The mindscape was quiet. Far too quiet, in Roman’s opinion. Patton wasn’t on the couch and watching cartoons, nor was he humming cheerfully as he made something in the kitchen. There wasn’t even the quiet and comforting presence of Virgil curled up on the couch with his headphones, or Logan in the chair with his book. Heck, even Deceit or his brother would have been a welcome presence at this point. Roman just wanted something to soothe the eerie silence that had fallen over the mindscape.
“You don’t seem perplexed,” a voice piped up from behind Roman. He whirled around, summoning his sword in a flash. Deceit was standing behind him, and he gave a faux friendly wave.
“What did you do to them?” Roman snarled. Deceit rolled his eyes.
“Yes, because I would totally kidnap the others to get to you,” he scoffed.
“Tell me where they are, you Boa Cons-trickster!” Roman demanded, putting the tip of his sword to Deceit’s chest. He let out a sigh, putting his hands up in surrender.
“I have no idea where they are, and I don’t know who took them,” Deceit replied evenly, staring Roman down as if he was trying to drill a hole through his skull with his gaze.
“Stop being coy, and give it to me straight! Even if we’re gay,” he huffed, sword lowering slightly. Deceit raised an eyebrow.
“Surely you can’t be this dumb.”
“Excuse me?! Get to the point, Severus Snake!”
“I know what I said. Now think, Roman, if you’re even capable of doing so. Who among us has a particular bone to pick with you?” Deceit asked, voice dripping with disdain and annoyance. Roman pondered this for a moment, and his face went pale.
“Remus,” he gasped out.
“So the magnificent Prince Roman is more than just charm,” Deceit sneered. Roman grit his teeth together at that, but lowered his sword completely. He turned to head towards Remus’s room, but paused to glance back at Deceit.
“Why even help me, in your weird, backwards way?” Roman asked, puzzlement taking over his features. Deceit’s expression softened for the briefest of moments, but in the blink of an eye he was back to the usual cunning glint in his eyes.
“I’d rather everyone be alive for what I have planned for Thomas’s future… but I’m sure Remus would never dream of killing them,” Deceit replied, then sunk out before Roman could say anything more. Icy cold fear gripped at his heart, and Roman took a deep breath before heading off to Remus’s room with a white-knuckled grip on his sword.
Remus’s room was dark when Roman stormed in. He could hear the squelching sound of something slick and slimy trailing along a surface. Roman tried his best not to shudder, and raised his sword higher, squinting in the darkness to try and make anything out.
The sound of fingers snapping was heard, and torches burst into flame along the walls. Roman’s surroundings were revealed to be the foyer of a castle, with green banners that had Remus’s symbol proudly displayed on them. Remus himself stood in the center of the foyer, and Roman’s stomach dropped when he saw the source of the squelching sound… as well as what accompanied it.
There were tentacles sprouting from Remus’s back, and three of them had a tight grip on the missing sides. Patton and Logan were limp in the tentacles’ grip, but seemed to be breathing, as far as Roman could tell. Virgil, on the other hand, was squirming relentlessly against them. But the tentacles held fast, despite their slick and slippery surface.
“Roman! I’m so glad you could join us,” Remus exclaimed, grinning cruelly.
“Let them go,” Roman demanded, trying to keep his voice from shaking.
“Aw, but we’ve been having so much fun! Haven’t we, Virgie?” Remus asked, his tentacles bringing Virgil down so that they were face to face. Virgil glared at him, baring his teeth and hissing. Remus’s demented grin shifted into a scowl, and Roman’s heart clenched in fear for Virgil.
“Ya know, Virgie, that little hissing habit of yours has always been obnoxious… wonder if there’s a way we can fix that,” he growled, ignoring Roman’s interjection. The tentacle holding Virgil coiled tighter around him and slithered up his body until it reached his neck. Virgil’s eyes went wide and a choked sound escaped his lips as the tentacle squeezed tighter. He squirmed with renewed vigor, but the part of the tentacle around his neck contracted again, and Roman’s eyes flew wide at the strangled sounds coming from Virgil’s mouth as he desperately tried to draw in air.
“Stop it, you’ll kill him!” Roman cried. Remus gave him an incredulous, confused stare, but the tentacle loosened and Virgil sagged in its grip, taking shuddering, gasping breaths.
“That was… kinda the point? How else was I supposed to get him to stop hissing,” Remus said, rolling his eyes like Roman had missed something obvious.
“Why you- you know what? Nevermind. What do you want with them anyway? I’m the one you’ve got a problem with! Just let them go, and we can talk this out!” Roman pleaded. There was silence for a brief moment, as if Remus was considering Roman’s offer… but he soon broke into maniacal laughter instead.
“Oh Roman, it’s not just you I have an issue with! Sure, Thomas likes you better and that’s irritating, but the others are irritating too! Logan always rationalizes things and nullifies me, Patton is so insistent on being good and perfect, and Virgil was a big ol’ party pooper and went to go join you losers!” Remus spat, his spare tentacles convulsing with anger.
“Now don’t you fret, I’ll give you a chance to save them… but the question is, can you save them in time?” he crooned, grinning wickedly. Roman opened his mouth to give a witty and courageous retort, but unbeknownst to him, one of Remus’s tentacles had been slithering its way behind Roman. It held his morning star in its grip, and Virgil tried to shout out a warning. But before he could, the tentacle bashed the morning star against Roman’s skull, and his vision swam into darkness as he crumpled to the ground.