The title is based off this awesome song:
The door hissed open at the key-in sequence of the guard.
Sage Alissa Paddrang strode confidently into the laboratory, leaving her guards behind with a dismissive wave. The minute she walked into the large room, she noticed how cold it was, despite the fact that there was a boiling hot sun just outside the walls of the lab. The second thing she noticed was Sage Corvus’ assistant, Myra, working with two other acolytes behind a sweeping bank of controls, pressing buttons, manipulating all manner of levers and dials. The third thing was Corvus himself; standing off to one side of the controls in his silver outfit with his trademark red cape draped over his left arm. In his right hand was a small blue book, marked with forbidden sigils; it was the heretic Prosthan’s work, La histoire oubliette. The Forgotten Lore.
“I believe you missed a very important meeting.” She said as she approached him.
Corvus smiled faintly at her. “Bonjour, madame Paddrang. How nice of you to personally come to remind me.”
She stopped two feet short of him, turning on her heels to face the working acolytes. “I find your lack of respect for time disturbing.”
“The Great Temple of Hanjin was not built in a day.” He glanced sidelong at her. “And by the way, did you know that time is more like a spider’s web than an arrow?”
Alissa snorted. “Did Prosthan tell you that?”
“Amongst other things, oui.” Corvus raised the book in her face and shook it slightly. “He was a very intelligent man…for a heretic.”
“Careful there,” Alissa growled. “If Raga were here, he’d have your heart on his sword in a second.”
“His zealotry astounds everyone, dear Paddrang.” He lowered the book, then turned to Myra with a query; “Is everything ready, ma chѐre?”
Myra looked up from the console she was studying. “Yes sir! Pre-release checks are in progress.”
“Am I about to find out why you missed a major meeting with the Archsage?” Alissa wondered aloud, as she crossed her arms under her breasts.
“You might if you decide to stick around for the next five minutes.” Corvus pointed at one of the other acolytes. “You there, start reducing the artificial atmosphere settings to normal. And, pour l’amour de Dieu, please remember to detach all the cables before the tank is opened this time?”
A loud pinging noise filled the room, causing Alissa to look around in brief alarm. It was then that she noticed the one important thing she had failed to notice in her initial sweep of the lab. Some yards away from the control bank, right in the center of the room was a thick glass cylinder, about the thickness of four grown men, attached to both ceiling and floor by strong metal supports. As she watched, the bundle of cables and tubing connected to the cylinder came away individually with small pops of noise, releasing jets of smoky-white gas in the seconds before the overhead ventilation fans kicked in.
The pinging sound came again, and Alissa realized that it was coming from the control bank, which had switched from their usual blue display color to a vitreous green. “Sir?” Myra said, as she tucked back a strand of her silky dark hair behind one ear.
“Release him.” Corvus sounded almost bored.
Alissa watched the glass tank expectantly; unable to discern what manner of creation lurked in the gas-filled chamber. The tank split open vertically silently. More of the white gas escaped, only to be sucked up by the fans set into the ceiling, which had gone from a quiet thrum to an operational dull roar. Some…thing took one lumbering step out from its erstwhile cradle, but the thick gas obscured its shape, and Alissa could only make out an outline of it. And that scared her a little.
The creature took another step.
“Madame Paddrang, allow me to present to you another of Prosthan’s finest ideas.” Corvus took a few steps towards his creation, then stopped and swiveled around to face her with a half-smile on his thin lips. “Although, in truth, he was only reporting an account of a mythical creature from the long-dead civilization of Yserbia. He said that in a time long past, Yserbian sorcerors created warriors like these to protect themselves during times of war.”
The gas finally cleared, and what the sage saw made her shiver with horror. The acolytes and Myra, whom probably knew what it was, took several fearful steps backwards from the controls. The thing was almost twelve feet tall and had the width of two grown men. Its skin – if it could be called that – was as black as the night and looked like it was made of solid obsidian. In shape it just vaguely resembled a man, if men had the legs like a dog’s hind limbs, four arms that looked like that of a gorilla’s and a head that was akin to a tiger. The thing didn’t have any eyes; only a blank strip of silver metal that seemed to glow from within.
“I give you, the demise of whichever shellbreaker crew that stole Project Alkonost.” Sage Corvus said, with something that could have been called have been paternal pride. The thing stopped at his side, glaring (at least in Alissa’s mind, that was) at the people in the laboratory in turn. “I give you…the Marahute.” Corvus reached up to pat the creature on the flank, grinning broadly just like a proud father…or an insane genius. “Not bad for a heretic’s work, oui?”