The heavy door to the ancient, yet perfectly preserved, temple burst inward framing a man in a gray cloak and fine, expensive garments of antiquity. Striding into the center of the room the man stops and yells, “Where are you!?”
A ghostly shape of a man appears in front of him, hovering a foot from the floor. “You’re going by ‘Bill’ these days, right?” A faint smile appears in wisps of shimmering, golden fog across the ghost’s face.
“Do not play games with me, you… collaborator!” Bill appears furious, his skin even flushed with blood. All of which was simply an illusion hiding Bill’s real form.
“Collaborator?” The ghost chuckles which echoes faintly in the empty hall. “You’re the one who wants to take over this plane. One can only guess at the insanity of that decision.” The ghost’s voice has a rhythmic, almost musical quality. Carefree and peaceful.
“You are weak!”, yells Bill enraged. “I should—”
“End me? But you can’t,” interrupts the spirit softly. “I’m way smarter than you. And intelligence beats strength every time.”
“Care to test me?” Bill seethes.
The ghostly shape outstretches it’s arms and fingers, laying bear its chest. “Give it your best shot.” Its smile does not fade.
“Of course you want it to be someplace else, you dullard! But you’re not going to get me any place else than here. Remember? I’m smart. You, well,… not so much.”
Bill falls silent.
“Now, the last time you tried this, you were foiled—” The spirit is interrupted.
The spirit chuckles again. “I was going to say ‘by a bunch of young women’. But, yes, they were mortals. Including their leader as I recall. Those cursed little ladies kicked your pompous ass.”
“They had that dragon on their side,” Bill’s voice trails off.
The spirit crosses its arms and shakes its ghostly head. “Also technically a mortal. And one nearing the end of his life. So, you’re saying a bunch of girls and an ancient, decrepit dragon kicked your immortal ass.”
“You know they’re going to try this here. In your house.”
The spirit laughs aloud. “My house? Wow, you really are dense. I visit here. It’s not my home. You win and turn this world to a garbage pit, I go home, with no more thought to this place than a fond memory. You are the one that seems anchored here. If this place is home to anyone, even the mortals, well, this is your home.”
A silence hangs in the room for several seconds, finally interrupted by the spirit. “You want some advice? From someone much smarter than you, Bill?”
Bill extends his arm, gesturing that the other spirit continue.
“Go home and forget this place. Those mortals actually worked out a way to kill you off. Not just banishment, but the end all, nothing coming after it, totality of death. Already got your bloody friend. You’re mad, but its rooted in fear. You know, you have a tragic flaw.”
“A tragic flaw?” Bill scoffs.
“Yeah, you know. Like a Shakespearean tragedy? Oh, wait. Strong but stupid, so you probably don’t know. Doesn’t matter. You’re pride is going to get you killed.”
“I know you helped them,” Bill accuses.
“Gave them a box of worthless trinkets. Money. Never quite understood it.”
“They’re coming here—”
“Good!” shouts the spirit. “I’m making popcorn and going to relax watching this spectacle. Win or lose, you’re going to make my millennium!”
Bill, finally disgusted, vanishes.