Killing Angels

5
Cannibals:
They moved too slowly behind him. That was what X thought as he walked in front of them. Endlessly walked, slow, measured, felt the yellow eyes of that bastard, Sincos, on his back and the rolling tired eyes of the little girl. (Little? No. She was older than him.) Her voice was watery, wavering in and out with her bouts of strength, but more and more he became aware of the shuffling of her feet on the ground and her unending weakness.
But the yellow-eyed bastard, he was fine. Walking with his head held up high and spouting things about his past like he understood anything in reality. "I've heard about you," Sincos said, "You murdered all those scientists. The base.what was it called. Green 3. You killed fifty people in that base and destroyed years and years worth of work." A pause, always a pause like these things could sink into his mind and become true. "Oh.I've heard. You murder children don't you? Burn them alive."
Catch of the girl's breath, and she shuffled closer to him. He felt her fingertips just centimeters from his bare back, over the damn tattoo there, but he didn't stop walking. Didn't slow down to make it easier for them to keep up. Fought with his own mind because one of them was going to die before they made it to Seraphim.
"What are you?" the girl asked, moved up so she could look at his face, in the gloom, she couldn't see him and he wasn't going to light a torch just so she could. Her footsteps were faster now, but still shuffling and uneven.
"I'm nothing," he said into the darkness. They were under the mountain now, traveling here because the rain was pounding down outside. The path was least safe, but better than burning their skin off, so he guided them in the dark and hoped in his own mind that the bastard behind him slipped and fell to his death.
It was the girl, naturally, at his side, that slipped, he grabbed her arm as she screamed, the ground gave way under her, and he held her by the arm as she screamed and flailed. Sincos said something, moved, and X lifted the girl away from the pit, dragged her back up as she whimpered, held her against his chest and she pressed her tear-streaked face to his skin.
"Murderer," Sincos whispered in the dark.
The girl hiccupped against his chest; he held her against his chest and walked without stopping. Her feet dragged in the dirt but she was too tired to stumble back to walking, so he held her, carried her blindly and heard the footsteps behind him. Echoing until he felt so uneasy that his hands were clenching into fists, and the yellow-eyed monster behind him had to know.
Know exactly what he was. And he was not 'nothing' as he claimed to be.
He pressed his hand to the side of the path, closed his eyes, and sucked in a breath, turned the corner sharply, felt the ground incline under his feet, grabbed the girl tighter as they went sliding down the incline. Sincos was following him, and that was fine, because where they were going, nobody would even notice when the man went missing.
X hit the sturdy ground again and closed his eyes out of instinct, moved forward, one foot in front of the other cautiously, and whistled. A long whistle and then a whoop. The girl-she had a name, he didn't know it and he didn't care-lolled her head against his chest and he felt the warm drool swipe over his skin.
"Ix! Ix! Ix!" he heard from the distance, and he opened his eyes at last, saw the low burning torches of the people down here, moved forward faster, towards the stumbling, deformed little people that jumped and jumped. Their faces were mangled and their hands were deformed, but they jumped for him, raised their torches and shouted his name the best they could: "Ix! Ix! Ix!"
They treated him with respect, took him into their village and accepted that his outward appearance was nothing. On the inside he was just as deformed as they were and as long as he was allowed to pass through their underground lairs he would keep fighting and killing the bastards that had done this to them. Today the family patrons rushed forward, bearing brighter torches and weapons. Long jagged pieces of metal that had cloth wrapped around the handles to keep their hands from being split open.

"Na! Na!" they screamed, and pointed behind him, frantically pointing at Sincos and pointing at their own eyes. "Aach! Aach!"
He nodded to them and carried Link-yeah, he knew her name, he still didn't care-into the village, set her down next to the virgins that tended the roasting meat (it was a tricky thing to light fires underground. They had built machines to drag the air in and out, but carbon monoxide still killed them. He spoke to the girls softly, asked them to see to it that Link was fed so she could regain her strength.
Then he turned away from them and went back to the gate where the patrons were lined all in a row with their jagged metal swords, shouting and giving Sincos the ward against evil (two fingers crossed.) X looked at Sincos and then down at the eldest of the patrons, bowed his head and held out his hand. The sword was handed over, and he took it in his hand, felt the weight of it and smiled.
"I know what you are," he said to Sincos. Then moved forward as the men started to screech the tribal screams of challenge and death. Always a scream here, to die to be born to eat to sleep. Screams were the only thing that reverberated in this cave and the only sound that all of them could make.
Sincos stepped backwards. His yellow eyes widened almost comically, and X grinned all the broader for it.
"You telling me about what I've done was fun," he said, "Now let me show you." He hated to goad the people that he killed. It seemed wrong to him, to send them off with bitterness. But this was a grudge that he could hand out through this man. One that must be dealt with. So he moved forward. The men behind him turned their torches upside down and pushed them into the dirt. The clearing went dark. The shadow of the fire danced on the walls of the cave and he spoke the word that they had tried to say: "Arch."
Archangels were branded. Yellow eyes. Every single one of them had yellow eyes but the Ryuna bitch. And Marquis. The rest, they were mutated into those yellow eyes that glowed to look like monster eyes. He had been afraid of them as a child, remembered cowering away from those eyes and then the years he spent in hell. He remembered the eyes. Remembered the feeling that he would never be free of those damn eyes.
The Arch was following him. Back to Seraphim, back to the men that cast him out of their ranks. He wondered what Sincos had done to get kicked out of the grace of the Archangels and it didn't matter. Because he was going to die here.
Now.
Sincos whimpered in the dark. "I'm not one of them anymore."
That was a lie. Archs were always Archs. It was the oath they took, the rule that was beat into them and then praised into them. Drill after drill until they were mindless drones that would gladly die for their precious Marquis. He moved up next to Sincos, silent on the dirt that he knew so well, and the blade slid across the soft skin of the Arch's belly, split it and there was a messy, pungent erupting of his guts. They sagged out. X raised the sword, repeated the slice, this time on his throat, and Sincos fell to the ground soundlessly.
The torches were relit, and the cannibals rushed out to harvest the still warm fresh meat.
They praised him. He handed the bloody sword back to the patron he had taken it from and went into the village to where Link was sleeping next to the fire, mouth stained with the blood of the roasting meat. Cannibals ate their meat half-raw. Their lives were miserable and short, spent in contemplation of their own deformities. In the ceremonial claiming of the virgins to breed more of their kind, the burning of the flesh of the dead and the eating of the elders. And elder was considered ancient if they survived to twenty six.
X was 18. He was their God. They praised him when he came through their camp because the first time he had stumbled into their village they had tied him to the post in the center and burned him. Or tried. They had cut him. They had starved him. When they were finished, he was left alive and they were left puzzled. The only solution was to declare him 'divine' and thus he was a god. One as deformed and ugly as they were on the inside, so deformed within that the shell he wore on the outside could not be purged until he was finished with the task that lay at his feet.
The destruction of the ArchAngels.
Irony struck him.
The man of 'science' that changed his body into this thing that was indestructible had sear the tattoo onto his back and christened him the Killing Angels. (With the exception of the idiotic plural, he understood what the bastard had intended for him.) X was engineered to kill the Angels, and now he was destroying the Archs. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~***