An Inheritance of Sorts Ch. 9- The Legacy of De'Brian

[b]Chapter 9: The Legacy of De’Brian[/b]

Dane dragged himself out of bed and dragged himself down to the bathroom. After finishing his morning ablutions he shuffled towards the kitchen and the small coffee pot that dwelt there. He took some of the old coffee that was left in the bottom of the pot, poured it into a cup and threw it into the microwave. He flipped on the kitchen light and immediately regretted it. Spears of pain lanced through his eyes and his head started to throb.

It felt like someone was holding a belt sander to the back of his skull. God, what was I doing last night? Dane asked himself.

The Macarena, among other things, answered a voice from inside Dane’s head. Once the coin had been repaired, Samniel had been in a good mood. The Denarian did what he usually did while in a good mood: he took his host’s body out on the town for a night of vice. He filled his host in on the particulars and felt especially self-satisfied whenever he groaned. His story ended at about five in the morning when he’d finally gotten back to Dane’s apartment.

Dane took a deep breath, a sip of coffee, and said, with calm certainty, “If you ever do that again, I’m throwing you in a volcano.” He paused long enough to take another sip of coffee. “Do something about the headache, would you? It’s killing me.”

A few minutes later and some effort on Samniel’s part left Dane feeling rejuvenated. Light headed and a little goofy, but fine. It was one of the very few benefits to having Samniel around, as far as Dane was concerned. He knew that the fallen angel could work powerful magic, offer accurate advice and insight, and probably leap tall buildings in a single bound, but all he really cared about was Samniel’s knack for dulling pain.

Advil had nothing on it.

Breakfast was a dry bowl of frosted mini wheats and another cup of coffee. At last, Dane rose, stretched and began to get ready for work in a methodical, unhurried fashion. When he started getting dressed, he discovered something odd.

All of his diapers were back in their drawer and all of the supplies were where they used to be. Dane poked his head out of the room and noticed that the trash bags he’d filled with diapers and all of his adult baby paraphernalia were still there, and still full. It didn’t make any sense.

It is just an illusion. I didn’t feel like unpacking all of your diapers for you.”

“Why are you doing this, Samniel?”

That’s a dumb question. I’m Samniel, the Hedonist. I’m an immortal incarnation of pleasure seeking at its most kinktacular. You might as well ask the sun why it shines or the trees why they grow.”

Dane shook his head. “This isn’t something I want, and it’s something you aren’t going to goad me into. It’s a petty addiction, an inconvenience, and just one more thing between myself and Serra.”

It’s also something that’s a part of you. You were cursed, for a time, with exactly what you wanted most. We both know that, on some level, you want it and need it. You might as well try to cast off your nose because of some vague notion that it’s perverted.”

“Perverted? What would you know about what’s right or good?”

I don’t know right or good, but I do know perversion. I’ve inspired many of the greats. Casanova, Cleopatra, and the famous Marquis de Sade were but a few of my pupils. You might as well credit me with the existence of modern sadomasochism. It’s all because I will not allow a host of mine to ignore what they need.”

“I’ll bet that Cleopatra didn’t need a horse suspended from her rafters.”

I bet I could make you, you know.”

“I bet I could crush your coin with a claw hammer, you know.”

Heh, try it.” An idea struck the fallen angel. “I’m giving you a choice. You can put yourself in a diaper, or I will put you in one. I’ll make you feel like you’re wearing the largest, most obstructive diaper you’ve ever worn.

Dane’s gaze caught the clock. He didn’t have time to argue, and he didn’t feel like testing Samniel’s limits. He snagged a diaper from the bags in the hallway and finished getting dressed in record time. He had to admit that it felt good, but he wasn’t going to let Samniel win this one. Not by a long shot.

With that, Dane set a little golden pin on his shirt and left the apartment.

Unbeknownst to him, someone waited at the front of his apartment building, trying to match a sketch of his face and her hazy memory to the stream of people leaving the building for work.

He walked right out the front door, and she followed him for some five blocks before realizing that they were alone on the street. This was the perfect opportunity. She moved closer to her quarry, took a mean looking knife from her purse, and readied herself to deliver a killing blow.

…and was promptly blasted backwards by a flash of white light and pain. The wards around the JESU building were as strong as ever.


Phillip was getting antsy. He’d been told to meet Marcus in his office about half an hour ago, and the older man hadn’t gotten around to showing up. It wasn’t the wait that he minded, so much as his surroundings. The office’s walls were covered with row upon row of masks. They ranged from carved wood to solid bronze to something that looked like bone. They only thing that they had in common was that they looked expensive.

…and they always seemed to be looking at him.

Phillip shook the thought out of his head. The last thing he needed was to be scared of something so stupid. Of course the masks weren’t watching him. He paced across the room once or twice, and his gaze was drawn to a glass case on one of the higher shelves. It held a grumpy looking lizard and all of the household amenities that the scaly fellow could want. The lizard lounged back on his heating stone, and Phil thought that it had the right idea.

The bored youth sat down on one of the chairs in front of Marcus’ desk only to lean back and pop his feet up onto the desk. The lizard glared at him in disapproval.

“Your mother sucks flies in Hell,” Phillip said to the green pest.

It was at that moment that Sir Marcus strode into the room. Phillip cringed and expected to be chided. Sir Marcus only finished walking calmly around to his chair and took a seat. He looked weary, like he’d run a marathon without sleep the night before.

There was a moment of silence between the two of them. Finally, Phillip moved his feet off of the desk and sat up straight.

“Very good. Status is no excuse for poor manners,” he paused and his continence hardened a little. “Do you know what I wanted to talk to you about?”

“No idea.”

“Don’t play coy with me,” Sir Marcus warned, “You were seen peeking in on our newest arrival after I told you not to. You’ve very few rules here, and you’ve violated the only one I’ve seen fit to set for you.”

Phillip cringed a little. Marcus’ tone wasn’t angry, but the hint of disappointment had more of an impact on Phillip than anger ever did.

“Do we have an understanding that it won’t happen again?”

“Yes,” responded Phillip.

“Good. Now that that little matter is taken care of, I’ve something of interest to show you.” He withdrew a long, bladed piece of iron from his coat and set it on the table.

“What is it?” Phillip asked. His eyes were drawn to the artifact and he couldn’t seem to pry them away. He knew that somewhere deep down he wanted it.

“It’s a part of your inheritance. This once belonged to your ancestor, Oliver De’Brian.”

“De’Brian?”

“Yes, he was born near Rome in the late fourteen-hundreds. He was a man of the cloth for several years until he got expelled from Rome and the Church. He traveled from Rome to France, where he was put on trial for heresy and almost executed. He fled the country to the Netherlands with this spear in tow.”

“That doesn’t sound too impressive.”

“In the fourteen-hundreds, while marked for death, with a family, and without any funds worth mentioning.”

“Okay, go on.”

“He impressed a dutch lord and was appointed as the leader of an expedition to the new world.”

“Like Columbus?”

“More like Cortez. Quit interrupting. He was charged with finding unclaimed land for this lord. At about 1517 he landed in the New World and began the march inland. While Cortez was sacking Mexico he found a tribal city of his own. It was the height of summer when he arrived.”


Oliver wiped sweat from his brow and took a drink from one of the few remaining water skins. Not three days into their march his men had almost mutinied. There were strange insects that ate and stung them, and dangerous predators lurking just outside of the fire’s light at night. It wasn’t uncommon for them to lose sentries to the great cats and tribesmen which prowled the night.

The bugs and dangers of the jungle seemed to avoid him, but this oppressive heat was almost enough to do him in.

De’Brian and his few remaining men, a quarter of those he’d started the trek with, stumbled upon the city almost two days ago. It was abandoned and filled with wooden huts and huge stone structures. The temples were coated with bright green and red pigments highlighting images of serpents. Always serpents.

Deep within the largest structure was a sealed doorway. He’d promised his men that treasure lay beyond the door, but in truth he had no idea. They needed some incentive to continue working under his command; otherwise, they’d surely lynch him. He hated that he was gambling his life, but so far his luck hadn’t failed him yet.

There came a cry from his men in the large structure. His ears perked up. Did they find gold? Or did they finally mutiny?

Eager to end the suspense he rushed into the building.


“They didn’t find any gold or gems, but they did find something of incredible worth. Something so huge that they could not take it with them. Before leaving with a portion of his men for the boats, your ancestor used this spear to seal the door to the treasure room.”

“…and they all lived happily ever after,” Phillip said.

“Not so much,” said the older man after taking a breath. “On the way back to England, his ship was mistaken for a pirate ship by a French naval patrol and he was killed. The spear was stolen, and the door remains sealed to this day.”

“That’s an awfully weird story.”

“I can vouch for every word.”

“Okay… so let me get this straight. My great-great-however-many-greats Grandfather butchered a bunch of native people, found an abandoned city, and that spear is a key. Cool. What’s behind the door?”

“Something that this world has been missing for centuries. Without it the planet has been rotting away from the inside out. Humankind pollutes the earth, water, and sky seemingly without end. It is the job of the god that is sealed behind the door to strike a balance and ensure that the world changes for the better. Without it, the planet will become a pit of sludge and mankind will die out. It is your duty as one of the De’Brian bloodline to use this Spear to open the door and change the fate of the world.”

Marcus stared wild-eyed across the table after completing his speech. It was moving and it would surely motivate his young protege.

Phillip stared at him blankly. He looked down and shook his head back and forth.

“The story is full of holes. Gods? The fate of the world? Even then, why me? Why not any of my ancestors or any of my other family members?”

“It has to be you because Oliver De’Brian was the second son of a second son. Like yourself.”

Phillip snorted. “This is ludicrous. There’s no such thing as magic, Gods, or any of that.”

“What do you believe in?” Marcus asked quietly.

“I believe what I can see.”

“Okay. Will you agree with me that if one of those things exists, then other things that you don’t believe in might also exist?”

“Sure.”

Marcus gestured to his office’s walls, “Pick a mask and bring it to me. I’ll show you something impressive.”

Phillip sighed and humored his tutor. He selected a large orange and red mask made of glass and shoved it across the desk.

Marcus put it on, focused his will, and became. The flames etched into the mask crawled along the edge of the mask and flowed down until they covered all of Sir Marcus’ body. Phillip felt the intense heat and backed away until he collided with the office door. He towards it, with its huge old-style locks and keyholes, and tried to push his way through.

The door was solid. The lock was locked. Phillip was terrified.

Marcus calmly removed the mask, and left Phillip to his own uncertainties.


Kagura had spent most of her life living in a gilded cage. This one was no different. It was a well-appointed room, and she had some very definite ideas about what her captors would likely do to her. Kill her or hold her ransom were what she’d expected, not invite her to a lavish dinner.

A beautiful, if loose fitting, dress was provided for her and she ate eagerly, unwary of the food that had been set before her. A teenage boy about her age was sitting at the head of the table, being pressed questions by a pair of advisors. The brown-haired boy was handsome and often snuck looks at Kagura. He did his best to involve her in the dinner conversation, and personally served her dessert, a move which his advisors looked upon with distaste.

After dinner he palmed her room key from the man in charge of keeping Kagura from wondering the mansion. Phillip decided that she was entertaining and that was all the reason he needed for what he was planning on doing.

Late that night, he snuck across the mansion’s grounds to Kagura’s room and unlocked the door. He woke her up softly, and, once she recognized him, they plied questions to each other. Neither of them knew much of anything about their “hosts” and they resolved to work together if at all possible. Phillip tried to kiss her, but she turned him down. He was disappointed, but that didn’t stop him from implementing the second part of his plan: they went for a moonlit walk.

Unbeknownst to either of them, a boy with kitty ears was in the bushes nearby, taking pictures of the place, and doing his best to gage the strength of the mansion and it’s grounds. He idly used his stolen camera to snap a few pictures of the young pair on their walk. He had to admit that the photographer had purchased a pretty nice one.


Dane spent most of the day off and on arguing with Samniel. Whenever he could spare a second at work, during lunch, and on the walk back. So it was that he was totally unaware of the woman waiting for him. She’d waited at the mouth of an alleyway, just outside of those cursed wards that had saved an unknowing Dane earlier that morning.

His attention was so totally devoted to his argument with Samniel that he didn’t see the woman in the alleyway. He didn’t see her pull a long knife from her handbag, nor did he see her move to use it. Fortunantly, he also didn’t see the empty beer bottle.

The woman dived in to strike him, and he slipped, bruising his rear, but avoiding taking the knife in his gut. The woman jumped on top of him, trying to pin him to the ground and make things quick. If not for Samniel’s assistance, Dane would have had no clue as to how to break her hold or get away. With the Denarian’s help, he did both; taking a graze from the knife along his side and outer thigh.

He was up and running blind, his first instinct proved correct. He needed to get somewhere safe. Safety meant getting back to the JESU building. Dane made it two yards and across the wards before the woman threw her knife, intentionally aiming for Dane’s leg. It sliced through the air and Dane’s left pant leg. He could swear that it quivered once it embedded itself in bone. He did the only thing that he could: he fell.

“No running this time!” the woman yelled.

This time?” Dane wondered. His eyes bulged as sheets of metal crept up the woman’s skin and her hair grew to and beyond Ozzy proportions. It was Nicodemus’ daughter, the metallic medusa who’d kicked Samniel’s butt and made Dane regret his trip to Gasky even more.

She moved slowly, remembering what had happened to her earlier that day. First one lock of hair tentatively pressed into the wards. They buzzed and crackled, like power lines. Then her whole hellish hairdo attacked the wards, slowly but surely pressuring and pushing her way through.

“Any ideas?” Dane asked his Denarian.

Crawl, fast!”

Dane did. In fact, he got all the way to the end of the block while the female Denarian continued to press her way through the wards. She sent two strands of her hair knifing towards Dane, almost eviscerating him. He rolled and crawled, managing to avoid the deathly sharp pair. He rounded the corner of the block and propped himself up against the wall and took a deep breath.

“So, got any long term ideas?”

Well… I’m thinking about trying to possess Geroge Clooney sometime. I don’t think he’d bitch at a time like this.”

“Samniel, I don’t want to die!”

Nobody does. You’ve got one choice. Let me do it.”

“Like last time? Didn’t she hand you your ass?”

No, and not like last time. I’ll mark you and we’ll do this together.”

Dane took a short breath and thought of the consequences. On one hand, being bonded to Samniel meant rejection by Serra and JESU Corp. and quite possibly having to spend the rest of his life with the Denarian. The other option meant death in about two minutes. It was no choice.

A wave of heat passed over Dane’s body. He could feel his tattoo burning, scalding like a brand. Molten light spilled from the mark and Dane’s collarbone. He wanted to cry out, but he was overwhelmed.

Now for the fun part.” Dane’s entire body grew numb, and he felt sick. His stomach twisted into a pretzel. His bones grew heavier, his skin toughened into mottled red and green scales, and he gained muscle mass. It felt wrong. Something else was shaping his body, and it was incredibly, unbelievably wrong.

Nicodemus’s daughter finished passing through the wards, and cautiously approached the end of the block. She poked her head around the corner, hair poised to strike, just in time to see a huge hand envelope her skull. She drove her hair into her attacker on reflex. Or tried to. The hand squeezed harder and slammed her against the building, stunning her.

A voice that was part gravel mixer, part nuclear furnace accompanied the hand. “Weakest of the Denarians, huh?”

Dane was horribly aware of what happened next. He had no control over what happened, and could do little more than feel sick and violated as his body moved with a feral kind of grace, rending and tearing chunks out of the woman. However, above the nausea, the squishing noises, the fleshy bits of Nicodemus’s daughter hitting the pavement, and one screaming bystander, Dane could hold onto one thought.

Batman, eat your heart out.


Jonathan stared intently at the rifle in front of him. It was old, well-conditioned, and… evil? He decided that it wasn’t the right word. Inanimate objects sometimes had a life of their own, and this one felt wrong. It took him a long time to put a finger on just what was troubling him.

His last rifle had been a tool. It was a target-shooter, a toy, and, rarely, a weapon. It didn’t think or feel, it just was, and Jonathan knew where he stood with it. This new one, a gift from Rip, was a murderer. Any object can potentially become a lethal weapon, and that this object had killed people for years didn’t sit well with Jonathan. Still, killing someone didn’t make an object a murderer.

The rifle had… intent. It had a palpable need to kill, anything and anyone. Intent made a murderer.

“Pick it up!” Rip, Jonathan’s captor, ordered.

Even though he knew the price for disobedience, Jonathan couldn’t bring himself to get near the thing, let alone touch it. It was blood-thirsty, insane, and… it was a monster. The antique sharps rifle that Rip had given him was a monster. More terrifying than any vampire, more disturbing than the Creature From Any Lagoon, and infinitely more real than Godzilla.

It sat there on the floor, half out of it’s leather case. It waited for him to pick it up. It wanted him to.

Rip readied the cane that she’d been using to train her new soldier for the last few weeks. “You still haven’t told me if you like your gift. Tell me, is it good?”

Whack!

“Is it good?”

WHACK!

“Is it good?”

Jonathan cringed and cried out with each stroke. His gaze focused on the rifle. It was an abominable thing. It was terrible and evil. He knew that the last thing he wanted to do in a million years was to use it for anything. He knew that just as surely as he knew that he’d put the rifle to good use. As soon as she gave him the chance. A chance to break ranks and get out from under Rip’s thumb.

He’d make sure that it was good.

End Chapter 9.

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