Everett Wen sat before the pillar of flesh, pristine as ever, the mass of writhing blackness contorting to his will. Nyarlathotep obeyed his thoughts, how whims - now he had the power of a god, and sat revelling in the blood and the psychic anguish. He could understand every voice, and took the time to provide the most exquisite nightmares for each of their permanently dreaming minds. A boy of six, who was about to watch the blackness envelope him - about to take away his very essence of life...
The sound of his own neck cracking against the pressure of the leather shoe was a mild shock, but no more. He opened his eyes to see the foot's owner - Sherrinford Armstrong, clad in a fresh white suit. Wen smiled a little, and allowed his instinct to take control.
His velvet clad arm shot out to grab the leg and twist, but it was drawn back instantly. Another kick struck out at him, but this time he managed to snatch his foot from the air and swing the leg to the right - Armstrong flew along with it, crashing into a ruined wall nearby. He struggled to his feet, choking on the dust and the black blood rising to his throat, and sharply blocked the brick thrown to his head.
Wen leapt for him, and missed by millimetres as Armstrong swerved a perfect 180 degrees, launching a backward kick into his hip with a slight crunch as he sailed though the air. Wen gracefully landed, but struggled to stand properly again. A straight punch to the face knocked him to his backside, and he scrambled to his feet.
"You could have just set your beast on me, Everett," Armstrong laughed. "Have you underestimated me? Or do you just want to die this time?" He ran for him, grabbing Everett by the throat and beginning to crush his windpipe - only to be met by a swift open hand strike to the solar plexus and a solid right hook to the jaw. The pain was momentary, but enough for Everett to get to the pillar of organs.
He thirsted his hand within the altar, and golden ichor flowed out onto his hands, changing the pigmentation to an inky black, writhing on his bones and shifting constantly. He smiled, and held his arm out - in response, five long sharp tendrils of darkness launched out at Armstrong, quivering as they prepared to taste blood.
The first tendril was easy enough to dodge with a single step - the second and third came at 10 and 6, with the forth aiming sat right for the heart, causing Armstrong to leap and twist in midair, the fourth missing him by a hair. The fifth, however, latched onto his wrist and began to crush the bone, constricting tighter and tighter as it began to drag him towards the altar.
He was to join them.
She remembered the night well. She remembered how, when she had hauled that corpse to the castle in Ingolstadt, that the chance of saving this life was next to nothing. But she had to try. This one didn't deserve to die, and especially not because of her. The bastard had gone too far with his desire for power, and this mortal - this boy did not deserve to die for such a twisted vision.
She had lived for two hundred years now, and she had seen more than enough suffering and ennui. Now she had a chance to start mending things. She reached the door, and pushed on the heavy oak as it creaked open.
Inside, all the tools that would be needed were set out, just as she had had that meddler Victor promise. If a mortal could create life with these objects, then a vampire could restore it easily.
Armstrong focused his mind again, willing himself into the state of mind he needed.
Remember, Sherrinford. Remember.
His eyes flashed open. He noticed Wen stood with his feet at right angles to one another -that meant a certain lack of balance. He was standing directly in front of the altar of organs, and the same inky blackness was beginning to work its way through the flesh. A little calculation, and he was ready.
He reached his hand into his left pocket, and palmed a small crescent blade before beginning to struggle. As expected, the tendril began to pull harder, and he could see a certain strain on Wen's face - the crescent blade flashed out and sliced the tendril, causing it to snap back and send Wen stumbling backwards into the pillar, being swallowed into the inky darkness.
After three nights, the slight psychic resonance left in this one was fading fast. The Contessa had to work quickly to complete this, or she would be left with just another corpse. But having travelled from Ingolstadt to here - these strange Swedish mountains nearby Götaland, gleaming with golden light - to see exactly what was needed.
The transfusion began.
Armstrong watched as the darkness retreated into the ground, the ink black spiralling into nothingness, and the corrupted flesh collapsed from the altar to leave pools of tainted blood. A whisper travelled on the wind - so slight, it was almost imperceptible.
Still alive, clever boy. Still alive.