“As I said, I need someone I trust here while I take our newest recruit back to gather more minions,” Rabdos repeated as he crossed the chamber of his tower to stand beside Robert Dante. Dante was becoming tiresome with his constant desires to return to the insufferably cold Eden. He toyed again with the idea of dropping him straight into the Lake of Fire, and just as quickly discarded the thought knowing they still needed him to infiltrate Tech Evangelists again and help locate the man the Hated One was grooming.
“There’s nothing to do here, and it smells bad,” Dante whined again as the line of thralls paraded passed them carrying stones to the upper levels where construction continued.
“I swear by Father Satan if you weren’t so needed, I’d burn that black goatee off your mewling face and throw you in the Lake of Fire!” Rabdos yelled, allowing his anger to boil over finally. “Do whatever you want to whomever you want. These serve you in my absence and can bring you anything you desire. Just stay in my realm until I return.”
Dante perked up a bit and came away from the wall where he leaned. “Anything to anyone?” he repeated as a question. Rabdos recognized the glint in his eye immediately and snapped his fingers. A waiting imp scurried over and bowed.
“Find Amy and bring her to me,” he said. The imp leapt into the air and dove for the floor, vanishing in a puff of black smoke as he made contact with the stones.
“Amy?” Dante asked, rubbing his hands together. “Who is Amy?”
Before Rabdos could respond, a cloud of sulphurous smoke formed a short distance away. The cloud billowed into a small column some four feet tall. A gout of fire formed from within the cloud, seeming to consume the dark vapor, then faded as it took the shape of a demon with an imp on its shoulder.
The new arrival was naked and clearly female. Her stony skin had horns and protrusions at shoulders, elbows, knees and heels as did all the other demons, but her wrinkled, flat, sagging breasts gave her sex away. Dante recoiled as soon as she stepped from the stinking vapors of the dissipating cloud.
“You sent for me, my lord?” she asked bowing deeply.
“Yes. I may have an important task for you soon. One I watch may be turning to us and I will send you to seal my deal with her,” he said, caressing her chin with a single clawed finger. “For now, please keep our guest entertained.”
She turned and stepped in closer to Rabdos and reclined against his shoulder, pressing her flesh against his own. He felt a stirring in his loins for her though he knew better. He suppressed his desires for the moment knowing he had little time for such diversions. Dante had taken several steps away from the pair as they turned their attention to him finally.
“I don’t think he likes me,” she said in a rather sultry and suggestive manner. “What are we going to do about that?”
“She’s hideous,” Robert Dante said, as he slowly backed away.
“Amy is a talented succubus, Robert. She can be anything you desire. Anyone you desire,” he said. As he spoke the demoness began to cross the room slowly. Rabdos watched from behind her as her shape began to stretch and transform. The lumpy grey stone appearance of her flesh began to soften and take on a warm tan glow as the horned protrusions at elbow and shoulder stretched, flattening out, and then disappearing altogether. As she stepped, her legs lengthened as well, smoothing into long sensuous legs ending in a heart-shaped backside. Dante’s retreat had stopped as black hair sprouted from her now smooth scalp and flowed to cover her head and cascade over her shoulders down to the middle of her back, ending just above the two dimples over her posterior. She finally came to a stop mere inches in front of Dante, presenting herself to him.
“Do you like me now?” she asked in a throaty whisper as she leaned in to press her flesh against his own. Dante’s arms folded around her and pulled her into him forcefully. “Oh! Haha, I guess you do. We’ll be fine Master Rabdos.”
He turned without a word to leave Dante to his carnal lusts. He had to admit Amy was good at her work, he thought as he shoved his way past the thralls on the stairs leading the two levels down and out of his tower. The slaves scattered as soon as they realized he was on his way down, dropping their burdens in their haste to get out of his way. He called forth a whip and lashed out at any who were too slow or failed to get out of range in time. A simple pleasure he knew, but then why else build a realm if you couldn’t enjoy holding it in an iron grip?
He finally reached the ground floor and had to leave the wailing and anguish behind him as he stepped out into the soothing heat of the plain. The corral lay before him along with a gaggle of imps and a few loose demons. All of them belonged to him now, but they weren’t enough, not for his plans. They’d have more unbranded here by the time he and Kicker got back with more playthings though.
“Kicker,” he called, instantly getting the attention of the black-skinned man who lay in the dirt exhausted and still chained to the center post. “Kicker, arise, we have work to do, if you’re ready for it.”
He noted the wounds form his lash had been tended properly by the imps as he’d instructed. As the man rolled over and rose he saw fresh, pink scarring on his back and shoulders. Good, healed but still tender to the touch, just as he liked them.
“Man, this ain’t the deal I signed,” Kicker complained as he stood.
“Yes it is. You sold me your soul for power, women, and money on Eden, but we’re not on Eden, are we?” Rabdos reminded as he walked over. Kicker remained silent. He’d already used the whip enough, and he didn’t want to break his spirit, at least not yet. He didn’t need to use the whip again, just the implication he could. He brought the whip before him as he stood erect and held it with both hands but did nothing else. “I asked you a question.”
“No, we ain’t,” he replied through gritted teeth.
“Here’s your final lesson and then we go back to Eden where you can have your fame, power, and women, as long as you do what I demand of you as well,” he said. He waved an empty hand and Kicker flinched expecting more pain. Instead, the chains fell away from his wrists to land at his feet. He looked down at the black iron of the chain and then to Rabdos. Rabdos just stood there waiting. Finally, when Kicker hadn’t moved, he turned his back and started walking away. “Go ahead and run. When you get tired of running or need me to save you and you’re ready to serve me on Eden, just call my name. If I can spare the time I might come and save your pathetic life and if not, well let’s just say there’s plenty of room in the Lake of Fire for one more pathetic soul.”
Kicker bolted and ran in the opposite direction, vaulting over the corral fence as he went. The demons and imps surrounding the corral hooted and shouted after him but made no move to pursue. Finally, everyone turned to Rabdos expectantly.
“Give him five minutes then start hunting him,” he said as he turned to face his cadre. “If you can kill him he’s yours, but no maiming that can’t be healed. I have other tasks for him.”
Guardians of the Herald is a weekly serial published and copyright by The Cavalier, Mark Malcolm. To catch up on the first 45 issues you can either read them for free on the web site or purchase the compilation, Guardians of the Herald Issues 1-45: Angels and Demons for the Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/Guardians-Herald-Issues-1-45-Angels-ebook/dp/B00IJIFXSY.
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