God Forge: Forge of the Mind (book 1) [draft 2]

Component 38 - Shattered Grasps

The cavern, and the very world of Anhsook Del iris shook. Angon, unable to move, fell onto his side, and could do nothing but stare in horror. The Soul Rupture stuck into the Anvil of Creation, and fire swirled around the blade. Gonzeelda’s eyes were wide with excitement and she wore the grin of a devil.

A pillar of fire blasted up on each side of the anvil, and struck the ceiling, burning holes straight through the mountain. The orcess laughed, and cried out in jubilance. Stalactites fell, shattering all around Angon, and Gonzeelda, and it seemed as if everything were about to rip asunder.

A blaring red portal ripped through the fabric of reality and stretched vertically until it reached from the floor to the ceiling. Out of nowhere, the shattered stones of the cavern sucked into the portal, and a roar came from within.

Dark gray fingers exploded from the swirling mass of rage and out came hands, attached to long muscular forearms.

“Torchwood!” Gonzeelda cried at the top of her lungs.

As if pulling itself from a pool of blood, a massive humanoid stepped out. But it was not as Angon had imagined. The creature’s skin was gray, and looked to be made of stone. It was as tall as the cavern, and had wired, stringy hair. Its biceps were wider than its legs, and its chest was several times that. It stared around with burning red eyes, and tried to take a step forward, but it a fiery barrier caused its leg to bounce back. The creature growled so fiercely, Angon felt pure terror. He wanted to crawl away, but still, he was frozen there on the floor.

The whirlpool portal shrunk and vanished with a loud pop, and then Gonzeelda stood back with her mouth hanging wide.

“Torchwood.” She said, holding her arms out wide.

The god turned to the orcess and stared with no expression.

Gonzeelda spun in a circle and cried out in joy.

“I’ve done it!” She sang. “I’ve summoned a god!”

The orcess walked around to Torchwood’s side that she might see the homunculus’ terrified face.

Angon was scared, but he forced a look of defiance. Even if he were about to die, he would not let Gonzeelda have any satisfaction in her victory.

“So, homunculus.” Gonzeelda grinned. “What do you think of my god? Isn’t he wondrous?”

Torchwood’s eyes followed the orcess’ every movement. But he did nothing else.

“You’re insane.” Angon managed to spat.

“Why?” She shrugged. “Am I any more insane than your creator? I mean he made you so that you would kill gods. But I have summoned one and you are unable to even stand in his presence!”

“Release me, and I will show you what I can do.” Angon growled through clenched teeth.

“Hmph. You would like that wouldn’t you?” She sang. “I have my family now, and I will not even allow you the chance to take them away. I have my daughter, and my husband.”

Torchwood regarded the ocress with a tilted head. Gonzeelda looked back at the god and nodded. “Yes, my dear, as soon as you are at full strength we shall have our official ceremony and be wed to one another for all of time. Then we shall go on a kill spree, to take this world, and then the world of the gods. Anhsook will fall. The Blood Tomb will fall. The cosmic realms will all fall!”

“You.” Torchwood opened his mouth, staring down his long crooked nose at Gonzeelda. “You. Summoned. Me?”

“Yes, my dear!” She said, holding her arms out wide. “I summoned you using my ‘Beauty’. So now we shall be together forever! And over there is your daughter! Tricia, come out, sweetie. Meet your new daddy!”

From behind her stalagmite hiding place, Tricia poked her head out and looked at Torchwood, her heart thundering. Then she turned to her mommy and shook her head.

“He’s scary, mommy!” The little hag girl stammered. “I don’t want him to be my new daddy.”

“Don’t be afraid.” Gonzeelda stepped forward. “He won’t harm you. He’ll be a much better daddy than Budge or Weiggs ever could have been!”

“I liked Budge and Weiggs!” Tricia cried, fully going into hiding.

“Nonsense!” Gonzeelda said, turning to Torchwood. “Are you almost ready, my dear? Are you at full strength! I even have a present for you! This ugly homunculus here. You can rip him apart, or even eat him if you so desire!”

Torchwood look at the creature made of metal, and then at the little hag girl.

“Child.” Torchwood whispered. “Child. Much. More. Tasty.”

“W-what?” Gonzeelda stuttered. “You’re joking, right, my love?”

Torchwood snapped his head to the orcess and glared with the burning power of one thousands suns.

The orcess stumbled back a step, but then shook her head. “You clearly need more time to become whole. Your mind is not here yet.”

“I am fully restored.” Torchwood said, his deep, powerful voice reverberating through the cavern of creation.

Then, with a godly rage, Torchwood threw his arms out to the side and the energy barrier holding him shattered, pieces of magic flying out.

“Child!” Torchwood screamed, and took a mighty step toward Tricia and the little girl screamed

“Wait!” Gonzeelda shouted, but Torchwood, a fully fledged god would not listen to a mortal.

He reached between the stalagmites and tried to grab the hag child. Tricia shouted and a blast of fire struck his hand. The god roared and stomped his feet about, sending more quakes through the cavern.

“I order you to stop!” Gonzeelda snapped.

“No orders!” Torchwood continued trying to grab the little girl, who dodged from stalagmite to stalagmite.

“Do you see what you’ve done?” Angon cried. “We’re all doomed now!”

“Nonsense!” Gonzeelda argued, and quickly walked to Torchwood’s side. She grabbed his arm. “My love, that’s your daughter. You can’t eat her.”

Torchwood swung his arm back with the force of a boulder. The blow struck Tricia and she was sent careening, her head striking the anvil of creation. The woman went unconscious and fell to the ground.

Soul Rupture clattered to the floor, and the hold on Angon vanished. Feeling his body, Angon leaped to his feet and scooped up Hellsmasher.

“Leave the child alone!” Angon shouted.

Torchwood ignored the forge, and finally snatched the child by her long hair. Tricia screeched and tried to grab the god’s hand, but he yanked her hard, pulling her off of her feet.

Angon charged swinging Hellsmasher. The weapon struck right into Torchwood’s forearm. His grasp released and Tricia fell forward, slamming into the stalagmite. She fell to the ground, crying and grabbing her head.

Torchwood lashed out and grabbed Angon around his waist.

“You are just as tasty, I am sure.” Torchwood grinned, revealing broken and yellow jagged teeth.

“You will not eat me!” Angon snapped, and swung Hellsmasher at Torchwood’s head.

The hammer struck home, and the head of the hammer snapped off. Angon’s jaw dropped and Torchwood scratched the side of his head.

“Now you die.” Torchwood growled.

The god opened his mouth wide and shoved Angon’s head inside. The forge snapped out his hands and grabbed the monster’s large jaws before they could close.

Saliva dripped onto Angon’s face as he fought with all of his might to keep Torchwood’s mouth open. But his strength was not enough, for the sheer strength of the god was too much. For the first time, Angon knew he was about to die. He knew there was no way he could break free and stop such a being; still he defiantly fought.

Torchwood’s teeth bore down, piercing Angon’s neck. Just a little more force, and the forge knew his head would come off, and that would be the end.

A thud came from Angon’s chest. He closed his eyes, imagining the friends he had made in the past few days. He pictured that first moment when he came her rose from the darkness of his grave under Triden’s Gate. The first face he saw was the pretty, round face of Lavina Mistystar. She was scared of him, he knew, but soon she became curious, and then even his friend.

Then he had met the Gavin. Gavin was cold to him at first, but he too came around. Buster, the short blue-bearded dwarf had joined them in the ice caverns of Sheeva. He was a brave, and strong person. He had even given his precious Hellsmasher hammer to Angon. Then Ramona; the tiny little thief. Somehow she had joined and become an ally as well. And Hero, the druid. The wolf who had lost his tribe. They were all his friends. Every last one of them.

The voice of the specter Silvia came into his thoughts. “Don’t die, Angon.”

“I can’t… I can’t die.” Angon whispered, his arms trembling, barely able to hold back Torchwood’s jaws.

Again, something in Angon’s chest gave a great thud. Was it his heart? Did he have such a thing? Of course he did. It gave him the ability to care about everyone.

Angon set his jaw and gritted his teeth. “I can not die!”

A strength began to fill the forge. It ran up his body, through his inner workings.

“Fight.” Silvia’s voice came again. “For within you, is the Philospher’s Stone. It is what gives you power. It is what gives you emotion; it is your heart!”

Angon’s eyes flew wide and he thrust his hands out, pushing Torchwood’s jaws wide open. The forge pulled his head out of the god’s mouth and twisted, slamming his fist into the side of the orc deity’s head.

Torchwood grunted and loosened his grasp on Angon’s waist.

The machine grabbed his enemy’s hand and wrenched his fingers apart.

Angon fell to the floor, rolling back and climbing to his feet.

“I can not die!” Angon said, with confidence, and full power within.

Torchwood narrowed his eyes, glaring at Angon. He cracked his neck and circled around the side of the anvil of creation. Angon followed, circling the other side.

The forge held out his fists, ready to fight to the death.

The god grinned. “You are so puny, mortal. You will become my meal on this day.”

Even Angon knew his fists alone wouldn’t be enough, but what he had to do was get to the powerful weapon, Soul Rupture. If it summoned Torchwood, maybe it could send him back from whence he came.

Angon glanced to the side, spotting the weapon laying flat. He noted the missing tip of the blade. Inside of his waist pouch he held the missing piece. He needed to reforge the weapon, and use it on Torchwood.

As soon as Angon’s back was to Soul Rupture, and the orc god was on the other side of the anvil, he dove backwards, grabbing up the mighty scythe.

Immediately Angon’s mind was assault by images. He saw an underground room with tables and beakers, and all kinds of chemicals and fluids. He saw his father Azteron, with brown fur, standing in front of a stone table. Down the stairs came a beautiful elven woman who pounded on his father’s chest.

He looked past the arguing pair to see a child lying on the table. He was tied down, and crying. The boy had horns, but wasn’t covered in fur, like his father. The boy struggled to get free but couldn’t.

“Father?” Angon whispered, as flames began to swirl around the table. A red beam of energy shot into the elven woman and she vanished.

“Is this what happened?” Angon whispered. “Was this the GodForge Ritual?”

Azteron held Soul Rupture, and struck the arcane circle of burning fire. And then flames exploded out, sending the minotaur flying back into the wall.

“My son… I’m sorry.” Azteron whispered, beginning to sob.

“Father… Don’t worry.” Angon whispered. “I forgive you.”

Back in Angel’s Outpost, the mortally wounded Azteron opened his eyes. With a smile, he whispered, “Thank you, my son.” And his soul slipped from the mortal plane of existence.

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