The smoky haze cleared around Boris as he calmly watched the strange beings approached him. Their fingertips grew into vile looking claws, looking out of their strange masks with red glowing eyes. One grinned manically, the other frowning with a painted tear just above its twisted mouth. When they were close enough to harm him, he simply vanished from their sight. Their gazes swept the area, searching for their misplaced target.
“Lost something fellas?” He asked, grinning from behind them. He riddled their bodies with bullets, yet the lumbered on, moving ever closer to him. He was on the verge of disappearing again for a better angle when their heads exploded, a black vapor disappearing into the darkness.
“Foolish cat, you do it like that.” Peter smirked, ignoring his grudging thanks, they moved to find the others lost in the hellish night.
Ace rolled his eyes as he saw the two things that were searching for him. He studied the way that they moved, disgusted. They were far too slow to be hunting him. He jumped down from his perch. “You know, my mask is much better. Those things are just creepy.” He drew both swords, cutting through them as they tried to attack him. He knocked the mask off the grinning one, curious as to what was underneath. Its face was an ugly mix of red beady eyes, snout, and teeth showing through a lipless mouth. “On second thought, keep it on, or better yet.” He cut the creatures head from its shoulders, watching as the black mist escaped its body. The other ones head burst, sending chunks flying near him. “Damn it, rabbit, watch it. That shits nasty!”
Elliot grumbled, “Quit playing around, damn it. We’ve got to get to the others.” They sped off through the smoke.
Julius stood proudly, not one ounce of fear did he show. He had no skill with a gun or a sword, his hands meant for the more delicate work of restoring life to the hearts of Wonderland. He could feel them, when they slowed, when they sped, and when they broke. It was his purpose.
He watched as the creatures came for him. He held the knowledge that he would probably die within the next few moments. However that did not mean that he was ready to give up. There was one he cared for and who cared for him, and she was worth fighting with all that he had. The wrench he held in his hand formed into a long handled, small headed, sledge hammer. With surprising accuracy, he hit the frowning being in the knee with the first blow, instinctively spinning, catching it in the back of the head with the next. It shattered, spraying its partner with bits of flesh and blood.
The monster gave an inhuman roar, knocking the weapon from his hand. Julius quickly retreated, the grinning face mimicking his every move. It swung a clawed hand at him, catching him across the chest and upper right arm, the razor sharp appendages easily cutting through cloth and skin. The clockmaker fell back as the sound of gun shots filled the clearing, ending the life of his pursuer.
Blood appeared, white suit somehow spotless despite all the flame and gore everywhere. He held a hand out to him, his gun returning to the form of the elegant cane that he always carried. Julius took it and struggled to his feet. “Thank you,” he said quietly, holding onto his injured arm.
“You know no one can have you but me, Julius.” Blood said smoothly, leading the way toward the cabin.
The clockmaker blushed. “Bastard.” He commented before following behind him.
The six met in the front of the burning cabin, the windows shattered and the front door laying broken on the ground. Clinging to the door frame was Nightmare, steadily pulling a black blade from his chest. He slowly slid down the blood slickened wood. “He has her,” he whispered, devastated. “I need…” he coughed up a mouthful of red liquid, “Gray.” He fell, finely losing consciousness.
They looked at each other briefly before Boris lifted the fallen man. “Follow us to the tower.” He told them knowing that it was useless to search the house for her. She was gone. He disappeared, transferring himself and the wounded Nightmare directly to clover tower.
“Elliot, take Julius and make sure he is seen to.” Blood ordered, never looking their way. “Prime minister, if you would?” He gestured through the busted doorway.
Peter huffed, but did as he was asked. The March hare helped the wounded clockmaker as the two entered the destruction. They followed the red trail left by Nightmare as he had drug himself along. It led all the way to the bedroom. The swirling mass of the ceiling gave them pause. It was rolling, crashing together like some infuriated black ocean.
The large hole in the floor caught the hatter’s attention. Anger began to burn within his chest as he noticed the pattern of scrapes gouged out of the ground. Only one in all of Wonderland made such marks. He had special treatments just for traitors, but this went beyond betraying him. This would require something new and drawn out. As soon as his daughter was recovered, he would be paying the door mouse a visit. Even Peter shivered at the violent way Blood was glaring down into the cavern. “Let’s go to the tower.” The hatter said, “The sooner Nightmare recovers, the sooner he can locate her.” The sooner blood would flow.
Aliya woke slowly. Never before had she been so weakened, so drained of power, helpless. She raised her hand to rub her blurry eyes when a clanging sound halted her. Forcing herself to concentrate, she took in her closest surroundings. She lay on a small bed covered in a white sheet. On both wrists were soft leather cuffs attached to long chains that were bolted to the center of the small space. It all came rushing back to her. “Nightmare.” She croaked, her throat horribly dry.
“My pitiful half-brother is probably long dead by now with the rest of your lovers and Daddy dearest as well.” White’s voice seemed to float over to her. Her vison became crystal when he stepped forward, hovering over her bedside. She struggled to speak but she was just too drained. He looked at the faceless behind him. “Bring tea, now.” He bent over her, lifting her just under her arms, making sure to brush her breasts as he shifted her into a sitting position. Her eyes wished him dead, a dim glow visible in their depts. “curious?” He asked, friendly smile on his face.
Aliya stared at him. There had to be a way out of this. She did not believe for one second that those she cared for were dead. They were to strong and clever to be taken in by White. No, she would not believe a bit of it, they would come for her as soon as they could, no doubt. She planned to be free long before they could rescue her, despite her current state of feebleness. She needed information, about where she was and how many stood between her and freedom. With luck, the idiot may actually give her that himself. Besides, she was wondering why he would call Nightmare brother. She slowly nodded, lowering her eyes, trying to appear pathetic, not that it was a stretch to do at the moment.
“Good girl.” He patted her hand before placing it on his thigh as he sat beside her on the bed. “You see, there once was a beautiful queen and her soft, charming outsider king. The maker of this world was so charmed by him that she had begun creating just for his delight. The queen soon bare him a son, strong and powerful. The mother craved to know that feeling, to give of herself and her love, to be touched by him. So she took human form for herself and disguised herself as the queen one fateful evening, seducing the fool. He never knew the difference, just went on in blissful ignorance.” How almost bitter sounding those words were, “it took longer for the mother to bare her young, birthing twin sons. The oldest arrived several time changes earlier than his brother. He became known as White, for his favorite color. No heart beat in his chest, like that of she who bore him. The younger, known as Black had a ticking clock like those in wonderland. She kept us apart from them for the longest time until the day I escaped her. I wanted to see the man that mother was so enchanted by and found him utterly disgusting. So I dug his heart out of his chest to see what the big deal was. Mother was pissed, making it so that any other outsider who came would be loved by all of Wonderland, not realizing that it is possible to kill those you love.”
She fought against tensing, keeping her hand still under his caressing fingers. He was the cause of all Nightmares sorrow, the loss of his parents to one spoiled, selfish boy. Those of wonderland were dark beings, there was no doubt that even she had her own spark of malice, but this was beyond that. True anger burned in her chest and she knew that it would never cool until she rung the life from him with her own hands, permanently.
The more emotion grew within her, the more her body awakened. A flash went through her, a sharp jab of lust nearly painful. Her body was starving for the power that it normally held, crying out for nourishment. Concentrating on where his skin met hers, she drew on him as hard and as fast as she could, trying to feed that hunger a little.
White gasped, rising from the bed, quickly braking contact with her. “Ah, you naughty girl,” he exclaimed, pleasure written all over his face, “None of that just yet. Though it does make me wonder if you can do that with such an innocent place, what might you do elsewhere?” The faceless woman returned, bringing tea which he carefully handed to her, making sure not to touch her skin.
Sipping the tea until her throat was bearable again, Aliya decided to keep him going. Though he had told her some shocking things, it still was no help to her now. “So what now?” she asked, her voice still raspy.
“Good question, my pet. Your chains and bars have been infused with your blood. Even at your strongest, you should not be able to break through them.” He stroked down one of the bars as if it had been her flesh, “you will remain here, your body starving for energy until you bind your life and power to me, mine to command and control.”
Aliya could not stop the rough laugh that escaped her. “Not going to happen.” She said positively.
“We shall see.” He said, opening her cage. “You will continue to weaken and starve until your body turns on itself and you begin to vomit blood like the incubus. The difference is, you won’t die, but continue to suffer until your mind breaks. If you do not give into me before that happens, then I will simply throw faceless at you until it is safe to touch you and have you anyway. A mad queen for a dark king, poetic, don’t you think?” He winked at her as he shut her in, his footsteps echoing loudly as he walked away.“Fuck.” She said, wondering how in the hell she was getting out of this one.