As the pen is passed to me, with a heavy heart I must relay the following events, for no one else was at hand to deal with the threat directly. Jerimiah and Darien Mason, my Sixth and Seventh Sons in an unbroken cycle of generations, were now both possessed by tendrils of the Hydra. The same beast that the Gods of Olympus battled and exiled below the realm of Hades, the same beast that demi-god Hercules, despite what the myths say, did not destroy, but so nearly did (had he only found the last head!)
Both were firmly entrenched in the destructive madness of the many-headed serpent. Each had a symbiont, a serpentine head coiled about their hearts and extended out of the flesh, to whisper evil biddings into their ears. And each symbiont loathed the other, and desired to keep it at shoulder's length. One sought to absorb the other into its Host and dominate the other. The way of these tendrils is to establish a pecking order, and both serpents were willing to risk their Hosts for the sake of staying the Alpha.
I had just shunted Darien's feline son Koen through space I had folded, to send him away to Transylvania. As skilled as he was in his own magickal studies, and deadly as he was in meelee, he was no match for these foes. Further, depending on how the battle ended there was a strong chance of a new threat emerging the moment one proved victorious.
Remaining by my side was the golem I share the praise of creating along with Darien, one Qlippothic Projects. Darien had been lured out to this trap to rescue her. Koen and I had just finished transferring her essence into a metal frame, one sturdier than the life-sized doll shell Jeremiah had forced her to serve in. No demure automaton is she! In her battle-armour she has faced down the screaming, tentacled warships that descended from the Red Planet. But against this constellation of forces, she could do nothing but watch as boiling tears steamed away from her glowing eyes. She had been programmed to never attack the image of her Creator...and now he was locked by bony wing and slavering maw with his own Creator, the man who formed Darien as a humonculous from his own blood. The Hydra had so corrupted both their forms there was no discerning them from our distance without attracting unwanted attention.
"Qli...I know you cannot harm them...but to save ourselves I need SOMETHING to gain the upper hand!"
She nodded silently, and opened the hatch in her torso, She reached into the coal-stoked inferno of her abdomen, and withdrew a...device. Electricity arced about it, and it trembled in her hand like something alive. Nodding hesitantly, I accepted the object. I felt a burning as the lightning within bit at the bones of my arm, but still I clenched it tight.
Even I considered facing the Hydrae with great trepidation. My father, King Hades, had cursed me with two serpents as he exiled me from his underworld. They were my bane even as I tormented Darien by claiming his body as my own for more than a dozen years. In that crowded shell the Hydrae were only a nuisance. But now, as I inhabit my own form, they could destroy me, or worse control me completely.
I could do naught but wait for one Mason to destroy the other, and then do battle with the victor who would have hopefully been weakened enough for me to vanquish. As the forest around them collapsed in ashes from the destructive spells they hurled in duel, I could make out their silhouettes through the drifting smoke. One combatant screamed as a set of fangs locked around his symbiont by the shoulder in a death grip, and wrenched the serpent free. The other mortal collapsed from the blow. Through the sounds of crackling flames and unspeakable gore I heard a faint call..
"Thank G_d! I'm free!"
Followed by the all too familiar death rattle. Qli and I held our breath as we waited for the surviving lion to roar, and reveal its identity.
"Have I not proven myself...Father?", he shrieked. "Thousands of years of selective breeding by our ancient Founder, and YOU sought to usurp your place in the Chain? You had the Spark and the Magick! Only one other dynasty possesses both! That SHOULD HAVE SUFFICED YOU!! Only through the Seventh Son is the Bloodwing made flesh!"
I shut my eyes and looked away. What he spoke was true..until a year ago. But now we both tasted the freedom of a owning a united mind and body, and sharing them with none other. Disaster would result if I were pulled back into his frame, and shared his soul now corrupted.
The second serpent slowly rose from Darien's left shoulder...and I took his self-distraction as my chance to snap my wings, propelling myself skyward to bear down on my doomed, power-mad son from above!