Clara and Mozart snaked their way through the war-torn high tech headquarters of the Integrated Dimensional Research Group. They had escaped from this very building months ago, but then it was a pristine, sterile white environment. Now it was something out of a horror film. The group's security robots were lying in pieces as if wild animals had torn into them. Along with their scattered remains were a few of the human scientists, their blood was smeared across the walls, a sign of them trying in vain to get away from the Eye's brutal assault.
"This is disgusting," Clara shook her head as they traversed the grisly scene.
Mozart agreed, but stayed silent. The Church of the All-Seeing Eye had always seemed to have an issue with the IDRG, but this was more than an issue. This was unrelenting hate. The work of animals and monsters, not of men. While he and his siblings were no more human than a normal frog, there was something otherworldly entirely about the men and women who followed the Church. The Witch was certainly the worst of the bunch, but even the rank and file members gave off some serious bad mojo.
After a while, the siblings came to the office of the director of the IDRG. Dyer was a mysterious man. The frogs rarely saw him, even when they were captives here. In the press, Dyer gives off an air of paternal benevolence. That was a show, of course. What the frogs had seen from the man was cold and calculating. He was driven. He had a goal. It was undefined to them, but he was willing to sacrifice anything to achieve it.
His office door was blown out, and three dead Eye commandos laid dead at the entrance. Art could hear people talking from inside of the office.
"You came all this way...just to fail again," a deep, menacing, and slightly alien voice said. Art peered in to see what he thought was a corpse wrapped in shadow. The man's face was cracked and caked with dried blood. His garb looked like the ninjas Art had seen in depictions of feudal Japan, but it almost looked like it was an organic wrap more than cloth. Almost like he was dressed in a recently skinned hide of some terrible monster. "I was impressed. But now, I'm just disappointed you made it this easy again. And in coming to this reality you've given us the key to the multiverse. Soon we will be all."
"And what happens when you're done consuming?" Dyer spat back. "What happens when there's nothing left to eat."
"Then we will be born anew...only to be consumed again."
With that, the shadow warrior raised his hand. The living cloth that covered him slid up and over his skin like the most grotesque snake Art had ever seen, before forming itself into a blade. Before he could swing it down onto the IDRG director, however, it was deflected away by a toss of Art's staff. The frog then rushed at the man in black, and leapt over a slash of his weapon. The frog landed by his thrown bo and picked it up, ready for another attack.
"Ah, I was wondering if I'd see you here," the decaying man smiled a hideous smile. "Dyer's slaves. Well, the ones that were meant to be slaves."
Clara, who had taken up a position on the man's other flank, snarled, "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"Ah, so you don't know?" he chuckled. While he did not drop his guard, he didn't look very worried about the two of them either. He radiated with a dark energy the likes neither of them had ever seen before. "Dyer meant for you to be part of his army to defeat me. But you were a bad batch. Too much freewill. Man is corruptible of course. It's why the good director here is powerless against me. But nature...nature is its own force. Wild, passionate, and hungry. That is why my priestess and I cannot dominate your minds. It's why you are able to stand against the might and knowledge of the great devourers while so few can."
Clara and Mozart exchanged a glance. Art knew it was foolish to believe someone who was clearly so evil, but this was the first real explanation for why the frogs existed in the first place. Still, there was almost assuredly more to the story. There had to be, the eldest frog thought.
"You as sick of this guy as I am?" he asked his sister.
She sighed, "You have no idea."
With that, the two frogs descended on their new enemy. The two siblings may have been oil and water when it came to making decisions, but when the fighting started they were perfectly in sync. They flowed over and around one another, with Clara slashing with her war fans and Mozart swinging his bo staff to land haymakers. The only problem was the man moved like the shadow he resembled. His body contorted unnaturally, almost if the living shroud around him bent his body where it needed to be. They could hear the cracks of his bones as they contorted around the frogs' strikes.
Before he was backed into a corner, he went on the counter attack. He landed blow after blow, spinning at them like a whirlwind of blades. Art and Clara were soon on the ground in front of the large window that overlooked San Maria, with the demon looming over them. Art felt the pain seeping into his nervous system, and saw his blood on the man's fists.
The shadow looked back at Dyer, "A shame. Even your weapons are disappointing. No matter. I'll dispose of them for you."
"How about I dispose of all of us?" Dyer said through gritted teeth before pressing a button on his belt.
A momentary look of amused disgust came over the shadow's face before Dyer exploded, engulfing the room in flame and blowing the huge window out behind the frogs.
The last thing Art remembered before blacking out was the sensation of freefalling towards the street below.