it's a long hard road out of hell

Hours. Days. Centuries. Temporal spaces used to ceaselessly fascinate me, I enjoyed shifting time and space and dimensions to suit my fleeting whims and desires. Now time seemed of little consequence when I no longer had the power to manipulate it to my liking. Time passed both slowly and quickly as I stood atop the building the halfbreed seemed so fond of. It traveled a length of distance and radiated from his cold decayed form like smoke and mist. Regret. It was a strong emotion emenating from the entire team. Despite the physical injuries suffered, the loss from the on-going war with the Wolf, Ram and Hart they still had room to let the spider nest webs in their souls, to capture flies and prey on them. Regret. It was not my lacking in understanding that seperated me from the rest of them. It was who I was, what I was born to be. It was defeat and I'd never suffered loss well. I'd never suffered at all.

When I would grow tired of perching myself on the roof, the ever faithful watch keeping the bats of hell at bay -- I would travel into the depths of the hotel. I would listen to the words spewed from the mouths of insolent children because the walls would no longer share their secrets. Curiousity was most oft my solitary driving force, propelling me through the shadows and dim secrets of the hallways that led me to them. They talked, they fought, they cried, they yelled. Angry words coming from angry mouths and I listened, fascinated by the sound of human nature being so thrust in my face. It marvelled me that this race could fascinate me so. However, I knew it was a combination of things that would make this great form once shake and shudder and melt into the dunes of sand. My soul forever becoming one with the land I used to rule. Emotions. Landscapes of human thought and feeling and corruption invading my skin like century old dew. They cried and I felt it twisting the core, the very being of what I used to be and what I had become. The reoccuring thought that I now had to live amongst these frail creatures was also a contender in my endless fascination. They were so small, so very weak, so very stupid and yet they continued to thrive, they continued to win.

The defeat against Wolfram and Hart was hardly a defeat at all in the eyes of the leader and yet I could not begin to understand. They had not won, not in the clear sense of winning a battle. Victory had little to do with child's games and everything to do with conquering a foe. Wolfram and Hart was quite a formidable enemy and yet Angel brazenly led his followers into the frays of hell. Into the very belly of a beast that would swallow them whole if given half the chance. It was no defeat that stung my skin, despite the cruel torture of knowing. Knowing that we had not won and likely never would. No, not defeat. Emotion.

They hadn't thought to include me in on the discussion, the choices at hand. It made little difference to me as they knew as well as I that should Wesley decide to follow them I would likely remain in their presence as well. The halfbreeds could feel it. Spike and Angel fidgeting in their hundred year old skin. Predators sensing when they've been made the prey and it would be not much longer until the Wolf, Ram and Hart would come seeking revenge. They would regroup and subsequently not rest until revenge was had. We had meager defenses and I knew that should they catch up to us, we would all perish. It seemed cowardly to me to run away when a fight was so clearly coming our way. The battlefield used to be where I felt most at home, I so enjoyed ripping my enemies limb from limb. This was a different time, and I was no longer that great ruler I had once been. And despite the impending doom settling over the hotel I could feel the grief.

Gunn still grieved for the shell, as did the rest of them. The grief from Gunn was more permanant and mixed with the faint aftertaste of guilt. Winifred Burkle had once been claimed by him and now she was lost, her soul forfeit because he had made the arrangements for the sarcophocus to be delivered. It angered me that they should still wish me away from existance and yet over time I had come to understand a great many things. Most of them in direct correlation with Fred.

Occasionally I would meet with the leader on the rooftop. I was not the only entity that frequented the sole quiet place in the building. Technically it was above the building and I enjoyed it more. Humans were always boxing themselves up into smaller boxes. stifling and suffocating themselves in an attempt to feel safe. There was no safety in a world such as this and I believed that Angel understood that. We would stand on the rooftop and watch the city below, and then he would ask me what my thoughts were. I was candid with him, describing glorious battle strategies in strange lands his feeble brain couldn't hope to comprehend in totality. I was never sure whether these talks helped the halfbreed in any way, but I could feel a sense of closure coming from within him. He was ready to move on.

During a particularly long night I could feel movement from beneath my feet. I could recognize a soul in pain, especially his, from lightspeeds away. Of that I was sure. Climbing down from my perch I walked back into the hallways of the Hyperion, stalking down the stairs and tilting my head curiously as I stopped in the lobby. What was to come? For once I had not the answers nor the patience for riddles.
i am destruction

This place is built for moving out

Angel had sent me on a mission.

I could remember a day when Illyria, God-King of the Primordium would heed no request from man or vampire. The Earth would tremble at my very waking breath. The maggots and molecules searching desperately for small holes to crawl inside of for hiding was the only absolution once my wrath was provoked. Hiding would prolong their pathetic lifespans for precious few seconds as I sought them out through dimensions leaving only destruction in my path. There was not one solitary being more powerful than I.

The world had shifted and changed while I slept below the Earth, guarded by the truth keeper. Nightmares now were trapped inside the heeds of mortal men whereas once they roamed dimnsions freely. Fragments began coming to the surface, nesting deep in my core despite the desperation in forcing the dreadful thing away. Thing. A colloquolism these humans and half-breeds used. Things had names, even if they are lacking in sense. This had a name, a disgusting one. Feelings. Floating through the air like smoke, invading the shell's lungs. I had been infected, feelings cling to my skin like a parasite. So thick I could choke and be sick on it.

No, this was not merely following the orders of the leader despite my promise of keeping heads as trophies. This was reaping vengeance. As I was snapping fragile spines I could clearly see Hamilton's taunting face in my mind's eye. The humiliation of my defeat fueled the feeling I had learned the most about since rising again. Angel. How different from regret yet the self-destructive nature remained the same. I blamed this on the frailty of the shell and the human race in general. It was becoming rather clear to me that despite who or what I wished to blame the suffering was mine to bare alone.

Is there anything in this life but suffering?

As I destroyed my targets, a cruel smirk crossed my mouth. Thoughts long past now fresh in my mind again. I enjoyed hurting them. When Wesley had become my guide in this world he had done so only with my promise. If I wished to learn how to live in this world I must promise not to kill. Taking human lives was a fundamental moral atrocity yet one could turn a blind eye to such wrong doings if the situation called for it. It left me confused and overwhelmed loop hole by loop hole. Humans were strange creatures.

It occured to me that I may put my enemies heads on a stick. This would serve as a warning to the Wolf, Ram and Hart of what would befall all who dared cross Illyria and those I had chosen to align myself with. Before I could ponder defiling corpses for longer than the time it took for a single heart to beat, it occured to me that Wesley, Gunn and the half-breeds were within the city limits vanquishing other members of this Circle of Black Thorn. Angel had led his followers to believe that they would fail to survive their tasks. I had already proven the vampire wrong although it wasn ot beyond my comprehension that the night was far from over. I had begun to form...attatchments. They were not unpleasant to view and I wished to learn more about this world I was bound to. How was Wesley faring with the demon Vail? How curious that Angel would send my guide back to the man who had shifted memories. Winifred Burkle was compromised of thoughts and memory and yet holes existed. This was the doing of the leader.

Serve no master but ambition.

I remembered well where this Vail kept his large ornate dwelling. It took me but a few scant minutes to reach my destination. Easily I dispatched Vail's followers who were simple minded enough to impede my travel. When I reached the room it became instantly clear that Wesley was not having the same measure of success I had achieved. Vail was using tricks and sorcery to hold Wesley in his grip, levitating in the air. Vail's eyes met my gaze and I tilted my head to the side curiously.

Suddenly a knife flashed throuhg the air. Vail thought to be swifer than I in both thought and execution. Yet I possessed a grace he could not comprehend. Grabbing the knife by the handle I caught it just before it would enter Wesley's abdomen. Was this infinite truth? This one moment? It seemed the set I never could quite solve in this world. I would have to ask Wesley later. For now I was content to destroy all my enemies.

Turning around quickly I let him take in the face of his death as I buried the knife in Vail's throat. His eyes widened and his hold on Wesley immediately diminished.

"I dislike you." I admitted to Vail as I pulled the knife down, essentially splitting him in half end to end.
Wesley - Illyria

(no subject)

"I know whatcha gonna do. Whatcha planning."

I wasn't surprised to hear her voice. In fact, I had been expecting it much sooner. That she chose to appear now didn't come as much of a surprise either. It may very well be the last time I'd see her. Or anyone else for that matter.

"And how would you know, Fred?"

I glanced up and looked at her standing there in front of me. I flinched a little when I noticed what she was wearing. The dress she wore when I'd chased her down the hotel. Under the influence of Billy Blims blood. It only now occurred to me that ever since then, she never wore anything quite as...revealing. Until we started to work for Wolfram and Hart.

"Cuz, I know you, Wes. Better then anyone."

Perhaps this was true. But I knew better. She had not known me. Her memory, just as mine and everyone else had been altered. I would never know if she could've really loved *me*, instead of the image Angel had created of me. I cannot fault him for that now. After all, I took perhaps a greater risk when taking away Connor. I'm still angry though, at him. For changing who I'd become, who I was.

"You plan on getting yourself killed. Dontcha?"

I kept looked down at the ointment I was making for Illyria. To tend to the wounds of the creature that had killed the woman I loved. Love. Was now using her body as nothing but a mere shell, and not even appreciating that. It was more then a shell, more then just something she had to use to walk around the earth. It was the image of the woman I wanted to have a live with. A future. Until that was ripped away from us.

"You can't do that." Fred said again, this time with a firmness in her voice that made me look up.

"And why not?" I asked softly, already knowing the answers but not wanting to hear them. Face them. I wanted to deny them and find my peace once and for all. I was just so tired of it all. Of everything.

"They need you. You're running away from your responsibilities now? You never done that before."

I laughed at that, shaking my head. I had, run away from my responsibilities before. I was good at that. "I have no responsibilities left." Oh, there are many way's to run from them. One can bury oneself in work, crawl into a bottle of good whiskey. Or just become a cold hearted bastard. Running away, doesn't alway mean literally.

"But you always came back in the end. You never did run far."

Perhaps," I said, looking at her fondly. "You do know me."

She looked entirely to smug at that. Her arms crossed, head tilted in a way that would've been familiar but wasn't. "You can't die," She repeated again, more serious this time. She reached out with her hand and touched my cheek. Her touch felt cold as ice against my skin, and I knew it she wasn't really touching me. Not even in my imagination.

"Why not?" I whispered.

She glanced over my shoulder and I didn't to ask what, or whom, she was looking at. "You still have responsibilities." She smiled sadly at me, and took a step back.

"She killed you," I said softly.

"Did she? Did she really have a choice?" We all have choices, Wes. But she still has to learn how to really make them. She never had to make choices before. Not *real* choices."

Sometimes that woman is entirely to wise for her own good. Because deep down, I knew, *knew* that Illyria, GodKing of whatever the hell, devourer or worlds, conqueror of dimensions and a whole lot of other big things. In the end. Had no choice when it came to the shell she ended up in. And it hurt to think of Fred as 'the shell'.

"Why are you here, Fred?"

She smiled sadly at me, her image blurring a bit. "How should I know? This is your imagination." Her smile turned at little brighter and then she faded way from my view and my mind became mine again.

The room turned back to normal, and I once again found myself standing in Spike apartment. The air of impending doom surrounding me like a thick blanket. Yet, there was that tiny flicker of hope somewhere. Picking up the ointment and some bandages, I turned around toward Illyria, who was once again regarding me with those ice blue eyes. The ones that spoke so much, but told so little.

"This should make you feel better," I muttered, putting some of the ointment on a bandage. I swiped away some of the hair from her neck, once again struck by how it had once been auburn brown, and plastered some of it on the gaping wound.

She seemed lost, somehow less godlike then before. Then again, it must be hard for her. With all her strength and power, Hamilton had swatted he around the room as though she were nothing but a mere insect. The GodKing had been brought to its knees and had no idea how to deal with that. Other then to ask questions, investigate and look down at the feeling she could no longer squash.


"You will help me?"


"Because I look like her."