Throttle of Metal ~ Chapter Two: Melody of Memories
Twenty years and Nine months earlier
"My lady, please don't go in there!" The warfather said through the other side of my door. "She will poison your thoughts and mind. I beg you my empress."
"Enough of this! I demand to see her." The emperor threaten the warfather, "Move now or I'll kill you where you stand."
I heard the father about to protest, but with a sigh, he moved away from the door. Then, I heard the empress knocking at my door.
"Come to gloat I see." I said with a hint of hatred in my voice.
"I just want to talk. Let me in, please."
I sighed, "I don't want to, but I cannot deny my emperor." I heard nothing but a sigh, then I stood from my mirrored desk and move toward to open the door. And, there stood my emperor, the White-Winged Death, Succoria. She stood there about seven feet tall, wearing her wings , which made her infamous within the Tainted Coil, around her like a body fitting cloak with a small, white, hooded cape with the symbol of the Coil on the back. We would have been the same height, but instead of hooves, I had four spider-like legs.
"Can I come in?" She said with a touch of worry in her voice. "I just want to talk."
"But-"Started the father behind her, before Succoria and I both delivered a glare that could skin a whale. Scared and powerless, the father bowed to the both of us and slumped back around the side of the door frame.
"So, what is so important that the emperor herself had to come all the way down from her high throne to talk to me about?"
"Stop playing around. You know fully of what I want to talk about."
Yesterday, I announced to the rest of the faction that my followers and I were leaving the Coil. Normally, they all would laugh at us and threw us in jail to await our 'punishment' for heresy. But, two things were different that day. The first was yesterday was the crowning ceremony for the new emperor, Succoria. And second, it was because of who I am. Just like how Succoria was called 'The White Winged Death', I too had a nickname, The Demon Temptress of Fate. I had the power to 'Tempt' the emotions and fate of others to my will. It wasn't because I'm one of the strongest in the coil, but it was the mystery of my powers. Only a small few had seen my powers at work, and, just like a pebble thrown in a still lake, ripples of gossip only magnify the mystery and began to cause fear throughout the rest of the coil, and eventually, across the land. "I told you about it before. It was just a matter of time."
"I thought you were only dreaming." She began to protest.
"Well, I wasn't!" I said with a stern look of determination.
She sighed, as she looked around my so-called 'web'. Instead of the leather straps and torture racks hanging off the walls like every high demon had in there room, the walls had silky, dark purple pieces of cloths draped around. A web-like chandelier hung from the center of the room with clear crystals hanging on at just the right places where the light from the window would brighten the entire room. My desk is made out of the same crystals with lines of metal running through it like a spider's web. And a door near my bed to lead down to a good sized room for purposes of the future.
"Well, can I, at least, make it up to you?" She asked with an apologetic tone in her voice. Ever since we were chosen to be generals for the Coil, we went from being rivals at everything to like sisters.
"If it would make you feel better, go ahead."
As soon as I finished my sentence, she turned back to door frame and signaled her warfather to bring something from the hallway. Then, I heard the banging of chains against the hallway floor. The warfather, with chains in hand, entered my room followed by a group of human slaves.
"Pick as many as you need."
"What is the meaning of this!?" I said with a startled tone.
"Just some human slaves." She said, like it was a normal thing.
"I do not approve of this! You, out of all people, should know my views on this! They are people, not savages that you can just chain up and shoved into cages!"
Succoria looked at me like I just broke her new toy. With surprised murmurs within the group of humans, she looked at them like they were a secret that was just revealed. The humans never heard of a demon standing up for them against the emperor herself.
"I know how you feel about the humans. At least look at them and take a few in as servants, not slaves."
If it was anyone else standing there and said the same thing, I would kill them on the spot. "Humph. Ok, I'll take a few because we are friends."
I walked around the group of humans, both men and women, young and old, healthy and sick. I grabbed the arms of three young men and took them aside. Then, I saw the worst thing I thought I wish I would never have seen: A small child, about five or six years old, with tears of sorrow in her eyes, holding on to her little stuffed bear with a death grip. "It's going to be alright, little girl. I'm not going to hurt you." I whispered, kneeling to her. As I was reaching down to help guide her to the others I put aside, she flinched. "I want my mommy and daddy." She whispered, quietly crying. I rose up a little to see both Succoria and the warfather checking at the other slaves, taking notes as they inspect the rest of the group. I crouch back down, in front of the little girl. "I'll take you in, for now. And then, tonight, when everyone else is asleep, I will take you to your parents."
"Do you promise?" She asked, sniffling. With a little wink, I kissed her forehead and cleared her tears. "Cross my heart. Now, what is your name?" She hugged me with renewed hope, as I guided her to the others. "My name is Jessica." She said with small tears of hope watering her eyes before wipe them off on her sleaves.
As I finishing looking at the rest of the group, I noticed a man. He looked like he was carved from stone, with long wavy hair, and bulky arms. He didn't make any kind of notion as I walked past him, not even a wince. With the scars on he's arms and the ones on his face; he looked like he just survived a war. So, I asked him to move over to where I told the little girl and the young men, and all he said with a bow of his head. "Yes, mistress."
Mistress? I like the sound of that. As I was about to turn to Succoria satisfied with my choices, I heard a voice, "Excuse me, my mistress."
I turned back around and saw him. The man was bowing down to me, and with a gentle nudge to stand, he lifted up and sent a surge of emotion that ran right though me and caused me to blush. Everything about him looked average: his height, his hair, his body. But, something was amiss with him, like he didn't belong here, not just on this island but at this time. "I beg you, mistress. Take me with you!" the man said with a worry in his voice. Confused by these emotions, I continue to blankly stare at him. "A-alright. Go, stand with the others." I know I don't like using lesser beings as slaves, but I have never felt this way about one before. I just feel something. As that strange man walked over to the others, Succoria, with a devilish grin, looked at me like she discovered a secret.
"And I see that you got yourself a little plaything, didn't you?" she said, with curious glint in her eyes.
"What- no I didn't! It just a feeling, that is all."
"Riight. Well, without a further to do, I will take my leave." She said, as she turned to leave my room, taking the rest of the humans with her. As she was closing the door, she poked her head in and said with a wink, "Just remember: Don't have too much fun!"
Sigh. I turned around to the slave- I mean humans and said, "Well, as you can see, I'm not like the others in the Coil. But, that doesn't mean I will not go easy on you and I will kill you if you are not too careful. Now then, before we are to do anything, all of you will need a bath." And boy, do they! From the crusted mud on their feet and legs and the lingering, sweaty odor coming from where the group was standing, I guess they took them from the main land and made them walk all the way to the shore. I make my way to my closet that was close to my desk and I pulled out some servant clothing made from my own spider silk for all of them.
I opened the door near my bed to show them to the showers and their beds. The room at the bottom of the stairs slowly shifted to a long hallway with a giant wash room. Each room only had a pile of hay toward the back wall of the room with only a small window to let in enough light to see in the room. "Here is where all of you will stay."
"We don't even get any beds? And here we thought you like the humans." Said one of the younger men with a smirk. "I said I'm not like the others. Luxury is a privilege, not a right. You want beds? Prove to me that you deserve beds. Now, I suggest you all wash up. I will not have any of my servants dirty."
As the group of the humans slowly makes their way to the respectable sides of the wash room, I barred little Jessica's way and said, "No point to have a wash alone. Come with me." I take her by the hand as I lead her back up the stairs and back to my desk where I keep my maps. "Show me where your parents are on the map and I'll come up with a plan to take you back to them."
Hesitantly, Jessica pointed just a little north of the metal spider's forest, in the mountains. I have heard stories of a village of people who lived with the metal spiders, dog-sized spiders with metallic exoskeletons that is said to come from the corpse of the great fire beast, Ormagöden himself. "I'm so sorry that you were taken so far from your home." I found so much sorrow for this child, and tears began to form in my eyes. I wipe them away with a piece of my silk I have laying on my desk. "Why don't we go and get washed, huh? I maybe a demon, but to tell you the truth…" I looked up at the door to the servant's chambers. "I'm kind of scared of the boys here. What about you?" Jessica looked at me, confused at first but then smiled and shook her head 'yes'. "Alright then, until we get you home, we girls will have to stick together." With a smile on her face, I guided Jessica back down to the wash room helped her with her bath.
When Jessica and the others left the wash rooms, wearing the outfits I gave to them, they saw the hallway was turned into a dining hall with a long table with enough food to feed them for a week. I stood from the farthest end of the table from them. "You can't go to bed without a full stomach. Eat as much as you need, for tomorrow, the real work begins." I saw the look on Jessica's face. Complete amazement. Just with that look from her alone, it took all the sorrow I had from earlier. Everyone else took their seats; Jessica sitting so close to the left of me that she was practically sitting in my lap, the man with the battle scars sat the farthest away from everyone like he was brooding about something, while the one-that-is-out-of-place was also alone for I saw got a plateful of food and took it back to he's room to eat.
By the time everyone was full and back in their rooms fast asleep, the room changed back to the hallway from earlier. I went back upstairs to get ready for tonight's get-a-way when I heard a familiar knocking at my door. "Enter." I whispered making sure that the other servants didn't wake up. It was my personal warfather, Panagron.
"All the preparations are set, my lady. Are you sure you want to go through with this? If anyone finds you releasing a human back on the main land, they will have your head for this, especially what you did this morning." Said the old warfather, leaning in from the hallway keeping a lookout while I finish getting ready.
"I've made a promise and I tend to keep it. Besides, I may have a possible base for my followers." I finally set up a bag for Jessica with some food and a blanket, with both the bag made from the same silk. "At least take a weapon with you, Mistress."
"You worry too much. The only weapon I need is right here." I patted at my violin, DeS'tiny, in a mini-cocoon like bag I'll wear around my waist with the bow in a sheath on my hip. The strings from both the violin and bow were said to be made from the vocal cords of Ormagöden, believed to still have the fire beast terrible roar within the notes play with it and sharp enough to rival Succoria's axe, The Separator. The violin itself is an amplifier for my powers so I can do a more group targeted 'temptation'.
"If you insist, my mistress. But, if I may, suggest some type of disguise. I think you would do more harm than good to show up in your current attire." He said, while his body language was gesturing to all of me.
Looking at myself in the mirror at my desk, I figured that I look more demonic than anyone else. Normally, the demons in the Coil have a twisted humanoid figure with normal legs or legs like a goat. Whereas I have six thin spider like legs, I stand on four of them where the other two, I use them to help me balance with my abdomen. Unfortunately, my skin has a faint purple hue to it. Even among my own kind, I am a freak. Luckily, I can 'suck in' certain parts of my anatomy to look more human. I tried to compact my four legs in a single pair of human-like legs. I quickly wrap them up in my silk, making me look like I'm wearing faint white stockings. To help match my legs, I made a pair of gloves enough to cover my arms up just past my elbows. Then, just like I did with my legs, I tried to shrink my abdomen enough to look like I have a normal backside for a human female. As I finish my disguise with my black hooded cloak, I walk down into the servant's quarters to get Jessica ready for the trip. When I got to her room, I saw that she was still in her straw bed with her stuffed bear. "Jessica? Hey, wake up, honey. It's time to take you back to your family." She at last rose up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. "I'm ready." She said, with a yawn. I got her up from the bed and helped her with her backpack of supplies.
"Now remember, we cannot make any sound while we go through these hallways." She nods in approval, still in a light daze from waking up. I took in hand as I power walked us back up the stairs before saying one last goodbye to my warfather. With a flash, I put Jessica on my back and began to run down the hallway with dizzying speed. Even with the silk stockings around my legs, I can still run just as fast, if not faster than normal. When we arrived in the great hall of the castle, I spotted a small group of guards patrolling the hall just as I quickly in the shadows in the hall. I waited for the patrol to walk the farthest away of the main entrance. When it was clear, I took off like a sudden gust of wind. The sun was setting when we finally reach the outside. I finally made it to the docks and found the little boat Panagron had secured for me. When I lowered sleeping Jessica in the boat, I got in and pulled out DeS'tiny and began to play a quiet but forceful piece. I learned that if I subtly play it, I can use it to help push me across water. As I play, I began to make the water to 'pull' the boat to the main land. When we were far enough where my music can't be heard from the island, I played louder and louder to make the boat increase the speed to a point it was like I was running across the water. As I spotted the shore of the main land, I slowly began to play with ease enough where the boat was losing speed. With a soft thud, we had made it to the main land. I carried the sleeping Jessica on my back in a small cocoon. After getting both the supplies and Jessica, I heard one of the scouting parties of the Coil making their rounds of the coast. I took in the air of the salty ocean behind me and took off running on the trail that leads to the Lair of the Metal Spider Queen, while dodging stray Coil patrols.
A/N: Sorry about not posting this sooner. It took a lot longer than i expected. Remember: please comment/rate/review. It will help dearly.