Disclaimer: I do not own either "Taimanin Asagi" or any aspect of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulu Mythos. This story is written purely for enjoyment. No profit is being made from it.
Beneath the streets of Tokyo a construction team was labouring to excavate a new subway site. A thick slab of rock was blocking their way and progress in drilling through it was painfully slow.
"Come on guys" said the foreman. "Black-sama wants this job completed ASAP."
"Yeah we know" replied a worker as he wiped the sweat from his brow.
Just then the drill finally made it through the rock face. All of the workers smiled in relief.
"Ah, finally. Maybe we'll actually be able to tell the boss some good news" said one of them. The others laughed.
Their laughter fell silent as a strange sound reached their ears. It was a thick, wet, squelching noise, like a mass of thick sludge being poured onto the ground.
"Maybe we've struck oil" one of them joked, trying to ease the fearful tension that had fallen over them like a funeral shroud. Any success he had was instantly undone as a new sound was heard.
"Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!" The voice was inhumanly deep and was accompanied by a sickly gurgling noise, as if the speaker was talking through a mouthful of mucous. Now all of the men were spooked. They all began talking at once.
"What the Hell?"
"Is there someone there?"
"We ought to seal that hole back up."
"No way, it has to be a trick."
"Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!" This time the odd gurgling voice was much louder, as was the squelching sound. Fearfully the men all trained their helmet lights on the hole the drill had made.
To their horror a glistening black viscous slime began pouring through the hole. It oozed down to the ground and formed a puddle that rapidly began to expand as more of the black goo poured from the hole. At the same time dozens of greenish eyes formed across its surface only to melt away and reform seconds later.
The men screamed in terror and ran away down the tunnel, followed by the repeated calls of "Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!"
It stirred to consciousness as it detected a series of vibrations close by. With something akin to excitement it waited as the vibrations grew stronger until finally the rock that had trapped it for so long was breached. The hole was tiny but that was no problem to it.
Light poured through the newly-made hole and with it came strange sounds and scents. The sounds meant nothing to it, they were made by neither its fellows or by their ancient masters. The scents however were familiar enough that it could recognise what they meant.
And after being awakened from such a long slumber the creature was very hungry indeed.
It flowed through the hole, eager to be out of the cave that had been its prison for so many years. The creatures before it, strange beings unlike anything it had encountered before, increased the volume of the sounds they were making and fled.
Driven by hunger it sprouted numerous thin but strong tentacles that flew through the dank, stale air and coiled around the prey creatures. They screamed and thrashed about helplessly as they were dragged back the way they had come. Even as it continued pouring its mass through the hole in the wall it eagerly flowed over the prey creatures and engulfed them. Their screams were cut off as black ooze flooded their mouths and their struggles ceased as they were rapidly digested.
Soon afterwards it had fully emerged from its prison. At once it made its way down the tunnel, alert for any scent or sound that it now associated with the prey creatures. For if it were possible to put the inhuman thoughts in its mind into words then only one word would be necessary.
Yatsu Murasaki sighed as she strolled down the clean, well-lit corridors of Gosha Academy. She was pleased with herself, having come top in all her classes (as usual), but it had been a long day, albeit a satisfying one, and she was looking forwards to getting home for some well-earned relaxation.
She sighed again, this time in exasperation, and turned to see Igawa Sakura practically bouncing down the corridor towards her with a happy, excited grin on her face.
"What is it Sakura?" Murasaki asked irritably.
"I did it! I got an A on my maths test!" Sakura cried.
"Oh, well congratulations" said Murasaki. Despite her irritation at her classmate (and friend, not that she'd admit it) she was pleased to hear that. "You see what a little hard work and dedication can accomplish?"
Sakura giggled. "You're too modest Murasaki-chan. I owe it all to you. I'd never have done it without your tutoring. Thank you so much!"
"Uh, yes well, you're welcome" she replied uncomfortably.
"You're the best Mu-chan!" Sakura exclaimed. She threw her arms around the other girl in a big hug.
"Agggh! Get off, get off!" Murasaki yelled as she struggled out of the embrace. "There's no need to get carried away. I was just helping out a comrade."
Well that and Sakura did give me Asagi-sama's bath towels she thought, feeling a faint heat suffuse her cheeks. That alone had made the whole thing worth it.
Sakura's excitement dimmed as a confused look appeared on her face. "Eh, are you okay Murasaki-chan? Your face is going red. Do you have a fever?"
"What? Uh, no I'm fine" she replied hastily.
Just then another voice called out, "Sakura, Murasaki."
They both turned to see the familiar figure of Igawa Asagi striding towards them.
Asagi gave them both a small smile but then her expression grew serious. "We've just received word that demons are attacking the subway station. I have another assignment elsewhere so I want both of you to deal with this. Defend the civilians and destroy the demons."
"At once Asagi-sama!" Murasaki said her voice trembling with nervous excitement.
"Your face is even redder Murasaki-chan" Sakura noted. "Maybe we should go to the infirmary just in case."
"I'm fine" she said hastily. "Come on let's go!" She seized Sakura's arm and dragged her off while calling back, "We won't let you down Asagi-sama!"
"I know. Good luck both of you" Asagi called after them.
Asagi-sama wished me good luck!
Murasaki and Sakura arrived at the subway station to find that it was swarming with demons. The creatures attention was focused on a train that they were trying to break into, their talons digging into the metal. Despite the demons cries of hellish glee the two kunoichi could still hear terrified screams coming from inside.
Thank Kami-sama we got here before they could get to the people in the train Murasaki thought. She and Sakura were now dressed in their Taimanin combat attire and armed with their signature weapons, a mighty battle axe for her and twin kodachi swords for Sakura.
Murasaki leaped forwards and decapitated two green-skinned humanoids with a swing of her axe while Sakura despatched two more with quick slashes to their throats. The slain demons toppled to the subway floor, their green blood splashing in all directions. Caught off-guard the demons were driven back despite their numerical advantage
"Press the attack!" Murasaki called as she landed a powerful side kick to a demon's torso that knocked it off its feet. She then brought her axe down and split the creature's head in two.
"Okay" Sakura called back. She began using her Shadow Escape Arts to disappear and re-appear out of the demon's shadows, landing fatal blows and then withdrawing before they could counter-attack. Despite herself Murasaki had to admit she was impressed.
That's it, keep them disorganised and off-balance she thought. While slicing off two more demons heads she glanced out of the corner of her eye and saw that the train's passengers were fleeing up the stairs to safety. At the same time the remaining demons were also retreating down a tunnel.
"Yay! Let's get them Mu-chan!" Sakura called happily.
"Sakura wait! We need to stick together" she shouted but Sakura was too caught up in the battle to hear her and she chased after the demons. Murasaki took a final glance to ensure that the passengers had safely gotten away and then ran after her.
As Sakura cut down another demon she overlooked a creature that had changed its colour to blend into the shadows, chameleon-like. It waited until her back was turned and then fired a thin tendril at her that wrapped around her throat.
Before Sakura could react she was zapped with a powerful jolt of electricity that sent her body into a spasm. A second later she slumped, her blades falling from her limp fingers. The demon that had shocked her and the remaining two, all that was left of the group, all grinned evilly as they looked down at their dazed foe.
The demons grins instantly disappeared as Murasaki leaped towards them. In the blink of an eye all three were slain.
"Sakura! Are you all right?"
She was weak from the shock but she managed to faintly reply, "Y, yes Mu-chan."
Murasaki sighed in relief and then glared down at her crossly.
"I can't believe you did something so reckless! Running off alone like that. What if I hadn't been here and you'd been captured? What would Asagi-sama say?"
"I, ugh, knew it'd be okay" she replied weakly with a small smile. "Because you were there Mu-chan. Thank you."
That took her aback. "Well of course I was there. After all part of my duty is to help my comrades. It's not like I actually…"
She heard the strange sound, turned to see what was causing it…
And froze in horror. Sakura turned her head to look and her eyes almost bulged out of their sockets.
The two of them had faced monstrous demons before but this… thing was something else. Something straight out of a nightmare.
Slithering across the ground towards them was a gigantic blob of roiling black slime so big that its bloated mass blocked the tunnel. Tiny tendrils sprouted from its surface, writhed about mindlessly and then retracted back into the swirling surface. Constantly forming and melting all across the black ooze were numerous green eyes and mouths filled with long needle-like teeth. Those mouths opened and shut non-stop, uttering a single phrase in a deep, gurgling voice.
Murasaki shook her head and snapped out of her horrified stupor. Raising her axe she called, "Halt! What kind of creature are you? Are you a demon?"
The blob-thing did not reply, nor did it stop oozing closer. Without warning three squirming tentacles shot from its mass, aimed right for Sakura!
Sakura squealed in fright but before the tentacles could reach her, Murasaki brought her axe down and sliced them off. The tentacles immediately withdrew, receding back into the blob's surface. The severed parts merely melted into black liquid that flowed like oil to rejoin the main mass.
"Vile thing! I won't let you harm my comrade!" Murasaki called. She leaped forwards and swung her axe in a diagonal slash followed by a horizontal back-slash the second her feet touched the ground. Her blows opened two great gaping wounds in the thing's sludgy body but they immediately closed up and healed, leaving no sign of injury. The creature didn't even react, still making no sound besides its incessant cries of "Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!"
Murasaki's keen reflexes saved her life as she jumped back in time to avoid being impaled on four gleaming bone-white spikes that sprouted from the black sludge. She back-flipped in mid-air and landed on her feet.
The spikes melted away and three tentacles ending in vicious barbs flew at her. Once again her axe cleaved right though them and again the severed tentacles dissolved into liquid that was reabsorbed by the blob.
Physical strikes can't damage it. I need a new plan she thought. If only Sakura hadn't been shocked then… that's it!
She scooped her friend up, slung her over her shoulder and ran back down the tunnel to the subway station, dodging out of the way of more tentacles. She could hear that the creature was following them and by the way its cries were getting louder it was picking up speed.
Murasaki made it back to the station and jumped across the rails to the other side. She carefully set Sakura down.
"Don't be afraid. I have a plan" she said reassuringly.
"He he, I'm not afraid when I'm with you Murasaki-chan" Sakura replied.
There was no time to answer as the blob-thing oozed out of the tunnel. Murasaki stood ready, brandishing her axe as it flowed towards them, down onto the train tracks…
And right onto the electrified third rail, just as she had intended.
The creature uttered a high, wailing sound as blue-white sparks arced across its amorphous form. The light was so intense that Murasaki and Sakura had to shield their eyes. After a few seconds the glare faded and they looked over to see what had happened.
The blob-thing was still and unmoving, the various eyes, mouths and tentacles it had formed frozen in place. Its glistening black surface was now a dull pale grey. Before their eyes it crumbled away until it was nothing more than a heap of ash.
Asagi nodded as Murasaki and Sakura finished delivering their report.
"I see. Are you certain that the creature you encountered was destroyed?"
"Yes Asagi-sama. It was completely reduced to dust" Murasaki replied.
"Good. Let's hope we've seen the last of it. From your descriptions it doesn't sound like any demon I've ever heard of."
"Very well. You can both go now." Asagi smiled as she added, "and thank you Murasaki for saving my sister."
"You should have seen her Onee-chan. Mu-chan was awesome!" Sakura exclaimed, causing her friend's already flushed face to further redden.
"I, I'm honoured Asagi-sama" Murasaki stammered. She somehow managed to keep from collapsing when her idol put a hand on her shoulder.
"You did very well. Now go and enjoy yourselves for a while. You've both earned it."
"Thanks again for saving me Murasaki-chan" said Sakura as the two of them strolled towards Gosha Academy's front gate.
"Really it was nothing. I was just helping a comrade" she replied awkwardly.
"You are too modest Mu-chan" Sakura said happily. "Let me make it up to you. Oh, I know, let's go for ice cream at Inageya. My treat."
Murasaki was about to refuse out of habit but stopped. Somehow the idea of hanging out with the loud, energetic girl for a while did not seem as bad as it once had.
"Yes, let's do that Sakura" she said.
"Yay! Ice cream at Inageya!" Sakura exclaimed, throwing an arm around her shoulders which she shrugged off indignantly.
"All right, don't get carried away!"
"It's fine." To her surprise she realised that she actually meant what she'd said.
Am I getting used to Sakura? I must be going crazy she thought as they strolled away.