09/13/08- Psychotic Devil!Nanoha
When the doors slammed open, ricocheting against the walls on either side of the doorframe and doubling back, no doubt deepening the holes already far in the making, the room went silent.
When the White Devil walked into a room, you kept your mouth shut unless spoken to and that was that.
And when the White Devil wore her black hair ribbons and a sickeningly sweet smile on her face, you knew that somebody, somewhere, was living on borrowed time.
"I want her location. /Now./"
No one spoke. No one wanted to ask "Who?" and be answered with "You, numbskull." The White Devil was notorious for unorthodox, unreasonable, excessive use of her favorite attack- the Starlight Breaker. It was said that the attack had the power to shatter rays of light from any given star, visibly distorting light in a given area.
The air was said to turn /pink/. And whoever she aimed it at… regardless, it was a gruesome fate, for both the air and the opposition.
"ANSWER me, dammit! Where the hell is she? Where the hell is that Hayate?"
A few brave souls breathed sighs of relief. They weren't the victims this time around. The White Devil was just after her childhood rival, Devil-ISH Hayate. It was said that ISH stood for something, but any who managed to find out the truth were maimed the moment they tried to repeat it to anyone. There was much speculation of course, but no hard evidence either way. The White Devil likely knew, but like hell was anyone going to ask her.
Her demand was answered by her trusted second-in-command, likely the only one who could talk to the White Devil straight on- dared to use the White Devil's given name even- and not be sent reeling back on her keister. "Nanoha, she was spotted heading for the bayou near Uminari."
The White Devil let loose a string of curses that some of the less seasoned warriors feared was really an incantation of pure evil. "What the hell is she doing in Uminari?"
"Uh… sources report that she was after Fate… who went there… alone…"
The White Devil's blue eyes turned into the red they were well known for just before someone met their death by her hand. "And /which/ imbecile let their eyes off of her and allowed her to go to Uminari /alone/?"
No one answered. That, by association, meant that if no one answered, everyone got punished.
"Need I remind you of the two rules I allowed you all to join my ranks so long as you obeyed? Need I remind you of what happens to those who /break/ those two rules?"
The air was stale in the dungeon. The bodies, the sweat, the /fear/ made everything seem all the more stifling.
The White Devil eyed each of the members of her advising board carefully. One by one. Sized them up. Mentally measured their level of sweat proportional to their level of guilt.
She snapped up a pencil out of the hand of one of her more dutiful note-takers. Everyone was instantly sorry that that mousy warrior liked to keep his pencils nice and sharp. Everyone hated the ferret changeling. Feared what the White Devil was going to do with that nice, sharp, pointy-ended pencil.
When the White Devil drove half the pencil into the edge of the table like a nail being driven in with a bare hand faster than a hammer ever could, more than one "brave" warrior there stained his pants.
What came next was even worse. She graved hold of the cuff of a nameless door guard and before anyone knew which way was up, she had slammed his forehead straight down the length of the pencil. When he slumped to the floor, there was no pencil left on the table.
"Rule One: Never let Fate out of your sight." The White Devil regarded her followers. The frown was still there. "Who was in charge of watching her when she left the grounds? Whoever owns up to it now /may/ be spared depending on the amount of trouble I'll have to go through to get her back. Now who was it?!"
All eyes pointed at the owner of the pencil, who looked around and gulped.
"Yuuno, was it you?"
"Uh…" Yuuno whimpered. "You said she couldn't keep a pet duck so she went to Uminari to free it…"
"And you let /her/ go?!" Yunno suddenly found himself pulled up by the collar of his shirt. "You ferret-yogurt for brains, can you not /think/? Has all that time in that infernal library of yours /rotted/ your brains? If I say she isn't allowed to have a pet duck and she wants to free that duck in the goddamn peaceful river near Uminari, then /you/ take that duck and when you're no longer on watch for her /you/ release it wherever she wants it. How /hard/ is that to understand? Huh?! I /asked/ you a question."
"Uhhh… Not… very… hard…"
"Then why, pray tell, could you not /do/ that?"
"Because umm… I was b… busy… Fate asked if I could and I kinda just said 'okay'…"
"And what were you so 'busy' with? I know a sure and simple way to make sure you are /never/ too 'busy' again."
The White Devil stared him down for a few moments longer before throwing him down in disgust. Turning her back on the table, she ordered her second-in-command, "Vita, see to it that Yuuno gets his just desserts."
"Eh? Right. Are you going to find Fate now?"
"As if I could trust any of these numbskulls to bring Fate back let alone deal with Hayate on top of that. Of course I'll do it myself."
"Ah… 'have a safe trip' then…"
"Whatever." The White Devil sighed and walked out of the room. When the door closed behind her, everyone slumped in their seats as if ten years of their extended lives had just been cut off.
Yuuno, however, was in no condition to calm down. Vita turned on him. "Nobody gets Nanoha mad and lives to tell about it, kid. You know why don't you? Rule 2."
"Anyone that Nanoha doesn't feel fit to punish, Vita and Graf Eisen will punish personally. You've triggered two rules in one day, Yuuno. Your minutes are numbered."
Meanwhile, in the quiet grassy banks of Uminari Bayou #XX, Fate was giving her duck one last hug. "You take care of yourself, all right, Quack? Promise?"
"QUACK!" The yellow duck honked and tried to worm its way closer to Fate, farther from the impending separation.
Fate giggled. "Stop that, Quack. It tickles. And I have to go soon or else Nanoha will get mad. You don't want to see Nanoha mad do you?"
Before the duckling could even make sense of what was happening, a shadow loomed over Fate and Quack could only say his namesake in warning "QUACK!"
Then, a great explosion burst to life behind Fate, sending her sprawling into the thick grass. Quack still in her grasp, she looked up in amazement as she saw Nanoha standing in profile. Fate looked where Nanoha's gaze was directed, and saw Hayate with Signum on the side.
Fate looked back at Nanoha, and realized that she was going to get the spanking of a lifetime when she got back home. But for now…
"Hayate," the White Devil spat the name as if merely saying it made her want to retch. "Devil-Innocent Seku Hara Hayate. You were /not/ about to touch my Fate-chan."
Hayate's stern expression broke into a grin. "No, no I wasn't. I just wanted to tell her she should be getting home before you found out she was all the way out here alone, but I guess that plan's a bit shot now, isn't it?"
Nanoha raised her staff. "Forget the reasons. Let's settle our duel once and for all."
"To choose the punishment. Only involving us two."
Hayate sighed loftily and raised her weapon. "Fair enough, I suppose. Signum, go sit over by Fate-chan."
As Signum walked over to do just that, Nanoha spoke out. "Signum. If /you/ lay one finger on Fate-chan, I'll cut off each of your fingers one by one."
Signum gulped and nodded. As Hayate and Nanoha started their fight, Signum looked over at Fate. She could look, right? Looking wasn't touching.
Fate looked back. With innocent eyes, she held out her duck. "Have you met Quack?"
Not TBC… or maybe yes. :ninja:
A/N: Please review ftw