The sound and taste of the voice on the communicator caused Shan to smile. It was one of his own at last. Now he could truly remake this world into a more fitting vessel filled with pain, lust, disease and depravation. He reached for the transmit button, intending to hail his new friends when Fold Space shuddered once more.
One vessel had entered the system first, a quite prepossessing ship with raked wings attached to a sleek body, giving it an almost ethereal beauty. If not for the dark power emanating from within it, Shan could have been confused as to its purpose. Now others came, burping from Fold Space, ungainly parodies of their obvious leader. Some braked to surround their Master whilst others continued on towards the planet itself. They had obviously not detected him.
“I know you are there,” a voice whispered in his head, its sickly touch a welcome relief from the monotony of solitude, “and you would be wise to show yourself.”
Shan struggled against the compulsion, shivering with pleasure at the corruption he felt there. This, however, was not the first time he had felt such a touch and he resisted.
“Ah,” said the voice again, “one more suited to my tastes, and with at least a modicum of will. This I like, yet it would not do for you to test my patience any further.”
“I resist, my Lord,” replied Shan, “your command only to preserve the integrity of my vessel. If I drop the shields now, I leave myself open to attack from the planet below and would then be of no use to you.”
“Attack from Alana and her pitiful few…?” The question was cold and direct, disdainful in tone and promising pain for such cowardice.
“I know of no such Alana,” replied Shan, “I speak of the dwarf and his demonic steed. They have already caused me trouble and need to be eliminated.”
“You dare tell me what I should do?” the voice roared in his mind, driving Shan to his knees.
“No, my Lord,” gasped Shan in pain, “I only meant to advise you of their threat…”
“Show me…” hissed the voice, “and we can talk of your presumption later…”
To open his mind fully was to admit defeat, and perhaps even servitude, but Shan saw no other option. Gingerly he ceased his struggle and allowed his new Master to enter his thoughts.
On his own ship, Viker cackled with glee, causing his minions to scurry out of his way. Here, perhaps, he had found one of like mind who could be bound to his service. As he trawled through the sewer that was Shan’s existence he pursed his lips in anticipation. There was the touch of another here, one similar to him yet of lesser power. He easily snapped the tenuous bond linking Shan to his old Master, and continued his search.
Ah, there it was, indeed a foe which might entertain him for a while. Alana and her defiance could wait, his troops could deal with her and in her destruction he would weed out the reckless and incompetent. This miniscule man in his ridiculous costume would provide him with the means of flexing his own muscles. Who knew, he might even prove worthy to serve as a minion.
Disconnecting from Shan, Viker ordered his craft to the planet. It was time to see exactly what this creature could do. Afterwards he had others to deal with, and find, if Shan’s cesspool of a mind was anything to go by.
By his side stood two of his Angels, their wings now black as night. It was difficult to say whether they had become more like Viker or he them. His once pristine feathers were now black and mottled with reddish stains. The proud visage had become hooded, his eyes pools of blackness which reflected no light. He wore no boots, as none would fit the clawed appendages he once called feet. These too were mottled and stained with red.
“Food,” he roared, “bring me sustenance!”
There was a scuffle, the sound of a blow and then a whimpering cry as one of his Angels brought his repast. Viker grinned evilly as the young woman was dragged before him. He would satiate his hunger and use her as an aperitif for the main meal to come. One hand lashed out, claws hooking into flesh as he drew her towards him. There was no time for toying with his meal, so he ended her life with a quick slash of his free hand, opening her throat to his eager fangs.