Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Usurper: Part 2

A Study In Charcoal

Yama was a slow and methodical god, as most old men are. But he was full of wisdom that I was not yet ready for.

Yama sat in my computer chair as he spoke, crimson robes draping over the arms of the chair.

I lay on the floor, still smoldering.

"I have a question for you Rajid before we begin our talk of vengeance. Why did you choose that verse as the password?"

"Excuse me?"

"Indra is no usurper. The son who councils is Shiva's son, Ganesha. Your verse is less than accurate Rajid."

I laughed through coal dust lungs and my skin cracked.

"No god would grant him blessing if he thought he was to be Indra. It was a prayer of forgiveness from Indra, Brahma, and Shiva. The suit... was made for... Raji."

The green god raised an eyebrow, stroking his thick mustache. He leaned forward, copper eyes gleaming.

"Raji? Your namesake?"

"He only borrowed Indra's position. And I have no sons to speak of. None to grow corrupt and hungry for power."

Yama leaned back in the chair. He smiled a smile like the rising of the moon at night.

"I knew you would serve the council's purposes, and my own, quite well."

I nodded as best I could, my body crackling and crunching.

"You had begun a prototype, had you not Rajid?"


He raised his hand and I lifted into the air, set upon my feet, able to walk once more.

"Show me."

I led him through my lab and through the next two work areas. As we walked, I could not help but see the snow sticking to the windows, the buildings, and to the street below.

"He is starting already."

"It is fate that the snow comes. He was not meant to be its maker."

I nodded and led Yama onward. It was not my place to question. Only to do the will of the gods I serve.

We walked to the sealed doors on the other end of the building. I entered in my keycode and the doors slid open.

It was not exceptionally tall. Only five foot eight. My blueprints had intended for it to be another two inches taller, but it was changed at the last minute. A fibre hood shrouded a head equipped with twin computerized eyes. A slotted mask where its mouth would be to test the air for scents, humidity, dust, and other airborne phenomenon. The body and legs were build lean and sturdy, so that they could absorb damage and still function properly. The arms had not been entirely finished. While the forearms were thick and completely, the upper arms were still skeletal. I had never found a way to keep padding on them. The flow of energy had been too great. The circuitry just beneath the skin still glowed red from the first tests of the energy cannons.

It was Raji. Completely so. Designed not for weather, but for hunting demons and gods.

"It is perfect Rajid. Absolutely perfect."

"I was never able to keep the arms covered. It doesn't change weather great Yama, it channels energy into beams, rays, bullet-like bursts. It is intended for winning wars."

"As I say, it is perfect Rajid. It is what we need."

"It is?"

"The Council of Kismet is ever-reaching Rajid. We the world's endings. We are fate. We know what must come and when. You are needed in this, to control Samir, and then to serve us. You are to lead the Council's forces, just as Raji led the gods."

To lead, to serve, to fight. I rubbed my scalded eyes and my skin turned to fine black powder at my touch. A burnt corpse or an avenging warrior.

"But... great Yama... it is not meant to hold a body."

"That is not a problem young one. Watch."

The green god raised his hand and the noose looped around his belt lifted into the air and opened wide. It lashed around my neck and the neck of my prototype. The noose tightened and pulled us together, lifting my charred body and the body of my prototype high into the air.

We spun there, swirling together, the rope crushing my charred neck against Raji's.

Raji's eyes lit, shining deep red. A thick voice echoed out of the mouth-mask.

"Inherit, my son.


I was Raji.

In hands and bones and feet.

I was Raji.

Pinned to the charred corpse of an old childless, friendless man.

I was Raji.

The Usurper would die.

The corpse disintegrated into ashes and I landed on my knees.

"What of Kali, great Yama?"

He stroked his mustache slowly, eyes half-lidded in thought.

"Shiva will handle her. You, deal with Samir and Sayam. You deal with the men she makes devils. Now go and do your duty Raji."

I raised my right hand and felt the blue surround my arm. In that moment, I was warm again, like the first night I lay with my wife.

The beam of energy erupted from my fist and tore apart the wall, shining into the night.

The Usurper would die.

The gods demanded it.

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