"I found a book and a staff," Raziel answered, "But... what do you need them for, exactly?"
Raziel fixed his gaze on the vaguely humanoid wisp in front of him.
"I would advise honesty," he went on, chuckling a little, "It would be such a shame for this partnership to end so... abruptly."
Wouldn't be the first god I've devoured.
Time seemed to tick by slowly when Sehnsucht peeked out of the schoolhouse seeing that the creature had disappeared from under the rubble of the collapsed buildings.
How in hell did you do that so fast?!
Oh... That's right~ You're just a baby with a God's body~ Heeeeeeheeeeee~ Child's play~ Watch~
Sehnsucht's hands rose again, lifting all the surrounding buildings in a similar fashion as before, including the building above them before slamming them down as if they hadn't moved at all.
You have no idea what to do with all this power~ Tee hee~ It's the funniest thing I've seen in ages!~
Feeling slightly ashamed, she stepped out of the ruined schoolhouse and went to find Vermillion.
Vermilion appeared at his Master's/Masters' side oozing a slightly bit of the typical black haze and holding the harvester in his hand."Well... The thing I fought was certainly a smidge more entertaining than fighting you~" He chided, as he laughed slightly."You alright?" He showed what could be construed as a vague sense of concern on his face while dusting himself off.
Asmodeus, already being in possession of the poison, was in no rush to give it up. She had heard the Metal Man's remarks and demands, but in no way was impressed. She was more amused as to how he planned to get it from her exactly. A high laugh sounded through the castle. "I'd love to see you find me, yes yes, wouldn't it be fun to have two intruders in one day, one day? Yes,yes, my home is in such a mess right now, you can see that, yes yes? Why make me have to do more work and just leave? It'll be better for us both~ Besides, i already have the poison on my person, and it won't take long before i can begin recreating it for my own purposes~ Just return to your master and we won't bother you or him for a long while, yes~ If not, then I'm afraid that we're going to have to personally eject you from my realm~"
"Fine, fine..." Sehnsucht replied with a sigh before putting on a small smile, "Many of my Grimshattered have died and much of ScindoAnimus is in ruin, but I myself? Very much fine. Hmm~ It seems like you didn't even break a sweat. I take it that you won't mind grabbing a broom and helping to fix this place up?"
She smirked a little until noticed her abdomen still bleeding from retrieving control of her body.
"Well, if I must be the Janitorial staffer, then I guess it can't be helped." Vermilion chuckled before nonchalantly making sweeping motions with his scythe before taking note of the wound. "Oh, you're hurt... Let me take a look at that." He walked over and cracked his knuckles before muttering something in that ancient speech that should not be, the wound suddenly closed and appeared on him as a gash where more of his strange inner 'Blood' slowly poured out."Right as rain, my master~?" He said doing his best to ignore his various contusions and wounds.
"Perhaps if I had any, you'd be able to." With a snap of its fingers, Fallen Ones started flying from the tower and towards Frergnon, each carrying a madness sword infused with the power of chaos, only for special occasions of course.
Just in case, the Mad Angel sent some of his other minions after the giant beast as well. Clown Creepers went ahead excepting a good bashing, Jester Mages prepared their spells, while Harlequins readied their throwing knives and daggers. They weren't sure whether their gas would be effective, but held onto it just in case.
The Mad Angel itself flew up away from its tower to oversee the battle, and would participate if needed.
Gathering up her weapons from the cobblestone street Priscilla couldn't help but chuckle to herself. "Idiot doesn't know what he's getting himself into... ah well. Did my job and that stuffs in there, time for this soldier to report in" she said to herself, satisfied in her days task. Though she was still somewhat irked in that it seemed that no matter what she did she couldn't make a dent in the days intruder.
This fact wiped the contented look off her face and replaced it with one of mild consternation as she walked back to the castle, bleeding a trail of silver behind her as she moved for the gates.
Once inside, the castle foyer again accommodated itself to a much more menial layout to allow her easy access to the inner sanctum of her lord\lady. Sticking to a glowing path her new eye picked out she made it to the chamber quickly, hearing the castle seem to twist back into eldritch shapes behind her. Once again she neared the large door to Asmodeus's chamber and again they opened in front of her.
"I honestly hope you got that sample, because I will not be going back for a second one so soon" she said, marching down to meet before her, just now though she was noticing the disparity of the throne room, and remembered the message Asmodeus sent earlier.
"Wait... I know you said people were assaulting the castle earlier, but I didn't know they made it this far, are they still nearby? I can get right after them" she said, once again taking out her gun, ready for a new assignment.
Even as Crest returned from one excursion, The Endless had sent others on another. Justicar and a hulking beast of an Aberration called "Behemoth" wound their way to a vast expanse of black space dotted by planets. In tow were a few dozen Beasts, Monsters and Chimeras; nothing too fancy, after all, the idea for this expedition was the same as the other: find enemy, estimate strength, retreat. And this was the Creator and Champion who The Endless had just recently wrested a new territory from, so he was eager to know just how and why his opponents would give up such a prize.
Justicar and his entourage arrived on a small planet with hardly enough time to look around before Behemoth began stampeding about, smashing anything and everything it could. It was an enormous beast, ten times the height of a tree, maybe taller; Justicar wasn't sure what a tree was. They were his master's words after all. It's head was like that of a rotting, twisted, bloated elephant's, the rest of it's body a massive amalgam of rippling muscles stronger than any metal. It stamped about, crushing anything smaller than it, ripping apart anything else.
Justicar left behind a token force to "protect" the Behemoth, as he and the rest floated off to grab the attention of something far away from the angry giant.
Putting her hands to her now healed abdomen Sehnsucht gave a half-thankful, half-cynical look.
"Cute trick. Thank you. But I'll ask you not to take on all of the abuse that Schadenfreude puts this body through, I obviously can't die by it, but I doubt you'd appreciate having similar scars to mine."
I think they're beautiful personally~~~~ Heeee Heeee~~~
"Besides, you're my champion and my champion will be treated well, how will you fight for me if you're oozing all over? Especially if whatever that was returns to destroy what is left here." She retorted teasing, ignoring Schadenfreude and her hateful comments. She had already started rebuilding the crushed buildings around her whilst speaking.
An initial group of attackers were spotted by a patrol consisting of two saucers and about 6 belts. On spotting them once saucer instantly started its journey back to the Voyager it would soon be out of sight. Its goal was information relay, nothing less nothing more.
The other stayed, using it's scanner to pick out targets for the belts. It was able to direct them effectively making sure they were put to as best use as possible. It prioritisation programs were able to recognise the behemoth as the real threat.
The invaders were on one of the outer most worlds, pretty small and uninteresting, it had pretty low gravity and its surface was more fragile than most.
The rockets from the saucer were kicking up large dust clouds and even a few fragments of crust.
It wasn't much of a defence force yet but if all went to plan reinforcements wouldn't be far behind.
The Metal Man thought on the words of his creepy puppet foe and thought up a plan a glorious plan. "Alright you Puppet fool, you has 10 seconds to comply, return the Poison God's essence to me this instant!" he said as he turn his arms into dual wielded flame throwers and set forth jet streams of flame into the air as a warning
"You're implying this body can scar." Vermilion half-grinned before reeling into a wall and leaning into it. "And as long as my Master is healthy, then I consider it that I'm doing well for myself." He retorted as the wounds slowly got smaller. "Besides, it'll take a lot more than that to take something you create down I'm willing to bet." He gave a subtle compliment before regaining his composure, the wounds slowly sealing and the vibrant yellow returning to his eyes.
Before The Voyager could respond, Alastor detected something on the scanner.
"Voyager, I'm picking up an incoming Saucer energy signature south-west of our current position. From what I can gather, it looks to be on a relay course back to here. Suggest course of action."
"Hmm, dare I say you being kind to me, sir?" Sehnsucht smirked, bringing another building down with a loud tremor and thud, adjusting a black lattice roof and closing the window pannels.
This place gives me such peace of mind...
I liked it better in ruins~~~
"Where does a champion wander after he's done with his work for the night? I was wondering this." Sehnsucht started to ask, absentmindedly.
The Behemoth, small-minded and of supremely short-temper, took immediate offense at the bombardment. Shaking off any damage from it's massive, dense bulk, it lunged outward from the planet, eying a small, grey dish floating in the dark.
"I can have my moments, can't I?" vermilion grinned as he yawned slightly."Typically I just go out an wreak havoc on some poor unsuspecting bastard,or stand over you while you sleep." He joked with a laugh. "I've never given that much thought..."
Asmodeus removed her attention from the elderly man making idle threats with fire to turn her eye towards her successful Champion Asmodeus lifted her head up a bit and gave an approving nod. She held the sample out in front of Priscilla in one hand. "Very good, Priscilla. Yes yes, Very good. You've done well!" Asmodeus cast an eye towards the eight ink bleeding stumps of arms she had on the floor, skin growing over the wound rapidly. "Ah, those intruders. No, they are not still here, and I don't think now would be a time to retrieve my hands which they're probably using as trophies right now. Yes, trophies. Haha... Yes... No. There is a time for revenge, yes, revenge but today is not that day." Asmodeus retracted the hand holding the poison sample and raised it to the ceiling, where it disappeared amongst the seemingly endless number of others. "As for our loud little house guest, I'll take care of it~ Yes, I'll take care of it~" Asmodeus chuckled. "Send in the Centipedes~"
Near the Metal man, hundreds of tiny, but loud clicking sounds were being made around a corner, quickly getting louder and louder. Whatever was making the noise was getting closer and closer and closer, each click made sure that the distance was always an exact calculation. And then they came around the corners. Tens of them. Unbelievably long dolls that looked like Centipedes. Each little segment was made up of the torso and arms/legs of a doll ending at a singular head that contained two golden eyes and was missing a mouth, just a hole where the jaw should be. They quickly surrounded the Metal Man and two of them wrapped the lengths of their bodies around him, arms grabbing every part of him. They began dragging him out.
Asmodeus looked back at Priscilla. "You'll want to see this~"
Meanwhile, at the Mad God's tower, Frergnon quickly leapt up, hundreds of feet forward and about 300 upward, and grabbed the side of the Mad God's tower, where he immediately crushed the wall and landed inside a large room that held only a few of the Mad God's minions. He quickly cut them down, them being so few in number. "INFERIOR BEINGS. YOU WILL RETURN ME TO MY PLANE AT ONCE OR I WILL SKIN YOU ALL LIKE WILD BEASTS."
A look of pure terror and panic took over his face, he possessed an extreme fear of insects. "Gosh Darn Centipedes why did it have to be centipedes!" he shouted as he was dragged out to terrified to concentrate on forming anything as he was dragged out of the castle and straight out of the domain, past the disturbed puppet town. He struggled against the horrible things but it was no use.
He was once more in front of the Goatsee of the Universe and he knew what they were planning. In his panicked state he managed to form a simple blade and dislodge himself from the grip of the Cemtipedes.
The Centipedes were thrown off of the Metal Man as he cut them away with his sword. They plunged directly into the massive rift in the universe.
Back at base, Asmodeus shivered with disgust as she quickly shut off the eyes on the centipedes. "I didn't need to see that."
The Metal Man looked on as the Centipedes careened into the Goatsee and disappeared into its endless gaping maw. He took a moment to figure out what he was to do next, he failed his mission, one which was his own mistake in the first place. There was no possible way he would ever be taken back by the Poison God now. He knew that he needed to do something, he needed to find a new creator.
"Alright,I really only know three creators, and one is Poison God, the next is The Endless, and Finally that Freaky puppet thing. Well Hexxus is out, and I'm fairly sure that the puppet will never take me, not to mention its freaking horrifying and has a champion. That means I'm off to see the Endless!" he said gesturing to the sky with his index finger.
He formed Motorcycle once more and made the familiar trek to the domain of the Endless.
Upon his arrival he stopped at the recently rebuilt front gate and knocked on the door, "Hello The Endless, its me The Metal Man. I was wondering if we could talk for a bit about me working for you? You know as your Champion and all?" he shouted as he knocked
The Endless was nearly beside himself with laughter. The Metal Man had come knocking, asking to be his Champion. It was incredulous, ridiculous; "Still," The Endless thought aloud, "I do seem to be conspicuously out a Champion..."
The gate lowered and The Metal Man was beckoned inside. We'll see what he offers before I decide whether to tear him apart.
The Metal Man made his way inside the castle once more, and this time his didn't break anything. He followed the path to the throne room he remembered from his last visit and made his way to the presence of the Endless.
"Greetings The Endless, a pleasure to see you again, before we begin I would like to apologize for the exploding sword thing, I really didn't know about that." he said while down on his knee
Maybe this one has some promise after all, mused The Endless. "Hm," was what came as a reply. "I believe you. However, there is still the matter at hand." The Endless shifted upon his throne. "You say you wish to become my Champion. As I see it, though, you have a Creator. Why would you turn to me?" The Endless began to stroke his beard thoughtfully, awaiting a response.
"To put it simply, I think working with you would be far more beneficial to not only myself, but to you as well. Poison God is powerful yes, but he is a creature most foul, in temperament and odor. Besides think of what you could do with me in your employ." he said to the Endless
"Hmpf. As if I could do that, for I don't know by what powers brought you here. Besides, this is much more fun!" The Mad Angel dove down towards where Frergnon had gone, flapping its wings outside, taking a look at what he was doing inside its tower. "Hmm, nice hole you've made here. Unfortunately, I don't take kindly to strangers destroying my stuff!" Another snap of its fingers and several Fallen Ones swept towards Frergnon to battle him, while Jester Mages already inside the tower came to the floor they were on in order to cast their spells at Frergnon.
"Well," The Endless considered, "I suppose something is better than nothing. And, I do have some things that need to be done.
"On the other hand," The Endless said, holding one hand aloft before him, "The price may be a bit steep. After all, I understand that privacy is rather important." Four bright points of light materialized, forming wispy shades around his hand. One was a deep, bruised, angry purple; another was a wavering, ephemeral yellow; yet another was a blue that shuddered between pale and dark, almost black; the final was a light, soothing green. All seemed to dart and weave and circle around The Endless' outstretched hand.
Raising an eyebrow, unsure whether he was joking completely or not, she turned to give a small sharp look.
"Seeing as, you've done a few things for me, perhaps I owe you a favour or two?"
A food stand lifted itself as fresh food materialized back onto it.
"I mean, if we come under attack by more than I can prepare for, where better than have you here?"
Weak~~~ So very weak~~~
"I was thinking about that... Well, if it's no trouble then that's fine." He nodded as a few more of the wounds sealed themselves up. "Any ideas, or should I just have a look?" He questioned with a yawn, shifting his head slightly and putting the harvester away behind his back.
The white wisp of a man began laughing. "Because, Raziel, do you not know how Creators work? Not only can we create what we first do, but by learning the properties of another object, we can invariably and indefinitely recreate that object too, at a certain pace, of course. I can recreate the spells in here and the magic in this staff. I'm pretty sure common sense would dictate what i would want with them. Hand them to me and I'll bring your subjects back to life and give you your next assignment."
The Metal Man saw the lazer light show on the Endless' out stretched hand and figured that he was supposed to grasp it firmly in is own hand. He took the stone hand in his own metal one and the colors that coalesced around the creator began to surround the champion as well.
The Endless chuckled slightly as his "Sons" began to encircle The Metal Man. "Just remember," he said, "you brought this on yourself." With that, the four lights ceased their colorful dance and flew straight through The Metal Man. If one was rather observant -or not- one could notice that only three lights came back out: purple, yellow, blue.
"Now," The Endless told The Metal Man, "I will go where you go, see what you see. Know what you know." He tacked the last on almost as an afterthought, unsure of what to reveal. "The Selfless has, in essence, bonded with your consciousness. You are still distinct beings, but it can pick apart at your thoughts and ideas, and relay them to me. But, you can also confide any questions you have to it, and I will be able to answer them."
The other three lights began to again encircle The Endless' hand. This time, they twisted forming queer shapes from out of the ether. In the dark mist of the purple light, there appeared a half-living, half-dead beast struggling against it's own restraints. In the yellow light there appeared a faceless shell of a man that twisted into the shape of The Metal Man, slowly mimicking his actions. In the blue light appeared a roiling storm, twisting in upon itself. The three coalesced into a tiny glass sphere that dropped lightly into The Endless' hand. "Take this as well. If you ever feel you need assistance, merely shatter the sphere and think Deathless, Formless, or Limitless." He held the sphere out for The Metal Man to take.
The saucer that had been carrying out the bombardment on the Behemoth tried to back away but couldn't make it. Realising its fate was inevitable it armed all the missiles it had left and sped towards the behemoth believing the crash would at least do something worth wild.
At least the distraction had worked, the information had been relayed and soon a new fleet had arrived. Two wells hand landed amongst the invaders and activated their power. The behemoth had been grounded. Several saucers had also turned up; with the enemy locked down by the wells the rocket bombardments became more effective.
Back in the centre of the system Voyager was preparing.
"New life detected, Investigation."
It's thrusters soon burst into life roaring across the sky.
"I would advise caution then," Raziel said as he gingerly handed the staff and book over, "There's a ritual in there that summons a maddened and uncontrollable demon. I would not recommend using that one. The damned monstrosity knocked one of my ribs off... and I suspect that even now, it is wreaking havoc in the Mad God's realm."
Raziel folded his arms together and waited patiently, though he kept both of his eyes fixed on the wisp.
The Behemoth came down with a crash, it's feet sinking into the ground down to the ankles. The increased gravity from the strange, long-necked creatures could hold the Behemoth down, but not in place. Even as explosions rocked around it, the Behemoth flexed it's horrendous musculature, lumbering toward the nearest tripod. The other creatures scattered, or tried to, many brought low by the gravity-intensive blasts. Still, the few that remained followed the example of their larger brethren, slowly making their way toward the other tripod.
Justicar and his party floated amongst the outskirts of the Domain, finally landing on a planet appropriately placed for a quick escape. Standing impassively, Justicar waited to see what would greet him. And how surprised they would be to do so.