Neither Gods Nor Masters

Chapter 1: The boy with a chip on his shoulder

The woman's head was slammed into the ground hard enough to make her scalp bleed. She clawed at the hands around her throat. James would not let go.

Her face was turning purple from lack of oxygen. Her expression was pleading. She was begging for her life with her boy straddling her didn't care.

After a few more moments, her struggles ceased. James kept applying pressure to her throat for another few minutes, making sure she was dead. Then, he stood up and dusted himself off.

I need to make sure she's dead, he thought furtively. He looked around the woman's kitchen briefly. Off to his right, he saw a chef's knife sitting on the counter.

He grabbed it and knelt back down over the woman. Marci White. Her name was Marci White. James pushed those thoughts out of his head quickly and drew the knife's blade across her throat. Blood poured out slowly over his hands. It matches her hair.

He stood back up, knife still in hand, and dropped the weapon in the nearby trashcan.

James then walked to the sink, turned the faucet and rinsed off his hands. He noticed a small mirror next to the sink. He noticed his dark red hair, Just like hers, his bright green eyes and oval face. He looked away quickly.

Leave. I should leave now. Someone will have heard her scream.

He walked out of her home fast enough to almost be running. The cunt deserved it He thought.


Lorilie L. Lawliet was merely walking along her usual route to school in New York city when she saw a small teenager walk out of Ms. White's house.

She stopped in her tracks and stared. She had never seen anyone go in or out of that house besides Ms. White herself, nor had she ever seen the woman speak to anybody in a friendly manner. The whole neighborhood had tried to make friends with her at one point or another, but all of them were shot down.

So why is there someone there now? She wondered. Then she shrugged and kept walking while the boy jogged away in the opposite direction. Maybe he was her nephew or something, it didn't matter. What did matter is that she needed a haircut. Her blonde locks were constantly getting in her eyes lately. She pushed a streak of hair away and took a left turn to her school.

The day passed normally after that. Lorilie went to all her classes, ate lunch, hung out with her friends, and went home. She was greeted at the door by her little brother, Alex, an energetic boy of eight who thought she was the greatest person in existence, like all younger siblings at that age. Then, she went to her room to do her homework. She turned on the TV as background noise. When she turned it on, a news anchor was on the screen talking about an 'important public service announcement'.

"... several eyewitness accounts have described this young man," a sketch of a boy with an oval face and high cheekbones appeared next to him, "leaving the scene around Marci's time of death. He is described as being about 5'6, with short scarlet hair and green eyes. If you see anyone matching this description, please inform the police immediately."

Lorilie stared in pure shock. She had seen that exact boy at that exact time. He...He killed Ms. White in her house. That's why he was there. She gaped at the screen, open mouthed. Oh shit. Oh shit shit shitshitshitshit. I was right next to a murderer today and I never knew what if... what if he...?

The girl looked down at her uncontrollably shaking hands. Then, she had an epiphany: Why am I panicking over something that could have happened? I have nothing to worry about, tomorrow, I can just tell the cops what I know and be done with it.

Lorilie felt very tired suddenly. She called downstairs to her parents, saying she felt sick and was going to sleep now. Her three family members called back, telling her to feel better soon.

She didn't sleep well at all. She woke up every hour for no apparent reason. After the umpteenth time, she glanced at the clock, five sixteen AM. This is when she usually rose anyways. She rose from her bed and got dressed.

Her mother was already awake and getting ready for work, despite it being a Saturday. "Good morning, Lori," she smiled enthusiastically. "I was just about to leave for work, but before I do, there's something I need to say." Lori paused. This couldn't be good.

"There was a murder in the neighborhood yesterday. Remember Ms. White? She was killed. I don't want you going anywhere alone. Okay?"

The girl was almost relieved. She had decided last night it would be easiest not to mention anything to her parents until after she told the police. "Okay, Mom. I'll stay here today." She did her best to look and sound nervous.

Her mother nodded and left the house. Lori went back upstairs and took out the taser her grandfather bought her two years before, when she was fourteen.

She hoped she wouldn't need it.

Quickly and quietly, she put on her black trenchcoat and made her way out the door. She wouldn't be gone long, all she was doing was walking three blocks and making a statement. It seemed unnecessary to her, but the law stated that all witnesses needed to come forward, even if they don't have any new information.

At a brisk pace, Lori moved east, towards the nearest precinct of the NYPD. After about a block, she stopped dead in her tracks and put her hand on her taser.

He was across the street waiting at the bus stop.

The murderer.


James was not having a good day. It wasn't even close to his worst, but getting hit by a driver who had to have been drinking and dislocating his left shoulder, then finding out that the cops were on a manhunt and he had to sleep in the park to not get caught before his scheduled use of the portal.

Yes, a shitty day indeed.

As he sat at the bus stop, he knew that he would have to hurry if he wanted to get to Myre on time. A girl with blonde hair and a black trenchcoat crossed to his side of the street and sat on the bench next to him. Not right next to him, she sat half off of the bench, as though she was leaning away from him.

Not surprising, I probably look homeless. Which he did, with his unwashed hair and body that hadn't seen a shower in 4 days. Whatever, I ain't here to make friends.

The bus arrived a few minutes later. James stood up and walked on, moving all the way to the back of the bus before sitting down. Even at this early hour, there were half a dozen others on the bus.

The blonde teenager sat in the row directly in front of him, hands stuffed in her pockets and staring at her feet. She looked up briefly, but looked away quickly when her eyes met James'. Hands in pockets, outline of a gun clearly visible, avoiding eye contact, tried to sit as far away from me as possible on the bench. Is she following me? If so, she's an amateur. Did Theta send her, or...LiLith maybe. Fuck it, if I get back to Sriik, I can lose her.

He rode on the bus for the next 20 minutes before it arrived at his destination in Harlem. He got off and walked through a nearby alley, and stopped in front of an abandoned building. He opened the rusty steel door, entered, and closed it behind him.


Am I seriously following this guy? Why, why oh why was I so stupid? Lori thought. In a moment of insanity, she had decided to follow after the boy she saw yesterday. Why didn't I just go to the cops like a normal person?

She got off the bus in Harlem, after deciding that she would stop tailing him now. One last time, Lori looked in his direction. She saw him go into an abandoned building. Probably a crack house she thought angrily. She turned away and that's when she felt it. Something from the direction of the building.

Lori looked over and felt... Something indescribable, almost like there was a shimmer in the air, but not one you could see. Like there was static in the air. She took a step forward without thinking.

This is a bad idea a small voice told her, but she ignored it. She took out her taser and held it down by her side. I'll just... I'll just check out what he's doing and phone for help she decided. She walked up to the steel door, wary of the few shifty figures walking about at this time in the morning.

She had no idea what to do now. She couldn't just open the door, but the source of the weird feeling was inside, as well as the boy.

The strange pressure, static feeling spiked. Fuck it Lori decided. She pulled the door open and pointed the taser at the strangest sight she had ever seen.


James grabbed his gym bag and checked that everything was inside. Then, he took his stele out of it and began drawing the symbols on the floor. A large circle, with a pentagram inside, and three triangles, touching at the points, with him in the exact center.

"Alrighty then, letz sityun briitofkimp." The magic energy in the room spiked considerably, enough to kill small animals or ungifted humans. "Open in 3...2...-."

The door burst open and the girl from earlier stepped, pointing her little peashooter at him.

"Oh for the love of fuc-," and then the world exploded.

The portal opened and sucked the two teens away from the Earth. The were pulled across dimensions, and they were nearly turned to ash more than once from the waves bombarding them. he world was completely dark and silent, sound and light did not exist in the portal. All they could do was feel. And feel. All James could think was This bitch is stupider than I thought.

After a few seconds, which felt more like years, they were spat out...

...into a bog. Lorilie screamed and scrambled for her taser. James growled in anger and literally tore open his gym bag pulling out a strange sword.

Lori's fingers closed around her weapon and brought it to bear. James smacked it aside with the flat of his blade and pointed the sword at her throat.

"You retarded little...! However much they're paying you, it's too much. You owe them money at this point. Now tell me," he lifted her by the collar, "who are you?"