Not for the first time Mei Ling swore, mixing english and chinese in a staccato stream of rapid fire obsenity as she slipped yet again on loose rocks shrouded in darkness. She took a moment to adjust her headphones, then pressed onward into the darkness of the cave, the flickering flames of her lamp offering faint light that only hinted at what lay around her in the darkness.
"What the hell was my father thinking??" she snarled, pressing onward into the darkness "The Venerable Li is a patron of our family and has been so for two generations now. We must not offend him!" she murmurred, adding a reedy whine to her voice "It's only for one night, it's an ancestral rite performed by the first born daughters in our family for hundred's of years now. If you do it...I'll pay for that new motorcycle." She smirked as she made her way, remembering the look of isdain on Li Ying's face when she had first met him.
She knew what he had seen, a young chinese riot grrl, her jet black hair cut in a in a short shag, a thin braided tail of hair hanging down to her shoulder blades. A red leather jacket with a myriad of silver zippers and buckles is left open with studied carelessness to show off a cropped tanktop, leaving the golden skin of her toned belly bare. Black leather pants are molded to her body like a second skin, ending in black biker boots, straps and buckles down the side and a metal plate to protect the shins.
Mei grinned in the darkness, imagining her friend's faces when they saw her on her new bike. That would make leaving civilization behind in Hong Kong for one night bearable, if nothing more. Rock scraped against her leathers as she slithered finally into a large cave. Looking upward she saw the crack leading up into the nightime sky, just where it was supposed to be. Starlight twinkled down through the rift, the dull red star she had been told to look for right in the center. Turning up the volume on her walkman, she took out the cloth wrapped bundle and unwrapped it with care.
Outside lightning flashed in the night, silouetting a lone thin figure standing on the hillside, wind whipping at his silk robes, ruffling his long moustache and beard. An image out of China's past, he looked the part of the classic mandarin. His seamed and wrinkled face made him look nearly one hundred years old, hands thin and frail looking, his fingers ending in long curved fingernails. Wild long white hair stuck out from under a deep black chinese scholar's hat. His silks robes were a deep vibrant purple, stitched with images of eagles, talons outstretched. He waited impassively but inside his thoughts soared.
"At last the stupid cow is ready. No doubt she got lost a couple times while listening to her so called 'music', but if this succeeds it will have been worth it." He felt a warm glow of satisfaction as his skin tingled, mystic energy gathering in the night, his words lost in the wind "Yessss...soon...."
In the cave the dull reddish glow from the brazier filled the cave, embers casting their light over the room as Mei set out various items from the bundle. Some were things she recognized, sparrow feathers, and joss paper. Other things she could only guess at though. As she tossed the ingredients onto the embers, flame sprang up, changing color as she added each item until at last it was the correct pale gaslight blue. The pungent aroma from the brazier made Mei sneeze loudly before she sat in front of it and began to unroll the scroll Li had given her. She pressed it flat on the cavern floor and looks it over. Glossy black paper was inscribed with gold writing. The style was antiquated, like Li himself she could not help smirking, but she could more or less make it out.
She turned her music up louder before begining to read the obscure, arcane characters as best she could. As her concentration faded she began tripping over a few words, the sound of INXS filling her thoughts.
Suddenly the brazier erupted, blue flames hissing upward like a jet of fire as tendrils of blueish-grey smoke began to fill the room. Wide eyed, Mei flung herself away from the flames, watching in amazement and disbelief as the smoke began to take on shape, twin dots of fiery red forming within to stare at her like eyes."Oh, shit!" she profaned, panic blanking her thoughts as she scrambled over the rocky floor toward the crack leading outward.
Without warning she felt something wrap around her arms and legs, her body jerked roughly upward into the air as she cried out, then flung backward to bounce off the hard stone wall at the other side of the cavern. Mei was dazed for a moment, then her eyes snapped open and she sat up, holding the side of her head gingerly. Blood tickled down from a cut on her forehead, tracing a crimson path between her eyes, then a startled scream almost escaped her lips as she saw how the mist had grown and solidified. The baleful red eyes stared at her, as more tendrils of blue-grey vapour separated off, taking on the shape a miniature chinese dragons, tiny arms and wings jutting from a long serpentine body.
They began to flow through the air toward her with an almost mesmerizing grace as Mei flicked her wrist, suddenly holding a balisong knife in her right hand. She stumbled to her feet as the dragons closed in, taking on a fighting stance as a stream of profanity tumbled from her lips. 'It must be a fucking hallucination, that's it, those damned herbs causing me to see thing, it *must* be.' her thoughts decided 'I'll just slash through the fucking things and run, get some fresh air....damn the Venerable Li to the Hell of having his eyes eaten out by birds!'
Mei dashed forward, knife flashing in the dim light as she swung at a dragon, expecting it to vanish. Her blade passed through the mini dragon like steel through smoke, but when she tried to run through the dragon it was suddenly, solid, scales slithering over her arm. A scream tore it's self from Mei's throat as she through herself forward, trying to get to the crack she knew led outside, but the dragon coiled around her arm, joined by others, trapped her arms and legs in serpentine bonds before she felt herself lifted into the air once more, suspended. The knife fell from her numb fingers with a ching of metal on stone as the coils grew tighter. Mei's screams were cut off as a dragon looped around her neck, stifling her cries as each breath became an effort.
Mei closed her eyes tightly "Oh shit oh shit...this can't be happening..." she cried, then she felt cold tendrils streak under her clothes, starting to flow over her body as she heard and felt her leathers being shreaded. Her body shuddered, her muscles straining as she tried to resist, to escape. But all to soon all she felt on her skin was the chill underground air, like a tomb, and the scaly tendrils that she knew in her mind were the dragons, wandering freely over her body now, coiling around her breasts, trailing between her legs.
Her arms and legs were drawn downwards, her hips raised until her body was shaped like a bow, a cruel moment of terror in her mind as she was allowed to realize what was coming, given time to struggle and feel her helplessness before pain wracked her body, starting between her legs and searing outward, jagged icy daggers of sensation as something pressed to her labia, then pentrated her body.
Screams echoed in the cave as the thing began to writhe within her, going deeper and deeper as her skin began to feel first warm, then hot, pain being draw down a spiral of sensation to merge with an unwilling pleasure as she felt something sparked from deep within her, growing in reponse. Her body bucked and quivered as it began to glow, filling the cave with her glow, icy fired growing in her body depite her resistance until she felt filled to bursting. The dragon undulated serpent like within, urging her onward, driving her senses until she felt something click deep in her mind and she lost all control, orgasms wracking her body as her light and life filled the dragon's blackness.
On the hillside Li frowned. He could not put his finger on it, but something felt...wrong. Out of place. Had the stupid bitch messed up? Then the wall of the cliff exploded outward and he saw a horde of tiny serpentine dragons flow out, entwining with each other to form one huge dragon that towered over him, solid now, green and gold scales highlighted in a lightning flash as ageless golden eyes regarded him with dim curiousity.
"You have summoned the guardian of the Nine Hells, the sacrifice offered and accepted according the ancient rules set down by the Celestrial Bureucracy. Why have you drawn me here?" the dragon roared, drawing out each sssss like a serpent's hiss.
The old man gazed into the dragon's eyes unafraid, then the wind whipped around him, robes fluttering in a frenzy as he flew into the air until he was level with the dragon's eyes. "I am Li Ying, the Dragon Who Smites Heaven! It's been a few centuries, but still, I'm surprised you have forgotten me, brother. I must speak to Yen Lo Wang, the Yama King of the Eighth Hell on a matter of most urgent busy, and to bargain."
The dragon smirked as only a dragon can, his eyes glittering savagely before his mouth opened and fire began to flicker there, burning hotter and hotter, red giving way to yellow to blue before at last he expelled a white hot steam of flame down into the ground, his body returning to it's ghostly blue gray and fading away as he expelled the power stolen in the sacrifice in one long burst. A dark figure rose from the ground as molten rock ran like water around his feet. At last the dragon's energy was exhausted and he faded from the world, and Li swooped down from the sky, alighting before the dark figure. It looked like a man carved from rock, it's face as hard and black as obsidian as it remained motionless for a minute, then it's eyes opened, baleful red staring at him silently.
Li faltered for only a moment, then quickly abased himself and murmurred "Celestrial majesty! This worthless one required power and aid only you can give. China must have an emperor! Even as we speak, she is crumbling into ruin! Once China was the most powerful nation in the world. Now she is a 'promising, untapped market'. Milord, I beseech thee grant me servents to carry out what must be done to restore the glory of China!"
His speach done, Li waited. This was the moment of truth. Either his soul would be blasted from his body, his power sacrificed and devoured in far more painful fashion then he had devised for Mei, or "Very well, your request is granted. The price is that you must sacrifice each month to me as you have done this night. Should you fail to do so, then you shall be the sacrifice and all you accomplish shall be as dust." The harsh voice shattered the silence like a thunderclap, then he heard a sound like something splintering. Glancing up he saw bits breaking off the figure, obsidian splinters falling as the figure disintigrated until all that was left was black dust and a book.
Li smiled in triumph "At last! China shall have it's Emperor!"
Back in the cave Mei stirred, roused to consciousness by the the music from the still playing walkman. She felt cold, impossibly weak, her heart fluttering out it's last beats as the darkness trove to reclaim her once more, this time for good. Unable to speak, her mind howled out for life, for revenge. Somewhere in the darkness something stirred and answered in her mind "Your request is granted."
She felt a presense, feminine she realized with surprise, come to her, filling her with warmth and life as the walkman played in the background...