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Zake's story thread

3 months ago
The spit had a body strapped to it, now horribly burnt as the flames below continued their caress. The frail servant's arm continued to move, undeterred by the putrid smell, despite the piece of cloth wrapped around his face certainly not accomplishing anything.

A figure obscured by a smooth black cloak stood before this fire, watching the corpse, which was reflected upon its large glass eyes. The ivory beak which protruded from beneath was letting out puffs of incense at regular intervals.

Beside them a hunched figure poked at the corpse with a pair of rusty scissors.

"I know the new guy said they didn't care, but I don't care either, it isn't like we're going to eat this. Not to mention the human was dead already, so what's the point of cooking them?" A quizzical look then formed among the hunched speaker's features as they turned to their companion.

A few moments boasting naught but the sounds of gorging flame pass. "Fuck if I know. Perhaps it is some sort of symbolic gift, but it does seem futile. There are better ways to help, after all."

"So why are we going along with it?"

The ivory beak turns upwards towards the overcast sky. "Perhaps as a sign of camaraderie. After all, we are missing our third, and even a temporary replacement should prove useful."

"But they haven't proved useful, haven't even given reasons themselves despite sitting right there!" The rusty scissors are pointed at a rock beside the fire, which shifts slightly, but seemingly not because of the outburst. A hand slips out of the rock holding a piece of bread, and then a face appears as well to take a bite.

"Honestly I forgot they were sitting there."

"We could find a better third, or can't you just lobotomize them? I could do it myself, but your success rate is higher. They'd at least listen to us then."

"No, they were useless in the fight," the doctor gestures at the carnage around, on top of which their tent has been set up, and the fire started. "The freewill dislocations only prove useful for procuring grunts, and we do not need more of the lower tiers."

"Then what about we roast them?"

"It certainly might consider itself under the classification of 'people'."

"Then let's do it!" The hunched figure straightens with a crack, revealing a dislocated smile and further sharp instruments.

"No, not tonight, but at the next camp. For now we must move." A metal hand comes up to the ivory beak, which then rasps with two fingers across it's side.

The servant beside the bonfire drops what he is doing and heads towards the tent, as he does a further half dozen servants, of various dress and size, exit the tent as well, and they all begin to deconstruct it.

"Let me just get one good stab in then!"

"No, perhaps they'll show us some latent talent before the next camp." The doctor approaches the fire, extending a hand towards it and muttering something. Pus and bile pour out from beneath the sleeve and engulf the flame, smothering it.

The surrounding smell doesn't really deteriorate further.

Or perhaps it becomes a little stronger?

Zake's story thread

3 months ago
Tendrils of inverted light force apart the clouds as an echoing boom splinters earth and causes blood to leak from the orifices of the servants and the butcher. One of the doctor's glass eyes crack, leaking blood.

The rock-like man, who hasn't gotten up yet despite the camp having been packed up, appears unaffected by this, but is then subsequently swallowed by an eruption of pure annihilation. A deep crater is all that remains.

Utter obliteration.

"Dammit! I knew we should've roasted him while we had the chance. I blame you."

"Calm yourself, if the will of the divine is their death then we should count ourselves fortunate to have not stolen the pleasures of eradication from them."

"Yeah? I'd have preferred the joys myself."

"Watch your tongue."

The butcher looks up at the clouds, then returns his gaze to his ally. "Surely the divine would prefer to not expend their efforts on such small matters."

"They have the power, we could never have done anything near to that scale."

"We could've killed him all the same."

"There is more to it than that, but come, let us depart, and I then I shall enlighten you."

The procession of human husks and beasts proceed along the desolate wasteland. The parched earth now much more treacherous, as the recent shattering has destabilised it, leading to greater gaps and more potential for a sudden plummet into an endless abyss. Despite this potential for a imminent demise, the group continues on at a brisk pace.

In the distance, jagged mountains reach for the heavens, albeit the tallest have already been leveled, and emit great gushes of corrupted smoke. The wind only grows colder.

"And so, the responsibility wrought from power is one we could never hope to understand, but simple satisfaction is certainly not something unobtainable, even when referring to the divine, and if they already have a duty, they might as well do what they can to enjoy it."

"I really didn't need the lecture."

"It helped pass the time. But enough about that, we have arrived."

With the doctor the group comes to a stop. Before them is a ravine, and like the earth, it leads down into eternal darkness. Many capillaries run off from it, but the main girth is what the glass eye reflects, while the other is caked in dry blood.

"You did say it wouldn't be impressive, but this looks like any other pit. I do not like fighting the manifested darkness."

"No, worry not, it is the weak we are here for."

The butcher twitches at the word, knowing what his companion is referring to, a thin grin begins to form.

The doctor continues, "You'll have to wait here-"

"What!?"

"Their troops and cattle will come up here, and this is a choke point from which you can ensure none escape."

The butcher calms a little. "How long must I wait?"

"Not too long. I shall descend, and begin preparations. If the texts were wrong and they have found something worthy, then it'll take longer, but no more than a night regardless."

"A whole night? Freezing myself?"

"Cut open one of the grunts if it'll make you feel warmer, but you can survive the required duration. Besides, it should take less than that, I'm simply informing you of the worst-case scenario."

The butcher lets out a grown as his eyes turn to the tallest servant.

"However," the doctor adds, "I'd prefer for you to keep them alive. We won't be able to get replacements for a while, and I know you prefer to not carry luggage."

"I'll muse on it."

The doctor leaves, beginning his descent into the ravine, leaving small holes where his fingers penetrate the earth as he forms makeshift grips. His legs still lost beneath his cloak, which begins to blend into the physical oblivion.

The butcher turns from the ravine, and ushers the servants away, getting them away from the entrance. He then moves to take up his own post, squatting right beside the ravine and becoming still as a rock.

The wind only grows colder.

Zake's story thread

3 months ago