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The Partaker stepped from the Rows of the Rush. He had experienced the pain of a bloodrush one thousand times. It was a Partaker's duty to partake in each new bloodrush. His body had been segmented like a jigsaw puzzle. Torn asunder and brought together, very much to his dismay. To be segmented was all one could hope for. He was allowed to experience the pain that was the bloodrush and live. Then the pain was stripped from him and he felt empty.
He was discovered through way of mass selection. The Defilement came once every five thousand years. The God of his world would spew forth a stream of darkness like vomit. Whomever this stream of darkness enveloped became a Partaker. Though a very special privilege in his world, there have been an infinite number before him.
He walked down a large, black street, like coal that shimmered with a mirror-like luster. Shunned Ones stared up at him from their knees, which were bloodied from constant kneeling. Their long faces, sunken eyes, skin pulled tight against bone from fasting in hopes of gaining the Partaker's interest. Only the Partaker could select the next lucky few for the bloodrush. Fasting seldom enticed him. Selection was a very serious undertaking. He had his ways of making his choices. The shunned ones quickly placed their hands in his path. He stepped on each hand and the crunch of brittle bones resounded beneath his boot-heels.
The line of hands was long as they attempted to impress him, yet it only gave them free pain. Their hands had been broken an untold number of times. Never had he selected from the like.
The Temple of the Tingling pulsated in the distance and sent a purple glow that caused minor surges of pain throughout the bodies of all in the realm. It felt more like an intense episode of cramps in human terms. With each pulse a great moan carried its dread throughout the void.
"Choose us, Partaker," the shunned ones groaned.
He looked down upon their worthless carcasses.
A woman discarded her tattered robe of black. Beneath was a vile mockery of supposed womanhood. Skin pocked and scarred, blue veins trailed pathways about her gray-white skin, breasts like over-ripened melons on the verge of caving in. She weighed no more than eighty pounds. She approached him and licked her thin blue lips in an attempt at being seductive. She touched his manhood. This did not arouse him. She hardly stirred his instrument of procreation between his thighs.
"Choose me, Partaker," she moaned. "Do you not find me worthy?"
Pleasures of the flesh were so petty, a triviality humans held dear to their hearts. He would enjoy her caresses for a few moments. If carnal pleasures was what she sought, he would cast her to the Catacombs of Wanton Lust. There she would be bombarded with never-ending pleasures of the flesh.
She would soon beg for an escape.
"Take her," the partaker said.
The Gatherers growled and roared towards her. She believed he had selected her for the bloodrush, but as the shapeless forms grabbed her and began to drag her away. She realized she had not been chosen.
He soon approached the Bridge of the Blessed formed out of former shunned ones; it was their job to allow the Partaker to cross the threshold of pain that surrounded the temple. This threshold was an accumulation of all the pain ever felt or experienced. Nothing could survive direct contact with the threshold. Those that formed the bridge were mere corpses; they rotted so slow and knew no pain. His boot touched the first of the sprawled corpses, foot sinking slightly into the soft flesh. The threshold emitted an unseen force that rose from its wavering, multi-colored surface. It caused great, monumental pain to grip his body. The pain was so harsh; no pleasure was extracted from the spasms that rocked him.
Yet, his separations had strengthened his tolerance to pain. With a focused mind, he regained control of his body. The pulses from the temple made it hard to concentrate. At the end of the bridge a slime membrane opened for him. Instantly, he was released from the intense grip of the threshold's power. Only the minor, more pleasurable pain waves caused his nerve-endings to scream.
Within the temple were the arteries of many worlds, many dimensions. The Partaker monitored the flow of pain from each. If the flow was too low on a world, he would see to it that it was promptly elevated. His world relied on the pain of others to survive. Without pain his world would fade into nothing. It appeared the pain on the mortal world was dangerously low. This world was one of his world's main sources of pain. He must travel to Earth and begin his job of causing pain.
In a great flash of purple light the Partaker found himself standing in an alleyway. A breeze blew trash around; he stared up at the night sky. The moon cast its white glow over his face. Now was the time to cause any mortal that crossed his path pain. Failure was not, and could not be an option, or he would pay dearly.
A drunk bum pushed his way out from beneath a smashed cardboard box. He coughed and nearly fell to the street. His clothes were tattered, dirty, and dried vomit caked its front. The smell that came from him was repulsive. The foul stench reached the Partaker; it was rather pleasing to him. Yet, the minor pain that seeped from derelict's old joints only made him homesick.
"Who in the hell are you?" The bum coughed.
"A visitor to your world, old man, I seek those worthy of the Bloodrush."
"I gave blood yesterday," the bum replied. "They won't allow me to give again for another day or two."
This was an amusing little man; he would test his ability to endure pain.
"Do you feel any pain, old man? How much do you feel every day? Please . . . tell me I'm very interested to know."
"That is an strange question, mister. Hell, I'm an old man. Got the worst case of arthritis in both my knees, and just before it starts to rain, I can hardly move the pain is so intense. Why? Are you some kind of Doctor?"
"No. Yet your pain is appreciated. It gives life to my world. The pain grows intense during a rain storm? This is very interesting indeed."
On his world when it rained, it was but his god urinating upon its followers.
The Partaker looked towards the clear sky. A small cloud appeared and the wind began to blow with the faint smell of rain. The cloud spewed forth more cloud cover; a flash of lightning followed a roll of thunder. He turned towards the bum. The man appeared uncomfortable and pain vibrated from his knees. It grew in intensity as the storm clouds took the sky for their own, and the first droplets of rain started.
"Oh, God, not tonight," the bum groaned. "The pain is starting, I can feel it. Can you help me, mister?"
"Your pain is sweet, old man. Do not fight against it; allow it to flow through you freely."
The bum knelt against the concrete his knees screaming in protest. It felt like a knife being jammed into them and twisted. As the bum burst into tears, the sky fell in a downpour. He dropped face first into a puddle of muddy water.
The Partaker was disappointed; he expected a derelict of the streets to be used to pain. He felt the old man's heart failing him, this was a pain worthy of taking pleasure in. Yet, those selected for the Bloodrush needed to survive, embrace the pain, and gain pleasure from it.
The old man reached out for the partaker and died.
"How disappointing . . ."
The rain stopped and the cloud cover dissipated.
In another flash he disappeared.
He reappeared in the streets of a ghetto; two young men exchanged their illegal tender before him. There was potential for pain here. The two young men stared at him. The partaker had a human form, tall, vein like hair that glimmered a faint purple, a pale face, and bright purple eyes. He wore a black robe with hood.
"What the hell are you supposed to be, white boy? This isn't Halloween! What are you staring at, freak?"
The partaker did not reply.
"I asked you a question!"
The young man pulled a gun from his waistband.
Ignorance was a trait so very common among human beings.
"I believe you have some approaching visitors, my friends," the partaker smiled. "They don't seem very happy you're on their block."
The two young men turned to look.
A low-rider squealed around the bend and roared in their direction.
"It's Zero and his boys! Take cover!"
Two young men leaned out of the car windows, machine guns spraying the stairs the others stood on. Bullets ripped through their bodies, blood misted the air red.
It was so pleasurable at that moment. Bullets entered the partaker's body through his stomach, chest, and even head. He was in ecstasy. The young men in the car were in shock. With outstretched arms the Partaker approached the moving vehicle, and welcomed a new hail of bullets.
"This is one crazy mother! Run him down, Zero!"
More bullets tore through the partaker's body.
His eyes glowed bright purple and mist drifted from them.
"Hit that son of a bitch!"
"Come," the partaker said.
The car sped in his direction at full speed. Before it could impact with the partaker the hood of the car imploded. The driver was sent through the windshield, glass shards embedded in his face and throat. The final two young men slammed into the dashboard, arms and legs snapping like twigs upon impact.
"You three are worthy," the partaker glared at the young man who burst through the windshield. Blood spurted from numerous areas of the man's mangled face.
"Great pain flows from you, human. It's been awhile since I've been so pleased. Embrace the pain and learn from it."
The young man spat blood, "Go to hell you sick bastard!"
"Not entirely impossible for me, yet hell is always full of pain and suffering. No shortage problems there. Here on earth is where my work is currently needed."
The partaker walked towards the side of the car.
"Call an ambulance, asshole!" One of the young men shouted. "We're dying!"
The door was torn off the car and tossed aside.
"No. There will be no need for an ambulance my friends. You've proven worthy of the bloodrush. You'll soon become shunned ones and this pain is mere child's play compared to what you'll experience. Still, your pain will aid my world slightly in balancing itself. You all should feel much honored."
"I would shoot you again if I could!"
"I would welcome your bullets with open arms. You do not possess the knowledge of what you provide by inflicting physical pain upon me. Yet, enough talk for now, time to send you three to the Rows of the Rush."
With a wave of his hand the three young men found themselves shackled to a long black pew. The walls bled a dark liquid, and severed body parts of various beings littered the floor of the unholy sanctuary. The smell was overwhelming and repulsive. They struggled but in doing so this only tightened their shackles enough to snap the bones in their wrists.
They became surrounded by a purple light and numerous collectors. Vein like tubes snaked down from the ceiling, and rose from the floor sinking deep into the flesh of the young men. Their screams echoed beyond the sanctuary, and the shunned ones raised their hands high and smiled in satisfaction.
The collectors left after they had placed nearly thirty hooks in each body. Then the sanctuary began to pulsate with life, it rained darkness upon the young men, and this darkness burned the flesh slowly from their bones. With a final pulse, the veins drained what was left of their bodily fluids.
Three blue orbs screamed towards the ceiling and exited the sanctuary. They entered the dark sky and vanished. Hundreds of shunned ones got to their knees. Three new figures approached from the distance escorted by collectors into the mass. These new additions looked a lot like the three young men from the ghetto.
Back on earth the partaker saw to it that any evidence of the incident had vanished from sight. An ambulance and two police cars came down the street. He stepped to the sidewalk as the vehicles came to a halt. Police officers jumped from their cars weapons aimed at him. After all, he was covered in blood.
"Hands above your head," the officer ordered.
"Is there a problem, officer?"
"You're damn right there is a problem. We get a call about a drive by shooting, and find you standing here covered in blood."
"I truly fail to see how that is a problem, sir."
"Whose blood is it?"
"Mine . . . It's nothing to be concerned with."
"Have you been shot, sir?"
"Indeed, several times to be exact."
"Where is the car that was reported to have crashed?"
"No such incident happened, officer. I believe you are the unfortunate victim of a prank call."
"Medic, get the hell over here, this man needs your help."
"Officer," the partaker pointed to a hole in his head. "I assure you medical attention will not be necessary."
"Holy shit," the officer gasped.
The paramedic approached and stepped back in shock.
"Good God, what do you expect me to do for him? This guy should be dead. We should all just get the hell out of here."
"I don't have time for this, officer," the partaker shook his head and smiled. "You have your job to do and I understand. But I too have a job to do; this is a delay that cannot be accepted. You've no evidence here anything happened, just be on your way."
"You're covered in blood! That's all the evidence I need. Give me your arms, pal. You're under arrest."
His eyes glowed causing the officers and paramedics to drop unconscious.
"Sleep . . . You were not worthy of the bloodrush."