Volnam sent his mental image he made it violent so that the mush minded Warlock did not brush it aside he wanted it to shock the human so that he paid it as much attention as he could get out of him. For a second he thought it worked, time seemed to freeze for a second as Asmodan digested what Volnam had shown him. He expected that in any second there would be an explosion of sweet violence and he waited to taste the anguish the torture that the enraged Warlock would inflict on the Demoness for taking advantage of what Volnam considered to be the Warlocks greatest weakness. The anticipated violence and the lust for it was amplified by the pool of venom he was trapped it. Finally that frozen moment passed and he heard the Human declare that Volnam was capable of taking care of himself and then he assumed they were gone. It would not have taken more than a second to pass back through the gate to the material plane. Volnam thought his liquid filled ears heard something though he heard the sound of the dark crystal locking bar sliding free of the groves that held it in place over the lid to his small prison.
It took a few more minutes for it to sink in that he could press up on the lid and it would slide away it took almost twenty more minutes for the drugged Imp to actually open the lid and sit up. The world spun, shook and shimmered before his eyes as he moved. He sat still and waited for it to stop its chaotic dance its beautiful twisting chaotic dance. Finally he stood and grabbed the edge of the hole before he could tip over, he attempted to grab the edge but it was part of the dance and it had moved out of his grip before he could get it and he fell face down into the pool he was standing in. he began to laugh but had not yet turned his face out of the vile and wonderful substance and chocked up a lung full finally he threw himself back and landed half out of the hole. Volnam passed out with visions of Niath with her wings having the flesh ripped from their ribs dancing in his mind’s eye.
Danny walked hand in hand with Monique back into the work room mentally fighting back and forth with himself. He knew that Volnam didn’t want him to get Monique back because of the major distraction she would be to Volnam’s own plans what if the Imp had made the vision to trick him into killing her outright and getting rid of the diversion from his own schemes. So much of the Warlock wanted that to be the case. He knew that it was not, if it was there would be no way that Danny wouldn’t kill the Imp and Volnam knew it. Danny worked as hard as he could to keep the smile on his face and his mind locked tight. Monique knew nothing of mind reading but a succubus would be very good at it. They stood together in the workshop and let go of each other’s hands. There was an awkward silence they both stared at each other. Danny wasn’t sure what to say. What did someone say to someone who they loved so much lost had been gone for years and then managed to bring back from the dead? There wasn’t really a set way to handle situations like this, throw in the fact that he was already sure that she wasn’t actually her and that she was in fact a Demoness that had tricked him into freeing her from the Abyss. Still he tried to tell himself that it wasn’t really the Succubus that it was Monique but the more he fought it the more he noticed that was not right with her. She seemed to be faking her reactions she seemed not to be actually nervous but looked nervous, it was hard for Danny to put his finger on.
“You wouldn’t happen to be a Succubus who tricked me into bringing you into the material plane would you? Because I don’t know how I would handle that.”
There it was the shocked stare at the directness of the question she did really well to cover it almost instantly making the shock part of the absurdity that he would think that it was possible. She opened her mouth to tell him something he figured she would say anything but the truth. Asmodan closed his eyes for a second took a deep breath and then opened them to see the white dress discarded and Monique standing before him wings outstretched and tail waiving menacingly off to her left.
“You know… I’m very upset with you.”
“Are you sure you do not want to take this chance to work something out with me?”
“I think that there is nothing to work out.”
“So it is to be a divorce then?”
As she asked Danny watched this winged desecration of his beloved wife’s form continue to distort. Her nails and teeth lengthened and came to sharp points she raised up on toes that pulled together and hardened as they darkened into hooves. Finally two small points broke the skin at her forehead and sprouted into thin black horns that raised a few inches straight up then angled back and away. She whipped her tail once and it cracked the air. The venomous tip aimed directly for the human’s chest, they both knew he was in easy reach of the thing. Danny took it all in; the loss, the betrayal so much more than that Danny took it all in. As Danny broke down inside Asmodan stood tall and laughed.
“We were on good terms I thought.”
He laughed at her.
“But this, this was your last mistake.”
Niath’s tail streaked forward at blinding speed and incinerated in a wall of green black flame. She pulled back a smoking nub at the end of her tail screaming. She used her wings for quicker speed using them with all the skill and precision she had gained from untold years of life in a place that was only violence cruelty and on occasion lust. Far out to the side and clear of the wall of flames she darted in at him. He dropped the wall mentally allowing it to burn itself out. When she was close enough to touch him with the tips of her nails he unleashed a blast of energy on the center of her chest. The Succubus was thrown back and away slamming on the far wall and down onto the workbench below it. She scrambled up onto hands and hooves and looked around her, she noticed the large crystal ball and grabbed threw it as hard as she could. Had her aim be better the throw would have smashed Warlock’s head to pulp on his shoulders. The sphere whipped through the air and slammed the human in the left side of his chest moving between his arm and ribs it spun him from his feet and continued through the air to embed it in the wall beside the door.
As much as he wanted to Asmodan did not cry out. Quickly he pushed himself up with his right hand and looked to see Niath dashing towards him. A few feet out she leaped and with a downward flap of her wings dived down at him aiming both hooves to crush him down to the ground. He let himself fall flat back down and then rolled towards her. As she landed smashing into the floor Niath was already turning towards her victim. The Warlock was up on one foot and one knee right hand outstretched and she slammed him onto his backside with her left wing. As he moved to sit up she whipped him across the face with her thin tail. Once she was over him she placed a hoof on his chest and pinned him to the ground with it.
“See, I do not take you for a Warlock. All the legends of Warlocks that have ever been told would not have you down before a Succubus in a battle.”
Asmodan glared up at her, she slid the hoof over to the side where the crystal had hit him and began to grind it back and forth. The Warlock laughed through the pain. Niath frowned not understanding the joke when suddenly she was blown off her hooves into a full flip to land on the ground. The stunned Succubus reached up to feel the back of her head which was in immense pain she pulled back a bloody hand and looked around to see where the blow had come from. Asmodan was back on his feet and floating a few inches in front of his outspread hand was the Crystal ball a line of blood running down one side to drip off the bottom.
“I will kill you.”
“I will do so much worse to you.”
She hardly had time to blink and the sphere smashed into her again, she tried to ward off the blow with a wing and the blow broke two of the ribs that support it. She spun with it to try and dissipate some of the energy only to have the sphere slam her again in the lower back as she turned. Had she been human her back would have been shattered but demons are a resilient lot. Niath screamed with the hit and fell to her hands and knees. The sphere flew back to wait a few feet in front of the Warlock. Tears flowed down her cheeks her back arched oddly.
She cried out to him. The Warlock felt sympathy for the broken thing. He was sorry that things had turned out this way and a small piece of him wished that they could go back to the working relationship that they had had before. He could probably bind her force her into a bargain that would make it impossible for her to act against him again. He was about to offer such a deal when part of him caught onto the change that had come over him. He went from wanting to inflict things on her that he himself would have nightmares about later to wanting to make a deal? Asmodan began to laugh again.
The Warlock focused and slung his left damaged arm out in an arc over her. From his hand fell what looked like liquid fire it clung to her and the ground around her and it froze as it burned she slapped and swatted at the flames only to have the burning places she batted at shatter from the impacts. She screamed and thrashed the flames did not move they stayed exactly where he had left them. Niath began to sputter out something in the form of begging. He watched her mouth try and form words through the screams and the sobs. He watched Monique’s mouth with demons fangs he saw how twisted in pain she was he knew it was not his wife but it was the face of his wife. How she would look had such things been inflicted on her.
“How dare you wear her face!”
He screamed at her. It was no deep or man like yell it was a shriek and his voice cracked as he delivered it. He threw his hand out again and this time the burning freezing fire sprayed over her face she grasped at it and only burnt her hands as well. At one point as he watched her Niath managed to get onto her hooves and she lunged forward he wasn’t sure if she was trying to get to him or not she obviously couldn’t see at that point. Asmodan took a half a step to the right to make sure he was clear of her and as she went by he sent the crystal full force into her side he slammed that sphere into her with all the force he could muster. Her screams stopped temporarily as all the air was blasted out of her. He noted that it was funny that air mattered somewhat to her here but didn’t in Agoth. He also half laughed half cursed when the blast from the crystal sent her through the far wall and out into the parking lot.
“You better not have scratched my ball!”
He yelled out at her as he came to the window. Niath continued to roll and scream stupidly against the magical flames back and forth on the asphalt. Asmodan scanned the parking lot until he found the sphere and mentally tugged it back up to him. He looked it over saw that it must be somewhat invincible and reached out to take it in his hands. After placing it on the workbench beside him he mentally plucked her up of the ground and brought her back inside. Carried her to the center of the room and dropped her there. Renault who must have been present for some time just out of Asmodan’s focus made himself known.
“What the hell is this man!”
“It’s the bitch that had me thinking that I was going to bring Monique back. She is a Succubus that was wearing Monique’s’ face until I set it on fire.”
Asmodan heard Lily moving down the hallway as she called out for him. She was worried he could tell. Her voice seemed panicked. Asmodan motioned with his right hand and the door closed and locked. He then looked at his brother and told him not to let her in and to go back down stairs and they could still hear the screams from there to go someplace else. A movie Algies place it didn’t matter just not here. Renault nodded and walked through the door to go to Lily. Asmodan heard Lily try to argue to find out what was going on and eventually she stopped and they left.
Niath kept screaming but that was probably because Asmodan kept doing things to her. He would let the flames die out in one place just to splash more of them on her in another. He removed her wings one he plucked out himself the other he made her rip off with her own hands. Once Renault came back to check and see if it was ongoing. Asmodan smiled as his brother let him feel his approval for what he was going. Monique wasn’t just Asmodan’s wife she was also Renault’s sister in law and between them that bond was more akin to blood brother and sister. Before he left the specter went and stood directly in the same space that she occupied. Asmodan watched the heat drain from her body, watched as she turned pale and blue before he left to go back to Lily and tell her that they could not return home yet. The third time that Renault arrived he told his brother that more police than normal were moving in the area and that if he was going to keep this up he needed to take it someplace else or quite her down he needed to do something. It was then that Asmodan realized that Renault had not been visiting him randomly he had been coming once a day. The Warlock could not believe that he had been torturing something, anything for three days straight. I’m done he assured his Brother, I just need to find a way to trap her he explained. Renault gave him the mental image of the hate engine that powered the building. Asmodan shook his head in the negative. There was a kind of peace in those boxes there would be no peace for this one. Renault left and Asmodan began pacing, eventually he looked at Niath and extinguished the flames. Her frost burnt fire scorched broken form fell still on the floor for a few seconds then managed to roll itself over on her back. Her ruined head looked up at him.
“Even now you could take me if you wanted.”
She teased him, mentally sending him images of him having his way with the destroyed being at his feet. The Warlock sneered at her.
“Silence or the flames.”
“I am kind of disappointed, only three days? I had hoped for more stamina from a being as powerful as a Warlock.”
Asmodan waved a hand and set her tossed droplets of the freezing fire across her abdomen waist and legs. The screams began again he just worked on blocking them out. Finally he decided on an experiment. He understood a hate engine and he understood a soul stone he was going to go with the process for a soul stone which is for mortal souls and he was going to play with the process a little.
Volnam was sober for the most part when he regained conciseness. He stood up and looked around; there was still the venom that filled the bottom of the hole he had been trapped in. The damage to the walls from the fire he had used in his fight with the whoredemon. He remembered his message to Asmodan. That idiot human had better not have ignored it the Imp thought to himself. He moved to the exit of the cave and looked around after he veiled himself. There was nothing that he could see but that didn’t mean anything. He always assumed that something was watching him in the Miasma; even if nothing was he was sure that on some level the miasma itself watched him. He remembered what Asmodan had told him about the Miasma when he was here. Volnam had tried several times in the past and tried again now, he focused and reached out to the Miasma attempted to draw it into himself. The endless drifts of the orange brown fog stuff continued to swirl and shift of its own accord. Volnam laughed at himself inwardly and moved back into the cave. Once he was inside he mentally began to call out to Asmodan to summon him back.
Renault moved from the back of the car that Algie had sent them home in and through the air into the room that he knew Asmodan was in with the Demon. As he entered the room he beheld his brother standing in the center of the room his left arm out to his side palm open and aimed at what looked like a crystal ball on the workbench next to the hole in the wall and his right hand balled in a fist with his index and middle fingers pointing outward. The specter noticed a faint chanting and then watched something that looked like a green laser as thick as a baseball bat reach from his outstretched fingers and burn its way into the Demons chest. She screamed and convulsed and went still as he watched she shriveled and sank in on herself, the green slowly changed shade and eventually was a deep orange. The Orange light retracted back into Asmodan’s hand and as it did a light that seemed to pulse from red to purple and back again began to snake its way from his left palm it was not solid like the laser like thing that had come from the right hand. This light looked like a living snake that wormed its way lazily through the air until it touched the crystal sphere where it began to leak through the surface and accumulate in the bottom like water filling a fish bowl. At the rate it was filling there was more light stuff than there was space in the sphere, but it managed to all fit. The snaking trail kept pulsing back and forth from purple to red as Asmodan walked towards the sphere once he was within a few feet of the sphere it looked like he was forcing his way towards it, like the snake was trying to push him back. Renault watched his brother began to sweat with the effort of forcing it inside the sphere finally his hand laid flat upon the crystals surface. Asmodan sank to his knees in exhaustion only when he was finished did he notice that his brother had been watching him. He nodded his chin towards the crystal which was now pulsing in sync with the light and the light inside seemed to be spinning like a small hurricane with no place to go. It didn’t seem like just light anymore it looked like a glowing, color changing fine sand as it spun and twisted on itself.
“Her… Her essence… the thing that they have that is like a soul.”
Asmodan gasped his explanation out and leaned back from his knees to his bottom.
“Please send for Lily, I will need her help to get to bed in a few minutes.”
“Are you OK?”
“I’m just tired, haven’t slept since I sent you both away.”
Renault nodded and moved down into the building to find Lily. She was probably in her room or headed that way. Asmodan felt the itching in the back of his head he knew what that meant. He laid back and looked at a clear spot on the floor spoke off the spell that he had worked out as the fasted simplest way to summon the Imp. Their connection at this point so strong that he needed nothing but words and the flick of a hand to complete the task, there before him stood his little demonic tutor.
“You understood the warning?”
“No. We got here, she beat the crap out of me and jumped through the wall. Next time instead of some crazy hallucination try. She is a DEMON!”
Asmodan climbed to his feet and headed for the door as Lily was opening it.
“What is this?”
The Imp asked out loud as he walked towards the glowing pulsing crystal sandstorm. The Warlock didn’t answer the Imp but instead motioned for Lily to help him he explained that his ribs were most likely broken on his left side. She helped him steady himself and began to walk him from the room. They were into the hallway when he began to hear Volnam laugh maniacally.
“Yes, yes, excellent, yes, very good.”
They had made it to his room Lily helped him take his robe off he slid his pants off himself. Lily noticed that they weren’t the normal jeans they were slacks, probably expensive ones. He had been ready to put on a nice shirt and take her anywhere she wanted to go if the wanted to go somewhere. He lay back in his brand new bed. Lily was headed towards the door his clothes folded over her arm. She heard Danny gasp once probably more from realizing that he was in the bed he had picked out for Monique than from any broken ribs. She pretended not to hear him when he began to cry quietly then she closed the door.