Angela felt pleasure and rage as Suarez lapped at her blood. She also felt weak and realized that he was intending to drink her dry. She struggled until she saw blackness creep around the edges. In the background she could hear the shouts of the Winchesters. Her last thought was that she had failed as the world blackened around her.
She woke up in a vast white area. It was blindingly white and she looked around wondering if she was dead or not. She also realized that she was still dressed in that monstrosity she had been wearing all day and groaned. “Now I know I’m not dreaming if I’m wearing this.”
“I find it rather fitting that you wear such a garment. It is befitting your station.”
Angela turned to find herself face to face with another woman. The woman was dark olive toned with pitch black hair. She was dressed in linens and gold jewelry. Her face was lined with eye liner painted in patterns that were familiar in art history books. Angela knew exactly who she was standing in front of and replied, “You always did like to be traditional my lady. Tell me, what does Isis, the Goddess of Immortals want with me?”
“You must finish what has begun. You must send Goren back to his body.”
Angela rolled her eyes. She sighed, “I know that but in case you haven’t noticed, I was or probably am bled dry. I pretty much failed in that department and I failed in my promise to John Winchester.”
Isis smiled and chuckled, “Yes I know of that promise. He made you swear upon my name to do so. That is why I am here. I am to send you back.”
“Right and what good would that do? The bloody ritual didn’t work.” Angela crossed her arms in annoyance as she paced the empty space in front of the goddess. “We did everything it called for and nothing happened.”
Isis sighed as she looked upon her favorite daughter. Much was left to be explained but all in good time. Now she had to understand why it didn’t work. She replied, “There is a champion and it is already there.”
“Oh so it was the princess then. I wouldn’t have guessed but in case you haven’t noticed, she’s too young to host something so powerful and while the Winchesters have that something special within them, humans would hardly be the perfect thing for a spirit to be riding around in. So that left me to take in the spirit and the bloody ritual didn’t work!” Angela gave a swipe of her hands to emphasize her point. She then went back to pacing in frustration. Sometimes talking to the goddess was a pain in the ass.
Isis laughed at Angela. “This is why you are my favorite, child. You are willing to take burdens away from people and shoulder it yourself. You are selfless in this regard, the one quality that is hard to find in a champion.”
Angela was pacing not really listening too hard until she heard the last part. She stopped and glanced at the goddess. “What are you saying?”
“The reason it didn’t work is because there is already a champion present.”
Angela took a moment to process completely what was being said. “Wait a minute. You don’t mean…?”
“Why else would I ask the Seer to interfere on your behalf?” Isis gave a tolerant smile. “The Centurion has done its duty for centuries as the Seer said they would. However the more finer points of the Old Religion evade their grasp such as the nature of champions.”
“You can’t possibly be serious that I…” Angela looked at the goddess incredulously, “And why me and why now?”
Isis placed a hand on Angela’s shoulder. She gazed into the girl’s tawny eyes and said, “I know what drives you. You seek to be forgiven and it can be seen by all who are connected at the level that I occupy. Consider this your chance. The past is connected to the future so to speak.”
Angela was about to say something when she heard something in the distance. It was a voice talking and she recognized it as her own. She listened closely and her eyes widened. She hadn’t sung that song in over twenty-three years and it was one she had completely made up. She remembered back to when she first sang it. She then looked back at the goddess and said, “So this is my penance?”
“Keep fighting and maybe you can forgive yourself. Right now you must go back. You need to keep your promise.”
Angela opened her mouth but then she heard the sounds of battle. She heard Sam and Dean and Akira. Their voices were disjointed but she could make out that they were in the middle of a battle. She then heard Suarez’s voice but it was warped. He had the demon in him. She looked back at the goddess with determination and said, “Send me back then.”
Isis nodded and closed her eyes to work her power. Angela found herself enveloped in white and the room disappeared. The voices became louder and clearer as Angela opened her eyes. She found herself lying on the altar and she could feel the blood flowing down her arm. She had been drained but now she felt a surge of strength. She twisted around and saw Sam and Dean in trouble. Focusing she managed to send the vampire on top of Sam flying with her mind. She ended up falling off the altar and landed next to the slender bag with the Orion weapons. With a deft movement, she pulled out the bow and an arrow. From her position on the ground, she managed to send an arrow flying where it embedded itself into the skull of another vampire that was trying to take a bite out of Dean. She nearly sunk back into unconsciousness when she heard Akira talking the struggles of the Winchesters. Her mind became focused.
Angela drew upon the powers that were buried within her blood. She slowly got to her feet and saw Suarez advance. However she didn’t see the vampire’s familiar face but rather the face of the Ancient that was riding him. Her eyes turned into glowing orbs and she sent a wave of power that blasted the demon backwards. She then vaulted over the altar to land between Akira and the demon. She replied to the demon’s surprise, “Disappointed?”
The demon rose to his feet and smiled with menace. He replied, “Not at all. I was afraid you were drained dry by the meat suit I’m riding.”
Angela gave a curious twist of her head but maintained her stoic appearance. She replied, “Then I guess nothing more has to be said.” She then gave a slight twist of her hand and the pressure that had been applied to Sam and Dean were released.
The demon merely smiled and gave a slight chuckle. “Well I see you are ready to fight then.” He then tried to use the same lightning on her that he had used on Akira.
Angela leaped to the side and completely dodged the blow. She focused on a nearby boulder and sent it flying at the demon. He blasted it into tiny shards. It was enough to distract him for Angela had charged right up to him and began on the slug fest. She fell back onto the martial arts that she had practiced and honed into killing maneuvers.
The demon countered with his own moves. A couple of times they locked limbs and each forced each other away. Both failed to notice that the stragglers had come back and were fighting the Winchesters and Akira. Goren was enraged at the champion that was battling him. She didn’t fight like the honorable warriors of old and she resorted to dirty fighting on occasion. It was moments like that when he drew upon his meat suit’s memories to counter her. Occasionally he used his powers and she countered with hers to the point where he realized that she still was not at full strength. It appeared her only effective power was her telekinetic ability. It was a common enough power among most Shadow Chasers but hers was unusually strong. He on the other hand had the power of the ancients but unfortunately his meat suit was not able to handle it very well.
Angela noticed that something was happening to Goren. Suarez’s body was becoming burned in several places. She had seen that before on beings who hosted champions. Sometimes powers were too great and the host body became damaged often irreparably to the point of death. It seemed that Suarez wasn’t a strong enough vessel. This could work to her advantage. She sprang forward again but had to spring back when a sword whipped out in a slash to catch her.
Goren managed to retrieve the sword he had conjured and tried to slash at her. She was too quick and sprang away. Still she had no blade and he kept lunging forward trying to cut her. He said, “You’re at the edge of the cliff. Where are you going to go?”
Angela narrowed her eyes as she anticipated the next attack. Even though she was in bare feet, she was able to run and dodge. She then heard her name being called. She turned and saw Sam throw something at her. She recognized it as Absolution. She ran and just when Goren swung again at her, she jumped and twisted to grab her sword in midair. She followed through by swinging the blade to block Goren’s blade. It hit with a resounding clang and a flash of sparks as Angela landed on her feet. She pulled back in an attack position. She replied, “Only one is going over the edge and that’ll be you.” She then lunged forward with a swipe.
It felt a relief to finally be able to move as Dean felt the oppressing weight lighten off him. He sprang to his feet and grabbed the .45. If it was a miracle, he also found the shotgun that Akira had brought down and tossed it to Sam who had managed to get to his feet. “Sam.”
Sam grabbed the shotgun and cocked it. It probably wouldn’t work but if it had ammo that the .45 had, then that was fine with him. He wasn’t going to ask since the last weapon to have ammo like that was the Colt and it was gone now. He brought up the shotgun and took aim and fired at the nearest vampire. It keeled over dead leaving Sam a chance to move towards the altar. He then caught a glimpse of Angela.
He watched as she dodged attacks and sprang forward to counter. What surprised him was that she lifted a boulder and sent it flying. He had only seen her use her hands and feet as well as anything that was handy to use. When the demon possessed vampire brought out a blade, Sam instinctively knew that she was going to need something else. He looked around. Dean was busy shooting and swinging. Akira was actually exorcising demons. By the altar, he spotted something glowing silver. Running to the altar, he found that it was a sword. Picking it up, he noticed that it gleamed. He then shouted, “Angela!”
When he caught her eye, he tossed it at her. It was watching something in slow motion as she twisted away from the demon’s blade to catch it and follow through with a strike of her own. Sam knew he had to turn his attention back to the others. He whipped up his shotgun and started firing. He chased one up the hill and fired, killing the thing. Turning to go back, he tripped over a small hollow in the ground. Kneeling, he dug at it and found the silk bag. He pulled it out and found that there were two left. He took one out and pocketed the other and continued running back to help his brother.
Dean spotted Sam and said, “Nice of you to join us.”
“Bite me Dean,” Sam replied as he fired at a demon. It screamed in rage as it died.
“Don’t be jealous just cause you got your ass whipped by some demons.”
“Right and being tackled by a man sized girl kachina spirit is so much better.”
“Hey,” Dean held up a warning finger.
Sam gave an annoyed roll of his eyes and went back to work. From the direction of the dock, he spotted a group of vampires running towards them. “Dean.”
Dean turned to see the group. There were about ten of them heading towards them. Even with Akira’s help, things could go bad. “Crap.”
Sam pulled out the little grenade that he had palmed. He showed it to Dean. “Think this’ll work?”
Sam pulled the pin while Dean loaded a new clip in. It was his last one. Dean then said, “Do it Sam.”
Sam waited and then lobbed the grenade at the oncoming horde. He didn’t expect the blinding flash when it hit and shielded his eyes. He could hear the screams of the vampires as they ran towards the lake and started trying to soothe the burns. A few of the bolder ones tried to continue forward. For the Winchester brothers, the odds were in their favor as Akira joined in, charging swinging her blade. Sam backed up with the shotgun and Dean moved in with his machete.
At one point, Sam felt the need to go back. Normally he wouldn’t leave his brother behind but a quick look told him that Dean and Akira were pretty near done mopping up the vamps. He turned and ran back up the hill. Pausing by the altar, something caught his eye. The bag that he had seen earlier was open and he could make out the weapons he had seen. A clang brought his attention to the battle being fought. Without a second thought, he reached into the bag and grabbed one of the weapons.
Dean brought down the last vampire and gave that chuckle of a smile. He said, “Nothing like a good hunt right Sam?”
When Sam didn’t respond, Dean looked around, “Sammy?”
Again when Sam didn’t answer, Dean tried not to panic. Sam was not one to go out on his own unless he had to. Checking the .45 and making sure he had some rounds left, he started backtracking. He failed to notice that Akira was watching him leave with a peculiar expression. She followed him at a slow walk listening to the sounds of battle between her friend and Suarez.
The blade swiped at her, intending to cut her torso. Instead there was the tearing of cloth as she leapt backwards. Angela paused to look down. Right where her stomach was, there was a lateral rip in the material. Great now I owe Marisol for a dress too. Angela looked back up at Goren who was grinning in an unrepentant manner. It was a means to hide the fact that his host was not handling the possession very well. She said, “I see you missed yet again.”
“You’re doing well. Any other would have killed himself by now.”
Angela backed away and began a predatory circle around Goren. She held Absolution pointed downward almost as if she were conceding. It was an illusion however. She replied, “No. They would have gone down fighting.”
“Indeed. You know I never got you Centurion. You think we are all evil beings yet we are only striving for the things we want in life. The same as the pathetic humans you protect.” Goren lowered his blade and followed Angela’s movements.
“I hardly call making those ‘pathetic humans’ slaves an equal opportunity moment.”
“And you of all people cast judgment. After all it was the rebellion of your more pure blooded kin that brought your kind into existence. Then it is hunters, like the Winchesters, that hunt down your kind along with the others. Yet you still protect them. Why?” Goren actually looked confused at her defense of humanity.
Angela gave a puzzled twist of her head but didn’t relinquish her stance. One slip and it could be all over. That was all it took in this line of work. She then replied, “I am what I am. Perhaps it is my human side that allows for compassion, anger, guilt and all the emotions humans are capable of. Perhaps that is why your kind doesn’t understand.”
Goren looked at Angela. He knew talking to her would get her to lower her guard somewhat. Now he sensed and opportunity coming. In fact with his meat suit’s heightened smell, he could smell it. He played the part, “Perhaps you are right. I am incapable of feeling guilt when I do this.” Then with a sudden look he sent the approaching Winchester flying hard into one of the boulders lying about.
Angela saw the movement and with it, saw Sam flying through the air and strike the boulder where he fell and writhed on the ground in pain. Angela reacted and lunged forward with a swipe and she leapt over another boulder. Her blade clanged with Goren’s as she went on the offensive, pushing him back as she struck. It didn’t last long for Goren was able to counter her with equal skill and recklessness. They locked blades and Goren taunted her, “Aww did I hurt your precious human?”
Angela’s response was a shove that released her blade from its locked position. She was ready for the strike and the clangs and sparks began to fly. The smoke was steadily becoming visible and thick as the two combatants locked blades again and again. At one point, Goren went for dirty fighting and used a sneak attack to knock her sword completely out of her hand and used a hard punch to the chest to send her flying backwards.
Angela felt her back hit the dirt and felt slightly winded but she was coherent enough to know where she was. She sat up and got slowly to her feet with her eyes never leaving Goren’s advancing figure. She winced slightly feeling the pain from the punch. She was certain there was going to be some bruising but that was the least of her worries. Absolution was a fair distance away but she was confident she could summon it. She tried to while keeping an eye on Goren.
Goren saw what she was trying to do and she was failing miserably. He taunted her, “Are you running out of juice my dear? Don’t worry, I’ll make sure the Centurion knows what a brave soldier you were.” He then raised his blade to strike when he pitched forward.
Angela could make out the tip of a sword piercing Goren’s torso. She also hear Sam’s voice saying, “Not if I get you first.” Looking at the blade tip and when Goren turned around, she realized that Sam must have grabbed the Orion sword when he came to help her.
Goren was enraged at the human and grabbed him by the neck and exerted pressure, cutting off air flow. He looked at the human and said, “Tell me human do you know who I am?”
Sam could feel the air being choked out of him and tried to stay conscious. He tried beating on the arm that was holding him but it was having little to no effect. The fingers were squeezing tighter when a hand came down grabbing the arm that held him and gave a twist. Sam felt himself drop to the ground where gasped for air. He was having a hard time breathing and wondered if his windpipe had been crushed. He glanced over to find Angela dodging the demon’s swings as well as blocking while delivering strikes of her own. It became difficult to stay conscious with the lack of air and the pain from probably half a dozen bruises plus his ribs were burning and he wasn’t even going to think about the puncture he received the night before. He felt it easier to cave in to his body’s demands even though he tried to force himself to stay awake.
Angela lunged forward after blocking the swing and delivered a rib breaking punch of her own to the demon’s chest. She watched it stagger back and she advanced forward. A stolen glance told her that Absolution was still a fair piece away but she was determined to get it into her hands one way or another. She looked over at Sam who was near a state of unconsciousness and off in the distance she could hear Dean calling for his brother. She knew what she had to do and there would be no room for mistakes. Goren was getting up now. She charged forward.
Goren was surprised that she managed to get a good one off of him and he actually relished in the pain that she gave. It had been too long since someone gave him a good beating. He got back up and twisted his sword arm to make sure that it was still functional. His other arm was sore and probably broken but that didn’t matter since as a demon he could hold any meat suit together. He failed to notice the gleam in the girl’s eyes that would have warned him that she was planning something. As soon as she charged, he charged as well. This would end now.
Angela swooped in and countered with blocks and strikes. She could feel the speed and the power behind the strikes increasing but she could also sense the demon was on its last legs. She had to act now. In a desperate move, she raised her left forearm and blocked the blade. She felt the metal pierce the skin on her forearm and felt the biting sting of pain but pushed it aside as she angled her body downwards and to the left towards the ground and summoned her blade.
It was like feeling the clasp of a friend’s hand as the metal of the pommel touched her palms. Her fingers closed around the handle and twisting upwards, she slashed Goren across the chest, drawing blood. With a twist, she jammed her blade upwards and into the cranium and held on. She said, “May you find absolution in Hell.”
Goren had a surprised look on his face when the blade slashed across his chest. The stunned look was still there when he felt it pierce through his jaw and into his brain. His eyes looked at the cold determination of the Chaser before him while he felt the power of the blade work its mojo. He could feel himself being pulled down. It wasn’t death, well it might as well be, where this blade was sending him. She said it herself that he would find absolution in Hell. Hell was where he was going and he got the distinct feeling that if he managed to crawl out, she would kill him the next time. He managed to croak out, “And may the fight bring you pain.” He then slipped away to where she sent him.
Angela waited until the light went out of the demon’s eyes before yanking it out. She knew that Suarez was dead too since Absolution was made to kill anything supernatural. Looking down at the bloody corpse, she took a deep breath, feeling the air rush into her lungs. Her fingers were clamped tightly around the grip of Absolution and she had a hard time moving them. She could move her arm though as she lowered the blade and looked around. She spotted Sam lying on the ground and with slow steps she walked towards him. When she was kneeling next to him, her fingers finally managed to let go of her sword. She looked at him as he opened his eyes. All she said was, “Nice going Sammy.”
Sam managed to open his eyes and was startled to find Angela hovering over him. It barely registered that she had called him by the nickname he hated. He replied, “Sam.”
Angela laughed, relieved that Sam’s head was all right. She leaned back until she was sitting on her heels. She looked at her arm where Goren’s blade had cut her and noticed that it was rather deep. Instead of a clean cut, it looked inflamed as if it were infected. As if to confirm it, she started to see dark spots appear at the edge of her vision. Great. As the blackness took over, she was aware that she had heard voices and then sank into darkness.