Prologue – The Death of Archer Post
Chapter 1: The Coming of Tsu-Kata
Chatper 2: Jackson Girard
Chapter 3: The Broken Calm
Chapter 4: Kiz’s Gambit
Chapter 5: Aftermath
Chapter 6: The Black Plague
Chapter 7: The Den of Tsu-kata
Chapter 8: Doubt
Chapter 9: Sin
Chapter 10: The Reprieve
Chapter 11: The Dusk of Man
Chapter 12: The Night of the Demon
Chapter 13 – Siege
Chapter 14: Darkness + Epilogue
Tag Archives: battle
Prologue – The Death of Archer Post
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.”
The Battle for New Millennium
Chapter 13: Siege
Jackson Girard blindly groped the wall and made his way down the hall of the Department of Paranormal Activity. He had come here after being nearly killed by Tzu Lee after being tortured by what he can only describe as an upper echelon demon. He knew that the DPA was a front of The Post from his deceased trainer, Julian, and he would be safe once he was inside their walls. Now that the power was out he could see where he erred.
Jackson’s recovery was quick. He knew of reiki and its healing abilities. He had become a master of his own body in this regards under the of tutelage Julian. While in the care of the DPA nurses, he focused his chi into his body and used that focused chi to help aid in the healing of his various wounds. His pride needed it more than anything else.
They took him, bound him, humiliated, and tortured him. When they were done, the Tzu brothers took him and made him fight for his freedom. A freedom they didn’t plan on giving him whether or not he won the fight against the now dead monster in man-flesh, Tzu Lee. He was forced to poison and kill Lee to earn his freedom. Lee’s brother, Son, had no chance of beating Jackson. Jackson left him in the very same cell they kept him in to either rot or be found by his demonic masters.
Jackson did this in the name of vengeance and did not feel the slightest pang of guilt.
The world was no longer in black and white for Jackson Girard. Since the day he put on his mask, he had beaten bullies, drug dealers, rapists, and other sinners. He had gotten mixed up into a drug ring serving demonic masters and selling demon’s blood. On the street they called it Sin. Jackson couldn’t think of a more fitting word.
Now he was in the heart of The Post. Most thought of The Post as some kind of relic of the Dark Times. When the world recovered from the brink of armageddon, The Post remained vigilant as the rest of the world opted to forget. This was something Julian would say often, but Jackson never put much thought into these statements. Now he knew them to be fact.
The scene in the DPA wasn’t exactly pandemonium, but it wasn’t calm either. Those who seemed to have some kind of purpose ran around with green glowing sticks or candles. It was clear that the power to the building was not only shut off, but nothing electronic would work either. It took the better part of a half hour for Jackson to find his way out of the building.
Once outside, Jackson noticed the lights in all of the buildings were off. The city was blackened, save for the red glow that was emanating from somewhere in the city. Jackson followed that glow. He felt as if the city needed his help.
Mayor Louis looked out his large window into the darkness of New Millennium. Fires were beginning to spring out around the red glow that emanated from the heart of his city. Smoke billowed into the skies as demons poured fourth in order to bring about a repeat of the Dark Times he claimed were falsified on many occasions, but he knew a truth he kept to himself.
“It is beautiful,” the voice of Damien Geist said from the opposite side of the office. “I always dreamed seeing the Night of The Demon to fruition.”
“What do you want?” Mayor Louis asked, turning from the window.
“Is that any way to speak to your associate?” Geist asked.
Mayor Louis shrunk in his chair. It was true that he had struck a bargain with Geist to help put The Post off its game while he made his plans in the city, but Louis was told that he would be able to swoop in and become a hero. It seemed now that he had been lied to.
“What are you?” Mayor Louis asked.
“What am I?” Damien Geist asked. “I am what you fear the most, Mayor Louis. I am the rider in black. The legion of death. The harbinger of the Dark Times returned. Call me what you will. Any fearful title you can think of is apt.”
“Demon,” Louis gasped. “So it’s all true!”
“Yes,” Geist crooned. “Now you see who you traded your city to. Not me, but the legion behind me. The portal is open and the city is ours. I came to end our short association.”
Mayor Louis looked stupidly into the grinning face of Geist.
“Do not act as if you do not know what this entails,” Geist said, removing a large knife from his the inside of his jacket. The hilt looked as if it were made of bone, and the metal blade looked as if it were surrounded by black flesh. It may have been a trick of the red light, but it looked as if the flesh around the blade was moving. “I have other business to attend to on this night. It would be best to get this over with quickly.”
Mayor Louis fell backwards out of his chair and slunk against he wall. “No!” he screamed. “Not like this!”
“Please,” Geist said, approaching the cowering mayor of New Millennium. “I could have sent one my associates to dispatch you, as I have others, but I paid you the respect of doing this myself. You can at least be curtesy and die with your dignity intact. You helped to doom your city. Do not pretend as if you do not deserve this fate.”
The mayor’s body wouldn’t obey him as Geist approached. He kicked his feet as his bladder let loose. Geist promised him glory as they planned to attack the airport. He promised that he’d be held up as the hero of New Millennium after shutting down that Post outfit keeping the city pure of its influence.
“So be it,” Geist said as he inched the blade towards Mayor Louis’ throat. “Die as a coward.”
Damien Geist left when his job was done. His flesh and bone blade was saftely concealed once again, whispering its wisdom into his dark soul. He met his female compatriot, Arhea, on the other side of the Mayor’s office door.
“Did it go well?” Ahrea asked.
“It is done,” Geist said. “The Mayor of these wretched people is no more.”
“That is good,” Ahrea said. “What is our next move?”
“We wait,” Geist said, walking down the hall towards the outside. The hall was black, but he was able to see as if were the brightest of days. “Kasayda Kiz has been successful thus far.”
“You sound disappointed,” Ahrea said.
“Do I?” Asked Geist.
“Are you not jealous that Kasayda Kiz was chosen to bring about the Night of the Demon?” Ahrea asked.
“I am not,” Geist said, giving Ahrea a sideways look. “The Night of the Demon was an inevitability. I wish I had a bigger part to play, this is true, but I am content fulfilling my master’s plans. I will wait and see how Kiz fairs.”
“And what of the human actor?” Ahrea asked. “He knows much about you, does he not?”
“He has already gone to The Post,” Geist said, leaving City Hall. “It is no matter. I have sent Abe to kill him. I shall deal with The Post when I am ordered to do so. Until then, we wait.”
Jackson made his way to the heart of the battle. Men in riot gear and body armor were shooting into the oncoming demons. Demons flew past or into the fray, killing as the went along. The more bullets bit into demon flesh, the more came from the glowing, red portal. It was like nothing Jackson would ever hope to experience. On a movie set or off.
Suddenly, Jackson felt powerless without a weapon. He still had his skills as a martial artist, but these demons were armed with swords, spears, and shields. He even saw one or two with a mace. He didn’t have a gun like the men fighting off the hoard of demons on the streets of New Millennium.
Jackson found a demon corpse with two bullet holes in its head. He reached down and took its weapon. It was a large spear. Jackson didn’t use the spear often, but he was trained in the use of one. He swung it once around him to get used to the balance of it. The tip was a jagged piece of metal. He thought of the ugliness of it, but decided that the demon that had once used it would rather have maimed than decorate.
The chance to use the spear came quickly as a winged demon descended on him from above. He jabbed the spear forward, into the stomach of the oncoming demon. He swung the spear to the right, smashing his victim into the brick wall of a building. He let the demon fall to the ground dead.
Jackson ran towards the battle, hoping to be of some use whether in life or death. Before he could make it, he was pulled backwards, crashing through a large glass window. He got up swiftly, still clutching his spear. He looked around to see who had dragged him in. An Asian man in a black trench coat slowly stepped through the broken window.
“We finally meet,” the man said. “I am Taiki Abe. They call me The Black Plague, but I despise the name.”
“What do you want?” Jackson asked.
“I’ve been paid to bring the demons your head,” Abe said. “And I never renege on a deal.”
“You work for demons?” Jackson asked. “I’ve never heard anything so pathetic! When they are finished taking this city they’ll cast you aside! Join me and aid the eradication of these beasts!”
“Pathetic?” Abe asked. “You fight a battle you cannot win.” The hidden blade under his left sleeve came out with a twitch of his hand. “When the demons take the city, they’ll remember who helped them.” The blade in Abe’s right hand extended as well. “They’ll remember Taiki Abe as a friend and ally. They paid me for your head, and I do not renege on my deals. I will not repeat myself again.”
The streets of New Millennium were filled with death. The Wolves sprayed the demons with bullets, painfully aware that they were running low on ammo. Those that had run out had begun fighting with swords and other weapons they picked off the ground. Those that didn’t, were killed.
The Wolves were starting to be pushed back as demons spilled from the red portal. They were losing men and women too quickly, and the steady stream of demons seemed to be endless. When all seemed to lost, the people of New Millennium came to the rescue.
They came out of alleys and buildings. They were armed with chains, crowbars, hammers, or whatever they could find. A precious few had handguns, which were quickly unloaded and discarded. The Wolves’ numbers quickly doubled as the people of the city stood up for themselves.
Rock Judge watched as a demon was brought down by a thug with a thick metal chain. Once downed, the rest of the gang stomped the demon until it was dead. They repeated this action on another. Another group of thugs, armed with aluminum baseball bats, were busy knocking out demons and taking them out for good once they were on the ground.
“Where do you want us?” someone asked behind Rock, recognizing him as the leader of the assault on the demons. He held a sledgehammer in one of his hands. He had a small army of gang members behind him, all in matching black shirts. Rock new that as the mark of the Marauders.
“Keep doing what you’re doing,” Rock said. “Don’t let a single one of them live.”
“Good deal,” the thug said, smiling at the prospect. They then went to work dismantling the demon’s one by one.
Jackson ducked a throwing blade. It stuck in the wall. If Jackson hadn’t trained his body to be faster than most, the blade would be protruding from his forehead instead. Another blade came flying his way, and he blocked it with his spear.
Abe was in the air, his trench coat billowing behind him like a cape. The red light behind him making him look a hellish sight. His blades flashed out as he slashed at Jackson. He ducked the blades and jumped backwards, not knowing how much room he’d have to move.
Jackson knew he couldn’t stay on the defensive against someone as fast and deadly as Abe. He dropped the spear because it slowed him down. He lashed out with his fists, bringing them back to his body quickly so Abe wouldn’t cut them from his body. He backed of a blade that was dangerously close to this neck, and landed a front kick to Abe’s stomach that sent him back a couple of steps.
“You’re fast,” Abe said. “It has been long since I faced an opponent as good as you. It will make killing you that much sweeter.”
Jackson didn’t wait for Abe to make his move this time. He jumped on a table and came down with a spin kick that connected to Abe’s jaw. Jackson then gave himself some room between the two to formulate some kind of plan to end this fight. He didn’t dare stay too close to those blades. Abe moved quick enough to end Jackson’s life if he wasn’t careful.
Abe’s left armed moved, and the blade that was there was out of it’s sheath. It flew through the air towards Jackson. He moved to the right just in time. The blade left a red cut on Jackon’s cheek as it passed its head and became imbedded in the wall behind him.
Abe was on the attack again, despite Jackson’s want to stay away. He only had his right arm blade out now, but it seemed to be his stronger arm. It took every ounce of chi that Jackson could muster to keep his body moving away from the blade.
Jackson’s injuries from his previous battles were coming back to him. His reiki repaired what it could, but he was far from one hundred percent as his legs and thighs started to ache as he moved to dodge Abe’s blade. His shoulders started to grow sore as he lashed out at Abe, only to meet air. It would only be a matter of time before something seized or cramped, and Abe would take advantage.
More throwing blades whizzed through the dark air from Abe’s left hand. Jackson was able to dodge two of them, but the third found its mark in his right shoulder. He winced in pain, refusing to yell. Abe did as expected, and attacked from the left, where Jackon’s wouldn’t move as quick thanks to the injury.
The blade was embedded deep in Jackson’s muscle. He knew if he pulled it out it would scrape the bone. Now that he was injured and Abe was not, there was little chance he would survive this fight.
The 6th Street Marauders were on the attack. Their gang boasted over fifty members, but tonight they were joined by twice that. It seemed their rivals, The Black Bones, had united with them as they killed the demons that had entered their city. Their leader, Tyrone Biggs, thought some kind of olive branch might be extended if they ever survived the night.
The red light shone off Tyrone’s dark, black skin, slick with sweat and blood. His large muscles ached under his black jersey. He had seen his brothers in arms cut down in front of him as he swung his sledgehammer onto another demon’s head. Its skull shattered with a thud, and the large demon fell to the ground. When Tyrone looked up, he saw something that stopped his heart.
A demon easily twice the size of the ones they were having trouble taking down came towards them, breathing fire from its mouth. It was lighting buildings on fire as it went and stomping into any human that it came across.
“What are we going to do?” Spooky, Tyrone’s second, asked. He looked like he was in worse shape than Tyrone.
“I ain’t backed down from a fight yet,” Tyrone said. He raised his hammer above his head and ran. Marauders and Black Bones followed suit with their own weapons raised, unafraid of the fifteen foot tall demon.
The demon was caught unawares. Tyrone slammed his sledge into the demon’s knee. It howled in pain, releasing a torrent of yellow and orange flames into the sky. It fell when the others attack its other knee. Once he was on the level with the bangers, they began to beat the demon about its head. It lashed out with one last torrent of flame, easily killing ten or more who were unfortunate enough to be in front of its gaping mouth. Tyrone raised his hammer once more, and brought it down into the demon’s skull. It fell to the ground and died.
Tyrone rested his large, gore-covered sledgehammer on his muscular shoulder. He was near exhaustion, but the night was far from over. Those Wolves were holding the demons at bay for them most part, but they were beginning to fall. More demons were getting past them and into the city than dying. Tyrone refused to give up until he was dead or every last demon was killed.
He turned and began walking towards the red light once more. His men followed.
Flames erupted through the front of the building as Abe lunged at Jackson. He was momentarily distracted by this, and Jackson took advantage by twisting this body, catching Abe’s right arm, and twisting it violently. He felt and heard the pop that meant he was successful in dislocating his shoulder. Abe screamed out in pain as Jackson let him fall to the floor.
Jackson needed to move quickly now, despite the pain in his own shoulder. He landed a knee to Abe’s left thigh, further injuring him. He then swept Abe’s legs, tripping him into the wall. Abe was landed into his own blade, which protruded from the wall. It pieced his back, came through from his abdomen.
Abe tried to rise, but he couldn’t due to his dislocated shoulder and the blade in his stomach. He struggled to rise and grunted as the blade cut him further. He’d die suffering unless someone would come along.
Jackson approached the struggling Abe, determined to show mercy despite his opponent’s nature. “Get out!” Abe shouted. “I do not need aid from my target! I will not be shamed by accepting your hand!”
The fire continued to spread. The wall behind Abe was now in flames. The building was ready to collapse “You’ll die!” Jackson shouted.
“Leave me!” Abe replied, the flames now enveloping him. He screamed as he burned. The ceiling came crashing down, and Jackson was forced to run out before he was crushed as well. He exited to the streets of New Millennium, where a war was being waged.
The Battle for New Millennium
Chapter 12: The Night of the Demon
In the blink of an eye, New Millennium was plunged into blackness. Cars stopped working where they sat and refused to start again. Electric lights were snuffed out as the people of the great city at their dinners or got ready to end their long day. Hospitals were cut off from all devices, and lives were lost as the doctors scrambled over each other in the darkness.
A plane flying high above the city lost its lights and instruments. The pilots radioed for help as the airplane plunged like so much dead weight. They tried everything they could to keep it in the sky, but there was nothing they could do. It plummeted from the sky and finally plunged into the East Side River. Every person on board was killed in the watery crash.
Moments later, candles were lit once people realized that the flashlights did not work. Soon, they came to realize that no battery in their homes would work either. They looked out their window to see if they could see what had happened to knock the power in the neighborhood out. Their eyes were met by a blackness that swept over the whole of New Millennium, save for a pulsating red light near its center.
The candles twinkled in the lights of the building as they were washed over in the glowing red light. Terror froze the heart and souls of the city’s inhabitants. They felt a fear that had been building up as a crushing anxiety over the past six months.
The people of New Millennium feared that after five hundred years that the Dark Times had returned.
Rev’s device sprang to life as Jonah and Killian closed the distance between them and the demoness, Kasayda Kiz. They were thrown back by the force of it and tumbled in the grass. Jonah used the power of Barachiel to steady himself. Killian dug his clawed hand into the earth an stopped himsef from being thrown back.
“We’re too late!” Jonah spat as the power of Barachiel enveloped him and readied him for battle. He was bathed in white light that turned into the white cloak and silver breastplate. His round shield formed on his left forearm. He shone in the red light that had formed in the shape of a great arc in front of him. He was ready to fight Kiz and Abboe.
“Get back!” Killian shouted next to him.
“No!” Jonah shouted. “I won’t let them win!”
“GET BACK!” Killian repeated, grabbing Jonah’s shoulder.
Jonah turned on Killian suddenly. Barachiel lashed out, hungry to bite. Jonah had to step back to stop from killing his friend. “Oh God,” Jonah said. “I’m sorry -”
“Open your eyes and get back!” Killian shouted. Jonah turned towards Rev’s device. It was glowing red, and the pillars on either side were glowing to match. He observed the air between the two pillars. It seemed to ripple and pulse. The only sound in the quiet night was the laughter of Kasayda Kiz and Abboe.
Jonah quickly stepped back from the red-glowing portal as Killian instructed. He held Barachiel in front of him as the demons began to pour in. “We’re too late,” he said. Demons with insect wings flew over their heads and into the city. Demons of all sizes began marching through the portal and into New Millennium.
“Jonah!” Killian shouted. “What do we do now?”
Jonah got ahold of himself and faced the marching hoard of demon soldiers. Barachiel hungered in his right hand. Jonah didn’t take eyes off the oncoming demons. “We fight,” he said to Killian, holding Barachiel over his head and charging into battle.
Gabriel dodged attack after attack from the demon called Jahmon who protected Tsu-Kata. Jahmon whipped his sword towards Gabriel’s arm. It ricocheted off his hard-power shield with a small flash of blueish light. The look on Jahmon’s face told Gabriel that he had done it to test the shield. If Gabriel was going to defeat this demon he was going to have to be smart about it.
Their fight was bathed in red light. Gabriel knew that Jonah and Killian had failed in stopping Kiz from unleashing Rev’s device. He didn’t know what the red glow coming from the city was, but one thing was certain: He needed to stop whatever Tsu-Kata was doing more than ever now.
“Does the red glow in your city concern you, human?” Jahmon asked, giving his wilding swinging a short break. “It should not. It merely means the inevitable has happened. The Night of the Demon has finally begun. It is not too late for you, Gabriel Cogs.”
“What do you mean?” Gabriel said, not dropping his guard. He figured if he could keep Jahmon talking he might find an opening. So far, Jahmon’s erratic flailing had left little space for Gabiel to mount any kind of offense.
“My demoness Tsu-Kata fancies you, human,” Jahmon said. “Though she sent me to kill you, she would not be amiss if you decided to throw down your weapon and join her underground. Do you not see it? She is fascinated by your plight.”
Gabriel paused. He dared not actually throw his sword down. He knew his unintended feelings for the demoness was more than likely a piece of her ancient powers. Her assassin would know this and be able to use this against an opponent.
That was his theory, anyway.
Gabriel lashed out while his opponent attempted his verbal warfare. He slashed at Jahmon in an upward arc. Jahmon blocked with his swords, and Gabriel’s power sword sparked as it skid across Jahmon’s swords. Jahmon blew on his reddened sword before laughing heartily at Gabriel’s attack.
“So you have chosen death over enlightenment from my mistress,” Jahmon said. “So be it.”
Jahmon grabbed Gabriel by the throat and threw him behind him like a rag doll. Gabriel hit a utility pole that crashed to the ground next to him, smashing a parked car in the process. The three metal can-like transformers on the pole’s top clanged to the ground, spilling oil into the street.
Gabriel got to his feet quickly and barely managed to dodge the oncoming thrust of Jahmon’s extending blade. He focused his energy into his left and and blasted it towards Jahmon. It hit Jahmon in the chest and left a smoking, round mark.
Jahmon laughed. “You are full of surprises!” he exclaimed. “But alas, you will not live to tell of the damage you have inflicted on me.” Jahmon laughed as he began to wave his arms wildly. Soon, he seemed to be in a bubble of silver as his ribbon-like swords surrounded him.
Gabriel watched and tried to think of his next move. Jahmon was wasting a lot of energy with his erratic movements, but there was no opening for attack. His only choice was to wait and see what the demon did next.
Jonah slashed as the hoard of demons spewed from the red opening. Demons turned to ash as they attacked and were cut down. He felt Barachiel’s hunger grow into a bloodlust as demon after demon fell to its powerful bite. Jonah was aware that Barachiel was directly feeding power into his body so it would not tire, and wondered what would happen if his body couldn’t take any more.
“We need help!” Jonah shouted in his mind. Killian had kept his distance since Jonah had nearly turned him to ash with Barachiel’s rage.
“It’s here!” Killian’s voice shouted from within Jonah’s head.
Jonah turned in time to see Rock running towards the battle with a large group behind him. Jonah couldn’t even count the numbers charging as they ran into the fray, weapons blaring, killing the demons that had gotten past him. Jonah ducked into an alley as bullets began biting into demon flesh.
“CUT THEM DOWN!” Rock shouted as he took cover behind a turned over car. He aimed his rifle into the hoard and began firing. A demon unfortunate enough to get into Rock’s sights lost its head in a spray of black blood. Jonah noticed the sword strapped to Rock’s back as he pulled a pin from a grenade and tossed it into the grass that surrounded the red archway.
“I’m not going to let you have all the fun!” Rock shouted as Jonah joined him. The grenade detonated, flinging pieces of demon everywhere. “I’d be here sooner, but my bike wouldn’t start. Can I lend a hand.”
“Just a small one,” Jonah replied.
“Need a gun?” Rock asked.
“No,” Jonah replied. “Now that you’re here I can go after their leader. Kill as many as you can before they get too far into the city.”
“That’s the plan,” Rock said. “I have an entire army behind me if you didn’t notice. I’ll keep them bottle-necked here as long as I can.”
“Good,” Jonah said. “I’m going to find Killian and end this.”
“Cut off the head and the body dies,” Rock said, repeating something his father had once told him.
“That’s the plan,” Jonah said, disappearing into the fray once more.
Kasayda Kiz watched her handiwork as the demons charged into New Millennium. She watched as the human’s champion, Jonah Judge, slayed her precious demons only to fall back when his calvary arrived. They were all too late though, she wouldn’t allow the portal to be closed until the city was hers and Caim came along to lay claim to the prize of New Millennium.
Jonah was gone, and he left his cousin in charge of the battle. Bullets bit into flesh or ricocheted off of stone and metal armor. She laughed as demons flew from the sky and pounced on the humans who were busy fighting the battle on the ground. They would soon run out of bullet or tire. When hat happened, New Millennium was theirs.
She turned to see her ally Abboe charging towards her. She had just enough wherewithal to ready herself for the blow. Abboe used two stone-like spikes on either hand to skewer and ultimately destroy his opponents. Abboe jammed the spike into Kiz’s gut.
Kiz had a moment of clarity where she saw Killian standing on a fire escape with one hand on his temples and the other pointed towards Abboe palm first. She sneered as the Killian-controled Abboe tossed her hundreds of feet where she hit the side of a truck back first, and fell to the ground with a huge, gaping hole where her finely sculpted stomach once was.
Gabriel tensed as the ball of flailing swords inched towards him. Pieces of the street were thrown into the air as the swords lashed. He had a sudden impulse to not wait for Jahmon to make the next move, and picked up the broken utility pole that he had smashed moments ago. He tossed it towards Jahmon’s spinning swords. The pole was on a collision course towards Jahmon’s head.
Jahmon’s movement changed immediately. He stopped his spinning and cut the wooden pole straight down the middle. Gabriel took advantage of the spinning sword’s reprieve and took hold of Jahmon’s left hand. With his other hand, he grabbed Jahmon’s throat.
Jahmon looked into Gabriel’s eyes, surprised but still smiling. He kicked off the ground and went sailing into the air. He leaned backwards so that Gabriel saw the ground zooming past. Jahmon continued to contort his body so that now Gabriel was looking at the stars in the sky. Gabriel marveled at how bright they were now that the power in New Millennium had been cut before his body was sent sailing into the earth.
Gabriel crashed into the street, leaving a large hole. He crawled up from the dirt to see Jahmon looking down towards him, his long swords both held to the sky. He let them both come down as Gabriel leapt backwards and out of the way.
Gabriel thought he was out of harms way after Jahmon’s missed downward slash, but jumped backwards again when he noticed that the blades were still in the ground. The tips of the blades shot up from the ground less than a foot where Gabriel was standing. If he hadn’t moved, the blades would have killed him for sure.
“I haven’t had this much fun in ages!” Jahmon exclaimed, his voice saturated in evil glee. He began flailing his arms again. His blades were ripped from the street, leaving two gashes as they returned to spin around their master once more.
Kasayda Kiz sat up. She didn’t know how much time had passed since her body bounced off the side of the truck, but she was annoyed that she had momentarily lost consciousness. The only thing that kept her spirits up was that she was sure Killian thought he had succeeded in killing her.
When Abboe charged her, Kiz saw his hand coming towards her stomach. Kiz is a shapeshifter by birth and trade, but her appearance is not the only thing she could change. When Abboe’s spike entered her abdomen, she had already finished moving her internal organs away from where the spike would hit. As she sailed through the air, she instructed her body to repair the hole. Kiz looked down to the hole in her black corset. The skin had knitted itself back together, and her organs had returned to their rightful places inside her body. There was gnarled scar, but she could repair it later. She got up from the ground and looked around at the carnage.
Kiz watched in shock as her own bodyguard, Abboe, was killing his allies. This meant that the coward Killian had hidden himself in the shadows once again and was controlling him. Abboe wasn’t strong against a psychic, and wouldn’t likely be able to overcome Killian’s mind. The only upside to this was that Killian would likely be distracted, giving Kiz the chance to track him down and subdue him. Nilas was able to tell her the theory of overcoming a psychic, but she lacked the training to do so properly. If she were to fight Killian, she’d have to keep her wits about her and finish him quickly. Killing him before he knew she was there would be best.
“You cannot be too far,” Kasayda Kiz whispered as her hands turned into claws, and she narrowed her eyes to see through the dark. “I shall find you, Killian. I shall make sure you return to Hell to answer for your crimes.”
Jahmon laughed as he switched from defense and attack. He spun his swords around his body with his elastic-like arms. Every now and then he’d change it up and thrust one of his swords at Gabriel. He’d laugh as he’d turn it in mid-thrust and make Gabriel either duck or jump over it. Gabriel’s sword and shield were ready as he dodged t he attacks, wasting power as he came up with no way to combat the wild Jahmon.
Gabriel checked his battery and noticed he was already halfway done with his allotted power. His body was a generator and would recharge itself, but he would need time. It was a luxury he didn’t have. The more time he wasted fighting Jahmon, the deeper Tsu-Kata went into the earth. If he had any chance of defeating her, he had to finish this fight with Jahmon quickly.
Gabriel killed the power to his hard-power shield and sword. They went back into the armor. Jahmon laughed again.
“Giving up so easily?” Jahmon asked. “And here I thought you wanted Tsu-Kata to make you into a real man again!”
Jahmon’s words stung. They bit deeper than his sword could have. In a rush of inspiration, Gabriel noticed the cans that had fallen from the top of the utility pole as he hit it. One of the three cans was broken and had spilt oil into the street. The other two were intact. Gabriel quickly moved his body and threw one of the cans in the same trajectory as he did the pole earlier.
Jahmon moved as Gabriel predicted he would. He thrust his sword forward, cutting the transformer down the middle. The can’s two halves flew in opposite directions, but the oil on the inside continued forward, drenching Jahmon. His eyes were open when the oil hit, and he was blinded.
Gabriel mechanical legs shot him forward like a slingshot. His sword was powered in under a second. He didn’t bother energizing his shield. It would do him no good against an opponent like Jahmon. Jahmon was blinded, but he heard Gabriel coming. He swung his swords wildly once more, but Gabriel’s rage had given him a sight he didn’t know possible, even with his robotic eyes. He knew Jahmon’s patterns now. The swinging wasn’t as random as he believed.
Gabriel easily dodge Jahmon’s blind attack and grabbed his wrist in his left hand. He brought his power-sword down with his right, severing Jahmon’s arm at the shoulder. The wound was cauterized as the electric-blue blade passed through. Jahmon was no longer laughing. He let loose a shrill cry that filled the silent night.
“You insolent bastard!” Jahmon shouted. “If you think Tsu-Kata will spare you -”
Gabriel didn’t allow Jahmon to speak any more. He swung his sword in a horizontal arc, severing Jahmon’s head. It fell to the ground with a thud. The wound was once again cauterized. His smoking body fell next. His remaining arm twitched as the body died. Gabriel stepped over the demon to pursue its master.
The archway was still open. Gabriel could feel a cool breeze wafting from below the ground. He took a deep breath and steadied his nerve. Jahmon was right about one thing: Somewhere in Gabriel’s soul he did hold out some kind of hope that Tsu-Kata’s power could somehow give him his body back. He considered himself a fool for the fantasy, but he might have been a bigger fool not to hope.
With his mind once again conflicted, Gabriel Cogs entered the tunnel that would lead him directly to Tsu-Kata.
The Battle for New Millennium
Chapter 11: The Dusk of Man
Gabriel Cogs rode alone on a motorcycle to the outskirts of New Millennium City, his mind on Tsu-Kata and what he was going to do if he found her. He had to move fast. They weren’t sure if the information on when Kasayda Kiz planned on detonating Rev’s device was accurate. Even if he was unharmed by the wave it would emit, his motorcycle would be useless. Sands was sure Tsu-Kata was clear from the radius of the pulse, but Gabriel still worried that it would render him useless.
Isaac Sands had programmed Tsu-Kata’s assumed location into his map database, and he followed the buzz in his mind. He didn’t know if he could fight Tsu-Kata. In many ways, she was his savior. She succeeded in helping him where so many had failed before. It was up to him to protect the city and mankind from her evil, but he didn’t know if he could bring himself to do it.
And what of her power? She had the power to turn his body into dirt if she chose. She had healed him and allowed him to live at their last meeting, but she was clear that she wouldn’t do it a second time.
So Gabriel Cogs rode on, knowingly going towards his likely death, as the sun got closed in on the horizon.
Jonah and Killian rode in a DPA helicopter, scanning the skyline of New Millennium. Jonah looked around with electronic binoculars while Killian scanned for demonic thoughts and auras with his mind. They were both painfully aware that they’d be killed if Kiz detonated the device as the soared above the city.
“Anything yet?” Jonah asked. He yelled so he could be heard in Killian’s headset. Jonah suggested they use telepathy to speak, but Killian wanted to focus all his power to locating Kasayda Kiz and anyone else she was working with.
“Nothing,” Killian said, holding his temples with his fingers. “They must be blocking my telepathy somehow. I am sure they are still in the city. New Millennium is the key.”
Jonah suppressed a shudder. Killian had told him what New Millennium was to the demons. It wasn’t just a human-infested mecca for them to terrorize. New Millennium was, in fact, the key the demons needed to enter this earth. Together, they surmised that Kiz’s first step would be to cut the power to all devices, making the humans all but helpless. The second step would be for her to open the portals and let the demons in.
They had to stop her before that happened, no matter what the cost.
“Can they open the portal from outside the city?” Jonah asked. “Is that what Tsu-Kata is doing out there?”
“I do not believe so,” Killian said. “Tsu-Kata did not kill Gabriel or Rock. Kiz and whoever she is with cannot kill a demon so ancient, so she is likely going back underground. If Gabriel does not stop her, she will destroy humankind from the inside of the earth.”
“So she’s their contingency plan,” Jonah said, calculating in his head. “If they should fail, then it would be up to Tsu-Kata to destroy New Millennium. Oh my God, Killian! The direction of her tunnel. She’s going for the underground river that passes through New Millennium!”
“If they cannot take New Millennium they will likely drown it,” Killian said. “There is an old demonic scripture that reads ‘The Dusk of Mankind will mark the beginning of The Night of The Demon’. They are looking to bring about the fabled Night of The Demon.”
“What’s the Night of The Demon?” Jonah asked. ”
“A night that never ends,” Killian said. “A night that will be ruled by evil. If my assumption and what we have learned is correct, then this is the Dusk of Man. The Night will follow.”
Jonah looked to the horizon. The sun was nearly setting. They were running out of time and no closer to finding Kiz or Rev’s device. “Killian,” he said, as the answer dawned on him. “What if we can’t find them because they’re already prepared. What if we’re already too late.”
“What do you mean?” Killian asked. He removed his fingers from his temples and turned to Jonah.
“They had the area readied from the very beginning,” Jonah said. “Somewhere your telepathy wouldn’t work. Somewhere saturated with ancient dark magick.”
Killian’s eyes widened. “It’s been right in front of us the whole time,” Killian said. “They thought we wouldn’t suspect them of hitting the same area twice.”
“They were right,” Jonah said. “Pilot, get us as close to 42nd Street as possible.”
The planed turned East towards the center of New Millennium City, away from the setting sun.
Gabriel pulled his motorcycle to the side of the road and stopped. The buzzing in his head told him he had gotten to the end of the anomaly that Jonah wanted him to track. He pushed the bike up against the side of utility pole and walked down the deserted street.
Both sides of the street were lined with small shops. Normally, this time of night would mean people would be out shopping or getting a meal at one of the restaurants. The silence put Gabriel’s mind into unease. He knew he found Tsu-Kata, and that she had just fed.
“I believe I told you not to seek me,” Tsu-Kata said from behind Gabriel. He thought she was whispering in his ear, but when he turned around he found her standing a good hundred feet away. The bodyguard that fought against The Wolves and Killian stood by her side.
“You have to stop this,” Gabriel said, walking towards the demoness and her bodyguard. He felt as if he could convince her without fighting. He didn’t know why.
Tsu-Kata turned to one of the storefronts. It was some kind of toy store. She pushed her hand against the doors. The store front melted away, and turned into a doorway of oak walls. A stone archway was in the center. Whatever business Tsu-Kata had was within the walls.
“You are too late,” Tsu-Kata said. “I have business to attend to. I’ll leave you Jahmon to play with if you’d like. If you can kill him, you can come seek me out. I will give you a sweet death if you do so. You will not complain as the darkness envelops you.”
The demon called Jahmon stepped forward as Tsu-Kata entered the stone archway. She could have easily closed it up from the inside, but she chose to left it open. It was as if she wanted Gabriel to follow, but he had to first prove his worthiness.
Jahmon smiled a grin of pointed teeth. He unsheathed both of his swords. They were very long and shimmered as if they were made of liquid silver. Without warning, he thrust with his left hand towards Gabriel. Even though the two weren’t close, Gabriel had to move his head to the side so he’d be able to keep it. The sword sprang back into its original form.
“I think we can have some fun,” Jahmon said, walking towards Gabriel. “I never got to finish playing with your friends last time, but you can substitute for him.”
Gabriel urged power into his shield and readied his sword. A long, pointed tongue fell from the demon’s mouth. “I see you’re ready to play,” Jahmon said. “So let’s play.”
Kasayda Kiz was ready to take New Millennium. She waited six long months to avenge her lover, Nilas Nil, and the Dusk of Man was finally upon her. She had spent most of the last few days readying her assault and listening to Jano Xing recite from demonic scriptures about the Night of the Demon. She sneered at the thought of Xing: A human who toyed with dark magick and quoting their scripture. She new he had some kind of telepathic abilities, but he only lashed out towards her when she voiced her distaste.
Kiz despised humans in all forms. She especially hated their champions after her dear Nilas was bested by the human who housed himself inside of the demon’s head. The two had a symbiotic relationship that should have been mutually beneficial, but the coward Max Klennon betrayed Nilas and caused his death.
The words of Xano Jing still stung her. He had told her that Nilas Nil’s death was his own doing and not because of some weakling human and an outlaw demon. And there was Killian. He had somehow escaped to earth and joined the humans in their war against Hell. He wasn’t even given High Demon status and therefore was unable to even use a last name.
Killian the Unworthy is what they called him in Hell. Although, Killian was unaware of this seeing as he had been hiding on earth all this time. His own brother ached for the chance to come to earth and bring him to justice, but the demon lords would not allow it.
“Will you be ready?” a dark voice said. It sent chills down Kiz’s spine.
“I will be, Lord Caim,” Kiz said. She wasn’t even aware that she was no longer alone. Lord Caim was another anomaly to her. His was created using the human’s science of cloning and the demon’s magick of binding. His soul came from the large, black sword that hung from his back. The HIgh Demon, Caim Tsulou, gave his body to make the sword that would rival the sword that housed the soul of the archangel, Barachiel.
“I hope so,” Caim said. “I am taking Jano Xing with me and receding to the shadows. We shall return upon your success. If you are successful.”
“I will be,” Kiz said. There was no waver to her voice.
Caim stepped into the light. His head no longer had the mane of hair it had upon his birth mere months ago. It was completely shaved with an intricate red tattoo over the scalp. The same designs were tattooed under his eyes as well. The only thing that remained was the thick, black beard that Archer Post had as well. “Do you realize what will happen to you if you fail?” he asked.
“I do,” Kiz said.
“Good,” Caim said. “Avenge your lover, but do not follow the same course of error that he did.”
Kiz was taken aback and said nothing. Nobody in the circle of demons that were planning the invasion of New Millennium spoke to her of Nilas Nil other than Xing. It was as if his failure had made his name poisonous to speak.
“Do not allow the ill words of Xing to throw your mind into unease,” Caim said, knowing what was on her mind. “He is but a human who wishes to play with the demonic Gods of Hell. He has his uses, but he is still human. Nilas Nil fought as a hero, and died from one grievous error. He did not die because the human inside him betrayed him, but because he overlooked the danger humans when they are at their weakest and most desperate. I do not wish for you to die from the same mistake.”
Kasayda Kiz absorbed the words of Caim. They did little to make her feel better about her loss of Nilas Nil, but at least he had enough respect to speak the truth to her. He was not blinded by the dishonor of his defeat. “I thank you for your words,” Kiz said, bowing low.
“You are welcome,” Caim said. “The sun is setting.”
“Then it is time to go above ground,” Kiz said.
“Fight well,” Caim said. “Avenge Nil.”
“Nilas Nil shall be avenged,” Kiz said. “The City shall be ours.”
Rock Judge entered a place he was sure he’d never lay eyes on again. The inside of The Wolves’ facility seemed empty without the normal running around of his small army of police and soldiers. The small offices were bare. He phoned ahead to Mona to meet him there with as many people as possible who would fight, but the place seemed deserted. They were the defenders of New Millennium, and he didn’t know how many would answer the call to defend it.
“Rock!” Mona’s voice called out. “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you come in. Jonah was on the radio.”
“What did he say?” Rock asked.
“They are moving to 42nd Street,” Mona replied. “But the sun is setting. They don’t know if they’ll get there in time.”
“I still intend to be ready to fight if they fail,” Rock said. “With or without the full force of The Wolves behind me.”
“You haven’t been to the gymnasium?” Mona asked.
“I only just arrived,” Rock replied.
“You need to go there,” Mona said. “Now!”
Rock walked quickly towards the gym on the opposite side of the facility. Mona followed close behind him. The two hadn’t spent much time together lately, but Rock planned on spending more with her once this whole ordeal was over. If they survived the night.
Rock opened the doors to the gym, and was shocked by what he saw. He tried to do a fast count of how many men were lined up and armed to fight, but he couldn’t. There was way more men than he though fought for The Wolves.
“Where did they all come from?” Rock asked Mona quietly.
“Aside from the Wolves that returned, you mean?” Mona said. “Every one of them came back, by the way. Not one asked for a dime to defend the City. They know what’s at stake.”
“But who are the others?” Rock asked.
“Friends,” Mona said with a shrug. “Some are NMPD. Some are civilians. Each and every one of them want to fight. You’re still in charge. Do we allow them too?”
“I can’t stop any man or woman who wants to fight to defend this City,” Rock said. “Besides, these facilities and its content aren’t under my jurisdiction any longer.”
Mona smiled. “Do you want to rally the troops?”
Rock walked to the front of the men that gathered. They were silent and looked to him. Rock had brought many men with him to many battles, but none were as important as this one. He had to remind himself that he was no longer issuing a paycheck for The Wolves to lay down their lives. No. He was asking for something much greater.
“I understand that each and every man and woman working under me lost their job and income, and for that I am truly sorry. For as many criminals we’ve taken down, we still can’t fight City Hall. Now, you’ve returned to fight not for money, but for survival. Not only for ourselves, but the people of this City and possibly the world.
“I won’t sugar coat what’s been going on since the events of six months ago. Evil has been creeping back into the world, and it has been oozing its way through the streets of New Millennium. We are, and always have been, an offshoot of the group that calls itself The Post. The Post teaches us to be prepared and vigilant for the return of evil. Tonight, we are going to show them what that means.”
The crowd in the gym cheered.
“We are no longer Wolves, but we will still fight. We will still hold our own, and we will put our lives on the line for our city. Take whatever weapon you can carry. Anything electronic may not work, so leave it behind. No cars. No helicopters. Nothing. I will take whatever I can and march! I will march to the center of our great city and defend from the forces of evil! I will march in the name of The Post and those who defend the world from the evils of the night. Who will march with me?”
The crown cheered once more, more enthusiastically this time. Guns and knives were passed around. Flak jackets were strapped on. Helmets and riot gear was being put on. Rock turned to find Mona holding something out to him.
“I kept it,” she said, looking at Rock ferociously in the eyes. “You cast it away some time ago, but I kept it. I think it’s time you used it once again.”
Rock reached out and took what Mona was holding out. At one point in his life he wanted to do away with it and teachings of his father, but now he took it with an open heart. If he could form the words he would tell Mona how wrong he was and how glad he was that she knew he’d need it.
Rock unsheathed the silver sword and held it high in the air. His small army roared in a frenzy as he led them with his father’s sword.
“FOR THE POST!”
Jonah and Killian ran down 42nd Street. They feared they would be too late. The helicopter had to put them down on a hospital roof and quickly got away. Jonah didn’t want it in the air near the city if they didn’t get to Kiz and Rev’s device in time.
Jonah already had Barachiel unsheathed and ready to use. He felt it’s power surge up his arms and into his body, readying him for battle. Killian had his black hooked sword in front of him. His tattered cloaked blew back behind him as they crossed the wooden barricades where the street turned into soil and grass. In the center of the grass and trees stood Kasayda Kiz along side the device she had stolen from the DPA. Two large posts of rock had been erected around the area.
“I was wondering when you would show yourselves,” Kiz said. She wore her black corset along with her boots. The large demon, Abboe, stood to her left.
“Stop this, Kiz!” Jonah said. “Shut the device down!”
“You are far too late,” Kiz said. She pointed toward the horizon. “The Dusk of Man is ending. The Night of the Demon is about to begin.”
Jonah and Killian charged Kasayda Kiz and Abboe as Rev’s device came to life.
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.”
The Battle for New Millennium
Chapter 9: Sin
Jackson Girard awoke in a daze. His body felt like it was dropped from a building, but the pain amazingly didn’t bother him much. His vision was blurred, but he willed his eyes to focus. Hanging upside-down from chains directly across from him was the body of the man he had pursued after his failed attempt to stop the drug called Sin from entering the streets of New Millennium. Wrench-Head had too much blood pooled on the ground under him to still be alive.
“I see our friend died in the night,” Tzu Son said, entering the room where Jackson was bound. “Geist really wanted him to pay for his cowardice, and he did with his blood many times over.”
Jackson tried to ask who Geist was, but his throat was hoarse and sandy. Surprisingly, Son handed him a glass of cool water.
“I need you to stay with us, Girard,” Son said. “I still want to know why you were there. Mr. Geist seems to think that you have some connection to The Post. This would be most unpleasant.”
Jackson’s eyes scanned the room as Son spoke. If he was free, he could easily take Son in a fight. He was scrawny and short. I was his brother, Lee, that worried him. He also didn’t know how bad the extent of his injuries were. Something seemed to be keeping his body numb.
“My brother wants to speak with you too,” Son said. “Well, not speak with you. He doesn’t talk, you know. He thinks the two of you have some kind of unfinished business. He has trouble distinguishing illusion from reality sometimes. That is why he refused to take part in a scripted fight where he lost. I am sure you want to know what brought us back together.”
Jackson didn’t say anything. If he could, he would have told Son to shutup. He had no reason to hear his reasoning for being involved in the shipments of Sin into the New Millennium.
“There’s more money in working with demons than directors,” Son said. “I have the brains and my brother has the muscle. We make a perfect set. We draw one paycheck, and our bosses are happy with our results. Once they take the city, we will rule the humans among them. They remember those who help them, Girard. They also remember those who try to thwart them. You would have done better to fade into obscurity and not worry yourself with their business.”
A door opened behind Son, and a man walked in. Jackson was able to make out a silhouette bathed in the light of the doorway. “Is he awake yet?” the man said impatiently.
“He just woke up, Mr. Geist,” Son said. “I gave him some water and tonic. His voice should return to him momentarily.”
“Good,” Geist said. Son got up and walked to the other side of the room where a table was set up with various devices and containers. Jackson knew he was preparing some kind of torture for him.
“Where am I?” Jackson said, testing his voice. It was still hard. Some of his words were slurred, but he was finally regaining the use of his throat and voice.
“Somewhere safe,” Geist said. He had dark eyes and hair to match. His goatee was trimmed neat around his hard face. Jackson recognized the named. He was some corporate big shot like the Judge guy that bought up Deskue’s shares in the power grids after his death.
“Demons,” Jackson said. He was still recovering from whatever drug the put through him. “Real.”
“Very much so,” Geist said.
“The blood,” Jackson said. “Sin.”
“Demon’s blood,” Geist said. “This is true. I need to know what you know about The Post and what they know about Sin.”
“Nothing,” Jackson said. “Just the name. Nothing else.”
Geist looked into Jackson’s eye, measuring and calculating. “I wish I believed you,” he finally said. “It would make this go quicker. My counterparts believe that this city will be theirs in a matter of days, but I always exercise caution. If my counterparts fail to take this city, then I will have to continue with my plans.”
Jackson was genuinely confused. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he said. “I was just trying to stop the drugs from coming in.”
“A valiant effort,” Geist said. “But there was nothing in those boxes. What you witnessed was merely a test. I needed to test some loyalties of some new associates of mine.”
“You called the police!” Jackson said, reality spinning in his mind.
“Of course I did, you fool,” Geist said. “We have been operating outside of the eyes of this city’s law for decades. Sin is already here. The only one I did not plan on testing was you. Are we ready, Son?”
“Ready, boss,” Son said.
“Good,” Geist said. “Let us see how much Mr. Girard actually knows.”
“Very disappointing,” Geist said once their Interrogation of Jackson was complete.
“I apologize for wasting your time,” Son said. His brother, Lee, stood in the corner. He ate an apple while Son and Geist held their conversation.
“It is no fault of your own,” Geist said. “The only link he had to The Post is a long dead player. At least we know they are not any closer to uncovering our plot. Not that it matters. They’ll have their hands full with Kiz and Xing soon enough.”
“What do you want me to do with Girard?” Son asked.
“He knows too much now,” Geist said. “Do what you want with him, but make sure he does not leave here alive.”
Geist left the building to go back to his tower. A smile spread across the face of Tzu Lee.
Jackson awoke when a bucket of water was dumped on his head. He was no longer bound or tied to anything, but he was aware that he’d been locked in a small room. The Interrogation by Geist and Son was quick and painful. Son had injected something into his abdomen. It felt as if some sort of creature was clawing at his insides. Whenever he lied, the creature would cause massive pain throughout his body. It wasn’t too long until Jackson was unable to tell a lie.
“Are you feeling any better?” Son asked. He placed a large cup of some pinkish liquid on the ground near Jackson’s head. “Drink this. You’ll feel much better. My brother wants you up and ready to go in an hour.”
“For what?” Jackson asked, pulling himself into a sitting position despite the protests from his tired body.
“You owe him a fight,” Son said. “Geist wants you dead, and my brother wants to do it. Seems like a good trade to me.”
“And why should I comply?” Jackson asked.
“It’s the lesser of two evils, my friend,” Son said. “Fight my brother to the death or what happened yesterday will feel like bliss. It’s up to you. I’ll tell you right now: you won’t stand a chance unless you drink this.”
Jackson suddenly wanted to throw the cup at Son’s face, but began drinking it instead. It was citrusy, but tasted as if it were heavily laden with medicine as well. The creature he felt in his stomach instantly subsided. He drank the rest down greedily.
“Excellent,” Son said. “I’ll let Lee know that you’ll be ready in an hour or so. I have another gift for you as well.” Son reached in his pocked and put a small vile of red liquid on the table. “Pull the rubber end off the top and stick the needle into a vein. You have to acknowledge that you seek and accept its power, or it will kill you painfully.”
“Is that -”
“Sin,” Son said. “I want to see a good fight. I think it’s the only thing that will give you a chance against my brother. It’s your choice.”
Son left, locking the metal door once more. Jackson got up and tested his limbs. When they didn’t betray him, he began stretching. He watched the vile of demon’s blood from the corner of his eye.
Once an hour had passed, Son came back and led Jackson into a large room. Soon looked to see if the vile of Sin was still on the table, but it was gone. He wasn’t sure if Jackson had taken it or simply stashed it away. He made a mental note to be sure to search Jackson’s body once it was all over. He didn’t regret giving Jackson the Sin. His brother was looking forward to testing his strength against someone who had taken it.
Jackson looked into the face of Tzu Lee once again. The last time he squared off agains this monster of a man he was scripted to win. Now there was no script. No director to yell cut. No hands to hold Lee back when he went berserk. It was just the two of them with an audience of one.
Jackson thought about the vile of Sin that he hid in his boot. He had seriously thought about taking it as the hour nearly ran out, but he hid it instead. He had gotten by on the martial arts circuit on his own skill and merit. He wasn’t about to ask for the help of a demon now.
“Fight when you are ready,” Son said, sitting back with his feet up. Jackson thought he would pull a bag of popcorn out to watch the fight.
Jackson focused on the intent face of Lee. Lee pointed once again to Jackson and then brought his finger across his neck. Jackson doubted that Lee knew any actual sign language, but the intent of his gesture was clear. Jackson readied his body for the battle.
Jackson lashed out first this time. He threw a jab to Lee’s chin that connected. He had gotten lucky once before with a glass-jawed opponent, but he wasn’t so lucky this time. Lee’s face went backwards, but it was staring intently at Jackson a moment later. Lee threw a jab of his own, and Jackson sidestepped it just in time. He felt the fist whiz past his ear.
Lee continued with a barrage of jabs directed towards the face and head of Jackson. Jackson bobbed and weaved out of the way, but he couldn’t keep up the pace for long. Lee was quick for someone his size. Usually with a bigger opponent Jackson would count on his speed to win the fight, but Lee was moving faster than he expected. Jackson was trained in the ways of boxing as well as martial arts, so he knew how to dodge if he was able to keep up with the fists of Tzu Lee.
Jackson didn’t move fast enough, and finally caught a jab that hit him in the forehead. His head rocked backwards, and the world blurred.
“You will not always be matched up with an even opponent,” Julian Sensei said. “Yes, in a tournament of sanctioned fight you will be divided into to weight categories, but in a street fight or underground battle this will not be the case.”
“I don’t think I’ll ever put myself in that situation, Julian Sensei,” Jackson said.
“Then you are a fool,” Julian said. “There will be occasions where the fight will come to you. Whether you want it or not.”
“Is this another lesson from The Post?” Jackson asked.
“Yes and no,” Julian said. “Most of what I tell you comes from my own personal journeys. Will you hear my lesson?”
“I will,” Jackson relied.
“You will face opponents bigger and stronger than you,” Julian said. “It is inevitable. But with greater strength or skill comes greater ego. The ego can be a great weakness if not kept in check.”
“Ego?” Jackson asked. “How am I supposed to use that in a fight?”
“Only experience will teach you the rest of this lesson, Jackson,” Julian said.
Jackson’s mind snapped back to reality as Lee was following up his jab with a devastating pump kick. Jackson turned to avoid the kick, and spun back around with a backhand to Lee’s jaw. A blow like that would normally dislocate the jaw and cause a great amount of pain, but it felt as if Jackson had hit a wall.
His ego, Jackson thought. How the hell am I supposed to use it against him?
Jackson studied the blows as the the came from his opponent. He was strong, skilled, and fast. And he knew it. Lee knew in every inch of his being that it was only a matter of time until Jackson Girard would be dead at his feet. Sin or not.
Jackson considered the demon blood once again after he dodged a haymaker and came back with a barrage of body shots to Lee’s abdomen. He could get it quickly and get it into a vein. If he accepted the blood, he may be able to turn the tables of this one-sided fight. Even if he did use the Sin, Jackson didn’t know how to activate once inside. Son said he’d have to seek its aid and accept its power.
Seek and accept…
Lee finally connected with a kick to Jackson’s chest. He felt his ribs crack, and he went down on his back. Lee shoved him back to the ground before he got up, but Jackson finally knew what he had to do. He feigned a painful groan, and pulled the small vile from his boot. He removed the rubber tip and got it ready. He normally wouldn’t have stooped to a stunt like this, but there was more at stake than only his life.
Lee paced around his victim, silently daring him to get back up. He could end this fight in one stomp, but he was enjoying himself and didn’t want to stop. Girard didn’t put up as big of a fight as he hoped. He had landed a few good hits, but it wasn’t enough. It would never be enough. Even if Girard had taken the Sin.
Jackson was back on his feet. Lee smiled and threw a punch that should have taken Jackson’s head off. Jackson once again turned and brought his hand around to the thick neck of Lee in a chopping motion. Lee felt a sharp pain in his neck. Such a weak chop shouldn’t have felt like that.
“Lee!” Son shouted. “Your neck!”
Lee reached up to where Jackson had struck him. He pulled out the bloody vile. He threw it to the ground with no regard. It was time to end this dance with Jackson.
Jackson gambled with his life and Lee’s. It was the words of Son that echoed in his head. For the Sin to work and not kill him, he’d have to seek out and acknowledge its power. He knew Lee wouldn’t ask for help or aid from anyone. He would sooner die than ask anyone help him win a fight. Even from a demon.
Lee grabbed Jackson by the throat and tossed him across the room like a rag doll. Jackson hit the ground hard and cried out as the pain from cracked ribs shot through his body. He’d taken a lot of abuse lately, and it was adding up fast.
Jackson turned and looked back at Lee. His eyes had turned bright red. For a moment Jackson panicked that his plan had backfired and Lee had somehow accepted the power of the demon’s blood. Then a torrent of blood came from Lee’s mouth, and he fell to the ground, convulsing in pain.
“You bastard!” Son shouted, getting up from his chair. “What the hell did you do to my brother?!”
Jackson didn’t waste any time. He knew is he let Son get away he wold phone Geist or some other thug contact of his. He ignored his aching ribcage, and caught Son around the neck. He dragged the smaller of the Tzu brothers into the same room where he kept Jackson locked up and tossed him in.
“Wait here for your master to return,” Jackson said. “I’m sure he’ll give you the same treatment as the last guy who failed him.”
Jackson slammed and locked the door.
Jackson staggered through the streets of New Millennium. The cool night air felt good on his aching body. He had no idea how much time had passed since the night at the docks. He could have been in that room for a day or a week. With the way they drugged him and tortured him, he had no way of fknowing.
All Jackson knew is that he had to keep moving. He no longer felt as if he had nowhere to go. He carried a case of the Sin under his arm that Son had in the small building. The other four boxes he smashed over a drain. He watched as the blood oozed away.
There was something that Geist had said during the interrogation that kept him moving. Actually, there were a couple of things, but Jackson’s memory of the whole incident was still hazy from the drugs and pain.
The first piece of information that Jackson kept with him was that Geist was fairly sure that some kind of invasion of the city was going to be happening soon. The other was a name that he mentioned more than once when he asked about The Post. It was name that Jackson knew. Jonah Judge.
Jackson continued on through the dark streets of New Millennium to the only place he felt he could go.