The Deathless Scraps is a one-shot meant to introduce Dr. Kommon to the universe. He'll be a fairly major villain in Dragon Ball: Heart of the Dragon, and I needed to work with him a little bit before getting to that story. Figuring out his role in HOTD, as well as in Universe 12, was always a struggle. This story was meant to ease that a little.
The first outline for this story was started on January 14, 2019, but I didn't finish it until February 9th, around an hour after publishing Lights of Zalama to the wiki:
Scene 1: in the day, Kommon is a parasitologist; at night, he goes to intergalactic prisons to steal prisoners and suck the life from them, gaining strength. He wonders why he is gaining strength, noting how good it feels, but decides to re-focus his life.
Scene 2: Kommon goes to a planet in need of assistance with an outbreak of a plague. He appears to help them, but ends up murdering everyone, which excites him.
Scene 3: Kommon is confronted by a large amount of galactic police and a huge firefight ensues.
I don't remember how much of that remained in the final draft. In any case, on February 15th, I changed the outline, this time coming up with a four-scene story:
Scene 1: Kommon returns to his world with slaves from the galactic prison, where he is a consultant, and meets with Makko, his political ally, who tells him the police know about him stealing prisoners and are after him. He decides to fake his death in a harrowing display to feel a little, but only decides this after torturing some of his pets, then rigging his place for destruction.
Scene 2: He turns off the teleporters in the Malpulkul Empire to Kopai, citing the outbreak of a plague (which he introduced). From a station on the moon, he and the empire’s officials monitor the outbreak, watching it destroy the planet. Finally, Kommon destroys the planet, then kills everyone around him.
Scene 3: Kommon is confronted by galactic police on his planet, fighting them in glorious fashion to the death, and faking his own death in the process.
Scene 4: Kommon pays Makko a visit.
I believe this version of the story is fairly accurate, but we'll see. I should note that I remember nothing about this story, and even re-reading that outline just now didn't jog my memory too much.
In any case, the following are my notes for this story. I don't exactly remember what all these notes are for, but I'm sure after rereading TDS, this will make more sense:
Mohane Empire: 18
1. Mohane: 7
2. Wahapul: 5
3. Hoku-Leho: 2
4. Kopai: 2
5. Julahi: 2
1. LEADER - shidu
2. MERC 1 -
3. MERC 2 -
4. POLICE 1 -
5. POLICE 2 -
galactic prison world: Chitlhuanocan
kommon's world: Fumak (from fuma ---> impermanence/immortality)
seiei ---> eisei (immortal life)
Skanda (hindu god):
On February 16th, I wrote the first scene. The next day, I deleted the fourth scene from the outline and add that fight to the end of the second scene. On the 18th, I wrote around a page of the second scene. On the 20th, I wrote another page and a half. On the 21st, I wrote another four or so pages, finishing the remaining scenes in that time.
I edited the story the next day from 3:12 am to 5:40 am. It was moderately edited in that time. Notably, the final paragraph was only added in during the editing phase.
In any case, as I don't remember this story, most of my commentary will have to come as reactions in the endnotes. Let's move onto them.
It was the end of the month, so Dr. Kommon waited three hours past the end of his shift like usual, until the guards had returned to their bunks, before selecting thirty of the foulest space trash in all the universe–thirty alien prisoners sentenced to die the very next day. He had always told himself that they were going to die anyways, so why not have a little fun with them first? The thought excited him to this day, though the thrill of it had dulled with time.
Finishing his reports, the doctor selected his candidates. He did this mostly with curiosity guiding him, for if he ever encountered a member of a species he had never seen before, or an unusual-looking one (both cripples and peak physical specimens), he would surely select them. So was the case today. Two female Kopaians with tropical cyan, yellow, black, white, and ruby red feathers were amongst the group. How long he had waited for this. There was some purple imp-looking bastard who intrigued him. The rest he would throw into his flesh-eating beetle enclosure to study if it was possible to escape from inside or not. Perhaps the five leaner-looking Mohanians, whose species had enslaved the Kopaians centuries ago, would fare best.
He arrived back at Fumak by nightfall, his stockpile of convicts so drugged up they would die in hours if left on the landing pad floating in the middle of the churning indigo Seiei Sea. The tiny figure of a man in a hood, standing alone in the storm on the pad, caught Kommon’s eye. His fingertips throbbed with excitement. That was Representative Makko, he knew. He could sense the familiar frail energy now; it had been masked by the power signatures of the much more impressive convicts.
Landing the Galactic Police’s transport craft on the swaying landing pad, Kommon remained in his seat, cracking his neck. He detested the rain. He would wait for Makko to come to him. Lightning pulsed faraway in the sky. He leaned back, studying his slender, grey fingers. They were perfect, tingling with immortal energy, unlike the universe had ever seen before. The doctor would not be getting wet tonight.
A tap came on the window, and the doctor allowed it to descend. “Well met, Representative. What brings you to Fumak at this time of night?”
He was a strange politician, Kommon thought. He had slits for his nose, a carnivore’s jaw, and twirling yellow eyes that never paused to look at the doctor directly. No, that would be too much for him. He didn’t want to have to show his emotions in front of other people. He was out in public, it was fair to say. And he did have a job.
“I’ve been waiting here for four hours, Kommon. Four hours! You know I nearly left? You’re lucky I have a heart, man. Lucky! You took your sweet time!”
“I had to pick up this month’s haul after my shift. I was mistaken in my belief that you knew that, Representative.”
“You know I’d prefer it if you called me Makko, yeah? Doctor…”
Rain pittered off the windshield in relentless waves, spurred on by inconstant gale winds. The doctor, meanwhile, was cracking his knuckles. “Their sedatives will be wearing off soon. I must leave. But first, tell me what brings you here.”
“Them back there. The police know about your pilfering, Kommon. For more than a month, I think. Yeah. It’s real bad. I only found out when they tried to bring me in for questioning. Me! Heh! Ludicrous. They should know that the High Council… the legislators of a mighty inter-planetary empire… we are not to be taken into custody under any circumstances.” He huffed, spitting water into the cabin. Kommon did not recoil, but stared the man deep in the eyes. Makko hated that. “It’s the law! You know that. They can’t take me in for questioning unless I’ve been removed from office.”
“Yeah, whatever, man. But they’re building up a real strong case against you. It’s airtight. I just think we’re fucked, is all. Thought you might like to know, doctor.”
“You do, yeah? Good job, partner. But,” he said, his tone lowering, “do you really realize how much shit you’re in?”
“Indeed, I will have to stage a… death scene, I believe. Yes, that sounds right. What do you think? Does that sound reasonable to you, Makko? Oh, there will be explosions and screaming and body parts flying… oh, I know you love that just as much as the next man, despite your what you would say, well… in public.”
“Don’t get started on my public persona, doctor.”
Kommon’s neck twitched. “Nice seeing you, Representative. You should be going now.”
“Kopai. I shall join you there in the morning to discuss our plans.”
The pale man snorted, rolling his head around on his neck like a swivel. “Fine, Kommon. Fine. I’ll go there. But you better have a plan. We’re in deep shit. Figure something out.”
“Oh, you needn’t worry, silly, silly meatsack. I’ll come up with a solution by tomorrow.”
“You know I hate it when you call me that, Kommon.”
“My apologies, Representative.”
“Anyways, what are you doing with this place? They’ll be raiding it soon.” He leaned in, narrowing his gaze. “I’ve heard from an inside source that they’re staging it for sometime tomorrow evening… possibly.”
Kommon looked to the sea and shook his head. “It won’t last the night, I’m afraid. You should be going, Representative.”
The man gave him a look and scampered off, his power signature feeling leery. Kommon waited until the politician had left before opening the landing pad’s outer cover with his wrist-pad, revealing a tunnel to an underwater lair he had built himself two hundred and thirty-five years ago. This was home, and if this was going to be his last night here, he was going to make it a splendid one, he thought, as he zoomed the transport ship down the gaping mechanical maw, the lights flickering on before him like heartbeats as he descended to the sea floor, and his estate.
Thinking it would be a fun night, the doctor felt a thrill of joy shoot down his neck. That was new. That was unexpected. The doctor glanced at the prisoners behind him. He needed them; they would sustain him. The pleasure had dulled, but perhaps that meant he needed to find pleasure in new ways. If that was the case, if he was going to do this… well, he would make his end such an end as to be remembered by all those wheezing meatsacks back at the intergalactic prison headquarters.
Waiting for his prisoners to wake, Dr. Kommon relaxed into his fancy swivel chair. Oh how he loved to roll on it across the wood floor at night. Yet even as he swiveled about, he couldn’t help but fix his gaze upon his largest computer monitor, which was showing a Mahonian newscaster giving a report on the doctor and his horrible, no-good stealing of criminals already sentenced to die. How terribly dreadful. The Mahone Empire, and their High Council, had already declared him a criminal and put a bounty on his head: dead or alive, same reward.
The empire had been glorious in its ancient past. The Mohanians’ reach had extended through much of the galaxy, incorporating dozens of worlds, enslaving billions, and using their powers of conquest to cut a swath through the unassociated worlds, one by one. Then slowly, but inevitably, the strongest and brightest Mohanian leaders died or were murdered by jealous rivals, and there were none capable enough to replace them, as the same tired story goes. Today, their empire was comprised of only five worlds: Mohane, the motherland, known for its vast oceans and island megalopolises; the mining world Wahapul; arid Hoku-Leko, home of the Leko lizards; stormy Kopai, with its skyscrapers crafted of blue stone and its native, exotically-feathered species of sentient birds; and island-specked Julahi, formerly the Mohane Emperor’s private resort world, now lightly populated.
He had built the teleportation grid that linked all of the Mohane Empire’s planets together. They had given him a statue and money and a trophy; ultimately, he felt hollow from it all. Inventing was only a hobby. He was a parasitologist by trade. Not that that meant much, he supposed. No longer did working at the Galactic Police headquarters entertain him enough to continue.
He wanted meat, and if they weren’t willing to give it to him, he would destroy every last one of them–the High Council, the Galactic Police, anyone who crossed him. He was hungry, and that meant more than anything. One or two inmates were stirring (they were lying in a pile on the floor directly across from his computer screens). He was hungry, and he needed to eat.
His thoughts went to the worst-case scenario. If he starved, would he die? Was he not immortal? Had he not built this body for himself more than eleven hundred years ago? He paused, examining his slender fingers. Had it really been that long? All that time, and all that wear… maybe his body was no longer perfect…
Or perhaps, it was just avoidance of discomfort–a field the doctor considered himself somewhat of a specialist in.
They were wriggling animalistically, like blind baby Kopaians at birth. It was time. Standing, Kommon cracked his neck and took a deep breath. Fewer than half of them stood; the rest remained on the ground, rolling about groggily, or sitting up, feeling their mouths. As they began to realize their tongues had been taken, their voices boxes removed, a few let out guttural grunts. Hopelessly sobbing though they were, Kommon remained composed. This was his favorite part.
“Quiet! The next one who makes a noise dies.”
A female space otter was slow to react, instead pounding on the ground a few more times while making a horrible sound in her throat, her head bowed. That was all it took. Taking her by the shoulder, he lifted the furry beast into the air and smiled.
“I am Doctor Kommon. I expect many of you already know who I am. Nevertheless, I am your master now. You will obey me, or you will die. I give no second chances.”
Indeed, should any of them have escaped, they would have found themselves at the bottom of the ocean. The pressure alone was enough to kill a good portion of the species Kommon liked to abduct; if that didn’t work, the ocean’s acidic chemical composition was surely enough to dissolve most would-be escape artists.
The doctor’s eyes glowed silver. Thrashing, the space otter fought to break free from his grip. Perhaps the others could not see what was happening to her, but she could no doubt feel her own energy being taken, consumed, added to the infinite reserve.
Her skin pulled tight, her black eyes moist and wide, the carcass fell from his grip. One by one, he stared every convict in the eyes before picking his treats, keeping everyone on edge throughout the process. Ten of them were consumed, and he was feeling alright. Ten more were released in the beetle pen (the peak physical specimens). The final ten remained with Kommon to watch.
“If any of you manage to get out of there alive, you may leave this place with your life, I promise you. If not… well, my swarm of Cuanzatl Beetles will clean you up quick. They’re hungry, and they need to eat. Please don’t disappoint them, I love them like they’re my children. Good luck.”
And with that, the doctor locked them into the enclosure, half dazed, half confused. He felt no remorse. They were convicted criminals sentenced to die. They were dead either way. Why not make them earn their stay in the next life, eh?
He brought the remaining prisoners up to the balcony seats overlooking the beetle pen. Dozens of three-meter-long tanks hung from the ceiling, suspending the doctor’s more beautiful creations in orange stasis gel. He watched his newest pets eye their elder brethren with tepidity and disgust. How little they knew about biological perfection shone on their faces.
“Sit down,” he commanded, ushering the group to the four rows of viewing seats. They were able to fit on the first two rows, though Kommon remained standing near the railing overlooking his beetles’ habitat. “Watch carefully. You will learn much from their harrowing displays.”
Hatred, defeat, fear–their eyes laid bare their emotions in a way their mouths would not. Centuries of interacting with meatsacks had clued the doctor in on many of their attributes and weaknesses.
In the cage, a humid fog hung low. His beetles produced a sturdy wax-like excrement, which was mostly white in color. These, they piled high in tall wall-like structures to protect their territory. And while this was not technically a maze, what had become of the Cuanzatl cage had only served to make the prisoners’ escape attempts that much more entertaining to watch. He could watch meatsacks fighting for their lives, to the death, and still that same old pleasure would return to him, and he was calm, and it didn’t matter anymore that so many years had passed.
Tapping his finger on the metal railing, Dr. Kommon kept one eye on the living, and one eye on those being eaten alive. He felt them looking at him. But that soon changed. The acoustics of his bunker, under the sea, were sublime. They could hear the screams perfectly from all the way up in their seats, separated from the horror by a simple transparent wall.
There was no escape. Some evaded the swarms for several minutes, checking every corner, every crevice, every tree, every wall. How hopefully they always continued to search until the swarm descended upon them. There was beauty in how they fought for their lives, how they held on, how they cried out in unbearable pain as their flesh was torn from their bones in seconds.
The screams always stopped suddenly; the music of their voices was punctuated, each time, like a series of fireworks going off one after another, when they were taken.
“Good.” Striding to the nearest hanging tube, Kommon ran a fingernail down its glass window, catching his face in the reflection: a grey face for a grey man, his beard not entirely professional in length. The creature stirred inside, a wall of bubbles shielding it momentarily before its glowing red eyes met his. “Now that you have seen one form of beauty, my friends, let me show you another–your own, in time.”
They looked more than perplexed, and the buzz that that gave him almost compelled Kommon to jump forth and take one right there, and he thought of the sustenance of mortal energy he had depended on for all these years, and how it was nothing for him to add another consciousness, another fragment of a person, into the vast wells of infinitude incarnate, and he steadied himself.
To give into instinct now would be unprofessional.
“Look here. He is your brother. You will be like him too, one day. Does that excite you? Tell me, does it give you a sense of relief knowing that I’ll be unleashing your inner monsters in the near future? Don’t be coy now!”
Stepping aside, he cracked his neck and took in their emotions as they beheld the creature for the first time. He had been a Mohanian once. Now the torso had been reconfigured, two arms had been added, the tail had been removed, the eyes had been replaced with cybernetic enhancements, and of course, the tongue and voice box had been removed. The teeth had been sharpened (and how he had screamed during that procedure, Kommon still thought about sometimes) too. He was opening his split-lip mouth, sucking uselessly at bubbles.
“He’s hungry, you see. Who wants to feed–”
His delicate creation coughed up a mouthful of bubbles, obscuring some of the blood leakage, then slumped against the glass, eyes wide and searching, mouth agape. Surprisingly, the energy bolt had broken through the window, lodging itself deep in the creature’s neck before exploding, nearly severing it, but not shattered the glass. A slow drip of orange stasis gel spurted out of the sizzling hole.
It was too soon; he was not ready.
“Doctor Kommon, is that you there?”
He stiffened, putting on a fake smile and bowing. “Captain Shidu. Well met, sir.”
Two hundred Galactic Police officers landed on all sides of them, both on the balcony and below on the floor. He noticed that there was a sizzling-white hole cut in the giant grey metal door that led to the underwater tunnel back up to the surface. He had been careless to let his guard down so. The convicts, not knowing what to do, trembled a bit, some nearly standing, most looking for the fastest way to escape should this turn ugly. Yet most importantly, his creation was dead, and the thought of it was so terrible that Kommon, surprised as he was at himself, had to grasp the railing again so as to prevent himself from fainting.
“Whoa, easy there. Stay put, Kommon! Don’t move! Do you know why we’re here?”
His vision was darkening, and he felt a tingling sensation behind his eyes. “No, you should tell me.”
“We’ve caught wind of the little flesh market operation you’ve got going on down here.” The man’s head had always seemed too small for Kommon, and that wasn’t helped by the fact that he was overweight and chinless too. “Disgusting! You’re a sick fuck, Kommon.”
“You hurt me with those words, Captain.” A flush was on his cheeks. He grinned at them, regaining his composure, looking from one policeman to the next. Their rifles were all pointed at him.
“I have a warrant for your arrest. Dead or alive. You’re coming with us one way or another. Hands up.”
His gaze went from the pooling, sizzling gel on the metal grate floor to his tongueless prisoners, their chins and necks coated in dried blood, to the policemen, to the Captain again. He wondered if the Keeper had said anything to Shidu about their whole messy affair. A realization dawned upon the doctor, and its cruelness and beauty was not something he could ignore.
“A lovely idea, if I say so myself,” he smirked, raising his hands until they were over his head.
That was when the hanging tubes began to glow. Before the policemen could so much as murmur at one another in useless speculation, every single tube door opened, and every single one of Kommon’s creations (all forty-one of them) was awakened at the same time, for the first time, and he wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.
In the chaos, Shidu’s forces were overwhelmed. Blue energy bolts tore through the air, catching hanging sleeping tubes on fire, taking out countless monitors and equipment, and indeed making contact with his creations too. They could not cry, just smack the invaders against the pavement until they were dead. The sound of energy fire, becoming ever more frantic, accompanied the reek of cooked flesh rising in the air, just beneath the smoke.
Amidst it all, he was paralyzed. The captain and several of his men had taken a few haphazard shots at the doctor before being overrun by his pink-skinned children. He had not expected this. The prisoners fled. Some were shot in the confusion, others curb-stomped mercilessly. He saw a streak of purple go sailing into the air, before getting lost in the smoke.
Another explosion shook the underwater bunker, and he was aware. Realization dawned before his tired eyes. “My end… my death… yes. It will be beautiful. It will be perfect.”
Even the thought of faking it left Kommon anxious. His energy wells felt tingly and he was jittery. He inhaled deeply, watching one fish-like alien with replacement claws for hands and a removed dorsal fin stagger by as four police converged on him and riddled him with energy.
Sadness pervaded. This was new. He shivered. A fire had spread from the seats down to the ground floor. Bodies were piling up. Blood in the air, the rhythmic thumping of raw meat against stone grew intoxicating. Soon blaster fire grew to be the only sound. He knew what he had to do.
Clutching his chest, he stumbled up and over the railing, landing on one knee, just in front of Shidu and his forces. The smoke was growing thicker. He could smell unnatural things burning. Though the officer was sporting a cut on his chin, he was otherwise unharmed, and was flanked by twenty-two guards–all that remained of his precious legion. To be fair, Kommon’s creations lay in burning piles around them, along with their fallen brethren. There was so much blood in the air, he felt like…
“Sh-shidu…!” he cried out, trying to stand and failing, and failing again.
“Oh, look what’s happened, Doctor. All your petty created horrors… they’re gone. And you’re done too. Look at you. Give up now.”
“No!” He rose, robed in a bluish-black aura. Its sudden brightness made them squint. “If I’m to die today, we’ll all go out together! I’ll destroy this planet myself!”
“You a sick bastard, Kommon, but you care about yourself too much. You’d never do it. You don’t have the guts.”
A slice of navy blue energy formed over the doctor’s raised palm. Fires had overtaken the bodies now. There was little time. The doctor cocked his head at Shidu, grimacing, and dropped the energy. As one would expect, a very large explosion followed, cooking up the remaining Galactic Police, and good ol’ Shidu himself, real good. Importantly, he did not vaporize them, for he was hungry, and he needed to feed again before leaving.
Sighing, the doctor did just that. As he passed over Shidu, sucking out the man’s life’s essence in a single second, he thought about his own performance. Shame was the first emotion that rose up, so it was truest, he knew. He hadn’t put his heart into it. He hadn’t wanted to think about it. He wouldn’t think about such nonsense ever again. He was the immortal Dr. Kommon, and he would not be put in this situation ever again.
There would be vengeance for his creations, for his bunker. Gliding to his computer station, he found the drawer with the sealed container of Khorphaxal, one of the most potent strains of infectious disease in the known universe. If someone were to open this container in a well-populated city, for example, residents across the whole planet could be showing signs of plague-like symptoms within two days.
The fire was growing, overtaking his beetle enclosure. He stood and watched for a while. Then, returning to the parked, stolen prison transport vessel, he found the three remaining beings on Fumak: the twin Kopaian girls, and one slightly burnt Mohanian male. There was a line of blood running down his skull.
None of them tried to make a run for it when he went to close the door on them. Melancholy was in the air. All he could think of was his friend, his one friend in the universe, his one connection to the outside world, and how he would have to make an end of things if he was to go through with this.
It was raining on the landing pad, where a flock of police transports lay at rest.
Not being the sentimental type, Dr. Kommon did not watch from space as the world he had purchased six hundred and forty years ago vanished with a soundless flash into the void.
In the end, he chose the taller of the sisters to remain behind.
“You will go to Kopai, to the city of Huwali. Once you are there, you will open this jar. Not before, not after you’ve made contact with me. Do you understand?”
He handed her the container through the slit between the pilot’s seat and the criminal’s cage. The girl’s feathers were all ruffled. It was unseemly. The man yet lay in the corner, clutching a burn wound, breathing irregularly, drifting in and out of consciousness. She nodded. Kommon blinked and focused.
“Good girl. We’ll be there shortly. Remember, if you do anything wrong, that thing around your neck is going to blow your head right clean off in front of all your family and friends. You wouldn’t want that, would you? I didn’t think so. Good girl. Now, you will call me upon this communicator once you are in place. Do you understand?”
She nodded feebly and took the device.
“Good. Do what I request, and I promise you, you will be alright. Just like your sister here.”
After he had dropped her off, the doctor took his remaining quarry to Kopai’s only moon, Pulmoke Huin. There they waited in a parking lot outside of the Mohane Empire’s governmental outpost. Five minutes passed, then ten, and Kommon was growing bored with tapping his fingers on the glass, so he jumped out of the vehicle (something no meatsack should try, as Pulmoke Huin had no atmosphere to speak of (though there were rumors swirling in the capital that the High Council was allocating money to terraform it within the next decade)), and went into the back with his prisoners.
They recoiled from him the moment he entered, fleeing to the far side. Even the wounded man mustered up the energy to move himself. He did leave a blood puddle behind, however.
“Good evening, you two. I’m sure she’ll be ready any minute now, but in the meantime, what do you say we have dinner?”
He wondered, during it all, if she would have screamed had she still retained her vocal cords. The avian remained unmoved as he drained the man of all life, then vaporized the body before her very eyes.
The energy invigorated him. He felt a rush of warm euphoria, enough to make him sit down. “And you thought I was keeping you here for some special purpose.” The doctor simpered sheepishly. “Oh, but I’m afraid, darling, that dinner is not quite yet finished.”
For a while after, it was silent. Then, his communicator lit up, and he got the biggest thrill of all to see a disheveled criminal on his screen, holding the jar in the middle of a crowded sidewalk, an unmistakably teal stone-carved Huwali skyscraper behind her.
She did, without hesitation. He hung up the phone, and that probably blew her mind.
Bringing up the security screen on his wrist-pad, the doctor effortlessly clicked through numerous fingerprint, text-based, and visual passwords to unlock the only remote access line to the Mohane Empire’s intersystem teleporter grid. Waiting a fraction of a second to let just a few more people onto the planet (hopefully more were coming than leaving right about now), he locked down the planet.
A regular shutdown would have merely disabled the teleportation portals, allowing for spacecraft to continue traveling to and from the planet. He had written down the reason for the lockdown as being a plague-level infectious disease spreading across the planet, though, and that had triggered additional security protocol to engage.
To put it simply, there was now a four-meter-thick bubble of energy wrapped around Kopai, like a shield. This shield was powered by Kommon’s own energy (something the Mohanians had never known about, for this protocol had never been engaged before), and thus he was certain that he could prevent anyone from breaking through if they tried.
There was one exception to this rule–members of the High Council. The members of the Mohanian High Council, being the most senior and politically significant people in the empire, had the authority to leave any planet they wished to at any point, no matter the security protocols engaged. This would allow those stuck on Kopai to leave… but not for several hours. It would take some sorting out, some passwords exchanged over heavily encrypted channels with other Councilors in the capital, and a remote deactivation of a portion of the shield bubble wall.
Dr. Kommon shut the cover on his wrist-pad and leaned back against the metal wall of his transport vehicle. It was so quiet, so peaceful, so lonely, so serene. He would wait two days. Then his greatest act of revenge would come to fruition. Yes, that was a good plan, he thought, and the thought of it, the scale of it, the scope of it washed over Kommon like all those years he had endured through time.
He was unbeaten in a millenium. He had absorbed the energy of millions, becoming one of the most feared warriors in the universe in the process. He would not go quietly into the night. Councilor Makko would soon learn of how hopeless his fate had already become.
The plague spread; tens of millions perished. How easy it is to let that number wash over oneself, to be awestruck by its imposing stature. Meditating though he was, Kommon relished in his grand deed, feasting upon hate for those two days he went without blood.
Five council members arrived on the first day. He waited so as to let the plague spread. There was none more potent in the universe. Money could not save them, nor could those who were attending them. Flee to the moon though they might, they would not escape the same fate as every being left stranded on Kopai. Three days was the usual, regardless of species. Five days was rare, but not unheard of. Mohanians like Makko would not last three days.
He entered their station like a whisper of vapor. There were twenty-four guards. Everyone was gathered in the main hall. There were fewer than fifty of them, and they were all of them infected. The Khorphaxal bacteria spreads quickly. It is merciless, and it is not choosy. This moon would need to be sterilized as well. It was as good as gone. He dealt with them in a flash of blue light–with ki, not absorption. The infected could not gain immortality. They would not. He would never be polluted so.
He murdered first the doctors, nurses, and attendants; then he murdered the staff members, and all the other useless flesh until there were but five council members. The Mohane Empire was governed by its High Council of eighteen: seven from Mohane; five from Wahapul; two from Julahi; two from Kopai; and two from Hoku-Leho. There was Makko (recently-promoted, too), as well as Councilor Yuli, his Kopaian compatriot. Then there was Councilor Dahudaro from Wahapul, and Councilors Baiwasu and Lekulu from Hoku-Leho.
They were seated upon cushioned beds, washcloths on their foreheads. Their eyes were already red and crusted with pus. Their skin hadn’t started falling off yet. That would soon come.
“Greetings, Councilors.” Doctor Kommon dropped from the ceiling rafters, dusted himself off, and bowed cordially. “Well met.”
The pale-faced man could no longer maintain his public persona. He was almost rabid with delirium, his voice raspy and cutting. “Kommon?! What are you doing here? I thought you were dead…!”
“All part of my little scheme, Makko,” he smirked. “Anyways, I don’t have much time, so I thought I’d leave you with this.”
Turning to the nearest window, he fired a slender finger beam, radiating golden-white energy, through it at Kopai. Two seconds later, the planet exploded.
The hole in the window was covered by a protective, secure metal shield by the outpost’s automated defense systems, cutting off the brilliant explosion halfway. Kommon sighed, shaking his head as if in apology to the lot of them. They were making an immense amount of noise at him. That was to be expected. Unchecked emotional outpouring, typically in the form of vocalizations, was not uncommon for meatsacks. He had seen this thousands of times before.
Clearing his throat, the doctor cut above their rabble with three simple words: “You will die. It is Khorphaxal that runs through your veins. I’m sure you all know about Khorphaxal–you’re all history buffs, no? Anyways, the five of you are infected with a fatal infectious disease with no known cure. You have approximately half a day or so left. Have fun.” With telekinesis, Kommon made Makko’s bed rise into the air. Putting a protective bubble around it, he floated the bed towards the door. “And yes, I did destroy Kopai. Sulk on that while the disease eats your body. The most painful part is yet to come. Just wait for it. I promise it will come. Now, I must be leaving, Councilors. Good day.”
He bowed, flashed them another grin, and marched out, Makko in tow, excitement buzzing in his fingertips. Makko glared at him the entire walk back, but the doctor didn’t have any desire to look a dead man in the eyes. Dr. Kommon was dead now. Nobody would find these old men before they succumbed. He was dead. Was that really a relief? He was dead, and now there was nothing left to do.
Well, it was getting close to dinner time. If there was one thing that had never changed about Dr. Kommon in his thousand years of existence, it was his consistent need for dinner. He loved dinner, and he loved nothing else.
Perhaps after dinner, his head would be clearer. Perhaps then he would pay the Keeper a visit. That ancient and terrible beast was an Agent of Destruction, whatever that meant. Whatever it meant, that warrior didn’t scare Kommon. He was already dead; he was invincible. Nobody could touch him–especially not an old bastard who was keeping Zalama’s artifact out of his grasp.
With that artifact, with the power of a god at his fingertips, he could destroy not only the police, and the rest of the Mohane Empire, but all of the universe, if he so desired. Kommon paused in front of his ship. He wasn’t quite so sure if he did desire that or not. He blinked, exhaling into open space. That feeling too, it appeared, was new.
<---- Part 121
Part 123 ---->