Suzie stalked away from the room, determined on not looking back. She could hear Daemon storming away as well. Peace and Wolfie were left in the middle.
Apparently, the small demon had been sent to look for the remains of Sunny Buss and June Simmons that was now "Peace". Now he had no idea where she was. When they had looked, the stairs that Suzie and Wolfie had used to escape was completely blocked by what looked like rotten wood.
"Suzie, Suzie, Suzie!"
She whirled around so fast that her beret nearly fell off. (What the heck was with the changing outfits?! She was back in the trenchcoat and the scarf outfit.) "What do you want." She practically growled out. At Wolfie's wounded look, anger was replaced with regret. "S-Sorry. I'm just..."
"A little stressed?" he suggested.
A hysterical giggle escaped her. "You have no idea." Suzie moved to a nearby wall and slid down it, splaying her legs out. She probably looked like a contrite toddler, but she was too tired to care. After a moment, Wolfie settled down next to her. "I nearly drowned in ink, got transformed into a *$!* toon," Another giggle was let out at the sound of a bicycle bell replacing the swear. "And then I keep getting mistaken for my great-grandpa and got nearly sacrificed and saw an ink person die and nearly died myself and on top of that *^$#*(, my grandma died a few weeks ago, so yeah! Stressed would be a good description of me."
Wolfie looked distressed. "I'm so sorry about your grandma!"
She waved off the apology. "Wasn't that close to her, she wrote to me before she died asking me to find out what happened to Grandpa Walt. It was her last request or something." Smoothing her hands down her face, Suzie let out a groan.
Okay, enough self-pity.
"That's enough of that." She stood up, brushing off her outfit. "I gotta figure a way out."
She froze at the words of "You're leaving?" She looked at the Wolfie. There was, once again, that wounded look aimed at her.
Suzie swallowed back the lump in her throat. "I have to. Please understand-"
"No, no, I understand." Wolfie stood. She realized how he towered over her. If he wanted to, he could drag her around easily. "You have a family. You don't need to be dragged down by the past." He turned to walk away, giving one last sad glance at her.
Suzie stood there for what felt like a very long time.
Then, with a sigh, she turned and walked into the studio.
Walt was gone.
His Creator was gone.
The Ink Demon sloshed through the pipes, humming his theme song absently. He had wanted to deny it when "Peace" had said it. But he had looked through his eyes, through his images. Walt had finally found his peace.
The Ink Demon was furious.
He needed to be whole, he needed Walt to fix the damage Soundberg had done to him. Sure, he had abandoned the studio. But he was his Creator. A piece of his soul rested in the Ink Demon. It had rested there ever since Walt Klasky had drawn Daemon the Demon at fourteen. There was something magic about how Walt had practically breathed life into his toons as the years went past. He grew older as his drawings grew specific and into the toons that would be Peace the Angel, Wolfie Wolf...
And Daemon the Demon.
The star of the show.
Those days had passed. But they could've come again if Max Soundberg had decided to not get in the way. Decades of being forced in a cycle had taken its toll. And the door had opened and Walt's soul had gone flying into heaven.
Leaving the Ink Demon trapped in a blind, squishy body.
But he had felt something when "Peace" was taunting him.
He had almost mistaken it for Walt. Except, this soul was a little duller, not as bright as Walt's had been. It was probably because the latter had been his Creator and while this soul was just as creative, it didn't sing out to him like Walt. But he had looked.
Walt had had a granddaughter.
Great granddaughter to be exact, but who cared? Her soul was close enough to be a good replacement. The Ink Demon stopped in the pipes. Looking through his eyes, he looked for the girl. Now, where...
The girl was alone, wandering around the level. She paused at one of the golden messages, scrawled on one of Peace's posters. This one read What happened here?
With a miserable look, she reached out and pressed her fingers to the dried ink. "Wish I knew." Her attention was drawn to another recorder on the floor, marked GRANT. The Ink Demon watched as she played it, paling as the screeches and praying and pleading started playing. She stopped it in the middle, dropping it as if she had been burned. Sweat and fear were clear in her features
She was clueless and nervous and desperate.
She was perfect.
Just like how Walt had been. And this time, the Ink Demon would let his games lead her into his arms. She would make him perfect, whole. And, perhaps, she would lead him to Soundberg.
A loud bang and a cry of shock drew his attention again.
The girl was covered in what looked like flour. Copy number thirteen was cackling a few feet away. He sprinted away as she tried to wipe off the flour. "Daemon!" she yelled, running after him. "Come back here!"
Let her have her fun.
The Ink Demon needed to go find some tapes, set the stage, prepare for his game.
To be whole.
Demons always did like games.