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Shadows Beneath

CHAPTER FIVE

That swirling, thick feeling of heaviness encompassed within never-ending and never-ceasing void of emptiness flowed like a thick smog and clung to the very fiber of existence as it was known. Chris knew it well. It was through his existence that it in itself existed, his retreat from Aidan and his meaningless endeavors brought it to life. This new order was as useless as previous ones made, fetching him information on a girl whom he just met. That fact alone was enough to produce a low growl to slip from the very back of his throat by just thinking about it. He was not a hound to be told what to do and then get a treat after obeying it. The lesser of the demons could be his pets and Christopher would make sure to remind him of that the next time.

Moving through the blinding darkness; temporarily removing and then relocating himself into a different plane–a different existence of dimensions–Chris moved silently, though, in a place void of everything including deafening silence-it would be surprising to him in there was to be any noise. Even the faintest sound of his breath was dulled and soon absorbed into the walls after it left his mouth, an eerie but somewhat comforting feeling to the occultist. It never lasted though, a shameful thing indeed to be taken away from as he seemed to hit a spongy wall of smoke before eventually shimmering; as he liked to call it; and taking form as his body came back into contact with the world that is and not a world that was alternate in contemptible reality.

Slipping into the MS Corp. building unnoticed by security cameras was simple, but Christopher knew there was always a chance of him relocating his atoms and flesh with that of a wall. Though, he was as devoid of that fear as he was of Aidan, or rather, the being that was part of Aidan. He had butted heads with him on quite a few occasions on his tact and the way he gambled overly with his games of the mind, and even power. Aidan knew it, and Chris knew it, but each harbored a fear of one another. Christopher, a descendant of the great Occultist Johnathon Morris, had more then enough power to cast aside the hellish soul that resided within Aidan without little effort, and Azazel, the first born of Lilith could easily take the life that was his. A fearful companionship indeed.

“Information,” he mumbled, an air of arrogance permiating through the room while he took a seat from behind a table and spun it around, taking the seat for himself. Propping his feet up on the thick marble top of the table, Chris drummed his fingers on the arm rest before running his fingers calmly through his hair. “Doleful and unexciting he is with his so-called orders. Information seeking is a job for his foul creatures, not me.” His eyes lit up with a quirked brow, but pushed a sudden thought aside as he brought his feet from the table to the ground. Reaching out with his mind, and folding his hands in front of him, the occultist reached out into the empty air like a blind man with a cane and forcefully took a hold of the nearest demonic mind and insighted it with a call. It would only be a matter of time before the one he summoned would arrive, but in the time of waiting.. he would simply enjoy the view from the window of its eyes.

Christopher sat idly, tapping his fingers against one of the plastic coverings of the arm of his chair. Each tap seemed to symbolize a passing moment and with each one, Chris' impatience grew with them. Demons, the things of hell, never did know how to be courteous and at best, didn't understand the importance of why it might be summoned. Importance…, he though for a moment, then snorted callously through his nose with a huff as he spun around in one of the office style executive chair and crossed the room over to one of the large style windows. It was almost a perfect height for a person to walk through, though what awaited the person who did was a step that no one would walk away from. That would truly be an interesting sight.

Sucking in a breath of air through his teeth and pulling back the long brown sleeve of his jacket, Chris let his eyes wander across his arm with little care and with an almost scrutinizing gleam within them. If he was expecting to see a watch there to look at the time, he knew it would of been a lie. Instead, on his arm, seemed to be pentagrams and oddly shaped words, words that looked as if a child with a crayon or perhaps a marker had drawn them erratically on a sheet of paper. Each was etched into his skin neatly, and shimmered a translucent black when he ran a finger across them-tracing the lines and letters with a fingertip. Immersed, Chris sighed a long annoyed sigh, muttering something that sounded very much like a prayer before turning and sending a thick wall of heat into the window he had before looked through. It shattered, though briefly, and quickly reversed itself back to its original state as if time had been set back. Rolling his sleeve back down, the occultist turned to look at the shadow. He had arrived and of course, very late..

If almost to show off, Chris could feel the demon emanate his power by stretching it like a heavy rubber band as the air within the room began to expand then retract like a vice. The air outside did as well, though the consequences of such a large mass being attracted together very much like a magnet would do to metal caused the smallest of sparks; beginning a chain reaction of more until it looked like lightning. Lightning, on a clear day. How droll and unimpressive. Not much of a demonic power.

“You're late,” he muttered, waving away the show with a slow movement of his hand. “I called you here for one reason, demon,” Chris continued, slipping his hands into his pockets as if he was all alone in the room. “I want you to collect some information for me. I don't wish to lower myself down to your levels.” That same air of arrogance spread again when he craned his neck over his shoulder, a darkened fire hidden behind his eyes. No matter how much he despised working with demons, they had their uses. Easily disposed of as well, if anything were to go wrong. Indeed, they were worthless to him in the end.

“This mission should be simple, even for you,” Christopher stated as a matter-of-factly, turning around with ignorance to the demon as if he was inferior to everything that he was. In truth, he was, but letting him know that would do little in the matter of the job getting done. “I need you to gather any and all information on a girl. Yes, a girl. Do not get me wrong, you creature of the abyss. Meaningless things such as information fetching is not my idea of putting you to practical use but rather one of someone higher then even myself.” Higher then himself, he grinned a toothy grin and shot the demon a chilling glare. “Her name is Autumn Kristof,” he added nonchalantly as if the demon had already been aware of the girls name from the very beginning. “Gather the information on her and return. If you succeed, you'll be awarded more power then you can fathom, but if you fail or stray from your goal.. you shall die, by my hand. It will be as if you never existed at all.”

With a wave of his hand, the occultist turned his back to the shadows and peered out the window as they folded back upon themselves and creeped along the floor and wall until they vanished from sight entirely. The game was on, but Chris had the strangest feeling something was not right. The darkness told him so and if that was the case-he would have to be wary and cautious.

Trevor steadily marched down the hallway, following his sense towards where he was getting the strongest blip. With his power on high alert, now he noticed several dozen dark forces popping up on campus. Just how many demons were there in this dump, anyway? Was there some kind of convention in town or something?? Slowing down near the administration offices, Trevor cleared his mind, and tried to focus on the nearest reading. There was a strong pulse coming from…the record room? What would a demon want in there? Duh. It's looking for information, Trevor snapped at himself. He pressed his ear to the door, and tried to listen inside.

“Is this all you require?” it hissed to somebody. Its voice was more irritating than fearsome; it sounded like somebody was choking on gravel. There was nobody else in the room Trevor could feel. Maybe it was communicating with somebody at a distance? Pulling his gun, Trevor kicked down the door, and marched into the room, taking the ugly demon inside by complete surprise. “Well, well. Look at this. I didn't think you brainless gimps could even read.”

“You…are not him,” the demon rasped, eyeing Trevor for a moment after recovering from its initial shock. “Same smell. Different feel. Your blood is not thinned with the Dark Arts.”

Trevor blinked, and lowered his gun a bit. “What in the hell are you talking about? No, actually, never mind. I really don't care,” he mumbled, raising it again. “I'll ask your sicko boss when I see him. “G`night, sunshine.” The demon lunged, and Trevor unloaded the entire clip into the thing's face. It was dead before it got halfway to him, and it slumped lifeless onto the floor after bumping into Trevor, and quickly turned into ash as it hit the ground. Loading up a full magazine, Trevor quickly darted across the room, and made a hasty dive out the window. The last thing he wanted to do was be around when students came by and started asking questions. Trevor stopped when he got across the campus, and quickly pulled out his phone. One throwaway, dead in the record room. Keep an eye out for more trouble. Keep Joz close. Be back soon. With the push of a button, Trevor fired off the message back to Kris' phone. Searching a city this big for a summoner was going to be tough, especially when the thing that was summoned was so low-powered. Even an apprentice could do it. Telepathy, however, was another thing entirely, and that narrowed down his search considerably. Checking his gun again, Trevor ran off campus, and made his way downtown.

Campus records. What kind of idiotic being would look for family information at a school? No, Chris truly didn't need his rhetorical question answered, because he himself had seen what kind of creature was stupid enough to do something like that with his very own two eyes. And he had actually made an effort to pull him through the dimensional wall, though he wouldn't outright admit it. A waste of time and energy, but at least one thing was clear enough from what little gathering had actually taken place. The only place now that might produce something of an acceptable quality would be the gothic style town hall. It had been standing for hundreds of years, and would no doubt carry the equivalent of those years in its records of all people who lived in the city. Excellent. Christopher motioned his hand in the air, the sleeve of his coat rolling back as it once again revealed those strange glowing marks that ran the entire course of his arm. Almost instantly, the clear air within the conference sized room turned stale and frigid, covering the walls within condensation before a cold windless gust sheeted them over in ice. Placing his finger to a window, the occultist began to mutter things incomprehensible to the human ear before beginning to draw old characters some might see in the fairy tales told to them by their parents or rather, in books of fantasy and lore along the sleeted over windows. It took little less then a moment, but when it was finished that artic feeling of cold quickly displaced with a sudden searing of heat. The diagram drawn nearly melted into the thick safety glass of the window before fading into a darkened violet swirl of veil. Summoning ceremonies were always bland, but at least the light show was somewhat better then the first.

“It's time. You demon, have been chosen. Go to the hall of records of this mortal town and retrieve me the information of Autumn Kristof!” He cared little for explaining himself at the moment like he had to do before with the other one. Time was of the essence, and he hated to lose. Failure was not an option. “By all means,” he continued, giving one of his temple a well deserved rub as he shut his eyes from the annoyance the heat caused. “Kill. Maim. Destroy, but get me that information above all else.” Quickly as it came, it left, and with it-the room returned to normal and just in time as well. The large oak doors at the end of the table parted and with them, walked in one of Aidan's secretaries. By the time she crossed the room to turn the light on, he was gone.

It was getting late in the afternoon by the time Trevor managed to catch a bus towards where he wanted to go. Mindless searching and a bit of random luck had helped him stumble across a coven of wanna-be witches, and even a pawn shop, where he was able to pick up a Magnum and a SIGPRO that was in surprisingly good condition. Of course, his ammo was limited, but he'd make-do with what he had. No sooner had he left the store than his extra sense went off again, and this time, it was almost dizzying in its intensity. Whoever just put off that effect must have been extremely close. Probably inside one of those big Darth Vader-buildings. As soon as it showed up, though, it vanished, like it had never been there in the first place. Intentionally or not, it had left a trail behind… And so, here he was, on one of the infamous crimson double-decker busses, lurching back and forth as the massive vehicle shuddered around a corner, headed downtown. Kris was probably out of class by now, at home with Joz. At least, she would, if she was smart. Which she wasn't. So she was probably about to be sacrificed to a dark demon's resurrection or something lame like that. Again.

Trevor silently got off at the next stop; the feeling was stronger than ever around this area, and he'd go faster on foot from here. Much of the city's older architecture rested around here. He could feel the age of the place, almost like the stones were speaking to him. There was also a taint in the air, though–whatever he was looking for was definitely nearby.

The demon lumbered tall and proud, snarling teeth dripping with its acidic venom as its cold, slited eyes glared menacingly towards a record keeper with a piercing look of forlorn despair and inner hatred burning brightly behind its copper glance. Its dark, muscular figure stood out in front of the dark stone background architecture of the building, with a tail slender and long adorned with thickly sized barbs and spikes that lined its entire length to its very end. The front of its weight seemed off balance on its two hunched legs, but its center of gravity well compensated for the awkward shape the demon had decided to manifest itself. Unbeknownst, it would of done better taking a human form, but Chris did mindlessly tell it to kill and destroy anything between objectives. An order was an order. Toppled tables and scattered books of old lineages occupied the worn carpet of the place, pages torn from them and strewn wildly about the floor with careless intent and wild fury. None of them held the information it was searching for and with every growing impatience-the more it searched and the more he didn't find what he was looking for–the demons inner rage would show itself as it gave a dark hideous growl that spread in a cacophony of noise along the walls. Searching, flipping. Throwing. It continues endlessly, until the demon gave a shrill shriek of a hidden agenda and spun around; slamming that large tall of its into a nearby shelf of books sending it crashing to the floor below. In that very same motion, it brought down a heavy three-toed hunched foot of his and broke it across a oak chair. The chair, crunched and broke, laid helplessly in a heap of unusable pieces as it made its way across the hall in a few long strides of its legs.

I have found your information, the demon stated into his mind, that thick rumbling of a voice expanding with swelled pride as he accomplished what was set out to do. I'm sending it now. Be prepared. Within the hands of the imposing beast, an illuminating bright light sparked and set the area ablaze with its brightness but soon died out quickly as the parchment of records hold within it disappeared with no trace. Chris had what he was looking for, and Aidan would be glad to know that his order was fulfilled to its fullest. Even if, in fact, he wasn't the one who actually gathered the information. He didn't need to know the details.

Trevor crept up to the double-doors leading into the records room, and peeked inside through the slightly open doors. It was too dark in there to really see what was going on. He could definitely hear somebody shuffling around inside, though. Again, with the records. Somebody was looking for something important; important enough to go through all this trouble, anyhow. That was when the furniture started to fly. Chairs and tables and shelves were tossed around and snapped in half like they were made of balsa wood, instead of sturdy oak. A deep, inhuman howl came from the dark chamber, loud and sharp enough to nearly make Trevor's ears bleed. That was it for him; this thing had to die, and so did the schmuck that was behind it. Pulling his .9mm and the SIGPRO, Trevor pushed open the large doors, and allowed the light from the hallway to stream into the dark records room just in time to see something flash and vanish from the demon's large, clawed hands. The thing turned to Trevor, and narrowed its beady eyes, staring at him much like a normal person would have eyed a deli sandwich.

“God, you things just keep getting uglier,” Trevor scowled. “Is there no such thing as an attractive demon where you're from? It's like the eternal punishment for a bad life is being whacked with the ugly stick, every day for all of an eternity.” The demon roared, but Trevor ignored it. “So, where's your master? I can feel him around here, somewhere.” Trevor looked up the ceiling, and shouted, “Hey! You slimy, soulless bastard! I know you're here somewhere! Come show your pasty mug so I can put a dozen rounds into it and call it a day! I got better stuff to do than shit around with you and your miserable pets all night!”

The darkness told him not to do it. It beckoned to him to abandon the idea of showing himself, but Christopher eased its uncharacteristically worried demeanor with a disacknowledged grin and a half amused sparkle in his eye. He would grace this thing with his presence, but for the sake of Aidan and his pathetic secret; he would have to do it as discreetly as possible. Something he was not very good at. Not at all.. It took a moment to align properly, but after a few moments Christopher opened up a conical shaped rift in the center of the stale air that was in front of him and stepped through its swirling mass. A second later, he was gone.

“Soulless. Indeed. It is one thing to mock me, but I must admit. You are a brave person to be standing there with a gun in hand, facing a ravishing beast of the underworld. Or maybe you're just a knucklehead,” Christopher snorted with a guff of air he took through his nose, sitting vertically against a dark window pain. The darkness was both enrapturing and comforting, hiding his form well behind its curtain. Pulling at his coat, Chris ran a hand through his tussled hair with an air of confidence. “Kill him.” Almost on cue, the demon gave its tail a hearty thump followed by a throaty howl of laughter, setting itself down low into a crouched position and lunged forward. What happened next was both interesting, yet foreseeable in the end.

Trevor's entire body tensed when the guy in the coat popped up. It had taken some buku-magic to just appear like that, and the guy didn't even look winded. That weird sense of deja vu hit him again, even more powerful than last time. I…know you… His train of thought was suddenly derailed as the demon lunged at him. Acting on sheer reflex, Trevor jumped at the door frame, and vaulted off of that, carrying him up and above the attacking monster. Trevor landed with one foot on the back of the demon's head, and in a furious barrage of gunfire, he unloaded both clips of ammo into the back of the monster's neck. The two smoking clips were ejected from the bottom of Trevor's guns as he threw them aside and vaulted off the demon, landing neatly behind its twitching corpse with his Magnum out and trained on the floating guy up above.

“I told you, I don't wanna fart around!” Trevor shouted, his right hand flickering with electricity for a brief second. “There's nothing you can throw against me that I can't deal with, so just give up now and I promise I'll put you out of your misery quick!”

The dark figure stayed in the window through a reason that he didn't quite understand himself, but with the unlit and unholy darkness whispering its weaving tale of an indecent campaign, Chris could of stayed in the window forever if not for a feeling of something strange that harbored a part of his mind. He turned a deaf ear to the nagging voices that screamed out through the hundred-year-old stone walls, splitting the dull silence like a cheap cotton-knit sweater with its agonizing cry for vengeance. The thick cloddy sound of the vanquished demon mixed amongst them, shrieking wildly in-tune with its raspy voice; begging almost humanly for revenge. The dreaded day would come and the occultist would brook no debate that he would someday be amongst the name of those who wished revenge on him and his deeds, but he seemed as calm through the words being spoken from both Trevor and the restless souls. He would cross that bridge when the time called for it.

Then it happened. With a smooth unwavering motion of his hand, the rooms air still thick with death became hot and stale. A day turned dark through the power of magick born through one man began to condense the paranormal activity abruptly within a two mile radius–pulling in the restless souls that haunted or even still plagued the world with their inability to cope with their deaths, and held it stead fast into the palm of his hand. Ready to use it at a moments call, Christopher didn't bother to wait for the man before him to squeeze the trigger of his toy as he craned his arm back and threw this sphere of death towards him like a fastball. It was no surprise to him that Trevor did little to move away save for only stepping back and spinning on the back of his left heel before tucking and rolling to the side. He wasn't the target, though, and Chris had figured he could tell that as well. Though how he knew that was beyond him.

The screaming souls lost their voices, descending to sit in silence beside the walls, where innumerable mumbles of selfish antics glittered through them at the foot of a table, where books shone black against the moon-silvered floor that cascaded through the parted front doors. Christopher rose suddenly, and spoke callously if to mock Trevor with his words. “The game has only begun,” he mumbled, catching the attention of both things living and dead. Throwing his hands up in the air in mocking defeat, he let a half-hearted grin slip across his face with an amused and uplifted eyebrow. “My friend, things have only begun to start and I don't think you will want to be there when it does. But, do not worry. My friend will send you to your grave!”

A booming voice, thick with venom rose through the ranks, and soon through the uncarried wind before the fist of the occultist clasped hard until his knuckles turned white and cracked. A moment later, the floor buckled with hellfire and spread through the forming cracks around the demon that had been felled and soon enveloped it within the scorching heat and once again brought undead life to it. Rising from its own ashes like a phoenix, the thing gave an ear piercing scream that changed octaves. It was charged overly through necromantic powers of those who longed for death and revenge and would not stop until it had gotten either or both. Smiling with an uncharacteristically emotion on his face, Chris hunched, face pale with a twinge of sharp pain jabbing into his gut like a needle. He hadn't noticed how much energy he exerted when he tapped into the store-house of energy, and failed to notice that the moon of the day was sacred in religious beliefs. Weakened, by his own neglect to realize his limitations. A mistake he rarely made but something about this guy urged him to kill him, though dieing suddenly before he could of stress or a heart attack wasn't his idea of being subtle.

Trevor's head rang painfully as the resurrected monster split the air with its bone-jarring scream. The entire display had been interesting, but with this as the final result, Trevor wasn't terribly amused anymore. He thought the poor guy just had bad aim, what with that first shot. So much for that. “An undead demon. That's a new twist,” Trevor mused, giving the chamber of his Magnum a spin on the side of his leg. “But I'm not impressed. I killed this thing already without breaking a sweat! All you've done is buy yourself another ten seconds before I come over there and beat eight tons of crap out of you!” Trevor raised his gun and pulled the trigger. The bullet scored home, blowing a chunk of burning skull from the demon's forehead, but it did little to slow it down. The resurrected monster charged again, more than twice as fast as before, and had Trevor pinned to the wall before he could blink.

“Gurk…not…fair…” Trevor choked out, despite the demon's iron grip on his throat. “Get offa me!” he shouted, emptying four more rounds into the demon's skull. Each one of them blasted apart shards of bone and flesh, but if the monster was hurt, it didn't show it. In fact, it only seemed to make it angrier, and it expressed its anger quite well when it turned around and threw Trevor across the room, where he crashed into a bookshelf and send four more rows of books behind him toppling over like dominoes. Slowly, and rather painfully, Trevor picked himself back up, and glared hatefully at the demon. It was standing still, waiting patiently for Trevor to make his move. One bullet left. The young slayer pulled open the six-round chamber, and stared at the copper bottom of his last round. Two bad guys. Bad deal. Might hafta go to Defcon 4 on this one. Wish I had brought Joz with me.

“I don't get to do this very often,” Trevor said, leveling his gun at the guy in the dark coat. Instead of pulling back on the hammer, however, Trevor opened his hand, and let his gun hang on his finger for a moment before letting it drop to the battered floor. “I hate having to repeat myself. So pay attention. This is the last thing you'll see before you wind up in Hell.” Trevor tightened his fists, and his right hand exploded into a bright white fire. The two silver crosses on the back of his gloves began to burn, and the dark room was lit up with a blinding white flash.

“My fist is the divine breath!” he howled, letting the fire grow in his hand. “The raging fire in my soul has ignited, and I grasp that fire with my powerful hands!” Windows shattered. Books were thrown about in the sudden chaotic wind that kicked up. The foundations of the stone building itself rumbled in discontent as the fire in Trevor's hands swelled. “I will deliver the will of Heaven–with my Shining Silver Herald!” His fist plunged into the ground, and everything went white. The walls to the records room, and the adjoining rooms blew out, yet the ceiling was blasted apart before it had a chance to crumble and collapse on those inside. The impact was felt for blocks; church bells rang nearby, and even more windows shattered from the force. The undead demon shrieked once, and was quickly turned into a smoking pile of ash in the resulting explosion. Moments later, after the smoke and debris had settled, Trevor finally managed to stand back up, pulling his fist from the small, hand-shaped glass crater in the ground at his feet. He hated doing that; it was simply too exhausting. But there wasn't much he had faced that wanted to tangle with him after such a display. All the wild energy still hanging in the air made it hard for him to sense the guy in the dark coat. Had he been killed? Or just ran away?

“Should be dead,” Trevor muttered weakly, falling to his knees. “God, I hate that. Dad, I wish I had your strong spirit…I just can't get used to this magic stuff…”

It hurt. Every inch of his body stung with an unbearable amount of pain that made its presence felt with every breath that he took in through his teeth and let out. The air was still hot with magick, and his lungs burned from the ether that loomed ominously in the space between. Somehow, he managed to survive something like that by relying quickly on the walls spirits and putting them to use by managing to attach a spell of binding to each and everyone of them to a specific point on his body so their lack of meaning in the world would have some use. It did little to stop the attack, but it was enough to cast a small barrier that melted the dead away leaving him safe but not unharmed. One more second, and he could of kissed his ass goodbye. He was impressed. Pushing a half cracked shelf of books from his back like it was made of a cheap cardboard box, Christopher crawled from the rubble, coat tattered and torn with holes plunged straight through the thin material. It was the first time someone managed to catch him off guard with something like that, as well as the first time anyone had been able to tear his coat. A protection spell was always placed upon it in-case an attack did manage to penetrate his defenses, but it faired to do little currently. Shaking the cob-webs out from his ears, the man in brown stood slowly-bones aching but he wasn't going to let him have the satisfaction of knowing that.

“Impressing that someone like you could produce something as big as that,” he said, wiping away his own blood from the corner of his head. It seemed he was able to draw blood as well, and stifling a laughter; the occultist licked it from his finger and spat it to the side with a brief snarl as the corner of his lips curled up. Now he understand the worried words he disregarded. No matter. “You almost had me. But almost only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.” Moving his neck from side to side, giving it a long needed crack as it rotated around his shoulders-Christopher glanced around admiring the destruction that had happened and it wasn't even by his own hands! Looking down, he gave the head of the demon a good kick sending the rest of its flesh and bone spiraling into a ruined stone column. Indeed, they were as worthless as he had always thought. Taking a moment to run his fingers through his dusty brown hair, Chris turned his attention back to Trevor with a fire dancing in his fixed eyes. Things were getting very interesting.

“Shining Silver Herald, huh? Who named your attack, a little girl?” Christopher muttered, sticking his hands into his pockets with contempt. He disregarded the look he received with a smile. “Let me show you how it is done. Watch and learn..” Christopher raised his hand and tightened his fist until his fingers bore holes into his palm and drew blood. Slowly and silently, Chris stretched out his fingers widely into the night sky and began to chant as his hand exploded into a rippling purple flame. Clouds passed over the late-night moon, muting the silver moonlights shining gaze. A moment later, the moons light burned its way through the clouds and the shafts of silver, blue, and white light shone brightly red, yellow, and black as it had done before. Red light hung in the air like smoke. Shadows of books passed over the broken stain glass; fixed there, trapped were the saints and martyrs unaffected too by the occultists power gazing upon them though broke as they were at their piebald shapes. He envied their stillness, their perpetuity as the fixedness of their lines long ended etched themselves into the far reaches of his mind. It was then when the purple flame grew and lit the air with purple that their images became faceless and covered.

“Unholy device of power that flows from the condemned,” Chris said, lowering his hand and, instead of the fire burning out, it engulfed the arm of the hand it appeared on; burning away the fabric of the coat so it could dance widely along the etched in scars of the symbols of dark and evil. “I call you from your world of nothingness to be my sword and strike down those who oppose me!” The ground rocked and the wind kicked up carrying with it whipping rubble and sand as the floor beneath him began to glow absently with a growing intensity. Fueling the fire within his arm, a thick plume of dancing smoke billowed from beneath his feet and crept, swirling along the occultists form and clung to him like a second layer of skin. When the floor upheaval and cracked, shooting an one inch spiral of fire from them until the ground looked very much like a symbol upon Christopher's arm that he put his palm face out towards the kneeled over Trevor, who, by the time the fire had began to appear, struggled to stand up.

“Take this, the wraith of the condemned.. Divine Chaos Stream!” The fire flicked around his arm and soon began to churn like it was living and started to boil over with a wild intensity before it sucked suddenly to the palm of his hand and spread out very much like a shockwave of shadows or a back draft of fire. The stone walls fell victim to the over-powering force and as the wave spread they cracked and fell in upon themselves. They hit the ground in a pile, but soon after doing so blew away to nothing more then ash in the breeze. Moments after, the ground pulled open into a swirling vortex of purple hellfire. Sucking in books and furniture, burning the facts and knowledge held within them before it closed up just in time for the shockwave to contact with Trevor and send him sprawling into the large oak doors. Whatever god was up there and liked him, however, snapped the doors from their hinges and sent them sliding across the ground before resting down a ways from the entrance as a second wave melted the stones walls to glass and brought them shattering down to the ground.

When the heat and smoke finally settled down into the night sky, Christopher lowered his hand to his side and kneeled over-spitting out a slew of blood as it settled into a pool on the ground. His reflection rippled through it, but he smashed it away by dropping his fist down into it. He couldn't believe it, but through some divine intervention or maybe through some soddy craftsmanship that guy survived. What a fluke! He was an interesting opponent indeed. Someone he found to be a thorn in his side as well as a rival in power. Christopher would kill him, if it killed himself. Confidence was in his blood.

Trevor was still for a moment, watching the bright colors dance in front of his face. He still wasn't quite sure what had hit him. One minute, he was staring down that beat-up guy, and the next, he had a heavy oak door in his face. When he looked up, he saw the sky, and plenty of smoke. What the hell had that guy thrown at him? “Divine…Chaos Stream,” Trevor echoed to himself as he crawled back up to his feet. “More like a frickin` warhead from Hell. Where'd he learn a trick like that, anyway?” The crosses on his hands crackled with lightning again, but a second blast would probably kill him at this point. Then again, judging by how wasted the other guy looked, it might kill him, too. I can't kill him. He's…something about that attack was…

“Who the hell are you?!” Trevor shouted, falling down onto his knees again. “Every time I look at you, it drives me crazy! You bastard! Tell me who you are!”

The dust hadn't yet settled down after the explosions and the collapse of the walls; the smell of twisted death lingered strongly in the air. The ancient, over one yard thick walls of brick and stone danced their way down, cracking and crumbling to pieces, crushing the places they had protected before. Thick shadows embraced the objects between the explosions, crawling their way into the battlefield. The wind of the night blew, chilling wind that seemed to be dark itself; but this wind brought about a void feeling, a serene silence in an absence of all other sounds, as if all the voices remaining in the world had went out bringing a deeper, absolute silence after the wall spirits were absorbed by the artisan. In the wind a shadow moved. The wind blew upon the battlefield and a raven seemingly out of nowhere hovered on Trevor Morris, coolly perching on his shoulder entirely as if she were an expected guest. The raven perched and sat, and nothing more – for the moment. The wind ceased the instant the raven folded her wings.

Trevor shielded his eyes against the wind; there was no way that guy could be making a second attack! He couldn't recover so quickly! A dark, depthless presence made itself known in Trevor's mind, triggering his senses without him even having to activate them. It was a powerful, absolute presence. One without age, limit, or definite purpose. A single raven flew from the darkness, and with an obvious sense of what it was doing, it landed neatly on Trevor's shoulder, and stared straight at him. “…raven? What is this? You're gonna get killed if you stick around,” Trevor said, followed in his own mind by, I can't believe I'm talking to a bird. “G`wan. Get outta here. Ravens are bad omens anyhow. You're not doing me any good.”

The raven clicked her beak, immutable. She didn't seem to be leaving any time soon, despite Trevor's words. She let out a dry caw and shook her tail with dignity, watching both Trevor and Christopher from Trevor's shoulder. A timeless wisdom lived in the bird's eyes – blue eyes with a myriad suns, like the night sky.

“A raven. How suitable,” Christopher mumbled, interrupting Trevor's plea for the safety of his winged friend. “They say the raven carries the souls of the dead until they are ready to be reborn. Unlike it's counter-part the crow, that actually delivers the soul to heaven or hell. It must know your life is about to be extinguished!” Christopher tightened his right fist until his knuckles ran white with the lack of blood flowing through them. He hated to admit it, but he barely had enough energy left in his body to remain standing let alone launch a second wave of the attack. And tapping into an astral bank of psi-energy to launch it would do more harm then good and undoubtedly remove Europe from the map. Something he wasn't ready to do while he was still standing on London's soil. It took a moment to dig his fingers from his palms, but the occultist flexed his hand to return the flow of blood to its proper place. Doing so did little to make him feel better about the choices he would soon have to make regarding Trevor and his feathery companion. After a second, the wind managed to fight against whatever had ceased it and wrapped its way around his fingertips with persistence and danced widely at the tips and spun around the palm of his hand. About to do what he was to do, Christopher ran his tongue across the front of his teeth and spat off to the side; loathing his decision.

Trevor skirted half a step backwards when the wind began to pick up again. It was carrying a foul miasma on it; another bad omen. Great. Just what he wanted. “I wouldn't do anything stupid if I were you,” he said, no longer noticing the bird on his shoulder. Azrael clicked her beak again as Trevor began a boastful speech. She briskly shook her tail as Trevor grinned, and scratched at his cheek. The archangel under raven form stood on one claw and scratched her ear with the other, opening her beak to take out the air in her ear. “You're wiped from that last attack, and we both know it. What good are you going to accomplish if you kill yourself? Think you can take me out in a suicide move?” Trevor grinned, and scratched at his cheek. “I'm flattered you think so highly of me. But I'll say right now that it's a waste of your time. You see, I'm the great Trevor Morris. There's nothing on this planet that can kill me”, at this point Azrael stopped scratching her ear and shook her wings, “and since you happen to fall into that category, I suggest you run away now before you destroy yourself and end up looking like an idiot. A dead idiot.”

Nice bluff. Of course, you're probably not any better off than he is. Trevor's smile faltered a bit, but he tried not to let it show. Now, let's see what he's up to…ball's in his court now, I guess. “Come on, mister big-shot. I'm waiting.”

Azrael tilted her head, watching Christopher to see his reaction at his rival's name. Her ebony feathers barely moved around her shoulders with the wind that was again starting to blow. Azrael snapped at Trevor's ear but she didn't catch his skin. She rose her head and waited.

Trevor watched the guy in the coat carefully, resisting the urge to blink. Whatever was going to happen would happen soon, and if he looked away for even a second, he could be dead. The bird was still perched on his shoulder, for some bizarre reason, not seeming to care at all that it could die at any given moment. Whatever. I couldn't care less about some crow. Trevor's eyes flicked over from the raven to his opponent. He was still gathering up energy for something. He'd have to do something about that before–

“Hold it right there! Both of you!” Both Trevor and the guy in the coat looked back at the street. Police cars were starting to line up, one after the other, and each one was packed with cops. Cops, Trevor noticed disdainfully, armed with guns. “The two of you are both under arrest for blowing up government property!” one of the policemen shouted. “Surrender now, or we'll shoot!”

“Perfect,” Trevor growled.

“What is the world coming to these days,” Christopher asked Trevor, a bit of an edge coming into his voice. “Blowing up government property. For a bunch of officials that work for said government, they arn't very perceptive.” Chris looked across his shoulder for a moment as the guns slowly began to level. He hated the way they stood behind their police cars like cowards, and cringed disdainfully at the blare of the bullhorn that split through the air like a knife through butter. “I guess they'll have to do,” he mumbled, forcing the wind to his fingertips. “It's time..”

A spiral beam of wind danced at the skin and flew from his hand, splitting a police car in half from the tail-gate to the hood, creating an equal sized top and bottom half at the feet of the cops. Before the police had time to react, a second corkscrew beam of wind split the center of an officers vest wide open, and blew it open from the inside out. When Chris lowered his hand from over his shoulder, he gave Trevor an ingenious grin as he brushed a hand efficiently through his hair with an uncharacteristic arrogant air. Enough. With them regrouping and trying to get their comrades innards from their laps, the occultist would be long gone.

Shrugging his coat up onto his shoulders, Christopher pulled a cigarette from his pocket and placed it between his lips. Tightening his fist, his hand ran white before it exploded into a bright violet flame he used as a lighter. Snuffing the fire out and blowing the smoke into the air, Christopher brought the stick from his mouth and snapped it through the air before erupting into a slew of black vulture feathers and making a straight line into Trevor's general direction.

This time, Trevor barely noticed, the raven left. A flock of dark feathers flew at Trevor like a spear, slicing through the air at breakneck speed. Everything around him seemed to grind to a halt as he spun on his heel to try and pivot out of the way. He managed to avoid being sliced to ribbons, but a single feather still nicked his face. It stung like crazy, like a fiery needle. A warm, wet trickle ran down his cheek, and collected on his chin for a moment before he wiped it away. Trevor righted himself, and watched as the feathers flew off into the distance, and disappeared from sight. He was glad the guy in the coat had left, but at the same time, he was rather pissed. Something about that guy struck him as being just a little bit off–aside from the fact that he was a slave of the darkness, of course.

…daddy? Why did…

…tell you when you're older…best not to worry for now…they'll take care of him.

But, he's…

Trevor blinked. The moment he came back from his weird vision, he was surrounded on all sides by guns. “Don't move an inch, or we'll shoot!” somebody shouted. He couldn't quite see who; there was a flashlight the size of Toledo being shined in his face. “We're taking you with us! Try any of that crap like the last guy, and you'll be dead before you know it!”

“Would you believe me if I said I said I had immunity from the Vatican?” Trevor asked flippantly. His answer came when the officers shoved him into the back of a van and started to cart him away.

Figures. That never worked.

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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