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Concert of Screams

Youko Kurama

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Long after the Ohsi had secured their Dominion over the Elders'  former slave races and the fledgling nations of Man, so drunk on power and so convinced of their inherited divinity over them had the Ohsi become that the torture of the "vermin" had become commonplace.

So common and frequent were these horrific acts of barbarism that one Ohsi, Kambrik Vrew, devised a concerto using the screams of tortured "vermin" as the instruments.

So shocked, angry and desperate were their Ohsi's subject peoples that The Revolt of the Vermin that brought an end to the Dominion was a direct result.

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      "The target has been found," the man said quietly to himself.
      'It must be nice...to live however you want,' Zero thought to himself, sitting on a swing while he watched a couple of kids running around, playing tag.  After he left the house, he made his way to the local elementary school's playground in order to get away from home for a bit. The kids were too busy with their game to really notice Zero.  He let out a sigh, looking towards the slowly setting sun.
      "Why am I stuck in this town?  Why do they watch me and keep me contained like I'm some prisoner or something? " Zero wondered, looking back down at the kids.  As he watched them running and laughing without a care in the world, an image of a young, black haired girl flashed through his mind.  Zero slowly closed his eyes, turning away from the kids.
      "One day, I won't just be an outsider. I'll explore the world and help people.  I'll be more like normal people. Maybe I'll even awaken my power," Zero said to himself, smiling a bit.  He slowly opened his eyes when he heard a faint growling coming from close by. A part of him was glad that nobody else was around to hear his stomach growl.
      "Looks like it's about that time.  Dinner should be done by now. Mom will kill me if I'm not there soon," Zero added, standing up and walking away from the swingset.  As he started walking away, a single thought came to his mind.
      'Who was that girl?  Why did she seem so familiar?' Zero thought to himself.  He shook his head when no details about the girl and who she might've been came to mind.
      "I must just be tired.  Jared hasn't been holding back in training the past few days.  I think the old man is getting paranoid or something with all that talk about assassins.  Even if I asked about it, they probably wouldn't tell me anything," Zero said, stopping when he realized he was already on the path back to his house.  While he knew the school wasn't too far away, he had not expected to get back so quickly. Zero looked towards the house and let out a sigh.
      As Zero made his way back to his house, he would take occasional glances towards the trees in case his dad was planning on surprising him and scolding him for going out before dinnertime.  Luckily for him, he managed to reach the front door of the house without incident. He took one final glance around before he opened up the door.
      "I'm back," Zero tried to say, but when he opened up the door, his nose was hit by a strong, metallic scent.  Zero took a few careful steps back as the door slowly opened up. None of the lights in the house were on, but thanks to the light of the sunset, Zero was able to spot something near the bottom of the stairs.  From where Zero was standing, he could see a familiar piece of light blue cloth with several dark red splotches on it. Zero slowly stepped into the house when he saw the cloth, trying to endure the strong smell that would assault his nose when he stepped inside.
      'This looks a lot like the dress mom was wearing.  Did she get into a fight with Jared or something?' Zero wondered, quickly shaking his head and dismissing the thought from his mind.
      'No, that's impossible.  Jared may be a bit of a meathead and a dirty fighter, but he wouldn't lay a hand on mom.  If anything, she'd be the one hurting him,' he added, walking towards the living room. Using the sunlight to guide him, Zero walked along the wall towards the nearest light switch in order to brighten up the room.  When he saw the state of the living room, a part of him wanted to just turn off the lights and pretend the whole thing was a dream. The room was in shambles. The two large couches had been thrown around, both of them full of holes.  The coffee table that was once in the middle of the room was broken into pieces while pieces of the broken table were lodged into the wall along with several knives that were likely from the kitchen. The TV had been thrown in a random direction, and like the couches, was filled with holes.  Other than the knives, there were large cuts and streaks of blood on the walls.
      "What the hell...?" Zero finally said after getting a good look at the scene.  His eyes followed the trail of chaos towards the hall leading to the dining room and kitchen.  Zero took a deep breath, ignoring the strong smell all around him and started walking towards the kitchen.  On his way, he tried to listen for any noises or sounds of fighting, but he heard nothing except his own footsteps as he walked across the wooden floor.
      'What is going on here?  Where's mom and Jared?' Zero wondered, stopping in front of a closet door in the hall on the way to the kitchen.  When he opened up the door, he found a series of swords, hand axes and knives shoved inside. Zero quickly grabbed a sword and closed the closet door, turning back towards the kitchen.  He continued moving down the hall, keeping the sword close to him just in case. Like the living room, the lights in the kitchen weren't on, but the smell of blood was much stronger compared to the living room.  The overwhelming smell made Zero stop walking. He slowly inched forward towards the dark kitchen, unaware that his arms were shaking as he moved.
      Stepping into the dark kitchen, Zero slowly reached for the closest switch on the wall to turn the kitchen lights on.  Like the living rooms, there were clear signs of a struggle. In the dining room, the table had been broken in half while broken pieces of glass bowls littered the floor.  Food had been left laying on the floor. More holes and bloodstains littered the walls and the three chairs that were once at the table were nothing but broken piles of wood.  When Zero looked towards the kitchen, he noticed a single, large pool of blood in front of the oven along with a drag mark leading to the backyard.
      Seeing no other options, Zero followed the trail of blood to the backyard, but the moment he stepped outside and looked towards where the trail of blood ended, his eyes widened.  Two pale figures were hung up from the tree by their necks with black chains. Their bodies were covered in deep cuts and their clothes stained with blood. At the base of the tree was a greataxe and a rapier.  Standing at the base of the tree was a single man with short grey hair and a grey cloak covered in blood. Thick black chains were wrapped around his arms and made a faint rattling noise whenever he moved. The man slowly turned towards Zero, meeting his gaze with deep purple eyes.
      "You're too late."
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      "Does he realize what time it is?" another man questioned.
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      "Do you honestly think it is that simple?  These powerless humans will not be enough for what you seek," the voice pointed out.
      "What do you mean?  I did what you said and summoned the demons.  I accepted darkness into my body.  What more do I need to do?!" Issac questioned.
      "Patience, human.  There is much we must do.  For now, let us depart from this place.  The demons shall take care of the witnesses.  You will need to replenish your energy," the voice replied.  Issac slowly began to move his free hand towards his head as the voice spoke.  He moved his hand away when he let out a yawn.  Issac shook his head a bit while he started walking away from the clock tower.  He didn't bother to look back at the chaos being caused by the newly released demons as he walked away.
      'All of this will be worth it in the end,' Issac convinced himself.
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