Saturday, May 22, 2010

Chapter 7

Chike knew he had bitten off far more than he could chew, but he had no choice in the matter. Nothing in his nature would let him leave the scene, or let this demon have his way.

There are worse ways to be sent back to the Creator” he thought. Elijah's shoe crashed into his temple with a terribly violent amount of force, changing Chike's mind on that particular subject. He flew across the street, and into a street lamp, denting it badly. Chike's head was also dented badly, and ethereal essence (aka angel blood) poured from the wound. Elijah rushed him, pushing his fist far into Chike's gut. More blood sprang forth from his mouth as the gut punch found it's mark. Elijah then showered Chike with a flurry of rights, lefts, and uppercuts. He grabbed him by the neck and unfurled his own wings. The dragon-like appendages lifted both combatants high into the sky, where Chike had the pleasure of being choked to death with a great view of the Manhattan skyline.

You are weak Charles, you always had been and even after all of this time you still are. What happened to us, to our people, happened because we where weak and trusting, and we were enslaved because of it. You see what has happened to Black folk since then... look at them... LOOK AT THEM!”

Chike's head was pointed to the ground... they were very high up, he thought. But he did see, see the people all around him, and especially he saw the ancestors of the slaves that he had once been. He saw that they were riddled with disease, addicted to all manner of drugs, poor, homeless, starving, violent, miserable... He wondered what had happened, what had happened to the proud African men and women that they had came from, and how it all ended in this. As his essence flowed from his body, so too did the will to fight flow from his spirit. What, after all, was he fighting for?

What are you fighting for Chike? Elijah squeezed as hard as he could, feeling the will of his victim growing weaker by the second. What ARE you fighting for?”

Chike drifted in and out of consciousness, what am I fighting for...”

Suddenly something caught his eye through the haze of pain and his own blood. Somewhere far below in the cesspool of humanity, the fading light of existence glinted off of one small jewel lost in the darkness. He squinted and tried to focus what was left of his failing abilities on the small spark What caught his attention was a small boy, a small boy playing with some toys, obviously up way past his bedtime. Chike could not understand why, at this particular moment in his afterlife, when there were so many other pressing matters at hand, why this boy captured his attention. Eventually the boy looked up, and their gazes locked. The boy looked just like he did at that age; he was almost an exact duplicate. When their eyes met it felt like he was looking into a mirror, a mirror from hundreds of years ago. That boy was one of his descendents if not literally by blood, then through shared culture and experience. This boy had a chance to be something, Chike thought, and if that boy had a chance, so could many, many others. The blood of his ancestors was not gone, it was still present, but dormant like an acorn. All that boy needed was a chance to grow, just as he himself had been given a chance to grow because of the sacrifices of those that came before him. A torrent of activity flooded his mind, and soon one thing became crystal clear to him.

I'm fighting for him.”

His own wings burst from his back, releasing him from Elijah's grip. He glowed with the pure light of the Creator, blinding the Demon momentarily. Exhausted from the exertion, Chike started to fall to Earth, unable even to maintain the simple act of flight. The farther he fell from the Demon Lord the more his mind cleared; he realized that Elijah was using the Demon gift of Temptation, feeding him with hopelessness so that he would eventually submit to Elijah and Turn. He shuddered at the fact that he had come so close to Falling; then he shuddered from the force of the wind rushing around him and the ground rapidly coming up to meet him.

Elijah rubbed his eyes; all he could see where sparkles and stars. “Damn pigeons”, he thought. When his vision cleared he saw his prey escaping, and felt every bit of the Rage that he had become known for. With a monstrous roar he rocketed himself toward the falling angel. After reaching an unearthly speed he slammed into Chike, driving them both into the ground with the force of a bunker-busting bomb. The red glare of hellfire exploded in a massive cloud just as bright as Chike's heavenly light had been, destroying many local spirit and spiritual structures in the process. As the smoke cleared Elijah stood over Chike's broken body in his full demonic form, horns, tail and all. His eyes burned, and his wings viciously beat the air in defiance of the laws of physics.

I have had more than enough of you. It's been hundreds of years and still you defy me, still you refuse to follow me, still you disgrace your lineage and your people by being weak. The Demon punctuated each of his sentences with a stern kick to the ribcage. Chike rolled and crawled and spit and grimaced, but he refused to lay down. He knew that every second he stayed conscious was another second he brought his friends to save that girls life. And as he had hoped, with Elijah gone the mortals calmed down and got the girl to the hospital. The mission had been accomplished; he could accept the fate that had been given him now... except that it didn't seem to quite be his time. Elijah drew his sword and said “I've given you more than enough chances to join the winning team Charles. Now I'm just going to dismember you and be done with it. My hell-hounds will enjoy stripping the flesh from your bones.”

A slight change in air pressure was all that it took to alert the Demon that something was amiss. With frightening agility, he dodged the coordinated attacks of Joe and MB. They thought they had done an excellent job of getting the drop on Elijah, but Demon Lords did not get to be Demon Lords by being easily surprised. Joe went high and swung for the Demon's neck from the front, while MB used all the speed at her disposal to fly in low from behind and take out Elijah's knees. The Demon did a quite acrobatic and somewhat artistic back-flip, causing both angels to catch nothing but air. When he recovered he shot blasts of pure hellfire from his sword, knocking both of his assailants through solid walls.

More pigeons to roast huh? Not fair sneaking up on a guy. I thought you all were supposed to be the good guys? Joe sputtered and clenched his teeth in pain as the hellfire attempted to burn it's way through his outer jacket. He let his wings loose, and several of his feathers had been burned off. He, of course, was foolish to take on a Demon Lord alone, just like his partner it seemed. Chike coughed up some more blood and crawled towards a faintly glowing object close to him. Dammit, his bull-headed partner was near Final Death, and was still trying to pick up his weapon to fight. He looked across the street and could barely make out Mary Beth, who looked to be in as good shape as Chike right now.

Joe quickly assessed their current situation; “only thing we have going in our favor right now, is that this prick is a bully and a sadist, not a soldier. A soldier, or a trained fighter, would go after the strongest of us and finish us off in descending order of danger to his well being. Elijah was Sadist, a Bully, and a slave to his own rage, which meant that he would go out of his way to torment the weakest among us, who was, of course, the rookie.”

Come here little birdy” Elijah purred, smugness oozing from every pore. He searched through the wreckage of the storefront MB had landed in, and his face lit up like a kid on Christmas when he found her prone, broken body lying amongst the debris.

Oh you are a tender pretty one aren't you? Did you even know the touch of a man before you died? If not, don't worry, I will rectify that injustice.” As he said this he ground the heel of his shoe into an open gash she had on her left calf Mary Beth screamed in pain, as just as I managed to reach Chike.

Man this is bad, really bad. Did you call for backup?”

Chike coughed up some more of his angelic essence and said “no, I never got a chance to. What of the girl?”

She's safe in the ER, we made sure she checked in alright then came right back. Aw man what have we gotten ourselves into. We have to save MB!”

Elijah dug his clawed hands into the wound on her leg and picker her up by it, her head dangling limply upside down. He measured her for a second then drop kicked her in the middle of her back. Another scream escaped her lips as she was once again bodily ejected from where she lay at high velocity. She slid to a stop a few feet from where Chike and I lay. Now, I'm not an easy guy to scare, but I have to say Demon Lords scare the piss outta me. They are embodiments of evil and sin, and usually have spent hundreds or thousands of years honing their specific craft. Elijah was relatively young for a Lord, but that only proved how dangerous he had become in such a short time.

Ah, now all my chickens have come home to roost, though I must say you have all looked better. Elijah knew he had them beaten, and there was no need to rush the coup-die-grace. He far preferred to savor a kill, especially a victory over such a hated rival. “You know, I'm going to give you folks a treat. Very few have ever seen my sword's true form, so you should consider your self lucky.” Elijah's sword began to shake and shimmer, and in no time transformed itself into an ancient African Hunter's spear. “You see Charles, I have learned to focus and hone my power so that I could personalize my weapon... do they even tell you that's possible up there?” The Demon stomped the end of his spear on the pavement, causing a mild earthquake and brimstone to start to seep upwards through the cracks in the ground.

If you had only come with me I could have shown you how to use this power for yourself. Well, I guess it doesn't matter now, one way or another, you're all going to Hell.”

Elijah raise his spear in the air and red electricity began to spark and arc from it, seemingly fed from the ground instead of the sky. I had one holdout move that I could try, but if that didn't work, we were toast. Chike was reaching for his sword as well, but I doubted he'd be able to cut a loaf of bread at this point. As for MB, I wasn't sure if she was still with us at all; the feathers on her wings were still smoldering. Fortunately for us, The D.B.I. do have Calvary... they're called Arch-Agents.

There was a loud Sonic Boom somewhere high above us, from a great distance. Doing some quick math in my head I realized that for us to hear something that loud from this far away meant it had to be huge, insanely powerful, and moving far past the speed of light. I only knew of one DBI Angel who would charge into a situation as dangerous as this, at that speed, without knowing any of the details. There was only one berserk, rage-filled, and just bent on wreaking havoc Angel could be crashing down on us; Kristenael. At this point, I don't know if that's worse news for the Demon or for us.