Approx. 1900 words
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2015 SJ
written by SJ
Captain Dion’s Federal Ops shuttle landed in front of the mansion, right next to the antique car, now empty, timing it so Officer Yngvild and her Rhino reached the location at the same time, the Sisters of Battle deploying, ready to enter the mansion on foot. Staff Sergeant Jill Sloane and her sisters had redeployed themselves on the office building. If the Masque was able to summon more demonettes, they didn’t want them sneaking past them and into the city.
Melinda wanted the Sisters of Battle go into the mansion with Officer Dakota as a back up. But, Jennifer wanted to go in alone. The only thing she sensed inside the mansion was one demon, a powerful demon, the Masque of Slaanesh, a scourge of evil from the WARP that had murdered over half of Captain Wayne’s men, doing so by some kind of WARP power with her demonettes. Now she knew what the Phallic Symbol of Lust meant: It stood as an abomination to the love and affection between men and women, something that was good and wonderful. And the object, the Coin: it stood for the corruption of that virtue.
Jennifer stood frowning with stern determination. She didn’t want to JUST sent the Masque back to hell, she wanted to punish her; but, before then, she wanted to face her directly, MAKE the demon give her answers. And the only way she had a chance to do that was to go in alone.
The door to the mansion was unlocked. Once the Librarian was inside, and before she had a chance to look around, she was rushed by two Daxzan women with kitchen knives. She was nicked on the arm once before she used her Staff to knock the two women out. Afterwards, she knelt down and removed their Chaos Worms, leaving them unconscious.
She had only taken a couple steps when she spotted the Masque standing up on the balcony looking down at her. “Well, look at you...coming in here all alone.” The demon seemed to sense something about Jennifer, saying it sarcastically, “well...aren’t you special.”
Jennifer was suddenly aware of a pulse of WARP energy somewhere to the left and right of where she stood.
The demonette Herald stood wearing an angry, demon-like, mask, her thick, long, black, hair flowing down behind her head. She wore a tight, black, corset, with a black dress that came down just above her cloven feet and angles. She didn’t have any black talons, but held in one hand some kind of double-headed scepter with masks on each end, behind them glowing Crystals. The Masque stared at Jennifer...as if to bring about some sort of control.
But, the Librarian was already being controlled by her own anger which had been welling up inside her even before she entered the mansion. When two demonettes charged her, one from each side, Jennifer struck quickly with her new and improved Staff, now reinforced, making it a formidable melee weapon. She struck the demonettes numerous times, as if to punish them before sending them back to the WARP.
Afterwards, she wanted to charge up the stairs to the balcony, punish the Masque even worse, administer her own form of beat down for the crimes she had committed. But, there were questions she needed answered: “Where’s the Melancholia? Did you take her Crystal?”
The Masque stood unimpressed, deliberately delaying her answer. “The woman got everything she desired. Her Crystal was not mine for the taking.” She began trying to use her transfixing gaze, again.
But, Jennifer shook it off. “Who’s got her Crystal? And where is the Coin?”
The tall demonette slowly took off her mask, reveling a purely demonic, albeit, beautiful face, surprised a mere mortal would know about such things. “The Coin? You mean from the Phallic Symbol of Lust? I have no use for either.” The Masque then hesitated, holding her mask hidden--just before throwing it at Jennifer like a frisbee, which became a deadly WARP missile.
Jennifer had wanted to remain quick and mobile, wearing only light combat fatigues and her Iron Halo force shield. The Masque’s throw was sudden and Jennifer only slightly dodged it, her force shield successful in deflecting it fully. Then her anger increased as she charged up the stairs, stopping only after the Masque began speaking again.
“Lucius has the Coin. He’s the only one that can use it.” The Masque grinned, showing now that her free arm was a long, black, talon. “He has the Crystal, also; for me, it’s already served its purpose.”
“LUCIUS?” Jennifer demanded to know. “Who is Lucius?
When Jennifer heard something behind her, she jumped over the railing and landed ready to fight. The two demonettes at the base of the stairs turned and came at her quickly with large black claws this time. The wave length of their WARP energy was only slightly different. The Librarian set it while taking down the two demonettes with expert martial arts precision, the adrenaline of her anger making her faster and stronger.
Jennifer ran back to the base of the stairs, her teeth gritted, ready to fight. But, she still wanted answers. “WHO IS LUCIUS?” She thought of something. “Does he control the Emperor’s Children? Are they Chaos Marines? Where are they?”
“Lucius is hiding. He’ll come when he’s ready.” The Masque gave the Librarian a serious look, like the game was over. “I have no use for the Emperor’s Children, but they will reveal themselves soon enough. As for you--”
Suddenly, Jennifer felt like moving around, barely able to control herself. Then she charged up the stairs blocking the Masque’s slashing talon with her Staff, which was designed to repel such demonic weapons, afterwards, striking numerous times; when they were too close to use their melee weapons, Jennifer stepped away then used a back side kick to knock the Masque off and over the edge of the balcony.
Amazingly enough, the Masque landed on her feet; she was ready for Jennifer once she had run down the stairs, the melee beginning again. The demon fought well, but soon Jennifer was landing blow after blow, enjoying each strike, punishing the demon for its perfidious acts.
As the fight continued, she eventually realized it was useless to punish someone that could feel no pain; and, even if she could, no matter how many times she stuck her, she couldn’t hurt the Masque as much as an eternity inside the WARP had already done. When she landed the blow that would send the demon back to the WARP, she found out her Staff had no energy, figuring, somehow, it had being drained by the demon’s black talon. But, Jennifer only became more angry, her hate boiling, having no problem killing the Masque by beating her to death...
As she fought, Jennifer thought the Masque was actually enjoying the battle...but, in time, realized--she was actually enjoying Jennifer’s hate. At that moment, it felt like she had failed as a Librarian, had succumb to the same evil emotions as the Masque, had become like her--a demon. Jennifer still had her Cane, powered and attuned to the same energy wavelength as her Staff. Quickly, she made a couple faints, then, holding the weapon with one hand, drew her Cane, pointing it at the Masque, who stood, seeming to know what was going to happened. Then Jennifer touched her, releasing the energy, watching as the Masque stiffened, disintegrating, hearing in her mind an echoing scream...then silence.
Jennifer didn’t feel well. She had let her hate rage uncontrollably. It was like all her work as a Librarian had been lost; it even seemed like her spirit guide had abandoned her. She quickly left the mansion, emotionally drained and beaten.
Dion, Yngvild, and the Sisters of Battle were ready to enter.
Seeing the woman’s condition, Melinda had to ask, “what’s wrong, Jennifer? What happened?”
“The Masque and her demonettes are gone.” She almost choked. “Back in hell were they belong.”
By the stressful look on Jennifer’s face, Yngvild was glad she let the Librarian go in first, unable to comprehend what had happened, glad she didn’t have to. However, she still had to ask, “can we go in?”
When Jennifer gave her a nod, Yngvild and her team moved inside the mansion.
By the expression on Officer Dakota’s face, Melinda had to ask again, “my God, Jennifer...what’s wrong?”
The Librarian spotted the shuttle in the distance, knowing it was connected to an FTL com dish in orbit. She spoke desperately, “I need to use the com in the shuttle to speak to Marcellus. I...I need to speak to him, alone--please.”
Melinda seemed to understand. “Yes...of course. Go inside and send Sergeant de la Vega over to me. I’ll make sure you’re alone.”
Jennifer smiled, weakly, then proceeded to the shuttle.
When Marcellus was finally contacted, he smiled at Jennifer on the video screen, happy to see her...but, then quickly noticed the stressful look on her face.
She was almost ready to cry. “Marcellus...I fought a demon called, the Masque of Slaanesh. But...but, I think I’ve lost all my power doing it.”
“Lost your power?” Marcellus wasn’t sure he understood.
This time Jennifer did start to cry. “I can’t be a Librarian anymore. I can’t feel my spirit guide. It’s gone--and I can’t blame it.”
“Oh, Jennifer.” He began to understand, knowing she had to wrong...wanting to help. “Please, tell me what happened.”
“The Masque and her demons had butchered all these men. I was SO filled with anger.” She wiped a tear. “I hated the Masque. I wanted to punish her.” Her voice trembled. “Then, I realized...I was just like her--a demon. How can I be a Librarian if I’m no better than they are?”
“Oh, Jennifer.” Now he understood. He spoke with kind honesty. “You are nothing like these demons. This Masque of Slaanesh detected your hate and approved of it--relished it. But, you...YOU found your hate a bitter pill to swallow.” He smiled. “So, you see...you are nothing like this demon–-in fact, quite the opposite. And your spirit guide has not abandoned you. I’m sure it’s still right beside you and will be there when you need it. You allowed you’re anger to control you this time. But, you’re only human. You can’t be anything more. When you return, I’m going to teach you some meditative exercises that will help you control your anger. This demon, the Masque, must’ve had some powerful mind control abilities...all of which you were able to overcome.” He frowned compassionately. “But, it must’ve taken a terrible toll on you.” He smiled again. “We’ll talk about it when you get back. Okay?”
Jennifer was finally able to smile back, feeling much better. They spoke a little while longer...then the Librarian was able to return to her team.