Clara looked down at her newborn child.
He was an abomination, she knew it, Heaven wept for it and Hell rejoiced.
However the scales were not tipped to either side and The Balance of Power knew it.
The Balance came to her as she held him.
"Sire." She nodded in deference to the power in the room.
"Clara you are one of my most faithful, why did you do this?" The balance asked the sadness in his voice evident.
"I did not know, Amy was convinced he was her father. I swear I did not know he was a demon." Clara looked at the vibrant blue eyes her child carried and hoped that there might be a way he could be saved.
The child is Nephilim Clara, He has to choose his own path. He is not full light like you or your daughter; there is darkness in him. Like all of his kind, he must be set free to find his way in the world. You may raise him as a mortal woman until he is five years gone. Then his path will be his own and you will return to your place in the heavens. Light or dark he must be free to choose."
Clara wept as she nodded.
She knew the law, all Nephilim had to find their own path.
The dark were killed and the light spared by their kind where it was possible, the same in reverse was true when Demons hunted the light.
But the chances for her son were slim.
His father was no ordinary Demon.
The child's father was Nikita. Son of the most dark.
The fiery cobalt light that shone in her son's eyes belied the warring nature in the tiny soul.
She only hoped that he could find a way back to her and to the light.
Twelve years later…..
He didn't know why this always happened to him; he tried to be good. The foster home was burning behind him as he left.
The fire hadn't been his fault, but the man had pushed him, hurt him, till a power he couldn't explain shot through him and the lights in the house exploded and the stove caught on fire, burning the man alive.
And he swore as he left he heard a low laugh follow him.
He didn't stop running until he fell out of breath and exhausted in a gutter in an alleyway.
Unseen by him a woman watched, her eyes glistening with tears, as she sent up a prayer asking The Balance for permission to save him.
"We cannot intervene, mother." Amy said as she materialized beside her mother, "The choice has to be his alone."
"He is hurting so much. I just wish I could help." She sighed as she made a bag full of food and a blanket appear nearby where he tripped over it, still trying to move away from the home he had just left.
He looked around, and seeing no one who could possibly own the bag his eyes widened with surprise as the name on the bag was his, . He opened it and smiled as he saw some food and a warm blanket. Using it to make himself a makeshift shelter, he praised himself on his work, as the cold wind seemed to stop at the entrance he had made.
He pulled the food out and quickly ate, wrapping himself in the blanket and falling asleep.
"Mother!" Amy exclaimed at her mother's audacity.
Clara smiled, "He is resourceful, is he not?" She knew that she had not really toed the line. She bent it so far out of shape that would never be straight, but she hadn't actually crossed it, so she was happy that she would get away with it...at least the Balance hadn't shown up to reprimand her.
Mind you she was his favorite child and she knew it.
Out of sight of the celestial beings two others, just as invested, stood and watched as the child slept.
"Soon he will be fifteen, we can then...engage with him more."
The smaller of the two demons looked up, "What do you wish?"
"You will serve him, keep him safe...hide in plain sight, be to all who view you as his guardian angel."
The Imp laughed at this, "Me?" she asked.
The Demon nodded, "Yes...to him you will be his savior, feed him enough information as he requires it but not enough for him to make the choice. not yet anyway. Allow him the freedom to seek out vengeance, train him to kill, to trust you and others you deem suitable for him. Train him, mould him….nurture him...you will be the one to instruct him about me, and our kind, then lure him into following me into darkness."
"Nikita, you are one Hell of a Demon."
"Henrietta, you will be one Hell of an Operations Manager and Mentor." Nikita laughed, and the wind in the alley picked up a bit.
Callen had been fighting his whole life, every time something went well for him, someone or something else would ruin it.
This time it was the Rostovs, a nice Russian American family.
They had taken him in and accepted him as one of their own. Things were going great until the Father, Anatoly came down with an illness.
He sat in his room as his wife was trying to explain to their young daughter Alina that her father was ill.
She had run crying to her room when they told her Callen would have to go back to the Orphanage.
Callen, having overheard the dire message was already packing, but something they said stuck with him.
"It is strange Sveta?" Anatoly said, "I had a medical a month ago, there was no sign of anything wrong, then This week I have stage 4 cancer?"
"I have said Toli, that there is something strange about the boy...I mean I know I said there was good in all children, but his eyes...Have you seen them when he's upset?" She whispered fearfully, "The blue in his eyes, looks like there is fire inside them. Sister Mary Elizabeth, from the Convent met him and was found hanging from her room an hour later."
Listening in his room, Callen hugged his knees to his chest. Was it his fault the nun died? He hadn't liked her but he hadn't wanted her dead either. Now his foster father was sick and his foster mother thought he was to blame. He liked them, they had been kind to him and the thought that he might hurt them filled him with fear.
The lights flickered and he remembered back to when he was twelve and the destruction that had happened in the foster home just after the lights went out. Fearfully he packed his bags and taking a moment to run his hand over the place where he had lovingly carved his name in the door, three weeks earlier, he climbed out of the window and fled.
Running wild for another six months, he had avoided all interaction with people as much as possible, stealing food and money when necessary.
He would steer clear of as many of the local gangs as possible, and even the homeless avoided this child because there was something about him that made them feel uneasy in his presence.
Callen couldn't believe it when he was caught for stealing a loaf of bread and a quart of milk from a store and sent to juvie because of it.
He was sure he had got away scot free and didn't notice that a cop saw him and arrested him.
He had hoped for a slap on the wrist especially in the practically empty court room where even his lawyer hadn't shown and another one had had to be found quickly to replace him. But the judge sent him to juvie for one month in total.
Hetty had sat in the courtroom, Nikita at her side, both unnoticed by the other occupants of the room.
"Give him three weeks Henrietta, he will be given an opportunity to escape and if he takes it, there is hope for him. If he takes it there is a good chance he is the son and heir I need. You will take him in, teach him the value of secrecy and of being able to become whomever the situation demands. Give him the version of his history we created. Drizzle it out to him, make him wholly dependant on you. Do what you need to do to make him idolize you, he should willingly die for you if necessary." Nikita smiled as his son shook in fear as handcuffs were placed on him and he was led away. "Yes, I think a little toughening up is just what he needs." He nodded to the two guards who entered to take the boy to juvie and they smiled at their masters acknowledgement.
The small Imp looked at her master in awe, he truly was the darkest of the dark.
Looking back on it, Callen would describe it as three weeks in Hell.
He had been beaten more times than he cared to remember. The warden didn't even acknowledge him. The other boys were given education and job related tasks but the most menial duties were handed out to him. He was given non stop latrine duty and was always the last in line for food everyday.
He watched as the other kids had friends and family come to visit them, however, he hadn't expected anyone to show up to see him. But even his social worker hadn't been to visit.
All the other boys were given sessions with a therapist. When he asked when his sessions were to begin, hoping for a break from his chores, he was placed in solitary confinement and beaten more.
He couldn't take it anymore, the world hated him.
He angrily beat on the walls of his cell, screaming at the inhumanity he had to endure. Just then, a miracle occurred, when a brick crumbled in the wall.
For an hour he stared at it; these things never happened for real, do they?
He pulled at the brick and marveled as it crumbled in his hand. Bit by bit he pounded on the wall, the small chink of light grew larger as the aging wall crumbled.
His fists quickly grew bloody and raw, but he finally made a hole large enough for him to wriggle through. Avoiding all the guards, he made his way to the large parking lot and stole the warden's station wagon, hotwired the car and drove away to freedom.
From her side of the divide Clara watched in horror at her son's treatment and actions.
From his side of the divide Nikita smiled at his son's resourcefulness.
Hetty moved into position and parked her car waiting for Callen to turn down the street and head where she knew he was going.
She had time so, just for the Hell of it she walked down took a marker out and drew and X on the lamppost.
"Frivolities Henrietta?" Nikita asked appearing beside her.
"For the moment, my lord. I felt the moment needed immortalizing." She smiled, "He's on his way I have alerted the authorities and I will be taking over as soon as he arrives." She informed him.
"Very well." Nikita replied and disappeared.
Hetty looked at her watch, walked back to her car and waited.
Callen drove the stolen station wagon as fast as he could; nothing would make him ever go back there.
He wanted revenge on the people who had hurt him, and on the system that had failed him so badly. He knew the police chasing him would most likely shoot him but he couldn't go back there, not ever.
Something startled him and the car veered into the curb and smacked into a pole by the side of the road.
Callen closed his eyes and prayed to anyone who would listen.
"Just get me out of this….Please!" He heard the sirens get closer and closer. "Please I'll give you anything…" He clung to the wheel and begged.
"Anything?" A voice answered.
Callen let go of the wheel in shock, he looked around but no one was there.
"I said, would you give me anything?" The voice came again.
"YES!" Callen shouted as the police screeched to a halt and got out of their cars drawing their weapons.
"Would you give me your soul?"
"Yes…" Callen didn't care, he knew he wasn't destined for heaven anyway.
"Then run, my son….Trust only the woman who I will send to you."
Callen thought he was going mad, but he followed the instructions.
He got out of the car and started running, only to be brought down by two police officers.
Callen closed his eyes as they stood him up, he knew that voice had been too good to be true.
They walked him towards a shiny sports car, he kept his eyes downcast, he didn't care what they did to him anymore.
"I don't know who you are lady, or what strings you pulled. But he belongs in jail." The policeman said as he uncuffed Callen and left him standing dumbstruck in front of a small woman.
"You're really short." He said.
Hetty smiled, "Yes...yes I am." Although she knew as Imp's went she was actually quite tall.
"Are you going to take me back to social services?" He asked.
Hetty looked at him puzzled for a moment, "You made a deal, didn't you? You never have to go back there again. You can stay with me for as long as you'd like."
"Who are you?"
Hetty smiled, "My name is Henrietta Lange. You asked for my help."
"You'll help me?" Callen asked in awe as he noticed the policeman listen to his radio, and turn back angrily walking towards them.
"If you are still prepared to honor your agreement?" Hetty replied.
The officer's hand went for his gun…..
"Yes!" Callen exclaimed and closed his eyes.
"Good morning, Mr. Callen, do you wish to join me downstairs for breakfast, I have a nice pot of tea brewing and some bacon and eggs waiting for you."
Callen opened his eyes, "What?"
A moment ago he had been standing with this woman in a road as an angry officer was about to shoot him.
"We had an agreement, Mr. Callen, that you would not go back to social services, so you came to my home."
"Hetty….your name's Hetty Lange."
Hetty smiled, "Yes, Mr. Callen. I am here to keep you safe and teach you all you need to know."
Callen scrambled out of bed and looked for his clothes.
"Hetty." she prompted.
"Hetty, where are my clothes?"
"Those rags were not fit for a young man such as yourself to wear, you will find a towel and everything you need in the bathroom off to your right. When you come out there will be suitable clothes awaiting you."
Standing under the hot water, letting the past wash away from his skin, he felt a small shiver.
Was he doing the right thing?
Was this woman really to be trusted?
The biggest question surrounding him right now was had he really just sold his soul?
He shrugged with a smirk, he was fifteen; what did he care really. If he had sold his soul and this Hetty woman was really some kind of devil, she would have to keep him safe to make sure she could collect.
He grinned and stuck his head under the shower head, letting his troubles run away with the water. Even at fifteen he knew that he couldn't be liable for any contract he didn't sign after all.
As long as this little woman didn't figure it out, maybe he just...for a little while anyway, had it made.