398 - Requiem - Giles as Big Bad (working title) - dragon's phoenix - BtVS
Prompt: 398 - Requiem
Warnings: Blood, gore, visions of death
Rating: I'm going with PG-13
Summary: Giles is the big bad of season 1. This is the first scene of the work, setting up how Giles becomes evil.
Notes: Originally this first scene was going to be the ritual to Eyghon, but the prompt of requiem put Randall's funeral into my mind. Does this work as a beginning scene?
Discarnate demons may embody themselves, anchor themselves to the physical plane by one of two methods. The first and more common method is to possess a human body. The most common example of this is vampirism. There are no known instances of possession in which the human memories do not remain intact although it remains a theoretical possibility.
The second method in which a discarnate demon may anchor itself into the human plane is more subtle and hence more dangerous. Because there are no obvious physical changes, it is almost impossible to detect allowing the demon in question, if it is embodied in an astute host, free reign in the human realm. In this method a psychic bond is created between the demon and a human host. The demon itself remains embodied, if one can use that word, in a non-material plane but this connection, this psychic bond, remains as a persistent influence upon the human host. The demon is, in effect, always in the back of the host's mind, whispering directly into his thoughts.
The ancient rites that could create such a bond are always associated with degenerate subsets of society, outcasts from the greater social norm, sometimes tribes living in isolation, sometimes bohemians, wild youth living in the lower depths of the greater inner cities.
from a lecture on Advanced Demonology, Watcher's Council Lecture Series
The heavy stone walls of the church made it seem more fort than temple of God. Perhaps that was as it should be. Rupert needed shelter although he didn't expect to find it here. He found a seat at the back of the church without stopping to sign the registry. His clothes, the tweed he'd put back on after he'd returned to the Council, wouldn't raise a second glance. There was nothing to identify him, but he knew that Randall's parents wouldn't appreciate his presence even if they didn't know he was their son's killer. Or perhaps their son's savior. There had been no chance of bringing back Randall, not after Eyghon had taken him over. Rupert's had thought he'd left the Council behind him but when the demon had run free, Rupert's duty had been clear. Kill before the demon could.
Mozart's Requiem played in the background as the church filled. Rupert was possibly the only one who could see the parallels. A gifted young man, misunderstood by his parents, who had died tragically and far too young. Rupert would rather have been surrounded by silence, but the choice wasn't his. Rupert wondered briefly who had selected the music. Certainly Randall's working-class parents wouldn't have, but perhaps that was a decision made by the priest, a kindness, not forcing more choices on the grieving family.
The mother and father came in. With her head turned toward her husband, Rupert couldn't see more of the mother than a babushka covering her head and what was likely her best coat. The father's eyes were red from crying but he looked more furious and dazed than sad. Rupert had seen a bullfight once. The bull, wounded by a half-dozen lances, had tried and failed to rise. Rupert saw that same look on the old man's face, not an acceptance of impossible odds, but a hopeless raging in the face of them.
After the parents were seated, between one blink of an eye and the next, the walls were covered in blood and gore. Randall's mother had fallen onto her husband, the slash in her throat exposed. Hers was the only identifiable corpse. Body parts had been strewn everywhere but the viscera lay so thick that no one else could be identified. Rupert's hands clenched the back edge of the pew before him. If I run screaming from this funeral, they'll find me, they'll tie me to Randall's death, and they'll kill me. You'll lose your only anchor to this world.
Rupert heard laughter in the back of his mind. The corpses were still there but at least they were full bodies again, bodies broken and slashed and running with blood, but bodies that acted like people, engaging in the service and acting out the motions of their faith as a panacea to their grief. The demon had played this game with him before, controlling what he saw, heard, smelled. At least this time Rupert stopped himself from gagging on the coppery scent of blood. The blood and corpses were an illusion but an illusion so real that it took all of Rupert's will to sit there and appear calm.
As soon as the service ended, Rupert raised himself up and out of the church, walking quickly away between the flowing waters of the Thames to his left and the industrial parks to his right. He walked five blocks and across a bridge before he stopped, leaning heavily against a chain link fence. Rupert looked down at his hands, expecting them to be dripping with gore, but that was one illusion Eyghon had never given him. But it wouldn't be an illusion, not quite. Randall's blood had been on his hands for three weeks. The police, searching for the killer, had held the body that long. Presumably releasing it meant the trail had run dry.
Eyghon spoke in the back of Rupert's mind. My priest. The demon hadn't just taken over Randall, it had anchored itself in Rupert's mind as well. Rupert had tried a half-dozen rituals over the course of three days, but nothing had loosened Eyghon's grasp on his mind. When Rupert had fled to the Council, he'd meant to turn himself in, to tell them Eyghon was trapped in his mind. Surely the full weight of the Council could find a way to banish the demon.
But then Rupert had remembered rumors, gossip, tales of Watchers who'd been polluted by demons. The more ordinary demons, such as vampires, were killed straight out, but any human, even a Watcher, corrupted by an exotic demon, that person would be kept, caged, and studied. The Council knew of this type of psychic bond but had never had a living example to study.
Rupert's hands gripped the fence, the woven wire fencing cold against his hands. “I could still tell them about you,” he snarled at the demon. “It is my duty.” He'd taken the afternoon off but the Council never closed. He could go now.
They would keep him alive as long as they could to study the link, and they would dissect him after he was dead to see if the bond had changed him physically.
“Tomorrow,” he said. “First thing.”
Eyghon laughed in the back of his mind.