Located near the river in an abandoned warehouse, the multitude enclosed by the decrepit walls, were down on their knees, bowing towards a figure at the head of the room. A smaller group of figures, standing back in the shadows behind their leader, stood guard in a loose semi-circle around the focus of the gathering's attention.
The whispered chanting of vague, unrecognizable syllables could be heard hissing from their foul breathed mouths.
The object of the crowd's attention, a lone figure standing with arms upraised, faced the gathering, as if drawing something intangible from their efforts. Eyes rolled back into his sockets, head tilted back, the figure opened his mouth as if to deeply inhale.
As the chanting increased in tempo and volume, soft wisps of light began to slowly flow from the mouths of the worshipping crowd and drift towards the figure, circling his mouth like moths to a flame, only to eventually disappear into his mouth. As more of the wisps entered his gullet, a faint flickering light began to emanate from his chest.
Just as the chanting began to turn into a ragged chorus of shouts and wails, the doors at the back of the warehouse exploded inward, the remains of the entryway open to the dark night as two figures stood in a corona of smoke.
The first figure, bearing a helm that covered most of his face and a staff of writhing metal stared out at the gathered throng and nodded as if to indicate "inside". Then the second figure, standing slightly behind him, armless and wearing a helm with a glowing orb for a face, began shuffling towards the front of large room.
Almost immediately, the worshipping throng turned and stood to face the lone advancing figure, faces crazed from the act of worship. Much like a school of fish, acting as if of one mind, the crowd flowed towards the solitary intruder.
In an instant, a flash of lightning issued from the helm of the second figure, striking several of the closest members of the cult, causing them to ignite in great bursts of flame accompanied by the horrendous sound of their screams. Yet even this display of might could not sway their passions as the crowd continued to close. It would be their second mistake that night, only superseded by the poor choice of being at the wrong place and at the wrong time.
The armless figure continued to advance into the crowd, lightning flashing out, clearing a path to the front of the room. Sensing the futility of continuing their attack, the mob parted before him like water before a prophet of olden times. Even the most battle crazed, faced with the burning remains of multiple members, parted to let the figure through scrambling towards the long walls on either side in an attempt to flee his flaming wrath. As the lightning bearer moved closer to the front, another group emerged.
The body guard, smaller in number, but heavily armed, let loose with a multitude of shots as they sought to prevent the armless intruder from its inferred target. All through this next phase of the fight, the cult leader stood still with his arms upraised. Despite a heavy outpouring of projectiles, the armless figure continued its advance untouched. The bullets seemed to turn into sparks, whose flashing light only added to the unnerving image of the shambling figure's implacable advance. In the end, the body guards did not fare any better than the worshipping throng. Flashes of lightning issued from its face and turned the body guard into a ring of burning fire circling their leader.
It was at this point that the cult leader appeared to become aware of the threat to his person. He tilted his head forward, eyes looking out, and from his mouth vomited a fiery blast of translucent flame that completely enveloped the armless assassin. For several seconds the flames engulfed the figure as it stood motionless before the onslaught.
Satisfied, that the intruder had been dealt with, the cult leader slowly closed his mouth and the stream of flames ceased. It was then in horror that he realized that the assassin remained untouched. This would be the last thought that he would carry with him to his death, for the response to his flaming attack was another flash of lightning which caused his spontaneous ignition.
When the cult leader's screams had ended, the assassin turned to face the helmed figure still standing in the entrance of the warehouse. The survivors also turned their attention to the figure, unsure what was to happen next.
Looking out at the silent throng, the helmed figure spoke with a dry, ageless voice.
"Unity has come. The Dragon has need of you."
Confused, the cult members looked between themselves, unsure of what to do next.
It was then that the chittering horde of scarabs rained down from the ceiling, each hungrily seeking a host.
Totality and Morpheus drifted back into the darkness to a backdrop of wounded screams.