Saturday, January 11, 2014

20 Finishing with the Hellcat

It took some time to prepare correctly but as Asmodan finished the words. The silver mirror he had placed in on the wall of spell vault stopped reflecting his image back at him and then as he placed the black silk cloth over the mirrors surface he watched as the silk began to stick to the mirrors surface it was like the mirror had become a silent vacuum sucking the cloth tight against the surface. There were no wrinkles or creases in the material it was perfectly smooth against the surface of the mirror. The blackness of the silk became somehow deeper and then in the depths of the black the Warlock began to see details. Off to the left there was a workbench of some sort and hanging above it on a wall were all manner of hand tools. All were made of the same greenish tinted black metal. To the right there seemed to be machines or unfinished projects of some sort. He had no way of knowing for sure. The person he was looking to contact wasn’t immediately visible so he waited. Asmodan sat there staring calmly into the room that was supposedly deep inside one of the central ranges of the dark crystal mountains that make up most if not all of the demonic sphere of Agothe. Approximately twenty minutes passed when he spied movement from further back in the room the source of the movement must have noticed the window into another world that was floating a few feet off the ground in his workshop and quickly moved towards it. Once the demon had come near it stood silently and stared down at the mortal that was looking in at him.
“Master Organosnanith I hope?”
“Yes. What are you? Why are you spying on my space?”
“I was given you name as someone who is a master crafter.”
“I am.”
“I would like to contract your services if you are not currently involved in something.”
“I am always engaged in something.”
“Does your current project offer the range of possible payments that are available in the material plane?”
                The four eyes that marked out a rough square across the top portion of the demons head all squinted down as the demon went over things from the material plane that he might request as payment for services rendered.
“What is it that you want done? What is the Item you wish crafted? A great weapon? A tool for a powerful spell?”
“Nothing so crude. I want something far classier than a weapon.”
The demons eyes widened slightly.
“Have you ever assisted in the building of an automobile?”
The demons eyes narrowed again and its head tilted too far to the right for there to be a shoulder there as Asmodan saw the motion he noticed that there was not a shoulder there the head seemed to be floating a few feet in front of the body.
“I have not assisted in making anything since before your kind climbed out of the mud human. I do not even require others to assist me, in my works. I work alone and I keep all the credit for myself.”
“Hmm… Well you see I have begun the some of the work myself and.”
“I do not think that we can have an arrangement.”
The head began to move off the left side of the mirror Asmodan saw that there was a long tentacle like neck that attached it to the body of the demon.
“I’m sure that if I were to hand over the plans of what I want done and scrap what I had already started you would complete a far superior piece than I would ever dream of building.”
“You are damned right.”
The Demon replied as his head swung back into view of the mirror.
“I have not ever been contracted to construct an automobile but I have studied several. What will its source of power be?”
“I will have a hate engine for it.”
The demon made the odd four eyed frowning face again but moved passed it quickly.
“What will be in the hate engine? Hopefully no one I know.”
“A Kirogoth heart, by agreement in this case. One hundred years of service.”
“Once hundred years of service to a Human? How will it serve out the contract to you?”
“I am the Warlock.”
Asmodan stated as plainly and nonchalantly as he could.
“Are you now?”
“That would explain why any demon would consent to such a thing with you. You much talk a good game to get one to fall for that. “
“I don’t need to talk a good game I am the War…”
Asmodan couldn’t finish the Demon was nodding his head and in the back ground the Warlock could see several arms waving back and forth.
“Don’t bother I don’t believe in the myth and nothing you can do can convince me that you are anymore that a moderately powerful mortal Wizard of some sort.
“Fair enough.”
“What was the command word you were planning on using on the Engine?”
“I was planning on going with something simple like spin or rotate.”
The demon nodded approvingly and the suggestion.
“Would you be using a transmission similar to what is already being used on your world?”
“That was actually one of the items that I would be leaving at your discretion I have plans, schematics that I have drafted Ideas for appearance that I would like to see incorporated if at all possible but much of the highly technical work I had already left open to you should you accept the work.”
“And for my payment?”
I was hoping that we could come to an agreement. I’m sure that there is something here that you need that I could provide; I understand that you are located in the central spines of Agothe. I know that materials that a craftsperson such as yourself would use to truly display your skill might be hard to come by. I have spent some time there myself.”
                Orgonosnanith had already had thousands of things flash through his always working mind and nothing of any real significance rose to the surface of the flood of ideas. When the human pointed out that there materials that could be worked into other projects that were not readily available to him that narrowed the field considerably.
“I need time to think to come to a fair price. Do you have your sketches with you now?”
“Yes, I have them here.”
“Let me look them over, contact me again in… your days are measured in hours correct and a day night cycle is twenty four?”
“Yes.”
“Very well. I will be in this spot in twenty four of your hours. I will not be late I have a clock that I built sometime back that measures your time. Do not be late.”
Asmodan picked up the roll of papers that he had laid beside his right knee and passed them through the mirror. As they passed through the surface of the mirror he kept expecting them to catch on the silk that was draped over its surface but of course they did not. Orgonosnanith who’s head had seemed to float back from the mirror reached out with an arm that seemed to be just as fluid and boneless as the demons neck and took the roll. As he walked away with them he called back over his shoulder “twenty four hours.” The Warlock watched him unrolling the sheets as he moved out of sight of the mirror.  Once he was out of sight Asmodan reached out and grabbed the silk that was hanging below the bottom of the mirror and pulled it off. The spell immediately ended and the mirror was a simple polished piece of silver again. He took it down and placed it back in the storage box it came in. He folded the silk and placed it in the same box but in a corner where it would not come into contact with the silver. There was no way that anything could happen by accident but he seemed to be leaning towards extra caution lately.

The following days meeting with the odd Demonsmith had not gone how Asmodan had planned. In all honesty he had planned on Orgon to request mortal babies and human souls and the flesh of a religious man and all other manner of demented things that demons seemed to love so much. The list he received instead still had him rubbing his head.
One centennial Scarlet Oak tree (live)
One maple tree with a burl (live)
One ton solid black marble stone
One ton solid white marble stone
One albino male peacock (live)
Payment must be received before the completion of the project.
Asmodan knew that he was getting the equivalent of a demonic hyper car. But he wasn’t sure if he was getting ripped off or not. Some of this stuff he was sure was not going to be easy to get and he sure didn’t know how to transplant something like a hundred year old tree into the abyss and have it survive. As he thought about it he decided that keeping it alive was going to be Orgon’s responsibility as long as it was alive when he delivered it his end of the deal was fulfilled.

It took some time but between Algie, Lily and Asmodan and the all-powerful internet they located everything on the list. The trees were not hard and the peacock was simple. The solid chunks of marble were another matter. Rather than having most of the items shipped to him Asmodan traveled to them and in the late night or early morning hours he broke in to the places the larger items were stored and used power gateway spells and literally dropped the items into spaces that Orgon had prepared for them. When contacted later about his purchases coming up missing Asmodan would state that there had to be some confusion because they had already been delivered to the people who had contracted him to locate them. He let the various sellers keep their fees with the exception of the people he had found for the black marble since he felt that they were ripping him off. Them he told that if they couldn’t deliver what he had paid for then he wanted his money back. They tried to convince him that they could get another piece and that he just had to wait a little longer and then they received a call from Algie’s firm and the matter was dropped and the money returned.

Asmodan had regular interaction with Orgon and had decided that this was probably the only demon that he had ever met that he almost liked and could vaguely trust. Orgon would not show him the work in progress but would ask the Warlock questions about aesthetics, design ideas and the feelings he wanted to invoke in other mortals when they saw him in the vehicle. There were also questions as to comfort and number of passengers. Asmodan said it needed to seat five in two rows of seats three in the back and two in the front; he described bucket seats and even provided pictures of different types that he had looked into and or read up on.
When it is considered that demons do not need to sleep many just don’t. Those that do are injured and healing or are bored. Demons don’t have to eat they do it as a pleasure or because of some internal drive that pushes them into it. Lock a demon in a room with no way out and wait a thousand years and open the door. The demon it will still be inside waiting for a chance to rip your face off. When you take away time to eat and time to sleep and give a demon something to obsess on they can work a lot more efficiently than your most dedicated Human. This is the case with the demon smith Orgonosnanith when he was asking Asmodan questions about seats it was because he was making them at that moment when he contacted the Warlock about suspension a day later it was because he was constructing it at that time. Once the first iteration of the vehicle was completed the Smith went over it with a large hammer made of the green tinted metal that he seemed to use for everything and anything that was deemed unfit was smacked dented pulled away and thrown into a smelter to be reformed back into something that didn’t madden its maker. These sessions of building the car up to almost complete and them bashing bits of it off and melting them back down to nothing happened several times before Asmodan even knew that the car had been completed once. No piece was ever taken off because it didn’t fit or wouldn’t perform correctly that would mean that Orgon had made a mistake and that was not something that the demon seemed to ever do. He was just picky and with a mind sharp enough to look at something and upgrade it in his head five or six times before settling on something else that he liked better and was usually many times better than what was fist in place for use. Almost all of the interior frames and braces of the car were made of the indestructible crystal of Agothe and to hide the material it was encased in the shaped and detailed metal work of the Demon.
When it was all but completed Asmodan was told that he needed to prepare his Hate Engine. The Warlock had hoped that he would have to hunt hard to find the Kirogoth and he hopped that it would try and back out of the deal. He wanted to fight the beast to punish it again. Once he did find it in his scryings he felt his blood boil. He wanted to strap it to a table and set on it with tools that are described on manuals of torture written by professionals of the trade from the dark ages. The Warlock knew that he wouldn’t kill the beast if he was to do it and he also knew that he could do it if he wanted to this hell cat didn’t pose a threat to him anymore.
On a whim he opened the portal directly before the draft horse sized cat it stood staring at him for a second unfettered hate in its golden feline eyes, then it slowly and soundlessly walked through the portal and stood in the room before the Warlock.
“Die mortal.”
“Shutup I hate you.”
Asmodan needed to grab a few things and bring them in to make his Engine and was about to leave the room he didn’t want the Fel lynx to get away he could do serious damage before Asmodan could find him again. He turned back to the beast and using almost a perfect control of the voice he told the demon.
“Stay.”
The massive bluish… pinkish... Asmodan stood there and stared at the Fel lynx for a few more seconds. Was the cat’s fur changing color as he watched it? Then he remembered that Volnam had taught him that they did shimmer different colors all pleasing to the mortal eye. They could also give off pleasant scents to draw mortals in that with their natural telepathy and hypnotic gaze made it very easy for them to draw prey to them. In his time in the abyss Oristhnx never seemed to use any of these other traits or Asmodan never had a chance to notice them given the other activities that usually took place during their time together what with the torture and the feasting on Asmodan’s living flesh and all. Asmodan watched the black fur shimmer through a shade of emerald green and then turned and left the room.
As he walked down the hallway to grab a few items he needed from his spell vault he had a little bounce in his step. He quickly grabbed the items he would need and carried them back to his waiting guest. The process went exactly as it had before. Took almost the exact same amount of time. This demon was much larger and had an entire body to deal with. Just getting to the massive heart and working the giant thing free was a feat in itself. When it was done he was exhausted but excited he also noted that he was a little let down. The thing didn’t cry out once there was no scream or shriek or primal growl there was no defiance. The few times during the rite that their eyes met there was only the same deep pure hatred and the promise that eventually this would be over and if he had to wait a century to get his maw around the mortals throat again then he would wait a century. Danny chuckled to himself as he mused with the idea of at ninetynine years selling the car to someone overseas. As he went over the various parts of the binding spell there was no built in clause in it that would automatically let Oristhnx back out in one hundred years. Then again as Volnam had pointed out several times if it got out that the Warlock had no qualms with breaking his word whenever he felt like it no other demon would deal with him. Each time that argument came up Asmodan wanted to point out that any demon he came across would do exactly what he wanted it to regardless of if it wanted to or not he didn’t say it though but he thought it often.
Danny stared at the pulsing light emanating from the sides of the box. He smiled to himself, he could crush anyone who opposed him. As he thought it he didn’t really think of any reason for anyone to need to oppose him if what he wanted to do was the right thing. Crushing opposers… it was an odd and random thought to have. The Warlock picked up the box and moved down the hallway to the spell vault and delivered his prize to Orgon. The whole time wishing he felt happier or more excited about his cat in a box.
The cat in a box thought stuck with Asmodan. He stood there for the first time inside Orgonosnanith’s complex which he had for months mistakenly thought of as a workshop the mall of America would fit in here. Off over in that corner on the left. As the excited demon went over the different facets of the car Asmodan thought of a story he heard about Schrödinger's cat, this guy put a cat in a sealed box with some poison in a breakable bottle and once the box was sealed the cat could be thought of as both dead and alive because you couldn’t know if the poison broke or not. He thought about Schrödinger's cat and decided that he might call the engine of his new car Schrödinger's box.
“And here here come sit place your hand there.”
                Asmodan found himself being ushered to the driver’s seat and as the demon indicated he placed his hand down into a receptacle that was where most cars have the stick for shifting gears on a manual transmission car. Nothing happened when he placed his hand inside there was a handle there and he grabbed it. The odd semi sphere like shape felt like it was made for his hand. The contours were matched exactly to how his had naturally curled around it. This one piece was almost a chicken and egg scenario was this sphere of metal made for his hand or was his hand made to wrap around this piece of metal. As he held it though he looked up to Orgon and stated rather disappointedly.
“It’s not doing anything.”
“Of course not it’s dead. Let’s give it life.”
Reaching in through the windows with his long boneless upper arms he lifted the back seat away from the floor and the lower set of arms placed Schrodinger’s box into a place that had been prepared for it. The seat was lowered back down and latched into place. Almost instantly the whole car was different it felt different. There was almost some panic in the Warlocks face as strings of lines all over almost every surface of the car flashed for a few seconds before fading away and becoming invisible. He then realized that once the car had its heart its source of power the whole thing, almost every surface of every part was spelled for one thing or another. As Orgon was placing the engine into the back seat Asmodan was turned around to watch him and to do that he had taken his hand out of the little cubby that had been placed there for it. Orgon walked around the side of the car and climbed into the passenger seat changing shape as he did. By the time he was seated he looked physically almost completely human. His arms and head stayed the same shape but shrank. The odd color changing flesh of the demon seemed to be pulsing back and forth in alternating patterns of glowing green and glowing orange. Asmodan assumed that the demon was excited.
“There.” The demon pointed down at the open pod
“Place your hand there. It is linked to you. Any other mortal that has not been linked to it will have his life force drained and fed back into the Engine. It is an… anti-theft device.”
Asmodan placed his hand into the gap and closed his hand around the handle and his whole body lit up. He was aware of the car and its surroundings there was something else too but he wasn’t sure what it was, maybe another mind but it wasn't coherent it was scrambled. The Warlock pushed the broken mind aside there was too much else to see and pay attention too.  He was aware of Orgon speaking to him but was having a hard time focusing on what he was saying. Asmodan already had a feeling of what this was for, why it was build this way. He willed the car forward slowly and sure enough it began to move. It wasn’t the car moving though it was him moving, the Tires were like his skin and he could feel them he could feel the smooth crystal floor but saying it was like walking on the crystal would be wrong it was like four parts of his body were rolling continuously over the crystal and it was a sensation that he would have a hard time explaining to someone because there was nothing to compare it too. As he moved he could feel the non air moving against his not skin. After about fifteen feet Asmodan stopped he focused on letting go of the handle and sat back in his seat. Orgon was looking at him questioningly.
“It’s so much beyond the human experience I just need to catch my breath. You are truly a master at whatever you decide to do… Orgon when I conquer the Abyss, you are gonna have free reign to do whatever you want.”
Orgon who still in no way believed that Asmodan was the Warlock just laughed and said that he would hold him to that as part of their bargain. Asmodan sat back and took a few deep breaths he focused himself as if he were going to attempt a complicated incantation and then began to reach for the knob again. As he reached out Orgon placed his hand over Asmodan’s to stop him.
“You can join the vehicle that way but you can also control it like a conventional mortal vehicle once you have touched it to activate it.”
“Does it have gears?”
Orgon nodded his head in the negative.
“I have managed it so that if you tap the control knob and have a range of speeds in mind the acceleration peddle will move between the high and low speeds you set mentally.”
The Warlock frowned for a second and then thinking to the car as if he would when communicating with someone telepathically zero to thirty miles per hour, and reached down to tap the knob. The car sat there. Asmodan placed both hands on the steering wheel and pressed on the go peddle lightly. The car began to accelerate and seeing that the cavernous space they were in had the space in front of him he floored it. The car jumped to thirty miles an hour and did not go one fraction above it.
“Tap it again with a larger range in mind and it will accommodate you.”
Orgon said. Asmodan looked over to him and then slid his hand down to tap the knob again this time thinking thirty to seventy miles an hour. He let off of the accelerator and the car stayed at thirty and as he pressed his foot back down on it the car began to build speed again this time all the way up to seventy. Asmodan nodded to himself as he thought. Sweet mental cruise control. On a whim he reached back down to tap the knob and thought the command, Lights. Instantly two bright angular headlights threw beams into the darkness far out into the dark crystal cavern. There was much more space than the Warlock had guessed. After a few very sharp turn to see what the grip was like on the smooth surface he began to push speeds up to one hundred and one hundred and fifty. He didn’t experiment with the joining feature as Orgon called it. Driving at a hundred and fifty miles an hour was a rush that he hadn't had before he wanted to push it further but all his training with Volnam had taught him a small level of control and he knew that he could barely react fast enough at this speed when a turn was needed he would do this until he felt like it was old and then he would go to greater speeds. He hadn't noticed before because of the level of focus he was forcing onto everything else but the car was not so much growling like most high end cars did in the movies it was more like a howling.
“Without an internal combustion engine what is causing the sound that I am hearing?”
“That is the way the rotations and the wind are dealing with themselves outside the rear of the car. Your mortal ears might not be able to hear it but there is actually two different sounds one is high pitched and changes as you increase or decrease speed and the other is deeper and changes depending on how the car is interacting with the air. One can be silenced the other can be decreased. At low speeds the car will be almost silent many people will think you have an… electric car.”
Asmodan winced at that a little bit. He thought electric cars were a neat idea but he thought gay people should be allowed to get married too. That didn’t mean he wanted to marry a dude or people to think he drove an electric car. Well it was a clean energy car, he would have to just get used to being part of the green revolution.
                They drove for a few more hours Asmodan getting used to the feel of the car how it handled, how things changed at different speeds. One thing that was hard to get the hang of and he didn’t really see a need for it but practiced with it anyway was the fact that the car would go forward at the same speed as it would backward. Orgon told him that it was more practical when he was joined with the car. Finally then the test driving was done they both stood a few feet away from the front of the vehicle. Orgon had grown back to his full seven almost eight foot height and re-sprouted what Asmodan had counted as four squat legs, they looked like the legs he would have pictured on some massive four legged dinosaur only shrunk down. Orgon stood with all of his sets of arms folded as he gazed at the vehicle Asmodan could tell that he was proud of his work and he deserved to be it was amazing. The body itself was amazing it embodied everything Asmodan had said he wanted it too. It was powerful it was vicious it looked like it was springing forward as it sat parked. Hard forward moving lines moved over the body. It looked like a demon itself something horrifying if it could move on its own, but it couldn’t it was at the command of a Human. It was wide just under seven feet. The car sat very low to the ground as well a hair over three feet tall and twelve and a half feet long. It was a coupe only having two long doors but the doors did open a wide enough area that someone only needed to tilt a front seat forward a little bit to sit in the back seat where there was plenty of room for three adults to sit comfortably. There was a point in all the looking over and inspecting where the Warlock climbed into the back seat and he was thrown off by it because as he sat in the back seat the car seemed much larger than when he was sitting in the front. The car seemed almost two feet wider in the back than the front. Orgon admitted to extra dimensional space at work and Asmodan chided himself for not coming to that conclusion on his own. He had to remind himself that Orgon wasn’t just someone who swung a hammer this demon had a deep understanding of the workings of magic to do what he did; the car was covered in proof of that.
They had timed it so that when the portal was opened to get the car from the Abyss to the Material plane it was two thirty in the morning in the corner of town where Asmodan’s building was there usually wasn’t anyone around. Asmodan silently pulled the car into a parking space near the front door and got out and turned to Orgon who was still standing on his side of the gateway. He was peering out and around the edges but he made no move to come through.
“Maybe in the future you will contract me for something that will allow me to come through for a while as payment.”
“Maybe.”
“Our deal is done Mortal enjoy your new toy.”

With that Orgon turned back and waved his hand as he did it the portal closed. This confused Asmodan the portal was his he had opened it. He didn’t know that someone else could will his portal closed. He was going to have to talk to Volnam about that.

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