Wednesday, September 4, 2013

17 Home again Home again

Asmodan felt like he just kind of woke up, not woke up like after a really good nap or a long nights sleep. He felt horrible he laid on a ground a while eyes closed feeling every ache and pain that his body seemed capable of telling him about. He wondered what had gone wrong with the portal spell there must have been some sort of explosion to have him this sore. After a few minutes of trying to get himself under control which seemed much easier a few hours ago he decided to open his eyes and sit up. Many of the Warlocks lesser pains were vanquished by the shock he was now feeling there were two at the top of the list one was how much hunger sucked, two was that he was in his vault back home. He felt naked, he was stripped of something important and he couldn't place his finger on what it was the feeling was similar to being exposed and feeling vulnerable because of the exposure. He instinctively pulled on the soothing dark mists of the abyss to calm him and they did not come to him. He cried out at the shock. He pulled again deeply, forcing his dominating will into the command that it come to him. It denied him again and he wanted to cry he felt like he had lost a close friend. Some part of him that needed power began to vacuum in whatever was available to use to fuel whatever it was he wanted to do and he stopped himself. He stopped and gathered himself. If it was a lost friend to him then he would count it as a friend that was away and that he would visit again when he could.  Besides he knew that if he could get to it if he needed to. In that instant he had a theory that he intended to prove as soon as he could. He got to his feet and fell over hitting his head on the sealed doorway. Cursing he pushed himself up again. His candles had burnt out the other items that he had used to send himself into the void were spent as well he didn't give them a second thought he worked the door open and stumbled into the hallway. He kept his shoulder against the wall to prop himself up and called out for someone to help him. There was no response; the floor was covered in dust. He moved on down the hallway and finally he saw Renault float up through the floor with a puzzled look on his face. As soon as the ghost saw his brother he flew forward to assist him and passed right threw him. His hands having no effect at all, Danny made eye contact with the ghost and tried to offer a smile to him.
“Go and get Lilly she is the only one tall enough to help.”
Renault wanted to help but couldn't it was irritating as hell but he knew that though he wanted to stay with Danny but couldn't help him at all until he actually fell over dead and that wasn't what they were looking for. He gave his brother one more look before passing down through the floor. He was starved, completely starved, his cheeks and eyes were sunken his hair and face had nine months of growth on them and he was covered in a layer of dust from rubbing against the wall Renault couldn't smell him but he was sure that he didn't want to either he was nine months unwashed almost ten months as he thought about it. Asmodan’s breathing was ragged and he seemed slightly excitable not in how he spoke or moved but his eyes had a wild look in them.
Renault moved quickly to the game room where he knew Lily was watching something about taking people who dressed bad and made them throw their cloths away and get new ones that the hosts of the show pick out for them. Renault didn't get the point of the show but he was still wearing the same outfit he died in so he didn't really have a strong desire to follow fashion. He moved in front of the TV and waved frantically and pointed up through the ceiling towards where Danny was which they had decided would be the agreed upon signal for the traveling Warlocks return.  She immediately jumped to her feet and started for the elevator while calling back over her shoulder to the ghost.
“OK I got it, go find that drunk rat and tell him that he should probably start to sober up.”
Lily was up the elevator quickly which was one of the nice things about your own elevator in a building; you don’t usually have to wait on anyone to get your turn.  Unless of course your Imp roommate is drunk again and playing with the buttons.
Asmodan didn't try and get back up for a few seconds and then he decided that he didn't want to be laying on the ground like a cripple when people got to him. He braced himself muscles screaming at him as he forced them to move again after so long doing nothing. Once he was up he noticed some hair had fallen over his face and scowled at it. When did his hair get long enough to do that, it was also this point where he noticed that he had a full beard and smelled like crap. He was up he was happy with that and decided not to push his luck. Renault appeared at the far end of the hallway.
“I couldn't find Volnam. Lily is on the way.”
“Couldn't find Volnam? Where would he be?”
Renault replied but Danny didn't catch it the elevator door had opened and Lily gasped as she saw him.
“Oh my god. What happened to you?”
The Warlock wanted a snappy comment but his brain just wasn't up to the task at the moment so he smiled and tried to shrug. In minutes he was on his bed. He didn't want blankets or anything so they didn't put anything over him. Lily was already on her phone calling Algie up, he had been very clear any of the few times that he had called to check on Asmodan’s absence that he was to be told as soon as the Warlock had returned. He sounded ecstatic at the news and said that he would be on his way with a doctor and equipment.
“Just keep him comfortable until I get there. Oh and Lily is Volnam around?”
“Haven’t seen him in a few days.”
“That’s probably for the best. We will be there soon.”

Lily hung up the phone and looked down at Danny. She couldn't get over how bad he looked. There was something wrong with his hands and arms. She pulled up a chair and sat beside him, she took his hand and noticed that he had scars, lines and lines of scars crisscrossing back and forth all over. On the hand that she was holding there were ring like scars that went all the way around each of his fingers. There was a similar ragged looking ring of scar tissue around his forearm just beneath his elbow and another just above it. She noticed very small scars around the edges of his eyes like tiny tears permanently etched in flesh. There was just too much damage to actually be what it looked like it was. No human could live through the tale that his skin was telling, maybe in a long lifetime but not in nine months. He was as comfortable as she could make him and she couldn't bare to see him anymore the way he was. she turned to see Renault standing in the doorway. The specter's eyes told her that he understood and he moved to clear the doorway for her. Lily nodded her thanks and left the room, once in the hallway she turned back to the prone Warlock and told him she was going to wait for Algie downstairs and bring him and the doctor up when they arrived. Asmodan did not respond his eyes were only half open and his breathing was very shallow. Lily looked for another second and then headed down to the main entrance.

"She is worried sick you know?"
"So am I."
"What happened to you there?"
"Ask me again in a hundred years I might feel like getting into the details by then."

"Are you going to be alright?"
"I don't know yet. I didn't think that everything that was happening to me there was going to be affecting me like this here."
"Man its been almost a year how did you manage to not starve to death?"
"I wish I knew... I learned to turn my physical strength into fuel for my work, some part of me must have been doing the same thing in reverse to keep me alive."
"I thought that that room was sealed from any of that stuff."
"It is, that's probably why I look so bad I was starved for food physically and spiritually."
"No man you look so bad because you are covered in filth and scars and you look like you have been living in the woods for a year."
"Don't hold back or anything now."
"Well the plan wasn't to come back dead was it? cause I can tell you its not supper great. Parts of it are terrifying."
"Nothing will ever scare me again."

The Warlock didn't communicate anymore after that he just focused on his breathing and increased its depth. he knew that he needed to give his body anything that he could and he couldn't draw power right now but he could draw breath. Breath is the basis for everything. Renault never left his side when Algie and the doctor and a nurse arrived with Lily none of them noticed him he stayed out of the way. The Nurse brushed him once with her elbow as they moved around his brother sticking him with needles attaching IV bags to stands which were being set up beside the head of the bed. when her arm touched him she gasped and pulled away. her short sleeve shirt showed the bluish mark from her contact with him. He thought about some of his brief conversations with Volnam over the last few months. The longer he was here in the land of the living and kept his mind about him the more presence he would gain he would grow into something that Volnam called a Revinant or some such being. They were trying to get Asmodan to respond the doctor a man in his mid forties with a full head of thick dark hair spiked back was asking him what had happened. Asmodan shook his head slightly and the Doctor asked him again and slightly shook his shoulder again the head shook no. The Doctor shook him again a little more forcefully and the tired broken starved Warlock opened his eyes wide. Those eyes locked with the unprepared Doctors and Asmodan gave him one session with the demons he put the doctor through everything they had done to him in one session before Oristhnx had Niath come in and save him from the rest death was offering. The physician screamed and grabbed his head, both hands covering his eyes trying to force back out what had been put in. Renault immediately forced his mind in on what was going on. It was like watching a movie there in front of him was Satan two of him. the Goat headed things with their reverse jointed legs and extended leathery bat like wings. one of them held Danny's head against the ground as he screamed the other bit off one of his fingers. there was some sort of giant panther behind them eating one of his bothers calves straight off the bone. he couldn't watch anymore and pulled himself back to what ever it was that he called his own space that others would call a body. He commanded Asmodan to stop what he was doing to the doctor and when Danny didn't comply Renault commanded Lily to slap him hard. She looked at him shocked and he told he again and she finally put things together and jumped forward and laid one across his cheek immediately there was a massive red had shaped welt on his face.
Asmodan seemed to snap too, shock on his face. He began to mutter something that sounded like sorry but he didn't have the strength left to him to talk. The screaming doctor fell to the ground beside the bed and Algie began to help the Nurse pull him to a sitting position against the wall beside the door. Then everything was quite.

The nurse finished getting Asmodan taken care of. she moved everyone but the ghost out of the room and bathed and changed the Warlock. she was scared to death to be in the room with him. between Doctor Nagapan's screaming fit and the freezing whatever it was that touched her arm and froze her blue for almost five minutes. Nurse Francine was deciding quickly that she had spent too much time away from church. She had the option of shaving the man before her in the bed but decided that she wanted out of here more than she wanted to look for any sort of bonus check. She checked the IVs again. Made sure that everything was taped down on his arms so that if he moved he wouldn't pull a line loose. She rechecked the leads that connected him to the heart rate monitor and let herself out of the room. Algie had told her how to get to the room downstairs where they would be waiting for her.

It was close to three in the morning when Algie had his driver take the Doctor and the Nurse home. Algie had the most restrictive non disclosure agreement ever written signed by both of them before he brought them to Asmodan's residence and he would have people watching them in case they seemed like they were going to break that agreement. He made sure that Lily had everything she needed made a general farewell for the two who could be in the room that he knew he might not see and headed for the elevator. once he was in the parking lot getting into his personal car he felt an intense cold on his shoulder and froze in place. the sensation sent a shiver down his spine more than the physical one from the ghosts touch.

"Thank you."

Algie nodded and sat down into the car and signaled the driver to take him home.

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