08-10-2013, 12:05 PM
Inside the Fabric, within the tiny pocket universe that resided in the strands, Apep ran for his life.
The universe wasn't simply an expanse of stars; each creature, each dark shadow trapped within brought its own piece of the world. Apep's own little piece was chaotic sand dunes full of his favorite things, and he was being chased in his chunk of peace. The worst part?
His pursuer didn't run.
He tripped and fell to the ground, scaled hands sliding in the sand, and he turned over, staring up at the garguantuan figure over him. "Now, now, please," he scrambled backward in the sand. "Let's not be hasty," his forked tongue flicked between his fangs, tears of fright running down his cheeks from his yellow, reptillian eyes. "I didn't realize who was in that pretty little box on your turf, I can't help but be curi-hurk!" Massive fists wrapped around his throat and lifted him into the air.
"You leave-" A tightening of the fingers on his neck made him gag. "-my little sibling alone, you worthless husk of a demon."
"I didn't know!" he squeaked. "I promise, I promise, I-"
"Put him down, Brother." An older voice came from the other side of the mountainous, red-haired man, and the fingers loosened - but did not let him free. A tall, skeletal man stepped around him, cane pushing through the sands, and he looked up at Apep with the expression of one used to dealing with pests in their home. "Well, well, look at the little snake. All pinned up and ready for its necropsy." He sniffed. "I don't suppose you know how to wriggle your way out of this one. Spit venom? Play dead like a hognose?"
"I swear, I didn't know Pestilence was in that trap. I'm glad you stopped me, I-I really am. Lillith would have-"
"Don't speak of her. I'd rather not see her." Death raised his eyes to War. "Drop him, please. He's still one of our equals, in age and knowledge."
"He's a slimy liar, s'what he is." The giant however dropped Apep and stepped back, wiping his hands on his trousers. "Why you'd come out of your own patch is beyond my ken."
"Because he will be useful. In any case, he and I have... a history." Apep grinned at Death and hugged his leg.
"Oh, you lovely Pale Rider, I did miss you!" He hissed contently. "Do tell me how you've been in here. Is it nice?"
"It lacks humanity." He eyed his brother. "Though my fellows certainly seem to loathe the ones who put them here, they lack the power to escape. In due time, we will have our revenge. Rather, they will." He grasped Apep by the shoulder and raised him to his feet. "I'd much rather return to my old haunts."
"Oh, you darling pacifist." Apep hugged him again, and Death simply raised a thin eyebrow. "R-right, you don't like hugs. Sorry, my friend." He let go, fiddling with one of his many necklaces.
"War. Return to your post by Pestilence. I need to chat with Apophis." War began to protest, but Death added, shortly, "Alone." War scoffed and disappeared, his large footsteps disappearing in the sand. The Pale Rider turned back to Apophis and raised an eyebrow. "Care to erect somewhere for us to chat?"
"My powers are gone. Some cheap trick stole them from me." He hissed. "Left in my human vessel that was so nicely given to me by a darling little angry cult." He pointed off in the distance. "I nearly had them! I almost had my way, I was almost free to do whatever I wished. Oh Death, it was beautiful. It's so shiny and new up there. So full of chaos and death." He clasped his hands together. "I don't suppose there's anybody else I shouldn't make angry?" he asked, nervously.
"Several. The King and Queen of Hell reside here."
"..." Apep mouthed the words, confused.
"Azrael and Lucifer. Couldn't tell you when they arrived; I spend much of my time alone." Death offered an arm to Apep, and he took it as they walked across the sand. Apep had much respect for Death, the Horseman: "Lilith, the first Woman of Man, also lives here. She's something of a de facto leader among us, though I don't believe she thinks she can control the Riders."
"Are all your siblings here?"
"Unfortunately, no." He exhaled as their feet hit concrete flooring; they stood in an ancient tavern, maybe a mead hall that stretched for seeming miles. "Conquest, himself, was left out. After the translations of Revelations, he was forgotten, and we lost him before being interred." He inhaled. "You can blame Pestilence for that one. The new child lost control in Egypt, which many of the Hebrews took as the Seven Plagues, from what I understand. It worked for them in the end, but cost us our own freedom."
"You went willingly?" Apep sat down at one of the tables, tilting his head.
"Only because somebody must be our arbitrator." Death smiled thinly. "War likes to fancy himself the peacekeeper, but he's too busy worrying about the White Rider to care much about it."
"Oh." He was silent. "You realize that didn't stop people dying?"
"I'm merely the one who observes over the collectors of souls." Death seated himself across from Apophis and turned his head to the door. "It seems we have a guest." He raised a hand and waved it; the door swung open. "Do enter, please."
I stare at the girl in the mirror: T-shirt, torn up jeans, no beauty queen.
But the way that you see me, you get underneath me, and all my defenses just fall away, fall away.
I am beautiful with you, even in the darkest part of me. I am beautiful with you;
Make it feel the way it's supposed to be!
You're here with me: Just show me this and I'll believe I am beautiful with you!