The Serpent and the Grape
January 27, 2014
After Cleo slit the Darcarre’s throat from ear to ear, the small female Gloom became much more talkative.
Jack leaned in over her, while Phillip stayed busy sharpening his knife. The gentle stoke of the blade over the oiled whetstone, punctuated the room with a gritty rhythm.
The Stalwart of Yig continued to lean in until his unshaved chin loomed only inches before her wizened face. “So you’re known as Wisp?”
“Yes. I’ll tell you that much, but why should I tell you anything else? You’ll just kill me anyway.”
“There’s also that whole torture thing, that’s best to avoid,” Cleo said from behind her.
“Stalwarts don’t torture…”
Phillip looked up, his blazing brown eyes just visible under the rim of his hat. “Jack might not, but I’d have no problem with it. The only thing worse than being kicked out of my city by Xemmoni, would be kicked out of my city from Xemmoni that aren’t even from Boston and by the sound of your accent, you weren’t born in bean town. So you must have been imported to help take over my city. Is this true?”
When she didn’t say anything, Jack prompted her. “Is this really where you want to draw the line in the sand? I suggest you answer him.”
When Cleo rested a hand on the Gloom’s shoulder, she said, “Okay, yeah, I’m not from Boston. Darken has ordered all of us to meet in Boston.”
“What do you mean all of you?” Phillip asked and Jack noticed the deep lines of concern playing over his friend’s face.
She leaned forward, which hid her glowing red eyes. “Listen, I don’t know everything, but I’d like to know what will happen to me if I tell you what I do know?”
Jack lifted her chin so his green eyes met her red. “Let’s just say the more you tell us the more body parts you might get to keep.”
She sighed and then let her gaze drop to the floor. “Lord Darken instructed all of the members of the Dark Alliance within America to head to Boston.”
Phillip spoke slowly. “What do you mean all the members?”
Wisp showed some Xemmoni fueled aggression for the first time. “Just what I said, Stalwart. We’re all supposed to meet in Boston.”
Jack moved back a pace and chuckled. “What all of you. Every Gloom, Darcarre, and Caradon is supposed to head to Boston?”
“That’s what I said.”
“But that’s impossible,” Phillip said.
“And insane,” Cleo added.
Jack spoke next. “It would seem to be that if that many Xemmoni showed up here the city would implode to the point where reveling the existence of Xemmoni to the general public would be a real possibly.”
Wisp had gone from being terrified to perhaps enjoying herself in as many seconds as it would take so say it. “You’re forgetting two things. The first is, certainly not all Dark Alliance Xemmoni are aware of Vile’s order and many that are, either can’t or have chosen not to travel to Boston. The second is,” and she looked up and let her blazing eyes burn into his as she spoke, “Soon Vile Darken will be reveling himself to this planet and nothing you can do will stop that.”
“Interesting,” Jack said. “Wrong, but interesting. Just one other question for now.” He paused, but then moved in closer again. “Why are all the Xemmoni being brought here? What is Vile attempting to accomplish?”
Wisp appeared lost in thought perhaps weighing her options. “Since you can’t do anything to stop it and telling you might allow myself to live long enough to see the glory of the eternal night… I’ll tell you.” She paused for affect, but then spit it out when she saw their patience waning. “Vile intends to use the power of every Xemmoni he can find to reenact the Everywhere Spell, but this time use it to kill all of the Stalwart archetypes throughout the Multiverse.”
“So I was right,” Jack said in a low voice. “But you were wrong about something.”
“Oh yes,” she hissed. “What would that be?”
“That we can’t do anything to stop it.”
To be continued next Monday