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Julian looked on at the two agents making their way out of their Star Cruiser. One of the agents was a well-built male who appeared to be in his mid-forties, his hair graying at the temples. The other agent was a female who looked much younger than her male partner. Both of them were carrying standard issue COTU Ergokinetic Psionic Shifting Weapons and Power Dampening Bombs in their holsters.

They both were carried by an air of confidence, apathy, and professionalism, however, Julian could sense their anxiety and fear at meeting with one of the organization’s most powerful former member. He also listened on their telepathic conversation as they approached.

“Are you sure it’s safe to even be within a mile of him?”

“No, it’s not safe at all, but he’s our last hope.”

“Or our final destroyer. We don’t know what he’s capable of. Our records on him aren’t exactly up to date. They’re over two millennia outdated! Hell, he could be able to rip apart dimensions or destroy minds by just staring at a person for all we know!”

“Stop being so damn anxious. He has no reas-“

“Reason to what? Rip us to shreds? Yes, he does. What we ‘allegedly’ did to him as a child is reason enough!”               

“Again, stop being anxious. He can sense emotions. Remember your training. We’re not here to torture his family or be hostile. Merely asking for a favor.”

“Wait, can he listen in on telepathic communications?”

“Oh shit.”

At last, they were finally face to face with the one man that could be the most dangerous threat to the COTU. Julian Rowen Maxwell, nicknamed “The Psionic Butcher”, could kill them both in and instant even with the Power Dampening Bombs deployed. He learned everything he needed about them and they almost nothing about them.

“Why hello there, Agents Matthew Griffin and Roselyn Baker. What is this favor you dogs and your masters want? Surely, it must be something important for you to drag out here to this desolate dirt ball.” Julian said smugly, a small, unnerving smirk forming as he spoke.

“Th-That’s n-not-…How did you hear that? Our mental defenses were at their highest.” Agent Matthew stammered out before regaining his composure.

“Frankly, your best is not good enough, Maxwell. Your best will never be good enough. Now, please get to the point before I get bored and find reason to rip you both to shreds physically and mentally.” Julian spat out, his smirk widening.

“Roselyn, show him.” Agent Matthew ordered.

Roselyn pressed several buttons on her watch before it displayed a holographic display showcasing data about a planet. The planet in question was labeled as UEP-144 and had some interesting data. Space and time seemed to warp very strangely around the planet, creating several spatial and temporal anomalies that prevented entry from several points. Also, an unusual energy encompassed the entire planet in an ergokinetic field. A three-dimensional recreation of the planet rotated in the center. Judging from the three-dimensional holographic recreation of it, it was capable of supporting complex life, as evidenced by the lush green that covered the planet.

“So what, another UEP appeared, what about it?” Julian said annoyed, his patience waning.

“It’s not just another UEP, Julian. This one is very different from the others. This one has actual life not unlike that on Earth. However, whenever we send a crew over to investigate, they either end up dead, insane, or horribly disfigured. Something or someone is on that planet and doing this to our crews. Our Chronoangels and Chronal Challengers are scared shitless and they keep ranting about ‘they can’t see true power’ ” Agent Roselyn answered

“That’s why we want you to go investigate, and if you can, conquer the planet for the Intergalactic Council. You’re immortal and can restore yourself from any wound you receive. That makes you perfect for such a high risk job.” Agent Matthew added.

“What’s in it for me aside from a great fight?” Julian asked, his excitement rising.

“Wealth, Influence, a pardon, whatever you want as long it’s within our power and purview.” Agent Roselyn replied reluctantly.

“If you’re that desperate, then this is going to be great! However, I’m aware of what you stand to gain from this entire situation. If I manage to defeat this being, you have a problem eliminated and a new planet under your control. If I lose and somehow die, you have another problem eliminated. If I don’t manage to eliminate the problem but don’t die, I’ll be trapped on a planet without a way to escape due to the spatial and temporal anomalies. No matter how I go about this, you win more than you let on, so acting coy won’t do you any good. I figured out your little gambit.”

“You’re much more intelligent than the files let on.”

“Another thing. I think I’ll take out a little insurance before I leave. You see, the mage whose eye you stole and gave to me is looking for payback. Consider this what I want from the COTU.”

“Wh-What does that have to do wit-” Matthew asked, his anxiety peaking as Julian spoke those words.

Julian’s right eye began to glow, covered in an esoteric green light. The pupil changed from its usual brownish-yellow to that of an active magic circle that gave off a crimson red energy. The same magical circle formed itself on the ground and surrounded the agents. He had been preparing this spell the entire time. They both frantically tried to activate their Power Dampening Bombs and Ergokinetic Psionic Shifting Weapons, but they were far too late. The spell had already begun.

Both agents looked on in horror at Julian, whose smirk had grown into a full-blown smile from witnessing their terror and feeding on it. Roselyn’s eyes were widened in fear. Matthew’s face was drained of all color. Both of their mouths were agape in shock and terror.

“I thought we had a deal?!”

“Yeah, why are you doing this to us?! What are you doing to us?!”

“We did and still do have a deal. Merely taking out insurance for a later date. Judging from the data, those spatial-temporal anomalies don’t negate teleportation or the creation of portals. This spell will allow me to teleport to either one of you from any distance via the Law of Association and my ability to create portals, giving me a way to escape the planet. But, that’s only half of the spell. It also allows me to give you telepathic hypnotic suggestions whenever I speak your names and utter the commands via my Clairvoyance and the Law of Association. The best part? This also works from any distance. Don’t worry, you won’t remember that this happened at all after the spell is complete. You’ll only remember that we met and that I agreed. Don’t take this personally. I’m merely setting up my own gambit. I might even let you live if I think it will be funny.”

With those last words, the spell took full effect and they were engulfed in a reddish-green pillar of energy. Their minds were unraveled by the potent esoteric energies, molded to Julian’s whim, and reformed. Their existences linked by the touch of magic. Their screams unheard except by Julian, who was feeding off of their fear, their sense of betrayal, and their suffering.

Once the spell ended, Matthew and Roselyn were both on their knees, their mouths still agape, but in pain instead of fear. Their eyes were glazed over, nothing more than moist white orbs in their sockets. Smoke wafted off the ground underneath them, smelling of burnt rock and the poignant stench of sulfur. Julian’s right eye returned to its normal brownish-yellow color.

“Now, Agents Matthew and Roselyn, you are to tell your superiors that I accepted your little proposition. Once you arrive back at the COTU headquarters, you are to accept their little cautionary check for mental manipulation of any sort. Then…