“Ryvel! Ryvel!” Cadoc yelled, sending searing bolts of agony coursing through his broken body. “Come to me.”
For years Cadoc had done as he had promised the Great One, systematically hunting down and destroying his enemies in Ryvel’s name. He had travelled the length and breadth of the globe never ceasing in his crusade. Ryvel had given him strength, given him a means to go on after all was lost. Now he lay in the bullet-pitted shell that used to be home to the worst group of people to ever smear existence with their presence. The final fight had taken its toll, Cadoc was broken and dying, watching his blood slowly seep into the already sodden carpet. The fear of death had been eliminated for so long but now reared its ugly head. Cadoc thought he would have comfort once all who had wronged him were gone but as his vision swam he could think of nothing more than staying alive. And so he begged to the emptiness that had fallen after all the gunfire and screams ceased.
A strange vibration began in Cadoc’s mind that soon rose in frequency until he thought his skull would split to relieve the pressure. The already hazy world around him grew ever more indistinct. Cadoc realised he was about to die.
“Why do you call my name?” a rumbling voice said through the swirling patterns. Cadoc concentrated, forcing the world to refocus. Floating above him, cross-legged and glaring down with eyes of white fire, was Ryvel. Believing, knowing, that he had very little time left Cadoc breathed deeply, ignoring the bursts of pain throughout his body.
“I am dying my Lord,” he managed. The Great One observed him with utmost indifference.
“Yes. You are done.”
“No!” Cadoc cried, falling into sickeningly wet coughs that brought with them splashes of black blood. “I must go on.”
“I am not ready to die.” It was spoken weakly but his intent shone through, enough to make Ryvel take notice.
“You believe there is more for you to do? Have you not bested your enemies, have you not wrought your vengeance against all who deserve it?”
“Yes…but I am not done. Please my Lord, make me an instrument of your will! I will cut a bloody swath across all the known lands and beyond, I will strike down your enemies ancient and modern. Let me be your weapon and I shall make the entire world scream your name. Please my Lord, I beg of you.”
Ryvel unfolded one his many arms and gestured towards Cadoc causing him to float up and towards the strange being that must be a God. Its hundreds of eyes studied the broken man as he repeated, ever weaker, “I beg of you.”
More of Ryvel’s arms unfolded, they reached out in unison to grasp Cadoc and pulled him close so that all he could see were hundreds of punishingly bright ovals of white fire. He could smell the Great One’s breath, that of ash and death, and did his best not to pull away. He hung there for an age staring into the fire and continued to beg though he had lost the ability to speak.
With awful suddenness the white points of fire narrowed in disgust. Cadoc felt the hands holding him tighten causing explosions of black stars in his vision. “Please…my…” he managed before another bout of coughing filled his mouth with bile and blood. In between spitting, vomiting and Ryvel’s tightening grip he spoke his last word. “Why?”
“You are weak,” the Great One said as he tore the man apart in a spray of misty blood and clumps of flesh.