[Today's soundtrack comes from Darksiders II.
Tiny drops of light slid up and down the five silver threads in time with the flickering candle. One thread flashed red hot and Deathly turned his head toward it, the red reflecting in his lenses. Deathly tilted his head and touched the thread. It hummed a dual, clashing note.
“Enjoying yourself, are you, Murderous?” Deathly murmured.
He shifted his gaze to the one dull thread woven amongst the others in a complicated spider web that was enlightening only to Deathly. Pondering the dull thread for a moment, Deathly stepped away from the tall cabinet, normally locked and unnoticed. He fetched a vial with a faint amount of blood nestled in the bottom, then unscrewed the lid and dripped a blood drop onto his gloved finger. He slid his wet finger along the dull string, murmuring under his breath, then tracing symbols in the air.
The thread did not respond.
“Very well, Mangler. Stay dead.”
Deathly closed the doors to the plain black cabinet that was so often overlooked. The doors locked automatically upon meeting and then the threads were once again hidden. Deathly put the vial of blood away and then leaned heavily on his worktable, his head twisted to one side in a very human image of irritation. He drummed two gloved fingers against the tabletop.
Murderous was taking too long to find Mangler’s body, and even if he did, Deathly had no guarantee that he could convince the little twit to bring the corpse to the laboratory before he took it to Masuta. And if Deathly hated one thing, it was throwing away effort. Training Mangler to question and doubt had taken centuries, carefully crafted centuries and thousands of sacrifices.
Deathly touched the top of his head where the mask connected to the hood, finding the button and slowly undoing it.
Morbid strolled in. “Find him yet?”
Deathly looped the button back to the hood, straightening into his usual posture. “Unfortunately not.”
Morbid nodded, touching her braid absently. It hung loose today, not twisted into a noose. “What will happen when he is found? To Mangler of course. I don’t care about Murderous.”
“I couldn’t predict it,” Deathly rasped. “If Masuta is so concerned as to promote Murderous of all people…I suspect Mangler will be entombed.”
“What? Not raised? Of all the tortures I expected from the master, that’s not it,” Morbid said. “It’s so…bland.”
“Entombing is a far cry from bland,” Deathly said. “I can imagine few things worse for one such as us than to be entombed.”
“Don’t get me wrong; I like being alive very much. In fact, the immortal gig is one of my favorite things, but at the same time, I can see the upside to dying. A person gets tired.”
“You have no sense of death, Immortal. Never fearing death, knowing that dying is merely a temporary stage, it has left you with no respect for moving on. The world beyond life is a very strange and fluid place that all beings belong to. It is our natural home. All things shall perish from under the sky, even the forgotten gods and the Immortals. This is not a sad thing. It is only because we do not know it that we fear it. To be entombed is not to be buried and never risen again. It is to never live and never die. It is to be dead and trapped. You, Morbid, have died few times in our centuries. You do not remember the drifting between life and death, but there is a reason you all return to life afraid and gasping. Because you had floated on the edge of oblivion and nearly been lost. That is what it is to be entombed. It is floating on the edge of oblivion and dissolving into nothing.”
Morbid leaned one elbow against the table. “You’re such a ball of sunshine. I love it.”
Deathly tipped his head down in a faintly condescending gesture, then shook his head.
“More importantly, entombing is a desperate move on Masuta’s part. I wonder what has spurred to the master to such frenetic motions. It is too early for an endgame.”
Morbid arched an eyebrow. “You’re doing it again, Death. That riddle thing.”
“Forgive me. I am merely pondering.”
“You’re older than us, aren’t you?”
Deathly moved, too fluid and loose for his usual borderline mechanical movements, turning his head away then snapping it back toward her as if changing his mind mid-motion.
“Am I indeed?” he asked, no expression showing through his body.
“But are you older than the master?” Morbid asked.
Deathly turned to his chemicals. “Careful asking questions that no one has dared to answer. It is such questions that led Mangler to his current fate.”
“Oh really?” She leaned closer until she was only inches from Deathly’s lenses. “What questions did he ask?”