|The Devils You Know...|
Often times people have asked why such a parthenon-looking structure would be named the Town Hall, at which point Senior Diablo would simply smile and walk away leaving it to the imagination. Hanging from the pillars are colorful banners representing the season, viewable only from the inside of the building.
An interesting feature of the building is that the area around the sandy arena is somehow protected against attacks. Meaning if a fight where to break out in the arena itself, anyone standing along the walkways would be completely safe should the fight get out of control. Because of this seeing people wildly testing their abilities here is not uncommon.
After everything that has transpired of the past few years for Caliga, he has a good number of bones to pick with certain denizens of Twisted, and his home world. Of course, the biggest target that needs a knife to the face will prove the easiest to find.
YAY KNIFE-FACE! OUR HERO!
The heat within the Town Hall drops down as Caliga moves through it. It's quite obvious he's making himself noticable, and even more obvious the laws that govern things are going nuts to keep a semibalance of control.
"Hornboy, I would like to have words with you." There is an obvious hint of anger to Caliga's voice, veiled with thin control.
As he's done so many times recently, Senior Diablo chooses to appear behind the person seeking him out as though he's been there the whole time. "Why haven't you found a more interesting nickname for me by now? It's like you're hardly even trying anymore." As always he appears out of Caliga's shadow and of course he's at least a head or two taller than the angry Councilmember. He's always a head or two taller than everyone, one day someone needs to call him out on that.
Looking as smug as ever, Diablo folds his hands behind his back and raises a brow. "Well? What is it now? 'Revenge' for helping to mount a search party for you when you underestimated the girl I asked you to train, or has the 24*7 simply run out of your favorite Brainfreezy flavor and refused to restock it?" To be fair, it does sound like something Caliga would bitch about.
"Oh shut it Diablo." Caliga doesn't bother turning to face the Devil, only choosing to continue walking forward. The sheathed sword on his back violently shakes, as Diablo remains in his shadow. "Please get out of there. I don't want to be held responsible if it does something it shouldn't."
He does eventually stop walking. "Diablo, you knew damn well what would happen. Of course, you didn't know at that time Kaldrath was dead, so I won't blame you one bit for what happened with Tabitha after I took her. I will blame you however for what /led/ to it. Knowing full well what I had lost, and intending to have Tabitha serve as a catalyst to restore it? You /used/ her like she didn't mean anything."
Now Caliga turns to face Diablo, rage slowly starting to build on his face as he starts to lose more of what little control he has over his anger. "Not ONLY did you seal me as well, you hid it, and then you used Tabitha. I had made it clear to you long ago I would not stand for that Diablo. She is NOT a tool. However, I expect you to remain coy and smug over that as well, which pisses me off even more."
He then glances at Diablo, growling loudly. "And get your ass down to my height. Quit allowing yourself to tower over everyone like you're their king."
Far too casually Diablo walks around Caliga and stands in the light before him. The devil's been accused of this particular sin enough lately that he's already prepared for it. A week ago and Caliga might have triggered his anger in full. "I never USED her. To be honest, I never even had the opportunity." Well, that's unusually blunt for him. He tries to duck down to face Caliga eye to eye but it just doesn't happen. With a heavy sigh he simply changes forms; Cale Satanas, Devi, Johnny, Gegoshi, Dante... he ends up back at himself and shakes his head. "You'll have to deal with the height or pick a form for me because I have little control over it."
Once again, he prepares to repeat a speech for the third time. His honesty buried in the repetition of the statement. "I did what needed to be done for Twisted, and to allow it to be stable. That child was a murdering monster, already broken beyond repair. I mended it. I gave her a past and a happy childhood. The only thing I did for my own means was give her a past that led her to wanting to be my ward. At least I implied that the maniac finally got a piece of that catgirl he was always chasing. Personally I thought that was a rather kind hearted for me." Rape stories aside...
Senior Diablo then points at Caliga and shakes his head. "YOU however, I came to first! I couldn't help what was happening to Twisted, I could only guide it. You were caught up in the event. I'm sorry. I can't very well undo the creation of a second reality!" Now his voice has a tinge of anger to it. At least he has an emotion to show at the moment.
"No, you set yourself up as the Governer. Which makes me question where you truly stand now Diablo. We shall touch on that subject shortly." Caliga doesn't cower before Diablo's rising anger, only steps towards the Devil. "No, it wasn't kind Diablo. It was devistating to her, because the moment she unsealed me? All of that shattered her. She is broken now more then she ever was. That, in its entirety Diablo, lies on you, and I intend to make sure you bear that sin more then anyone else."
He doesn't care if Diablo refutes it, because in the end to Caliga, it still lies on Diablo's horns just how broken the girl is now. "She was no monster Diablo, and you never quite understood that. Now? Well.. She is, and she has the power to kill gods and may not even realize it. If she does.. well... it's only a matter of time before one of the others that now dwell within her decide on a target."
The air seems to thicken and the sky darkens a shade. "She was no monster? SHE WAS NO MONSTER? Let's go on a little adventure, shall we? Isn't that what you and Johnny seem to be so fond of doing these days?" He approaches Caliga, and lifts one of his long fingers to point it directly at his forehead. "This will hurt a tad..."
There's no easy way to describe what happens next and the pain it will cause. Like a hot knife through butter, Diablo pushes his finger into Caliga's skull and abruptly his brain will feel like it's on fire. Suddenly he'll be standing on a totally new world, one filled with seemingly endless trees and a single lonely road snaking off into the distance. Standing in the center of that road stands Senior Diablo as if nothing had happened at all. The devil turns and watches as a carriage drawn by something horse like makes its way towards them. Hanging from the sides glass lamps let out light and draw attention from the darkness - at least that which the moon above does not cast in its bluish hue.
"This world was populated by a few hundred lost souls and creatures that only existed in this tiny pocket dimension." A horrible screech suddenly echoes out and the people in the carriage draw weapons, looking blindly into the trees around them. In a blur, Tabitha's form descends upon them from the trees - throwing them off of the carriage before leaping on the creatures pulling it, literally ripping them to pieces with her bare hands. "...before Johnny cast Tabitha out of our world."
Blood and gore spray into the night sky and in moments the catgirl stands panting in the center of their corpses, the steam still rising into the cool air. The people take their weapons and attack her only to be handled in much the same way. The last person is picked up and dragged screaming into the woods where a sizeable pile of unidentifiable corpse chunks has been made. The man is thrown into the pile and Tabitha leaps at him, with the Dread Dagger burning brightly in her teeth.
"On this world she lived for at least twenty years, each death pushing her farther into the darkness." The scene changes abruptly to the roofs of old Twisted as Tabitha hovers in the air in Johnny's blackened form, tendrils rising off of her as a wave of teeth and eyes rush forwards - all frozen in time. "This was the same Tabitha who had absolute control of the abilities Benedict taught Johnny." Diablo walks forwards and gets into Caliga's face again. "SHE WAS MADE OF HIS ABILITY, and thus she can control it without thought! Whatever 'beast' he had inside him has been either copied or transferred into her. So tell me now, Caliga Satanas. WAS SHE A MONSTER?!"
The scene shimmers and fades and once more the two stand in the center of the Arena. Diablo withdrawing his hand and taking a step away from Caliga, leaving him to compose his thoughts...
That is the answer Caliga gives Diablo with his final question. He closes his eyes as he replays what he just saw, slowly examining each piece from every angle, only to have a lone tear build in the corner of his right eye. As the droplet falls his eyes open, his eyes having taken a silver hue with three rings surrounding the iris'.
"I cannot deny your fear of her Diablo, however.. You cannot deny hers. You have watched over the Maniac for far longer then I, and you know his every action and motive, because that was your purpose." His right hand reaches backwards, gently gripping the handle of the sheathed sword as the paper seals on the tsuba suddenly burst into blue flames.
"Diablo, have you become so blind you didn't realize it from the start? She was made of his ability, with the longing for another. Then when she was finally starting to realize she was her own being... She was banished into the darkness. Have you forgotten how easily Mortals change when they're afraid? The things they are capable of?"
A demonic screech comes from the blade as it is slowly pulled from its sheath, the black flames violently burning. "You don't see it, do you Diablo? She was not meant to be branded a monster, but pitied for her purpose was always one that was meant to cause pain. So she did. /I/ tried to let her know that I saw her as something different."
"Do I see her as a monster? No. I do not. I see her as a failure on the part of those who are divine, and are meant to guide the path of those whose lives are merely a twinkling star. Just as bright as the burn, they eventually fade. We failed her Diablo, and this? This has only made it that much worse."
Senior Diablo's eyes roll in their black sockets and he nods along waiting for Caliga to simply shut up. "Oh yes. Yes. Let's pity her. Let's try to make things better." He claps his hands together and smiles, "OH! I know! How about we rewrite those memories for her so she doesn't have to remember the terrible monster she'd become?! We could give her a happier life, and maybe" He holds up his hands to pause Caliga's train of thought, "Just maybe, we can try to prepare her for when that beast inevitably awakens! OH! And you know how to train people about ki and fighting! You might make the perfect person to teach her and keep her from FUCKING LOOSING HER MIND AND KILLING EVERY FUCKING ONE OF US! YES, LET'S TRY THAT BEFORE UNLEASHING THE GOD-KILLING MONSTER BURRIED INSIDE HER!" In his rage his voice booms out of every shadow in the Arena, and probably half way down the street as well. The sky darkens and thunder rolls.
The Devil begins to almost radiate power which crackles in the air around him as he's suddenly pacing around Caliga. "YES! SO LET'S GET BACK TO BRANDING ME A HORRIBLE MONSTER! I'M THE DEVIL, RIGHT?! LET'S GO GATHER TOGETHER TO STOP THE MIGHTY SATAN FOR WHAT HE DID TO THAT POOR LITTLE INNOCENT GIRL!!" He turns to glare furiously at Caliga, his eyes burning in a hellish bright red light. "ISN'T THAT WHY YOU'RE HERE!?" Get out of this one, Smeg Head.
"It was a tad bit hard to do that when I was you know, dying. That does kind of put a hamper on things." Caliga allows his sarcastic comment to roll off the tongue as he sighs loudly. "I intended to die Diablo, I'm fairly sure you figured that out all on your own."
An idle swing of the blade is given, neatly slicing one of the pillars in half. Caliga lowers his eyes down to the sword, only to sheathe it once again. "Tabitha is going to be a key figure of this world, and just what sort remains to be seen. For the time being... I propose we keep her out of our little games, and leave her solely to me. You are right. I understand her abilities, and I can train her to actually have control. However.." He watches Diablo pace around, only to hold his arm out once more as the Devil comes in range to stop him.
"You will need to be up front with me. I do not appreciate secrets and hidden agendas, and of all those who call this realm home... I'm damn well the only one who deserves that. I sacraficed everything I had for this world, and for you to play like you are the one running the shots just like Concordance did, that just makes me want to fuck things up for you even more. I will be your most stalwart ally Diablo, or your most dangerous enemy. I think its time for you decide where you would like me to finally stand."
Senior Diablo scoffs. His rage subsiding as he regains his composure, "I wanted you at my side, you thickheaded fool. You used to be my right-hand man on both of the previous Councils. You where the one I confided in. But here, now? You made it clear you didn't want to even cross paths with me or did you forget when the girl in question swore her allegiance to you following my instruction? I've been nothing if not transparent in almost all of my deeds around you." He turns and gestures around the Arena and lets out a slight laugh, "And for all your conclusions you've missed the most obvious thing. What secret am I hiding? I hide my secrets in plain sight." He turns to face Caliga again, "The only thing I care about right now is keeping my position in charge of Twisted and caring for the people who reside here. I've already sworn to stay away from Tabitha after she manhandled you outside my jurisdiction, and to that end I've already been told one method of stopping her. I've also already hired a bodyguard in case she or anyone else decides to try and come after me." He crosses his arms behind his back again, "But if you want to try and reach out to her? Feel free. She's all yours." He starts to pace away and pauses, "And the only other secret? With you casting me away like you have been, I reached out to the only like-minded person I could. You may want to say hello to your son while he's on Twisted. I'm sure he'd like to know you're fine."
"And if you were to find one who would threaten to usurp that Diablo, what then? There is already a few that comes to mind when you broach that subject, and I've already armed one of them with some fun little tools." Caliga grins as he mentions that, but shakes his head. "Diablo, I am not a lapdog. You forget that easily. Do not assume I will roll over and beg for treats to please you." He rests both his hands atop his head. "I didn't say we were finished with our conversation however. I am far from finished with having words with you Diablo." He moves to keep pace with the Devil. "There is quite a bit we need to hammer out, and after all is said and done, I think we could be 'partners' again."
Senior Diablo eyes's twitch at Caliga's words and he pauses to glare at him once again. "You were NEVER my lapdog!! Where do you keep getting that conclusion?! I've always divided things evenly when someone swears allegiance to anything I stand for, the only exception to that rule being the current state of Twisted's government - and even then I allowed everyone to have an equal say about how it's governed." He sighs and starts to turn away again, "But if you want to come along and carry this on, then so be it." He smirks, "Come! I'll show you the TASK building. It's a little nightmarish on the outside, but it's quite an improvement over the last one..." With that, assuming Caliga continues to follow him, he makes his way outside and into the slowly returning daylight.