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You cannot tolerate Scarmiglone's behavior any further.

Granted, being newly dead and risen is an acceptable excuse for crankiness, and few would know that better than you. Still, it has been too long. He moans constantly, even more than his situation would warrant. His moping has become frankly unbearable.

You would ask one of the others to speak with him, but they would know nothing of empathy for such a being. You remember little of empathy yourself, but at least you have some experience with his plight. It has been a long time since you walked among the living, your body as solid as a boulder and as mighty as stone itself.

He barely notices you as you approach him, too busy with his mumbles and his self-loathing. "Once I was the spark of life within the soil," he muttered, his back to you. "Once I was every green and growing thing that sprouted from the earth... and now look at me. Look at me...."

You clear your throat, pointedly. "I beg your pardon."

He turns to look at you, his empty eyes staring from beneath patches of gray-green hair. "You," he says, more loudly. "My elder has come to lecture me, I suppose."

"Of course." You haven't the patience to sugarcoat the truth for him. "Self-loathing is a waste of time, Scarmiglone. Turn that hatred towards those who would destroy us."

"How can I, when I am already destroyed?" he said, gritting his teeth. "You should understand. You are not who you once was. How can you look at yourself, and not dream of the days when you lived?"

And you suppose he has a point - you are little more than a broken skeleton now, stripped of your muscle and flesh and wrapped in bloody robes and black magic. You must admit, you do miss being alive from time to time. You miss the raw power, the presence, the weight of it.

But giving into commiseration will only encourage his griping. Instead you close the distance between you, and drive your talons into his shoulder, just below the jutting spikes. He hisses and glares up at you, his eyes darkening to bloody red. "What are you doing!?" he growls.

"Demonstrating an advantage to our condition," you say, and with your free hand you grab at his cheek, cutting into the grey and corpselike flesh, flaying it to ribbons.

He falls upon you with a gibbering howl, biting and stabbing. Cloth is torn aside, and bones shatter and fall away as his strength overcomes them. but you have power of your own, and with a touch you make his flesh blister and char, falling away with a mere touch. He moans as he falls apart but does not relent, tearing at your ribcage and pulling bones free with pops and cracks. The pain is sharp and fierce and flows through your ruined body, so strong that it verged on pleasure, and you can see from his twisted grin that he is enjoying it, perhaps more than you.

You are on the verge of destroying each other when you push him away, a shockwave strong enough to send him flying. Ichor and bits of corpse-flesh are everywhere, as are fragments of bone. "What," he begins, his voice echoing.

"Wait," you say, and you can already feel the magic starting to work. The bones are regenerating, and you watch as your power pulls them back to your body and knits them back into you, cementing them into place. It is not warm, not the way healing would have been while you lived, but the shocks of completion still make you hiss with the memory of pleasure.

The same thing is happening to him; you can see it, the rents in his flesh knitting together. The ichor and flesh around him falls apart into dry dust, and he leans back, eyes slitted, as his body returns to its twisted former state.

"You see?" you say as you regain your will to speak. "No need to fear death, young one. We are invulnerable. We can do as we please."

"Ah," he says, opening his bright eyes again. "I... am not convinced. Show me again."

He thinks he is being subtle, but his artifice is as clear as day to you. You chuckle. "Another time," you answer. "Provided that you stop griping, hmm?"

"Fine." He scowls, but you've convinced him; you can see it in his white, eager eyes.

You can't help but chuckle as you walk away. You still have your silver tongue, even though it rotted in your skull long ago.