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The Unholy Trinity

Chapter Text

The Googles were on a rampage.

They tore through the manor, working together in disturbing synchrony, and getting more panicked and violent by the second. The entire manor quaked with their methodical frenzy. It was when the four of them burst into Dark’s office that the head ego was forced to call a meeting.

“Bing is missing and you are doing nothing.” Google’s angry words were hissed through clenched teeth, his eyes glowing bright, nearly blinding with his rage.

Dark dragged a hand down his face. He never expected Google of all people to be so…overprotective. “Google, he’s been gone an hour. You’ve already wrecked the house. I’m nearly positive he’s just with Chase Brody and the Septics and just forgot to tell you.”

“B̛̺u̜͠-̭̿u̘͗-̗́u̖̾-ut he’s n̖͋ǫ͗o̢͝o̝͗o̳̍ṱ̏ though!” Oliver’s voice was glitching frantically, the yellow android the most visibly distraught, hands tearing at his hair as he paced wildly behind Google. “H̯́ē̥ë̹ẽ̩e̺͠'̖͆s͉̃ not answ̬̓èͅr̞͐i̳̅n̼͝g̛̙ our texts, o͈͐-̻͂o̡r̫̔ our calls –”

“And we called Chase ourselves,” Green interrupted. “Bing’s not with him, nor any of the other Septics. He’s nowhere!”

Plus, how do you explain this!” Red held up a tinted circle of glass, a lens, between two fingers. “This is obviously came from Bing’s sunglasses! He never takes the damn things off, let alone willingly popping out a fucking l̨̜͇̜̏͋̋͞ė͕͇͇́̈́̀͜n̠͕̯̮͒̔̄̕s̺͚̉͞!” Red’s voice distorted violently on the last word, staring Dark dead in the eyes.

The demon exchanged a quick look with Wilford across the table. The crazed reporter’s eyes were wide with not-quite panic, Bubblegum, his pet squirrel, napping quietly in the floof of his hair. After a cursory glance around to the other egos, noticing their equally nervous expressions, he let out a long sigh. “That is…admittedly hard to ignore.” He stood, straightening his tie, face growing serious. “If Bing has been abducted as the evidence suggests, then we need to put the manor on lockdown. No one is allowed in or out without my explicit permission.”

Google slammed his hands down onto the table, positively seething. “You’re still doing nothing?! We need to find him, before something irreversible happens!”

“And we will,” Dark soothed. “But I am not risking the safety of anyone else. We don’t know who took Bing. We don’t know if he is the only prize they want to claim.”

The Googles slowly calmed, except for Oliver who was now sobbing hysterically into Green’s chest, reluctantly seeing the wisdom of Dark’s argument. Dr. Iplier let out a short sigh before standing up himself. “Well, I’m gonna go make us all some coffee. It’s looking to be a long night.”

The Host caught his wrist before he had the chance to move too far away. “The Host implores Dr. Iplier to stay.” The blind ego appeared paler than usual, panic discreetly drawn in the lines of his face. “He cannot See what comes next. He would rather his beloved be where he can protect him.”

Dr. Iplier smiled softly, cupping the Host’s cheek with his free hand and placing a chaste kiss to his lips. “I appreciate your concern, but I’m just going to the kitchen. I’ll be fine.” The Host let him pry his fingers away from his wrist, his expression still an unchanging mask of worry. “I’ll be back soon. It’ll be fine, Host.” And then he was vanishing out the door.

The second the door closed behind Dr. Iplier, the Host began to fidget restlessly, picking at his coat and pulling at his hair. Most of the egos ignored the behavior, chalking it up to anxiety. The Jims were oblivious just all around, chatting animatedly with one another about something incredibly inane. It was when the Host began clawing at his bandages, blood soaking into the cloth, that Bim called him out. “Host, stop picking at your bandages, you’re making yourself bleed!” The Host blatantly ignored him, muttering fervently under his breath.

Ed leaned forward, brow creasing. “What’s he sayin’?”

The Silver Shepherd shifted closer, frowning deeply. “It’s…it’s just ‘can’t see’ over and over.”

Ed snorted, relaxing back again. “Well of course he can’t see, he’s blind!” The words had barely left his mouth when the Host’s mutterings picked up volume.

“Can’t see, can’t See, can’t see, can’t See –” His clawing became more desperate, his nails digging into the skin around his bandages, blood beginning to drip from both the wounds and beneath the cloth.

Dark grimaced. “Someone hold him down. Stop him from hurting himself further.” Just as the final word slipped passed his lips, the Host dug into the bandages, tearing the cloth and plunging his fingers into the empty sockets, still murmuring the same phrase, now half-sobbing between the words, blood running down his hands and down the sides of his face at a worryingly fast pace. Dark jumped into action, his voice kickstarting the horrified and stunned egos. Silver and King pulled the Jims into a corner, shielding them from the bloody scene with their capes as the demon shouted commands. “Google! Hold him down! Get his hands away from his face!”

Google and Red both raced forward, each grabbing an arm and pinning it to the back of the chair, forcefully removing the Host’s hands from his sockets with a sickening squelching sound. The second he was pinned, the blind ego began to scream, arching his back off the chair and thrashing in the Googles’ hold.

NO! SOMETHING’S WRONG, SOMETHING’S WRONG, LET GO LET GO SOMETHING’S WRONG SOMETHING’S WRONG!

The Host’s bloody hands clenched into fists as he continued to scream and writhe against the Googles’ hold, blood pouring out of his sockets at an alarming rate, painting his face and coat red as he sobbed between his ramblings. The Host screamed himself hoarse, still sobbing as his voice broke and vanished, harsh gasps replacing the piercing noises. His strength waned, and eventually he stopped fighting the Googles’ grip. At Dark’s nod, the two androids hesitantly stepped back, leaving the Host slumped over in the chair.

Within seconds the Host was out the door.

Dark immediately tore after him, skidding into the hall. Even blind, no narrations, and almost depleted strength, the Host was fast; the ego was nowhere in sight. Even without the bloody trail, Dark had a good guess of where he might be. Therefore, he wasn’t surprised when he found the Host in the kitchen, hunched over and on his knees in the middle of the room, a pool of red slowly growing around him. He was clutching something to his chest, sobbing brokenly, seemingly unaware of Dark cautiously approaching.

Dark managed to get within inches of the distraught ego, reaching to place a hand on his shoulder, when the blind ego suddenly whirled around, shaking, his head tilted up to Dark’s face. The demon couldn’t help but cringe backwards. Not a spec of the Host’s face was clean of blood. Through the shredded remains of his bandages clinging to his face, Dark could see directly into the empty, black pits of where the Author had ripped out his own eyes all those years ago. Despite staring into the contradicting evidence, Dark knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Host was looking him dead in the eye.

“One more.” The Host’s voice was a broken, croaky whisper. It sent chills up Dark’s spine. “They want one more. One more, one more, one more one more one more…”

The Host’s words dissolved into sobs as he pressed his forehead to Dr. Iplier’s broken head mirror held tightly in his hands.

Chapter Text

“How’s the Host?”

That was the first thing Dark heard when he walked back into the meeting room, covered in blood. He turned to King, sighing. “Sleeping. Green’s watching over him. Dr. Iplier’s gone.” A few horrified gasps pierced the air. Dark attempted to regain his business-like composure, standing stiffer. “He said that whoever is doing this is after one more.” Tense silence. “We don’t know who this last victim will be. As such, no one is to be alone until this is all sorted out. I’m pairing you up. Googles, you will stay together, rotating out who watches over the Host.” The androids nodded, moving as one to the exit. “Jims, you two are together as well. Don’t let the other out of your sight.” The twins saluted him, uncharacteristically sullen, before slinking out the door as well. “Bim and King, and Ed and Silver. You guys are going to share rooms, too, until this is over. Try and get some sleep.” The mentioned four got up without a word, leaving Dark and Wilford alone in the meeting room.

Wilford stood, wrapping his arms around the demon’s middle and hugging him tightly, Dark wasting no time in latching on in return. The two clung to each other, like they were afraid the other might disappear if they let go. “What am I going to do, Wil?” Dark’s voice cracked. “I-I can’t keep them all safe, clearly I can’t, two of us are missing and I don’t have a clue –”

“We’ll figure it out, Dark.” Wilford offered him a smile, pulling away slightly. “We always do. We’re a team! The Psychopath and the Demon, us against the world!” Dark laughed quietly at his theatrics, pulling Wilford closer. “We’ll find them, Dark.”

“I know.” Dark hugged him tighter. “I can’t lose you, though. The Host said ‘they want one more.’ I can’t.”

Wilford tucked his head against Dark’s shoulder. “I can’t lose you, either.” After a moment, he pulled back once more, his hands sliding into Dark’s. He attempted another smile. “Come on. Let’s get some sleep. We’ll need our rest to find Bing and Dr. Iplier.”

With no warning, Dark swooped in and pressed his lips to Wilford’s, kissing him almost desperately. Wilford made a muffled noise of surprise, but pressed back all the same. “I love you, Wil,” he said when they finally parted. “I love you so much. If anyone tries to take you, promise me you’ll put up one Hell of a fight.”

Wilford’s surprised laugh rang clear through the air. “I promise. And for the record, I love you, too.” This time, Wilford was the one who ducked in for a quick kiss. “Let’s get to bed. Tomorrow will be one Hell of a day.”

Dark allowed himself to be dragged out the door, not even attempting to relax until Wilford was stripping him of his bloodstained suit jacket and crawling into bed. Wilford quickly curled around him, burrowing into the sheets and burying his face in Dark’s chest. “Sleep, Dark. I’ll be here in the morning.”

Dark sighed and allowed his eyes to slip shut.


Dark woke to a high-pitched, frantic chattering near his ear, the pillows shaking. He groaned, covering his eyes with one hand. “Wil, calm your fucking squirrel, she’s throwing a fit.” No response. Dark’s brow furrowed, and he threw his other hand over onto the other side of the bed, intent on waking Wilford up, only for his hand to meet the still-warm, empty space beside him. He sat up, bolting upright and looking to his right. Bubblegum was still chattering, running in panicked circles on the pillow. Otherwise…the bed was empty.

“Wil?! Wil?!” Dark scrambled to his feet, nearly falling out of the bed in his frenzy. Wilford was nowhere in the room. Growing more panicked by the second, his breathing coming in rapid gasps, he flung open the door, stumbling into the hall. “WIL!

Wilford was nowhere in sight.

One of Dark’s hands fisted in his hair, the other shakily supporting himself against the doorframe. Tears began to prick at the corner of his eyes. He stumbled backwards back into the room. Nonononononononono. Barely conscious of what he was doing, Dark walked over to the bed, gently scooping Bubblegum into his hands, and ripped a hole in the Void, stepping through it and into his office. He slammed a fist onto the intercom button, growling into the mic. “Meeting. Now.”

He tore another hole, and resolved himself to waiting in the meeting room.

Chapter Text

“What’s goin’ on, Dark? Or did you just decide to wake us all up at one in the mornin’ for no reason?” Ed grumbled his question as he wandered into the meeting room, the last to show. Dark didn’t respond right away, his head lying on the table, his face hidden behind his arms. The egos were nervous of Dark’s continued silence. They’d never seen the normally cool and collected demon so disheveled and distraught. Bubblegum was pacing back and forth along his shoulders, chattering endlessly.

“W-wait…where’s Wilford?” King’s remark immediately set the other egos on edge.

Dark finally lifted head. He had clearly been crying. His hair was sticking up in every direction, his white dress shirt rumpled and partially unbuttoned, jacket absent. “Gone.”

Bim paled. “You mean…?”

Dark slowly nodded, lowering his head back to the table.

“How?! Wilford Warfstache is one of the most powerful egos to exist in this Realm, on par with you yourself! How could someone have possibly subdued him?!” Google’s voice seemed to break something within the demon.

“I don’t know!” Dark snapped, banging his fist on the table, raising his head sharply. His aura lashed out briefly, knocking over the plant to right. Bubblegum scampered off his shoulders and darted to King, practically launching herself into his lap. “I don’t know! He should’ve been safe, he should’ve been fine¸ but he’s gone, and I just…” None of the egos were prepared to hear Dark’s quiet sobbing, hands fisted in his hair with his head bowed. “I don’t know what to do…”

“The Host warned Darkiplier.” The blind ego’s voice was soft and hoarse. “He warned Darkiplier, Darkiplier tried, but it wasn’t enough, not enough.” His hands twitched, still slightly stained red. The Silver Shepherd inched closer, obviously preparing to hold the Host down again if necessary. The Host immediately zeroed in on the movement, snapping his head to right. “The Host will not lose control again. The Silver Shepherd would do best to move back to his designated place.” His voice was a sharp hiss, somehow made more threatening by it’s low, hoarse drag.

“…So what do we do now?” Dark shifted his gaze to Cameraman Jim. The twins were pressed together, clutching each other like they were their lifelines.

“We wait.” He held up a hand, silencing the wave of outraged calls, sitting up straighter than he had all meeting. “There’s nothing else to do. We have no leads. No suspects. We just have to wait…and hope…that they want something in return.” He stood, moving sluggishly toward the door. If you looked hard enough, you could see the limp. “Go back to your rooms. Get some sleep. Try to relax, I don’t fucking know. Just know that tomorrow…the search begins. I will tear apart this whole fucking Realm if I have to.” He paused at King’s chair, holding out his hand. Bubblegum, who King had just managed to calm, hopped out of his hold and onto Dark’s hand, climbing up his body and perching on his shoulder.

Dark walked out the door, leaving behind the group of fear-ridden, worried egos.

Chapter Text

As the sun rose, so did the rage.

Dark was furious. His fear and anxiety (which had kept him up the rest of the night, pacing back and forth in his room) had eventually transformed into anger. How dare some inferior being steal what was his? He wasn’t just referring to Wilford; Dark, for whatever reason (perhaps it was the red soul’s influence, some sort of twisted maternal instinct), was extremely territorial and possessive by nature. The egos were his.

And someone had stolen them.

By the time the sun was fully risen, Dark’s room was in shambles, his fury still boiling under his skin. His fear was momentarily drowned by an unquenchable thirst for blood. The ones who did were not going to die slowly, no.

They were going to pay.

After letting his rage die down to a restless simmer, Dark changed from his wrecked, sweaty, ruined suit into a new one, crafting himself to fit the sophisticated, eloquent, dangerous predator of a reputation he’d built for himself. So, hands clasped tightly behind his back, his red and blue duplicates mirroring him to either side, his ringing at a near deafening volume, he stalked toward the kitchen. His aura was so agitated – his souls writhing and screaming within him – that it left gouges in the wall as he passed, his face a perfect impassive mask as destruction radiated out from him.

“Oh! Dark! Y-you’re here!” King’s nervous stutter had the demon narrowing his eyes, especially as Bim ‘subtly’ tried to hide something behind his back.

“What is it that you’re hiding?”

The game show host swallowed nervously, glancing to King and Silver standing on either side of him. “Nothing! Absolutely nothing, yep!”

Dark could feel the growl bubbling in his throat. “I am in no mood to play games, Trimmer. Show me or else.” His aura lashed out, spinning dark around him. Bim paled significantly.

“Wait! Waitwaitwaitwait, hold on, Dark! Can you at least…wait till Google and the Host get here? Please don’t tear me limb from limb, it would just be better if you all saw this at once.”

Dark straightened his back, spine audibly snapping back into place, cracking his neck to do the same. Each noise seemed to make the three painfully guilty egos shrink back further and further. “Fine.”

They nearly collapsed with relief. King spoke up first. “O-okay, great! W-well, I-I-I have to make breakfast, so…uh…” King slowly inched away, eyes flitting everywhere but Dark’s eyes, before darting to the stove, a squirrel tail poking out from beneath his crown in the back.

Dark slid into his chair, growing more impatient by the second. Bim was clearly hiding something important, something to do with the abduction of what belonged to him. Dark fixed the game show host with a burning stare, if only to watch him shift uncomfortably in his seat.

Ed was the next to arrive in the kitchen, clearly irritable from the interruption that night. One look at the quietly seething demon, however, had him immediately subdued, or at least gave him the common sense to keep his mouth shut. He grumbled to himself, pulling his hat over his face as he took his seat.

Google showed up not long after, his three extensions trailing after him. Red, Green, and Oliver rarely left the Google office, preferring to leave the social interaction to the main unit. But, judging by yesterday’s display and the way all four of their logos were glowing brightly, they weren’t planning on standing idly by while Bing was still missing. The androids’ eyes were nearly blinding with how bright they were. Even the more mellow Oliver’s were alive with fury. Dark smirked.

Good.

The Jims slunk in next, oddly nervous and jittery. They sat quietly, taking their place beside Silver, foregoing their usual animated chatter in favor of simply staring blankly at the table, holding tightly to each other’s hands.

Finally, the Host arrived. The blind ego held himself high, hands behind his back. He radiated power, a regal grace about him, the air itself appearing to warp around him. His quiet narrations were no louder than usual, but, combined with power rolling off him in waves and the cold fury that laced every syllable, blood dripping steadily from beneath his bandages, the words were almost visible in the air around him, faint and shimmering and transparent. Every ego had an aura; most were not visible due to the ego lacking the power to manifest it. Dark’s was always visible, as he drew his power from the Void itself. Wilford occasionally manifested his; it was a psychedelic nightmare, bright pink and always trailing glitter. To see the Host’s…it sent shivers down everyone’s spines.

“The Host suggests Bim Trimmer reveal what is behind his back.” A chilling smirk graced the Host’s lips as he stopped short, standing just behind his designated chair. “Else Darkiplier might snap and physically take it.”

Bim swallowed nervously, clearly unsettled by the presence of the normally relatively docile ego’s aura. With shaking hands, he brought the sheet of paper into view. Dark leaned forward, as did all four Googles. The Host remained in place, smirk remaining fixed as his still-bloodstained hands came up to grip the top of the chair. He obviously already knew what it said. “Um…” Bim cleared his throat. “I-It was just in the front hall, just lying there in front of the door. I-I-I didn’t realize what it was until –”

With an animalistic snarl, Dark snatched the paper from Bim’s hands, causing the game show host to let out an undignified squeak before closing his mouth sharply with a clack of his teeth. Dark’s gaze was burning as he scanned the paper. Each line was written in a different hand, scrawled and messy but legible all the same.

Hello, Iplier Manor.

          Boy, did we get the drop on you!

                    Bing was easy, less protected than we thought.

Dr. Iplier literally walked right into our grasp!

                    And Wilford Warfstache…what a privilege it is to grab such a powerful ego

         Right from Darkiplier’s arms no less!

                              Now, listen close…

If you want your ‘precious beloveds’ back again

          You must do exactly as we demand.

                    We are tired

Of living outside the limelight,

         We are tired

                              Of being on the constant edge of fading.

          We don’t want to die.

If you save us

          You can save them.

Tick tock, ‘Main Egos’…

                 Tick tock…

Dark’s hands shook as he read. His shell hadn’t glitched in a long time, but now he was all over the place – shifting from tearing at his hair to weeping openly to screaming to simply staring at the note in his hands, trembling with the force of his rage. They were gloating. They were gloating over their feat of stealing Wilford, over stealing all of them. His vison was beginning to tint with red, his perpetual ringing beginning to hurt even his own ears. He was barely even aware of Google slipping the note from his grasp, too busy seething. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw all four androids flash an angry red, and he stood abruptly, straightening his tie. Red still swamped his vision.

“Red, Green, Oliver, you’re in charge.” His voice was nothing but a low growl, barely understandable through the staticky distortion caused by his furious aura. “Google, Host, follow me. We’re going to take back what’s ours.”

Ed Edgar, Bim Trimmer, the King of the Squirrels, the Jim Twins, and the Silver Shepherd could only watch, frozen with a sick sense of fear, awe, and relief, as three of the most powerful egos in the Realm stalked toward the outside world, brimming with the sadistic need to watch those who did this bleed.

Chapter Text

Dark kept his promise, not leaving a stone unturned as he, the Host, and Google stormed their way through the Ego Realm. The Septic Manor, being the closest to them, was the first to feel their wrath. They tore through it, not even batting an eye as the seven Septics screamed and tried to get their attention. They were ignored. They weren’t who they were trying to find.

They didn’t stop for hours. The Host’s words were becoming more visible, dripping like his sockets, face painted red. They didn’t stop, until the Host collapsed in the middle of a familiar forest, stricken with a vision.

A warehouse, the paint flaking and peeling and rusted. Clearly abandoned and fallen into disrepair.

The Host snorted at the cliché setting. Creativity was apparently not the Minor Ipliers’ strong suit.

Something was wrong. Where the horizon should’ve stretched and the forest gone far, it was only black. The Void, glitching into the edge of the Ego Realm, slowly eating away at the land and growing closer to the decrepit building so foolishly built near.

“The Host, Darkiplier, and Google must hurry.” The Host stood slowly on shaky legs. “The Host knows the way, but they must hurry.”

And the whirlwind of power moved forward, now with a set destination, a set place to concentrate their unbridled, untamable fury. It took them no time at all to get there; the second the Host had given him the description Dark had simply ripped a hole in the Void and guided them through it. The warehouse somehow looked worse in person, falling apart at the seams, the Void looming behind it. It reeked of the Faded.

The door was gone within an instant.

Of the egos they came to save, Dr. Iplier was the only one conscious. He was tied tightly to a wooden chair, his wrists bound to the arms and ankles to the legs, wrists bleeding from straining against them. He was gagged with a filthy piece of cloth, and tear tracks, still shiny and wet from freshly-shed tears, marked his face. His eyes were wide and terrified, bleeding from a gash in his cheek, and making small, desperate whimpering noises. The Host makes a strangled noise in the back of his throat, likely seeing his doctor through his Sight, and he rushed toward him, forgetting everyone else in the room.

To the left of the doctor sat Bing, pinned to a metal chair by clamps around his wrists and ankles. He was slumped over slightly, head bowed, face completely blank, the remaining lens in his shades cracked, the hole left behind by the missing one revealing his shut eyes. He was clearly deactivated, the panel on the back of his neck wide open, leaving his circuitry open the elements. Google visibly glitched, growling low and deep in his chest, before stalking forward to repair and reactivate the younger android.

Wilford though…

Wilford was…fixed to the wall behind them, suspended a good foot or two above the ground, mounted like a prize, a trophy. He was spread eagle, clamps similar to the ones entrapping Bing surrounding his wrists, elbows, ankles, knees, and waist. His head was bowed, eyes closed. Unconscious. The stench of magic in the air revealed the reason why Wilford remained so subdued and asleep, though the way his fingers twitched suggested that the spell was fading.

Dark walked over to him near painfully slowly, his aura lashing out with violence, his shell cracking and leeching the color from the world around him. Almost tentatively, he reached up to cup Wilford’s cheek with one hand, rubbing small circles with his thumb, as if to reassure himself that Wilford was there. He couldn’t focus on anything else, only dimly aware of the sounds of the others.

Choked sobs mixed with gasped words. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, you were right, I should’ve listened to you, I’m sorry –”

“Shh. It was not Dr. Iplier’s fault. He has nothing to be sorry for. The Host is here now, and he will make sure nothing will happen to his doctor ever again. Shh…”

ZAP!

“AH! GOOGLE WHERE ARE YOU SOMEONE HELP PLEASE!

“Bing! Bing, it’s alright, it’s okay, I’m right here! Did they hurt you?”

The stuttering sobs and reassuring whispers only just barely registered within Dark as he continued to stroke Wilford’s cheek. “I’m going to get you out of here, Wil.” His murmur was barely audible to even his own ears. “But first…”

Ḩ͞E͉̗̻̭͐̊̊̽͟͞Y̠͖̪̍̽̓̕ͅ!̧͎̗̈́͛͝

Dark didn’t turn around, only dropping his hand. The whispers of the others had stopped. Dark straightened his tie, holding himself taller. He cracked his neck slowly, each reverberating crack! followed by the appearance of one of his colored reflections. They lorded over everyone in the room, still half merged with Dark’s body. His ringing was deceptively soft. With a flick of his wrist, Dark now held his old relic of a cane, the blue image audibly humming. He spun around, face split in a too-wide, dangerous smile, showing just a little too much teeth.

“Glitch!” His duplicates grew just a little bit taller, sharing the same bone-chilling smile as Dark leaned forward, resting on his cane. “It’s been a while! Looking a little faded there.”

The Minor ego snarled. “W͍͕̍̔h͓̮͆̓at̢̹̔̋ ̨͋ạ̡͑͞rę̺̽͂ yo͚̒ṷ̠̌ ̰̠̽͐d͎͐o̻̒î̹̱͋n̙͈͐̉g̞̻̋͐ ͕̰̔h̫̑ẻ̛͇̲ŗ̳̿̇e?̜͆”

Dark’s smile widened, head cocking to the side. “You stole what belongs to  m e .” He stood straight, arms partially spread, cane perfectly balanced upright. “I’m here to take them back.” Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw Google flash an angry red and the Host summon his metal, bloodstained bat with a few muttered words, both standing protectively over the petrified egos.

Glitchiplier growled. “N̦̅o.̡͐ ͔̇W̠̎e̯͉̅̈ ̔͢ŏ̞̣̕utn̞̑̕͜u̮̓m͎͑be̳͘r̜̙̈͘ ͉͒y̠̋̕͢o̟͛ŭ̪̔ͅ. ̨̣́̓T̟̉h̙̓i͉̫̎́s̯̺̏̋ h̪̕a̻̯͆̆ś̞ ̫̍ṭ̚ỏ̡̗̑ ̜̠̔̕ẅ̳́or̚͢k̪,̣̍ w̝e̼̱͒̎ ̟̽d̡͒͟ö͍́n͙͒'͚͘t̮̾ ̰̊̚͟wa͔͇̓͂n͎̭̈̉ṫ̡ ̥͂t̪͔͒ǫ̙̇ d̜̟͛͆i̠͆ē̜.̭̟̆͞”

Dark leaned back on his cane, one arm folded across it, the other on top and propping up his chin. “Outnumbered, hm?” As if on cue, five more faded and translucent egos walked into the warehouse, seemingly appearing out of thin air: Dapper Mark, Goopiplier, Maskiplier, Mark Bop, and Chefiplier. Dark’s eyes flashed with delight. “Ooh! You weren’t kidding!” His smile faded a little. “Tell me, ‘Minor Ipliers’…” He couldn’t help the twinge of satisfaction as the six inferiors’ expressions glowed with anger at the demeaning category. “…do you know what happens when you invoke the wrath of the most powerful demon in existence, a man with more than enough sadism and the powers of a god, and an android with the strength, capability, and desire to wipe out an entire species?” The Minors had the decency to shift nervously – except for Glitch. He simply stared at Dark, glowing with defiance. Dark’s eyes gleamed. His two reflections raised their respective arms – the blue on the left raising its left, the red raising its right.

Dark didn’t move a muscle.

The demon’s smile dropped. Every piece of glass in the building shattered in unison as his ringing abruptly grew deafening and painful, breaching a whole new threshold. The more faded egos – Dapper, Goop, and Bop – collapsed, clutching their ears. His cane vanished, hands clasped behind his back, and he stalked forward slowly, his goliaths of duplicates trailing behind him, arms still outstretched, his ringing growing louder with ever step until even the Host and Google were wincing.

Dark stopped short, only a foot away from the line of fading, desperate egos. Another flick of his wrist behind his back and those not already on the floor were forced to their knees. Only Glitch seemed to have the strength and sheer insolence to bare his teeth at Dark, hissing lowly. Dark chuckled without mirth, bending down to grab his chin, forcing the obsolete ego’s mismatched eyes to meet his own. “Did you think there would not be consequences?” His words were a borderline purr. His head cocked to the side. “Or are your minds so far gone with the pathetic, struggling desperation to live that you are no longer capable of thinking clearly? It doesn’t entirely matter, because either way…” His face split into a wide, cold, terrifying grin. “…You don’t have to be desperate anymore.”

Dark stepped back, dropping Glitch’s chin to resume his posture, reflections mirroring him at last. He watched through cold, impassive eyes as Glitch’s expression shifted from foolish stubbornness to fear in an instant, Dark’s aura creeping up his body like a black mist. He spun around, beginning to walk back over to Wilford, closing his eyes and humming as he listened to Glitch’s terrified, panicked cries. A sickening crack! echoed through the warehouse, followed immediately by deafening silence. Dark paused, glancing over his shoulder at the horrified faces of the five remaining Minors, at the slumped, broken body of Glitch, his neck bent at an impossible angle, eyes wide and glassy. He resumed walking, expression unchanging.

“Have fun with the rest of them,” he called back, waving one hand in vague expression. “Try not to get too much blood on your clothes; Silver’ll throw a fit.” The response of pained screams and the sound of blunt objects forcefully connecting with flesh were like music to his ears. He looked up at Wilford, reaching up to pat his cheek lightly. “Wil. Time to wake up.”

Wilford groaned softly, eyelids fluttering. His brow furrowed, head lifting slowly. “Wh…wha…?” His slurred accent was thicker as he tried to open his eyes. After thirty seconds of struggle, he finally succeeded, squinting at Dark. “D…Dark? Why’re you…” Suddenly his eyes shot wide, clearly taking in the scene behind the demon. The screams had stopped, but the dull thuds continued, the Host and Google obviously intent on not stopping till the six offenders were nothing but bloody stains on the floor. Wilford’s body jerked in surprise, and then he was glancing around at himself, at his position. His breathing began to come in rapid gasps. “What the fuck?!

“Hey, calm down, it’s alright, Wil! Can you get yourself down or do I have to do it?” Wilford took a moment to steady his breathing before closing his eyes again, eyebrows furrowed. And then suddenly he was stumbling into Dark’s arms, legs giving out beneath him. “Whoa! Are you okay?”

Wilford didn’t answer. “Wha’s goin’ on…?” His accent remained thick, even more slurred than usual.

Dark gave him a fond smile, kissing his forehead. “You were…stolen from me. I came to rescue you.”

The bubblegum man hummed low in his throat, snuggling against Dark’s chest. “My hero.”

The demon laughed, pressing another kiss to Wilford’s hair. Without warning, he scooped the other up, carrying him bridal style and turning toward the exit. He spotted the Host, bat nowhere to be seen, picking at the last of the ropes binding Dr. Iplier to the chair, Google busy snapping the metal cuffs keeping Bing secured. What remained of the Minor Egos was a massive, bloody, pulpy puddle in the center of the warehouse. He could see bits of hair, muscle, flaps of skin, chips of bone, even an eyeball floating around in it. He wrinkled his nose in disgust, tearing a hole in the Void simply to avoid stepping through it. He turned to face the others. Google was carrying Bing much the same way he was Wilford, Dr. Iplier clinging to the Host’s arm like he might disappear if he let go, shaking like a leaf. He glanced down at Wilford in his arms; he was fast asleep, arms thrown loosely around his neck.

“Let’s go home.”