Mortal man I must ask you, at one point I was ordered by the Kirogoth to obey my part of the pact with him and attempt to heal you. Because of your state of being at the time I needed to enter your mind to do this. While I was there in your mind I crossed paths with a Pit Fiend, one of the Dark Torturers of this realm. How is it that you know this creature?” As she asked him she also showed an image of the demon as she saw it when it held her face to face with it.
“To be honest, I do not know this demon. I have no clue why he would be found in my mind.”  As he responded to her Asmodan was genuinely confused about the entire topic of the fiend. “What did he want? Did he talk to you? He must have for you to have been so close to him and not mentally destroyed.”
By his reply and following questions Niath knew that the human understood the power and menace of a pit fiend he seemed to have a rather extensive knowledge of Demonkind in general.
“The fiend did almost destroy me. He spared me with the command that you survive and make it out of the Abyss.”
“It commanded my survival and my return to the mortal plane? hahaha and you still doubt that I am what and who I say that I am.”  He was laughing out loud and in her mind. she could tell it was a mixture of laughter at her and at the situation by the way that it felt in her head. He could or could not be the Warlock it didn’t matter when it came to a mortal laughing at it. She had the sudden impulse to kill him her tail even began to twitch and angle to strike out at him as soon as it made the motion out and around to have a shot at him around her shapely thigh the tip set on fire. Niath screamed and jumped back and around the corner so that she was no longer in sight of the mortal.
“Mwahahaha. There is that better?” The flames extinguished as he asked she hadn't suffered much damage the whole ordeal was over almost as fast as it had begun. “I already knew that you were not going to attack but if I sense danger from you again our pact is over and you will be left as an ash statue for all time.”
Niath stayed where she was out of sight of the human and only maintained enough contact with him mentally for her to know that he was still there and for him to do the same. They waited that way for a while when he sent her away.
“They come now. Go!”
“I do not sen-”
“Go! I Command it”
Niath was about to argue the fact that the human would dare to command her. Before she could say anything though she found that she was already at the exit of the cave. That alone confused and convinced her enough that she just opened her wings and sprung off into the air. She made the assumption that the others would come from above so she descended in hopes of avoiding them and any questions as to why she was leaving when she should be healing the human.
Oristhnx was following above and behind the two Casaganoth as they made their way back to their small lair when he noticed the round little back side of the Succubus vanish into the miasma. The two Casaganoth noticed as well and turned to look back up at the fel lynx wondering what he wanted to do about it. How did they survive without a legion? He thought to himself, they had absolutely no initiative at all. Their bargain was not to be his mind slaves but they acted as if it was. But then he reminded himself that it could also be a trick; they might try and use their lack of initiative, awareness and intellect against him in some way. That would make things interesting for a heartbeat or two. He looked down at them both and flicked a forepaw at the cave and then turned to follow the Demoness.
Though it was not badly damaged her tail still stung from the heartbeat that it was on fire, it had a slight odor to it as well. Damned human she thought to herself. As she descended she did finally notice the Kirogoth above her. Fantastic now she would have to explain herself. She picked one of the few ledges that she could see and landed as she approached it she added cosmetic damage to herself along her mid and chest and her left thigh she brought fourth minor burns and redness of the skin enough to complement the scent coming from her tail. The panther was a hunter and they often relied on more than their sense of sight when making decisions about what they are being presented with. As soon as she finished and was on solid ground she turned to look at her stalker she didn’t want him thinking he was any sneakier than he actually was.
“He is dead then?” the panther asked after landing beside her.
“No he is not. I would not stay there with him alone any longer though.” She motioned at herself as if just looking at her should explain everything.
“He attac” The miasma that was thick around the ledge at that moment seemed to be sucked away suddenly it did it so quickly that it caused the Kirogoth to stop mid sentence and start looking around for the cause. As he turned to look up towards the cave that the two idiots had entered the opening erupted with a stream of flame that was as big around as the cave entrance and had to have lasted five heartbeats at least. As he watched the geyser of flame he already knew its source if he had any questions they were answered after the first instant. the red and orange of natural flame was replaced with the green shades that the human seemed to prefer. Once the flames had stopped Oristhnx moved closer to the cliff side but tried to maintain an angle that would allow him to keep watch on the cave entrance. he waited a bit longer to see if the two goat-men would emerge and when they did not he decided that the fools were nothing more than piles of ash. The Kirogoth looked over to Niath and then motioned up to the cave. She looked back at him as shook her head.
“Our deal was for the healings. Ive done my part. the stalking and the rest of the help with your game was up to you and those two.”  She giggled a little and then added. “I don't think that they will be of much more help though.” The Kirogoth growled at her and then began a leaping gliding climb up the cliff that allowed him to move quickly while still holding to the cliff side so as to remain as out of sight as possible while moving closer. Once he was above the entrance and a little to the left he picked a piece of crystal that was long and narrow but nothing as wide as one of the ledges and crouched down on top of it making himself as small as possible, nothing more than a black shadow from almost any angle that he could be seen at from below. Once he was sure about his position he began to watch the opening. Time passed and nothing happened most would have grown impatient but not a true hunter, for Oristhnx the longer he had to wait the more excited he became it made the kill that much more satisfying.


Asmodan could feel the energy all around himself again, he still wasn't sure what had changed between now and a few minutes ago and he didn't understand why he had the control now that he lacked when he had showed his first massive display of power. He had planned this one out more though. This wasn't like all the others he wasn’t planning on being toyed with anymore he was going to start his end game and then figure out how to get home. He waited only a few seconds after sending the succubus away and the others began to land in the upper cavern. First one and as he moved inside to allow space for the others the warlock was sure that they were all in range of his initial assault.
The mental flood gates
that he had built to keep the power out was thrown wide but not forgotten he
wanted to be able to close them again when he was finished, not when he was
about to be overwhelmed by it. The sensation was different this time as he drew
it all in it felt like a cool shower in slow motion only instead of the water
running from the top of his head to his feet it rushed from the front of his
body to center of his back and once it reached the center of his back it seemed
to be drawn inside of him where it gathered in the base of his stomach and
flowed up and down his spine. It was almost confusing when he thought about it too
much so he decided not to. The essence that flowed into him was cool but once
it had begun to build inside of him it set him on fire it almost felt feverish.
He didn’t know how he knew because he hadn't been able to ever use this level
of power when practicing with energy back home but when he knew that he was
close to reaching his limit he pictured a circle in the air before him the disk
was the same diameter as the widest point in the passage between his portion of
the cavern and the upper level. As one of the goat headed bastards was visible
he disk erupted. The Circle was his focus point his mind fell back on the image
of fire that he had created for himself long ago initially the red and orange
of all natural fire and then the shift, he decided that the change in color
meant something to him now. The natural fire was the same as the natural world
the way everything just seemed to end up or was meant to be or fate had planned
it or god decided it should be or whatever. But as the fires shifted and
darkened that was his fire and it was his will. The greens of the inferno was
Asmodan LeNoir forcing his will on the world, the natural order had screwed
him; it had taken his family and his happiness, hell as far as he could tell it
might have taken his sanity. As he poured his rage and his denial at the cards
the fates had dealt him and his family; Those green flames where him telling
the natural order of things, fate, demons, archangels and anything else that
had decided it had control of him and his to piss off. Asmodan thought it was
odd that he was actually thinking about the meaning of the colors of the flames
while he was currently attempting to incinerate demons that were probably less
than twenty feet away from him. He couldn’t see anything through the flames and they raged up the slope before him but he could feel immense anguish and pain flooding the area above him. He kept his focus and forced the flames to go anywhere but back the way they had come. He didn’t hold them long maybe a five count or a little more but then he let them fall. It was time for the next part of his plan, he continued to let the power flow into him and as he felt that he might be getting to a dangerous level he didn’t stop accepting it he only slowed the rate at which he let it in. The Warlock thought to himself that if he could have it this easy at home he would be damn close to being a god, as he worked his way up the ramp which was much less sloped now which he thought was odd. As far as he understood it the crystal was only affected by fire when it was in direct contact with it he didn’t think he had hit the floor of the ramp at all but he didn’t give it much more thought than that as he made his way to the upper cavern.
                The Cave was almost three times its original size and against the wall opposite the slope were the remains of two Casaganoth one was nothing more than a skeleton and even part of that was missing the other was mostly gone but much of the chest, head and a portion of a wing were charred but still there. Asmodan turned and looked down at the floor of the cave and made his circle again this time it was an inch below the surface and there was only a thin sheet of fire that was allowed to form in only a few seconds he had cut a disk large enough to cover the entrance and a few support bars that could be braced against the edge in the floor where the disk had come from and wedge in against the door to keep it shut. Once he was sealed in he sat down in the center of the shallow circle he had cut in the floor and began to think things through again. Danny didn’t miss the fact that the damned cat didn’t seem to be here anywhere. He did finally close himself off from whatever that massive source of power that was around him was. He didn’t expend what he had stored up though he kept it in reserve. Once he had a minute to calm himself down or at least try to he noticed two things the first was that he felt kind of stoned or high but not like when he was popping pills like a kid with Halloween candy this was better it was more still the cozy detached from the body feeling and the fact that everything seemed to be surreal but without the cloudy head and the lack of ability to make a clear thought. This was some good stuff. The second thing that he noticed was that the mostly dead demon was not an “all dead demon”. The warlock’s first instinct was to make it an “all dead demon” and be done with it but he then decided that “mostly dead” was good because the lack of all dead might give him information that he might need. As far as he had ever learned with demons actually dying in the abyss meant that that was it. There was no necromancy or any other trick that was going to get you another conversation with one that had gone that way. He did also know that with almost every type of demon he had ever heard of if it wasn’t dead and it was given enough time it was going to be back to its old nasty self again sometimes that length of time stretched into the thousands of years but one way or another it would be back. So he got up and walked over to the black crusty nub of a thing. It really was only just a head, neck, and chest; from the left shoulder down there was maybe four inches of yet more charred nasty with a few of the bones that would support a wing broken and smashed back behind that. The whole thing looked like it was being held together with the part of a barbeque that you wouldn’t let your dog eat.
Danny crouched down in front of it and stared for a minute. Its eyes were burnt out one was a seared hole in its goat shaped skull and the other was just a black patch of yealch. The chest moved irregularly which was interesting as far as he knew the thing didn’t need to breathe so there was not really a reason for the chest to move at all but at the same time if it was going to rise and fall as if breathing should there be a steady rhythm like his own breathing? It would be awesome to take this thing home with him and really check it all out.
“Wow you realize I actually managed to burn the stink off of you?”
The demon did not respond. That irritated Danny he knew that they didn’t have a brain the same way that humans did demons were more about the heart and the essence so he could technically cut the head off and still commune with the dumb thing.  “Hey you, I don’t have to make this worse on you do I?”  He waited a few seconds and when there was still no response it started to really piss him off. “OK Billy, you are gonna come out from under your little bridge or I am going to come in there and mentally  flay  you to the point where it won’t matter if the body heals in a hundred years or not there won’t be anything left of you to use what grew back.” There was still only silence both physical and mental. The physical was not a surprise as far as Danny could tell any hole that could be used to make a sound with was seared shut. Which again had him wondering what the point of the chest movement was? It couldn’t draw breath to breathe with. He thought for a little while longer and then decided to try a different approach. “Hey crispy, you remember hearing about my buddy right? You open up a little bit and maybe he doesn’t have to get a hold of you after I heal you back up.” As Danny mentioned his buddy he brought up the image of the pit fiend that he remembered from the dream that Volnam had shown him just after they had first met while he was in the Hospital. The thing was horrifying to Danny then and the succubus seemed to have a healthy fear of them. There was now a small hint of fear mixed in with the agony that came off of the thing, but still no replies.
Asmodan crouched there thinking of another way to handle this when his mind wondered to Monique and the fact that he had a chance if he could get home of succeeding and bringing her home to him. Then there was the kiss. The kiss that he just sat there for, she kissed him but he didn’t kiss back how could he not have kissed her back? He had to succeed if for no other purpose than to apologize to make sure that she didn’t think that something had changed that he didn’t care about her anymore or had moved on. She would have to know that he would never, could never move on. To get home he needed information to get information at that moment he needed this charred thing and this charred thing was denying him. It wasn’t just ignoring him it was denying him everything at this point.
The warm cozy stoned sharp minded all powerful god like thing that Danny had been enjoying at that point seemed to do nothing to help a man’s temper, at that moment it in fact seemed to shorten it a bit. Danny ripped the lid off the demons mind with little more effort than clearing away cobwebs during spring cleaning. He made sure that it was painful as he went. With each mental maneuver he slammed images and matching feelings of burning nails or red hot chains pinning and tying back any safety net or shield that the thing tried frantically to throw up. At one point it almost felt like a massive wall of the same black crystal that this demon had probably spent its whole existence thinking was the most impervious substance there could be was thrown up as another blockade to protect itself and it seemed to work for a few seconds. The Warlock knew that each second he spent on the wrong side of each barrier the more time the demon had to try and think up more things to slow him down the trick was not to get exhausted past the point of winning once that happened in a game like this either Danny would pass out and fall over on the ground in front of the demon or the demon would turn it around on him and have him trapped in its playground once it figured out that it had him there was a good chance that life would go back to the way it was a few hours ago. Luckily the last block of time that Danny had no actual way of knowing the length of, had come pretty close to destroying Danny’s own mind and that mixed with the rage made for an assault that was almost impossible to protect against the crystal wall went up it held long enough for Danny to recognize what it was understand that fire was the key to get through it set himself on fire and tear his way through. Danny understood that each barrier was also a part of the demons own mind that the more devastating or painful or completely he destroyed each of them the more pain he inflicted on the mind making them. It was hard to focus on creating effective defenses when you were in constant pain, if he didn’t know it before this demon and the other two had taught it to him. He was going to be damned sure he was going to make sure his teachers were masters of the lessons they handed out. Part of the way through the crystalline wall he forced the fire out and away from himself in a violent explosion sending shards in every direction.


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