It was a hot winter's day in the Fifth Circle of Hell when the succubus Lavandé Mamorra was led in fetters through thronging crowds to the Halls of Injustice.
It was a hot winter's day in the Fifth Circle of Hell when the succubus Lavandé Mamorra was led in fetters through thronging crowds to the Halls of Injustice. Demons and devils of every kind jostled to get a better view of the accused. It had been a long time since Hell had seen a case as serious and as scandalous as this one.
Lavandé held her head high, her red, cat-irised eyes scanning the crowd unafraid. The icy fetters chafed at the pale purple-black skin of her wrists and the shoulders of her leathery wings. Only her clawed feet and sinuous, pointed tail were free and she let the latter swing back and forth with an arrogant, unconcerned air.
If the Infernal authorities wished to make a spectacle of her, then let them!
Beneath her arrogance, however, Lavandé felt a rising fear. She had expected hoots and catcalls and abuse from the crowd, but the silent staring she had encountered along this walk of shame was far harder to take. And yet she kept her chin up, her curling horns pointed to the fire-wreathed sky.
One of the pair of gigantic alastors escorting her took her shoulder in his great clawed hand and pushed her forward. She sighed. The melodrama of it all! Well, Hell enjoyed a show, it was true. Might as well give it to them. But the overkill of having two alastors escort such a low-level demoness as herself she found ridiculous rather than flattering.
The crowd didn't feel the same way with their hushed observation. Even the howls of the damned amid the flames were subdued. But Lavandé knew it wasn't her that everyone was afraid of. It was her crime that had shocked them to silence.
She turned and hissed at an imp that had reached out to touch her and the little creature scrambled back into the safety of the writhing crowd. Some demons near him surged forward and the alastor on her left breathed sheet after sheet of flame over their heads until they fell back. The other alastor grabbed Lavandé's shoulder and pushed her forward again.
"Hey, keep your big mitts to yourself," she snapped.
The alastor considered her with its crystalline eyes and shrugged.
"Just doing my job," it grumbled.
The twisted minarets of the Hall of Injustice came into sight. One of the alastors kept the excited crowd at bay with threats and flame while the other led Lavandé up the high onyx steps.
A little hooded figure with eyes like burning coals was waiting for her at the top. "Miss Mamorra? I'm Abraxas, your court-appointed lawyer."
Lavandé stared down at him. He passed her a flaming card which she glanced at then tossed away.
"Sorry Abraxas," she said. "I thought I told them I'm planning to defend myself."
The darkness in Abraxas's hood looked hurt. "I would strongly advise against that, Miss Mamorra. The crimes you have been accused of are among the most heinous..."
Lavandé sighed. "We all know this is a show trial, Abraxas. I'd love to give your career a kick in the tail, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait for the next sap to get frog-marched up these steps."
Abraxas began to say something but the court security had already arrived to take custody of Lavandé from the alastors. The devils signed off on the transfer and then led her into the courtroom proper. One stopped Abraxas but Lavandé sighed and turned to him.
"Let the little guy in. He's my lawyer."
The courtroom was far noisier than the streets had been. The public gallery was packed and demons struggled with each other to get a better view of the proceedings. Devils were stationed at every exit to the great black courtroom, standing to attention and doing their best to hide their own curiosity as Lavandé was led to the defence's table. An imp undid her manacles while another pulled a chair out for her and she sat down.
Say what you liked about imps, at least they're polite.
As Abraxas clambered onto his seat beside her, Lavandé glanced across at the prosecution. The prosecutor was a tall female devil, red-skinned like all her kind, her jet-black hair done up in a stern bun that made her look older than she was. She studiously avoided Lavandé's gaze and kept her chin haughtily pointed up in the air, tapping her teeth with a pen.
Abraxas, meanwhile, took his notes out from some mysterious place he had secreted them in his robes and promptly spilled them across the table.
Lavandé stared up at the ceiling and sighed.
Suddenly a hush fell over the public gallery and spread to the rest of the courtroom. The devil at the base of the judge's bench leaped to his feet. "All rise! His Horror Judge Onoskelis presiding!"
The door to chambers opened and the judge strode in.
Onoskelis was an elderly demon, his halo of flames a dull yellow, but the eyes with which he scoured the courtroom were clear and hard. He sat himself behind his bench, placed his gavel on its stand and then glanced at the documents waiting for him. He frowned and squeezed his brow with a taloned hand.
"Ms. Forneus, am I reading this correctly? The defendant stands accused of Fraternisation with a Human in the First Degree? There must be some mistake."
"No mistake, Your Horror," replied the prosecutor.
"But surely not-" The judge's voice fell to a whisper. "The L word?"
Onoskelis sighed. "Well, that explains all the crowds outside. Let's have the opening remarks, then, shall we?"
Forneus stepped out from behind her table and coughed. "Demons and devils of the jury..."
Lavandé stared at her claws as the list of her crimes was read out. When the final and most serious came, muttering broke out in the public gallery and Onoskelis banged his gavel once. "Order!"
It all seemed scripted to Lavandé and very tiresome. As soon as everyone calmed down the judge called upon the defence. Abraxas started to stand but Lavandé got to her feet herself and placed a hand on his shoulder and pushed him back down.
"I'll be speaking on my own behalf, Your Horror."
An intake of collective breath and more muttering from the public gallery. Onoskelis leaned forward in his chair.
"So you will be conducting your own defence, Miss Mamorra?"
Lavandé opened her mouth to say something, but changed her mind and said, "Well, no, not really, Your Horror. I'm quite guilty of all of the things the prosecutor just listed. But I'd like to offer an explanation for my actions and to throw myself on the mercy of the court."
"Mercy?" Onoskelis' flaming brows furrowed. He flicked his fingers at the imp court clerk who hurried over with a dictionary bigger than it was. Puffing, the imp lifted the book onto the bench and Onoskelis at once flipped through it.
"Hmm... oh yes, here it is. 'Mercy'. C rather than S. Well..." He quickly read the entry then looked up at Lavandé. "Miss Mamorra, are you sure you're using this word correctly?"
"Yes, Your Horror."
"But surely this is some fashion of insanity plea, is it not?"
"No, Your Horror. I just wish to be given the opportunity to tell my story."
Onoskelis glanced toward Forneus, who shrugged. "Very well. We will hear your story, then."
Lavandé stood up. She swept her flashing eyes across the faces of the jury, the court officers, the public gallery, Abraxas and Forneus and the judge, and then she began to speak.
"My name is Lavandé Mamorra and I am a Morrigan-level succubus. You've all heard the list of crimes I have committed, but they don't tell the whole story. In order to explain myself and my behaviour, I need to go back to the beginning, to the night I first met him.
Now, maybe I should explain what the duties of a succubus are for those here who aren't familiar with them." She raised her eyes in appeal to Onoskelis, who nodded.
"Please go ahead, Miss Mamorra. I, too, am interested."
"Well," said Lavandé. "A succubus' duty, like that of almost all demons, is to harvest humans of their energy. Many demons harvest fear or envy or the like, but we succubi are experts at the farming of orgone, human sexual energy. Each succubus is given a territory and charged with providing Hell with as much orgone as she can. I'm proud to say that I've been ranked top of my region on three separate occasions."
An impressed murmur from the crowd.
Lavandé smiled. "Yes. But we all realise how difficult things have become recently, of course. Humans aren't as easy to harvest as they once were. The dreadful state of the upper world has made our, well, more metaphysical fearsomeness less effective. Succubi face similar challenges. There's so much pornography up there now that very few humans have enough unspent orgone to make it worth harvesting them. Their lack of orgone also makes the harvesting process all the more time consuming and, well, tiresome. So when I found him I was more than pleased. I was overjoyed."
Lavandé turned her eyes from the jury to the bench. "I apologise for referring to the object of my... my crimes by the simple, unadorned pronoun, Your Horror. The truth is I don't wish to involve him in my problems."
Forneus coughed. "The prosecution demands a name be supplied."
Onoskelis tapped his chin with a claw. "Is the identity of this human in any way relevant to these accusations against you, Miss Mamorra?"
Lavandé shook her head. "No, Your Horror."
"Very well," sighed Onoskelis. "I suppose that if a name is required later the inquisitors will extract it from you. There's no need for us to hold proceedings up in any case. Please continue."
Lavandé continued. "Well, as I began to say, I'd been forced to roam further and further afield to meet my quota of orgone. So when I felt a new powerful source, a vibrant star-point of energy not far from where I was, I was ecstatic. I flew directly to the human's habitation. There were several other humans living there - I was later to learn they were his family - but the human giving off waves of orgone like a beacon was living in the basement. Uh, a basement is a small room underneath a human habitation used to store unneeded items." Lavandé sighed. "I was soon to learn how appropriate such a room was as his chosen refuge.
Having taken the form of a shadow, I slipped inside this 'basement' to locate the source of the orgone. I soon found him, fast asleep on a bed. The room about him was in a state of disarray - it was not particular dirty, just disordered. As a lawful-evil being such chaos offended me deeply. I learned later that his room was a mirror of his mental state, which itself was quite disordered. But I'm getting ahead of myself...
There were numerous piles of video-games, comics and also small, cute figurines and posters of smiling characters on the walls. I don't need to explain any of these items, seeing how they're all well-known inventions of the infernal authority designed to corrupt and destroy mankind. The only space clear was around his computer desk, which clearly got a lot of use. Snack wrappers littered the keyboard and I absentmindedly brushed them off into the waste-paper basket beside the desk.
The human himself was a snoring lump fast asleep in the middle of all this chaos. I sensed he was undergoing REM sleep which meant that it was the perfect time to strike. Succubi prefer to harvest our victims while they're dreaming so they don't wake up and become alarmed. We've all heard the horror stories of succubi who were not so careful and ended up with a face full of holy water."
A shudder ran through the court.
"I slid the bedclothes from him. He was lying full on his back. His face, clear to me with my night vision, was not at all unattractive. His features were well-composed, although boyish and somewhat naïve. Fast asleep, his expression was innocently tranquil. It was true that his body could've perhaps afforded to lose a few pounds, but overall I wasn't displeased. Harvesting comes easier when the victim is physically appealing, after all.
The scent of orgone he was giving off was palpable and I began to salivate. I'd seldom encountered such a seething pool of sexual frustration outside of the lucky occasions I'd been able to harvest the energy of a priest, and so I wasted no time.
I stripped him of his pyjama bottoms and brought my hand down onto his dormant member. With a few gentle strokes it stiffened into a delightful length. The appealing smooth firmness and the hot, earthy smell emanating from the human's body excited me further and I felt myself getting wet. I eagerly dipped my head to his lower half and slid his hardness into my mouth. It was strong tasting as the rest of him. The human groaned and I chuckled to myself as I felt the waves of pleasure he was experiencing from being in my mouth.
I slid my tongue along the length and spent particular attention to the area beneath the swollen head. This, I fear, was my first and perhaps most serious mistake.
I had misjudged just how excited he had already become. He gave out a most adorable shuddering moan and then his member was bucking inside my mouth, expelling copious amounts of his seed. I was so surprised I was unable to swallow it all and some drooled from my mouth onto his abdomen.
I cursed my stupidity and inefficiency. I'd been too wrapped up in enjoying the process and had forgotten my duty. Luckily, he hadn't woken and as I scooped the overflow of his semen from the length of his penis onto my fingers and licked them, I noticed he was growing hard again.
This time I made no mistake and straddled him. I moved my hips forward and guiding that delicious hardness into me. As he slid up into me I bit my lip to stop from crying out. Having already ejaculated, he was able to last for a long time. With each thrust I felt the orgone rise back inside him - less, this time, but still far more than I was used to. I was overeager, hungry for more, and I rolled my hips lustily against his until I felt his member grow even harder and then burst hot inside me. At the same moment I reached the point of no return myself. I shuddered as pleasure crashed through me, my own delight made all the stronger by the sexual energy I was drawing from him. Filled to overflowing with both his semen and orgone, I fell back panting.
Remaining on top of him, I drew my fingers across my belly as he went soft inside me. I could feel the warmth of his seed inside me and it excited me further.
He lay there on the bed, his face contorted with pleasure, his body ravaged. I slipped the bedclothes back over him and left. There was no need for me to harvest anyone else that night, since even the left over energy he'd supplied me with meant I'd reached my quota and then some. I was eager to visit him again, to harvest more of that overabundant energy. He would soon have me ranked top in my region again!
And yet... perhaps even then there was something else that drew me to him. His eager enjoyment of my body and his delightful moans had been flattering to my female heart."
"Please, Your Horror," burst out Forneus, laughing nervously. "A heart? Is this blasphemy really necessary?"
"Forgive me, Your Horror," said Lavandé quickly. "I meant no offence. I fear my speech has perhaps taken on some human peculiarities."
Onoskelis nodded. "Very well. Please continue, Miss Mamorra, but do take care not to cause undue offence."
"As I was saying, there was perhaps something else that drew me to the human. Looking back now, it was a strange thing which I'd done: covering him up after I had harvested him. A peculiar and sentimental act. But back then, I thought little of it.
I visited him every night for a week. After that first time I was far more careful. I'd stroke him into hardness, sometimes squeezing him between my breasts to excite him. He'd lie there, clawing the sheets and moaning as though he was dying and I'd quickly mount him and ride him to completion. He looked so vulnerable beneath me and more than once I wondered if I hadn't made a mistake of some kind, that I was forcing myself upon one not yet an adult. But it was just his innocence, his fragility that made him appear so young.
But the night soon came where I committed my first of many crimes: allowing myself to be seen by a conscious human.
I'd just finished riding the human and he'd come inside me. I lay on top of him, panting hard. I would often find myself dazed after harvesting, drunk with an overflow of orgone. That particular night I'd climaxed harder than usual and pleasantly exhausted I'd lingered, luxuriating in the feeling of his member growing soft inside me.
Suddenly he sat up and reached out for me. Alarmed, I shied away from his embrace but relaxed when I saw he was still asleep. Foolishly, throwing caution aside, I permitted him to pull me down and embrace me. Of course, I kept clear of any attempt of him to touch my lips with his, but the way he crushed my bare breasts against his chest filled me with a flooding warmth I'd never experienced before. It was a strange sensation, a delightfully subtle suffusing of the body that made me tingle all over.
I gazed upon his sleeping face. He was still deep in a dreaming state. I thought of how different his kind, gentle features were to those of a demon. What a stupid thing to think - of course he didn't look like a demon! But such was the magic of this strange sensation I felt within me.
While I looked upon him his eyes flicked open. They stared unseeing for a moment, but then they focused on my face. I choked back a cry of panic and at once diffused into shadow.
I flew straight back to Hell, horrified by my actions. What was wrong with me? Why had I taken such a stupid risk? I determined never to visit this human again. But the next night came and again I found myself ascending to the human world, drawn by the beacon of his orgone, and by the memory of his face. This time, however, I was careful to leave right after the harvesting. In fact, you might say I fled.
Each time I'd return to Hell heavy with orgone, but as soon as it was drained I'd quickly hunger for more. Being filled to the brim had made me insatiable. I was tormented, hating the necessity of waiting until night came before becoming shadow and ascending to the upper world to harvest him.
It was this overwhelming hunger that compelled me to commit my second crime: appearing during the daylight hours.
At last the craving grew too much to bear. The hollowness inside gnawed at me and I desired to harvest the human immediately. Perhaps he slept during the day? In my visits to his room I'd seen no evidence of his ever leaving it. I decided it was worth the risk.
I became shadow and rose up into the upper world. Dazzled by the sunlight I leaped and flowed between the little pools of shade safe from the sun's gaze until I came to the human's habitation. I slipped in through the ventilation shaft and spilled out into the darkness of his room.
He was indeed asleep. Grinning, I flew down to him and was about to tear the bedclothes from his bed when he stirred and opened his eyes. Luckily, I'd not yet become material so he saw nothing. He did, however, blink and wave a hand through the air in front of him. Had he sensed my presence? I fled back to the corner of the room and hid there, floating.
Yawning, he pulled himself out of bed and went to his desk. A space had been made in the soda cans and snack wrappers for a large sheet of paper. I waited, watching, as he took up a pencil and busied himself drawing. He opened a can of that sugary beverage that humans like so much and drank it avidly. Soda was no good for him and I determined to hide his supply next time I had the opportunity.
He spent a long time on his work. Soon he smiled, and after a final frenzied scratching of his pencil he set the paper aside.
He left the table and retreated back to bed, where he lay, staring up at the ceiling. Could he still sense me? He seemed to be thinking about something.
Finally his eyelids fell. His heartbeat slowed and his breathing deepened and I knew he'd fallen asleep. Exhausted from keeping shadow-form so long, I materialised and floated down to the floor. I crept towards him, my blood surging. As I passed the desk I glanced at the half-finished can of soda on it. With a sigh I grabbed the can and incinerated it in my palm. A tiny pile of powdered aluminium was left and this I poured into the bin beside his desk.