Be sure to read Resurrectium before this.

Another of Essum’s servants- another of my servants- falls to its knees, its mouth opening in a soundless scream. Its skin wrinkles and falls away, until only a skeleton remains. I savor the moment as I siphon its life, the energy filling me, erasing the awful sensation that pervades me. Suddenly, painfully, the hunger strikes me again, the agony and emptiness shooting through me. I double over, falling to my knees myself. My palm strikes the ground to keep myself from falling to the ground, my vision growing hazy for a moment as the hunger, my new twisted addiction, courses through me. I manage to orient myself after a moment, shambling into another room of the asylum, my new home, finding and consuming another attendant. I breathe a contented sigh before the hunger comes back, even stronger yet. I am ready for the onset, however, and I manage to stay standing despite my swimming head. Over time, my stagger becomes a walk, the hunger no less painful, but somehow manageable as I begin to become familiar with it. And yet, this crippling, agonizing hunger is nothing compared to what I feel behind it: pure, dark energy, more intense, more great, and more terrible than anything I have ever felt in my life, as black and fearsome as the very Void itself. I can almost taste it, the weight of it so great that I feel as if I should have been smothered by it. I can feel it inside me, sharpening my perceptions, my senses, my thoughts. It rises up through me, and I laugh, the walls of the hospital cracking, chunks of wall falling away. My slaves come to fix it, but as I reach out to devour another, an idea strikes me. Why content myself with such a meager snack, I muse, when I could treat myself to a banquet?

It’s time to pay Balance a visit.

I can find him, even if he cannot find me. I turn the gigantic bolt on the massive door to Balance’s meditation chamber. The sound causes him to open his eyes, slowly at first, before he sees me. He gets to his feet quickly, a look of surprise followed by a look of contempt flashing across his eyes. When he takes a second look at me, however, his eyes widen in surprise.

“Who dares?"

How rude. I would have at least hoped for a ‘hello’. Is that really so much to ask?

“Salutations are reserved for those who are welcome, and I welcome those in whom I sense good. I see no good in you, beast, and thus I offer no greeting, humble or otherwise to... whatever you are now."

I’m shocked, Balance. Even you could not have anticipated this? This was my intention from the start. I have transferred my power into this body. Edo Edi Essum has transferred his power into my body. Essum, Praetorious, there is no longer any delineation between the two. I am one. Complete.

“Indeed, the outcome was not as clear as I had hoped, but I had anticipated Edo Edi Essum would try something like this. Even so, if it is an ending you seek, You will know that my power far surpasses yours, for I am the Balance, and I balance anything. That includes you, Essum.”

Of course I know that! That is why I do not want to finish you now, Balance. I believe I’ll wait.

“...For what?”

For you to reach your full potential, of course! That’s when I’ll devour you, piece by piece, bit by bit. This hunger, Balance, you could not possibly understand. It is far worse than the pain you must feel for the loss of… I pause for a moment, as if trying to remember, Shelby, is it?

“You bastard!” Balance shouts at me. His foot plants firmly to the ground, clenching his fists that are almost hidden by his almost pure-white cloak. What a wonderful cloak it is, I think to myself, symbolizing the power he needs to equalize things, like a thermometer of a sort. An overlay of a white light surrounds his hands, as he makes ready to attack, the hate blazing in his eyes.

It is moments like these that make me wish that my white, armored skull of a face permitted me to smile. Balance attempts to strike me and I snatch his wrist from the air, his once-human flesh burning within my grasp, although Balance seems largely unfazed.

The light begins to bleed from Balance’s cloak, becoming a dark black. It wraps around Balance, constricting him, forcing the air from his lungs. He falls to the ground as a sort of human cocoon, the sight almost comical.

“What… have you done?" Balance wheezes.

Nothing extraordinary, I say nonchalantly, your cloak is part of your power. I simply twisted it to my advantage, used it. My influence will wear off in time. As I said, I wish to only talk.

Again Balance takes in a sharp breath, "Acceptable... so long as... She is left out... of our exchange."

If you’ll respect my candor, Balance, you’re not in much of a position to make demands at the moment. You seem to be rather wrapped up in your own affairs, so to speak. Just take a moment to think about it, Balance- if I wanted to have the love of your life as a tasty snack, could you stop me? What will you be able to do if I decide to devour her little by little, and make you watch?

“She... is not... a toy... for your amusement... you demented freak!" The last few words drain Balance of breath, and he pauses before continuing. "If you... harm one hair... one cell... on her body... If she even so much... as gets frightened... by a nightmare... that you caused... I'll kill you... I swear by all that is balanced... I'll kill you."

Think hard, Balance. What would happen if you were to kill me? Light, happiness, and peace would reign supreme. And that means there wouldn’t be balance. And that means that you would be left to do my work. You would be forced to become the villain, the darkness, the corrupter. And we both know that you are not capable of killing and destroying for all eternity. You need me, Balance. Don’t you see? I can do all the things that you cannot. Without me, Balance, you could not keep the balance. The irony is so sweet, is it not? I am far more capable than you of keeping order. I'm far more the "Balance" than you are.

"All... you are capable of... is death... and destruction. I will... defeat you... you will not... prevail... You will not... cause chaos."

Perhaps not, "Balance". But I would thank you not to insult my intelligence by assuming I haven't any sort of contingency.

"What... contingency... do you speak of?"

Why, you, of course! If you kill me, that leaves only you. You, Balance, are too weak. You are too weak to maim, murder, exterminate, and torture. Even if it means preserving that one thing that you hold so dear. Balance. Without me, you cannot do it. And so there will be chaos. And in the chaos, They will come together again. And I will be reborn. And so it will begin again. And again. And again. Do you understand? One could liken your endeavor to trying to keep an ice sculpture from melting. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, eternity lies ahead of you. An eternity, its jaws open wide, waiting for one mistake to make them snap shut. One mistake to make the sculpture melt. One mistake to make order melt into chaos.

“Why is it... that you care... Why can't the world... be balanced... why must... there be chaos?”

Because, I plant a foot upon Balance’s chest, eliciting a weak groan from him as I lean forward so that our faces are only inches apart. I’m hungry.

I can see that the lack of air is causing Balance to lose consciousness, and I stand back up. I turn my back to him, and the Void opens before me. I hear a weak gasp from Balance.

“I will fulfill... my purpose. I will balance.. everything. You of anyone... knows that a man... with a purpose... is a force unstoppable. You know... that your merging act... is all in futility... and I will balance you. I will end you... The Objects created you, the multiverse houses you... you are part of the realms... and therefore you too must have balance."

Goodbye for now, Balance. Know that I am watching. Know that I am waiting. Know that I hunger for everything you hold dear. And know, in your human heart, that all things slip back into chaos.

"I won't... let that happen..."

Good luck.

I wave before stepping through into the Void.

To be continued in Initium.

Part of the series Ieiunitas, Infectus, Talius.
Last modified on 2009-07-06 13:41:08Viewed 6075 times

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