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Metropolis: An ominous meeting

Victor lounged across a sofa, his head resting on the arm rest, with his limbs stretched out, taking up all the available room. He was swathed in a plume of dark smoke, which issued from his cigar. A magnificent room stretched out before him. Lush carpets brought in from the south, an antique time scale hung from the wall, periodically calling dates and times before reverting to the appropriate one, charts of every reverence called the walls home. Thick furs of beast unknown to even Victor hugged the floors close. Gaseous orbs floated about in the air giving off radiant yellow light, a mural was painted across the ceiling, and its pictures depicted a battle almost as old as the city itself. He looked up at the dark figures, in spite of the light cast by the orbs, and he figured they were meant to be that way. The mysterious piece of artwork would have terrified lesser men, but Victor was only fascinated.

He noticed what could only be the Pillars within the mural and this caught his interest. Swathing darkness hovered over them, like thunder clouds ready to weep rain and shout thunder, yet as imposing as it was, it was absolutely enthralling. There was something within the work of art that he could not quite put his finger on, but it drew him. His eyes scanned across the vast ceiling and with a hunger, his mind devoured the images, and after a time they began to come together, moving as if they were actually alive. Victor knew that something had happened but he couldn’t and wouldn’t strip his eyes away, the mural’s images blurred together and he was seeing more than just a painting, but an actual story. Suddenly he was hearing voices, feeling people move and brush past him, and then he was seeing them as if he were within the mural, fighting their battle. He closed his eyes and let the images completely envelop him.
The plains of the Pit stretched out before him, engulfed in twilight. Shadowy figures moved about him.
They moved oddly, as if stiff and old, as they seemingly pulled themselves from shadow to shadow, merging with each patch of shade. In the distance the Pillars stood proud and prominent. Thunderclouds brewed over them, growling in their dismay. Millions of the creatures moved about, stretching from shadow to shadow. Their numbers stretched for as far as Victor could see and higher than he could count. Their ever forward march was painfully slow and consistent. Then slowly the sun sunk behind the clouds, dissolving the earth into shadow. Then the battle began. He hadn’t seen the massive army of government troops behind him, but there they were their war masks and armor glistening in the darkness.

There were horrid screams of untold horror as the last rays of light faded, and darkness set in. Only the scant light cast from the glowing orbs allowed Victor vision of what was happening, and he was enraptured. The once stiff and inflexible creatures were now numerous shadowy figures of death, their movements swift and precise, slick and silent. He could only watch as men were torn apart, and completely engulfed by the savage monsters from the Pit. He took witness of men being dragged into the unknown depths of their own shadows. Fire bombs and incendiaries flew through the air, igniting the night air with fiery explosions, twisting and contorting the shadowy figures only to have them reappear and tear into even more victims. Blood ran dark and thick over the desolate ground, nourishing it in ways the rain never had. Victor watched as even the soil drank its fill. Gunshots were fired, ripping into the darkness and shredding the obscure assailants.

Explosions tore apart the soil blowing debris into the air, spheres of conflagration were sent careering through the lines of the opposing force, and the white heat of the flames seared the earth and made the air crackle with their intensity. Yet still the vast army refused to give way and only proceeded further. Thousands of soldiers lay torn open, their entrails flooding from their bellies, their arms and legs broken and twisted in brutal positions. Groups of soldiers ran into the fray firing automatic rounds that exploded on contact, but Victor watched in sheer fascination as one by one they were swept into the air and eviscerated, their entrails falling from the sky like confetti. In spite of the military effort, the battle was becoming completely one sided, with almost every casualty being that of a human. It was as if death had come amongst the living, wielding a cleaver. To watch the horror unfold was sheer ecstasy to Victor, who walked amongst the dead and dying, completely unnoticed yet captivated by the carnage that surrounded him. The sheer scope of the violence sent his heart racing. Victor knew that the end was near, the human forces were dwindling and inadequate compared to the greater power of the shadowy figures. Despite the mighty efforts of the human military, the battle was coming to a horrid conclusion, and then the wizards came. But just as he watched a furious discharge of electricity shred the Pit dwellers into fluid patches of shade, he was dragged suddenly from his reverie and thrust back into his own body, where he lounged upon the sofa. The darkness receded from his eyes as if he were awakening, and before him stood the Watcher.

Victor had never seen such a man before, if the Watcher could even be considered a man, or anything even remotely similar. He was mid-sized shorter then Victor who was a near head taller than he, but his well tailored suit did little to hide his powerful build. His neck was perhaps as thick as one of Victor’s thighs, and his hands were enormous. A barrel chest pressured his suit jacket near to bursting, and his arms were about as thick as a tree trunk. His physique, although impressive, was nowhere near as imposing as his eyes. It was like staring into pools of copper surrounded by a lake of black diamonds. Victor always imagined him as a bull whose horns weren’t visible but this only made him all the more deadly.

Victor looked up at the Watcher, not quite prepared to meet those eyes. Victor feared no one, but the Watcher always put him on edge, like a cat with its hackles up. He wasn’t sure but he always got the feeling that there was a lot more to this being in human flesh than met the eye, his very aura seemed to take up all the available space within the room. It was like being asphyxiated by his presence alone. Finally meeting those eyes of solid mineral he stood tall before the shorter man, letting his own power emanate from within, pressing against the ever salient figure that was the Watcher.
“Victor! Your presence is ever welcoming within my humble abode. Please tell me what it is that I can do you for?” The Watcher’s eyes scanned Victors face hungrily, as if he would devour him whole. Victor gazed into the eyes of the Watcher and decided to make his visit brief, because at the moment he was thinking of better things then trading blows with the Watcher and his consistent witticism. Talking with the Watcher was ever a dangerous occurrence, it was like dancing on glass, and one had to be very precise indeed in order to prevent being cut.

“As much as I would love to sit here and so eloquently battle you with the marvelous intellect that I possess, I at present have neither the time nor the patience to trade blows with you so to speak. But instead I have come to ask of you a favor.”

“Ah,” the Watcher bounced back, “and what might that be?” He seemed to float more than walk was he took a seat in a large chair not far across the room. Victor thought him a bull with astounding grace.

“You know of what it is that I speak you needn’t play stupid with me.”

“Do I?” The watcher feigned sincere surprise at the accusation. “Well, if you think I know of what is you’ve come to ask of me then why did you come?” Victor quickly grew angry yet he kept his fearsome temper in check.

“I have come to ask that you wouldn’t intervene with my already blooming plans.” Those eyes came up slowly to meet his own, and even from this distance he could detect the danger in that gaze.

“Victor, you poor ignorant boy, I saw of your plans before you even pieced them together. Had I the desire to prevent such an occurrence then I would simply have intervened. But seeing that I did not you should count yourself lucky that I consider your company in some regards pleasant, because otherwise I would have seen to it that your whorish mother had died before a thing such as you could even be thought of, let alone brought into this world.” He paused and then continued stoically. “So, you should be far more grateful of just who you are dealing with, because I have granted you more than, by any means, you deserve.”
Victor shook with controlled rage, but he knew that to kill the Watcher, were it possible, would only play against him, so he asked stupidly. “So you will not intervene then?”

He looked at Vincent pityingly.
“Of course not, but you are drawing your line ever closer.”

“What do you mean?” queried Victor. His voice full of the utmost loathing the Watcher answered.

“My brother, he watches closely from across the Murk, and I am afraid that his power runs deeper than you or I know.” Victors mind went into a spiral.

“What do you mean? You told me you had him under control!” The Watcher closed his eyes as if pained.
“I did for a time, but I am afraid that his influence in the affairs of wizardry, sorcery, and all forms of magic has grown somewhat, and he has made some rather powerful friends.”

Victor howled in rage, but he quickly regained control. “How could you not have foreseen this? I cannot allow them to get involved, at least not yet.”
The Watcher reopened his eyes and a fury red glow made itself eminent from the center of his horrifying eyes.

“I will handle my brother, but you must do what is necessary, do not allow anyone to know anymore of your plans, my brother though not as talented as myself is still quite adept at finding things that he shouldn’t.”

“Is that not why they call him the Revealer?” The Watcher gave Victor a murderous look, and then asked.

“Seeing that I’ve already agreed not to intervene in you operation, may I ask where it is be to staged?”
Victor smiled devilishly.“The poor district,” replied Victor still smiling as he placed his cigar in his mouth.

“The poor district, really? I wonder why?” queried the Watcher. Victor looked at him, as he drew deeply from his grand cigar.

“No one notices when the poor die, it’s really the best I could do under our circumstances. Plus, it provides for marvelous experimentation as to how efficient my new weapon is.”

The eyes of the Watcher glowed brighter.
“Ah, I see.” He closed his eyes, and then reopened them suddenly. “But it appears that it has already started.”

Victor blew a magnificent smoke ring. “So it has.”