Major demons, p.13
Major Demons, page 13
“I imagine you’re very powerful. I need someone powerful to help me bring Leech back. I don’t know where Shadow is. Can you help me?”
Samael grabbed the head with one of his large hands. He fell to one knee as the head started to drain his strength. A ghostly body appeared under Leech’s head and Lilith clapped her hands and jumped up and down with joy. Her joy was short-lived. Samael dropped Leech’s head and it rolled on the ground. The body disappeared. When Samael got back to his feet, he was breathing heavily.
“I’m… sorry, Lilith. I don’t… seem to have the strength… I had when I was… younger.”
Lilith retrieved the head and put it back in the sack.
“It was a long shot. I just figured it was worth a try. That’s why I’m trying to find Shadow. He can bring Leech back.”
“We’re here to help you. We can track Shadow and take you to him.”
Lilith turned to go, but Samael placed a hand on her shoulder.
“Before we do that… can I hold my granddaughter? I promise I’ll be very careful.”
Lilith looked at him skeptically.
“You can trust me. I tried to bring Leech back. We stopped the angels from killing you. I promise you that we’re here to help.”
Lilith considered her father’s words briefly, then took Lucia and placed her in Samael’s arms. Samael looked tried to stop the grin from spreading across his face, but he couldn’t.
Aim and his snipers had been watching Gangrene in shifts. They had a few false alarms where they thought Gangrene was on his way to Earth but he always returned before leaving Hell. Aim started to wonder if Gangrene knew that they were watching him. Gangrene was acting suspicious this morning. He stepped outside of his tent and put on a hooded cloak. He immediately started making his way towards one of the portals to Earth.
Aim had considered killing Gangrene and taking his scythe. He could make up a story and convince Murmur and Jess that it was necessary. As long as he could hide the truth, no one would be the wiser. With Gangrene’s forces added to his own, Aim would command an army larger than any in Hell apart from the Dragon’s forces.
“Follow him. If he even gets close to the portal this time, we’re surrounding him and taking him down. I’m tired of allowing him such a long leash. He’s clearly planning to go to Earth.”
Aim’s sniper team nodded and started packing up their gear. They were ready to go in less than a minute. Aim mounted a horse and took off. His snipers followed.
Gangrene had known that he was being watched since his last meeting with Murmur and Jess. He had even spotted his tail on several occasions and was convinced that he had lost them completely at least twice. Gangrene was convinced that he knew a lot more ways to get to Earth than Aim, Jess, or Murmur did. He had considered making a run for the surface, but he couldn’t sneak his army up there. Last night he had come up with a plan to deal with his tail permanently. He hoped it was just one of the three. He didn’t want to deal with Aim, Jess, and Murmur simultaneously, but he figured he wouldn’t have to. One of them had to be preparing for war with Nightmare and Astaroth.
As Gangrene approached the portal, Aim stepped out from the shadows and blocked his path. He pointed his gun at Gangrene’s face.
“Good morning, Aim. Just you following me? Your sister and the big guy busy with other things?”
Aim was unsure how to respond. Playing mind games was not one of his skills.
“I don’t need them to deal with you. You’re making a run for Earth. I was told I could take you out if you tried.”
“I don’t believe that. I’ve tested you a few times. You’ve never stepped out and confronted me. Thanks for confirming it’s just you though. That makes me a lot more confident in my response.”
Aim felt a slight tinge of fear creep up his spine, but he held his hand steady on the trigger.
“You don’t have a response. I caught you by surprise.”
Gangrene laughed and drew his scythe.
“Wow. I thought you were better than that. I guess your team never told you that they completely lost me at least twice. They were probably scared to report it. I’ve known you were following me… and you know what else? I hope you try to kill me. I’m capturing your sister as we speak.”
“You’re a liar. Jess is fine.”
“Is she? Doesn’t it bother you that my army hasn’t intervened and tried to cut you off?”
“We caught you by surprise. You aren’t going to talk your way out of this.”
“Then take your shot. Make it a good one, though. I trained under both Shadow and Leech. If you miss, I will kill you.”
Gangrene adopted a defensive position and hoped that Raven could deliver on her promise to capture Jess. There was no other way to diffuse the situation without death.
Gangrene had given Raven the sword he took from Scapegoat and told her to lead his armies towards Jess. The plan was to capture her and take her alive to the portal Gangrene would be slowly approaching. She was nervous. Gangrene could be dead or in serious trouble by the time she made it back. She could fail at capturing Jess. Jess could kill her. Above all, she missed Lilith and her niece.
“So… I don’t really have a great plan. I’m going to try to talk Jess down and get her to come with us willingly. She let Lilith escape from us a while back and I think she’s still feeling guilty. We’re only going to attack if she makes the first move. Gangrene will be alright until we get back.”
One of Gangrene’s soldiers stepped forward and bowed his head briefly in Raven’s direction.
“All due respect, is that really our best plan? It would be easier to take her by surprise and bind her. Take her staff. Run her back to Gangrene. Gangrene can only last so long against a group of snipers trained by Aim. Aim isn’t running around with a broken rifle now, he has White Death from the Dragon’s personal collection.”
“What’s your name again?”
“Adder, my lady.”
Raven noticed that some of the demons had nodded as Adder was speaking. She was slightly concerned.
“We’ll go with my plan, Adder. You’ll march at the back of the army.”
“Back of the army. Now.”
Adder started to draw his sword but saw Raven’s blade start to glow a red-orange. He took his hand off his weapon and let it fall back into its hilt. He started stomping towards the back of the army, grumbling.
“Any other problems?”
Raven’s question was met with silence.
“Good. We’re almost there. Let’s get this done and get back to Gangrene.”
“What the hell are those things?”
Sarah pointed at the army they had found. The demons painted themselves, snorted chemicals, and didn’t wear any kind of cumbersome armor. She also heard a lot of yelling and fighting amongst the ranks.
“Berserkers. Nightmare converted his entire army into berserkers as well. They’re part of the Dragon’s army. They used to be led by a demon named Bloodlust, but I heard he was killed by Nightmare. It makes sense, because Nightmare has the berserker staff and he fused it with his scythe. That’s how he made the demon scythe, Rage. Azazel crafted it for him.”
“So the Dragon is somewhere nearby?”
“I don’t think so. I don’t really sense him anywhere near us. I wonder if maybe we should ask them.”
Shadow got up to walk towards the berserkers, but Sarah grabbed his arm.
“Why would you want to do that? They might kill you or take you to the Dragon.”
“I really don’t think he’s around. I want to know what they’re doing. If the Dragon is around, I need to kill him anyways. Besides, I’ve always wanted to learn how they fight. It’ll be worthwhile to talk to them.”
Shadow stepped out from his hiding spot and approached the army. He was immediately surrounded. A large demon stepped out to meet him.
“Shadow of the nephilim. Wh
The demon noticed Sarah trailing Shadow and laughed.
“With an angel, no less. Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t kill you both and bring your corpses to the Dragon.”
“I can think of a few. First, you can’t kill me. I have the armor of Michael the Archangel. I’ve fought the Archangels Gabriel and Raphael and neither of them could kill me. Second, I can always teleport away. I may not be a traditional demon anymore, but I still have my scythe. Third, I’m just here to talk. I don’t sense the Dragon anywhere around here and I want to know where he is.”
“You want to kill him?”
Shadow nodded. The demon extended his hand and Shadow shook it.
“I am Adrenaline. I took command of the berserkers after Azazel killed Bloodlust, the commander before me.”
Shadow looked confused.
“Azazel killed Bloodlust? The rumor in Hell is that Nightmare…”
“Nightmare was fighting him at the time. Azazel snuck up behind him and stopped him. Otherwise, Bloodlust would have destroyed Nightmare before he fell over and died. He was headless and still the berserker staff fueled his rage. He continued to fight on.”
“So… you’re ok with me killing the Dragon?”
“Yes. I would like you to kill him.”
“Ever since Nightmare took our staff, we are no longer in the Dragon’s favor. It’s not like Nightmare can control us or anything like that, but he still doesn’t trust us anymore. He has us hunting nephilim while he marches towards Abaddon with the rest of his armies. So at this point, he doesn’t really care what happens to us. We failed to protect the berserker staff and are now a disgraced order.”
“I see. Well I know that Nightmare has fused the berserker staff with his scythe. I don’t know how you’ll ever get it back.”
Adrenaline looked at the other berserkers and they all shook their heads.
“The loss of the staff won’t be a problem forever, but I won’t tell you why, Shadow. We don’t trust you. Our purposes may align, but we know you’re only after power. My turn to ask some questions. Why are you traveling with an angel?”
“She’s the granddaughter of the Archangel Gabriel and she’s helping me kill the creatures we’ve come here to kill.”
“And they are?”
“Azazel, Abaddon, and the Dragon.”
The berserkers screamed and yelled at the mention of Azazel.
“We have been following Azazel hoping to kill him as well. We heard a rumor that your friend, Leech, had already killed him.”
“No, unfortunately. Leech injured him very badly, but he got away. I’m going to kill him for Leech.”
“Then two of our enemies are the same. Why do you hunt Abaddon?”
“He’s my father. I need to put him down. I can’t let him destroy this world. It’s my responsibility to stop him because no one else can.”
“Admirable. We don’t often consider responsibility. Our emotions are much simpler. You kill one of us and we kill you… even if it means another of us dies in the process. Bloodlust should have defeated Nightmare and Azazel needs to die. So now you have your information. I’m not sure how it helped you, but we will let you leave without trying to kill you. You are not our enemy, Shadow.”
“Information is not all I was seeking. I’d like your help. I’d like to learn how you fight so I can incorporate the techniques into my own fighting. If necessary, I need to be ready to keep fighting on to kill my foes even if I fall down dead in the end. I’ve heard of berserkers who fought well past when they should have died. I need to learn how to fight like that and I don’t think Nightmare did it the right way.”
Adrenaline spit on the ground.
“The berserkers under Nightmare’s command are an abomination. They know nothing of our ways or how to channel the rage.”
Sarah stepped forward.
“I would like to learn with Shadow.”
Adrenaline spit on the ground again.
“We don’t train angels. No exceptions. We only spare your life for Shadow’s sake.”
“We should talk in private, Adrenaline. There’s something you should know.”
Shadow looked around.
“I won’t tell you in front of your entire army.”
“Back to training!”
The berserkers reluctantly dispersed and resumed training.
“Well? Go ahead then.”
“Sarah isn’t an angel. She’s a nephilim like me. If you’re willing to train me then you should be willing to train her.”
“The Archangel Gabriel mixed bloodlines with a demon? You lie.”
“Not Gabriel. One of his children. It’s a secret few know and I will seal it with your death should you ever tell anyone.”
“Can you prove it?”
Sarah and Shadow had been practicing a few demon spells in case Sarah had need of them. She summoned ice in her left hand and fire in her right, careful to not let any berserkers other than Adrenaline see her powers. Adrenaline smiled and looked at Shadow.
“Amazing. Your secret is safe with me as long as you rid us of Azazel and restore our name. We will train you.”
Sarah stepped in between Shadow and Adrenaline to confirm what he was saying.
“You’ll train both of us?”
“Both of you. It’s not every day that we get to work with nephilim descended from Archangels.”
Hypnos had asked Lilith if he could continue to carry Lucia and Lilith had agreed, as long as he didn’t hand her over to Thanatos. Thanatos still creeped Lilith out. While Lilith still didn’t fully trust them, she felt much better with Samael and her half-brothers around. At least she knew she wouldn’t be caught off guard again. The group had been following Samael’s lead for several days now. Samael stopped suddenly.
“The angels are still following us. Uriel never went back to Heaven. I think we need to deal with them before we continue towards Shadow.”
“There are four of us and a baby.”
“You’re right. I know it’s not fair. We’re far more powerful than they are. We don’t really have a choice, though. They’re going to keep following us until they can ambush us again at night. Angels are generally cowards like that.”
“Aren’t you an angel, Samael?”
“A fallen angel. There’s a difference.”
Lilith figured now would be a good time to approach what was likely an uncomfortable subject. She didn’t care. He owed her an explanation.
“Why did you hook up with Vixen? That still doesn’t make any sense to me. I thought angels weren’t drawn in by lust.”
“Angels can be tempted and I was obviously not the first to…”
Samael shifted uncomfortably.
“Was it simply an attraction based hook up?”
“Pretty much. I was also curious what it was like to be with a demoness. I like new experiences. I…”
Samael looked over at Lilith and saw that his discomfort was amusing her.
“So this is how you’re going to get back at me? Fine.”
“Just having some fun. We can move on to easier topics. When did you find out she was pregnant?”
“A few months later. I had spies watching her. They confirmed that she was with child. Of course, I didn’t know if it was mine or not.”
“When did you realize I was your daughter?”
“Shortly after you were born. I saw you and I tried to take you from her. I almost took you to Heaven. I was talked out of going through with that idea. The angels would have killed you. You look too much like your mother. I returned you to Hell and…”
“You thought Vixen was going to take care of me? She was a vain, jealous…”
“I knew she wouldn’t.”
Samael hung his head.
“I tried to protect
“A lot of good that did me. Did you know I grew up with a minor demon named Panic? I had no real family. All of Vixen’s children were jealous of me. I was alone almost all the time.”
“I know about all of that.”
“How could you know all of that?”
“Because I hired Panic to take care of you and I blackmailed your mother to keep your identity a secret. I didn’t want word getting out that you were a nephilim.”
Lilith stood and scrutinized Samael. Her instincts told her that he was lying.
“You hired Panic to protect me?”
“I did. He reported to me on a regular basis and told me how you were doing. He sent me pictures. He even stopped me from marching down there and taking you up here to Earth once. He was a good guy and a credit to the race of demons.”
“Where’s your proof? Can you prove any of this?”
Samael removed a folder from his bag and handed it to Lilith. It was filled with letters in Panic’s hand-writing and pictures of Lilith from when she was younger.
“Do you want to know why I got kicked out of Heaven?”
Lilith sat back down and returned the folder to Samael.
“I told them I had a daughter that was half demon, but I refused to acknowledge it as a sin. They told me to deny loving you and that the whole thing could be forgiven. I couldn’t do it. I walked out on the angels and came to Earth… then I had your brothers with another demoness and waited.”
“Waited for what?”
“For the right time to let you know who I was. To let you know that even though you made your own friends, you always had a family that loved you, too.”
Lilith could feel the tears rolling down her cheeks. She scooted next to Samael and hugged him.
“Protecting me is going to be hard.”
“I’m kind of insane and I act on impulse. I think I get that from Vixen.”
by Randall Morris have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes