Succubus Summoning 211 (part 4)
Darvill reached the top of the stairs and entered a long passageway. A line of stone arches resembling windows ran along each wall. The arches didn’t look out onto anything; the view was obscured by flaps of glossy white material—some kind of rubber. The latex sheets swayed and bulged and initially Darvill thought this must be a corridor exposed to the outside elements, maybe a bridge between two towers. Then he realised the motions were co-ordinated—like lungs drawing breath. As he walked down the corridor he caught movement in the corner of his eye. Ripples ran through the glossy white material. Ripples that resolved into faces and hands. They melted away the moment he turned to look at them directly.
Up ahead the corridor terminated in a strange obstruction. It resembled a giant sphincter or iris, but was made out of the same glossy white rubber rather than any kind of biological material.
Darvill checked his portable soul divination apparatus. It told him Gary was on the other side of that door, if it was a door.
He approached and the door opened up like an iris. Revealed on the other side was a large white chamber. It contained beds, couches and other furniture whose purpose was primarily pleasure. Everything was covered in a layer of glossy white latex. He noticed there was no visible gap between furniture and the floor, as though all the beds and loungers he saw had been extruded from the floor beneath.
At the end of the room a succubus in white sat in a massive, overstuffed chair that resembled a throne in both dimensions and placement. He recognised her. It was the same succubus Gary had been infatuated with. She’d changed. Her long silky hair was pure white and a complex series of horns—like those of an elk—were threaded through it. She no longer resembled a trashy porn star in a fetish nurse outfit. She looked regal . . . powerful.
Darvill saw no one else in the room. He checked his portable soul divination apparatus. It pointed directly at the daemon sitting on the throne.
He wished it hadn’t.
“I’ve come for Gary Dever,” Darvill said. “Return him to me.”
The succubus in white ignored his demand. She looked at the artefact in his hand. “Is that an Aqui-animus divination apparatus?”
“I’m sorry,” the succubus said. “Those have never worked particularly well around me.”
Darvill drew his knife and prepared to slice into his arms to activate the most powerful offensive magic he knew. “I don’t want a fight,” he said. “Give me Dever and we’ll both leave without any trouble.”
“No, you don’t want a fight,” the succubus said.
She looked at Darvill standing defiantly before her.
“You need to see something,” she said.
She sighed and pushed her breasts and belly outwards. Her latex outfit—if it was an outfit, Darvill suspected it was her skin—rippled as a commotion took place underneath. Tiny hands followed by equally small faces pushed out against the malleable rubber. They pushed out and then subsided, as if the succubus was cycling through them in search of one particular soul. She found it and Darvill recognised Gary’s face. Gary pushed out as if trying to force his way through a thick sheet of elastic. His arms and most of his upper body emerged from the succubus’s stomach as if an unnatural fission was taking place.
Darvill’s excitement faded as he saw more of Gary’s body. The shape of the head was wrong—deformed, partially melted. The same was true of his hands. The fingers weren’t right—they looked like softened wax. Gary’s face broke the surface and Darvill saw there was nothing there. The eyes were blank, dead. There was no light there. No life. No soul. Gary didn’t recognise him. The malformed face gibbered nonsensically.
Water welled up in Darvill’s eyes.
The daemon saw he understood. She flexed her amorphous body and Gary was pulled back down into her as if caught in a quagmire. The rippling commotions faded away until there was only the succubus, looking radiantly perfect as she sat on her throne.
“You friend is gone,” she said. “Even if you had the necessary power to force me to return him to you, all I can give you are his remnants—little more than carrion that would fall apart in your hands.”
“Then I came here—risked the lives and souls of my friends—for nothing.”
“Not for nothing,” the succubus said. “You have grown considerably as a warlock. Calli-Scitu-Oc is very pleased with your progress.” She smiled at the poly-Oc perched on Darvill’s shoulder.
Darvill’s poly-Oc had a name? Darvill thought that was a weakness lesser warlocks indulged in—giving their daemon familiars pet names. Darvill hadn’t. It was a poly-Oc, nothing more than a common familiar.
Then he looked across to the poly-Oc sitting on his shoulder, saw the way it looked back at him, and understood.
“It appears I’ve been operating under an erroneous set of assumptions,” he said.
Most of his knowledge, nearly everything he knew, had been obtained from reading books. He saw now that most of it was wrong. A single glance from Calli-Scitu-Oc told him that.
The succubus smiled at him. He could see why they were regarded as creatures of near-irresistible temptation. That temptation emanated from her like a burning spotlight. He was relieved she had chosen not to turn it on him.
“What about the others?”
“They did not possess sufficient strength of character.”
The voice came from behind him. Darvill turned and saw a small group of succubi had entered the room. He recognised Rosa and Verdé, and the succubus that looked like a stern dominatrix. There was also a succubus he hadn’t seen before—a little girl with horns and spiky blue hair. Despite looking like a child, she had the oldest eyes Darvill had ever seen, older even than both the succubus in black and the succubus in white. In the middle of them, still dressed in his ratty old robes, was Phil Rowling.
to be continued . . .