A/N: A one-shot written around page 156 of LFG. It's the one where Richard sucks the court into a void. ...Yeah.
Richard was not one to indulge in self-righteous indignation often; he of all people knew that he was anything but righteous. However, this demon--this lesser creature that dared to attempt to oust his inner workings for something other than the random acts of violence that they were--treaded on deadly territory. The warlock was not a man to be toyed with. Many fools had learned that over the centuries, human and otherwise, and none survived to tell the tale.
This...Chicken Little would be no different. None would be spared his torment.
Not that he ever spared people his torment, of course. Perish the thought.
With a flourish and a witticism, he activated his ace in the hole--a gem from time forgotten that housed a reliquary of magic, thankfully separate from his own. 'Ah,' he thought with a grim smirk, 'the lovely Judge hadn't counted on that, had he?' The aura exploded from its crystal confines, filling his bloodless veins with a magic foreign to him; it felt hot and sharp like a bolt of lightning, tingling in his dead nerves as he spared half a second to adjust.
The confines of his deplorable orange jumpsuit burst into rags simply because he willed it to happen. The sorcery locked within his amulet was a potent brand, fierce and unforgiving to those who could not channel the raging torrent of the elements swiftly and efficiently. A part of him almost wanted to thank the Phares for unwittingly allowing him this moment of triumph--without their hijacking his body to do Cale's bidding, he may have truly been without recourse in this horridly boring plane. Such was the way of irony, and irony did indeed seem to adore Richard.
He couldn't say for certain that the feeling was reciprocated as he opened a vortex of pure energy, sending the entirety of the demonic courtroom spiraling into its depths like so much used toilet paper going down the drain. 'Oh. I like that. I'll have to use that for later.' Faintly, he noticed the Judge, surprised at the turn of events, but still intact. How odd.
He'd have frowned, but his pupil-less eyes strayed to the object of his avarice; dear Chicken Little, spluttering nonsense that only a lawyer could spout in a time of a world's destruction. The Judge's protests went ignored--quite promptly, too--as he decided to truly flex the hissing, skittering magical energies that danced in his ageless bones.
The creature's shriek was something that would warm his heart--if he still had one--for decades to come. Maybe even centuries, if he first didn't find a way to top it. Somehow, he feared, not even the fwooming of the world in its entirety could overcome the sheer dark satisfaction of knowing this waste of demonic life was coming to an abrupt--and deliciously painful--halt.
That overstuffed turkey had the gall to ask him 'why'.
No one got away with questioning Richard's motives.
Not Cale. Not the Phares. Not this whimpering sack of feathers, set aflame by a seething rage tempered only with patience and a calculating sadism. And his patience had long since worn thin.
He had explained, repeatedly and quite explicitly by his standards, why he traveled with Cale'Anon. He liked to kill things. What more was there to highlight? Setting stuff on fire was a hobby of his that never got old with time, and only got more flamboyant--and flammable--as the centuries wore on. It was fun. Certainly, yes, he could have destroyed his little band of eclectic 'friends' at any time, but they knew that, and if they knew that, there was no surprise. No oomph. No look of shock, and dismay, and despair knowing that all they worked for would be for naught.
Killing without knowing he had taken away something dearest to them was...well, was a waste. And one such as Cale'Anon Vatay? Oh, his old malevolent soul--if one could call the inky black pit that resided in his body a 'soul'--had almost hummed with anticipation in the forest. It was not everyday someone that bright, that enthusiastic, that delightfully, blissfully, stupidly innocent came strolling along his path. It was definitely less common for them to live more than five minutes in his presence.
Well. Perhaps Cale hadn't survived longer than five minutes, either. But, he couldn't help that--he was always sensitive of being called 'Dick'. It was so uncouth and low-brow. Honestly, now.
Still, there was a uniqueness to his dopey elfin comrade that bore additional study. Out-and-out killing a rarity like Cale would have been a disservice to the sort of damage he could truly do to him. No, he had to break the elf first. He wanted--needed--to corrupt his very essence, turn his foolish brain inside out and watch him flounder like a fish on a boat dock. He wanted to wrap his life force around his finger like a gilded thread before snapping it in two. One did not simply gulp down a rare fine wine; it was to be savored, rolled along the tongue to appreciate all the facets of the flavor before devouring it.
He mentally drew his nose up at the analogy he had just unintentionally used, thoroughly disturbed with himself, and quite frankly, a little squicked out. And that was saying something.
Besides, he could only kill the fool once. Even if Benny could resurrect him a second time, he doubt any of his little gang would be willing to play with him anymore; and then he would have to kill them all. And what fun would that be?
Richard watched the charred, ashen remains of Chicken Little liquefy on the glowing, featureless floor, and quickly shushed the Judge as he moved to object to his treatment of his star prosecutor. 'Hah. Object. I made a funny.' With a gnarled hand, he reached out and plucked the deceased demon's tongue from the mass of popping flesh and tissue...
And felt his inner rodent problem make its appearance. Again.
Damn those Phares.
Idly, he wondered if it were possible to kill essences of an element, and summarily assumed it was not. As fun as it would be to try and learn if their deaths would lead to the utter imbalance of life on this rotten mudball of a world, he wasn't quite fool-hardly enough to tangle with the few beings in existence that were older than he. Yet.
They couldn't just leave well enough alone. They shacked in the recesses of his mind to help fix their own stupid mistakes, which he somehow agreed to, and if that wasn't enough, they had to go rooting through his proverbial underwear drawer the moment they were through the door.
He almost twitched. Was this Photah magic screwing with his head in ways he wasn't already aware of?
"There is something else," they had said. "Another presence. Behind the darkness."
He had always known of that 'presence', naturally. He had simply taken great care in ignoring it, and smothering it as much as he could in malice and apathy. It had always worked, until those idiots kicked back in his skull and pointed it out with only too much glee, and his little mouse had been thriving ever since. It had gotten bold since their short residence, and now often took to slipping through the cracks in his decayed bones and tattered flesh; weaving through his cloak of emnity and well-guarded non-chalance like...well, a mouse.
It was starting to irritate the living hell out of him. For all the times he'd had his chest blown away by an errant ball of fire or explosion, he'd never once got so much as a glance at the furry bugger. Likewise, when he'd nuked his strangely flabbergasted dopplegangers upon entrance to this hellhole, he saw neither hide nor tail of any beady-eyed monstrosity leaving their corpses. Therefore, he decided that it must be a psychological rat needling through his innards.
Richard did not do psychology.
Things having to do with a conscience and moral compass? He did not indulge in that type of drivel. Most certainly not in front of a jury of his 'peers'--lessers, really. It took a surprising amount of effort to extinguish his past and ignore the ambiguously good deeds he had been doing to appease that foppish, fumbling dope and his little cadre of morally bankrupt putzes. More effort than he would have liked to admit, even to himself, much less someone that he could and would happily send to their death.
And the mouse scurried again; scratching and gnawing at what was left of his insides to get his attention. Bold, indeed.
Richard continued to ignore it, instead focusing his attention on the limp tongue that was still hanging in his grasp. With a yank and a feral smirk that did not reach his pale yellow eyes, he tore the swollen thing in half with far more force than was necessary. Well. He always used more force than was necessary, but usually it was for the sake of drama and amusement. The bigger the fwoom, the bigger the boom, the louder the screams, the more attention his mayhem wrought.
This? Tear. Was out of irritation. Rip. And impatience. Squealch. And flat-out, gods-damned annoyance and why would that damn mouse not stop moving?
He pondered if pest control lived in the Plane of Suck, but quickly dismissed it. He doubted any exterminator would make a house call to one so antiquated. And it probably wouldn't have done any good, anyway; all that pesticide for a pinky mouse.
Damn it all. Crunch.
He blinked, mildly surprised why there was a crunch emanating from boneless muscle, but didn't question it as the sound pleased him. Unfortunately, beyond the remnants of the tongue that limply dangled between his bloodied fingers, it appeared he had run out of toys to play with. Taking a moment to survey his handiwork, he realized belatedly that he had done quite the thorough job with Chicken Little--there was not a single iota of him remaining that was not burnt, lacerated, or torn to shreds. Not a moment too soon, either--he felt the effects of the Photah magic begin to fade from his being; being sapped away into the gentle, dull throb of the dimension around him.
He nodded to himself for a job well done and idly wiped a dark red streak of gore on his intricately woven robe. "The prosecution rests its case," he chuckled to the silent Judge, holding the remainder of the chicken's tongue up and flailing it about as it had done so often in its misbegotten life. Sneering suddenly at its presence on his hands, he chucked it into the seeping pile of carnage strewn on the ground and turned his attention onto his new quarry.
Richard had been put to task far too much lately. It was now his turn. He rose to his full height, and bowed mockingly. "Well. Time for a little chat, your Honor. Would like you like to go somewhere more private, or does the court please you?"