Hey, first story here, looking forward to adding more. This one was my attempt to make Nicolae a bit more interesting, and to make the pervading indifference in LB a bit more sinister.
When he was young, the voice had been his special friend. It had told him he was destined for great things.
When he was a little older, he found out what exactly those things were. Then, he called it the Malevolence. It was a good word. He'd found it in a dictionary.
Later, of course, he gave in to the insistent demands and learned to love the voice and call it Father.
Privately, however, he still thought of its effect as 'Malevolence.' His Father's influence lay heavy upon the lands. He could feel it all around him; hadn't he seen it so clearly when the people had failed to react to the disappearance of their children?
They seemed to go along with anything he said.
They are waiting for you, Nicolae.
"Why do so many of them just buckle under? I've tried to make them react, and I have to go so far before they snap out of it."
This is my will, Nicolae. They cannot defy me. They are mine as you are mine, and all shall be mine hereafter. Only the strongest-willed among them may even struggle.
"...What about that Buck, then? He seems immune, even to my powers."
My powers, Nicolae. Your powers are my powers. Cherish your pride, but do not forget the source of your strength. There was a wicked little insubstantial chuckle. That one is not strong-willed. He and his companions are my gift to you, Nicolae. I have not affected them save to offer them the void into which compassion drains when obsession takes its place. And they have embraced it. They are yours to corrupt and toy with, for what are the greatest without some foe to crush? Cameron Williams I have given unto you, and you will learn the joys of power by subverting them. They are fools. They believe He will protect them. A King without subjects is no King at all. They are poor fodder, but they will suffice for now, my little Prince.
Nicolae Carpathia rubbed his temples, feeling the dark joy of the words threading through his bloodstream. "Yes... they will suffice." Something almost like love gleamed in his eyes. "Thank you, my Father, for your gifts to me."
It was so easy. At times like this, Nicolae began to understand why his Father had been so confident. Those the Malevolence had touched obeyed without thought; those stronger but vulnerable crumbled swiftly enough before Nicolae's own abilities, their struggles adding a deeply pleasurable counterpoint to their eventual submission.
And 'Buck'? He and all of his companions were the most delightful of all. They were so easy to confound, and best of all, they would go along with him anyway. No matter what they thought of him, they would convince themselves that this was right, and in the face of their wilful self-deception he needn't do a thing but watch and smile and maybe ponder again if he could break dear Cameron just so and see him serve more intimately.
Sweet Hattie, he thought, had been marvellously eager to aid him. All she required was some modicum of respect, the validation she had never before been granted. She'd told him everything, one night, and he'd given her his Father's smile and promised on his life that everything would change for her now.
She'd given him every key he needed for the doleful band of misfits piously vowing amongst each other that they would oppose him.
It had, admittedly, taken a little time to find a way to monitor them; he had been unable to believe how small they'd kept their group. He almost wished they had proclaimed his secret far and wide and gathered some righteous army against him; the victory would have been so much sweeter.
Still, you worked with what you were given, and his Father had given him so much.
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