Dark Soul

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CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

It had been some years after the original Cain murders that the Professor had sought out the means to arm himself against a possible encounter in the future with another of Cain’s kind. His friend John of course had advised him against owning a firearm and in truth Marcus was not keen on having a gun tucked away in his desk draw or anywhere in his house but he felt compelled to prepare for the possibility that one day he may need to deal with something like Cain again. It took him several months to find a weapon smith with the skill to be able to craft what he required. If he must have a weapon in his home then it would appear to the layman to be anything but. The implement was designed for only one purpose and it did not require the intricate workings of modern automatic firing weapons nor the bulk as it would be a single shot firearm as that is all that would be required if the research Marcus had uncovered was correct. Ancient lore and texts he had read all agreed on one thing that silver throughout the ages had been used by mankind against all manner of ills whether they were real or imagined.

Indeed the renowned Swiss scientist Paracelsus had spent many years studying alchemy. Paracelsus strongly believed in spiritual alchemy and that the purpose of alchemy was not to transmute metals; but to cure disease. If indeed it is a genetic trait or a genetic disease that Cain was afflicted with it is quite possible that if silver was mixed with the creature’s blood it could have a dramatic effect. The professor having come to this conclusion commissioned six silver bullets to be made and fashioned into the form of a Newton’s Cradle which he could sit on his desk in plain view for all to see. The small rounded spherical silver balls would look identical to any other cradle but could instead be detached from their tethers to be loaded into his hand crafted firearm. Once the Cradle, complete with silver bullets, had been completed Marcus commissioned the same weapon smith to conceive a device that could be assembled and capable of firing the small spherical silver balls. The weapon smith came up with a device not too dissimilar to a Derringer but as per the instructions with the ability to be able to be disassembled and reassembled from its component parts but without compromising its ability to function. A short cylindrical tube consisted of the barrel which attached to the stock which in turn had been shaped to resemble the head of a cane. The trigger fitted neatly in place underneath the stock while the barrel slipped easily also onto the stock clicking firmly in place as it did so. The final pieces to complete the intricate firearm were the caplock and hammer fitted with a preloaded percussion cap.

Now many years later sat behind his desk with all the component parts arranged inconspicuously on his desk in plain sight the time had come to assemble it for use. Although of an intricate design Marcus had over the years spent much time at practice assembling it; as the years past and the threat diminished in his mid it had become more of a game of manual dexterity rather than an exercise in something that could one day save his life. The day had finally come however when what had become a simple game to Marcus may in fact save his life if he could finish piecing together his weapon without being detected. While Cain had been reciting his monologue it had been a simple matter for Marcus, thanks to years of practice, to assemble his pistol almost unnoticed.

With a roar Cain strode towards the professor who sat transfixed in his chair behind his desk at the sight before him. A strong clawed hand lifted the desk up and a long powerful arm sent it crashing into the study wall; nothing stood between Cain and his next victim Professor Marcus Tremane. As the desk shattered against the wall it seemed to snap Marcus out of his terrified state that had left him transfixed at the sight before him. A slight clicking noise sounded at first as Marcus cocked the single shot pistol that he now held in his lap then a dull flash and a bang as the percussion cap ignited the gun powder propelling the silver round bullet towards Cain. The bullet slammed into Cain striking his left shoulder with such force it caused him to spin round and he found himself unable to stop his momentum hurtling him towards the large bay window as he contorted in agony from the silver now coursing through his blood. Marcus slowly stood as he watched the events unfold in front of him; the large window in his study was suddenly shattered as Cain was propelled through it by the momentum caused from the impact of the silver bullet. Marcus quickly detached another small silver sphere from the cradle and slipped it along with another percussion cap into his pistol before striding swiftly towards the broken window. Far below he could see the figure of Cain impaled upon several railings howling in bestial rage and agony as he tried to free himself from the iron wrought spikes that trapped him. Marcus was about to lean out the window and shoot down at Cain to end the beasts suffering but cursing to himself he suddenly remembered the limitations to the weapon he had designed and recalled he could not point the pistol down knowing the bullet would simply roll out before being discharged by the percussion cap. Marcus cursed to himself and turning from the window he raced from the study and down his stairs towards the front door. Flicking on the hallway light he turned the key in the lock of the front door and hearing the click pulled down on the door handle opening the door to his front steps.

‘Almost’ he thought to himself; a few more feet and he could end this nightmare that was Cain here and now tonight. Marcus strode purposefully down the steps leading to the street railings outside the front of his building where Cain was impaled upon but it was already too late and Cain was gone. Marcus scanned the street looking up and down but could not see Cain anywhere until finally he saw a trail of blood leading to the park entrance across the street from his house. Collecting a torch hung in the hallway of his house he set off in pursuit of Cain; reaching the park entrance he shone the torch around him on the floor and could still see small flecks of blood spattering the ground which led across the park onto the grass and towards a large copse of trees in the distance. Marcus could feel his heart pounding in his chest as he ran across the grass in pursuit of his quarry; his mouth felt dry and it was getting harder to swallow. He slowed as he approached the trees well aware that Cain could be waiting in ambush and he was unsure of how badly injured he was, after all Marcus had presumed Cain dead once before after shooting him, and he was taking no chances this second time around. The beam from the torch swept the bushes and trees in front of him and the professor spotted the droplets of blood once more upon the ground ahead of him. Forcing his way through a thicket of bushes he emerged on the other side to a clearing in the middle of the woods. Marcus levelled his pistol and swept his torch from side to side expecting Cain to attack him almost immediately but the trees were still except from the slight rustling of the wind passing through them and the trail of blood had disappeared. Shining his torch in arching beams along the ground in front of him he searched for any trace of the creature but there was not a trace of blood anywhere to be seen and the ground also seemed impossibly undisturbed; he would certainly have expected such a large beast to leave footprints in its wake but there was nothing visibly disturbed. The professor stood in the middle of the copse listening to the still night air but could hear nothing and it was as if the night had opened up and swallowed Cain. Marcus had failed and he knew it but suddenly he remembered John and the others and the danger they would be in; he had to warn them before it was too late. Racing back to his house he fumbled through his coat pockets until he found his mobile phone and searched through his contacts until he came to Johns number; quickly dialling him he waited for it to ring. It rang for what seemed like an eternity to Marcus and he didn’t want to end the call as a part of him knew ending his attempt to dial his friend was certainly accepting that John was most definitely already dead. Marcus finally hit the end call button and for a moment he paused lost in thought trying to dispel the looming spectre that would confirm his friend was indeed already dead. Fishing in his pocket for the number with Greg’s name next to it he once again dialled and what seemed like an eternity passed before he hung up and for a while Marcus just stood there feeling numb as the events that had just transpired came flooding over him all at once. A shrill tone from the mobile in his hand broke his contemplation and he lifted the phone to his ear.

“John? Is that you John?” Marcus asked in a hopeful tone without really expecting it to be his friend.

“Marcus it’s me Jacob. I’m on my way over to you now. You won’t believe what has just happened to me! Marcus you were right all along! You were right!” The chaplains voice was shaking but sounded emphatic none the less.

“Calm yourself man. What do you mean I was right? What has happened to you?” Marcus asked in a puzzled tone.

“I can’t explain over the phone; you just wouldn’t believe it even though you will I’m sure. Even I don’t believe it and it just happened to me!” Jacob swallowed hard and took a deep breath as he realized he was starting to sound like a mad man raving down the phone to his old friend.

“I will tell you all about it when I get to yours Marcus but first I have to take care of Barnabus.” The chaplains voice was laced with concern as he spoke.

“What happened to Bar…” but before he could finish his sentence Marcus heard the phone call terminate and closing his phone he placed it on the table next to his front door then sat down at the bottom of his stairs. His mind was filled with thoughts of his old friend John Williams and recalling what Cain had said to him brought to mind the realization that his friend John was most likely indeed dead but knowing John there was always a chance and perhaps he was not dead despite what Cain had taunted him with he thought and a glimmer of hope kindled inside Marcus. Perhaps he could yet save his friend John tonight and he quickly began gathering his things up to head over to Cain’s house and to find John. Marcus slammed the front door shut once more on his town house but before he could take a step towards his car his phone rang; fishing into his pocket he pulled it free and flipped it open answering the phone as he did so.

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