Contract of the Dark

contract75x99Vote until March 24, 2014!

In the previous episode, readers voted that although both Raphael Fantassa and Mr. Red lunge towards Gamma after the path to gaining his powers is exposed, Mr. Red reaches Gamma first.

Episode 7

A glint of blood-lust fills the eyes of Mr. Red.  Covering his torso are the multiple monstrous mouths growling in a low tone, the hunger for power can be heard in their snarling.  Starved with desire, he charges like a mad beast, aiming to devour his little brother, Gamma.  That lunge is quickly stopped when the eldest of the three brothers, L Strider, blocks his path.  He quickly tackles Mr. Red to the ground.

“I am not going to let you kill our little brother,” Strider roars, pinning Mr. Red to the floor.

The enraged karayan merely growls at L Strider, as he throws his older brother off of him with little effort.  Mr. Red gets back to his feet, where he finds himself staring down the barrel of a pistol.  Raphael Fantassa stands as the last line of Gamma’s defense, holding the gun he has kept in his lab coat.  Mr. Red attempts to attack, but is pelted by a barrage of bullets.

He does not stop until the gun is empty, after twenty-some shots are fired.  Raphael stares with a blank expression, as Mr. Red remains standing, appearing unfazed by the gunfire.  At the karayan’s feet are dozens of bullets.  The lead appears smashed, as if they had struck solid steel.  Looking unamused, Mr. Red steps forward and grabs Fantassa by the collar of his shirt.

“Human,” he snarls through fangs of disdain, “You are nothing but vermin compared to the likes of me.  All you are capable of is annoyance.”

Treating the human as nothing more than trash, he tosses Raphael aside.  The young man bounces across the ground like a stone skipping on a lake, coming to a stop when he smashes into a bookshelf.  Fantassa lays there and does not get up.

Seeing his master harmed, Gamma finally assaults Mr. Red.  The two of them are drowned in a sea of utter darkness, with the maddening violet eyes swimming all around them.  As if the black is eating at his flesh, Mr. Red can feel every nerve in his body scream out in utter agony.  Enduring the pain, he moves through the sea of nightmare, inching closer to Gamma, his prize.  Pain only amplifies with every step, as he begins to fade in and out of consciousness.  Only his drive for power pushes Mr. Red now, as he reaches out through the darkness.  Instantly the sea of eyes vanishes, the illusion breaking.  Now, Mr. Red stands strong with his hand firmly around Gamma’s throat.

“This is goodbye, you wretch,” he laughs with a sharp smile.

Pulling his little brother closer, each set of fangs dig into Gamma.  At once the sickening sound of blood gushing down Red’s collective throats echoes horribly through the room.  With every gulp, Gamma grows weaker.  The once fearsome crimson eyes flicker, becoming a pale blue.  The darkness that has been his greatest asset dissolves like fog, disappearing into nothingness.  He even becomes too weak to stand.  And so Mr. Red must cradle the little karayan to finish his meal.  One final mouthful drains Gamma of his blood, bringing an end to his endless madness.

Gamma falls to the ground, but Red does not willingly throw him away.  He is doubled over in pain, almost brought to his knees by the sheer volume of the agony.  Roaring loudly, he tears off his shirt, as if the material is the source of the pain.  With his body exposed, Vance and Strider watch his flesh begins to split apart, revealing hundreds of mouths covering his upper body.  Each are of different sizes, but all are filled with razor-sharp teeth.  Darkness spews from the mouths like billowing smoke.  And suddenly, everything stops.

Red stops thrashing, as if the pain has left him.  He stands upright, taking in a deep, calming breath.  All across his body, the dozens of mouths snarl and growl like newborn beasts, each one hungry.

“Red?” Strider calls out to his brother with a shaky voice.

Mr. Red answers by opening his eyes.  Instead of having the crimson color that all karayans share, his appear to glow an ominous shade of green.  He turns his gaze to Strider, as the maddening violet eyes of the Nightmare Fuel appear one by one inside the ferocious mouths covering his body.

“Such a pitiful name does not suit me,” he responds, speaking in a chorus of voices.  “I am Omega; the end of this plague of vermin called humanity.”

“Let’s not get carried away, Mr. Red,” Vance De Phial finally speaks up.

Red, or rather Omega, turns to his business partner with a look of disdain.  Vance keeps a steady smirk across his face, still thinking like a business man.  At last, Vance rises from his desk to confront Omega himself.

“You believe yourself to be an all-powerful being,” Mr. De Phial remarks, “Regardless of its truth, you and I still have a contract; one that you have yet to uphold.  Until then you do as I—”

Vance never finishes his thought.  From the depths of Omega’s body comes the sinister cloud of darkness filled with the spiraling eyes.  It slithers like a vicious serpent out for blood, attacking the shrewd business man.  He is sent crashing through the window of his office.  His screams can be heard over the howling outside wind as he plummets to his death.

Omega calls out to the dead Vance, “I have everything I could ever desire.  Your puny ambitions pale in comparison to mine; such a contract with you meant nothing.”

He walks to the window, feeling the air whipping around him.  Darkness spews from his shoulder blades, sprawling across his back, and transforming into feathers.  In a matter of seconds, two large angelic wings crafted from the feathers as black as the night hang from his back.  The wings spread outwards, capturing the current flowing around his body.  Omega does not take a look back, as he leaps from the open window, flying off into the night.

Strider is left standing alone in the office, both shocked and frightened by the horrible metamorphosis his brother had undergone.  His old karayan eyes fall upon the body of his little brother Gamma, looking as if he were sleeping peacefully.  Tears are shed for a moment over the loss.  He realizes that mourning would have to wait.  After all, Beta, Omega, or Mr. Red; whichever he went by, the fiend would have to be stopped.  Otherwise, the city, along with the world, would be thrown into chaos.

As L Strider goes for the door, he hears a low groan coming from the apartment.  He looks to see Raphael stirring on the ground from where he laid unconscious.  The young man struggles to get to his feet, stumbling a few times before finally managing to upright himself.

“H-hold on,” Raphael pants, groaning through the pain of a few broken ribs, “You cannot leave.”

“I don’t want to hear you,” Strider growls, “You are the reason Gamma is dead.”

“I know,” Fantassa admits.  “But Mr. Red is the problem now.  We need to stop him.”

“I think you’ve done enough,” L remarks, as he heads for the door.

“Wait,” he pleads.  “I think there is a way to stop him.”

“Yes, I know,” the elder karayan says with a stern tone, “Kill him.”

“You need to listen to me!” Fantassa shouts.  When Strider ignores him, he blurts out, “I might be able to save Gamma!”

Strider stops dead in his tracks, looking at the young man, “You are lying…”

“It’s possible,” Raphael admits with a shrug, taking control of the conversation.  “I might also be telling the truth.  Whether you believe me or not decides your little brother’s fate.”

This weighs heavily on the elder karayan’s mind, as he stands firm with folded arms.  After much internal debating, he asks, “Well, what do you want in return?”

A mischievous grin forms across Raphael’s lips, as he says, “I want to make a contract.”  Vote below on what will happen next or click Take Our Poll.

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