Clavicus decided that, before he questioned Armando’s crew, he would first find out more about his life, what he did, and finding out where he lived was the best place to find out.
He had no need to ask anyone, though, he could sense things, and had a stronger instinct than mortals did, and using these senses he pinpointed exactly where the Salazar mansion was located, despite the fact it was in an area miles and miles from where he was at the moment. “His house is rather large, I can see it” Clavicus said, “Clearly he think of himself as important … But don’t ALL lesser beings?” Barbas looked at Vile “You think we can get there, Master?” The Daedric Prince gave his dog an unimpressed look “You doubt that I can, Barbas?” “Not at all” replied the dog “but let’s face it, we have not been in this realm long enough to know where places are, so it won’t be easy for you to manifest somewhere who’s location is unknown to you” Despite Barbas being mostly right, Clavicus still rolled his eyes, “I am aware of that, but you seem to forget that I do not need to know where I am to travel … all I need is an idea of where it is”, and without another word, he instantly manifested himself and Barbas to a new place.
It was evening where they had ended up, near a hill, over looking a town, and on the hill was a large mansion, “Oh, look, you see?” Clavicus said “And here you were doubting my abilities”.
Eliza was wearing layers, and couldn’t do many tasks at night. Everything was so dull and cold then. The sun was setting and she was dreading another night. Even conjuring a sphere of light was difficult. She moved out into the yard, dumping garbage and organizing the tools.
That’s when she became aware of a presence nearby. Two in fact. At first she had thought them merely people. But something was off in the air, and she didn’t feel comfortable. It set the hair on the back of her neck rising, and her teeth on edge.
The shifter trembled and chanced a look, not able to keep from seeing whatever it was anymore.
For lack of a better term….two demonic entities now stood next to the mansion. Eliza blinked at them, hoping they were hallucinations. No such luck. Shit…
“Hello there….” she ventured, praying it didn’t set any tempers off.
Barbas smelled Eliza before he could see her, so when the Shifter made herself known verbally, Barbas pretended to be surprised, as did Clavicus, who also knew there would be bound to be someone in the vacinity. They noted that the girl was not a vampire, and they could sense that she didn’t exactly belong there … she seemed not only out of place, but out of time. Wherever and whenever she was, she did not belong here. “Greetings” Vile answered “I believe someone by the name of Salazar lives here? I was wondering, could you tell me about him? I only just met him, you see, and I seem to have a hard time trusting people who I don’t even know properly” he said this with an outwardly pleasant tone, but Eliza could sense there was darkness behind his words, and she was unsure of whether or not she should tell this – whoeever or whatever he was – anything about Armando or his family. Clavicus could tell she was trying to work out in her head what was going on, and yet again he felt himself getting impatient, “I can see yet again I am going to have to introduce myself.Honestly, Barbas, can you believe this realm? It needs to be educated and taught a serious lesson! The mortals here are even more clueless than the ones on Nirn” He turned back to Eliza “I could tell you who I am, but you would simply want more answers to more asinine questions, and I really don’t have time for that. All you need to know is that I have power that can give you anything you want, and anything that others want. I can tell you’re not from here, I can tell you’re miserable, despite what you tell yourself, despite what you tell others … You think you don’t need anything or want anything, but that’s a lie. There is definitely something you want, something you’ve always wanted … No, there are more than a few things you want, but are unable, or unwilling to get them. I guaruntee you will get anything and everything you’ve wanted, if you tell me who this Armando Salazar is”.
She stood there, listening to the demon rattle off a speech. Her eyes started to glaze over and she pinched the bridge of her nose.
“You want the 411? Alright, buddy….Armpit Saladpants is a 400 year old vampire who had a father that vanished when he was a teenager….rumored to have been either taken by pirates, or joined them. Disgusted by what happened, Armando joined the navy to hunt pirates and eradicate them from the sea….”
Eliza sat down on a bench to rest, fighting a dizzy spell.
“Unfortunately him and his crew were tricked into a large sea cave by a young pirate named Jack Sparrow…he used a spell to trap the vampires there….for 30 years they were stuck until he accidentally freed them. It’s been a few years since they got free of the cave….Armando is still a naval captain…that’s about it….Uh…what else…he really likes apples…..a lot.”
She hoped this is what the demon wanted to hear. Putting the rake down, Eliza stretched.
“And as for what I want? Well, I’m not dealing with the devil to get it. That would fuck things up in my life that are already fucked up enough. No thank you. I’ve seen a lot of horror movies, I know what happens, no matter how beneficial and harmless you try to make your wish be, there will always be a loophole.”
Clavicus didn’t know whether to be impressed, annoyed, so instead he decided to be all of the above, “Oh, a smug one are we?” He sneered “I must say I would find your arrogance toward me impressive, if it were were a smart thing to do … But of coarse it’s not, and you’re clearly lacking in the intelligence department, aren’t you?“ He eyed her angrilly, fighting the urge to use his powers to break all the bones in her body, “Unlike this Armando Salazar, I don’t need to hear your story to know how much of a sad individual you are. Despite only being in this realm for a short time, I can tell you are not from here, so let me guess … you ended up here, not because of bad decisions, but because you were foolish. You did not listen to certain people – or a person – in your life, and because of your recklessness you ended up here, among people you hate. Oh, and you hate them, no matter how much you think you don’t, deep-down you really very much hate them; after all, if you didn’t, you would not be this bitter. They have treated you badly, and you expect the world to be fairer to you … I can tell you right now, it willl never be fair. Regardless of whether you want something from me or not, I know you have, and always will,l try to get what you desire by any means necessary. All of you mortals are the same:greedy, gullible and easily manipulated, and despite how much you say you care, you ALWAYS put yourselves first.
“I am also not a Devil, I have nothing to do with your silly little religions and beliefs. I’m a Daedra, a spirit from another realm, called Oblivion, and this is my dog, Barbas” he gestured to Barbas who was glaring at Eliza, “And I suppose I should ask who you are? Or should I just call you ‘Worthless Maggot’ and be done with it?”
Eliza stared back at Barbas, without glaring in return. Just a blank, uninterested and unaffected stare. She stood up, coughing a bit of blood and her nose had started to bleed.
“How was I being arrogant?? Jesus fucking Christ….I wasn’t. And honestly just fucking call me Worthless Maggot. My name isn’t important to you, why would it be?! You show up, ask me a question, and then you start listing all of my faults….Yes I do hate someone, but guess what? That’s not really the vampires… They’re just feeding and what not, all in their nature….it’s myself I hate the most.”
She kept her eyes in them both, not blinking. Her rage grew.
“Yeah, I get it. I’m fucking stupid. Tell me something I don’t fucking already know! You have nothing to offer that I can’t simply do myself. For instance, I can take that piece of broken glass there! And drag it right across my own throat. No help from you needed.”
Eliza had turned her back and was now walking away into the garden.
“There’s nothing for me in this world, or the one I come from. I don’t belong anywhere….I am nothing. People are better off without me….way better off…”
She stood at the entrance to the hedge maze.
“Salazar should be home in a few hours, maybe a day. He’ll be a lot more helpful.”
Eliza was suddenly knocked to the ground with such speed and force she felt as though she had been struck by lightning; when reality came back to her, she found herself on her back with a crocodilian-like bipedal creature, larger than a bear, looming over her, “Don’t speak to my Master like that, human!” It bared its teeth at her, but before the creature could say or do anymore, Clavicus interrupted “Don’t bother, Barbas, we’re wasting our time with this one, all she can seem to do is complain and wallow in self pity. Honestly, your lack of enthusiasm is horrendous, I’ve seen professional pessimists with more dignity! Since she will not be civil toward us, Barbas, I suppose I will have to get information by other means”, and without warning, he and Barbas disappeared, as though they were never there to begin with, leaving Eliza even more confused than before.
Clavicus had only moved himself and Barbas a mile or so from the Salazar mansion, “We’re still here?” Barbas asked, who was now back in his dog-form “Duh” Clavicus responded “I told you I needed information, did I not? And you are going to get it for me, Barbas”, the dog thought for a moment, then realisation came to him “You want me to infiltrate their lives?” The Daedric Prince nodded “We both know how good you are at that sort of thing, dog, just be sure to hide your power, or should I say my power, can’t have anyone getting suspicious, especially that whiny brat, she seemed to know we weren’t … ordinary”, Barbas nodded, and immediately shifted into a bird, at which Clavicus gave him a bored look “Really? A bird?” Barbas nodded “Yes, I got the impression from her she likes birds … no idea why”, Clavicus sighed “Very well, but you can’t just fly up and expect them to make you their pet … They’ll need a reason to let you in. I know!” He snapped his fingers and Barbas instantly felt a sharp pain in his wing “Ow!” He yelped “Oh, stop complaining!” Vile responded, “We need this to work, and it won’t work unless your wing is actually broken!” He then used his powers to ease the pain to a dull but manageable ache “There, now they will believe your wing is broken” He then opened up a portal between their current location and the mansion “It’s better to get you back to that stink-hole this way, as my pressence would more than likely get Miss Negative snooping around. I don’t care how long it takes you to get any sort of good information, Barbas, time is nothing to me, as you know, just make sure it’s useful”, the bird nodded and hopped through the portal.