1: Baby Girl Lucifer

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She lies surprisingly soundly in Diabolous' arms. The occasional murmur and gentle rise and fall of her breath are the only indicators that she is alive. Tucked into her pink blanket, her tiny wrinkled face scrunches fresh with a pink flush. Most people would be relieved at this point in the delivery process. Yet, despite the ten fingers and toes and her brown eyes that twinkle from time to time with her father's ruddy glow, this will be the seventy-sixth child of Satan to be slaughtered for her imperfection.

It isn't anything personal, especially not to Diabolous. In this case, as was the case far too many times before, the only flaw in the little bundle is her sex.

The initial decision for Satan to spawn a child was most likely based on greed, as is the way with most demons. Who was to tell the King of Hell no? If God in heaven could proudly flaunt a male offspring, the Devil had every right to display his own.

Except-- and this was key-- he couldn't. No matter who the Devil used, nor his intentions or his gumption, he just couldn't produce a male. Despite the odds, time and time again, the Devil continued to ruin his own design. Frequently Diabolous found himself wondering when Beelzebub would throw in the towel and just accept that he can't sire a son. A little bruised pride isn't worth seventy-seven dead daughters. Diabolous is a demon assigned to eat babies, but he isn't a misogynist.

His own guise had been randomly formed from a collection of the most common features in Athens at the time of his assignment. Diabolous considers himself to be fairly objective when it comes to his sexual determination.

Regardless, he can see some of the appeal. Handing down the family business, playing catch, and the speed with which a male can rise through political ranks are all valid reasons to encourage a male heir. Diabolous isn't in a position to wonder. He's here to slaughter a baby, not to consider ethical dilemmas.

Diabolous, who can feel the cool grief of New York General Hospital's maternity ward like a breeze, coos to Baby Girl Roswell-Lucifer, "These things happen."

The baby doesn't make any amusing faces, or noises like a couple dozen of her sisters. Looking with some tired reprise at the baby girl in his arms, Diabolous begins the incantation. His left hand writes out a glyph of smoke and fire in the air above the girl, its heat of conjuring grips her. Its curling letters fall upon her one by one, and then, just as it prepares to silence her, the bottom half of the glyph vanishes. 

Diabolous squints, then looks to the baby. Her wrinkled face is scrunched up and gummy mouth is opened wide. With a second full-body effort, her inappropriately large head bobs forward and releases the tiniest of sneezes capable for tiny creatures. A kitten can't sneeze this quietly.

Again, small chunks of the death glyph are blown away, and Diabolous can't help but to laugh. The little pink ball of mush is buying herself some time, whether she's aware or not.

"You little shit."

Diabolous smirks, and re-writes the glyph for death above her head. The fiery emblem's ancient words mark the air above her like a headstone. This time, however, he waits.

And waits...

And waits...

Until she sneezes again, sputtering out the flames of her permanent erasure like a birthday candle. Diabolous laughs and snorts a little- this time she's blown away the center of the glyph, turning the spell into one for transfiguring into a ficus. Fantastic. He draws it again with a little too much joy, and waits for Baby Girl Roswell-Lucifer to create another botched glyph.

But, there's a knock on the door, and half a second later the coroner saunters in, rubbing his hands together. He has an earing in the cuff of his left ear that has no business being there, and a perfectly pushable button nose.

"Mr. Wayne, there you are!" The coroner recognizes Diabolous' mortal persona from the bi-monthly cult meetings he is contractually obligated to attend.

"Evening, Kevin."

"Has everything gone... well?"

"Oh, yes of course." Diabolous nods.

"Then it's been... dealt with?" Diabolous passes the lifeless lump to the coroner like a football.

"Yep, here you are. Tell them she died of some tragic illness brought about by the mother's hostile womb or some such."

"These things happen, I suppose." The mortician nods somberly. He places the lump in a small box he's had waiting since the mother was admitted.

"Maybe next time, eh? It's a fifty-fifty chance for a boy, so...."

"Sow indeed," Diabolous says, moving towards the morgue's exit. "Goodnight Kevin."

"Yes, Mr.Wayne. See you next week, eh?"

"Yes, Kevin."

"That's a nice ficus," the coroner says. "Did you get it as a gift ahead of time? Shame."

"It always is, Kevin." Diabolous steps out of the morgue and walks out of the hospital, sneezing ficus in hand.

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