Asmodan hoped to see something on the news that night regarding the Two Hanover Square building and spent a large portion of the evening news flipping back and forth between channels eventually he decided that it was just going to take more time he gave up the remote to Lily who sat the remote down and looked at him one eyebrow arched.
“What exactly was it you were looking for?”
“Oh uh… Just news about that building downtown I was looking into.”
“Yeah I get that part but why would a building you are interested in all of a sudden be in the news. What I am getting at before you try and deflect again is, What did you do to it?”
“Yes really what did you do? You better not have hurt anyone.”
Asmodan looked up at the ceiling for a minute. Then down at Lily his stare must have been an intense one because he could practically smell the fear begin to permeate the air around her.
“No I didn’t hurt anyone, well I don’t think so. I didn’t take into account allergic reactions to mold.”
“Allergic reactions to mold?”
“Yeah well see I need the building for the ritual to reanimate Renault but I can’t get it. So I set up a mold in the vents once the air quality is seen as unsafe I can get access to the building with no trouble.”
“Just plain mold?”
“What kind of mold then?”
“Why do you keep prying? You know you really don’t want to know. I’ve been honest I didn’t set up anything that will actually hurt or kill anyone.”
“Unless they are allergic right?”
“Yeah and I guess now that I think about it. Some commercials have stated that some heart problems might be an issue.”
“You have seen commercials for the mold you used?”
“No but… Man I have to use the bathroom. I will be right back.”
Asmodan went to the bathroom. While he was there he took a few breaths and laughed to himself. Then he didn’t go back to the rec room he headed up to the fourth floor and locked himself into his vault or a few hours of meditation. The meditation turned into sleeping and he ended up spending the night in the vault it was some of the best sleep he had had in weeks. The Vaults design to cancel out energy from the outside and completely seal off the inside from the outside world let him get into some the calmest deepest sleep he had had in a long time.
The following night he didn’t even need to remember to go to the rec room and check the news Lily called him in. The look on her face was someplace between anger and joy. She wanted to scowl at him but she couldn’t stop trying to hold back laughter. Apparently police were called to Two Hanover because of what was described as wild public displays of attention by people in the restaurants but from there it spread to just about every person on every floor. The only people who weren’t affected with the insane PDAs were the people who left when they noticed that things were not normal. The heavy petting eventually turned into outright sex. There are reports of sex everywhere, in elevators on conference room tables in hallways. The first round of police that was sent in to break it all up ended up pulled into the twenty nine floor orgy. More police were called in and were also caught up in the fun. Asmodan listened as Lily explained and watched as the news showed people being brought out covered in blankets and towels some women had suit jackets wrapped around them. Everyone seemed to be in a great mood as they were brought out of the building. Asmodan was also laughing as he watched the looks on people faces as they came out. This had to be the largest group of genuinely happy people anywhere on earth he thought to himself. Volnam who was watching from further back in the room was also cackling to himself. He laughed out something about slutmold and kept on doing the demon version of a giggle. They all watched the news as one smiling face after another was pulled out of the building. There were some people in there that came out grinning that Asmodan was certain hadn’t had sex since he was born. Finally after what was thought to be the last person was escorted out of the skyscraper. Men in yellow environment suits began to move into the building and the reporter started talking about how the CDC was now going in to see what caused the odd actions of the buildings occupants. Danny turned off the television at that point he already knew what they would find.
“So the Warlock doubles as cupid huh?”
“Nah that wasn’t love. It was just open and innocent lust.”
“Are they all going to be alright?”
“Sure they will. They might be tired and sore for the exertion.”
“Hey look out there.”
Lily pointed to the windows at the corner of the room. Asmodan got there first Lily second and Volnam third landing on the hand rail that led into the tub. As they watch the air seemed to be growing thicker darker like a fog was rolling in.
“What is that?”
“It is an unintended side effect of the mold I think.”
“What? Mold doesn’t make fog. No but earth makes fog in response to Demon presence.”
“Volnam has been here forever now why would there just now be fog?”
“Shut up Rat.”
“Both of you please… The mold is imbued with demonic essence its basically half demon but half demon that covers the insides of a four hundred foot tall building which makes it a very freaking large half demon.”
“What are you going to do about it?”
“Until I am done with things, Nothing.”
“Will it go away on its own?”
“No I don’t think so stop with all the damn questions please. I’m not a pro at this I am making a lot of it up as I go.”
“What will people do?”
“They will deal with it. It’s not magic in nature, its nature in response to magic it doesn’t like. People in London had crazy for forever didn’t they?”
The following week was absolutely miserable. Every person in Raleigh who had been there for a few years knew what humidity was, it was hot and sticky and it made most people miserable but as the fog settled in the Breezes that made the humidity bearable when one was outside also died away. It began to rain in sort spurts regularly usually two times a day sometimes more which kept the humidity up and since the heat did not let up the water from the rain came back up into the clouds which were just above the fog. There was maybe a fifteen foot wide gap in the sky between the High fog layer and the low heavy clouds. Meteorologists from all over the country had begun to study the phenomenon. If there is something that molds like it is damp dark conditions. The slutmold as Volnam constantly called it had begun to work its way from the vents into the hallways and walls of the building as well and from the exterior vents out onto the walls of the building. People who watched closely could make out a faint light emanating in the dark fog from the building where the concentrations of the mold were the thickest. Buildings around Two Hanover had to be evacuated as the odd side effect of the mold began to have its way with the patrons who were within almost a hundred feet of the building. People called for the burning of the building but the people in charge stated that the mold was resistant to fire and the small parts of it that were damaged regenerated very quickly. Soon groups of people were caught trying to get close to the building and were routinely run off by authorities.
Asmodan finally had to take himself to the building. He picked his way through the shadows up to one of the walls and placed his hand on it. It was warm and moist to the touch the mold seemed to react to his presence it seemed to thicken under the touch of his hand. Mentally he called out to it. The Warlock knew that it wasn’t a mind really but it was a collection of beings and he knew that the essence that he had imbued those beings with was demonic and telepathically active it might be what was causing the people around it to go at each other like wild monkeys. When he felt like he was connected with a large enough portion of the whole he commanded them to stop their replication to spread no further. He impressed on them the need to only stay on the building. He waited for some sign that they got the hint and when nothing came back he sent out a stream of impressions most of which broke down to the childhood game of “the ground is lava” he worked his way around to other sides of the building which took time since there were police around as well as barricades and other people from agencies that had acronyms that he didn’t know. Asmodan was not a really sneaky guy he knew enough to stay in the shadows when he could and how to try and walk quietly but past that he relied on his magic and his mind. When he needed someone to look one way so that he could move past them he caused something to move or caused the person to think that they heard something then he would quickly dash to the next hiding spot. Things were made worse but the layout of the building itself. It was not free standing on all four sides. Stores extended out from either side along the street one side going to a Starbucks the other an Asian food restaurant then a hotel he had to work his way down the block and back up the other side to get to the rest of the building. He tried to command the mold back from the building that extended from the skyscraper itself but he knew that stopping it from spreading was something that he might be able to do but making it retreat was something that was probably far beyond it. Mold couldn’t just get up and walk away, it expanded that’s it. As he made it to all the parts of the building that he could and replayed the same types of messages he was pretty sure he should get the top of the building too but figured that he was talking with the ground level and that’s the level he didn’t want to spread. At several points the Warlock tried to look into a window when he was near one and he was never able to peer through the thick layer of mold that covered the outside and he was sure also covered the inside as well.
“Hey what are you doing over there?”
He turned and looked at the person shouting out at him. It was a pair of officers with respirators on. They were standing really close to each other Danny noticed, a little too close to each other.
“Umm what are you two doing over there?”
One of the cops called him out of the bushes and out into the street which was blocked off in either direction.
“No one is allowed near that place. It could make you do who knows what.”
“I know what it can make me do.”
“Really now, how’s that?”
One of them asked. One was shorter than the other and lean the other was stocky, which Danny saw as odd wasn’t the shorter one usually the stocky one and the taller one the lean one?
“I’ve seen on the news. I came alone because then I wouldn’t have to worry about jumping my partner’s bones you know what I mean?”
As he asked if they knew what he meant Asmodan raised his eyebrows like he was in on a secret. The shorter of the two was immediately furious.
“Turn around, put your hands behind your back. You can spend the night with the CDC guys decontaminating you were close enough to that junk.”
“Actually I touched it with my right hand. Want me to show you?”
Both cops moved back cautiously then the short one drew his sidearm.
“Get down on your knees and wait.”
“Umm you two were practically holding hands when I first saw you there is no way I’m getting down on my knees.”
“Get down on your knees now!”
“You!” The Warlock commanded.
Asmodan unleashed a controlled blast of force knocking the two back against the pavement. He then turned and sprinted around the side of the building. As soon as he found the main entrance he forced his way inside. Another blast of force broke the lock and chain that held the building sealed. Once he was inside he shoved the doors closed again and them moved away from them. He heard the two officers outside the door. They were talking back and forth but he couldn’t make out exactly what they were saying. His heart beat was up and he was breathing a little harder than normal. Apparently running from the cops without an invincible car could get him a little excited. He finally took a minute to look around the room. There were elevators and a main desk it was really big but everything had a shiny look to it, it was all softer looking than it should have been some shapes looked droopy in places where the mold had gotten thick enough to hang on itself. Everything had a glow about it; it was much stronger inside than it was outside. The heat in here was oppressive and he was already soaking through his clothes in sweat. Asmodan also noticed that the mold was affecting him in other ways. Physically he was way past aroused, it had nothing to do with anything that he could look at or fantasize about, his anatomy was just ready to go. He tried to block off the psychic bombardment and realized that it was only partially mental. The mold itself either the smell or something else was causing it. He was having a hard time of it at this point, self-control was slipping. He took a minute to try and settle himself down and realized that he wasn’t going to last long in here. He was close to breaking down and punching the munchkin into oblivion and probably dying of dehydration or something. Asmodan slid up to the door which was still slightly open and saw that the two Officers now had four or five men from the CDC with them he couldn’t see exactly how many at this point. The Warlock noticed that he was starting to rub the side of his own leg at this point and gave up on trying to not get caught. In the back of the his mind he could feel an itch similar to what he felt when Volnam wanted to speak with him but this one was different. He opened himself up to it to see who or what it was and found that it was the Mold itself. It didn’t directly communicate in the sense that it was using words it was like when he had practiced contact with an animal where it was just feelings and impressions of things what he got across was that the mold still had some of Niath’s resentment towards him and it was turning up its mojo on him on purpose. Where it made the others in the building way more open to carnal pleasure it was trying to supercharge him into getting himself in trouble. Mold isn’t very smart the Warlock thought to himself making someone who has no one to have sex with really really want sex isn’t really a way to get him into trouble. He glanced out the crack in the doorway again and that’s when he smelled or somehow was made aware of a female outside in the group of people.
The two officers were explaining what had happened and that the assailant had run around this side of the building they were sure that he went inside. The CDC agents did not look like they wanted to go into the building. They were putting their helmets on anyway and checking the seals when the door to the building opened up and the man they were going in to look for can rushing out. One of the CDC agents a red headed female with her hair in a bun, which was some time in her thirties screamed and ran as she saw the man running straight at her. She took off in one direction while everyone else kind of scattered in a panic. The man chasing her was calling out.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”
As they sprinted down the street. Asmodan could smell the shampoo in her hair, he was supremely aware of the soft pale skin of her neck and the natural cradle formed where the neck met the shoulder. The Warlock was so pissed off at himself, his sex drive had total control over his body even while his mind was flipping out and commanding the rest of him to stop. Head number two was in command of the situation and they were gaining on the scared woman who was trying to get away from him.
“Go faster I’m about to catch you! Don’t let me catch you!”
“Stop chasing me!”
She screamed back at him. The Warlock at this point his arms out stretched to grab her were trying to do just that.
“Can’t… not in control of…”
Finally the shorter of the cops got close enough to use his Taser. The Darts slammed into Asmodan’s back and upper thigh locking him up solid. The Warlock called out a strained “Thank you!” as he slammed face down on the street. As the Taser did its job Asmodan shook slightly on the ground. Thankful that he didn’t get his hands on the woman and glad that the natural man in him didn’t use magic, this whole experience could have gone much differently. Between the mental stress of fighting himself and loosing, the assault of the mold on his mind and body and the Taser taking all other control from him the Warlock passed out.
“So how long are they going to hold me?”
“The two police officers are trying to say that you assaulted them and resisted arrest.”
“But I located footage which they are reviewing right now in which a security camera recorded you waving your hand and officers who were much too far away for you to have hit threw themselves backwards into the air in what looks like fear.”
“Wow really? Man you gotta love big brother. What about the girl I chased?”
“She knows that you were under the influence of the strange mold that is covering the building. She isn’t trying to bring any kind of charges.”
“So how long are they going to hold me?”
“I think that it will most likely come down to trespassing charges.”
“So what are we looking at here am I going to spend another night a few weeks?”
“They cleared you of any form of contamination as far as I know you will be leaving with me. I do have a few forms for you to sign and I will have this all taken care of for you. If all goes as planned you might get a fifty dollar fine maybe more.”
“Wow forget magic, Lawyers have the power.”
“This is nothing.”
Asmodan genuinely liked Algie the large nosed man was in his normal business formal get up. He wore a dark charcoal jacket and slacks a white button down shirt red silk tie expensive looking shoes and a pocket square a shade off from his tie.
“Man I gotta start dressing like you I bet everyone calls you sir.”
“Mr. LeNoir you have money but if you started dressing like me you would run out fast.”
The Warlock took a minute to think that statement over when Algie asked him to wait there while he checked with the people reviewing the security tape he had submitted. Within the next two hours Asmodan was sitting in the back of a limousine with Algie headed to pick up the Warlock’s car.
“So do you know anything about the mold and the fog?”
“Yeah the mold is mine and the fog is because of the mold. I guess the fog could be called mine too then I guess.”
“The fog is rather inconvenient don’t you think?”
“Yeah the fog sucks. But I can’t do anything about it for now. The mold is keeping the building empty and I need the building empty so I can use it.”
“So this will all clear up soon then I hope?”
“Hopefully in the next few months. I Still need to set some things up, well most of it is set up I need to study the stars a little bit and then put things into motion.”
“I see. But the fog isn’t going to be permanent right?”
“Oh yeah no its gone as soon as I am done well I mean it might take some time to break down or dissipate or whatever but it’s not permanent.”
“What else needs to be done with the preparation is there anything I can do to help it along?”
“Well I need like three more Imps that are at least closed to as good as Volnam is with ritual magic… and I think I need like seven pounds of Bronze.”
“Seven pounds of bronze?”
“Yeah I need to make amulets for a Goon squad.”
“Amulets for a Goon squad?”
“You and Lily are full of the questions lately. Yeah I’m going to need to set up a barrier and I know people are going to take issue with that so I am setting up a Goon squad to make sure nothing disturbs me while I am working the ritual. Once I am done with all that my brother won’t be able to walk through walls anymore. But when I sit down to eat with him he will be eating with me too. Oh and Algie when this last bit happens you and your staff are going to all want to go on vacation someplace really far away.”
“Are you going to hurt people? No wait don’t tell me I don’t want to know.”
“I am not going to hurt anyone and I am taking precautions to make sure that no innocents are hurt either but something’s might be out of my control.”
“I haven’t taken a vacation in a long time.”
“This will be good for you then. This is my stop.”
The Warlock tapped the window for the driver to stop. The car pulled over and let the Warlock out he waved good bye and the car pulled away Asmodan watched as the car eventually vanished into the fog. He thought to himself for the hundredth time since the fog gathered he compared it to a greyer version of the Miasma that covered the regions of the abyss that he had seen. He headed to his car and drove home. As he drove he looked off into the direction of the Hannover building which he couldn’t see but could swear that he could feel. He thought about how insane it was standing inside the place if there had been a stone statue inside that was halfway attractive he was sure he would have tried to drill a hole in marble. The Warlock also remembered that the mold itself led a sort of assault on him. There was no way that he would be able to work his ritual in there if he couldn’t get the mold under control. If he tried he would end up in a big Demon Warlock orgy he thought about the number of nasty rat faced imps he was going to need to assist him with the ritual and shuddered. It sucked when what you thought was a good plan blew up in your face he thought to himself. He also realized that he was going to have to gain access to the building again and stay much longer than the first time he was inside.
He muttered to himself as he drove off through the fog.
He muttered after that.