The witch entered the viewing chamber in perfect silence, his doll matching his stride as they moved to the opposing edge of the room. The top room of the skyscraper stood well over a thousand feet off the ground, providing an awe inspiring view of the city below.
A trio figures stood at the end, looking up from their drinks to observe the new comers. The glamours they wore were thin in private, allowing the witch to observe their true nature; fae and demon, conspiring together with another witch.
“I see you were able to make it.” Another witch spoke, her voice dripping with distaste. “A new doll as well. Did the last give out so quickly?”
“It’s mine,” he growled back. “That’s all you need to know.”
She rolled her eyes, sipping more of her drink as the fae looked over.
“This one hardly has any magic to his name,” it scoffed. “And yet you felt the need to invite him?”
“He’s certainly more… lacking than I remember.” She shrugged. “Still, you needed a witch, and even an inept witch will do.”
“We’d hoped to be wined and dined before the inevitable betrayal.” He bared teeth, fangs slipping loose and giving the fae a start. “I can still bring this entire sanctuary of yours down if I wanted to.”
“You’re an incredibly stupid witch if you think that,” the fae retorted. “This is a city center; you’d kill countless innocents and be hunted by your own kind for it. I don’t remember you being so blood thirsty, anyhow. Always struck me as a more calculating type.”
“I’m tired of putting up with the endless plots.” His fingers grew longer, claws beginning to take shape as his words turned to snarls. “It’s time to end this.”
“You didn’t think we’d plan for this?” The rival witch scoffed, a flicker of light sparking across her fingers as the witch was flung to the ground, restrains overtaking his hands and feet. “You don’t even have enough magic left to properly counterspell.”
“Using fucking lycanthropy too, desperate.” A demon stepped forward, restraining the doll before it could move to help its witch. “Probably why his magic is so sapped anyways.”
“No, he’s just an idiot who dumps it into his dolls.” She sighed, kneeling over the withering witch.
It was about then, as she looked closer, that the rival witch realized something was wrong. It wasn’t just that her rival had drained his powers: they weren’t tethered to him at all. It was like someone had put plaster up on a wall, the magic clinging having no real hold.
Her face contorted, pulling away from him then looking to his doll. The thing had been silent the entire time, not strictly unusual, but his dolls were always chattier than the rest. This one had remained eerily quiet, not even struggling against the demon restraining it.
It smiled back at her, and then she felt it: the reawakening of latent magic.
“Break that doll-!”
The demon recoiled back, screeching as it was set aflame, the doll stepping forward and retrieving a ceremonial knife from its side, whispering a cursed incantation that turned the air rancid. It cut into its own skin, peeling it off to reveal bloody flesh underneath.
The fae raised a hand to try to begin its own charm, only to scream as its arm fell to the side, an elongated scythe of bone cutting it clean off. A shape took form behind it, the awful silhouette of what had once been a witch snapping the fae’s neck in one swift motion.
The rival witch retreated against the glass paneling of the room, looking in terror as the situation became horrifically clear. The once-doll emerged from its cracked shell, revealing the face of her rival, while his companion doll took its place by his side, now a wolven reaper.
“You… you can’t do that,” she hissed. “Do you know what that does to your fucking mind? You can’t just use it as a fucking costume!”
“It doesn’t… I don’t mind it, so long as I can catch witches like you.” He slid the knife back in its sheath, retrieving a handgun instead from under his cloak and taking aim. “Besides… it can be pleasant, if you let it.”
“You can’t use that sort of magic against another witch! The Sisterhood will kill you for it!”
“I killed a demon with it, and my doll killed a fae. You’re blissfully unharmed by any corruption magic.” He shrugged. “How good are your wards against bullets, anyhow?”
A shot rang out, the rival witch slumping down against the glass as the spark of her magic left her eyes. He stepped forward, inspecting the body for a moment before putting another bullet into it. His doll stood behind him, tilting its head at the scene before sighing.
“This one doesn’t think that was necessary,” it growled through a distorted mouth.
“She’s not really dead anyways,” he shrugged. “Her dolls are already hard at work pulling her soul back from the void. It’s good to build habits, though.”
“Of course Miss.”