Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Intus Opaca, Part Seven

"I am not a Non," Dragomir whispered. His voice felt raw, and the Catastrophe's burning in his hand seemed also to burn his mind.

"True," Iko conceded. He raised one long, spindly finger to his face thoughtfully. "You're more of a hybrid. A half-and-half. Coffee with a large dollop of cream. Lito always was one for strange science - "

Dragomir lunged. His legs seemed to stretch further than possible, bounding him nearly fifteen feet across the room. He swiped at Iko with the Catastrophe, but the old man ducked away again, sliding behind the line of rats on his left. The floor hissed and smoked, badly scarred from the tip of the Catastrophe.

"You certainly have her temper!" Iko wrapped his fingers around one of the statues, seeming to strangle it. The stone cracked under his grip. "And here I believed we could have a civil conversation."

The rat's head flew across the room, and two more flew with it. Iko dodged each of Dragomir's swipes, no matter how much Dragomir's arms seemed to stretch or twist. He felt like he was made of rubber.

"You're clumsy! You need lessons." Iko straightened his hat. "A shame you didn't attend our school. Weaponry was a state-ordered mandatory class for all students. Mako the Blademaster would've set you straight. Although, since you're a part of Lito, technically..."

Dragomir raged. He hacked at the statues of the rats, reducing one to a pedestal, another to a fallen head, yet another to a heap of clean-cut debris on the floor. Each time the Catastrophe hit something Dragomir's head hurt a little more, but he didn't care, he just wanted to kill, kill, kill. Then he wondered if Non thought about killing all the time, and he attacked another statue.

Iko settled against one of the columns holding the temple's roof aloft. He inspected his impossibly-long nails, tapping them against the floor. Striped ooze dripped from the edges. "Don't feel so bad, Dragomir. You're not the only freak in the room. The things I've stolen over the years... they haven't always been to my liking. I'd give these blasted hands back to their owner, if I could... oh, but he was a bastard... who has claws that can't retract? Honestly."

He's fucking with me, Dragomir thought, letting the Catastrophe dip. It left a sparking green hole in the floor. He's fucking with me and I know it, but I can't... concentrate... agh, my head...

"Why are you doing this?" Dragomir swallowed. His mouth was dry. He wondered if Non salivated."Who... who the fuck are you to do this to me?WHY ARE YOU BEING SUCH A BASTARD?"

From the beginning, Iko's expression was kindly. Exasperated at times, curious at others, but always with a hint of good intentions and benevolent humour. When Dragomir spoke, the humour remained... but the old man's features hardened, and his eyes took on a gleam Dragomir did not like one bit.

"I was bored. I thought it would be fun." Iko shrugged. "You try living for multiple millenia. You run out of things to do. Oh, but, being a Non, now, I suppose you'll probably last to at least one thousand. Surprise!"

Dragomir charged.

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