Somewhere in an alien dimension a soldier stumbled through a doorway. He barely missed colliding with the wall and threw a hand out to grasp the frame like a man drowning, knuckles whitening on the metal as he tried to steady himself. He might have been drunk- his footsteps were unsteady and his movements were erratic- if the expression on his face wasn’t caught so perfectly between apathy and fear and the space where his left arm should have been wasn’t filled with body of an enormous centipede that was winding itself by his side. The man nearly tripped as his shoulder was pulled suddenly downward; the insect’s body swung wildly and hit the wall with a painful thud.
The centipede’s eyes were a furious green as it butted its head against the man’s stomach, forming a sharp hiss into words with madly gesticulating mandibles. The soldier gestured with his single remaining arm at the centipede and then at himself, clearly not of the centipede’s opinion as to whose fault his awkward motions were. His voice, oddly drained and heavily accented, was drowned out by a sudden, insidious cackle that hung in the air like an unwelcome guest in the space beyond.
“Poor bastards didn’t even bother to thank me! I mean, look at them. They’re better off this way. Much more interesting, at any rate.”
The Tormentor stood with hands clasped behind his back in front of a colossal eye, casually observing the unfortunate soldier and insect through its colorless iris. The scene flickered and vanished as the eye blinked, returning its gaze to him nervously. Around the observing Grandmaster the pale walls of a lonely tower fluttered with the lids of thousands of stolen eyes. The one before him wobbled in reluctant agreement as a sphinx by the shadowy humanoid’s side stretched out its front paws and yawned.
“Oh, undoubtedly. Such an excellent match too. Near perfect, don’t you think? Two forms colliding into one, a metamorphosis of the body transcending the essential singularity of life. Artistry in on itself… You’re a genius, Tormy.” The sphinx turned and grinned at him, lion’s teeth in a woman’s face.
The Tormentor smirked back.“Why, yes, yes I am. ”
“It’s almost a shame, though…” Red hair gathered into a mane writhed like a pack of eels having a seizure. “There’s only the one of them.”
“Are you suggesting there should be more?”
The blind monstrosity purred and started to circle him, padding over the featureless floor. “They’ve made such a sacrifice, this pair. Who are we to isolate them, quarantine them? Force them into the role of curio, alone in their uniqueness?...” A thin red tail whipped across the pale surface and the woman’s face made an excellent stab at a pout. “We could make more. It would be easy. They can’t be the only ones to suffer such a blessing, after all. It would be cruel…”
“Well, when you put it like that,” the Tormentor snickered, “I don’t see how any sane being could suggest otherwise.”
The Spectator’s eyes blinked as one as the sphinx flared its wings and reared up with its paws on the Tormentor’s shoulders, grinning into his face. “We’ll have to search, of course. How can anything short of ideal fall into such alignment so seamlessly? But we’re no strangers to that, are we,” and her smile was a lion’s, all hungry fangs and good intentions.
“Search for victims?” He laughed. “Nothing could be simpler...”
THEY COULDA HAD CLASS! THEY COULD'VE BEEN CONTENDERS!:
1. TimeothyHour- Catherine Orwell: Royal Blue on White / Ixcaliber- Abraham: #008080
2. Agent1022- Sergeant Grace “GG” Gray: #444444 / WoodlandBeef- Belgen: #003153 and #003153
3. Solaris- Quez: #B0571B / A Killer Cuppa Tea- Tamani Turok: DarkOrange
4. MalkyTop- Mr. Bori: #B272A6 on #26466D / Wojjan- Norië: Teal