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Shadows Beneath

CHAPTER EIGHT

Genesis walked down the back alley, only the moonlight illuminated the street. Rays of light cast over her, causing the silver unicorn print on her off the shoulder black sweatshirt to glitter. The only sound in the night was the faint music from the club and the light clinks of her belt chain wrapped around her waist. A frown was cast across her face, thoughts of her patient, and her task still very fresh in her mind.

Bronze eyes shimmered in the thick black shadows out of a lonely back street. The moonlight tossed strange lights on the objects, giving them hues of silverish grey and dark steel-blue. Lucca's wanderings had taken him deeper into a part of London he didn't quite remember. New streets and buildings rose all around; he was following tracks of souls of the living to find his way out of the strange maze. The night sky above looked like a thin strip of deep blue and grey with a lazy moon wrapped in rags of clouds. He could reach the skies and let the wind find his way for him – float away to another land. But he had a compromise he wanted to keep…

Lucca kicked a pebble out of the way. From an alley, a blasphemy rang into the night followed by the sound of crashing glass and the barking of astray dogs. Lucca flicked his hair out of his eyes. A deep silence followed, but this silence he knew well. It was the sort of emptiness found at dawn in a battlefield when a battle has ceased. All life seemed to have crawled into holes and nothing seemed to have a will strong enough to let itself be seen. No beasts, no humans were within sight in the lonely street.

No humans…

Lucca clasped his fist. He set off running. He had found a trace; he could smell it. This presence he sensed was different and yet known – it was something he had considered before but hadn't had the chance to pull out. Lucca ran swiftly as a silhouette came into view; he clasped his fist and a Staff appeared in it; Lucca didn't drop his human appearance, reaching the silver-haired woman he was chasing; the Staff hit her side, sending her against the next brick wall. Lucca stopped, holding the Staff of Light beside him. The Staff didn't give a light of its own – yet. His eyes shimmered in the dark, for the shadows fell on his tall form. Without a word, Lucca pointed the Staff to her in challenge.

So lost in her thoughts, Genesis had no sense of the pending danger. A sharp pain hit her side, and she fell against the brick wall. Her first thought was of a human looking to steal her cash, but as the staff was pointed in her face only a mere hair from her nose she realized her error. The darkness concealed most of his face but the sense was there. She gasped in surprise then hissed. “Azazel! You've made your last mistake!” With a deep growl, she knocked the staff away with one arm. Genesis shoved off from the wall to tackle him to the ground! If Azazel had awakened, there was nothing to stop her from retrieving the soul. And having such audacity to attack her like thus her feverish anger blocked any thoughts or senses. Hovering the steel spike over his face, she held him tight to the ground. “Give me the soul, Azazel!”

Lucca's knee met the woman's belly as he smacked her off him with the Staff. Rolling to the side, Lucca sprang back on his feet. He needed to make her angrier. At least she had mistaken him for Lilith's child by now. Staying in the shadows as he spin the Staff once like a rod, he waited for her to attack. Lucca walked as if trying to circle her, his footsteps echoing in the empty street. Again, he challenged her taking a defense stance.

Genesis staggered to her feet, her anger clouding her better judgment. She was not made for fighting, but the man himself was infuriating, and she must have that soul! A tingling sense of wrongness teased at her mind. Azazel was a powerful foe and in his arrogance never ceased to show off his power or boast of his gifts… but now he was merely toying with a staff and barely saying a word. “Enough games!” throwing her hand out, she summoned several more spikes. They hovered in the air for a fraction of a second before zooming their way towards her target!

Lucca's eyes brightened as she shot her spikes at him at terrible speed. He made the Staff disappear and stood up, quitting his defensive stance and getting the shots into his body. Lucca didn't close his eyes as the spikes pierced through his flesh. Lucca's vision clouded as he dropped to the ground with a sickening thud.

…!

Genesis stood still in same attack position, a look of complete surprise across her face and her eyes wide. He dropped his staff and took her spikes head on! Even Azazel was not such a fool to absorb the poison steel. To accept death so willingly? It was a trick.. She had been fooled. Relaxing her body, she walked over to the man and leaned down next to him. A closer look, he was not Azazel, though the similarities were amazingly close. Lucifer…? What a fool… She held her hand over his body, recalling the steel that had absorbed into his blood to reform as spikes and pull from his body. The disappeared as if they never were. “Awake Luc. Might you explain why you waste my time…?”

Lucca coughed out blood, feeling the cold paved street under his body as Genesis removed her spikes. The wounds hadn't even been bad enough as to cause his temporary death…! His eyebrow twitched. His flesh began to heal. Lucca coughed blood out of his throat as he managed to sit up, pushing Genesis aside. “I don't owe you explanations”, he hissed. Lucifer took in a deep breath as the holes in his body closed and all trace of their existence vanished. Lucca got back on his feet and touched his forehead, as if to overcome his dizziness. It had failed… With a glare, he turned his back on her and walked down the alley.

“You are not going to attack me then walk away.” Genesis said indignantly as she quickly caught up to him and matched his pace along side him. Much of her silver tinted hair had fallen loose from it's bindings, and she busied herself with straightening it again. “It makes no sense. Were you hoping to die, Luc?” she pointedly asked. “It was a miserable attempt. Foremost, I do not kill. Second, It will take more than steel to relieve you of your life…”

Lucifer's eyes shimmered like infernal carbuncles in a deep cave. Even in his held-back, simmering rage, Lucifer had a beauty and majesty to him that could be appalling. He didn't look at Genesis at she rubbed in his face his latest failure. “I don't need you to point out the flaws in my plans”, he softly said, his voice cold like a blade. “However, I suppose I must thank you for trying. Your aim is terrible and the effectiveness of your weaponry is even worse. You should really try something different”, he said. His voice hardened. “I shall see by myself what will it take to relieve me of my… life. And I don't need your counsel about it”.

Lucca looked at her by the corner of his eye. “What makes sense, anyway?” He frowned. “Leave me alone”.

Genesis was not put off by his cool tone. In fact was much relieved to be dealing with the father over the son. Though he refused the need of her council, to not accept his curse proved otherwise. After all.. she wasn't asking to be murdered. Ignoring his pleas she continued to walked next to him. “Waking up is knowing who you really are. It makes sense to recover why you are where you are before you can truly be free.” She glanced up at him, unmoved by his natural aura. It was no wonder how so many people followed Lucifer in the fall. He was magnetic. She pursed her lips in thought. “As for my weapon of choice… poison steel is quite effective against my normal targets. It's not my job to kill, only to create.”

Lucifer's eyes flashed. “Keep your wisdom for yourself”, he scornfully said. “And stop following me! Truly be free… Don't make me laugh”. Lucifer stopped and looked at his blood-stained, ripped coat and shirt in the silvery moonlight. “I don't care about your opinion. All you can do is to repeat their words. Have you ever had an idea of your own? Know who I really am… You have no idea”. Lucifer shrugged with indifference and waved his hand on himself, erasing all trace of the fight. “Go and do as you are told by the Elders. Be a good girl and stay away from the Prince of Darkness”. Lucifer continued on his way.

Genesis stopped in her tracks, her hands balling into fists. Of all the nerve assuming her brilliant advice was nothing more than the gibberish of the Angelic Host. As if any of those fossils truly knew the psyche of human or angel alike! She had no care for the ramblings of the Host, just as she had no care for the preaching of the Fallen. However, to be insulted struck a cord. “Halt, Lucifer! You do not know what you speak of!” she hissed, pointing a finger in his direction. “My words are my own! Cultured by years of expirience! Perhaps if you stopped sulking like a spoiled child, you'd reach your own enlightenment!”

“My words are my own! Cultured by years of expirience!” Lucifer was furious, but he clearly perceived he had struck a cord. He stopped and turned, a disturbing fire shimmering in his bronze eyes. “So… your words are your own, aren't they? Interesting argument…” Lucifer smirked. “What do you intend to say? Perhaps you are screaming out loud you have individuality?” Lucifer's smile widened slightly. “Poor child”, he gravely said as his mirth quickly died out. “You have no idea…” For a brief instant in his eyes showed a deep wisdom and an equally deep sadness, despair and hatred. The fire burned again and Lucifer's eyes were suns of drought in the cold dark of the lonely street. “Perhaps you've caught a glimpse in the days of your long death”, he emotionlessly said.

“You are so arrogant! Self consumed! Blind! And ridiculously dramatic.” Seething she crossed her arms. Still, she could care less of his jaded and bitter views of life. Her anger stemmed from the more personal of insults. Calming herself enough not to call her spikes again, Genesis chose a different route. He was baiting her, pulling the string he knew would catch her temper. She would not give him his satisfaction. “You forget, Luc. I am as old as you, if not older. Your argument on lack of knowledge is mute! Perhaps you'd like to take a different route.” Genesis smiled an almost imp-like smile. “You should join me for counseling. We can discuss what makes you so irritable and cure you of your nasty habit of attacking women in dark alley ways.”

“You forget in which area I'm specialized”, Lucifer replied with an unpleasant smile. “Your age is pointless to me. And of course I'm arrogant. I have every right to be”, he continued, softly. “I might attack women in alleys, but I certainly not ask women what's their age”, Lucifer added in sarcasm. “You look cute when you lose your point”, he said with a smirk. Lucifer turned and once again walked away.

She rolled her eyes. Flattery was a pathetic attempt to throw her off. It almost worked. “I didn't loose my point. You just choose to ignore it.” Again, she caught up to him, matching his pace. She wasn't finished with him yet, and intended to dig further. If she were lucky she would learn choice information that would allow her better access to Azazel. The father had naught to do with his son, but family quirks always ran deep. “Every right to be arrogant hmm? I told someone just today how arrogance leads to destruction. …Oh, but that's exactly what you're aiming for isn't it?” She left one arm wrapped around her waist, as the tapped her chin in thought. “I believe if you wanted to die so badly, you'd stop trying to be murdered and try defying fate instead. It seems to enjoy killing the ones that do not wish to die…”

Lucifer looked at her. “How curious… I might have done that just today”, he muttered. He didn't seem to care about her talk as he walked. He moved aside as a beer bottle hissed its way between them from an obscure window. “By suggesting that you've demonstrated you've not made your homework”, he said, ignoring the bottle incident. “How about you living by your own word?”

The comment managed to silence her. She thought on it for several moments, as they walked in the dead of night. Follow her own advice? Enjoy living in hopes of death? Thinking about it, she supposed she worded her suggestion incorrectly. The idea sounded redundant. However maybe if he enjoyed life he wouldn't be so consumed with trying to end it. Even she wanted a true end to the cycle without having to start again from the same point she left off, but she didn't foolishly put herself in peril to accomplish it. She merely accepts the fact and moves on. “I am a special case. I wasn't punished with an eternal life to learn a lesson, one that you haven't learned yet, by the way. I simply exist. There's something said for acceptance…”

“We all are special cases”, Lucifer replied with a shrug. “You are starting to sound like a human. I refuse to simply exist. Maybe that contents you, but not me. Now get a life and stop following me”. Lucifer stopped in his tracks, his bronze gaze fixed on her. “Leave me alone”.

“Alas, dear Luc, you've awakened a sleeping devil… No pun intended of course.” She grinned her impish grin once again, seeming not to care being compared to a human. “Weren't you the one that bothered me first?” Genesis, strode her way in front of him blocking his path. “And now that I've been bothered, I do think my life has been forever altered!” She made a play of being overly dramatic, mocking his brooding nature. “I think… I will create you a life! Free you from your chains of discontent! What do you think is fit for a fallen angel?” she pondered out loud. “You remind me of a rouge, skulking about the streets like you do. It will be my greatest accomplishment! Giving new life to a soul without having it reborn!”

Lucifer stared at her, immutable. Mockery, scorn, deafness… Nothing more could he expect out of someone he could see as well as one of the guards of his prison without walls. “You don't have a life, Genesis”, he said. “Don't pretend before me. There's no need for it”. Lucifer created a Portal beneath his feet and sank through it, leaving no trace behind.

Genesis watched him disappear. It was a comment that held close to the truth and hurt more than she cared to admit. They were kindred in their immortality, though the circumstances were different. Yet he still had an escape, even if he had not come to realize the path yet. But she… she had a job to do. Death and rebirth was never ending. There was no reprieve, no breaks, no vacations. Even her own 'death' was nothing more than rejuvenating flames to last her another vigilant one thousand years. She could have been bitter, look for an escape, but it was a waste of precious time. As long as she had her tasks, she would never join a new cycle. A 'life' as he saw it was impossible for her to achieve.

Realizing she was standing alone in the alley, staring down at the pavement like a fool, she started back towards the club. She made a habit of attending the shows of Forsaken. The archangel Michael had no tangible memories of his past lives, but his music told the stories of things he could not remember. Genesis found it curious, and oddly fitting how he got lost in the music. She took at least some joy in watching others get to live a normal life…





“Hey, fathead! I want my phone call!” Trevor shouted, grabbing hold of the bars on his cell. “Would you believe me if I said that the fate of the free world rested on the idea of you waddling over here and letting me go?”

“Get stuffed,” the officer commented, not looking up from his Popular Mechanics.

Trevor snorted, and shuffled back to his wafer-thin cot. “Yeah, whatever. See if I ever save this dump from a demonic invasion.” They had taken his phone away, as well as most of his artifacts, including the Lightning Rosary and his Banishing Jewels. He still had his Silver Herald, but he couldn't use it to blast out of here; somebody might get hurt. As mad as he was, he wasn't ready to become a killer just to escape from a crummy jail like this. The world could do without him for one evening. The almost silent fluttering of feathers snapped Trevor out of his funk. He looked up in the window, where the raven from before was sitting calmly in the window, preening itself and staring at him. “You again?” he growled. “You've already been such a help for me this evening. I knew you were a bad omen from the start, so unless you've got some kind of amazing miracle to perform that'll get me out of here, I suggest you buzz off.”

The raven stopped grooming herself and nonchalantly shook her tail as Trevor scolded her. She leapt from the window and landed on the bench in the cell, where she scratched her ear for a little while, then stared at him again. The raven disapprovingly shook her head and leapt on the floor, walking out of the cell through the space between the bars of the door and made her way to the guard's desk, swaying a bit from side to side as she walked on the cold floor with her wings closed. Unnoticed, she crawled under the desk and disappeared from sight. The policeman was still absorbed into reading his magazine.

Suddenly, something else was visible behind the man: it seemed to be the top of the head of a little kid, with black hair. The kid moved behind the guard, little pale hands seeking on the counter next to the desk, then disappeared from sight. The policeman turned the pages of his magazine. A little hand appeared next to his elbow and picked a medium-size plastic reseal able bag from a box, but the man didn't seem to notice. The little hand disappeared with her loot.

After a few seconds, the raven came out from under the desk, dragging a reseal able plastic bag with Trevor's belongings. She was pulling it with her beak, dragging it to the cell. The raven pulled lazily till reaching the cell bars, then she leapt in and pulled the bag in with some difficulty. Once the bag with Trevor's belongings was on the cell floor, the raven leapt on the bench and sat there, looking at Trevor in a rather unnerving way.

For several minutes, Trevor wasn't quite sure exactly what had happened. His stare was fixated on the raven, a mixture of surprise and utter disbelief. Maybe someone could train a bird to fetch things…but how many birds could turn into people?? Everything seemed to be in the bag when Trevor rummaged through it, including his summoning glyph. Joz didn't care much for text messages like Kris did, so she had given him this thing instead. It'd tell her where he was and if he was in trouble, when he activated it. And a quick escape was just the thing he needed right about now.

“Okay, Joz. It's up to you now,” Trevor muttered, squeezing the glyph tightly. He felt the rune pulse in his fist like a heartbeat, and the stone gave a brief flash before crumbling into dust. That took care of that. Now, all he had to do was wait. In the meantime, though… “We need to talk,” he snapped, standing up and glaring down at the raven. “Who the hell are you? Who sent you? And why are you helping me?”

“Caw!”, the raven replied, very seriously. After giving him a stern stare, she proceeded to groom her wings, ignoring the questions.

Trevor's jaw nearly hit the floor.

Caw?

That was it?

“You…you…you goddamned chicken! That's not what I wanted to hear!” Trevor howled, his temper now at its utmost surprising peak. “I'm sick and tired of being jerked around today! First it was the taxi cab, then that stupid kid and his invisible friend, and then Kris gives me a hard time, and now some jackass in a trench coat is going around town summoning demons! I have had enough!” The Silver Herald on Trevor's right hand flared to life, reacting to his violent rage. “I am going to get some answers from you, you turkey from Hell, or I'll turn you into an early dinner, I swear it!”

The raven nonchalantly scratched her ear as Trevor yelled at her. She groomed her feathers some, then shook her tail and watched him go on in his rage with one eye, then the other. When the Silver Herald flashed, the bird opened her beak and unfurled her wings in a defensive stance, almost like a heraldic symbol. The raven shook her head in disapproval. Suddenly, a five or six year old kid was staring at Trevor from the bench, wearing a black overall and a Winnie the Pooh shirt. The girl's hair was raven-black and her dark blue eyes were filled with a myriad of burning suns, like the night sky. “I'm not your dinner”, the child said with a frown.

This time, Trevor was not surprised. At least, he didn't show it if he was. Slowly, his hand dropped back down to his side, and the white aura in his fist fizzled into nothingness. His eyes were still as dark as thunderheads, but at least he wasn't about to blow the building up anymore. “That's better,” he growled. “At least now we're getting somewhere.” Trevor glanced out at the police officer. He hadn't apparently noticed anything. Was it this kid's doing…?

“You're not a demon, I can tell that much now,” Trevor said, kneeling down in front of the girl. “But, you're not human either. Are you a were? I've never heard of a were who could turn into a bird. Wolves, boars, and rats, yes…but not ravens. Who are you? And why are you helping me?”

“Questions, too many questions”, the child replied, shaking her head. “I can't answer all of them – yet. The Time will come soon for you to learn the answers… I am the Dark One”. She opened her little hand and showed him a sigil floating on it. “This is the Sigil of my Name written on the Dark side of the moon, if you can read and understand”. The child looked at him. “If you can read and understand, the Time for your answers is closer”.

“The…Dark One?” Trevor blinked. Something about that title was familiar, like he had heard it before. It probably had some kind of theological significance, but whatever it was, it escaped him. Too bad he didn't have his radio equipment with him, or he could ask his dad about it. That sigil seal also looked familiar. Trevor had seen it in a book before, a long time ago. “Okay, so I can't read it,” he grumbled, leaning against the far wall and shooting the little girl a bitter stare. “I'll try to live with the disappointment. If you're not going to help me out, then get lost. My partner'll be here soon to get me out of this dump.”

The child closed her hand. The sigil disappeared and the child watched Trevor for a long instant. “Freewill is the Gift of Man”, she simply said. “It is up to you to seek the answers”. The girl's image seemed to ripple and vanish – now it was the raven who stared at him from the bench. The bird flew to the window, squeezed through the bars and disappeared into the night.

Trevor didn't bat an eyelash as the girl turned back into a bird, and took off out the window. If she wasn't going to help, he really couldn't care less what she did. Sleeping was going to be hard, though, since now he'd have that stupid sign in his head all night. Maybe Joz would know what it meant.

“Jadziin…you'd better get here soon,” Trevor muttered, looking down at his hand. A faint impression of the rune that had been on the stone earlier was glowing on his palm. Joz'd remove it when she showed up. If she showed up. She might run into that guy along the way. She was tough, though…she could take care of herself. She'd make it. Sitting on his cot with his back to the guard, Trevor slipped on his rosary again, and pulled out his phone.

Landed in jail. Shut up. Send J ASAP.

He included the address, and sent his message off to Kris' phone. She'd probably give him the chewing out of a lifetime again, but it wasn't his fault. He was just trying to help! Might have even saved her life by stopping that guy. Of course, if she was with that jerk from earlier today, it wouldn't matter. She wouldn't be torn away from her little date, come Hell or high water. Lovely. “Prob`ly drooling over some shirtless punk rocker right now,” Trevor grumbled, lying down on the small bed. “Damned stupid London…gettin` me into more trouble than it's worth…shoulda stayed home…finished that bottle under the bed…hrm…need a drink…” Trevor was asleep before he knew it.

By BroodingDarkness

Before the birth of man there were the angels. The purpose of the Angelic Host was to keep the balance and guide man through it’s evolution… but many did not agree. This stand became known as The Fall and those that apposed the Host were known as the Fallen.

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