There were a plethora of things that Gabriel found concerning of Aeternum.
The first was that there were far too many humans. The ones that served a purpose were concubines and whores, only serving to further the ranks of the demons and half-breeds that already congregated around them. They were taking up too much food, and clean water was scarce. There was little machinery that could be scavenged from Before, but what had been was now put to good use. Unfortunately, more and more things continued to break. It wouldn’t be long before he would have to kill the help.
The second was that this life was all he could remember. No longer could he summon a memory of what his parents looked like. Perhaps he never could. Maggie seemed to remember, but he couldn’t. She had long ago given in to his whims and sometimes Gabriel was sad to think that she feared him. But she came back… always came back.
The third? That he felt solely responsible for the failing habitat of the city-state he was the center of. The demon court had no issue believing that he was truly their Savior, and why would they? It was chaos here, and any semblance of ‘God’ was long gone. Gabriel had never been religious, nor prescribed to the idea that there was someone watching over all of them. Why would someone who seemingly cared allowed such mass destruction to occur?
Perhaps that was a question for another moment. His thoughts had already brought him further from the problems he currently faced every day, which included someone… measly and unworthy in front of him. The man seemed to be fearful, and Gabriel wondered what that was truly like. He hadn’t felt unadulterated fear in years, or at least that he could remember. ”Kneel.” Gabriel’s eyes flickered upward and into focus as another creature entered the room. He couldn’t feel the supernatural like most other residents of the city, but he could almost taste the cold, menacing presence that had arrived.
She was back, and just as easily as horrible as she had been when she’d left. Gabriel wished he could say he missed her, but she was a means to an end. Nasrin was well connected and knew her way through Circle Society; both were appreciated and certainly more than he would ever tell her. The demon was ruthless and saw fit to harm nearly everything in her way in some shape or form. But her worth was limited by her cockiness and confidence. The woman seemed to think that she could lead him about with his dick, something that Gabriel was keen to allow her to think. The more distracted and unclear he was, the more she would do and the more he could learn.
That she commanded her lessers to kneel was… unappealing at best. Gabriel’s bearded jaw clenched but he remained silent, shifting slightly in the large, uncomfortable chair that they insisted he sit in. ‘Fit for a king’, someone had said. As if it wasn’t enough to believe that she could rule others, she then dismissed them from his presence. At this, the man’s eyes narrowed, dark blue tones that matched his sister’s staring out to the creature that now approached.
”Contrary to your belief, Nasrin,” Gabe said, his voice quiet and baritone, ”I do not have to ask your permission for everything.” He pulled his chin away from her touch and raised an eyebrow. ”Azrael serves a purpose, and if he chooses to spend his nights and days with concubines while off leave, he is allowed.” Gabriel shrugged and relaxed back, steepling his fingers as he continued to look to Nasrin. ”Tell me, what exactly have you accomplished while gone? If you’ve done as much as Azrael has, perhaps I will shower you with whores, too.” A corner of Gabe’s mouth twitched upward.
What she had done was important, despite his offer. Accomplishments on the outside mattered, whether it was killing those who sought harm to him to simply finding some desperately needed resources. Any information to help them further his status in the world would be enough.
Of course, what he really needed was to grow into his powers. His counsel was eager to ensure him that it would come with time, but he was human; he didn’t have time like the demon in front of him. He needed power to attain his immortality, and it is seemed that he couldn’t realize his full potential without eternity.
“Where are you going?”
“Out. I can’t be in this place anymore.” Maggie couldn’t be around these people anymore… these things.
“This place, or me?”
“Maybe both, Gabe, I don’t know.” It was never him, though. There were times when she needed time to process his decisions, but perhaps never had she been scared away from Gabe. She loved him, like she had no other. Idle flings with the royal prostitutes, even some demons that she’d entertained, but never a love like her twin. He was the only person who had always and truly been there for her, and no matter what he did, she would stay.
Besides, there wasn’t anywhere else to go.
“You’re going to feed those beggars, aren’t you? I told you not to, Mags. They can’t be trusted.” Neither could they, but she said nothing. She and her twin were, unfortunately, nothing to brag about. The only reason she was still alive and well and decently fed was because of Gabe. She shrugged, though whether the intention was to show defiance or indifference was unclear. “Adriel,” Gabriel said, looking to a man at his side, “would you -- ?”
“I don’t want a babysitter. I’ve gone out in the city for more and haven’t gotten into trouble. I’m old enough to know what to do and anyone would be stupid to attack me.”
“No one would dare, my lady,” said Adriel, and Maggie offered him a wicked smile. With that, she turned on her heel and left, finally opening the door to their…
Squalor. Filthy. Cesspit. Sanctuary.
Maggie ran a hand through dark hair with a sigh, looking around from underneath her hooded cloak. It was heavy and seemed… old. Older than the Apocolypse and older than her, certainly. She lowered her nose to sniff at the fabric but immediately regretted the decision. It stunk of Aeternum, a fetid, dark smell that she had thought she was accompanied to.
The woman grimaced as she began to meander through into the city center. There were plenty of objects that should have given her pause: corpses, both alive and dead, propped against buildings and walking next to her. The demons and fallen angels, of course, could manage. They may have been hungry, but they wouldn’t die unlike the few humans that walked among them.
The supernatural creatures looked at her as she passed, though she supposed it was because of the aura she gave. Her close contact with Gabriel was enough for others to be suspicious of her – wary but respectful. They would never dare harm her or her brother, but sometimes the stares made her wonder what would happen without his protection. After all, she contributed nothing to Aeternum and took precious resources away from others who could use it wisely and eagerly to help their ascending king.
It was his destiny to raise them to greatness... or wickedness, as he would say. Momentarily he would listen to some insignificant qualms that the lesser lords had, or humans that believed themselves to be better than he. But what about her? Staying here and playing with Azrael when they so chose? Maggie kept the scraps in her cloak close as she continued to move through the city. No matter how many orphans she saw, she couldn't bring herself to part from the heels of bread she'd stolen from the kitchen. This could make the difference between a day of starving or hours, and she was too selfish to give that up.
As she pondered about how truly selfish she was, Maggie bumped into something hard in front of her. Bread spilled on the ground and she hurriedly scooped it back up before looking up and around with wide eyes. Few people saw her, but no one had made the move to hassle or assault her yet. Could they tell she was Gabe's blood? Belatedly realizing it was a body she had bumped into, Maggie muttered a quick apology and hoped the following would be enough: "Say nothing and I will give you some." Of course, it was the bread she referenced but there was little else she could offer to keep from getting mobbed.