Consequence – March 12, 2018
Her words still rang in his ear, fresh as the dew that clung to the lush green grass under his booted feet. “You don’t need to fight any more, Augustus,” sweet, tender words whispered in his ears at the apex of night. The full moon clung to the sky like a second skin, flush with luminescence that surrounded the world with a surreal shadowy cape that brought some reassurance to the harsh declivity of his mind.
Brown hair, darkened by the ageless night of the underworld, was pushed to the side by thin, almost frail looking fingers, clearing the way to his vision blurred by countless hours locked away in his torpor like sleep. The ghost of his touch against his hair line brought a supple curl to his bottom lip that provided him with the sharp prickle of barbed fangs against the pink flush of his flesh. Soon, all it took was the short glance he gave his mirror to push him from the throes of his bed, legs swinging over its side before he finally forced himself up to both feet, palms rubbing at the underside of his jawline to his temples that ached as if burdened by an unseen entity or force.
Each step he took from his bed to his bathroom provided him with a new keen insight to the world around him, his slowly waking mind tempered only briefly by his search for the doorknob and the wave of his hand to catch the switch that brought the sharp pain of terribly bright light to his already dilated pupils.
He saw her in the mirror; the pale flesh, marbled by age, green, alluring eyes that were so full of life that they nearly glowed in the captive light of the small room. She sat at the edge of the counter, glaring daggers at him that he wished to rid himself of. Instead, he half-turned, putting distance between himself and the ghost of one of his dead wives. Only then did the splash of water from the sink provide some clarity that he used in shifting from foot to foot, making his way back into his room to swiftly change into something more suitable for a coup.
The streets were filled, innocent bystanders wandering the roads in search of something they could not have, a few visibly distraught and tangible from the drugs that laced through their systems. He turned toward the sound of a lighter flicking off to the side of his car, the sound of the engine barely audible with the ambient music that ravaged this side of Consequence in the late, dead hours of night. Just a few blocks away, The Naughty Kitty was wrought with the company of most of the local gangsters, the crime pins that had been running the city in the absence of the former Lord Executive Dictator, Tye Sampson, of its God King, Daniel Plainview.
Neutral ground had always been the meeting point of the criminal underground. Despite the drugs, the scent of marijuana and magical laced narcotics hanging in the air, he found himself nearly intrigued how fights did not crop up in this part of the city. Blue eyes anxiously watched one corner of the brick built building before him, two hookers dutifully stalking the scene for hard earned cash, before he grabbed hold of the door’s handle, stepped from the car and slammed it shut.
It did not take him long to stalk toward the club in question. In the dark, his eyes stood out, showed his true power and the limiters that made him seem less frightening among the mortals all but vanished as he approached the concrete, gold laced steps.
Guards that noticed him did not move for fear that they would lose their heads.
Why? Because he was already well known in these parts. A devilish smile painted over the already blood thirsty cretin’s lips before he approached the first of the guards, the one whose hands had sought out the pistol grip of his semi-automatic weapon. In an instant, his body collapses… what’s left of it anyway. Ash seeps through the air, staining it a muddled black and red before he turns to glance toward the other whose hands rise in momentary defeat.
“Block the doors. I don’t want anyone getting out,” he said, his words laced with so much of his gift for dominance that even the spoken word brought a trickle of blood to the orc’s nose, a small dribble from his ears and eyes. They offered a small nod before Augustus stepped to the side and then finally sauntered through the doorway of the club.
Right away, the stench of skunk grass assaulted his sense of smell, a whiff of temporary unease passing through him as the shadows of the room merged and slowly collected near his feet at the edge of the large room. The music sped, the speakers loud enough to drown out the errant conversation here and there. Among that stench of smoke, the visage of it even more harsh to the eyes, he could see the dancers on the poles between each booth. Each one was filled with several crowds of people. Many of them here were of separate species, magical races, some mechanical, some engineered.
Some, more than others, were marked for their particular association with their gangs.
Others were a bit more estranged from the others, preferring clean skin, clean clothing… these were the ones who caught the ire of the Giovanni king. Of course, many of the gangsters scattered among the scantily clad women who bore themselves for the world to see did not know what was in store for them. Augustus, himself, did not know how he would kill each and every living creature who called this place haven.
It did not take him long to figure out how for the first of the men had seen him. A stranger to the up and coming of this new society, he did not know many of their strengths, their powers. With his limiters freed from his body, he didn’t need to. A Minotaur, its horns wickedly curled over its head, jeweled, golden chain linked through holes in the ivory, tusk like extensions, was already heading his way. He had to admit. He did not look very frightening to someone who did not know him. Between the devilish grin that perched at his lips, the opaque, midnight colored suit he bore, he looked as much an outsider as one of them had ever seen. In an instant, the beast charged him and in that same instant, before he even had a chance to get within a few feet of Augustus, his body exploded, showering those nearest in a spray of blood and gore that rendered the room a sudden panic.
His power extended to the windows, to each and every doorway, shadows snaring them shut, closing the metal blinds that kept the place safe from outside, and sometimes inside, attacks. Outside, the sudden click of metal assaulting the ears, even through the loud, obnoxious music, announced that the doors had been bolted, locked shut.
Without a word from him explaining his actions, he let his hands do the work for him. Blood, bones, sinew… it made no difference to him. Bullets sprayed this way and that, catching innocent bystanders, punching through the black cloth of his suit. It did not stop him from ripping throats, from tearing limbs from limbs.
The sun prodded through the sky, breaking through the early morning cover of clouds. Outside, he could hear the call of birds chirping, the skittering of mice, squirrels and the buzz of birds and bees against the soft dew that coated everything. Unfortunately, as peaceful as that sounded, outside the club, the music still waged war against the ears, the stench of blood permeating the air, far worse than it had been in most recent weeks with the attacks on Consequence.
Stale and forgotten, the cries of those who still lived in the club began to ebb away, one by one by one until no sound but the gentle step of feet against the squelching mass of flesh was the only sound within that greeted the sharpest of senses. With an electric crackle, even the music died, leaving the swirling gust of wind and the sharp creek of metal as a backdrop against that sound. His voice rose above that, sharp, crisp and authoritative as he stepped close to the doorway. “Open it,” he growled out and the metal locks rose from both windows and the door all at once. Behind him, smoke began teasing through the air followed by the crisp stench of burning wood, of charred flesh.
As he stepped out into the open air, the bloodied Augustus turned to peer at the orc who had turned against his people with an all encompassing order from the Giovanni antediluvian. His hand reached out and he gave the beast a quick, orthodox ending with a solid snap of his neck that sent the tall beast slumping to the earth beneath him.
From the shadows surrounding the club, a fleet of Giovanni emerged, each one dressed as impressively as their sire.
“You have been given locations to every hide out, every source of income and business that the so-called leaders of the city owned. By the the sun fully rises on the edge of the mountain fortress, each and every place that you have been given is to be razed to the ground and exterminated. If you meet resistance, arrest the people on my authority. This entire city is mine to do with as I please and you will all reap rewards befitting your contribution to our agenda.”
Like ghosts themselves, several of the Giovanni bled into the shadows once more. Soon, smoke filled the skies of Consequence, fires reigning over the uncharted remnants of businesses that belonged to the officials who had sought retribution of the flesh at the club. “The rest of you, join me. I have a feeling we’re going to meet uneasy citizens at the mountain fortress. I intend on making it our base of operations.” As one, the remaining Giovanni followed Augustus as he walked through the city. They met no resistance as the approached the mountain, as they took their place.
By midday, Augustus Giovanni was not only known as the King of the Giovanni but Dictator and Emperor of Consequence.