Death Walks Among You
The sun rose another day, the ending had not come.
But not for all.
Deep within the Earth, far deeper than anything held a right to, a small room enforced by the deepest magic and science the multiverse could muster. Perhaps within the same tier of prisons the deepest layers of Hell could provide. A single entity, or rather two merged into one, was imprisoned hopefully to never feel the warm glow of the sun on their skin. A being which sought to do nothing but bring the destruction of the world as they knew it, and a man who sought to hold that back.
It was perhaps ironic that a soul so dedicated to the pursuit of good, had been condemned to a personal hell.
The concept of time had faded long away in this darkest dungeon, leaving only the two in their never ending contest of strength. Though Desmond Hayden, The Iron King, had lost his body he retained his defiance. Every second, of every day, he prevented the monster from drawing upon his full strength. In freeing Hayden of his body, he had raised his spirit to the highest echelons of martyrdom. So he fought, a war of constant attrition enough to prevent whatever plan he had from coming to fruition.
That does not mean Death did not tempt Hayden, mock him, do everything in his power to utilize his life against him.
“You fight so hard for a world which has abandoned you, which threw you away the moment it had the chance. You died pointlessly, as a human. Another faceless soldier among many, wiped out in the blink of an eye.”
A vibration ripped through the cage, shaking the foundations. Hayden’s mind tightening around itself within the shared consciousness of his body. It was another day of abuses, his mistakes and insecurities laid bare.
“You built a nation of sandcastles, crumbling away with every moment you are gone. How does it feel to know, to feel, the slow death of all that you built?”
He knew this wasn’t true. Even if he could not feel the warmth of his people, he left the nation in good hands. In the hands of his beloved, of the people he instilled values into. He knew this day was to come. A day in which he would not sit on the throne.
Perhaps it felt his thoughts, or merely knew that him so that it could guess. A sharp bark of inhuman laughter echoed in his head.
“You truly believe that unfeeling woman, who never loved you, can run that pitiful kingdom you built? That she will uphold the vision you had? Had you not had the potential to be my vassal, had I not granted you power, you wouldn’t be anything. The life you built, the women you love, is built on delusions of grandeur. Your life, Desmond, is nothing but failures.”
A low rumble, a sinister mocking laugh. A voice which did nothing but taunt him.
Perhaps the reason it hurt him, was that there was undeniable truth to the monster’s words. That no matter what he believed, what he wished for, he left a world which was incomplete. A wife whom he wished to love him, so desperately so, that could not. A nation which still was in it’s founding. A family, which now lacked a father.
For all his achievements, Desmond had failed his grandest goals. Now he was alone, in a personal hell, with a monster which had eternity to torture him.
But that did not mean he would fall victim to such ministrations. Perhaps he had failed all he loved, and perhaps, he held onto false hopes, but was that what made Desmond himself?
The words of his beloved echo’d through his head once more: ‘You see that which you hold to be impossible, and still you pursue it.’ A pause.
He thought of her, for a moment. To think of her pale features, her mute yet powerful aura. The look of silent determination and willfulness in her eyes. Yes it was good to remember that. He recalled her face. Good.
‘To seek the impossible… That is something I want to do.’
He shall endeavor upon the impossible once more. His mind would not shatter, his soul would remain. He needed but to last one more second, and when that second passed, but another more.
The strength of will of Desmond could be felt by the creatures. A sickly feeling of anger emitted. It was not pleased.