Not Good

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This wasn't going well. They were everywhere. Swarming around them like flies, their groans and shrieks almost drowned out by the roar of the flames that consumed them. Skulduggery's hand flew to his side and whipped out his revolver. Valkyrie heard the click and braced herself for the loud crack. Skulduggery pulled the trigger and sent the bullet flying, if only he knew how little that would do. The bullet stayed on course and reached it's target, hitting it square between the eyes. Gore splattered onto the floor as the two partners waited for the thud of a fallen body but were wrong. So wrong. It just kept coming. They all did, the fires on their skin only growing brighter with each passing moment.

It really wasn't going well.

Skulduggery woke in his bed, pleasantly surprised that he wasn't in Konspeckle Grouse's medical bay as the previous nights would have suggested. He neatened his shirted, straightened his tie and secured his hat before grabbing a piece of cold toast and walking out the door of his house and into the Bentley. He lifted the toast to his teeth but then starred down at it, mildly confused before he flung it out of his car window. He drove to the Sanctuary and held up his hand to silence the administrator who was nearing his car.

He strode through the long hallway towards the offices, glancing at the cleavers as he went. He had been in this job for over a century. Cleavers were introduced almost six decades ago and they still creeped him out. They probably always would. As he opened the door to Thruid Guild's office he sat down behind the large, mahogany desk. "I suppose you know-". Thruid started but before he finished and before Skulduggery knew what he was doing he pulled out his gun and pointed it at the Grand Mage. Countless cleavers poured through the doors but it was too late. Skulduggery pulled the trigger, a look of horror on his own face.

Thruid Guild was dead before he hit the ground.

Valkyrie Cain rushed into the interrogation room flustered and confused. "What the hell is going on here?". She asked, anger riddled in her tone. Skulduggery was sitting with his head tilted downwards, back arched and slumped. He looked up at her with desperate and unyielding silence. "Your companion here was found killing the Grand Mage". Said the administrator matter-of-factly. "You and me both know that Skulduggery would never do something like that". Valkyrie tried to convince him. "Normally, I would but not when he was found pulling the trigger to the gun that killed Thruid". Valkyrie stared at him, a look of horror and confusion plastered on her face. She swivelled her head in Skulduggery's direction. The only indication he gave was turning back towards the ground. Skulduggery's head snapped up, the terrified look on his face gone, leaving only a placid mask of emotions. He rose from the cell bench sharply and turned towards the sorcerers outside his cell. His body writhed and spasmed yet he still remained standing and staring at his captives. His movements came to a halt as he looked around with a dazed expression on his face. "Admin". Valkyrie said, still staring at Skulduggery. "Run a full microwave scan over him".

Two hours later the administrator returned holding a shard of wired metal. "This". Said the administrator with a look of utmost seriousness on his face. "Was found on his lower leg. A device designed to control the user through a strange mineral said to boost the power of all types of mind-control techniques".

"They're nearly finished my lords". Said China Sorrows as she attempted to appease her masters. "We just need more bones. Powerful ones at that". Her rulers remained silent, for that she was thankful. She could not imagine what would happen to her mind if one of them did decide to speak up. The beasts in the large cage beside her battled with teeth and claw. "A wyvern and a færie". She thought to herself. A fight that could wait until later. They fought for no other purpose then to entertain those they were ruled by. China left the room. If her masters were in the presence of mere sorcerers or mortals without the promise of death they could become quite...aggressive. Her masters whispered to themselves and to each other in hushed voices. The two battling creatures ceased fighting and backed away into the corner of the cage with haste. The largest and most powerful of the Gods smiled, Ragnarok they called him. No living thing should ever be forced to see one of their kind smile. The Faceless Ones were so powerful they defied even their own namesake. Yet they were still growing in power. And they wouldn't stop until everything and everyone

were dead.

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