Mitais took out a glass pipe. It had a large bulb with a small hole at the top. Mitais took a small parcel of white powder out and poured it down the neck of the pipe. He took out a lighter and put the flame underneath the pipe. He twisted it side to side as the powder began to melt into a noxious brown liquid and then as it turned into a white smoke he inhaled the chemical. It gave him a mild rush as the nerves accompanying any major job like this always gave him. He passed it to Quan who declined. Knowing better than to offer it to his other comrades he put the pipe back into his jacket. It had been 2 years since Quan had left Randor to join Mitais in his guild. Quan was a beast in battle even if in peace he returned to being a man. Quan was a werewolverine after Mitais had turned him into one to save his life during a battle with an elder demon. Quan had served as Mitais apprentice during this time. He still did not have a real conception of what the Guild was other than they were assassins of course The senior members possessed supernatural powers and were vastly skilled at their jobs. Quan knew that as an assassin progressed he was augmented both through technology and magic. Even Quan had already begun to receive treatments that pushed his already prodigious strength, speed and regenerative abilities to another tier. Microscopic machines, called nanytes had been placed in his blood making stronger and hardier than before. Two years ago Quan would not have been able to breathe the nitrogen thick air of Garm, the planet they were on. Quan had been followed Mitais on over a dozen assassination since he joined the Guild. However this one was different. This time they were going after a God.
The client, Coldin, was a shaman who had been off world when Ashanti came to this world known as Garm. He had just finished hunting a chimera and had sat down with his comrades by the fire when he received a message from his son. His son had poisoned himself and with his final moments informed Coldin Ashanti was taking over their minds. Already his brothers had slit their own throats to avoid domination and the rest of Coldin's family had already succumbed to her message of peace and harmony. Coldin had spent the last 16 years acquiring the finances to pay the Guild. He'd walked into their office last week and said Ashanti has ruffled me and stripped me bare of my loved ones. My son's life will be paid for like any free mans. His will be paid in blood. That had begun the mission. Besides Quan and Mitais two other assassins had been assigned to this mission. Both were high ranked assassins like Mitais. Coldin's people the Guegin were a blue skinned humanoid race with four arms, curled horns adorning their head that grew larger with age and blue skin.
For tens of thousands of year the people of Garm had been at war with one another. They had been a brutal warlike people whose tribes fought one another as much for glory as anything else. The Goddess had come to their world unannounced and had sought to bring peace to it. She did so forcibly by altering the thought patterns of its inhabitants and teaching them to live in harmony with one another. Now the world was at peace and a golden age of prosperity had descended upon it. Their client was not happy about that once bit. He wanted his revenge but most of all he wanted his people to return to the age of strife, which had brought his people, honor for millennia Coldin had bit hard down on his pride to hire the Guild. However he knew that he had no hope against a god.
Quan knew that Mitais had pushed hard to let Quan come along on this mission. Mitais simply wanted him to have the experience but his role in this mission would be di minims. He simply was there to observe and perform errands if asked to. There were four of them in all. All of them were disguised as natives for the time being. However the others typically were as human as Quan or Mitais.
Nigel was a slightly short middle-aged man with piercing blue eyes. He wore a three-piece suit and a bowler hat
. He had wavy brown hair that was turning gray and slightly crooked teeth. He had a walking cane carried a sword cane inside and a gold pocket watch dangled from his suit jacket. He was the senior man by far having been in the Guild for many millennia.
Gaston was a portly man wearing a large suit wearing an oversized top hat and suit and overcoat. He rarely spoke to Quan. At first Quan thought it was out of dislike at first. Then Mitais informed him Gaston was blessed or cursed depending on your perspective with the ability to perceive literally everything that was around him from the smallest atom to the dimensional ripples that most others could not perceive. The constant information flowing into his mind kept him preoccupied.
They walked through the city were Ashanti resided. The city was filed with peaceful happy natives. To happy all had a slack jawed wild smile on them. Opened were schools of natives discussing philosophy and literature. Men that should have been busy preparing for war were busy discussing the merits of a prori morality. As they walked, Quan did not see a single conflict. There was a certain artificial beauty to seeing hundreds thousands of beings living in complete harmony. As they approached Ashasnti's temple they planned on blending in to the crowd. They all had blades poisoned with the venom of the Midgard snake. Venom so potent that it would kill even a god.
There were field of wild wheat growing there and vines and among the trees were maples surrounding the temple. Thousands of slack jawed peasants were singing a harvest song. At dusk they stopped what they were doing and Thousands of worshippers surrounded Ashanti bearing long sticks bearing religious runes.
The four blended in to the crowd and made their way towards Ashanti. They came upon Ashanti's temple. It was a giant building molded by Ashanti from a single mountain of white marble. Walls were draped in tapestries woven from multi hued samite. Columns and arches adorned the place and yet despite its grandeur it exuded a simple quiet grace and beauty.
Ashanti appeared from Quan's eyes to be a beautiful yet matronly woman.
Mitais looked at Nigel and Gaston and said "we are in trouble". Nigel replied I know that's not a regular god. She's old and radiates power. Someone screwed up the intellegince for this job. We should have at least forty assassins for something like this. Let's see if we can leave without her detecting us. This is far to big of a job for just the three of us."
Quan whispered to Mitais "Seriously we're going to run. She dosen't seem that tough certainly nothing not compared to Draith and you beat him on your own?" Mitais replies "Many a fine skin hides a wicked power. I forget you can't see like the rest of us yet. See through my eyes." Mitais placed his hand on Quan's shoulders and Quan viewed the Goddess as she really was. A harsh pale light surrounded her. Here true form was that of a massive serpentine creature that spread out in 5 dimensions for thousands of miles. But even that was just what his mind could process. She shone a alien light and form so alien as to beyond human comprehension. She was something that Quan wasn't ready to see something not meant for merely mortal eyes like Quan. Quan shut his eyes shuddered in horror and awe. Mitais looked at him and said "now you see why we are worried? Draith nearly killed me and he was nothing compared to whatever the Hell she is" Ashanti looked at them and said "children we have guests". Instantly their disguises dropped and they returned to their normal forms. Reality became more solidified. Teleporting out was no longer a option.
Nigel spat out "I guess you made us Goddess:. Thousands of her followers began to approach them. As the army grew near the greater they appeared and they turned the religious sticks turned into makeshift weapons that shone like a field of broken ice.
Nigel said "might as well get rid of the cannon fodder and get to business. Nigel unfurled his mind and reached out with his power. He grabbed the reins of causality and space and focused. All around the four time sped up. In an instant his domain spread out all around the crowd. A second became a thousand years and the Goddess's followers fell to the ground and turned into dust.
Ashanti screamed "Why?" You were just coming for me. Nigel spat. I'd rather be dead than a slave and if we fail that's what they'll continue to be.
Ashanti says "I knew you were here since the moment you arrived I let you walk around my world to see how happy they are. Before I came they made war upon each other now they live in peace. Why don't you just leave us to our happiness or better yet join us? Nigel responded "We were paid".
Mitais had had enough of all this posturing He said "What in God's name gives you the right to try and make these people Happy? For tens of millennia these people have fought and died as men in their wars. You break into a sovereign people's home like a thief in the night and think to be cheered. In exchange for what? So they can have philosophy and thought? Before you arrived for them, the great struggle was won. They had evolved a society which knew no stress or angst. Who are you to change them? After your meddling they think themselves scholars and ache for answers to questions that before they wouldn't even bother to ask. You saw a culture that was strong and called it wicked.
Ashanti replied how tragic that you are in so much pain you can't see I've helped these people
Gaston finally spoke "Let's kill this bitch" and it began. Quan and Mitais leaped to opposite sides of Ashanti. Pulling out pistols loaded with antimatter rounds they took fire. Quan transformed into his lycanthrope state. Instead of taking minutes, he could now transform in a second. His clothing were enchanted to meld into his body as he changed. He stood their a 10 foot tall hybrid of wolverine and man adorned with razor sharp fangs and talons. Broad powerful muscles flexed under his coat of fur. In any normal situation he would have been the center of strenghth, strong enough to route a 100 men alone. Standing in a battle between immortal assassins and a Goddess he was simply in the way. He fired his pistol at Ashanti without much hope of success. Meanwhile, Gaston took to the air flying. He pulled two giant rail guns out of his overcoat and took flight. Nigel simply stood there bending reality to his will as he prepared to strike.
Ashanti says "it will be alright soon. I'll take away your pain." As everyone fired a shield of coruscating golden energy enveloped Ashanti. Giant tendrils of golden energy emerged from Ashanti. She glowed as pure as the Sun a brilliant powerful Goddess that would not be denied.
Gaston was moving at supersonic speeds at fired thousands of rounds out of his rifle even as he dodged the first tendril that propelled itself at him. Even the occasional round that passed her shields simply bounced off Ashanti or at best left a light scratch. The Golden energy blocked both Quan and Mitais's rounds.
Quan was the first to be captured. The golden tendril of light flew at him and bound him. He tried to escape by turning into a human then a wolverine. But the energy kept surrounding him, Ashanti went into his mind and Quan quickly succumbed to her ministering as he saw the world destined for peace and worship of Ashanti.
Realizing that his rail guns rounds were ineffective, Gaston dropped his rail guns and pulled large bazooka out of his overcoat from a pocket too small to have conceivably fit it. He fired a rocket of contained antimatter at Ashanti. The shaped charged had enough force to destroy a city. It barely rocked Ashanti. However, this gave Nigel the opening he needed though. He collapsed the space between him and Ashanti to several inches and pulled the sword cane out of its scabbard. The sword was coated in the venom of the Midgaard Snake and its poison would kill even a goddess. He struck and pierced Ashanti's heart. She smiled and reality fell apart as she distored it with her will. The blade and its poison flew out of her out of her. Here tendrils chased after Nigel. Nigel quickly made the space between them a thousand miles as her tendrils came flying after him. He made right angles were there had been straight lines and continued to make the space between them grow. Then the tendrils got faster. Nigel created a literal maze of angles in what had just been a straight line. The tendrils still came after him. Even as a million miles separated them the tendrils moved at the speed of light, hundreds of them and he was trapped.
Even as Gaston twirled like an acrobat through the sky raining down thousands of rounds in order to distract Ashanti as Mitais tried to make a desperate charge. Even as Mitais charged with blade in hand he knew he was caught. The tendrils of light trapped him and he was placed by Quan. Only Gaston remained he dodged thousands of tendrils. Finally Ashanti changed tactics. She made the aura that surrounded her expand exponentially in all directions. It moved to fast for Gaston to run away from and he was trapped.
Ashanti quickly began to break down the mental barriers of the three. Gaston broke first yielding to her message of peace and happiness. Nigel stood there feeling Ashanti trying to probe his mind and he fought with unyielding rigor. Mitais encouraged him as they both fought but ultimately she was a God and they were still just men. Nigel fell and succumbed to Ashanti.
Mitais was trapped in Ashanti's embrace, she began to breakdown the mental barriers Mitais had spent millennia erecting. In the end she was a god and Mitais for all his strength was just a man. She began to consume his pain. Ashanti began to feed on his pain as she had feed on billions before. Vile petty hurts began to flow from Quan. Banal pathos several orders of magnitude more intense than anything Ashanti had ever seen flowed. Strangely they were not an immortals pain. No grandiose plans foiled or world left unconquered. They were the typical common pains of any mortals just intensified. Ashanti thought she saw a memory with Mitais holding flowers and a young women laughing at him. Regret, forlorn dreams and lost ambitions filled Ashanti. Petty self-hatred mixed in with angst was greater and more importantly more intense than the entire pain of Garm when she had conquered it. She tried to stop but it was not in her nature to stop feeding after she had begun. Old wounds began to open and flood her senses, memories of unrequited desires and shattered dreams kept flowing into her. He'd been the worst to the one he loved the most and had spent millennia lamenting it. He'd betrayed his dearest brother for the greater good and hated himself for it. No wonder he would not submit to her. In all her millions of years she never encountered such self-hate. Here was a mortal that by all rights should have been insane or have committed suicide. The pain consumed Ashanti and it became her own. She dropped to her knees and wept unable to control herself. The tendrils fell away from Mitais. He screamed out "Hail, horrors, I greet thee! What could you know of a man's sublime pathos when you have never even been human bitch" He took out his blade coated with the Midgard snakes venom and gutted her through the stomach. Leaving the knife in, he sneered at her. She didn't have the control to distort the blade this time. The poison clung to her soul and dispersed through the thousands of miles and five dimensions her body occupied leaving her a withered corpse. The pale golden light began to slowly fade and died in a prismatic cascade. Darkness fell for those who could see.
Within a few minutes the forced harmony upon Garm broke down. It started with a dropped glass and a shove. Within a year Coldin would have his wars back.
The others came to quickly with Mitais's prodding.
. Quan ask what happened.
Mitais wasn't quite ready to tell his student all his secrets yet so he lied and said No matter how impossible it may seem, Fate must find someone to work through. Whatever happens is meant to happen. Today I was simply its vessel. Beyond that there is no answer." Quan nodded thoughtfully
Mitais god Quan believes anything I say. Bitch didn't know what was inside of me and she paid the price.
Nigel and Gaston understood what happened and both wondered what had happened in Mitais past to create sorrow that had driven a 100 million year old goddess insane with grief. They knew better than to ask. It is a man's right to carry his own cross after all.
Mitais took out his glass pipe. He lit a fire under the bulb and twisted it side to side as the smoke began to billow out. He took a large hit of the noxious substance and inhaled slowly. As he exhaled a billowing white cloud of smoke he waited for the numbness to creep in. He didn't feel a damn bit different. She had made him remember to much at once. He smashed the pipe on the ground and said, "Fuck that bitch for dredging all that crap up. Let's find a bar brothers". The four took to the rift between dimensions with women and mead on their mind.