Chapter 1: Leon
It’s in the silence of death that we truly discover who we are. I thought I was a soldier once. Turns out I’m something much more. Something better than any soldier or man. I…am a king among men. Perhaps even a god. I am the harbinger of death and I am coming for the worlds of men.
She looks at me with longing in her eyes. A smile creeps across her ash grey face. Her black lips parting to reveal pearl white teeth. Two sets of fangs extend above the others on the top and bottom rows of teeth. Her silver eyes glisten in the light of the sun.
I bring a hand to her face and lightly brush it across her cheek. I savor the soft silkiness of her skin before placing a kiss upon her lips. We both look towards the horizon as the kiss ends to revel in the fruits of our labor.
We hover down to the surface of the newly conquered world on a platform of land raised by Crinza. I step off as it touches down and step forward to the leader of said world who awaits me on his knees with a talon of one of my beloved’s beauties at his throat.
I look down on him with a smirk.
“So, what are you? President? Prime Minister? Chancellor?” I ask.
“Primarch my lord Harbinger,” he responds with a shaky voice.
“Lord Harbinger huh? I think I like that,”
“It sounds very regal love,” Crinza chimes in.
I drop to one knee, looking into his steel blue eyes. My red eyes reflecting off of the frightful tears beginning to form in his.
“Are you trying to brown nose your way into saving this pitiful place?”
“N-n-no Lord Harbinger. I was merely rendering the proper respect to you,”
“Well I didn’t hear any respect rendered unto me,” Crinza chimes once again.
I raise an eyebrow “Well…that is unfortunate my good man,”
I lift myself back into a standing position and begin to pace.
“What are we to do with a situation like that? I’ll tell you what, since we’re the visitors here, I’ll give you the choice. You see, welcoming me but not my beloved is quite the offense. Why am I welcome but she is not?”
“My Lord p-p-please—”
“No, no. It’s alright. No harm, no foul. I just need a little something up in return for the sleight. So, what I need from you is something very simple…left…or right?”
“Left or right, my lord?”
“Yes, left, or right? Very easy, just pick,”
The Primarch ponders a moment.
“The right, I suppose,”
“Very good. Beloved, would you command your children to kill all of the Galorians to the right of the Primarch?”
A sinister giggle leaves Crinza’s lips as she gracefully steps to my side. The Primarch grows mad with fear and guilt as to what he’s done.
“Please my lord no! Spare them! I beg of you!” He cries out as he falls to his face, kissing my feet and clutching my cloak.
“Stand up.” I order.
The Primarch cannot hear me through his sobs. I reach down and grab the collar of his shirt and lift him to his feet. I turn him around so that he can see his people.
“Stay dignified in front of your people. Even if you aren’t resisting me, you should at least make it look like you are. Stand proud for those who are chosen,” I say as I place my hands on his shoulders and look passed him to the crowd.
The Primarch swallows hard and adjusts himself and I feel his posture stiffen into a prouder one. I look to Crinza, who stands eagerly to my right.
I nod a signal towards her.
With a flick of her wrist the pets begin their massacre of the Galorian people. The ensuing slaughter creates a river of blood that washes over the remaining peoples. It continues to flow into a nearby stream, the resulting coagulation is so compounded that the stream is completely dammed up.
The Primarch stands quiet for a time until all at once he screams an awful cry to the heavens and falls to his face, clutching it in both hands, and shaking uncontrollably.
I see Crinza crouch down in front of the river of blood and dip a finger into the pool. She stares at the crimson that has painted her index finger.
“It’s so interesting to me that the Creator decided to fill you meat sacks with such a powerfully life-giving substance. Red, green, blue, no matter what color, it provides life all the same. And yet all of you squander it with every breath you take,” she says.
She studies the blood for a moment more before drinking it off the tip of her finger and standing back up.
I kneel down close to the Primarch’s ear “Do you understand the price of arrogance now, Primarch?”
“Y-y-yes my lord. My p-p-people have been far too arrogant. We have d… destroyed our world for the sake of conquest. Our wildlife suffers. There are those who live in poverty,”
“And do you feel that you are an adequate Primarch?”
“I have… done my best my lord. But it was not enough. I have failed,”
“And what of your people?”
“Most are good, my lord. I am certain of that,”
“What do you think we should do with those who aren’t?”
“Remove them, my lord. It is the only way for us to live according to the ways of Crinza,”
I stand back up and turn away. Crinza stands at my side once more. We traverse the field until we are back onto the platform we descended on.
I turn back to the Primarch and his people.
“You made a good choice today Primarch. Unfortunately, deciphering which of your people are truly evil is a much too time-consuming process. And I have much work to do,”
The Primarch snaps his head up and turns towards me with horror in his eyes.
“Pets, kill the rest of them. Save the Primarch for last,” I say flatly as Crinza lifts the platform off the ground.
The Primarch’s screams are blood curdling as his mind breaks completely. The screams come to a sudden stop as the Primarch’s head is severed from his shoulders and tossed through the air from the force.
Our platform floats to the open door of a ship. It is of my design and of Crinza’s making. I convinced Crinza that it would be an effective method of transporting the pets she made as well as allow her to remain in her current form. The ships are made of a biomechanical material that is a combination of her own nigh impenetrable carapace and technology that has been cannibalized from the worlds we’ve conquered thus far. It’s crude, but functional. On each ship, Crinza used a number of her pets to control the vessels, literally fusing their bodies into the infrastructure of the ship.
I stare at the green displays as our ship passes through the atmosphere and joins the large fleet sitting in orbit. I feel cold on my shoulders as Crinza steps behind me, laying her head on my left shoulder.
“Where shall we go next, love?” She asks with excitement.
I turn my head towards Crinza before my body follows. I place a kiss on her lips, feeling the warmth drain from mine.
“I’m curious, what was that comment you made?” I ask, releasing my lips from hers.
“Which one, love?”
Crinza gives a coy smile “Are you looking for a lesson?”
I simply return a smile to her in kind.
“Very well, love. Always the astute one, even after your ascendance,”
Crinza walks to the door of the bridge “Pets, would you kindly bring a snack for me,” She asks in a sarcastic politeness.
One of the creatures leaves and a few moments later, returns dragging a frightened woman. It tosses the woman to Crinza’s feet. Crinza slowly lowers herself to a kneeling position until she can look the woman in the eyes. The woman freezes in fear as she stares into the nothingness of Crinza’s gaze. She lets slip a few whimpers to which Crinza raises a finger to her lips to give a silent hush.
Crinza smiles deviously as she lifts the woman to standing position. She quickly whips the woman around so that she’s facing me, holding a forearm around her neck and peering over the woman’s shoulder at me.
Crinza lifts the woman’s wrist to face level “Did you know, that when the first humans were created, they weren’t flesh and blood?” Crinza questions.
I raise an inquisitive eyebrow “Is that so?”
Crinza grins “It is. When humanity was first created, you were much more akin to that of the Primordials,”
I cross my arms and shoot her a questioning stare.
Crinza giggles “That’s a lesson for another time I suppose. To elaborate, humanity were beings of spirit rather than flesh. It was only after the fall that they became of flesh and blood,”
“So, you’re telling me that the whole, Adam and Eve, Garden of Eden story was all real?”
“Of course, it was. The Creator enjoys leaving little pieces of Himself in the worlds he makes,” Crinza says as she decides to have a taste of the woman, gliding her tongue along the woman’s forearm, causing a scared whimper to pass through her lips.
“The Bible makes no mention that other worlds were created by Him,”
“That’s because the Bible is simply the story of humanity, love. Though in certain ways it is more important given the fact that you were the first of His creations. To continue my lesson, when humanity was made flesh, blood was the template for life giving. Within each person…” Crinza stops a moment and pricks the woman’s wrist with a fingernail.
Crimson slowly starts to trickle down the woman’s arm and drip on to the floor.
“Flows this substance. Mortal science defines it as a simple collection of cells. But the Creator gave it to humanity in order to give them life while in the flesh. The energy within it is among the most powerful,”
“Powerful enough to fuel a Cosmic?”
“Now you’re catching on, love,”
Crinza glides her tongue across the woman’s forearm once again, taking all of the blood into her mouth. She forces the woman to move closer to me until her forearm is near my face.
“I’ve given you the gift of great power Leon. You’ll need to feed that power, keep it strong,” Crinza says with a sinister smirk.
I glance at the wound, and the blood slowly trickling out, then back towards Crinza.
“I don’t think I’m comfortable with that just yet,” I say as I feel a slight nausea in my stomach.
Crinza then steps around the woman, still holding her arm. She stares at me with a seriousness in her eyes.
“You wish to help me fulfill my desires, don’t you?”
“Then this is how,” Crinza says, moving the woman’s wrists closer towards my face.
The woman can no longer contain her fear and begins to let out small sounds of sobbing as she attempts to stifle them. This causes me to finally look the woman in the face and see the desperation in her eyes as she stares at me.
It’s then that my bearing finally breaks and I step back from the woman and force myself to look away.
I hear Crinza take a few steps.
“Look at me, love,”
I turn my face towards the direction of Crinza’s voice. For a split second I see Crinza’s nail’s digging into the woman’s neck before she tears the woman’s neck open and sprays blood all over my face and body.
The only sound the woman can make is a sharp cry before her life is cut short and she falls to the floor, motionless. I stare at Crinza wide eyes and surprise. She walks towards me with a smile, licking the residual blood from her fingers.
“That was unnecessary,” I say with aggravation in my voice.
She takes a finger and runs it along my cheek, taking the blood on to her finger tip.
“Perhaps I was too forward with you, love. I sometimes forget that you need a…gentler touch,” She says as she places her blood-soaked finger on to my lips.
She gently runs her finger around my lips. I can feel the blood painting my mouth as she moves her finger around. I close my eyes, trying to concentrate on resisting.
The spell of Crinza’s seduction is becomes too much to bear, causing me to almost uncontrollably open my mouth slowly.
Crinza’s slips her finger into my mouth. I taste the metallic red on my tongue.
A tingling feeling washes over me and I feel as if an electricity is encapsulating my mind. Crinza catches me as I stumble forward. The feeling fades away from me and I stare at Crinza in questioning.
“What the hell was that?”
“Like you said, love, fuel for a Cosmic,” Crinza responds as she kisses me passionately, sliding her tongue inside, letting the blood on it coat my mouth.
The combination is like an ecstasy, causing my legs to give way. There’s a mass that catches me and I realize it must be Crinza manipulating the structure of the ship. We continue our act, sinker deeper into each other’s movements, intertwining with one another as we sink through the floor and into the comfort of a dark, private room.
It’s that this moment that I realize, I am completely under her spell.