Magic Empire

This is written purely out of spite, because I am so sick of listening to people talk about game of thrones, and I personally could not care even the tiniest bit about it because as far as I can tell it doesn't have anywhere near enough magic in it for it to be a decent fantasy story- oh yeah some crow with 3 eyes, and some dumb broad with some baby dragons and even some fire breathers who bring people back to life or some crap eventually emerge into the story, far too little and far too late in the story for me to ever consider reading (or watching for that matter) because its mostly politics and backstabbing, might as well be the real world...

Anyway this story, is the typical fantasy type story- Evil wizard (sort of evil in the sense that lelouche vi britannia or kira were evil) who is basically a cross between Darken Rahl and Aizen Sousuke, is the secret ruler of a rapidly expanding empire with aspirations of world domination is eventually thwarted by well intention-ed "good guys"

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2. Cheating Death

The wooden walls of the small shack reverberated loudly with each knock on the door, its wooden frame creaking and groaning with every impact.

 

Edward Krempe eyed the door again over the top of his small framed glasses, only deciding to answer it when the small lamp, the light of which he was using to work, fell over, almost starting a fire. He cursed and patted at the flames plunging himself into near darkness save for the last embers still smoldering in the fireplace.

 

He squinted in the gloom and made his way to the door swinging it open just as the man rapping it was about to knock again. The man lowered his hand and smiled broadly at Edward despite the rain lashing down around him and the wind whipping leaves up and round about him. 

"Sorry to call by at this hour Mr Krempe but I have some work that needs to be done and time is running out, and I need to head off again in the morning so obviously I couldn't wait for your normal working hours."

 

Mr Krempe somberly stepped away from the door to allow the man to come inside, the man nodding and smiling his thanks in response as he stepped through the threshold.

 

He brushed the front of his coat sending rivulets of water flying before he unbuttoned it and hanged it from a hook just inside and to the right of the door, then he turned back to Edward and smiled.

"Now, lets get down to business. I am here as a representative of the Palmolmic Empire and it has been put to me to find someone of your particular skill set  for possible military application."

 

Edward shifted his weight, the mention of the Palmolmic Empire having made him nervous. He replied:

"I really don't have the manpower for work on that kind of scale, let alone enough embalming agents, caskets, make up, et cetera. You really would be better off with..."

 

The man held up his hand to silence him before speaking again himself.

"It is not your skills as a mortician that we seek"

He walked to the door, opened it and waved to somebody outside, then turned back to Edward.

"I heard the most disturbing rumor about you. I heard that you were a Necromancer. In fact, I heard that you were the legendary Edward Nieg, considered to be the world's greatest living Necromancer."

 

Edward was now visibly sweating, it having been some time since he was last accused of the illegal magic school of necromancy. Indignantly he retorted:

"I don't know where you got your information from but it is not true. People spread these vicious rumors out of jealousy to try and ruin your business and reputation but..."

 

"Now now no need for denial or fear here, being Edward Nieg can only work in your favour" the man replied with the slightest hint of menace to his smile.

 

A figure now stood in the doorway behind the man, drawing Edwards attention to the fact that it was still open. The man held his hand up and the figure behind him stepped inside, turned, closed the door behind himself before walking up beside the other man, putting his hands behind his back.

 

The man gestured theatrically for Edward to observe and inspect for himself, sweeping his hands through the air as though the figure that had just entered was a statue presented to a king by a faithful partisan.

 

"What am I supposed to be looking at?" asked Edward.

 

The man turned to the figure and said "would you like to field this one?"

The figure sighed and said:

"There's not really much point, is there master? Even if I told him he wouldn't believe me until after the physical examination."

 

The man's smile broadened:

"Yes too true, well OK then, lets get on with it. Go ahead, begin."

 

They both looked at Edward expectantly. Edward shifted from foot to foot. "I'm just a mortician, I really..."

The man's smile was overbearing as he replied:

"That means that you are a qualified doctor then, correct? Please just run through a brief medical exam then, to see how healthy or unhealthy my young friend here is."

 

Edward begrudgingly stepped forward and asked the young man to roll his sleeves up and to turn his arms so that his palms and wrists were facing up. Once he had done so, Edward placed two fingers onto his wrist to check for blood pressure.

 

The moment his fingers touched his wrist he froze up, colour bleeding from his face as he held grimly on.

 

The man looked pleased, "Problem?" he queried?

 

Edward didn't respond, he simply blinked dumbly and looked down at the wrist in his hand. He visibly shivered. 

Minutes passed and Edward realized that he couldn't feel a pulse and shuddered again as this second revelation deepened the sense of terror and unreality rising in him and the wrist slipped from his fingers as his grip loosed from the shock and fear now overwhelming him.

 

The figure allowed the wrist to hover back to his side before putting it behind his back again.

The man spoke again "Something wrong?" 

"What the hell is going on here? Who are you?" he replied, his words scant a whisper. 

"I already told you, I am an emissary of the Empire and I want your help, your talents, to aid us in our cause."

 

Edward was barely listening, his panic soaring sky high, overbearing, overwhelming, suffocating. He screamed out:

"You know what I mean! That thing..." he said pointing at the young man "...that thing is dead"

 

"What makes you say that?" the man smiled back knowingly.

 

Edward stammered back "I-I-Its DEAD, it h-h-has no P-P-P-PULSE! And its stuh stuh stuh." He paused to calm himself then: "Its STONE COLD, even the skin is hardening and flaking, that thing is dead!"

 

The young man he was referring to shifted his weight uncomfortably and then coughed and spoke "please stop calling me a thing."

 

Edward flinched and stepped backwards onto the back foot blubbering as he went:

"NO NO NO, it talked, spoke, can't speak, shouldn't speak, no no no. This is impossible."

 

The man sighed growing increasingly weary of this. He stepped forward as he talked the smile having finally left him.

"I'm done with this charade. The fact that you understand that he should not be capable of speech is as good as a confession. Nobody except a Necromancer would know that the reanimated dead are incapable of speech." 

 

He cocked his head sideways, the faintest traces of his former smile framing but not softening his features.

"So what do you think of my work? I consider him to be my finest creation- a reanimated corpse that can talk, think, and has a full array of motor functions, practically an artificial human."

 

Edward had stopped trembling as noticeably as fear slowly began to give way to awe and professional curiosity. He leaned closer, eyeing up the figure as he spoke:

"This shouldn't be possible. All cognitive faculties are automatically fried in the electrical surge generated in the brain to spark off the neural signals necessary to begin reanimation. Basically they are just a twitching mass of violent impulses curtailed by the will of the Necromancer- little more than glorified puppets."

 

The man's smile returned in full force. 

"See, knew it would all come back to you. You're right of course, that is why I experimented until I discovered how to bypass the drawbacks of that initial discharge."

 

Edward was listening intently.

"How was that?"

 

"This may sound rudimentary but the discharge must happen elsewhere." Came the answer.

 

Edward seemed confused by this:

"But it isn't possible to spark off that initial neural signal broadcast from anywhere else in the body- it has to be the brain, so how?"

 

Laughter met this comment and the man explained darkly:

"Yes true, but nobody specifically said it had to take place inside THEIR brain. I found that I was able to spark off reanimation by causing that discharge on a body nearby."

 

Edwards eyes grew wide with shock and wonder- he had never even considered that option, not even when he...

 

The man began to pace the small shack, talking excitedly once more.

"Of course even with this knowledge my earlier efforts were still failures. They were reanimated and capable of speech, but all they did was scream and try to destroy themselves until of course I destroyed them. It wasn't until I experimented using a living body as the original discharge point to reanimate a dead body that I finally created our young friend here."

 

Edward went white again and croaked:

"Did you just say a living body?"

"Yes, all the energy generated by their death by electrocution is more than enough to get the dead brain functioning again. The by product is the mind of the deceased mixed with the impulses and instincts of the formerly living body." came the curt reply.

 

Edward nodded half knowingly, understanding in principle everything the man had said but it all seemed so abstract- because this was all so new a concept to him. Up until now he had considered brain death in undead to be a fundamental unalterable law. He looked at the thoughtful zombie in front of him. Nothing he had ever made was ever as close to a living person as this. He spoke with reverence and awe.

"That is truly amazing. I've never seen anything like it."

 

The man feigned modesty "thank you"

Edward ventured: "If you can make something like this, then what could you possibly want me for? I mean, I've never made anything remotely like this in my life- you are quite obviously a far more skilled Necromancer than I."

 

The man studied him for a moment before replying.

"Thank you, but really you are being too modest. You have achieved something even greater than this, in fact, that is the real reason that I am here."

 

This further puzzled Edward who gawked quizzically.

 

The man rolled his eyes, weary of this interview. He felt it was time to speed things up a bit.

"Tell me, if you had known how to do this" he said gesturing to his creation as he did so- "would you still have destroyed that body 15 years ago?" his lips curling into a distasteful sneer as he did.

 

Edward flinched as though he had been hit in the stomach, all wind seeming to desert him as he breathlessly mouthed the words "that was a failure."

 

The man replied sharply to the wordless protestations with:

"It was only a failure because you couldn't bring her mind back to life, only her body, and it didn't stop you from keeping her around for a while. For long enough for others to realize that you had successfully reanimated a body that neither aged nor decayed."

 

Edward stood speechless, drowning in the memories of the one person he had tried to bring back to life.

He sighed.

"You can't bring the dead back to life."

 

More laughter met this along with another reply.

"I beg to differ. The proof is right before you- both you and I have managed to come halfway to fully reviving a person- you with the flesh, myself with the mind. If we work together we can achieve great things- not to mention that if you come with me you will finally have enough knowledge to succeed where you failed 15 years ago."

 

Edward thought about this for a moment, that long forgotten dream suddenly resurfacing, tempting him to accept this offer. Torn on the matter, on one hand excited by the idea of this new technique and the possibilities it might offer, on the other hand fretful at the prospect of bringing up all the painful memories and reasons for why he had quit necromancy in the first place. In the end caution won this battle and he declined.

 

"Are you sure? Think about the possibilities! You will have your own research department and laboratory, wealth, power, and the freedom to practice the craft that you loved so much you became the best at it. Think about it, you wouldn't be hated or shunned for your work but worshiped and revered." the man offered hoping to entice him.

 

Tempting though this was, the memories of Sarah ripping a small girls head off, of biting open a landlords throat, or pulling a guards intestines out with her hands, flooded back reminding him of the evils that he had caused, of the blood on his own hands, and once again bringing to the surface the stark reality that if he were to agree, it would mean murdering people in a brutal and horrible way to make them part of the creations. Like this man had murdered someone to make his creation work.

He finally spoke.

"No, I won't do it, too much blood has already been spilled because of me, I don't want to be a party to any more"

 

The mans smile left entirely now, and he turned to his companion. "Go and fetch Mr Niegs personal effects, clothing, supplies, anything you know we will either need on the road or that he would require to feel comfortable once we arrive"

 

The figure nodded and brushed past Edward on his way to get his things.

Edward shouted after him "hey, HEY!" then turned back to the man.

"Are you deaf? I just said I won't work with you."

 

The man stepped forward and grabbed him by the shoulder, squeezing his fingers deeply into the muscle before talking again himself, his voice now cold and ruthless.

"I know what you said, but the truth is, I want to know how you made a body ageless and eternal. I am going to find  out, whether it be from your living body, or whether I turn you into one of my slaves like our good friend in there." 

 

His finger tips began to heat up as he spoke and burned into the tunic that Edward was wearing, he could smell it, thick and acrid as the burning bit into his flesh and clenched his teeth to try to block out the pain. Smoke rose up and he fancied that he could even see the fingers glowing. The man spoke again.

"Of course there are always other options, where I disembowel you and use your insides to divine the answer, Divination is such a useful field of magic, in truth probably more so than necromancy, but there are always issues with syntax when dealing with questions and I might never get another chance to ask. Of course I could always drag you with me as a hostage and make you watch as I murder your family and friends until you decide to join me. Your life here is over, no matter what the outcome of your decision."

 

He leaned his face closer to Edwards, now only a few inches away from him, and smiled, his smile now cold and heartless, and framing a face void of sympathy or compassion. The visage frightened Edward almost as much as the words he spoke next.

"You might as well embrace being Edward Nieg again, because one way or another, Edward Krempe dies here tonight." 

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