The Battle for New Millennium
Chapter 14: Darkness
Kasayda Kiz scaled the side of the building with deft and grace. Her feet found the rails and sides of the fire escape, and used them as footholds to get herself up and over. She had caught Killian on the roof with his focus on Abboe, who he had killing his own kind. Kiz needed to put an end to it. She put her fingers together on her right hand, and urged it to turn into a blade. She wanted to kill Killian before he could use his powers on her.
She knew the theory of mind-blocking, but she hadn’t had the experience to train with a psychic demon or human to properly train her mind. She readied her mind as best she could as she got to the rooftop.
Killian knew she was there a millisecond before she struck out. He parried her attack and turned so his cloak blocked her vision. He spun and lost control of Abboe (who was now looking around and wondering how he got to where he was around the mounds of dead demons). He had his hooked sword ready for Kiz’s next attack.
“Thought I had died?” Kiz asked, smiling.
“No,” Killian said. “You just bought me enough time to kill an entire hoard of demons.”
“You should have finished me off,” Kiz said. “I will make sure you are dragged back to hell to answer for your crimes.”
“You can try,” Killian said. “You shall turn to ash at the end of Jonah’s sword like Nilas Nil before you.”
In a blind rage, Kiz attacked Killian.
Gabriel hurried down the large tunnel that Tsu-Kata had burrowed into the earth. The tunnel went downwards in a twisting fashion. There were no forks or passages to distract him. Tsu-Kata didn’t want him to become astray. Finally, after minutes of rushing on top of rock and mud, Gabriel caught up to Tsu-Kata. She had her hands out as the dark tunnel extended in front of her. If Gabriel’s eyes weren’t enhanced to see in the dark, he would not be able to see her.
Tsu-Kata turned when Gabriel was near. “I heard you coming,” She said. “I was growing weary of taking my time with this tunnel. Now that you are hear I can speed things up.” She placed a hand flat against the ground. Behind her, the earth opened as a huge chasm formed. It plunged straight down. Gabriel could water rushing in the earth below.
“You can hear it, I am sure,” Tsu-Kata said. “This shall be your only chance to stop me from drowning your city.”
“The demons were successful!” Gabriel said. “The portal has been opened. There is no reason for you to kill the city.”
“You still do not know,” Tsu-Kata said, approaching Gabriel. “You and your friends believed me to be their contingency plan. You believe I only meant to drown the city if the foul Kasayda Kiz failed at her attempt to take it. No, Gabriel Cogs. I planned on drowning this city if she succeeded.”
Gabriel’s eyes grew wide. “Why?”
Tsu-Kata ran her hand along the cavern wall. A root appeared and spread towards him. Large, white flowers appeared in the root. “Eventually, the demons will burn the whole of this earth,” she said. “What then of my plants and flowers? What of my fresh waters and rocks? I can transform everything to how it should be with a wave of my hand, but they will just burn it again, turning it into a new Hell. There is no place in Hell for me. The only place for me is this Earth, and I intended to rule it in alone.”
“But all those people!” Gabriel said.
Tsu-Kata laughed. Her girlish giggle echoed through the cavern and sent shivers up Gabriel’s mechanical spine. “People are no worse than the demons,” she said. “Tell me, young one, do you know why the demons want this city so bad?”
Gabriel thought. Hundreds of answers rang through his head, but he didn’t think any were the one she was looking for. The city was a mecca of sin. It held great influence in the world. The richest and most powerful men held residences here. Not one answer was what Tsu-Kata had in mind.
“New Millennium,” Tsu-Kata said. “Is the portal. What Kasayda Kiz opened is but a preview of what will be open if the city falls to the demons. They will pour demons and fire and brimstone forth into your world, burning and killing and scorching a path to Eden. Even I do not have enough power to undo the destruction my own kind would cause. Do you understand now why I must drown your city?”
Gabriel let Tsu-Kata’s words wash over him. New Millennium was a portal of the demons? Then the city was doomed to begin with!
“There is no saving your city,” Tsu-Kata said, approaching Gabriel once more. “All that is left is for you to join me in wiping this foul place from the earth.”
Jonah looked frantically for Kasayda Kiz amongst the fighting. He cut a demon’s head off with a single slash, still relishing that the power that Barachiel was keeping his tired body standing. He decided to stop scanning with his eyes, and instead looked to Barachiel.
No sooner than he pictured Kasayda Kiz’s aura in his minds eye did he lock onto her. He felt her aura intertwined with Killian’s, which must be why it was so easy to find since Barachiel had wanted to kill Killian since Jonah had met him. He knew he’d find Killian and Kiz two buildings south and one east. They were right next to the portal. Jonah turned in their direction when a huge demon stepped out in front of him. Two spiked claws were on either hand. It was Kiz’s henchman. The one she called Abboe.
“Where is you coward friend?” he shouted, spittle flying from his lips.
“If you’re looking for a fight: I’m standing right here,” Jonah said. “I promise to make your death quick.”
Abboe eyed Jonah’s sword. There seemed to be a fear of it in his eyes. Jonah thought he’d back off for a moment, but instead he flung his fist into the ground. Jonah would have been in the way if he hadn’t leapt out of the way in time. His other spike came in from the side, and Jonah got his shield up with time to spare. Abboe hit with a shower of white sparks and power.
Barachiel hungered for this one, and Jonah meant to abide his sword’s wishes. He leapt past the arms of the demon and towards its chest. It bellowed fiercely, brought both his arms into the air, and brought them down, quickly.
The ground shook with Abboe’s double-handed slam. The street cracked and broke. Jonah was safe as he flew through the air toward Abboe, Barachiel’s power giving his leap more height than humanly possible. He took a page from Abboe’s book, and brought Barachiel down with both hands, jamming the sword into Abboe between his large, yellow eyes. His feet landed on either side of the large demon’s neck, and he pulled Barachiel back out as the wound began to smolder and smoke.
Abboe bellowed once more, before falling to the ground. He shook the earth for the last time as his body came to rest. His head burned and turned to ash. His body followed. Jonah once again raced towards the aura of Killian and Kiz like a beacon.
Rock grew weary as he fought off the demon hoards. He lost track of how many of his men were slain. He used up the last clip of bullets and tossed his assault rifle to the ground, but the demons kept coming. He acted quickly, and picked up a huge demon sword from the ground. As he did, more demons came into his view. There weren’t as many bullets flying past him, so he guessed he wasn’t the only one out of bullets.
He swung the large, black-metal sword into an oncoming demon, and cut into the meat between his ribs. He pulled the sword out with a great heave and got another in the neck, nearly cutting the thick demon through. He swung once more, putting the sword through the rib cage and out the back of another. The demon fell with the sword with it. Four more demons were approaching fast, but Rock couldn’t get the sword free from the dead demon’s ribcage.
The quartet of demons was almost on him when an arrow flew through the air and hit one in the eye. The demon fell to the ground, shredding the asphalt as his body skidded to a stop.
“Use the sword on your back!” a woman’s voice shouted.
Rock had forgotten that he still had his father’s sword! He unsheathed it and swung it. It was much lighter than the demon’s sword, and cut through the air swiftly. He opened a demon’s throat out and let the blood spill with ease. His father’s sword an an unnatural sharpness to it. Rock noticed as he cut the head from a demon’s shoulders as if it were butter. The fourth demon was killed when an arrow entered his neck. The demon clawed at it as he fell to the ground.
Rock turned to thank the arrow slinger, and was surprised to see Mona standing in front of him. A quiver of many arrows was strapped to her back. Her shirt was sleeveless, and she wore black fatigues for pants. “Mona!” Rock said. “What on earth are you doing?”
“You’re not the only one who can pick up an old hobby,” Mona said, pulling another arrow from her quiver. “How are we looking here?”
“Horrible,” Rock said. “I don’t even know how many we killed, but they just keep on coming. Our only hope is to keep moving and killing. The rest we have to leave to Jonah. We have to trust that he’ll take the head -”
“And the body will die?”
“I hope so, Mona. I really do.”
Gabriel stared at the approaching form of Tsu-Kata, not knowing what to do. She glowed with an innocent beauty that he just couldn’t describe; not even in his own mind. She smiled as she approached. He weight her ultimatum in his head. She wanted to drown New Millennium; no matter if Jonah won or lost against the Kasayda Kiz.
“You want your body back,” Tsu-Kata said. “Do you not agree? I can give it to you. I can make you stronger than what you were before. I can make you into whatever you wish. All you have to do is join me in my crusade against both the demons and humans. You can always be at my side, stronger than any human or demon in existence. What say you, Gabriel Cogs?”
Gabriel couldn’t speak. He was too captivated by Tsu-Kata and her offer. She came in close. He could feel her healing aura. All he had to do was ask and his body would be given back to him. He could be human again. He could feel the breeze on his bare skin. The sand between his toes. He would be able to make love again. The cost of what Gabriel had dreamed about was the lives of every man, woman, and child in New Millennium.
His decision was an easy one to make.
Gabriel brought his fist into Tsu-Kata’s guy and extended his blade. He did it quickly, and didn’t stop looking her in the eyes as he did it, as not to warn the ancient demoness of his intent. The power-sword extended up into her chest and all the way up to her neck. The look of betrayal in her eyes was one Gabriel knew he would never forget as he urged power into his sword. Red tears fell from Tsu-Kata’s cheeks as Gabriel’s power burned her from the inside. The smell of burning demonflesh was horrid; but Gabriel didn’t look away in case Tsu-Kata had any more tricks left, but she was done with deception and trickery. Her body fell to the ground, still aflame.
Once dead, the charade of the timid girl in the white and blue robe faded. All that was left was the husk of an old lady in tattered, yellowed robes. Gabriel lowered his head before leaving the tunnel of Tsu-Kata.
Killian needed Kiz to drop her mental guard so he could search her mind to find out to destroy the portal. Her rage had blinded her senses as he intended, but she kept the information well hidden amongst her killing frenzy aimed at Killian and the thoughts of revenge her lost love, Nilas Nil.
Kasayda Kiz’s fingers were like flying knives as the scratched the air in front of Killian’s face. He threw a few of his black shrapnel like blades, but Kiz dodged easily. He knew she wouldn’t kill him. She would rather send him back to take his punishment rather than give him the release that death would offer.
Killian swung his sword downwards, attempting to cleave as much flesh from the demoness as possible. He only met the side of her arm, which she had transmuted into steel. Kiz took advantage, used two of the fingers on her left hand like spears, and pierced Killian above his gut. She was an experienced fighter and knew this would not kill. Killian faltered, and went down to one knee.
“It is time you answered for your treasons,” Kiz said, approaching Killian with her right hand raised. She had her fingers together and made it into a sharp blade. “I will cut your legs from your body and burn the wounds shut with hellfire, so you cannot run again. I will take your hands, and burn those wounds shut as well. You shall not raise your sword against a fellow demon again. I will carry you back to your masters humbled and humiliated. I shall smile as they begin your torture. You shall live out your days in pain, knowing that it was I who killed you and your friend, Jonah Judge, in the name of revenge for Nilas Nil.”
“Nilas Nil deserved worse than the death he received!” Killian spat.
Kiz was enraged. She raised her hand, meaning to maim as much as the pathetic demon who kneeled before her without killing him completely. Her arm came down in a swinging motion, but it was met by the white sword of Jonah Judge.
Jonah swung sideways, and Kiz had to sidestep. One small cut from that sword would sap her power and begin to burn her flesh and eventually her insides. She wore no body armor, because she needed to her body free to move and shift if need be. But she was fast, and probably faster than this Jonah Judge.
“You finally came to me,” Kiz said. “I did this all for you, you know. I wanted to be the one to get your attention. The one to kill your city. The one who drew you out and put an end to your breath.”
Jonah didn’t speak. He came back at Kiz with another barrage, swinging his sword wildly. She easily dodged the blade, and swung her arm over it, leaving four scratches across Jonah’s silver breastplate. Dark red blood began to ooze under it.
“So the warrior can be injured after all,” Kiz said with a smirk. She began her assault anew as Jonah slowed due to his wounds and weariness. She urged a spike into the end of her foot, and kicked out towards Jonah, leaving a hole in his outer thigh. She laughed as she pulled the bloody spike out. She turned her right hand into thorny tendrils, and pieced both of his shoulders. His majestic, white sword fell to the ground with a clang.
“So ends the short life of the great warrior,” Kiz said. “In the end, you were barely able to scratch me. I would have had more trouble killing a baby. I intend to take my time dismantling this city and killing each and every one of its inhabitants. The only person you have to thank for their deaths is your-”
Kasayda Kiz was interrupted by a pain in her stomach. She looked down to see a shining blade protruding from the scar she received from Abboe’s spike earlier. She craned and twisted her neck to see behind her. She saw Jonah Judge in his white adornments holding the hilt of his sword. “Impossible,” she breathed as her insides began to boil. She turned back around to see Jonah Judge still caught up in her tendrils, waiting to be executed. The image shimmered and faltered as Killian shed his guise of Jonah. It had been Killian she fought. He must have gotten in her mind her after invoking her rage by mentioning Nilas Nil.
Kiz closed her eyes and pictured Nilas Nil’s naked form. As Jonah brought his sword upwards, splitting her open from stomach to neck, it would be the last image she would see.
Killian fell to the ground as Kasayda Kiz turned to ash. Jonah stepped over her smoldering body to the one of his friend. He lay on the rooftop bleeding from many wounds. “Killian!” Jonah shouted, shaking him. “Stay with me.”
“I’m still here,” Killian said. “No demon will allow me to die before I can answer for my treason.”
“She looked like she was about to kill you,” Jonah said, motioning towards the pile of smoking ash that was Kasayda Kiz moments ago.
Killian laughed before coughing. “Only because she thought I was you,” he said. “I knew you were on your way, and I needed to buy some time so I can probe her mind. It took every ounce of power I had to hold the illusion while she fought me, but I got what I needed.”
“What?” Jonah asked. “You know how to close the portal?!”
“She thought it once your sword pierced her belly,” Killian said. “That you would never figure it you. It’s so simple! The pillars are weakest where they meet the earth. That is where the connection between the earth and Hell is strongest as well. If you can shatter the bottommost brick of one of the pillars, the portal will collapse.”
Jonah looked towards the direction of the portal. He was so close. Fires were erupting everywhere, and he could here screaming and fighting as well. “You need help,” Jonah said, looking back towards his friend. “I’ll make sure -”
“Close the portal first!” Killian snapped. “I will heal! My demonic blood is already beginning to knit my wounds. All I need is time and I will heal. Go. You are the only one who can close it!”
Jonah looked at Killian once more and knew he was right. “Stay hidden up here,” Jonah said. “I’ll be back for you once this is over.”
Killian nodded once, and Jonah leapt form the side of the building. Killian stopped pretending he was OK, and relaxed his body. Blood instantly started flowing from the various wounds that Kiz had given him. He moved his hand over his body and began using what little power he had left to heal, hoping he had enough left in him.
Jonah ran through the carnage and fire. Anyone fit to fight was doing so against the hoard of demons that still emerged from the portal. They fought not knowing their leader had been killed just minutes ago. Jonah ran with his sword in his right hand, cutting any demon in his way. He didn’t have time for any drawn out fight.
Jonah passed his cousin Rock, who was fighting with his father’s sword. Jonah allowed himself a smile at the sight of it. It seemed Rock had finally given up hiding from his fate.
Jonah passed Mona, who only had a few arrows left in her quiver, but was aiming carefully, and finding her mark each time. Jonah passed many demons with arrows in their heads or necks.
Jonah passed Jackson Girard, who was fighting furiously despite looking injured and exhausted. Jonah didn’t think he’d last much longer if the portal stayed open. He held a demon’s sword in each hand, and was slashing wildly and precisely at anything that came his way.
Jonah passed a large, dark-skinned man wearing black who was swinging a large hammer at the winged demons in the air, splattering them against the ground or buildings. He shouted to a group of men behind him who took his orders without question.
Jonah passed Willow Bowman, who was shouting orders as well at anyone who could hear him. She fired a pistol into the sky at the flying demons. She tossed it to the side when her last clip ran out, and picked up a large knife from the ground and readied herself for the first demon that came her way.
Jonah passed Gabriel Cogs, who was firing blasts of energy into the oncoming demons. Jonah smiled again. It seemed Gabriel was successful in dealing with Tsu-Kata. It was all the more reason for him to end it as soon as possible. If he closed the portal, their victory would be complete.
Jonah reached down as he ran, aware that everyone he had passed was watching him. How could they not watch the warrior in silver and white? He cut a belt of grenades free from a fallen Wolf, and said a silent apology for not being more gentle about it. There wasn’t much time for mourning. If he lived, there would be plenty of time for it later.
Jonah approached the portal, and readied his body for the assault from the gathering demons.
Killian repaired his body until he had no power left to heal. He would have to rest for a bit and let time do some of the work. He relaxed once more and was glad that he was able to at least stop the bleeding from his various wounds. Once Jonah closed the portal, he’d have the time he needed.
“I was hoping it would not be this easy,” a dark voice Killian recognized said. His blood stopped in his veins. “I longed for a fight.”
“Kass,” Killian said. “They sent you after all.”
“Do not sound so sad, little brother,” Kass said. “With your return I shall be granted a last name.”
Killian tried to move to get off the roof, but he couldn’t. His legs and arms were frozen. “I have had you locked up for a full minute before I showed myself,” Kass said. He was much bigger than Killian remembered. He had the same black skin and yellow eyes, but he had become broader. He had a red axe strapped to his back that Killian didn’t recognize. It looked as if his brother had been training while he was on earth.
Killian didn’t speak. He knew there were no words that would stop his brother, Kass, from taking him back to Hell. Instead, he closed his eyes and focused his mind while Kass unraveled a long length of barbed rope.
Jonah slashed at one last demon as he made his way to the pillar of the portal. There seemed to be a temporary reprieve from the onslaught, and Jonah was able to use it to get the belt of grenades around the pillar. He moved to pull a pin from one when he was thrown backwards.
Jonah focused his power and reformed the silver shield as a second attack came. The whip of a demoness hit the shield and threw off white sparks as it lashed across it. Jonah looked as his grenades lay on the pillar, useless while he fought.
The whip came cracking down again. This time, Jonah wasn’t able to block it, and it wrapped around his right arm. The whip grew red hot, and began to burn though the sleeve of the tunic of Barachiel. His arm was also immobilized thanks to the demonic power. He was powerless to stop the demons.
Jonah remembered the lessons he had gotten from Archer Post and then later from Killian. He took a deep breath, focused his mind, and began moving his chi. He felt the power of Barachiel in his right hand. He brought it into his body. He felt it as it passed through his chest and into his right arm. He let the form of the shield fade as he aimed his outstretched hand. He aimed it at the demoness holding him captive, but he moved it lower and towards the right instead, aiming for the grenade belt that had yet to be moved.
A spear of white light flew from Jonah’s hand. It flew through the air and hit the grenade belt. The explosion was instant. Jonah reformed his shield as pieces of flaming rock and soil pelted all around him. The demoness that held him was torn apart by flame and shrapnel. When it was over, Jonah looked as the portal began collapsing.
What happened next happened too quickly for Jonah to react.
He was once again thrown backwards by an unseen force. He sat among the dead unable to move, and wondered if he had somehow been killed himself. He watched in horror as a large, black-skinned demon rushed back into the portal to hell. On his shoulder was Killian, bound with barbed rope. A single thought came from Killian’s mind and into Jonah’s.
“DO NOT COME FOR ME!”
Once Killian and his captor were gone, the portal collapsed and New Millennium was plunged into complete darkness.
Six Months Later
New Millennium was still going through a long recovery following the Night of The Demon, and so was The Post six months after Kasayda Kiz opened the portal to Hell. The Judge Corporation worked tirelessly to restore lights and power to the large city. Those that survived the assault were resolute never to let it happen again. Now that The Post knew that New Millennium was a portal, they also worked effortlessly to keep the demons from getting it.
The Wolves remained disbanded, and the Department of Paranormal Activity took on all those who wanted to join. After the Night of The Demon, they had a well deserved change of name. The sign outside now read: The Post. Their motives hadn’t been questioned again.
“How is the new class of trainees?” Jonah asked his cousin Rock as they walked down the halls of The Post’s headquarters. “I heard they’re showing a lot of promise.”
“They are,” Rock replied. He still walked with his father’s sword on his back. Much like Jonah and Barachiel. “I promoted Biggs, by the way. He’s now working directly under me.”
“The guy with the sledgehammer?” Jonah asked. “I saw him fighting the demons. I had a feeling about him.”
“He thinks the world of you,” Rock said. “He’s a great fighter too. He brought in two rival gangs into The Post. They’ll follow him into anything.” Rock was trying to lift his cousin’s spirits. He knew that he was still beating himself up about losing Killian during the battle.
“Archer Post told me something once,” Jonah said. “He said: Those who would fight against evil will gather around the sword. Something to that effect anyway.”
Rock nodded and walked on beside his cousin.
Gabriel walked towards the same room as Jonah and Rock, but he walked alone. He was still clad in armor, but he did not have his full array of weaponry on him while inside The Post. The thoughts of Tsu-Kata still haunted him in his dreams, but it was happening less and less. He had been training his mind in meditation with Jackson Girard, who had joined them as well. He didn’t have the flair to be in the movies anymore it seemed, and he turned out to be a great asset to have on board.
Gabriel flexed his left hand. He knew his mind sent electrical impulses to the mechanical arm to do his bidding, but it still didn’t feel like a human arm. Even after being in the body for over a year, it still felt alien to him. Perhaps it always would, and that meant he still held some sense of his humanity.
Tsu-Kata had offered to give him his body back, but he wasn’t willing to pay the price. That also made him feel a bit more human, and he walked to meet the others.
Jonah sat down at the table next to Rock. Willow and Mona were already there, and Gabriel had come in as they did. Jackson Girard came in last and took a seat too. Jonah considered having Rock call Tyrone, but decided against having him in these meetings for now. Jonah got the feeling that he’d be involved soon enough. He didn’t know how he knew, but he knew nonetheless.
They were all part of The Post, but they shared something more. Jonah didn’t know how to even explain it to himself, but he knew this group had something in common. There was some kind of spark in them. It was in the way Archer Post discussed those who would gather around the sword. He felt that Post wasn’t specifically talking about the army of people that came to back him up when the demons came into New Millennium. He had a feeling he meant those who would fight closely by him.
He had felt that same spark in Killian as well.
“I have something to say,” Jonah said, heavily. “It’s been weighing on me since The Night of The Demon. I don’t expect that you will all support me, and I’ll listen to all of you after I’ve said what I want to say.”
Jonah looked around the room. Each of them were staring into his face and waiting for him to speak. Jonah decided it was time to finally tell them all what he’d been planning on doing for the last six months. He took a breath and readied himself.
“I’m going to bring Killian back.”