A King

God bless the League of Prehistoric Ninja Assassins.

When the world lost its first civilization and occult superpower over night my predecessor (more like patriarch), the original king of the seven seas, saw it fit to do a few things before he died a heroes death. The first of which was to sire an heir, forever tethering the blood of the first sorcerer supreme to the world of landlubbers. This was very important for a variety of reasons, most of which spiral into discussions about destiny, fate, and the general ease one can acquire a tavern wench with the proper sized jewelry.  The second was the establishment of the League of Shadows, the original department of homeland security, except not as pointless or as friendly.

And right now they’re out here in force cleaning up my mess, disposing of my bodies, patting me on my back telling me I did a good job while trying not to stare at the purple and grey mess called my face. I applaud their professionalism but it feels too much like kissing my ass to appreciate it.

And I’ll never get over being king. It helps that few people know who I am and even fewer wish to say the words, mostly because it sounds ridiculous but often it’s some peoples way of conveying disrespect.  I get that a lot in Atlantis, a lot of Arthur, not my last name or sir, but Arthur.  But I get it, I’m not wanted, and neither were my predecessors. But that’s the thing, the fucked up part that never really unnerves me but leaves a bad taste in my mouth. What was I before? When my father’s people, my people, the people who told me what I really am plucked me out of a life of underage debauchery and early morning cram sessions and gives me a title, the trident, and a whole new understanding of physics, only turn around and reject me because I AM everything they told me, gave me, and more…

You’ll own up to being King, you have to, the world depends on it and I have, since day one accepted that. But to be treated as such, without me forcing you to, feels too much like being surrounded by cronies.

“My liege.”

“It’s Arthur.”

“Your face.”

About time someone notices.

“It’ll heal.” Courtesy of the late Mr. H’Lee.

She nods after taking a good hard stare. Second sight and standing directly in-front of me. Upper management. I sigh because she is new and a manager, hopefully not district, but it does get that bad sometimes.

To elaborate, the League of Shadows since its conception has been dealing with say, occult related matters, since the first pyramid was no more than a sketch drawing on flat stone. Their job was simple enough conceptually. Identify, evaluate, and exterminate any body or bodies of individuals, organizations, and whole governments if need be depending on how far along their research, curiosity, or blind luck has taken them into the dark arts. With big emphasis on preventing potential actors from ever becoming real players, or in average speak, killing Merlin before he becomes the thunder tossing, time melding, dragon sealing wizard we learn about in elementary school. On a good day, the average dangerous mission involves slitting the throat of someone planning to make his first goat sacrifice when the moon is full (that rarely makes a difference). The most you have to worry about are the neighbors spotting your catsuit gliding over their rooftop with a cellphone camera. On a bad day, you’re facing Sabrina the Teenage Witch, half in the middle of a love spell, half wondering if lasers shooting out of her eyes will melt your face faster than say, setting your skin on fire. Than there is those really bad days, where you crash a party just to come face to face with a daemon fresh from the veil….

Sometimes you really aren’t paid enough for your line of work. Even more so if your being expected to be a garbageman minus the gloves. Because in this line of work, all but me is expected to follow the cardinal rule, don’t do magic.

Not to say magic is evil, or inherently evil. Because it is. But to point out the reasons for doing a little necromancy on the side isn’t always evil…just job security. Which is why blatant disregard for one of the primary rules (if not the only rule) hasn’t been punished zealously by me or most of my predecessors. Pragmatism, at least as far as the League of Shadows is concerned, as been the primary way of dealing with the very people who make my (self imposed) exile on the surface a lot easier than I tend to appreciate. But this same approach makes my job harder, because given enough time and all the temptation in the world, a little voodoo tends to slowly creep up to a lot of voodoo and lets just say more than a few decades worth of crisis has been because of or in light of a one man or entire sections of the League of Shadows going rogue.

Needless to say “don’t trust these fuckers” were penned in big bold letters in the memoirs and journals of my predecessors. People I don’t recognize fishing for the sit rep, is usually a bad sign. Especially people so new they don’t know to call me Arthur. But I shrug, ensuring the League of Shadows isn’t ending the world behind my back can wait till next week.

“What’s your name.” I give her a once over, maple brown hair, golden eyes, wide enough curves to convince me she’s a bruiser  I almost lick my lips at the prospect.

“Samantha First, my liege.”

“Its Arthur.”

“Right.”

Awkward pause.

“My-Arthur, the supernatural activity, necro or demon?”

“Demon like you suspected.”

“Taken care of?”

“No.”

Both our shoulders get smaller.

” Regional Supervisor Dawyne says he needs you in France sir.”

I nearly hop at the chance to go to France. No not really.

“No,” I shake my head, “that’ll have to wait.”

“You think its still here.”

“You tell me.” I make sure to say that with a smile.

“We can kill it.” she says with a tremble, whether of excitement or fear I don’t pray into her thoughts to tell.

“That won’t be necessary.” I start my walk to the nearest helicopter.

“I hear its only a small fry… I mean we can do this, your needed elsewhere.  If not Paris than somewhere else with a potential category four or five incursion.”

I stop, “Unless it’s category nine.” (and we’d be royally fucked if it was), “I’ll be asking for a ride to my car now.”

“It’s 2010, we know how to banish a level 3 ling.”

“That maybe true,” I wave, “But you guys take fun out of it.”

And Yes this will be edited

Just a Ling

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