Scene 45 – Comprimo

 COMPRIMO

The COMPOSER

I killed my newly-created conductor very quickly, reaching under his ribcage and ripping out his heart. It wasn’t anywhere near as much fun as torturing him to death, but I had limited time here.

The problem was that when I granted them their songs, I didn’t know which song and instrument they’d manifest until they actually had it, and I couldn’t take it back. Well, not without killing them, so it wasn’t all bad.

Take the corpse on the floor. His song was Immunity, and his instrument immunity to hypnotism. That was bad. Very bad. Of course, he didn’t start immune, just resistant, but that was beside the point. He would throw off my hypnotism too quickly, maybe even start to remember things. And it wouldn’t take long for his instrument to evolve towards immunity to the Score itself. I wouldn’t be able to control him at all.

Hence the killing.

Oh well. There were plenty more where he came from. That was the great thing about this city. So many people, all stuffed together on one big island.

It was the perfect target.

Unfortunately, my plans were stifled a bit, now that they knew that killing the conductors would cure the chorus. I had been forced to reset everything, so now they were connected to me directly, meaning that they’d have to kill me in order to cure anyone. This did limit the usefulness of the conductors, but it was a small price to pay.

It was about time to activate a new conductor, but I had to decide which one. I could only use them sparingly, so I had to make sure their instrument would help spread the Score as quickly as possible.

There were too many variables. The biters had no ranged capabilities, so they were easily dispatched. The bats did pretty well, but the angels incapacitated them too quickly. Fliers would be less than useless; they’d just be sitting ducks, waiting to be netted and captured.

Which reminded me, those stupid Paladins still hadn’t recruited the fifth member. They had to know who she was. If nothing else, she had to know who they were. That was the entire reason I had chosen her—and the others, for that matter—in the first place.

But I didn’t have to keep this up for much longer. Just a few more, large attacks, and then…

Something.

Crap, what was the plan again? It didn’t involve mass slaughter, so it was hard to remember.

No, wait, that was the plan. Attack as much as possible, do as much damage as possible, while killing as few as possible. That’s what they said, anyway, and its not like I had much of a choice. The Nine were stronger than me individually, and as a group I didn’t have a chance against them.

But they had promised this would work out in my favor. I didn’t trust them, of course, but I did it anyway. This would all come together in the end.

Back to the matter at hand. I needed a conductor with a strong instrument, something that would naturally lend itself to infecting others. I could take control of any of my conductors or chorus directly, of course, but that was difficult. Far easier to just guide them, and let their instincts do the rest.

Without a decent instrument, though, I wouldn’t have a choice. I had a number of good combat conductors ready. Their instruments weren’t suited for infection, but if I was careful, I could use them to spread the Score and just keep them out of harm’s way.

But the Paladins weren’t fools. They’d notice the discrepancy quickly, and go hunting for my conductors. And if they killed them before I managed to reset the chorus’ connections, I’d have a horde of angry directors, immune to the Score and baying for my blood.

Actually, that might be fun.

No, no, I couldn’t do that. The Nine were very clear on that. Avoid making directors if at all possible, except for the Paladins.

But that meant…

I licked my fingers, tasting the blood from the immunist I had just killed.

Yes…that meant I could kill the little changeling. Who would miss him? He was a changeling. Well, his clan might come after me. But that was even better. More blood, more killing. And I was just following orders, of course, just defending myself…yes, this could work beautifully.

I’d still need a distraction. A new batch of chorus. And I definitely wouldn’t be around to play them myself; they’d have to be an instrument that could infect on their own.

I mentally paged through my options. There were a few telepaths and detectors, useless to me. Lots of kineticists, and genists, those were always popular. Healers…maybe. The internalized ones, who healed themselves, might work…swarm the enemy, bleed on them, infect them…

Blood.

Of course.

I grinned. This would be fun indeed.

I thrust out my mind, finding the conductor I was looking for. He was awake, though drunk, and stumbling down a street about a mile south of AU. The street was pretty crowded; it was only one in the morning, which is midday for half the population of the city.

I whispered a command into his mind, and he began to sing…

 

Behind the Scenes (45)

Yes, another short one. However, the next one is going to be pretty long, so I think I get a free pass. Actually, this was a supplementary update anyway, so I don’t have anything to apologize for.

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