Invalesco looked around the walls of the locked construct. He had been watching the subtle shifts in the code-stream of the wall, learning of the events outside in the same way a human would listen with his ears pressed to the walls of a prison cell.
Something was certainly happening. Other construct walls had fallen down, releasing the imprisoned Lupines and Blood-drinkers housed within. Tehort shouted in joy at his release, sending shockwaves through the code of Invalesco’s cell wall. Beherit was heard singing as her construct was unlocked and she was freed.
“Shall we release this one, Feronus?”
A voice pierced the wall, and with it, what passed as Invalesco’s heart. He had dreamed for what seemed an eternity for freedom, and a chance to get his revenge on Malphas and his schemes. Perhaps now would be his chance.
“No, he must stay. Lord Malphas has made it clear that Invalesco is too dangerous to be released at this time.”
“He is your brother!”
“He is nothing to me. Malphas has promised me my own coven should I choose to take his side.”
The pale walls of the construct prison flared for a moment in response to Invalesco’s shock and anger. His own brother! His own brother was passing him over! Invalesco did not know what had happened outside the Blackwood’s construct prisons, but if the other Exiles were being freed, than surely he deserved to be released as well!
The trapped Blood-drinker stared at the walls in anguish, and then rage. Slowly, his construct walls changed from the white of imprisonment, to a grey, dimming to a dull red in the haze of his fury. He threw himself mentally and physically against the wall shouting his brother’s name.
“Feronus! Let me out! Feronus! FERONUS!”
Time passed in fits and starts for Invalesco. Every so
often, the Blackwood and the prison tower would warp, and shift, and snap back into place. Four times this happened, until one day…
“Get out, worm.”
Lord Malphas stood before Invalesco. It was obvious that the Blood-drinker Lord had grown in power in the ages since Invalesco had last seen him. His translucent skin shone with an inner strength that made the walls of the prison pale in comparison. Regarding his own code, the tatters of his clothing and the tatters of his flesh, Invalesco realized that he was close to losing his stability. If Malphas had not come, the aged Blood-drinker would have dissolved soon into a puddle of lost code.
“I have come for only one reason. Your brother, Feronus, urged me to leave you in here, but I have a job that perhaps only you can do. I will trust you this once, and if you fail me…”
The walls of the construct changed again, this time to spikes which slowly grew like thorns out of the wall. Each thorn grew a dozen thorns from its tip, reaching further into the cell, until Invalesco was forced to scurry out on his hands and knees. He looked fearfully back into the tiny cell in which he had spent centuries.
“…I will put you back in there with my reminders.”
At that, the thorns became steely gray, grinding metallically against each other until they met in the center.
Choking back ages of hatred for the sake of survival, Invalesco dragged his gaze from the deathtrap to look at Malphas. He was careful to allow his fear to show in his eyes, although it hurt the shreds of his pride to let the Blood-drinker Lord see his weakness. Malphas inclined his head in acknowledgement.
“I need you to infiltrate the ranks of the humans who are not connected fully into the Matrix. I want you to find out if they will serve me.”
After centuries of inaction, the explosion of sensory input from the Mega City was nothing less than intoxicating for Invalesco. He jumped from building to building, leaping, capering, dancing in the air.
For his own pleasure, he ignited a nearby building, watching the humans within scurry out in terror. Swooping in amongst them, he fed until he was sated, blood dripping from his face and chin.
An Agent appeared.
Reaching back into the mythic legacy of his foundation code, Invalesco used the subroutines that had granted him so much power in the early days of the Matrix.
Power he had lost to Malphas. Power that would once again be his.
Watching the Agent slump to the ground, its code sent back to the Source for repair, Invalesco felt the beginnings of a plan form.
He sampled the code around him. The Floating Feast was strong for him in the Barrens. It was as though the Barrens had been made to harbor his kind. He watched the flow of code. Glowing stars of human blood code walked the streets in orderly cycles, like blood through veins. But there was more. Streamers of usable power snaked from the subway entrances, fillips of crumbling façade information formed easily gathered piles of energy. This world was nothing less than perfection.
He cared not for Malphas’ task. If he shared his hidden subroutines with selected humans, they and he could easily overwhelm the Matrix and bring about an eternal night ruled by Blood-drinkers.
And those Blood-drinkers would be ruled by Invalesco.
He went to Manssen Park, where he knew younger members of his kind resided. Kicking them out of their headquarters in the Church of the Disciples, Invalesco set about scouting for the humans that Malphas had told him about. He would bide his time. After all, he had quite a lot of that ephemeral resource to spare, now.
It finally happened. Invalesco heard the word from Beherit herself.
Malphas was gone. And not just gone, but kidnapped. Held captive like he had been.
Invalesco knew that his time had come.
He watched as the others of his kind, working with the Lupines, rebelled against their masters, tearing apart humans of all types. Looking for Malphas. Looking for Ookami.
Everyone was looking for them, except for Invalesco.
He began recruiting.
“Would you like to live forever? Immortal? Invulnerable? Empowered to do whatever you wish?”
The new humans, the ones who were not connected fully to the Matrix, listened to him. One joined him. Two. Ten. A hundred. He began to realize he was not just going to have freedom from any who wanted power over him – he was becoming the greatest power of the Matrix itself.
An eternal night would fall. His dream of sharing his code secrets with the humans would come to pass.
Posted by Live Events Team