Red Angel

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Fanfic Info
Title Red Angel
Genres Action
Author TwiceBorn
Timeline Approx. 1.5 years before main thread start
Canonicity Status Non-Canon
Completion Status One-Shot

Red Angel[edit]

We were mourning the dead when Death came for us.

One-hundred of my sisters and I, each of us clad in grief and white. Weeping, wailing, in remembrance of twenty-one dead, three squads slain in service to our Warmaster. Murdered and betrayed by one of the Ninth.

We were gathered at the penthouse of our headquarters, around the gazebo where our Warmaster liked to spend her time. The Ninth, she had promised us, would be punished for their crimes. Their Warmaster would be humiliated, the murderer brought to justice, and their prized whore given as recompense. My friends and sisters-in-arms agreed at once.

And so did I, but only because no good Magical Girl of the Third ever disobeys Ahriman. I counted good friends and people I greatly admired among those who died: for me, twenty-one heads of the Ninth plus the murderer's would have been good start, and a purge of their whole Officio would be better. Blood, after all, must always be answered with blood. But I held my tongue, because I was a good girl.

So there I stood, seething in silence while those around me wailed and wept. Then came the elevator, and three girls stepped out.

One was clad in leather and iron, her face hidden by a skull-faced helmet. Her mere presence put me on edge, despite (or because of?) her armor obscuring everything about her.

One was...I wasn't quite sure what to think. She was short, thin, wearing a skirted uniform. Everything about her seemed unremarkable, save the eyes—-violet windows to a shattered soul, glued back together with focus, the focus of one who knew she had nothing else left in the world.

And then I saw her.

Kharn Valnikov. Warmaster of the Ninth Officio. I'd heard much about her—-and who hasn't? Everyone knows about her skill in battle, and her mad lust for blood. A murderous Warmaster for a pack of murderers, not to mention her bottomless appetite for plucking lillies. 'Kharn' was a name the Third spoke with disgust, with distaste, and I was no exception, but when I saw her for the first time, all thoughts of anger and scorn fled.

She wore a black greatcoat with burnished skull-pauldrons. She held her head high, a small smile on her lips, her red-pinpricked ebon eyes filled with predatory amusement. She walked, and her black iron-shot legs crushed the carpet with every step. She had crowned herself with the traditional Warmaster's cap, that symbol of absolute authority second only to an Incubator's. And above all else, she was entrancing, utterly entrancing. Like a weapon made to end lives screaming and drowning in blood, yet forged with absolute artistry: at once beautiful yet terrible to behold. An angel of death.

Vaguely, a small part of my mind noted Equerry Erebus stepping forward. It comprehended, on some level, the tense negotiations that took place, ending with a colossal chainblade being left impaled into the floor. It anticipated the inevitable talk with Warmaster Ahriman, and the battle of wills taking place between two beings of profound might. But that was only a very small part of me. The rest was distracted by the cold, eery beauty of Kharn Valnikov. I felt something tugging at the sides of my mouth, but I couldn't figure out what it was.

That was how things went. My eyes, transfixed by the Warmaster of the Ninth, even as she stared at 'Trisagion', our favorite painting of the Blessed Lady, mumbling words no one could hear: or when she finally spoke with Warmaster Ahriman, and any hope of peace died alongside three of our number.

I was still staring when she butchered ninety-five of my sisters-in-arms and then came for me.

And when she came for me, time seemed to slow. She shouldered through the bisected corpse of one of my sisters, the spray of crimson shrouding her, like the sanguine wings of a red angel. Blood dripped from her hair, the hem of her clothes, hurled off from the whirring ripper-maw of her weapon, but her black clothing drank the red that soaked it until all that was left was a bright sheen.

All save her face. Near-translucent skin, pale like the moon, bearing a madman's grin as the chainblade flew through the air, screaming for my flesh.

I couldn't do much. My weapon felt heavy, my arms like lead. I did what I could, urging my body to defend itself and cut my attacker down, but what could a mere mortal do against a red angel of death? The chainblade first cut through my weapon, then my arms, then horizontally through my waist.

The last thing I saw, lying there on the floor on my back, was the same thing I'd been seeing for the past several minutes—-the Warmaster of the Ninth, caked in gore and death and indulging in her greatest pleasure. The last thing I heard was her laughter, offering promises to a nameless thirsting god. The last thing I tasted was the acrid flavor of my own blood and bile, expelled from laboring lungs that struggled, futilely, to draw in just one more breath.

And the last thing I wasn't my own life fluids as they leaked out of my dying body. Nor was it the angel's sword as it swung like a pendulum, severing my head from my neck. No, it was that same damn tugging feeling again, right at the corners of my mouth. With my fading mind I wondered what this feeling was.

Then I realized:

I was smiling. I'd been grinning the whole time.

A grin threatening to tear my cheeks apart.


...for the Blood God.


"To the Blood Knight I give the blood of my enemies

To the First Knight I give their skulls

To the Shieldmaiden I bid to carry

To the Blessed Lady their wailing souls”

-Joanna the Heretic, 'Hymn of Supplication'