The Battle for New Millennium
Chapter 10: The Reprieve
“I’m pulling the plug on The Wolves,” Mayor Louis told Rock Judge without so much as a hello.
“You can’t!” Rock exclaimed.
“Give me a good reason not too!” Mayor Louis said. “You and your crew raided a building where a known mass murderer was hiding, didn’t call the police, and didn’t find one body of the missing! On top of that, we lost seventeen police officers the other night who were inadequately armed when The Wolves are armed to the teeth!”
“With all due respect, Mayor Louis, the funding of the NMPD arms budget has nothing to do with -”
“Do not tell me what has nothing to do with me or my city!” Mayor Louis snapped. “As of right now the New Millennium Wolves are no more.”
“Furthermore, your facilities, vehicles, and weaponry are not property of the City of New Millennium. Your employees are more than welcome to apply for jobs with the New Millennium Police, but they are unemployed as if right now. We will need bodies for our new SWAT team, so I encourage them to apply. We expect you to be vacated completely within thirty six hours so we may evaluate.”
“In thirty six hours there may not be a New Millennium!” Rock snapped, finally losing his composure.
“Are you threatening my city?!” Mayor Louis asked. “I think I have put up with the Judges attempting to run this town for far too long.”
“I’m not threatening,” Rock said, trying to gain some ounce of calmness. “A device has been stolen. One that will cause a mass blackout in New Millennium. Once the blackout starts, our city will be at war.”
“Are you referring to the device that the DPA told me they have no knowledge of?” Mayor Louis asked. “The one that this Rev character used to hold my city hostage? And a blackout?! That’s convenient seeing as your cousin is trying to gain a monopoly over my city’s power grids. How much does he gain by some unknown enemy threatening the city’s power?”
“That’s not what this is about!” Rock said, losing the battle to calm himself. “Jonah’s wanted nothing more than to save this city. By hindering him you’re giving it to the enemy!”
“Don’t tell me how to run my city,” Mayor Louis said. “In light of recent events, I am declaring martial law. If you, Jonah, or any of his Post associates get out of line, you’ll find yourself in a cell. Do I make myself clear?”
“Good,” The Mayor said, turning towards the window and looking out upon the city’s early afternoon sky. “Get out of my office. We’re done here.”
Rock turned to leave.
“Mr. Judge,” Mayor Louis said, stopping Rock before he reached the door. “Don’t apply to work for the NMPD.”
Gabriel swung his new sword. Isaac Sands and the other DPA engineers designed a new one; and now that his old one was gone, he had the perfect opportunity to try it out. The new power-sword had a steel and copper blade that was heavy and sharp. When he poured his power into it, it glowed bright blue. It was heavier than the last one, but Gabriel welcomed the extra weight in his hand. It felt good to wield.
The demoness Tsu-Kata stayed in the forefront of Gabriel’s thoughts. He knew who and what she was, but he couldn’t stop feeling some sort of compassion towards her. She did, after all, fixed his heart after his own body failed at healing itself. Even Dr. Sands said that his body was stronger and he was communicating with his synthetic limbs and organs better than ever.
“Need a sparring partner?” Jonah asked, entering the dojo. Gabriel had been using it to practice with his new sword and hard-power shield.
“Not at all,” Gabriel said. His spirits had risen a bit since his meeting with Tsu-Kata. He had a clean bill of health from a very skeptical Dr. Sands, and he felt better than he had in a long time.
Jonah held his sword, Barachiel, in front of him in both hands. Gabriel thought he felt a stirring in the air as he did so, but shrugged it off. He was always more physical than spiritual.
“Feeling better?” Jonah asked.
“Much,” Gabriel replied. He lunged at Jonah, swinging his sword. He knew he could move faster than Jonah with his mechanical legs, but he slowed to keep the fight fair. He was surprised when he found himself on his back.
“You’re fast, but your momentum can betray you,” Jonah said.
“So it has,” Gabriel said, getting back to his feet. “You seem awfully relaxed seeing as the city is about to be destroyed.”
“Sparring relaxes my mind,” Jonah said. “I’m hoping it does the same for you. There is much to discuss.”
“Like what?” Gabriel asked, dodging a thrust of Jonah’s easily.
“You leaving the city,” Jonah said.
Gabriel killed the power to his sword and let it collapse. “Leave the city?” Gabriel asked. “I know it’s been a while since I’ve been at one hundred percent, but I’m ready to fight. I’m not going to let you keep me on the sidelines!”
“You don’t understand,” Jonah said, sheathing Barachiel. “We don’t know where Kiz is hiding Rev’s device and what effect it will have on you if we fail to stop her from using it. If Dr. Sands is right, we are looking at everything electrical in New Millennium being completely useless if we can’t stop her. Not even the radios will work.”
“There’s a chance it won’t harm me,” Gabriel said. “Rev didn’t seem concerned about it when he tried to set it off.”
“Rev was crazy,” Jonah said. “And he could have had extra protection. Sands still says we’re years behind understanding the technology Rev used in his own suit of armor.”
“Still,” Gabriel said. “You can’t make me sit this one out.”
“I’m not asking you to sit anything out,” Jonah said. “We believe that Tsu-Kata is out of the city. The Judge Corp logs seismic activity around New Millennium. We had a growing tunnel tracked to the other side of the West River. You’ve faced off against her before. I want you to go after her again. This time, I need you to finish her off.”
Gabriel stared into the hardened face of Jonah Judge, not knowing how to react.
“Where’s Girard now?” Rock asked. He came to the DPA to talk to Willow Bowman about the Wolves being shut down, but received word that a celebrity had come to them in the early morning hours.
“He’s recovering,” Willow said. “He was beat up pretty badly. He gave us a lot of information before he passed out, though. He also brought a case of Sin.”
“Sin,” Rock repeated. “Any idea how it’s getting into the city?”
“Geist,” Jonah said, entering the room. Barachiel was still strapped to his back. He didn’t go far without it much anymore. “One of the Judge’s corporation’s biggest enemies.”
“Jonah,” Rock said, turning to his cousin. “Look -”
“Don’t say anything,” Jonah said. “I understand. I heard about what happened to The Wolves. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be,” Rock said. “It was coming. Louis just needed an excuse. It was a sorry one, but he used it. There’s nothing to be done now.”
“We’re trying to track Kiz,” Willow said, eager to be done with Jonah and Rock’s apologies. “But so far we’ve come up with nothing. She’s been quiet.”
“We’ve been too distracted,” Jonah said. “With the airport attack, the aftermath of Kiz’s attack here, and Tsu-Kata. It’s all designed to break us.”
“This is war,” Rock said. “This is what The Post was warning about for all those years. This is what our fathers wanted us prepared for.”
“We aren’t completely screwed yet,” Willow said. “The DPA is as good as gone. With The Wolves shut down, it’s only a matter of time before Louis comes up with some legal loophole to shut us down next.”
“Agreed,” Jonah said. “We have to operate under the assumption that Mayor Louis may have had some outside influence. This all seems odd.”
“Like who?” Rock asked.
“Damien Geist, for one,” Jonah said. “Girard said he interrogated him himself about the Sin shipments. He has the power to figuratively slap the mayor around.”
“What are we doing about the Sin?” Rock asked.
“Nothing as of yet,” Willow said. “We’re stretched too thin. If there’s no city there’s no reason to police it.”
“I agree,” Rock said. “Our efforts should be finding this Kiz and stopping her before she uses this device. The Sin can come later.”
“I’m working with Killian on tracking Kiz,” Jonah said. “He’s healed, and we’ll be combing the city for the device. I’ll have to take care of Kiz and any muscle she may have backing her up. There’s no way around it. I’m the only one Barachiel will share the power to stop the demons with.”
“What can I do to help?” Rock asked.
“Lead,” Jonah said. “You’re a born leader. If we fail to find the device, we’ll need to mount an offensive at whatever they’ll be throwing at us. How many of The Wolves are left?”
“None,” Rock said. “The mayor had them laid off effective immediately. They’ve already been sent packing.”
“Then get whoever you can,” Willow said. “Break into the The Wolves facilities and take what you can. We’re not giving up yet. I’ll make sure they have a place here.”
“Where?” Rock asked. “From you you tell me, the DPA is as dead as the Wolves.”
“We’re all The Post,” Willow said. “And It’s about time we come out into the open. We need your leadership. Can you finally let go of your grudge and be part of it?”
Rock sighed and leaned on the table. “Demons came to my city and threaten its people,” Rock said. “I don’t see how I can fight against it any longer. I’m in for whatever may come.”
Willow Bowman tightened her flak jacket and put her gun into her hip holster. They had a little over half a day left to find Kasayda Kiz and stop her. If information from Tsu-Kata and Jackson Girard could be accurate. The information had come from the enemy while Gabriel and Girard were under duress, so Willow took it all with a grain of salt.
One thing had made itself clear: The enemy had multiple factions and were not working tandem with each other. Gabriel had told them that Tsu-Kata seemed like she didn’t care much for Kiz and her plans, and Geist was preparing in case of Kiz’s failure. This was good for The Post. Where the enemy was weak, they were strong. Willow remembered Archer Post telling her that those who gathered around Jonah would be a force the would not easily be stopped.
“Our strength lies in our ability to work together,” Archer said as the two lay in bed. He was only with her a short period of time, but he had made every bit of it count, especially when he and Willow could be alone together. Willow guessed it had something to do with Archer’s knowledge of how long he had left.
“We could be stronger,” Willow said, not bothering to cover her bare breasts with the bed sheet. She’d never been closed minded in that regarded. It was probably what made her so endearing to Post when she made the pass at him soon after he was found. “We can find a way to keep you with us. We could find a way to extend your life force.”
“No,” Archer said. “That is the kind of talk that leads people into the arms of our enemy. My purpose was clear when I chose to enter chamber. I was to come to the future and deliver Barachiel to its rightful owner. I used Barachiel’s power to keep me asleep but alive for five centuries. Now that Jonah is in control of the sacred blade, it is time for me to sleep again. This time for good.”
Willow put her head down. She couldn’t bare to look at Archer’s face as he spoke of his imminent death so passively, as if it were a sunset.
“Do not cry,” Archer said, lifting Willow’s chin. “I’ve been dealt pain before. The pain of death will be as a soft rain compared to what I faced against the forces of armageddon. Death is but a doorway into the unknown. We are energy, Willow. Our bodies are merely vessels for that energy. We can be whatever we want once we reach the next realm.”
“Eden?” Willow asked. She had heard him speak of it before.
“Yes,” Archer said. “Eden. It’s what our enemy wants to destroy, but they need to take the Earth before they can. That is why we fight.”
“If your time is so limited, then we shouldn’t waste it talking,” Willow said.
“You are right,” Archer replied. He took her back in his arms once again, for the final time.
“We are nearly ready,” Kasayda Kiz said as the sun broke the horizon. She stood atop Jano Xing’s penthouse roof.
“Good,” said Jano Xing, looking at Kiz through his folded fingers. “You did well concealing yourself. I highly doubt they will be able to stop the invasion. New Millennium shall be ours once more.”
“No thanks to Tsu-Kata,” Kiz said. “She let two of those bastards go. They were in her nest while the others lined themselves up outside.”
“We do not question the motives of one so ancient as Tsu-Kata,” Xing said. “We are fortunate enough that she was willing to help for her own amusement. She is now heading back into the earth where she will wait for us to take over the city. She is looking forward to the fall of the human race.”
“I do not question,” Kiz said. “I am only making an observation. We could have been done with the mechanical man and the warrior’s cousin.”
“Such things matter not,” Xing said. “Soon enough, they will die along with the rest of them. We will only open a fraction of the portal New Millennium is capable of opening, but it will still be too much for them to handle. When they see our forces, they will hide in their basements until we come to consume them one by one. There is not a man, woman, or child that will be spared.”
“Yes,” Kiz said, he smile widening. “Be begin tonight. Once the sun drops below the horizon, we shall plunge this city into darkness and death. Dusk marks the end of mankind and the beginning of the reign of the demon.”