A black and gold cage, lined with glass made of diamond, hovered perilously over an almost infinitely large hole, with an almost infinitely hot pool of molten metals and toxic gases. Outside of the cage, Stasis was floating around, examining the being within the cage. Attached to his wrist was a small device with a button on it. A safety button, in case the being within the cage got fidgety.
“I am surprised that it is not destroyed already,” Kairos tutted as he flapped around Stasis. “Destroy it, I say. No need to keep it around. Keeps Kinisis calm.”
Stasis noted something down, then turned to look at Kairos. “Normally, I would agree with you, Kairos. I would have destroyed this instantly. But I need to know what it is.”
“Because it terrifies Kinisis and it does not match any of the known intruders we have encountered before.”
The being in the cage remained still. Stasis had observed it taking multiple different shapes, all trying to find a way out, but in the last few hours, it had calmed down and reverted so a somewhat recognisable form. Whether it was taking a form to mock them or trying to communicate with Kinisis’s universe, he wasn’t sure.
“Really?” Kairos flapped away from Stasis in shock. “This is not an other-universal visitor? This is not a Corruption?”
The Personification of Entropy and the Vacuum growled, showing frustration to Kairos and threatening the being at the same time. “It is a Corruption. Just not one I have seen before. As far as I am aware, there are a lot of Corrupted Strains, but many of them are linked together, Many just consume mindlessly. Which may sound bad, but that means I can track and destroy them more easily. This one though…”
“This is just the messenger, yes?” Kairos asked.
“A messenger of a new Corrupted Stain. Hence why it is somewhat calm.”
Stasis looked back at the creature. It had picked out a final form for itself. A mockery of Kinisis’s form, but clearly masculine. Large, imposing. Slimy tentacles flickered along its body. Its eyes glowed an ugly purple. Even though the cage between it and Stasis was the best cage in the universe, Stasis could feel its hunger, coupled with subtle undertones of anger, frustration and thirst.
“I believe we must kill it now,” Kairos interrupted Stasis’s trail of thought. Clearly the Dragon of Time was picking up on the ill emotions of this being. “Kill it now. Kill it good. Destroy it. Maim it. Make it suffer for scaring our poor Kinisis. This is what she wants.”
“I will, Kairos, do not worry. Whatever it is, it has given me no information. And I would rather destroy this than keep it, learn about it and risk it escaping.”
Stasis glanced at the creature. It was watching him. Watching his eyes, watching his hand gestures. The being was beginning to bother Stasis. It was also making itself appear more powerful and masculine, as if it was mimicking features from both Stasis and Kairos, with its own evil twist in mind.
“Do they normally do that?” Kairos asked as the creature grew wings, then folded them back into its body and turned them into tentacles.
“They change their shape regularly, yes. Try and copy myself and whoever I have assisting me. But normally they turn into black goo and then I kill them.”
“You have no assistants today,” Kairos pointed out.
“Did not want to risk it. This one, even if it is potentially just a messenger, is more forceful.” Stasis pulled a pad and pen out of nothing and started writing things down. Kairos simply hovered and watched the being. It was tapping on the diamond glass.
“Stasis, it is… doing something…”
Stasis looked up at the creature. It now looked a lot like Kinisis. A dark, twisted, masculine version of her. Worse, it was smiling.
A weird sound could be heard. The being was talking. At first, its words made no sense, but as it repeated them, the words became clear as day.
“I want Her. She hides from Me. I come for Her. She will be Mine.”
Without a word, Stasis pressed the button on his belt. The cage instantly started filling with super-hot tungsten, incinerating the creature within it. Its screams echoed through the darkness, before fading into nothingness. Kairos had unwillingly closed his eyes, his steady heart pounding louder than normal. Despite not needing to breathe, Stasis found himself breathing heavily. The messenger was gone, but the message remained.
“We should speak to Kinisis…” Stasis finally muttered as the two beings pulled themselves together. “This might be worse than I thought…”