It begins with a stuttering staccato of music. Lady Gaga perhaps. A song called "Skied-was-the-scraper." (It turned out later that it was a cover by a local band Diaboliquement, "Skyscraper" , originally a ditty by Dark Haven though)

Almost no one dances, a couple or two undulate in the corner deftly and quite ignored by the Karaoke crowd gathered in the front part of the establishment where they sell tea and atmosphere for all-comers.

The back is portion for, well... You'll see.



We have a devil, we have a knight. He is not aware of his status though. At this moment a few of the devils henchmen have shown him the tips of their weapons.


Pressing them tightly against the back of his neck.


This particular knight is not clad in shining armor, but a smart dress jacket. He looks the part though with his icy eyes and demanding demeanor.

The knight has come for answers. Haven't they all?


A clatter of beaded curtains see a Devil into the room.

Harmol kicks a chair closer for himself. Some of the local colour by the toilets head on out, searching for other dreams.

It curses. And stabs down.

"Pitkin kyynärvarren suonta repiytyvä railo. Verinen ja holtiton." As his balisong pierces arm and wood, almost through. A swift and remorseless hit. Start of the negotiation.

"It stops His forearm with its hand firmly. Seemingly stretching with all his strength. It is in trouble. Against the blade and the smile. Both deadly.


It is a dark time in a not so crowded nightclub near Scelde."


A stranger here is a desperate man. Not back here. Not without invitation.

Harmol pushes the blade gently forwards through the gash he has already created; seating himself down while absently motioning some of his men closer. It speaks in tongues.


It moves but a millimeter and blood keeps flowering the embroidery of the tablecloth.

"Ymmärrätkö?"


"Tarjoilija kääntyy pois keski-ikäisen pariskunnan kohdalta laskettuaan heille teekupit ja savukeaskin."

"Ja tulee pöytäämme kysyäkseen mitä saisi olla?"


The waitress shivers next to the table, held in place but eyes darting all over the pair. The bar slows down and some of the colours stop. They are secluded now.


Harmol is wearing his best tonight. A smart dark suit and tie to match. The fabric dances slowly up and over six-knot obsidian clasp before settling languidly on his lap.


"So who are you? You have true lu." They hold hands over the table like friends saluting heartily, but for a few moments still it looks like Harmol's left hand is holding a silver dagger pinning the man's hand to the table firmly, the other caught fist and all in a vice-like grap of his victims free hand.


Finally, the man with the black matted hair looks up "You don't remember me "oh, Great Liar?"

"I sought you out, you will tell me what you did not before, Imp. You can't help it.", he manages.


"Why is my clamor ineffective on you... You have signed a contract, I can taste the bitter you, too, you know." Just straining a little bit further, testing this fools strenght. No movement.


"It must be something I ate. *scoff* Names have meaning as you well and truly know, I have none. So I am immune. So stop trying to change the script already."


"You an Ephram? Or of the Entourage? If you are of Him, I willingly shed this existence for my former one." His smile is wicked, full of bile and no regret. As it should.


Guttural utterances from the man -

"Ilati ennuĝ lalartu нема повеќе карма"

"No tears angel. You tell me what you fathom of gods, and blood. Tell me, legion, of what you know of the beyond. By these ancient words and your spilling of my cruor I have plighted you."


Harmol's blade has vanished and he gently licks the wound clean. Menace in every lap.

"I will make this difficult for you. There are stories about me that would make the greates of men rip themselves apart."


He continues as the world really stops around them. Air turns to ashen ink as Harmol speaks with a booming voice.

"They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death."


The man shrugs "So sympathy for the devil? Is that what you told the Beatles?"

"Don't fret. Just obey."


The bustling of the bar turns back as abruptly as it was silenced. Harmol's bodyguard looks uneasy. Off-hold.

The waiter drops a cup of tea, and the Devil catches it deftly and sets it on the table. Leaning back it continues gathering itself.

"To be God is to live every moment of your life at the same time. Imagine everything you ever did and experience and will ever do and feel. And you remember it all, now, all at once. You can't, can you? Of course you can't... None can. And now imagine that you are immortal, maybe even undying barring an unfortunate event of, excuse the pun, some type of divine intervention. Hah!

Brrr... shudders to even think about that. But some gods still try.

We call those beings "gods of chaos" and they are many... and insane, lessened to static that controls nothing still affecting everything.

So even gods limit their own power to some extent, some by simply not being powerful enough to have mastered all of the 8 planes or by definition of their aspect, pure ennui, or a very human emotion. Preservation of self.

If there truly is a one true Tutelary of All, then he, she, xe, automata, what-have-you... must be a bit confused at least.

Well, that's what I was told to tell you anyway. 'cause I didn't know you were coming until just know. Want to know how?

Time to hit The Club?"


Harmol follows the man outside showing the way, while twisting the rest of the blood from his hands on it.

_____________

WIP