This Is FICTION... any character resembling a real life person is by coincidence, and in the rare event a character is based on someone in real life their name has been changed due to legal and personal protection. You never know who's lurking around reading this. So now the little spiel is over so hopefully someone will enjoy this. Do Not Reproduce this story, and if you would like to have it on your web site, email me for my permission. Thanks. Light Of Day, Dark Of Night & Characters Copyright © Jaden & Jaded Edge Productions. Dark Horizons & Characters Copyright © Toren. All Rights Reserved.
Send thoughts and comments to Jaden at XvXJadenXvX@aol.com and Toren at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jaded Edge: http://jadededgeproductions.web1000.com
& Jaden Production
Light Of Day, Dark Of Night
Moonlight spilled into the living room through the open door of Austin's house, outlining the form of Gavin and the three Dark Angels where they stood confidently, manning the edge of a pathway leading to front porch. Gavin's eyes burned with intensity, the pure blackness of them simmered like a boiling abyss. An arrogant smirk stayed plastered upon his face as he stared down the young magi standing their ground in front of him. Gavin calmly walked up the stone laid walkway heading straight for the house's entrance. He stepped over the prone form of Rythen, who seemingly had been the unfortunate victim of breaking his promise to Kali. Gavin looked down at Rythen's limp body as he stepped up to it laying just above the porch stairs. Gavin nudged the body with his foot, "I'm pretty sure he took being a doormat a little too literally. What do you think?" Gavin's grin widened as he spoke nonchalantly to Devyn.
Devyn stood his ground just inside the doorway, not flinching and not bothering to give Gavin an answer to his distasteful question. Gavin shrugged at the lack of response and proceeded further and into the house. The air seemed to thicken with an aura of power and tension, causing Austin to swallow nervously, while he made sure Enya had a firm hold on Caleb, "He's fading fast, can you help him in time?"
"I guess we'll find out in a minute or so," Enya pulled Caleb further into the hallway and out of Gavin's view then laid him gently on the floor so she could tend to him. Sweat glistened on his forehead and his breathing was becoming more shallow. His body trembled slightly as he started losing what little bit of life he had left to hang onto. He mumbled something incoherently and his eyes rolled back into his head, provoking Enya to start the healing process before it was too late.
Meanwhile, Austin made his way back to Devyn who had his sword drawn and pointed at Gavin. "Get out, vampire!" Devyn shouted. His tone came out fierce and threatening, causing the Dark Angels to start making their way up to the house. Each of the deadly mystical warriors drew their swords in response to Devyn's threatening stance, but Gavin held up his hand causing them to sheathe their swords again and back off.
"Are you always this rude toward guests, magi?" Gavin asked, smiling evilly.
"You are not welcome here, whoever you are," Devyn retorted.
Gavin's smile turned into a frown and he cocked his head to the side slightly, "You're beginning to spoil my mood, I may just have to kill you."
In the hall, Enya ran her hands over Caleb's body looking for the source of his pain. Her eyes were glowing with a golden light, a small amount washing over the pale form of Caleb. She brought her hands to his head and a shock went jolting throughout her body. Whoever had poisoned him was very powerful. She placed her hands on the back of his head and began chanting, while closing her eyes. After a few seconds of chanting her eyes shot open and a bright golden light suffused the room. "Medicor morbus!" She shouted. A dark cloud seeped out of Caleb's mouth and began to take the form of some kind of creature. Enya waved her hand, sending the cloud crashing against the wall and out of sight with an ear splitting shriek.
Gavin's eyes darted to the hallway where the sound emitted from and gave Devyn the opening he needed. He rushed forward, bringing his sword up for an overhead strike. Gavin immediately returned his attention to Devyn and smirked as he shot his arms out in front of him. Devyn suddenly flew back, and smashed into the far wall with a thud, knocking the pictures of Austin that hung upon it to the floor.
"You shouldn't have done that," Austin said as his eyes began to take on a fiery light. Gavin turned his attention to Austin, bemused by the boy's threatening tone.
"Oh? And why's that, sunshine?" Gavin asked, a hint of amusement in his voice. "Don't worry, I don't think I broke the parts you need from him. You know.. you'll still be able to rock the bed.. well, for the next day or so."
Austin was not amused, "Fire is life, fire is death, I summon the power of the flame to empower me, and be evils bane." Austin's hands started to simmer with heat until they were completely engulfed in balls of flames which quickly spread around him into a fiery aura that outlined his body.
"Well this is interesting," Gavin said bringing his hands up into a fighting stance. Austin launched himself at Gavin swinging his burning fist at the vampire's face, while Gavin in turn threw his hands forward to telekinetically throw Austin backward like he had Devyn. Instead of the effect Gavin was looking for, he suddenly was thrown back out of the house, crashing through the door frame as his body hurtled through the air and into the Dark Angels, sending them all tumbling to the ground.
Austin stood in the doorway and smirked down at them, "Looks like your little powers backfired there bud," He said cockily. Gavin seethed with annoyance as he kipped up to his feet then leapt back up onto the porch faster than the eye could comprehend and floored Austin with a well calculated kick to the abdomen, sending the boy to his knees gasping for the air that had rushed out of his body. Gavin reached down and grabbed Austin by the neck lifting him off the ground, bringing the two face to face.
"Nice trick, though it's really too bad that you wasted your last moment of glory on such a weak attempt at taking me out," He whispered and tightened his grip around Austin's neck. "You don't know who you're dealing with kid. You may think you're something special, but despite what you've been told, you're just another meaningless piece that doesn't fit in this puzzle." Austin choked for air and the fiery aura faded from his body as Gavin continued to try and rattle him, "You have power, but you can't take me. None of you can. Having power isn't nearly as important as what you do with it, and for the first time, I KNOW what I'm supposed to do with mine. You fight mindlessly for your mankind, for the filth that runs around this planet like it's theirs, but the fact remains that Magi or not, you're still just one of them.. a lowly, pathetic, powerless human. It's funny, because you think you're doing the right thing, that maybe this is your chance to make a difference in the world. I used to be like you, but you know what? I was wrong. This world is nothing, and there is no all powerful god that's going to swoop down and save you. No.. the god that's going to rule this planet would rather slit your throat than be bothered by your constant whining and praying for things you'll never ever get. So, to save her the trouble, I'll just take the time to snap your pretty little head off just like Rythen there. I'll give your regards to your boyfriend, but don't fret, he'll be joining you very soon."
Austin's air supply shortage caused him to start to go limp under Gavin's crushing strangle hold when the loud screeching of a hawk pierced through the air. The bird took off from it's perch atop of the porch and swooped down toward Gavin. Austin realized it was Toren in hawk form as it got closer. Gavin didn't have time to react and cringed in pain as Toren dug his claws into the back of his shoulder. Gavin released his grip on Austin, dropping him to the hardwood floor of the porch. Austin gasped for breath while he laid on the ground, struggling with his lungs. Gavin reached over his shoulder and grabbed Toren, flinging him into the house with all his might. Austin somehow scrambled to his feet and stumbled into the house where Devyn was back on guard and, ready to jump back into the fight. Gavin stalked toward the doorway quickly and Devyn in turn headed straight for Gavin. Devyn swung his sword and Gavin threw a hard punch as they came within striking distance of one another. At that very moment the air seemed thickened with power and Enya stepped into the room, her eyes still aglow.
"Inquam advoco vallum oppositum pravus!" She shouted and a crackling sounded throughout the room as a blue wall of energy shot forward from her hands and surrounded the group. Gavin's fist hit the shield at the same time Devyn's sword did, preventing both boys from connecting with each other. Gavin seemed to go over the edge and started punching the shield furiously, causing it to shimmer for a moment. Enya cringed but continued to hold up the barrier of protection.
Gavin glared at Enya, "You are powerful for a young magi," He said looking directly at her, "Or are you something else entirely?" He asked. Before anyone could say anything else, Caleb appeared from behind Enya and made his way over to the barrier, his eyes locked with Gavin's. Gavin's face softened a bit, but quickly became serious again, "Caleb.."
Caleb stepped up to the shield, bringing him face to face with Gavin, with nothing but Enya's wall separating them. Caleb's sparkling violet eyes looked into the deep dark, black pools that now had taken the place of Gavin's once soft brown eyes. "Gavin."
The two former lovers continued to stare each other down, drawing out the eerily calm silence that filled the air. Gavin shook his head and seemingly forced away whatever had changed his demeanor, "You should've just died."
Caleb was shaken by the coldness in Gavin's voice, "Death is everyone's ultimate destiny."
"Is it? Funny, because I look at this whole armageddon as my chance to live forever."
"No one lives forever, not even us. At one time or another, someone or something will come along and take our lives. That's the will of the world."
"The will of the world? Well guess what baby, this world belongs to Kali now, and you know who's going to be running things right by her side? Me. So, I guess you had one part right, you won't live forever. I will."
"You're a fool, Gavin. I can see the darkness inside of you, eating away at your soul until it's completely gone. The look on your face when you saw me was enough to tell me that there's still some shred of compassion and good inside of you, but you're letting the witch take it all away."
"What do I need it for? So I can put my heart on the line, fall in love, then have the person ripped out of my life? Then find them after two years and have them not remember a god damn thing we had? Been there. Oh wait, maybe I'll slowly admit to myself that I can get past all that and put my heart out there for someone else, only to have them run into the arms of someone else? Oh, two strikes on me. Well fuck that, because right now, I'm the mother fucking ballpark and you, you're the ball that's going to be hit right out. Out of my head, out of my heart, out of me."
"If that's what you want, then consider me gone. But if you go through with this plan for hell on earth, I will stop you. As much as I care about you, I'll kill you without so much as a blink before I let you destroy billions of innocent people."
"Then you better kill me, because that's the only way you and the rest of our friends are going to survive." Gavin seemed to snap as his eyes widened and a crazy smile spread across his face, " I'm powerful, I'm immortal, I can do anything, I'm cursed, and I am the thing that darkness fears. You're all dead. You just don't know it yet." Gavin spun on his heels and walked with a purpose off the porch and down the pathway. His coat flapped in the wind as the Dark Angels opened a portal and jumped in. Gavin glanced back to the house where Caleb still stood watching him. Gavin smirked at Caleb then jumped into the portal.
sighed and looked down at the ground, "No... the darkness that surrounds
us cannot hurt us. It's the darkness in your own heart you should fear."
A cool breeze swept through the lightening sky, causing the gentle swaying of nearby palm trees to slice through the deathly silence of the early morning hour.
Joey sat quietly on an old wrought iron bench, one that seemed to stoically watch the crashing waves of the ocean. Joey's eyes sparkled with the reflection of the clear blue water, as his mind fought itself in the murky, opaque abyss of confusion that it had become. How does someone make a choice between his own happiness and quite possibly the fate of the world as we know it?
Joey ran a hand through his hair in frustration. His heart was torn in two and no matter what decision he came to, there would be consequences.
If he chose to stay human, he may be taking the world's only hope of survival away from it. The prophecies specifically state that the human who was once a vampire is the only one who can enter the Realm Of Shadows and walk out of it with the Talisman Of Light alive. If he chooses not to go and fulfill what appears to be his destiny, he could be leaving the people he loves, along with the rest of the world, for dead.
On the other hand, even if he retrieves the talisman and becomes a vampire again, his chances of killing Kali are very slim. Then he will have wasted his chance to live a normal life.. his chance to find peace within himself.
"You know, thinking is really bad for you." A voice startled Joey, breaking him out of his thoughts abruptly. Joey looked up and saw a young man, with his dark hair slicked back and sporting a long black coat that swayed with the wind. His eyes were a piercing, icy blue that seemed to cut right down to the soul.
"Well, when you figure out how to stop it, let me know," Joey answered back solemnly.
"Aww, cheer up, Buttercup. Whatever's plaguing you, I'm sure it's not the end of the world.." Joey looked up at the older boy again and pierced the blues eyes with his own gaze, "Or I could be wrong about that last part." The older boy took a seat next to Joey on the bench, then stuck out his hand, "Well, as long as the world is still here, I might as well introduce myself. I'm Ethan."
Joey grasped Ethan's hand, "Joey.. and did you just call me Buttercup?" Ethan laughed, then a thick silence took over in the air, as the sky started to brighten with color, signaling the rapidly approaching sunrise was almost there.
"So, the world is ending, eh? Who would've thought that such a landmark event could happen without anyone knowing about it.. well, almost anyone."
"Give it a few hours, then everyone will know that in less than 19 hours, the world as they know it will cease to exit," Joey paused, "And maybe their only hope for survival is sitting on a bench, somehow trying to reason with himself that his own happiness is on the same level of importance as the lives of billions of others. Some hero I've turned out to be."
Ethan studied Joey for a moment, taking in the boys mannerisms. Joey's right leg tapped up and down slightly, giving off his nerves over the impending doom, and the boy chewed on his finger nails for a relief from the stress he was under. Ethan gently probed into Joey's thoughts, trying to figure out what he was all about. "What makes you so special? You seem like an every day normal guy to me." Ethan tried pushing a little deeper into Joey's mind, but was still coming up empty.
"You know, if you want to know something, just ask, you'll get better results than you're getting with your way of doing things."
Ethan looked a bit taken aback that Joey knew he was trying to pick his mind for answers, "Hmm... A human who can pick out a vampire and knows about our mind reading capabilities enough to keep someone from reading his thoughts. You're either a very special human, or more likely a magi. Either way, very intriguing."
Joey's ears perked when he heard magi mentioned, "A special human? Kind of, but not really. A magi? Not even close. So you're wrong on both accounts, but since you mentioned them, what do you know about magi?"
Ethan smirked "Oh, I've had dinner with one or two here and there." Joey furrowed his brow a bit, wondering what was so funny about having dinner with someone. Instincts told him there was some underlying meaning to Ethan's words, but he let it go.
"So, what are you doing out here at this time of day? The sun will be up soon, you should be inside unless you're planning on getting char broiled."
Ethan smiled widely, "I'll be all right. So, tell me Joey, why the big dilemma? It seems like a given to me. My happiness is one thing, but the lives of everyone else on the planet is another altogether. Are you really willing to sacrifice all those lives so you can smile a bit more than normal for the next 19 hours?"
"If I could answer that, I wouldn't be sitting here right now. I don't know if I can really prevent anything, so if I go back to.. what I used to be, and still fail, then I wasted my last hours of life fighting for nothing, when I could have been experiencing the last moments of happiness I'll ever get to have."
"What you used to be? So, you're the vampire made back into a real live boy." Joey looked at Ethan bewildered, surprised that Ethan knew about him, "Don't look so shocked, you're actually quite famous throughout the whole vampire world. I didn't know that you were the one for sure, but now I do. You're not exactly just another face in the crowd, and you haven't been fo"What do you mean? Why do I get the feeling you know way more about me than you're letting on?"
Ethan grinned, "I guess you're intuitive like that."
"So, if you knew who I was, why put up this facade that you've been going through the motions with?"
"Can never be too careful, Joe."
"Yes, Joey. I may know a little bit more about you then I lead you to believe. But then again, maybe I didn't know before I ran into you. Maybe I did. It doesn't really matter in the long run."
Joey stayed silent and watched Ethan. His demeanor exuded confidence, almost on the verge of arrogance, but there was something vaguely entrancing about his aura, "Who are you really?"
"I'm Ethan. Nothing more, nothing less. If you want a life story, well, maybe another time. You definitely don't want to spend the last hours of time listening to that dreadfully dull tale."
"Answer me a question then."
"Okay that I can do. Shoot."
"What would you do if you were in my position?"
"I'd save the world."
"Just like that, you can make such a big decision?"
"One thing about me that you'll learn, I love the spotlight. What better way to be in the spotlight than by saving every living soul on this planet?"
"I'm not about the accolades.."
"Maybe not. You're a sentimental guy, and I bet you would give your life in a heartbeat if someone you loved was being directly threatened."
"That's where you're failing to see the bigger picture. In reality, EVERYONE you love is being threatened whether it be directly or indirectly. They are all going to die, Joey and if I know evil hell gods as well as I think I do, then Kali will not only kill them, but make sure they are tortured painfully and slowly until she deems its time for them to finally die.."
"You seem to know a lot about that whole process.. and now I know you know the whole situation. You know of Kali, and that she's the hell god that's trying to take over. The question is, who do you get your information from?"
Ethan made a motion for Joey to stand up, "Come, I'll take you to my source. Maybe he can help you with your decision." Joey stood up semi reluctantly and followed close behind his new acquaintance.
The trek went in silence as Joey was seemingly lost in his thoughts again, while Ethan was more concerned about having maybe revealed a little too much of his knowledge. The two boys walked for a few blocks, passing shops that were getting ready to open up for business, in lieu of the soon to be flood of commuters on their way to work. Joey watched Ethan carefully, still trying to figure out what his deal was. Obviously Ethan had come looking for Joey for some reason or another, but Ethan wasn't exactly being loose lipped about his intentions.
Ethan stopped abruptly causing Joey to crash into him, just about knocking both young men down to the pavement. Ethan's enhanced strength prevented him from toppling over, and allowed him to catch Joey in his arms before the younger boy took a spill and injured himself. Ethan's eyes met Joey's and they seemed to lock upon one another for the second time that morning. Joey became a little nervous being in such close proximity with Ethan, but did his best to keep the confident exterior up that he had been building so adamantly. Ethan licked his lips as his eyes moved down and eyed Joey's own soft lips. Joey seemed to be frozen, even though his mind screamed PUSH HIM AWAY, his body remained entranced by Ethan's touch. Ethan leaned his face down and just as it seemed his lips would taste Joey's, he moved his face to the side and whispered in Joey's ear, "We're here." Ethan let go of the Italian boy, somewhat reluctantly, then brushed his coat off.
Joey backed away slightly, feeling a wave of heat from the blush that had swept over his body. He quickly shook himself out of his entranced state and looked at the building in front of them. It looked like an everyday, quaint little coffee house to Joey, "You're telling me that your source is a coffee shop owner?'
Ethan smirked, "Hey, what can I say? The old guy likes his caffeine.. or should I say his caffeine induced customers.."
Joey's eyes widened a bit, "Are you telling me that this guy eats his customers?"
"Well, I wouldn't say he eats them per say. You know.. we just give them a drink.. then they give us a drink," Ethan's smile never seemed to fade.
"And you don't see anything wrong with that?" Joey asked incredulously.
"It's the way of the world, Joey. We have to feed just like anything else. It's not like there's a daily slaughter here. Just when the time comes when that bloodlust hits, picking off one of the more caffeine laced patrons gives you that extra little kick."
Joey shook his head in disgust, "You talk about people like their lives mean nothing."
"No, they mean something. What exactly they mean though, I haven't pinpointed yet. So for now, I'll settle for them being lunch on legs. Nothing more, nothing less." Joey started to turn around, sick at the sound of Ethan's disregard for people, "Hey, don't act like I'm some kind of monster here. You've fed before, and didn't feel the slightest bit of remorse."
"That was different.. they were true monsters.."
"A life is a life, Joey. The lives you took are worth less because you deem the actions that a person took in their past as some form of evil? Who made you god?" Joey just looked down at the ground, not knowing how to answer Ethan's accusations, "And what are we? Angels? Saviors? Heroes? No, we're vampires. We are the REAL monsters. Don't try to fool yourself, kid. If you thought we were truly anything more than that, you wouldn't be looking so hard for a reason not to become vamped out again."
Ethan's words echoed through Joey's head as if someone had just screamed the truth that he didn't want to face right into his heart. Maybe Ethan was right, maybe he didn't want to be some kind of monster. Something that had to kill people just to live itself, "I..."
Ethan put a hand on Joey's shoulder, "Don't think so hard. Come on, let's go see the elder." Ethan opened the door and led Joey into the vacant shop. A few employees were scattered around, setting up tables, placing silverware and starting up the coffee makers. They all seemed to look at Ethan a bit wearily, but with what seemed like an abundance of respect. The girl behind the counter eyed Joey and licked her lips. Joey turned his head away, and followed Ethan through a dark curtain at the back of the room, "Hold onto my shoulder, I don't need you falling down the stairs." Joey did as he was told and let the dark haired boy help him down a spiraling case of stairs, that had no light whatsoever illuminating them. They stopped at a large metal door, with an electronic touch pad next to it. Ethan entered a numeric code, and the door's locks could be heard unlatching. The door opened and Ethan stepped in, pulling Joey along with him.
Lights flashed around the spacious room, and music bellowed off the walls. Several vampires were lounging around in the room, apparently coming down from the high of partying the night away. Some still danced like they had just gotten a kick of energy, and others just seemed to barely be there, judging by the spaced out looks in their eyes. The smell of human blood filled their senses as Joey walked through the room, weaving his way past the drowsy crowd. A few hissed at him, and showed their fangs, either as reflex or to show superiority. One particular vampire was feeling frisky and grabbed Joey by the arm. Joey spun around quickly and backhanded the vampire, then pushed him against the wall. "Back off." The crowd of vamps stopped and looked on stunned at Joey's ballsy move, and made an "ooo" sound, to instigate the vampire who had tried to get a hold of Joey.
"You ssstupid human.." The vampire slurred his words, obviously a little buzzed from whatever he was on, and lunged at Joey. Before he got to him, Ethan stepped in and slammed the vampire into the wall. The wood splintered out of the paneling, and the vampire's body left an imprint in the stiff foundation. The vampire slumped to the ground, groaning in pain, but Ethan showed no compassion and ripped him up by the hair.
"Now, Louie, do you want to give that another try and see how far you get, or should I put you through the wall now and save us both some time?"
Louie, cowered under Ethan's grasp, "N-no, Ethan. I-I didn't mean.."
"Yeah, yeah, you never mean anything you waste of space. Wait until I find your sire, I'll make sure to have his fangs sitting in a jar on my trophy shelf by the end of that meeting." Ethan threw Louie down to the ground violently and turned to Joey, "You okay?" Joey nodded, taken aback by the aggressiveness that Ethan displayed, "Good, let's go. The clock is ticking." Ethan opened another door, and walked into the room with Joey beside him.
The room was bathed in a dark blue theme. The walls were plastered with swirls of navy blue, with a lamp in each corner of the room illuminating the space. Two chairs were placed in front of and one large chair faced away from a large oak finished desk that was topped by various papers.. and a large knife. "Sit, please," A voice came from the large chair behind the desk. Ethan nodded at Joey, and they each took a seat. The chair spun around and Joey shot up immediately.
"No way. You said you were taking me to an elder vampire.. not HIM."
"Aww, I'm not such a bad guy. Ethan, tell him, I'm not all that bad am I?" The man grinned, and his eyes shined.
"Just chill out, Joey. He's not going to hurt you." Joey looked at Ethan, then back at the man wearily.
"Yes, sit. I mean you no harm. I am Kione," The man leaned forward, causing his long white hair to fall forward over his shoulders. He extended his hand, and waited for Joey to extend his own. Joey just stared hard at the hand outstretched for him, refusing to shake it. "Don't be disrespectful, boy. No matter what your dreams may have led you to believe, I'm not the demon you make me out to be."
Joey grasped the man's hand, then quickly pulled away, "Oh no? So you're not a skrull? Or something like it? I just dreamed you up all by myself in my head?"
"No, I am a skrull.. of sorts and no you didn't just dream me up. That dream that you had wasn't really so much a dream as it was an implanted vision. I believe that's what led you to saving your friends awhile back. You can thank Caleb for that. How is the boy by the way?"
"You know Caleb?"
"I do, but that's not why you're here. You're here because you want answers to the questions you cannot answer," Joey nodded, feeling very uneasy, "Then ask away, I know you're running short on time."
"I want to know what I'm supposed to do about Kali."
"Ah yes, Kali. Such a beautiful young woman under all that rage and power. There couldn't have been a better candidate to be reborn as a goddess of Hell. If you're asking me how to defeat her, then I can't help you. The answer to that question extends even beyond my sight. Truthfully, there is no way to really kill a god."
"So, it's pointless to even try and stop her?"
"Nothing is pointless if you believe in it enough. Just because a god can't be killed doesn't mean they can't be defeated."
"So, I should try to stop her.."
"Joseph, my boy, you are taking my words and twisting them to suit your own indecisiveness. I did not tell you to fight nor not to fight."
"Then you're not helping me."
"That decision isn't mine to make. You and only you can decide if you're willing to put your life on the line."
"I'm not worried about my life. It's what happens if I do live and make the wrong decision. If I become a vampire again and fail to stop Kali, then I wasted my only shot at being happy in normal life."
"Who's to say what a normal life is? Just because you're human, that makes you normal? Have you seen some of the people that run around in the streets at night? They are just as much evil as any demon could be. Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be."
"And if I don't know who I am anymore?"
"Then make the world remember your name for a new reason. Personally, I would rather that my spark burn out in a brilliant blaze than be stifled by dry rot."
Joey nodded, slowly seeing the bigger picture, "You know of the prophecy right?"
"Prophecies are fables labeled fact by naive souls who believe everything they read."
"So, then it's not true?"
"The vampire made human must enter the Realm Of Shadows to retrieve the Talisman Of Light in order to be remade into a vampire and take on the dark goddess reborn from the ashes. It's true that many have tried to enter the Realm and failed, but that doesn't mean that you won't suffer the same fate."
"For someone who's supposed to be helping me, you sure are confusing."
Kione laughed, "That is not my intention."
Ethan spoke up, "What he's trying to get at is nothing is written in stone. No matter what the prophecy says, there are always factors that can alter it. You, yourself are a factor in it's own league. You are the one variable that can either prove that prophecy wrong or right. Whether you choose to do so, is up to you."
Joey sat in his chair and stared at the ground. He thought hard, and could feel his heart tighten as he asked his next question, "I-Is there any chance that I can go back to the life I used to live?"
Kione looked at Ethan, then back to Joey, "Your love for your friend runs very deep. Deep enough for you to put it on a pedestal high enough to rival the potential fate of the world. If his love runs as deep as yours, then I can't honestly say that there is no hope for him to accept that you are alive and well."
"But the government.."
"The government isn't as all powerful as it would like to believe. If it was, why would they be putting their fate in your hands, knowing that you could very well throw it back in their face? Listen to my words and heed them." Joey gave Kione his full attention before he continued, "There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle. If you and Blade are meant to be together, nothing will stop you; not being human nor being a vampire. Your fate is already written."
Joey smiled for the first time in what seemed like forever at the hope that Kione's words gave him. Ethan smirked a little, at how the possibility of such an event seemed to light Joey up, but he had to bring him back down to earth, "Sorry to be the bearer of gloominess, but there's still the matter at hand. No matter what your fate, I believe you said to me you'd die for someone you love in a heartbeat. Time is running out, and if you want that chance to be with your friend, you need to stand up for him and everyone else you care about."
Joey stood from his seat, now clear on what he had to do. Kione put his hand up, to motion for Joey to hold up, "Ethan can be quite the motivator can't he?" Ethan grinned, satisfied with himself, "I can see you know what you have to do now, but I will give you one final warning before you leave and you must promise me at this very moment that you will not choose Caleb when the time comes."
Joey looked at Kione confused, "Kione.. I don't even know if Caleb is still alive.."
"He's alive and recovering." Joey sighed in relief, "But he cannot accompany you on your journey to the Realm. The prophecy says you are the only one that can retrieve the talisman, which I don't doubt is true. What it doesn't say is you can't have help getting in and out of there alive. As a human, your chance of getting past the guardians of the Realm are slim to none. Take someone with the will of a warrior with you, you will need their help."
"Thank you." Joey nodded in respect at Kione and did the same to Ethan.
"Good luck. I'll be seeing you," Said Kione. "Oh and Joseph?" Joey stopped and looked back at Kione, "Your love for the human may consume you, but don't let the underlying love for another blind you to what has to be done. Once it has begun.. there's only one way to stop it." Joey nodded, taking the warning with him as he walked out the door.
As Joey's form disappeared out of the room, Ethan turned to Kione, "Well, mission accomplished. Thanks for your help."
Ethan began to leave himself when Kione stopped him, "Ethan, this will be the last favor I pay you. Next time we meet, I can't say you'll be walking out that door intact if you continue to manipulate destiny. If only you would put as much effort into being good as you do conniving, the world would have another hero on their hands."
"I could choose to be purely good, or I could choose to be purely evil, but instead I'll be neutral. That way I'm free to be what suits me best, and no one can predict my actions. Not even you." Ethan walked out the door with a satisfied grin on his face.
Joey walked briskly through the streets, watching signs of daylight start
to break through the clouds. The sun was a bright orange, but a cloud
of darkness lingered in the background. The day of reckoning had
Deep in the Black Woods..
The air was thick and the woods held an eerily still silence. The creatures that inhabited the darkness of the shrouded rickety old trees took any shelter they could, for the approaching evil swirled around in the atmosphere, one that even the most fierce demons of the woods were smart enough to avoid.
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" An earsplitting shriek split the silence of the woods in half, disrupting the peace. Wereanimals scattered out of hiding, and formed packs, before heading off to the source of the noise. The screams continued, traveling through the air with a purpose.. letting it be known that the time had come. The reign of Kali had begun.
"Will you stop screaming?!? I'm trying to work here. You people just don't understand how hard it is to concentrate when someone is trying to burst your ear drums." Kali picked up a young girl and threw her across the room. The girl hit the cold, stone ground with a thud. Kali walked over to her with a smile on her face as the girl cowered in fear in front of her.
"P-Please.. don't kill me. I-I'll do anything.. p-please.." The girl sobbed through her pleading.
Kali leaned down and stroked the girl's cheek with her hand, "Aww, but sweety, I kind of need you to die to make this whole shin dig work." The girl did her best to scramble to her feet and try to run, but Kali somehow appeared in front of the girl with lightning like speed. "Now, now, no need to go scurrying little mouse. The big cat doesn't have time to play with her new toy." Kali grabbed the girl by the hair and started dragging her to the center of the large rounded room. Her 'coven' was the site of the purest evil. An old church that was said to once have been the sanctuary of the very first demons. The ones that started everything, the birth of each and every kind of creature of the night, including the vampire race. The Vessels Of Wraith is what they were known as, and they were second to none accept the king of evil himself, Lucifer. Held in this unholy place, was the power of the Vessels, giving it the needed essence for the depths of a hell to be summoned.
"W-Why me.. I never hurt anyone.."
"You're hurting mommy's ears right now," Kali felt no remorse for the girl she intended to spill the blood of.
"Why me?!?!" The girl yelled.
"Why me, why me, WHY ME?!?! What the frickin' hell do I have to do to shut you up?"
"Just let me leave..."
Kali grabbed the girl by the face roughly, "Shh! Whiney little virgin girl! I kinda wanna hear me talking right now! Me talking!!!!"
Kali's rant was cut short by the sound of the two main doors to the coven flying open and creaking as the hinges were tested by the force they were hit with. Gavin's long blonde hair flowed with the wind that the portal behind him created as he stepped into the coven. Lotus, Sythe and Vilan jumped out behind Gavin and the portal closed as if it had never been there. Gavin walked through the dark chamber like hallway and into the rounded room that Kali was in, the one that was so rightfully named the Ring Of Hell. Kali looked up at Gavin with a smile on her face, which was soon replaced by a scowl when the young girl pleaded with Gavin for help, "Help me!!!! Please, oh god, you have to stop her.."
"Problem for you?" Gavin asked Kali.
"She just doesn't shut her mouth. It's like her lips are stuck on play, and I can't find the damn remote to turn the power off."
"Get me out of he.." The girl's plea was cut off by a bone chilling snap that echoed throughout the room. The girl's jaw hung seemingly unhinged from it's socket. Kali looked down at the girl then up at Gavin, who put his hand back down at his side.
"Now, why didn't I think of that? Anyway, how did your play date go with the cute little magi? Please tell me you brought me the arm of the one that decided to play skewer the god with his sword."
"Sorry to disappoint, but you'll have your chance at him. There's no doubt they're preparing to try and stop us. I threw them around a little bit, until that bitch put up a protection spell."
"Yeah, it wasn't just the two boys you told me about. There were two other magi, a blonde girl and well, the other was a bird. Not to mention you didn't exactly get the job done with Caleb."
"So the mutt survived did he? So that means he went to the magi to be healed, there's no other explanation for how he could still be alive. Very clever.. How did he know who to go to.."
"Rythen led him to the girl. She was the one that healed him."
"Interesting, we'll have to find out more about this girl and the bird would have to be an Animagi. No matter, they'll all die if they try to cross me . And what of Rythen?"
"I made him into a welcome mat."
Kali smiled wickedly, "That's my boy. Now, I have a task for you."
"I'll let you know later."
Gavin looked at Kali with a confused look, "What for?"
"Because we have another matter at hand right now."
"If we have a problem, I'd rather take care of it now.."
"Not yet, blondie. Let's get down to business first." Kali grabbed a knife off a nearby table and dragged the silent girl over to the center of the Ring once again. She tore open the girl's shirt and without a second thought made shallow cuts across the girl's stomach, arms and chest. The girl cried in pain, "Shh, one more and it'll all be over." Kali brought the knife down across the girl's throat and slit it quickly. The girl's body went limp and her eyes rolled up into her head as the state of death fell upon her. Her blood flowed out of the inflicted wounds and onto the stone floor. Kali stood up and her eyes whited out as she started chanting in tongues. The blood started flowing from the girl's body and into the crevices of the floor at a quickened state. The blood oozed along the floor forming a circle all the way around the Ring Of Hell. The blood then shot down in 5 directions, forming a 5 pointed star within the circle. The girl's body withered up into a dry heap of skin and bones as the final drops of blood spilled from her body. Kali picked up what was left of the body and tossed it off to the side of the room, "Ah, nothing makes a pentagram in the morning like virgin blood."
The Dark Angels stepped up and stood on 3 of the 5 corners, "We are ready, Kali," Lotus spoke, almost in monotone. They were mere shells of their former selves since being summoned, but now, they would be completely reborn.
Kali stood at the center of the pentagram and chanted, "I summon the energy from the elements of the earth, I summon them to return to thee." A green light engulfed the three Dark Angels, literally lifting them off their feet and levitating them in the air. The power shot into their bodies, jumping around like ropes being wrapped around their skin. The light slowly penetrated every inch of skin, muscle and tissue, until it was completely consumed by the mystic warriors' very beings. Their bodies dropped to the ground.. feeling stronger than they ever had before. "All better my minions?"
"Yes, my goddess." The three spoke in admiration and appreciation of their god.
"Good, now you stay right there for the next phase, while I go speak to Gavin." Kali motioned for Kali to follow her into the chamber that led to the Ring Of Hell, and Gavin did without questioning.
"What do you need me to do?"
"There's this little matter of a prophecy. The vampire turned human will take my talisman from the Realm Of Shadows.. he'll be revamped.. I won't be able to touch him with my magic.. blah, blah, frickin' blah.. I need you to kill him.. the usual."
Gavin's face softened a bit when it sunk in what Kali was asking of him, "You want me to kill, Joey? But.."
Kali ran a hand over Gavin's soft cheek, "Gavin, you wouldn't want to disappoint your God would you?"
Gavin turned his face away, "No, but he's just a human. You said it yourself, he won't be a problem for us anymore.."
"Well, that's probably true, but there's no use in taking chances. So be a good bloodsucker and snap his neck for me."
Even through the darkness that consumed his body and soul, there was still a little bit of the real Gavin left inside. That little piece of him was fighting hard to shine through and tell Gavin he couldn't kill Joey. The thought of it shot a feeling of remorse coursing through is body, causing him to shudder. "I can't.."
Kali's faced scrunched up in anger, "You what? Sorry, I thought you said you can't. But I know that you didn't say no to me, I MUST be hearing things. You know one thing that will really make a woman mad? When a man disagrees with her. I mean I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand, then lead him to a quiet place and kill him."
"Kali.. I love.."
"Love, love, love -- all the wretched cant of it, masking egotism, lust, masochism, fantasy under a mythology of sentimental postures, a welter of self induced miseries and joys, blinding and masking the essential personalities in the frozen gestures of courtship, in the kissing and the dating and the desire, the compliments and the quarrels which vivify its barrenness. To be in love is merely to be in a perpetual state of anesthesia. You weren't hesitant earlier when you killed Rythen. You weren't hesitant to break that girl's jaw. Why now? Would you hesitate to kill Caleb? How bout that, you can kill Caleb instead."
Gavin just looked at his feet, "I love them both. I don't think I can.."
"ENOUGH. You just need a pick me up, that blasted heart and soul of yours are trying to muscle in on MY territory." Kali held out her palm and a flame burst out from it, "Separate now, but soon will link, my soul and yours shall finally sync. My pride is fiery and so too shall yours be, just follow the flame, so mote it be." The fire turned into a blazing light and shot into Gavin's body. Gavin's limbs shot out to the side, throwing him into the air. The power burned within him as the darkness crushed any and all sense of good he had left in him. His body slumped against the wall as the light disappeared. Kali helped him up and looked at his eyes. The blacked out windows to Gavin's soul showed exactly what was inside.. Darkness. "That's better. Now, are you or are you not my Black Angel of Death?"
Gavin grinned, "Without a doubt."
"Good. Now, killing Joey won't be a problem will it?"
"Consider it done." Kali smiled and then led Gavin back into the Ring.
"Go stand at the top most point of the pentagram, and you three stay where you are." Kali barked out orders as she prepared for her next move. "Hmm.. now what can I conjure up to take a place on the other point.." A portal opened up and out stepped a man in robes of the deepest black color, his pale shaven head standing out drastically against the darkness. His gaunt features and pale skin told of his use of blood magic, perhaps too much even. He bowed simply to Kali as he exited the portal and she gave him a crooked stare. "Look everyone it's Mr. Clean, only not, cause that animated hunk of a man looks like he could actually hold a mop and work wonders with it, whereas you... whoever you are, look like you would break in two at the mention of physical labor."
"Pardon my intrusion my lady, I am Suru. Margulis sent me to help with your Hellbound effect, he wishes he could be here himself, but I am afraid you already know his limitations. And don't let my appearance deceive you, I assure you I am quite capable of handling myself," He bowed again to Kali, "I offer to your most wondrous self my full support."
Kali clapped her hands together and squealed in excitement, "Groveling will get you everywhere in my new world when we're all done here. Poor Margy, having to miss all of this evil goodness. Places everyone!" Kali shouted and turned to the pentagram, "It's our time to shine."
The five entities in the room each took a spot on the pentagram. Gavin stood at the head of the satanic symbol, while Suru and the Dark Angels stood at the other four points. Kali moved to the center of the blood laced symbol and kneeled down. She opened up her palm and blew air on it with her lips, and out of thin air a small bell appeared. The handle of it was not that of a normal bell, but a razor sharp blade that seemed meant to draw blood. Kali clenched her fist and squeezed the piercing blade, causing her own blood to seep from the self inflicted wounds. The red liquid of life oozed down the handled and over the bell until the gold shine was replaced by the dark crimson of the god's blood. "Expugno Lumen, Nillus Lux, Vis Levis, Luciens Nux," Kali chanted in tongues, as she rang the bell three times. She shot up from her kneeling position as a jolt of purple light exploded out of her and through the other four beings. The power within each of them seemed to be combining. It shot through the Dark Angels, the mystics, then through the newest addition to the cause, Suru, the magi, before if finally shot back at Kali and went straight through her body until it pierced into Gavin, the vampire.
A group of very different and powerful beings brought together to decide the ultimate fate of earth. Suru spoke the same words and Kali, in synchronicity with the Dark Angels, "Expugno Lumen, Nillus Lux, Vis Levis, Luciens Nux." The amount of power engulfing the room would have killed a normal man just by being in it's presence... perhaps a sign of things to come. Gavin's form levitated off the ground and his pitch black eyes shot open. The fury and rage inside of him swirled around, aching for release as he repeated the chant, this time in it's translated form, "We extinguish the light, we render it's death, violent light, light is dead."
blood outline of the pentagram lit up a fiery orange, like it was suddenly
made of blistering lava. The entire coven rumbled and shook, then
from the depths of hell itself, a portal of flames shot up through the
pentagram sending all but Kali who remained engulfed in the center, sprawling
backward. The flames shot straight through the old church roof and
into the sky. The Ring Of Hell was open, and Kali stood in the middle
of it, laughing away maniacally, "Mommy's home."
Austin stood in his living room, staring out the front door and panting for breath. Were they really gone he wondered? Devyn came up behind him and wrapped one arm around his waist lovingly. No sound was made save the crackling of Enya's shield wall and the wind that now howled through the streets outside. A cloud rolled over the almost full moon, casting an eerie blackness over the porch. The crackling subsided as Enya let down her shield and Toren made his way forward to shut the front door.
"No!" Austin shouted, everyone nearly jumped at the sudden noise and Toren turned to him and gave him a questioning look. "Th-the body, we have to get rid of the body," he whispered out. Everyone turned their attention to the lifeless form of Rythen that lay sprawled on the wooden porch. Austin kept hoping he would stand up, crack his neck like in the movies and be ok. But he didn't. The body didn't stir at all save for the hair blowing in the wind. Caleb made his way over to it and kneeled down, a sad look displayed on his face.
"I can't lift him on my own," Caleb said after a moment.
"Well I am not touching a vampire," Devyn muttered. Austin pushed himself away from him and whirled on him, tears streaking his face.
"Damn it Devyn, what is your problem?!" he shouted.
"You don't know what they do! What they did to me!" Devyn shouted back. Austin balled his hands into fists and a fresh batch of tears formed in his eyes.
"Then make me understand! Cause all I know is that these two came here for a reason, they can help us fight Kali and now...," he choked back a sob, "Now one of them is dead and there's nothing you or I or anyone can do about it and you're acting like a little kid. I just don't understand," he sobbed again and the tears fell freely down his face.
"I can't do this right now," Devyn said as he pushed himself passed Austin and Caleb, walking out onto the front porch. Enya looked at Toren and nodded in Devyn's direction, he turned and followed him outside as she made her way over to Austin and placed her hand on his shoulder.
"You ok?" she asked sweetly.
"No, but I'll be fine," he answered, wiping the tears from his eyes, "Where should we move him?" he asked Caleb as he made his way over to Rythen's body.
"Somewhere so that when the sun rises it's rays will hit him, should cause the body to instantly incinerate," he replied, grabbing Rythen under his arms. Austin bent over and grabbed Rythen by the legs, together they lifted him off the floor.
"I guess the backyard should do, don't wanna chance anyone seeing." Austin started backing his way into the house, Enya opened the back door in the kitchen and slowly they made their way into the yard. Meanwhile on the porch Devyn stood staring coldly into the pre dawn sky. Toren walked onto the porch behind him causing a board to creak.
"I'm not Austin," Toren cut in. Devyn turned around and fixed his gaze upon the Animagi.
"What do you want?"
"Nothing. Enya wanted me to make sure you were ok."
"Im fine," Devyn replied flatly. Toren smirked.
"You're far from fine, that much is apparent." Devyn just shrugged his shoulders, "Fine then. When you are ready to talk, we're all ready to listen," Toren said, slowly backing through the front door. Devyn continued to stare off into the distance, one lone tear streaking down his face. Back in the yard Austin groaned as he and Caleb gently laid Rythen's lifeless corpse on the ground. Enya stood behind them and looked over the body along with Austin and Caleb. Rythen's neck was set at an awkward angle and his skin had taken on a white, almost transparent pallor.
"How are we supposed to fight an evil goddess when we can barely hold our own against her minions?" Austin whispered hoarsely.
"They caught us by surprise. It would have been much different if I was not under the witches poison," Caleb said. Austin looked up at him and a chill passed through Caleb as he looked into his eyes. There was a power hidden behind those shimmering green eyes, a power no mortal should possess. Then as suddenly as he had sensed it, it disappeared and Austin appeared as a normal boy again.
"Would it have been different? Maybe we would all be dead now instead and there would be no one to try and stop Kali. Cause that's all we can even do at this point is try and stop her from destroying life as we know it." Austin turned and stormed back towards the house, the screen door slamming back into the door frame as he entered and shut it behind him.
Enya sighed, "Maybe he's right, maybe we don't have the power to stop her," she said.
"You do though Enya, I know what and who you are." Enya's head snapped up in surprise and she looked at him her eyes wide.
"How do you..."
"When you used your power to heal me," He cut her off, "Do the others know?" He asked. She shook her head.
"Toren does but Austin and Devyn don't. They're not ready, and if you know what I am then you know that I cannot use my powers outright. The result would be...," She paused to search for the right word," cataclysmic," She finished.
"Perhaps. Cataclysmic or not, if we fail, the world will be overrun with evil itself. If it comes down to it.. destroying part of the world to take out Kali, is better than leaving the rest of it in ruins and shambles under her power." Silence overtook the two, as the sky began to take on a pinkish hue as the sun began to rise over the eastern horizon. The cold wind continued to billow across the land as people and animals alike began to awake, unaware of the peril awaiting them as they began to go about their daily routine. "I have to get back inside before the sun completely rises," Caleb said as he began to make his way back towards Austin's house. Enya took one last look at the still body of Rythen and followed closely behind. As they entered the house a form emerged from the darkness itself and stood over Rythen. A black demonic mask covered his face and the hood of his black, blood red lined robe covered his head. A few wisps of blonde hair were visible as the wind blew back the hood a bit. As the sun peaked over the dark eastern horizon one of its first precious rays washed over the dead vampire and his body burst into flames. The figure stood vigilant as the flames spread over the entire body and consumed what was once the vampire Rythen. After merely half a minute there was nothing but ash and dust. Seemingly satisfied the mysterious figure disappeared into the shadow from whence it came.
The group had gathered in Austin's living room. Austin and Devyn sat at opposite ends of the sofa, both staring at the floor. Toren sat in the recliner glancing back and forth between the two, Enya stood behind him, wondering if Caleb would reveal the truth about her and her origins.
"Now before we begin on our journey, I'd like to know everything you all know about Kali," Caleb said as he stopped pacing in the middle of the room. Austin looked up and Devyn cleared his throat before speaking.
"Over three hundred years ago she was a very powerful witch living in one of the early colonies of Massachusetts," He began, "It was prophesized that she would become a being of ultimate evil. My father along with other members of the Order of Light had her put to death. She was one of the few real witches burned at the stake during the Salem Trials. Obviously that wasn't enough as she is now a Dark Goddess. When Austin and I were in Arcania we encountered the Oracles. They were there for some reason but just as they were going to talk Kali appeared and killed three of them. I managed to stab her with my sword and she retreated. We took the remaining Oracles to the Citadel of Sarathyl. After we met Toren and rescued Enya she discovered that my sword had somehow been blessed by the god Raijin which I guess is why I was able to wound Kali. Her and Toren also discovered another prophecy which referred to Kali and those who we just fought. It referred to something known as the Amulet of Light and that we would join together with a group of vampires, your group I'm assuming. I will tell you right now though I have nothing, but contempt for you and all of your kind, but I will put my hatred aside for now so we can focus on the task at hand." As he finished Austin moved across the sofa and pulled him into a hug. Caleb seemed unconvinced.
"Whether you can put your past behind you or not, if you break the realm of trust, then we will never survive the night." Caleb stared into Devyn's eyes, neither blinking. "Prophecies are tricky, nothing is ever set into stone. Rythen was targeted for a reason, for what I don't know. The prophecy says what must be done, not how it will end. The only thing I'm sure of is, we all have to stick together. Vampires and Magi alike, we must be one if we ever want to see tomorrow. I suggest we leave for Anaheim immediately and meet up with the rest of my friends and figure out exactly what we can do."
"How are we going to get there, you can't exactly walk outside in the sun ya know," Toren stated. Suddenly a cold chill passed through the room and the light from outside was gone, thrusting the room into complete darkness. Enya gasped loudly and something hit the floor before Austin had turned on a light. Caleb pushed himself back onto his feet, seemingly having tripped over the coffee table. Caleb looked around the room suspiciously, seeking out the unknown.
"What the hell just happened?" Devyn asked as they all made their way over to the front door. No one breathed as the door creaked open, revealing the black oblivion beyond that should have been a bright, sunny day. They stepped onto the porch and Austin looked to the east. Where the sun should have been was only a globe of dim light surrounded by darkness. The moon was out of sight and there was nothing visibly blocking the sun... just darkness. No stars shown either in the sky above and eerie screams could be heard from all over the street.
"It has begun," Enya whispered.
"We have to get to the Haven, do you have a car, Austin?" Caleb asked. Austin shook his head and Caleb cursed under his breath.
"We'll have to take one of the neighbors then," Devyn said. They quickly agreed and Austin locked the front door behind them out of habit. Would he return to it? Would everything be 'normal' again when all was said and done? The group quickly jogged across the street to one of Austin's neighbor's 4-Runners. As Devyn reached for the driver's side door Austin thought of something.
"Wait, um, cant you teleport us Devyn?" He asked.
"No. I can't teleport somewhere I've never been to," He answered, reaching once again for the handle. Luckily it was unlocked. Austin made his way to the passenger side and the others piled into the back. "I need keys!" Devyn shouted as he touched the keyless ignition.
"Try to hot-wire it," Caleb said. Devyn touched the ignition again and sent a jolt of electricity through it. The engine revved and then sputtered back off.
come on!" Devyn hit the steering wheel with his fist. He sent another
jolt and the car started. "There we go," he said as he put the car
into drive. "Ok guys here we go." Austin made sure his seat
belt was fastened, having no idea what kind of driver Devyn was and under
the current circumstances he saw lots of speeding and erratic driving.
The tires squealed as Devyn pulled away from the curb and sped off down
the street. Destiny was waiting for them in Anaheim and they had
no time to waste. Destiny... or death.
The club that was bouncing just hours before, was now like an abandoned ghost town. The only patrons left in the complex were the people who ran the popular night time hot spot, trying their best to get the place cleaned up and back in order for the next night. If only they knew that there might not be another night of partying.. at least not the usual.
Jared leaned back against the cushioned seating of a booth, one that he, Chloe, Dave and Alex had been occupying without much movement since they had come back in from the whole altercation outdoors with Ethan and the humans. Alex kept feeding glasses of water to Dave, who's eyes were starting to finally become clear of any signs of the Crimson Sky drug he had been slipped. The whites were no longer plagued by the red blood spots that the drug had laced. It's main purpose was to interchange with the blood cells it came in contact with, sending an almost unbearable urge throughout the victim's body. For a human it could turn them semi psychotic, but for a vampire, it sent them into an uncontrollable blood lust that wouldn't subside until the drug was out of their system.
"How's he doing?" Jared asked Alex.
Alex smiled meekly, "He's better. I think the guilt trip is on though." Jared took a look at Dave, who remained silent, just staring down at the glass of water in front of him. He twirled the glass around, seemingly watching the ice inside of the glass swirl around in a drain like manner.
Alex was right, Dave's mind was plagued by the guilt of what had happened, even if it wasn't really his fault. The screams of the boy he had sunk his fangs into kept ringing through his ears, followed by the helpless pleas of the boy's boyfriend. They had begged and begged for Dave to stop.. to spare the boy's life, but he didn't even try. He couldn't. He let the drug beat him and most of all let Ethan manipulate him.
Dave's thoughts were interrupted by Chloe, "We should head back to the Haven. It's already daybreak, so we'll have to get to the tunnels somehow."
Jared stood from his seated position and stretched, "We should be able to go through the alley and avoid the light. I didn't figure on being here this late, I'm beat."
That fact rang true for all four of the vampires. Sleep was a rarity in the last few days for them, with the weight of the world on their shoulders it just didn't seem right to sleep precious hours away. "Are you okay to walk, baby?"
Dave just nodded his head, then solemnly stood up, and let Alex interlock their arms. Alex sighed, and walked toward the door with his boyfriend at his side. Chloe got up next and walked over to Jared who eyed Dave carefully, "Do you think he'll be all right?"
"I don't know, Chloe. It was Dave's first feeding, and that son of a bitch knew it. That drug is dangerous, and not just physically. I've heard the downs of it are just as bad as the high it gives you, sometimes even worse. We're going to have to keep an eye on Dave until we know he's out of the red zone."
"Why would that guy.. Ethan, do that to Dave?"
"To get his kicks? I don't know. All I know is, next time that guy isn't getting off so easy. He better steer clear of all of us if he knows what's good for him."
"Everything just seems to be getting worse and worse.." Chloe bit her lip with the worries that plagued her.
Jared put his arm around her waist, "We'll get through this. Don't worry your pretty little head about it. Have some faith." Chloe turned her head so her face was looking at Jared's. Their eyes met and they both smiled shyly, but didn't break their gaze. "You know, Chloe, I really like.." Jared was cut off by Alex who shouted from the exit.
"Uh, Jared, I think you better come take a look at this..." Jared muttered to himself and walked over to the exit door with Chloe right behind him. Before Jared reached the door, Alex led Dave out the door.
"ALEX!" Jared yelled in a panic, afraid of the sun's rays toasting his friends. Jared ran out the door himself and then came to a halt as the sky came into view.
The sky was pitch black, as if nightfall had just come. Not a cloud was to be seen in the dark mass of atmosphere.. not even a single star. Where the sun was shining brightly shortly before, was just an outline of light, encompassed by darkness.
"What the hell is going on?" Dave spoke for the first time out of pure disbelief. His question echoed throughout his friends minds as well, as they remained entranced by the sight up above. At 8 in morning, the sky was black, and the sun had gone from a blazing ball of energy, to a smoldering black coal.
"Are we supposed to have an eclipse today?" Alex questioned.
"No. This isn't an eclipse.." Jared whispered. A looming air of danger swept through the streets as the wind picked up. The group of friends quickly headed out of the alley and on their way to the Haven. Jared walked briskly in front of the other three, determined to lead them back home safely. He wasn't going to freeze up like he had when Kali came at them the first time. As he rounded the corner, he ran smack dab into something extremely solid. Jared stumbled back and caught his footing at the last moment. He whipped around as he heard a growl snap through the air, and saw what had blocked his path. A werewolf stood menacingly, it's hulking figure towering over the much smaller vampires. Jared turned his head to instruct the others, "Get out of he.."
"Jared!" Chloe screamed as she watched the werewolf raise one of its razor sharp hands and bring it down toward Jared's chest. Chloe threw up a shield faster than she thought possible, blocking the potentially fatal blow from ever getting to Jared. Jared looked at her shocked at how close of a call that was, then turned his attention back to the werewolf.
"We can't fight it.." Once again Jared was cut off, this time by a slight whimper emitting from the werewolf's mouth. The large creature slumped to it's knees and then hit the ground with a thud. Jared, Alex and Chloe looked down at the prone creature, then back up to the source of it's downfall.
Dave stood behind the werewolf, looking down at it with no emotion in his eyes at all. The normally green specs seemed to have darkened somewhat, and held a certain coldness that wasn't there before. Alex walked over to his boyfriend and put his hand on Dave's shoulder, "Dave? Come on, babe, it's over. We can go home now.." Dave knocked Alex's hand away roughly.
"It's over? What's over, Alex?!? I knocked the werewolf out, so let's all go have a party now right? I mean, he's the bad guy here. He had a choice in this whole mess, didn't he? That thing chose to be a cold blooded killer, and was made to use Jared for a chew toy. Everything's just so damn cut and dry now isn't it? Because of some action someone takes, even if they have no control, that makes them expendable.. it makes them less than everyone else." Dave's eyes watered as his emotions exploded out into the open.
"Dave.." Alex tried to calm the boy down, but he was having none of it.
"NO. No, Dave. No nothing. I saw how you all looked at me back there. Like I was some kind of animal... some kind of monster."
Chloe spoke up, "Dave, we don't think you're either of those things. We know that you couldn't help what happened back there.."
"What if I could have? Huh? Then what? I could see that kid's thoughts. I could feel every tear, hear every insult he had thrown at him, every fucking piece of physical and mental abuse he suffered through his life for being different. He'd be dead now if it wasn't for Jared. Why? Because of a drug? Ethan? No, because of me. Because I'm some freak that has to be okay with eating people to live." Alex opened his mouth to speak, but Dave cut him off before he could, "Don't." Dave leaned down and ran a hand through the coarse hair that topped the werewolf's head. The creature laid on the ground breathing steadily, yet unconscious from what Dave had done to it. When he teleported behind the werewolf, he quickly stuck it with a syringe that Ethan had secretly slipped him.
"Use this after you feed. It'll calm you down and you'll sleep like a baby."
Those were the exact words of the guy that decided it was his duty to introduce Dave into a world he should have never come in contact with. Luckily, Dave didn't inject himself, and instead had enough sense to use it to take down the werewolf.
"Dave, let's get going before that thing wakes up."
Dave stood up and looked at Jared, "You're right. He shouldn't be left here." With that, Dave grabbed the beast by the arm and in a blur they were both gone.
"What the hell?" Chloe asked, more confused that ever.
"He's just hurting. He'll be okay...." Alex said, not quite sure of his words. Alex looked down at his feet and started walking off in the direction of the Haven. Jared looked at Chloe and shrugged before they ran to catch up to him.
The three walked in silence, lost in the thoughts that plagued their minds. Each of their lives had been drastically changed so much in the last year. It seemed like ever since that one fateful night that Gavin brought Joey and Dave home with him, the world as they knew it had been turned upside down. For some reason or another, there was something special about Joey, something that drew a lot of attention to him and his friends by association. It may be his abnormally powerful gifts he acquired as a vampire, or maybe he's just the victim of having too good of a heart that leads him astray. Either way, his friends knew that, that night a fight was coming, and nothing could prevent it.
Alex, Chloe and Jared stuck close together as they noticed how the landscape had changed. Creatures seemed to be popping up all over the place, running around the streets like they owned them. Humans ran screaming for their lives as they encountered the unknown. The demons seemed to steer clear of the three vampires, for what reason is unknown. Some of the larger creatures sneered at them as they walked by, while others smirked like they knew something that the young vamps didn't. One particularly nasty looking creature poked at Alex as he walked by. Alex gulped and picked up his pace and the creature cackled in response, "You can run now, little one. Soon it will be all over."
Jared stopped and got in the face of the demon, "And what of you? You'll still be a bottom feeding slug, just like you always have been. Fate's a bitch isn't it?" The creature's eyes flared a bright red and it's green scaly skin crunched as the demon tensed in anger.
"At least I'll be alive." The demon produced a dagger like blade from it's forearm and swung at Jared, who ducked and rolled out of the way. Alex grabbed Jared and pulled him up, then the two boys took off running with Chloe beside them.
"Oh, good one, Jared. Let's poke and prod the jolly green giant and see if he goes ho ho ho instead of chop, chop, chop," Alex chastised as they ran as quickly as possible.
"Hey, I was only defending you."
"Good plan, braniac."
The boys stopped bickering when the arrived in front of the Haven. To their surprise it seemed the demon hadn't kept up very well, as it was nowhere in sight. If they thought that demon was weird, the scene that was unfolding in front of the steps leading to the main entrance of the Haven was even stranger.
Dave stood in front of a small lemonade stand, made of old, rickety wood. A little girl with hair so blonde it was almost white sat behind the stand with the face of an angel. Dave had a cup of lemonade in his hand and gulped it down quickly. He made a sour face and put the cup back onto the counter. "What the hell kind of drink is this?"
"It's lemonade. I made it myself."
"How much sugar did you use?"
"You've got to be kidding."
"IT'S LEMONADE AND IT'S LEMONY FRESH!!" The girl screeched.
Dave glared at the girl, "If I wanted any shit from you, I'd squeeze your head."
Alex stepped in, "Dave, just let it go."
"You're making me angry," The tone in the girl's voice was cold yet firm.
Dave smirked, "Is that so? Why don't you do us all a favor little girl, pull that lip you're flapping up over your head and swallow then we'll all be better off."
The little girl's eyes flared with a fiery orange color as she shot up from her chair, "You better pay up fucker, these lemons aren't squeezing themselves!!!." Dave jumped back startled by the sudden change in the girl. He threw a couple of quarters onto the girl's stand and she sat back down as if nothing had happened. "Thank you, have a nice day."
"Would someone like to explain what the bloody hell is going on around here?"
"We don't know. It must be Kali and her witchcraft. We should get inside though, before we run into anymore trouble.."
"Big, green and ugly swooping down from the sky behind you," Dave stated nonchalantly.
The demon that Jared had antagonized swooped through the air with ease, held up by two large leathery wings that flapped through the sky. It landed right in front of Jared who stood in shock of the sight, "Now let's see what we can do about that sharp tongue of yours." The demon put it's bladed arm out toward Jared's face, when out of nowhere the demon's arm was grabbed and thrusted up, driving the sharp blade right through the demon's neck and into it's skull.
The demon's body fell limply down against the hard pavement and it's assailant was revealed. "Miss me?" Joey grinned widely, causing the effect to catch like wildfire.
Alex ran up and threw his arms around his friend, "I thought you were gone for good.."
Joey hugged the smaller boy then let him go, "I'm back."
Dave snorted, "Did you forget a bag the first time around?"
"Yeah. The one with the weapons that WE are going to use to save the world. Everyone inside, it's time to regroup."
Dave, Alex and Chloe walked inside, while Jared stopped Joey just outside of the door, "Do we have a chance at winning?"
"This isn't about winning or losing. I know that now. Nothing's ever that cut and dry. Whether we live or die isn't up to us, but if we die, we die as warriors."
"You're ready to fight with us and give up the final hours of your human life?"
"I'm thinking with my head instead of my heart now." Joey paused and looked Jared in the eye, "I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared to meet me is another matter."
eyes saw all they needed within Joey's as they walked into the Haven.
The heart of their group was back.
Austin stared drowsily out the passenger side window. Most of the ride so far was in silence, everyone was lost in thought about the impending battle with Kali, Gavin and the Dark Angels. The freeways were shutdown and a state of emergency had apparently been called. Police swarmed the streets attempting to calm the panicked people. They were forced to take side roads to get to Anaheim and the trip was taking much longer that it should have. Finally after what seemed an eternity they passed a sign that read 'Welcome to Anaheim' and soon they were passing through the outskirts of the city. The streets were eerily deserted, not even the police were seen in the city as they drove further into the main streets, it was just empty. Austin could've sworn he saw things moving in the alleys and side streets, but without proper lighting he wasn't sure. Suddenly something swooped down in front of them and landed on the hood of the car, Enya screamed as Devyn slammed on the brakes, and the car swerved into what surely would have been oncoming traffic under normal circumstances then met it's ultimate destination slamming into a pole on the opposite side of the street. Airbags erupted from the steering wheel and front dash, pushing into Austin and Devyn from the impact.
"Is everyone ok?" Devyn asked, trying to get the seat belt off. Everyone mumbled a groggy yes as they exited the wrecked car.
"What the hell was that thing?" Austin asked.
"Some sort of demon," Caleb said, "No doubt Kali is summoning demons into the mortal realm. We must keep our guard up."
"Where did it go?" Austin asked looking around the still dark street. Devyn drew his sword and made his way to the front of the car, but the demon was gone.
"Up there!" Toren shouted. Austin turned to him and saw him pointing over his head. As he turned his gaze skyward he saw the demon's form streaking down directly at him. He brought his hands up and tried to remember a spell, but his mind had gone blank. At the last second Devyn leapt into the air, cleaving the beast in two with his sword, the two halves hitting the ground beside Austin with a splat.
"Well that was anticlimactic," A familiar female voice said from behind Austin. He whirled around to see Kali standing less than ten feet away, seemingly appearing out of nowhere. He fell into a defensive stance, preparing to blast her with a fireball. Devyn was at his side with his sword at the ready and Enya was preparing a defensive spell when Kali waved her hand causing them to freeze in place. "Don't bother. Your feeble attempts to harm me won't do much good right now. Kind of like ants fighting a giant ya know? All of those little buggers crawling and biting and stinging and swarming and its all in vain cause hello it's a frickin' giant." Kali stamped her feet against the pavement in frustration, "Why do they even bother? Now anyway where was I... ah yes, I'm not here to kill you.. yet, that is. Just to make a suggestion. Run away." As she finished speaking she disappeared with a shrieking fit of laughter.
"Come on," Caleb said, "I can get to the Haven from here." Caleb walked quickly down the abandoned street and turned into a nearby alley. The others followed him, trying to keep up with his pace.
"Do you mind slowing down? You know, we don't have super speed like you," Devyn snapped out forcefully at Caleb. Caleb ignored the tone in Devyn's voice and slowed his pace slightly.
"Complaining about your lack of ability isn't going to win you any battles," Caleb stated matter-of-factly as he rounded another corner and came to a stop at a dingy old dumpster that decorated the brick of the large building closest to it. Caleb grabbed a side of it and pulled the metal disposal away from the wall. A small opening was revealed followed by a set of stairs that went down into the unknown of the dark. Caleb stepped into the stairway and looked back at the group of magi who in turn looked back at him wearily. "Come on, stay close." Caleb disappeared into the darkness below while Austin swallowed hard and went in next. Enya followed suit, while Toren went behind her to watch her back. Devyn stepped in and pulled the dumpster back against the wall behind him, while he descended down the steps. He kept one hand close to his back, ready to pull out his sword at a moments notice.
The group of four trudged through the pitch black tunnels, stumbling as they went about trying to follow Caleb's lead. Caleb had no trouble keeping his pace in the dark, as his eyes adjusted almost immediately into the night like vision he was accustomed to. Toren caught his foot on something and tumbled to the ground as they rounded a corner, "You know, you're not very good at this follow the leader game. We can't exactly see down here." Caleb stopped when he heard a noise come from up ahead. After a few moments of no response, Toren replied more agitated, "So is this how our communication skills are going to be for this batt..mmph.." His question was muffled quickly by a hand, causing him to thrash about not knowing who had a hold of him.
An arm wrapped around him and held him still, "Quiet." Caleb had somehow made his way back to where Toren was in a split second to quiet him down.
"Why are we being quiet? And Toren, watch out he doesn't take a sip from you.."
Caleb was up in a flash and pushed Devyn up against the nearest tunnel wall. "I said quiet." Even through the darkness, Devyn could feel the glare of Caleb burning into him. Devyn didn't make a move to retaliate, knowing he would fair little chance in Caleb's environment. The silence was deafening, but Caleb sensed something lingering in the area. He whispered, "You four stay back, I'll tell you when it's clear."
Caleb walked on ahead stealthily, keeping his ears open. After walking for another fifty yards or so, he stopped and decided it was time to go back. As he turned his back, a huge weight ambushed him from behind, sending him sprawling down into the murky water that covered the tunnel base. Caleb shot up from the ground and looked around frantically. His senses weren't picking up anything, and whatever had hit him was back in hiding. He stood still and closed his eyes, concentrating himself into an almost trance like state. His arms raised up and then came down in front of his chest, bringing his hands together in a prayer like gesture. A purple light emerged from his hands and outlined his body. He spread his hands apart and pushed them outward in front of him, shooting the light out into the tunnel, lighting it up with a blaze. He made a 360 degree turn, sending the light back the way he came, and soon all was bathed in a violet haze. When Caleb turned back to the forward position, his line of sight was drawn too the ceiling. "Ah, there you are." A nasty looking beast clung to the crevices of the tunnel, and lowered it's head to eye up Caleb. It's large black eyes were mantis like, while it's blood colored skin and salivating jaws gave off the impression of exactly what it was.. a killer.
Back in a previous tunnel, the four magi grew impatient. "What's taking him so long?" Enya asked. Austin looked at her, then to Devyn who remained silent.
"He's probably just making sure the path is clear for us."
"Or maybe he's dead, and whatever killed him will be looking for us next." Devyn challenged. He was not keeping it a secret that he wanted nothing to do with a vampire, much less a group of them. His underlying hatred was clouding his judgment and putting the people closest to him in an uncomfortable situation.
"You don't even know him, Devyn. Since you won't talk about whatever it is that happened with you, we can't exactly understand."
"Austin, you'll never understand. You couldn't."
Austin let out a frustrated sigh, and was about to speak when Enya cut him off, "You two need to let go of this lover's quarrel for now. You don't want your last memories of each other to be ones about arguments."
"Who says they'd be our last memories?" Austin questioned, feeling the butterflies swell in his stomach.
"Austin, I didn't mean it like we're going to die.."
"Then what did you mean, Enya? We're not stupid, that's exactly what you meant," Devyn snarled. "You know what, new plan. The vampire is wasting time, so we move now."
"We don't even know where to go," Said Austin.
"We'll find our way.." Devyn stopped short when they heard a commotion coming from somewhere up ahead. "What was that?"
Austin pushed away from the stone wall and tried to listen. Out of nowhere a pain seared through his head and sent him back into the wall. He grabbed his head trying to calm the pain splitting through his temples. Devyn walked over to him and held him steady, but Austin flailed about in pain. Flashes of images shot through his head, those of a gruesome looking creature running along a tunnel ceiling. It was almost as if he was looking at it through his own eyes. Then as quickly as it started it stopped and was replaced by a voice in his head, "Follow the light." The purple light that Caleb conjured up whipped around the corner and bolted right into Austin. Austin looked down as the light seemed to protrude from his chest. He looked at the others and wearily did as the voice told him. "Follow the light." He repeated to his friends. With every step Austin took, the light moved with him, leaving the darkness behind him. The light seemed to be attached to his soul in some sort of way, and he followed it without question. They moved with ease now that there was light to guide them, and guide them it did.. right to where Caleb was squaring off with the creature Austin had seen in his vision. The creature scattered along the tunnel walls and ceiling with great agility, snarling and flashing it's jaw as it went, trying to intimidate Caleb. "What the hell is that?"
Caleb made no movement and answered Austin quietly, "It's a Nightwatcher."
Devyn stepped ahead of Austin with his sword drawn, "Well, what are we standing here for, let's kill it and move on."
Caleb put an arm out and stopped Devyn, "If you move, it will kill you."
"I just moved and I'm still standing."
"The light is keeping it at bay.. virtually blinding it. It's a night dwelling creature by nature, and rarely ever comes out into any kind of light, but it's senses are extremely enhanced so it can tell what position each and every one of us are in right now anyway. It preys on movement, so as long as we are still it won't pounce."
"So how exactly are we supposed to get past it?"
Caleb turned his head slightly, "You're magi aren't you? Let's see what you can do." Devyn's lips upturned into a grin, while Caleb stepped aside.
"You just said it preys on movement and you're moving!" Enya protested.
Caleb looked at her dead serious, "It's time to prove all of yourselves. I move and it attacks me. You stand still and will attack it."
"He's fucking batty," Toren growled.
Caleb jumped to his right and the creature hissed in response. It quickly used it's talon like claws to move seamlessly along the ceiling and dive at Caleb. Caleb commando rolled forward, avoiding being pounced on. The Nightwatcher jumped and pushed itself off the wall and leapt through the air. It's front legs latched into the concrete ceiling while it took a swing at Caleb's head with it's dangling back legs. Caleb ducked and spun out of reach before turning his attention to the magi who looked on, "I believe the idea was for you to kill the Nightwatcher."
Austin looked back at Caleb then stepped up, "Fire of Mithra, source of all power, gather in my hands and destroy this foe. Obliterate!" He shouted and two orbs of fire shot upwards from his outstretched palms, arching towards the Nightwatcher.
The creature quickly dodged the two fiery projectiles but the ensuing explosion caused it to lose its hold on the stone ceiling, it fell to the ground with a feral shriek. Toren quickly charged forward as he morphed into his wolf form. The creature felt his movement and regained its senses, launching itself back onto the ceiling with its hind legs and clawing at Toren as it somersaulted back upwards. Toren dodged the initial swipe but the Nightwatcher caught him on the side, creating a large gash and sending him howling against the wall. As the creature moved in for the kill Enya stepped forward, her eyes glowing with a golden light.
"Subsisto!" She shouted and the Nightwatcher stopped in midair, it's claws mere inches from piercing Toren. Austin and Devyn stood their ground, staring at her.
"How do you have the power to do these things Enya, I've never seen a Magi do so?" Devyn asked. Enya gritted her teeth.
"I..cant...hold on to it...forever," She hissed and Austin hurried over to pull Toren, now back in human form, out of the creatures path. When they were clear Enya released her hold on the Nightwatcher and it slammed into the tunnel wall with a sickening crack and fell to the floor motionless. Devyn made his way over to Enya in the purple lighting.
"Enya..." He began but she cut him off.
"Devyn I can't explain at this time. Just know that I am on your side, and when you are ready I shall explain everything."
"That was impressive. There's just one problem," Caleb paused.
"And what's that?" Devyn asked.
"It's not dead." The Nightwatcher slowly pulled itself to it's feet and it's head shot up. The black mirrored eyes held no emotion, but the oncoming rage it was ready to unleash. It's razor sharp teeth dripped with saliva and it's back heels dug into the ground like nails on a chalkboard.
"Enough messing around," Devyn ran forward, willing his sword into sight. He swung at the Nightwatcher, which dodged quickly, jumping onto the nearest wall, then flinging itself at Devyn from behind. Devyn whirled around with his blade outstretched, somehow only barely nicking the underside of the Nightwatcher as it stealthily flattened itself in midair to avoid contact. Devyn started to step back into a defensive stance, but he stumbled on some debris, sending him sprawling onto the ground. The Nightwatcher jumped into the air heading straight for Devyn who tried to scramble out of the way. As it was about to land claws first, Caleb sprung into action, meeting the Nightwatcher in midair, just centimeters in front of Devyn. The Nightwatcher swung an outstretched arm, but Caleb ducked and plowed into the creature, taking it down to the ground. The Nightwatcher laid prone on the ground, still alive, but not making a move to get up. Caleb got off of it and walked over toward Devyn. He outstretched his hand to him, but Devyn just stared at it wearily. "I don't need your hand.."
In that moment a loud screech echoed through the tunnel. Caleb bent down and in the blink of an eye had grabbed Devyn's sword, whirled around and released the blade into the air. A loud clang bounced off the tunnel walls adding to the screech of the Nightwatcher. The only difference was this time, it was a screech of agony. Caleb looked down at Devyn, "I wasn't offering my hand." Devyn's eyes burned into Caleb as the vampire turned around. Austin wearily stepped closer to the Nightwatcher that was now pinned to the wall, courtesy of a sword through the heart.
"It's still not dead.."
Caleb calmly walked up to the Nightwatcher, "The only way to kill a Nightwatcher is to cease it's brain function." Caleb's lightning quick movement could barely be seen as his fist went promptly through the Nightwatcher's head, practically exploding it on impact. Caleb shook the remains from his hand, while Austin looked on in astonishment.
"Y-You just.. man.."
"Yeah, big deal. He KNEW how to kill it. We didn't. If we did I would've decapitated it at the beginning," Devyn spat.
Caleb looked at Devyn with no emotion whatsoever showing on his face, as he pulled the sword from the Nightwatcher's body, "If's are excuses. Excuses will do you no good in battle. The point of this exercise was to show you all that sometimes, you can't rely on any magic or special power to win a battle for you. If you don't know what you're up against, then you will lose."
"So this was all some kind of test? You son of a bitch," Devyn made a move to go at Caleb, but as soon as he took a step forward, Caleb brought his arm up along with Devyn's sword. The sword's tip was right on the edge of Devyn's throat, who stopped swiftly.
"I am not your enemy. If you are going to continue to be a problem, I might as well save us all the trouble right now," Caleb lightly pressed forward with the sword, causing Devyn to suck in his breath.
"NO!" Austin yelled. He started to make a move toward Caleb, but felt a hand grab his arm to hold him back. He turned his head to see Enya, who just shook her head.
"Are you with me or are you against me, Devyn?" Devyn's eyes glared into Caleb's, showing the underlying hatred that he held in his heart.. not so much for Caleb, but for the vampire race. Devyn dropped his eyes first, and Caleb lowered the sword. "Let's go, the Haven is up ahead." Caleb tossed Devyn the sword, and walked past him. Austin looked at Devyn, then Enya, who let go of his arm.
"How did you know he wouldn't kill him?"
"I didn't. All I know is Caleb has a firmer grasp on what's going on then we do, and he knows Devyn is part of the solution, not the problem." Enya paused and helped Toren up, "Help me with Toren, so we don't lose Caleb." Austin took one side of Toren, while Enya took the other. Devyn remained ahead of them, not far behind Caleb, with his mind lost in thought.
Caleb stopped at a metal rung ladder that was hidden just out of sight. He climbed it quickly, and pushed open a trap door up above. He looked down to see Devyn stepping up behind him. Devyn climbed up and stepped into a small dark room that was pretty much trashed. Monitors laid busted on the wooden floor as if someone had taken a bat to them. Caleb leaned down into the tunnel opening when he caught sight of Austin, Enya and Toren. "Stay there, I'll have a friend get you out." Caleb got up and walked to the door, but Devyn grabbed him by the arm before he could open it. "No. I'm not going in there with a pack of vampires."
"They will not harm you. Regardless of what you may think, not all vampires are evil. Most in fact, aren't."
Devyn snorted, "I've heard that before." Caleb shrugged off Devyn's hand and opened the door. He walked into the huge main foyer of the Haven, and surveyed the sight. The furniture and electronic devices were scattered all over the place, still a mess from the aftermath of Kali's arrival. Devyn stepped in behind Caleb and looked around at the mess, "Not very clean creatures now are we." Caleb ignored the snide comment and walked further into the room. His eyes darted around, playing back the battle that had taken place the day before. Every spot he focused on he could almost playback what had happened there move by move Soon his eyes fell upon a large spot of blood that decorated the far wall. He walked up to it and put a palm against the red stain. His head snapped to the side as his mind relived the prior events..
'Caleb appeared behind Kali, pressing his palms against each side of her head as she was distracted by her own words. A shock of light engulfed both of them, and Kali screamed out in pain. She threw her arms back sending Caleb tumbling backwards. "You little bastard!!!!" Kali held her head, shaking the cobwebs out. Caleb recovered quickly and charged the witch. He kicked and punched at her at a furious pace, with Kali knocking most of them down for a few moments, until Caleb broke through and let loose a well placed kick to the rib area of Kali. Caleb grabbed her by the hair and threw her up against the wall. Kali crawled on her hands and knees, seemingly defeated. Caleb picked her up again, this time by the throat. "Y-You're unexpected, mixed blood.. V-Very powerful..." Kali shot her hands out and dug her nails into the back of Caleb's head. "Just not powerful enough.." Caleb struggled until a paralyzing pain shot down his spine. Visions shot through his mind, leaving no room for thought.. no room for fight.
Flashes of Gavin and himself in their former life flooded the boy's mind. The love they shared, and for the first time, the genuine sense of loss hit him. The one he couldn't remember after the accident. He remembered.. everything. The pain hit his heart hard, causing him to lose his breath. Kali, sneered at the now helpless boy. Caleb's eyes teared up, not knowing what to do with the new emotions that flooded him inside. Joey ran up and grabbed Kali from behind, but she just shrugged him off, smashing him into the back wall. Then the visions in Caleb's head turned into a different kind. The ones he was used to. The future. This time.. it wasn't that of one person's fate, but the fate of the world as they knew it. Cities aflame, demons and the like running wild in a world filled with darkness. Kali stood at the top of a high peak, watching the chaos with satisfaction. That wasn't what scared Caleb the most. It was the person standing next to her that shocked him back to reality.
Caleb's eyes shot over to Joey, who had risen to his feet. Joey's eyes met his and Caleb locked onto his mind. "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Suddenly Caleb's body flew threw the air and slammed into the far wall.
"Nooooooo!" Joey yelled. He sprinted over to Caleb, where a sharp glinting sword pierced out the front of the boy's abdomen. Tears fell from Joey's eyes, as he tried to hold Caleb up to keep the sword from impaling him anymore. Blood, poured from the gaping wound.'
Caleb snapped out of the haunting memory, holding a hand over his abdomen, where the sword has pierced him. He stumbled backward, trying to regain the calm that he was normally consumed with. Devyn watched Caleb curiously, wondering what had shaken him so much. A noise off in the corner switched the focus of their attention. They looked on prepared for anything, when the door opened. Jared came walking out and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Caleb standing at the center of the room. He smiled widely and ran over to his friend, throwing his arms around him tightly. Caleb hugged him back briefly, then they separated.
"I'm so glad you're okay. We didn't know if you made it or not.. a lot has happened in the past 24 hours."
"I know. There's only 13 hours left now."
Jared frowned, "Maybe. So you're okay now, everything's fixed?" Caleb nodded, "And Rythen? Where is he?" Caleb looked down at the ground and shook his head. Jared's eyes widened, not expecting the news, "How?"
Caleb was about to answer when Devyn cut in, "This is sweet and all, but my friends are still down in the tunnel. Is he the one that will help them up?"
"No. You are a very rude human, you know that?"
Devyn smirked and shrugged, "It's a gift." He turned to Jared and nodded at him, "I'm Devyn."
Jared stuck out his hand, "Jared. Nice to meet.."
"So, about my friends.." Devyn brushed off Jared's hand.
"I need Dave, is he here?" Caleb inquired.
Jared rolled his eyes, "Yes. He's playing with his new pet.. well.. more like it's trying to shred him to pieces and he's poking it with a stick."
"Pet?" Devyn asked.
"Don't ask dude. I'll go get him. You can come with me.. Devyn. Then we'll get your friends." Devyn shrugged and let Jared lead the way.
"Jared?" Jared turned around, "Did Joey come back?"
Jared grinned, "Rooftop." Caleb made his way to the stairwell that led to the roof and ascended the stairs steadily. He opened the heavy metal door, and stepped out into the darkness that surrounded the cursed day.
Joey sat perched upon the ledge of the rooftop. He crouched there like it was second nature, but in reality he could fall with a strong gust of the wind. It was one of those things that seemed like a trivial afterthought with the events that were unfolding. His eyes focused across the gray sky, settling on an unholy sight. Fire in the sky.
"Surreal isn't it?" Joey turned his head to the sound of the voice and saw Caleb standing at the stairwell doorway. Joey smiled and quickly hopped off the ledge then ran over and threw his arms around his once fallen friend.
"I knew you'd come back," Caleb grinned a little bit, perhaps for the first time since Joey had known him, Caleb was showing genuine emotion. "You're different... something about you has changed."
Caleb broke their embrace and let his smile be replaced by a look of sorrow, "The witch restored my memories during the battle."
"Wouldn't that be a good thing?"
"It could have been, but not now."
"Things have changed. The memories are tainted by the present."
Joey gave Caleb a strange look, "If things changed before, they can change again," Caleb didn't respond, just looked away, "Is Rythen downstairs?"
Caleb's face contorted with regret, "Rythen is dead."
"Dead? But he.. you were the one dying."
Caleb's eyes met Joey's and the seriousness in them made Joey's stomach drop, "We're not just dealing with Kali anymore. She's resurrected three ancient mystic warriors that call themselves the Dark Angels. They're cold, calculated killers and their reputation for carnage precedes them."
Joey ran a hand through his hair, "Okay, so we have a few more problems to deal with."
"Don't underestimate your enemy," Caleb cut Joey off sharply.
"I'm not underestimating anyone. I'm looking at this in terms of numbers. We have six in our group.."
"Our group is ten strong. Five vampires, four magi and one human."
"You brought the magi back with you? Was that the smartest idea?"
"If we are to stand a chance against Kali, we will need them by our side."
Both boys let a silence fall over their conversation as they became lost in thought. The wind swept wildly throughout the streets below where mayhem was rapidly taking over. Joey turned his attention back to the ring of fire that seemed to be cutting a hole through the sky off in the distance. Caleb stepped up beside him and Joey broke the silence, "What is it?"
"A gateway to Hell."
Joey's eyes reflected with the fire that cut through the earth, "Can we win this?"
"In these matters the only certainty is that nothing is certain. We're not obligated to win. We're obligated to do the best we can."
While Joey and Caleb discussed the reality of the situation with each other, Jared led Devyn to an isolated room that was hidden below the Haven. As they walked, growls and howling could be heard emitting from the secluded room. Jared opened a small trap door and went down the stairs, while motioning for Devyn to follow. As the vampire and magi walked into the room, they were confronted with a strange sight.
"STOP SCRATCHING FLUFFY!!!" Dave yelled and tapped the large werewolf on the paw with a stick. The beast growled and snapped it's jaw at his "master".
Devyn stared at the scene blankly. "Dave will you leave that thing alone. Get it out of here before it gets loose."
"I will do no such thing. He's like.. my mini me.. just.. bigger. He completes me. Aww come here pooch!" Dave reached out and pet the tired werewolf's shoulder. As soon as his hand came in contact the beast tried to take it off, "BAD FLUFFY! Incredibly, horribly, unbelievably bad Fluffy! No biting Dave's hands off, he needs them!"
"Ahem," Devyn cleared his throat.
Dave turned his head to the dark haired boy, "Well, what do we have here? New blood? Can I keep him? Fluffy needs a playmate."
"This is Devyn.."
"And no you can't keep me, nor am I one of your kind," The contempt in Devyn's voice was obvious.
"I reckon you have a problem with my kind? Then what are you doing here?"
"Believe me, if I didn't have to be, I wouldn't."
"Okay, so you brought me a jackass to go with my pooch, any particular reason?"
Jared smirked a little bit, "We need your help."
"OH is that how it works? He insults us and I'm supposed to help him. Don't like the new policy."
"Look, if you want to have a go, then let's do it, but I promise I won't be the one laying on the ground at the end of it."
"Look here, Sally..."
"Enough guys. Come on, we need to get moving, time is not our friend. Dave, we need you to teleport three of Devyn's friends from the tunnel entry way. One of them is wounded so it's easier for you to get them up here."
"Three more like him? Well isn't that.."
"Dave, enough. We can argue about this later." Dave glared at Devyn then turned back to the werewolf, who was down on the ground, the sedative starting to kick back in. Dave pulled a bone out of his pocket and placed it in front of the animal.
"Be good Fluff, daddy will be back soon." In a flash Dave shimmered out of sight.
Devyn looked at Jared incredulously, "He can teleport?"
"Yes. One of many talents as you can see," Jared grinned, and even got a small smirk to appear on Devyn's face. "Let's go back upstairs, your friends will be there in a minute."
While Jared and Devyn went back to the main level, Dave appeared behind Enya, Toren and Austin who were waiting patiently in the murky tunnel below the Haven. "What's taking so long? Do you think they double crossed us? Oh god, what if they did something to Devyn.."
Dave appeared unnoticed behind the group and crept up quietly. He jumped and screamed, "SHAKALAKA BOO!!" The three magi nearly jumped out of their skin from the shock of the situation. Enya planted a fist firmly in Dave's stomach as he came down from his leap. "Oof!" Dave fell to his knees, surprised by the sudden blow. He stood up quickly and sneered at Enya, "I should eat you for that."
"You can try, but trust me, I'll be hard to swallow."
"Lady, I've had a lot of practice swallowing things.. wait.. that did not come out right.."
Austin snickered at the un-implied innuendo, "I'm guessing you're not here to kill us."
"Right. I am here to be your hero, your savior, your knight in shining armor, your.."
"We get it," Enya said while rolling her eyes. "Can we go now?"
"Just one minute," Dave shimmered out of sight then reappeared right back where he was. He outstretched his hand toward Enya, "Here ya go my lady. Tampax tampons, proven to cure even the most bitchy periods." Enya glared, "WHAT? It even has wings!" Dave laughed and put a hand on Austin's shoulder. "I think she likes me, what do you reckon mate?" Austin didn't have time to answer as they all disappeared from the tunnel as if they were never there, and then reappeared up above in the main foyer of the Haven.
Alex and Chloe were sitting on the now upturned couch, while Jared and Devyn stood close by. When Dave came into sight Alex smiled and winked at his boyfriend. Dave grinned and left the other three standing there with bewildered looks on their face. Dave jumped onto Alex's lap and kissed the boy gently. Alex smiled and let his arms wrap around Dave's waist in a sign of his affection. Devyn looked on, surprised at the affection that the two were showing for one another. After all, a race that he had come to believe as killers weren't supposed to share something as pure and good as love. Jared glanced at the two lovers, but then turned to introduce himself to the three newcomers, "Hey, um, I'm Jared. The beautiful Chloe is there to the right," Chloe said hello and gave a friendly smile, "And the two love birds are, the top Dave and the bottom Alex. No innuendo implied." Dave and Alex turned bright red but laughed off Jared's comment.
"I'm Austin, this is Enya, and this here," Toren groaned in pain, "Well this is Toren and he's a bit torn up."
Dave turned his attention from Alex's mouth for a moment, "Well isn't she Miss Healing lady over there? Why didn't she heal your boy up?"
Enya reached into Austin's back pocket and pulled out his wallet. She took something out of it and put the wallet back, then calmly walked over to Dave, "Here," She handed him a condom, "Just incase you ever go straight, I want to make sure you don't breed." Dave's mouth moved but no words came out. The room filled with laughter, while Austin blushed.
"Uh.. how did you know that was in there?" Enya just smiled and patted him on the shoulder. The sound of a clearing throat rang through the room, cutting off the laughter. Joey's shirtless form walked steadily toward the group with Caleb in tow. The gaping wound on Joey's abdomen looked bad, causing Austin to gasp, "What happened to him?" He whispered to no one in particular.
"Vampires happened to me."
Devyn snorted and threw his hands up in the air, "I told you. But why would vampires attack another.." Devyn stopped short and took a closer look at Joey, letting his eyes dwell upon his face. "You're not one of them?"
Joey looked at him seriously, "Not anymore."
Enya cut in, "You're the one that the prophecy speaks of. The vampire who was turned human."
"Yes. Kali turned me back into a human when she invaded our home." Toren coughed off to the side, still being held up by Austin and Enya, "Jared, take care of him." Joey's words were not a request but a statement. Jared nodded and had Austin and Enya lay Toren down on the ground.
Devyn stood from his seat, "Don't let him.." Joey stepped in front of Devyn and they came eye to eye for the first time.
'Trust me, bro. He's only going to heal him, nothing more." Devyn took Joey's words a little easier than he did from any of the other vampires. Jared placed his hands over Toren's wound and concentrated hard. The white light emitted from his palms and penetrated the torn flesh that the Nightwatcher had ripped into. Toren's face contorted and seemed to morph into different entities. Alex looked on intrigued by the way the wounded magi so easily slipped in and out of forms. Jared felt a surge of energy bolt up his arms and through his body, and he jumped accordingly. The white light surrounded his body and Toren's completely, lighting up the room. Soon the light faded and Jared fell back on his ass, with a dazed look on his face.
"Whoa," Was the only thing that came out of his mouth. Toren sat up a little groggy, but completely healed. Jared leaned back against the couch, with a goofy smile on his face.
Caleb walked over to Jared and plainly smacked him across the face. Alex jumped up quickly, "Whoa dude, what the hell did you hit him for?"
"Healing a magi is something you have to get used to. His power had to heal part of a magical being, in essence letting the magic mix with power."
"In other words Jared's a stoner!" Dave yelled. Caleb looked at Joey who shrugged.
"He'll be fine."
Joey surveyed the room taking in each person in it. This group of ten would enter the battle for life in a matter of mere hours.. how many would leave alive? "Okay, enough small talk, it's time to get down to business. Tonight we bring a god to her knees."
"And how pray tell do you plan to do that?" Devyn questioned.
"I am going to the Realm Of Shadows to retrieve the Talisman Of Light."
"Are you out of your mind? My father has told me stories about The Realm. It's legend, and that legend always ends with some fool going in and never coming out," said Devyn.
"Well, then we make a new legend for you to tell your children when you grow older."
"I will accompany you on your journey," Caleb said.
Joey looked at Caleb and shook his head, "No, I'm sorry, but I can't allow you to come." Caleb looked at Joey questioningly, "This is how it has to be."
Devyn spoke up, "So you're going to go alone in the Realm, possessing no powers whatsoever? You'll never make it."
"That's why I'm taking you with me." Everyone's head snapped in the direction of Joey, who was looking at Devyn seriously.
"What if I refuse?"
"Then I'll go alone and most likely die in the Realm, the talisman will be lost and any leverage it may have given us over Kali will be lost."
Devyn looked down and thought about the situation, "I'll do it." Devyn took the fact that Joey was human as the major deciding point. If it had been any of the other vampires, he would have said no right there on the spot no matter what the consequence. Austin gave Devyn a look of fear, but held back his thoughts.
"Good, then we will leave shortly. The rest of you should stay here and prepare a strategy. I want everyone locked, loaded and ready to go when we get back. If for some reason we don't return by 8 O'clock, it will be up to all of you to stop Kali."
Everyone agreed, knowing that it could very well be the last time they saw each other. When they started to break apart, a voice cut through the room, "Bravo guys, really nice stuff with the war speech and all. There's just a few things you're not taking into consideration here, one being Kali isn't alone anymore," Ethan stood back in the shadows, hiding his face, but Joey recognized the presence.
Caleb spoke up, "We already know of the Dark Angels."
Ethan stepped forward so he was visible to everyone. Jared shot up from the couch seething, while Dave shot a look of contempt Ethan's way. "Please, don't get up on account of me."
"Get the hell out of our house, asshole," Dave growled.
"Why David, why the sour greeting? You liked the little pick me up I gave you and you know it. Don't deny your inner self because some people want to hinder it," Ethan shot his words out while looking directly at Jared. Ethan stepped closer until he was just behind Devyn, who was busy reassuring Austin that he would be okay. Ethan stared at Devyn from behind, "I see you've opened your door to the magi. Good call, but watch your back I hear they can be quite hostile."
Devyn turned around and his eyes met Ethan's. The icy blue gaze burned right into Devyn's deep dark eyes, and it touched his very soul. Devyn just stared almost in a trance like state, entranced by the presence of Ethan or so it seemed. The fact of the matter was he wasn't entranced by Ethan at all, but by the demons that plagued his own mind...
Three years ago: London, England
Three robed figures strode through the candle-lit halls of the Citadel of Sarathyl followed closely by a young dark haired boy wearing the traditional clothes of a wizard in training. Their bare feet made little noise against the cold stone floor as they escorted their charge to the council chambers. The young boy glanced about in awe, it being his first time in the Citadel. As they approached the large wooden doors of the chamber they swung open of their own accord. The boy held his breath as they entered the council chambers. Mystic runes were carved into the stone walls and floor, the ceiling seemed to stretch on forever above them perhaps it even reached to the Heavens above. He held his amazement in check and walked forward to the raised dais in front of a large podium where the council members of the Order of Light sat. The robed figures who had escorted him now exited the chamber, this was for the boy and the councilors alone, as the chamber doors shut closed once again the leader of the council, Kaldon, stood from his seat.
"Today is a great day for you Devyn my son. You have completed your training as a sword mage and are now ready to join the fight against the coming darkness. I am honored to present to you the sword that symbolizes your new ranking." Kaldon turned and descended the staircase that wrapped around the side of the high podium and led to the chamber floor below where Devyn was standing. In his hands he carried a medieval longsword, encased in an ornate leather sheath. He handed it to Devyn with a short bow, "This sword has been with our family for generations, since the time of the first Crusades. It has the power of concealment when worn by a member of the Phoenix family and will only become visible when you will it."
"Thank you father, I am honored," said Devyn as he accepted the blade.
Two Weeks Later
Thunder rumbled in the distance and a bolt of lightning lit up the night sky, revealing four figures standing in the wet, recently rained on streets of downtown London. Young Devyn fidgeted nervously, this being his first mission for the Council. The mission was simple: he and two others were to escort a council member to meet with a group of vampires who were to deliver an ancient Magi artifact to them, the Eye of Sarathyl thought lost to the ages. The fact that the council member was his mother Alana, a powerful Magi in her own respect, helped alleviate some of his tension.
"What is it that worries you my son?" Alana asked as she turned to face Devyn.
"I always thought vampires were ruthless creatures and yet here we are expecting to meet with them in a civilized manner," he replied. Alana smiled as the streetlights flickered for a second.
"Not all vampires are evil Devyn, just as there are evil magi there are good vampires in the world. Do not let it worry you," she walked over to her son and placed a hand on his shoulder. At that moment the streetlights flashed off and another bolt of lightning lit up the sky. Devyn got the distinct feeling they were no longer alone. After almost a minute of darkness one lone light turned back on and Devyn could see three men walking towards them from down the darkened alley. The one in the center strode forward with a purpose, his dark hair slicked back and his trench coat flapping in the wind. As they got closer Devyn couldn't help but stare at the lead man's eyes. They were a piercing icy blue and it felt as if he was staring right through Devyn. He suppressed a shudder and moved closer to his mother.
"Greetings, I am Alana Phoenix council member of the Order of Light," she introduced herself to the vampires.
"Ethan," the lead vampire said simply. He lowered his gaze and looked Devyn in the eyes. Devyn stared back bravely at those piercing eyes. Ethan smiled before reaching into his coat and pulling forth a box carved from the finest ivory, then moved forward and handed it to Devyn.
"The Eye is within?" Alana asked.
"Yes," he replied simply.
"You have our eternal gratitude Ethan," she said bowing to him.
"Now there is the small matter of payment," Ethan said, his mouth forming into a wicked grin.
"Payment?" Alana asked confused, "We were told you were just to deliver the Eye to us."
Ethan laughed and grabbed Devyn by the shoulders, "His blood shall do fine." Devyn's eyes widened in horror and his heart skipped a beat. Ethan's fangs descended and he lowered his face towards Devyn's neck. Devyn bought his knee up and slammed it into Ethan's groin causing him to shout out in pain and release his grip on him. He then elbowed the vampire in the face and sent him sprawling to the ground. The other two vampires bolted forward and Devyn reached behind him and drew his sword. It was time to put his training to use.
"Spirits of water take form, become icy shards of death!" Alana raised her hand and the water covering the ground flew up and formed into long icy knives. She shot her hands forward and dozens of them launched at the two vampires. They shouted in pain as their bodies were riddled with the deadly missiles and they fell to the ground, their blood mixing with the rain water. Devyn stood over Ethan triumphantly as he raised his sword preparing to decapitate him. Suddenly from behind he heard two sickening cracks, causing him to whirl around to see four more vampires appear from the shadows, at their feet lay the other two guards. Devyn and his mother now stood alone against them. Two of them ran at Devyn and he lowered his sword to a defensive position. One of them leapt into the air, his hands forming into claws as he flew towards him. Devyn shouted as he swung his sword forward. He felt resistance as the blade tore through the vampires flesh and bone. The body landed with a splash and its head rolled down the alley. Devyn spun around avoiding the other vampire and bought his sword down, cleaving him from shoulder to hip. He heard his mother cry out and he immediately turned back to face her. One of the vampires lay dead at her feet and the other was getting back to his feet. Ethan stood behind her, biting into her neck, blood flowing out of her jugular.
"No!" Devyn shouted, sounding almost inhuman, and ran forward to save his mother. Time seemed to slow down as he neared them. Ethan tore his fangs out of Alana's neck and let her body fall to the ground. He hissed sinisterly, blood dripping from his fangs and lips. Devyn prepared to swing his sword but Ethan was ready this time. He landed a powerful roundhouse kick to the boy's chest and sent him flying against the alley wall, his sword clattering to the ground. The other vampire stalked towards him, but Ethan held up his hand.
"Let him live. He shall live with this failure for the rest of his life." With that the two vampires jumped to the rooftops above and disappeared into the night. Devyn crawled across the bloody alleyway to his mother's body. He pulled her head into his lap and looked down into her lifeless eyes. He then started to cry and at that moment the clouds opened up and began a torrential downpour, it was if the Heavens were weeping with him. It was there in that alley, hugging his dead mother that Devyn swore an oath against the vampires. It was there that he lost his innocence.
Devyn shook himself from his memories and lunged at Ethan with tears of rage in his eyes. Ethan stepped back, almost expecting the mage's reaction. Devyn threw a succession of punches and kicks, being met with a block or counter for each and everyone by Ethan. "You son of a bitch, I'll kill you!!!!" Devyn pulled his sword out and swung at Ethan wildly. Ethan dodged and ducked, with a small smile on his face, almost as if it were a game to him. Devyn faked a kick then swiped his sword across the chest area of Ethan, who leaned back enough so that the sword only sliced part of his coat and the front of his shirt. As quickly as it had started it ended, with Joey and Austin restraining Devyn from behind, "Let me go! I'll kill him! I'll kill him!!"
Ethan smiled, "Yes, yes, by all means let him go. We'll see if he can do what he thinks he can." Devyn struggled some more while Caleb stepped up to Ethan. The two held a cold staring contest with each other, Ethan's crystal like eyes dancing with the violet shimmer of Caleb's. Something unknown seemed to go unsaid between the two, as if there was something there that they were hiding. Ethan brushed off his coat and leaned casually against the doorway.
"I believe you've worn out your welcome, Ethan," Caleb spoke coldly.
"But I can't just leave without telling Joey here, what I came to tell him. I mean you're obviously not going to tell him are you, Caleb?" Caleb stared hard at Ethan, but Ethan never flinched.
Joey stepped away from Devyn, who was brought into another room out of sight, "Tell me what?" Joey looked at Caleb, then to Ethan.
Meanwhile in the other room Austin, Enya, and Toren did all they could do to hold Devyn back. He was shouting in an almost inhuman fashion while tears of rage and hate fell from his eyes. Austin had never seen him like this, other than the small outburst back at his home, he was usually so calm and collected.
"That bastard, I'll kill him!!! Let me go!!!" He shouted, thrashing about, trying to free himself.
"Devyn you have to calm down, who is he? What happened?" Austin asked in a panic. Devyn let out another wailing shout and Austin did the only thing that came to his mind, he reared back his hand and slammed it across Devyn's face. Devyn stopped shouting and thrashing and looked up at Austin with his tear streaked face. They released him tentatively and he collapsed to the floor and began sobbing uncontrollably. Austin kneeled down next him and hugged him tight. "Baby I'm here for you, tell me who that was," He whispered. Devyn choked back another sob and wiped the tears from his eyes.
"He...he killed my mother," Devyn managed to say between another fit of sobs. Austin hugged him tighter as he finally understood why Devyn hated the vampire race.
Back in the main room, Joey continued to stare at Ethan before he finally spoke up.
"He won't tell you because he's gone soft. He won't tell you that the Dark Angels are not the problem, the evil mage isn't the problem, but the other one is YOUR problem."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"Tell me Joey, if you really had to, could you kill someone that you love, if it meant saving the world?" Ethan paused and waited for Joey's response, but when he got none he continued, "You better prepare to answer that question with a yes, because if he finds you, he won't hesitate to kill you. Not anymore."
Joey felt a lump form in his throat, "Who?"
Before Ethan could answer, Caleb cut in, "Gavin." The room grew deathly silent when Gavin's name came out.
"I don't believe you."
"Then believe your buddy Caleb here. Why would he lie about such a thing?" Joey looked at Caleb searching for any sign that he wasn't being truthful, but there was none.
"Gavin killed Rythen," Caleb stated.
Joey stood there silent, with a million thoughts running through his mind. He didn't understand how or why this could be happening and in his heart, he was denying with everything he was that Gavin could kill him.
Ethan stepped toward the door and opened it up, "Remember Sunshine, it's bitter to lose a friend to evil before one loses him to death, but sometimes death is the only option left." The door closed behind Ethan, leaving Joey in a state of uncertainty. The only thing that was certain in every one of the minds that filled the Haven was obvious...
world's chance just got worse.
The darkness of the sky swirled around, looming above the world below with a menacing gloominess. A red hue settled in behind the clouds, illuminating the sky in a way that had never been seen before. The world appeared to be on fire somewhere off in the distance, and maybe it was. The streets below were long emptied as people took shelter in their homes, unsure of what was going on outside. A state of uncertainty was abound among most of the people that lived in the normally peaceful, sunny community and they weren't alone. Unbeknownst to the human race, a group of vampires and magi were preparing for the battle of their lives within miles of them. The battle for earth. The battle to live.
Though there were those who were not uncertain of the events that were unfolding. A select few that had been chosen to put those very events into motion and make sure that they were seen through to the end. One, a Goddess, a conqueror of hell. The Goddess may have been new to the modern world but her reign began long ago, before man had taken over. She was said to have been derived from a slayer of demons in a battle between divine and unholy forces. Her very manifestation was one of force, as if she had willed it upon the unsuspecting demon slayer, a god itself. Kali was feared by all that came across her, her fierceness and fury were unmatched. Her imposing appearance was one of the factors in the fear she struck into the hearts of man. She was known to have four arms, one she would wield a sword with, another she would carry a slain demon's head in and the other two were used to encourage followers to worship her. The four arms represented the complete circle of creation and destruction that she held within her. She would often wear dead bodies for earrings and brutally murder any in her path that she deemed unfit to be in her presence. It is said that the god was destroyed in a confrontation with a group of elder gods who feared what may happen if she was allowed to stay among the living, but in what way they destroyed her remains a mystery.
Caleb sat reading a book of ancient mythology, letting the words sink into his head. His mind was cluttered with thoughts thanks in large part to the god he was reading about. She put his old life back into him, and it caused a lapse in his concentration. Learning about his enemy was all he could think to do to keep his mind from wandering to potentially fatal distractions. His anticipation of the upcoming fight didn't unnerve him, for he was not a nervous person. He was the calm, almost stone cold presence at times and he didn't intend for that to change. The only thing that he felt at the moment was frustration over the fact that he was not going with Joey to the Realm Of Shadows. Not that his distrust for Devyn ran deep, he felt that it was his job to protect Joey for some reason. An unspoken bond had formed between the two somewhere along the line and to allow Joey to go off to his potential death with a stranger did not sit well with him. The fact that Gavin was looming out there somewhere, high on power put a seed of fear in Caleb, something he never really had experienced since becoming what he was. If Gavin found Joey and Devyn, there would be no stopping him from having them dead within minutes. Caleb stood up abruptly and slammed his book shut. He pulled on a black tank top and picked up a bag that was on the floor. He zipped it up and slung it over his shoulder before slipping out of his room. He walked through the main foyer and past Chloe and Enya who sat on the couch talking. They looked at him with question, but he didn't break his stride and headed for the door.
"Caleb." Caleb stopped as he pulled open the door and turned his head. Joey stood a few feet away, and looked Caleb in the eyes. They stared at each other for a few moments, when Joey nodded at his friend, "Be careful." Caleb nodded back, and headed out on his journey. Joey turned around and walked back into the room he had emerged from, not his own, but Gavin's.
His eyes scanned the room taking the atmosphere in. The room had once been familiar territory to Joey, but over the past few months it had been a place of deserted sorrow. Gavin never came back from the encounter with the government, so it had been hard on Joey to even go into that room without feeling the sadness that would often consume him when he thought of what may have happened to him. He and Gavin held something with each other that was hard to describe. It was on the verge of being something more than friendship before everything became chaotic. There was a definite spark between them, but Joey suspected that Gavin wasn't quite ready to let go of Caleb, just as he had been proven to not have been over Trevor. Now, things had taken a turn for the absolute worst. Gavin had apparently been corrupted by Kali.. been turned into a murderer. Joey looked at himself in the full length mirror at the side of the room. His eyes were darkened to the point that their stare felt as if it was trying to penetrate him to the bone. It was gut check time and he had no other choice but to succeed. Failure was not an option. The fate of the world rested on his retrieval of the talisman and if he failed, so would the world's hope for survival. No matter how hard the others fought, according to the prophecy, only he could prevent Hell on Earth. He picked up Gavin's coat, that he had gotten from the tunnels and put it on. He looked in the mirror one last time, not knowing if it would be the last time he ever saw his reflection and walked out of the room to retrieve Devyn.
Off in the basement, Dave pet the werewolf that he had taken from the street. The animal laid unconscious on the floor, having given into the sedative that Dave had fed it. Dave thought to himself about the night. He wasn't ready for his second death in less than a year, but he was prepared to accept the fact that there was no other choice. If he didn't die fighting, he'd end up dying at the hand of something if Kali was allowed to bring Hell on Earth. The truth was sometimes he wondered what his life would be like if he hadn't walked into that alley that night. He enjoyed his time with his friends and missed them deep down, but felt the need to hide it deep inside. The past was the past and that's all there was to it.
"You just have to concentrate on what you want to become. I can't change into people though, so we may vary in that way. I'm an Animagi, I can take on the form of animals. You're just discovering your power so it may be that you can only morph into humans or maybe even just vampires."
Dave listened to Toren try to explain the morphing concept to Alex across the room. He watched his blonde boyfriend concentrate and try to follow Toren's instructions, then become growingly frustrated when his effort failed. Alex pouted a bit and furrowed his brow, causing Dave to grin slightly. He loved that boy more than anything and felt that maybe his fear of death wasn't really about himself, but about Alex. Dave couldn't bear to leave the heartbreak of another loss on him after what had happened to his parents. It would destroy Alex and Dave wouldn't let that happen, even if it meant sacrificing himself for Alex. It wasn't even a question in his mind. Anything for him.
Upstairs Jared sat down on the couch next to Chloe, putting his arm around her waist. She laid her head on his shoulder and they just sat in silence, relishing in the comfort of one another's embrace. Their thoughts echoed that of the others, holding the question of whether or not they would survive the night at the forefront. Their embrace was the only thing they could take comfort in at the moment and luckily it was enough for them. They would walk into the battle together and they planned on walking out together. Jared let his other hand slide across his lap and grasp Chloe's closest hand. She turned her head and planted a soft kiss on Jared's face before snuggling up to him even more. A flash of lightning cracked across the sky and lit up the foyer, sending a chill through everyone inside.
Back in Jared's room, Austin sat on the bed, tapping his foot nervously. He hadn't expected Devyn to be going off on some suicide mission with someone he barely knew when they had set out on this journey. Now he was faced with the undeniable possibility that Devyn could be killed at the Realm Of Shadows and he would lose his first love.. One that he wasn't ready to lose, not then and not ever.
Devyn walked into the room and sat next to his worried boyfriend. He lifted Austin's chin and let their eyes meet. It seemed like just yesterday the two had met and yet here they were, in love and preparing to possibly never see each other again. Devyn nuzzled Austin's cheek with his nose affectionately and felt the wetness of Austin's tears touch his skin. He leaned forward and kissed away the boy's fear filled tears, hugging him tight. "Don't cry, Austin. I'll be okay."
Austin turned to him with tear streaks on his cheeks, "What if you're not? What if you die out there? I don't want to lose you, Devyn."
"We're all taking a chance tonight, baby. It's what we're here to do.. put our lives on the line to save the world. You have just as much chance of dying tonight as I or anyone else do. But trust that if I die tonight, I died loving you and that will make it a worthy death in my eyes."
Austin leaned into Devyn and kissed his soft lips firmly, letting the fears, the pain and the love intertwine between the two. The two magi felt connected as one in some way that even they couldn't explain. All they knew was, they would do anything to hold onto that feeling. Devyn broke the kiss and smiled at Austin, who forced a small smile of his own, "Don't die okay?"
Devyn laughed, "I'll try my best."
"Ahem," A clearing of the throat called the boys' attention to the doorway. Enya stood there and gave a respectful nod before speaking, "It's time." Devyn took a deep breath and stood from the bed. He kissed the top of Austin's head before walking past Enya.
"Take care of him for me, okay?" Devyn whispered. Enya nodded then walked over and took Austin by the hand. They followed Devyn out of the room and into the main foyer.
Joey stood at the head of the room, while everyone else had gathered and took seats on the couches. Joey's eyes met Devyn's as he entered the room and an unspoken word exchanged between them. Trust. The key to their survival lied in both of them and that one word was what would need to hold it together. Enya and Austin took a seat on a couch while Devyn went and stood next to Joey. As Joey was about to begin, Alex spoke, "Where's Caleb?'
"He's on a separate mission. He'll meet up with you guys at eight." The room fell silent and Joey began, "I'm not going to go into a long spiel about how important tonight is. We all know, we all feel it. Instead I'm going to say this to all of you, old friends and new. It's a fragile thread that binds us together, so handle it with care. Magi, vampire and human must combine as one unbreakable force, if only for this one night. Have faith in yourselves and each other, then you will be able to let your intuition guide you, and follow it fearlessly. Life is a risk, and it's a risk that we all have to take. From the minute we wake up until the moment we shut our eyes, we are at risk. Tonight, it's just more in your face. If this is the last time I see all of you, just know that I thank you all for everything."
Jared spoke up, "No goodbyes, Joey."
nodded, and looked to Devyn. Devyn took a moment to think of what
to say then spoke, "I'm not a big speech maker, so all I'm going to say
is don't fight as if you're fighting for yourself. Fight like there
will be no tomorrow for any of us because there won't be if Kali has anything
to say about it. Aim high, hit hard and if we don't make it back,
kill that bitch good for both of us." Each person nodded their head
in determination, not ready to go down without a fight. Joey and
Devyn turned around and walked out the door, preparing to meet fate head
on. The talking was done and the time for action had come.
They all hold their lives in their own hands, and it was time to learn
that every man has his own destiny, no matter where it leads them.
Standing in front of the mass of murk and stone that was the Realm Of Shadows was enough to intimidate even the bravest of men. It's very structure held a silent warning that could be heard whispering in the wind.. enter and perish. The wind echoed through the hollow caverns causing an eerie whistling sound to emanate from within. The entrance stood flanked by two stone statues modeled in the likeness of Griffins, meant to scare off any curious visitors.
Joey and Devyn stepped up to the entrance of the cavern and let the aura of it sink in. They both were having feeling you get when you're completely overwhelmed mixed with the fear of walking in and never walking out, though neither of them would admit it. It was one of those things that heroes and warriors left unsaid, whether it be for the sake of pride or for the assumption that it was a common feeling. Joey walked up to one of the Griffin statues and studied it adamantly. It's unusual appearance intrigued him; the Griffin being notorious for having the tail of a serpent, the wings, beak and head of an eagle, along with the body of a lion. There was some sort of inscription on the stone that it was perched upon, but it was unreadable to Joey.
"You wouldn't happen to be able to read some sort of ancient text would you?" He asked Devyn.
Devyn stepped up and studied the text for a moment, brushing off some debris that had come to rest upon it. "It's ancient Sumerian, but it's so old that it's really hard to decipher." He paused and looked at it one more time, "It says he who enters shall face thy griffin's wraith." Both boys looked up at the statues and backed away slightly.
"Right then, you two have fun with that," They turned around to where Dave was standing patiently. Joey walked over to his friend and hugged him.
"Thanks, Grasshoppa. Watch out for the others." Joey broke their embrace and stepped back. Dave was their only way of getting to the Realm in a reasonable amount of time so he teleported the three of them there, but Joey had made it clear that Dave would not be coming in. He didn't want to take the chance of losing three fighters before going into a battle with Kali.
"I will," Dave turned his attention to Devyn, "You watch yourself too, Sally." Devyn couldn't help but smirk, then nodded at Dave who shimmered out of sight.
Joey pulled a sword out of the sheath that he had slung across his back, "Ready to do this?"
Devyn materialized his sword and stepped up to the entrance, "As ready as I'll ever be." The two boys stepped forward into the consuming darkness of the Realm, knowing there was no turning back from there. The cavern walls were dripping with condensation from the stale air and temperature inside. Torches were lit along the walls, as if Joey and Devyn had been expected. They trudged along through the foggy caves until they came to a four way split. "Now what?"
Joey looked at the map that he had been given by the government agents, trying to figure out where they were supposed to go. The only problem was, the map seemed to change right before his eyes, "Something's wrong with the map."
"What? How the hell can something be wrong with the map, it's a piece of paper. Let me see it," Devyn grabbed the map and looked at it for himself. While he was doing so, Joey noticed some movement straight ahead. He squinted his eyes and focused on the movement. He put a hand on Devyn's arm to get his attention, "What?"
Both Devyn and Joey stared straight ahead with their eyes frozen on the sight. A beautiful woman, with flowing red hair stood running a comb through her locks. She hadn't seen the two boys, and was looking down into a puddle on the ground. Her body seemed to glow in the otherwise dreary cave, and it sent a warm feeling through Joey and Devyn. Joey took a step forward and began to speak, "Hey..." His words were quickly muffled as he was grabbed and pulled into the tunnel on the left, along with Devyn. The girl's face quickly shot up and looked down to where the boys had once stood. Her eyes were pitch black and her face snarled up into what could best be described as a demonically possessed woman's appearance. Joey struggled and broke free from the grip that had pulled him into the side cavern, and spun around. He looked around but didn't see anyone or anything. "What the hell grabbed me?"
Devyn looked around carefully, holding his sword out in front of him ready to strike, "Shadows." As soon as he said it something plowed into him, knocking him up against the stone wall. "What the fu-"
"Silence!" A voice hissed. Joey stood next to Devyn, looking for something to hit, but there was nothing to be seen. "You two should not have come here. You do not know what lurks in these caves."
"The shadow warriors.. we've heard all the stories."
The shadow materialized itself so that it was a dark silhouette and turned it's head down to the ground as it spoke, "I am all that is left of the shadow warriors. What rules this cave now is not of protection, but of unadulterated evil."
"You're telling me something in here killed all of your people? I thought you were supposed to be invincible? You're shadows for christs sakes."
The shadow remained silent, and something clicked in Joey's head, "Kali," The shadow turned it's attention to the olive skinned boy, "She was here. She set something loose on you and your people didn't she?"
"Yes. The witch has grown more powerful than even we could handle."
"I thought this place was immune to magic?" Devyn inquired.
"Her magics are beyond the realm, beyond everything."
"Not everything," Joey stated. He lifted a concept sketch of the talisman into the air.
"You seek the Talisman Of Light, yet you are merely a human. The protection of the mage will not be enough to get you through these caverns. No human has ever been allowed to set foot inside the Forbidden Crypts."
"This time it's different. I'm the vampire that Kali turned human. The one the prophecy speaks of."
"I know who you are. As I know who he is," The shadow said, referring to Devyn. "If you were anyone else do you really think that I wouldn't have killed you both by now?"
"If you're not going to kill us, then what are you going to do?" Joey questioned.
"Your map is being scrambled by the powers of the Realm. You will never be able to navigate through these caves with that. I will lead you to the talisman, or as far as we can get." The shadow peered around the corner and made note that the cavern was now empty. "Steer clear of EVERYTHING. The banshee knows you are here, but has yet to make it her duty to murder you."
"That girl was a banshee?"
"Yes. Extremely deadly. They hate the living, and seek to harm everyone they come in contact with. It's shriek can kill anyone within in 30 feet of it and her touch will cause serious damage. They are highly resistant against magic, and invulnerable to charm, sleep and hold spells, as well as electric attacks. They are also noncorporeal and can not be harmed by any normal weapon."
"So basically they're invincible," Devyn stated.
"Nothing is invincible. An evil banishing spell can kill a banshee, or.. which I seriously doubt is the case with you two, if you are deemed more powerful than the banshee, it will leave you alone. Now lets move." The shadow let go of Devyn and walked swiftly away. Devyn looked at Joey, who just shrugged and followed behind the dark silhouette in front of him.
The three moved stealthily but quickly through the eerie caverns, keeping an eye out for the banshee or anything else roaming about. The shadow didn't stop for anything, just kept moving, only to be seen when passing the small torches that lined the walls. Joey kept as close as he could, so as not to lose their guide. They rounded a corner and came to a halt. The banshee hovered just above the ground about 10 yards ahead. Her eyes locked onto Joey and Devyn, and she prepared to let out her fatal shriek. "Shit, run, run, run!" Joey yelled as he and Devyn dug into the soft ground with their heels and ran as fast as they could. They dove into a break in the caverns as the shriek blared through the Realm's walls. It was ear piercing and the confined space amplified the noise even more.
"Fuck!" Devyn yelled as he covered his ears. Joey covered his own and winced, trying to will his mind into concentrating on something else. They were out of range for a fatal blow, but they still felt the effects of the piercing groan. When the noise died down the boys stood up and brushed themselves off. Joey peered around the corner and could see the banshee slowly floating their way.
"What are we going to do?"
Joey thought for a moment then noticed that a piece of his bag had torn off when he fell and was now floating in midair. Joey looked at it, then at Devyn who's eyes lit up in recognition. Joey quickly stripped off the tattered black coat he was wearing and threw it to the shadow warrior. He unbuckled his pants and started pushing them down over his thighs as well, "Hurry up and put these on." Joey pulled his boots and pants off and threw them to the shadow warrior, who merged into the clothing. The shadow's head was still invisible though, so he motioned to Devyn who quickly pulled off his shirt and threw it to Joey. Joey put it over the back of the shadow's head giving it the guise of a hood, then backed away. Devyn and Joey gave each other the once over, but quickly regained their focus. "Does that tunnel go around to where we just came from?"
"Yes," The shadow warrior said.
Joey nodded at Devyn who took off down the tunnel to his right, while Joey filled the shadow in, "Just stand there how you are, facing me. I'm going to get out of range, but you will stand there until the banshee shrieks."
"Pray this works for our sake." Joey turned and ran off clad only in his boxers and sword sheath on his back. The shadow stood there patiently, not fully aware of what was going on.
The banshee rounded the corner and tilted her head when it saw the form just standing there in the middle of the tunnel, seemingly completely unaware of her presence. She grinned evilly and opened her mouth. Her horrifying wail emitted from her mouth, the blast causing the coat on the shadow to sway from the force. The sound was even worse than before and went on a bit longer. When the banshee stopped and saw the form still standing, she became perplexed. She floated toward the shadow and he shifted out of the clothes. The banshee cocked her head in confusion, then saw Joey come running down the tunnel toward her. She opened her mouth again prepared to kill her oncoming enemy, but what she hadn't planned on was what came next. Devyn snuck up behind the banshee, and when he came within a few feet of her, he whipped his sword out, twirled it around and plunged it through the back of her neck and through her throat. The banshee fell to the ground limply, with it's mouth still agape and the life derived from it's body.
Devyn reached down and pulled his sword from her neck, causing blood to spatter over the cavern walls, "Not so invincible anymore is she."
Joey bent down and retrieved his clothes. He put them back on and started walking forward when the shadow warrior stopped him, "How is it that even after I told you that weapons could not kill a banshee, you still went ahead with a plan to do just that?"
"You said normal weapon. Not any weapon."
"This sword was blessed by a god and is a relic of my family," Devyn stated proudly.
"Clever humans." The shadow turned and returned back to the tunnel that the banshee had come from. Devyn and Joey trailed behind and they walked in silence for a few more minutes before they came to another split, this time a 'Y' with two paths. "This is as far as I take you. My time here is done."
"What do you mean?"
"The Forbidden Crypts are to your left, you no longer need my help. My ancestors call upon me now and I must join them. Good luck, may fate be on your side." With that the shadow vaporized into the air, never again to be seen.
"Well, that was abrupt," Devyn stated. "So, let's go get that talisman and get the hell out of here." Joey remained silent and walked steadily down the left path. The anticipation built up inside of him as they neared the lighted end of the tunnel. When they got there they stepped into the opening, only to have a metal barred gate slam down behind them. They looked at it startled, then turned around, taking in their surroundings. The ground was covered in dust and ashes, with char marks scattered all over the runes that seemed to hold the structure up. They stepped forward, but stopped abruptly in their tracks, their eyes shooting open in awe and shock.
A towering figure swooped down from the shadows, emitting a thunderous roar through the crypt. Devyn and Joey fell backwards, losing their footing as they looked up. A three headed beast flew through the air toward them, it's heads thrashing around, growling and snapping their teeth. The hindquarters were that of a large, black goat and the forequarters of a huge, tawny lion. It's body had brownish-black wings like those of a dragon. The monster's three heads consisted of those of a goat, a lion, and a dragon. The goat head was pitch black, with glowing yellow eyes and long horns. The lion head was framed by a brown mane and had emerald green eyes. The dragon head was covered with orange scales and had coal black eyes.
Devyn scrambled to his feet and ran to the gated way they came in. He pulled out his sword and slashed at the bars to no effect. He pulled, kicked and pushed the jail cell like door, but it was of no use. They were trapped. Joey regained his footing and watched the huge creature fly through the air with ease. It swooped down at him, but he rolled out the way before it could take a bite out of him. He ran over to Devyn who gave him a look of hopelessness. Joey looked around the room, but saw no sign of the talisman.
"He sent us the wrong way. The talisman isn't here," Joey's voice dropped into a whisper.
"Why would he do that? He sent us to be fucking lunch for a Chimera."
"Maybe he just made a mistake. Maybe we heard wrong.. or maybe it was all a set up." Joey paused as his eyes settled on a lever that stuck out from the wall at the side of the room, "All I know is, the talisman isn't here.. and we need it."
Devyn looked at Joey seriously, "What are you saying?"
"I'm saying the talisman has to be at the end of the other tunnel.. and it has to be retrieved by one of us."
"One? Wait, what? Why only one? And we don't exactly have a way out of here." The chimera circled in the air, then swooped down toward the two boys. Devyn dove out of the way while Joey made his move. He ran over to the switch on the wall and waited until he saw Devyn get up. Their eyes met and Devyn shook his head, "I'm not leaving you!" He yelled.
"Get the talisman! It's the only way! Now go!" Joey pulled the lever down, holding it with all of his strength. Devyn gave him an uneasy look, then reluctantly ran out of the cave. Joey let go of the lever and the gate slammed shut once again leaving him trapped with the Chimera.
Devyn ran up the tunnel and quickly turned into the other one. He went as quick as he could, in hopes of getting the talisman and going back to help Joey before it was too late. The one problem he didn't count on was coming to another split in the cave. He looked down both ways trying to see what lied within the corridors, but it was too dark. "FUCK!" He yelled frustrated.
"Devyyyyn," Devyn's head shot up as he heard his name come floating through the caves in a soft whisper. He held his sword out on guard and looked around, "Devyyyyyyyyn." The voice sent a chill up his spine, and drew his attention to the tunnel on the left. His eyes focused on it until he saw a form moving toward him. His eyes teared as the form came more into view and he dropped his sword to his side.
"M-mother, is that you?" he whispered. The apparition nodded and as it came closer to Devyn it solidified into his mom, Alana Phoenix who was killed three years ago by the vampire Ethan. Devyn returned his sword to its sheath and both disappeared as they returned to their invisible state. He rushed forward and wrapped his arms tightly around his mom. "Mom, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't save you," he said as tears of joy formed his eyes.
"Do not fret my son, it was the will of the Heavens. Tell me, what are you doing here in the Realm of Shadows?"
"I came to retrieve the Talisman of Light," he answered.
"Ah. To stop the witch goddess Kali I presume. You do know there is an easier way to stop her plan," Devyn looked up at his mom, a look of confusion on his face.
"How?" He asked.
"Kill Austin," She answered simply. Devyn released himself from the hug and pushed back away from Alana.
"W-what?!" He asked angered.
Alana smiled back at her son, "Kill Austin. Kali's power is somehow being focused through the boy, if you kill him and cut her off from her power she will no longer be able to control the Dark Angels or Gavin and she will easily be defeated."
Devyn shook his head, "No I...I love him, I can't kill him."
"Did he not try and kill you?" She asked, raising her voice in anger.
"That was the past, hes different now. He isn't evil and besides why..."
"If you do not kill him then you will all die fighting Kali. Hell will reign over the Earth and billions will suffer. Does not the need of the many outweigh the need of the few my son?"
"I can't kill him, I just cant." Alana smiled sadly at her son.
"Then I ask that you leave this plane. Go into hiding, do not join the fight against the witch. I cannot stand to watch you die my son." Devyn nodded, he didn't even have to give it a second thought. "I love you Devyn, never forget that."
love you too, mother," Devyn said before disappearing in a flash of light.
After he had gone the form of Alana began to shimmer and where she once
stood now was the witch Kali. Her spell of suggestion had worked,
she couldn't convince him to kill Austin, but he would at least not be
at the final battle. She smiled maniacally before teleporting herself
from the Realm of Shadows.
Rain drops started falling from the sky, as if the cold darkness was weeping, knowing what was oncoming. The chill in the air was enough to make the warmest of people shiver with fear, sending that sensation of a tingle up their spine. For all of the doom and gloom that was encompassing the area, it's effects and meaning seemed to be lost upon someone with a purpose.
Caleb cut through the rain and cold, like it was nothing other than that.. bad weather. His eyes focused ahead of him as his legs moved at a steady, rapid pace. He didn't know where he was going, but his mind was so focused that it wouldn't allow him a second thought about his journey. All he knew was he was on a scavenger hunt, not for some sacred weapon or relic, but for a vampire.. one that he once held a deep love for.
The rain pelted him in the face, matting his dark hair to his head, making him look even more intense than usual. His eyes burned with a determination that few would ever muster during their lives, and there seemed to be nothing that could stop him. As he turned onto the next abandoned street, his feet came to a screeching halt, nearly sending him tumbling over abruptly. His senses went into overload as the sense of another presence became thick in the air. Caleb slowly turned his head to the left, then to the right checking for the location of the intruder.
"Gavin, show yourself!" Caleb yelled, his voice cold as stone. The power emanating from the mere presence of the other being made Caleb tingle within. A streak of lightning shot through the sky and thunder rumbled through the stormy atmosphere. A form appeared about twenty feet ahead of Caleb, standing menacingly. The rain and wind kept visibility down, making it hard to see the person. Caleb stepped forward and the air seemed to go silent. All that could be heard was the rain hitting the pavement and the flapping sound of a long black coat fluttering in the wind upon the figure up ahead. "Show your face and let us finish this."
The figure stepped forward, with a bode of confidence in his step. His coat swayed in the wind, as each of his footsteps echoed off the pavement. Caleb walked forward quickly and in a matter of moments he was within a few feet of his challenger. He focused his bright violet eyes on the figure, until the one in front of him looked up. Caleb scowled and dropped his guard slightly. The figure smiled a self satisfying smile, "You were expecting someone else?"
"Stay out of my way, Ethan." Caleb brushed past Ethan, lightly bumping him as he passed.
Ethan turned and watched Caleb's retreating form, "What exactly is it you're looking to accomplish, Caleb? Do you think you can save the day before the big shebang goes down?" Caleb stopped, then turned to give Ethan a hard look, "No, that's not it. You already know it has already started. Hmm.. then what is it that has you so ready to throw down.." Ethan walked up to Caleb and circled him, studying the boy with his eyes.
"If you didn't know why I'm here, then you wouldn't be here yourself."
"Oh, don't get me wrong, I know you're here looking for Gavin. I knew you would be here even before you did," Ethan paused, "But there's something else.. something you're hiding.. even from me."
"Hiding from you. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was once told that it was impossible to hide anything from you."
"Under normal circumstances, yes. But come on now, we both know you are not some circumstance, let alone a normal one. No, you're holding something back.. something you feel makes you look weak."
"I don't have time for your games," Caleb started to walk off, when the wind picked up considerably. The rain and wind combined in the middle of the street in a funnel formation, like a small tornado had just touched down. Caleb put a hand over his forehead, letting his eyes travel to the unusual manifestation. All of a sudden the tornado flew from it's formation spot and streaked toward Caleb. Caleb dove out of the way as the tornado crashed through a nearby building. Caleb turned and looked behind him as he laid upon the cold ground, to make sure the tornado wasn't coming back. Ethan also seemed to have disappeared. He turned his face back to the forefront as he started to push himself off the ground when his hand brushed up against something. His eyes shot ahead of him, being met with the sight of a pair of black boots, that went up to black pants. Caleb stood slowly, letting his eyes travel up the body slowly until his eyes came in contact with the darkest set of eyes he had ever seen.
Gavin stood before him, his eyes cold and inhuman, with a small smile on his face. It wasn't a smile of happiness, nor friendship, but one of pure spite. Gavin didn't let his eyes move from Caleb's trying to intimidate his former love. Caleb stood his ground and stared back hard, showing that he held no fear of the darkness that now ruled Gavin's soul. "Game's over." Before Caleb could react, Gavin whipped around and drove the heel of his boot into Caleb's chin, sending him flailing backward. Caleb hit the pavement hard, splashing down into a puddle. He did his best to shake the cobwebs from his head, but Gavin was already standing over him before he had gotten to one knee. "It's sad really. That I used to turn into a puddle over you. Now look at you, you're nothing. Weak and pathetic just like the rest of them. You're the one that everyone fears? Please, I've destroyed far worse than you in the last day. Man, woman and children, all dead because they thought it was their right to fight back. They lost that idea when I snapped their necks. When little Susey was crying for her mother, do you know what I did? Well, I'm a reasonable guy, so I gave her mother... in pieces before I bludgeoned that little bitch to death with them."
Caleb stood up and spit blood into Gavin's face, "You're not Gavin."
"I'm not Gavin? Caleb, wake up and accept reality here. I am Gavin, I'm just the real Gavin now. I'm not weighed down by the dead weight of a bunch of whiney friends, a conscious, emotions, a caring heart, oh and let's not forget my wonderful lovers."
"You are just a puppet. The real Gavin was a person, one who fought for what he cared about. You.. You are nothing but a shell of who he was, filled with the hatred of the witch." Gavin's eyes flared and he swung at Caleb, but Caleb leaped into the air and over the top of the blond vampire. Caleb focused his mind and levitated himself just behind Gavin, so when Gavin turned around he didn't see him. Caleb chanted in whispers, trying to conjure up some sort of spell. A violet wave of energy fell from his hands like a waterfall, covering Gavin, engulfing him completely. Gavin struggled, flailing around and hissing as the energy tried to penetrate his body. Caleb brought himself down to the ground and spoke with a purpose, "Cease the evil flow. Spirits behind breeze, wipe out the evil magic! Cease the evil flow! Cease the evil flow!!!!"
The ground rumbled beneath as the energy fought with the darkness within Gavin. Gavin sneered, but the energy broke through. A mist of red and black started to seep from the vampire's mouth and eyes. The street continued to shake until the pavement broke apart. Caleb didn't flinch as he stepped up to Gavin and put his hands upon the struggling vampire's temples. Caleb concentrated and used his power to push the evil within out.
"Gusting winds here what I say! Tornado!" A voice shrieked through the night and the tornado from before came ripping through the ravaged house and plowed right over Caleb. Caleb flew through the air and crashed into a pole across the street. Gavin dropped to the ground limply, landing face first in a puddle. "No, no, no, no, no. This is not how it goes, mutt." Caleb held his ribs as he stood from the ground. He looked over to where Gavin lay.. but this time another stood above him. "Who do you think you are, meddling with fate? He does not die. Not here, not now, not ever." Kali, decked out in what looked like a blood red prom dress, knelt down and put her hand upon the back of Gavin's head. A wave of fire outlined his body and shot up into the sky. Gavin's form slowly rose up from the ground, seemingly still out of it. Suddenly his eyes shot open, and in place of the darkness that was there before were to iris's filled with fire. Gavin broke out of the ring of fire and leapt toward Caleb. Gavin's feet cracked the ground as he landed, and stalked toward Caleb. "This should be fun." Kali waved a hand and made a bench appear. She sat on the bench with an amused smile on her face as she watched Gavin go after Caleb.
Caleb threw a punch, but Gavin stopped his arm with his telekinesis. He made a tightening motion with his fist and somehow started to crush Caleb's arm. Caleb quickly closed his eyes and brought his free hand to his temple. He shot his arm out, sending a jolt of energy from his mind right into the chest of Gavin, staggering him enough to break the hold he had on Caleb's arm. "You're dead." Gavin let out a barrage of punches, which Caleb did his best to block. Even for Caleb and the level of combat he was used to, Gavin picked up the pace even more, landing every other punch, dropping Caleb to one knee. Caleb started to stand back up, but was met with a knee to the abdomen from Gavin. Caleb slumped over, coughing up blood. Gavin reached down and ripped Caleb up from the ground. Gavin put his hands on each side of Caleb's dazed head, and smiled evilly. Caleb tried to power out of the grip, but he was too worn out. Gavin made a move to snap Caleb's neck, when instead he was blasted by a wave of raw energy. The pink and white power blew Gavin back across the street and almost into Kali. Kali shot up from her seat as Gavin grabbed the bench to help him regain his footing. They both looked across the street to the source of the power.
Ethan stood in front of Caleb, letting the power die down from his hands. His eyes held a look of confidence that no other would have in light of who he was confronting. Gavin moved forward to attack, but Kali stopped him. Her eyes narrowed as they studied Ethan. She walked forward and came within inches of him. "You shouldn't meddle in affairs that don't concern you."
"What can I say, blood is thicker than water."
"Then lets hope you remember that when yours is spilled among the rest of your kind. Stay out of my way, for I will not be so easily thrown around," Kali's voice held a tone of challenge and warning in it, her normally psychotic demeanor changed to one of complete seriousness.
Ethan smiled, "Give my regards to hell." Ethan turned away from Kali and helped up Caleb, then led him away without so much as a second glance back at the god that he had just scorned.
Outside of the Haven things had gone from bad to worse. A powerful thunderstorm had started over an hour ago and picked up in intensity since. It was as if the Heavens themselves were trying to fight back against Kali's Hellbound Effect, that or hinder the actions of the would be heroes gathered within. Austin sat in the main living room listening to the sound of the storm outside. The others were spread out around the rest of the house, making final preparations for the upcoming battle. His thoughts bounced between Devyn and the fight with Kali. Would they be able to defeat her? If everything went according to the prophecy and the Amulet of Light was retrieved from the Realm of Shadows then yes they would. He still had a nagging feeling in the back of his mind that something was wrong or would go wrong. Devyn was ok, he could still sense him and would have immediately known if something had happened to him. Suddenly he felt a presence in the room and he looked up to see Enya and Toren coming down the grand staircase, Enya carrying a brown cloth bag.
"Hey kid how are you doing?" Enya asked.
"Good surprisingly," Austin replied, "What with the end of the world and all. I thought I'd be a little nervous well horrified I suppose would be the correct term, but yeah I'm holding up." Enya smiled at him as she and Toren sat next to Austin. "How are you two?" he asked.
"Good. We have a plan for the fight with Kali but it will take time to prepare," Toren said.
"Oh? What is it?" Austin asked leaning forward.
"There is an ancient ritual created by the first users of magic that allows an Animagi to transform into a more powerful creature. A catalyst has to be offered, something from the creature usually works, and the words of the ritual spoken. Then if all goes to plan he will transform," Enya explained.
"Cool, but do we have anything to use?" Austin asked. Enya reached into the bag she had carried in with her and pulled out a red metallic looking thing the size of her palm. "What is that?"
"A red dragons scale," Enya whispered.
"Wow!" someone exclaimed and the three of them looked up in surprise to see Dave standing directly in front of them. "Wish I had one of those instead of that bugger of a wolf downstairs," he said, hefting a large spiked mace over his left shoulder. Alex, Jared and Chloe entered moments later all carrying various weapons.
"So what's the plan?" Alex asked.
"Theres a ritual Devyn Austin and I are going to work to transform Toren into a dragon..." Enya started.
"Really? Wow that'll put the evil hell bitch in her place," Alex cut in excitedly.
"Well its going to take some time to work the magics," Enya continued, "We're going to need the rest of you to keep her and whatever other baddies she has working for her busy until we can finish the ritual. Chloe this is where you come in."
"We are going to need your shield extra to protect us while we do the ritual, I can put up a wall of my own but I cant keep it going that long as I will need to concentrate more on the ritual itself, think you can handle that?" she asked. Chloe nodded.
"What if we can't keep up with Kali, she IS a god after all," Jared spoke up.
"True she is a god. But being in human form has got to be taxing on her energies, its hard for a being of such higher power to appear on this plane of existence and therefore their powers are limited. She could still mop the floor with us but she cant actually snap her fingers and kill us all. Now we also know she has summoned the Dark Angels, they are ancient mystic warriors that require even more power to summon. If we can somehow destroy them it might phase Kali, knock her off balance so to speak. That can give Joey the chance to use this Amulet of Light against her and maybe put a stop to her powers altogether," Enya explained. At that moment the front door swung open and a flash of lightning outlined the form of Caleb in the doorway.
"It is time," he said simply.
"Whoa what happened to you?" Jared said when he noticed the cuts and bruises from Caleb's fight with Gavin.
"Inconsequential. We must leave now before it's too late, where are Joey and Devyn?"
"They haven't come back yet..." Toren said quietly.
"Then we go without them. We have a mission to accomplish and they did their best to aid us, now we have to continue without them," Caleb said as he stepped into the room.
"Not without them..." Austin said.
"What?" Caleb snapped.
"They'll be there. If something had happened to Devyn I would have felt it, hes still alive and so is Joey. They'll be there," he said again.
"Just where is there exactly?" Toren asked him.
know, but I can sense the energies that Kali is channeling. We will
find her, and then we will destroy her," Austin said, fire flashing in
The Forbidden Crypts...
Joey ran across the crypt, dodging the beast's three heads in the process. He dove under a small ledge where he knew he would be out of reach from the Chimera. His body ached and he could feel the fatigue setting in. His body was only that of a human after all. The adrenaline was quickly depleting, running and dodging the seemingly energy laden creature for the last 2 hours. His chest moved up and down as he tried to catch his breath and regroup. His mind wandered back to Devyn and whether or not he made it out with the talisman. Something didn't seem right about the whole situation. Why would Kali let loose a Chimera as a decoy and put the talisman in an empty cave?
Joey furrowed his brow and watched the creature stalk toward the small hole he was hiding in. He braced his sword out in front of him and made sure to keep it steady as the Dragon's head of the Chimera snapped at him. Joey swatted at it and swiped the scaly creature across the neck. It didn't even phase it and it kept trying to push further under the ledge. A shimmer of light caught Joey's eye as the Chimera moved about. His eyes widened in realization as he discovered the source of the light. His sword had scraped off one of the scales from the Chimera's dragon neck, but it didn't reveal blood. A small jewel like object was carefully dangling from the now bare skin. A small chain could be seen when the Chimera moved roughly. The talisman wasn't in the other cave at all.. it was hidden beneath the scales of the dragon head. Joey's mind went into overdrive. The one thing that could possibly help him save the world was no more than a few feet from him, all he had to do was take it.
"Oh yeah, I'll just crawl out and take it off the man eating beast," Joey thought to himself. He was out of ideas and he knew there was no way he could kill such a creature. Joey looked down at his sword trying to figure out what he could possibly do to distract the beast, when an idea popped into his head. He his coat off and waited for the dragon head to come down at him again. As it did, he threw the coat over the head, temporarily blinding it. He dove out of the little crawl space he was in and jumped onto the Chimera. The creature thrashed around violently, it's heads snapping at him as he rode the dragon side. He climbed up the rough scaled limb and pulled out his sword. The Chimera flung the coat off it's head and tried desperately to shoot fire at Joey, but his position was out of range. Joey clawed at the scales, trying to get the talisman loose, but it was no use. He pulled out his sword and started hacking and slashing with reckless abandon, causing the Chimera to screech in irritation. Joey kept his focus and watched the scales fall from the dragon neck, causing the talisman to come loose. Joey grasped the thin chain and pulled it off of the Chimera. He smiled to himself and turned around to look for a way to jump off, but what he didn't expect was to come face to face with a giant snake.
The snake snapped at Joey, causing him to scramble backwards, up the neck of the dragon part of the Chimera. For some reason he hadn't noticed the tail of the beast was not a tail at all, but a large, vicious snake. Joey swung his sword at the snake, causing it to recoil, but it wouldn't stay back for long. Joey looked around the crypt, trying to figure a way out. His eyes caught sight of a hole in the ceiling, but it was much too far out of reach for him. His eyes shot to the large leathery wings that laid dormant at the sides of the creature and he knew that it was his only chance. He quickly flipped his sword upside down and drove it deep into the upper torso of the Chimera, causing it to thrash violently around, moving around the crypt with abandon. Joey pulled the blade out and drove it back down a couple inches from the first wound, then repeated the process. "Come on you son of a bitch, fly." The Chimera slammed it's body up against the nearest wall, causing Joey to stumble over, nearly falling off. He gripped the handle of the sword tightly, the blade stuck in the tough skin of the Chimera. "Where the hell is Dave when you need him.." The Chimera suddenly jumped up into the air and started flapping it's wings. For a beast so large, it's grace in the air was second to none. Joey held on with all of his might as the Chimera swooped through the air trying to shake him off. Joey wasn't worried about falling, keeping his eyes fixated upon the opening in the ceiling. Once he was positioned about ten feet under the hole, Joey reached down and pulled a dagger out of a sheath he had strapped around his ankle. He swung with the momentum from the Chimera's quick turn and let go of the sword, flinging himself toward the closest wall. Joey drove the dagger as hard as he could into the wall, leaving him dangling high up in the air and just a few feet from an escape. He quickly reached down and grabbed another dagger from his other ankle and drove that into the wall above a foot above the other one.
A roar of anger rang throughout the Forbidden Crypts, signaling that the Chimera was ready for another go. Joey glanced over his shoulder briefly and saw it start to come toward him. Joey grabbed the upper dagger and pulled himself up so that he was standing on the lower one, then used all of his upper body strength to somehow pull up to the top dagger. Joey stood on the top dagger and then reached up to the opening in the ceiling, "Come on.. be something I can work with.." His hands dug into the edge of the opening, finally getting a stroke of luck. Joey drove his fingers into the dirt and clawed upward. The Chimera's dragon head came chomping after the boy just as his dangling legs disappeared up into the small tunnel, missing him by mere inches.
Joey pushed his legs up against one side of the tunnel, and put his back to the other side, making it easier for him to crawl up the confined space. He was rapidly losing steam when he came to a turn in the tunnel, which he crawled into and laid in for a few moments to catch his breath. He let his grip on the talisman loosen a bit, giving his hand some much need relief. He only had time to latch it onto a loop of his pants before the Chimera tried to throw him around, so he kept one hand on it whenever he could to make sure it didn't go anywhere. Joey held it out in front of him and watched the jewel shine with light. "So this is what's going to change my life again.." Joey paused and put the talisman around his neck, "Now or never." A wave of adrenaline and energy jolted through Joey's body, causing him to convulse slightly. His blood rushed through his veins, his heart sped up and his muscles became loose. His body stopped seizing from the abrupt injection of power and Joey slowly put his hand out in front of him. He concentrated on it and watched a blue spark pop out of his palm, causing him to smile. "Time for a witch hunt." Joey crawled through the tunnel with a newfound ease, using his increased speed and power to dig through like he was born to do so. He came to a dead end, where another opening lied above. This one was only a few feet long and was topped by some kind of stone plate. Joey placed his palms flat against the stone and pushed, jarring the obstacle slightly. A gust of air shot down through the small opening, letting Joey know that he had found his way outside of the Realm. He gripped the edge of the stone plate and heaved it, sending it flipping over and off of the tunnel's end. He grabbed onto the ledge and pulled himself out of the dark cavern.
Joey stood up and brushed himself off. His body was covered in mud and grime from crawling through the tunnel, but nothing could take away the feeling that flowed through him. For the first time since Kali had arrived in town, the sense of hopelessness that had consumed him was now gone. He wasn't afraid anymore, and for the first time, he felt something that he didn't think was possible under the circumstances.. He could win. Joey smiled to himself and moved swiftly to the edge of the hill top he seemed to be on. He peered down and saw the entrance to the Realm, so he leapt from his position and sailed through the air, landing with ease in a crouching position just in front of the entrance way. As Joey stood up as a slight tremble ran through the ground. He stepped back in confusion, and looked down at the talisman, which was glowing brightly, then heard a loud cracking come from behind him. He turned his head and looked over his shoulder, only to be met by a heart dropping sight.
The two stone Griffin statues that guarded the Realm, seemed to be crumbling.. at least the outer rock shell. Soon a set of wings shot out from each of the statues, flapping with wild abandon. Joey's eyes widened, remember what Devyn had read from the ancient inscription upon the statue's base.
"It says he who enters shall face thy griffin's wrath."
didn't stick around to face said wrath, and took off speeding through the
mountainous terrain. The call of the griffin echoed through the air
as Joey used his renewed abilities to stay out of sight. His only
worry now was finding the others.. and making it there alive.
Devyn reappeared in his room at the Phoenix Estate back in London. His father was undoubtedly at the Citadel and he didn't have time to warn him. He wanted to return to Austin and take him away with him but he wouldn't understand, none of them would understand. He had to go into hiding alone and hope the others somehow managed to defeat Kali. He made his way over to his dresser when he heard the door open behind him, he whirled around to see a female with dark hair enter his room, a glowing aura about her.
"You're the other Oracle," he said.
"Yes I am Shaitung," she answered.
"Why are you here?"
"Is that your one question you wish to ask?" she said whimsically.
"No," Devyn replied. The Oracle nodded before entering further into the room.
"I have sensed that you have been manipulated into thinking you must either kill the boy Austin Wagner or flee." Devyn glared angrily at Shaitung.
"I have NOT been manipulated into thinking anything, my mother told me..."
"You fool that was not your mother that was the dark goddess Kali, she has you under her spell and I have come to free you!" With that Shaitung stretched out her hand and a soft white light emanated from it, a haze fell over Devyn's eyes and as suddenly as it was there it was gone. He shook his head as he came out of Kali's spell.
"Th-thank you Shaitung..." he whispered. She nodded again and the aura that surrounded her began to fade, Devyn suddenly realized what she had done. "You interfered in the affair of Mortals..."
"Don't, worry. Now I can return to my life as a human and live out the rest of my years. Another Oracle will be chosen in my place, now quickly before my power completely fades you must ask of me one question, and the answer shall be the absolute truth."
"Will I be able to avenge the death of my mother?" He asked. The Oracle nodded and her eyes became pools of milky white as her powers began to take effect.
"It is unclear at this point, the fates have something greater in store for the vampire Ethan. I am sorry Devyn but it appears that question is beyond answer in this weakened state of mine," She answered sadly. The aura had completely disappeared from around her, Devyn nodded in understanding.
go Devyn, you must protect Austin Wagner and defeat Kali." Devyn
teleported back to the Haven, hoping he wasn't too late.
A lone figure slipped on the wet streets below his tiring feet. The rain continued to drown the city in tears, keeping the gloom at large. The red hue of the sky seemed to glow brighter, signaling that the end was near. Time was running out and he was running out of ideas.
Joey ran a hand through his soaked hair, trying to think of where Kali would be. Apparently his plan wasn't as well laid out as he had thought, because the detail of how he would find his way to the battle was one that had been severely overlooked.
Joey stopped in front of the Haven, and leaned against the stone railing that lined the stairway. Tears of frustration tainted his eyes, and the feeling he held when he left the realm was rapidly becoming replaced with the hopelessness that had been ruling his emotions since the whole ordeal had started. Joey slowly climbed the steps, with his head held low, feeling the sense of defeat.
As he opened the front doors, a voice startled him, "Giving up so easily are we?" Joey turned around to see Kione standing across the street, half hidden by the shadows. Joey stopped his ascent and walked back down the stairs. "I did not figure you for a quitter, Joseph."
"I'm not quitting. I just don't know what else to do. I don't know where Kali is, so what use am I?"
"All you have to do is look inside and you'll know where to go. You hold the key within you.."
"I don't understand."
Kione stepped forward and studied the boy in front of him, "For such a weight to be placed upon one's shoulders is in a word despicable. You're a mere boy, but are also more than that. You are special, Joseph. Very special."
"Well being special isn't helping me out right now, is it?"
"It will. Maybe not this time, but when it really matters, everything that you are will matter."
"There isn't going to be a next time.."
"Enough. Did you learn nothing from your encounter with the government? No situation is impossible, no matter how bad it seems. You know deep inside that it is possible for you to stop Kali, now go do it."
"How?! You're not helping me by using your philosophy. If you know how to get to Kali, then tell me so I can go before it's too late."
Kione smiled, "I just needed to light the fire inside of you first. Look to the sky, then look to your heart. Let the light lead you." With that Kione seemingly vaporized into thin air.
Joey looked up into the sky and finally took the red hue into a different context. His eyes followed the sky until they settled on the sight that transfixed him earlier.. the fire in the sky. Joey felt a slight shock touch his chest, causing him to look down at the talisman. A bright light shot out of it and locked onto the ring of fire.. the talisman was the key to finding Kali. Joey quickly ran, following the light, not stopping for anything.
Joey came into a darkened alley and the light seemed to dim a bit. He looked around cautiously, moving forward through the thick darkness. The talisman flickered, like something was disturbing it's power.. interfering with it's signal. A loud clang startled Joey, causing him to jump. He turned his attention to a dumpster that the sound had apparently emitted from. He approached it slowly, keeping his eyes fixed upon the large metal disposal. He gripped the lid and flipped it up, stepping back slightly. He took a breath and moved back toward the dumpster, when suddenly a large rat jumped up onto the ledge. Joey closed his eyes, releasing the breath he was holding and laughed to himself. He turned around and was unexpectedly thrown through the air, crashing hard into the metal dumpster, leaving a large dent in the disposal.
Joey cringed in pain, and leaned back against cold metal. He shook his head, and made his eyes focus to the front, but when they did he wished he hadn't. Gavin stood no more than five feet from him. He crouched down and brought a hand up to Joey's face, rubbing it over his left cheek, "Joey, Joey, Joey.. It's been a long time, lover."
Joey coughed, "Apparently not long enough.."
"Ouch. I expected a much warmer greeting from you. Someone must've warned you about me.. who was it? Caleb? Mmm.. well from the beating I put on him, I guess if it was him I got a little bit of payback. Or maybe it was the other one.."
"Don't play dumb. The one with the cold eyes.. the only reason Caleb is alive right now."
"Ah, yes, Ethan. I told Kali we should've killed him, but for some reason she decided it was better we not pick a fight with him. Oh well, there will be plenty of time for that in just under an hour."
Joey stood to his feet, "Maybe.. but if you think I'm going to lie down and let you destroy this world then you're severely mistaken."
"On the contrary.. I fully expect you to put up a fight.. but I'm saddened to say that it won't be much of one. You have no idea what you're dealing with." Gavin grabbed Joey by the collar and heaved him down the alley way, right out onto the street. Joey tumbled as he hit the pavement, scraping up his soft skin. Gavin walked out of the alley calmly, and coldly ripped Joey up by the hair. "Come on now, I knew humans were weak, but this is pathetic."
Joey spun out of Gavin's grip and jumped into the air, planting a hard enziguri to the back of Gavin's head, causing Gavin to stumble and roll out of the way, rubbing his head. "I'm not your average human," Joey's eyes sparked as he spoke.
Gavin smiled, the blue spark from Joey reflecting in his blackened eyes, "'That shine in your eyes is nothing more than oblivion peeking through." Gavin used his telekinesis to raise Joey up in the air, but Joey shot a jolt of electricity from his hands, right at Gavin's chest. The electricity penetrated Gavin's body, intensified by the rain that ran off the vampire's body, causing him to convulse from the shock to his body. Gavin fell to his knees, clutching his arms around his torso, while Joey fell back to the ground, and walked toward his fallen competitor.
"It doesn't have to be this way, Gavin. You can fight that spell she put on you.. I'll help you." Gavin wheezed as he drew air into his lungs, then reached a hand up to Joey, who against his better judgment grasped it with his own and pulled Gavin to his feet. Gavin put his arm around Joey's shoulders and used him for support. Joey could feel the shudders running through Gavin's body, and held him tight, "It'll be okay.. we'll get you better. Maybe Austin or Devyn can help with fighting the sp.." Before Joey could finish he felt a burning sensation start to run through his body. He loosened his grip on Gavin, just before a wall of fire exploded from Gavin's body, sending Joey sprawling to the ground.
Gavin whipped around with his eyes ablaze, "My soul is poisoned from within. I am under my own power, my own control. Kali just brought out what was going to waste inside of me and I've got to tell you, it's one hell of a rush." Joey kipped up just as Gavin leapt toward him and engaged him in hand to hand combat.
To the outside viewer, their movements would have looked like a work of art, each of them able to match each other's every move, punch for punch, kick for kick. It was if they were connected as one, yet separated into two different entities. Gavin's face was plastered with a crazed smile, and a fierce intensity that would strike fear into the strongest of souls. Joey held Gavin's gaze and didn't flinch, for he knew if he were to let one ounce of uncertainty or fear come through, Gavin would pounce all over it.
Gavin went for a leg sweep, but Joey flipped into the air and planted his feet solidly against Gavin's jaw, sending both boys down to the ground. Quicker than a flash both of them were back up throwing everything they had at each other. "This isn't going to end well." Gavin threw a high thrust kick, but Joey was ready and fell to the ground, taking the legs out from under Gavin, who dropped to the ground. Joey jumped up and started running, slipping on the wet pavement, but soon rounding the corner back into the alleyway he had come from. He kept running until he came out of the other end of the alley into a clearing, then stopped abruptly.
The street was eerily quiet, with nothing but the drip of rain drops interrupting the serenity. Joey walked forward cautiously, then picked up his pace once again, until a figure rounded the corner in front of him, stalking calmly toward it's prey. The familiar coat waved in the wind as Gavin approached Joey, who ran as hard as he could straight for the Gavin. There was no break in their stride, nor stutter in their step. They jumped at each other and collided head on, then landed on the pavement with a thud.
Gavin was the first to recover and picked Joey up with his telekinesis, and plunged the boy through the wall of the nearest building, crashing him through wood, bricks and metal. Gavin wasn't done though, and ripped Joey out of the building and sent him sailing through the air, across the street and through another building's foundation. Gavin floated Joey's body out of the other building and dropped him to the ground in front of him. Joey was barely conscious and covered in blood.
leaned down and straddled Joey's hips. Gavin leaned down and kissed
Joey sweetly on the lips, then brought his hands down over the sides of
Joey's head, "I figured I would be the one on top." Joey leaned
up and spit blood into Gavin's face. Gavin wiped the red liquid from
his eyes and punched Joey hard in the jaw. Joey struggled to keep
his eyes open as the blood and tears caked upon his face, "Streams of blood
and tears are only an ornament for this destructive ritual. You've
lost, Joey.. It's over," Gavin tightened his grip on Joey's head, and prepared
to deliver the final blow, "I'll take pleasure in hearing every last bone
in your neck crack.. then everyone of your friend's as well.."
The Witching Hour.......
The once eerily calm and darkened Black Woods shimmered through a swarm of fire. The fire acted as a barrier, securing a perimeter around the old church that stood as the lone structure within the cursed area, and the ring of fire that now connected the earth and hell. To the eye of most it would be awe striking, and terrifying at the same time. Like a page out of everyone's worst nightmare, the earth was now in effect on it's way to a fiery death. Not by a meteor or ice age, nor any natural disaster that plagued the life planet. The planet was being brought down by a single being, one of the purest form of evil.
Kali stalked around in circles, chanting and feeding the flames with an unseen magic, setting the blaze of each flame towering above the rickety old trees that made their home in the dead forest. Her eyes were the purest of whites, like an ivory mirror reflecting the havoc she caused. Her body emitted an aura of power, with a slight glow forming around her as she chanted more and more. "Land of the dead, come forth!" The ground rumbled and the ring of fire turned into a red blaze. The fire seemed to catch onto the clouds in the sky, literally setting the world on fire. Kali smiled and walked over to the church entrance. She removed her black robe and threw it to the side, leaving her in nothing but a the blood red dress underneath. She knocked on the door and it slowly opened, the sound of the rusted door hinges screeching through the night.
The Dark Angels stepped out one by one, adorned in pitch black garb. Their masks covered the lower half of their faces, while their heads were protected by enchanted helmets. Kali touched each one as they passed, sending a jolt through them, pumping up their adrenaline. Lotus drew her sword and started carving symbols into the hard forest floor. "One step closer to hell, spell!" Her voice came out in monotone, but her words sent a fountain of fire crashing up through the ground. The sparks rained down from above like snow, while the burning embers engulfed the dry wooded trees. "It is done my, lord."
"Good. Now.. where is..." Before Kali could finish her sentence, Suru stepped through the wall of fire carrying a child in his arms. Kali's eyes lit up in pleasure as the dark mage approached her.
"I have done as you wished. I give you this vessel on behalf of myself and Margulis," Suru handed over the unconscious child and Kali carried him over to a lone tree stump that laid untouched through all of the chaos. She laid the boy over the stump and ripped off his shirt.
She ran a hand over his face, "Such innocence," She spoke softly then seemed to go bipolar, "Such a waste of life." Kali blew on her hand and her nails gleamed with a razor edged sharpness. She ran a nail straight down the middle of the boy's torso, causing a stream of blood to ooze out of the wound. Kali ran her hands through the blood, then placed her hands in the air. A small bell materialized in one of her blood covered hands and she started ringing it as the three Dark Angels each stepped up and placed a lit black candle in a circle formation around her and the boy. "I call to the mighty bringer of light, Lucifer..." Kali paused and rang the bell three times then continued, "Spirits of the abyss, here my call, all most powerful one and all. Lucifer my thoughts do sing, through the universe they now ring. Take thine enemy, take him smite, break him, scorn him in the night." Ghosts and lost souls shot up through the Ring Of Hell, screaming in agony, being drawn out of hiding by the dark goddess, "From the mighty depths of hell, cast your darkness on his shell." Kali started to levitate off the ground, and the boy started to wriggle around on the stump, the spell starting to run through him.
Suddenly a large gout of fire washed over the tree stump burning it and the child sacrifice to oblivion, while Kali came crashing to the ground seconds later, tearing a hole in her dress.
"What in the HELL happened to my ch..." She paused as she noticed the large hole that had now appeared in her dress and she let out a loud audible gasp, "You ripped my dress you little bastard!" It was then she and the Dark Angels took note of the seven teenagers in front of them. Austin held his hands in front of him, obviously the one who had started the attack. "Well, well, well, if it isn't Prophecy Boy and his little friends, figured it was almost time for you and your pathetic attempt to stop me," She brushed off her dress as she looked the group over, then gave a short evil laugh, "But wait! Where is the boyfriend Devyn I wonder? Could it be that he and young Joseph were killed already by oh say an evil hell goddess?"
"Shut it bitch!" Austin shouted, "I know Devyn is still alive!"
"Hey that's not the way to talk to a goddess! Especially not one you tried to save..." Kali trailed off and bought her hands up to her head as a strange look passed over her face.
"What are you talking about? Save you?" Austin asked confused. The look on her face passed and she leveled her gaze once again at Austin.
"Ah well, I was someone else back then, why dwell on the past. All that matters is that we are here now and I am about to rain some fire and brimstone baby!" Her eyes flashed once again to their milky white as she set forth a mass of dark energy. At the last second Enya stepped forward, her eyes a golden light.
"Vallum!" She shouted and a wall of energy sprang forth in front of them, Kali's spell slamming into it and dissipating.
"Hmmm. Gavin was right about you, you are pretty powerful. Now, minions deal with them while mommy figures out how to continue without her little sacrifice," The Dark Angels and Suru stepped forward at her command and prepared to attack.
"Enya we cant do this without Devyn!" Austin hissed.
"We'll have to, it will just take longer to complete," She turned to Chloe, "Ready?"
"Now or never I suppose," Chloe replied. She focused and created another energy shield surrounding Enya Toren and Austin.
"How about you?" Enya asked Toren.
"Yep time to turn the tables on the she-bitch," He answered. Ahead of them, Suru completed a spell and the Dark Angels were now bathed in a bloody, unholy aura that made them look even more menacing than before.
Jared, Alex and Dave steadied their weapons and prepared to charge. Jared reached down into his belt holster and produced two small throwing axes. He tossed one at Sythe, who dodged it with ease. Jared spun and swung his other axe at the oncoming Sythe, but it was met with a metal clang as the Dark Angel's sword blocked the boy's attempted blow.
Alex came sailing through the air looking to catch Sythe off guard with a bicycle kick, but the mystic knocked the kick away. He held off Jared with one hand and Alex with the other. Vilan quickly jumped in, going after Alex who looked like easy pickens to the ancient warrior. "You send a boy to fight a man's war." Alex glared and dove at Sythe. Sythe back flipped out of the way, sending Alex sprawling to the ground. Alex flicked his wrist and a dagger came sliding out of his sleeve, but before he could do anything with it, a foot came down across his wrist, holding it down to the ground. Alex looked up to see the piercing gaze of Lotus looking down at him with an amused smile.
"Your death will be in vain, little one," Lotus drew her sword above her head and prepared to drive it through Alex's body. As she swung her arms down, her sword disappeared into thin air. She looked around confused, "What is this trickery.."
Dave popped into site planting a quick kick to the back of Lotus' knee. She wobbled and stumbled off of Alex's arm. Dave teleported, not staying in one place for more than a few seconds. Lotus tried to follow him, but he was too quick for the naked eye. Dave shimmered into sight for a split second, swiping Lotus' sword across the small of Sythe's back.
Sythe hissed at the contact, "Death will not be pleasant for this one." Sythe moved around slowly in a defensive stance, keeping a watchful eye out for the teleporting vampire. Dave appeared with his foot even with Sythe's face and he kicked him from one side, then teleported to the opposite and delivered another kick to the mystic's chin.
"Come on, mate, at least make it a challenge," Dave said as he shimmered into sight just above Sythe, with Lotus' sword aimed for the Mystic's head. Dave drove down, but froze a mere inch from piercing Sythe's skull.
"Enough of this game," Suru stepped up, his hand outstretched, as he seemingly had cast some sort of holding spell on Dave. "This is not some recess fight. This is the dawn of a new era.. The.." Suru's words were cut short as he caught a hard shot to the face and fell to one knee. He snapped his head up in rage and his eyes met Caleb's. "You're going to wish you never did that." Suru shot to his feet and laid into Caleb with all he had. Caleb knocked away the blows, and quickly planted the edge of his palm against the underside of the mage's chin, jamming his neck momentarily.
Off to the side, things took a turn for the worst as Jared slipped up and ended up catching the blunt handle of Vilan's sword to the back of his head. Jared collapsed to the ground, and tried to shake off the surprising blow. Chloe saw him go down and started to let her concentration break. Her shield started to come down, causing Caleb to yell out to her, "Do not let down your guard!"
"His fate is not yours to decide." The coldness in Caleb's voice sent a chill down Chloe's spine. She reluctantly refocused herself while Enya continued her ritual. Alex valiantly tried to take down Sythe, but was overmatched. The mystic materialized a second blade from his hand and swung at the youngest of the vampires. Alex ducked and rolled out of the way, but then screamed out in pain as he felt a sharp stab in the bottom right side of his back. He fell to the ground and immediately grabbed at his wound. He rolled over and looked up at Lotus who smiled down smugly. Her leg was raised in the air and blood dripped from her spiked heel. She let it drop to the ground then walked calmly over to Alex.
"Shh, it won't be long now. It was very brave of you to fight, but now it's time to move on."
Alex reached up and out to Dave, who was still stuck in mid air, "Davey.." Dave fumed with anger and frustration. He was helpless and he was about to see the boy he loved die at the hands of some hell bitch.
"Hey. Hey you!" Lotus turned her head to look at Dave, "Yeah, you."
"You speak to me?"
"You're about as sharp as a beach ball now aren't ya? No, I'm talking to the other bitch with a face that looks like a mile of unpaved road." Lotus sneered and walked toward Dave. She plucked her sword from his prone hands and ran the blade through her finger tips.
"I think I shall cut out your tongue before I remove the rest of your limbs one by one."
"OH balls!" Dave muttered.
Suru and Caleb continued their exchange behind the others, with Caleb getting the best of the dark mage. Suru finally let it sink in that he was not going to win this battle in hand to hand, so he decided to go back to what he knew best.. magic. Suru brought his hand up to his face and ran it over his bloody lip. Then a spark came from the blood as he pulled his hand back then quickly shot it forward, letting lose an orb of energy. It sped toward Caleb who pulled his arms back and somehow stopped the orb, and the energy pulsing inside of it as it tried to drive into him. He struggled, but soon the orb was infused with a violet haze, and then he quickly dropped down to the ground as the orb zipped over him and crashed right into Dave. Dave's body was pushed through the air with a jolt before freezing again.
Dave felt his body rumble and a burning shoot through his limbs. Caleb rolled over and yelled to Dave, "Teleport now!" Dave did as he was told, but he didn't shimmer out of sight. His body shook and he could feel something building inside of him. "Chloe hold that shield and everyone else down now!"
"Bloody hell.." A burst of pink energy exploded from every inch of Dave's body and sent the Dark Angels and Suru hurtling through the air.
Dave fell from his dormant position, landing on the ground with a thud. The Dark Angels and Suru slowly started to drag themselves up, watching wearily as they did so. Caleb jumped up and ran over to Dave. He was nearly unconscious, the energy literally blown right out of him. Caleb picked him up and ran him over to where the magi and Chloe were. Caleb nodded at Chloe who let down her shield momentarily while the Angels and Suru were still recovering. Caleb put Dave down then ran back for Alex. Jared stumbled to his feet, while Caleb picked up Alex's injured form. "Come, you will be safe behind the shield."
"I'm not leaving you to fight alone."
"It's not.." Caleb was cut off and Jared dove at him, knocking him and Alex to the ground. A wave of daggers splintered in the trees behind them, nearly breaking the trunks in half. Caleb turned his head and saw Kali looking on with a very irritated look. "Lets go." Caleb and Jared grabbed Alex and they ran as quickly as possible, getting behind Chloe, who threw up the shield just in time as Kali threw a small fireball at the running vampires.
"This is getting old," She sneered.
While the fighting had been going on Enya had produced a medium sized urn from her pack. A few mystical ingredients were added and Austin lit them on fire, now a sweet aroma wafted through the air as they prepared to finish the ritual. Toren stood in the center of a circle formed from a white powder, ground slugoth or something Enya had called it. Austin wiped the sweat from his brow as Caleb approached. Suru and the Dark Angels had finally recovered from the small skirmish and were now sauntering over to the shield wall.
"We could use that dragon right about now," Caleb said. Jared was attempting to heal Alex and Dave while Chloe clenched her teeth, focusing all of her energy on the shield wall.
"Just a few more moments," Enya said heatedly. She placed the urn in the circle with Toren and motioned for him to sit. He closed his eyes and placed his hands on either side of the urn. Enya moved in front of him while Austin stood behind him, locking his eyes with Enya's. "Repeat after me Austin, ok?" He nodded and Enya began to chant. "Goddess Aurora hear our prayer, deporto nostra donum vicissitudo et draconis!"
"Deporto nostra donum, vicissitudo et draconis," Austin joined in the chant, "Deporto nostra donum, vicissitudo et draconis!" A white light began to emanate from the urn and suffuse into Toren, while Austin and Enya continued to chant and the light grew stronger. The Dark Angels now stood in front of Chloe's shield and began to hammer away at it with their swords. Suru stood back chanting in a mystic tongue while Chloe tried to hold on. The energy faltered for a split second but she managed to bring it back up.
"Hold on Chloe, they're almost done!" Caleb shouted. The two magi continued to chant louder as the light circled Toren and continued to enter his body. Suru finished his spell and walked forward to the shield, laying his hands upon it and pushed forward.
"Break!" He shouted and Chloe flew back ten feet, her shield falling immediately as she landed, tumbling over the ground before slamming into a large tree. At this point Enya broke the dragon scale in half and dropped it into the urn. She jumped over Toren and tackled Austin to the ground as the transformation began to take place. The Dark Angels rushed forward, but were met with a large red tail that sent them crashing into the trees behind Kali. Where Toren had sat moments before was now a large red dragon, towering menacingly while his wings flapped and he moved forward slowly.
"This is so cool!" Toren spoke, his voice booming from the dragon's snout. Suru reached for his dagger but was quickly swiped aside by another pass of Toren's tail. He lowered his neck so his large face was in front of Kali. "What now hell-bitch?" He taunted, flicking out his fiery tongue.
"Two can play at this game," Kali sneered. With a flash of blinding light Kali transformed into an equally large black and violet dragon cracking many of the surrounding trees to the ground in the process, "Hahahahaha!" She laughed triumphantly, "Did you really think you could defeat me, the mistress of all evil!" She paused momentarily, "Now WHERE have I heard that one before?" She asked.
Toren opened his mouth wide and breathed a large ball of white fire at her before launching into the air. He beat his mighty wings and flew high into the sky, Kali seconds behind, not being phased by his breath attack. She spat a ball of acid upwards at Toren but he quickly dodged to the side. He turned around and rocketed back at Kali, digging his claws into her side and snapping his jaws at her neck. She shrieked in pain and lashed at him with her spiked tail. The others watched this mighty battle from the ground in awe. The Dark Angels had appeared once more and were ready to do battle. Now they had Austin and Enya to deal with. Caleb had retrieved Chloe from where she landed and carried her to the other wounded.
"Austin keep them busy while I help Jared heal the rest," Enya said. Austin nodded and summoned the power of fire, his body surrounded in flames as he began to levitate slightly off the ground. Caleb was at his side in moments and nodded at him.
"Lets kick us some Dark Angel ass," Austin replied. The Dark Angels approached in a triangle formation, coming at Caleb and Austin from all sides. They closed in with their swords drawn. Austin surveyed the situation, as did Caleb, thinking out their first move. Austin lost his concentration for a moment when he felt a tugging at his mind.
"Let's show them our own ring of fire," Caleb had locked onto Austin's mind and telepathically spoken to him as not to give away their plan to the Dark Angels or Suru.
Austin nodded, "Duck." Austin twirled around quickly, waving his arms like tentacles, splaying fire from each of his hands in a circular motion, while Caleb ducked down to the ground and rolled under the fire. The Dark Angels quickly fell back when the fire singed them, and the distraction was all that was needed for Caleb to make his move.
Caleb threw his arms out to the side and three psychic shuriken produced in his hands. He quickly let them loose, and each of them found their target. The shuriken sunk into the flesh of each Dark Angel, piercing the upper thigh to limit their mobility. Caleb went for Lotus first, as she seemed to be the leader of the trio in some aspect.
She produced her blade and swung at Caleb's head, going right for the kill. He ducked and placed a stiff kick into her wounded thigh, causing her to nearly drop her sword. Her eyes blazed with anger, and she started chanting. Caleb uppercutted her under the chin, stopping her from completing her spell momentarily, then Sythe joined the fray, swinging a mace labeled for Caleb's skull. Caleb remained stealthy and light on his feet, avoiding contact at all costs while planting minimum offense upon his foes.
Austin on the other hand went right for the gold, keeping Vilan and Suru at bay with his magic. As Vilan limped around trying to strike with his sword, Suru doused any fire Austin threw at him with a curtain of water. Austin's experience in hand to hand wasn't anywhere near what Caleb's was, so he tried to stick to what he knew. Vilan charged with his sword aiming for Austin's heart, but Austin dropped to one knee, pounding his fist on the ground, sending up a blaze of fire into the face of Vilan. Vilan's garb caught on fire and he rolled around furiously trying to put on the burning flame. Suru walked up to the fallen mystic to put out the fire, "Extinguish.. oomph!" Suru put out the burning Vilan, but was caught in the side of the face by the blunt end of a sword, courtesy of Austin, who took advantage of the dark mage's distraction. Suru spit out blood, and sneered at Austin, "You're a fool, boy. This time you will not defeat me."
Meanwhile Caleb was sandwiched between Sythe and Lotus, who stabbed at him with their swords. Caleb rolled forward and under their blades and over to the bag he had packed. He pulled out some kind of red powder and blew it at Lotus and Sythe. It seemed to swarm around them, and devour them in a blood red cloud. They coughed and moved around quickly, but the cloud seemed attached to them, moving along with their own movements. Caleb left those two and quickly ran over to blindside Suru, but the mage was more than ready. He side stepped Caleb who tumbled to the ground. Austin ran up and started swinging wildly, only to be thrown back by a glancing blow from a staff that Suru had produced from his robe. Caleb was back on his feet and saw Suru stalking Austin. Caleb picked up Vilan's sword and flung it through the air, watching it pierce through Suru's back and out the front of his chest. Suru stood there, grabbing at the blade, dripping with blood. He looked down at the wound then back at Caleb who showed no emotion one way or the other about what he had done.
Austin jumped to his feet and with the touch of his hand set Suru ablaze. He looked on as the dark mage stumbled around, his flesh charring away, until there was nothing but a blackened corpse that fell to the ground. Austin smiled, surveying the seemingly strong hold they had on the situation. One Dark Angel laid on the ground, groaning in pain from his burns, while the other two were being smothered by Caleb's mysterious powder.
Caleb walked toward Austin when all of a sudden he stopped in his tracks. He clutched the middle of his abdomen and a look of pain flashed across his face. "Caleb?" Austin hurried over to the vampire, and as he got closer he could see the blood seeping over his hand. Caleb's hand dropped away and a gaping stab wound protruded from his otherwise unscathed abdominal. Austin caught Caleb as he started to fall to the ground, resting him upon his thighs. "What happened?" Caleb looked up at Austin and moved his mouth, but the words wouldn't come out. His eyes started to flicker and dim, so Austin shook him, trying to keep him awake. When Caleb's eyes started to roll back in his head Austin started to panic, "ENYA!!!!"
Enya looked up from where she was healing Alex, alarmed by the tone of Austin's voice. She caught sight of where Austin was cradling Caleb and shot up from her position. Alex was nearly healed, but Dave was still completely out of it. Jared was healing Chloe so Enya decided to leave her post and go to Caleb's aid. She ran over to the two boys, dropping down to assess the situation, "What happened?"
"I-I don't know! He was fine.. just walking toward me and then he started clutching his stomach and.. I.. He..." Enya put a hand on Austin's shoulder to calm him, then put her hands over Caleb's wound.
"Hmm.. Turn him over slightly," Austin did as he was told and turned Caleb so his back was in view for Enya, "The wound goes straight through his abdomen and lower back. It looks like a sword was driven through him.."
"But it wasn't. No one touched him.."
"It looks just like the wound I healed on him earlier."
"Very clever of you," Enya and Austin were startled by a voice, and just as they turned to the source, they stopped moving. A dark mist plunged into their chests and ripped them to their feet. Austin's eyes widened as he saw Suru standing there, not a scratch on him. "Don't look so surprised Austin Wagner. Did you really think I'd be killed that easily? I'm much too clever for that." Austin looked over to where he thought Suru laid dead, but there was nothing left there but ash. "Just a little spell I worked up. Conjuring up a clone can be tricky, especially when they won't hold anywhere near the power the original has. Too bad you'll never get the chance to try it for yourself. The vampire is feeling the effects of that very fatal wound that he received from the goddess. Sorry you went through all of that trouble to heal him for nothing little girl. Say goodbye to your souls!" The mist seemed to tug at Austin and Enya's chest, reaching inside of them to just as the spell said.. take their souls. Suru pulled Enya close to him and then tossed her aside, focusing his energy on Austin. He pulled Austin in close and put his hand around Austin's throat. "How does it feel, dying inside.. knowing I'm taking your life and you can't do anything about it?" Austin choked for air as Suru tightened his grip around the boy's throat. "You see, blood is power and your blood, well its quite powerful. So once I'm done draining the life out of you, I'll finish off the rest of your friends and then Kali can open the portal to Hell. Noone can stop us now, the world's end has finally come!" Suru said in triumph. A shout went up from the side and Suru turned his head to see what was happening, his eyes widened in terror when he saw Devyn leaping at him, sword raised above his head. A ring sounded through the air as the steel passed through Suru's arm, severing it just below the elbow. Austin fell to the ground and pulled Suru's still clenched hand from his neck and tossed it away in a panic as if the thing would spring to life on it's own and continue to drain him. Suru shouted in an almost animal-like howl, blood shooting out of his dismembered arm.
"Fools! You'll all burn soon enough!" Suru shouted before creating an inky black portal and stepping into it, fleeing from the battle. Austin jumped to his feet and wrapped his arms around Devyn's neck and kissed him on the lips.
"I knew you would be here," he whispered when they ended their kiss.
"Austin I'm so sorry..."
"No. Its ok, you're here now that's all that matters," Austin cut him off. Devyn looked around, Enya was at Caleb's side trying to heal him again, the red mist that had attacked the Dark Angels was gone and they were just standing to the side, their swords held in front of them and parallel to the ground as if they were in some sort of meditation.
"Where is Toren?" Devyn asked. Austin pointed up and Devyn looked up, at first he didn't see anything in the darkness, but then a fountain of fire erupted in the sky and he could see the two dragons clashing with each other.
"Enya and I did a ritual and well.. turned Toren into a dragon, of course Kali turned into one too and now they're fighting," he explained.
Up in the sky Kali gave a shriek as Toren speared her in the side once again, digging his claws deep into her and spilling black oily blood. He used his momentum to flip over in the air and toss her down towards the ground. Hanging suspended in the air Toren took a deep breath and unleashed a large mass of white hot fire that washed over Kali as she plummeted to the forest floor below. Toren gave what looked like a smirk, "Well that wasn't so tough." As the smoke began to clear the sky below him was empty. Toren flew lower through the haze but Kali was nowhere to be seen and there was no sign that she had crashed into the forest below. "Ahhhhhhhhhhh!" Toren shouted in pain as a searing sensation built up on the top of his back. He whirled over in the air to see Kali thirty feet above having just breathed her acid attack at him. He shot forth another fireball and darted lower to the ground, heading back towards the Ring of Hell.
"Get back here!" Kali shrieked in frustration shooting another ball of acid at him, he barely dodged it in time as he descended towards the clearing. Kali was drawing closer faster than Toren expected, he whirled around in midair again and released another gout of fire. Kali passed through the wall of flame unscathed and reared her dragon claws, preparing for the kill. She crashed into Toren at breakneck speeds, digging her razor sharp claws into his wings. He shouted in pain and, unable to hold himself aloft, plummeted towards the ground far below. Kali smiled viciously and dove down after him. From the ground Austin, Enya, Caleb, Devyn and Jared looked on in horror as Toren turned end over end, falling through the night sky lit only by the ring of fire that surrounded them all. With a thunderous boom Toren slammed into the old church, debris flying everywhere. He immediately reverted to human form and lie there naked, blood flowing from numerous wounds and his left arm bent at an awkward angle. To say he was in pain was a great understatement. He managed to open his eyes and looked up through the haze to see Kali, still in dragon form bearing down on him like the predator she was. As Kali landed there was a flash of light and she was back to her normal form, her hands held in front of her like claws.
"Rarrrr!" She shouted followed by a fit of insane laughter, "You don't look too good there sonny," She said in mock compassion as she looked over Toren's broken and bloodied form, "Course you wouldn't have ended up like this if you would have just let me be. You should be worshipping me damnit! Im a frickin god, well goddess, don't any of you get that? You can't hurt me. You can't dent me, cant scratch me, can't phase me and most important of all...you cannot beat me. No matter what pesky little dragon-morphing rituals you conjure up, whatever spells you and yours try to throw at me and however many of these pesky vampires and their little tricks they have, I can never be defeated," Toren coughed, blood flying out of his mouth and landing on his chest as Kali continued, "And now you get to pay the ultimate price for your blasphemy," She said placing her foot on his chest, "Any last words pretty boy?"
Toren shuddered as he tried to speak, "Yeah...duck." He managed to wheeze out. Kali spun around and her face connected with a backhand that sent her flying through air, landing in a pile of debris.
"You ok?" Enya asked as she knelt down next to Toren, "Guess that was kind of uncalled for," she added after looking him over. She placed her hands on either side of Toren's head and her eyes began to glow with a golden light, "Im going to put you in a sort of stasis ok? When you wake up your wounds will be completely healed." Toren nodded and Enya spoke a few words of magic, causing him to fall into a deep sleep immediately. A loud crash behind Enya told her Kali was back on her feet, Enya stood back up and turned to face the evil hell goddess.
"What, were you raised on a pirate ship? That actually hurt!" Kali said, stepping out of the rubble.
"No, I just happen to pack a mean punch."
Kali laughed, "And a sense of humor, I like you kid. Too bad im going to kill you now."
"Vallum," Enya waved her hand and a sphere of energy surrounded Kali, "Maybe later," She said. She quickly bent over and picked up Toren before running out of the demolished church.
"Damnit!" Kali shouted, punching the sphere repeatedly, after a few seconds her fist burst through causing the sphere to dissipate. With lightning speed she followed Enya out of the church and to the battlefield. She scowled as she saw that Devyn was there, despite her best efforts to keep him away, and Suru was nowhere to be seen. "Enough of these games, Gavin I need you here NOW!"
As if somehow her words were willed to come true, a portal split open the air and the dark clad figure of Gavin hopped out of it. His eyes met Kali's and they both smiled those conniving, cynical smiles that had become a trademark for both of them. He brushed off his jacket, and fixed his collar while he walked over to the goddess. "Evening m'lady."
"Timely entrance. How did it go?"
Gavin's face hardened and his eyes became even colder than usual. He raised his hands up to show Kali the still wet blood that belonged to Joey, "He's dead."
Kali gave Gavin a pleased look, "Very good. As you can see.. we're having a slight problem here." Gavin turned his attention to where the fighting continued. Devyn dueled with Lotus, their sword skills being put to the test as each looked for the first, and probable fatal blow. Austin and Jared were fighting holding off Sythe and a badly injured Vilan, but just barely. As the battle continued, the fatigue started to set in, and being mystics, the Dark Angels were always healing, even if a little at a time. Enya was off to the side, which looked like a camp for the wounded. She kneeled over Toren, attending to the bloodied and broken boy's wounds, while Dave and Alex laid prone in their positions.
"Looks like my old camp didn't fair to well."
"Not well at all," Kali motioned to where Caleb laid in a puddle of blood, without a sign of life running through his body. Gavin's eyes focused on him, and an awkward feeling came over him. Not a sad, nor a happy feeling hit him, just.. nothing. He no longer felt anything and that was a scary thing. "Come, it's time to set this transition into motion."
"What has to be done?"
"Well, I was using the blood of an innocent, but that frickin' mage incinerated my innocent. Boys are so rude!" Kali paused and let her eyes settle upon something. The corners of her mouth upturned into a smile and Gavin turned to follow her gaze.
Her eyes were set upon Alex who was now sitting up over by the rest of the wounded. He held onto Dave, running his hands over the fallen boy's face, looking for comfort in his present state. Gavin looked back at Kali, "Alex?"
"Is that a problem?"
"I don't recall saying it was."
"Oh, someone is getting snippy. Retrieve him while I start the spell." Gavin walked calmly toward where Alex was sitting, unbeknownst to the boy. Kali meanwhile moved her hands in a circular motion, causing the world in front of her to start to swirl along with her movements. "Gods of night, gods of power, I command you to open the 9 gates of hell! I offer you this world as a sacrifice, let hell, fire and brimstone run rampant upon it. Dissolve this place into a fiery world of chaos! Listen to my command!!!"
The ground shook and started to crack, while lightning cracked through the sky. The wind picked up and the clouds came together. The lighting seemed to gather together, all striking in one small spot, just a few feet in front of Kali. The lightning ignited in a small ball of light that started swirling, turning a deep dark blue. Blood seeped from the sudden hole in the world, like the earth itself had been wounded.
The change in atmosphere didn't go unnoticed by the others who battled. Devyn backed away from Lotus and glanced over to where Kali was opening the portal. Once his eyes caught sight of the slowly forming hole in the world, he yelled out to the others, "She's opened the portal! We cannot let her complete the ritual!" The wind nearly drowned out his voice, but the others had heard. Devyn started to run toward Kali when he heard Enya yell off to the side.
"He's after Alex!"
Devyn halted in his tracks and turned his attention to Enya, who was looking dead on at Gavin who walked confidently toward her. "Shit." Devyn didn't know which direction to head toward.. Kali or Gavin. Did he stop Kali from completing her spell, or did he try and save a vampire from another?
Enya stood up and stepped in front of Alex as Gavin came within a few yards. He didn't stop walking though, "I'm warning you, back off now and I won't.." Enya was cut off as Gavin easily sent her flailing through the air with one movement of his arm. She crashed up against one of the old trees nearly knocking it over.
Alex looked up from his seated position and into Gavin's eyes. The cold darkness of them sent a chill down Alex's spine and he shivered in fear. Gavin crouched down and ran a hand over Alex's cheek. A tear ran down from the boy's eye and over Gavin's hand, "It'll be over quickly." Gavin grabbed Alex's arm and pulled him up roughly.
"HELP! Somebody please he-help me!" Alex yelled through his tears. Devyn sighed and ran toward Gavin. Gavin saw him coming and pushed Alex aside. Devyn pulled his sword back out and used his training to his full ability, trying to take a slice out of the powerful vampire. Gavin jumped up and over Devyn's head, but as Gavin landed, Devyn got a small swipe in on Gavin's side. Gavin landed and looked down at where the sword had come in contact with him. He looked back at Devyn and glared at him.
"You ruined my coat." Gavin moved with lightning like quickness and barraged Devyn with kicks. Devyn didn't have time to ready himself and soon his sword was knocked out of his hands. As he scrambled for it, Gavin stalked him with the stealth of a cheetah. As soon as Devyn grabbed the sword, Gavin stomped on the boy's arm, causing him to lose his grip. Devyn looked up at Gavin fuming. "Pissed off? Good. It's too bad that it won't do you any good. Nothing will. Not your sword, not your boyfriend, not your friends. You're going to die, just like your mother did.. with a vampire ripping your the jugular right out of your neck."
Devyn yelled out in anger and frustration, knocking Gavin's leg off his arm. He picked up his sword and went at Gavin with reckless abandon. Gavin smiled, enjoying how much he had gotten to Devyn so easily. Devyn caught Gavin in the knee with a side kick, then thrust his sword toward Gavin's heart, but Gavin leaned backwards, bending parallel to the ground and under the sword. Gavin flipped backward, wrapping his legs around Devyn's arm and pulling him over as he flipped. The blade of the sword stuck into the ground and Devyn hit the ground soon after, then Gavin landed on top of him. "Get off of me!" Devyn struggled, but Gavin had him firmly pinned down, his knees holding Devyn's shoulders to the ground.
"You know, under different circumstances I bet this position could be really enjoyable," Devyn struggled even more at the sound of Gavin's sickening words. "This position seems awfully familiar. In fact I was just in a similar position less than an hour ago. I think it went like this.." Gavin placed his hands on the sides of Devyn's head, "Here's where I tell you you lost, and it's over. Then you're supposed to spit blood at me, but I don't know. Joey put up a better fight than you." Devyn's eyes softened slightly, realizing what Gavin was saying, "Ah, the dawn of realization. Yes, you see I was about to snap his neck, I do love the sound of bones breaking. But then he had to spoil my fun. I guess getting thrown through a couple of buildings was too much for his body to take. Sad really, died before I could say goodbye. Oh well, I guess this is make up time." As Gavin went to snap Devyn's neck, he was knocked off of his commanding position and onto the ground.
"Like hell it is." Somehow Dave stood over Devyn, as well as Gavin.
Gavin laughed and pulled himself up, "Isn't this rich. Dave the hero. Well, come on then, take your best shot. We both know you've been waiting for your chance for a very long time. This should be easy for you."
Dave lunged at Gavin, but never made it to his intended target.
"ENOUGH!!" A tidal wave of electricity shot rushed through the area, penetrating everyone in sight. Jared and Austin fell to the ground paralyzed by shock running through their bodies, while the Dark Angels seemed to embrace it. Enya, Dave and Devyn all fell to the ground as well, not being able to withstand the power of the blast that had just hit them. The electricity sent Toren spiraling into seizures, worsening his condition by the moment. Alex seemed to have dropped out of sight or so it seemed. Kali stomped forward over to Gavin who stood un-phased by the whole thing. "This has gone on long enough. This is my night, my time! I'm going to rule this frickin' planet and the babysitters club is not going to spoil it for me!" She stomped her feet, digging her heels into the ground, "Now where is my innocent! I want my innocent now!" Gavin looked around but Alex had vanished.
Alex had somehow climbed up into one of the old trees, luckily out of the range of Kali's blast. He looked down at his downed friends and frowned. The Dark Angels stood with a newfound sense of strength and looked ready for the kill. Gavin and Kali exuded power and seemed unstoppable. Alex sighed and nestled himself up in the crutch of two big branches. He was frightened.. terrified even. And most of all he was helpless. As that thought ran through his head he heard a voice. "Alex." Alex looked around bewildered. It wasn't any of the people below because they seemed clueless as to where he was. "Alex, don't be afraid."
"Just listen to me. Use your power.. remember your dream. It's the only way to save them."
"It's okay to be afraid. Be strong. Put the fear back into the Gavin. Show him what will haunt him." Alex swallowed hard and closed his eyes. He thought back to his dream that night. Joey running through the streets, being chased by some lunatic. The feelings he felt when Joey fell to the ground and the other climbed over him only to snap his neck. Alex's eyes shot open, his chest rising and falling rapidly. He looked down at his hands and noticed the different skin tone, then looked over his arms. He took a deep breath and pushed himself to crawl down the tree.
Gavin paced back and forth as Kali eyed him, "You are not making this a pleasant process."
"Then maybe you should have done it yourself. I don't see your arms and legs broken. You could have walked your fat ass over there and gotten Alex while the rest of them were attacking me."
"Yes I.. Did you just call my ass fat?!?" Gavin looked at her challengingly. They seemed like they were ready to go off on each other, the power pushing both of their egos to the edge. Two evils of great power aren't meant to get along.
"Look, you're a god, you can't tell me you don't have the power to finish this."
"Did you get the talisman from Joey?"
"I don't recall that being part of my mission."
"Well woo f'n who. Every possible simple way of making this happen has been washed down the drain because you don't know how to use your bleach fried head!"
"You want the talisman then I'll go back and get it. His body isn't going anywhere.."
"You mean this talisman." Gavin froze in place, a chill running through his veins as he heard the voice flow through the air. Kali stopped as well and they both looked toward the darkened woods. Through the wall of flames stepped a figure.. a bruised and bloodied figure, holding out his hand with a chain dangling down.
"How.." Gavin spoke, stunned.
"I saw you die."
"Did you? So, I'm a ghost is that what you're saying? But if I was a ghost could I do this?" Joey pulled out a dagger and whipped it at Gavin who caught it between his hands right before it would have pierced him between the eyes.
Kali looked on perplexed, but unbothered by the presence of Joey. In fact, for being the one that the prophecy says would stop her, she seemed unnervingly unconcerned with him.
Devyn and the others started to groggily come to, recovering from Kali's attack. Devyn's eyes traveled over to where Kali and Gavin were standing and he did a double take when he saw Joey standing not far from them. "What the..." Suddenly, someone grabbed him, covering his mouth and dragging him away from the battle field. The Dark Angels moved in around Austin and Jared, so they were too preoccupied to see Devyn get dragged off. Devyn struggled with whomever had taken hold of him, but it was of no use. They stopped behind the pile of rubble that once was the church, and Devyn was released. He spun around and came face to face with.. "Joey? How.. what.." As Devyn's mind went wild Austin and Jared were in a no win situation. The three Dark Angels circled the two injured boys, taunting them with their blades.
"Look theres no time to explain, the amulet gives me my old powers but without it I'm still a human. I need you to figure out what to do with it to turn me back into a vampire," Joey said quickly. Devyn watched as Austin and Jared tried to hold off the Dark Angels, whatever Kali had done seemed to revitalize them and then some. Enya soon joined the fray, having recovered from the attack by Gavin, she was tougher than Devyn would have thought. "Hello, earth to Devyn!" Joey yelled. Devyn turned his focus back on Joey and sighed.
"Why can't you just stay human? You know how I feel about the vampire race and well you're much better off without them."
"No, I can't do this, even with my old powers I'm not as strong as when I was a vampire."
"Fine give me the amulet and I'll see what I can do," Devyn finally gave in. Joey lifted the amulet from around his neck and handed it to Devyn. A small jolt went through Devyn's body when he held the amulet and he thought he heard a faint whisper in the back of his mind, but couldn't make sense of it. He closed his eyes in concentration, "I invoke the power of Valshara, goddess of change, return this mortal to his vampiric state!" A jolt of electricity passed from Devyn into the amulet and caused it to shimmer for a few seconds. Joey took it back and placed it around his neck once again.
"No, it didn't work! Damn!"
Devyn shook his head, "Im sorry Joey...if I had more time we could figure a way for it to work, but time is obviously not at our leisure."
"Then I'll have to go after Kali myself and hope this prophecy holds up," Joey said as he made to exit the concealment, Devyn stopped him and offered his sword.
"Here take this, it was blessed by the Thunder God Raijin, I stopped Kali with it once so now its time to finish the job." Joey nodded in thanks and circled through the woods to come from behind Kali. Devyn rushed out of the trees and saw the Dark Angels had wounded Jared and Austin was holding them at bay with a wall of fire, but they wouldn't last too much longer. "Skies of rage, destroy these foes...thunderstrike!" Devyn shouted and a barrage of lightning bolts lit the night sky, arching down at the Dark Angels. The ground surrounding them was pummeled by bolt after bolt of searing white lightning, when they were surrounded the wall of lightning exploded, sending the Dark Angels flying into the trees once again. They didn't stay down for long though and immediately kipped back to their feet, swords at the ready.
While Devyn ran off to rejoin the fight against the Dark Angels, Joey sped through the darkness of the forest, staying out of sight. He stayed beyond the barrier of fire that was still burning brightly around the church area, but never took his eyes off of his intended target. He hopped through the flames and crept up the small hill, listening to Gavin exchange words with the other Joey.
"Killing you once wasn't enough? Then I'll just have to do it again." Gavin stepped forward, toward whom he thought was Joey, eyeing him up. Kali stood silent, just watching the exchange between the two.
"I guess you'll have to try harder this time."
"Or maybe not," Kali spoke finally. She walked toward 'Joey', and circled him. "This can go one of two ways.. one, you can fight us and die for real this time. Or two, you can join us."
Gavin looked at Kali questioningly, "Join us? What are you talking about? You said it would be you and me in power. Not you, me and Joey."
"Certain situations call for a change of plans," She paused and turned to the faux Joey, "What will it be?"
Alex felt the anxiety inside of him build up as he did his best to keep up his appearance as Joey. With Kali and Gavin within such close quarters though, it made him beyond nervous, and he trembled slightly.
"Alex." The voice in Alex's head came through again, this time clearer than ever. "Alex, listen to me. Look behind Gavin." Alex's gaze traveled beyond his one time friend, and caught sight of the real Joey sneaking up from behind. Alex's eyes widened slightly when he saw how bloodied and battered Joey was, and in that split second it set some alarm off in Gavin's head.
"Kali!" Kali spun around, waving her hand and shooting out a ball of fire, headed right for Joey. Joey put out his hand and the fire puffed out, and before anyone could even blink, Joey whipped Devyn's sword through the air. Gavin spun out of the way, just barely missing being skewered, but Kali wasn't as lucky. The sword impaled itself right through Kali's abdomen and threw her back against a tree. Gavin looked at Kali, then to Joey, then back at the one he thought was Joey.
"Alex, run." Joey said sternly. Alex did as he was told, taking off, morphing back into his normal form as he ran. Gavin turned his attention to Joey, and sneered.
"Clever little trick."
Joey's eyes were filled with an anger and intensity that could rival even that of Gavin's, "Not as clever as making you believe I was dead."
"I'll make sure of it this time around."
"This time it's your turn." Joey stepped forward to meet Gavin, but they were cut off by Kali's voice.
"Gavin.. uhh.. Get the boy." Kali pulled herself off the tree, still impaled upon the sword.
"NOW!" A crack of thunder rumbled in the sky as Kali yelled. She pulled the sword from her abdomen and dropped it to the ground. Blood poured from her wound, but she seemed un-phased by it all. Gavin looked at Joey one more time then reluctantly did as he was told and went after Alex. Kali on the other hand fumed with anger as she stared down Joey, "That really hurt!" She screamed and sent a streak of electricity crackling through the air at Joey. He stepped up and let it hit him in the chest, with it having no effect. "Looks like I'll have to do this the old fashion way."
"Let's do this." Joey charged at Kali, ready to take her down. Kali waved her hand upward and made the earth erode, creating a dirt wall, which Joey dove through, breaking it with ease. He landed on his feet and spun around throwing a spinning roundhouse kick at Kali's head. She knocked it down and let Joey throw a few quick punches at her before she clubbed him in the chest, sending him crashing into a pile of brush.
"You can't take me. Look at you.. nothing, but a lowly human. You'll be the first of them to die.. an example for the rest." Joey pulled himself out of the brush, the sticks and thorns cutting him up even more than he already was. He jumped right back at Kali and started throwing electric jolts at her. She dodged most of them and knocked down the others. Joey swung his right fist at her, and she ducked, then came back up quickly, slashing her razor sharp nails across his chest. Joey hissed and grabbed at the burning wound, but quickly shook it off. He went to go back on the offense, but was caught off guard when Kali came at him full steam ahead. She caught him hard on the chin, then grabbed him by the hair. She ripped him up from the ground and flipped him through the air, slamming him down hard on the ground, knocking the air from his lungs. Joey coughed and rolled over slowly. He slowly staggered to his feet, and his eyes widened when he saw Kali pick up Devyn's sword and drive it down toward his heart. Joey closed his eyes and prayed that he had all of his powers. The blade came down, but went right through Joey's now transparent body. He opened his eyes and looked down at the blade, then up at Kali who looked even more pissed off.. Joey ran right through the goddess, and became solid again behind her. He jumped up and turned in mid air, kicking her in the back of the head. She stumbled and the sword sliced across her dress, and jammed her finger, "I broke a nail! And you made me rip my dress again!!!!" She stomped on the ground throwing a temper tantrum.
"Have you always been this insane?" Joey questioned. "I mean seriously look at you. Did the forces of evil get confused when they came to your house? Because surely they could have found a better choice for a god than a prissy, bottled blonde bitch like you."
Kali's eyes flickered with rage, "I am not a bottled blonde!" She charged at Joey and he took a defensive stance, but he had struck a nerve. The goddess pummeled him, peppering him with a furious amount of punches. Her arms moved so fast and swiftly that it was impossible for Joey to defend himself. He fell to his knees, barely conscious as she stopped hitting him. Blood poured from cuts all over his face, as his battered body swayed with the wind.
*Cough* "That all.. you.. got?" Kali sneered and drover her fist down across Joey's face, the blood spattering from his mouth as his head snapped to the side from the powerful blow. He fell to the ground in a heap, unable to defend himself any longer. Kali stood over him and rolled him over with her foot. She leaned down and grasped the talisman, before ripping it from around Joey's neck.
She smiled as the light that was contained in the jewel quickly became flooded with a pool of darkness, "I've been looking for you." Kali didn't have much time to revel in her new found treasure, as she was caught in the side of the face by strikingly hard punch. She turned her head and then brought her hand to her lip. She touched the pink flesh then held her hand out in front of her to see her own blood upon her fingers. Her eyes shot to the source of the punch and she was met with an unexpected sight. "Don't you ever DIE?!?! If I throw a stick will you go away?"
Caleb stood before her, weakened from the spell Suru had cast to reopen his wound, but the bleeding had seemed to have stopped somehow and he looked ready to battle. "Not yet." Caleb darted around, circling Kali, quicker than the eye could see. Kali watched him the best she could, but even she couldn't seem to keep track of him. A circle lit up upon the ground and a light emanated around it. Soon a purple energy shot up from all around the circle, surrounding Kali. It washed over her and enclosed at the top, forming a cell like structure. Caleb kept running to keep the power of the cell up, but Kali somehow remained un-phased by her new jail, and waved her hands. Time seemed to go into slow motion as Caleb's steps quickly looked like he had stopped running, but in reality Kali had cast a time altering spell. She pushed her hands out and the circle of energy exploded and time reverted back to normal. Caleb was hit directly by the blast and he flew through the air before landing on the ground in an awkward position. Kali wasted no time and stalked over to him. She pulled him up and held his back against her chest.
"You know, if you had just stayed dead the other two times, you wouldn't have to suffer me again. This time you die for good. No healer, no resurrection spell, no nothing is going to bring you back. I hope you enjoyed the memories I shot back into you, because it's the last time you'll ever see them."
Caleb struggled, "You will not win this battle."
"Is that so? Look around you kid. I've already won." Kali grabbed Caleb's head and made him face his friends. The Dark Angels were somehow recharged and throwing Austin and Devyn around. No matter what they threw at them, the Angels seemed to come right back for more. Jared, Dave, Toren and Enya seemed to be out of commission, and Alex was no where to be found. "Ah yes, you see now? It's all but over. You tried, it was brave of you. Really it was. You young vampires and mages, fighting for the fate of the world, but you all let one thing fool you along the way. The prophecy is nothing but a folk tale, an awe inspiring story that was made up to give you people hope. Hope that you never had the right to have. It set you all on a quest that you were never meant to win and now comes your disappointing conclusion. The witch wins."
Kali dug her nails into the side of Caleb's head, causing him to cringe in pain, "If the prophecy is false.. ah.. then why is the talisman so important to you?"
"The talisman was, is and always will be MINE. Those filthy shadow warriors thought they could keep it from me, but I knew that it would come back to me. Of course I wouldn't be able to get it myself, so I had to compromise."
"You turned Joey human just so he could get the talisman? He was just some random vampire that you picked out to do your dirty work?"
"You're the visionary shouldn't you know all of these answers? You know there's something special about him. Something that not even you nor that meddling Kione can comprehend. Without Joey, I would not exist. His siring was the event that put all of this into motion. Me being resurrected from the ashes, born again as a higher being. He wasn't chosen at random, he was destined to be my vessel. I exist because Joey exists. And now my world will exist because of this," Kali grasped the talisman with one hand, "And because of him. Take that to heart before I tear it out of your chest." Caleb had heard all he needed. He shot his arms up and grabbed Kali's head by the temples and a shock of energy shot through her head. She dropped Caleb and staggered back, wondering what had just happened, "What the frickin' hell did you just do to me.."
Caleb seized his opportunity and grabbed the talisman from Kali's neck, "Returned the favor." Caleb took off toward where Devyn and Austin were fighting the Dark Angels while Kali was stunned, "Austin, catch!" Austin turned his attention and saw a shiny object sailing through the air toward him.
Austin jumped up and caught the amulet in his hand. He looked at it, unsure of what he was supposed to do, but Caleb had already run off in a different direction before he could ask him. Austin suddenly felt a surge of energy flow through his body. "Ahhh such power this one holds," A strange voice, neither male nor female yet a voice nonetheless, whispered in the back of his mind.
"What?" Austin asked.
"You have the power to end all of this," The voice continued.
"How? Tell me!" Austin demanded. Suddenly Austin felt a presence behind him, he whirled around to see Lotus, Vilan and Sythe bearing down on him, and Devyn laying on the ground injured.
"All you need do is ask and we shall give you the strength you need..."
Austin didn't have time to think, either he used the hidden power within the amulet to stop Kali or they all died and Hell would be released on earth. The Dark Angels were barely ten feet away from him now and he made his choice, "Fine, give me your power." At that instant another surge of energy shot through the amulet and into Austin causing him to shout out in pain. The sky erupted with black and purple lightning and the wind began to howl eerily through the dark woods. Austin's eyes had become complete pools of inky darkness, black streaks forming in his normally brown hair. "Keepers of darkness I embrace thee! Take breath, take soul and leave only dust!" Austin's voice had taken on a hollow tone, while an unholy light began to emanate from his body and a wave of dark energy erupted from him, speeding at the three dark angels. As the wave passed through them, each of them howled in a screeching, unearthly wail. Seconds later they were nothing but dust in the wind. Kali gave a shriek and the portal began to falter as she fell to the ground, seemingly in pain.
"Gavin...get me the talisman now!"
Gavin came rushing through the flames as if somehow he could hear Kali's cry from anywhere. His quest to find Alex had failed and he was not about to fail again. Gavin headed toward Austin, who had fallen to his knees, the amulet laying on the ground to his side. Devyn had gotten back to his feet and made to blindside the vampire but he was sent flying from a wave of Gavin's hand as he stalked forward without hesitation. Austin held his head in his hands, sobbing to himself.
"Finish her off! Destroy Kali with her own magics, you have the power!"
"Get out of my head!" Austin shouted.
"I'm not in your head...yet," Gavin said as he stood over Austin, "I'll be taking that," He said, bending over and snatching the amulet from the ground. Austin looked up at him with tears in his coal-like eyes. "Thanks for the help kid. Don't go anywhere, if there's anything left, I'll be back for you." Gavin grasped the talisman and it soaked up the blood from his hand. The once small circle of a portal that Kali had started erupted forth once more, causing the world about them to shimmer for a moment, replaced by a fiery hellish image as Gavin made his way back over to Kali.
"Wh...what have I done...blood I can feel...BLOOD it's everywhere, all over my skin get it off!" Austin brushed his arms furiously as if trying to wipe away some unseen substance. Devyn jumped to his feet and hurried to Austin's side, only to be repelled by some sort of barrier.
"Austin... oh my god.. what happened, what did you do?" Devyn asked in a panic. Austin looked at him with tears streaking his face.
"Devyn we have to stop Gavin!" Enya shouted. She was running at Gavin with Dave's mace in her hands. Gavin lifted her into the air and flung her back into the ground at breakneck speed, causing her to land with a crash., the mace falling from her grip, rolling away into the woods. Devyn took one last look at Austin and took off running at Gavin. As he neared him he took a running dive and speared the vampire to the ground. As they landed Gavin used his telekinesis to pick Devyn off of him and toss him over to where Enya lay. Gavin got back on his feet and brushed the dirt off his trench coat before continuing over to the widening portal. Kali was still splayed out on the ground, her powers somehow being blocked by whatever Austin had done.
Up on the small hill Joey still laid on the ground, but was coherent enough to see the events that were unfolding. He was startled when he felt a hand on his shoulder and he turned his head to see Caleb kneeling down beside him with a look of concern in his eyes. Joey gave him a weak smile, "How come you're still so pretty, and I look like raw meat?" Caleb shrugged. "It was a joke Caleb.. ha ha.. laugh.."
"Maybe later. The portal has opened.. it won't be long before hell takes over."
"Help me up," Caleb grasped Joey's arm gently and pulled him to his feet. Joey started limping down the hill, but Caleb stopped him.
"You know where," Joey's eyes danced with Caleb's, as Caleb nodded in acknowledgement. "Watch Kali.. keep the others away."
"You're not strong enough to fight him, Joey."
Joey sighed and let Ethan's words playback in his head, "Tell me Joey, if you really had to, could you kill someone that you love, if it meant saving the world? You better prepare to answer that question with a yes, because if he finds you, he won't hesitate to kill you. Not anymore."
Joey gave Caleb a sad smile, "I'm not going to fight him, Caleb." Caleb's eyes seemed to shimmer a bit, as he too knew what Joey's intention was. Joey patted Caleb on the shoulder and started his trek toward the portal.
Gavin's body was surrounded in a dark aura, and his feet seemed to levitate slightly off the ground. The stone cold look upon his face gave Joey goose bumps as he approached. The pang of sadness that stabbed at him from the inside was almost enough to make him double over, but it had to be pushed aside. He stepped up to Gavin who seemed to be in another place altogether, at least in spirit. Joey decided to take a chance and make a grab for the amulet but as soon as he touched it the portal exploded open and Gavin snapped out of his trance. The entire landscape behind him had changed. A fiery orange had swept over the once dark forest and tall mountains eroded from the ground. The ground cracked and a wave of heat swept through the air as hell took over the earth.
Joey felt a strong pressure around his hand and then realized Gavin had a crushing grip on him. Joey gasped in pain and tried to pull away, but Gavin was having none of it. "What's wrong, Joey? Don't you like the new world? MY new world?"
"Gavin.. please.. you have to stop this.."
"I don't have to do anything. What do I owe this planet? Nothing. All it's ever done is spat on me and what I've tried to accomplish. No matter how many lives I saved, when I wanted one thing to make myself happy, it was dangled in front of me just so it could be ripped away. Not once, but twice."
"I'm sorry... I didn't mean to hurt you. Trevor showed up out of nowhere and you..."
"I was there. I saw you kissing him and telling him how much you love him. Did you even think of me once when you were saying those things? Did you even consider that what we were starting actually meant something?" Joey remained silent, "I didn't think so! But it doesn't matter anymore. Kali's given me something you never could. The ability to not have to feel any pain anymore. The power to rule, and the power to destroy everyone and everything that plagues this planet."
"No more talking. It's done." Gavin's head snapped to the side and he released Joey. His body jerked back and forth as power seemed to shoot out from every inch of him. A roar could be heard and demons started emerging from the hellfire beyond Gavin, and started running toward the church grounds.
Joey jumped on Gavin and started to tussle with him. Gavin easily shrugged him off and then flung him away. Joey landed on his feet and saw Devyn off in the distance. He had retrieved his sword and came running at Gavin from a blindside. Joey jumped up and used his enhanced speed to meet Devyn just as he was about to plunge his sword through Gavin. Joey tackled Devyn to the ground, and the two rolled about in the dirt. Devyn crawled out from under Joey and got up fuming, "What the fuck are you doing?!?! You're letting him destroy the world!"
"I can't let you kill him. There has to be another way.." As Joey spoke, Gavin grabbed him from behind.
"Big mistake, Joey." Gavin smiled maniacally as the demons came closer. Caleb looked on at the mob of demons and then back at the crew he had come with. Of them all only Devyn and Enya seemed to be of any use.
"ENYA!" Caleb yelled to the fatigued girl.
She jogged over to him then stopped dead in her tracks when she saw what lied beyond the hill, "Oh my god."
"Take my hand," Enya looked at Caleb confused, but did as she was asked. "Concentrate and be ready for a surge when I say go."
While Caleb put his plan into action, Joey pleaded with Gavin. "Gavin, please, fight what's inside of you. It's not who you are!"
"You're wrong. The Gavin you knew is dead and buried. This is who I am now. I am the prince of darkness and my time has come."
Tears ran down Joey's face, brought on by his feeling of helplessness. He struggled and turned around in Gavin's grip so he was facing him. Joey brought his lips to Gavin's, kissing him tenderly and lovingly, putting all of his desperation and all of his feeling into it. Gavin's lips seemed to respond, moving in sync with Joey's before Joey pulled away, "I love you."
Gavin's dark black eyes stared into Joey's and mirroring back the boy's reflection, "If only that were true." Gavin turned Joey back around and the earth started quaking. Gavin put his arm around Joey's neck and started to tighten his grip on Joey's windpipe. Joey gasped for air, but Gavin was much to strong for him. Devyn looked on at the situation and picked up his sword. His eyes met Joey's and a silent communication was made between them. Devyn tossed his sword to Joey, who reached out and caught it.
His words came out muffled, but came out sure enough, "For.. give.. me.." Joey turned the sword around and plunged up through his own shoulder and into Gavin's heart. Gavin's eyes widened as he felt the blade pierce his life organ, and his grip dropped from Joey's neck. Joey yelled out in pain ass Gavin staggered backward, pulling the blade and Joey back with him.
The talisman dropped from Gavin's hand and hit the ground, shattering into a pile of glass. Gavin weakly pushed his hands out and used what little strength he had left to push the sword out of his and Joey's bodies. The sword fell to the ground with blood dripping from the blade. Joey fell to his knees clutching his shoulder with one hand, while Gavin fell down behind him. Joey crawled over to Gavin who somehow was still holding himself up on two knees. Gavin held a hand over his heart, and struggled for air. He turned his head and his eyes met Joey's. Tears ran down Gavin's cheeks, his eyes back to the soft brown that they once were. Gavin reached out a hand to Joey, and Joey weakly grasped it. Gavin pulled Joey into him and hugged him with his last ounce of strength. He put his mouth to Joey's ear and whispered, "I love you too." Gavin's grip loosened on Joey's hand, and suddenly he went flying backwards. Joey lunged to grab onto him, but he had nothing left.
Gavin flew backward through the air and into the portal, his eyes never leaving Joey's, "GAVIN!!" Joey yelled. A black mist shot out of the portal and zoomed through the air. It went past Joey and straight for Kali who rocked back and forth on the ground. It latched onto her limbs and jerked her body from the ground. It pulled her through the air and she shrieked into the night. She flew over Gavin and into the portal, but not before she grabbed onto his coat. They both disappeared into the black hole, vanishing without a trace.
Devyn walked over to Joey and draped the boy's arm over his shoulder. He helped him to his feet and started to lead him away, but Joey stood pat. "Come on, we need you to get healed."
"The portal didn't close." Joey's eyes remained transfixed on inferno that burned in front of him. "I-It shouldn't be open.. I-I killed him.."
Devyn looked on with a worried look, "Something's not right."
Up on the hill the demons had arrived. Caleb and Enya stared down at them just a few yards away. "Caleb.." The demons got closer and closer and Enya became nervous, "Caleb!"
"Wait for it.." Caleb spoke calmly, "Now!" A surge of white light passed through Caleb's body and into Enya's, and as the demons lunged at them they came to a crashing halt. An invisible barrier had shot up in front of Enya and Caleb, holding the hell spawn at bay. Caleb let go of Enya's hand, "You must hold this line." Enya nodded and Caleb ran off toward Joey and Devyn, who had made their way over to Austin.
When Caleb arrived, Devyn let him take Joey, so he could try and comfort Austin. The barrier that had surrounded Austin earlier had lifted and Devyn kneeled down next to him and pulled him into a hug, "Baby its all right...its over now...we won," he whispered. Austin looked up at him, his eyes returning to their normal green color before becoming pools of black again.
"It's...not...over," Joey managed to get out between coughs, "The portal wont close." Austin glanced over Devyn's shoulder to see the ever-widening portal, Gavin and Kali were nowhere to be seen and Enya was holding off a horde of demons that were attempting to storm over the hill.
"Why didn't it close?" Devyn questioned.
Caleb's grip on Joey slipped, as all the blood seeped out of his wounds. The smell of the blood filled his senses, but something was off. That coin like smell, was soon overtaken by something stronger, more potent. Caleb narrowed his eyes as he put the pieces together in his head. He thought back to Kali's words "Without Joey, I would not exist. His siring was the event that put all of this into motion. Me being resurrected from the ashes, born again as a higher being. He wasn't chosen at random, he was destined to be my vessel. I exist because Joey exists. And now my world will exist because of this talisman.. And because of him."
"It's his blood," Said Caleb.
"His blood.. it's the catalyst to the portal. We were tricked.. it wasn't Gavin that was the key at all. It was Joey all along. Kali said her world wouldn't exist without the talisman and Joey."
"But the portal didn't open completely until Gavin touched it with his blood," Devyn said.
Joey cringed in pain as he thought back. It was true that the portal had opened when Gavin grabbed the talisman. But the blood.. "It was my blood."
"How can that be?"
"Gavin wasn't bleeding. Think about it.. h-he *cough* didn't have a scratch on him. The blood on his hands was mine.. This is my fault. When I touched the amulet the demons came. Kali used me as her puppet this entire time." The four boys became silent, letting everything sink in.
Devyn broke the silence first, "What are we going to do?"
"One of you has to kill me," Joey spoke solemnly.
"No," Caleb's tone was stern and solid.
"It's the only way to stop this! I will not be responsible for everyone I love being killed just to save my own life. I watched one of the most important people in the world to me die tonight, and he didn't have to! I should've been the one that was killed, not Gavin. He died for me and for what? This is still happening and the only way this is going to stop is if the source is destroyed. Now do it!"
Not one of the boys made a move to harm Joey, so he broke free from Caleb and took off running for the portal. Devyn and Caleb hopped to their feet and chased down Joey, but somehow despite his wounds he managed to keep ahead of them. The portal exploded suddenly as it began to increase in size once again causing the ground to shake uncontrollably. Caleb and Devyn went tumbling to the ground but Joey kept his footing, still running for the portal.
"I can't hold the shield much longer!" Enya yelled from the hilltop. Devyn closed his eyes and teleported in front of Joey, tackling him to the ground.
"No, let me go! You have to let me go.." Tears fell freely over Joey's face as he fell apart inside. Devyn held firmly onto Joey as they laid mere feet from the hellish portal. "All I wanted was to be human again, and look I got my wish. It only took the end of the world to get it...Devyn you HAVE to let me do this, otherwise we all die!"
"No there has to be another way!" Devyn shouted over the howling wind.
Austin suddenly stood upright from where he was kneeling, his hair now completely black to match his eyes. He calmly strode forward towards Devyn and Joey. In his mind he knew what he had to do, turn Joey back into a vampire and his blood would be altered, erasing Kali's magic from it and thus closing the portal. However he needed a strong source of power.
"Austin...what are you doing?" Caleb asked as he stepped in his path.
"You'll do fine," Austin said. He shot his hand forward and through Caleb's chest. Caleb cried out in pain as Austin drained a purple energy from within him. When Austin had enough he cast aside the vampire and continued towards Joey and Devyn, who was still pleading with Joey to find another way.
"Joey I won't..." Devyn stopped when he noticed Austin approaching, "Austin...wh-what are you doing?" Austin cocked his head slightly and looked Joey in the eye.
"It's always sacrifice with you pitiful humans," He grabbed Joey from Devyn and began to force Caleb's energy into him, Joey shouted out as a purple light began to suffuse his body, "Noone...can...ever SIMPLIFY things!" As the last of the energy entered Joey he felt the change begin to take place, the fangs sprouted from the roof of his mouth and the familiar power of his extra ran through his veins. He was a vampire again. The same black mist that had grabbed Kali shot forth from the portal once again and arched towards the horde of demons Enya was holding at bay. It wrapped around them and yanked them through the air back at the portal. Enya dropped the shield and collapsed to the ground, completely drained. As the demons howled in frustration, sucked back into the portal, the portal closed with a suction-like noise and the hell that it had put on earth ceased to be. Austin fell to the ground, his hair now it's normal brown again and Devyn hurried to his side.
Joey picked himself up off the ground and shook the cobwebs from his head. He looked around at the carnage of the battle that had unfolded.
Toren laid in a jumbled mess, broken in more ways than one could count, his blood leaving a permanent stain on the ground around him. Chloe made signs of movement as she finally woke up from the hit she had taken at the beginning of the battle. She looked around groggily, and confused, soon laying her head back down and closing her eyes to the world for just a few moments longer.
Jared sat propped up against a tree, breathing shallowly, perhaps from a punctured lung or a set of broken ribs.
Enya, drained of her energy, laid on top of the hill overlooking the rest of the area, while Dave was at the foot of the hill, unconscious from a combination of his own power imploding and Kali's blast.
Caleb somehow was still moving, rolling about on the ground trying to phase out the effects of what Austin had done to him. He groaned, but hid his pain, keeping up the cold exterior that made him such a formidable warrior.
Devyn held Austin in his arms comforting the young mage. He wasn't physically injured, but psychologically was another story. Something had taken a hold of him during the battle, whether it be Kali's witchcraft or something greater, it had put something in him that was not meant for someone of a pure soul to be apart of.
Alex came running out of the woods, sensing it was now safe to come back out in the open. He had been braver than he ever had before, confronting Kali and Gavin. Something inside of him pushed him to do the right thing and he did, and came out unscathed because of it. Joey walked slowly away from the others and toward the hill. Alex passed him and smiled that youthful smile of his as he rushed over to Dave, to which Joey nodded in acknowledgement.
Joey trekked up the hill slowly, and stopped when he reached the top. He looked up into the sky and watched the clouds part. The rain had stopped and the sky lit up with stars. The moon appeared in full mass, shining a light down on the land that had been missing for days. Joey's eyes stared into the world above, something pure and untouched by the hand of good or evil. Tears slipped down Joey's face, as everything sunk in. They had survived the battle of their lives, and a pang of happiness sparkled in Joey's eyes, but the tears were not all for the feeling of victory.
The wind swept through his hair, throwing his tears to the rest of the world. His heart felt heavy and the paralyzing feeling of sadness and guilt flooded him inside. His mind was one thing and one thing only. Not the people that had survived, or the fact that the world was safe for another day. The thought that plagued him was the one that he could never repair.. the one he lost. A flower drifted through the wind and hit Joey in the chest. He grasped it with his hand and looked at it. It was a small white rose, it's petals in full bloom. Joey dropped to his knees and looked into the sky as if to ask why. One star lit up brightly as if sending him a signal. The tears in his eyes reflected the light, as he let his emotion flow.
A hand grasped Joey's shoulder, and he turned his head to see Devyn standing there. Devyn frowned as he saw the pain in Joey's eyes, "You look like you could use a friend."
Joey sniffled, "I guess I could."
"How bout nine friends?" Joey and Devyn looked back to see the whole group standing there. Austin and Enya, threw tired eyes and fatigue, held Toren up, while Dave stood propped up by Alex. Chloe and Jared held onto each other just off to the side, while Caleb stood behind, his eyes meeting Joey's. Devyn offered Joey his hand, and Joey looked at it for a moment before grasping it with his own. Devyn pulled him up and they all walked down the hill together.
A change was brought about in each and everyone of them during the battle. Vampires and Mages brought together by a common cause, 10 very different personalities, drawn together as one to fight for what they loved and believed in. They entered each other's lives as strangers, maybe on some levels enemies, but they all took solace in the fact that they were leaving the battle alive, and together.
Most people cheerfully assume that in some mystic way love conquers all, that good outweighs evil in the just balances of the universe and at the 11th hour something gloriously triumphant will prevent the worst before it happens. In reality it's not true. The only way for good to win out over evil is for the good to keep on fighting and never stop. The one thing that had changed in all of the young warriors was that they knew inside that that's what they had to do.
Never stop fighting.