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Nightmare Fuel / Liquid Sample

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  • Alex's summoning to Halkegenia is anything but a pretty picture. Having been brought over just after being blasted by the nuke, Alex is little more than a puddle of biological ooze. But when he manages to get some extra biomass from a crow that was foolish enough to try and eat him, that's when the horror starts. The scene that unfolds is as follows:

    Henrietta took a second to recompose herself with a deep breath and then took a careful look at the protruding thing. To her great surprise – and disgust – it was a human hand. A hand that had been flayed of its skin and left with only rotting meat attached to the bones, certainly, but a hand nevertheless.

    The bony fingers clacked together and slapped down on the marble stage with a loud wet sound. Splunk! Using that as an anchor, it pushed itself upwards. Then, just like a person pulling himself free from a pool of water, a man rose.

    The head came first. Like the hand, it too was rotting and grotesque. Distantly, Henrietta heard the sound of screams and some weaker stomached nobles hurling up whatever snacks had been provided for them earlier. Eyeballs rolled in the slime creature's lidless sockets while its jaw opened and shut in short, rapid succession, uttering a death rattle like the hiss of a snake as it took great gasping breaths. Its nose was missing and cheek-flesh ripped apart to show the white of the bones beneath.

    After the head came the body, if it could be called that. Less than flesh and blood, a veritable skeleton struggled to rise. As bare as it was, one could see the distinct lack of organs that all living things had. It made Henrietta question whether this thing was truly alive, though rationally she knew that it must be.

  • Alex himself represents the ultimate peril to everyone that's not Henrietta (and perhaps a few others), even if they might not know it yet. He can't be bribed as he has no interest in money and he can't be intimidated because nobody is a threat to him. Killing him is basically an impossibility and he's powerful enough to defeat armies on his own. He can assume the form of anyone he consumes and will have access to all their memories and knowledge, so you can't keep secrets from him. His loyalty is to Henrietta, and only Henrietta; her enemies are his enemies, and he will exterminate them with extreme prejudice, no matter if they are a commoner or an emperor.
    • Henrietta realizes these implications after Alex shows off just how powerful he is. Through him, she essentially holds absolute power at her command. She could pass whatever laws she wanted and everyone would just have to accept that, because rising up against her would mean putting themselves on Alex's hit list. If a foreign kingdom started making threats, she could send Alex out and said kingdom might not even exist after he was through. The very idea of wielding such power terrifies her, as Henrietta fears that she could become a tyrant of the worst kind, and nobody would be able to stop her.

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