Human Sacrifice

October 11, 2017:

Regan made a deal with the devil. After months of failing to hold up her end of the deal, the devil pays her a visit.

Regan's Sanctum - 6th Floor - Gotham

A lot can be learned about the owner of a room based on how it is
decorated. If this bedroom is any indication, the owner of the room is a
female with a grandiose sense of ego, a 'forever twenty-one' mindset, a
princess complex, and a LOT of expendable cash.

The wide, open space is floored with hardwood; the expensive kind.
The walls are a crisp shade of white, if not including a slight hint of
lavender in the mix. Overhead, the lighting is a mix of ceiling fans and
dangling string lights that hang with uneven wattage in the bulbs, giving
the ceiling a starlight, if not faerie-like, effect. The bed is equally as
opulent, with white stems in four posts draped in plush, violet curtains and
nearly a dozen pillows in shades of white, pink, and plum.

It only gets worse, from there.

Walk in closet loaded with clothing? Check. Ornate sitting table by
the window for tea? Massive flatscreen television lined with drapery and
jewels? Check. Check. A sitting vanity by the bathroom with full lighting
and a makeup collection? Check. And the last, most gawkingly detail, is a
basket hanging from the ceiling lined in fur and plush, white seating from
which the room's owner can lounge in and swing while watching television.

Characters

NPCs:

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The silence that has grown over the passing weeks has become suffocating. The Task Force hasn't been called for much, not anything of consequence. The very air about the apartment building has constricted the brick walls with the growing tension of a shoe that has yet to drop. Are they waiting for something big? Have they only been selected for smaller pieces of work? Is the program in danger?

Business as usual for far too long.

Which means that little work has advanced on the issue of collecting the Enchantress' caged heart.

Regan is alone in her room. The sound system in her little cave of solitude drones out a low trip-hop beat to match the sway of the sociopath's hips. With her back to the door, the blonde's hair hands in straight sheets over the black and violet slip of a dress that drapes down to her thighs and the black boots she wears. Gently humming to herself, she's playing mother hen over a roll of newly acquired knives and sheaths, picking each of them up and thumbing their edges while humming to herself.

Yet, also pointing towards the door is a new artifact etched upon her once perfect, flawless skin. A tattoo, a new one, lines her shoulder. A collection of roses and vines streaks down her shoulderblade, accented with red streaks of blood.

Regan has been busy. She has traveled. She has not, however, produced a heart.

*

The lack of progress has not exactly made a certain someone happy. And said certain someone has had Time(tm) to work on June, with no one around. It's not exactly good for June to be alone, with no one around. It leaves her too much time in her own head. And well…June's own head has visitors.

With Regan alone, it gives someone a chance to make her unhappiness on the situation known. An explosion of smoke and shadow near Regan. Just behind her, in point of fact. The temperature in the air seems to drop precipitously.

*

Regan, for all her powers and the number of lives she's severed from their mortal coil, lets out a yelp at the sudden rush of power behind her. Regan spins so quickly that her hip bangs against the table and forces her to drop her hands back to catch herself. The sudden stink of fear spikes so delicately, matching the sudden vein of shock in her eyes when she's brought face to face with the Enchantress.

"M-My Queen!" Regan stammers, swallowing suddenly through the feeling of being pinned to the floor by the witch's dominating presence. She fights through the fear. Quickly. Regan tries to smile. "You took control of her? She's weakening! We should celebrate!"

*

Enchantress takes a step or two forward. She's not much of a respecter of personal space, is Enchantress. "Yes." She says, that voice, as usual, an octave lower than June's own, and with that slight reverberation. "We should celebrate your failure and your lack of progress."

*

If Regan could climb onto the table, she would. So the closer Enchantress comes, the harder she leans back, slipping half of her backside onto the table and instinctively lifting a knee to protect herself. A near panic sets in. "M-my Queen she's been slippery lately. I haven't been able to get into position. I-I haven't failed you, but this is going to be something I only get one shot at." Regan cringes, gripping the edge of the table for dear life, but making no move to the wealth of knives available to her. "Please. Believe me."

*

Enchantress can be scary…quite scary. But even then, it's often either from the implication, or just from her raw magical power. Most people forget that she's a physical powerhouse too, despite her being in June's somewhat twiggy form.

If it was the case before, it's not likely going to be something that Regan would forget again.

As Enchantress closes with the retreating Regan, she swings a backhand. It's casual, it looks like something an offended young lady might do as a slap. But the power behind it is easily enough to send a human tumbling through the air.

*

Regan Wyngarde, despite Taskmaster's training, is weak in body.

The arc of the Enchantress' backhand connects squarely with Regan's jaw, lifting her tiny weight off of her feet easily. With a shrieked yelp, a sense of pain Regan isn't often subject to, she hurls helplessly through the air towards the posts of her bed. Her shoulders slam into the footboard, bouncing Regan's body off of it like a rag doll.

"I'm sorry! Shi-" Regan presses her hand to her face and rolls to her backside, kicking with her boots to scurry away from the Enchantress until the back of her head claps against the footboard. "Shit-SHIT! Wait!" Regan holds out her hand, pleadingly. "I'll go FASTER! If I fuck up she's going to KILL me! Please! Listen!"

Jason Wyngarde had never disciplined his own daughter. Amanda Waller was one of the first. Now, the Enchantress enters that small roster.

*

Enchantress keeps moving. Her path is direct; anything between her and Regan is going to be idly tossed aside. Not by Enchantress's hands; it just removes itself from her passage. "Faster." The Enchantress speaks. "I have promised you the world on a plate, if you only handle a single thing for me. And what have you wasted these weeks with? Simple material wealth? Vanity?"

She extends her right hand to the side, and a rather wicked looking dagger of serrated obsidian appears in it.

"Do you know what we used to do to those who failed us?" With her left hand, she gestures, and Regan feels an unseen force hauling her up off the ground, to leave her floating in the air, toes a few inches above the ground. "They were flayed." The Enchantress moves closer, raising the dagger, as she puts the point to oh-so-gently touch at Regan's collarbone. "Peeled. Alive. Like a grape." she says, those dark eyes fixed on the mutant's.

*

A thin streak of blood from within Regan's jaw coats over her molars. Try as she may, the hand she holds out, begging for the Enchantress to stay back, doesn't do much to keep her funiture from turning over and scraping the hardwood flooring to make room. Panic floods into Regan's eyes, growing wide enough for her pupils to be surrounded top to bottom in milky whites. The trust she has in her mouth's ability to write checks is shriveling up. Quickly.

"If I'm behaving differently, she'll know! I have to keep from looking like I'm up to something or she'll have me-" Regan rattles out quickly at the sight of the blade, screeching a pitiful sound as she's hoisted from the floor. Helpless. Toes dangling.

"Please don't." Regan whispers, blinking through a tear that streaks liquid eyeliner down her cheek. "Please. I won't fail you, I swear. You've been so generous, My Queen, please." Regan continues to whisper, lips moving frantically and shivering at the press of the knife. "I will hand this world do you and kneel at your feet. I will make them all kneel at your feet. PLEASE."

*

The Enchantress looks back, unblinkingly. "I will not flay you, Regan. I will not kill you." Merciful? Not really. "If you fail me, if you disappoint my trust? I will do far worse." She presses with her right hand; just enough to break the skin with the razor-edged obsidian dagger. To taste blood. Words in an ancient tongue start to fall trippingly from her dark lips.

Regan feels…well, not to put too fine a point on it…horrible. More specifically, she feels as if the life is being sucked from her. Because it is. Her lovely blonde hair goes a faded and unremarkable grey. Lovely firm flesh begins to wrinkle, sag, and show liver spots on it. Her joints, her whole body begins to /ache/. The process lasts about fifteen seconds, after which the force holding the mutant in the air stops as if it was never there, letting her drop down to the ground…her body now that of a woman over ninety years of age.

*

Regan almost says thank you, at first. To not die is at the forefront of her mind. Her painted, red lips, stained with a trickle of blood, begin to form the words, but halt at the needle of pain when the knife punctures a hole in her skin. When the chanting starts, Regan's mouth opens and closes, huffing out air. Empty words of pleading fear steals from her vocabulary.

A vomitous choke catches in Regan's throat. Her belly heaves and her eyes roll, dizzied as the life drains from her. A gagging, twitching mess, she's falls to her hands and knees, witnessing the liver spots on her arms and the wrinkled skin hanging over her perfect manicure and the thousands of dollars of jewelry over her fingers.

"NO!" Regan sobs in horror. "N-N-N-NO! NO! PLEASE!!!!" Regan's teeth chatter against her wrinkled lips. She covers her face with her hands and bends over, heaving mournful cries through her fingers. Then, all of the sudden, she crawls across the floor to place her hands atop the Enchantress' feet.

"Please turn me back! I will do anything!" Regan's tears fall onto the witch's toes. "I will go faster. I'll let her kill me to get it for you. Please, please not this!"

*

The Enchantress looks down, expression impassive. Finally, in a swift movement, she crouches, almost feral in her movement. "I will restore you. Because if I do not, you cannot succeed. But if you fail me? This is only part of your fate. You will be /this/…but I shall take from you your wealth, your possessions…and I shall bind this to you /forever/. Death will be no escape for you. Only eternal shambling decrepitude, and an inability even to kill yourself. Do you understand me?"

*

The Enchantress has cut into Regan so deeply, that the sobbing mess she has become is barely capable of words. Her wrinkled forehead taps the shadowy rings of Enchantress' toes, painting them with her tears. It's by luck alone that the pitiful string of saliva, drooling in mix with the blood from the slap she'd received, falls to the floor in front of the ancient witch's feet and doesn't stain them. The horror, so fresh and pure and personal comes in shivering, helpless sobs, but through it all…

…Regan manages to nod with certain alactrity, straining the aged muscles at the back of her neck until the ache is real.

"I unders-" Regan fails at the word, lungs shuddering to catch up with her vanity-wracked crying. "I unders-s-tand. I'm sorry." Somehow, the apology doesn't sound like a plea, but an understanding. Regan has been fucking around.

"Please." Regan bends over further, placing her lips to the top of Enchantress' foot. "I understand now. My…"

"…Goddess."

*

Ancient words fall from the Enchantress' lips again, and the magical effect starts to recede from Regan's body. Starting with her fingers and toes, it pulls in, rolling up her arms and her legs. It finally rolls all the way back to the spot where Enchantress pierced her with the dagger…and remains. She can feel it there…a tiny spot on her collarbone, perhaps half the size of a dime…that is simply cold, and lifeless. It looks no different, but it's numb, save for rare occasions when it might throb, with the aches and pains of age.

"If you fail me, this magic needs no action from me to take place." she warns. If she judges Regan has failed her…or if the Enchantress should perish…the magic will flare forth. One last bitter revenge.

*

The awe of the magic changes Regan's flesh, but the hunched over state of the blonde goes from an eldery state of pitiful worship to a more attractive version. It's only when she witnesses her fingers returning to normal that the tears fall momentarily harder. The quick-release sense of relief is like a kick to the chest, but this is one that the young woman's heart can endure…even if the elderly horror she could become wouldn't be allowed to die of her heart's failure.

Regan reaches to her collar, pressing her hand over the alien feeling against her skin. Her pretty, perfect blonde hair a mess, she lifts her sniffling, sobbing face to witness the knees of the Enchantress. The hysteria continues in little aftershocks through her body as she rests her forehead against the other woman's knee, failing to look upwards.

Failing to make eye contact.

Fear. Shame. Disgust in what's to come.

"That's not going to-" Regan's body shudders, sniffling inwards three times, like a child's crying. "-going to happen, because I will never fail you." Regan's voice is hoarse and raw. Fresh tears screak down her cheeks, post-birthday party raccoon mascara, but the damage from the strike she's suffered is all gone. Just. Like. Magic.

"The heart will be yours." Regan whispers towards Enchantress' feet. "Soon. I swear."

*

Just like magic. Enchantress leans in and tips Regan's chin up with a finger, forcing her face upwards, as she looks down at her. "Remember." And with that, in an explosion of shadow and smoke, she is gone.

*

Regan's head lifts. The chin above the other woman's finger rattles in a whimperless leftover from the sobbing, but tears continue to fall. It isn't until Regan's face is skyward that she dares to look to the Enchantress' face. Eyes, red-rimmed from spent tears, lack the pure arrogance that Regan Wyngarde wears like a badge. She gazes upward in horror, hobbled in spirit until the point that the witch disappears.

In the center of Regan Wyngarde's once perfect room, sitting upon her hip in a three-thousand dollar dress and shoes equally as expensive, she falls to the floor clutching her hand to her collarbone. Knees come up to her chest and her face buries between them, curling up into a ball amidst the overturned tables…to sob in silence.

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