When 17 year old Jarvis Coupe finally gets his own apartment with his pet Bujje, the notorious group dubbed The Swarm come to his apartment to join their cause. Little do they know, Beelzebub has had his eyes on Jarvis long before they did. Unfortunately, Jarvis has no choice in what side he chooses and things take a turn for the worse.
“So this is what living alone is like” a boy said as he rearranged himself on his futon. He tilted his head to view the TV. A news anchor spoke of ship fragments that had come down from orbit. It was somehow related to the New Sarum incident. With a click of the remote, the channel changed to an old army movie. He struggled to keep his eyes open. Reaching down to the side of his futon, he grabbed the energy drink and brought it up to his mouth. The brown liquid dripped down the side of his face and he sat up before any more spilt.
“Crap.” The boy said. Looking down he saw the drink drip onto his shirt. He wiped it off avoiding it from going anywhere else. Bringing the can back to his mouth, he swung back his head and chugged the rest of it. His eyes widened as the drink took its effect. The light began to dim down and his vision became clearer. The screen was filled with bullets and shades of red. He became immersed in his own world.
Endless possibilities of stories came to him as he watched. Scenarios began flashing through his head like a slide show. Knights in armor, alien soldiers, and monsters from hell. It was all simply random thoughts connected with a plot line. It was a world he could create without having to deal with society.
A jolt went through his body as he felt a buzz on his leg. Someone was calling. Reaching down into his pocket he put it beside him and put it on speaker.
“Hello?” he said leaning back into his futon.
“Is this Jarvis Coupe?” the phone said. The voice was familiar. It may have been a student from one of his classes. He couldn’t pinpoint it. He reached in his pocket to play with his lighter to keep himself amused.
“It might be. Who is this?” Jarvis said slightly annoyed. He put away his lighter in case he ended up burning anything down. For someone to call him at one in the morning was unexpected. Also obnoxious.
“Mack Yoife. Remember me from gym class?” Jarvis didn’t take gym because he was diagnosed with osteonecrosis in his upper legs.
“No. I don’t.” Jarvis took a breath and hung up his phone. While swiping through the many apps he had, there was a feeling that he should call back. Before he had a chance, there was the sound of paws padding at a door. Jarvis turned his head around to see the source. There was nothing. But even still, he swung his legs off of his futon and searched for the source. Tripping over empty pizza boxes and energy drink bottles, he eventually made his way over to the bathroom door behind the futon. He opened the door revealing a small lizard like creature about the size of a large cat. It was his Bujje.
Bujje’s were genetically created reptiles that were used to balance the Hawaiian ecosystem but were soon domesticated once it was obvious they could be trained. They were modeled off of geckos but created larger so that there would be the ability to eat the eggs of non-native birds. The most interesting aspect is that their front hands only had three fingers (two index fingers and a backwards facing but powerful ‘thumb’). They were constructed this way to that they would be able to crush hard fruit such as coconuts and it also rendered claws useless for tree climbing. There were also extended membranes along the side of its body and on its tail for an unknown reason.
“How long were you stuck in there?” Jarvis said to the Bujje. It only stared back at him and let out a low hum. Before Jarvis could say another word, the Bujje climbed up his leg and clung on to the back of his shirt. Thankfully, Bujje’s were mostly hollow boned making the weight barely noticeable.
The Bujje rested his head on Jarvis’s shoulder and let out another hum. Sensing that the Bujje was hungry, Jarvis walked into the kitchen and opened a cabinet that was beside the fridge. The Bujje jumped down as soon as the coconuts came into view. As Jarvis walked back to his futon, the noise of the coconut shattering to pieces echoed through the house. He turned around to see coconut pieces all over the floor. He sighed and continued to make his way back to his futon. He laid down on the futon stretching his legs and kept his eyes on the TV. Another buzz. Jarvis grabbed the phone, and answered.
“What?” he said into the phone annoyed. Communication was something that he tried to avoid.
“It’s Mack.” The phone responded in a harsh tone.
“I know that. What do you want? It’s four in the morning. I have the news to watch.” He said, struggling to keep himself from slurring.
“Listen, I am part of a group. We help each other get things.”
“What kind of things?”
“Money, cigars, drugs…”
“Not interested.” Jarvis said to the phone. Jarvis tended to keep away from those things and he wasn’t about to join something that would pressure him into doing anything of the sort.
“The Swarm could benefit you Jarvis. We can help each other.” The voice said trying to convince Jarvis. He wouldn’t give into some amateur gang.
“Go to hell.” Jarvis said. He hung up the phone without hesitation and took out the battery. He wouldn’t be taking any more phone calls. The news anchor on the TV spoke of The Swarm just as he turned off his phone. This wasn’t the first time he had heard of them. From what he knew, the Swarm was a bunch of low life’s trying to manage the city. All members wore sleek, white masks that covered every aspect of their face. It seemed as if they thought of the masks as uniting them as one entity. There were portions of the group that were more peaceful while others went around town with baseball bats and brass knuckles. That’s the portion Mack Yoife was in.
A low hum redirected Jarvis’s thoughts to the kitchen. The Bujje was trying to reach up to the kitchen cabinet to look for more food. It was obvious it was starving. It was unusual. Bujje’s could be satisfied with a rat and not eat for months.
“Nervous buddy?” Jarvis said to the Bujje. Jarvis got up, once again, to go and calm down the Bujje. Reaching down he rubbed its scaled back hoping to calm it down. “I never did give you a name did you?” Jarvis said. The Bujje hummed happily as Jarvis rubbed his side. It reached up and wrapped its hand around Jarvis arm and started pulling on it trying to climb up. Jarvis began to think of any name that might fit his only friend. Jack, Eli, and Maars were names that all came to mind. Maars was known to be the Daedra of time. It kind of fit the Bujje’s personality. Jarvis thought and thought and at the back of his head one name came to mind.
Beelzebub. The Daedra of death and chaos. Why would that name come to his mind? From what Jarvis knew about Cleric mythology, Beelzebub was equal to humanities’ Grimm Reaper. Apparently, whenever the name was thought or spoken of, death was soon to come.
Six loud bangs at his door redirected his attention breaking his train of thought.
“Eli, bed!” Jarvis said to the Bujje. Surprisingly, the Bujje knew immediately that his name for now on would be Eli. The Bujje leapt off of Jarvis’s arm and ran out of sight. Jarvis’s thoughts turned sour quickly as he approached the door. He peered out to see the dumbasses that had the nerve to show up to his house at this time of night. Three sleek white masks peered back. There was a low mumble form the other side of the door as the masks turned to each other. “Get out of here!” Jarvis said, “I don’t want to be involved in your cult!” Jarvis said the immediate thoughts that came to his head. There was no use in hiding feelings or trying not to offend anyone. He turned away from the masks and started heading back to his futon.
Six more knocks, louder this time, turned him back around once again ruining his train of thought.
“We just want to talk,” said one of the masks, “I know that we will be able to help each other out. Just let us in and open up a few beers. We have lots to discuss before you join us.”
“Fracking cult” Jarvis thought to himself. He walked away from the door once again. As he turned the corner he made a suggestive signal with his hand clearly so that the masks could see. There was some more yelling and some banging at the door but it ceased to get Jarvis’s attention once more.
A loud shatter did in fact bring his attention back to them. Jarvis went back around the corner to see that the window in the door had been shattered to pieces. “Hey buddy, all I wanted to do was talk…” said one of the masks. It sounded like Mack. It was so very obvious that is was him; there was hardly even a point of wearing a mask. One of the other masks reached through the hole and turned the knob from the inside. As it swung open, the mask that sounded like Mack stepped through the door with a bat swung over his shoulder. The other two were right behind him. The three stood there staring like they were part of some rock band or navy battalion.
“Get some beer Holmes.” The leading mask said as he took off his mask. It was Mack. He continued speaking as he handed the bat to the remaining mask, “What do you have in this house? Bud light I suppose? Keith’s even? Anything will do. We don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.”
“You should be.” Jarvis said as his hands grew into fists, “There’s no beer here anyway, and I suggest you go get wasted somewhere else.” The mask that had managed to get into the kitchen was rummaging through his fridge pulling out everything that wasn’t alcoholic. Soon enough, all of the contents were on the floor.
“There’s nothing in here. Besides coconuts, waffles, pop, and jam.” The mask who Jarvis assumed was Holmes said.
“Not a problem. Grab the pop.” Mack had said with a smile as he entered the rest of the house with the other mask following behind him. “Any matter, we are the Swarm. And I know you have a talent for doing things others won’t. That’s why I need you with us.” Mack had said with a serious tone. “There’s a man carrying a Daedra soul in his body by the name ‘The Puppeteer’…”
“I could give a crap about a Daedra on earth again. If it’s causing you problems, I think it has the right to be here.” Jarvis said walking forward. Jarvis’s hands were twitching. Instinct told him to tear Mack’s throat out. But Mack had done nothing yet. It would be pointless. Beelzebub. Again the name popped into his head. But why? Why was this name constantly running through his head? The mask behind Mack stepped out in front to stop him from advancing.
Six clicks came from the kitchen bring his attention to something worth watching.
A small but powerful military grade E-11 plasma pistol was aimed at Jarvis. He didn’t move. Mack began to speak as he walked past Jarvis into his living room. “There’s something I’ve learned over the past couple years. Everyone around us thinks that they are the biggest shit around town. And they act like it too! Do you remember hearing of Dr. Hevas from the New Sarum incident? Perfect example. Same with Neil Black. Where did they end up? Dead. All because they think that they're the biggest shit around and can’t help out the little guys.” Mack laid down on the futon and turned off the TV. His eyes did not leave Jarvis’s stare. “But guess what! When they finally looked Death in the eyes what did they see? Answer, the pile of crap that they have become. Now Jarvis, my good friend. Look into my eyes. I may not be Death or the Creator, but I know that you will see that too. You could be more with the Swarm. Take my mask. Shield your sight from Death’s glare. Join us.”
“I have no problem with meeting Death’s glare.” Jarvis said.
“Big words for someone in a position that you’re in. You may have to meet his glare tonight!” Mack said with a smile. A low hum came from behind the unknown mask.
“What the bloody hell is on my back?” the mask said. The voice was recognized as an English student that also went to Jarvis’s school, but he was unsure about his name. Jarvis focused a bit more and he saw Eli climbing up the masks back. “Take it off!” the mask said obviously scared beyond possibility.
“Relax Stace, it’s only a lizard. What harm could it do?” Mack said. Jarvis looked back at Holmes and he was still aiming with one hand but drinking a coke that he had found. “And Holmes, if Jarvis takes a single step…just pop his head.” A couple minutes past and Mack had said nothing. He only sat and stared at Jarvis waiting for him to give in. Eli was now wrapped around Stace’s head making itself comfortable.
“Ok I can’t take this! Take it off! Just take it off it feels so strange!” it was obvious there was fear in the air. Eli was getting agitated as well. Eli’s feet gripped onto Stace but he only froze.
“Dammit Stace!” said Mack with agitation clear in his voice, “Just pop off the lizard!” Jarvis couldn’t move. Eli was everything to him, but there was nothing he could do. Holmes aimed the gun at Eli and readied his shot. Just as he pulled the trigger, Jarvis threw an air freshener can in his direction distracting him. The loud and distinct boom of the shot rang through the house as it collided with a body. Stace’s body. Within seconds Stace exploded into a cloud of blood leaving a shadow on the walls. Mack’s face had contorted into a face of disgust, fear, and anger all at the same time.
Eli had leapt off of Stace just before the impact leaving him unharmed. He was now hanging on a chandelier hissing at Holmes believing that he had intended to kill the human he was atop of only a few moments ago. Another shot left the gun and left a hole about five feet in the ceiling. Eli was once again, unscathed.
Mack got up and ran towards Jarvis. If Mack would be unable to convince Jarvis to join him, there was no use in keeping him alive. He pulled a knife from his back pocket and charged forward. Jarvis hardly moved to parry the attack. He brought his forearm up underneath Mack’s and pushed him backwards.
“Leave now!” Jarvis said yelling as hard as he could. His voice had become deeper. He wasn’t sure why though.
“Screw you! You’re going to hell.” Mack said. There was a scramble in the kitchen as Holmes was walking backwards trying to escape the Bujje’s line of sight. It jumped down from the chandelier and started advancing towards him. Jarvis and Mack ceased to notice anything.
Mack charged again and successfully rammed the knife into Jarvis’s shoulder. Jarvis was expecting extreme amounts of pain from this. There was no feeling. He pulled it out and tossed it aside and Mack was amazed. A scream from the kitchen brought both of the boy’s attention. Holmes had at some point fallen on the ground in his attempt to escape Eli but it was no use. Eli was on top of his chest with both of his arms wrapped together and bent in an unnatural way by Eli’s tail. Still advancing Eli looked at the human head. Holmes struggled to get the lizard off but it was no use. Eli put his ‘hands’ on Holmes head and steadied himself.
There was no emotion on Eli’s face. Mainly because he was a lizard and there weren’t enough muscles in his face to display emotions. Then it started. The cracking of the white mask began quickly and slowly escalated into Holmes screams of pain. The lizard readjusted its ‘hands’ again so that it covered most of Holmes head. Eli’s muscles contracted tensing his grip. Holmes laid on the ground kicking and squirming and screaming. Then a loud crack. Pieces of the bloody mask flew up into the air as seven more cracks followed. Then the screaming stopped.
Jarvis turned around to see that Mack had disappeared He frantically scanned the room hoping that Mack hadn’t taken the chance to plan a surprise attack. He had, but not on Jarvis. Mack had made his way up to the kitchen and had gotten beside Holmes’s shattered body. He kicked Eli off of the body and pinned his tail down to the ground. Eli snapped at his legs but it was no use. Mack swung back, and kicked Eli’s small skull knocking him unconscious. Then another crack. Seven of them. Seven stomps onto Eli’s body rendering him useless, defenseless, and dead.
“There. Three things dead tonight! It seems someone was right about Death being here!” Mack yelled wiping the blood off of his face. “And I hope this teaches you…” Mack’s speech was interrupted by a hand around his throat and was shoved against a wall. He stared directly into Jarvis’s eyes. Mack let out a pathetic sound trying to speak. Jarvis’s face turned sour and he let go of his throat. He stepped back and looked at Mack. Mack only smiled.
“Giving up that easy? You couldn’t join the Swarm anyways. You’re weak.” He said laughing. Jarvis bent over and put his hand on top of Eli’s body allowing his hand to be covered in the Bujje’s blood.
“You know what they say about Bujje blood? They say it makes people immortal. Makes them one with their Bujje…so that they can live longer” Jarvis said staring into Mack’s eyes. Jarvis took his bloody middle finger, and stuck it deep inside his cut in his shoulder. The Bujje blood immediately started bonding with his own.
Mack charged without a weapon towards Jarvis. He punched his stomach, but there was no effect. He had no feeling what-so-ever. Jarvis grabbed his hand and flung him back against the wall.
“Finish me! The Puppeteer will only come for you next!” Mack said laughing unnaturally.
“Yes, eventually. But only after the Swarm is eradicated.” Jarvis picked up the air freshener can that he had thrown up and reached in his pocket and grabbed a lighter. “Mack. You may be Death incarnated, but I am not. I have free will and a list of vengeance. Starting with you. I am now, the Komodo. My name. My disguise. The blood of Eli immediately makes me a dragon chimera. I may be insane, but no more than you. I hope you burn in wherever you end up.” Jarvis said with a deep tone. Jarvis light the lighter and put it in front of the air freshener and pushed down. Within seconds Mack was burnt to a crisp along with the rest of his house.
Within two weeks of getting his own place, he had burnt it to the ground. Jarvis sat down in the very middle of it all and closed his eyes. A voice came to the back of his head.
“You are now the messenger of death and chaos. You are my proxy. My avatar. My incarnate. You have no choice in the matter. Your morals are gone. You will be new. You are the Komodo.” Jarvis couldn’t get the voice out of his head even as he tried plugging his ears. The cinder around him made him extremely uncomfortable and very hot.
A wallet appeared in his hands and he opened it. It reads “Mack Yoife” but it had his face on it. It was impossible. He bent his head down and relived the past hour in his head.
It was horror. He cried and cried until his face was dry. His skin had become rough and a small tail had grown on his back.
It was still horror. A beer appeared in his hands and he drank. It tasted like crap but he did anyway. There was no choice.
It was all horror.