Ambrose Scratch leans back in his throne and thinks. One as old as him is very good at thinking, seeing as he does it quite often. He pulls out his notepad and scrawls another message for himself, revising old plans and creating new ones. Plans upon plans upon plans, covering every eventuality and every possibility. He is, of course, prepared for everything. He is the perfect servant.
Speaking of servants, one his children now approaches, head bowed in reverence, and hands him a goblet of fine wine. Scratch samples it. Perfection. Grinning, he pats his child on the head and dismisses him.
He leans forward and reviews upon the recent events. Two demons have finally awakened, two to go. But this is where it gets tricky, especially with the Canny Demon growing suspicious of him. Smart girl, well deserving of her title. But so naive, so unaware of the world she was entering. She would not pose a threat at all; maybe a minor nuisance at the most. Yes, he already had plans for her, plans upon plans that finished with the awakening of the Lurid Demon. The last one would pose no problem at all.
But plans could only be projected so far before they began to grow unstable, and one as gifted as he could see where his plans would begin to grow vague and uncertain. Beyond The Reckoning was when the Demons had their chance for victory, ‘twas when they could kill him, and maybe even his Lord. He grins and gives them a silent toast. May the odds be ever in their favor he thinks silently.
Scratching his chin, he ponders on the nature of the Demons. The two on either side of the boundaries, the Corporeal and Ethereal, were so similar yet so different. Take Devour and Erase, for instance. Both of them could nullify anything in the physical realm, yet one erred on the side of widespread destruction (Devour), while the other favored finesse. While Devour could certainly lay waste to any who oppose him, he must be careful not he harm his allies while he is at it.
Likewise, on the Ethereal side, one side leans towards full and utter domination, while the other gravitated towards percise misderection and trickery. And while the Ethereal demons would not seem to be nearly as useful as the Corporeal ones, in the right situation they could be far more deadly.
He watches their progress silently through the omniscient Will of his Lord. He laughs as he watches the Noble Demon grow more powerful every day. Yes, that one always had a strong connection to his Lord. Why else would he be the sole other listener to Him? They were both so similar—one Noble Devour, and one True Devour—it was no wonder that his Lord naturally reached out to the boy.
He remembered one of the times that the boy had tried to defend himself. Scratch could only suffer in silence as his children tried to kill they boy. Why wasn’t the Demon trying to defend himself? Yet for some reason unbeknownst to mere servants like himself, his Lord took pity on the boy and they united as The One Devour.
Scratch shivered as he when he watched the perfect marriage of Power, of Destruction, and watched as They wreaked havoc upon the his children. Truly, it was sad that his children had to die for the boy to grow, but it was fascinating to watch The One Devour in action. The True Devour conducting his powers into the Noble Devour, such a partnership did indeeed singled the end of days. And Scratch awaits it in uncharacteristic glee, waiting for the time that his Lord can enter this realm.
A list. That is what Scratch is composing now. A list of who must be reaped for his plan to fall into place. After all, to initiate the Reckoning, the Felt must finish it’s rise to power. Some individuals must die, a few governments must be toppled, and it all must happen in the precise order that Scratch had planned it. But no worries, for he has picked the right man for the job. He is, after all, the perfect servant.
He finishes the wine and hands the jewel encrusted goblet to another child of his and waits. Not impatiently, of course. If there’s anything that a few aeons of existence has taught him, it is that patience is, without a doubt, the most important virtue.
And his patience is rewarded in a few minutes, as he new it would be. Two of his children cautiously walk up to him and knock respectfully on the open door.
“Sir?” They ask with trepidation. “Y-your guest is here now.”
Ignoring the obvious fear on their faces, he waves them away. “Let him in.”
In walks a monstrous Russian, towering at a little over seven feet tall. His jet black hair is slicked black over his pale, gaunt face, emphasizing the jagged scar running over his milky right eye. He scowls at Scratch before drawing a jagged dagger from his tattered black trenchcoat and burying it deep into Scratch’s chest.
“Hey there Doc.” He sneers.
Scratch calmy removes the knife from his chest and idly examines it as crimson blood begins to soak is albaster suit. “My my, Mr. Noir. This hasn’t killed me in the past, what makes you think this time will be any different?”
“Consider it a hello. Now why the fuck am I here?”
“My my, is that any way to treat an old friend?”
“You might be old, bastard, but you’re no friend of mine.”
Scratch laughs softly. “Oh, but I have need of your ‘services’.”
Jack frowns in thought. “Why do you want me? Isn’t your style a little more… subtle?”
“Indeed it is, but we’re running out of time.”
“Ah… The Reckoning? It’s that time? But why does that concern me?”
Scratch leans forward, his crimson eyes flamming with sudden passion. “Because I can offer you what you most desire.” He strides forward and grasps the killer’s beefy arm. Jack tries to jerk away, but he can’t break the iron grip that this Doctor has on him. “In your veins, Mr. Noir, lies a bloodlust that rivals any I have ever seen throughout the ages. You suppress Vladimir the third, King Herod, and all those monsters you mortals read about in you history textbooks, all the demons you tell children about at night. You crave for chaos, you crave destruction; I saw that much when I saved your life in Siberia those when you were but a child. And so I can offer you the bloodiest battleground you could ever ask for. And remember: It will never end.”
He releases Jack’s arm and steps back, once again the dapper servant; as though the previous exchange hadn’t take place. “You lead the elite mercenary group, the Dersite Legion. So align yourself with the Felt. I’ll provide with men, you train them and send off to battle. I’ll be the brains, you’ll be my sword. Strike where I tell you too and we will do great things. Kill a few politicians, topple a few governments, and I will do the rest. We will initiate the Reckoning and the Felt will control the world. Or what remains of it. And then what the hell? Once we initiate the end of the world, as long as you follow my orders you can mindlessly slaughter everyone else. So, do we have a deal?”
Jack hesitates. The offer is far more than generous. “I… suppose there’ll have a monetary reward as well?”
Scratch leans back against a wall and lets out that charismatic laugh of his. “Son, I’ve been raising money since I introduced the concept to you mortals. Believe me, you will be generously rewarded.”
A few more minutes of negotiation and they reach a deal. Scratch removes the list from his coat pocket and ands it over to Jack. “Now, Mr. Noir, I will need you to follow the instructions to the letter if you want this to succeed.”
Jack nods as he scans the list. A few politicians need to die (he’ll take care of that), a few last minute wars needed to be waged (he’ll send his people for that). But then Scratch leans forward and circles a name with red ink. “Before anything else, Mr. Noir, he needs to die.”
Jack looks up in confusion. “Who the hell is this?”
Scratch chuckles, but the mirth is gone from his voice. “Oh, he will be your most important target, just as he will be your easiest. Just make it look like a botched robbery attempt, take what you will from the house—do it alone, though. I cannot trust this to anyone else.”
“You… you’ve got to be fucking kidding me. This man is your priority target? What the hell is he, some important government official? Does he know the cure for cancer?”
“Oh no, he’s just a simple man.”
Jack shakes his head. “All right, as long as you're paying. He’ll be dead within the week. But tell me, if the Reckoning truly is coming, that must mean that the Demons are rising. What’s to stop them from learning your identity?”
“Oh don’t worry, they already have. But that’s according to the plan. Plans upon plans… Plus I have a man on the inside, and he is doing a most wonderful job of controlling their information flow. They’ll only know what I want them to know, when I want them to know it. Most of the time, it will be too late for them. But I do not want to keep you here any longer than I need to. I’ll wire you the money at once, plus I’ll give you a hefty bonus when that man lies dead. Farewell, Mr. Noir.”
The Russian inclines his head. “Yeah, whatever.”
Scratch watches the man leave with a self satisfied smirk. Now then, for the next Demon…