My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult: I See Good Spirits & I See Bad Spirits: Track 1
Theme: Doomite backstories of youth
Original Date of Completion: 6/22/08
Disclaimer: All characters are property of World Events Productions.
"It is done," Coba meowed to his witch. Rubbing his scent around her neat plaited robes, she picked him up. Scratching beneath his ear, she smiled. "Two less reminders, and on the Eve of Dhmfidr. It will do for now."
Lotor held the crumpled leaves and scattered soil of his Mother's Beacon. The plant that he had been carefully tending to since her death, now ripped apart and strewn carelessly on the floor like a common weed. Some of it stuck to his fingers as the majority poured through his grasp. He held it up to his nose and took a deep breath: would her spirit come back for the Day, as all the dead whose loved ones grew a sacred plant from their ashes would? He glanced morosely at the metal pot, which had been twisted and gnarled, trapping most of the root's remains inside. Lifelessly, he started scooping the earth and Beacon parts into the mangled piece. He took a sidelong glance at his younger sister, Nti. She was far more vocal about the demise of her Mother's Beacon.
"Who has done this? And on the Eve! The Day of Dhmfidr, the Day of the Dead, is tomorrow! This is blasphemy, an insult, treasonous to the royal family! Who would do such a thing?" she clutched and tried her best to salvage what she could. "We will find this out, brother, and we will make them pay!"
"Don't you mean 'him?'" Lotor bitterly spat. There was only one person capable of such audacity and hatred for their mothers, and both women had the misfortune of being married to him.
"Father would NOT do this," Nti stated firmly, still focusing on her ruined flora.
"Why not? He will probably propose to that witch that's always around. This is the sort of 'romantic gesture' he would make towards that depressing woman," the adolescent Prince contested.
"Hagar," Nti said the witch's name. The sorceress was a striking woman with golden hair and short green fur that accentuated the feline overtones of her face. Hagar had been a constant presence at her father's side, preceding her birth, and being there for all of Lotor's life. Not only did she serve as the Royal Advisor, she had persuaded her father to build her a laboratory where she could work on various fusions of technology and magic. King Zarkon seemed wary of the witch's affection, but exploited her abilities nonetheless. Perhaps she was doing the same, bargaining her hand for his power?
"What are you thinking, Nti?" Her long finned ears fanned out as the realization boiled her dark blood. Lotor did not need her reply, his new conclusion was mutual. "She must pay. We will let the Twins judge her." He walked out of the room and returned several minutes later with two ceremonial bowls made of bone. He held one out to his half-Dhmk sister. "Take whatever soil and leaves you need for the Libation. I will do the same." He selected the choicest parts from his Beacon and sprinkled them evenly into his bowl. Nti nodded and followed suit.
"I like it, brother. Let us show she has not deterred us. Shall we tell Father?"
Lotor snorted as his yellow eyes glowed. "Like he'd even care. He never has any Beacons for HIS side of the family, and doesn't bother to care for our mothers' memory anymore. He leaves that to us." He stopped for a moment to check his emotions from overwhelming him. "He'll laugh if we tell him."
Nti gasped disbelievingly. "Father may be more of a Vajelic Nihilist than a Worshiper of Dhmfidr, but for spiritual and political reasons he would not do something so insulting on the holiest of days. He wouldn't deliberately hurt us!"
"Keep telling yourself that." Satisfied that he had enough for the Libation, he left the room without a word, only fatally slashing the guard returning from an unauthorized bathroom break.
"So, how will we do it? How will we summon the Twin Deities?" A sitting Lotor tapped his foot impatiently as his sister looked through the Scriptures of Nidhm while he skimmed those of Sidhm.
"I don't see much about how to get them together besides a broken covenant. Midnight is a couple of hours away, and we cannot miss the ceremony. Maybe we can't do this so soon." Nti fingered the collar of her white dress, the rare color to celebrate and welcome the return of the departed souls of Dhm. Her brother had yet to change into the pale garments that would complement his hair.
Lotor pounded the table with his fist, "No! We do this now! She pulls this stunt on the Eve, we will avenge on the Day! No exceptions."
Nti closed the heavy book with a slam. "Who are we kidding? Two kids against a shaman? The goddesses are laughing as much as you think Father will. No one's going to help us." She held her head.
The young prince slowly stood up. "You are absolutely right." He looked down at her deep blue face, a thin strip of white hair growing from her segmented crest, a clever smile splitting his face. She looked up at his more human and Duonulan features. "I am?"
He nodded. "WE'RE going to have to do this ourselves, Twins or not."
"Well, when you drink your Mother's Libation, who do you see?"
"I see my mother, Grndl. Brother, don't you see Borrhéan, your mother?"
He nodded, his eyes flashing as he divulged his vengeful plan.
The ceremony was held outside in the darkest pitch of night. The throngs of citizens, dressed in white, faces decorated with streaks of white clay, provided the slightest hint of light. All eyes were on the King, who chanted as powerfully as ever to welcome back the departed spirits for one day of the year. Hagar stood by his side, respectfully observing and chanting with the others at the right times. His children did the same. The ceremony finished without incident and the time for celebration was at hand. Tiny bulbs began to illuminate the landscape. King Zarkon turned to his children, "I trust you have your Libations ready." But they were already gone. Ignore the living, fawn on the dead. He could not see Hagar's smirk as he frowned. "Where have they gone, without my giving them leave?"
"Think nothing of it, sire," she consoled. "They are still children, and they have been anticipating this holiday for quite some time."
"That is nothing special," he dismissed the observation with a sweep of his hand as he headed towards the Castle and his Great Hall. His guards were composed mainly of Duonulans who were Nihilists like himself, and not participating in the ceremony. Of course, once he gave them leave, the hedonistic celebration was open to all, regardless of whether they bothered with morbid botany, and they would likely indulge in the festivities. While he personally dismissed much of the visions his people saw from the Libations as mere hallucinogenic affects from the polluted soil and plant toxins, he feigned enough piety for unity's sake...and the slight chance there was some spirits out there that were paying attention. It worked well enough: his approval rate was high among his people, and the religions had yet to cause any internal strife or divine intervention since his rule. Unfortunately, his children preferred the Dhmk pantheon over Nihilism, and times like this made it all the more apparent the divide between his progeny and himself was growing. "At least they did not bother to inquire about my lack of Beacons this year."
That's something you all have in common this year, Hagar thought snidely. "Sire, let us partake in the celebration. We can discuss our future plans in the morrow." She reached up to place a hand on his shoulder, but he just as quickly brushed it away with an accompanying glare. "There's enough time for that, Hagar. In the meantime, I have a Hall to oversee. You do what you want. Alone," he emphasized.
"The dead haunt you more than you think, Zarkon," she whispered fiercely. His hearing acute, he loomed over her, his eye blazing a violet fire. Her wooden staff glowed. "And if you want my services, I suggest you give me what is due." Her attractive green face twisted into a contorted visage of maleficence.
"I have one dead guard that suggests they haunt YOU more than I," he sneered. Her eyes widened. He snickered. "My children say nothing, but I am not as feeble and uninformed as you all seem to think. As one who speaks with the dead, you should know better than to pull such stunts on days like this: much more hazardous for someone in your line of work." He wagged his finger as he patronized her. "Or, is this some female thing I will never understand?" he shot out as she walked away from him. Smug at having bought himself some time away from her, he motioned to his guards to follow him to the Hall.
She walked to her laboratory briskly, no longer in the mood to see hundreds of fools gallivanting around. Still, the smell of the Libations from the distant Great Hall reached her sensitive nose as Dhmk and observant Duonulans alike guzzled away becoming more intoxicated with each passing moment. She held a hand to her nose as she squeezed her watering eyes shut. Had she not done so, she might have seen the whip instead of feel it across her back. She cried out as she fell, readying her staff. A hard boot kicked it away from her hands into the distant corner.
"You dare attack me!" she shouted. Looking up, she saw two figures clothed completely in white. Their faces were covered in masks: one a bright white skull of Nidhm, the other of a black centipede of Sidhm. "Oh, the Twin Deities, how symbolic," she laughed. "Children playing such silly little games." Her eyes glowed in time with her hands. Centipede punched her in the ribs promptly. She gasped for air as her arms and hair were pulled back. Skull presented a filled bowl of the smelliest Libation yet.
"You little brats!" she managed to shout before Centipede pulled her lower jaw down and held it open. Without a single word from her attackers, the Libation was poured down her throat. Choking and wheezing at the horrid taste, she was released. She slowly pulled herself up. "Royal swine or not, you will pay for this!"
"Pay for what, Hagar?" Lotor said in the distance. Nti followed close behind him. "Advisor Hagar, what has happened to you?" She ran towards her, "You have been attacked!"
"Who then? Who are these two?" She motioned towards the masked perpetrators. Her vision started to warble, the effects of her forced drink taking effect quickly. She staggered, and Lotor looked triumphantly at his sister, who was as happy in return.
"We see no one, Witch Hagar!" Nti faked her concern with skill that would have prided her father had he seen it. "You must rest. Here, let me help you."
The sorceress looked and saw them standing there. "What are you saying? Are you blind, girl?"
Lotor succinctly replied, "My lady, there is no one here but us. We noticed you were not at the Hall and wondered if you were in the laboratory. We heard you scream just as we came by here, and you were the only one in this corridor."
"Do you think I'm stupid enough to find that coincidence believable?" her voice began to slur. "No one can hear a damn thing in this castle now! And why is there no one in this corridor?"
"People have learned to stay away from your lab, Hagar," Lotor offered, freely smiling as he took deliberate steps towards her. The white glow of his garb started to twist around him in wisps, his hair blending with the atmosphere that was starting to swim with colors. She stepped backwards until she was flat against the wall.
"Stay away from me, demon seed," she shivered. Suddenly, she saw a tall blond human woman step from behind that cruel son of Zarkon. Then another. He was crossing his arms, surrounded by endless clones of his dead mother. She shut her eyes. "No, it's an illusion. This is that poison you made me drink, nothing more."
"The only poison around here is you," blue duplicates of Grndl spoke in unison as they dropped from the ceiling, forming a phalanx with Nti.
Hagar was sputtering. Her magic tolerance was for naught, the Libation was vivid and merciless. "This is impossible!" she shouted.
Lotor and Nti looked at each other. "I do believe it's working, sister. I only wish we could see what her dark, twisted mind has in store for her." He motioned to his masked allies; they readied their electrolashes.
"We entrusted you with our sadness, with our secrets, with our lives!" the Borrhéans declared, pointing accusingly. "You learned of our hopes, our dreams. And then crushed us and stole them for yourself!"
"You were never right for him, foolish girl," Hagar retorted. "Always a dreamer, never in reality. You were weak and could not handle him."
"What is she saying?" Lotor muttered.
"And what of us?" the Grndls yelled. "We had shared the secrets of Dhmk magic with you. We helped secure the future of this world. Dare you call us weak?"
"No, Grndl," Hagar grit her fangs. "I just HATED you."
"Bitch," Nti shivered with fury. Lotor restrained her, holding her arms. "No, let them do it," he nodded his head to the masks. "None of her blood must be on our hands."
"Can you hear me over your torment, Hagar?" Lotor shouted. "You will die, right here, right now! You have crossed the Royal Family for the LAST TIME!"
Hagar heard the proclamation, but it was not Lotor's voice she heard: it was his father's. The two masks invaded her sight, expanding, writing. Skull began to consume the willing Borrhéans as Centipede swallowed Grndls in single bites. Each time transformed the two monsters into larger, powerful creatures. As quick as they had started the bloodless massacre, they were done, and the Twin Deities in all their horrible glory stood before her. Skull Nidhm leaped into Centipede Sidhm's mandible, and in a bright flash of light, a merged Dhmfidr appeared.
The massive Centipede Goddess of Creation filled the room, harmlessly undulating around the heirs. Hagar screamed in terror as Dhmfidr opened her maw and spewed a torrent of mice.
The guards held up their whips when her terrifying wail stalled them. Her body was glowing completely, pulsing with raw power. Its energy was sensed in the Great Hall, halting any ounce of celebration.
Zarkon gripped his goblet and did not hesitate. My children are not here, and that energy is Hagar, all right. "Guards, to Hagar's laboratory. If you see the Crown Prince and Princess, bring them to the Hall immediately," he commanded as the formerly inebriated bunch, sobered by his words, rushed ahead of him.
"This cannot be!" she shouted. The witch's fear fed her power, splitting across her body, mice chewing away at her skin, her clothes, ripping at her hair.
"You learned of our ways, our methods," the voice of Dhmfidr chittered. "You formed a covenant, and you have broken it." Dhmfidr reared back. Hagar lifted her arms, her body completely enveloped in her blazing might. "I invoke Qyracm!"
Lotor and Nti involuntarily retreated as they saw her fur and robe burn from the power. The two Duonulan guards removed their masks, trapped where they stood. They looked fearfully at their Prince, who hurried his sister away.
"Lotor, Nti, what is the meaning of this?" King Zarkon shouted as his guards brought them. "What is Hagar doing?"
"Father, she has lost her mind. We have to go!" Nti pleaded.
"Take my children to the Royal Crypt. Have them wait for me there!" the monarch ordered.
He walked into the corridor, holding his goblet. "Father, what are you doing?" Lotor shouted incredulously, but his father did not dignify his question with any response.
He smelled burning flesh soon enough. Two guards charred to death lay before Hagar, whose features had taken extensive damage. Her energy was still blazing, but he wisely stayed away from the radius. He poured the contents of his goblet, creating a tiny stream that creeped into the boundary of her magic. He held his hand down, and an electric current ran from his fingers, traveling on the river of wine and into Hagar's aura, disrupting the energy inward onto her.
Zarkon clicked his tongue as he approached her damaged, but alive, body. She moaned as she opened her burnt eyelids, her glassy yellow eyes looking through him. He lowered himself and leaned, his mouth inches away from hers. "What happened? I don't know what's going on..." her voice trailed away.
"I could never share myself with someone like you." She groaned in response as he continued, "But, this powerful display of yours shows me that you are still useful. And with your looks gone, you can focus on what I keep you for."
"Heal me, Zarkon. Please," she begged.
"Sorry," he shrugged. "I don't do that sort of thing."
"What do you think he's going to do to us?" Nti asked her brother fearfully. The guards kept them at the entrance of the Royal Crypt. She rubbed her arms nervously.
"I don't know," Lotor whispered. "We don't even know if that witch even survived. Or even if HE did."
The guards took long concerned looks at the Crown Prince before exchanging distressed expressions between themselves.
"His Majesty, King Zarkon, approaches," a Royal Caller announced ahead. The relieved guards readied themselves as did the children. Nti grabbed her brother's hand; he gripped and gave her a reassuring look.
His entourage stopped as a father addressed his children. "Hagar will survive. She remembers nothing of what happened, and I will continue to employ her as an Advisor and Scientist."
"WHAT?!" Lotor shouted.
Zarkon grimaced at his son's rudeness. "Do not interrupt me, son!" With that, he walked forward, breaking the grip between the siblings. He entered the crypt. "Come along," he ordered.
The Crypt was a large, intricate building, damp but beautifully carved interior filled its rooms. Currently the Crypt housed the late Queens, each in opposite rooms. Between them was a centerpiece, a plant growing well in the damp, murky air.
"There," he pointed to the fern. "This is my Beacon for your mothers. It's not traditional, not beautiful nor delicate; it does not flower, but it's strong and hardy and can handle significant trauma without dying. It is easy to grow and can tolerate different soils from many different worlds. Its leaves don't make the tastiest or strongest Libation, but whatever you take from it, it will grow back fast." He grabbed one long sporophyll and split it in two, handing a piece to each dumbfounded child. "It was planted with ashes from your mother, Lotor. When your mother died, Nti, I added some of hers. It seemed to respond well. Take from that what you will."
Zarkon flicked his fingers to the exit. The guards gently nudged the children along. He took a few moments to look alternatively at his wives' burial chambers while hearing his children in the distance: "I can't believe he had a Beacon all this time and didn't tell me! Why?" "He knew all along what happened! I TOLD you he wouldn't laugh." "Yeah yeah."
He shook his head, amused, caressing the unremarkable leaves of the random weed that had taken root years ago.
Written by Buzz McCoy
Published by SleazeBox Music / BMI
Keys & Programming – Buzz McCoy