Monday, December 27, 2010

On the far shore

The Emperor waited with his retinue at the far bank of the Styx. His eight armored assistants held torches to stave off the endless night. Outside their radiance only black glowferns defied the darkness, their intoxicating and deadly flowers illuminated the riverbank. The silhouette of the Boatman emerged from the shadowy mists shrouding the opaque currents, drifting so slowly none could say with certainty when he came into their presence.

There was a wet hiss as the prow of the skiff slid into the muddy bank. The shivering soul curled inside the boat opened his eyes and sat up, craning his neck around the shadow pulling in his oar. The Emperor approached, pulling back his crimson cloak to pull the pouch off his swordbelt as the Boatman drew a skeletal hand from the folds of his ancient cowl.

After the muted clinking of coins in cloth, a bony hand picked up the haggard passenger by the scruff of the neck and tossed him like a waterlogged towel onto the muddy shore.

"If that's how you treat Ereba'i royalty..." growled the Emperor.

"He was difficult," whispered the shadow. "But for his lineage I would have cast him over."

"I apologize," continued the Emperor as two of his guards raised the newcomer to his feet. "But as always, the payment is generous."

"As always..." A push of an oar, and the Boatman again merged into the mists.

The Emperor pulled back his hood. But for the the gray in his temples, he looked exactly like the soul who had just regained his footing.

"Back so soon, Marcus?"

"I hadn't expected..."

"You were floating right at the edge of the Sea of Oblivion when the Boatman found you."

Jeremiah embraced his son. "Nothing can excuse what I did to you, Marcus. But we've got an eternity to rebuild..."

"That remains to be seen..." Marcus wrapped his hand around the hilt of his father's sword, and drew back...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

the state of the disunion

Try as I might, I cannot deliver the gifts of Democracy to the Ereb'ai. They are a society of near-immortals isolated for millenia; who have cultivated their Weltanschauung into a Gordian Knot, so entranched that even when their god-king was destroyed they continued their Machiavellian ways with a minimal disruptions!

"Lord Senator". "Congressman Baronet". They insist on calling me "His Royal Presidency." It makes my head spin! I have half a mind to call myself Emperor and be done with it.

Now the stakes have gotten much higher. A vision of the Sephiroth appeared over the Palace. Where the populace were once in open rebellion, they are now holding vigil, worshipping the shimmering lights, their pure colors breaking the dome of crimson and soot clouds forever rumbling over the eternal darkness.

According to the remaining archives, it heralds the Dawn (yes, in this sunless realm they have this word in Ereb'ai, possibly invented by travellers to the Surface. Used in local context exclusively as an abstraction) of the Princess of Hell.

The anguish washing over me tells me what this means. Not only is Qlippothic dying, but the Sephiroth themselves are becoming unstable. If she and the Spheres pass into this realm, they will be corrupted. Yes, the Ereb'ai will depose me for this new Queen. But that would be the least of our worries.

Koen, you should have kept the damn sword! You could have killed Ya Yimawa forever!

What can I do? Can my prayers be heard even from the throne of Hell?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

kill the king where love is the law

Koen had the last fragment of the Titan Slayer. He had recovered it from the battlefield where the Hydra was slain and used it as a knife when he escaped the enraged mobs of this nation's demonic citizenry. Now, as I was consolidating my control over this shattered realm, he wished me to repair it, so he could slay an Elder Thing claiming Steelhead as its hunting ground.

Of course, I answered. I had gotten this far without the broken sword's magic. I had even substituted a copy of the Constitiution of the United States of America for the sword itself in the Ascension ceremony.

He passed me the fragment through the rift shared by our Time Windows. Artfiacts of this nature tend to be indestructible. Even those that do break, or disigned to disassemble in the first place, are easy to repair. It was only a matter of touching the shard to section where it broke to fuse itself whole ina shower of sparks.

Neither of us asked about the Founder. Our silence told volumes. No one knew what became of him. Would he seek the throne upon his return? That was one of the reasons I placed a limit on my reign.

"Use this well, Grand..." I was interrupted by a gong echoing through the black marble halls of the newly rebuilt palace.

"That's the Seige Gong! You're under attack!"

"Apparently so. You see? Local politics are already getting back to normal! No quickly, take this--"

His side of the Time Window blinked out just as I was offering him the blade! Do you really expect me to believe that was an accident, boy?

I muttered a string of colorful curses in the local dialect as tight my crimson robes tight. I rested the blade on my shoulder and strode towards the front gate.

I heard the chants of the bestial mob, a bewildering array of fur and scales and chitin that could only be classified under the species name of demon.

A King with no Crown is not a King!

Only a Clerk rules by Paper!

The King never leaves his Throne!

I had set up a garden in front of the palace where devices of public torture and execution had once stood. My guards were nowhere to be seen. The louts had torn every plant to shreds! The statue of an eagle I had erected in the center square was smashed, the majestic bird now floating headless and wingless.

"Look! It's the Human too weak to be King!

I roared in anger as I sliced the hinges off the massive iron gate, letting it fall and crush the hooligans attempting to climb its rediculous heights.

What a fool I had been. Dictatorship is all they had ever known, and they still equated Brutality with Efficiency.

I swung my blade high as the crowd gasped.

"I'm giving you all TEN SECONDS to get off my lawn!"

Saturday, September 4, 2010

what price victory?

The Wasp Queen was pursuing me relentlessly. I could feel her shadow over me when the hellgate began to implode. Immediately she was ripped from her trajectory and drawn towards the collapsing crimson gate erupting plasma into the sky as it died. Then I noticed that she was still the same distance away...and the portal was getting closer!

Of course. Erebus and Vesprium were neighbors and enemies along the river Styx. My children by Sekhmet must have scattered far away by now, but I was now being drawn in along with my greatest foe!

Then I felt Xavael's arms hook under my shoulders. My wings were bending with such agony, as if I was made to fly while tied down with boulders. I felt like I was trapped on a wrack, and the angel was screaming along with me.

"I'll not let you go, Beloved! Not after searching a thousand years!"

I looked up at the angel's eyes, now bearing stormclouds behind the pupils, complete with twin flashes of lightning behind those shimmering orbs.

"This won't work, Beloved. This is killing the host. I won't sacrifice Jeremiah. last kiss, Beloved?"

I felt hir tears roll down my cheek like warm drops of sunlight as their lips touched. I tried not to pay attention, but there were millennia of memories and wishes shared in that final, sweet moment of contact.

"Goodbye, my sweet Angel...Please care for..."

The horns snapped from my brow and the wings ripped from my shoulders Xavael keened as we watched Bloodwing's spirit solidify.

"I shall keep your homeland safe, Beloved! I SWEAR!"

In the portal, the Queen had been pulled in until only her head was visible. I saw my grandson Koen crouched on the top of the portal's rim, clutching some strange device for dear life and staring at the Founder's predicament in horror. Her jaws snapped angrily...

The sky erupted in dueling waves of absolute darkness and blinding ruby, that slowly withered away to an expanse of lue sky and golden sun. Koen hovered where the portal had been. Veins of darkness pulsed from the base of his alien staff back towards the Bloodwing's Revenge.

"Victory is ours..." said the angel in a voice with the beauty and anguish of a symphony in mourning.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Xavael's wings drew in to dive towards the falling Marcus. I held the angel back.

"No! It is too dangerous! He is a thief of souls! He will draw the angel from your host and enslave it!"

The angel stared back at me in disbelief. A twinge of mortal fear passed through his eyes like a storm cloud.

Like I designed him to do...

There was no time to mourn. We bolted in opposite directions an instant before the Queen had us in her grasp.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


"Do you remember the bull-dancers of Minos?"

I explained my plan to Xavael, and the angel released me. We circled the monstrous wasp, wary of her six massive spiked legs and jagged mandibles as we threw the intermittent ball of fire or ray of holy light at her nigh-invulnerable carapace to distract her when there was a near-miss.

A tactical error! In weaving through the increasingly aggressive twitches of the colossal beast, we found ourselves both far too close her stinger! And sensing the blunder, her abdomen rose towards us at a blurring speed!


Half a wing's breath for each of us to sidestep her poison-drenched harpoon, flanking it on each side. I grabbed Vortex by his shoulder and his knee, and Xavael did the same.


Yes. We ripped my son in half...and seven red neko spread their red demon-wings and scattered in all directions.

I pointed them out for Xavael as we broke away from the range of the Queen's venom.

"They were a one-birth litter. Sekhmet insisted I pay support for nine kittens, but Hades decreed payment only for the one birth.
There's Runihwa...Akil...Bomani...Gahiji..."

"They are daughters too?"

"Yes! Mosi, Aziza, Layla and Pila."

"And the one plummeting downwards without wings?"

I peered down. "Why isn't Koen..?"

I slapped my horns out of shock at my own stupidity.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

the captured king

The angel was holding me back. For all my curses and pleadings Xavael would not release the grip around my chest.

"Yes. I know they are your children. But that is what she wants us to do. It is a trap, Bloodwing!"

My gaze never left the stinger of the Wasp Queen as she chased after us with roaring wings too fast to see. Impaled upon that jagged ichor-smeared barb the size of of a tree trunk was a red neko with the horns and wings of a royal demon. Tatters of crimson robes clung to him still solely from the force of the wind.

Insult upon injury, the neko's crown fit snugly upon the very tip of the stinger, shining beneath a translucent bubble of honey-tinted venom flowing from the end.

Eight of the children that composed the Vortex, along with the usurper Marcus. What has she done to them?

His wings flailed helplessly with the movements of his captor. His eyes opened as he struggled for breath. His features were blurring. Glimpses of a human face. Two sets of hands. Three and four legs dangling. Two again. The magic holding them together as a collective was starting to unravel. A sign that their deaths were near if we didn't do something fast.

"Xavael! I have a plan..."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

queen of insects

I squinted from the expanse of crimson radiance simmering over the surface of the great portal.

"The portal only opens towards this world," I told Xavael. I noticed the shadow of another Vesprium airship from inside it, growing to the full size of the vessel just before its metal bow and honeycombed airbag pierced through the membrane of the hellgate. "If only we could send through something as bait for the queen..."

We darted as another liquid nitrogen projectile hurtled towards us to explode in a bloom of ice crystals.

"They loaded the cannon before they passed through! They could see us from the other side!" the angel replied as I quickly dispatched the ship with a firebolt to the airbag. "No matter can enter it from here" the Fallen One continued, "but light certainly can!"

I looked to Xavael and felt my hairs stand on end. "Let me hover behind you."

"And close your eyes, betrothed."

I turned my back to the angel, floating a distances away. I pressed my palms to my eyes.

"Proceed, Xavael!"

The flare was so bright that even with my back turned and my eyes closed shut I could see the light. I could feel the sting of the celestial light. A long, horrific screech rose to such a pitch that I considered sacrificing my eyes to cover my ears. That is, until the brilliance blinked out as quickly as it came.

Xavael's hand clenched mine, and I opened my eyes. Stormy eyes gazed back in alarm as the angel tugged at me. I turned my head to see what put terror in the eyes of one as ancient as Bloodwing.

The head of the Wasp Queen barely fit through the portal. Antennae the size of Tesla towers bent angrily in our direction. Huge mandibles scraped against each other furiously like damaged airship propellors ready to shatter and explode. Six colossal legs gripped around the circumference of the portal as it drew itself out.

She's larger that Steam Sky City, I thought to myself. And she was only halfway through.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

the shriek of the thornbird

As I would discover later, that was the name of the spell Xavael invoked upon unleashing a wail of agony caused from the very wounds inflicted by my armor. The swarm of wasp demons closing from above fell silently around us, droplets of blood trailing behind them. It would seem that the one directly harming the caster is not affected by the spell. Celestial magic is curious indeed.

The wounds I had accidentally inflicted upon the angel were being transferred to our enemies. I moved my arm away from the angel's shoulder and the laceration sealed instantly. Where once there was a wound, there was only the sheen of blood behind that stained blonde tresses writhing around Xavael's head like the halo...lost eons ago.

The angel could not keep this enchantment going forever. I absorbed the rage back into me, dissolving the armor, and slipped from my Bloodwing's lover's arms, dropping for a second before opening my wings to soar beside my rescuer. The angel fell silent, eyes of steel grey with hints of blue like morning thunderclouds regarded me for a moment before our gazes both turned towards the rapid cracks of thunder to the east. Flashes from the turrets of the massive ironclad floating in the distance followed with the barrage of explosions above us.

"The mighty ship of metal smites our foes!" exclaimed Xavael.

"That is Hassanov's ship," I replied. "Our ally assails the swarm's ranks as they appear, but the enemy still advances."

"Then we must close the hellgate before we are overrun!" I felt the angel's hand clasp mine as we assessed the battlefield from below.

"That is true, Beloved." I abruptly pulled my hand away to point at the radius of crimson, visible like an eclipse even through the thick clouds.

"It is their queen we must destroy," I added. "How do we not know she cannot open another gate as quickly as we close the first?"

"We must assure she does not..." I looked back nervously and nodded.

"She does not fully undertand the workings of this world. Otherwise she would have chosen a different fuel for her ships." A blossom of flames erupted nearby as another hydrogen-filled warship disintegrated from a Hassanov weapon. "Certainly not enough to open a portal in the reverse direction. We must draw her out...and close the gate behind her."

In unison, white feathers and red wings snapped from hovering to full speed as vanished into the cloud in the direction where the image of the portal was burning through.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Enter: Xavael

Just as abruptly as I spun into a fatal dive towards the ocean, my fall was cut short. A much less violent impact and a grunt from someone else as well as myself. Someone caught me? Just below cloud level? I could not make out my bearings from the radiance that enveloped me.

"Bloodwing," the soft voice danced in my ears. "My sweet Husband..."

This creature was...WHAT? I opened my mouth to ask a barrage of questions, but the Founder had a more urgent matter.

"XAVAEL! My armor!"

The joy in the angel's crystal eyes dissolved into horror. Bloodwing had summoned his Armor of Rage. Xavael was impaled with a dozen wounds from the vicious spikes, and the celestial's blood was already spreading across my breastplate.

My gaze shifted from her anguish to the squadrons of the wasp demons diving through the clouds towards us. Xavael gazed upwards at the coming onslaught, fighting the growing wave a numbness from blood loss and drew in a deep breath...

Sunday, June 27, 2010



Bloodwing's aura of flame swirled around me and coalesced into a spiked crimson carapace resembling the o-yoroi of the samurai of a lost age.


Twin jets of white-hot flame erupted in opposite directions from the origin point of my connected fists, resembling a staff twenty feet long with jagged sword blades flaring angrily from each end, the Founder's preferred weapon for aerial meelee. I must have been the brightest object in the night sky, between the blooms of exploding hiveships.

While the Founder's fury cut a swath through the hive, I did my best to steer our shared body towards the huge portal glowing like a red flattened sun. It seemed too easy. And indeed it was.

I swatted at a cannonball that whistled as closed in my trajectory, and it exploded in a white cloud of liquid nitrogen that extinguished both my armor and weapon. This body that wore flames as a mantle felt burning agony from the cold as webs of frost spread across my unprotected wings. Ice collected in growing layers over my horns, blinding me momentarily as my heat was leeched from my body.

They know my weakness. These drones have a clever General...

I could do nothing but fight the blur of unconsciousness and watch the skies invert and spin from behind my faceplate.

Friday, June 4, 2010

An Anxious Answer, a Dreaded Discovery and a Vesprium Vendetta

Several moments of terror and exquisite agony, and the transformation was complete. I was as much Bloodwing as I was Jeremiah Mason. Imagine all of your emotions...pride, lust, wrath... amplified a thousandfold. That is the burden of sharing the soul of a fallen Demon Prince.

There was a question that lingered in the back of my mind that I dared not ask, but now all answers were laid bare.

If the family lore is true, how can a Sixth Son be a Host? Did the Founder lose track? Is there some secret...

No. The Legacy of the Seventh was a precaution on my part, not a binding rule of the Curse. I have wandered this Earth as an incubus for four thousand years. No chart of lineage could track how many Seventh Sons there are. A cousin ten times removed means nothing to mortals. Do you remember the incident when I resided in that Frenchwoman? Half the Steamlands could well be my spawn. And I would protect them all.

Reassuring, in some sense. We...I...remained long enough to close the ritual circle properly, thanking Papa Legba and delivering the sacrifices. The spirits (alcoholic) and the cigars (Dammit boy, that was my private stock!) vanished in a puff of smoke.

I stood guard over my son as glimmering clusters of eyes stared at us from the swamps. I knew Amarantis was on her way.

She landed with a reverent bow. I knelt beside her and gave her a fatherly embrace as I gestured for her to rise.

"There is no time for formalities. Darien will awaken soon. He is once again mortal. Under no circumstances is he to inject himself with the formula again."

I took a few steps back and spread my wings to hover. I invoked a spell to fold space around me. Darien, Ama, and the bayou of New Toulouse blurred away.

Sky surrounded me, clouds beneath me. These were the coordinates...

The buzzing of flying armies engulfed my ears. I saw the heat of the Vesprium soldiers swarming around me and their lines of airships stretching for miles from the vertex of the greatest portal even the Founder had ever seen. I spun in place scanning in every direction. Where was my ship?

A cluster of the drones were carrying scraps of airship salvage. I climbed steadily, spotting two soldiers flying slowly, straining to stay aloft while holding the weight of a tarred and curved planks between them.

I conjured a ball of flame in my hands, which startled the pair. Upon the removed ribs of the ship's planks I clearly read in an archaic font the word REVENGE.

"The Revenge is no more?"

And that is exactly the urge that overcame me as my flame enshrouded me in a white column of searing hellfire.

"Aleister? Qlippothic? Koen? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!!!"

I wrapped my arms around the planks, which immediately caught fire from the tar. The drones tugged in opposite directions, trying to retrieve their prize until the flames spread down either side and caught their wings, sending them tumbling to their doom. With a roar of unbridled rage I hurled the flaming fragment of the airship's hull into the airbag of the nearest Vesprium ship. The balloon erupted with the beauty a newborn star, drawing a bright trail in its wake as the sky-hive plummeted through the cloud to the open sea miles below.

The fools are using hydrogen to lift their ships! Far more combustible in this dimension than in the Underworld! Have they no alchemists? This will be too easy!

As the ships began to rotate towards me, the drones journeying on orders between ships halted in mid-flight and drew their shining weapons. The battle was joined.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the Founder returns

I sat up and watched quietly as the crimson light erupting from my unconscious son's eyes and mouth coalesced into the translucent spirit of might floating above him. I knew the form all too well. The burning eyes and chalk-white skin striated with ancient black battle-scars. The distinctive facial markings of an Ereb'ai prince, copied by Japanese actors centuries ago in their plays. The arc of defiant horns. And of course the majestic red expanses of skin that stretched from his broad shoulders across batlike wings. The very being that wrapped his hand around my throat and, through those burning eyes, held up a mirror to my corrupted soul.

I swallowed, trying to gether the strength to address him. "Darien...he lives?"

"Yes," rumbled the demon, "he shall recover...and I am freed from his toxic prison."

I turned my gaze to the grassy soil of the marsh, which I expected would soon be a barren circle from my instant cremation.

"At least I did something right."

"Jeremiah," he said calmly. "Gaze upon me." Either he was getting larger or he was drifting towards me. "Yes, in your chemical madness you tried to conquer the world. As a vengeful ghost, you and the other Fallen of your kin tried again and failed. Twice resulting in the death of your own grandson."

"WE REMEMBER THAT!", shouted Vortex from the portal above the altar.

I nodded slowly. "That is true, Founder."

"However, you did save this world from the Fires of Apollo." He was referring the nuclear weapon I tried to disarm with Professor Antfarm. "In addition, you repaired this son after your other son stole his body."

"I remember that, too!", laughed the Vortex. I caught a telltale maniacal giggle in his voice.

"Marcus?" I turned to stare at the composite being leering at me from the depths of Hell. "What have you done?"

"Koen abandoned the Vortex collective, and Marcus took his place," Bloodwing explained with a note of disgust, "and in so doing defeated the Hydra. He...they...have earned the throne."

"Indeed we have, Father! And since you're not challenging our will to power I'm willing to invite you to..." Vortex paused as a buzzing drone grew in intensity from from his side of the portal. "Wait Poppa Legba what do you mean 'look behind me'? GYAAAAH!!" The portal instantly snapped shut in a flash of light and a lingering sound that pierced the eardrums as it slid beyond human range.

Bloodwing grimaced as he held his ears, continuing to suffer lightly from the broken portal. "What was that, Poppa Legba? A giant wasp, you say?"

I was startled again by the screech and squawk of the portable radio-wave receiver that lit up from where it lay on Darien's knapsack, placed just outside the summoning circle. Through the interference I could easily discern Qlippothic's slightly metallic voice, clear and measured even in her obvious distress.

"Mayday-mayday, invasion fleet intercepted at following coordinates..."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


As best as I can remember...

One minute I am disarming a nuclear device. Then Mr. Antfarm's magic rucksack bites off my hand. Death came so fast I wondered how I survived the atomic fire. That is when I realized I did not. The sack, however, did. And part of my soul was still in there. This is what has survived. This is why I am here.

Where am I?

Nowhere. Where do you want to go now?"

Home. Just home...

I was swatted across time and space like shuttlecock in a game of cosmic badminton. A felt a moment of comfort on the carpet of my room in Miss Burton's barn. How long was I going to live like this? Another second or two? She burst in.

She thought Antfarm was me. She was the landlady. She declared it his home, not mine. The spell backfired.

Your previous home was New Erebus.

But it's gone!

Old Erebus, then!

The very damn center of what used to be the Empire. The Throne of Hades, shredded as it was. I grabbed the tail to keep from getting sat on. Marcus and the Vortex shoved me into a lead box. When it reopened I leaped and grabbed the first thing I could...

I couldn't let go. The rush of reanimation serum, a thousand times worse than when it warped my mind. Pain screaming through every nerve as stretched and knit around bone and organ and muscle and skin.

My body was complete...almost. My hair was a bit shorter. My nails as well. That means I didn't overdose at least. I look down at the body...a splitting image of myself.

"Darien? DARIEN! You had enough reanimation fluid in you to regrow me from just a hand? Damn Founder, boy! I was never crazy enough to...Darien?"

I heard the Vortex's voice from a glowing portal behind me.

"Ha! You killed him after all!"

I knelt over him, compressing his chest. My shouts of DAMMIT BOY LIVE drowning out that cat-demon's taunts. All my work seemed to do was drive him deeper into the swamp mud. Without warning he let out a sharp gasp, drawing in the stifling damp air.

"That's it, boy. Breathe. Just breathe."

His eyes opened, glowing so angry of crimson in the darkness I had to look away. I knew that glow. It was the last thing I saw in New Erebus. I fell back, too weak to fight. I collapsed in the mud, waiting for Bloodwing to smear blood over the last line of the tragedy of my life.

Friday, March 19, 2010

If he bellows let him wail

The thunder of horns greeted the Vortex he descended the concrete steps built into the crater. He adjusted his resplendent spidersilk robe that matched his crimson fur to avoid an unfortunate rip from being pinned to his footpaws, and ensure it was hanging correctly around the hole cut for his slowly writhing tail. Two dwarfish demons waddled hurriedly behind him, taking quick jumps to reach the following step.

When the demon prince reached the floor of the crater, he flexed his paws to feel the red velvet stretching out all the way to his new throne. He admired the avant-garde design of the strips of black metal that were re-welded to again form the Throne of Erebus, albeit in a form unrecognizable from the original rococo design the Ereb'ai were infamous for.

"I especially like the red particle effects," he muttered to his advisers as he adjusted his collar before continuing. The advisers stared at the patches of magic radiating from the center of the throne like shimmering rubies. They looked back to each other each other and pointed back and forth, shrugging in bewilderment. They looked back to the throne nervously in the stoic silence shared by all of the neko-demon's servants.

Vortex gazed straight up at the names engraved on the flanges of steel, hammered out to abstractly resemble the Hydra he slew, just enough to remind the residents of this faded province of Hell of his mythic feat without reawakening racial memories of stark terror. The names of his collective self were inscribed on the nine metal ribbons that hung closest. One of them had to be twisted at the end to hide the name "Koen" (whose name was now shorthand within the capital walls for "coward") and etch in the name "Marcus" (now whispered outside the Imperial Sector as a synonym for "opportunist") on the reverse of the leaf in its place.

Vortex sighed happily, and in a fluid twirl of his gold-trimmed robe sat down upon the down cushions.

And promptly jumped high into the air howling in outrage. As he shredded the silk with his claws he roared GET IF OFF GET IT OFF as his diminutive servants fell over each other circling their master, trying glimpse the trouble without being eviscerated by a flying claw. Like that one just did.

(I'm sorry, I seem to have gotten some gore on the camera.)


"It seems to be a..."

"YES I KNOW WHAT THE HELL IT IS! It's...oh...what? You're kidding!"

"Sir! We've got the axe! Hold still!"

"GET AWAY YOU IDIOTS! Can't you see it's my...!"