”Dear lord – forgive me for failing you. I’ve asked you countless times before. Please. I don’t know what came over me. What caused me to refuse your grace when the hour was at its’ most dire. Now I’ve exposed to the darkness what I swore and dedicated my life to keep in the light.” The knight’s steady prayer was interrupted.
“The time for prayer is over. Knight.” Said a smooth and silky male voice. The knight grabbed onto his cane and the rail of the prayer bench he was kneeling at. He grunted with effort as he rose to face the evil in god’s house and addressed the abomination with calm. He now knew his time was up.
“Father Milton took his own life earlier this day. He was a devout catholic. I guess I now know why he found that inclination so overwhelming within himself – to condemn his own soul to eternity in hell. Now that you’re free again it might be worse here.” The knight’s tone was polite.
“You’re wrong. First – I’m not that bad. Second – he was simply weak of will. Hence the reason why he was so vulnerable even open to my influence in the first place.” Replied the abomination. It stepped out of the shadows of the dimly lit chapel. It could only loosely be described as human. An athletic young white male with aquamarine blue eyes that glinted like the gemstone itself. Two orbs of glowing emerald green shone in his forehead proclaimed the presence of the outsider. Anitoch. Within its’ host Friedrich Vogler. The bones of the young body protruded nearly everywhere as a suit of exoskeletal armor. Spikes from the forearm at the elbows and each vertebra along the spine which continued through the tailbone into a scalpel sharp tail of vertebra-joints ending in a tip. Twin pincers rose above his head like a scorpion with two tails – their three joints twitched erratically with random nerve impulses. Much like an insect. Bare bone-clawed feet echoed clicks and scrapes from the marble-cobbled floor of the church as the bone dancer slowly encroached on the holy man.
“I suppose this is my final night in this world?” Asked the knight. His tone stated fact rather than asking a question. He cast a quick glance at the great mosaic illuminated by the moon and stars of the night. Genuine sadness touched Vogler’s features before he replied. Some distant echo of humanity won through.
“Yes – regrettably. I will take no pleasure in it.” Said Vogler. The lights suddenly dimmed. The glow of the emerald-green eyes of Antioch intensified and the chapel interior took on a feint sheen of green for just a moment.
“Oh? But I will! Great pleasure indeed.” A deep rumbling voice emitted from somewhere within Vogler. His lips didn’t move. Just as suddenly the lights returned to normal. Vogler had a look of great annoyance on his face.
“That one took it’s grudge on your people more to heart than I. My own motivation for murdering you is merely of necessity. A path I needed in order to keep…” Vogler pointed a clawed index-finger to his temple. “…Mental accommodations to my benefits…” He gestured around with both hands. “…-And keep his endless blood thirst from eating up your kind.” The knight’s features took on clear skepticism.
“Wauw… that’s mighty big of you.” The knight said his words dripping with sarcasm.
Suddenly Vogler blurred flashing forward too quickly for the naked eye to see. The knight felt a sudden palm-sized impact of pressure and pain on his chest. He heard his ribcage snap in several places before he was sent flying – up and over the altar. His backside crashed directly in into Jesus mahogany Christ on the cross. Before one second had passed the bone devil was face to face with the knight again glowing eyes of frost locked with the knight’s where the corneas had filled with blood from the sudden pressure. His body contorted and then exploded in a cough spraying blood fourth in a mist – splattering lips and cheeks of his assailant. Vogler shoved the helpless knight up against the chest of Christ with one hand in a vice around his throat. The devil’s black tongue slithered out to taste the blood and he quivered with excitement. Bony pincers descended. One rested on Christ’s collarbone and the other caressed his waist. The knight was carefully lifted away one-handed. Choking sounds barely escaped the man’s throat. In one swift scissor-motion god’s son was reduced to a pile of splinters on the church floor. By now panic had taken hold of the knight – he was flailing uselessly his feet scuffing on the floor and arms wrenching at forearms hardened to rock. He was hauled back onto the cross again. Bone pincers descended once again. One was carefully being pressed through the knight’s shoulder with surgical prescision. Bone and grissle cracked and popped in the joint where arm met shoulder-socket. As the pincer bit into the wood of the cross the knight’s neck was released. Mike screamed. A cracking wail of agony pierced the air that would send jolts of terror running up the spine and brainstem of anything living who heard it.
“You shouldn’t mock me sir knight. I will indulge Antioch and he’d prefer this goodbye lasted the night out.” Vogler said it calmly his tone oddly in contention with the violent outburst. The knight’s head sagged limply. Bloody saliva dripped to the floor. Vogler grabbed a handful of the Mike’s dark hair lifting his face to meet his own and giving him a backhanded slap.
“Are you still here sir?” Vogler asked slight mockery in the last word. The pincer twisted a couple of degrees – wood creaking. A hiss of pain escaped the man and he began trembling violently and struggling to force words out.
“If you have that kind of control why do you indulge him at all? If any part of you wishes better for the world. You seemed to suggest that before. Was that just pretending or are you simply fooling yourself?” Breathing was obviously very painful for the man much less talking. That didn’t keep the slightest hint of a smile off his face though. Vogler started pulling his left upper arm bone through where it had dislocated the socket, split the skin protruding the shoulder. He did it in one slow and fluent motion.
“I left humanity behind. I don’t wish one thing or the other for you. The path I’m on now allows control of the two beasts now residing within…” Vogler said. Sighing and shivering slightly clearly in pleasure. “…But. It also dictates that I must now take my vengeance.” Now holding a blade of pointy bone in his right hand he whirled it around a few times and spun it between fingers checking its’ balance as he continued. “The priest told me about you. A truly righteous man – with a family…” Panic entered Mike’s features but Vogler held up a hand in a placating gesture. “…Don’t worry. I won’t touch them. Michael.” There was actual compassion in those last words. The lights dimmed again and Antioch broke in.
“Oh. But I will!” Vogler smiled mockingly as he replied the to outsider in a barely audible whisper.
“You won’t. Stop posturing.” Vogler rested the blade on the knight’s collar bone as he’d done on Christ. Right next to the external carotid artery. “Our talk is cut short it seems.” He mumbled and turned his head. “It seems we have guests. Brothers and sisters of mine.”
“Realease him fiend!” Shouted one of the new arrivals. A hooded figure. He was holding Lux in tenebris.