Dungeons and Dragons, Part 1
The Villain's Spire
Location: The Villain’s Spire - China
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse - 7 January 2012
In the dim light, Lorde sat back in his over-sized barcalounger. It was made of a soft black leather, and had red buttons and stitching. Although the curtains for the massive picture windows were open, little light had been showing through to the dimly lit massive room. The windows could be tinted automatically to allow a set amount of light in. In his mind, part of him always remained in shadow. The parts he felt people didn’t want to see, or hear about. His fears, worries, regrets, might have been the very reason for his being taken to this world.
He ran his hands over his massive Ceylon ebony desk. The wood was native to southern India and quite rare, at least in the modern day. It was so dense the surface felt like metal. Fred then looked over at at his many status alerts. Most of the city’s population had been released from the shelters and seemed to be making it back home. He was pleased the massive beast had done very little personal damage to his people. Yes, like any good would-be monarch, he felt quite paternal about his citizens.
Lorde had always said his code-name was not one of royalty. Of course there was always that omission of truth, just not ending the sentence with, “Yet.”. This was only because, in this universe, he felt it had not been earned yet. He had only kept using it, as it was an old moniker.
His fingers drifted over the small snow globe on his desk. Hollywood hoped one day this place could be like that. Filled with magic and happy people. He held the globe closer, imagining he could see himself there with his first champion, his golden goddess.
He wondered if the Aryel that had brought him to this dimension was the same one that had rescued him. If the little mephit had been an illusion or trick, he could have been cheated out of power beyond many people's imagination. The blonde man’s mind couldn’t help but dwell on these things, both out of the entertainment of thinking about her, reliving old escapades, and still he felt there were just too many unanswered questions about his own past. Something he had missed, or maybe even had stolen from his mind.
If Frederick figured out that Hydra, Them, AIM, The Secret Empire, Nexus, or whatever they called themselves in this time and rendition, had taken something like that from him, they might very well be his next targets. Of course, one way or the other, Hydra most likely wouldn’t be in the free and clear either way.
Suddenly the air grew stiflingly hot, and a mist began to rise from every surface, choking the air with the billowing humidity. The lighting took on various red hues, and occasionally a slight spark would set a chain reaction in motion, not unlike heat lightning, that crackled along the surface of the steam. Thin tendrils of fire that branched off, then fizzled in the wet atmosphere.
“Where is she?” A harshly whispered, incorporeal voice echoed from a number of areas in the room. “Where are you hiding her?”
He picked up the little glass globe on his desk. “I’m not really sure which her you’re asking about.” Lorde knew that voice all too well and he tried to seem less aroused than he was from hearing it. “You might have to be a little more specific.” It was not meant to be a snarky remark, although he often misused his tone.
“Do not play games with me, Hollywood,” the voice hissed again. Slowly the mist began to pull away from the middle of the room in front of Lorde’s desk, revealing the form of a diminutive Asian woman, with burning red-reptilian eyes. Her pitch black hair cascaded around her shoulders, falling like a natural hood, blending well with the floor length black robes that she was wearing. “The dragon-kin. Where is she?”
Instantly Frederick’s Zanjin Eye snapped open. He could see the vortex that led deep into the dragon woman’s spiritual center. He now had no doubt that she was angry...with him. Also, he knew, both intellectually, and at his core, that she meant Silvestra. And he suddenly knew that her training had gone far beyond what she had before, both in Japan, and in England. At least as far as her understanding of his art form. Honestly he didn’t mind returning her kin. After all, Hollywood considered the small woman an ally. Unwitting at times, but an ally none the less.
“I have no intentions of keeping your...brood-mate? Any longer than necessary. I am a man of my word after all.” He had to ask a dark question just to see the dragon’s resolve. “What if she can’t be released just yet?” Not that she never could, but without the right buffering poor Frostwyng might become intertwined with some of the fabricated memories he had used. Or worse go completely mad and, well, what good would that do her people?
Syn stood there, glaring at Lorde, seeing into his core much the way that he was looking into hers. He was screwing with her, and she knew it, but his reasoning could be as vast and varied as the stars themselves. She did know that he was serious about allowing her to take the woman that she was seeking, but there was something more there as well.
“I would figure it out. I’m not exactly a woman without resources,” the ancient being said, her voice still dark, dangerous. The woman that he had called Silvestra was a half-dragon, a rare being, one of a type that Syn had never run across in all of her years wandering the world. “She’s not a brood-mate, as you so quaintly put it. However, she is one of my people. I will not abandon her to someone that intends to use her the way that you have.”
He smiled. “I like the first part of your answer the best, Abusan. Of course with a bit of know how, and or a powerful telepath, you could lead her back to the light of this world.” Then he stood up suddenly his demeanor changing from anything overly serious to that of mirth. Mirth with still a taste of darkness. “Why don’t we go visit your kinsman.”