Hey guys! Thanks so much for all your patience waiting on me. You guys are so awesome!
To my Co-Author, Kashito91. Matt, you're amazing! He's responsible for inspiration and does it incredibly well. Half this entire chapter is all him. Everyone, please go check out his stories, especially 'Welcome to the Machine' for a look at Throttle's dreams, 'The Wall' for a trippy AU willd ride, and 'A Bloody Requiem' for a peice that makes Vinnie deeper than the ocean. The last one is in the M section, and totally amazing! His best work, IMHO.
Now, on with the story! My longest chapter ever, wow...
Charley sighed as she walked with Throttle through the parking lot on the way to his bike. A long day of classes and homework had come to an end and she was eager to get home with how Throttle was acting. It wasn't noticiable to anyone that didn't know him, but she'd been around him just long enough to tell. He was tense. Very tense. Something had him on edge, and she could venture a guess as to what it was.
The god and her best friend Matt had been walking on eggshells around each other, both of them coolly polite to the other in an effort to prevent hostilities. She had hoped that the two men she cared for most on Mars would be able to get along. Unfortunately, they seemed to be on the verge of arguing everytime she saw them together, which wasn't often, praise the Almightly.
If it got any worse, she would knot their tails together to force them to talk it out. Well, if the fight wasn't over her, she would. But if it was about her, she would have to...'talk' to them about it. With a ball-pin hammer in her hand.
Matt had invited her to see the band play at The Thorny Ball, a bar for students off campus, later that night. She was really looking forward to seeing them play again, and the girl was hoping to have Vinnie and Throttle there with her. If they could behave. It would be good for both gods to get a better idea of modern culture, whether Martian or Terran. She glanced around to see if Vincent Van Wham had arrived to meet them as he'd said he would, and frowned. "Hey, Throttle? Where's Vinnie? Wasn't he supposed to meet us here?"
Throttle frowned, sending out a small pulse of god-aura to act as a radar to track Vincent. "I'm not sure where he is. I had asked him to look over the temple's wards earlier, but surely he'd be done by now. I'm picking up a few privacy wards on different areas of the campus. I can't tell if he's hiding there, or if he's just hiding some of his pet projects from me by keeping them here instead of the temple. Either way, I'm sure he'll be fine."
Back at the temple...
Vincent Van Wham wasn't just a god of theives and scouts. He was the the original Martian god of mischief. This didn't exactly bode well for Throttle and Charley. Hell, it didn't bode that well for anyone on Mars. Escecially considering what he was up to now...
The temple was almost gleaming as the sun shone down upon it. Abbot Meridian was busy shopping for groceries, leaving the newest resident god alone to wander the grounds. Vincent was checking Throttle's wards, as his friend had asked. He had barely had to place any repairs at all. The young god was impressed by what he found. With barely a handful of power left, Throttle has managed to create self-energizing wards, some of which could draw power from the dormant leylines of the planet itself when they were strong enough.
With a quick glance around to be sure he was really alone, (and that no scrying stones were activated from the Heavens to catch him in the act), Vincent headed into the temple's lower levels. The base level of the holy grounds would be saturated in holy magics and energies, and would be perfect for what Vinnie had in mind. He found the temple's foundation stones and immediately cast his own wards and protection on them to hide his actions. With a quickly cast spell, he invoked an old spying charm that would force the magics of the temple to act as a display, replaying everything that had ever happened in the temple's history. But he only wanted the past two months, the amount of time that Throttle and Charley had been living here.
Vincent watched in horror and disbelief as the images went by. This was positively disgraceful! Two good looking people living together with enough sexual tension to start fires, and they hadn't shagged each other once! What in the blue heavens was wrong with this picture? He shook his head in exasperation. His older bro needed to get laid. He suspected that Charley needed to get laid too. Throttle liked Charley, Charley liked Throttle, this was perfect! A smirk formed on his face as a plan popped into his head. The god of mischief was about to play matchmaker, Van Wham style.
An hour later, Charley and Throttle had arrived back home. Throttle frowned as he felt Vincent's prescense. "He was here the whole time?"
"Do you think he just forgot to meet us?" Charley asked as she hung her bookbag up on the coat rack.
"Possibly, but its more likely that he's up to something. We won't know until something happens though," Throttle shrugged. "I'm going to the meditation hall. Will you need me for anything?"
Charely smiled at him. "No, that's alright. But thank you for the offer."
He faintly blushed. "Ah, well-I'd better get started then." The tan god headed towards the hall.
Charley kept her little smile as she headed to her room to start on the few pages of homework she had to finish. She reached the door of her room when Vincent suddenly popped out of the wall. "Hey, Charley-girl!"
She nearly jumped a mile in surprise. "Ahh! Vincent! Don't do that," she said with a gasp. "You almost scared me to death."
Vinnie chuckled in amusement. "Heheh, sorry. You mortals are so jumpy about this sort of thing." He then got a concerned look, "Hey, can we talk in private? Its about Throttle."
"Throttle?" she asked in surprise. "Why? Is something wrong?"
"Lets step into your room, more privacy that way. I don't want him to know that I've noticed," Vinnie said, his tone the perfect blend of worry and friendly concern. They went inside her room, and with a casual flick of his wrist, the god cast a privacy ward. The ward would make sure that no one, mortal, god, or demon would be able to hear them. "Now we won't be overheard. Throttle's a proud kind of guy; he wouldn't want us to be talking about him like this."
"Then should we be talking about him like this?" Charley asked, bemused at all the secrecy.
"No guy wants it going around that he's getting weaker, Charley-girl," Vincent said, immediately catching her attention. "Look when you and Throttle first met, did he mention anything about him loosing his powers?"
Charley nodded. "Yeah, he said that all he could do was channel the Almighty's power, and that he didn't have a lot of energy on his own. Being with me cut him out of that."
Vinnie nodded, "And that's true. But with the System Force still down, its really putting a lot of stress on the reserves he still has left. If Throttle has to rely too much on his own internal powers, he can go into power drain-shock."
"Power drain shock?" Charley asked in concern. "What's that?"
"When gods use too much engery and are close to being completely drained, their bodies will go into a fail-safe mode, like a state of shock in mortals," Vinnie explained. "It'll freeze their powers to prevent them from draining their own life force away. If Throttle has to go on his own power much longer, with no real source to draw from, he'll go into shock. I'd have to take him back to the Heavens to restore him to health. And that would cause even more problems with the System Force."
"More problems, but why?" Charley asked, sitting on the bed as her worry grew.
Vincent looked at her like she was short a few IQ points. "What exactly was your Wish again?"
"To be with him always," she said, a slight edge to her voice.
"The System Force might not be working right, but somepart of it is still working. It would try to enforce your Wish to always be with him. And you're mortal, remember?" he said in exasperation. "You can't go with him to the Heavens, no mortal can step foot in the Heavenly Realm of the Gods. But the System Force, broke as it is, would try to force the Laws of Heaven to let you in to keep with the Wish, causing massive upheaval and chaos."
"Oh no," she breathed in horror. "Isn't there anything we can do to help Throttle without having to send him back to the Heavens?"
"Well, there is one thing I can think of," Vincent said with a frown on his face. Inwardly, he was cackling with glee. This human girl was buying this entire thing completley, hook, line, and sinker! But to make sure she went along with his scheme, the god was lacing his voice with a spell of command. It was mind control in its most subtle form, giving the recipient an order they couldnt' refuse. But to Vincent's mind, it wasn't really mind control. After all, Charlene wanted to help Throttle any way she could. The spell of command could easily manipulate her with that desire to work with.
He went on to explain. "I think the problem is that your genetic information hasn't been properly uploaded into the System. I mean, it was expecting a Martian to make the Wish, being on Mars where the Wish took place and all. So more than likely, the System doesn't recognize your genetic code, causing errors in the Wish protocol."
"So how can I fix it?" she asked, her voice slowly growing more monotone as the spell began to work over her.
"Well," he leaned over her, bracing himself with one hand on the wall next to her bed, "you have two options here. Either you can sleep with me, or sleep with Throttle."
That was almost enough to knock her out of the spell's thrall completely. "What?"
"Sleep with me, or sleep with Throttle," Vinnie repeated, pouring power into the vocal spell of command to make her obey. "We're gods; direct conduits of energy and data to the System Force, i.e. The Almightly. Having sex with either one of us will expose us to your unique DNA, thus uploading your genetic information directly into the System without any errors. The System Force gets repaired, Throttle gets his power supply back, and everybody's happy." Vincent was incredibly proud that he didn't manage to sound lecherous once during that entire schpeil.
Charlene was in a quandry. She didn't want to cause problems for Throttle, (any more than her Wish already had, at least), but she certainly didn't want to sleep with Vinnie. It would have to be with Throttle-wait, hold up. How did she even know that this was true? Vincent was a god of tricksters. How did she know this wasn't some kind of set-up? Then she remembered. Throttle told me that gods can't lie. Merciful Almighty, Vincent can't lie to me! He's telling the truth!
Unbeknownst to Charlene, Throttle hadn't been quite correct in his statement. Its not that gods can't lie, as in 'not able to', but can't lie as in 'really not supposed to, or face dire consequences!' Throttle had simply chosen to veiw that particular rule for gods to mean that he should never lie.
Vincent, however, could decieve with the best of the demons and didn't care about consequences right then. "So what will it be?"
"I...I want to sleep with Throttle," Charley said, her voice distant and dreamy as the spell took a firm grip on her mind.
"Good girl," Vinnie said with an amused chuckle. "But doll, you're never going to seduce him in that get-up. Lets see what else you have..."
In the Meditation Hall...
Throttle sat with his legs folded under him as he meditated on the woven reed mats of the room. Polished wood floors gleamed under the soft candle light, the windows covered to help in concentrations by preventing distraction. The god hummed softly in the famous 'Om' of Earth's Hindu meditation style, his body finally relaxed after the stress of the day. His ear suddenly twitched as he felt the familiar tang of Vincent's spellwork and magics through the air of the temple grounds. For some reason, the white-furred god had cast a spell that required constant energy output from the caster to maintain its function. Throttle arced an eyebrow. And this spell in particular was needing more and more energy every few minutes to maintain solvency. Just what had that punk done now?
The aura of the spell was getting closer. He opened his eyes and his tail lifted up his shades from the ground to slide on his muzzle. The door opened-
And if he hadn't been sitting, Throttle might have hit the ground in shock. His higher brain functions crashed to a halt and he felt his jaw drop. Charlene stood in the doorway, the light of the candles painting a soft warm glow on her skin. All of her skin. She was naked as the day she was born, her soft curves exposed to his sight as she began to walk towards him. An oddly stilted, almost jerky walk, but the look on her face was positively eager. What was going on here?
Something was nagging at the edges of his senses, something important, but before he could even think to concentrate on what was wrong, she drove all thought from his head with one single sentance. "Please Throttle," she said as she knelt down in front him, "will you sleep with me?"
Throttle would have sworn that his brains were leaking out of his ears by this point. "Ch-Charley? What - what are you - why are you - what is going on - gak!" He froze as two soft hands reached for one of his arms, guiding his hand to her body. "Does my body not please you?" she asked, her voice low and aching in disappointment. "Am I not pretty enough?"
"YES! Wait, no! I mean, Charley you" - He shook his head hard, pulling his hand back like he was burned. "Charley, what's going on? Why are you acting like thi-is!" She had moved and was now sitting with her legs on either side of his hips, pulled herself in close, and was leaning against him with her breasts pressed against his chest. Her voice was vague and distant as she spoke, "Please Throttle, I want to sleep with you."
Throttle swallowed hard as his tail lifted her up out of his lap, the god scrambling to his feet as she dangled in front of him. He slapped a hand over his eyes to try and focus on something other than the naked girl in front of him. "Charley, this isnt' like you! What in the Heavens has gotten into you" - he froze. That nagging feeling was back, this time almost screaming at his senses, and with effort he focused his attention on that feeling. His sight shifted so that he could see the god aura of everything in the temple, and suddenly he could see the swirling rings of energy and power surrounding the mortal. Dark red lined with orange, the colors of control and confusion, swirled over her face and head, and a lower belt of purple and deep red, the colors of desire and aggression, was around her hips. His eyes turned red in anger at the sight. The patterns of the rings were the markings of mind control and laced with a strong bio-compulsion to force her body into creating the chemicals in her brain that would stimulate arousal and high levels of deisre.
She slumped as he sent her into a dreamless state of sleep, and the god gently set her on the floor, covering her with his black leather vest. He immediately moved to cancel the other spells on her, but stopped as he watched the magics on her body. They were...being absorbed? What? Why were they fading away like that? Surely her body wasn't absorbing the godly magics that were controlling her. Mortals couldn't do that. But as more and more of the power was sucked away, he had to conclude that as impossible as it was, Charlene was absorbing the engery into her own system. He would worry about that later, for now, he had bigger fish to fry. "VINCENT VAN WHAM! Get your sorry tail out here now!"
Outside, thick grey clouds began to form over the temple grounds.
The spell completely dissolved away a few seconds later without any help from Throttle, the energies that fed it finally cut off. A voice from the room's rafters spoke out, "Cheeze, that girl was fighting my spell harder than any mortal I've ever seen. Harder than some gods, even. You should be proud of her," Vincent said as he hopped down to the floor.
Throttle growled low, his god-aura already flaring to life in sparks of power in his fur. "Vincent, you ass; why in the Hells did you do that to Charley?" Throttle growled. Rain began to fall outside, quickly forming into a drenching pour of water over the temple as the clouds roiled furiously.
"Oh like you didn't like what you saw. Come on, bro, live a little!" Vinnie cajoled. " Lighten up, bro, she'll be fine. Besides, you need to get you some, and bad. This just was supposed to speed up your chances with her. There's enough sexual tension between you two, you could reach out and slap it. I was trying to do you both a favor!"
The energy blade formed over Throttle's fingerless glove, electricity crackling in his fur as he drew on the small reserve of power the temple had already stocked for him. "I don't think you understand," the tan mouse said angrily. "You subverted the will of an innocent girl. You made her walk around naked and come on to me, and this was somehow supposed to be a favor to her? Vincent, if I had any intention of being involved with her, I'd take my TIME!" Throttle charged at the white mouse, his sword slicing down in a deadly arc.
With a flash of power, Vincent Van Wham manifested his own weapons of choice. The white god held a long trench knife in each hand, both blades black as night and spitting red energy sparks as he blocked Throttle's blade. "You're really mad about this, aren't you? Aw, are you mad I saw her naked first?" Vincent asked, a smirk on his face. He slashed out with one knife, striking out with the other as Throttle blocked.
Throttle's gloved hand met the other trench blade, the glove shifting into a metal gauntlet. "You had to cast a level 6 mind compulsion spell to 'see her naked'. You're going to pay for doing that to her!" he growled, then struck out again, forcing Vincent to use both knives to block the downward blow. The tan god was forced back as Vincent's blades began to glow with energy, the extra god-aura surrounding them giving Vincent's knives a longer reach and power. Throttle blocked again and kicked Vinnie in the chest hard enough to force the white mouse through the wall of the meditation hall and out into the rain.
Vincent shook his head to clear it as he got up from the furrow in the earth he'd made when he'd slammed into the ground. "You think you're hot stuff, huh? Well I think you're forgetting a little something, bro." Suddenly, power sparked out all over Vincent's fur. Red energy cracked around him, arcing out and striking the ground, leaving scorch marks. The stones of the courtyard cracked and split under the sheer force of the godly aura pouring off of Vincent Van Wham. He gave a wicked grin at his friend. "Right now, you're completely without any of your own magic or aura. You might out rank me," twin balls of energy formed at the tips of Vincent's trench knives, "but I've got way more power."
The storm began to build as the two gods fought. Rain turned to sleet and hail as Vincent was forced back by Throttle's attacks. Lighting began to flash as Vincent called down his Wham Bolts, concentrated forms of lightning that could punch through solid stone. Throttle was forced to dodge as the spells shot at him over and over. Without his powers, the tan god couldn't sheild himself or heal from any blasts he might take, and dodging at god-speed was rapidly draining his energy reserves. The courtyard was smoking from the blasts and the fountain was reduced to rubble as the gods raged over the temple.
The sky began to churn as the clouds turned from grey and purple to deep black. Slowly, the clouds began to spin, a vortex forming over the temple. A tornado was beginning to form.
Throttle managed to use his last energy to teleport behind Vincent, and the god kicked his back hard, the force slamming Vincent through the meditation hall's roof and down into the floor. He laced the blow with the last magics he had, a shock spell that he prayed would be enought to knock the younger god unconscious. The crash woke Charley from the stasis spell that had been slowly draining into her system. The human shivered in the cool air, looked down, and gasped in shock. "Why the hell am I wearing Throttle's vest? What happened? The last thing I remember is"-she looked out at the hall and her voice died. She stared in horror at the sight of the hall in ruins, energy fires burning holes in the walls, debris and rubble everywhere. "What is going on?" she cried. "Throttle? Vinnie?"
A sudden rumble from the floor made her scramble for the altar as Vincent rose up from the rubble. "Heh. You're acting like that was supposed to hurt." There was a sudden soft sound, a chink' of metal hitting dirt. Throttle's eyes went huge as he saw the mask on Vincent's face slip off.
Vinnie blinked in shock, then horror. "Wha...what have you done?" A shaking hand reached up to clutch at the side of his face, where brilliant red runes were beginning to glow. "Throttle you, you stupid bastard, what have you done? The seal is-" Red light burst out of the marks, like lasers between the god's fingers-"breaking!"
The earth tore from the ground up around Vincent, godly and demonic aura swirling and merging. Charley flinched as the dark aura mixed with Vinnie's power. "What is going on?"
Throttle cringed as more and more power built up. "His demon powers are overwhelming him! Get out of here! Run for the main hall and hide!"
Vincent's voice lowered as power builds up in his system. "I hope you know your seals, bro, this...is going to get-" the demonic aura overwhelmed his mind, and a wicked smirk grew on his face as his hand fell away, nothing but a sick black void where the mask had been- -"nasty."
Throttle immediately moved to protect Charley, his sword raised to defend. Vincent just smirked. "A knight in shining armor? That's cute, bro." The half demon struck out with a trench knife, stabbing at Throttle with the other before kicking him hard in the chest. Throttle was blown into the room's statue, rubble crashing down around him from the roof. Vinnie just smiled darkly. "I had best make the most of my 'free time', right?" He casually walked over to where Throttle lay, and summoned a Wham Ball in each hand. They were ball lighting spinning in a deadly sphere. "Aw, don't crash out on me now! I know, we'll play catch!" He threws it hard at the tan god, more spells summoned with each throw, raining down like a hail of bullets.
"Vinnie, no!" Charley screamed, helpless to do anything but watch as the gods went to war. "Vinnie?" Charley's voice wavered a bit as she pulled the black leather vest tighter around her body. "What is going on? Why are you and Throttle fighting?"
The cyclone in the sky condensed into a spear of black clouds and lightning.
Vincent shook his head as an energy ball began to form in his hand. "Because Throttle just can't take a joke," he said with a shrug, readying his arm to throw the attack.
Throttle barely dodged the first spell, starting to slow with every step he took. He was almost completely out of energy, the temple drained dry of any magic to draw on. With a glance to the raging sky, he sent up a Prayer. Vincent lifted up one hand, crooked his fingers in a 'come here' motion, and a giant bolt of red lighting shot down from the sky! It shot down through the roof, crushing Throttle into the floor. "Now I know that hurt," Vincent said with a smirk. A soft groan was the only sound the tan god made as he tried to get up. Vincent looked down at him with a curious sort of glee. "Its so much fun to let my own little demon out. How do you like playing with Demon Vinnie?"
Throttle look up to the storm that was swirling above them through the roof, then glared up at Vincent. "I think Demon Vinnie is a bastard, just like his father."
Vincent's eyes glowed blood red, his dark aura exploding out. Stone crushed under the massive increase in demonic aura, and his voice sunk to hellish levels as he spat, "How dare you! You have no right to speak of such things!"
Throttle suddenly felt the atmosphere shift, energy pouring and forming in the twisting clouds. His glare suddenly changed to a look of sympathy. "I know, bro. Forgive me."
Vincent blinked in surprise at the sudden switch. "Wha-"
The cyclone spat a bolt of black lightning down at the temple through the hole in the roof. Charlene screamed, ducking for cover. It struck Vincent in a dead hit, driving the young god into the dirt below the floor boards, smoking and unconscious. Silver refomed over the glowing red runes, spreading over and up the right side of his face. The mask fully reformed. When the dust cleared, and the rain had doused the energy fires, Charley slowly came out from under the altar. "Throttle?" she called. "Vincent?"
A low groan sounded as Throttle slowly pulled himself up from the ground. That mouse has no idea what overkill is, the tan god muttered, staggering slightly. Charley hurried to his side, supporting the dazed mouse as he went over to where Vincent landed. The white mouse was completely knocked out and steaming with all the energy being burned off him.
"Are you alright?" she asked in concern.
"I'm fine," he murmured, blearily rubbing his eyes. "Nothing a good night's sleep won't fix with the wards charging me." At her look, he amended, "Well, maybe a good week's worth of sleep."
"I'm glad you're okay. Ah, listen, I know I don't know how you guys normally are, or if fighting like this is how you usually act, but don't you think that was a little out of hand?" Charley asked. "Whatever you two were fighting about, surely it wasn't worth all this."
Throttle gave her a look-over, blushing and averting his eyes at seeing how much skin his vest did not cover on her. "Oh, believe me, he deserved it. Are you alright? Are you hurt anywhere?"
"No, I'm okay, but where are my clothes? Why am I in your vest?" she asked in bewilderment.
It appeared that she didn't remember a thing. That was probably for the best. Throttle blushed again at the memory of what Vincent had done, but decided that he would let the younger god face the human woman's wrath on his own. "I think Vinnie can explain it better than I can."
She looked over at Vincent, and the mask that had reformed on his face. "What happened to him? It was like he was a totally different person."
Throttle winced. "In a way, he was. Vinnie is half demon. The mask sealed away all his demonic powers. Vinnie, he's...he's gotten a lot of flack almost his entire life about being half demon. When he was born, it was a huge scandal. His mother, she wasn't - more like she didn't want anything to do with him, espceially once his demonic powers showed up. The Almighty had to seal his demon half away to protect everyone from it, including Vinnie. That's what the mask is for. A lot of the healers think he's been shoving any anger or hate into the mask, and that it might be making another personality" - Throttle paused. "Wait. What's that?"
He pointed to the floor boards beside Vincent. "That." A series of runes were glowing on the floor beside him.
"Can you read it?" she asked.
"Of course. That's written in the god-tongue, Yggdrasil. Its orders from the Almighty." Throttle translated the words for her. " 'By the Will of the Almighty, it has been found that Vincent Van Wham, god class 1, type 2 limited, has been found guilty of the crime of obstructing the System Force and causing a complete System failure for personal gain, as well as using a Level 6 control spell on another god's, Throttle de Wryfryen's, contracted mortal, Charlene Marie Davidson, and falsifying information regarding the System Force's data collection programs.' Aw no, he lied on top of all this? Anyway, 'Thus, Vincent Van Wham is stripped of his godly powers and his demonic powers resealed, and banished to the mortal realm into the custody and servitude of the offended god, Throttle de Wryfryn, for the duration of the offended god's mortal's, Charlene Marie Davidson's, lifespan'...oh...no."
Charley stared at the runes. "Does that mean what I think it does?"
Throtte gaped in horror. "C-...cu-...custody? MY custody?...STOKER! GET YOUR HOLY TAIL DOWN HERE NOW! HE IS NOT STAYING HERE!"
At a terminal in the Heavenly Realm, in the offices of those in charge of maintaining and repairing the System Force, a bewildered young god with a blond stripe in his brown headfur sat and stared at the mess of energies focused on Mars. He slowly shook his head, still staring in horror. "What in the Seven Veils of Heaven is going on down there? How did they even make this knot? Its going to take at least a week to get this fixed, longer if Vincent tries to interfere with the System Force again...which should happen any minute now." He sighed. "Only one thing to do."
Rimfire luc Molonave stood from the terminal, a determined look on his face. "If we can't get this sorted out here, then I'll just have to go to Mars and fix it there!"
Dun, dun, da dun! Let me know what you think!