Demolir L'empire - Part 3

March 19, 2015: Shift awakens to face his captors. The arcane is involved to transform him into a wicked, brainwashed agent of HYDRA.

Underground Lair



  • HYDRA agent (Frenchman)
  • HYDRA sorcerer

Mood Music:
"Gravity Eyelids" by Porcupine Tree

Waking from a drug-induced slumber is never pleasant. Usually, the passing of time seems sluggish, if recognizable at all. There was the flickering of flame, multiple flashes of muted fire from more than a hundred burning wicks scattered throughout the room. This alone was enough to startle Kwabena, though in his efforts to move, he found himself paralyzed.

The room itself was more of a cavern; one might be clever enough to refer to it as a dungeon. The walls, the floors, even the ceiling were carved from bedrock; the only source of light coming from so many candles, which burned in a pattern those familiar with the arcane might potentially recognize. Kwabena had been stripped of his uniform and left to sit, naked, in a large, oversized leather chair, his body positioned so that the dead weight would prevent him from toppling to the ground. His head lay awkwardly, bent over to rest upon a shoulder; silver eyes the only thing capable of flicking about to take in his surroundings.

The mercenary had been placed at the head of the symbol, another figure stood at the other end, shrouded in a dark cloak. There was a third present, as well; the same Frenchman who had captured Kwabena in Paris.

"Kwabena Odame," he spoke, as if reading aloud from some kind of report. "Also known in the underworld as, 'Shift'."

The cloaked man murmured to himself the entire time.

A chuckle, sarcastic in nature. "Clever nickname. I find it fascinating that you've maintained your birth name. Don't most Ghanaian's adopt, well, umm, a more spiritual name during their first year of birth?"

Shift tried to move. He tried to speak, but all that came out was a grunt and a glob of drool.

"I'm… so terribly sorry," the Frenchman said with an apologetic smile. "So rude of me. Of course, you can't speak right now." He gestured toward the man in the cloak, then back toward Kwabena. "I can understand how uncomfortable this may be for you. The paralysis you're experiencing? Not from a chemical concoction. It's the effect of a very basic incantation. Now, in a few moments, I'm afraid things are going to become… quite… uncomfortable… for you." He raised a hand, finger shooting upward. "But! I assure you, in time, you won't pay it any mind."

The cloaked man raised his arms and bolstered his voice. A crackling sound filled the air; the candles gushed and leaned toward Kwabena as if grappled by some invisible vacuum. Like so many claws they reached for Shift, and yet, the air maintained a chilling stillness.

Shift's head suddenly jerked upright. His eyes went wide, an expression of pure horror filling them. Slowly, an inky black crept upon the natural color of those mutant eyes, until each resembled a deep, endless, menacing emptiness. When he stood up, a moan filled the dungeon, as if the walls themselves groaned in protest at the unnatural things that were taking place.

The robed enchanter spoke louder, strange words filling the cavern until the language and the groaning of the walls resembled a choir of hellish discord.

Kwabena lowered his head to look at his hands. He turned them over one after the other, then opened his mouth and snarled like some kind of animal. Flesh and bone began to crack and splinter, flaying off like chunks of dirt and rock. Yet rather than tumbling to the floor, the broken pieces transformed in a most unnatural way, each taking the form of a menacing and otherworldly insect. The transformation continued up his arms until, with a crack of thunder, his entire body burst into hundreds of horrifying insectoids, each of them gnashing their teeth and hungry for blood.

The Frenchman looked about, laughter filling the room and rising above the otherworldly din. Between laughs, he held his hands out and twirled about, dancing amongst the vicious insects like a deranged child. "My dear friend!" he called out, looking at the myriad of tiny monstrosities as if each of them bore ear to Kwabena's soul, twisted though it had become at the hand of dark magic.

"… welcome to HYDRA!"

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