|"For a Fragile Heart" -- segment from an FFVII RP
||[Aug. 4th, 2007|08:17 pm]
Cold, amber eyes stared down at the unwavering surface of black water, settled in an ivory marble fountain about three and a half feet high. Around the outer shell of the bowl and lacing down the stem were intricate and detailed carvings of creatures with wings and horns and spears, surrounded by seas of fire. In a downward spiral it told the horrendous story of a king who delivered death and excruciating torture to whomever and whatever he touched. Nothing escaped his grasp and forever would his victims remember his cold smile, grotesque with satisfaction over countless deaths.
There was hardly a demon in the great Inferno that could stop his heedless butchery of the human race, and many did not draw near when he loomed over that black fountain for they knew someone -- and it was always more than one poor soul -- was meeting their end.
It was now that the lower devils and impish servants coward from their master. They hid in the shadows at the edges of his private quarters, huddling together in groups as their lord, Chaos, leaned ever so slightly closer to the fountain. His slanted, bright crystalline eyes scanned the water and the image it brought forth to the surface. Once more a spring of deafening, agonizing screams overflowed the otherwise silent chamber.
Loud and piercing, it rang like a love song in his heart. A smile of content almost formed on his lips but he held it back for the end. Tapping the edge of the bowl with a finger the image, so clear and vivid, changed, zooming out like a camera to capture the entire town as it was smothered in twenty foot tall flames that engulfed everything in site. The roar and cackle of every swelling of fire like the harmony to a melody, bringing more life to the symphony.
Humans, perhaps only a little over a hundred of them, were quickly becoming one with the rest of the rubble. Most especially those fools who tried to flee the town knew no relief as he sent out his powers and snared them as well. There would be no survivors...
Amber eyes flickered up from the fountain that gave him such great joy to look instead at someone who didn't give him such pleasure. Standing in the double doorway of his chamber, covered in twilight colored garbs with a head full of irritably bright strawberry blond hair and glitter all over his clothes and skin, was Khepu. The demon stepped further into the room, the slit in the skirt over his left leg flashing him the tattoo of a blunted cross and triangle: his signature.
"...What do you want?" he growled, irritated his comrade dared to interrupt his personal time.
Khepu's lips curled into a smile worthy of a godling, making the aggravated demon twitch in further irritation. "Now, now, brother," he chided teasingly, using the affectionate, familial term even though they were in no way related. "That is no way to treat a guest, especially not one sent to bring you news."
Much to Chaos' chagrin, Khepu stepped close to him and peered into the water-filled fountain. He wrinkled his nose and tapped the lip of the bowl when another screech of screams echoed in the chamber.
"I really do not understand you, brother. We are all devils and demons of similar nature, but you for some reason enjoy living up to your name and causing more pandemonium than necessary." A grim line formed between Khepu's lips as he stared down at the burning town, Chaos' work nearly finished. "What hate do you harbor for those fools you send to their deaths? Hades will soon be cursing you himself if you flood his home with whining souls. And that would be just your black hart's desire wouldn't it? Another scream to deafen your ears."
Khepu looked up from the fountain and settled his gaze on the angry face of his fellow demon. "I hear from the imps and snakes that travel to the mortal world that the humans whisper and hiss your name day and night. You, among very few others haunt the thoughts of millions of humans. Is that your goal, to make everyone whisper your name in in their sleep?"
Chaos straightened his back, finally turning to face the shorter demon. "Get out if you have no other business with me but wagging that loose tongue of yours."
Khepu, undeterred, smiled at Chaos again. "Oh, but I did say earlier that I was sent here for a purpose, didn't I?" When the impatient demon looked at him expectantly, he continued, "Ho-ho, prepare for this, my friend. The Elders wish to speak with you."
"Of what?" He wasn't finished torching the town, the flames were still high though all life in and around it was dead.
Khepu chuckled and shrugged his shoulder. "I was not informed of their intentions, only given the order to fetch you. And Sorath... he sounded irritated, so I suggest you leave immediately."
Hearing that his predecessor had called for him, Chaos threw his powers out once more. The fires surrounding the town blazed to a perfect white light before dissipating, the roar settling down to meager licks. And with a sharp exhale he walked past Khepu as the image in the fountain darkened to black again and the other demon laughed.
"I do hope you're not in trouble, brother," he teased. Chaos answered him by slamming the doors of his chamber behind him as he headed for Hell's divan.
It was always a rare event that the Elders called anyone forth demanding immediate response. Usually, if one was summoned to the council room it was because they themselves were in trouble or else someone else was and would need fetching for proper punishment. Chaos doubted the Elders would bother him just to go dog hunting, and even Sorath stressed urgency through his irritation with him.
Sorath, despite popular belief, was very patient. Very few knew he length of his leash, many assuming eh would throw them away into the Sun. However, though the old daemon always carried a stern, hard look, very rarely did something bother him enough to incite a reaction.
This made Chaos further believe that the Elders did not call him just for tea and biscuits. ...And perhaps Khepu was right and indeed he was in trouble. Determined to find out what wrong he had committed, Chaos quickened his pace for the divan.
When he reached the tall, ebony doors that led to the room beyond where the Elders were, a young female demon stepped out from the side. She blocked his path to the doors and stared at him with a hard gaze.
Chaos regarded her with a quirk of his brow. "Wipe that look off your face, Foraii, you aren't the type."
The female demon named Foraii quickly wiped her expression clean, sighing as a soft smile graced her lips. "Only you, oh master of facial expression can see through my guise," she teased in good humor, pushing back her short black hair from her face. Twin turquoise eyes sparkled as she stepped away from the twin doors and laid a cool hand on the heated skin of his forearm.
"Do you know why you have been summoned, Chaos?" she asked him, her voice a soft murmur laced with genuine concern. Because of her water nature, almost everything about her screamed everything BUT demon.
"I will find out soon," he replied, pulling out of her grasp and skirting around her.
Foraii did the unthinkable and grabbed him by the hair. She held him in a firm grip, keeping him just out of reach of the handle.
Back rigid, Chaos looked over his shoulder. "Do not vex me, Foraii, Khepu has done so already with his prattle." He reached around and untangled his snow white hair from her log fingers.
Foraii sighed in surrender and let her arm drop to her side. "All right, but I warn you, Chaos: do not anger Sorath further. He will surely banish you if you do...." Seeing the other demon ignore her she shook her head and turned away. "I will confront Khepu for you and advise him to hold his tongue next he sees you."
Chaos gave no sign of thanks, nor evidence he was even listening as he pushed open one of the double doors. Lit by a thousand blue-flamed candles, the divan bathed in unnatural light. He stepped onto black marble tiles that spanned the length of the room. In divided sections were ceiling high mirrors on opposite walls while wall at the very back, opposite to the door, was covered in a mixture of four draperies, each representing the four main elements of nature and their masters in the netherworld. Before the draperies were the four Elders, each one element, seated at a half-moon table with high back, throne-like chairs, as large crystals at the head of each chair symbolized the appropriate element.
From the left was Belial, the master of air; he had platinum blond hair down to his waist and striking Dodger blue eyes. He wore miniature crystal axes on his ears, and inverted triangles in the form of black tattoos marked his cheeks under his eyes like tears. Upon his person was an arrangement of pastel colored robes, not a one more dominant than the other to represent the mercurial nature of wind.
Across from Belial sat Sytry, the master of earth. Bare chested he only wore slacks of the deepest brown while his golden skin stretched over a broad chest and muscular arms, wrists encased in twin jade bracelets; on one side of his chest was the inky black tattoo of what looked like a three-armed candelabrum. Raven black hair pushed out from his skull, no longer than two inches in length while mahogany eyes stared forward.
Next to him sat Saburac, the mistress of water, in a slimming Prussian blue gown with elegant flowing sleeves trimmed with white lace. She had a deceivingly kind face, round with misplaced youth, while her icy aquamarine eyes were framed by pearly white hair spilled around her shoulders in millions of tiny braids.
But it was not her gaze that caught Chaos' attention: it was that of the fire master, Sorath, who sat between her and Belial. Garbed in Sangria and Venetian red robes, Sorath sat with a straight back, his brilliant copper eyes heated with emotion. A deep frown was frozen on the thin lips on his angular face, And his Falu red hair shot out from his head in every which direction like the rays of an angry sun. It was HE whom captured Chaos' gaze as he came to stand before the four of them.
With a low rumble Sorath spoke first, his baritone voice easily reaching Chaos' ears though he stood many feet away.
"Demon Chaos, we have called you here because of your most recent actions. Bold and dangerous, they have forced us to take immediate action. You know what I speak of, and thus, as a unanimous decision, hereby banish you."
The word slipped out from between his lips before he could stop it. In all his years NOTHING like that had happened to him before. Banished? Him? Were they joking? Surely, they were. ...But the look on Sorath's face told him that they were not. The Elders were truly getting rid of him.
"To where?" he demanded, feeling himself bristle.
Sytry was the one to answer him, catching Chaos' hostile gaze with his own. "To the mortal world: Gaea."
Of all places for him to be chained to, it was the earth. Chaos turned to Sorath for clarification; he had expected the fire daemon to cast him off into the sun, yet by the nod of his head, the seal was stamped and he knew for sure that instead of oblivion he would forever wander amongst humans.
"What have I done to deserve this?" It was a demanding question, in a tone that should never be taken when addressing the Elders, but all four daemons were well acquainted with Chaos' short temper and knew to ignore the majority of his snappish attitude.
"You should know, young one," Belial's gentle voice carried to him though his eyes were dark with disappointment. "You have been terrorizing the humans of the planet and while we indeed are devils and masters of mischief, we do not overcast our nets and abuse our powers. Mortals have short life spans, and thus their memories are short, however, your constant perversion of the lands and massacres of the people has upset the balance that we must all uphold. Hades himself is grumbling at the overflow of souls in his river."
Chaos resisted the urge to snort as he heard this. "And because I kill those humans off too quickly for his liking you are banishing me? To there?"
This time it was Saburac who spoke up, her harsh voice grating on the lower demon's sensitive ears. "And would you rather be sentenced to death? We can surely rearrange if for you, foul dog."
Sorath placed a hand on her arm in warning and drew Chaos' attention back to him. "Listen well, Chaos. We do this for your own good. You are to be banished to that pitiful world you hate so much as punishment for slaughtering the human race in vast quantities. While indeed you are living up to your name, there is still order that we must all follow in Jigoku. You too must follow these rules. Yet, for the past few years you have not even thought about considering them; you have only burned village after village, drowned fishermen at sea and angered many people. You show that you have no love for them, not even pity for their mortality.
"Thus," he continued sternly, making sure the Chaos did not even dare to blink or break eye contact, "you shall from now on learn to live amongst them until you learn compassion in your heart and come to love one of them."
Chaos, despite being pinned by the Elder's gaze, felt his eyes widen in disbelief. Love a human? NEVER!
But Sorath was not finished. "Not only will you have to learn to love this human, whomever it may be, they must love you back, knowing who you truly are."
When Chaos stared at his predecessor in confusion, Belial straightened in his seat to explain. "You will be sent to Gaea in a human form, Chaos, and in the human form you will have to woo another human with only your body. You will not be allowed to speak, nor will you be allowed to use your powers to gain an unfair advantage. There will be dire consequences should you try to test us."
The scratchy laugh of Saburac turned his gaze toward her. "I dare you to try it! You will see for yourself what we mean."
Anger boiled in Chaos' body as all this information settled in but he knew that though he disagreed with them, they would not waver. Their decision was 'unanimous', as Sorath earlier stated.
"But that still doesn't answer me; how can a human love me for who I truly am if I am in the guise of a human? Explain that to me."
Sytry took his turn. "Knowing you, they will eventually come to see that you are indeed not a human but the mischievous, and rather destructive demon Chaos who has tried and succeeded many times in killing off many of the human race. Humans will fear you once they know the truth, and if there is not one amongst them who will love you for who you really are, then though you may love one of them, you may never return. You will be cursed to wander the planet forever, hated and powerless."
"This is unjust!" he cried, feeling the full threat of their punishment. "I do not see how this will help me, nor keep me from killing them off anyway when I'm down there!"
"Fine then, kill like a normal human, become branded by their people, their children, their grandchildren," Saburac sneered. She had the least patience of them all. "You will still be there, never to set foot in your chambers again. We will make sure you are immortal, forever bound to that earth."
"Go, Chaos. Go back to your chambers," Belial said softly. "You will have a few moments of reflection before we come for you."
Gritting his teeth and feeling like a bug under a scope, Chaos turned on his heel, forgoing the respectful bow he was supposed to do before he left. Instead he simply walked out, stomping his way to his chambers.
When he returned, Chaos paced the length of his room, clasping his hands behind his back in order to keep from destroying anything out of anger. Yes, he was terribly angry at the Elders for laying this STUPID punishment on him. Love a human? And get one of those rats to love him back?! That would never happen!
The Elders were asking the impossible and yet they each held steady gazes and showed no signs of joking. They were truly sending him to Gaea to live amongst the mortals...
At the peak of his tolerance, he whipped around suddenly, grabbing hold of a twin set of vases, still full of black water and Jigoku's plants and hurled them across the room. The delicate pottery smashed into hundreds of tiny pieces while the greenery screamed and writhed at the loss of their source of life.
Chaos panted roughly and looked wildly for another object to pick up and smash. He even searched for his servants, absent from their shadowy corners, in hopes of finding one he could squash under his foot. But no, the little imps were no where in sight, smart enough to know that he was pissing mad and would likely take it out of them once he finished destroying the room. The only thing he would not touch would be his prized ivory fountain, precious to him out of all the trinkets and assortment of decorations in the room.
Finding another handcrafted pottery on the other side of his room, Chaos make haste for it. He picked it up and drew his arms back to chunk it when the doors to his room creaked open. Eyes drawn to the half open door, Chaos redirected his aim and threw the vase the the door.
To his surprise, the door quickly jerked back, as if the person behind it knew what he was doing. The vase smashed against the door and black water spilled onto the floor.
"When we asked you to return to your room, young Chaos, we did not mean for you to trash it."
From behind the door emerged Sorath, closing it behind him as he kicked away the pieces of vase before him.
Chaos clenched his teeth and tried to straighten himself out but he knew what a mess he was. He knew his hair was disheveled, his clothes askew, and his amber eyes dilated. He cleared his throat in a bad attempt to pull off a facade of calm, but he knew that before the fire master he could not lie.
Sighing heavily he sat down on the edge of his bed, giving the Elder a hard stare as he walked further into the room.
"I still do not--"
"But you cannot do anything about it," Sorath interrupted calmly as he came to stand before the younger demon and rested his hand on his head, right between his crown of horns. "You will learn, be it soon or maybe centuries from now, that there is more to life than just killing everything around you."
Chaos felt like a newly born as he listened to Sorath speak, the rumble of his voice soothing in his ears. "I do not think I will be able to do this, Sorath," he told him. "I do not like those creatures any more do I like fungus between my toes."
Copper met amber in a long glance. "That is something you will have to live with. If it takes forever for you to cope, then it'll take forever. But you will learn eventually." He paused to make sure the herald of disorder was paying attention. "Now, let me discuss something with you before you are sent off. It is a reiteration of your limitations on the human world. ... You will not be able to use your powers whatsoever. If you are hurt, you must learn to heal the normal way, and if you force your new body to perform any magic, you will find you will be doing more damage than good. Also, no speaking; you cannot talk to the humans for your forked tongue is far too harsh for their ears. And if you are to gain their trust, you must do it without deception in words -- they will see the honesty in every line of your body."
"Anything else?" Chaos growled, feeling a little of his irritation seep back into his bones.
"One last thing, young one," Sorath replied, and locked gazes with him. His other hand laid on Chaos' left arm as he spoke the next words: "From now on, you will be known as Vincent."
And without a second warning, extreme pain shot through Chaos' head and down his left arm. He cried out before he bit his tongue and tried to jerk away. Sorath, however, held onto him tightly; he kept his head immobile and his vice grip on the lower demon's arm.
"You will learn, Chaos," he said softly as he poured his magic into the demon's body. "You will learn...."
Instinct told Chaos to fight back, but nothing he did worked. Sorath pushed him back into the bed and pinned him there. As he writhed under the unbearable pain, he could hardly think. He squeezed his eyes shut, the torture on him clouding his senses and dragging his mind into oblivion.
Like drowning, he knew his consciousness was sinking quickly, and before he knew it or even cry out once more, a blanket of darkness smothered him completely.
When he felt the body underneath him quickly give to mindless sleep, Sorath pulled back and sat at the edge of the bed beside the unconscious demon. He sighed and brushed his fingers over the brow moist with sweat, and smoothed the pained features that greeted him.
Like a father, he bent down and pressed his lips against that dark forehead and petted his head as he murmured, "It's for your benefit, young one... You will see..."