Vesik (main character from Monolithic and villain from Thoughts of Steel) squares off against Tidus (main character in Our Sins). This is a short one and further explains Vesik’s want to be reunited with his family and friends at all costs. He’d even go so far as to crack open the walls of Heaven…
Vesik straightened up as though a lightning bolt had fallen down upon his head. The invading sense of another conscious mingling with his own was always a foreign, unwanted feeling. Fingers dripping with sludge slid through his being and gripped him firmly, words following shortly after. “Do you want to go home, Vesik?”
Speaking with a god required little more than breathing. One’s true intentions were nearly impossible to keep from them, especially when they encroached upon the mind and reaped its thoughts before they could become words. Vesik somehow knew Belok, the bastard god inside his head, was smiling as he continued, “Of course you do. I have a way back for you. Now. If you’d like.”
“Yes!” Vesik cried aloud, his voice echoing through his abyssal chamber despite him not having opened his fang filled maw.
“Step into the portal. On the other side lies a kingdom in the clouds. I want in, just to take a peek and see what god reigns over it.” Vesik recognized the lie as soon as it reverberated through his skull. Belok wouldn’t be satisfied with a mere glimpse. He’d use Vesik to crack the shell then wriggle his way inside and spread his pollution. “You may be resisted. Destroy the opposition, blast open the wall, then you can go home.”
Crimson slashes and points of winking light surrounded Vesik, his perpetual company in his otherwise dark and void realm. Smoke appeared before him and expanded quickly. The milky fog suddenly shifted and became light, the portal yawning open wide enough to fit his muscle bound form and even the wavering tentacles protruding from his back. The appendages, wrapped in skin the shade of dark violet like the rest of him, straightened in excitement, resembling shredded wings.
Suddenly, he was anything but alone. The solitude had suited him at first, and still did often when he grew tiresome of Zeraskyr, which happened swiftly. Now, however, a whole new realm sat before him. He felt a connection between himself and whatever was through the disk of sparking light before him. And his home resided somewhere beyond the portal.
Vesik stepped forward, his fingers stretching toward the portal. Before his claws could make contact with it, he felt Zeraskyr’s presence behind him. He froze in place, contemplating his next move. Should he leave the demon behind or take him along?
“Belok,” he projected, “will the threats that wait for me be difficult?”
“More so than anything you’ve dealt with.”
Vesik nodded and pulled his hand away from the portal. He spun toward Zerasky as the demon asked, “Master, are you going to Zepzier? Is the ritual complete?” Within the demon’s beady eyes of solid white with a single speck of black Vesik detected fear. Of course Zeraskyr would be terrified. If the ritual had been completed, Vesik would be far stronger and therefore harder to dispose of. It was inevitable that Zeraskyr would try to overthrow Vesik. That day would never come.
“Yes, Zeraskyr, I am. You, however, are not.”
The demon snarled in response and took one hard step forward. Vesik raised his hand and gripped the air as though it had grown hard as stone. Zeraskyr froze in place and grunted against the power crushing his chest and pinning his limbs together. Magic exuded from Vesik and flowed along his arm to cascade over the demon, the sensation of thousands of acid-dipped needles pricking Vesik’s skin a side effect of the use of magic.
The needles became swords and the acid became hellfire as Vesik reached deep inside Zeraskyr and turned him inside out in a way. All the energy and magic sitting inside the demon’s form and mind flew from his physical body and into Vesik. He staggered back as the force of the power leapt into him. He felt his heel slip into the portal and witnessed one last scene of Zeraskyr collapsing, a withered husk, as his world was consumed by blackness.
As soon as it came, the darkness disappeared and was replaced by shades of gold and vibrant purple. Vesik absorbed the vision for a brief moment before Zeraskyr’s essence was devoured by his. Had he physical eyes, he would have shut them tight as the power flooded through him, threatening to unzip him from his skin in a million different places and unmoor him from his sanity. Then, it all settled and his vision returned. A red glow emanated from his dark skin and with it came demonic things.
As jagged horns grew from Vesik’s temples, curving up then sweeping backward to end in sharp points, he was accosted by the urge to taste human flesh. Anything would suffice, for that matter, as long as it was full of innocence and screaming within his gnashing jaws. Searing pain erupted along the backs of his arms and all down his back as spikes of bone suddenly shot from his flesh. Barbed, irregular shards created a net of death along the back of him, adding another deadly element to the tentacles sprouting from his back.
Hatred filled him, and he knew by instincts that before now he hadn’t possessed that the reason for his discontent sat behind him. He whirled around to find a massive wall surrounding resplendent buildings and towers that spread back for hundreds of miles. Folds and creases in the golden puff of clouds all around and below the kingdom cast dark shades of shadow, resembling a blade as it was being cast by a smith.
A sliver of clarity cut through his malicious thoughts and he reached out to Belok, asking, “What am I now?”
“You absorbed the essence of a demon, Vesik. What do you think you are now?” Terrible laughter followed, echoing in his mind until it droned out to nothingness.
Anger surged through him once more. He took flight and the air rippled when he burst forward, gliding like a diving hawk toward the wall before him. He’d open up this kingdom to Belok’s prowling then remove the infernal power infecting him. Then, he’d be free to go home, back to Koe, Alitor, Fal, his parents, and Suemaira. The thought of her spurned him onward, for the path to reclaim his love was one of destruction and tearing down the walls before him would finally deliver him to her.
He crashed into the wall with his shoulder, bone spikes piercing the immaculate stone. The entire structure wavered at his force, but didn’t collapse. He roared and thrashed against it, pounding fists and conjured blasts of energy that would have rent a man in two into the stone. The sound of wings flapping from above stole his attention.
The first one, he slayed without even seeing it.
Tentacles curled against his body, much like a snail’s eye stalk did when accosted, then lashed out of their own accord. The shards along them dug into the flesh of a winged creature, arresting its descent and staying its flame-tipped spear only inches from Vesik’s skull. Imprisoned by several of the appendages, the winged human struggled to no avail. The tentacles squeezed even harder as Vesik looked upon the man, then pried him apart, ripping him completely it half. He tossed the remains aside but they winked away with a flash of light before they struck the bilious clouds.
Dozens more followed in waves that left Vesik only mere seconds to work at the dent growing in the wall. He’d remained unmolested by their flaming blades and spears until one man carved through the muscle between his neck and shoulder, slicing a tentacle in half at the same time.
Vesik screeched in pain and anger as he loosed a shroud of black mist from his hand that engulfed twenty of the angelic men and women coming for him. They writhed in the corrosive blast of death until they were raptured by the light. One of them, however, shed a brighter light then the others, and the luminescence failed to leave quickly. A sudden blast of air from within the black cloud blew it apart and there stood the man who had cut him, his blade sizzling where Vesik’s blood boiled in the fire sheathing it.
Sinew and muscle grew back together and Vesik stood whole once more before this new creature. With the wall at his back, he lifted his right leg then slammed his heel into the stone, shards dropping into the pile of dust at his feet. He smiled wickedly at the man and said, “You cut me. Does that make you better than the others?”
“God seems pleased with it,” replied the winged man. The brilliant white feathers of his massive wings perpetually danced as though stirred by a light breeze. Thick, gold and royal blue armor encased his form, showing nothing more than his eyes, cheeks and mouth within his open faced helm. Vesik felt a power growing in the winged man, and the origin of it disgusted the demonic side within.
“What god, boy? There are many, and each one is a demon in its own right.”
“Not my god, Vesik.”
“You know my name. What a useless talent.” As he spoke, the shadows cast by the wall and folds of cloud around him darkened and began to writhe like snakes. A cord of shadow leapt up into each hand and he whipped one then the other forward. The man interposed his blade, searing the first to nothing. The second, however, lashed across his armored forearm and corruption lingered where shadow met steel. Veins of blackness spread along the armor, weakening it enough to cause it to crumble. In moments, his arm was naked up to mid forearm.
“You play with dark forces. What a weak crutch.” Fire erupted from his sword in an arc that raised up then crashed down on Vesik’s head. He endured the crushing force and blistering heat, even when shards of bone cracked and fell from their perch. He conjured a shield of black energy that absorbed the fire with jealousy. The flames grew weak, drawing away the strength of the man before him. Then, it exploded and shot a beam of black fire back at the winged man.
The darkness collided with his chest and blasted him back several hundred feet. Vesik spun toward the wall and crafted a maul of evil and demonic energy, supplied to him by Belok and Zeraskyr’s essence. The head of the hammer slammed against the wall and several stones shifted back in their perch.
Dozens of other angelic creatures dove from the top of the wall. Vesik swung his maul toward them despite the distance that separated them. A crackling beam of purple lightning leapt from the head and slammed into one of them then immediately struck through eight others, reducing them to a flash of light instantly.
“Stay back from this demon, brothers and sisters!” called the angelic man as he sped toward Vesik, trailing black smoke from his chest. His armor, however, was unscathed.
Vesik prepared a sphere of darkness no bigger than an eyeball, the ball jerking within its prison between his fingers. He pulled his hand back to his hip, ready to send the destructive ball toward the oncoming threat. Suddenly, he was before Vesik, though, his fingers closing on Vesik’s throat. He spun and launched Vesik away, but the latter hurled the dark sphere as he tumbled through the air.
He arrested his flight now several hundred feet from the wall and smiled as the ball of darkness struck the wall and expanded a thousandfold, disintegrating stone. The angelic man was before him again. “I understand why you do this, Vesik. I once gave into my earthly desires, partaking of flesh I had no right to. The state marred my flesh for doing so, making me a monster amongst my people. My name is Tidus, and we are not different. Despite my hideousness, God took away my sins and made me into this. He can do the same for you.”
“My god is the creature who made me a monster, Tidus. And now he wants your kingdom. I’m here to let him in.”
“Abandon all hope, Vesik.”
Vesik roared in reply and darted forward, his maul whistling as it cut through the air. Tidus dipped below the crushing blow, dragging his blade along Vesik’s midsection. His skin, however, repelled the blade with its demonic aura as though it were stone then tentacles wrapped Tidus’ throat. One ripped his helm from his head, scoring his flesh, while the others constricted tightly around his frame.
Two lances of light shot from Tidus’ eyes as though they were ballistae firing their missiles. Each one crashed into Vesik and cracked his aura, spearing through his torso and causing him to convulse. The grip his tentacles maintained faltered and Tidus slipped free of them. He flipped through the air above Vesik and chopped down with his sword. Vesik interposed his arm and the blade bit deep into his forearm, digging a furrow in bone.
Every tentacle shot forth at once, wrapping Tidus’ arm so completely up to his shoulder that not even an inch of peach flesh or gleaming armor could be seen beneath. Tidus wrenched away as a wave of bright light cascaded from his free hand and crashed against Vesik, scorching his flesh. Vesik spun away from the holy light and came away with Tidus’ blade wrapped in the cocoon of his tentacles.
The sword he had possessed was immediately snuffed of its flame and Vesik launched it past Tidus as though his tentacles were a catapult. The blade flew straight as an arrow, spinning slightly as it sailed for the wall. It struck the stone with a calamitous crack and sheared through the wall. Tidus cried out in terror as the wall then crumbled, opening a fissure that provided a view of the wondrous city within. Vesik glimpsed walls, roads, statues, and fountains made of gold, all shining with immaculate brilliance.
Tidus then collided with him, his forehead slamming into Vesik’s jaw hard enough to shatter several of the short fangs within. The next two strikes dislodged a handful of teeth. On the third, Vesik opened his maw wide and bit down on Tidus’ skull, his lower jaw sinking into the man’s face and his upper grinding against the top of his skull.
Muscles strained in Vesik’s entire head as he strained to snap Tidus’ skull in two. Tidus screamed and thrashed, the fangs stuck in his head only sinking deeper. Two shafts of light suddenly burst from his palms, wracking Vesik’s body with pain enough to dislodge his fangs. The tentacles growing from his back acted of their own accord as they reached out and wrapped Tidus.
The light fled and Vesik saw a dark portal floating in the air only a stone’s throw from him. He leaned forward as his tentacles pulled Tidus in close and brought his elbow toward the angelic man. Tidus’ wings and arms curled in to shell him from the strike. Once his elbow slid from the shell, Tidus revealed himself and his fist connected with Vesik’s jaw. The two combatants thrashed against one another, landing strikes that would have pulverized any mortal.
A creature with wings at least four times the size of Tidus’ and twinkling with a brilliant white light shot up from the middle of the kingdom and Vesik felt its presence. Whereas the other angelic beings and the kingdom itself had inspired hatred and hunger in Vesik, this one brought terror and insanity. He needed to leave this instant or his existence would be snuffed out.
Tidus pounded his fist into Vesik’s chest and the latter reared back, tentacles slipping from Tidus’ body. Vesik pitched forward and vomited a stream of hellish energy. A column of red, smoking, ichor struck Tidus’ chest and immediately melted steel and flesh. Vesik spun once and the tentacles along his back formed a line that ripped across Tidus’ throat. The angelic man smiled as he was ravaged by the jagged bones along the appendages then consumed by the light of death. Or perhaps it was rebirth for these things in a way.
Vesik took off like an arrow from a bow for the portal, right through the space his adversary had only moments ago occupied. Belok’s presence filled his mind and the space around him as the god appeared in this heavenly land. He floated before the shattered wall, staring into the kingdom. Then, a black sphere of energy encased him as hundreds of men and women like Tidus descended on him. The hand of god speeding toward Vesik paid Belok no mind and it was only a few strides from the portal.
Its spear passed right through the portal and took Vesik in the chest as his fingers brushed the edge of the dark portal. The spear lanced through his heart. As he died the portal swallowed him, pulling him down into the belly of some horrendous beast. Within the darkness, Vesik was pulled apart. He felt his body dismantled until he was only a fragment of what he should have been. It was as though he was being divided into a multitude of pieces and each one placed into a separate unbreakable cell. Until he felt as small and insignificant as a worm, but free.
The darkness retched him out into a sun-clad land. Bronze and brown mixed to become a familiar sight. He stumbled across the hard, dusty ground, his arms flailing for balance. Not the dark arms of a monster or the reddish limbs of a demon-infused beast. But pale in color and frail, thin as a stick and brittle. And perfect.
First, he marveled at his body, the one he truly knew and remembered. Then, he looked forward to behold the Endless Sea, glittering in the sunlight and casting spastic flashes of light as though it were filled with diamonds. Finally, he cast his eyes to the right and his breath caught in his human lungs at the sight of Cavia. Within his city were his friends and his wife.
“I’m home,” he whispered in his unimpressive voice. Somehow Belok had kept his word.
Vesik took one step forward on a shaky, weak leg, and smiled, unsure of how he’d explain his absence to his loved ones. He’d be truthful, and the conversation would unfold as it should. Hopefully, they’d at least allow him an embrace before rebuking his actions. That would be plenty for him.
With tears streaming from his eyes, he went home.