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The Daemon Conflict
By: LadyBard

Prologue

The place smelled of sickness and death. The tiny viral despised the dark surroundings. She knew it wasn’t natural for it to be so, but it was the truth. She was benign, and for that, her mother hated her.

The immense structure was not always a den of malevolence. It was once a place of power - well it was now, but now it held a dark power. The Guardians no longer held the power in the Super Computer, and her mother had twisted and warped the Council Hall and Chambers to suit her own ends. It was to the Chamber that the tiny viral had been summoned.

Several bugs passed by her, hugging the damp wall oozing with the inky poisonous secretions. They were a grotesque collection of obsidian-shelled, things, larger than any binome, with razor-sharp pinchers, and mandibles oozing with poison, or scorpion-claws that could snap a sprite or binome in two without effort. Despite her mother despising her, the bugs dare not accost her in any way. She was, after all, the daughter of their mistress.

When she came before the immense door, which was carved with the likeness of a bloated spider split down the middle, she halted before the two Guardians who stood at attention. The yellowish infection pulsed at their temples. Without a word to her, the brawny male Guardian opened the door.

Before she could even step across the threshold, her mother rasped, ”Enter child. Don’t stand there gawking.”

She meekly stepped forward, “You sent for me, mother?”

“Pathetic weakling! You are a true sign that our strain needs to be renewed.”

The tiny viral flinched at her mother’s cruel words.

The darkly beautiful viral who sat at the circular Council table waved her inside with a clawed hand. The six insect-like legs that protruded from her mother’s back stretched out as though to embrace her, but the little viral knew the damage the razor sharp appendages could cause. “Have you spoken to the General Ashar?”

“Y-yes, mother,” she was terrified of her mother’s chief advisor, who seemed to share the same hate for her as her mother did.

“And?”

“Megabyte has been deleted.” The Super-Virus Daemon screamed. One of her appendages lashed out shearing the nearest piece of furniture in two, “Who?”

“The Mainframers,” the small viral whispered.

“Guardian 452 and the renegade Matrix!” Daemon spat. “So our intelligence reports were true.”

“Yes, mother.”

“And what of your sister?”

“Well --,” she knew this news would further throw her mother into a rage and she was reluctant to reveal it, “Apparently, she has betrayed us.”

“Then you will destroy her.”

“I?”

“You are a viral are you not? However weak, you are the last of my line. I am loath you destroy your sister, but such traitorous actions will not go unpunished. It will not matter once we have Guardian 452 and the renegade. With them, our strain will flourish once again.”

Her mother’s mouth split into a malicious grin, one which made the young viral shudder.

“Mother, how will I destroy her? She is my sister!”

“Melissa,” Daemon spat out her name as though it pained her to utter it, “You will go to Mainframe with the General and delete your sister. She doesn’t know you exist, so she will be taken by surprise. Your powers are in all respects similar to hers. It should be easy even for you, and it will prove your loyalty to me. Do you think I did not know you were processed benign? I did not delete you outright because I needed you.”

Daemon moved closer to her and again Melissa shuddered, “But that can change, do you understand?”

“Yes mother,” Melissa cowered.

“Dismissed,” Daemon accentuated her command with a wave of her hand.

Melissa gladly fled.

Her brother was deleted, and now her mother had commanded her to delete her sister. How could she? She had never even seen Hexadecimal and now she was expected to delete her?

Melissa sighed and for the ninth time in all her days she wished that she were anywhere better than this, that someone would come and take her away from this horrid place and show her that there is a better life before it was too late.


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