Credit to the great MissCapnCrunch
All other angels are dead,
But I shall not go.
For one yet walks,
With the wings of a crow.
"What differentiates us from the flock of lambs?" A sermonic voice echoed through what appeared to be an abandoned cathedral, sundering the senses of the followers who gathered wearing drapes and hoods, a cultic gathering.
"Preacher; we are giants living among mice, so how long must we cover like the latter?" One of the subjects rose, revealing a face that had been marred. "If we are indeed the true kings that are to purge this world of the tyrant that subjugates us, then why do we suffer?"
"My child, we suffer so as to wait. We suffer so as to thrive and we suffer so as to grow." The preacher, draped in white, spoke suppressing all defiance and coyly channeling it into a frenzy directed towards the organization of sin. "What we possess is not a curse, it is our right. It is not to be feared but embraced, for the art is not acquired by any but the Kings that will plummet this era of decay." As he counseled, his gaze slowly moved to face all his brethren who awaited their instructions with bated breath.
"What differentiates us from the flock of lambs is that we are wolves that have been starving for far too long. In a week we will lunge our teeth in the flesh of the ignorant humans and the A.M.R.O lapdogs that have hounded us."
A resounding cheer filled the cathedral, resurrecting it from an abandoned place of worship into a shelter of hope, for a change in the lives of these unfortunate souls that know only pain. But like any cheer it too eventually turns into silence and that befell far too quickly than any would have wished.
Clapping eventually brought this gathering to an inaudible halt. Everyone found themselves facing the exit through which this taunting sound slowly drew nearer and nearer, that is until the silhouette of a man in red became vaguely visible.
“Brother, are you a friend seeking salvation or a foe seeking retribution?” The preacher questioned, offering his hand as an invitation while the followers armed themselves if this boon should be declined.
“Neither, I am but a reminder of your final fleeting moments. Worms don’t deserve to crawl above the ground and yet here you are in all your audacity, boasting to be kings when your place is buried beneath the sole of my boot.” The figure replied, his arrogance almost painfully casual with a smirk that dared to provoke.
“What insolence! You dare to come into our abode and speak down to kings, remember your place boy….or better yet we shall teach it to you.” The Preacher scoffed as his arms rose upon high, as if to shatter the heavens and rein down judgment, and accordingly chains lunged forward from the gargoyle’s mouths that were mounted upon pillars all around the cathedral.
The crimson heathen had suddenly found himself bound, ensnared by countless chains that kept him at bay while the council of these ragged kings contemplated on how to approach this situation. Several members chanted along a serenade of death, demanding blood, where as others sought answers.
“Why have you come here at such an opportune time? Who are you exactly and who do you work for?” One of the members spoke up, his tone intimidating yet this attempt at interrogation seemed to fall upon deaf year as the prisoner merely continued to stare and smile a wicked smile.
“I go by many names, some rather famous….some forgotten, but if you are all kings then you may address me as the king’s misfortune.” The convict replied, his tone even under such situations retaining its casual almost sarcastic demeanor.
“You who are but flesh dare to walk onto a field of lions, daft fool! Do you really think you can bury us all and that too all by yourself? If we do get buried it won’t be in the ground child….it will be under your bones.” The Preacher retaliated, his furious reply a direct challenge to the man in red whom he had dismissed as a fool seeking an early demise.
“There are just two little problems with your statement number one, a fratello does not come alone,” The prisoner jeered, his satirical expressions now unnerving this gathering of mice whose courage only continued to dwindle as they began to finally comprehend the symphony that had started, a rhapsody of their own demise and the first verse had been sung.
“All other Angel’s are dead,” and as she spoke these words, the words took form. They thickened the air and the air obeyed.
“But I shall not go,” the windows shuttered, the ceiling creaked.
“For one yet walks,” bones felt heavy until every disciple and their preacher, these so called kings, fell to their knees.
“With the wings of a crow,” an uncanny pressure weighed on their shoulders, slowly continuing to crush them. Immobilized, with eyes gaping wide from the pain of the invisible force that pressed against them all the while yet another silhouette appeared. This time of a child, who innocently sat on top of a window frame, her legs swaying playfully as she observed the carnage from on high.
“Mistake number two,” the bound prisoner resumed with a smirk that slowly widened. “I am not mere flesh,” as soon as these words were spoken the gargoyles that were perched on top of the pillars, crashed to the ground, shattering. “For my bones are steel and steel is my serpent.” The chains that once shackled him now leisurely coiled around him, slithering across his body and gradually approaching all the pretenders, wrapping around their necks.
“A king….can one….exist…..Angel?” The child spoke with stoic expressions and a mechanical tone. Her eyes fixated on the ceiling, as if appreciating a well painted mural, revealing the number –VI- tattooed on the side of her neck.
“Well Rin, if there still is an Angel left in a world like this….we may yet find a king.” Her partner replied pleasantly as his veiled eyes mimicked her partner in looking on top where the corpses of all the followers and the priest were noosed by their own silver chains.
Three Months Later
“Big brother, roll again, roll again!” Rena chirped loudly as she closely observed her partner blowing on a pair of dice with a large pile of chips decked on the center table. Bass echoed through the halls of the casino as several girls had already gathered around the crimson devil known simply as Angel.
“Call the number sir?” The dealer nudged the Asylum, impatient for his decision on a gamble that appeared to be fairly impressive, well impressive enough to have the Casino on their toes.
“I call thirteen,” Angel replied, his tone rather amused at the irony of it all. Such a gambit requires all the luck in the world and the Crimson Asylum picked the most misfortunate one, ah but such was the dramatic flair which this Alchemist possessed.
“What…are…you…doing, this goes against….protocol?” Angel’s partner suddenly interrupted, tugging on his coat with considerable strength, enough to pull him away.
“Hey there Rin…nice to see you awake, splendid timing….you were just in time to stop me from having a little fun….what a tragedy that would be…yes indeed.” Angel retorted rather sarcastically, though his humorous attempts failing to impress the Poker Faced Chrono.
“Protocol 101….maintain a low profile, we are not here to indulge in…..pointless activities. Our reliable sources have said The Circus will be making an appearance. We are to……. patiently……await instructions and proceed…..accordingly.” The Chrono calmly reiterated their mission statement while dragging her partner out of the building, who despite his attempts to free himself found it hopelessly. With a few crocodile tears he bid his earnings and the ladies a fond farewell. “So long money….so long big breasted women….so long happiness.”
“You know we have been scouting Las Vegas for the past month, nothing has happened except me winning a lot of money and being dragged out before collecting it.” Angel complained, heaving a weary sigh while rubbing his temples from feeling the sorrow of his empty wallet.
“In case you have…forgotten. Circue du folie is one of the few factions that can actually pose a threat to A.M.R.O.”
“We just took down that cult in that cathedral, what faction was that? ‘Douche KingS’? We took down dicks….come on we deserve a break. There is no guarantee that these circus clowns will even show up in Vegas. There is also the fact that while most factions oppose A.M.R.O, aren’t these circus people just in it to give Alchemists a safe haven? They don’t care about war or power.”
“You…know as well as I do……a team was lost…..when they were sent to observe The Circus, for A.M.R.O this is enough of a probable cause for an investigation.”
“And you know as well as I do, Cirque du folie has managed to evade A.M.R.O for years. A myth has grown, a place called ‘The Carnival’ that is the head quarters of these clowns. Rather cliché but point is, it is shielded from A.M.R.O’s radar. Why would they just up and leave? It doesn’t make sense. Here they are coming out in the open, risking exposure. Are you sure our information is valid?”
“It’s foolish to question our information, it is never wrong. As to…..why…..I suppose we will find out. Additional teams have been authorized by the director.”
“What Mason is getting involved in this?”
“He believes it is of….significant…importance. The fact….that they are sending in more teams….it means….the circus is expected…..rather so..--”
“Go to hell Asylums!”
“Really?” Angel thought out loud, as he held a knife that had been thrown from a distance. Managing to grab it by the hilt just in the nick of time, before it could hit his partner and incur her wrath. However the fact she was interrupted, well the deed had been done.
“You shouldn't have done that…….my partner believes a true gentleman never interrupts a lady.” Angel continued his tone rather mournful for the unfortunate fellow who had thrown that dagger. “A pity really, you rogue alchemist need birth control cause your numbers are spurring out of control.” He mused as the Chrono slowly raised her doll like face towards the direction in which the rogue was fleeing, after which she merely redirected her gaze to her partner, shrugging this minor nuisance out of the way.
“Well this is surprising….why isn’t that guy inside out?” Angel inquired, quite curious at this strange spectacle.
“I am back!” The Chrono tweeted rather cutely with a face brimming with life, quite the stark contrast to Rin’s placid and evergreen expressions. “Oh, oh, oh big brother looks like we have more friends that have finally come to play!” She continued, her excitement managing to uplift even the lazy asylum.
“Wonderful observations my little partner,” Angel acknowledged his partner’s deduction, rewarding her with a gentle pat on the head. “Looks like more teams have finally joined the fray….this should be amusing.”