Danse Macabre with a Contract
“But will it work?” The matoran asked, gesturing with hands in a frantic and utterly helpless manner. His wild, nervous eyes were glistening with the madness of one being tracked, one whose very life is now worth nothing more than what any bounty hunter could collect.
“Perhaps. It’s your best bet, but then again, you’re a desperate man, aren’t you?” The response was apathetic, of relaxed tone. “You would sell your own soul for protection. A rather ironic business deals, considered you would be giving what you hoped to keep in your body…” The second figure paused, his insane eyes, eyes of pure, utter madness, glaring at the matoran. “But you are not interested in philosophy or pondering at the moment, are you? Of course not.”
“The price. What is the price? What do you want?” The matoran was frantic now, hands on the desk in front of him, his voice nearing screaming as he stood, shaking slightly.
“Something infinitely more valuable than your soul, my good sir. Your money. Every thing. That ring of keys in your pocket. The cap off of your head,” With a sudden swipe, the seated figure grabbed the matoran’s hat, and placed it on his head, grinning manically as he did so. “Your very life, every component, every piece.”
The matoran said nothing in return, only staring at him for a moment, his mouth open, his protest dying in his throat.
“Do you have a wife? No?” The figure behind the desk looked rather disappointed when the matoran shook his head slightly. “I would have taken her as well. Now, down to business…” Holding out his hand, the figure pointed at the key ring, and the bag of widgets attached to the matoran’s belt.
Shaking with uncertainty and insecurity, the matoran placed the requested items in the outstretched hand, glancing at the figure in pure and utter disbelief. At first, there was nothing, no response, only those maddened, cruel eyes, bright amber in color, and utterly manic in expression.
And then the figure tossed it at him. It was small, much smaller than he expected, and he stumbled as reached for it, barely able to save himself from falling. Reaching out a split second before it met the ground, the matoran managed to snatch the stone, and as he leaned against the desk, breathing heavily, the figure behind the desk, clothed in darkness save for his eyes, coughed, ever so quietly, and ever so menacingly.
With a startled gasp, the matoran stepped back, expecting the figure to make another demand he could barely obey. “What? What now?” He cried, half in frustration and half in rage.
“It is truly a shame you do not have a wife. Then again, I don’t think I would want to meet a woman who is attracted to you, my good, psychotic sir.” The figure said, following the sentence with a long, drawn out laugh, appreciation of humor only he recognized existed. “Well, go on. You have the transition tablet, go find a Makuta to squeal to.” Suddenly, his voice was serious and utterly merciless.
His eyes wide, the matoran pushed himself away from the desk, running as fast as his legs would take him. He continued running out into the street, never stopping.
Remain in his seat, the figure took a long, calm drag on his cigarette, sucking in the smoke before slowly breathing it out, letting the grey wisps curl around his lips and rise above. As he did this once more, a terrified scream could be heard from the street, a shriek of pure pain and terror, and then an equally terrible silence.
“You never grow tired of leading them on like that, do you?” The voice apparently came from nowhere, originating from the air behind the figure. “I suppose even one as cruel as you has uses to our organization, Jilsud. Congratulations on guiding yet another poor soul to their deaths. Deaths beneficial to us, you can be assured.”
“Ah, Jerbraz, I never grow tired of your congratulations and comforting words.” Jilsud said, turning around in his chair so that the light illuminated his face, the face of a Vortixx, grey-green in color, with peculiar mechanical components, resembling things steampunk and clockwork, the color of copper, and the matoran’s hat, a black fedora, perched on his head. “Who exactly did I just kill, if you would be so kind?”
“That matoran was one of the last beings to know of Artakha’s location. Tobduk is going to be jealous: Killing them off is his job. I have to say, using that false Tablet of Transit was genius. Why kill them when you can have a brotherhood minion do it?”
“How flattering.” Jilsud said, turning his chair around once more, taking another drag on his cigarette, apparently uninterested. “Now, unless you have more information, I suspect I have another customer approaching.
A few second later, a female Steltian, wringing her hands in worry, and glancing around nervously, stepped inside the open doorway. “I heard you can supply tablets of transit-” She began, wincing at the words that left her mouth.
“The supplier of your information is most talented. Please, take a seat.” Jilsud said, gesturing to the chair in front of his desk.
As soon as she sat down, he began to weave his enticing web once again, draining her of every possession, promising to give her salvation, but only handing her a death sentence, in the form of false information, a tablet of transition missing one tiny detail, a possession for which she would be killed on sight. A business deal between the untruthful and the desperate, an arrangement between a devil and a dead man, Danse Macabre with a contract.