Epilogue: Rise and Shine
What? Steal intellectual property? I have no idea what you're talking about. No officers, I'm not holding Angel the Series and the Dresden Files behind my back.New City, Same Enemy
Epilogue: Rise and Shine...The Deeper Well, England
12:01 am, June 30th, 2003
The cloaked and hooded man once labeled 'Darth Bathrobe' by Harry Dresden, and better known as Cowl stood at the entrance to the Deeper Well, considering what he was about to do. If it was the right thing to do.
Not in a moral sense. Cowl was far beyond such minor considerations – though Kumori had been possessed of the need to rationalize her actions within a moral construct, and he'd made sure to prevent her from understanding the full-scope of his plans and goals.
No, what Cowl was concerned with was whether or not his plan would work. And, if it did, would it really advance his overall plans? Much as he was loathe to admit it, Cowl was not all-knowing. All available information suggested that this would work as he planned, but an old one as powerful and accomplished as Illyria was too powerful to just control. The most anyone could do, unfortunately, was point something like it in the direction of what you wanted it to do, carefully, and then hope things panned out.
And at this point, that was the best option to achieve what he was trying to achieve. While in no danger, and his plans overall proceeding quite nicely, things had been set back considerably by the antics of Harry Dresden during both the Darkhallow, and in the Deeps. And the activation of all the potentials across the world wasn't exactly helpful either – nor was the recovery of the Scythe.
Cowl smelt the demon guards before he saw them, but it was no matter. One moment, there were a dozen demons with sword and armor, charging at him. The next, their spines had all been ripped out by an unseen force.
A tall, almost statuesque man in antiquated period outfit, complete with armor and a sword, stepped out from the shadows amid the corpses of the guards he'd hired.
“Ah. Drogyn the Battlebrand. I was wondering when you'd show up.” Cowl said smoothly. “I am here for Illyria.”
Drogyn drew his sword. “You will not have her, or any of the Old Ones imprisoned here. The Deeper Well will keep them all, here, where they belong.”
“Honestly, Drogyn, do you really think something so mundane as that sword can harm me?” Cowl said, laughing. It was a dark, hollow sound, that carried no echo, despite the arrangement of the room.
“I don't know. I've know idea who or what you are. But either way, I am sworn to protect the Deeper Well, and I will do so with my life if necessary.”
“How noble.” Cowl drawled. “You do know me. You know who and what I am. Call me Cowl.”
Drogyn looked at the intruder again, his grip on his blade loosening for just half a second. “You.” He said with a whisper.
“Me.” He replied.
Without another word, Drogyn leapt at him, sailing through the air towards the robed warlock, sword raised up over his head.
“Honestly, there is taking duty and chivalry too far, Drogyn.” Cowl said with another dark, hollow laugh. He reached out with one hand, holding it straight up, flat, holding Drogyn in place, mid-air, the sword less than six-inches from Cowl's body. “Its almost a pity that you must die, but that is what must be done. Goodbye, Drogyn.” His hand went from held flat to an almost claw-like hold, all five fingers point forward, curved and bent just slightly. He turned the hand rightward ninety-degrees, each finger moving a little.
Blood exploded from Drogyn's chest, his ribcage shattered, the explosion becoming a gory fountain of blood and bone. Then the Battlebrand's heart flew out. Idly, Cowl caught it. He looked at it a moment, holding it a moment like Hamlet might Yorrick's skull. Then, casually, as if it meant nothing, he closed his fist, the heart resisting for a moment, expanding out between his fingers...
Then it too, like Drogyn's chest, just completely exploded, showering Cowl's robes with blood and bits of human heart. He paid the gore-rain no mind, watching impassively as Drogyn's body fell to the ground, deader than an icicle in hell.
Walking over the dead body, Cowl proceeded deeper into the halls of the Well, passing row after row of Sarcophagi, checking each name, looking for the one he wanted. Finally, he found what he was looking for. He pulled the object from its slot in the wall, letting it float in the air before him. He placed his hand on the gemstone a moment, his magic powerful enough to prevent the opening of the hatch and the release of Illyria from his motion.
“Rise and Shine, Illyria.” Cowl said softly. “Rise and Shine.”Author's Note:
How is that
for an ominous ending? Keep your eyes peeled for the sequel: Tales from Oracle Securities. Coming soon to a computer near you!