Beneath the attire he had assembled for himself, Kokabiel looked rather much like a horrifically disfigured, morbidly obese fat cat. He had cobbled together a shirt and tie, a large coat, trousers that could house tree legs, and a hat that covered his head in such a way that you could only see his mouth. He was a mess of arms and legs under that coat, but you couldn’t tell. And besides, people didn’t pay attention nowadays, they didn’t care to look at you long enough to make a valid opinion. To anyone who glanced his way he was a bit fat, a bit ugly, and sure, for a long second he looked like twelve people had been pulled inside out and squashed together. Which he was.
Amy and the demon were in the city morgue, and in front of them was the body of Louis Morgan. He was riddled full of holes, there were three in his face and five in his chest. The two police officers had really done a number on this mage, but really, he had it coming. “I’ve never done this before.”
“YOU HAVE IN YOU THE POTENTIAL TO DO GREAT THINGS. ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS FOCUS. REMEMBER WHAT I TAUGHT YOU. REMEMBER WHERE TO DRAW YOUR POWER FROM. YOUR STRENGTH.” Kokabiel placed a wet hand on her shoulder, and her small fingers found one of his large ones.
She began to whisper an incantation, one taught to her by the demon many nights ago, when they began to concoct this plan. She was whispering fast, seemingly spouting nonsense, but there was a rhythm to it, an repeating intonation that made it sound almost like a song.
When the morgue attendant looked inside the room to see what was going on, she didn’t stop. Kokabiel tore the man’s head off and slammed the rest of his body to the ground. Blood spilled across the room, but Kokabiel simply unbuttoned his shirt, and jammed the man inside. There was a sickening splitting noise, but it faded quickly, and Kokabiel buttoned up what he had just undone.
“nneeeeaaaauughhh!” Louis Morgan screamed as he was pulled back into his body. “so dark so cold...”
Louis stared straight up at the ceiling, and Amy leaned in so he could see her. He twitched, but spoke none the less. A living dead man. “amy you’re alive i was worried when those men came in they threatened me and they got out of my trap and they shot me what happened?”
“They killed you, Louis. Your muti failed, and want to know how.”
Louis seemed to adjust to his circumstances rather quickly, his voice slowing, but the strange, ethereal tone not leaving him. “they killed me? how would they manage that?” Louis wheezed, a grinding, horrible wheeze, but he blinked, and continued to talk. “you want to know how? why?”
“To get your revenge,” said Amy, politely. “You silly dummy. Of course to get your revenge.”
“you would do that for me?”
“We’re blood bound, Louis. You would do the same for me.”
Louis seemed to consider this, in his half-alive state. “i would, yes, yes. they had a charm on them, given to them by their sergeant. so many, hanging around their necks. the charms had to acclimatise to me, and when they did, my muti was countered and they were free to act.”
“How is that possible?” Amy turned to Kokabiel. “Charms don’t ‘acclimatise’. They either work or they don’t. There’s no inbetween.”
“who are you talking to, amy?”
Kokabiel scratched his cheek, and an ear fell off his mass. The demon looked at it, and then kicked it away, under a gurney. “THEN IT WAS NOT A CHARM. WE CAN ASSUME THAT MUCH.”
Louis screamed when Kokabiel spoke. He tried to thrash about, but his dead body wouldn’t allow him the movement. His face just twitched and his lip stammered. “what was that nooooise? my soul is on fire, it hurts so much, what was that noise?”
“That was my master. The one who helped me become what I am today.”
“IT WOULD, I AM A DEMON OF THE PIT. MY VERY EXISTENCE ON THIS PLANE IS A TRAVESTY AGAINST NATURE, AND ANY UNPROTECTED SOULS WITHIN RANGE OF MY VOICE WOULD SUFFER AND CRACK WHEN THEY HEARD IT.”
“stop it please stop it it hurts so much”
“Thing is, Louis, we know about the lengths you went to get your power. The people you sacrificed. The children, in particular. We know everything. Your predilections, as they were. And that wasn’t right. So we put you in a position to test this city’s defences, and hey, they were great, and hell, you weren’t so much. You were too arrogant to think that they couldn’t stop you. I guess i should have warned you about their protection though.”
“i trusted you...”
“Not my fault. I trusted you, until i found out the truth. So here’s what I’m going to do, and it’s a doozy.” Amy placed her hand on Louis’ forehead, and whispered another incantation. Kokabiel grinned as he recognised what she was saying. Louis fell silent, and Amy withdrew her fingers. “I’ve removed your ability to talk. I’ve chained your soul to your body, and it’s going to stay there until it rots away to nothing. You are now your own hell. You will feel every single torment inflicted upon you. During autopsy, during the embalming process. Oh, there will be embalming. No cremation for you, we made sure of it. And then, when your body rots and decays and the bugs and the insects crawl through you, you’ll feel that too. You shouldn’t have touched those children, Louis.”
Louis said nothing. And that was the point. Kokabiel stepped forward, and then he leaned forward. His deep voice was lower, close to a whisper, but still louder than anything had the right to be. “AND WHEN YOU ARE FINALLY FREE OF THAT HELL, I’LL INTRODUCE YOU TO ANOTHER.”
Amy and Kokabiel left the morgue, and entered the night. Kokabiel looked down at his protégé, and tapped his chin. “WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT TODAY, CHILD?”
“The police are protected. Their charms make no sense, so we have to make sense of them. the police don’t know though, do they? Else they wouldn’t talk such bull-shit. They truly believe those trinkets give them strength. No, the power comes from elsewhere.” Amy subconsciously imitated her mentor’s movements, and tapped her chin thoughtfully. “Their sergeant. The one who gave them the charms. He’ll know.”
Kokabiel nodded. “SO WE SHALL GET TO KNOW HIM.”