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Prologue, part 1...



In a fit of frustration, Kali slammed the metal door shut behind her as I managed to quickly slip the small blanket behind my back and out of her view. The rough and loud sounds of the train moving on the tracks had easily overpowered my heavy breathing. My companion moved her ear against the door for a better listen but I doubted her ability. She couldn't hear over the train and all of its screaming passengers. There was no way she'd get an exact location on our pursuer, not like this.

"I hope you're not going to question my impeccable talents for the entire duration of this trip," I felt myself starting to smile at her words as Kali rolled her eyes and moved her head off the door. "Do me a favor and try not to feel so much doubt when you're standing so close to me. Coming from you, it rubs me wrong and I don't like it."

"Or you could try not looking into every little thought in my head," My smile grew. "Believe it or not, there are boundaries with these sorts of things and not everything I feel is actually meant for you to tune in at any moment of your choosing."

"If I wasn't supposed to, Michael wouldn't have given me the power to do it." Kali shook her head briefly, dismissing the subject and focusing on everything else going on outside of our own train cart. 

In her silence, I took the opportunity to look at our surroundings. There had been small and large crates piled all around the train cart, even some opened boxes harboring what looked like fine winery. I approached one of the opened crates, wanting to take a better look and pull out one of the clear glass bottles of dark red liquid. It was corked and slightly dusty, though the container itself was in pristine condition.

Xinomavro, 2173.

"Nothing in those bottles could compare to spiced rum," Kali commented while I set the wine back into the box and turned around to face her.

"For someone without a sense of taste, maybe, but perhaps a glass of this particular wine will keep you out of my head for a few minutes?"

"You know you spend over two millennia with someone, and they still nag you over something you've done each and every day." The ashen haired beauty commented with a rather charming smile and it was the first smile of any kind that I'd seen in days. I'd gladly let her bully me if it meant that it would keep her smiling. "I mean, really, you'd think they'd just let it go already but no. They just bitch about it... and then again, and again and again and again and-"

"You're really mean," I cut off the creature before she could finish. If she ever planned on finishing, that is.

"Yeah, I know." Kali's words suddenly grew warmer as she leaned forward and stared at me with a gentle gaze of affection. "But I also know that you won't leave me just because I'm mean to everyone, not that I'd actually care if you left."

"Well if you don't care then perhaps I should," I said just as her eyes began to radiate their familiar red glow, revealing her true feelings on the subject. She didn't appreciate such thoughtless words, especially when they came from me. But then I didn't very much appreciate her thoughtlessness either.

"A poor choice of words," I attempted to reassure her as I reached for her hand and squeezed tightly.

"Likewise," She answered softly. Her eyes slowly began to dim out, returning to their original light blue as she squeezed my hand back.

Before I could answer back, her nose twitched and her expression suddenly twisted in pain. "Ash, I swear to-!"

Angrily, Kali reached behind me and snatched the small cover from my hand without the slightest hesitation. In one swift motion, she brought the material to her face and took a gentle whiff. Her expression fell momentarily as she swallowed hard to try and keep herself in check. Every fraction of her soul seemed to be in more pain than she cared to let on, but I could feel her struggling with how to approach the situation.

"I told you to leave this behind," She scolded me. "Both your scents attract all sorts of demons, so why in the world would you think to bring this thing with us?"

"I already told you that I'm not leaving it!" I raised my voice to her as she narrowed her eyes at me. "It's the only thing we have of his that wasn't burned to ashes! Do you not comprehend that we have nothing left of," I stopped myself before I could say his name.

Saying it just seemed too real... and I wasn't ready for that yet.

"You're not keeping this cursed thing!" She growled as her grasp on the blanket tightened. "Your obsession over this is doing more harm than good. Whatever happened that day doesn't matter, Ash. It was a freak accident, ok? That's it. I don't want to talk about this anymore."

"Kali, it wasn't some accident that took-!"


Her eyes and voice rang with frustration. The voice of an alpha's sheer power alone shook throughout the metal walls of the train cart so much that even her canines had revealed themselves and attempted to intimidate me further. She was finished talking about it and she wanted me to be done with it too.

"Y-you just don't get it, do you?" Her tone suddenly became pleading and desperate as her voice cracked and betrayed her. "I can't talk about this with you, Ash. Please just stop carrying around all his stupid blankets and stupid toys, and whatever other stupid things you took from the island! I get that you want to hold on to him, I do, but I can't stand seeing you so obsessed with this idea you have in your head! It was an accident, Ash. That's it!"

As I parted my lips to speak, I found her palm pressed firmly against my mouth and a finger of her own gesturing me to keep silent. Suddenly both of our bodies sliced through the air, moving at an incomprehensible speed and blurring my vision entirely. My body has landed against hers as she struck her back against some large vertical crate. Her free arm had been wrapped tightly around my waist, keeping me out of harm's way and under her protection.

The shrieking sound of ones claw against metal drove goosebumps all across my body as I cringed, though Kali's body had only become tense to the noise.

"Smell that? It's stronger here," A rough and mature man's voice growled as the door flew open. "In fact, I'll bet they're both still here."

"And the third?" A more sinister and feminine voice asked.

"You're warped," The man pressed in a stern tone. "Tricks, no doubt. There's no scent of a third. There's only the child and a shapeshifter of some sort."

Shapeshifter of some sort? Seriously?

Kali's irritation echoed through every fiber of my being, pulling the strands of our bond rather tightly as I felt how much she'd actually been insulted by the demon's words. Anything else to insult her and there was no way I could even think about stopping an infuriated alpha.

"A single dose of A4-O will put the shapeshifter down for-"

"I think you'll find that I don't go down easy," Kali stepped out of hiding and into our pursuer's vision. The color of her eyes were bright and bold as she bared her canines viciously at them. Because of our bond, I could see the white-coated beast within her. The ghostly sight of a sabre-tooth tiger had been ripping violently at her soul, desperately trying to claw it's way out and be given the pleasure of killing them where they stood.

"Careful," The female warned her large brute of an ally. "Alphas are known to carry blue eyes and this one feels much stronger from the last few we've encountered."

"Weaker, maybe, but definitely not stronger than me," The large male growled in an attempt to match Kali's. "Tell me, woman, you bear the scent of an infant I've been tracking so where the hell is it?"

"Fuck off," Kali snapped at the lesser level of shapeshifter as her eyes darted back-and-forth between the two strangers.

I sighed gently as I stepped out and allowed my entire right arm's nerves to begin burning. The sensation caused my fingers to tingle and numb, keeping my talent at bay as I stared into the eyes of our apparent assassins.

The man was large and muscular with golden irides, proving himself an ordinary and much lesser level of shapeshifter. His type were far from equal to the very first alphas like Kali, and he definitely wasn't a member of the Original family like she was. He looked the part of a mindless muscle-head and I knew for a fact that Kali wouldn't hesitate to take him down, especially since she always ended up killing his kind anyway. The woman, however, was his complete opposite. Her posture was that of high-class and nobility, and since she knew of A4-O, I assumed she had very powerful connections. After all, such an expensive black-market drug was rarely discussed nowadays.

"You don't have to do this," I turned my attention to the woman with long black hair. "You can still walk away with your-"

Suddenly, Kali appeared behind the shapeshifter. Though her eyes were bright, they were completely vacant with who she was and filled with the eyes of a darkness that I remembered all too well. Before the man could turn around, Kali had already sank her canines mercilessly into his neck and ripped his limbs without so much as the slightest hesitation. The fur of her tiger's spirit was drenched in the shapeshifter's blood and, to my surprise, Kali's eyes flashed with her once buried cannibalistic hunger.

"I don't suppose you have any last words for us," Kali's voice held no emotion as she threatened our final pursuer.

Without hesitating, I shot my entire arm out. The sudden burning sensation quickly livened with vivid blue sparks erupting from my flesh and engulfing the arm as a fine lash of electricity rocketed past Kali and all across the cart. As it came into contact with its target, a flash blinded us all momentarily.

The woman collapsed lifelessly with the burning emblem of an archangel's mark melting into her once flawless skin. Like lightning, I left my mark on all of my victims and watched as every nerve in her body became visible. I looked away quickly and took a deep breath, trying to focus on anything but this woman's corpse. Taking her life was a mercy compared to what Kali might've had in mind for her.

"What a waste of time," Kali said almost as if she were bored. I glanced up only to find that the red-eyed alpha had lost complete interest in the situation and had been wiping the blood from her mouth with the back of her hand. "You'd think they'd send someone capable of lasting at least a few seconds longer against us. Anyone would've been funner than a mutt."

"You found this entertaining?" I asked in disbelief, turning my head to look at her and what I found was a hollow shell of the woman I loved.

She didn't answer. 

She just looked elsewhere. 

But it didn't make a difference because I already knew the answer. 

The corruption of Eden and her past life as a slave could never truly be forgotten. A darkness like the one inside of her doesn't just fade over time. We may have curbed her taste for the flesh of her kind over the centuries but looking at the empty monster before me... 

I could clearly see that that was no longer the case.



Prologue, part 2...



For all we know, Sammy and Damien didn't inherit any talents... don't worry, George, they'll be safe from the hierarchy.

My vision was wiped and all I could hear was an eerie, discomforting silence only to be followed by a distinct high pitch ringing. I grasped onto the closest thing near me, desperate to shield myself from the gunfire that I knew was happening all around me but I couldn't see more than a few inches from my face. I was in the middle of a war-zone, and I still couldn't believe the horrendous timing to hear the sound of my mother's voice.


The sound of my name echoed faintly, barely becoming audible but just loud enough to know someone I knew had found me. I shook my head in an attempt to shake off the dizziness, waiting momentarily before I had felt a large hand grasp onto my shoulder and give a push in the direction they wanted me to move towards.

Though disoriented, I pushed forward as the surrounding sounds of gunfire began to raise in volume. My sight was still a mess though, blurred as I struggled to keep from collapsing to the ground. 

As far as the district knew, all of this bloodshed was because 'the Infantry felt like it' but it's only gotten worse now that they've got naive teenagers ready to slaughter countless civilians in the name of their own beliefs. And the survivors from the territory they've claimed so far? Headed straight for the calvary to be sold as slaves or crucified for having faith in some other God, but what the infantry really wanted was information on a subject no one really knew about.

God and his angels was a topic that no one truly knew anything about, not even their own children. But the Infantry, no, they knew more than everyone else because they served under a demon themselves and they never attacked cities without physical evidence of an angel's presence.


Two days later...

"It's not funny, Sam! You shouldn't even be out there!" Elika shouted in frustration as the connection on my tech began to waver. Her very image had begun breaking out into static and dust, even the audio was starting to cut out.

"I'm sorry," I laughed. "I'll be back home within the next few days and it'll be like I never left. But I need to help Finn and his men move shop before another raid. You'll see that you're worried for no reason. Besides, I always come back home."

"I'm not worried that you won't *static* it home, stupid." Her cheeks puffed in annoyance and I soon felt myself smiling like a complete moron when she did it. Of course, Elika gave me a stern look in response and pushed further. "You're not normal anymore, Sam. Your *static* ani-*static*, wolf- whatever you are, you're hot-headed. You're *static* danger to *static* you."

"Elika?" I called out, immediately trying to pick the signal back up on the tech. Twisting and turning knobs in the hopes that something would happen, but I wasn't anywhere close to being an expert on this type of technology. "Shit," I cursed as the infamous 'signal lost' flashed on the holographic screen.

"Son of a bitch," I chuckled as the words that were not my own had been thrown into the air.

I lowered the tech and looked at the bound prisoner in the middle of the room. With blood trickling down his lips and a knife in his knee cap, he seemed almost certain that none of us could break him.

The man was part of the Infantry, a large faction of bigotry that killed women for being distractions. In fact, every member of the group was responsible for the lives of countless people belonging to this district. Though his name and beliefs were completely irrelevant, our prisoner knew something about the angels and we needed that information extracted from him before someone tried to rescue his sorry ass.

"Looks like the hunters in this district need to be gutted for letting you disgusted animals roam free," He spat blood at my feet and chuckled humorlessly. "When I get free, I'll be sure to drive this here knife right down your throat."

"Great," Jester said boredly before kicking the man's chair over. As the prisoner's bruised face struck the ground, he groaned in pain but still proved defiant.

"You're sure there's an angel around?" Brick crossed his arms over his chest, frowning at the demon's carelessness but all demons did whatever they wanted.

Rules never applied to them, and they most certainly didn't apply to Jester of all people.

"Relax, alright? Sam didn't lie to Blondie for nothing," The demon's eyes flashed red as he glared between the two of us, careful to not expose himself to the bleeding man on the ground. "You brought me along because I can sense them when they're near, remember? Now I'm telling you straight, there's an angel that's descended somewhere in the area that hasn't been de-winged yet and that means we need to get to it before it fucking flies off into the sunset. So the way I see it, we have two options here: either help me get information out of this spit-fuck or get the hell out of my way and let me perform an art I'm pretty fucking amazing at."

"Do whatever you need to," I ordered as I turned my attention over to Jester. "You said it yourself, didn't you? We need to find an angel alive more than we need this piece of shit breathing."

"I like when you talk to me dirty, Sammy-boy." Jester's face soon emerged with a malicious smirk. "Hear that, pretty boy?" The demon's right arm suddenly engulfed in a bright blue flame, filling the prisoner with fear as his eyes widened. "Sounds like you and I are in for a good time tonight!"

"Y-you're s-some kind of-?" The man stumbled over his words, terrified upon witnessing Jester's true nature. "N-no! No, wait! I-i'll tell you what i-i know! I swear!"

"I don't think so," Jester grabbed a firm hold of the chair with his left hand and raised the man back up with ease. "You, my friend, get a first class all-you-can-experience seat!"


"So, are you gonna tell her?" Brick cringed slightly through the sounds of Jester's flamethrower-like assault and the man's blood-curdling screams.

"No," I said with my mind already made up.

Elika was already abandoned by her father and that was long before she lost everything to the same group our prisoner belonged to. Whoever her father was, he left his daughter crying over the corpse of her mother in blood-stained streets. Her hometown... her entire district was gone. Burned completely to ash and dust with no one to dare look back and ask why.

Angels weren't angels. They'd kill you without so much as flinching. None of them knew anything about how to feel warmth or compassion, not even for the human race. They weren't these holy saints that priests say they were.. No, they were as empty as picture frames. Each one of them pre-built with a single purpose: fulfill God's will and destroy anyone against it.

Submitted: February 04, 2016

© Copyright 2020 JaayAnon. All rights reserved.


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