Gerry felt the pressure building. It started as an itch just below the skin that he couldn’t quite scratch. From there it evolved into a metaphysical-stretching sensation that seemed to envelope his entire body. The thrones lack of a governor was starting to show, and he was pregnant with power.
He did everything he could to release it. He fortified the lake house several times over. He dished out power to the other Infernals who’d come with Gaius from Seere’s fallen kingdom. He’d even given Gaius a fresh dose of strength, and ensured their strength would replenish after it was used. Gerry purposefully didn’t make their power levels close to what they had been when Seere controlled an entire kingdom in Hell, but it was more than enough to deal with some pesky humans.
Still, it wasn’t enough. He even upgraded Grimm. The Hellhound now had his own semi-combat form. He’d swell with power from the size of a large dog to the size of a large horse when Gerry uttered the correct spell. He was pretty sure the humans, and even some Divine, would shit their pants when they saw an eight-foot-tall Grimm sprinting toward them with his soul-sucking maw dripping spittle and large enough to snap off a man’s head in one bite. He was so imposing that Gerry was considering making him a playmate.
“Lord,” one of the legionnaires stepped hesitantly into the throne room and rendered a deep bow.
Behind the legionnaire stood a frightened-looking man whose eyes kept darting around the throne room. His tongue darted out and licked his lips, and he kept fidgeting with the bottom of his blazer. Combined with the sharp angles of the man’s thin face, it made him look like a snake. He wore heavy black eyeliner and a bunch of rings adorned his fingers. The silver skulls on his pointer fingers clashed with the business casual attire, but Gerry didn’t judge the man’s appearance.
“On the ground, meat.” The legionnaire grabbed the man by the collar and pushed him to the ground until he was prostratated with his forehead pressing against the cold tiles.
“I h…h…humbly serve you dark lord. I only w…w…wish to be of service.” The man’s teeth chattered like the temperature had suddenly dropped fifty degrees.
The legionnaire looked up at Gerry and rolled his eyes. The human was clearly a Satanist, devil worshipper, or any of the other sects that worshipped the darkness. Gerry gave a heavy sigh and waved his hand for the legionnaire to let the man stand.
<This is what we’ve been reduced to.> The networks Gerry and his lieutenants had in place before Satan and Michael played Godzilla with Charlotte were in-depth and thorough. Now, those networks were in tatters, and they were forced to rely on intel from human posers, or humans with little magical skill. If Gerry had to guess, the guy in front of him had an inkling of magical skill and he thought because of that he was worthy to be in Gerry’s presence.
“Speak,” Gerry commanded lazily, as Grimm growled softly from his bed near the foot of the throne. The amount of pillows and toys in the large bed cut down on Grimm’s intimidation factor while he was laying down.
“D…Dark Lord I come bearing news.”
“Speak plainly human, and don’t waste my time.” Gerry let his impatience slip into his tone.
“Yes, Lord.” The man gulped, but continued on. “I’m sensitive to the powers of good and evil in this world, and my gift has told me the powers of good have greatly decreased in the city within the last hour.”
Gerry just raised an eyebrow at the statement. He’d need his own people to confirm whether or not this was legit. This could always be a ploy to lure the remaining Infernals into an ambush, but if it was legit, it was too good to pass up.
“We are well aware of the situation in the city,” Gerry wasn’t going to lose face in front of a Marilyn Manson wannabee. “What do you think you deserve by coming here to tell me something I already know?”
“Well…” the man nervously started to lick his lips.
“Do you want money, sex, power, women, or men?” Gerry stared at the man’s reactions closely. He didn’t need to read minds to see what the man was thinking. “Power… you think you deserve power.” Gerry laughed, and Grimm looked up at him happily, with his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth in shared joy.
The man frowned, but quickly wiped the emotion away. “Lord…”
“Sure…while the hell not.” Gerry had too much power anyway.
Gerry reached out and seized the man on an ætherial level. In the real world, the man surged to his feet. His spine arched to the point of snapping, and he threw back his head and screamed with a mixture of pain and pleasure. From the man’s reaction, you would have thought Gerry was pumping æther into the guy.
Gerry wasn’t. He let a trickle seep into the man, and even that was too much. A human body without significant magical talent couldn’t control the æther. Sooner rather than later, the power would corrupt the man like cancer and he was literally explode from the strain. Gerry hadn’t given the man a gift, he’d turned him into a walking bomb, but the man didn’t know that.
“Thank you, Dark Lord, thank you.” The man scrambled backwards bowing his head repeatedly in the process until he was out of the room.
“Check if he’s right,” Gerry commanded the legionnaire. “If the Divine abandoned the city to deal with New York then it’s an opportunity we can’t pass up.”
“Yes, Lord.” The legionnaire bowed and left, which let Gerry turn his attention back to the seventy-inch 4K UHDTV mounted on the wall.
Choppers were circling Central Park where two powerhouses were going at it. Gerry recognized Beelzebub from when he fought his creations. The feathers, wings, and talons were hard to forget. The angel he was fighting wasn’t Michael, but was clearly an archangel judging by his armor. The angel’s sword sang nearly faster than the eye could follow as he danced with the Infernal Lord. They flattened everything in their path, just like Satan and Michael.
“Watch out for the…” Beelzebub was too slow and caught a gauntleted fist in the chin. The force sent out a shockwave that knocked a few choppers right out of the air, while the other struggled to stay airborne. The stream switched back to the news anchors in studio who were frantically trying to figure out what was going on.
<Hell on Earth is what’s going on.> Gerry couldn’t help but smile as he leaned back on his throne. <And right now things are looking up.>
Once he found Prometheus he’d have two of the old gods on his side, and with the Divine potentially having redeployed their forces, he could retake and secure the city before they returned. When they returned, they’d have to deal with a strong, dug in opposition. Or at least that was the plan for now.
Things had a tendency to change at a moment’s notice.