”It’s been two months. We can’t keep following her around. She’s not coming back,” Prince Caelum said.
We can’t give up, Talia Durand thought. Even though it was hard not to.
Prince Caelum, Prince Lynx, Alexander and Talia were in a hotel in Sydney following the latest string of “demonic attacks”. They had been following her since April twentieth, since Columbia.
Two months ago, March third, Amelia went dark after Talia’s wing was cut off. Amelia had summoned her father, the Devil, to their realm. With him came all of his demons, his army. Amelia and the residents of Hell had been in South America since. A week ago, the lot vanished from Peru. When they was spotted again, it was in Australia. So Talia and Amelia’s brothers followed them to Sydney.
They still hadn’t made contact with Amelia and it was looking bleak. More than bleak. Prince Caelum kept insisting it was a lost cause—following Amy—yet he wouldn’t go back to Enceladus.
It was Talia’s fault they were in this position. If she had been more careful and watchful during the invasion, she wouldn’t have gotten hurt and Amy wouldn’t be Stacia.
Just thinking about that day made Talia’s back hurt like her wings were still there. She had made Prince Lynx chop off the other wing—just after Amelia turned—knowing one wing wouldn’t do her any good. Now she had none.
“We can’t give up.” Prince Lynx sat back in a dirty motel chair, his angular frame looking awkward in it. His husband, Alexander, stood behind him.
Caelum yanked up the papers that had been printed off of Amy’s “adventures”. The Prince read from one of the headlines. “’Winged girl and friends kill entire village’. What if we do manage to confront her? One of her girlfriends brings her back?” He was referring to Talia and Lainie, Amelia’s past human girlfriend. Lynx had contacted Lainie and told her the situation with Amelia.
“Cal.” Lynx tried to stop him but he was already into his lecture, saying what he had since Columbia.
“Say one of us brings her back. She has killed thousands of people. Innocent people. You think she’ll be okay after that? She’ll be broken. So broken.” His green eyes glistened as he lit the paper aflame with his powers.
For the first time, Talia saw an emotion in Caelum other than anger. He was terrified of how Amelia would be after they brought her back. He was worried about his sister.
And so was Talia.
“We should go look around,” Prince Lynx suggested.
Talia nodded. They got to Sydney only hours earlier and hadn’t asked around to see if anyone had seen Amelia. But Talia had a feeling they would hear screams before the day was over.
The four strapped on their swords and knives and armor. Whenever policemen stopped them to ask why they were dressed for battle, they just said they were a “special task force unit” trying to apprehend the winged girl. The policemen believed them every time.
They left their room and stopped in the hotel’s lobby. “Hi,” Lynx said to the receptionist. “Has there been any sightings of the girl with wings and th-”
“The Devil,” the receptionist finished, shuddering.
Of course people knew about them. Australia wasn’t the first place Amy had been to. Since South America had been the first stop, the entire Earth now knew that the Devil roamed freely. Nearly all of South America was ruined. Not just the people but monuments and churches and offices and businesses and homes. For some reason, Amelia and her father didn’t stay in South America and kill everyone. No, they left roughly twenty percent of the population alive. Alexander said that it was probably because they wanted slaves.
“Have you seen him?”
“They were spotted in Circular Quay an hour ago. It’s already evacuated.”
“Thank you,” Lynx said. He turned back to the group. “Ready?”
Everyone nodded and left the hotel as one.
“Should we take the shuttle?” Talia asked.
Space Enforcement had given them a shuttle and equipment to bring Amelia to justice.
“I don’t think it’s that far.” Caelum pulled a device out of his pocket from SE. It could function as a telephone and a navigation system. Talia was blown away by the technology that Earth and SE possessed. But somehow, Earth was still behind on what Lynx called the “space race”. Talia doubted they’d be behind for long since SE had been unable to collect all of the alien technology from the invasion.
Caelum typed into the device. “It’s only one kilometer away. We can walk.”
They set off. Talia knew Circular Quay the second she saw it. It was a beautiful neighborhood around a harbor. And it was on fire. Nearly all of the ships were ablaze like Amelia had rained down fireballs. The seashore shops were crushed in like demons smashed them to pieces.
Then they heard the first scream.
“Šĉôt,” Caelum muttered and drew his double sided sword, which Talia was amazed he could use. She was amazed that anyone could use it seeing as how it had a long grip in the middle of two short, deadly blades.
Talia unsheathed her katana the second she saw the demons.
Demons of all shapes and sizes, much like they had seen in South America, crawled around the harbor.
Talia exhaled slowly and walked into the fight.
Massacre was a better word for what it was. They were outnumbered by thousands. But that didn’t discourage Lynx or Caelum or Alexander. They killed with their blades and abilities, sometimes at the same time.
The first demon that Talia faced was a goblin. It was short with dirty grey skin. It had sharp, pointed teeth and moon white orbs for eyes. Talia had killed many of these in Venezuela, where they followed Amy after Columbia and before Peru. They were easy to eliminate but they were vicious.
Talia lunged forward and drove her katana through its thick skinned stomach. It doubled over, leaking black blood. When it fell to the ground, she used her elemental control and sent an icicle through its eye, killing it.
The next demon she encountered was a succubus, just like Amelia. It made her wonder if the Devil had fashioned his daughter from these Hell monsters or the other way around. Had he created Amelia—the first of her kind—a hundred years ago?
Talia watched the woman feed off a goblin. Apparently she was on no one’s side but her own. Talia’s heart ached as she avoided the beautiful woman’s touch. “Don’t you want to feel things that you have never felt before? Amazing things,” she purred. Her voice tried to lure Talia in. It almost worked until Talia realized this succubus wasn’t, and would never be, Amelia.
She spun around the woman and, before the succubus could turn, stabbed her in the back. She gasped and collapsed.
Talia watched as a huge building with about ten white arches near the water was incinerated. She didn’t know what the building was but she had a hunch that it was a famous monument.
For a while, they plowed through the demons. No one had gotten hurt but they were still far off from making a dent in the demons.
“We have to keep them here!” Alexander shouted.
Talia looked around. There weren’t any humans in Circular Quay, save for the one who had screamed earlier. She was dead, of course. The harbor had been evacuated but the surrounding area was still working on it.
She ran after the demons who were fleeing. One was flying and it pissed Talia off so she shot fireballs into the air, aiming for its red wings. It, whatever it was, fell out of the sky. Once it was on the ground, it shifted into some Earthly creature with wings. A shapeshifter then. Talia channeled her fire ability into her katana so it was blazing hot, glowing orange (Amelia had taught her this). Then she cut off the demons’ wings. Both of them.
She was grinning when a demon blindsided her. He crashed into her left side, knocking her down. She scrambled to her feet, gripping her sword. She stood before a creature that she knew was no ordinary demon. He had red hair and eyes that seemed to be on fire. His skin was white except for the red veins that stood out underneath the pale. He appeared to be smoldering with anger. Something inside Talia told her that this was the Sathanus.
She froze, panicking. When they came to Earth, they had found several copies of the bible, as well as copies of the Qur’an, Shruti and the Torah (they hadn’t known what to expect) so they could study what demons would accompany the Devil. They even bought a personal computer at a store named after an Earth fruit to research. So Talia knew from the hours of studying that this was Sathanus, Prince of Hell. His sin was wrath.
Talia tried to calm her breathing. It wasn’t working. She wasn’t equipped to fight a Prince of Hell. Neither were her companions.
Talia whistled, their communication if they needed each other. They needed a new signal.
First Alexander came, landing next to her, and tucking his wings in tight. He took one look at Sathanus and stiffened.
“Hello, little ones. You should get out of my way,” Sathanus instructed. “Are you friends of My Lord’s dear Stacia? You have wings like her. Although, hers are different colors.”
Princes Lynx and Caelum landed next to her. Caelum immediately took out one of his knives, a zôpånt, and chucked it at Sathanus. He simply glared when it landed deep in his chest. “That won’t kill me, fool.” He tugged the blade out and studied it. There was no blood on the shining silver. “Well made.”
“Where is Amelia?” Alexander growled.
“Stacia,” Talia supplied. She couldn’t keep the fear from her voice.
“Ah. Yes. Darling Stacia. I have yet to bed her but I am sure she is excellent. Fiery in all the right places. Just how I like ’em.”
Talia’s veins iced over. She bit her tongue in order to keep quiet.
“Where is she?” Caelum said through clenched teeth.
“Elsewhere.” Sathanus waved his hand northward. “I am here. That is all that matters.”
Then he attacked.
They weren’t prepared. They weren’t going to survive this.