This is the first part of a series of stories jointly written with Greggrth involving our two O/C's. Hope you like. Some of the scenes get a little a violent and gory, so be warned. A prologue was posted earlier and can be found here 0.0 - Prologue. "Two trays of chicken enchiladas, four turkey sandwiches, medium rare steak with roasted veg times three." "The steak right, not the veg?" Jacob asked making sure the portions were right. "Both," "Cool" "Side of ribs, an orange juice and a strawberry and banana protein smoothie." Ben loaded the plates on to the table, one after the other, slowly, and joyless. "A beef lasagna, lamb tagine, a six egg white frittata and bowl of rice." Jacob rubbed his hands together as order was starting to look a little more substantial. "And a....side salad?" "Gotta keep it balance" replied Jacob, he couldn't understand Ben's confusion. "Ah huh" he said back to the carnivore. Joyless. From having to slave away in the diner, in a rotting shell of a building run by a man who's presence alone would fail a health inspection. If it wasn't for Jacob coming, placing a mammoth orders and helping his sanity, he might have chased all the staff and customers away with the flambés torch. The ravenous werewolf got to work on his snack. Sat in his usual stop the 320lbs behemoth finally found a booth where the seat would hold together and the table was loose enough to be raised over this trunk like quads. It required a little discreet renovation on Ben's part. The manager was furious with Jacobs first few visits. The damage caused of the area and the business lost was docked out of Ben's pay. But after a while, after he saw Jacob's final bill, the greasy rat decided it was worth the cost. The rest of the customers looked on, wondering how one boy could eat that much while others wondered how anyone becomes a six foot six pillar of muscle. Ben stood attentively for the illusion of work. "Ya been alright?" He asked the werewolf with nothing but an affirmative grunt having taken a mouthful. Ben could feel the burning look of the manager 'Get back to work' it said. "Why are you here?" He asked finally coming up for air. "Don't start this again," Ben replied before walking away. Jacob had tried the hard sell for a life away from waiting on tables. The werewolf had seen Ben in action, the power and grace during the recent attacks. He didn't have to suffer like a penniless student he could be teaching at the university. The subject could be his choice, summoning, arcane artes, elemental mastery, void craft, alchemy, enchantments, spirit bending or transmutation. To Ben they were just words, from an institution would wants to add their stamp on approval on everything in some illusion of superiority or authority. Why exchange one oppressive regime for another? The afternoon progressed slowly, the days were getting darker. By half five the sun was already behind the city scape and the horizon glowed orange. Ben talked over to Jacobs table as he squeezed the jacket over this monstrously thick biceps. "Sorry about earlier" Ben apologised, he'd been ratty and short for weeks now with everyone about everything. "Still on for drinks later?" --- Later was always an issue at the diner. The manager had always assigned Ben to lock up duty. 'Why, where do you fags need to rush off to at night?' Would be the usual response to his objections. Oh how good it would feel to turn that man inside out. The waiting staff had clocked out for the day, and the cooks were done prepping for tomorrow and had all their areas cleared and cleaned. Ben finished moping and dragged the bucket on it's wheel back into the kitchen. The flights flickered on. Staring down at the bucket he was pulling behind him, keeping the mop upright with the other hand he noticed a dark figure in the corner of his eye. Before he could turn to look at it two arms reached out from behind to grapple with him. His arms bound Ben was dragged back by the second. "What the...left go of m-" Ben yelled out as he tried to wrestle himself free. He kicked with his feet throwing him body against the metal doors of the fridge. His body cushioned by the man trying to restrain him, although a head taller than Ben he still cried out in pain but his grip hadn't loosened. Two more sprinted out from the shadows. A man and a woman. The first man Ben caught in the corner of his eye hadn't moved. In the maroon robes he watched on. "Who are y-what do you want?!" A fifth appeared from the far door leading the alleyway and neither one said a word. They were organised and with purpose, and speaking wasn't necessary. Whatever they wanted they felt committed, and decided to test that commitment. Still propped up by 'number two' Ben lifted his legs and kicked the man running towards him, square in the gut, throwing his body back until the base of his spine met with the counter. The woman hesitated, looking back at her colleague who was on his knees, but he didn't stay down there long. Making another run, Ben turned to look at the fridge to his left. As his green eye grew more emerald and radiant, the fridge door flung open off the hinges and pivoting on the lock to smash 'running man' back down to the ground. The inside of the fridge didn't look right, there were no shelves, boxes or food in Tupperware. It was a dark abyss where black smoke seeped out and two red eyes shone near the floor. A black arm reached and the claws dug through the leg of the 'running man'. He screamed and the figure from the fridge chuckled, a deep and demonic noise as the bone broke and bled. The body was dragged back in to the fridge and the door slammed shut and flew off it's hinges, and in the brief second it was closed the scene of a demon shrouded in shadow switched to food chilling on the shelves. 'Number four' couldn't move, she tried to but was frozen, not from fear but from the telekinetic bars Ben has summoned while Mot was fishing for his human snack from the fridge. The dozen bars reflected the light, they looked like glass with no clear outline or shape but they just closed in around their victim. She tried to push against, screaming and crying to the other for help, but the 'first' stood their idle, observing his underlings and the 'fifth' from the alleyway collapses a green plague of bleeding blisters and boils travelled over his skin and choked the air from his as the lining of his lungs turned to rot. As soon as he breathed no more, the corpse rose from the ground to attack anyone in Ben's defence. The sound of him choking was baring audible over the women, who's bones cracked as the cage slowly closed in on her. Pressed know through the fine mesh, the softer parts of her human, the skin, flesh and offal, squeezed through and poured out of the bars as her bones were being ground. Before Ben could turn his attention to the 'observer' who the myriad of curses seemed to swim around and past, the red of a fire hydrant flew into the view over his eyes, and the world went black.