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                        Twilight’s Coming 
                Saturday 26 September 2009

“Good one Celia, you are truly improving as the weeks go by.” said Abraham as his latest witch student finally performed the spell to call forth miniature lightning correctly. Celia then cast her lightning forward at the pile of large rocks Abraham had set up for target practice and shrieked in delight as she managed to blast the rocks into mere pebble shards. 

Abraham clapped his hands, the shapeshifter was impressed that despite her less than stellar attempts at alchemy and other more mundane forms of witchcraft like scrying so far the teenage witch Celia had shown great promise in elemental magic and physical reinforcement spells like Accel. 

Which in itself he couldn’t help but find ironic as Celia was by far one of the less combative of his witch. Then again it was a well known fact that for all the rules that magic was said to have, it was commonly agreed that in the end magic was more often than not seemingly random in how it worked or how magic users mastered certain arts.   

“Any way Celia I suggest you practice performing the branch lightning strike next time, it seems that the flame and lightning magics are indeed your forte.” said Abraham to a beaming Celia who after nodding ran off to a different part of the training grounds to practice there. “All right Cardin you are up next!” called Abraham, at this point the dark-skinned shifter’s Android phone proceeded to vibrate. When taking it out of his pocket Abraham was concerned to see it was a message from the Headmistress of Shadowlight Academy, Professor Moonsong. 

As the students continued to practice at his insistence while he left briefly Abraham could not help but hope this call was not further bad news. As he used his super speed to reach Moonsong’s office in a few minutes instead of the two hours it would take an average human, Abraham made a mental note to enhance the defences around the academy later, both mundane and magical. Once at the door of the office the 7.2 ft shifter stopped ran his hand through his dark short cropped hair and then after knocking walked in when the door was telekinetically opened by Moonsong.            

Once inside Abraham took a brief look in the large full-body mirror that was near the Headmistress’ desk and facing the doorway. Said mirror was a safety measure he had installed as it was enchanted to paralyse anyone whom looked into it should they have killing intent towards Professor Moonsong. He idly noted that the stubble on his chin and sideburns needed to shorten so he used his shifter abilities to do just that and shrink his nose hairs.

After adjusting his appearance slightly Abraham turned to the Headmistress who was looking out of the window and watching some of the succubi students playing volleyball. Abraham stood next to her and asked the 400+ old witch if her news was about the unrest he had heard in North America concerning the recent increase in ghoul and demon activity. Said witch sombrely stated that was but part of it. 

“Then what was the other part?” asked Abraham since as far as he knew his contacts in the USA among the Nephelim and the local monster communities there had not provided any other concerning news other than the usual power jockeying among the Vampire Houses, Greater Wolf Clans and the lesser nests/packs. At this point Moonsong turned to face Abraham directly.

Hazel eyes met the witch’s blue and grey eyes as she looked up at her one-time teacher and lover. “I have had a vision Korun......a dreadful one that I fear may be unpreventable.” with those ominous words Moonsong touched Abraham’s right cheek. As he closed his eyes and allowed the professor to use her tactile telepathy to share her vision with him, Abraham’s once again cursed the fact that Precognition was as often a curse as it was a blessing before the vision swam before his mind’s eye.

Carnage.....complete and utter carnage was what Abraham thought as he walked through the ruins of what must have been Times Square. Everywhere he looked he saw only more devastation, buildings crumbled or burned, explosions bloomed every few minutes as blasts of magic or mundane explosives/gunfire echoed throughout the surroundings along with other noises of battle. 

Worse than any of that was the sight of the dead.... those whom had fallen in this mayhem had mostly died hard. Against a broken wall laid the remains of what was probably a Nephelim, although one could only tell by the runes that marked his left arm.....the rest of his entire upper body appeared to have been melted to the bone by some kind of acid. In the middle of the square laid a pair of werewolf remains.....torn literally limb from limb and gutted to boot although at least considering the damaged area around them they put up a fight. Abraham looked up when he heard a scream only to wince as a screaming woman was carried into the sky by a flying Lilith spawn which looked like a bastard fusion of a human,bat and scorpion...which then tore her in two before messily devouring the upper half face first.

The ancient shifter had his attention drawn from the gruesome event when he heard a group of people shouting while heading his way. They passed through him like mist while they intermittently shouted and fired off spells and gunfire in bursts. Pursuing them were a group of creatures that Abraham was revolted to recognize slightly.....hybrids. Even worse these ones looked more refined for lack of a better term than the despicable farces he recalled Korun making during the Hundred Years War. 

One such hybrid, a seven foot, grey skinned figure with a wolfish face and snout suddenly sprouted bat wings which it used to slice one man apart in a single move. As the unfortunate victim collapsed a mage attempted to fire a spell at the creature, only for it to move at a speed greater than blinking eyes could achieve. The hybrid then seized the mage by the face, lifted her and with a bone chilling howl crushed her face into her skull like squeezing a grape.

As the rest of the hybrids fell upon the other members of the fleeing party Abraham felt a need to move. He rushed to the direction the hybrids had come from, covering miles in an instant only to stop as he saw to his shock the ruins of the New York institute. What caught his attention more than the sight of the countless corpses strewn about, dozens of them Nephelim, was the man he saw standing in front of the wreckage......the infamous warlock Korun himself.

Korun had one hand raised up.....looking in that hand’s direction Abraham saw another familiar face, the vampire prince Caleb dangling about three metres in the air and four metres away from Korun. Caleb for his part did not look well, both his legs had been severed at the thigh and one arm appeared to be burned to the bone to say nothing of the other severe burn marks that decorated his his, back and face. “So prince of House Eibenheizer.....reconsidered my offer yet to evolve further into something better?” said Korun with a bored expression. In reply Caleb spat some blood out despite it being clear it would miss. “Ah damn, I hate to waste talent.” exclaimed Korun. “What you are doing is madness warlock! Opening the Hell’s Gate and creating these abominations of yours will only-ARGGGGGHHHHH!!!!”. Caleb was cut off as Korun set him on fire and then cast him through a nearby skyscraper with his telekinesis. NOOOO!!”roared Abraham. He was tempted to charge Korun despite knwing it was but a vision....cue his consciousness being yanked back into reality.         
Once back in reality Abraham breathed out and asked Moonsong if she had by any chance contacted the Nephelim in New York or House Eibenheizer to inform them of her vision. “That was among the first moves i made Abraham, but you know as well as I do that for a vision to be THIS clear it is likely that it is inevitable.” said Moonsong with clear sorrow in her voice. The ancient shapeshifter could not help but lower his head in silent he knew that she was right as his experience in Morocco taught him decades ago. 

Nevertheless Abraham decided that even if this future could not be changed he had no intention of least taking steps to mitigate the damage. Therefore with Moonsong’s permission he put in leave for two years, money being no problem for him. What concerned the professor though was when her friend anounced his intention to take a few of the students with him. “You know as well as I do Julia that we cannot shelter the elder students forever and some of them may be tested harshly soon if they aren’t prepared.” “Still Abraham to take them into the midst of a potential disaster....I do not want a repeat of Geneva!” “You have my word Julia that I shall do my best to protect them out there but we both know that eventually all of them will need to be prepared for what comes as per the Book of Caithi’mei’s passages.”

After another hour or so of talking and making further plans Abraham set off to collect the students whom would accompany him on this trip to The United States of America. 

                Sunday 27 September     
With all possible preparations made Abraham and his selected group of students from the Shadowlight Academy stood at the airport about to board the plane to the USA. All of them had been picked by him and with one exception all of them had been unaminously approved by Moonsong and the other professors too. The one exception was now nervously asking him if he expected much danger on this journey. “Celia life in the Shadow world is by itself dangerous on a normal basis like I told you before the Academy is one of the few places that has but a measure of safety within its walls.” said Abraham to the teenage witch in question.

“But sir, no offence if this journey is expected to be dangerous why are we going along? I mean no disrespect but I have never been in a true combat scenario outside of class yet unlike the others here!” Celia couldn’t help but shake a little in worry. While the other three members of their group had at least some experience in danger outside the Academy due to being in their seventh years now Celia was herself but in her second year only. 

Abraham felt a slight pang of regret as he recalled that Celia’s dying mother, Melissa Starling had begged Abraham to protect her daughter while said daughter, then but three years old, was sleeping. Melissa at the time had been on the run from vampires whom had killed every other member of her family as vengeance for her husband having helped the Nephelim of London wipe out several vampire clans that violated the Pacts.

Sadly some of them had eventually caught up to Melissa and her daughter in Scotland and fatally wounded her despite her slaying four of them before Abraham arrived. The eight or so vampires remaining had been no match for Abraham whom easily dispatched them all in a matter of minutes. He had attempted to heal Melissa but she refused as she said it was better she die so that what she knew died with her to keep millions safe although it broke her heart to leave her daughter now alone in the world. 

Abraham had hoped as the years had passed to keep Celia safe as her mother wished but alas as she grew more skilled in her witchcraft and magecraft he knew it was only a matter of time before the curse of her bloodline reared its head. Namely that few Starlings ever lived their entire lives in peace. Banishing such grim remembrances from his mind the shifter focused on assuring Celia that whatever came in the future ahead of them they would face it to the best of their abilities.          

Submitted: May 05, 2020

© Copyright 2023 Ash Reaper. All rights reserved.


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