The Demon world. Bathed in the light of a red sun and ruled by the militaristic Argus Empire.
The Null Lands.
The areas between Argus’s cities that are known for their lawlessness. The only thing that keeps any real order in those areas is the “Representatives” from the Argus Military.
Weasels in charge of Chicken coops.
“You sure this is a good Idea?” asked a young voice. The voice belonged to a 5’6 human demon crossbred named Morphan. Morphan had brown leather-like skin with dark brown armor-like carapaces covering his forearms, lower legs, upper chest, shoulders and the top of his head. For clothing he wore black sweatpants, some loose sandals and a black vest. Like a lot of things in Argus his vest had the symbol of the empire (a caricature of a demon head) on its back.
“I’ve heard this is a pretty shady area of the Null lands,” he continued as his red eyes scanned the dry, desolate wasteland outside the bus window.
“Don’t worry, Bus Driver Prodigy Harry Crax is on the job.” Harry was a big burly demon at 6’5 and covered in thick shaggy brown fur. The fur covered nearly all of his body save for his forearms, revealing ink-black skin with small claws at the end. The only clothing he wore was a small bus driver’s cap on his head to cover his bald spot. “Trust me, taking my special shortcut through Labirinth Canyons will cut our time in half.”
Labirinth Canyons was a series of interlocking canyons located deep in the Null Lands. Its unforgiving landscape, complicated maze like structure and bogyman stories of brigands kept most demons out of the area.
As Morphan looked out the window he could see the imposing mountainous canyons in the distance. “Harry did it ever occur to you there’s a reason demons don’t take this route?”
“Relax, will ya.” said Harry as he confidently stroked his large bushy mustache. “I told you before I personally know the Representative in this region. All I got to do is wave a little cash under his nose and TA-DAAA he’ll take us through there with a skip in his step.”
“So, that’s the secret to your success, huh bribery.” Morphan stated, a little harsher then he intended.
“Ah don’t be so naïve, you’d be surprised how cutthroat the transit business is.” Harry stated casually “Besides what right do you have to judge me. You’re eloping.”
Morphan smacked his forehead in chagrin. “For the last time I’m not eloping.”
“Sure you are, why else would a strapping young demon like you be going to Mirabilis?”
Morphan tried desperately to think of a comeback. What was he supposed to tell him, telling the truth would be a bad idea. The bus driver had been kind to him so far but Morphan knew all too well how easily that changed at the mention of being a half demon.
“(Sigh) I guess I’ll just have to trust you.”
“That’s what I’d like to hear.” Said Harry, with that he switched gears and sped his little red bus towards the canyons. “Believe me, friend, nothing is going to go wrong.”
An hour later…
Harry’s little red bus rushed through the canyon. “I can’t believe how quickly everything went wrong?” exclaimed Harry as he frantically drove his bus.
“Half-Demon Scum” yelled the Argus Representative- Straight Arrow. Straight Arrow was a massive crocodilian demon standing ten feet tall and built every inch of the way with thick, muscular scaly flesh. The only clothing he wore was a pair of black boxers and the Shadow Emperies- an emblem with the Argus logo-embedded into his chest. “DIE!” he roared, showing off his rows of razor sharp teeth, with that he focused his demonic aura into the two barnacle like bone structures on his back and with a burst of purple energy propelled him forward in a manner similar to that of a jet pack.
“That’s some Aura he’s got.” Harry exclaimed “My precious bus Gale is going as fast as she can go but he’s gaining up to us with just one burst.”
“What did you expect he may be bottom rung but he’s still a military demon.” Morphan explained.
By now Straight Arrow was touching Gale with the tips of his short, sharp claws. “I’ve got you now!” he yelled.
“That’s what you think!” Harry retorted. With that he made a hard right causing Straight Arrow to continue forward straight into a canyon wall.
The impact shrouded Straight Arrow in a cloud of dust and debris. “Lucky for us this aint the first time I’ve dealt with trouble on the Null lands.” Harry bragged.
“Why didn’t you tell me he was a half-hater?” Morphan asked sternly.
“I didn’t think it mattered.” Harry answered, because he was currently focused on the road Morphan could not see his face. “Besides why didn’t you tell me you were a half-demon?”
“Because I was chased out of every home I had for BEING a half-demon.” Morphan yelled angrily, the entirety of the situation frustrating him. “I was on the run AGAIN, and when you’re on the run you don’t tell the first demon you meet that you’re a half demon.”
Harry said nothing.
“So now you know the truth, I was taking the first bus out of town to escape an angry mob of half-haters.” He continued.
Harry said nothing.
Bursting out of the wall to their right was a large, spinning, black mass. “Drill Attack” the mass yelled, it slowed its spinning to reveal it was Straight Arrow who had apparently bored through the earth snout first like a drill.
Before they could comprehend what was going on, Straight Arrow grabbed onto the moving bus and broke a window with his pointy snout.
“How did you…”
“He he he you didn’t think I was just blowing hot air all those times I told you I knew this canyons inside AND out.” Straight Arrow bragged. “I drill through the walls to make shortcuts all the time.”
“Boulder!” Morphan yelled pointing frantically forward.
Apparently Harry was so awestricken with Straight Arrow’s appearance that he wasn’t paying attention to the road. As a result he had to slam the brakes to prevent them from crashing into a large boulder on the road.
“Face it, you’re completely out of your league.” Straight Arrow bragged. “You don’t know the land nearly as well as I do so you can’t hope to outrun me, and as military demon my combat prowers naturally exceed yours so you can’t hope to fight me. Your only option is to lay down and die.”
“Look, half-hater, I’m the one you want so take me and leave him alone.” Morphan stated defiantly.
“Shut up you MUTT!” roared Straight Arrow his red eyes burning with racial hate. “Anyone who’s willing to help one of you disgusting freaks is automatically my enemy.”
“But how do you know if he’s a half-demon?” Harry pleaded. “This could all be just a big misunderstanding.”
“It’s his EYES you brainless idiot, his EYES!” Straight Arrow yelled, with that he opened his eyes wide for emphasis. “You see, natural pure blood demons like you and me have eyes that are completely red just as the Doom intended. But freaks like him…” he gestured to Morphan “Their eyes are only red in the iris and the pupil.”
With that Harry slowly turned around and looked at Morphan’s eyes. For the first time Harry noticed the white surrounded the red in his eyes. Harry also noticed although the rest of Morphan’s face was stern and unreadable his eyes were apologetic either sorry for dragging Harry into this mess or sorry for being born a half-demon.
For the first time since he meet him Harry’s face was completely devoid of emotion.
“Aww isn’t that just the cutest thing.” Straight Arrow mocked. “Tell you what Harry this little love fest has touched me so much that I’m willing to forgive you IF you hand over the freak to me.”
Harry said nothing.
“What’s more, if you pay me double I’ll forget all about this little incident.”
Harry said nothing.
“Pay me triple, and I’ll guide you out of this canyon, what do you say?”
Harry said nothing
“Surely you’re not willing to DIE for a half-demon of all things?”
Harry said nothing for a while before inhaling and exhaling deeply. “Listen here Morphan is MY passenger, and if I let anything bad happen to my passengers I’d be a disgrace to bus drivers everywhere.”
Morphan was shocked for a moment before smiling warmly then starring down Straight Arrow defiantly.
Straight Arrow snarled loudly “Fine then you two will face the abyss together.”
“BRING IT ON!” Harry proceeded to rapidly open and close the bus doors causing them to bang Arrow on the shoulder. Eventually Straight Arrow growled in annoyance before grabbing the doors and ripping them off the bus.
“Oh it’s on now,” yelled Harry. With that he suddenly pulled the bus into reverse, causing Arrow to lose his balance. While Arrow was struggling to retain his grip Harry drove his bus forward.
“Gale Crushing Attack” Harry proceeded to scrape Arrow along the wall of the canyon.
“You call that an attack!” Straight Arrow boasted. “Let me show how a REAL demon does it.” With that Straight Arrow grabbed the bus and activated his jets. He then rammed the bus into the adjacent wall and started to scrape it.
Harry scrunched at the sound of scraping metal “Ahhh I hate it when people hurt my precious Gale.”
“Then you’re not going to like this!” stated Morphan.
Morphan punched through the bus’s metal wall straight into Arrows gut. The impact caused Arrow to let go of the bus in recoil and thanks to the momentum fall to the ground and tumble with the bus continuing forward.
As Arrow slowly got up, Morphan detached the bus’s emergency exit door and threw it at Arrow like a javelin. The door impacted with Arrow’s chest sending him flying into a boulder in the distance. The boulder shattered on impact.
Harry stopped the bus so he could look back. In the distance he saw Arrow groaning in pain. He then looked at his bus, noticing its broken window, big hole on the side and lack of emergency door. “Don’t like your methods but can’t argue with the results.” Harry said, with shrugged shoulders “Anyways you better buckle up pal, I’m going to get as much distance between us and him before he comes too.”
“No need, this is my stop.”
“Alright thank you for choosing Red-Eye Express for your transporting… wait WHAT?” Before Harry could form a question Morphan jumped out of the back of the bus.
“What are you doing?” Harry hysterically asked “Get in here so we can go.”
“You go I’ll stay and hold him off.” Morphan stated sternly as he took off his vest.
“HOLD HIM OFF, but isn’t he…” Before he finished Harry looked into the distance to notice Straight Arrow getting up with a sore midsection and scrapped flesh on his back.
“Listen to me, Harry.” Morphan continued, as he slipped off his sandals. “Half-haters like him are all over Argus. And as long as you’re with me you’ll be in constant danger.”
“Bu… but I… but”
As Harry stuttered Morphan stood up with his back straight, fists clenched and gaze forward. “Being a half demon has messed up my life, I won’t allow it to mess up others.”
Harry kept opening and closing his mouth trying to say something, anything.
But Harry couldn’t say anything.
“Harry…” Morphan continued his voice so soft and quiet it was practically a coo. “Please, just go.”
Without another word Harry drove his wounded bus into the distance.
A few seconds later Straight Arrow showed up, floating above Morphan, arms crossed arrogantly, face full of contempt. “You must be the biggest idiot in the Omniverse if you think you can take me on.”
“Don’t care if I win or lose.” Morphan retorted.
“Oh?” with that Straight Arrow shifted his eyes into the distance and noticed the bus driving off “I see trying to play hero huh.” With that, Straight Arrow deactivated his jets causing him to land right in front of Morphan; taking some delight in showing his would-be opponent the difference in size between them “I’ll deal with that traitor later.”
Morphan looked up and glared furiously at Straight Arrow. “Don’t give me that look.” Straight Arrow snarled. “What I going to do to him won’t be half as bad as what I’m going to do to you right NOW!”
Straight Arrow punched Morphan in the face. The force of the impact sent Morphan tumbling backwards before he managed to regain his footing.
“Missile Attack” Straight Arrow activated his jets flying snout first into Morphan. Luckily Morphan managed to dodge Arrows attack. Realizing his attack had failed Arrow growled in annoyance before trying again. Arrow kept trying to hit Morphan with his Missile Attack only to have him dodge each time.
“Time for a new a tactic.” Arrow said to himself. He deactivated his jets and jumped into the air, limbs outstretched.
“Fat Missile Attack” Straight Arrow activated his jets in an attempt to crush his opponent with a jet-propelled body slam.
Fortunately Morphan managed to back-flip out of the way. Shortly after he regained his footing Arrow charged forward and attempted to hit Morphan with a barrage of punches. Morphan managed to dodge his punches with some degree of difficulty. After ducking from a powerful right hook Morphan jumped up to hit Arrow in the snot with an uppercut.
There was a moment of silence as Morphan landed in a battle ready stance. Arrow stood with his snout raised into the air, his face un-seeable due to their positions.
“HA HA that all you got.” Straight Arrow boasted. “My snout is my pride and joy, even if you had real strength you’d be lucky to dent it.”
In anticipation of his next move Morphan jumped back a distance and got into a battle ready stance.
“Don’t believe me, then see for yourself.” Straight Arrow then activated his jets “Short-Range Missile Attack”
Morphan managed to grab Arrow by the snout and hold him in place. Arrow growled at being outdone. He focused more aura into his jets causing a larger burst of purple energy. Despite the extra ignition Morphan still stood his ground.
“Let go of me, half demon scum!” Arrow yelled furiously.
“As you wish.” Morphan leaned back and let go causing Arrow to fly over him. Due to the extra momentum he built up Arrow couldn’t help crashing into a wall.
Morphan stood there while he waited for Arrow to pull his snout out of the wall which in the crash had got stuck in a rather comical fashion.
After Arrow got his snout out and turned to face his opponent, Morphan jumped forward and hit him in the chest with a flying sidekick.
The force of the impact not only damaged his chest but smashed him into the wall.
Arrow stood there gasping in pain.
“Your snout may be strong too bad I can’t say the same for the rest of your body.” Morphan stated.
Arrow growled furiously before trying to punch Morphan. He then dodged the attack grabbed Arrow’s arm and threw him judo style. While Arrow was on the ground, he jumped and did a flying elbow slam into his gut. Morphan straddled him and proceeded to punch Arrow in the chest.
POW POW POW
Arrow lay there groaning in pain as Morphan got up and went to a massive nearby boulder. He then lifted it above his head, and moved to his fallen adversary. Realizing what was in store for him, Arrow could do nothing but whimper in terror.
Morphan stood above Arrow with a strong grip on the boulder, his face unreadable as his opponent cowered beneath him.
Morphan then placed the boulder gently onto Arrows chest. As Arrow squirmed under the boulder, Morphan turned around and walked off “That should keep you pinned down for a while” he said.
Arrow looked curiously at the boulder. Although its weight was painful on his bruised chest it wasn’t doing any real damage. “That’s it; you’re just going to leave me like this?” Arrow asked as he apparently struggled to lift the boulder off himself.
“You military demons are known for your tenacity.” Said Morphan as he continued to walk into the distance. “I have no doubt in my mind you’ll be fine.”
“Your going to let me live even after I tried to kill you and your friend?” Arrow asked his voice in his softest tone.
Morphan stopped walking “If I had killed every being in Argus that wronged me, there would be a significant loss to Argus’s population.” Morphan stated his back still facing Arrow.
“It’s nothing complicated I just don’t want to kill.” Morphan stated.
“You know if the shoe was on the other foot, I wouldn’t be so nice to you.” Arrow stated softly.
“Good.” Morphan stated with that he briefly looked back and said “The last thing in the Omniverse I want to do is end up like you.”
There was a moment of silence before Morphan faced forward and started to walk away.
A boulder impacted Morphan’s back. The force of the impact shattered the boulder and brought Morphan to his knees.
“Take this!” Arrow rushed forward and kicked Morphan into a corner. “HA HA HA you stupid little freak!” Arrow boasted. “If a weak little half breed like you could lift that pebble then what made you think that a fully fledged demon like me wouldn’t be able to.”
As Morphan tried to get back up Arrow continued to kick Morphan into the corner “You think you’re some kind of hero with your whole I don’t to kill speech,” Arrow mocked. “You think you’re a hero because you helped out your little bus driver friend, BHAK you just don’t understand do you.” Arrow stopped kicking him so he could loom over Morphan “You’re a half breed, that’s all you are and that’s all you ever be. And the only kindness that can be offered to a half breed…” with that Arrow walked till he found a pointy piece of boulder shrapnel “… is to put them out of their misery.”
Morphan, too sore to stand, could do nothing but lie on the ground, close his eyes and await his fate.
Arrow raised the shrapnel into the air and yelled “SAY GOODBYE!”
Harry drove in seemingly out of nowhere and rammed his bus into Arrow. “Goodbye!” Harry yelled as he rammed Arrow and his bus into a wall.
After the crash Harry rushed out of the bus to help Morphan up. “You okay pal?”
“Ya I’m fine,” said Morphan as he started to rub the sore parts of his body. “Just give me a moment to catch my… wait, wait, wait what are you doing here?”
“I noticed you were in trouble so I rescued you.” Harry stated simply.
“Noticed?” Morphan asked “I thought you left like I asked you too?”
“I did leave; I went about a mile or two when I had a thought.” Harry explained “I realized it isn’t right to abandon a friend, no matter what the circumstances. Especially if that friend as great a guy as you.”
“Great a guy as me?” Morphan asked.
“You were willing to risk your life for me, I could not call myself a real demon if I let such nobility go unrewarded.”
Morphan was in a state of shock and awe over Harry’s kindness. “I don’t know what to say.” Morphan stuttered.
“A simple thank you would be more than enough.”
Morphan smiled the warmest he had in long time before slowly uttering, “Thank you.” Morphans expression dampened when he saw Harry’s precious bus imbedded in the wall. “Sorry about Gale.”.
“Oh don’t worry about it.” Harry scoffed. “Gale’s a tough girl, she’ll pull through no problem.”
Suddenly Straight Arrow pushed the bus away and furiously stomped towards Morphan and Harry. “That is it, I’ve had all I can take from you two.” Straight Arrow snarled “Now the gloves are officially off.”
Morphan struck a wobbly battle-ready pose, only to have Harry step in front of him “You’ve done more than enough, now it’s my turn to fight for you.” said Harry.
“You audacious little prick.” Straight Arrow snarled. “I am a representative of the Argus Empire, you are a bus driver. With my jet powers I am invincible.” For reference he caused some short burst of aura from his jets.
“Hairy Situation” before anyone else could react, the fur on his left arm grew to an incredible length. He then swung it causing the fur to wrap around Arrow like a whip.
“What in the world?”
“Typical military demon arrogance.” Harry stated “You guys think you’re the only ones in Argus who have powers. While as anyone will tell you ALL demons in Argus have powers. Mine is to control the fur all over my body, I can make it as long or as short as I want. I can also control its, texture, density and even hardness.” Arrow struggled to break out of Harry’s makeshift lasso “At the moment I’m using my Aura to make my fur as hard a steel cables, so you’ll never be able to break…”
With a burst of strength Straight Arrow broke Harry’s fur lasso, Straight Arrow then grabbed Harry’s strand of fur and yanked Harry towards him. Harry flew towards Straight Arrows fist, the force of the impact sent Harry flying back to the wall.
As a result of the impact Harry slumped down in a daze.
“All right, you’ve wasted enough of my time.” Snarled Straight Arrow “This ends NOW!”
Morphan took a moment to look at his injured friend. “You’re absolutely right,” Morphan stated fiercely as he crossed his arms in an X formation “This will end now.”
With that slim film of blue Aura surrounded Morphan, then his carapaces got thicker and stronger, a second thinner layer of carapaces started to form over his skin, he also grew at least three inches taller and a good deal buffer, some carapaces grew on his head to form a design similar to a knight’s helmet. The final part of his transformation was his eyes, no longer red in the iris but fully red. Morphan’s Aura dissipated once his transformation was complete.
“What in the name of the Doom?” Arrow asked.
“My power is genetic alteration.” Morphan answered “You see as a half demon I have one half human genes one half demon genes. My power is that I can choose which of those genes to be dominant. The form I was in all this time was a form where my human genes and my demon genes were in perfect balance. I call it my half-form.”
Arrow simply nodded to show he more or less understood.
“In this form however,” Morphan gestured to himself, “My demon genes are dominate. I call it my Demon-form.”
Arrow stood confused.
“I wouldn’t expect you to understand, but when we fought earlier I had no intention of winning only to buy time so my friend Harry could get away.” Morphan then struck a battle ready posse “But now that my friend Harry’s life is on the line I have every reason in the Omniverse to win.”
“GRRRR if you think splicing your genes will make you a fully fledged demon you got another thing coming. Allow me to show you the power of a TRUE FULL FLEDGED DEMON!” Straight Arrow then squatted and started charging his Aura. As his Aura got charged his snout started to glow with a burning purple light, when he was doing charging his snout was glowing ominously “You see. I too was holding back, never occurred to me that I’d have to go all out on such a worthless opponent. But you forced my hand.” Straight Arrow pointed proudly to his snout. “You see the reason my snout is so strong is because the Aura in that area is exceptionally strong, it’s like a lightning rod for my Aura. In this state my attack strength is increased two-fold. What do you say about that.”
Morphan clenched his fists before saying “I’m really sick of hearing your voice.”
“Atomic Missile Attack” with a huge burst of aura, Straight Arrow soared snout first towards Morphan.
Morphan punched Arrow in the snout. The impact sent Arrow tumbling backwards till he hit the wall; he then slumped to the ground defeated. His beloved snout no longer glowing was now bent in a zigzag formation that was both comical and grotesque.
Morphan stood with his fist outstretched for a moment before relaxing and reverting back to his half-form.
“That was AWSOME!”
Morphan took a startled battle ready pose only to realize that the loud voice was that of his friend Harry Crax, “I thought you were unconscious?” he asked.
“I was.” Harry answered he then took off his cap and tapped his skull. “I’ve taken so many blows to the head that head injuries are no threet to me.” He stated as he put his cap back on.
“Threet?” Morphan asked, he then shook his head with a smile “Well in any case I’m glad you’re okay.” With that Morphan went to pick up his sandals which he took off before the fight.
“Great I’ll get Gale up and running then we’re off to Mirabilis.” With that Harry went to his bus to do said task.
“Yes Harry about that.” Morphan stated with the utmost seriousness, his tone stopped Harry in his tracks “Argus information network is top notch they’ll eventually find out that I took down one of their representatives.”
“Relax; they say anything goes in the Null lands.” Harry stated casually.
“Let me rephrase that.” Morphan continued still serious “They’ll find out that a HALF-DEMON took down one of their representatives. They won’t stand for the idea of a half-breed being powerful, they’ll throw the book at me and by extension YOU for helping me.”
Harry said nothing.
“Knowing this do you still want to help me?” Morphan asked.
“You apparently have trouble hearing.” Harry stated seriously. “I said I’d take you to Mirabilis and I’ll take you there.”
No more words being needed, they two of them hopped into Gale and Harry drove the two of them into the distance.
A few minutes later…
As Arrow lay down unconscious, a mighty desert breeze blew by, the kind of breeze that foretells a powerful storm coming. Morphan’s vest with the symbol of Argus which was forgotten in the excitement was blown away.