The Ever-Pervading Darkness, the Goddess who turns blood to ice, the monster under every child’s bed.
‘Lame,’ I thought. ‘These were the titles they had crafted for me?’
I was fine with having a cult in my honor- pretty much deserved one after all the shit I had pulled off during my mortal and, later, my immortal life- but is this truly what remained of my legacy of badassery and bloodshed?
It had been a decade since I’d seen action, or interacted with my followers- maybe it was time they were all reminded of who I really was. They thought I was some stone statue, with a cruel face and a hard-on for gratuitous violence… that last part may have been true, but I was not something that demanded child sacrifices or weird sex rituals. Gods, they had gone so far off-base. Idiots.
One of the few joys I had left in my “church” was my youngest worshiper- he actually got me. Every week, people brought me gold, jewels- shit I couldn’t use- but Tiny Timothy, he brought me a PB&J that was loaded with his religious fervor. What a sweet, deranged little child.
‘Speaking of Tiny Timothy, isn’t it time for “service”?’ I wondered, and I pulled my mind from the Cosmos, to peer down at my “church”.
‘I really gotta start listening when people pray.‘ I grumbled, seeing my church mostly on fire and definitely, fully in chaos.
Police were outside, but no attempt was being made to put out the fire. My cultists were in chains- and a police captain was eating MY GODS-DAMNED PB&J SANDWICH?!
That was beyond the pale. I strapped on my ass-kicking boots, cargo pants, and a black muscle shirt. Oh, yeah- a bra- couldn’t go on a murderous rampage with the girls flying about left and right.
Descending to the Earth- or Ascending, depending on which way one prescribed to The Truth, I formed in a cloud of mist.
In this body, I was roughly eight feet tall, my skin made of ink and obsidian- and my eyes shone with bloodlust. Enough to make any sane man paralyzed with fear.
I looked around briefly, and spotted the police captain. “You filth!” I screamed, slapping the PB&J out of the police captain’s hand. I curled my leg up against my chest, and launched a reverse roundhouse kick with the explosive power of a small bomb.
What followed next was an eminently satisfying massacre- there were bullets, screaming, one of them even tried to flee, which was hilarious… though I could have done with some background music. Rob Zombie, perhaps?
After all was said and done, I began to free my slav-… servants.
“Goddess! Oh, thank you!” They shouted.
“Gross.” I replied, then went and knelt next to Tiny Timothy. “I like your sandwiches, little man. Keep ’em coming.” My dark hair mostly covered my face and eyes- but I could see his adorable, bucktooth grin.
I looked to my High Priest, who had been knocked unconscious at some point. I loosed some of my Obsidian Smoke, and brought him around. “Hey, dork. Who sent the cops?” I asked.
“My…lady…Intelma….” He croaked, reaching toward me with a trembling hand.
I slapped it away. “Don’t try and cop a feel just ‘cuz you got your ass kicked.”
The High Priest smirked. “Was I that obvious?” His voice wasn’t weakened at all.
“As the rising sun, yes. Who. Sent. The godsdamnmotherfucking cops?”
He scowled. “Darius, I bet. He’s the Chief of Police, and he serves the Ashen Queen.”
I rolled my eyes. “She’s been immortal for, what, thirty years? She’s practically a baby, and she’s trying to pick a fight with me?” I stood. “Here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna hit back, hard, and make her forget her plans to be a pain in my perfectly-sculpted ass. But direct warfare amongst the Gods is forbidden, so looks like you’re going to lead the charge.”
Opening a portal to my private storehouse, I summoned a ride. “Here, have a weapon for your warfare, Idiot Priest. Bring it back with a full tank…and be safe.” I said, handing him my keys.
“Your will, my lady.” He said, turning his attention to the decked-out hearse she had gifted him.
Though this was actually his third time meeting the Goddess, he doubted she knew his name. He was one High Priest from one of the many chapters of her cult- but today, he was going to ensure she learned his name, and never forgot it.
She had given him a hearse to drive in for a reason, he was sure.
Gathering up the faithful who had balls enough, the High Priest loaded them all into their make-shift vehicle of war, and he sped across the city towards the Chief of Police’s hidden sanctuary; the Temple of Ash.
It was deep in the city’s downtown, blending itself in with the rampant crime- the drug-dealing, the prostitution, this was where the allegedly moral rival goddess was laying down her roots.
She had done it in an attempt to uproot the ‘evil’- but, ironically, all it had done is led some of her followers astray.
Darius, the Chief of Police, had been digging his greedy fingers into the illegal cash flow that took place just outside of the Temple of Ash- through intimidation and blackmail, he coerced money from the criminals, offering “protection” from his own police force in exchange for a percentage of their cut.
It was true that he used his ill-gotten gains to fund his Goddess’s temple- but how laughable that their idea of ‘morality’ involved supporting crime on their own doorstep!
The High Priest loved squashing hypocrisy. His philosophy had always been ‘If you aren’t capable of truly being good, then accept your lot in life, and don’t pretend otherwise.’ He had know since his early teenage years that he was made to be criminal, and he embraced it wholeheartedly.
Stepping out of the hearse, he realized himself and his crew made for quite the odd picture. Dressed in black robes, moving in a silent group, they pounded on the doors of the Temple of Ash.
The door opened hesitantly. A greying man stood behind it. “Can I help you?” He asked.
The High Priest smiled maliciously as I drove two firm fingers into his windpipe, preventing him from shouting. He doubled over, and brought his knee to his chest for a savage kick that sent him tumbling backwards.
Waltzing down the hall, the High Priest noted the extremely orderly aesthetic- and that the Ashen Queen must have been fond of paintings.
As he walked past, followed by his entourage, he slashed his blade through each painting, laughing sardonically as he did.
Walking unchallenged through the remainder of the temple, they reached the back of the room- where, traditionally, most temples would leave two things; the Throne for their God or Goddess, and their Crown Jewel.
Feeling that he was likely being watched by the rival Goddess, and, perhaps, his own Goddess, the High Priest laid eyes on the Crown Jewel- which, in this case, was a semi-transparent pearl, the size of his own fist, which rested on a mantle piece above a fire place. Putting on a pair of leather gloves, the High Priest took it in his hands, and smashed it upon the ground. “Erich Vanhouser!” He cried. Hopefully, the goddess would remember his name, now.
He then toppled over the Ashen Queen’s throne, and, upon exiting, announced to the assorted bums and criminals in the street “Shop’s open for business, and everything’s free.” He and his group left, thinking the mission accomplished.
I, Goddess Intelma had been watching- halfheartedly, though. In truth I was probably more absorbed in my episode of Adventure Time than the raid- However, when Erich (and yes, I already knew his name. Needy sentimental softy.) fell for the decoy Crown Jewel and failed to take at least five lives in the raid, I knew we were now on for an all-out war.
He was soft. Afraid to lose those who he cared about… I couldn’t really blame him, but that was why I specified for him to really cause damage, Gods damn it!
This was going to grow.
I began sending my traditional signs to every sect, temple, and church under my domain- arm yourselves; we’re going to war.