Sunday, November 18, 2012

On The Back Of The Devil

On The Back Of The Devil
by That Bastard

Through the meatgrinder on the back of the devil
through darkness the demons I slay!

In the meatgrinder on the back of the devil
Come hell, high water or what may!

I am the warrior, the slayer of might
The power of metal is mine!

Upon the angel's neck my blade befell
Oh holy metal divine!

The sword of God blazing in my hand
The olive branch twisted and burned

The blackened earth, the weeping angel
The world forever twists and turn

I am the angelic warrior of legend
Testing Satan's divine steel!

Wielding the power, the fury, the might
The demon king I shall wield


Through the meatgrinder, through the highways of Hell
On the back of the Devil I ride!

Through the meatgrinder, through the passage of Hell
This power cosmic is mine~!
Heaven and hell shall align~!!

Through the meatgrinder, through the highways of Hell
On the back of the Devil I ride!

Through the meatgrinder, through the passage of Hell
Overrun this dimensional divide
Stand besid the cosmic tide

To behold the final siiiiign
Oh un/holy metal divine!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Why hello there!

ANNNNNNNNND an interview outta nowhere!  :D  If you found me through the Me and My Crazy Mind Blog, hello and welcome!

Have you read it yet, dear Readers?  Well then, check it -

:D Good stuff~!

Have you had a chance to read up on Taboos 2 and 3 from The Generalist?  No?  Well, here's the links~!

The Generalist – Taboo 2: Magic and Mayhem (Part 1 of The Mayhem Arc)
Round 1 -
Round 2 -
Round 3 -
Round 4 -
Final Round -


The Generalist – Taboo 3: Misfits and Mayhem (Part 2 of The Mayhem Arc)

Round 1 -
Round 2 -
Round 3 -
Round 4 -
Final Round -

Wanna hang with me sometime?  I'm spread out as thin as a single-celled organism CAN be spread...and I have more than one cell nonetheless!

The Generalist - Taboo 0: Cliché of Memories is free over here:

And The Generalist - Taboo 1: Where's the Beef? is only a $1.50 at both Smashwords and Amazon:

Smashwords -

Amazon -

Well, reckon it's time for the rest of my length~! Be prepared, I got one for each penis-tentacle. :3

The Pen Is My Sword (my main litblog)

That Bastard On (personal opinions, whinery, my second most popular blog. :3 )

KAOS: Chaos Party Radio (kinda down right now - The Hooligans hasn't put out any new content. :/ )

Sooth(e) Your Freaking Beast (musics I find from the Youtubes)

Man-Flavored Milk (I type like a maniac and post strange videos.  It actually started with an idea at first to be an ARG where it slowly descends into madness, then I kinda went "meh" and just stayed there)

Netflix This! (lists that answer the question "What Should I Watch Tonight On Netflix?" )

The Bellingham Jerk (restaurant reviews from local places 'round here in Bellingham, and what got me started into blogging. :D )

Nerf All The Things (The Hooligans away from KAOS, and where we also post our modeling pics from local photographers and such.)

Messed Up and Violent (my blog at Goodreads)

TWITTER: @ThatBastardFB
FACEBOOK: : /ThatBastardFromBellingham (
GOOGLES+: ThomasDuder
GOODREADS: ...freakin' Thomas Duder. :D

Well, 2012 wasn't as profitable as 2011, but it certainly was active!  It's not like I'm closin' shop for christmas or somethin'...but it's sometimes good to just look back on the year as it passes by and realize how much content you've put out.

Now to get back to postin' up random lyrics, poetry, and The Hooligans season 1 goodness. <3

For what it's worth, I thank you all for your attention and your time.  I can only hope that I've been half as entertaining as all y'all have led me to believe...and I thank you for that, as well.

I shall endeavor to continue to work hard going into 2013, to achieve something closer to consistency in my posting schedule, and in giving you guys even more reasons to continue reading me. :D


~That Bastard From Bellingham

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Generalist – Taboo 3: Misfits and Mayhem FINAL ROUND!

Final Round
A sharp gasp of air caught their attention and Dash spun in place ready for battle, lost as he was in bloodlust and madness, scratching at his arm with a humongous grin plastered on his jagged-toothed maw. Frank turned his head slowly, looking at Dawn for a moment with a single eye before it rolled up into the back of his head, a second pupil showing up from the bottom. For a moment Frank had his face towards the sky, flickering his tongue with an inhuman speed, confusing the young Daywatch as she backed up slowly until she realized in a flash of insight what was happening.

Despite his monstrous nature, his ability to survive and thrive amongst monstrosities too horrible for description, he was still a human with a human's body...and this man had just devoured the entire lifetime of another man, alongside the Demon he had bonded himself with. That life, the basic energy of living, was beginning to spill out of Frank and this strange tableau was the outcome of such a thing.

He didn't just devour Jerome, he had devoured the very foundation of his existence! Already her memory of Jerome Valken was becoming fuzzy, and she wondered silently if she would survive this encounter...and if so, to check her journals to see if they, too, were affected by this phenomenon.

Leaving behind strange after-images of himself, Frank strode towards Dawn, ignoring Dash as the troll suddenly focused on the flesh of his arm, scratching at himself harder. Frank shook his head, then grinned at Dawn as the tall troll-gene came up behind him, still scratching.

"It's alright, Daywatch. Go report to the Grand Magus it's done. I'm going on a month-long vacation, but it's done, to the very last you've witnessed."
Having learned wariness at an early age, Dawn kept her eyes on both Shopkeepers, watching Dash as he walked closer to the both of them as she asked, "I don't understand it. All this fighting and...strangeness...and sir Dash hasn't undergone any of his fabled Maximum Troll? No berserker rage beyond this action and violence dependency?"

Frank chuckled, shaking his head, "Nope. We seem to have gotten away with this without havin' to have THAT happen! Besides, if he WAS going to go Maximum Troll, he always says somethin' stupid and nonsensical first. Then he starts tearing bits of himself off and...well, things get messy and violent and bad, y'know?"

"Hey, what's all this skin doin' on my arm?" Dash frowned at his forearm as he tore off a sizable patch of scaled, green flesh away from his bleeding muscle. Frank responded the moment he heard Dash ask the nonsensical question by diving forward and tackling the young Daywatch out of the way, narrowly dodging the patch of skin as it sprouted an eye from the center of it's mass, claws sprang forth from it's raggedly-torn edge, and spun through the air at high velocity, intent on buzz-sawing it's way through either of them only to find empty air.

Dash roared, the scales on his face forming a armored mask and tearing apart all within the blink of an eye, his eyes completely laserlight red.

He had lost his humanity, his sentience, and his sanity to the Maximum Troll, a berserker fury that drove all troll-gened humanoids, or so the legends said.

The patch of skin landed on the ground and immediately skittered towards the couple on the ground. Frank, yelling, lashed out with a foot and sent a wave of ki energy at the skin patch, sending it flying backwards between the troll's legs, getting himself and Dawn up to their feet as Dash slowly stomped towards them, his jaw unhinging and tearing the armored mask on his face apart once again to roar at them.

With an almost casual grace, Dash tore his left hand off and flung it forward, the bloodless stump immediately producing an eyeball on a stalk as the hand skittered delicately on it's claws towards them, the clawed skin patch catching itself and joining the allies Dash had begun to produce. Immediately regenerating his left hand, he tore his right hand off at the wrist as well, roaring as that hand immediately formed a fist, connect to his wrist by a streamer of blood that hovered in mid-air of it's own accord, immediately regenerating his right fist as well.

The blood of the troll, spilled on the ground earlier and still within the water, began to roll towards his body as he made his slow way towards them, his maw extending further as his body began to undergo further internal transformations.

Daywatch Tanelin and Frank backed up, Frank keeping his own body between the monsters and the Magus behind him. He grinned and relaxed suddenly, much to Dawn's confusion.

"M-Magus Todd?! What in the blue blazes are you DOING?" She looked from the man to the monster and back again, "What CAN we do?"

Frank chuckled suddenly, cracking his knuckles, leaving behind a trail of after-images, "I'm gonna kick his ass. Bonus round."

Dawn blinked, biting the tip of her tongue in her haste to yell, "WHAT?! OWowowowowowowow-owie!"
Then it happened - the clash of after-images and furious troll, the two Shopkeepers roaring in their fury.

A slash of the claw was met with a strike to the wrist, then the human's own clawed fingers tearing at his chest. Dash closed his eyes and literally shook the pain off, ignoring Frank for a second as the human slammed a boot-heel upon the patch of skin, squashing it to the ground. Though it would regenerate, it would take more than a few moments to do that, and in the meantime he had turned his attention back to Dash with a series of rapid-fire jabs to his eyes.

Dash roared and slammed his fist in an overhead strike, feeling it connect solidly. Chuckling wickedly he opened up his mammoth-sized hand only to find nothing, then roared in pain as Frank's rapid-fire jabs, the Overdrive safely at level 1 but his own strength and speed sped up after feeding on Jerome's soul, caught him in the side of the face. Sweeping his claws again, he didn't even have enough time to register the miss as Frank's fists once again pummeled against the left side of his face this time.

Dawn yelped, a magic circle erupting around her as she considered her considerable store of spells, keeping an eye on the hand as it tip-toed on it's claws, clacking it's way amongst the chairs and tables by the side of the pool. Concentrating, a magic circle erupted around her as she prepared her spell, murmuring under her breath the words necessary for it.

Hearing Dash and Frank's exertions, she charged the spell and watched the hand as it drew closer, finally making it's play by leaping directly onto a plastic-strapped chair, bouncing onto a table's edge and leaping for her face.

"Talaver'n!" her voice rang with power as she activated the spell, waving a hand in front of her and releasing a cold spray of snow from her palm.

The hand froze up solid as it passed through the icy sheet, narrowly hitting the Daywatch as she stepped to the side and let it bounce along the ground.

Nodding pointedly, a mental salute to the fearsome thing, she turned and immediately backed up as Dash rammed Frank towards her, the smaller man gripped with both hands. Roaring and kicking at empty air, Frank shook violently within the troll's grasp as they both sent tables and chairs flying. Dash leapt high into the air, his hands held overhead for a moment before he opened his palms and slammed them down to the ground, intent on smashing Frank once and for all only to roar in confusion and pain.

Unable to utilize the Overdrive due to his use of his life-sucking quirk of nature, and unable to use THAT ability at this time, Frank did the last thing he could think to do and simply jackknife his way between Dash's palms, allowing the scaled ridges of his hand to tear his clothes and bits of his anatomy up but in the process was able to escape the kill attempt, once again tearing off at high-speed to deliver more blows to Dash's chest and back.

Moving quickly, Frank narrowly avoided Dash's new attack as his back sprouted a mouth full of jagged teeth, stretching the length of his back in an attempt to devour Frank again. Groaning, Frank staggered, realizing he was quickly coming up to his utmost limit.

Dawn, her senses picking up on Frank's dwindling strength, immediately ran to him and helped him up as the troll rolled around on the ground, his body beginning to sprout an extra limb in his confusion, "Frank...what are we going to do?"

Suddenly a light bulb went off overhead and Frank turned towards the lobby, pointing at Dawn, "You distract him, I'm gonna hit him!"

"Wh-WHAT?!" Dawn, suddenly realizing how in trouble she was, turned as Dash's laserlight-reddened eyes turned towards her. Roaring, he stalked his body back around on hands and feet, his knees having turned inward during the last transformation. Snapping at the air madly, he shook his head violently before leaning down and eating a mouthful of dirt. The patch of skin shook itself and began to skitter towards her, only to find itself devoured by Dash. Dawn made a face as Dash gulped, looked at her then roared wordlessly, stomping the ground as he made his way towards her.

A magic circle erupted around Dawn as she pointed, transmuting a thin layer of grease from the grass directly in front of Dash. Dash's hands and feet slipped out from underneath him and he belly-flopped onto the greasy surface, keening with a high wail as he floundered.

Not one to let an opportunity go to waste, Dawn once again cast a magic circle as she chanted, gathering up the necessary energies to cast a new spell. Getting to his feet, Dash snarled through clenched teeth as he beheld the Daywatch stomp on the ground towards her right, holding out her right hand and with a flash of light and twisting of reality a armored version of herself "slid" into reality, standing at her right side.

"Mirror, Mirror," she smiled as the armored version of herself stood in front of her, crossing it's arms as she continued, "You should stay where you are, sir. Frank wi-OH!"

She gasped as the troll's claws suddenly erupted from underneath the armored figure, piercing it all the way through. Blinking, Dawn finally realized what the troll had done, digging it's clawed nails beneath the grease not for purchase but to lengthen and grow them, reaching out to pierce her Armored Guardian.

Staggering backwards, she began to calmly think on another spell as the troll's claws retracted and it took stock of itself before calmly stepping out of the grease. Grinning in an evil caricature of himself, the troll began to gallop towards her, his arms and legs producing a second set of knees as his maw stretched forward in his impatience to devour her.

She cast a mage bolt instantly, wanting to distract him with a quick strike while she charged a new attack spell, only to feel her usual confidence finally fall as a ki shield erupted red and angrily around the troll, the sphere of damaging magic sliding off of it harmlessly to explode against a overturned table. Dash roared and leapt, taking to the air in a massive pounce, his claws extended..

Preparing her final spell, unwilling to run and wanting to go down fighting, Dawn screamed her death knell and took a step forward, one hand surrounded by a globe of pure darkness, the other of a freezing mist, as she hurled both fists forward.


So it was that her eyes widened as much as they ever do as the spells were displaced and blocked completely, Dash's body bent into a U as it caved in around the Whammy Bar of The Roadbuster as the car, at top speed, slammed through the doors leading to the lobby and directly into Dash in a single bound.

In that single, glorious moment of bright pain and madness, Dash's sentience once again sparked to life and as he hung, broken, from the hood of his beloved The Roadbuster (you have to say the whole thing, after all), her gloriously customized wheel about to catch on his rib, drag him down to the ground and spread his shoulders and head into troll paste, a single thought flit through Dash's head as he noted the characteristic glee on Frank's face.

Damn. I could've been reading a book right now. But no. I had to be a violence junkie.

And he's playing that song again.

Triple dammit!

he ain't my boy but the brother is heavy
gave away my possessions and moved into a Chevy
van, yeah thats the master plan
drive into the woods and eat corn out the can

"Gone Guru" by Lifeseeker bumped and thumped out of The Roadbuster's incredible sound system, reverberating through what was left of Dash's head as he felt the awe-inspiring power of the car rev through her wheels, tearing his body under her as she slammed to the ground (dammit, Frank had jumped her out of the lobby!), her driver's side front wheel grinding his head to a gooey troll paste.

Just as equally in slow motion Dawn yeeped and doubled over slightly, her hands covering her crotch reflexively as she realized her white cotton panties had become thoroughly, unexplainably smashed, bits of the cotton falling to the ground.

Landing and laughing, Frank performed a 360 spin, scattering what was left of the tables and chairs before unloading a massive .357 Smith and Wesson magnum towards the flopping body of the troll-gened humanoid. Benediction, the artifact revolver he never left home without, the metal made from the silver crucifix used to impale and destroy Dracula himself, thrice-blessed and cooled with holy water. Etched along the barrel of the gun, the inscription "Blessed are they who knoweth love" turned a burnished, amber color as the Artifact revolver roared bloody murder, firing an especially hand-crafted bullet made by Dash himself: silver casings, blessed stained glass, oil, rosemary, thyme, silver shavings, and garlic - there was few that it couldn't outright kill, banish, or exorcise, and whatever it couldn't they instead were certain to feel the blasts.

Much like the troll's body, jerking and flopping in both nerve death and rebirth, as Frank unloaded all six chambers of the gun into his body. Laughing gleefully, letting the wheels tear the grass apart, Frank allowed the troll to regenerate and rise up just enough so he'd feel it as he let The Roadbuster slam into Dash, spinning and tearing up the carpet in the empty lobby as the troll wobbled to his knees, waving a large hand.

"I...ugh, I think I'm go-RORGH!"

He flipped head over heels as Frank hit him a third time, cackling.

The first thing Dash realized was that he hurt all over. Secondly, he was alive. Third, his head was being cradled on a pair of slim, well-formed thighs, a soft hand gently stroking at his cheek. Opening his green eyes, the troll grinned toothily before rumbling, "I'm glad I died. It's not everyday I get to meet an angel."

Daywatch Dawn smiled beautifully and continued to stroke the troll's temple, "Frank told me this would work. He also told me about your part in all of this, and what you had to go through. Besides, your girlfriends are on their way now with your van, apparently to congratulate you?"

About to get up, Dash thought the better of it and instead groaned, his back still healing - his legs were going to be paralyzed for a bit more time, "Oof. Well, I DID do a great job of it. Anyway, the perks outweigh the risks. Y'know: decapitation, disemboweling, paralysis, having my bone broken."

"Bone?" she blinked as Frank hunkered down next to her, slapping her hand away and immediately administering a rough, but thorough, physical. Checking his vital signs and jotting them down in a leather-bound, small journal he kept in his pocket, Dash grunted and suffered through the clinical check-up, by now thoroughly patient with Frank's processes.

Eventually satisfied, Frank slapped him on the chest and said, "G'wan and git up, idjit. Yer legs work again, and I'm satisfied you're you. I called Rosette and Juliette to come pick us up, and Greasy's lost his fool mind and is driving over here with some of those kids of yours to drive the Die Nasty back while he recovers The Roadbuster. Heh. Anyway," he helped the troll to his feet, who resisted only a little, reluctant to leave his delectable pillow, "How do you feel?"

"Like you freakin' shot me with the Benediction again," Dash coughed as Frank dusted his back off, "Dude, did you shoot me again? Jesus Christ, all I remember is being hit with The Roadbuster-"
"Oh, he only shot you the first time he hit you, he didn't shoot you the other time he-OH!" Frank swatted at her, cutting off her remark.

Dash cast a baleful eye at Frank as he turned to face him, "You hit me what many times?"

Frank grunted, "You were insane. I did what I had to do. Hey, you're okay, aren't you? It's in my clinical, professional opinion that what I did was exactly what was needed at the time."

Dash chuckled, all good nature once again as he clasped his smaller friend on the shoulder, "Well, I guess all's well that end's well, yeah? Besides, I'll consider it the balancing factor for me gettin' new interns!"

"Bah, interns," Frank frowned, "That is the dumbest fucking thing I've ever heard. The Shop having interns!"

Dash blinked, "But,'s free labor!"

Frank frowned, stroking at the stubble on his chin before a slow smile crept along his brown features. He began to chuckle, low and evilly, and the Daywatch suppressed a shudder at what kind of errands he was already thinking up for the young ex-assassins.

Dash looked around, realizing they were in one of the hotel rooms on the second floor - a luxury suite. While they were on a queen-sized bed, there was also a private bathroom and living room area, as well as a tiny kitchenette. A strange bit of memory flitted across Dash's ever-regenerating brain and he realized with a start he had been there before, though years ago, back when he was still human. Wondering at this, Dash gingerly made his way towards the bathroom to handle his own private business, leaving the two humans to the kitchenette segment of the living room.

Frank hummed happily as he found a coffeemaker and a fresh, unopened can of coffee grind. Radiating a calm happiness, he set about making a fresh pot, setting up three Styrofoam cups, fresh cream and sugar on the small bar. Ignoring the alcohol, he rummaged around the glass case for stirring sticks and other accouterments he deemed worthy for the post-battle coffee he was going to enjoy.

Sidling up next to him, her Daywatch outfit resplendent in the early morning light, Dawn watched him as he happily and quietly rummaged about, a part of her finally able to process all she had witnessed.

The man who had helped kill one of the greatest threats on the face of the planet, who snarled in the faces of demons and the dark denizens of other dimensions, was happily humming brightly as he watched the pot fill, a look of contentment and accomplishment set on his face.

She leaned back against the bar and kicked a booted foot, wondering at what to say. Dawn wasn't a woman given to unnecessary conversation outside of her scholastic ventures, ever and always curious and interested in knowledge, not just of magic but of everything. A true DeFerens, she didn't abide by the idea that Magi should be defined by their Magia, and studied anything that scratched her educational itch.

It was what enabled her to understand energies beyond the magical, and in acquiring lore and knowledge did she learn of the Demonsidhe, the illegal and infamous drug that had thrice since nearly crippled the Order and plunge the world into war.

"Yet it never seems to go away, huh?" Frank grunted, handing the surprised young woman a cup, "No, I didn't read your thoughts - that'd be against my ethics as a psionic. Naw, lady, yer tired and not thinking straight. Literally, your Magi training has come should get yer head back on before the Grand Magus shows up, y'know?"

She harrumphed and took the cup from him, sipping at it gently, surprised to find it exactly the way she liked it - black with two sugars and a hint of mint, "How did you-"
"Now THAT I did read your mind for," Frank chuckled wickedly, enduring the good-natured slap she gave his shoulder. For awhile the two, temporary Darkwatch and newly ascended Daywatch, shared a cuppa and simply enjoyed the morning, the sound of the taps turning on alerting them to the hot shower Dash was taken, followed shortly by a loud, baritone rendition of O Fortuna.

"You listen to that style of music?" Dawn's electric blue eyes flitted to Frank's own chocolate browns, finding herself unable to come up with anything better for conversation.

"'re not used to this, huh?" Frank laughed gently, holding a hand up to forestall her immediate response, "I know you're green as Hell, but not to actual fightin'. I mean killin'. What we do, what we've never seen anything like that, huh?"

With nothing better to say and woman enough to admit her own shortcomings, Dawn shrugged. Frank laughed and nodded, "Yeah, good answer. Yeah. This is the world of the Darkwatch, darlin'...and the Daywatch. We're the ones who get to play with madness, to dance in the dark. We're also the ones who get to play ambassador to all the wicked things, to ensure they know we're not just fucking around here on our little mudball of a planet.

At least, that's what we WERE for," Frank took a long sip of coffee before continuing, "Now, the Watch is there to ensure the other Magi don't get it into their heads that they can become Gods. The gloves came off during the Havoc, y'see...and the one thing no one wants to point out is the power spike the whole world got from it.

Those of us who survived have access to the ability to shape reality with our will, now. But there's so many wills...and thusly do people like us become involved. The Grand Magus' personal assassins. The bodyguards, protecting the rest of the world from our very own community. Fun, huh?"

Dawn thought on that, simply enjoying the camaraderie. She had survived an ordeal, and was now being counted as an equal, a confidante, of the Shopkeepers and it was not an honor she was going to waste.

"...who are Rosette and Juliette?" she smiled, a fleeting and beautiful thing, "Are they really his girlfriends, as you said earlier?"

Frank waved his coffee cup around, grinning, "Two monster-genes, a mermaid-girl and a Rakshasa-gened. A three sets of tits. Both of 'em are pretty in their own way, though Rosette hates the fuck out of me. It's not that they're lovers or anything, but I can already tell - he's gonna be a-courtin' 'em soon, and I KNOW they got eyes for him. As is, it's a normal thing amongst the monster-gened to take on multiple lovers and such, especially if they're from their previous human lifetime or are of a incompatible gene-type. While it's not like monster-genes can only sleep with their own type, but there are only limited crossbreeds...and most frown upon it, since a Chimera, a monster with multiple types, lacks the concentrated punch of a single-type monster-gene. Fun stuff, huh?

Anyway, they hate it when I call them his girlfriends, and he'll rail on me 'bout it but all three of 'em ain't stoppin' me," Frank chuckled, draining his cup and replacing it with another.

Dawn worried at her bottom lip, almost distracting Frank with the cuteness as she looked to the side and bounced her pert rump against the bar, "Well, that's certainly interesting. Y'know, there's something that's bothering me...the Shop is secure, right? How did they kidnap Dash in such a manner?"

Frank barked a harsh laugh, once again looking like his usual curmudgeonly self as he gave her a grin full of dark delight, "Yeah. Ohhhhh yeah. I ain't of a mind to tell you how, but I can tell you 'bout the aftermath~! The High Murder who jacked Dash didn't get far. The Grand Magus told me himself, before the Trial, that she got nabbed and shipped back, senseless, to the Shop. Suffice it to say she's under wraps, and I'll be seein' to her indelicate administrations m'self. Hell, Dash might wanna get in on the action too, after we rest up...and this time around, it's gonna take me a bit of healin' before I'm up for anymore serious action. The Overdrive, y'see...and I used a LOT of it this time around. Shit," he frowned into his coffee cup, his thoughts his own for a bit.

Dawn, feeling the need to give him a little space, stayed quiet and swirled her own coffee around, delighting in the taste of it on her tongue. Hearing him sigh happily, she looked over at him and asked, "I have one last question, Darkwatch, Generalist Todd? No one went down and got you out of the cell for the Trial, and you somehow got around Jerome's last attempt at stalling you, what with teleporting you to a new cell and keeping you in the WORLD have you been doing that? Somehow escaping that trap, but getting out of the cell despite how we've swapped locking spells, mechanisms-"

Frank chuckled, "Wellll...funny thing that you mentioned it. There's all sortsa fun ways of gettin' out of a cell like that, but this time around? I used a way-old trick of mine, and I'm sure if you go and look you'll find a large humongosaur, fat-assed friend of mine sleeping his hairy self away on that leather couch I left there. I swapped places with the jerk as he was passing through Rancho again."

Dawn blinked, "Why in the world did you do THAT?!"

Frank frowned, thinking back on the wonderful dream he had, of Aphrodite, the goddess delighting in him, her mouth sweet and full and beautiful beyond compare.

Carrying the goddess in his arms towards her bed, the dream flowing seamlessly from in front of the Shop to her own private rooms within the Asture cult's compound, he lay her down upon a bed of solid foam, her red hair stark against the samite sheets.

His lips lingered on the crook of her elbow, the sides of her neck, his tongue thrashing and eliciting moans of pure ecstasy from her as they undressed each other, the details too real, to specific to be a dream. He chuckled, his warm breath teasing her bitten neck.

"What?" She whispered. Though she inspired love and was beloved, there were only a very few of whom she wanted their love to be natural. To hear the voice of the goddess was to be enraptured, and though Frank's will had proven time and again to be stronger than the ensorcellment, she still whispered or used telepathy out of respect.

He smiled at her, cupping one of her full breasts for a moment before tweaking at her nipple with his large fingers, drinking in the sound of her moan, "Nothin'. Just love you, 'Phro. Love all four of ya...but right now? Just love you."

He leaned in and kissed each eyelid closed, delighting in her very presence as she accepted him and loved him in return, as much as a goddess ever could a mortal, and then some. He leaned in and kissed her, deep and hard, hungry and passionate, their hands beginning to grab at one another, pulling each other close....

He sighed and stared at his coffee cup, thinking how he had pulled back and screamed as the goddess had turned into the incredibly dense, wide form, all bulky with muscle and fat, of Abbacus Keith, some of his fantastic facial hair still sticking to Frank's completely aghast face.

"Kiss me, lover boy!!!"

Frank awakened screaming and flailing, scaring the guards as he began to revv up every single Combat magic spell he knew at the same time.

"No reason. Just keepin' it balanced between friends, 's all. So long as balance is kept," he chuckled and saluted the new Daywatch with his coffee cup, "'s all that matters to me~!"

In Los Angeles, there are hundreds of hangars, clustering more the closer you get to one of the skyhooks piercing the stratosphere.

At any one of these hangars, both thoroughly legal and rather shady business deals, inbound and outbound shipping, and private planes can be found coming and going, all logged in and documented by the Department of Air Control, who claimed dominance over the entire world's airspace from skyscrapers to low orbit. This included the administration of the all-important skyhooks, the smaller skyports, and transballistic traveling systems and anti-gravity monorail system, having wrest them from the Guild of Train Workers a few years back.

At one particular hangar, quite close to the L.A. Skyport, the massive floating island settled down, invisible to radar and every method of scrying as it had endured it's harrowing midnight flight. The Reaper landed, her ground crew immediately seeing to the island's landing needs and coordinating with the ground units dressed in black, nondescript clothes - the hangar was one used solely for such clandestine meetings, officially a condemned building on the outside yet on the inside the latest equipment and gear was stashed, electronics used to cloak incoming vehicles and stealthily exchange information with the Department of Air Control's backup computer database.

A limousine pulled into the mile-wide mouth of the hangar as the captain of The Reaper identified himself to a mask-wearing goon, the two immediately sighting each other as a officer of their own groups. Exchanging information and introductions, the masked second-in-command (with the given name of "Aristotle") led the captain towards the limousine. Holding the door open, Aristotle stood to the side as the Captain looked on nervously. A brown-haired, pale-skinned Magi of the Valken House, Captain Bernard Valken had been groomed specifically for his ability to pilot The Reaper wherever the Patriarch had ordered single-handedly, able to utilize the Magia necessary in order to clone himself. It was his narrowness of focus that won him the coveted and prestigious position as the Patriarch's personal pilot, and even after death he would not fail his beloved lord. Tall and broad-shouldered, he had been taught for many hours how he was to appear to the person in the limousine, the financial backer of the House of Valken.

Bowing low, he waited until a pair of polished, black boots entered his vision to dare look up.

Wearing a double-breasted suit jacket and a black corsage, the young woman, her long platinum hair tied into a complicated braid and held in place with a pair of golden picks, was the utter study of beauty. Small of proportion, she was nevertheless stunning to the young Captain as she gazed about at her crew interacting with his. Nodding at the efficiency of the scene, she finally allowed her unsettling gaze to grace his. Her neck was swanlike, graceful, and every part of her cream-colored three piece-suit was tailored to her tantalizing form.

One eye violet, the other a storm-gray color, one he couldn't quite place.

She smiled, her lips begging his attention as she spoke with a crisp, clean voice, "You have done well, Magus. You have done very well. Now please destroy The Reaper and the Demonsidhe, both. The Valken House can expect payment in roughly one hour."

The Captain goggled at her, "Did you say....destroy? The Reaper? And...the Demonsidhe, ma'am?"

The woman lifted a pale, platinum-haired eyebrow and stabbed him in the broad chest with a simple rattan cane, "I did not stutter, young one. The purpose of this exercise has occurred just the way I planned it, and now we shall dispose of this...ignoble substance. It offends me," she frowned, managing to make even that seem like a study in feminine perfection, "The very idea of bonding oneself to one of those...miserable creatures. So inartistic, so...unaesthetic. Your Patriarch should have looked to the Shop for lessons on such matters, hmmm?"

The Captain bristled, "Madame-"

Morrow Kind sighed, tugging at the white gloves he wore over his slim, slender fingers, "Also, I'm not a woman. This may be our first time meeting one another, but certainly you can do better then assume?"

Bernard's eyebrows rose as he felt his entire world turn sideways, "Oh...uh...yes. Sorry...sir."

Morrow smiled beatifically, noting the effect he had on the young man. Turning back to the limousine he swayed slightly, his feminine features taking in with delight the destruction of The Reaper, and the nearly thousand demon souls locked within the drugs in the belly of the miniature island.

The Captain, his eyes never leaving Morrow, leapt to take Aristotle's place and close the door, kneeling down by the window as it rolled down. Aristotle chuckled, adjusting the lapels of his black button-up shirt before turning back to gaze upon the workings of the ground crew and flight crew, all Order-trained magi.

Morrow beamed, stroking at the delicate point of his knee, tilting his head slightly so his violet eye could see better.

"Hmmm...tell me, Captain. Do you think Frank would be pleased with me, right now?" His voice shivered for a moment, the air about his luscious mouth rippling with power, "Or...vexed?"

The Captain frowned, jealousy stamped plainly upon his face at the thought of a rival for Morrow's affections. Despite that, he answered honestly, unable to lie to his new master, "No, sir. I think he'd be whatever you want him to be."

Aristotle turned his face towards Bernard, chuckling behind the blank, eyeless mask before turning back to the various spells and projectiles hurtled towards The Reaper, watching with a barely-suppressed shiver how the massive island of metal exploded, imploded, and melted, torn apart by the living Circle created by their people. Morrow's people now, all of them.

Morrow hummed a tune to himself, eyes blinking slowly before watching the carnage, "Oh. Ohhhh. I simply can't wait!"

The Generalist – Taboo 3: Misfits and Mayhem Round 4

Round 4

Frank dug his toes into the ground, employing a basic Shield spell in front of him, his connection to Gregorio revealing to him that the familiar had been banished in the interrum. Though this wouldn't harm Gregorio for too long, this would keep him out of the action for a couple of days, unable to reform himself within the physical realm.

Huh, at least he won't get in our way then, Frank noted to Kitty, who continued to slowly chant to himself, concentrating.

Rising from the crater, the explosion having blown apart the barrier as well as the Dais he had initially feared, Valken strode towards Frank and simply breathed, his aura seeking a ley line to replenish his mana despite knowing, intellectually speaking, that there was none to be found until the second barrier came down. The collected magelight reflected brightly off of his glowing shield, the Mage Armor and water shell combining as the defensive spell broke down, forcibly combining with the Dais artifact.

Frank whistled, "So. That's what the Greatest Defense Master looks like, huh?"

Valken grinned, hugging himself for a moment, practically nude as the shell had been forced against his flesh from the neck-down, "You just sealed your own demise, Todd. This anomalous armor of mine is without flaw - there is no spell that can penetrate it's defenses now. You may not see it, you dirty plebian, but the very nature of your own shadow enforced this! I can hear it, you know..." for a moment Jerome's hawk-like eyes glazed over with the madness of magic overdose, "The lives the geas has influenced. The history of the thing! It's mine now, just like the Demonsidhe - yes, I can admit it now. What can you do to me now that you've helped create the greatest known Mage Armor in all of known history, Frank Todd...The Generalist!"

Frank lifted an eyebrow, snapping his fingers as he responded, "I guess...this."

Valken looked about, seeing nothing at all happen. Grinning, he took a step forward and plummeted to the ground, landing hard on his face.

Frank began to laugh, long and hard, gripping at his stomach while pointing at the prone ex-Legatus, "OH! OH WOW! OH FUCK! MAN, are you a barrel of laughs, Legs!"

"Wh-WHAT?! But...I didn't cast a spell, you didn't do anything!!!" Valken shook his head, the only part of him able to move at all, the rest of his body completely frozen, "What did you DO?!"

Frank wheezed with laughter, doubling over as he wiped a tear from his eye, "Oh, OH! Is this your plan?! To kill me with this, makin' me laugh m'self to death? Here, lemme try this-" he snapped again, and Valken immediately scrambled to his feet, eyes wild.

"How...HOW!" Valken rushed at Frank, attempting to close the distance only to fall, once again, the instant Frank snapped his fingers.

Frank's sneer turned into a vicious snarl as he toyed with the ex-Legatus, allowing him to rise and attempt to either rush Frank or escape, only to send him sprawling to the ground, paralyzed at a mere snap of his fingers.

"HOW?!!!! TELL ME, TODD!" Valken roared, his eyes betraying his emotions, lost somewhere between helplessness and sheer, impotent rage.

"It's simple, Leggy," Frank chuckled from where he sat on the Valken House's throne, "You said it yourself, and it's like you like to say all the goddamn time.

I'm not a Magus."

He waved a gloved hand around at the assemblage, "THEY are Magi. They live, and breathe, and work for the Code and by their promise to the Four Elements you people put so much stock and faith in. The very same ones you feel you can ignore, that somehow you're above.

I'm not a Magus, and I wasn't hired to be a Magus.

I'm a Shopkeeper, Jerome Valken, ex-Legatus," Frank walked over to the prone Magi, watching the other man's eyes fill with sheer fright and humiliation as he held up a hand, palm extended towards him as he continued, "We're the masters of disaster, the innovators of violence. We are the torturers and madmen, the boogeyman amongst monsters. We are the Kings of Angels and the Sultans of Swing.

We are Death, Jerome Valken. Your fate was sealed the moment we accepted you as our target."

Jerome, Patriarch of the Valken House, gazed upwards, tears filling his eyes. His plans, long in foresight, had never realized this one basic rule.

"I hit you with a simple psionic ability, earlier," Frank's voice carried to him as if from a great distance away, "When I established a link between you and I with that first kick. Y'see, a Magus thinks the only thing in the world IS the Four Elements, magic and Magia and spells and bullshit.

But, y'see, it can be easily trumped by psionics. Or ki energy. Or spiritual power.

All four of the energies can be used against one another, Valken," he chuckled, "And I've been linked to you with my Hookshot since the get-go of this, buddy boy, draining you slow and steady throughout this battle. Hell, you had QUITE the store of magical power, ya did! Kudos to that. The real trap was exactly this though - to ensure that so many innnnnnteresting forms of energy are all about you, all this magic and the regalia-" he waved a hand in the general direction of each item as he ticked them off, "and the THRONES and the fucking Dais that was last used, like, a century a-fucking-go. All these sources of power and you couldn't feel a teeny-tiny ribbon of will piercing your soul, one that even a novice Psionic or those fuddy-duddies over at the d'Balthazar house with their granny panties could've spotted."

"HEY!" Ethel d'Balthazar, floating within earshot, suddenly broke out of her trance and the gestalt connection, "I'll have you know that we d'Balthazars are the PREIMER-"

"Yadda yadda yadda, see?" Frank laughed, waving at the older woman as she continued to rant at a distance from them, "See what you did, Valken? Now instead of dying with my dulcet, creamy voice in your ears, yer gonna die with Ethel screaming her fool head off.

'Nighty night, Jerry. Time to die."

Valken's bottom lip trembled and, with the sound of the screaming amphitheater, thirsting and hungry for his blood, for vengeance, for retribution against his failed plans, he closed his eyes tightly and roared two words at them all.


The barrier shattered, the magical energies of the entire location coming completely undone as explosions rocked the amphitheater, the roof directly above them raining debris down upon them.

Several of the Valken House rushed forward, many of them on high alert for just such a thing as they cast scattered Defensive spells: barriers and shields of various geometric shapes sprang up overhead, dotting the amphitheater assembly here and there. Summonings and more sprang to life as the various students sought to protect themselves, sending the various monstrosities and otherworldly creatures, ghosts and poltergeists up to either redirect debris, destroy it, or take the blow and disappear with the falling object in tow.

Frank slashed a hand through the thick air, dispelling the dust and smoke from around him while taking stock of the situation, looking around wildly as he realized Valken had disappeared.

"Looking...for me, Frank?"

Frank's eyes widened and he forced his body to relax, drawing his arms up swiftly and taking the powerful blow to his forearms, the sensation of freefall confusing him for a moment before he landed on the ground, tumbling head over heels before landing painfully on his back.

Grunting and groaning, his training kicked in and he immediately curled up into a fetal position, blocking the launched kick with both his arms and his legs, the humongous, armored foot catching him square across his forearms and shins.

"G-GAH!" As if from a distance, he heard his own battered body make a strange sound as his back impacted squarely against the d'Balthasar throne, heavy with pure silver. He crumpled to the ground, his eyes wide as he beheld the monstrosity that had kicked him.

"...fucking. Demonsidhe."

Jerome Valken roared, his voice made thick and low from the new steel-like bio-metal exoskeleton his body had produced, the chemical Demonsidhe bonding him, body and soul, with the Demon whose contract he had signed. Standing three feet taller, his body was covered from head to toe in green, red, and silver platelets, his flesh thicker than leather and harder then even the Mage Armor it had absorbed in his transformation. His arms were corded with thick, ropy muscle, his body thickening from the process as well, his hands and feet transformed into three-digit, reptilian claws. Around it's head a deep cape and cowl had been drawn, obscuring its' face from view save for the foul ichor it slavered and drooled over the scarf-like cowl wrapped around it's neck for purchase. Drawing deep from the well of the nearby ley line, the new creature filled itself with raw magic power, forgoing completely any of the normal processes to create usable mana.

The Demonsidhe that was Jerome Valken roared, armor-plated mandibulae reaching beyond the confines of the dark cloak, his red, glowing eyes opening wide.

Demonsidhe. The abominable combination of Magus and Demon, their magical powers combined and magnified.

An amazing juggernaut of magical fury and horrible malice.

The process of transformation shrugged off all pain, damage, suffering, illness, and whatever lingering spells and damaging skills Frank had placed on him as well.

"Aw mommy, aw damn, aw crap!" Frank cursed aloud, groaning to himself, "Now I gotta start from square one!"

"First you have to somehow heal your broken back in time to stop me!" Valken chortled, his new body shaking with it as, up above, spotlights replaced the magelights as a massive airship shadowed the squalling amphitheater, a massive island of metal half as wide as the amphitheater rooftop and supported by four powerful rotors - able to cut through the air with it's beak-life front as easily as it could hover. A rope ladder was thrown down and Valken leapt, grabbing onto it with one hand and flipping Frank off with the other.

"While we BOTH have to start from square one, at least I get a God Mode cheat and you don't! HAH! Frank Todd, The Generalist, I bid thee a fo-"

Jerome Valken had completed the process to become a Demonsidhe, one of the most feared alchemical monstrosities known to the Order, a powerhouse even amongst the Fallen Thrones, those ex-Angels who now lived as Demons. Jerome Valken, once the Legatus of the Order of Magi, had risen to one of the highest positions one could within an order devoted to the secret gathering of knowledge and interdimensional power.

The Patriarch. He who would have been the Daywatch, had the Grand Magus and his cohorts not named one before he could take her place, now powerless to even challenge them now that he was offically culled from their ranks.

Yet despite how he had looked into the very ether of the darkness that lay between worlds with his own naked eyes, nothing prepared him as he witnessed Frank get up to his feet, dust his khakis off and crack his neck as if his back had never been broken.

Frank frowned, his eyes burning with hatred as his shades crumbled to the ground, a sad casualty of activating the most powerful of Artifacts on his person, "You broke my shades, you sonofabitch."

Scrambling up the rope ladder towards the humongous aircraft, its' four rotors revving up faster as it lifted up both men, unseen hands from above pulling the rope in, Valken kept his face upwards, climbing as fast as his magically-empowered new body could muster, hearing Frank's constant litany of cursing and violent promises grow closer despite him.

Too shocked to even wonder at Frank's sudden regeneration, the guards who piloted and staffed his "backup plan," dubbed The Reaver, pulled him in then stumbled backwards as he turned, nearly slashing at several of them with the blades from his pauldrons. Reaching out with a sharp-nailed claw, he roared with vicious intent only to look out from the open bay door and looked...

At nothing.

He blinked, gripping the bay doors, the ground already at a frightening height as The Reaver screamed upwards, every sleek inch of her powered by the very magical energies harnessed by the Demonsidhe body he now utilized. Looking left and right, mastering his own fear, his eyes widened and he slowly turned, hearing the last of the present guards fall to the ground.

Frank looked up from where he stood, a fresh pair of shades on his face, the blood from the latest cranium he had smashed already burning from his fists as the Maximum Gloves continued to feed ki energy directly into his body. Snarling, he pointed a thick finger at Valken, growling, "And WHAT is he doing here?!"

Jerome smiled, or something close to a facsimile of it, from within the depths of his shadowy cowl as he yanked the bundle of unconscious troll to his feet, dangerously close in front of the bay door.

Frank lowered his hands, the edges of his shoulders slightly blurry as he growled harder, " DASH...doing here?! What...have you my FRIEND?!!!"
Jerome cackled with wicked, malicious glee, holding him out through the bay door so his clawed feet dangled, his strength more than enough to hold the trussed-up troll, bound hands and feet by simple rope, in the air, "This. This is my ultimate backup plan, you filthy urchin. The Reaper, the greatest artifact to ever be built artificially! And now, I'm off to go deliver this and the cargo of Demonsidhe drug to my buyer! So. Here's the deal," Jerome gave Dash a shake, eliciting a snore from the still-sleeping troll-gene, "You can dive after your friend or stay here and kill me. Sounds like a pl-"

"I'm going to kill you if you let him go," Frank stated with a cold finality, "You're dead."

Jerome lifted an armored eyebrow and chuckled, "So be it!"

He turned and watched as Dash fell, calling Frank's bluff as The Reaper pierced the stratosphere, the bay door beginning to close. So it was with a complete and utter shock as, almost in slow motion, he found himself tumbling through the air as well.

A Demonsidhe. One of the worst, artificially-created terrors known to this realm. A creature that should stand head and shoulders above all other monster-genes.

And yet.

He spun through the air, ignoring the troll as he fastened his eyes on the speeding form of Frank as, missile-like, the human rocketed toward him.

It was then that he finally realized something, a conversation they had had back when they were merely classmates rather than bitter rivals and enemies.

"It's simple really," Frank, younger and having just become a teacher within the Order, laughed. They had luncheoned in one of the common rooms that day, a garden park that was a favorite hang-out spot of the other teachers and more than a few of the more gifted students.

"Oh? Explain then, fellow Magus," Jerome leaned back, eyeballing a young couple as they passed by.

"Well. Let's say, well, the Order in and of itself. We're required to register EVERY single one of the Magia we know, right?"

"Well, yes," Jerome looked back at him with a bored expression, "Is this your issue with the War Party again? I get it, I get it - you agree with them about registration versus personal freedom-"

"But that's just it!" He laughed, "Even if we ARE being given that one point if we stand down - the right to not have to register our fifth Magia, I'd just as lief just LIE about it!"

"Lie? To the Order?" Jerome laughed derisively, "Oh, you ARE rich, young Magus Todd!"

Lost in his memories, the younger Frank grunted as Jerome gazed upon the glowing fist already within reach of his armored, insectoid face, "I'm not a Magus. I'm a Generalist."

In the space between seconds, where even freefall stood still, Frank grunted, "I'm THE Generalist!"

Time stand still~!

When the storm hit, Jerome's only perception was of pain. Unending, unceasing pain as Frank became a whirlwind around him, the Overdrive pushed by his berserker fury to a blazing level 3, focusing only on the Time Stop. Where usually doing so on the ground would have torn his all-too-human musculature, in the sky things were completely different for Frank.

With Kitty casting the spells from his store of Air Magia, Frank found his body encased within a shell that negated much of the G Forces, torquing his body about mid-air, firing off spells and delivering three punches at time each time he used the Overdrive more than strain enough on him.

It was in such a manner that he was able to deliver five sets of three straight punches each in the span of only one second from all directions, grabbing the reeling Demonsidhe and tearing his cowl off, ignoring the terrible gashes opening up across his own flesh, the backlash of so much Overdrive use already taking it's toll as it devoured the regenerative abilities of the Maximum Gloves at an incredible pace.

Frank ignored the sensation of terminal velocity, the horror that Valken had turned himself into. The red glowing eyes, multi-faceted, his flesh turning armored, the tendrils that had replaced his hair. The Demonsidhe blinked, it's eyes glazed over...and the Demon he had contracted screaming from within, willing Frank to not recognize it. As insectoid as Jerome currently looked, it's body was humanoid until the lower half came into view, very much so a four-footed reptile, terminating with a long, spiked tail. Like all Angels and Fallen Thrones, the creature was breathtakingly winged, it's shoulder muscles and back muscles exaggerated and bulky-looking to accommodate for them. The creature wailed and felt along the walls of its' spiritual prison, doing anything to hide itself from Frank's piercing gaze.

To no avail.

Frank gave a sly grin before roaring directly at the creature, "TARIEL! I SEE YOU, YOU LITTLE SHIT!" Laughing, the right Maximum Glove burning to ashes as the Overdrive sought to offset the balance with even more living energy, Frank reached into his pocket and slipped another Artifact on.

Holy Diver, the silver knuckles he kept on his person. Crafted from a mixture of blessed silver metal and steeped in holy water instead of regular water, the knuckles themselves bore eldritch script - Frank's own handiwork, and one of his best anti-Demon artifacts.

Anti-quite a bit of things, really. As an Artifact, they were able to affect the insubstantial and the spiritual, rumored to have a force that can even strike at entities a cross dimensions. The Purification Blow, the “Ritual of Fuck Off Already,” began the moment he slipped them onto his knuckles, and as his fist whistled through the air to slam into Valken, and through him Tariel, a stream of glowing latin words flowed out of the Holy Diver, quickly lost to the wind as they plummeted towards the ground. While the after-effect of the Holy Diver was incredibly useful, allowing him to both exorcise and banish a target while creating a boundary that stopped them from fleeing this realm and the anchor they were attached to, there was little for the boundary to do but float into the ether and fade away, useless in such a situation.

But Frank wasn't looking to create a boundary, at that point he was more than happy to simply pummel at Valken's armored face with the silver knuckles, laughing wildly as he watched the demon Tariel writhe within it, bound yet scrabbling to escape anyway. Though he had exorcised and banished Tariel, the creature could still be summoned, it's power used by anyone strong enough to bind it to their will.

And this wasn't just a normal Binding either. The Demonsidhe process was irreversible, and that meant there was nowhere for Tariel to go now, no way for it to easily escape Frank's waxing wrath.

Thankful for the shade's protection, bound to his skull by invisible filaments of ki energy, Frank gauged the distance between the rapidly rising ground and themselves. Punching Tariel and Jerome one more time, he left the Demonsidhe fall to it's own fate, kicking away from it with a shove of his legs and a minor Coast spell from Kitty, the duo working perfectly in synch to send Frank towards Dash. Rocketing into the troll, they collided while Frank scrabbled for purchase, doing nothing but upsetting Dash's combat fatigues for a moment before passing him by completely.

Growling, Kitty fired off more Coast spells, relying on their simplicity and the short burst of air they provided to help rocket Frank towards Dash once again. Reaching out, Frank felt the pit of his stomach turn ice-cold as he realized his left Maximum Glove artifact had completely burned away, the Overdrive still hungry and seeking for more resources to draw from. Realizing he was going to have one helluva comeuppance for so many uses of the Overdrive, he grasped Dash by the collar and hauled him in close, quickly untying his hands and using it to tie their belts together. Using Kitty's spells, Frank repositioned them both so the troll was directly under him, feeling the wicked, strange energy of the Overdrive rev into life once more as he prepared a complicated series of actions.

In THEORY, this'll work! Kitty panted within him, slightly turned on from the excitement and danger, If this doesn't work, I love you Frank!

Frank closed his eyes, murmuring aloud, his words lost to the wind as the ground sped towards them even faster than before.

Time...stand still!

The Overdrive, already pumped to level 4, took a sideways twist, allowing him to slow down Time to his perception and movements without ramping up to the final lethal level. Kitty, feeling the main persona begin his work, immediately fired off a Hard Air spell from the last of their magical reserves, creating a solid cube of pressurized air directly parallel to them.

Even though he seemed to have all the time in the world, Frank gritted his teeth until his gums bled, taking forever to reach out with his legs and connect solidly with the cube of air, passing them by with a strange dual slowness and quickness.

Feeling the muscles of his legs explode, his knees threatening to buckle, both personae felt a moment of utter elation as their velocity immediately changed direction as Frank attempted to change their landing pattern towards a swimming pool he had spotted earlier and cut some of their falling speed down.

Spreading himself so his body would land atop Dash's, he willed himself to relax completely, an old meditative trick kicking in and allowing him to focus only on a minute point of Dash's thick throat, completely ignoring the shock as they landed square in the center of the pool, water rushing to encase them, displaced by their meteoric impact...and the sickening squelch as the Troll's single bone, jointless and rubbery, took the full impact.

Valken awoke to screaming, his own and the Demon whose power he had coveted, craved even. Tariel gibbered insanely within him, and he wondered for a moment if the much-vaunted strength of the Daemon Magia users were, once again, more myth and fiction than any matter of truth.

Groaning, his voice still a new mystery and wonder to him, he slowly worked his way to his knees, happy to be alive still. Crawling out of the crater, he immediately recognized the hotel he had crash-landed through, tearing out a chunk of the rooms closest to the outside of the complex, apparently doing no damage save superficial, before landing next to the pool itself, one that was strangely out of water.

Staggering away from the crater, his new eyes took in the strangely 360 degree view all around him, turning his head this way and that to marvel at it all.

He had survived. He had WON!

He alternated between hysterical laughter and coughing, waving a hand about to clear the smoke that had erupted from the impact. With his new senses he clearly tracked the treacherous new Daywatch as Magus Tanelin burst from around the hotel, calling out orders to other Magi nearby. Dispelling the smoke and dust with a simple cantrip, he grinned to himself, already relishing the look of shock and surprise on her pretty face.

So it was that he found himself rearing back as the dust cleared and directly in front of him, standing tall, Dash cracked his knuckles and grinned wickedly. Slightly in front of the troll, the Holy Diver silver knuckles equipped onto his right hand, Frank tilted his head, popping it slightly before looking back at Jerome.

He made a wet sound as he ran his tongue slowly against his teeth, relishing the look of shock and surprise on Jerome's face and uttered, "Yeap."

For all her years ahead of her, Daywatch Tanelin knew she would never again see the spectacle of the gruesome twosome suddenly disappearing, the Demonsidhe attempt to reach towards her only to flip head over heels, slam to the ground, something invisible slam him further into the ground, creating yet another crater, before rising up as if held by the head, two chairs appear out of thin air to slam against either side of him before the two Shopkeepers rebounded from his form, both landing hard as if they had performed a dual drop-kick.

To the sped-up perception of the two Shopkeepers, they both activated the ki ability "Combined Force," allowing them to share the same speed and strength for exactly one second. That single second stretched to eternity and, within this space of a second, were able to slam their favorite techniques into a single target.

It was exactly the technique they had rehearsed for just such an occasion, both realizing instinctively the need to do a psychotic amount of physical damage in order to shock the Demonsidhe's system and prevent it from emergency regeneration or reinforcement of it's already incredible defenses.

In quick succession, Frank slipped behind Jerome to aid Dash's drop-kick, sending the creature to the ground. Frank, moving quickly, grabbed the creature's clawed feet as Dash leapt into the air. Frank leapt up slightly and brought his own feet in front of him, slamming them into Jerome's groin as Dash landed hard at the same time, his knee breaking the armor plating around the Demonsidhe's neck. Frank spun to his feet and grabbed Dash's outstretched hand, yanking him to his feet and the other side of himself. Dash, in turn, yanked Frank back, allowing his arm to stretch a bit as Frank dug in and rushed forward, allowing the troll to slingshot him overhead and directly down into Jerome's stomach with the points of his knees, the sheer force of the Human Hammer technique smashing the creature further into the ground.

Getting up quickly, Frank grabbed the creature's head as Dash caught his feet, the duo heaving upwards and sending Jerome flying only to suddenly snap back down, pancaking him deeper into the hole. Grabbing him by the scrapped remains of his cloak, Frank forced the creature to his feet, ignoring his own violent pains as Dash swiftly handed him a metal folding chair.

Slamming his face into it twice, the clean, bright pain driving away the fog of fatigue and the far duller pain of the Overdrive within him, Frank turned Dash as the troll slammed the chair twice into the ground with wicked glee.

Spinning, the duo slammed the chairs against the front and back of Jerome's head before leaping up and drop-kicking the chairs simultaneously, breaking both the creatures' head and the Combined Force technique at the same time.

Jerome groaned once, fell to his knees then onto his back, his joints exploding in a fan of greenish blood, unable to take the strain dealt to him anymore. He gazed upwards dumbly, both the man and the demon within him completely stunned by the attacks they had suffered.

Frank grunted, getting to his feet slowly at first until Dash landed next to him sprightly, helping his smaller friend up with a series of stupid chuckles. Frank looked at him strangely at first, then joined him in the stupid chuckles until both suddenly did a little jump and stomped onto the ground, turning to face Jerome's prone form.

Stomping the ground to a beat and clapping their hands, they did their ritual troll dance of victory, ending it by slapping their own chests once with an eruption of sound before leaning down to jam all four of their middle fingers at Jerome's insectoid face.


Laughing, Frank turned as Daywatch Tanelin rushed to their side, panting, "I, I...that!"

She stopped short as Frank held up his right hand to her, the scene suddenly cold and vicious as Frank's eyes fastened onto Jerome.

She bit her lip, recognizing this look. This was the gaze of a predator, done toying with their food.

This was the look of a predator about to strike.

Dash tittered, pain and battlelust still raging through him as he bit his own finger, drawing blood before chuckling out, "You gonna do it? You gonna do it Frank? This is the guy, right?!"

"Yeah, bro," Frank spoke evenly, calmly despite the edge in his voice, "This is the guy. And yeah. I'm gonna do him. Right here-" he knelt down, Jerome busted back, the aura about his right hand becoming visible as something twisted and wicked welled up within him, "-and right now. You're going to die, Jerome. You're going to die in pain, and afraid - all full of terror. Just what the assignment calls for."

"h-" Valken wheezed, his body broken and busted beyond repair, even from a Demonsidhe's infernal engine, " How did...what..."

Frank grabbed him with his left hand, his right held overhead and slightly behind him, the strange energy of the Overdrive fighting with an even stranger, darker energy, alien to Jerome but known to Tariel. His own eyes were closed for a moment as he hovered on the razor's edge between life and death, exulting in the exquisite feel of his own body wrecked, his mana reserves and mental faculties on the brink of full-blown breaking. On every level, on every plane he was aware of, he hurt. He hurt deep.

And he reveled in that pain, in this single moment where he was ever as close to death as he had ever been.

Each time was always the first time.

Each time was never enough.

Valken's eyes widened slightly as Frank's opened up, the chocolate brown transformed into a bright gold. On the psychic plane, Frank's humanoid aura slammed his Hookshot directly into Valken's face, infiltrating the man's Ajna chakra and changing it's indigo color to that of Frank's own aura.

Black, and sharp with violence.

"You never stood a chance, you elitist scumbag," Frank leaned in close and growled, devouring the sight of Jerome's and Tariel's fear as he force-fed them his own memories, his voice rising to a furious pitch thick with hatred and malice, "Neither of you have EVER stood a chance because I have faced FAR WORSE THEN YOU HAVE EVER KNOWN EXISTED!!!!!"

Tariel and Jerome, combined as they were, knew now why neither could ever beat the Shop.

Through Tariel, Jerome saw and knew what it was Frank had survived.

Perris County.

An endless night, unnatural and horrible, the very walls of reality having been forcibly tainted by It's presence.

Eleven saintly shrouded men stood dark against the blackened sky all about them, the charred remnants of houses burned.

Atop a midden, a pile of bodies so twisted and made wrong by It's very presence, It sat and gloated, glutting on chaos and violence.

Within this world, there are three types of known Demons. Fallen Thrones of both fictional and non-fictional, yet worshiped, variety. Interdimensional travelers, who may or may not be malicious in intent. And then you had the ones who had the most devastating impact on reality itself, the entire world shuddering under the presence of one materialized in the physical plane.

Humans cannot become angels, but both humans and angels can become demons. So it was, and so it had always been. But there was none worse than a psychic human soul that had become stagnated and bitter, trapped within this side of the Veil and unable to move on.

Sometimes these pathetic souls were worshiped as gods, or demons, tied to an artifact or a location.

Sometimes all it took was a sneeze, or a passerby simply glancing at them and actually seeing them. Always, it was just one little push that was needed to allow these poor, unfortunate souls to slip into their own vat of bitter negativity and arise, twisted and ascendant, able to destroy and warp every level of energy and matter within their range.

The Psyker Demon.

The men turned and killed one another, and for a moment Jerome was each of the men, his mind completely under the control of the Psyker. Tariel gibbered madly, seeking to kill himself and Jerome with him simply to escape the horror they underwent as their perception altered.

They had become Frank Todd, shortly before becoming The Generalist...but they were themselves, merely in Frank's place.

Unlike the real battle in Perris County, California, during the Havoc of 2012 the battle was short-lived and horrible, all-consuming in it's terror and hatred, tearing through Jerome and Tariel both with a finality that nearly killed them on it's own.

But Demonsidhes were tougher than that.

Jerome's body relaxed, finally succumbing to the damage wrought upon it on every level. For a moment he spoke as if with two throats, the Demon and the Man within him whispering, "Please. Please stop hating me. Please. Just...ple-"

Frank's right hand clamped tightly down onto Jerome's transformed face, then he squeezed, crushing the creature's mandibulae as his twisted quirk of nature began it's gristly work.

Frank's full lips twisted into a dark snarl as he said, "Die."

And with that he absorbed Valken's life, his soul, draining every ounce of the creature that was a strange combination of Tariel and Jerome Valken and devouring every memory, every choice he ever made. As he did so he felt his own life triple in size, his aura enormous as he glutted on Valken's very existence.

Behind him, Dash roared his approval, shaking his head and arms skyward as he triumphed in their victory, debris and flame raining down behind them from above.


To Frank's heightened, abuse senses he stood up all too slowly, slightly in front of the troll as he whispered far too loud, "All hail the Shop."