“Hey there, Cain. I have to say that I’m quite disappointed by your performance for now. It’s quite…. Lacking? Yes, that’s the word.”
“How is it my fault that I got hauled off to the brig for doing my job?” I hissed. I was angry, no furious. I was in a state of rage! I wanted to kill and destroy!
“Ahh, now that’s what I wanted to see. Yes, you still have it in you. I just might give you a second chance. Would you care to have a drink with me? You’ll have to pour it in yourself though, Gremory isn’t here today.”
I nodded and walked over to the bar. My legs felt somewhat heavy and I couldn’t walk quite normal. I didn’t pay it no heed, not until I arrived at the drinks. Just one step up, and I couldn’t lift my leg far enough.
“Ahh, you’ve finally noticed!” Lucifer exclaimed happily and clapped his hands. “Well go on then, look at your body,” he added and with a snap of his finger, a great mirror appeared before me. Smoke wafted from the shiny object and slowly dissipated. My heart started beating much quicker in my chest as more became visible. No, but that couldn’t be. What was going on with me?
“What have you done to me?” I snapped at the king of the underworld, not caring for what he might do to me.
“Yes, yes! The rage, the hatred, the fury! You’ll be the perfect candidate for Devil! Now I see why he took an interest in saving you. And what? Aren’t you happy with your body? I went to great pains to remodel it after my own real image.”
I shook my head in disbelief and wanted to cry out, but it wouldn’t do anything but embarrass me in front of Lucifer. Or Satan, or the devil or Beelzebub or whatever name he was using this time around.
“Will I… always remain like this?”
“No. Only when your body feels a need to fight, to defend yourself and the ship. You will be able to change at will once it has fully rooted itself in your body and is activated.”
“I see. So what now? I can’t stay here forever, no?” I asked and dropped down on a wooden bench.
“No, not really. I mean, technically you could, but it wouldn’t do you any good in the long run. Anyway, the only thing I can offer you is a mental blockade. What that means, is that your pain tolerance will skyrocket for a couple of days. Beyond that, I’m unable to do anything,” he said and shrugged. But then he turned back to me with a smug expression on his face. “Until you’ve made the necessary sacrifices to Devil, that is.”
“As in sacrificial killings?”
Lucifer shook his head slowly.
“No, you need to devour them. Eat their bodies if you will. And once you do, your own progression should start. You will get more powerful, faster, durable. You’ll be able to rip battleships apart with your bare hands.”
I was quiet for a long moment. It sure did sound good, but there was one very important matter at hand.
“What about Cafka and his sons? What about the rest of this scum that we call humanity? Will I be able to destroy all of them if I please?”
Lucifer’s face lit up like a Christmas tree.
“Why yes, yes you will. In fact, I’ll make you a deal. Many have wronged me and gone back on their deals. Most I’ve managed to trap down in hell, but a few eluded me for some reason unknown to me. I want their offspring, and Cafka is at the top of my list.”
I smirked and bared my teeth at the devil.
“As long as I can smear his son’s faces on the exterior of this ship, I’ll do whatever you wish of me,” I replied.
“Very well then. Go back and endure for three more days. During the last day, I’ll give you an opening. I’ll be awaiting good news, Cain, son of Deklan.”
The darkness engulfed me once again and carried me into a short, but very much needed slumber.
“Wakey, wakey, bum bum shakey!” a voice sang in my ear. “Wakey, wakey, bum bum shakey!” the voice screamed in my right ear.
“I-I’m awake,” I croaked. My throat was dry as sandpaper and I was barely breathing. My eyes wouldn’t open, no matter how hard I tried, and there was that idiot screaming in my ear.
“Ahh, good. And there I thought I killed you a bit too early. Damn you had me sweating like a pig for a long moment, you scum!” Edwald screeched with his annoying voice. At moments like these, I really did hope for a quick death. “That deserves quite the punishment. Oh and have I prepared something special for you!”
“I c-can’t wait, s-sir,” I wheezed and tried to breathe, but it wasn’t working quite well. Then I figured out why. There was smoke in the room and heat, very much of it.
“If you insist!” Edwald cried and switched on something. I could hear a current of electricity run in the cell and before long, the heat became almost unbearable. I smelled charred skin, probably my own. It didn’t hurt so much as I imagined it would. So Lucifer did keep his promise. Very well, I’d play my role for a while longer and scream my lungs out.
I screamed and screeched as much as I could. His laughter was almost as bad as the torture had been at the start. The piece of shit really did enjoy this.
I could feel my eyelid burn and finally, after three days, if only for a second, I saw the fat pig in a fire resistant suit and a flamethrower in his hand. He didn’t hold the button down to finish me off, no, he pressed it for a second, stopped and repeated. There was just enough flame to torture and maim me for life, but not kill.
I said a short prayer of thanks to Lucifer for helping me out in this shitty situation, and then I finally understood. He wanted to use me for his own, personal gains with the inbred captain and his sons. I’d let him. For now, our goals aligned.
Playing possum, I started coughing and finally went limp, as if I’d choked on the fumes. The fire went out immediately and I could hear him curse. Now, it was known to me he was one nasty little thing, but to be so dumb and think you could burn someone alive and keep them well enough to survive? That was beyond me.
“Damn it! Father, I need to put him in one of those special vats for recovery and regrowth. Please, can you do that for me? Daddy?” he pleaded. Must have been facing toward the camera, the sick bastard.
The door buzzed open and I could hear multiple pairs of footsteps rush in. They undid my clasps and put my arms over their shoulders. A sudden, excruciating pain shot through my body and I could even feel my heart stop beating for a long moment.
“Are you hungry enough? Feed on the guards. Bite their necks open and feed on their blood. Go ahead, do it! Now!” a voice screamed in my head. No, what was going on? Was I changing into the creature I saw back in the mirror?
“No, I don’t want to kill them. All I want to do is to kill the nasty little brats and free my friends. I don’t wish to kill those who just follow orders, even if they’re bad.
“Oh, lord. He’s cooked through. Look at his meat and skin,” one of the guards whispered to the other. “Oh no, not this! His skin is stuck on my hands and shoulders!”
It took them a while, but we finally arrived at a new pair of white, metallic doors. They slid open before us and the guards pushed the gurney into the room.
“Commander’s orders. We need him recovered as soon as possible. Put him in the special vat,” the guard captain snapped at doctor Ashiala and her assistants. She looked like she wanted to bolt when she saw my mangled and burned body, but got over it pretty quickly.
“Clean him with the Feraline liquid,” the doctor ordered as she snapped out of her predicament. I could see it in her eyes. She wanted to know more, but she didn’t dare ask the guards. However, one of the techies seemed to know the guard captain.
“What the hell did they do to him?” she whispered as they pried the burnt smart cloth from my body. It had tried to repair itself over and over again but under the extreme heat, it stood no chance.
“Sarah, don’t ask. You know I can’t talk about them!” the captain snapped.
“Goddamn you! Is this normal behavior in this legios? Is this why I married you?”
He looked away in embarrassment.
“You do know that if anyone even dares raise questions, that they and anyone in their family gets swallowed by the night, no?”
So that’s what was going on. Oppression and suppression. Figures.
“So we should keep turning a blind eye when young men and women get disfigured and dismembered over and over again?”
“D-Don’t worry, lady,” I croaked and turned my head her way. Her eyes and mouth went wide with surprise as if she’d been caught stealing. The captain brought out his gun and put it to my head. I could see he was deeply conflicted if to let me live or die.
“You do know that you have to die now in order for me to keep my family safe, no?” he whispered. I gave him a half shrug as if I didn’t care.
“If I were you, I’d rethink… your action, c-captain. Once we arrive at our… destination, things are g-going to c-change around here.”
The door behind him started hissing and opening. He hurriedly stashed his gun away and stood there as if he was guarding me. From the corner of my eye, I could see a familiar figure walking in. It was the commander.
“If that young man dies, I’ll have all of your heads. No excuses. I need to deal with him personally, and in order to do that, he needs to be in top shape. Understood, Ashiala?” he hissed. His face was flushed red and there were blood splatters on the lapel and sleeves of his uniform. Had he been beating someone with his fists?
“Yes, commander. Perfectly,” she replied as if it was the most ordinary situation for her. Maybe it was. If he acted so openly on this ship, then she must have had her own fair share of threats.
“Good, now put this sack of shit in a second vat. I’ll need to have another word with him once he’s healthy again,” he added and stormed out of the room.
“Sorry, sir? What sack of excrement did you mean?” the doctor called after him. Just then, two guards pushed in a second gurney with a broken and battered Edwald on top. He was unconscious, though I could see him breathe. Good, he was still alive. He was my sack of shit to deal with, no one else's.
“What the hell do we do?” the tech hissed at her husband once the door shut close behind them. He shrugged and grabbed my arms, while she and another techie grabbed a leg each. I wasn’t that big or heavy, but in this state, I must have weighed a ton.
A large, oval vat opened up before me, half filled with a bright blue liquid. It embraced me like a long lost loved once they put me inside. A small tube was forced down my throat and another 2 smaller ones down my nostrils. By then, they administered something through a syringe and I relaxed as they closed the hatch. More of the same substance poured down from above and filled it all the way up. By then, I was almost too far gone to understand what was going on. Everything played out in slow-motion as I drifted off into a deep slumber.