Folie à Plusieurs V. Crane I

It’s a very strange matter of affairs, to say the least. However, being a superhero is far less remarkable than any of my preconceived expectations. Eighty percent of my time has been spent in training, or just lulling around our “headquarters”. No one plans operations there, at least as far that I can tell. I spend a good deal of time just kinda staring at walls and thinking. I really haven’t even gotten to slam anyone around since I had attacked the police station. That had been fun. It had been me against everyone else, and I loved it. I had taken them by surprise and though at the time, the group was operating at the same level as a limbless down-syndrome baby, I still enjoyed what I considered a victory. No one else looked back on that with as much joy as I do, but in my eyes, I won. That being said, I had come to appreciate my friends, well, most of them. I try to keep to myself, enough to avoid some people but not enough to come off as a pretentious fuck, hopefully.

Anyway, I’d become remarkably bored again and had decided to take a walk through the lovely, crime-ridden back alleys that make up our city. Although I was free from most of the demonic influence, the mask still left me with….cravings. I have not told anyone in the group yet, but I fear that some of them are catching on. Zeta, Exile, and Apollo.  Exile knows demons, Apollo knows people, and Zeta knows bloodlust. Mirage…  she’s clueless.  We’ve been sleeping together for two weeks, and she doesn’t even know that I control her access to my mind.  That being said, she’s not a bad lay.

In order to relieve the more violent desires, I’ve been killing criminals in the streets, even minor thieves. My major concern is that these forgettable criminals are becoming harder to find, and if uncontrolled, my desires could lead to, well unfortunate interactions with civilians. I have seriously begun to consider starting small crime circles, like a drug or sex trade, just so I can get by another week. In fact, I had begun acting upon those thoughts using the SVRA resources, only to discover…  well, nothing, yet.  Glimmers of the trails of half-glimpsed things.

Anyway, I took a right at the old Stanford building and walked into the large parking lot that was in the shadow of the 30-story building. However, there was something different about the lot today. It was that there wasn’t a car in the entire lot, in fact, there wasn’t much of a parking lot left. Massive pillars of metal, stone and cement were sticking up out of the ground, a real concrete jungle. I felt as if I had just stepped into an ancient forest, frozen in stone, combined with a futuristic recreation of where the dinosaurs might have lived.

Unfortunately, I knew that structures of this nature were likely not extreme works of modern art or rapid geological expansion, but the elaborate set up of some villanous metahuman. I also realized that I had been standing still for much too long, and would likely be experiencing a great deal of pain in the next few seconds.

Almost on cue, a spear of metal erupted from the ground. I managed to blunt its impact with a rapidly produced ice shield, but was still sent flying several yards into the air. I hit the ground hard, and as a shifted my weight and sat up I saw a figure approaching. He had long, stringy, black hair, no shirt, sweat pants, and a large, round amulet on his chest. As fast as I could, I hopped back onto my feet. My mask crawled over my face.  With the feeling of greeting an old friend, I covered myself in shadow. The chaotic feeling of power surged through my entire body. Ice crystals started to form around my left hand, and I could hear the electricity crack and snapple in my right.

“Hello there, Conan! Isn’t it a little cold to go au naturel?” I asked giddily, ignoring the horror movie sound of my speech.

“Silence, demon. I am known as Ronin, and I have come here to wipe your vile stain off of this planet.” With this declaration, the earth at his feet surged forward and a massive pillar of stone exploded under my feet. To avoid another embarrassing injury I flipped backwards and landed, standing, on one of the Stanfords building’s windows as one would stand on the sidewalk.

“Ooooooooh, a new elemental power to add to my collection.” I paused, trying my best to make sure he could see my smirk. “ Now, Ronin. It is Ronin, right? I would recommend you make peace with whatever you believes governs your existence, as I’m not planning on letting you leave…  in one piece, at least, if I’m feeling merciful.” With that, I flicked my left hand and sent a twenty foot shard of ice soaring at his head. With surprising speed, he pulled out a katana, jumped to the side and sliced my shard in half, then turned and disappeared into the stony maze.

“Alright, now it’s personal, dick! The katana was my thing!” I kicked off the window and soared out above the stone forest. Sensing a trap, I solidified a path of ice above the tops of the stones.

I landed softly on top of my pillar and crouched, focusing my demonic senses.  I followed the largest energy signature, and “saw” him waiting at the base of another pillar. I dashed forward, intending to slash open his back.  At the last second, he spun around, and met my blades with his own.  I pushed hard, intending to overpower him and… you know… eat his heart, or something, but he resisted my onslaught, pushing back with incredible strength.  As he forced my retreat I snarled at him, “What are your powers, you freak?”

I spun out and slashed at him, using a varying patterns of strikes at his upper and lower body sides, but my blades couldn’t land a hit. He used his sword to protect his mid body, and if my secondary blade punched through, there was always a piece of stone that exploded upwards to deflect me. I started to get frustrated and widely overstepped my guard. Ronin exploded forward and kicked me in the face, sending me tumbling through pillar after pillar of cement.  As I slowly stumbled back to my feet a storm of stones and metals flew into me, tearing through the shadows that protected my body. One relatively large piece of granite collided with my left arm and there was a sickening crunch. I stood back up, arm hanging uselessly, and focused on getting myself some space.  My natural healing factor, vastly accelerated by the demonic influence, quickly took care of the arm.

“My turn”, I said, my malicious intent evident through my tone.

I side-stepped a series of stone pillars jabbing up from the ground. Surrounding the area with darkness, I spun around a pillar and shot a flurry of ice crystals at the samurai-wannabe.  Ronin easily dodged my assault and laughed. He flipped his blade around and touched his amulet, and the ice coating the surroundings melted.

/What the fuck?/ I tapped into the demonic mask, letting a bit more of its influence seep into me, in return for an assessment of his abilities.

He’s a terrakinetic… Let me kill him and eat him and gain his powers…

/When I figure out how the power eating works, sure.  How did he melt the ice?/

He has two artifacts on him. The first is his sword, which is abnormally sharp and corrosive to demons.  It can also dispel demonic energy, so don’t waste your energy trying to cover him with darkness.  Any direct contact will make you weaker and him stronger while you touch, so don’t do it.  Kill him from afar, and then eat his body.  The other artifact is the pendulum, which gives him the power to absorb, redirect, and reflect certain types of energy from any metal or stone.  Don’t use lightning to fry him; eat him raw.

/Alright.  Thanks for the input.  Now, away with you!/

No

I was about to respond, but Ronin had gotten tired of the pause and rushed to attack me, spinning his sword to confuse me.  I stepped back, avoiding the slashes.

/Now…  How to finish him?/

Give me control

/I thought I sent you back, asshole/, I thought, leaping back and running deeper into the forest of stone…  almost a maze, at this point.

Not until I have my meal

/If I give you control, will you give it back once you get your meal?/

You don’t have the option to bargain.  You cannot escape him. You cannot defeat him without me.  Eat, or be eaten.  

/Eat, then./

…and vomit dribbling from his lips.

“Kill me, you bastard,” Ronin spat, more vomit coming up with his words.

“Tsk tsk. Foul words leave a foul taste in my mouth… and yours, too, apparently,” I said, poking his face with my foot.

A quick glance into a reflective metal pillar revealed that I had changed a bit. My limbs were masses of long tendrils, some of which rose up off my back like tentacles. The section of my mask where the mouthpiece was had shifted into a jagged maw.  It was hard to believe that I was human under all of that.  Well… metahuman, anyway.

How are you back already?  I haven’t eaten yet!

/You slipped, bub.  Don’t worry.  You’ll get your meal./

Tendrils stiffened and extended from my back, like the legs of a gargantuan spider, and came down quickly, pinning him to the rubble. His hand twitched, and my hyper-reactive eyes followed his intended motion.  His sword was embedded, down to the hilt, in the ground five feet away.  Extending my tentacles, I picked it up and drew it effortlessly.

“Hmm.  Without a human body, it lacks even the feeblest defense against demons.  Interesting.” I glanced at Ronin’s face, frustrated and defiant, then twisted my shadow-face into a malevolent grin.  With a flick of my mental wrist, I sent it flying, and watched his face begin to crumple.  I lifted my face to the sky, and sang, serenading the dark clouds.

“Poor little Bo peep has lost his sword,

doesn’t know where I threw it toward!

Leave him alone, and he’ll come home,

sporting his shiny new hand of chrome!”  His eyes widened as he realized what I was saying, and his struggle to get free renewed in intensity.

FOOD

GIVE ME FOOD

EAT /EAT/ EAT /EAT/ EAT /EAT/ EAT /EAT/

Camly, I bent down, looking into his face.

“You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just…do things.  King has plans, Khan has plans, Exile has plans.  You know, they’re schemers. Schemers trying to control their little worlds. I’m not a schemer. So, when I say…uh, come here.”  I took his hand, lifting it to my gaping maw. “When I say that this is nothing personal, you know I’m telling the truth.”  I stretched my mouth abnormally wide, then snapped it around his hand, with a beautiful “shink, squelch!” sound.  He tried to scream, his back arching and his tendons standing out, but no sound escaped the shadowy gag in his mouth.

/Don’t know when you did that, don’t care.  Good work.  It’s always better when they can’t even scream./  

As the demon digested the hand, a surge of pleasure flowed through me, orgasmic in its intensity.  I writhed, throwing off globs and tendrils of shadow.  I woke up hours later, the mask gone, but my clothes ripped and covered in blood. I rubbed my head, then started the trek back to the base, sticking to lonely alleys and back streets, to hide my disheveled appearance… and the wide, unhinged grin on my face.

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4 thoughts on “Folie à Plusieurs V. Crane I

  1. Ah. Quoting the Joker. A telltale sign of a well balanced and mentally healthy individual if ever there was one. That and the whole eating a hand thing. That too.

  2. Pingback: Folie à Plusieurs V. Rune I | There Are No Heroes

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