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The tiger lets out a tremendous roar that reverberates painfully around the small space, while the manacled albino woman manages to wriggle out from under its paw and backs into a corner, clearly terrified.

"I give up, okay?  Please don't fucking eat me, I promise I won't do anything else...I don't think I can!  This whole thing is so fucked I can't even..."

"Julia?!" I yelp, shocked to my core as I recognize her voice, and belatedly her features, even under the unnaturally uniform whiteness.  "What happened to you?"

"Augusta?"  Julia seems as surprised as I am, more so if anything.  Whereas the tiger's body twists and distorts impossibly, leaving a woman in a black leather motorcycle riding suit.  It's that Council person, Nora-something?  She steps off of the bed and takes out some sort of crazy survivalist knife, brandishing it at each of us, then Lacuna, in quick succession.

"You two, shut up," she orders us curtly, then addresses the strange man without a pause,  "You, kindly explain what the H-...what the fuck is going on here, since it seems clear these idiots don't have a clue."  I bristle.  Honestly, that is exactly the attitude that has me so irritated with everyone lately, never explaining things properly and then holding it against people for not knowing things?  God, what a bitch.

"You wish to have full disclosure?" Lacuna asks, glancing at me.  He's clearly referencing what I'd said just before they suddenly appeared.  After I'd wished for exactly that to happen, and he'd said something...oh, shit.  Is that seriously a thing that can happen?  Genies?  I'd wave my hands in alarm, but I can't move them yet, so I just talk as quickly as I can.

"Wait, wait...this may be crazy, but I don't think-"  I cut off, as she gives me the tiniest contemptuous look and just talks straight over me.

"Yes, I fucking wish you to disclose everything there is to know about these two and what just happened, that is precisely what I fucking wish."

" should use the word 'wish'," I say, finishing my sentence pointedly, with more than a little bitterness in my tone.  Lacuna uses that same foreign word again that I'm pretty sure means "done" or "agreed" or something that confirms his acceptance of a wish.

"And that is the Third," he continues, and leans back, stretching his arms like a particularly satisfied cat after eating half a salmon left out on the counter.

"You're an actual Djinn?" Julia suddenly interjects, catching up to my deductions.  "I thought that was just demons pretending, and that wish stuff was straight-up bullshit?"  People can't really turn white from shock, particularly with Julia here for contrast, but Nora gives it a try anyway, looking like she'd somehow stepped into dog poop and a bear trap at the same time.  But even as Lacuna chuckles and turns his attention to Julia, the Council agent's eyes narrow in fierce calculation.

This seems like not a bad idea, because whatever the Hell is going on, it doesn't seem good, so I start some calculations of my own as he answers.  So...yes, genie, and yes, wishes.  And he'd said "Third" so meaningfully...but wait, I'd wished them here, and then she'd wished for disclosure...oh, being able to talk.  But that would mean...  You can read my thoughts?  I think "loudly", feeling more than a bit embarrassed.

Quite easily, comes a voice into my head, recognizably Lacuna's, for all it's lack of actual sound.  My congratulations on deducing my nature, if just a jot too late to matter.  He seemed to be able to communicate this way with no particular effort, even as he was continuing to speak aloud to Nora.

I don't know what the cost of wishes is, and I assume there is one, so I'm not going there, but is there any chance you could give me control of the rest of my body? a favor?  For a moment, there's no response.  He even stops speaking aloud.  Then he shrugs.

As it happens, I'm actually inclined to assist...knowing what I know now, I rather like you.  As a side benefit, it helps me a great deal with a temporary issue of my own.  Furthermore, this woman irritates me, so I wouldn't mind at all if you ended up causing her trouble.  As he starts to speak aloud again, he lifts my torso and sets my head atop it, locking it into place with a twist.  There's no sense of control though, it feels cold and unyielding against the...undersurface?...of my neck, so I wait patiently, and listen.  For half a moment after the Djinn starts, Nora seems about to object to him reassembling me, but then lets it go.

Eventually he's got my arms locked into place as well, then gives my key several turns so I can finally move again.  I pull over my hips and balance myself via my hands, awkwardly maneuvering the post atop them into the socket under my waist until it locks.  I take a moment to sit balance is tentative since my bottom is still entirely wood and doesn't yield against the table's surface the way it ought to, along with lacking thighs at the moment.  Nothing else is close enough for me to grab, but I can actually feel my separated parts now.  So rather than try to walk on my hands again, I concentrate, and one of my still-disassembled legs straightens, bringing the ankle within reach.  I pull it over, but I reconsider before connecting it, and instead hold it by the thigh, first using it to drag all my other parts within easy reach.

While I'm working, I continue to try to figure out what's going on.  He's saying that the taint isn't contagious, but that Julia and I have some sort of hidden connections, which doesn't make a lot of sense.  Julia says as much, dropping in a minor bomb that she can see Auras.  I interrupt pulling a foot onto my ankle to stare at her for a moment.  I'm pretty sure she couldn't do that before...what happened to her between escaping from the hospital and showing up in Circe's basement with weird fire spells, and now the radical appearance change?

The Djinn claims we'd met earlier but don't remember it...that Circe's Demon-lover or whatever had cursed Julia into loving me when we were kids, except that she'd already loved me.

"What?!" I say automatically, and hear Julia echoing the word.  But he continues relentlessly...explaining she doesn't remember because she went a little crazy from...burning me to death, with her parents?  I can't believe any of this, except that he says her name, her True Name, and it's the same one I remember from that bizarre dream, where I saw a young Julia crying outside a burning house, with screams inside...oh God.

This time Julia...or Viola...echoes my thoughts, adding that she's going to be sick, and she's right.  The smell doesn't particularly enhance the charm of the tiny apartment.  I realize I'm focusing on irrelevant details as a way to shy away from the idea that I'm dead, which really makes no sense.  Or maybe I've actually been in Hell all this time...  I finish re-attaching my feet, and stretch all my joints a little, making sure everything's secure, but feeling anything but.  I continue to listen with half and ear, but everything seems hazy and dreamlike.  Or nightmare-like, rather.  I wave my hands over myself, restoring my normal body, and on impulse Quick Changing into the batwoman-esque body armor I'd imagined-up in Circe's basement.

Or maybe I'm not even real.  The Djinn and Nora seem to agree if I died I can't be brought back to life, though there's something about my memories still being around.  Nora is yelling about my outfit of all things, as if that's the strangest thing that's happened lately.  Maybe Viola is in Hell, being punished for whatever happened with me and her parents?  I feel a sudden surge of sadness and disassociation.  I should hate her, but despite everything, I don't think she deserves Hell.  I'm not sure anyone does...Hell is cruel, even if it sadly isn't unusual.

While Nora is distracted arguing with the Djinn, I slide off of the table and approach Viola, reaching out to gently put a hand on her arm as she wipes her mouth off on a sleeve.  But before I can touch her, she turns back to me, then jerks away, pressing her back against the wall and looking genuinely awful.

"No," I hear Lacuna say.  "She is something much more interesting.  In the strictest possible sense, Augusta Constance Klein is a Cloak.  Not the name, but the woman herself...likely the strongest Cloak ever woven, strong enough to hide her true nature from her own mindeven from the Warp and the Weft itself, wrapped tightly inside the identity of a girl who died young.  And it was woven by Viola, of course."  My arm drops of its own accord, and I stare blankly at Viola.

"You...made me?  Into your dead girlfriend?"  That's...more plausible than Hell, I suppose.  I feel strange and empty, but I ask the obvious question.  "Who was I before?"  Viola shakes her head, but I can't tell if that means she doesn't know, or is refusing to say.  If she made makes her abuse of my "True Name" even more awful.  And confusing...if she had that kind of power, why would she have even needed to do that...and she hadn't really acted like she remembered me...or loved me.

"Double-bullshit!  No offense, she's tenacious as H-...fuck...but Viola is barely-trained mediocre dinner-theater fodder," growls Council-bitch, taking her own turn in giving my thoughts voice.

"Why would I take offense at that," Viola murmurs.  Despite myself, I feel a burst of affection at her aside, but I don't let it show.  I'm not sure how I can trust my feelings at all anymore.

Lacuna starts to explain how Viola supposedly managed this, naming yet another Demon, this time one named Gremory.  He continues, talking about how the Demon helped Viola, for whatever reason, but I'm distracted because as soon as the name escapes his lips, his words start to slow...sounding lower, drawn out.  Everything around me slows similarly, then stops.


The room is utterly still, even the flame of the lamp on a tiny wall-shelf frozen in mid-flicker...which, come to think of it, is probably the Lamp-lamp.  I discover that I can't move either, but somehow this doesn't panic me...maybe I'm in shock and just numb to mystical peril at this point?

Well.  This is something of a pickle, isn't it, asks a 'voice' in my head.  It isn't Lacuna''s clearly female.  Which makes it obvious I'm not immune to panic, because I immediately flail about mentally, lacking the option to do so with my body.  Easy...easy...I'm here to help.

Says the disembodied voice during the creepy time freeze...!  What the Hell is going on?

The Djinn is actually doing a fair job explaining that, though in some ways it's as inconvenient as it is helpful.

Shit.  Everything he's saying has been true?  I'd been holding out some small hope that it was as made-up as Nora seemed determined to believe it was.

Alas, yes.  He hasn't even arrived at the really important parts yet.

Me burning to death and for that matter, me not really being me, isn't important?!

Oh, well, certainly.  I was speaking more from my own perspective, sorry.  But at least him saying my name gave us this chance to chat properly before things got entirely too confusing for you.

Um.  A bit late.
  Wait...her name?'re Gremory?  How are you doing this, where are you?

'You're soaking in it', hon.
  I have no idea what that's supposed to mean, until she hastily continues.  Sorry, before your time.  All this is happening in your head, like the dream.  As for how...well, it was a little rider I included in the Cloak that turned me into you.  You were never intended to hear my name, so if you ever did, well, it would mean things could use a bit of adjustment, and thus the chat.

Me into...I'm a Demon?!

No.  I am a Rebel, thank you kindly, and you are exactly what you are supposed to be, or as close as we could come...a normal human woman, a second chance for Augusta, a second chance for me.  Though 'normal' is relative, I didn't expect you to be a Sorceress at all.

Ok, what?

Look, we don't have a lot of 'time' here, so I'll try to TL;DR it for you.  Viola fell for you, but didn't want to admit it, because you were a nerd and a girl, and it was all a bit much.  Then Taob screwed up Viola, brutally, by way of another criminally gullible and unlucky kid, but the whole thing accidentally let her accept her feelings for you, and vice versa.  Then the 'taint' came home to roost, Viola broke, you and her parents were burned to death, which broke her some more.


Stay with me.  Later, I found out about all this.  I've been trying to make Love work for millennia, despite the taint, so I hatched a plan.  It's complicated, the Djinn will fill in the hows of it.  But to give you and I a second chance at life and Love, I gave myself over to you, became you by most criteria.  And I used Viola to do it, since you already had that first, genuine connection, I thought it might make the difference...and Taob wouldn't see her as a threat.  So you should probably cut her some slack, she's almost entirely innocent in all this.  And don't angst about who you were...I'm fine being you, you were a bright girl and you've become an interesting woman.  If a fairly kinky one, but that might be my fault.
  I feel her "shrug", and she pauses, letting me mull this over for a moment.

Er...thanks, I guess?  I still really have no idea how to feel about myself, but I do feel a little sympathy for Viola again.

You're welcome.  I really hope you work things out.  In the interim, Viola has managed to get herself 'possessed' by Poiel, who certainly gave Circe what was coming to her, but who, like most Loyalists, has gone completely nutters at this point.  It's a problem.

'Loyalist''s an Angel?!  That really ought to reassure me, but the way, Viola, was acting at Circe's, and the bit about them being insane...well, calling it a 'problem' seems like a pretty serious understatement.  Is that for real, or are you just biased because of your...whatever, rebellion?

I might be biased, but what's happened to them is definitely for real.  It's pure frustration, you see, from millennia of trying to properly run a completely broken and understaffed Cosmos.  I do feel sorry for them, but if they'd just stood with us, I think even He might have reconsidered...  But the way things are, they can't even really do anything meaningful now, aside from inspiring pointless destruction by riding Mystics who linger too long Underneath.  Honestly, I don't know why they don't just Fall...unless that was a one-time offer?  But in any case, it's an even bigger problem, because of course Viola can speak Enochian now, and Poiel is showing very little restraint in making use of that... there some way we can fix that?

I think so, but...ah, shit, there's no time!  Look, there's one last bit I have to share.  Sometime in the next couple of minutes, real-time, the erstwhile 'Nora' is going to try to stab you with her ridiculous knife.

You know, I'm really starting to question the effectiveness of Mystical governance, and their chosen representatives. comment.  But here's the thing...if you let Nora stab you, Viola will get out of here, and have at least a chance to work out all her issues.  If you don't, she will almost certainly become the new official cellmate of the Lamp we're all currently inside, and Poiel will either drive her mad or destroy her long before she'll ever get out.

What?!  Stab me?  And the Lamp is on the shelf over there, how does that even-

Sorry, time's up.  Good luck, kid, I'm rooting for you!


"...gaaaaave herrrr an idea, but it would require help.  Taob, who, among other gifts, holds the power to effortlessly impart knowledge unto mortals...and at the extreme limits of his ability, he might teach someone the perfect sounds and cadences of Enochian, the First Words, the language Spoken by God to craft the world.  Plus, of course, a mortal to teach it to, for Fallen cannot use the Word any more than I.  And she would need..."  I stare blankly, only half-listening to the Djinn as the world around me started up again, quickly resuming its accustomed pace.

I glance back at the Lamp on the shelf.  It's quite obviously a genie's Lamp, the classic design.  And the room we're in isn't particularly shaped like the inside of the Lamp.  But now that I can move my head, and I'm looking for it specifically, it has a quite obvious design flaw...there's no visible door.  There is a window, but the view out of it is strange and blurred, and I realize I'd been unconsciously avoiding looking at it until now.  I eye Nora's knife, which looks even more threatening in light of the circumstances.  There has to be a way to get out of here without me getting stabbed...

"...those memories is beyond even me, though in the interests of 'full disclosure', I will remove the Block which has bound her memories of Viola," finishes Lacuna.  Without any further warning weeks of missing childhood memories come flooding into me.  Shadow, and Taob.  Viola...Vi.  Our brief romance.  My death.  I gasp involuntarily, overcome with horror and guilt and sympathy and God-knows-what else.

"Oh my God.  Oh my God.  Shadow didn't ask me, he just...Vi...I' sorry..."  I reach out to her tentatively, remembering her reaction before, but instead of shrinking away, she takes my hands, her eyes watering.

"Fuck.  Let's just...not try to work out who should be more sorry, okay?  Can we just agree that things have been apocalyptically shitty for way too long, and maybe try to move past that somehow?"  'Apocalyptically', indeed.  The oh-so-apt reference is so Viola, and for a moment I let go of all the mistakes and the missteps and the unforgivable things we've each done and said.  I want to pull her close and hold her forever.

But I hear a footstep behind me.  Time doesn't slow down, there's no time to think, I make the decision in an instant by instinct.  I ignore the sound, keep my distance from Viola so Nora isn't tempted to try a two-for-one, and just say the first thing that comes into my mind...and for once, for a brief moment, something feels right.

"God help me, as fucked up as all this is, I really think I genuinely lov-" I'm cut off in mid-word as the knife slides into my side.  It's so sharp, at first it just feels like a weird pressure, but she pulls it out, the back of the serrated edge tearing at the wound with every inch and then it's a miniature sun, pulsing out waves of agony and nausea.  My hands tighten on Viola's and I fall onto her lap, none of my muscles wanting to obey my wishes.  I might have thought being stabbed wouldn't be so bad, having seconds ago regained the memories of burning to death.  But memories are weird and that was years ago, washed-out and fuzzy, while this is right now, steeped in visceral immediacy, and it's pretty damn bad.  I'd cry out, but my chest has seized up at the moment, all my muscles locking from some evolutionary desperation to keep my insides inside me.

"Would you believe, neck-deep in all this bullshit, I nearly missed that this ditz has actually been a fucking demon all along?!"  Ah.  I guess that would explain it.  Hard to blame her, even if she is a bitch all the time.  At least Viola will get out...maybe this will be enough to change the trial verdict for her, and they'll actually be motivated to get her some sort of help for her nasty cocktail of Demonic influence and Angelic insanity?  I think that's a good name for a band, and realize my thoughts are getting fuzzy.

And so you and I prove ourselves the Lamp's masters, if perhaps temporarily, in your case.  Will the others fare as well, I wonder? comes Lacuna's dry mental voice into my head again.

Help Viola! I beg.

I cannot.  The choice must be Freely Willed.  I try to give her advice, but I don't know what she's supposed to do, and I can only sputter and cough anyway.  My own blood is warm and salty in my mouth.

"What the Hell?!" screams Viola.  I feel a jolt of something at the Word, the walls seem to vibrate for a moment.  She rolls me off of her lap onto my back, half on the bed, and leaps down, standing between me and the Council Agent.

"Shut up!" yells Nora back, aghast.  "She's a Demon, are you fucking stupid?"

"Weren't you listening, she's only kind of a Demon!  And she's been nice, sort of, in a totally messed up way!  And anyway, I fucking love her, so step the fuck off!"  Viola stabs a finger at Nora emphatically, though this only serves to rattle the rune-covered manacles on her wrists, emphasizing her helplessness.  Nora's mouth twists and she draws back her arm to stab Viola, but at the last second bites her own lip and sways for a moment, shaking with rage.

No one dares move for a few seconds, then Nora's face smooths back into her normal scornful expression, and Viola relaxes a little, though she's still wary.  The Council Agent looks at me and shakes her head slowly.

"She's obviously Bound into infatuation, and the taint from her Invocation almost twisted me into killing her on the spot...nice try, really nice try," she says, her voice icy as death.  She takes a step towards me and Viola moves to block her again, but Nora grabs her wrist and smoothly turns it upwards and out in such a way that Viola is somehow forced to throw herself aside to the floor.  She leans down and sets the knife against my throat.  "Go back where you belong," she whispers, her voice thick with vehemence.

I close my eyes.
(4044 words)


P.S. I just got another amazing Augusta drawing courtesy of a Kiriban from the lovely, wonderful StyxTwigKiriban: YppleJax by StyxTwig  Go gaze at it in awe and then pile affection and accolades onto the super-generous and talented artist!

Beginning: Volunteer (Part 1: Confederate)
Previous: Volunteer (Part 14c: Is *This* Your Card...B*tch?)
Next: Volunteer (Part 14e: Restraint)

Vote  for Volunteer on Topwebfiction is ten thousand candles in the wind.
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GabrielMancera53 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2015
okay so......:o (Eek) 

so I guess can't say anything  sorry...
YppleJax Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You're not actually obligated to say anything, particularly to say you don't have anything to say.  Watching without commenting, in various contexts, is often called "lurking" and is a time-honored Internet tradition.  ;P
dkfenger Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2015
That's a heck of a lot to take in...  That the angels have largely gone barking mad just adds icing to the cake.  Explains rather a lot, though.

So little plot advancement, and yet so much new data all at the same time.  Augh!

I particularly liked the two sides of the reaction after Julia/Viola wonders why she should object.

PS: That title!  Not just playing on a name, but their location as well...  I'd never even thought of why Augusta had the last name she did until now, but... how appropriate.
YppleJax Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I know!  All of this background I've been sitting on forever is finally lifting its skirts.  It's like Rumspringa for plot points all up in this place.  Hopefully it isn't wrecked by being giant boulders of exposition.  :/

It had been a while since I did a full A/B PoV part, I really love showing the internal parts of both sides of a conversation.  Plus, this way I get two cliffhangers out of essentially the same peril!  :D

HAHAHAHA!  Klein.  I'm such a crazy-person.  So many layers!  Yes, the Lamp-artment, but also Augusta surrounding Gremory, yet the only way she can exist is inside Gremory, from her access to the Annals...been waiting forever for that one.  :crazy:  Here's a fun question if you like insanity: When Augusta and Gremory are 'talking', whose mind are they 'in'?  :D
dkfenger Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2015
The exposition feels natural... well, as natural as can be for a fallen-ish angel (who seems way more sane than the non-fallen kind) talking with the the reinstantiated persona of a dead girl can be when both are bundled up into... whatever exactly it is they are.  Basically, given all the other distractions, the exposition is fine.  Especially given how long you've made us wait for it!  <heh>

Double cliffhangers out of the same peril is wicked and evil.  Teach me your ways oh senpai!  I figure I'm doing well if I manage a single cliffhanger...

Well, a Klein bottle has no inside or outside, it's all one.  That's kind of how I'd answer the question of whose mind they're in, really.  I don't see it as either/or, which means I'm probably missing something...
YppleJax Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
:shrug: The "whose mind" question isn't hard to answer if you're meta/analytical.  The insanity part comes from just letting your easy question-answering faculties spin around in loops.

Gremory is probably at the high end of sanity for the Host in general, but only in subjective terms.  Most Fallen are "well-adjusted" but also criminally insane.  Gremory is sane, but "unbalanced" by peer standards, or even by human standards.  Her desire to essentially sacrifice her identity in favor of someone else's would be considered insane by plenty of people, even if they accepted it was a possibility in the first place.  Even if you're a convicted murderer and you want to donate your heart to a nun, medical ethics says no, as long as you're still healthy yourself.  And if you take drastic measures, they'll probably shrug and use the heart, but say you were insane for doing it.

Most of my better cliffhangers have been from reaching a point where I wasn't sure where to go next, and rather than deciding, just clicking "Submit" and brooding on it.  :)
dkfenger Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2015
You can't fool me, it's turtles all the way down...

Hm.  I didn't really read Taob as criminally insane, though.  I suppose he's another of the high-functioning ones.  I mean, yeah, he sees humans as playthings to break... but while that's criminally insane for a *human*, is that an applicable standard for the fallen?

I hadn't realized until now just how much of her 'self' Gremory is giving up.  There seems to be a lot of her left, if she can have the conversation in this chapter - it may be suppressed, but it's not gone.  That makes a big difference, at least to me.  (Partly due to contrast with the masses of transformation fiction out there where personality-overwriting persona-death is common.  I am no fan of that, and this doesn't feel like it.)

See, I have the opposite problem.  I get to a good cliffhanger spot, and know how the next bit goes so I just keep writing...
Anachrocosm Featured By Owner Edited Nov 28, 2015
I don't think personality death and overwriting is particularly bad if handled correctly, but it mostly depends on how permanent or consensual it is.  If done right, it can actually be a massive window for some rather creative methods of forced character growth.

What worries me a bit about this situation is that, if the cloak really does fail, and Augusta ceases to exist again, how much of her memories (both from before her death, and those made more recently) will Gremory retain?  With the way this situation has developed, Augusta has experienced things that Gremory was not supposed to be capable of understanding, or experiencing herself.  Would those memories be erased?  Or would Gremory become something more, and no longer fit under the restrictions normally placed on demons?

It's something I wonder about with Augusta...  they said that she truly died a natural death, and her soul went to its destination.  But if her memories and everything that made her who she was could be extrapolated into the persona containing Gremory, did they just manufacture a duplicate soul?  Some things may have potentially been altered by Gremory, but could this new Augusta exist as a separate person?
dkfenger Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2015
Personality overwriting can be done well enough, yes.  But it's basically a death, so it needs to be treated as one.  Not just... thrown away.  Eh, Sturgeon's Law applies everywhere.

I don't think I can answer the other two.  If the cloak fails... well, Gremory will certainly have some very interesting memories.  Living memories, which is better than most people get when they die.  Why would a super-fancy cloak require the generation of a soul?  Whatever Gremory has (black and inky as it is...) seems to be working well enough.
gizmo4 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2015
I don't necessarily read Taob as criminally insane.  As you say, he sees humans as playthings to use as he chooses.  For a being of that level of power, that is neither criminal nor insane; that's simply the reality of his existence.  It would be rather like condemning a human for stepping on an ant.  The ancient gods certainly displayed similar proclivities, and we <worshiped> them.  :)

That said, Taob is not a being I would want to either run afoul of or emulate (assuming I could).

YppleJax will have to correct me here, but I'm assuming the Taob character here is part of the pantheon referenced in the Legemeton?
YppleJax Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Not just Taob.  Good ol' Sol's Lesser Key, so much trouble has been caused thereby...  :D
YppleJax Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
There's a very strong bondage metaphor in Gremory and Augusta's relationship. So yes, even terribly deep in sub-space, wrapped up in Augusta, the core of Gremory is still there, doing whatever souls do.

That's hinted at too, by the fact that Augusta still sheds a small amount of demonic influence, she can quick-change into things she hasn't imprinted, she occasionally gets limited access to Gremory's prophetic ability, etc.

Insanity is always relative to local ethos. Regarding Taob, I meant in human terms. Tho agreeing to help Gremory was arguably insane in general, unless he knows more than has been implied so far. ;p
dkfenger Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2015
It's not surprising that bondage is central to one of your stories, I suppose.  I hadn't really seen it that way until you mentioned it, though.

Getting a clearer look at how the 'taint' is working (or not working) is yet another interesting aspect of this chapter.  If these two find any kind of happy ending, that's going to need to be controlled...

I can see Taob helping, even if he knows it means chaos, just so something *interesting* will happen for once.  I can see boredom being profoundly problematic for entities at their level.
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Submitted on
November 25, 2015
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