Antal cast an arm towards the huddle and roared:

"Bring forth another!"

Terrified, the twins scampered to the mass of prisoners and as one reached past the guards, fastened their grip on a scrawny captive and roughly dragged them loose.

The elder twin Caelius grinned through alarming teeth, gaining bravado at his mastery over the shivering and whimpering body. "Harken at this lamentable louse!" He snarled at his brother, "Observe how pitiful it is, Remus! This pathetic specimen has no taste for battle!". His persecution however turned to prey after his boastful gaze moved from muck to master.

One look from Antal's piercing scowl reduced the twin almost to his knees, spluttering an apology he dumped the subjugated before his leader, then backed away, contemplating with disbelief how easily he was subdued.

The crowd slowly ceased their baying until a shrill silence tumbled over the crater. The terrible suspense began once more. Breaths were held, slowly released, then held once more. They'd witnessed the event dozens of times, but still the entrancing spectacle was a barb to their self. Each time the universe was changed, irreparably and unapologetically.

Antal stepped up, his bulk moving far faster than the newcomers could possibly expect. Instinctively their own muscles twitched, but this time it was different. They glanced at each other, slightly confused, but the reassurance they felt when their eyes met spread an unbearable, indescribable glow through their bodies. Even more so, it was becoming clear.

The prisoner huddled in the mud, fear and confusion binding them as chains.

Antal halted just feet from them, and stretched his curved back, arching it, pulling his shoulders together and upwards, elbows back, grimacing, face turned unseeing to the purple clouds. Then suddenly and fluidly arc'd forwards, arms reaching forwards, legs crouching, and gripped the terrified urchin at the neck.

The effect on the congregation was immediate and devastating - even to the elders. Lips drew back and feet stamped. Atoms of excitement and particles of fear formed new emotional elements, mixing in with the mob's energy, and change was done.

The held throat was twisted until Antal's own eyes were locked in place with the limp orbs staring up at him. "Your time has started!" He began, dangerously. "Before now, you were nothing! Ignorant to the ways of life! This place between the vibrations. You meandered through the path thinking nothing of how or why, but only of it is! But now! Now will be the key to meaning! This will be the how and why!"

Cato stood at Antal's shoulder, calm as one, head slightly to one side. Gazing at the unfortunate wretch, spent long moments deliberating. Then he knew. The universal scripting had lead to this point, undeviating along it's trajectory, as a feather plucked and dropped. It was obvious. He leaned forwards and whispered into his leader's ear. Antal was all theatrics, and Cato understood it must be done so.

Antal nodded in immediate agreement. "You!" He bellowed at the paralysed being, "You are.."

The circling hoard's hum was forged into an expectant needle point.

"You are now.."

"To be named.."


At this, his grip loosened, and the effect of the naming took over.

The prisoner fell back into the mud, reaching about themselves as if swimming to keep afloat in rough seas. Their head thrust forwards, and the veins in their neck bulged as if a terrible pressure from within was to be released. Unable to control themselves, they dashed their face into the ground and writhed. Then suddenly snapped back upright causing an arc of filthy water to curve over their back and looked about themselves, blinking. But this blinking was different to the million blinks previously performed; no morsel of dirt was required to be flushed. Each blink was as if a curtain was being opened. Each blink acted like a leap forwards. Each blink carried them further until they were no longer able to connect themselves with the body that existed before. Their mouth opened, and emitted a throaty bleat. They quickly sat back, shocked at the sound they had made. In an explosion of realisation they saw themselves in stark reality; a tiny pinprick sat in mud on the surface of a planet. The image was so powerful that the mental force was translated to an internal physical blow, and wretching was soon followed by vomit. They stared at the mess and a brutal understanding of life was lit within their conscious; consumation and death. They looked up at their master and wanted so desperately to convey their thoughts, but could muster no more than a garbled mumble.

"Do not try to formulate yet, little one." Antal growled. His features softened. "We are here to guide you."

At that the surrounding crowd parted, forming a passage for the new member to traverse. As he did so his new brothers gently reached out and touched his small horns and tail and flanks. At each caress understanding grew within him, and Domitius knew what he had to do.

Cato rearranged his wings with a small flutter and clapped his hooked beak a few times in satisfaction. At this rate their army would be complete within days, maybe less, and his revolution would be unstoppable.