Home | Forum | Mailing List | Repository | Links | Gallery
Chapter 1

Death’s Head Hawk Moth - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Lucia de’Medici
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 1

Bodhgaya, India


In the shadows of the Mahabodhi temple, the long-stretching arcs of blue grey that fell artless and rough against moon-washed stone, the figure of a man, an equally blackened smudge against the darkness, stood contemplative and still, breathing in the deep, rich scent of burning spices laid atop smouldering hymnal coals.

A perimeter wall barred his path. Draped in shawls and prayer flags of various hues that lost their lustre once the sun had descended beyond the vast megalith, Death reached towards them – silks and cottons that shivered ephemerally beneath his fingers as their weaves ignited, illuminating the twisted limbs of the tree beyond the enclosure.

Human preoccupations. Easily dispensed with, though the pungent scent of charred cumin and coriander lingered in his nostrils even after those who had laid them down had long gone.

A sound, little more than a rattle of noxious breath, passed his cracked lips. In another life, another time, it would have been interpreted as laughter. But here, beneath the cloistered tree of the Buddha himself, it was enough to give the man pause.

The man.

The thought sent a ripple of familiarity through his limbs – a wash of sensation that prickled, before ebbing away with the soft tendrils of offertory incense left by the scattered array of cooling bodies that had sat here meditating before Buddha’s tree.

Humans, like their preoccupations, were easily dispensed with as well.

It was a thought that no longer bothered him as much as it should have. With the detached sensation of leading another life, an interdependent dichotomy forms – the very nature of the beast can be escaped, if one so wishes. Death, feeling stifled by the thought, swept upwards. He cleared the stone perimeter and landed atop the fig tree’s gnarled roots on the side opposite in little more than a breath; a brush of air that was less forceful than the beat of butterfly wings.

Here, the shadows gathered thicker still, and amongst them, he settled.

He longer knew what had brought him to this tree, though vaguely, the dull interest that a mere man could attain enlightenment by sitting beneath such a thing was curiosity enough.

Death was a demigod. Timeless. Untouchable. Under the employ of one such a sinister creature, it was impossible to contemplate otherwise.

Nothing more was needed. Yet, his curiosity piqued, Death had come to see the tree to entertain the last vestiges of the ghost he carried within.

He stilled, and in a gesture befitting the very creatures he’d slain in a ripple of toxic gas, Death crouched, his elbows on his knees, and settled between the roots.

Below his hands, the tree groaned in the slow cadence of growing things, living things that continued to stretch and twine and heave despite years of seemingly doing otherwise. They did so silently, fulfilling their function without complaint. Much like himself.

How he hated it all.

In the naked silence of sap thrumming contentedly, of leaves sighing overhead, Death closed his eyes against the screaming tumult of his mind, against the raging thing within himself that demanded to be let loose, that begged justice for the defenceless innocents he had killed not moments ago. It begged for life, and swore vengeance, and threatened that if it was shut away once more, the consequences would not be worth dying for. It reminded him of their shared nature, that deep inside, Death had merely pushed his true self back – but he was waiting. Remy LeBeau was a patient man.

Hands balled loosely on his knees, palms beginning to sweat lightly, Death bowed his head, and silenced the voice with the mere brush of his will.

Feebly, it brushed him back.

Eyes opening to slits, he peered at the newfound creature resting on his knuckle. It was an ugly thing. A blackened body, armed with trembling, sheared wings that dusted lightly against his flesh.

The impulse to kill the moth was strong, but Death stayed his hand, peering at the insect’s markings.

It was hardly worth the trouble.

The moth beat its wings in a languid, awkward stroke that Death felt coiling in his muscles. Potential energy, the promise of a free flight away from his hand and obvious danger – and he couldn’t bare it.

In one deft movement, he upturned his palm, trapping the still-struggling insect between his fingers and tensed, ready to crush the life from the hideous thing that served nothing and no one; who’s end would have no consequence on the greater workings of the world.

Death stilled, and deep within his mind, Remy LeBeau struggled – beating against the very walls that kept his former self trapped in a prison of his own design.

He hesitated, a very human thing to do, as the moth slammed uselessly into the cage created by his fingers.


As the sun began to set over those residing at Greymalkin Lane, a light breeze swelled – collecting beneath the hood of a woman who sat atop the school’s roof, and bringing with it the light scent of saffron and cardamom.

Rogue raised her head, her eyes watering for no reason that she could immediately put into words, while across the world, a moth flew free.



GambitGuild is neither an official fansite of nor affiliated with Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
Nonetheless, we do acknowledge our debt to them for creating such a wonderful character and would not dream of making any profit from him other than the enrichment of our imaginations.
X-Men and associated characters and Marvel images are © Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
The GambitGuild site itself is © 2006 - 2007; other elements may have copyrights held by their respective owners.