Billy and Mandy of the Night.
Epilogue: Angels of the Night and Dawn.
The year 3198.
It was Wednesday morning, but depending on where you stood without a clock or watch it was sometimes difficult to tell. The red mid-morning sun was currently shrouded by the thick blanket of acrid pollutants held in the lower atmosphere, just as it was eighty percent of the time. Even if the dense clouds hadn't been there the middle levels of the atmosphere were tainted with currents of aerosols which swept in bands over the lower half of North America, as well as the most densely populated portions of Europe Asia, South America and Africa, giving the clear sky over the megalopolis a deep orange hue. Furthermore the lightly acidic rain didn't make it any better for the billion plus people living in the towering megacity. Though it didn't prove any hazard to the century old kilometre high skyscrapers and countless dull apartment blocks, it did prove a minor health hazard to unshielded skin if exposed for an extended period of time.
As polluted as it was as a result of the inhabitant's less than noble state of mind, it paled in comparison to what some of the planets absorbed into the Night Empire had experienced, Irk first and foremost. For one there was no longer any radioactive fallout present in the toxic washout, whereas on Irk it was so extreme that the inhabitants had to wear paks constantly to repair the damage, and that was before the war. Thankfully for those Irkens who had migrated to Earth the damage and thus necessity for a pak had substantially decreased with the less inhospitable environment. The sight of a pak was not uncommon however, with many people of all species opting to use them at intervals to remove the toxins built up in their bodies from the air and rain, and to prevent cancer and other illnesses.
The rain however didn't concern one citizen in the slightest, the clear liquid washing harmlessly over the windshield of her sleek late model white Ford coupe as she piloted it along the skyway between the skyscrapers high above the grimy streets below.
Her name was Xeek. She was a young third generation Irken in her early eighties, born in New Moscow to parents who'd been part of the refugee movement that fled the collapsing Irken Empire to emigrate shortly before the war. She had a relatively average figure for a natural born Irken woman, five foot eleven in height, and a perfectly formed set of curves. She was one of the twenty billion Irkens around the galaxy who had reverted back to natural birthing and sexuality, very similar to that of humans, something her husband and her were grateful for. She and her husband lived part-time in an exclusive apartment here in the capital for work, and in a small house they kept in beautiful Quebec to get away from it all. They planned to raise a family there in a few years time. Xeek followed Buddhist philosophies in regard to living her everyday life, but was by no means a pacifist, leading her to wholeheartedly agree with her ruler's heavy-handed policies.
This morning she was in a good mood. Today was the first day of her new executive level job with the Rhea Corporation, a state owned and run technology megaconglomerate originally formed from several old world corporations including Sony, Microsoft and IBM just after the Empire was first created. News of her promotion had reached her just a few days ago, and despite the tension she felt she was as excited as she was anxious over her important new position. 'I have ten times the number of people counting on me to make the right decision. Oh I hope I get this right.'
Taking a deep breath she blew it out slowly, trying to ease her nerves as she passed amongst the tops of the highest towers. Urging herself for calm she listened to the sound of a harp playing softly over the speakers. High above through the pouring rain she could make out a large breech in the clouds, a seam of orange light flooding through, a distinct contrast to the many neon-lit signs around the skyway rendered incoherent under the rain. Reaching to the centre console she turned the volume up slightly, feeling the tension slowly ease out of her system, leaving her to continue driving in comfort.
Xeek had originally come across the position after her old boss, an otherwise respectable if quite proud man or so she thought, had been revealed by the surveillance network to be a wife beater and an abusive father towards his son and daughter. She smirked as she remembered his fate, several sessions of well deserved torture to break him down so now he was a little bitch, and then being dumped on Irk, which was now known as the Empire's official toilet.
She'd actually been to Irk once, the original home world of her species, rendered almost uninhabitable by the pollution, its endless industrial sprawl left in almost total ruin after its defeat in the war. The memory of her visit made her grimace, ruining her relaxed attitude. Never had she seen so many extremely toxic, angry, spiteful people in all her life; raving, screaming with hatred, clawing up at her to try and pull her down to where they could kill her. Much of the population was made up of remaining second generation Irkens, clones based on an overly simplified version of the original first generation, which resulted in small and sickly creatures with weak skin and muscles who never grew out of smeethood. The native inhabitants had refused to admit that they'd been defeated, living in amidst the ruins in gangs of a hundred or so, slaughtering anything that didn't look like them. They continued to rant and rave on the might and majesty of the Irken Empire, regardless of the fact that it had been destroyed.
'How the hell did they think they were the epitome of perfection again? I can't believe they still think they're the superior species.' Indeed for someone like her ex-boss, who had no skills with which to defend himself, except against the threat of women and children who cowered and cried under his beatings, being sent to that hellhole was a death sentence. The crazed little sociopaths living within the ruins would tear him limb from limb, unless they'd done so already.
Returning to more optimistic concepts she recalled the manner in which she'd been selected. At least a dozen of her co-workers had applied, but she had stood out amongst them due not only to her intelligence, skills and strong sense of morality, but also because whereas everyone else was concerned with getting the job and the money that came with it, she'd been one of those concerned that she could do the job right. It was her mentality combined with her skills that made her most worthy for the position, though there were others that she knew and were friends with who had deserved it just as much, and she didn't take the privilege lightly at all.
Coming up to her destination she set her eyes on the enormous steel spire rising high into the smog, a proud smile adorning her features at being a part of something great.
'I will contribute to this.' She thought with determination, guiding her car down towards the streets below as she came in to land in a secluded parking lot near the base of the giant tower. 'I will pull more than my own weight. I will prove myself worthy of this honour.'
Parking her car she shut off the fusion reactor, the vehicle falling silent. She reached across to the opposite seat, taking her pak in one hand while grabbing her heavy tan leather trench coat in the other, not noticing as all the while the rain pouring down began to ease up. Slipping the coat over the shoulder of her grey business suit she opened the gullwing door up and forward, stepping out of the car. She paused when she didn't feel rain on her shoulders. Looking up Xeek saw where the breech in the clouds had opened up across the sky, letting her see the brilliant orange sunlight shining in through the gaps in the enormous buildings.
She smiled up at the light, harsh and oppressive yet life giving to her. She loved the bleak and cruel noir environment she lived in. It was like living in a painting full of rich oranges and deep shadows.
Taking the coat back off she dumped it and her pak in the car, shutting and locking it as she made her way out of the secluded concrete parking area towards the street.
Unfortunately a small gang of three skinhead thugs had other plans for her, stepping out to stop her in her path. She groaned inside despite the flair of tension, seeing the crude hateful tattoos on their skin, and the instinctual sense of a twisted and malignant soul. She recognised the feeling instantly, it was the same she had felt from the savages on Irk. 'Ugh, rabid dogs.'
"Hey there pretty lady." One of them spoke with an evil smirk that made her twist inside. They all did, the three unshaven skinheads reeking of bigotry and sick fantasies. "You like living on our planet?"
"I was born in Russia, so-"
"Hey hey hey watch your mouth green bitch. You're the alien freak here, not us." He leered in towards her face, withdrawing and extending a stiletto switchblade, along with his two compatriots. Already she could tell from their twisted malice that they intended to do far worse than just to mug her. Rather than showing fear she pursed her lips in irritation. "You're Xeek right? We've been keeping an eye on you for a while now, another high and mighty animal who likes to pretend she's a person. We saw how you betrayed your boss and took his job. It seems to be all you vermin are good at isn't it?"
Xeek groaned inwardly. The level of their hypocrisy and blatant fabrication of facts was almost too much for her to handle. But she kept her shoulders and hard gaze up and level despite the lies and crap they poured all over her.
"Now seeing as we let you Irken degenerates pollute our planet, I say you owe us a few taxes."
"The hell I do. I don't owe shit like you anything. And one other thing, I never betrayed anyone in my life, so don't you dare judge me." She spat, trying to move around them, upon which they became more aggressive.
"Gimme your fucking wallet alien bitch!" He growled out, pointing the blade at her thin throat now. "Do you wanna die freak? Give us the wallet!"
"Alright, take it." She said in resignation, digging into her right pocket, handing them the white leather wallet. He passed it to one of his friends. They didn't even look through it, pocketing it as they turned to their latest victim again.
"Now hows about we have a lil fun eh?"
"Yeah she'd like that little green whore!" Another one of their number with pockmarked skin shouted. Grabbing her antennae roughly he moved behind her, holding his knife to her throat as the other two moved in to satisfy their twisted urges.
"I always said that degenerate alien freaks like you needed to learn their place. You fuck up our planet by being here, so I say it's only right we get to fuck you up just as much."
"You people are as stupid as you are sick." She spoke with her growing terror now clear in her voice even as she tried to remain calm. "You people think it's alright to violate a woman, but because I have green skin I'm the monster? The Empire is always watching. There are cameras everywhere. You think they're not watching us right at this moment?"
"HAAHAHA! Like-Like we give a shit about cameras!" Their leader laughed in her green face, his fowl smelling breath washing over her in a nauseating tide as he smirked cruelly at the alien abomination who was now their sex toy. "So what if they can see us? Let em watch, just so they can see how inferior vermin like you should be treated. Besides, what're they gonna do? Face it little different, nobody's gonna save you."
It was at that very moment of course when a deafening roar of powerful engines erupted directly above them as if by an act of fate. Xeek closed her eyes as a number of blinding spotlights burned down on them as her assailants staggered and tried to shield their eyes. Managing to spare a glance upwards through the blinding light and deafening roar the three could make out one of the empire's patrolling gunships hovering directly overhead.
"DON'T MOVE SCUM!" The booming angry bird of prey roared. Of course they didn't listen.
The leader immediately shoved his partner aside, grabbing the woman around the throat and set himself up behind her. Xeek gasped as she felt the new blade pressed hard up against her throat as the thug looked up at the machine with mad terror and hatred in his eyes.
"I'LL KILL HER! STAY THE FUCK AWAY OR I'LL KILL THIS ALIEN BITCH!"
The central gun mounted in the underbelly of the machine took aim and fired a single blue pulse of high energy plasma with pinpoint precision. Xeek shut her eyes as a bright flash erupted near her right arm from a small but well placed shot, and her assailant's blade fell to her feet, along with his arm.
"… Ah! AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!"
The supremacist sociopath staggered back gaping and screaming at the sight of the burned stump that severed his right arm above the elbow.
Out of the sea of white a single humanoid figure fell, a tall, athletic creature bearing a grey armoured body, landing on his feet with a bang between a stunned Xeek and the leader of the gang. Turning to face the new presence the three rapists gaped in terror at the sight of malevolent burning red irises, the disfigured leader loosing control of his bladder as the demonic creature regarded him with hatred.
Moving with inhuman speed it dealt a sweeping blow with its left arm that hammered him against a nearby concrete wall and left him lying crippled and in pain on the ground.
Rounding on the other two with a predatory snarl he lined up the one still holding one of Xeek's antenna. He dragged her back away with him for a step holding the knife close to her, before she snarled and wrenched it aside, the thug gasping as she ducked away. The sadist was left undefended as the soldier clamped down on the hand holding the knife, crushing the rapist's fingers, tearing the blade out of his grip as he screamed in pain and terror. Rearing his right arm back he willed a triangular blade to form out over his hand, and dealt a quick slash across the front of the man's throat. His eyes gaped in horror as his blood burst out across the demon's face, before he simply fell back dead.
The last of them tried to flee out into the nearby street. Taking a terrified look behind him he stopped when he saw the demon standing over the body of one of his accomplices, staring at him through the blood down its front. Seeing he had no chance of escape through running or fighting the now cowardly thug did what they all did when cornered; lie.
"It's not my fault! They're the ones whose fault it is! If it weren't for them none of this would be happening!" He shouted pointing shakily at Xeek with mismatched terror and hatred. "The Irkens came here unwanted! We welcomed them in and they betrayed us and made war on us! And you protect her? She framed her own boss! She's a liar and a freak just like the rest of them! It's us against them! Those two are dead all because of her! It's all her fault!"
The cybernetic-organic-demonic soldier had tired of the vile man's lies. Vanishing from his view as he pointed with his knife the thug arched his back and let out a gagging sound as he was lifted up. Shocked he looked down with bulging eyes and saw an immensely powerful arm had been put through his chest from behind. The bloodthirsty creature snarled, flinging his victim up high into the air off his arm. Extending the blade again as he fell he dealt another perfectly timed brutal slash, the thug's body coming apart in two as he hit the ground, showering him with more gore as he stood with a predatory stance gazing down at his bloody handiwork with burning satisfaction.
Xeek looked on stunned as the terrible creature stood upright and looked to face her calmly. As she faced him with awe she received a bad start when a loud crack of armour striking the ground behind her drew her attention. Standing beside the crippled sociopath was another such creature, this time notably a woman. The thug cowered as she turned her slatted orange eyes down on him, turning to face her counterpart ahead of her.
"And that's how you do it." The male demon spoke as he strode up to Xeek between them. "That was an excellent shot by the way."
"Thank you Sergeant." She replied. Her elder reached down to the thug with his throat cut and took the woman's wallet out, handing it out to her to take back gratefully.
"Thank you." She spoke meekly.
"You handled yourself well Xeek." He spoke to her as she gaped wordlessly. "We've been keeping a close eye on you for some time now, and you've impressed us. You want to pull more than your own weight, and want to grow the world around you. We need good people like you. How would you like to work with us?"
"You can't be fucking serious!" The thug shrieked in outrage back at her. "SHE'S A FUCKING ALIEN! AN ANIMAL! A BOTTOM OF THE BARREL PIECE OF SHIT!"
The demonic woman extended a gladius blade from her arm and held it close to his throat, silencing him. Boring into him with burning wrath she turned to face her superior.
"Sir, if I may suggest, why don't we let Xeek decide his fate?" The thug looked at the green woman with fear now that the tables had been turned.
Xeek looked between the two demons with surprise. The Sergeant considered the thought, turned to her and gestured for her to decide his fate if she wanted to. Setting herself with a scowl she stepped up to the wounded thug, feeling the anger at what he had said and what he had been about to do to her rising in her heart. She relished in the fear he showed her through wide eyes.
"To reiterate what I was saying, you people do all kinds of terrible things to others, you think its fun to rape a woman, and because I'm not part of your in-group that somehow I'm the monster? Would you please explain that to me?"
But he just quivered, opening and closing his mouth like a fish with nothing to say. Xeek watched and waited, but no response or justification ever came. She grimaced at him.
"Send him to Irk where the real monsters live." She pronounced his judgement, the man's eyes widening in terror. "There when he's surrounded by people who want to peel off his skin while he's still alive, maybe the last thing he will ever see will be just how similar they are to him."
"Wait! NO! You evil bitch! YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME YOU PIECE OF SHIT DIFFERENT!"
Angered by his outburst Xeek turned around, reached down and took the little switchblade still held by his severed arm. The neo-Nazi's screwed up face turned to cowardice again as she advanced on him with his own knife, and a look of deep rage on her features.
"Oh! I'm sorry! I didn't mean it! They forced me! NO!" Grabbing him by the back of his head she positioned the point of the knife directly in front of his left eye. "NOOOOOO! NOOOOOO! AAAAAAHHHHH! AAAAAAHHHHHHH!"
She watched him as he screamed with the knife imbedded in his eye, thrashing and writhing in agony on the ground. Around her the two soldiers stepped in to stare down at the evil creature, who then vanished in a ball of black energy a moment later.
"So what do you think?" The bloody Sergeant spoke as they turned to her. "Would you like to join us?"
Xeek considered it for a moment and shook her head with a contented smile. "Sorry but I have a job to do here right now. I can't abandon my commitment just after I got a new job."
"She is perfect." The other woman spoke with admiration. Xeek smiled at the two powerful figures as they stood back facing her with respect. "The Empress will always have a place waiting for you."
Suddenly Xeek gasped in shock. Out of the backs of the two a pair of immense spectral wings seemed to appear out of nothing. She gazed them over with awe. The stunning crystalline structures appeared black at the tips, immersed in all the darkness and evil of the world to protect people like her, while the inside of the wings shone white and clear.
The two figures looked to each other mute as they saw her gazing up at them awestruck.
"You can see them can't you?" The male spoke now that Xeek had seen their true nature. For all their darkness and terrible power they were demons only on the outside. On the inside they truly were angels.
Xeek stood back and watched as they faded away into a spectral mist and ascended into the waiting gunship high above. Throwing her head back with her eyes in the sky she watched as the machine gunned its engines with a renewed roar, turning around to make its way back towards the nearby street. Following it she ran with a blissful smile on her features out of the concrete alley.
Emerging out into the wide damp, cold streets she looked out through the crowds of faceless grizzled people, watching the great bird of prey fly away over the road clogged with two stroke motorcycles and the odd land car. She stood amidst the dense packs of humans and other minority species breathing deeply as she watched them to cruise away amidst the hundreds of towering complexes and vanish into the orange light of the sun through the thick pollution, wherein it was replaced by the shadow of another much larger structure.
Her eyes caught on the monolithic mountain of concrete and steel that overshadowed the city, clearly visible now in the distance ahead through the constant haze of pollution. A stern satisfaction swept her face as she looked lovingly up to the oppressive figure, making its presence known permanently to those selfish, narrow-minded little fools that made up much of the population. It stirred a sinister side to her, all the pressure of the misanthrope she had accumulated over the years being satisfied right down to her core.
In there lived the most powerful and inspiring dark tyrants of all history. They were boundless in their wisdom and self-restraint, bearing a strength of will and inner fortitude that inspired her every day, and the merciless iron rule of terror needed to keep humanities vile habits firmly under their control. It was up there, in the great slab-sided monument that struck fear into trillions of people across the Empire's thousands of worlds, that Mandy of the Night lived with her husband Billy, the rightfully named Great Demon Prince as he was known, along with their friends and family.
She stood amongst the crowd as they gave her some space for fear of the malevolence that radiated from her, gazing up with wonder towards the epic symbol of power and control. While she loved working for Rhea, and being around people who really deserved their positions of authority, part of her knew that she wasn't living up to her full potential while she was ordering around pathological narcissists and halfwits. Up there was where she felt she belonged. She wanted to be a part of the power and control and justice that she'd practically adored for so long. She wanted to serve her divine masters, although they had repeatedly denied all allegations of divinity. She'd always felt they were overly modest.
For now though as she had told the angels who had saved her she had a duty to perform as part of a powerful and important corporation. Until the time came for her to step up and do something greater for the cause she loved, she would devote all her abilities to doing the best she could do and being the best she could be right now, like her leaders had inspired her to be from her youth.
As Xeek continued on towards the entrance to the massive tower before her she silently hoped that somehow her masters had heard her thoughts as they surveyed the Night Imperium from within their looming concrete fortress high above the capital.
Unknown to Xeek even if her thoughts were able to penetrate the walls of their bastion of power, they would never have been heard anyway, as the aforementioned leaders were currently nowhere near the citadel.
A young man stood by the bedroom window of a cabin, looking out with a smile of perfect content out over their secluded little retreat nestled deep within the forest in between the snow capped mountains and brilliant blue sky. His blue eyes roamed over every minute detail of the scene before him, inspecting them, focussing on the beauty and magnificence of every small structure. The breeze touched his exposed chest and his damp red hair, earning a sigh of happiness.
Billy smiled out at their little patch of sacred paradise, where all the evil and foulness of the world would melt away to leave just themselves together surrounded by beauty and their love for each other. From the top floor bedroom he could see down through the morning mist, the orange-yellow light filtering through the trees. Further down he could faintly see the crystal clear stream running off from the mountains in the distance.
A millennium blessed with precious life had taught him the value of every moment, especially moments like this, where the world was laid out in front of him in all its splendour and perfection. It was almost as beautiful as what lay behind him.
Turning away from the window he looked towards the king size bed, his feeling of contentment deepening as he gazed over the figure sleeping within.
Mandy, his wife of over a thousand wonderful years, the most foreboding and ominous ruler of all time, and the absolute love of his life since when they were just children. There she lay relaxed in her sleep, her features showing the state of perfect calm and tranquillity she exuded, the light sheets draped over her nude body up to her hips, with her elegant back displayed for him, her long blonde hair splayed across the bed as she snuggled into the pillow. Her body rose and fell under the gentle ebb and flow of her breathing. To anyone else the young figure would've appeared to have no connection at all to the merciless iron will that held the reigns over an empire, who as wise and just as she was would not hesitate to swiftly and pitilessly crush and punish any sort of grievous transgression. To anyone else there was no possible way such a personality of power and greatness and iron-fisted authority could sleep with such an air of innocence and light and warmth about her, as if she'd rather snuggle up with the one she loved and just sleep the day away in his arms. But that was where her husband knew her more closely than anyone else.
Billy's smile grew, his heart constricting inside his chest. He just watched as she unconsciously nuzzled the pillow, her arms splayed out beside her without anything batter to do than just enjoy the soft comfort of the bed on her skin. Nothing could describe just how much he adored her. Watching her as she slept he remembered back to their earliest days together. In the beginning she'd been just as tough and strong as she was now, albeit with her softer side heavily suppressed for fear of becoming weak, to her own anguish. His memories of himself from back when he was about eight were somewhat sketchy; parts of his early life becoming a jumbled blur due to his inactive brain. Until he was almost nine he'd been all but completely incapable of most rational thought, the supremely loyal mindless underling to what was back then his best friend.
That began to change one day when he overheard Mandy first voice her innermost thoughts, the reasons why she was angered at humanity as she was. He remembered it well; Grim had called her a little Nazi girl, to which she had been outraged, going on to explain it all out to them. Those words were the trigger for the first profound thought to come to the boy, and had begun him on the path to becoming what he was today, a powerful demonic overlord and homicidal killing machine with an insatiable thirst for the blood of the corrupt. In time he had come to love Mandy, and through being there for her in her times of greatest hardship and loss, had ultimately changed her into something much greater. Together they had achieved perfect balance between a terrible darkness that cast a shadow of fear over billions of people, and an almost youthful innocence and affection that they only shared between each other.
His memories played forth right through when they'd first given in to the love they felt for each other, recruiting new and close friends in the form of Tak and Nergal who still stood by them to this day, through their marriage and takeover, until he reached a time when they were seventeen. The long campaigns of their takeover was drawing to a close around Asia, leaving them a few days to take off back home, back to where the previous cabin had once stood amongst the trees. There they rebuilt it all themselves, exactly the way it had been before. He still remembered working all day in the cool air with her at his side, before cooling off in the stream. On the night it was finished he had taken her upstairs to this very room, to that very bed where she lay now, and together they had made love for the vey first time.
That wonderful night eons ago had been relived just last night. Every emotion, every feeling of what they'd shared together hours earlier flooded his mind. They'd arrived in the afternoon, where they'd gone down to the crystal stream together and tenderly consummated their love for each other. Later that night they'd given themselves to each other again, and again, and again, plus another couple times more. Thus here he stood, clad in his sleeping shorts freshly showered, his arm leaning against the window frame as he gazed over the sleeping figure of what was by far the best thing that had ever happened to him.
Stepping lightly he made his way over to the bed where she slept. Lowering himself he sat on the bed next to her to look down on her soft face from above. She stirred upon feeling the bed give beside her. She smiled as she felt him lightly place his hand on the middle of her back. Caressing her gently Billy took in the feel of her skin under his hand, watching as she breathed deeper. Leaning down he reached in and pushed aside a lock of her hair, and gave her a gentle kiss just under her ear. Mandy groaned in content at his presence. Opening her eyes up for the morning she looked up to where her husbands face greeted her, smiling down from directly above her.
"You are so beautiful in your sleep." He told her. She smiles softly, reaching her hand up to caress the side of his face with her fingers, Billy closing his eyes as she gently ran her fingertips across his skin.
"You are what makes me beautiful." She said back. "I'd be nothing without you."
"Last night with you was wonderful."
"It was. You were amazing. I love being with you." She spoke up to him, cupping his chin in her fingers as he moved a hand to caress her hair. Leaning down towards her he opened his lips to kiss her mouth. She smiled into the kiss, reaching to grasp the white sheet and pull it up over her as she sat up to embrace him across his shoulders, Billy caressing her bare back as he held the nape of her neck. They separated a moment later, smiling into each other as he held her in his hands. "What time is it?"
"About nine. You wanna get ready?"
"Let's take our time. We don't come out here enough."
Mandy take clothes and get showered, Billy dressed, goes downstairs to heat up pizza. Mandy emerges, find him on couch, old racing game ready. Play video games together, dark lords cuddled together eating pizza like when they were kids. Time passes quickly, have to abandon game, go out to car. Meeting soon.
Rising from the bed she held the sheet to her body as she made her way across the room to the closet, Billy following her as she pulled out a set of underwear. Billy was quite content to stand back and gaze up and down her figure while she looked back to him with a smile, before he began to dress himself. As Mandy pulled out her outfit and hung it over her arm, turning to her husband she watched as he put on a simple black silk shirt and a set of dense leather trousers linked to a pair of light armour shin guards and boots, his belt buckle still bearing a human skull in its metal surface. Reaching in he also took an immense dark red cloak to be fitted around his front via a set of steel clamps, though he would put it on later. As his wife took her clothes he watched her move out of their bedroom to take her morning shower taking the sheet with her.
Billy made his way down the stairs ready to start the day as he heard the shower come on. Entering the kitchen he paused in thought. Neither Mandy or he had devoted much time to learning how to prepare a meal. But as he had always thought, the simple solutions were usually the best. Going to the fridge he pulled out a pizza, opened the oven and placed it in to heat up while going over to the coffee maker.
As Mandy stood enjoying the feel of the hot water running over her shoulders and down her curving sides and back, working its way through her long platinum blonde hair, she closed her dark eyes and transported herself back to last night. Her whole body blushed and a warm feeling welled up inside of her as she remembered how she kissed his mouth, how she traced her fingers gently over his body like she knew he loved. She drew a heavy breath when she remembered how he put his hands on her body, caressing her curves, how he gently worshipped her c-cup breasts while he nuzzled her. And she remembered how he had slowly moved himself in sync with her inside her body, how they had shared the total overwhelming bliss and ecstasy of each other's sex, not only of the physical pleasure itself, but of the total sacred intimacy that only they could share.
She opened her eyes; she wanted to be with him more than anything now.
Shutting off the water she stepped out and dried herself off, taking a few moments to look herself over in the mirror with satisfaction. She stood at five foot eight, and her figure was slim and finely proportioned. She'd always had an aristocratic build. Brushing her hair into shape, a long river heading down to the middle of her back, the front hanging down to the side across her forehead while two locks framed the sides of her face, while her crown was still topped by the ominous devil horns that let everyone know who was in charge.
Turning to the clothes she'd bought she quickly applied her underwear, going on to a form fitting long sleeved body glove that extended down to her ankles, fastening itself down her back, adorned in rich red with streaks of black along the seams, an exquisite black rose set displayed above her breasts. Over that she fastened a dark silver v-shaped belt across her hips, matching her husband's shoulder and shin guards. Laying off to the side was a flowing dark red coat encompassing her shoulders, stretching down to touch her silver and black boots which she now slid on, leaving the coat aside for later.
Ultimately they both gave off the aura of two dark lords, yet not going so far as to render the designs impractical or outrageous.
She looked about the bathroom; she had forgotten one thing. Turning to the door she opened it to go to their bedroom, and found her husband standing there with a smile, holding her black headband.
"You wouldn't be getting careless now would you?" He joked with a light-hearted smirk. Mandy gave him a mock scowl, closing her eyes and bowing her head as Billy slid the simple black plastic into place above her forehead. Facing him again with love she quickly put her hands on his shoulder and around the back of his head as she moved in to give him a passionate kiss, Billy closing his eyes and holding her around her back as he revelled in the warmth of her mouth.
"I missed you." Mandy spoke when she parted with him.
"After only ten minutes? You were thinking about last night weren't you?" Billy replied back and smiled, touching her nose with his. "I missed you too." Resting their foreheads together they held each other quietly, happy to just feel each others close presence and remember all they had to be grateful for that they had been together since childhood.
"We have plenty of time. You want a game?" Billy asked, to which Mandy smiled.
"With you of course I do."
Going downstairs together Billy grabbed the pizza from the oven, fresh as if it were just delivered to their door, while Mandy bought in two cups of coffee and a bottle of cola. They set themselves up on the couch in front of the television, appearing as little more than a wide black picture frame hanging on the wall. With their less than staple breakfast on the table in front of them Billy lay back propped up in one corner, watching as Mandy lay back on top of him. His arms instantly found their way around her waist, holding her close as she reached up and around the back of his neck.
They both lay there together like when they were children after they'd first confessed how deeply they felt for each other, watching as their game loaded. As it did they both reached out and began taking slices of pizza, chomping away at the junk food as they then took the controls and began the setup. It was an ancient racing car game they had loved their entire lives. Billy chose his favourite, a bright green Dodge Charger, that suited his personality as much now as it did back then. Mandy meanwhile went with something more controlled and slightly more subtle, a blue WRX.
This time the race started fairly. By way of being able to get the most out of her ancient vehicle Mandy took a small lead around the first corner, with Billy pouring out tyre smoke on the exit, creating as big a spectacle as the mad little man-child could. He bit his tongue and concentrated as he tried to catch up to his lover, only for his skinny sixties tyres and poor quality suspension and chassis to be of no use in the next few corners. As Mandy closed in on the finish line for the first lap sensing victory, Billy gave her a mischievous smirk.
"Hey Mandy, you know what bad little boys like me do when we're facing imminent defeat at the hands of someone more competent?" He took one hand off the controller and slid it down onto his lover's waist. Mandy gasped as he felt him swirl his fingers across the lower left corner. "We exploit our opponents weaknesses."
"Hah… Bil… ly… Ahh…" Mandy smiled and threw her head back as he tickled her where she was sensitive. Billy grinned as he felt her body tremor under each brush of his fingertips, abandoning her controller to throw her arms around behind his shoulders to surrender to more of his wonderful torment, all the while Billy used his free hand to manoeuvre around Mandy's abandoned car and take the lead.
"And when… boys like you exploit… haaaahhhhh… ahh… our weaknesses, evil little girls…" Suddenly she turned herself over in his arms, Billy's face showing his surprise when she bored into him with her gaze above him. "… we up the ante."
Gazing at her mute Billy was further surprised when she closed her eyes and leaned down onto him, kissing him, and slid her tongue into his mouth. His eyes widened, and promptly rolled back as he kissed her mouth back, dropping his controller as he wrapped his arms around her back. After passionately kissing the inside of each other's mouths for several seconds they parted, smiling and flushed red, before their eyes shifted to the controllers, and the two cars now abandoned on the second lap.
Lashing out for them they both quickly took up the racing as soon as it had stopped, both parties smiling and laughing amongst themselves as they continued to touch and tease and kiss one another amidst the racing, which carried on for several dozen games.
"Wait, what time is it?" Mandy suddenly asked. Billy looked across to the clock behind them.
"Shit, it's already eleven thirty." He spoke.
"We gotta leave soon." Mandy spoke as she reluctantly sat up out of his arms.
They both got up hurriedly and began packing the remains of their breakfast away. After going upstairs and getting cleaned up ready Billy and Mandy both secured the last outer pieces of their clothes, and strolled out to their curvaceous silver-red, low slung jet skimmer coupe parked in the clearing out the front. As Mandy loaded their clothes into the ample boot Billy gazed out at the forest, listening to the distant sound of running water through the cool air. He closed his eyes for a moment as he was transported to a variety of wonderful times spent down there. Turning back to Mandy he made his way over to the passenger seat as she opened the door upwards. As she made to sit down she felt Billy's hand wrap around her arm.
"Mandy this place is paradise, why leave in such a rush?" He posed to her in a soft voice that beckoned to her. "Why not stay for a little while longer?"
"Because we're meeting the others in an hour's time, that's why." She answered to little effect.
"So? I'll give em a call and tell them we'll be another hour… or so." Billy responded with a romantic smile. Mandy relented, unable to say no while every inch of her soul and body were begging her for it. She closed the door as Billy opened his hand to reveal a small phone to have materialised in his palm. He held it to his ear as it made the call.
"Hey sweetheart it's dad… No you've done enough spree killing for one week. Look, tell the others your mother and I are gonna be here a few hours longer… No you can not kill anyone… Okay fine, just so long as they definitely deserve it… I'm sorry I know they always are… Alright, see you then. Say hi to your brother for me."
Hanging up he flicked his fingers back into his palm, the phone vanishing instantly from their presence. "There. Now, why don't we go for a walk down to the river together?"
Mandy smiled as she turned into his arms, linking hands with him. "That sounds like a great idea."
Hand in hand they left the side of the car, lazily making their way through the damp morning air downhill to where they had both stood together centuries prior. They watched their surroundings go by as they walked. Mandy was glad to have decided on opening herself up to the natural beauty of the world, and to be able to appreciate things other than depressing neo-noir cityscapes, not that she didn't deeply enjoy that either of course. An iron-fisted dictator needs balance after all, the same going for near psychopathic demon lords.
Together they arrived at the shining white pebbled bank of the river, still as perfect and unmolested by humanity as it had been when they'd first laid eyes on it. As one they stepped out of their heavy black shoes and socks, turning to each other so Billy could trace his fingertips over her slender hands, while she entwined them with the same gentle affection. Turning to the water Mandy led him out until the near frigid liquid rushed around their ankles, where they faced each other again. Billy and Mandy both felt their bodies go rigid with tension as their hearts started to race.
"So… what happens now?" He asked her tentatively as he wrapped his arms around the base of her spine.
She looked up at his face with her wide eyes slowly starting to cast a sultry spell on him. "Now you kiss me."
Leaning in he claimed her mouth, engaging her with a sensual kiss, tasting her soft lips as she wrapped her hands around his shoulders. They both sighed into the gentle softness of each other's lips as they savoured the sensation. Mandy could feel her face go warm as she groaned softly, Billy feeling the blood beginning to rush in his ears and cheeks. It was part of a particular peculiarity of their relationship, and a wonderful one at that. Every time they came together like this they would treat it almost as if it were as close and intimate as their very first kiss. It made every moment spent with their lips locked together affectionately all the more undeniably beautiful.
They separated for air, taking but a moment to ready themselves before they plunged back into each other's embrace, this time going deeper. Billy opened his lips to slide his tongue into his lover's mouth, finding her opening up to let him in. Her eyes opened wide for a second with her fingers flexing outwards, overcome by what she was feeling, before she closed her eyes and began to kiss his tongue with her own. For Billy, everything they had been through and done together over more than a millennia all came down to this. In his mind nothing could possibly be greater than this, the warmth of her mouth as he continued to kiss her fervently, holding her by her curving sides, thankful that she had chosen him as the man she wanted to spend her life with.
Finally Mandy pulled out of their French kiss, turning around to present her back to him as she breathed hard. "Now y-you put your hands on my body."
Reaching for her Billy wrapped his right hand softly around her small waist, caressing her up and down as his left hand entangled with hers. She closed her eyes as she leant back into him, letting his hands explore her body freely, snaking and flexing her hips into him at his sensual touch. Mandy didn't know if the hammer beat was from her own heart or her husbands, halfway in between caring and sheer ignorance as he leaned his face into the crook of her neck, nuzzling her shoulder under her red regal gown. He worked his way up to her neck, pausing to tickle her tensely awaiting skin with his hot breath, causing her to roll her head across to enable him. Bringing his lips down he kissed her over the vein, prompting Mandy to squirm in his grip, opening her mouth to give a small gasp of delight as a flash of nervous pleasure shot across her body down to her toes, before she relaxed again.
"Now you strip me." Mandy instructed in a voice barely able to control her nerves, her eyes still closed in an intoxicating visage.
Her mate didn't hesitate a second. Unclasping her ornate belt he cast it aside. Next Billy hooked his fingers around the top lip of her body glove. In one single simple move he pulled the red top apart, the fabric opening up all the way down her back as it was meant to like a zipper. Mandy helped him to pull it down over her arms before she simply stepped out of the bottom half, allowing him to pull it straight off her. Tossing it to the bank he returned his gaze to his wife now in her black bra and panties, placing his hands on her bare sides again as she wrapped her arms up and around his shoulders behind her. Placing his lips on her neck again he gave her a long, sexy kiss on her jugular, probing up and down with his lips as his fingertips traced across her skin.
Mandy smiled, overwhelmed by the pleasure and love and happiness that whirled inside her body, turning her eyes to catch a glimpse of her lover as he kissed her neck. "Now… you take off my bra."
Retracting one hand to her shoulder blades he positioned his fingers on the small clip holding her bra in place. Mandy stood and waited, a sudden dizzying feeling of nervous anticipation taking hold as she felt him slide one strap over her shoulders, followed by another, before he withdrew the piece entirely, tossing it to the bank, leaving her topless in front of him. Her stomach still tense she held her breath as he ran his fingers between her shoulders, his other hand still occupied with her waist, almost as if waiting for permission to move up to her bare chest.
"N-Now," She began with a slight nervous stammer in her voice as her heart and breathing raced, "you… you… t-touch my breasts."
Billy did as he was told with complete devotion. His hand traced up to clasp and slide across the bottom edge of her left breast. She closed her eyes, melting into his embrace as he began to sensually massage her soft chest, lovingly tracing his fingertips across the soft surface, pressing and kneading her as he pleased.
Her head rolled back as her trepidation gave way to an overwhelming flood of pleasure, all the while Billy listened and watched her writhe as he nuzzled his wife's head with his mouth, loving the ability to make her feel like this. Reaching around he took his other hand off her back and gently cupped her right breast. Mandy gasped for air and let out a long string of groans of pleasure, unable to contain or control what she was feeling from his hands as he continued to lovingly knead and massage her soft breasts, pressing up and in with his thumbs to send a flood of warmth throughout her body.
They were both overcome by their love and lust for each other. Billy gazed at her wide-eyed with his heart ready to burst as he saw how much she loved what he was doing to her, and the wonderful warmth and softness of her perfect sacred breasts. Burying his face in under her hair he kissed her neck as tears of happiness began to well in his eyes. Mandy shared his happiness, giving a smile of perfect bliss and excitement as he kissed her, tears of her own welling up as he rubbed his palms across her sensitive nipples.
"Uh… Ohhhh Billy…"
"Oh Mandy, I love how you sound when you're in pleasure. I love your breasts." He told her as she pressed herself back into him. "Do you like how I'm touching you?"
"Yes. Just like that. That's… just… perfect. That feels so good." She replied, her gasps of pleasure giving way to a visage of complete and absolute peace and content. She leaned her head back against his collar, her eyes closed, a contented smile crossing her features as she relaxed back into her husbands embrace, the ocean of sensations from the way he caressed and massaged her breasts sending her to a place of sheer bliss.
She turned herself around in his arms, nestling her face into him as he held her back, resting each others foreheads together as Billy placed his right hand on her breast over her heart, while his other arm moved around her shapely waist and back, holding her close as she now unbuttoned his black shirt. Easing it off him with his help Mandy threw it back to the bank to press her body against his bare chest as he stroked her hair and fondled her chest. With their foreheads together they nuzzled each other with a perfect smile. This was what they had wanted their entire immortal lives, existing for moments of such love as this.
Mandy lowered her eyelids to look into Billy's with a calm happiness, surrendering herself completely to the man she loved more than all else. "Now you make love to me."
Coming together they kissed once more, each turning themselves over to the love of their life. Wrapping their arms around each other they kissed passionately, both gradually lowering themselves down to lay in the cool stream beneath them, all the while the life giving yellow-white sun shone bright and clear down on them amidst the perfect blue sky.
Atop the immense slab-sided imperial fortress however that sun was veiled under a layer of dense smog, its light tainted a deep orange-red, the same colour as the eyes of a young woman looking up to it with an odd mixture of content, mad fury and glee. Her face was twisted in a half-crazed yet relaxed psychopathic grin, with a considerable percentage of her being wanting to reach out and slash at the polluted disc, to smash and destroy it in a frenzied outburst against the people that had corrupted its once pristine image. It was almost as if that wasn't the sun, but an imposter, a cheap, blasphemous copy, a corrupting influence that showcased all the stupidity and apathy and arrogance and small-minded selfishness that most of their subjects in this corner of their society exuded in a greasy and polluting exhaust.
"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU LOOKING AT!" She screamed up at it suddenly with a manic grin. Clenching her fists beside her she mentally willed it to explode, and to in turn fry all the vile little shits that had created it. Much to her frustration and hilarity the bright orange orb continued to hang high in the orange sky dotted with areas of near clarity and dense clouds that cast their heavy shadows below.
"DON'T FUCKING STARE AT ME YOU ORANGE PIECE OF SHIT! WHY DON'T YOU GO TO HELL! Teeheeheeheeheehee!" She giggled stupidly at the dizzying feeling of power and fury that coursed through her body, regardless of the sun not reacting.
Her name was Sarah. She was the first born child of Billy and Mandy, and took most of her traits from her father's side. She was five foot eight in height like her mother, had her father's rust red hair from when he was younger, and had inherited his demonic nature. Her eyes glowed red at all times. She only showed her blue eyes around the people who were important to her, otherwise setting her in a permanent state halfway between human and demon. Her attire included a white and blue tank top that showed a hint of her waist, and black leather trousers with armour plates on her knees and shins, completed by her buckle-up boots. Her primary weapons consisted of a pair of angular short machetes attached to her back, the Sorrow Sisters, Shock and Retribution, each bearing a large spherical guard and a wicked geometric cleaver blade. These were actually her own rendition of the scythe concept her family specialised in, able to unleash the same destructive potential as her father's. Indeed if one looked close enough one could see the green tinge like their uncle Berserker, right before one's head was bisected. Her favourite pastimes were hunting and slaughtering evil scum, and going to unconquered worlds and wreaking as much destruction as possible in preparation for the invasion, all within reasonable boundaries of course, she cared about people just as much as the rest of her family. Other things she liked were her parents, her younger siblings, and her husband.
Currently she stood upon the vast open roof of the citadel. Looking up she saw the orange sun shining through the polluted sky, the current object of her fury. Looking down she saw the endless expanse of dark grey concrete and steel and glass towers that made up the city centre, the skyways full of cars and transports gliding about between the giant towers. 'Heh heh. So many filthy greedy little people. You can easily tell they're corrupt just in their eyes. They're always afraid of being watched, and always looking for someone to exploit.'
"So I take it you will be going hunting soon." Came a vaguely British voice behind her. Pivoting around Sarah looked towards the new presence, finding a tall Irken man making his way towards her. He wore a long black trench coat over a black business suit with red shirt and black tie. His skin was a particularly dark shade of green. Furthermore he wore no pak, with deep green eyes with vertical slitted black pupils. His antenna curved back before spiking vertically upwards. His name was Nergal Junior, the son of Nergal the Second and Tak, the overlords of the Irken-Nergal Domain, a sub-state of the Night Empire comprising a good quarter of all its worlds. This man was her best friend, lover and husband.
"Hey cutie pig. When did you get here?" She turned to face him happily.
"Just a few minutes ago. Mom and Dad are down saying hello to the Tallest, or is that Shortest?" He asked himself, seeing as their lofty sense of superiority had been pruned quite thoroughly following their capture at the end of the war a few months ago. "Where are the others?"
"Mom and Dad are gonna be away a little while longer, they'll be here sometime this afternoon." Smirking Sarah gave a kissy face, knowing what they were probably doing right now.
"At least they're not like mine." Junior added with an unhappy sigh. "It's so awkward to be around them lately after the latest scandal." Luckily for Sarah's parents Nergal Junior was not the sick-minded individual his parents were.
Sarah and Junior had grown up together. They had been best friends for as long as they could remember, and had fallen in love at the first opportunity when they were around nine. They were affectionate and light-hearted with each other, Sarah providing the madness and energy, and Junior providing the control to channel it. They worked together doing the odd jobs that arise with reigning effectively over a massive society of hundreds of trillions of people. Essentially they got rid of the dangerous elements, be they individuals or large secret societies operating outside of the surveillance network's watch, crime families, terrorists, and particularly hate groups. Business was booming, and that was both marvellous and tragic depending on their mood.
She looked up to the orange sun again with a smile. "I'm sorry; I like you just like that. It's like living in a painting." She spoke to the glowing disk through the haze and clouds.
"Come on, let's go hunting. It's been so long since we were on Irk, and I need to feel alive again." Sarah said, disregarding what 'Daddy' had told her, turning to the city below. Reaching to her back she took hold of her twin blades, pulling them out and ready, a malicious yellow-green glow surrounding them in anticipation for blood. Beside her Junior willed his family's abilities to the surface, a number of long dark green crystals and coils erupting out of his back, forming a ridge of sharp blades as his coils extended out beside him, changing to form two great demonic wings.
"Well dear, let's hunt." He spoke in his typical smooth, cultured British accent. Together they stepped up to the edge of the fortress, looking down its steep slab-sided face towards their prey below. He paused momentarily, drawing Sarah's attention. "Wait, where's your brother?"
At this a disturbing sense of sadism and doom took hold throughout the woman. She turned to him, eyes ablaze with demonic power as a nightmarish grin crossed her features.
The sky over Los Angeles, a district of the south-western side of the capital, was permanently veiled in night. The pollution over this part of the city was so dense that it blocked out the sunlight altogether. Though the official source for it was the massive number of industrial parks, factories and foundries that lined the area, the truth was something stranger. Few people knew that in the earl days of the new society the Empress had cast a spell over city, causing the environment to adapt to the prevailing mood and mindset given off by the local inhabitants. Here the pollution never left the sky, lingering in a thick dark grey blanket.
This part of the city featured somewhat fewer of the towering skyscrapers and neon lights that made up the city centre closer to the core, although it did boast a vibrant night life around its central business district. The entire area was becoming known for its particularly high concentration of drug dealers, pimps and other seedy lowlifes, all of which had been allowed to go unchecked by the police, hence the constant darkness from the sky. Lately it had been revealed, as many had suspected, that the police force itself was the centre of the infection.
Out in one of the more desolate areas of the urban slum one such officer patrolled the area in his cruiser, an anti-grav car riding close to the ground on its low altitude coils, slowly gliding past the giant pillars of an overhead bridge. The lazy white man didn't pay any particular attention to his surroundings, uncaring if some woman was being raped or a murder was taking place. All he cared about was doing the bare minimum of his job so he could get his pay check his cut of the ugly revenue, and go back to his apartment. He still couldn't comprehend that it was because of those narrow-minded selfish sentiments that he was living in this hellhole in the first place.
'… What the hell?'
As apathetic as his empty skull was he couldn't help but become interested in a series of sudden bright flashes of blue-white light from behind the pillars of the bridge, lighting up the old concrete amidst the constant cold blue artificial glow that permeated this part of the world. Turning the wheel he glided it in under the huge structure, bringing it to a halt as the flashes suddenly slowed and ceased from just behind the square concrete structures. He watched through the windshield with growing paranoia as a ghostly white glow continued to radiate from somewhere within the structures.
Opening the door he stepped out, groaning inwardly at having to exert himself though his shallow breath came faster with instinctual fear all the same. The man was uninspiring as a police officer even without the corruption, pudgy and lethargic, with the air of a stereotypical bureaucrat. He reached for his bulky flashlight, sweeping the dimly lit area with its beam as he made his way towards the faint glow where he'd seen the peculiar flashes.
Rounding through the small network of pillars he narrowed his eyes at a clear patch of concrete ahead. Sitting just metres away from him was a billowing dome of black ethereal matter standing at head height, rippling and churning steadily as he regarded it cautiously, giving off a faint white light through the deformations in its surface. The officer gaped at the object, unable to comprehend or understand the strange phenomenon he was facing, pulling him out of his usual apathy. Looking on in wonder he stammered on his feet as the top of the dome parted with a slightly brighter glow, the shimmering onyx bubble fading away from the top down the sides, the energy dispersing and vanishing before his disbelieving eyes, leaving no sign of what had caused it to form. He stared mutely at the empty patch of concrete in front of him, shining his torch suspiciously on where once there had been something now nothing resided.
From behind the man a darkness emerged from within the shadow behind one of the cold grey pillars, condensing and moving in a smooth, soundless gait towards his back as all the while he stood staring at his distraction oblivious. The officer's hairs stood on end as a particularly cold sensation brushed over him, a chilling presence now in the air, heavy with killing intent, coming up behind him. He turned and shone his light just in time to catch the face of a lean built man in his early twenties, blonde hair set in a perfect short back and sides cut, and onyx eyes with a depth that hypnotised him, before he delivered a two fingered Black Hand strike to his heart, killing him.
Vincent stared down impassively at the body slumped on its side. Taking a quick scan of his surroundings to ensure he was alone he crouched down, reaching out for the officer's pistol, checking to see it had a full charge. Holding it in his hand he examined his uniform, comparing it with his own. He wore a black long sleeved shirt and trousers, secured to a pair of light leather boots of the same colour. Over his relatively lithe frame he wore a heavy violet coat made of Irken composite, with a long cape-like strip extending down his back to his ankles, acting as both a shield from the weather, a light armour and camouflage for blending into the shadows.
The man he had stalked and killed had been part of the local police department. It was corrupt to the core, and had been in connection to an orphanage acting as a front for a child slave trafficking organisation, and along with a myriad of other criminal endeavours responsible for causing untold suffering and destruction amongst many of the population. He'd already terminated the primary perpetrators of the child slave ring, and had followed the trail to the force which had been providing them cover for their terrible activities. His objective was to execute Chief Austin Patrick and all working for him. Looking over the man's uniform he took note of every fine detail.
A second later that same dark blue uniform had formed over his own figure, taking shape perfectly as he adjusted the underworld energy in his body to match the clothes of his victim. Turning on his heels he left the body, stepping over to where his white and blue cruiser awaited, stepping in and closing the door after him. Taking the wheel he drove the machine around, piloting it smoothly away from the body behind him, his features stilled into a cold and logical scowl.
Relentless. Calculating. Cold. Just like his predecessor Max.
Calmly piloting the police cruiser along the roads leading towards the headquarters he remained completely objective in what he needed to do, taking note of every detail around him along the way. Approaching the more vibrant area of the district he entered into where businesses grew in skyscrapers, with restaurants, bars and nightclubs lining the neon lit streets. He paid the crowds of dressed-up patrons no interest as he cruised slowly up towards the bland white four story building standing amongst the vibrant cyberpunk scene. Pulling the wheel around he guided the car down into an alley opposite, parking it and getting out, his new compact weapon strapped to his hip as he strode out into the street.
The bright glow of the neon lights and signs contrasted with the oppressive deep blue glow from the sky reflecting from the office buildings high above. He watched the crowd as they moved to and fro past him, many wearing elaborate, outlandish, often skimpy outfits. The sound of electronica met his ears, along with the whir of engines as cars manoeuvred in the streets and above their heads. With objective indifference he disregarded his surroundings, continuing on down the street towards the glass doors of the police station.
Entering into the building he saw an officer typing at a computer behind an armoured glass shield, though the surface was still gouged and scratched, with a door to the side leading into the office. He could see twenty plus officers milling about inside as he made his way to the desk.
"Hi. I'm here to see Chief Patrick." He spoke politely, putting on a light hearted smile.
The man behind the desk took a glance up at him. "Do you have an appointment?"
"No. I'm here about a transfer from New York. May I speak to him?" Watching as the clerk turned around to face the office behind him he flicked his eyes up to watch through the glass. There emerging from a corridor of offices came an officer in his fifties, balding and slightly overweight, every bit the corrupt pig. He was personally responsible for over a hundred murders as a result of gang violence.
'Target sighted. I will move around to the back and use the rear entrance to avoid detection.'
"Hey boss." The desk officer called earning the man's attention. "There's a guy here who wants to talk to you about…"
He cut away as he returned his gaze to the man waiting before him, only to find no one was there at all. "… a transfer… Never mind." He lowered his head back to the glass screen before him, typing in the last few characters of the document he'd been working on. "Hey take over, I gotta get a coffee, before I loose what's left of my sanity."
Regardless of wether or not his co-workers actually heard him he got out of his chair, heading down the corridor towards the back of the building where the pot of coffee resided. Taking a cup he poured himself a dose of the hot brew, turning around to head back. Making his way through the corridor his foot caught on a lip in the carpet, causing him to stumble, his cup dropping out of his hand.
"Ah sh…" He stopped as a hand shot out and caught the cup in two fingers around the brim, not a single drop lost.
"Yours I believe." The other officer spoke as he handed him his cup.
"Meh." He grunted in response, taking the cup and continuing on as the other uniformed man turned to watch him go, disappearing into one of the offices a moment later. Taking a sip from his coffee cup the man made his way through the office, before pausing mid step. Slowly he turned around, looking back to where he had last seen the other officer, realising with a start he was the same one he'd spoken to before he disappeared just moments ago.
Standing inside the closed door Vincent locked his deep emotionless gaze onto the balding man sitting at his desk as he looked up at the sudden intrusion.
"Hey who the hell are you? Who said you could come in here? Get the fuck outta my office prick!"
The shouts of the man over his intrusion mattered not to him as he identified him as his primary target. He followed his training with stoic calm, his intrusion suddenly mattering less to the Chief as he watched his right hand become enveloped in a rippling black aura pulsating with danger and lethality. Vincent set his target with a deadly stare, stalking smoothly over to where he sat behind his desk. Lancing out at him with two fingers at lightning speed he delivered a massive jolt to his heart, the muscle rupturing and dying instantly. The corrupt man gagged, a few small droplets of blood ejecting out his mouth before his head hit the desk, Vincent looking down apathetically as his life came to an end.
Turning to the door he saw the officer he'd met at the reception, looking in at the scene in shock. Grasping the pistol he'd stolen earlier he took aim and blasted the man in the chest with a powerful flash of blue plasma. Another two officers appeared in the doorway, their guns drawn ready. He shot them both dead, striding out into the corridor over their bodies as to his right and left his swarming enemy drew their weapons and fired.
He paused in the doorway, forming a protective barrier around himself as the highly energetic blasts detonated against the field, partially obscuring his view. Turning to his left he raised the weapon, blasting two more police as another group disappeared around the corner. Following them into the break room he used clinical precision in targeting them one after another, ignoring the blasts against the front of the shield as he killed the four men and women. This was his contribution to the Empire his parents had forged; to ruthlessly hunt down and terminate those who threatened their iron fisted rule of revenge, in addition to infiltrating and destroying key enemy personnel and infrastructure. While his sister and brother in law were more or less homicidal maniacs and bloodthirsty demons, he was a cold, clinical killer. Were it not for his blonde hair it would have been nigh on impossible to distinguish him from his rogue predecessor.
There was another thing however that distinguished Vincent from Max. As he terminated the last of the officers in the lunch room he turned and made his way back to the corridor, wherein he was hit by a powerful barrage of laser rifle fire. He stumbled back under the impacts, the blasts almost strong enough to break down the front of the shield. Taking cover behind the corner he reassessed the situation.
'I need more power.'
Extending his arm out he concentrated all his stoic control and darkness into his palm, sending out a summons deep into the underworld. Immediately his call was answered. A black ball formed in his palm, elongating rapidly out into a long, thin shaft. From the top end a sharp, geometrically shaped blade formed, his scythe now grasped firmly in his hands. It held the same design as his mothers, but whereas hers held an enraged blood red aura to it, this was as cold and stoic as he, bearing a deep, cold blue tone, courtesy of the spirit that lived within. This was the final manifestation of the family's rogue son, now redeemed. Max, his job done, had decided to bring himself to rest, and imbued his soul into a staff and blade, that way his power would forever be bound to his brother's will to continue his work.
Moving at a slow, rhythmic step he advanced out into the corridor, ignoring the powerful blasts now that his shield grew that much stronger. Emerging into the main office room he swung his scythe around, Max leaving a blue contrail in his wake, the power within striking out at the necks of four police at once, beheading them. Continuing on he slashed another to death, turning to blast a wave of blue-black power out at his adversaries, causing several to drop to the ground dead. He felt no pity or remorse for the killings, completely absent of any adrenaline rush or frenzied blood lust. He was as unfeeling as a machine, scowling out at his victims as one after another they fell.
Sensing their imminent deaths several police abandoned their comrades and tried to flee out the front door. As soon as they made it out into the foyer they were dismayed to find a series of dark green crystals rising up out of the ground to block the exit. One of their number who had just made it out the door found himself skewered and torn apart vertically by the sharp columns. Backing away fearfully they turned around to try and find another way out, only to come face to face with a pair of frightful orange eyes.
"Heh heh heh heh…" Sarah chuckled in a low tone, her twin blades held at the ready beside her as Junior stepped up beside her, a dozen coils extending out his back. She struck first, splattering the brains of one officer across the room as Junior sent his coils after three, impaling them and tearing their bodies apart bloodily. Whirling around Sarah bought her blades up to block several blasts, launching forward to slash the two men's throats. They gaped in horror as their blood blew out violently, bringing their hands up to try and stop the bleeding. Taking aim at them again Sarah used the underworld powered blades to send a swarm of small piranha-like demons at them, eating into them as they dropped to the ground.
"DIE!" She slashed one man's arms off, burying the blade in his brain.
"DIE!" She threw the blades out at two trying to escape past Max, impaling them in the backs of their heads.
"DIE!" She put her now increasingly inhuman fist through the stomach of one fat officer, holding him as her husband wrapped his coils around him, crushing him into a bloody paste.
Vincent struck one last officer over the heart, scanning across the body strewn office without conscience as he sent his scythe back to the netherworld. Turning his onyx eyes towards the two newcomers as they faced him his nature changed completely, the biting cold that permeated him fading away. In its place a real, genuinely heartfelt smile arose on his face as Sarah flicked the blood from her blades, placing them back into their scabbards on her back. With a big cheesy grin she held out her hands as she waddled drunkenly towards him, her brother moving to embrace his older sister in a heartfelt hug.
"Hey Sarah, how've you been?" He asked in a light hearted tone despite the bloody carnage around them.
"Oh you know." She mumbled. "Truth is I've been bored as hell since the end of the war with Irk. I just keep thinking back to that time we went there with Mom and Dad."
"We destroyed half the planet before the army ever arrived." Junior spoke up, drawing Vincent's attention. Reaching out the two men gave each other a rough hug. "How's work treating you?"
Vincent indicated to his side of the mayhem. "Cold and methodical, as per usual. How about you two?"
Sarah indicated to their side of the mayhem. "Bloodthirsty and sadistic, like always. It's great, neh heh. Anyways Daddy called earlier. He says hi. He also says that they'll be another few hours before they meet up with us. They're gonna stay back at the cabin so they can get all romantic." Turning up to her husband she narrowed her eyes aggressively much to his alarm. "Why don't you ever do anything cute and romantic like that?"
"But I do sweetheart. Remember how we slaughtered those thugs, and I drew you a love heart in the blood?" He asked her. Sarah screwed up her face in thought.
"Oh yeeeaaaaahhhh. That was so sweet of you. I'm sorry." She cooed to her mate, leaning over to give him a kiss on the… where his lips should be were he human. Vincent watched the exchange with a flat face.
Sarah and Max had both been born in the first decade after the takeover, in time for their grandparents Harold and Gladys to see them before they passed away in their sixties after a life well spent. They had always been close. Their parents' wise teaching and the oftentimes lack of company from the everyday people they ruled meant that they looked to each other for friendship. This was the same with Vincent and Junior, the two men having become brothers in a relatively short space of time, cemented by the many hardships they had faced over the years.
"Mmm… mn… Okay let's go." Sarah said as she separated from her partner and the two made their way to the front door, Junior retracting the crystal blades back down to nothing, allowing them to simply exit the front door as if nothing had happened. As Vincent strode out into the street he willed his police uniform to burn away, becoming engulfed in a black flickering flame, the energy taking the form of his regular black clothes and heavy violet coat. Joining his sister and brother in law out in the street they noticed no one else on the outside seemed to have noticed the massacre, the local denizens going about to and fro, the electronica still playing steadily over the sound of engines.
"So you wanna head back now?" Sarah asked. Vincent looked down the street quietly, just observing the thousands of individuals going about their business, coming and going from bars and pulsating nightclubs, entering and exiting their cars which then took off at a gentle hover down the street or rose high into the air above. The late morning sky was still dark as night, an eerie blue glow filtering in through the clouds above being all the natural light they received, with the rest coming from the countless bright neon signs and the lights of the office blocks high overhead.
Yet throughout the nihilistic decadence of it all he felt a familiar presence close by, someone he hadn't been able to see in too long. His spirit began to pull on him, and he yearned to find the source of the presence.
"You two go ahead. I think I'll stay out a bit longer." He replied. Nodding his sister and brother in law turned to make their way back.
"Okay, we'll see you later." Whipping out her blades again she struck a deep scar in the fabric of reality before her, the diagonal tear forming a portal back to the citadel. Vincent watched as they both stepped into it, the tear closing after them, leaving him alone in amidst the perpetual nightlife.
Turning away from the police station he set himself in a façade of the stoic calm and darkness that usually pervaded him, though he was immediately alert below. Stepping down the footpath he turned his head left and right, watching the people going about whatever they were doing, all the while reaching out for the feeling. He looked out at the bright neon lights lining the street, some of which floated on anti grav coils up between the buildings. Overhead a large light grey blimp gently glided on through the skyline, displaying advertising for different corporations, the various cars and skimmers below serving to contrast with its looming size and grandiosity. Amidst the background noise Vincent could make out the sound of Cold Storage's Body in Motion, an ancient track that had originally been used as part of an old world jet skimmer racing game, a favourite of his parents. Overhead the sound of deep rolling thunder came from the dense clouds. Looking up he noticed as the first cracks of a lighter grey began to spread, indicating that with the police gone the damage was starting to heal. It fascinated him how all these narrow-minded people, many of which could barely even tell right from wrong despite their society's best efforts to show them the way, could be made to build such a powerful civilisation. But they didn't do this by coming together and deciding to work for a common good, they did so because they were forced to get over themselves. What power his parents had to wield in order to effectively control their subjects to build all this. When he stood back and just stared at it he couldn't help but marvel at its dark splendour.
He found where the presence was coming from. Looking away to his right he strode across out of the crowd, towards a secluded alley. Following it down towards its end he saw it came out into a large, dimly lit stretch of space behind the buildings on either side of the street. Looking left in the darkness away from the neon and streetlights, through the vapour in the air he could make out a gently glowing dome of spectral energy like what he used to move to and fro, its black surface rippling and giving off a soft white light. He could feel the presence of the one he was looking for coming from within.
Dropping his emotionless façade he started out towards the flickering dome with anticipation in his features. As he approached expectantly the dome opened at the top. Vincent stopped as he watched it open up, waiting for the person he sensed to face him back from within, but as the dome faded away he was perplexed when he found nobody inside. He frowned, until he heard the sound of muted footsteps on the concrete in the shadows of the buildings behind him, and the presence changed to emanate from the same source.
Turning around to face the intruder he gasped, as emerging from the shadow was a woman his age, with jagged purple hair and a matching outfit, a mystic demon hunter katana strapped to her back, and eyes the colour of amber.
"You're not getting sloppy are you, falling for your own trick?" She spoke as they both faced each other with a softer gaze than they normally gave people.
As one Vincent and Gaz whisked in towards each other, wrapping their arms around one another and engaging in a passionate kiss. Gaz ran her fingers through his short platinum blonde hair as Vincent cupped her face with one hand, while his other cradled the side of her slim waist. Separating they gave each other a heartfelt smile and nuzzled each other affectionately, Vincent willing his cloak to evaporate so he could feel her delicate pail hands and arms around him as he held the slim, beautiful woman.
Gaz and Max had crossed paths many times in the underworld, and after Max had begun training Vincent to take over in preparation for his own retirement the two had started working together. Though Max had been uninterested in a romantic relationship even towards the end, Vincent was different. He was like her. After only a few jobs together the two had quickly begun falling for each other. But even as their relationship blossomed into love, Vincent's work took him to all corners of the physical plain, while Gaz was often trudging through the deep levels of the underworld where getting between the two levels was nigh on impossible and they were cut off from each other, sometimes for weeks at a time. In these times Gaz often thought about the first time they had consummated their love, where he had finally cleansed her of the remaining foul taint left over from her sad brother's abuses, and made her feel whole and complete again.
"I missed you so much. I swear I don't know how I can keep going here without you in my life." Vincent spoke with love as he revelled in the feel of her kiss again. "I need you with me. I want to be there with you."
"I know, but this is just the way it has to be for now." Gaz replied calmly. "The more apart we are, the less we can take each other for granted."
"But I never take you or anything for granted." He protested. Gaz caressed his fringe, causing him to close his eyes and sigh with bliss as she smiled.
"There are just too many creatures right now who want us dead. The Night only rules over the physical world. I'm already prey down there and I'm not even part of it, I have to run more than I fight. With you there would be nowhere we could run to. I won't allow that, not in my turf." She growled with a hint of her old ominous nature shining through much to his enjoyment. "Besides, there'll be plenty of time for us to be together soon."
At that Vincent placed one hand on her belly with love for the two people who were currently with them at that moment.
"Have you told Mandy yet?"
"I'm going to tell her today." He answered with love for all three of them.
Gaz was two months pregnant with twins. She was busy preparing to finish what jobs she needed finished before leaving to start a new life with her husband on Earth, where they could raise their children in safety. At this stage however it was difficult for her to stay in the physical world for any length of time, simply as a result of her spending most of her time above and below it. Currently she was using a considerable amount of the power her late friend Max had given her to stay here. But as her mortal children grew within her that would change, and she would return to the physical world with them.
"Sweetheart I can't stay." She spoke knowing she would have to return in a few moments lest she and the lives depending on her be left drained and helpless against the hordes out to kill her. Vincent faced her with pain.
"Just be careful. You're a mother now." He spoke. She smiled at his worry, bringing him back from his depression to face her with adoration again. "We'll be together soon."
Coming together again the two shared one last loving kiss, before Vincent felt the ethereal energy forming around her again, and stepped back as a black dome rose up around her. Gaz had time enough to give him one last smile, before the dome closed around the peak, and evaporated, leaving only empty space.
Vincent watched her go mournfully, until he bought himself back to his natural orderly state, content that he would see her again soon and would wait until that time. Stepping back away from where the dome had formed he returned to the alley, looking down it out at the crowd outside with focussed contemplation.
Like all great masterpieces the Night Empire was plagued by minor flaws, blemishes that he dedicated his mind and will to seeking out and terminating to keeping his society running smoothly. He could sense the corruption of minds in the wide urban sprawl all around him like a taint.
However he looked down on them objectively, indifferent to their plight in relation to the damage they caused to the people who actually tried to give the wider world more than they took. It bought him neither satisfaction or pleasure, nor guilt or remorse what he did. It was simply his mission, and he carried out every mission with the same logical, detached and cold scowl required to use his and his scythe's terrible power.
His mission here was complete; the slave traders were dead, as were the corrupt police cooperating with them, and the remaining gangs and criminals would be dealt with by the regular armed forces. Summoning his scythe again he held out the blade ready, causing a soft light to be given off, drawing out several dozen souls from the nearby police department, sending their wasted souls to oblivion where they could rot away without disturbance before it returned to its normal cold calm. Lowering it to his side he reviewed the situation, content that he had effectively followed his lifelong mission. He dismissed the scythe again, before forming a rippling black orb to form directly behind him. His work complete he stepped back into its cold embrace, the dome vanishing after to reveal he had vanished like the spectre of shadow he was.
XTak hadn't reverted back to her old Irken clone body for years. In comparison to her five foot six human body her original physiology was temperamental, unsuitable to all but a very narrow set of conditions, and dependent on a pak for survival. Their only saving grace as she saw it was they were small enough to hide in tight spaces. Other than that the second generation Irken was just the by-product of a culture high on their own pride and arrogant sense of superiority. Besides, with a well endowed figure like hers, with the voluptuous curves, sexy hips and ample e-cup breasts she found herself gifted with, why go back to that tiny little stick figure from before?
Her attire consisted of a form fitting purple and violet long sleeved top with the Irken Republic insignia and an open midriff that showed off her curvaceous waist, loose at the lower edge below her breasts. She still wore a violet miniskirt that parted down her left leg, though somewhat shorter and looser. Below that was a set of purple and black thigh length socks, attached to a garter on each thigh, which was in turn attached to a suspender around her hips under her skirt, with her usual high buckle-up boots at her feet. Tak was ever eager to allure her husband, especially considering his sexual hunger and perverted tendencies matched her own, and he could do remarkable things with his tentacles. Her sexy attire was bolstered immensely by the fact she hadn't worn a bra or panties in a very long time, and loved the constant danger she felt of being exposed and humiliated as she was every now and then. It set her in a near constant urge for pleasure which only her man could satisfy.
Work wise Tak and her partner had found it surprisingly simple to control the territories once held by Irk. The native inhabitants of many worlds had been faced with abhorrent crimes from their oppressors, genocide first and foremost. To many of these people though they were distrusting of their new tyrants when they arrived, when they set down to the task of rebuilding each society and enforcing law and order they were soon seen as benevolent lords in comparison, and though officially they ruled their people with a heavy hand, they governed wisely and justly. Also the use of the Irken control brain technology within their territories as opposed to officers took care of many of the problems of micro management for them especially with regards to surveillance, leaving them with only the larger decisions to make. Her husband made himself busy as lord of the Nerglings, no longer the small scurrying creatures they once were but a proper race of demons living amongst their subjects. They would accompany them into war when it came time to expand their power and bring about the demise of yet more corrupt regimes throughout the stars.
Currently the mid twenties woman stood behind a one way mirror deep within the bowels of the beast, watching into a concrete room of the dungeon below the massive walls of the citadel. She smirked, watching as the red and black suit-clad Nergal tortured the last remaining leader of the Irken Empire, former Tallest Red. He wasn't so tall anymore considering his legs had been cut off at the hip, the bandages around the stumps stained a bloody green colour. His armour had been stripped, revealing his frail body. Currently he was dangling just below face height above a pool of chlorinated water set into the floor, the chain around his pak connected to the ceiling with his hands fastened behind his back, Nergal watching on.
"You know one of the things about holding great power and authority, is that you need an equal amount of mental strength with which to be able to control it." He spoke to the dangling former despot as all the while he gritted his teeth and glared furiously back through the pain. However instead of forming a visage of defiance it only served to made him look like a selfish child who wasn't getting his way. Nergal the Second scrutinised him coolly through his stylish green glasses.
"If you can control yourself you may become wise and revered among your subjects as a great and powerful ruler, and go on to forge great civilisations. Most people however, people like you and your friend over there…" He gestured to the mass of minced flesh in the corner that was once Tallest Purple. "… become drunk on your own pride and abilities. You become arrogant, conceited and vain, believing that you are more important than everyone else and deserving of whatever you want, and think of everyone else as being somehow below your level of so-called perfection. People like that soon forget all about actually maintaining their strength, and become lazy and stupid, and weak. That is why so many of your subjects fled to Earth, and your people were crushed so easily by our forces."
"SHUT UP!" Red spat back in a fit of self-righteous anger unwilling to take accountability for his actions. "You think you've won? You worthless vermin are nothing compared to me! I'm the ruler of the master race and you are just an animal, a lab freak!" He smirked as he looked over to the ruined heap of meat. "Thanks to you I'm now the sole ruler of the entire universe! You hear that, you actually helped me!"
"Did we now? In that case why don't you summon your vast army and crush us like ants?" He retorted. "Well? Where are your legions of troops now? Where are all your factories and cities and billions of subjects?" Red grimaced as Nergal's words grated away at his bloated ego. Nergal took a step closer and leaned in towards him, taking off his glasses and putting them in his coat to see him clearly.
"Let's take a moment to review just what it is you and your 'master race' have accomplished shall we? First of all, your predecessors and all their followers built an empire by invading, murdering, pillaging, raping and enslaving one people after another, and undid societies that took hundreds of thousands of years for people to build. Everything the Irken Empire has, or rather had, was stolen from better people who struggled to create it. Then you two come along, and not only continue to murder, rape and pillage billions of people on a dozen worlds, but because you needed to have your own god complex fed you drained your own empire of every drop of life from within, like an enormous parasite. And in your selfish stupidity and uncontrollable greed you hollowed out your own society so that when you made your attack, there was no strength left to back it up. So considering all of this, what exactly do you have to be proud of?"
The bruised and bloodied tyrant snarled furiously, all sense of reality and reason lost to him. "YOU! YOU BASTARD FREAK! YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME, I'M BETTER THAN YOU! I OWN YOU! I OWN EVERYTHING! I AM A GOD! IT'S NOT FAIR, YOU CAN'T, ONLY I CAN…" His deranged ranting and raving only irritated the demon. Extending a tentacle out his back he pressed a button on the wall, lowering the madman towards the pool. "GERRRAH DAMN YOU! GAU! IT'S NOT FAIR! ONLY I CAN, I'LL GET YOU! I AGAH… YOU! I'LL CRUSH YOU! I AM A GOD! AUGKIH! ARAH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH H!"
He continued to scream in agony even as his antenna submerged into the toxic liquid. Junior watched on impassively while behind the mirror Tak smirked with glee. After holding him underwater for a few more seconds he depressed another button with his coil, raising the blistered and burnt creature back up as he coughed and cried with the pain of his body-wide burns.
As the Irken Empire decayed from centuries of neglect under their reign the Tallest had been enraged by the refugee movement of their own subjects to Earth. Amassing a fleet they launched an attack on the capital. Though the damage had been done and thousands of people died as a result of their intolerance, the fleet was destroyed, and the two despots fled back to Irk. Afterwards they had faced one crushing defeat after another, one by one stripping them of their captured territories even as they tried to destroy their enslaved societies before the armies arrived. When finally the attack on Irk came there were few troops left to defend the capital. Irk was reduced to a ruin, and the two responsible were now at the mercy of the people they had tried to exterminate.
They had been at this for weeks since, torture, humiliation, bit by bit breaking down his high and mighty persona and reveal what he really was underneath, to reduce him to the level he deserved to be at. Purple had been easier to break because he was a coward. Red however had been so full of pride for his own power and greatness that he'd not given up his narcissism yet. Now though it appeared they were close to their goal.
"Before I torture you anymore I want you to know why I am doing this to you." He explained to him. "For much of my life I have been cursed and hated simply because I was different to everyone else, as if their way was the only way, and the existence of anything that wasn't like them was a crime. You are the epitome of this bigoted scum. You see fit to exterminate billions of lives simply because they weren't like you. You think you are perfect? Look at you, spindly and weak limbs, burnt by any environment different to your own, and a mind too weak to think beyond yourself." Grasping his head harshly he pulled him around to face his hard scowl.
"This is for all the people you enslaved and killed and raped simply because you thought you were better."
"But I am better!" He retorted, his voice now beginning to crack. "I… I-I can do these things. I'm the ruler of the universe! I can do whatever I want! Those freaks deserve that they got for being weird and ugly and freakish! They're contaminating my universe! Those freaks and whores should be grateful that I allowed them to serve me as my slaves." Grimacing in disgust Nergal reached out with his coils, fastening them around the tops of his arms. With one swift pull he tore them out of their sockets. "AAAAAAAA-HA-HAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!"
"How dare you talk like that in your state. You're nothing now. Your empire has been destroyed, your billions of slaves are our loyal subjects, your capital is in ruins, and you and your rabid people bought it all upon yourselves."
"FUCK YOU! YOU'RE JUST A FREAK! AN ABOMINATION! A MONSTER!" He screamed in response as his green blood trickled down from his shoulder stumps.
"Freak. Abomination. Monster." Came a new voice. Turning to the open armoured doorway in the side of the room they saw standing there the one woman who had sealed the fate of the Irken Empire, Tak. She smirked in humour at the pathetic wreckage dangling above the water. "That's rich coming out of you. Look at you, you're a mutilated corpse that still hasn't died yet. Every inch of your skin's been burnt, you have no arms or legs, and you call me a defect?" Striding in she grasped him by the antenna, holding him down close to the water. "Now you are the freak. How does it feel? Tell me, how does it feel freak!"
She plunged his body into the water again up over his face, his screams of agony forming bubbles as his skin blistered further with the acidic reaction. Her partner watched with satisfaction, loving the sadistic evil grin across her features as she pulled him up again. The ruined despot gasped and whimpered now, his eyes screwed shut as he tried to block out the pain in his body and the pain of his defeat.
"Now you sack of shit, you still think you're better than me!" Tak barked into his burnt face. Shivering in agony he managed a shake of his head. "Hey, I didn't hear you!" She shoved him down towards the water again.
"AHH NO! PLEASE NO!" He cried out just millimetres from the burning chlorine. "O-okay, I'm not! I'm not better! I'm no-noth-hing… P-ple-he-hease…" Tears ran down from his eyes as he shuddered and cried, his arrogance and pride finally breaking down before them. Her lifelong ambition finally realised Tak straightened up, heaving a deep sigh of content as she withdrew the weeping, ruined despot from the water's edge.
"Yes, that's right Red. That's right. You have nothing to be proud of, just a stuck-up little thug who never deserved to rule. Isn't that right?" He nodded slightly, his mutilated body still shuddering and racking with sobs.
"Oh please have mercy." He whimpered pathetically as he hung suspended from the ceiling. Unfortunately Tak just sneered sadistically.
"No. SARAAAAAHHHHH!" She roared out, the whimpering creature's face taking on a look of utter horror. Out the open door they watched as a figure came barrelling in towards them, orange eyes glowing murderously along with a demonic smile.
"Heeeeeyyyyy guuuuuyyyyyys!" The crazed woman called ahead of her as she raced up to stop in the doorway, casting her eyes leeringly on her prey as he gaped back terrified. "Hey, you bought me a new chew toy! He looks like he'd be a real squealer just like his pal Purple. I just know we're gonna have so much fun together!"
"AAAAAAAAAAAHHH! AAAAAAAAAHHHH! AAAAAAAAAAAHHH!"
Red screamed hysterically, shaking his head and thrashing his stumps about in an attempt to escape. Sarah smiled, withdrawing her sabres from her back. Aiming them at the round pool below the despot she fired a stream of particles, turning it into a bubbling and boiling cauldron of nightmarish matter leading straight to Venusian hell. Eyes ablaze with sadistic glee she grasped the screaming tyrant by the neck and pushed down against the chain, applying ever greater pressure as a number of jawed tentacles reached up to try and snap at him. Nergal folded his arms across his chest, Tak and Sarah grinning cruelly as Red's pak finally gave way, tearing out of his back as he and Sarah plunged into the pool of boiling green foam, a final scream of agony escaping from within.
"You guys are sadists you know that?" Vincent said as he and Junior stepped into the doorway.
"Says the tee-one thousand." Tak replied back. "I wonder what would happen if I shot you in the face with a shotgun?"
"You wouldn't want to find out." He answered with a realistic imitation of his cold death-stare. It was enough to send a shiver through their spines anyway.
"Say is that still open?" Junior asked pointing to the pit of nightmares.
"NOOO! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!" Came Red's voice from within.
"I see. Hmm. In that case, excuse me, heh heh heh heh…" Chuckling sadistically he stepped up and dived in to join his wife. Vincent simply watched flatly, a slight twitch occurring in his eye.
Watching the entire gruesome and satisfying spectacle Tak smiled, before her lips parted with wonder.
She raised an eyebrow as the satisfaction she felt now moved down into the jewel partially hidden under her skirt. Nergal looked to her with curiosity as her eyes fluttered out of focus, and her legs locked tightly together as she arched her body with her breasts out. Vincent frowned, then rolled his eyes as he saw the peaks of her two peaks starting to poke through the thin fabric of her top. Turning to her husband Tak gave a sultry smile as her face blushed madly, as the ends of the man's lips began to pick up, among other things.
"Hey sweetheart…" Tak cooed to her husband as she reached her hands around his shoulders and pressed her body into his side. Nergal looked to her with a smirk and a raised eyebrow. Breathing heavily with her pupils dilated Tak opened her mouth, and licked sensually around her lips with her wet tongue, causing Nergal to gasp.
"Again?" He asked her with a look of shock as Tak lowered her face shyly still looking up to him with a sexy smile on her tomato red face. "You were only just sucking on me in the car on the way over here, and under my desk, and under the sheets this morning. You even drank me in your coffee!" Tak giggled softly as she shied away from him ever so slightly with embarrassment, putting one arm across her front while still pressing her aroused body into him.
"Then I haven't had nearly enough of you." Biting her lip she moved around to his front, putting her hands up around his shoulders as he cupped her bare waist, tracing his hands across her curvaceous skin. Casting her eyes down she could see the large bulge that she fantasized about moving down his left thigh under the fabric of his pants. Looking back to him as he blushed she rubbed her thigh against it, causing his arousal to grow, both thankful that neither of them wore underwear.
Tak and Nergal's relationship was not sacred and wholesome like Billy and Mandy's was. Their sexuality usually involved snorting and snarling and screaming and swearing, and would often leave both of them in considerable pain afterwards. There was no level they would not degrade themselves to in order to make their partner feel how they felt. Many times they consummated their perversion within earshot of others, and there were hundreds of scandals of them doing some very indecent things in inappropriate places, in the car amidst traffic was one of their favourites. There were hundreds of humiliating pictures and videos of them doing different things, and every one served to fan the flames of their passion. Tak's sexual hunger had reached a point where she had been recognised as a succubus by that race of demons, and she had more than lived up to the title.
As her lifelong lover gently petted the long main of sapphire hair that nearly reached her shapely hips, one hand rubbing along her back between her shoulder blades where they encountered no strap for any bra, Tak looked up to the taller man with love in her now wide-set emotional eyes.
"Nergal, my love…" She faced him with her heart open for him to see. "I want to suck on your-"
"Could you two pleeease do this somewhere else?" Vincent spoke up uncomfortably, grimacing as the two immortals turned to face him.
"Why are you still here!" Nergal snapped.
"Look, I don't have any real problem with you two exchanging your bodily fluids into places they don't belong in your own disgusting form of love, but would you please do it somewhere else?"
You're just jealous because you can't have me." Tak retorted with a frown before she smirked turning back to her partner. "I only drink the essence of one man."
Vincent just stood staring flatly with revulsion as Tak and Nergal looked to each other with love and shared a short kiss. Raising his hands he backed away towards the door to leave them alone together.
"Make sure Aurora doesn't hear us."
"You don't have to tell me!" He snapped back closing the metal door.
"Now…" The former Junior spoke, a sly smile on his handsome features. Grasping the bottom of her loose top he pulled the fabric up, exposing her fat breasts as Tak gasped at the assault. Breathing hard she rolled her eyes back and started to moan as her partner attacked her breasts with his hands, groping and molesting her roughly as he smiled.
"Shit Tak, your tits feel even bigger than I remember!" He exclaimed as he gave her bulging nipples a twist as she moaned with delight.
"They are. They always… get bigger… when I'm on heat… and cause of you I'm always on heat! Oh baby! That's so good! You're bruising my tits!"
"They'll heal!" He snarled as they kissed each other passionately, their tongues sliding over each other in the middle as he molested her. Tak pressed her chest into his hands as he squeezed her soft flesh, while spreading her legs slightly to allow the air to grace her partially hidden treasure, increasing her arousal.
Pulling back from their French kiss the second Nergal patriarch leered at her as he took one hand away from her fat chest and reached up and under her skirt to grope her smooth round ass. He smiled as he began working his fingers, squeezing and kneading her forbidden fruits, watching now as Tak gave a guttural groan and bit her lip as a twisted smile broke out across her face and her eyes rolled back in their sockets.
Overwhelmed by the pleasures he was causing her body with his fingers intrusion her eyes snapped open.
"No more games!" She spoke sharply.
Pulling back from him she pulled her top down over her breasts, grabbing his hand and leading him over to the wall beside the door where she slammed him up against the surface hard. Her partner breathed hard with anticipation and arousal as she faced him with almost predatory intent, breathing hard as she now ground herself up against him with love in her eyes.
"Should we lock the door?" He spoke up before they continued. "What if someone comes in while we're going at each other? Or what if Sarah and Junior come back while we're still here?"
"Oh yeah, that would be so embarrassing, seeing me degrade myself for you… and soooo hot!" Tak moaned overcome by lust. Nergal gave a laugh and shook his head.
"My dirty, beautiful angel." She looked to him with heartfelt affection and smiled lovingly.
"I'm going to make love to you with my mouth now." She spoke to him with a wide smile and a warm gaze as he gasped for breath. "I want you to feel just a little bit of how you make me feel, just like when I first sucked on you the day you told me how you felt." They remembered the feelings to this day, how they had taken turns in filling the cabin of their little craft with moans and pleasure and love, and how they had held each other so close after that.
Her partner smiled to her adoringly as he reached up and caressed her pail features, tracing his fingers through her hair behind her ear as she now placed her slender hands in between his legs and groped him, making him take a shaking gasp. "… And every time since."
They smiled to each other with their hearts starting to race. "Remember, I like it when you put your hands through my hair when I'm doing it." She spoke feeling vulnerable with what she was about to do, Nergal giving a nod in return.
Leaning in Tak gave him a gentle, slow kiss on his open mouth, the ex-Junior caressing her face as he kissed her back, before she pulled away, and with a loving smile lowered herself to her knees. Her partner held his hand in her hair all the way down as she began to undo the belt and zipper of his pants.
If Vincent concentrated hard enough he could reasonably pretend that he had not experienced any of Tak and Nergal's sex session.
'God, so this is what Junior has to go through around them.' He was supremely thankful that he had not turned out as the depraved weirdo his parents were, considering he was his sister's lover. After spending several lifetimes together through thick and thin the three had come to an understanding. He trusted Junior with Sarah.
Looking back down the hallway he stared at the door where he'd left them, gritting his teeth as he rolled his eyes skywards, turning on his heels to continue walking down to the right hand corridor away from them.
'How the hell did their kid end up with Mum and Dad's kid?'
Looking down the cell block he noticed the doors at the end open, and a smile graced the cold predator's face as a young girl of age seven stepped through the doorway facing him. She had dark eyes like him, pale skin like her mother, and dark blue-black hair like Max fixed straight back down to her neck, with a silver headband like her mother. She wore a red dress with a bright yellow smiley face in the middle, with a skull pendant around her neck that once belonged to his wife Gaz. As she saw him there coming towards her she smiled. Her name was Aurora, and she was the youngest daughter of Billy and Mandy.
"Vince!" She cried out happily despite having seen him just yesterday. Despite having inherited her father's happy-go-lucky personality from before he became a demon lord, she was actually considerably smarter than she let on she was, and had the merciless iron will and determination of her mother to match.
"Hey sis." Vincent called back with a smile as he walked out to meet the girl, putting a hand around her shoulder as she faced her elder brother. "How have you been? Have you been good while I was gone?"
"Nope." She replied happily. "I came down here to say hi to Red. I was gonna try having a reasonable conversation with him, and chip away at his pride a little bit, and maybe poke out one of his eyes depending on the answers he gives me. Where is he?"
"Sorry, Junior and Sarah got to him first. They just broke his shell now." He replied.
"Right. I almost feel sorry for him. All those layers of hypocrisy…" She smiled evilly at what he must be going through.
"You had your own chance with Purple. Speaking of which what did you do to him?" He asked with curiosity. Aurora smiled softly and looked to him with haunting black eyes.
"I stared at him with such unwavering judgement that he fell into a coma." Vincent felt cold as her eyes seemed to hollow out all the way to hell.
"So that's why he had that look of constant horror on his face." He recalled of how she had trapped him inside his own mind at the mercy all that he had ever done. Thankfully she looked away and they continued on.
"So where's Tak and Nergal?"
"Oooh… Oooh… Tak, honey, you're so good at that." Came a familiar moaning voice down the sell block. Aurora narrowed her dark eyes.
"What's that?" She asked of the strange moans. Vincent promptly clamped his hands over his sister's ears.
"Torture, or at least something horrible." He answered quickly with a disgruntled grimace, cursing the two for not doing this in a better place. He led her out the door away from the two in the other hallway.
"Come on, let's go."
"Those two are pervs aren't they?" She spoke with a flat look that mirrored her brother's.
"Aurora, promise me you'll never end up like them." Vincent pleaded her.
"Okay, what would you like me to be instead? Should I be like Sarah the Homicidal Maniac, or should I be an emotionless hunter-killer like you?" Looking down from above Vincent gave her the withering cold stare he had inherited from his predecessor, which she matched eye to eye. He smirked.
"I'd say you were just fine the way you are." She smirked contentedly back and looked out ahead as they made to exit the cell block.
"In the end planning or not I think you just have to make up who you want to be as you go." She dropped the piece of insight and trailed off as they made their way through a pair of sliding doors, passing a pair of armoured soldiers. "Hey guys, what's up?"
"Hello master, we're just fine thanks." One machine answered her politely in a way conflicting with its menacing green eyes and plasma rifle.
"Cool. I'll see ya later." She spoke as she led her brother out away from the prison, stepping out into a vast open hall the size of a football field supported on epic pillars. Looking up to him she quietly beamed with some unseen accomplishment and excitement, earning Vincent's interest. There's something I want to show you."
Pausing in amongst the vast open space she took hold of the old skull, lifting it up over her head to hold in her hand. With a short toss she threw it out in front of her. The ancient carving soared gracefully through the air in its short trip, before it came down to the ground. Upon impact it burst out in a bright flash of red supernatural flame. The pyre grew quickly, turning an orange to yellow colour as if grew to touch the roof. Another flash and the column turned green, a number of growing streaks of lightning flashing throughout. The flames turned a deep neon blue, slowly dissipating to reveal a tower of searing lightning and power, its colours changing through indigo and violet. When finally they vanished with a last bright flash and a loud bang, Vincent gazed in wonder at the foreboding figure that now stood where it had been.
A pitch black robe flowed over cold, skeletal features devoid of flesh. Two hollow eye sockets stared out to the world, their depths revealing the oblivion he embodied. In his skeletal right hand he held a long razor sharp scythe, whilst in the other dangled the skull pendant that had summoned him.
"I. Am. Dea-"
"HI GRIIIM!" She called obnoxiously and ran up and gave him a stupid-looking hug, immediately shattering the ominous aura surrounding the ancient reaper.
"Oh for de sake of all evil and darkness you intolerable child will you please just stop cramping me style?" Grim grizzled. Aurora's smile turned evil, and she pulled inwards hard, causing Grim to gasp as one of his legs detached at the knee. Vincent stared in mute surprise.
"Grim? The Grim Reaper? The original one that served Mom and Dad?" He asked hesitantly to which Grim gave a nod as his young master let him go, wherein he reached down to reattach the severed limb.
"I won him just yesterday in a game of scrabble. I won easy cause I know Irken words, and I have a dictionary to back them up." Aurora explained feeling pleased with herself. Her servant however didn't appear to be as optimistic about the situation.
"Oh joy of all joys. I'm enslaved to the same family I was a millennium ago. Do you little runts know how long it took me to get back my original power and prestige after Billy and Mandy wrecked it?"
"Grim, now I know that you've suffered under the ownership of your previous masters, and your pride doesn't like it that you've been reduced to a servant again." Aurora spoke to him with an even voice in an attempt to rationalise with him. "The thing you have to understand is that while I know and respect what you've gone through… I don't care."
Grabing him by the robe she yanked him down to eye level with her so she could scowl mercilessly into his eye sockets. "If you don't do exactly what I order you to then I will introduce you to a nightmare world of shrieking anguish and humiliation so extreme you will want to go back to serving Mom and Dad when they were kids. Do not underestimate my wrath, because I have a job to do. I'm building upon my Mother's vision. Are we clear minion?"
In that instant Grim saw just how much his old masters embodied the new. Her eyes possessed the same deep seated force of burning rage and domination that Mandy had in her youth, and had successfully combined it with Billy's optimism and her own veiled intelligence, and his ferocious cruelty. With that combination she was set to become something far more frightening than those two ever were. Despite his fear somewhere deep within he smirked. 'I think I could get used to dis.'
"Yes my master." He spoke humbly and sincerely. With that Aurora let him go, taking back her skull pendant.
"Hold on." Vincent spoke up. "Why would you go out and challenge Grim to a game all of a sudden? It doesn't make sense that you'd do it just for kicks."
His sister turned to face him with a smirk, a knowing gleam in her dark eyes. "You'll find out soon enough, as soon as Mom and Dad get back." Putting her pendant on over her head again she set out for a deeper level of the titanic structure. "Come on, Grim's gonna show me how to use the scythe."
Vincent and Grim shared a look as they watched her slowly envelop herself in the shadows, smothering them in an air of darkness her mother could only dream of when she was her age. Even at such an early stage in her life it was clear to all that she would destined to one day surpass and succeed them.
The orange sun continued on its path across the hazy sky over the capital megalopolis, the various clouds of dense material floating gradually across the sky as it came to midday, arriving at early afternoon, still without the Empire's rulers there to watch over their billions of subjects. Millions of people of all races and species bustled about amongst the giant mile high city, the lowlifes who thought only of themselves scurrying about below like rats while above them the honourable people went about their jobs with loyalty and diligence.
Eventually later in the afternoon many of these two types of people began to leave their jobs to go home. Among them was Xeek, piloting her Ford south towards her apartment complex.
Her first day had proven to be wonderful, magical, even if fraught with danger. She found herself surrounded by people just like her, if of widely varying background, and all showed her the respect they'd show a best friend. As for her job she had quickly proven to be more than adept at management. But what she had experienced of the two angels of vengeance this morning had inspired her, and as much as she loved her new job she already knew where she was going in years to come. Thus now she had a smile on her face as she cruised on home amongst the traffic, the looming monolithic fortress of their rulers visible to the front-right.
From behind her a lone red and silver skimmer rocketed in towards the flow of hovercars, slotting into the long line of vehicles, many of which moved to give it distance for fear of the dark aura it radiated out.
Xeek sensed something throughout her body, some level of her recognising what it meant as he antenna twitched in anticipation. 'Power. Authority. Revenge. Darkness. What is this?' Furrowing her brow she noticed the cars around her beginning to move away from her, their drivers sensing it too. Though part of her wanted to get away from the source of her fear as well, another greater side of her wanted to be a part of it, causing her to remain unmoving in her flight path.
Out of the corner of her eye she noticed a shape approaching up beside her. Instantly she knew it was the source of the powerful aura. Turning her head slowly, hesitantly to the right she saw her menacing new companion.
In the cockpit of the low sleek jet skimmer she made out two people, the one closest to her being a blonde haired woman. She could feel the power radiating from her like a firestorm, able to make out her low set face. Noticing she was being watched the woman turned to face her with focused onyx eyes. Xeek's blood froze momentarily in fear, before bit by bit her terror became replaced by a feeling of absolute reverence.
Smirking she dipped her head down in respect for the woman looking back. Watching her show of respect from within her skimmer the woman lowered her head in response, before the wraith of a machine turned and streaked away in a flash of blue jet trails, leaving a very happy Xeek chuckling darkly to herself behind them.
Soaring above the buildings towards the citadel the sinister red craft descended towards the base, a door in the top of the structure opening up to permit their entry. Piloting it in with ease the machine came down to park itself on three landing pads, several hundred machines lined up to greet it, watching on with cold malice as the doors opened up vertically. Stepping out into the docking bay Mandy of the Night strode down their ranks, a determined scowl set on her features as behind her the terrifying figure of the Prince Demons Billy followed her, smiling savagely to be back amidst their element as his eyes glowed a brilliant orange-red.
Passing the garrison by without issue they entered the elevator, riding it up in silence up to the top of the colossal fortress. Making their way out they passed by their throne room, twin seats suspended high above the floor, moving on towards their room. Entering the luxurious suite Billy sat back on the red sheets of the bed, watching as his wife made her way to the giant panoramic window.
Scowling darkly she set one fist up against the glass and looked out over her domain, musing quietly as she surveyed the power she held with satisfaction. All her life she had desired power over people, to enforce order, so people would live according to what they contributed to the world they lived in. And look at what they had accomplished. Her society ran like a well oiled machine. Few of the people who used to feed off the suffering of their fellow human beings ever put a foot out of line now. All of those people down there lived their entire lives in fear of her wrath. They obeyed her laws to the word out of their fear, the stress of her oppression never leaving them for an instant. Meanwhile those who contributed moved up in life, and took positions where they were most needed and best suited to, forming her society's important middle class. They all started with the same bountiful opportunities, schooled and trained for their lives, but it was up to them to decide how their lives were going to turn out, and it was the same even for those who had only recently become part of their society, refugees and the inhabitants of the worlds they now reigned over. It was just as she had wanted all her life; people had been bought to a level they deserved to live at on an individual level. There was finally justice. Her Empire was a powerhouse in both military and economy that ran like a clock, there was nothing else like it in all the worlds she had encountered, with an incredibly rich culture and history from their own past and that of the societies they had absorbed. It was equal parts utopian paradise and dystopian future-noir. She had bought people both moral and corrupt together and inspired and forced them to work together to forge all this, while her loyal soldiers and subordinates, the surveillance network and the computers that filtered through it all ensured that her control was well maintained, and any parasites pulled out and taken care of.
And yet as her youngest had made her realise not long ago, this was only the first step.
'In Endsville they spent their entire lives trying to drag the world down to below their level to cover up what they were inside, so we fed it all back on them. Now they can drown in the misery they've sown.'
"Heh heh heh heh heh…" She heard her husband chuckle. "You never get tired of that view do you?" Billy spoke behind her with a noticeable dark undertone.
"Have you?" She posed. "I thought you liked terrorising corrupt scum, tearing out all their hypocrisy and exposing all they are underneath." Billy gave a low chuckle in response, stepping up to embrace his wife from behind. Mandy's scowl melted slightly as he wrapped his arms around her slender waist, holding her close as they looked out over their empire.
"I couldn't imagine ever doing this without you." Mandy told him, prompting him to caress her waist softly. Leaning in he kissed her on the neck, a soft smile forming on her face.
"I adore you." He whispered in her ear. Turning around in his arms Mandy put her hands on his shoulders, closing the distance between them to kiss him. His presence bought on an intoxicating feeling of absolute bliss whenever she was with him, a feeling he shared with her. Smiling into the kiss she felt the warmth within her making her blush, Billy focussed completely on the softness of her lips and the gentle curves of her body in his hands. When finally they separated they faced each other, their faces flushed, their breath coming deeper as they nuzzled and held each other affectionately.
"Come on." Mandy spoke up at last. "The others will be waiting for us."
As they began to make their way to the bedroom door they were met with a knock on the other side. Pausing Mandy stepped over, opening it to find her son Vincent standing there with a soft smile. Her heart always melted when her children faced her like that. He made his way in and the two embraced each other in a hug.
"Hey Vince. How have you been?" She spoke with affection.
"I've been keeping busy. You have too many blind spots in your security network. I told you that we should try monitoring what each person sees." He spoke jokingly, turning to his father as he approached. The two embraced in a similar hug, Billy still managing to eclipse his boy in his arms even though they were both relatively lithe figures. Vincent had always looked up to his mother and father, and had tried to shape his life as best he could every step he took according to what they had taught him as a boy. He still considered himself a boy when he was with them, and he loved the feeling.
"You know that really is an excellent idea." Billy spoke as they turned to Mandy. "If the control brains could watch everything trough the eyes of our subjects it would make the current surveillance system obsolete. There would be no gaps." Vincent felt warm under his father's praise. His mother nodded in thought.
"I'll get to work on it. How is Gaz?"
"She's happy. I saw her just today." He spoke now stepping over to face her, and she sensed there was something important on his mind. "Actually that's the reason I came up here. After all you've done for me in making me who I am now I wanted you to be the first to know." He took his mother's hands as she looked to him with wonder, seeing him smile back at her with reverence.
"… Know what?" She stammered, watching as her son's eyes shimmered with tears.
"In about seven month's time, you're going to be a grandmother."
Mandy opened her mouth to gasp as a wide smile broke out over her face. Tear-filled sobs of joy escaped her as she nearly collapsed into his arms, Vincent's eyes overflowing with tears as she wrapped her hand around him and pulled him into her hold.
"Oh my boy! My baby boy!"
She cried as she held him tightly. Billy gaped in shock, a wide grin forming as on instinct he came towards the two, Vincent turning in his mother's arms to embrace him as well. Billy laughed softly with joy, unable to think of anything better to do as his wife cried with happiness.
"It gets better. It's a boy, and a girl."
Mandy cried out with joy as she kissed her son's forehead, before finally letting up, drying away the tears as they all calmed down.
"Twins, a boy and a girl, Vince you are so lucky." Billy spoke as the younger man turned to him. "I know from experience that you're going to make a perfect father, and Gaz will be such a loving mother. I'm so proud of you."
Vincent's heart came apart inside of him. With another stream of tears he buried his face in his father's chest as they held each other Mandy watching on with wet eyes and a smile. After another few moments Vincent and Billy regained their composure, where they set to the task at hand.
"I haven't told the other's anything yet. I'll tell them when we're all together."
"Alright." Mandy spoke. "Let's get this underway then."
Leading her husband and son back out of their room they walked through the long line of passageways towards the sculpted silver-grey doors of the dining hall, wherein she grasped the handles and pushed them both open, where they found everyone had already congregated waiting for them.
"Hey guys!" Sarah cried out as she literally fell from the ceiling to greet them, throwing her arms around her parents as they appeared in the doorway.
"Hello sweetheart. Hey Junior, how have you two been?" Her father spoke looking from her to her partner where he now stood from his seat on one side of the oval table.
"Oh he's cool. We went and had some fun with Red." She answered for him and sniggered. "He squealed like a piggy when we cut his bowels out, just like he did the other fourteen times."
"Thirteen. We disembowelled him with his own severed arm once and that doesn't count, remember?" Junior spoke up causing her to nod and her father to smirk.
"That's nice." He replied. Meanwhile their youngest Aurora stepped up to her mother's side, the two women looking to each other with respect as they gave each other a hug.
"How are you feeling?" Mandy asked her to which she shrugged.
"I'm okay. It's a big thing though. This is the first step towards our plan."
"Your plan." She corrected proudly. The girl smiled back at her.
"Sarah." Billy spoke with a heavier tone. "I heard on the ride over there that you had gotten involved with Vince's job. What was that I said about not going on any killing sprees?"
The auburn-haired maniac grinned sheepishly. "I'm sorry." She admitted with a smile, her father then giving her a wide smirk.
"Keep up the good work!" He responded, causing her to grin.
Embracing each of them one after another in a round of hugs and kisses they turned their attention towards the table. On one side sat Nergal and Tak, both only half conscious with their faces glowing like neon signs, and sharing a loving smile as they cuddled up next to each other. He knew what that meant, and he rolled his eyes. He recalled a rule about sitting at a table with Tak and Junior. If something was dropped and went under the table, it stayed there until they were gone. Aside from the lack of underwear they had a habit of doing inappropriate things while there were people in the room. On the other side Junior stood beside his chair, somewhat uncomfortable around his parents right now, with Sarah's seat on his right. In fact Tak and Junior were the only ones to occupy their side of the table.
Going over the seats they soon came upon someone they hadn't seen in a very long time.
"Hello Grim." Mandy spoke to the silently grizzled reaper.
"Ye don't seem real surprised to see me."
"That's because you're part of the plan." Aurora spoke up as she led the congregation towards the table. "We've got a job for you."
Settling down Billy and Mandy made their way to the head of the table at the other side opposite the doors, all present sitting down with them, with Tak and Nergal finally starting to pull themselves back out of their own little world on the right side of the table. Mandy remained quiet in thought as she surveyed her family and friends before her.
"It's been awhile since we were all together like this hasn't it?" She spoke to no one in particular. She looked to her son. "First, Vincent has something to share with us."
The group turned to the dark figure with the blonde hair. He smiled under their gaze. "Sarah, Aurora, I thought you should know now, in seven months time you're going to be aunties."
Sarah latched onto her brother's head squealing with delight. Aurora's eyes widened as she looked across to her brother.
"You mean, I'm gonna… have a nephew or niece?"
"Uhh actually…" Vincent wavered with the weight of his elder sister on top of his head. "… you're going to have both. Gaz is having a boy and a girl."
"EEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAA!" Sarah rubbed her face into his as he started to become concerned with what she might do. "Oh my god Vince! I is so happy for yoooouuuu!"
"Please stop suffocating me."
At last she got off, Vincent breathing heavily as Sarah stepped left past her husband to sit next to him and Grim near the end. Aurora beamed up at her brother with joy.
"Also Mom you might like to know the names we've chosen for them." He spoke again. Mandy looked to him intently as he smiled. "Phillip and Claire."
Mandy had to stifle crying at that. The names of her beloved parents opened her heart up, bringing her hands up to her breast to hold herself intact. She smiled at him.
"Thank you, my boy." She spoke softly, Vincent smiling contentedly back, before they finally set themselves to the task at hand, as all eyes went to the matriarch at the head of the table.
"Alright. Now you have all seen by now how our society has bought order to much of the physical world. There is still work to be done in places where cruelty and evil goes unpunished, and where noble hard-working people are exploited and not rewarded. You have seen the different states of people, those who care about the world they are a part of, and those who don't. Even Aurora here understands how the spirit and the soul can influence people for better and for worse." Mandy took a deep breath, trying to figure out what she needed to convey to those listening.
"For most of my life I have held the understanding that it was enough to make it so that the people, who for reasons of their own out of control ego, needed to cannibalise on everyone around them, should be restricted from doing so through the fear of incurring our wrath. And for most of my life I was right. Good people don't have to suffer here any more under those kinds of people. Now the ones who preyed on others are the ones getting preyed on. Now, except for a minority, they can't even try and drag another person down with words for fear of what will happen to them."
The people around the table understood perfectly. They had dedicated their lives to the cause of darkness, of bringing about the oppressive world they now lived in. Billy and Mandy the looked to Aurora in silence.
"But that's not good enough now."
Around the table many started to look at her perplexed and bewildered. What could she possibly be insinuating here?
"A few nights ago Aurora came to me with an idea, something that she had been thinking about for a few months. These people who feel that compulsive need to feed off the suffering of others, never quite satisfied with themselves, now that they can't take out their problems on other people they can only take it out on themselves. That means that a considerable portion of our population is suffering needlessly. Now I'm all for the torture and humiliation of those who have tone terrible things to people, like the Tallest, but after considering the fact that few of these people have ever done anything seriously wrong to anyone else I no longer find it acceptable that they can be left to slowly devour themselves, not when there is a way they can be shown the error of their ways and start to heal."
"Mandy…" Nergal spoke up while rubbing his forehead. "I'm not sure I understand. You are talking about reasoning with these people, when they have already proved time and time again to be completely unreasonable?"
"That's not what I meant at all." She responded, taking a deep breath and a pause again.
"… Now you all know how the gods created humanity in their own likeness, and how in turn humanity made the gods in their likeness, or something like that. We all know how that turned out don't we?" The powerful woman addressed them. "You've noticed how it's almost automatic that people seem to turn on each other. It is a part of their basic nature. And sadly once we go down the path of forsaking reason for an ego high there's little hope for coming back, and when we get there we suffer, and we make the people around us suffer. Now if the gods made humanity like that in their own image, then what does that say about the gods? Obviously the gods are just as corrupt as humans are, depending on the individual. Why else do you think they never lift a finger to protect those who are suffering, but will wipe out an entire civilisation of millions of people because they worship them by a different name, if not just for fun? As gods they had a duty of care over the people below them, and they have betrayed that duty. So far they've been allowed to twist and play with humanity like their toys without consequence. They've gotten away with what they've done simply because no one has been strong enough to take them on." She explained clearly, all the while her family listened intently.
"That's going to change soon." She continued, the significance of those few words pressing down hard on the congregation before them. "As we've seen time and time again, when a person becomes arrogant and conceited in their dominance they gradually become lazy and weak, and will ultimately loose the power that made them dominant in the first place. What do you think is happening down there right now? As time passed they've become so corrupted by their pride and their petty small-minded arrogance that by now they've lost most of their power. That's why there haven't been any more great floods or other earth shattering cataclysms caused by them since even before we came to power. They've become so removed from the rest of the world in their own realms that they simply don't bother anymore, and so they've lost the power that made them gods in the first place. And if you need something to back that up, just look at this."
With a flick of her slender hand the Golden Apple of Discord formed in her palm. Around the room they stared in shock. The apple had rotted through, its previous master having long abandoned the spark that kept it alive, choosing instead to get her fix off Billy and his daughter. She tossed it across the table towards Sarah who caught it in her hand. Looking at it now they watched as almost immediately it healed back to its original flawless state.
"You see that? Whereas the old gods weren't able to keep it alive we could." Mandy spoke as Sarah fingered the powerful object with wonder. It was perfectly suited to her destructive nature, and indeed its surface shone with a brilliance it never had with Eris. A thought struck her. Rising out of her seat she withdrew the Sorrow Sisters from her back. Whirling them in her hand she struck down as one on the apple. As she'd predicted the apple disappeared with a flash, Shock and Retribution taking on a golden shimmer as it bonded with her savage weapons, the blades now changing to form a jagged hook in the top edge. With a crazed smile she took her seat again, sheathing her swords away across her back as she returned to the matter at hand.
At this point Aurora stood beside her parents, and all eyes turned to the young Valkyrie with the dark, foreboding and charmingly cynical scowl.
"Regardless of what we do to contain the damage they have done, people are still hurting. Our people in our society are being damaged because they didn't do their jobs right. I do not accept this. I believe now that we have formed a stable base of operations over the past thousand years in the physical realm it is time we fixed the problem." Everyone in the room gazed at the suddenly very domineering and powerful young girl with respect as she scowled with focus and a dark fire through dark eyes.
"Why should they continue to go unpunished for the things they have done now that we're strong enough to challenge them? If we have the capability to do something about this injustice, this serious imbalance in the universe we inhabit, then we have the responsibility to do so. That is why I and went out and laid my own soul on the line to challenge Grim, taking him as my servant. He is a major figure in the underworld, and he knows about the more powerful beings we have to look out for, about the size and strength of their armies, and their weaknesses."
"Wait, you want me to rat out on dose maniacs? Are you insane! Mortals can't fight gods, we'll be crushed!" He cried out in alarm.
"Actually we want you to take a stand against something that is wrong and do your bit to fix it. They're demons and monsters Grim, not gods, they lost the right to be called gods long ago. Tell us what you know on them and then help us in the fight to destroy them." Aurora spoke up sternly to her subordinate, instantly putting him in his place.
Quietly Mandy felt an immense swell of pride inside as her youngest gave Grim a stare with the weight of a planet to oppose any form of refusal. She gave a smile that stretched from deep down.
"So what are you proposing we do?" Vincent spoke up from his seat beside his little sister, setting himself in a stern disposition at what he was hearing and looking to her intently with interest. He lived to serve his family in missions, and if what he was hearing was correct, then he would soon be facing something greater than anything they'd ever faced before. But he loved and respected his little sister. She inspired him. He would follow her lead anywhere and she knew it. For now the girl looked from him back to her mother, handing it over to the seasoned professional to handle for now. She would take over when the time came, but for now she was still a learner.
Mandy gave a respectful nod as she sat. As the elder woman now stood she surveyed her family once more with a hard scowl. Standing at the head of the table she saw how Vincent looked to her with cold focus, Billy and Sarah looking to her with destructive glee, Tak, Nergal and Junior looking at her with cool respect, Grim resigning to his fate once more as Aurora faced her with her own stern gaze, before she spoke at last.
"We are going to take over the underworld."
The solid, dependable conviction she felt was unmistakable in her words. Mandy obviously knew what she was doing, and how to go about doing it, and had clear confidence in their abilities to meet the challenge. She and her family were from the beginning a group of natural born leaders and rulers and warriors, with the indomitable spirit to face any threat head on, the cool, calm intellect to know when to tiptoe around and attack the rear, the ferocity and cruelty to strike terror into the most proud and conceited of their enemies, and the loyalty and consideration to others both to each other and of their combined soldiers and subjects, and everyone else that could feel the same things they did. Like all of them she embodied the power and control they each strived for in their own way, with the deep burning passion and inner drive for justice and revenge that fuelled the darkness deep down inside her soul. That darkness held a force that struck fear and inspiration into entire worlds across much of the physical universe, at least the one they inhabited. And yet after more than a thousand years they once again found themselves only at the beginning of their work. For millennia they had reigned over the Night, and now it was finished. Now was the beginning of the Dawn.
"We are going to take over all the levels of the underworld high and low, and we will defeat and get rid of the gods that have grown corrupt and have spread ruin throughout the universe, and preserve the ones that show the right way. Once that is done Billy and I, and other noble souls that can show the way for everyone else, will take their place. Then we will fix humanity, and all the races of all worlds. We will make it so that the ego can no longer corrupt and destroy souls like it can now. There will be evil, when people get frustrated and angry, and there will be mistakes, without evil there can be no good, but there will be no more terrible things done to people by other people that cannot be undone. There will be understanding, and forgiveness, and people won't have to suffer anymore because of their own loss of reason, because we will show them the way, and we will protect them, and care for them like everyone deserves to be cared for. And then we will move on to other universes, and we will be succeeded one after another in a never-ending cycle that brings order and peace to everything that exists."
The Empress' passionate speech left them all in silence. There were still questions to be answered however.
"But how can we honestly hope to go to war against the gods and succeed? They are just as powerful as we are, and there are so many afterlives with so many gods across so many societies and worlds and universes that it would take hundreds of thousands of years to defeat them all, if not millions, if ever." Spoke Nergal from his place by his wife. He was answered by a monstrous grin from Billy that bellowed of bloodlust, rage and darkness.
"They have become weak with the weight of their corruption, while we were bestowed the burden of their hubris. Their selfish arrogance feeds the darkness that burns within our depths. The pain and torment they have cast down on their subjects has made us stronger." He rose from the table, casting an ominous deep shadow over the congregation as he clutched his hand in rage and glee. "Our power stops the planets from turning. Our heartbeats make nations tremble with fear and the oppressed masses rise up and fight. The crust breaks under our feet. The wind and waves roar as one with our fury. Empires break and fall under our wrath. Each of us is a living calamity beyond everything they have ever inflicted on the world, and a vessel of mercy and justice that our people deserve to feel safe under. They created the plague that nearly destroyed humanity's humanity, and for it their world will burn in the flames of our revenge."
Around the table they smirked and smiled at the patriarch's powerful eruption of passionate anger and warrior fury. He looked to Sarah, seeing her smile back at him with burning eyes and a mouth full of shark's teeth the same as his own. They could each feel the desire to crush their enemies and destroy the liars and hypocrites that called themselves the gods rising from deep inside. They were the embodiment, the very source, of everything that made people twisted and corrupt and small-minded, and the problem had to be fixed.
"All the intolerance, arrogance, greed, cruelty and selfishness that people show each other comes straight down to us from them." Aurora spoke up next to her mother. "We've punished the people for their crimes, and we still suffer. Now it's the god's turn to face the consequences of their actions." She spoke with a focused and passion-filled voice, clenching her fist as her dark inner furnace flared and exploded inside her depths. "They've got a lot to answer for, and we're gonna be the ones to make them answer for it."
"Just tell me what I can do." Vincent spoke in a cold voice with a deadly gaze.
"LET'S KILL EM ALL! AAAHAH HAH HAH HAH!" Sarah spoke with a maniacal grin, whipping out her twin blades once more ready and eagre for battle. Turning to her husband sitting beside her she awaited his answer.
"With you? How could I refuse?" Junior spoke up earning a smile from Sarah. Turning to the next two they focussed on Tak and Nergal as they sat to the side.
They turned to face each other questioningly. "Well sweetheart, what do you think?" Nergal asked her, his suave mixed European accent still prevalent in his voice after all the centuries together.
"Well…" Tak paused in thought. "We have to make sure everything's worked out in the Irken territories first cause they're still recovering from the war. It shouldn't take too long to get those disgusting little horrible things under control and have everything in order. That will also give us time to build up our forces ready for our devastating attack." Concluding her thoughts with images of destruction and triumph over people with egos a thousand times greater than her Tallest she smirked and sniggered in response. "Nyeheheh. The Irken Domain is at your service."
"As are the Nergal demons. We've destroyed worlds at your side before, and we will continue to destroy all that stands against us." Nergal replied. "When everyone else shunned and hated us for being different, you and your family embraced us as one of your own. For that we will serve you until the very end."
Mandy's stern scowl softened, lowering her features as a small smile of gratitude flashed across her face. "Thank you. All of you." Returning her gaze to the assembly she narrowed her gaze on Grim as he sat off to the side looking around anxiously. "Well Grim? Can we count on you to serve us with loyalty like you did last time?"
"M-Mandy… Billy… Aurora…" He stammered nervously, all eyes on him. "I-I can't! Though dey're not as powerful as they used to be dere are millions of gods spread across millions of afterlives, and dat's fer this universe alone. How can you possibly… expect to win out through all dis?"
As he spoke he frowned and tried to clear his vision. A funny thing had just happened. For a brief moment he could have sworn he had seen a series of black and white crystalline wings emerging out of everyone gathered before him, but before he could focus any attention on them the mysterious illusions were gone, with nothing to say they had been anything but his imagination.
"Because we share something the gods have long since forgotten all about Grim." Mandy spoke with a knowing air of wisdom and experience. "We're a family, we love each other. We're part of the whole while they are individuals who have alienated everyone around them. You told me long ago that it was pointless to try and break away from those you love because it weakens you. You were right all along."
Looking out over her family and friends gathered around her she remembered just how far they had all come together. "Thank you for telling me what I needed to here. If not for you all this could never have been achieved. What the gods don't understand anymore is that by banding together with the people you love and lead you hold a power greater than the sum of its parts. In their arrogance they have forgotten about caring about those around them, and we are going to show them their mistake. We will make them regret it. And when we take their place we will change people to the way they were supposed to be all along. Together we will finally cure the world of corruption."
"But…" Grim hesitated. "Are you sure?"
"On our own… no. But we are not alone." She spoke finally, putting his fears to rest.
Looking out over her beloved family she silently thanked that she had seen reason all along, and that her husband had chosen her as the one he wanted to spend his life with. Turning to her left she faced him as he looked back upon her. He smiled to her, taking her hand in his softly under the table, the two looking out over their family and friends. Mandy's now light heart melted once more, a soft smile coming to her lips as she gazed over the loves of her life.
"Don't worry. I know we can."