Zealot sat opposite stooped, wizened Sarah Scales, who smiled wickedly at everyone in the swanky dining room at Grass, an exclusive restaurant in Manhattan favoured by celebrities.
“Now?” Sarah asked.
“No,” Ella Marrow, Zealot, leader of the Infernals, said. “Enjoy your wine. Tell me why you need this.”
“What do you care, so long as you hold my leash?” Sarah rasped.
“I do care about you, Sarah. And you clearly value being leashed. I can’t stop you from freaking out. But maybe you can find something to be about besides bathing in hate.”
“Like ending capitalism? Establishing female rule?” Sarah mocked.
“A way you want the world to be,” Zealot said.
“But I do have a way I want the world to be.”
“Pray tell,” Zealot said.
“Terrified. Now, can I change?”
Zealot sighed. Sarah smiled. Her body split, parted, and was discarded by an enormous snake. The snake stood. Twelve feet tall, a third of her height a snake’s body and head on the shoulders of a black-scaled titan. Some people screamed. Most just froze. The old woman lay discarded like a coat. The snake smiled.
“DELICIOUS,” Sarah, codenamed Reptile of the Infernals, announced. She snatched a pretty young woman from her male companion and ate her, feet first, in a few heartbeats before the small crowd. Some people snapped, none were ever the same. Most remembered their legs at different instants and fled. The snake ran after them.
“Enough,” Zealot said. The snake stopped and turned on Zealot. “You want terror? Let these rich scum live and talk, and talk.”
“Moralist,” Sarah rasped at Zealot. But the killing stopped with one.