Other Stories

The Shadows

By: Drust

A clean cut Penguin made his way through the heavy doors of the tavern, standing out greatly from the rough crowd in its walls. He was tall, strong built, with auburn feathers and bright green eyes. His flippers held a slight pointed edge to them, and along with the light leather armor he wore, he would have stood out greatly amongst a crowd of beings such as yourself. No, the situation was quite the opposite, he was the most normal.

Around him demons brawled, some with bizarre, fantastic bright colored hair and eyes, others completely black and white from their skin to their eyes. They were either brawling and knocking over furniture or blissfully and drunkenly unaware of their surroundings and slurred out old bar tunes. The man’s presence went unnoticed.

He made his way past the unsightly crowd to the back of the tavern — where booths remained empty — save for one monochromatic woman smoking idly; breathing out orange and blue smoke that wafted towards the ceiling, smogging up the already toned down yellow lights that hung above the seating. Farther back from her, the second-to-last booth on the left, was the other figure. She wore a completely black cloak with the hood pulled up and over her head to where only a person could catch a glimpse of her pale beaks every once in a while as she talked. Her back was leaned against the wall and the tips of her flippers rested on the edge of the red cushioned seat. Her unseen gaze was kept forward even as the newcomer sat on the opposite side of the booth. He leaned in and clasped his hands together, staring intently at the cloaked figure for her to speak first.

“So, you’re the one who has requested my assistance, aye?” The hooded figure’s voice flowed out low and smooth, sending a slight chill down the other’s spine. “Y…Yes. I did.” He began, trying to hold his voice firm. With a clearing of his throat he followed up with: “To confirm, my name is IceyFeet1234, Ice Warriors leader. I’m indeed the one who asked you for information about Drust.”

This pulled an odd chuckle from the woman in black as she finally turned her head to face Icey, the hood completely shutting out her face and leaving only a crooked smile to be seen. “You really mustn’t be from around here. Everyone knows of our great warrior. Or at least, the surface stories. Tell me, where do you hail from?”

“I’m not the one to be discussed, you’ll have no information on me.” Icey held firm. “I’m here to learn everything there is to know about the one you call your savior, Drust. What I’m truly after is her past.”

“Not her weaknesses?” The other inquired. “I’m well versed in those already.” Icey responded. “Well, If you insist. Settle down, please, as this is one hell of a tale to tell. Ah, waitress~” “I’m off duty.” The smoking woman snapped harshly, not turning to look at her as she took another puff.

“Well, whenever you’ve decided to earn your keep again, bring me and my friend what I usually order for such meetings.” The woman simply rolled her eyes at her words and continued her bad habit as she watched another brawl in the rowdy part of the tavern break out.

“Well! To know of Drust, you must know of her family.” The informer began. “Her father was a Demon Lord, the leader of the first band of Monochromatics before the species population exploded. He was a well liked lord, well respected, well known. Her mother was a prominent woman in the demon community of, well, the town that stood here before the Inner City was built. But we’ll embellish on that later. Together they had five children. Dash the oldest, then McHappy, then Boomer, then Janda, then Drust. Drust and her sister Janda were the only two to be born with the Monochromatic mutation — Her father was a pure blood and her mother held three fourths of the gene, or something of the like.

“Their family was very close. All of the children grew up with happy, content lives. Drust of all of them was the happiest, most enthusiastic, kindest child of them all.” She paused at that point and gave a chortle. “I never cease to find that part amusing. So ironic~ Ahh, but anyways — One day something terrible happened. Her father vanished! Simply up and left his wife, children, followers — everything. To this day, he’s still considered missing in action to those who know of him.

“Her mother was ever so sad, as you could imagine. Over time she just kept spiraling down and down until she hit rock bottom and went absolutely mad. She started to hear things, see visions, and began to recite strange stories to her children of the dark god Bluesockwa1 who was to be reborn. They would often cast her odd behavior to the side, excusing it on their father’s absence, though they shouldn’t have! Oh, but they didn’t know how bad it would escalate…

“On a dreadful December morning, the brothers and sisters woke up to find themselves in a dark, small, confined room with metal walls and metals floors, no windows and only one door! They panicked at first before coming together to figure out how to escape or at least survive. But one held back. Drust stayed in the corner she woke up in, and mad, mad things began to run through her head. She didn’t know it then, only time brought about the realization that an unknown voice had possessed her and caused her to do what she did next.

“The only other object in the room was a staff the others had somehow managed to overlook in the darkness. Drust picked it up and stared at it. The voice began to tell her how her sisters and brothers’ plan actually involved killing poor Drust off first and that the only way to live was to kill them all herself.”

The story teller paused as she watched the waitress throw the burned out smoke on the floor and grumble, get up, and get back to work. She turned back to Icey who had leaned in even more with eager, his eyes wide. “And then?” He asked.

“And then? And then she went and did it, is what. She hacked them all up with an incredible power backing him up. It was all a blur and happened so fast. Blood was sprayed everywhere. It coated the walls, the floors, and when the little demon came to from her possessed state, she looked at what she had done and wept. Her brothers held no chance.”

Icey leaned back from his chair and exhaled. “That’s certainly something. Do you know the force that drove her to do it?”

“Unfortunately, that even escapes my infinite knowledge. But don’t be disappointed! This story is far from over. You see, she was locked in that room for about a month. As you I’m sure know, the penguin species can live off of much less than a demon for a much longer time, but she was still forced to…well I’ll be blunt, eat her brothers and sister to stay alive. Most of them were hacked up too badly to gain any unspoiled bits from, but she did what she had to do.”

“On December 21st, the door had opened again. It was her crazed mother with a sick grin upon her face. ‘Oh, the youngest child is she! She the incarnation of Averus! Our lord be praised!’ She sang with dillusion. Drust was much too weak to do anything but watch as she drew near. She bent down and covered her hands in the blood of a disfigured body — you may or may not know either, but a Penguin’s blood stays fresh much longer as well — and began to draw a pentagram upon the wall.

“She picked up her child by the scruff of her sweater and held her firmly against the symbol and began to chant wildly. The blood began to glow bright red and lit up the room. Dark shadowy tendrils ripped open from Hell itself and grabbed the young lady in their grasp. Her mother took a few steps back and watched with an empty grin. Slowly the shadows began to rip Drust’s body apart, and instantly fill in the broken, shredded flesh with the shadow substance of its own making. The agonized screams of the daughter and the shrieking laughter of his mother blended together in a terrible melody.

“About 30 seconds later, or was it a minute? It could have been five days of torture to her– regardless, the transformation was complete. The lovable child was reduced to a half solid, half liquid deformed tar penguin/Demon upon the floor trying her hardest to remain a single, solid shape, but the inky liquid poured off of her onto the floor as fast as she could manifest it. She now was not alive, but she wasn’t dead. She couldn’t breathe or eat, but she didn’t have to to live. She was simply a set amount of this Other Worldian tar material, this complete personification of shadows, held together by a shattered conscience.

With one last smile upon her handiwork, the mother began to leave. Before she would shut the door for another month, she turned to face her daughter one last time, or what was left of her, and dared to utter the words “I only did this because I love you.”

The cloaked figure dropped silent, as the rest of the bar seemed to as well. The waitress came back grudgingly with their drinks and set them down. “Thanks hon.” The story teller smiled at her. She rolled her eyes and went back behind the counter to serve up the crowd that had begun to become rowdy again.

“So — what happened after that next month?” Icey pressed further.

“What happened? HA!” She picked up her glass and chugged it down, smacking the glass hard back down on the table. “She opened the door again and Drust, now mastered at holding her own form, picked up that rusted knife and stabbed the bitch in the heart, killing her instantly! She fled the house out into the cold winter night to fend for herself for the next four years. But she didn’t flee alone. Her sister and brothers’ souls had been trapped in the room since the day she murdered them, and during the transfiguration of Drust into her new body, the souls of her brothers inhabited her body and tortured her mentally, constantly, for that whole second month about how it was all her fault.

Drust, at this point, was a complete mental bust. She was mad, deranged, insane, and but a child, remember! She learned to tune out the voices after a while, but they always picked at her brain.”

Icey took a swig of his drink and choked down the bitter taste. “Waitress, fetch another for me and my friend!” The cloaked woman called out, and the waitress retorted an ill-versed alcoholic jab at her.

“Well, those next four years were spent with her mindlessly killing, robbing, torturing the members of The CPAC, and developing her powers and seeing to the extent she could use them. Hmhmm~! I hope your taking notes kid. We’ve only dived about halfway into this terribly…fascinating tale.”

Icey at this point was thoroughly intrigued. His Flippers had remained clasped this whole time, but his grip was tighter now, so much so that his feathers were blazing white with pressure. “I am taking good account of all things you say, informer. What I’m really interested in now though is just how he ascended into this powerful…ah –”

“Dictatorship?” The cloaked woman inquired, figuring out the word for him.

“Something of the like, yes. I hear this part includes a man by the name of Oagalthorp.”

The informer dropped to a deadly silence. Icey felt that he had somehow brought up a sour topic and a slight wave of nervousness passed over him and visibly affected his countenance.

“Where did you hear that from?” she asked, the words coming out in a poisonous voice. Icey, although he could not see the other person’s eyes, he could feel them burning into his own. He cleared his throat before giving his reply. “I’ve heard…I’ve heard it floating about the citizens. A few old wives were retelling what they knew to each other of him one day, I happened to overhear some of it.”

Again the uncomfortable silence took over the conversation. At last the story teller cracked a smile and let out a hoarse chuckle. She started to tap rhythmically on her liquor glass, waiting for the waitress to return. “Not many know the tale, so I was a bit shocked when you brought it up. Excuse me for sounding offensive, if I did. But you must wait just a little until we reach that point, something else happened that is quite important to realizing just how ruthless our dear bitch is.

“For four years she roamed Club penguins’ streets committing unspeakable crimes. Though who could stop her? Nobody, that’s who. She was impervious to any knife, poison, or bullet. As long as she kept out of the sun and made sure no color came to contact with her true skin, the girl was unstoppable. The souls of her sister and brother’s tormented her, but one by one they were released into the afterlife where they belong, but left odd shaped scars on her body that showed from time to time. It left her utterly mad, nonetheless. Around the time she turned sixteen she came across the rouge group that her father so long ago guided. She didn’t know at the time these were her father’s followers since her father believed in keeping work and home life separated, so his trade was never really brought up to Drust. Regardless, the ninety nine members that made up the group took her in kindly. They knew their leader had a daughter, but they never saw her. Everyone was naive to the others’ existence.

“For about a week Drust grew to learn just how the gang worked and operated, and she felt she could do a much better job of it herself. She was quite used to getting what she wanted, but when she brought up the topic to the other gang members they only laughed and dismissed it, which made her quite angry. They truly were devoted to their lord and wouldn’t give up his position so easily in case he returned. And to just a child? It was nonsense! So Drust approached it from a different angle: She would take over the gang and whoever objected to it would be killed. When this was proposed, a lot of members thought she was bluffing. They whole heartedly accepted her challenge with no idea what they were getting into…”

“Ninety nine members went into that battle. After only minutes, three were left. They stopped early enough in the madness to be sparred by Drust. She named them the only ones worthy enough to serve under her. They went, and still go by, the names of April, Dale, and Chrisi. Oh, but it was a bloody massacre. It took place in an alley way where no one could see it, in the farthest part of the city where no one could hear it – Or if they did, they wouldn’t care. The piles of bodies were found in two days as a rotting mess. No one besides a few key witnesses know what really went down.”

“You’re one of the key witnesses, I’m guessing?” Icey cut in. The hooded woman’s uneasy smile returned to her face.

“Of course! There’s many a woman like me in this city who know more then they let on, and for a price will tell these tales. You just have to know where to look, and lucky for you…you’ve looked in the right place.”

“Indeed I have. And as promised, I’ll pay you, but only until I hear the finished story. Please continue, just how did these four cause so much terror?”

“Ahh, mostly Drust did the terrorizing. The other three were her eyes in the day time, her body guards, her helping hands in crime, though the child was really the mastermind. They spread the rouge group name throughout many cities and towns, bringing with them a wave of terror and unfortunately a touch of xenophobia towards the scarce amount of demons that held the Penguin gene. Everyone expected the black and white creatures to automatically be a part of this group. This dangerous, carefree life style went on for about a year and a half, and now, my friend, is where Oagalthorp enters.

“He’s a death penguin gone rogue, exiled into a terribly lonely life and marked by the other penguins and gods by chopping off his right wing. They were really just for show though, as most penguins get around by teleportation. He grew bored one day, and it’s an awful thing when penguins get bored, for they bring about the worst kind of entertainment. He set his sights on the vivid, lively, colorful existence of the Other World and decided he would slowly destroy it in 300 days. This became known simply as the 300 days and the worst time through all of our history.

“The first one hundred days were noted as the “pre-apocalyptic” stage. Crops began to fail, the weather grew more deadly, stronger sicknesses emerged, and the economy began to plummet. They were subtle signs and no one really picked up on how bad it was going to become. It’s on the 101st day when the world was thrown into absolute hell.

“The second hundred days were noted as the “apocalyptic” stage. Lava spewed from the depths of the world. The skies stormed and raged for twenty four hours a day, the seas began to open up and drain, terrible beasts reigned down from the heavens and crawled from hell to destroy, kill, and torture the Other Worldians. This is when he came down from the sky lines and it was made known that it was he, Oagalthorp, who was causing this. He stated on the 300th day he would return to finish the world off for good.

“Drust was very upset about this, for her thirst for power was greater than that of a mere gang leader, she wanted the world to be under her thumb. A complete and total domination on her part. But of course, how could she rule the world if there was no world to rule? She and her companions played the role of a hero to in turn gain the role of a villain.”

“Fascinating…” Muttered Icey as the waitress returned with another shot of the story teller’s drink of choice. She looked to icey’s cup with was barely half empty, snickered something about him being a lightweight, and went back to her duties up front.

“They slayed beasts, saved citizens, and tried to stop as much of the destruction as they could. If there were too many dead and too many cities destroyed, it’d be a hell of a time to try to clean up afterward.” she swirled her liquor in the glass eying it casually as she spoke.

“On the 201st day, the terrible destruction stopped. the waters of the seas calmed, the lava receded into the earth, and the terrible beasts went back to where they came. All that was left was a devastating landscape of hundreds of thousands of miles of gray, dusty land. The skies were clouded over permanently from all the ash and debris. Cities were left in complete and utter ruin, some of them were completely blown off the map. Small groups of citizens did survive, but they were far and few between.” She suddenly shot down her drink and slammed the empty glass on the table again, making Icey jump slightly.

“Some say it was the god Bluesockwa1′s divine intervention, but a lot of the survivors found each other after months and established the city we sit in now, known as the Inner Sanctum. As for Drust and her gang? Well, they bid their time until Oagalthorp would come down again. On the 300th day, he didn’t disappoint.

“Perhaps it was by destiny, but the god touched down on the earth just before the four. I honestly think he wanted an audience for the last bang, but we’ll never know for certain, will we? Before he got the chance Drust engaged him into a battle that lasted for restless hours with her three loyals backing her up. It was a deathless being versus another deathless being. One small slip brought about Drust’s victory — The weapon Oagalthorp uses, a double-sided scythe, was knocked out of his just long enough for Drust to grab it herself. Using the penguin god’s own weapon, Drust drove one of the blades into his heart, releasing all the power he held. Though you can’t truly kill a god, you can steal their power and leave them next to a mortal in power, which was about equivalent to death for such a high-powered being.

“But Drust had done it. Oagalthorp cursed her name all the way to Hell as he was forced to retreat. Some say Drust still has the god’s scythe as a souvenir, I wouldn’t put it past her for that to be true.”

The story-teller stopped her tale again to stretch, as if telling the epic journey had sent her on one herself. “In short,” she began to summarize, “Drust was able to brainwash the remaining citizens by lying her way into an empire. They were all so mentally devastated that they would’ve believed you if you told them ducks were bright purple or vampires sparkled in the sunlight. They just needed guidance.

“I remember her words clearly, for I was in that crowd, but I had my wits upon me unlike everyone else. She told us that a terrible war had happened that turned the world to practically dust, and that we were the sole survivors of it. She also called herself a Queen of Queens and asked us for our help to rebuild her glorious empire in exchange for food, shelter, and protection…and we fell for it. I never believed her, but I went along with it anyways to not cause a scene.

“We were able to salvage a surprising deal from the scorched earth, and within the month plants began to grow again and the skies began to clear up. It was glorious, it was the rebirth of a whole new world. Her power has gone unchallenged because of everlasting gratitude or everyone who opposed her were…killed. Soon gratitude turned to humble respect and fear. And she liked it that way.

“So! This brings us to present day. I can’t say its all bad. This world is better now than it ever was. We’ve lived so far under her rule for almost 600 of our years now, and she’s brought us protection, medical advances, the best technology, and all the leadership we could ever want. Ha! But I could give less of a shit. I don’t praise her name mindlessly like some others do. No, All I do is pass on information for those, such as yourself, who want it.”

She held out his hand which was covered by the cloak and a black leather glove and beckoned for the money. Icey in turn gave her a bag no bigger than her palm but filled with several heavy coins. The informer smiled and tucked it away in her cloak. “I have to ask you again, for curiosity’s sake. just where do you come from, Icey? What’s your purpose for knowing our Bitches history?” Icey once more refused to say, which only made the hooded woman laugh. “it was worth a try.”

She stood up and stretched once more. “I believe this concludes our transaction.”

“i believe it does, thank you for your time.” Icey said curtly, about to stand up.

“Oh! But wait, I’m sorry my friend, I forgot something important, and I fear I shouldn’t say this too loud. Promise upon your soul you won’t tell anyone this next bit?” Added the story-teller a bit hastily.

“I promise, what is it? I told you I must know everything.”

She leaned in closely, about to whisper something into his ear, when with a blinding speed she had his arm wrapped around the back of Icey’s head with her hand over his mouth, gagging him, and a bright white blade of a dagger revealed itself from under her wrist. She stabbed harshly into Iceys’ stomach and muffled his screams — Though, the likelihood of anyone hearing him over the drunken roar from the front of the tavern and the shrieks of excitement from the brawls was nearly nonexistent.

“You want to know my secret?” Came the cold words pouring into his ear. The man tried to writhe about, but the story teller’s grip was far too strong upon him. She leaned over to stare into his face and as she did so, her hood pulled back just an inch and the light caught her face at a perfect angle, illuminating it. Snow white hair laid across equally snow-white colored Feathers, Her left eye was neon blue, but her right eye was covered by a black eyepatch with a large white D upon it. Her face held no emotion as her stare drove hard into Icey’s own fear-struck eyes.

“My secret is that to be a good assassin, hell, even if you’re just a drone gathering info on your subject, you never say more than you know. Nobody knows that I have “killed” a Penguin god, for that is the biggest sin of our religion. Do you think I would have obedient followers if they knew that? Nobody knows of Oagalthorp’s reign that lives under my rule, but you spoke too soon, didn’t you? If you had just listened longer, you would have realized they were all brainwashed fools. I bet you don’t even remember slipping up in the first place, do you?”

Drust jabbed the dagger harder into his abdomen and another gruff, muffled scream came out. dark red blood began to run with tears on the mans face as the warm liquid slipped through Drust’s fingers from Icey’s mouth.

“The only way you could have known was if you worked for Oagalthorp yourself. My friend, I have eyes and ears all over this land. You’re suspicious activity was known to me before you even truly knew yourself what you were looking for in my domain. The people who tipped you off to the “informer” were my people. I held you just long enough in my grasp to confirm you were a rotten spy, assassin, whatever lowly title that bastard has granted you. recalling the tale was more for nostalgia’s sake, I could have killed you before you stepped foot in this drunken place.”

She began to slide the blade slowly up the center of his abdomen. Blood began to rush out and trickle to the floor and he soon began to loose the energy to scream anymore. “Tell me, how does it feel to die? I’ve wondered for so long now.” Were Drust’s last words as with one swift motion, she sliced the blade right up to the bottom of his throat where she pulled it out savagely, tearing his jugular apart. Instantly the man keeled over in the corner of the booth, the insides of his lifeless body pouring out upon the floor.

Drust smiled and wiped his blade off with a napkin that he carelessly tossed upon Icey’s body, retracting the blade into its hidden holder after.

“You had way too much fun with that one, My lady.” called the waitress’ voice as she made her way back to where Drust stood. She made a face at the corpse upon the seat. “And you are just the biggest kind of bitch for leaving me with that to clean up. What is he, the third in the past month?”

“And there’s several more rats to put out of my misery, doll.” replied Drust. “This is the only entertainment I’ve had in weeks, don’t dare judge me upon it. Lovely performance by the way.”

“Oh I won’t, my lady. And thank you, though it wasn’t too much of a performance.” She gave her a wink before walking past her to the supply closet to grab a mop and bucket to start the clean up.

“Oh Oagalthorp~” Drust whispered, pulling the hood back over her head to a secure position and starting her slow walk up the narrow hall of booths to where the room opened up to the jovial crowd, still swaying and singing. “You’re going to have to do much better than that to get your revenge that shall never come. Don’t you know? History always seems repeats itself.”

With that, she pushed her way through the crowd and out the heavy doors to where she melted away into the night.

The end…. For now.

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3 Responses

  1. WHY DID YOU KILL MY BELOVED ICEYFEET1234?! I WANT TO KILL YOU!!!!

  2. I love (well not literally) ice warriors!

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