January 7th – 9.45pm
My chest stings as I breathe heavy on the freezing air, reaching the top level of the multi-storey car park that overlooks the River Tyne.
Winter is in full swing and the cold works into my muscles as I stop running. Backed up in the corner is the Gargo Demon, an ugly bastard all hunched over, its claws poised ready to defend itself.
Like all demons, this one has come from Hell and has taken on a human host. This one, probably a female in her late twenties, has been turned for no more than a few hours I’d guess.
I wonder what shame her family will feel when they find out that their daughter; mother or sister, has been overrun by an agent of evil. I put the thought out of my head as I put six rounds into the beast’s chest. It screams as it slowly approaches death, and I decide to help it along, firing a further two rounds into its face. I watch the green blood pour from the wounds and holster my pistol.
A few seconds pass before I hear the flapping of wings. They sound like angel wings only louder, made dense with flesh. I look up to see a winged demon disappear into the low clouds.
They can fly now?
Shit, this cannot be good.
January 10th – 07:30am
I’m stood in a field with long grass up to my waist. As my eyes adjust to the sunlight, I can see it goes on for as far as the horizon. My face remains expressionless as the warm breeze brushes over my skin. I begin to walk, pushing myself through the terrain with no idea of where I am going. In the distance, I can see a man on a crucifix, but the glare of the sun is making it impossible for me to make out who it is yet. As I get closer, the image of the man becomes clearer. In front of me is a traditional crucifix, and you dear brother, are nailed to it.
Your hands and feet are dripping with blood from your open wounds. Your face is tired and you look close to death. You are naked and have an ‘H’ carved deep into your chest.
You are barely able to lift your head as you address me, and I struggle to hear you whisper the word
The nightmare shakes me awake.
I have this dream every night around your birthday, Christmas or the anniversary of your actual crucifixion. I’m now sat bolt upright in bed, sweat pouring form my body. I hold my slouched head with my hand. All the while, in the background is the noise of my alarm clock, its beeping cutting into my headache like a knife. Forcing myself around, I drag myself like a Zombie into the shower. The newest scars on my body ache as I wash over them. It’s been said that I’m a little too old to be chasing down a Gargo Demon across eight streets and five floors of a multi-storey car park. I dry myself as I look around my almost bare apartment which, is in one of the more affluent parts of Newcastle. A place I could easily afford on my Reaper’s wage.
It’s not cluttered; it looks modern and clean, just how I like it.
As I walk into my kitchen to sit for breakfast, I mutter a command and the voice activated digital radio kicks into life. It auto tunes to one of the Angel approved stations that is allowed to transmit in the Allied Countries.
“As we’re into our fourth day of snowfall, we thank our lord that he has graced us with another great day. In local news, we have received reports of an unknown
Demon type in the Newcastle area…”
Sitting down I take in a mouthful of my cereal. Although I’ll need energy later today, I throw the spoon down and push the bowl away. I could tell straight away it was going to be a long day and ask God to help anyone that gets in my way. The radio catches my attention as the bland voice of the newsreader delivers a state released report:
“…again, we are shown that Satan’s evil is all around us and our faith needs to be with the angels sent to Earth by our lord Divinity in the hours of man’s need.”
I suddenly become aware that I am no longer alone. It’s the smell that gives them away. Not a bad smell, more like a meadow full of poppies. The same kind of smell as you would get if you lived in the time when you could visit the tomb of a dead saint from the old religions.
“Good morning Reaper Burnett.” The angel says.
I don’t turn to look at him. I don’t want to see the bastard today. Most Angels sound like they are talking down to you but Martell almost seems like he enjoys it.
“I hope you don't mind but I let myself in.” he says.
“I don’t start till eight so if you don’t mind, you can let yourself out Master.” Martell tries to remain polite as the insolence I emanate hits him.
“The unclassified flying demon you witnessed a few nights back? I read your report and I wish to ask you a few questions.”
“There’s nothing more to add, but feel free to read my report again.”
“Remember who you are talking too Reaper Burnett!” His tone switches ever so subtly but it’s enough for me to remember my place.
I lean over to switch off the radio by hand and take these few seconds to force my face into a more pleasant expression before turning to face Martell.
“Apologies master but I have nothing new to add to my statement.”
I wait a few seconds, as he looks me up and down. One of the early rumours about the Angels is that they can read human minds. As my mind fills with of every swear word in existence to describe this lanky string of piss, I hope to God this rumour is bull shit. I consider the ridiculous levels of stupidity I’m showing here. I’m letting my emotions control my thoughts. Yes I hate them; yes I hate this country, but most of all I hate myself. However, provoking an Angel is all daft, on every level of daftness.
“Thank you for your time,” He smiles. “I believe you’ll be late for work if you don’t leave soon.” Martell’s smile spreads across his light golden face. I take it as an act of kindness that I’m not having strips ripped off me right now. As I head for the nearest metro station, the Angel disappears into his Government Issue limo.
Though the ground is nicely gritted and clear of snow, I’m not loving the wind chill that is cutting right into me. Even though I’ve worked for the angels for ten years now as a Reaper Agent, I can’t stand being around them anymore. Not since your death at any rate. I stand on the Metro platform and watch a teacher try to control her class. There are maybe twelve to fifteen eight-year-olds, all hyperactive and chatting away to each other. It reminds me of when we were young; we were so close back then. I find a seat on the train and put my back to the school class. I can still hear their teacher talking away as the class finally settle down. She is telling them a little local history as we pass the local tourist attraction, a 120ft bronze statue of two angels, one looking north, and one looking south.
“Okay children, the giant bronze statues of the Northern Angels were erected in the 60’s in honour of the then newly opened chapel of peace and harmony…”
The teacher’s voice is drained out by my thoughts as I pull my coat aside and retrieve my wallet. I open it and look at the plastic window to see the picture of us together at Christmas a few years ago at our parent’s house. It’s the last picture taken of you and me. I wish I could take back what I did to you. The photo was mum’s but after your crucifixion she threw anything with your picture on it into the bins.
I didn’t even notice that the old woman had sat next to me. I jumped as her voice crackled into life.
“What a lovely looking lad?”
“Sorry, what was that?”
“The lad in the picture with you. Family is he?”
“Oh… he’s my brother. It’s his birthday today.”
The old lady gives me a warm smile and asks me to pass on a happy birthday to you. I don’t have the bottle to tell her you’re dead and then come up with a lie as to how you died. Luckily she is distracted by what we’re passing. Her voice jumps from its sweet sing song, to a hateful scorn.
“There are this week’s new sinners!”
We pass a crucifix board with three people tied to them for all to see. They each have an individual letter carved into their chest to mark their crime. Their bodies have been drained and then pumped with chemicals to keep them disease free and fresh looking as they hang there. There used to be a time when I would have smiled when I saw these modern crucifixions. Hell, I was responsible for capturing a few of them. The old woman pipes up again.
“Best thing for them if you ask me. The nations are better places for seeing those buggers nailed up.”
She was right in some sense, the paedophiles, murderers and rapist; all deserved this type of death. Showing the punishment so publicly, acts as a deterrent to the public, making them think twice, before committing any crime. However, over the years, crucifixion had been abused as a method of punishment, being used for less serious crimes. Yes, it had cut the crime rate right across the allied countries, but at what cost to our humanity.
Hands in my pocket and head looking down, I leave the underground station which is next to where I work. Luckily for me, and possibly for her, the vile old woman didn’t get off at my stop. I can hear the teacher and the children behind me as we all go up the escalator. In no time at all, I find myself on Northumberland Street walking past the shops. Unlike the countries that didn’t align themselves with the Government of Angels, there was no branding or crass advertising of items. The G.O.A stress to us that materialist needs and desires only serve to further open the hole we all have in our sole. Just like ‘the one dimensional man, floating around in his ‘throwaway society’ as described by the German philosopher, Marcuse. I’m with them, that mass reproduction has murdered the value and integrity of art and the higher pleasures, and drained imagination and appreciation, leaving in their place a whole generation suffering from a false sense of contentment, and an unhealthy bank balance, whilst being obliviously pissed on from a great height. No instead our shops just sell the items we need. There are clothes for all occasions, but not for the sake of fashion, only for the sake necessity. I’ve learned to hate many of the things I used to stand for since you your crucifixion for being homosexual two years ago. As I reach the Chapel, I see the work teams adding the new crucifixions outside for public viewing. I watch as they are hung for all to see, of course in this day and age the bodies are just husks really as the convicted are ‘ended’ and treat the day before at Conviction Courts. One of the slain is an attractive woman who has the same ‘H’ burnt into her chest that you had. I wonder if her girlfriend had been caught or if she had escaped somehow. I still remember the day you were crucified; they had put you to sleep the day before at your conviction hearing. I watched dad scream at the monitors as they injected you, traumatised as he and the rest of the family spewed their vehement abuse at you as the guilty verdict was heard. As they revelled in disgust, I slowly drowned in a cesspool of guilt. It had taken the murder of my brother for me to finally see the so called Utopia that we lived in, for what it really was. The thing that stopped me from taking my service revolver and blowing my own head off, was the sight of my mother, sat away from the others crying. She wasn’t ranting on like the others, how it was the will of God, or how it was the best thing for you to have you sins to be washed away with the ritual death and crucifixion, only silent sobs. Two days later mum and I went along to see your body hung up. We had gone, or so I had thought, to pay our last respects. Instead mum just looked up and spat at your body.
That was the last time I made any real effort to see any of our family.
I couldn’t let on that I was missing you or that I thought your death was wrong. After all, I am a Reaper, and those thoughts would have cost me my job and possibly my life.
As I walk into the Chapel, my wondering mind was directed back to the present by the sounds of the teachers’ voice, and the flapping of the large black flags that flanked the entrance. ( I look at the red double cross in the centre distort flag moves. Not sure what this should be?).
“We’ll be visiting the chapel itself today. It’s the central head quarters for the Basilica Angelic in the English province.”
I make my way over to the security desk to sign in. Standing next to one of the doors is an A.D.R.U trooper carrying a small sub-machine gun standing guard. At the other side of the door is a female tour guide who, with a wide cheesy grin, is greeting the school party. Trying to do anything to kill a bit of time before heading to the office, I stand and watch the guide go through the usual script.
“Hello children. My name is Stacey and here in the main reception is where we will begin our tour…”
I try not to smirk at the sight of this woman pointing at all the statues in here with her stupid smile slapped across her face.
I’ve heard this presentation a hundred times over the years I’ve worked here.
“As you will know, the Angels came here in 1917 during The Great War to deliver us from our sins. Before the second coming of Gods hand, the human race was angry and at constant war with one another. In a time when rape, murder, out of marriage sex, and a great range of other sinful activities were rife, the Angels brought order to the corruption of man in our greatest time of need.”
She waves her hands to the large oil canvases of the Angels that hang from the crystal and steel walls with such pride you would have thought she’d painted them. I am just about to walk away, when I see the smallest boy in the class pull at the guide’s skirt.
“Excuse me miss, but why did God destroy the Italy place and the other places and stuff?”
A smile creeps onto my face without me noticing it. I love it when the kids ask these people a difficult question. Regrettably, the guides have been trained so she regurgitates her answer without missing a beat.
“You mean Vatican city? Well young man it is because God told us that the religions of the world had become entangled with Satan, who was using them to complete his own evil work. So, it was decided that the areas that supported these religions should be purified.”
The kid pulls a face for a few seconds as if trying to take in the information.
“But my dad says it sounded more like they were getting rid of the opposition and that we’ve never really heard God’s voice...”
Go on bitch get out of that one. The scary thing some security arsehole would have heard him over the surveillance and will now be searching the database trying to find out who this kid’s dad is. The threat of what danger he may pose will then be assessed; if his soul is weak enough it could be taken over by a Demon. They search anyone for the smallest of reasons these days. They say it’s to make sure that they can maintain internal security within the Allied-Countries. Even I was tested after they found out about you. It didn’t seem to matter that I was the one that turned you in. I watch as the Guide ignores the boys follow up question, and goes back to giving her tour. Surely the child hasn’t spooked her with his question?
“Erm… they have brought us all together in the unified empire of Allied Countries that covers most of the globe.”
I then see what had made the guide restart her tour. She had clocked Braytell walk in the main doors. Braytell was the only other Angel that worked in this quadrant of the Province. Between him and Martell they were in charge of the whole of Englandand Scotland. The bastard had great hearing and Braytell is making a bee line for the Kid with his bodyguards in tow. The child was still asking questions and quoting his father, stupid sod is not going to see this coming. At least the guide tried to change the subject and get the kid off the rant he is on. Poor lad is too young to realise that there are some questions you don’t ask in public. I watch him jump as Braytell’s voice bellows behind him.
“Perhaps your father needs to ‘re-learn’ his Faith?”
The kid is scared at first but soon relaxes into the amazement of meeting a real Angel face to face. Braytell continues with a sinister but friendly smile.
“Over the 88 years we have served God on his planet we have helped you humans on the path of conviction and understanding. We have advanced the planets technology to better your lives. We have wiped out war and poverty in the allied countries. We have wiped out 90% of disease. If you were left to your own devices you would have annihilated your race under the influence of Satan long ago.”
I see the Angel flick his eyes toward the CCTV camera and then back to the child. I know what will come next. In about an hour or so the kid’s dad will be picked up from work and taken for ‘Evaluation’. Knowing my luck, it will be me they’ll send for.
I make my way down to the back of the hall, past the security gate. The changing rooms and armoury are located in the basement floors of this sixty story building.
Within no time, I am out of my civilian clothes and into my uniform. I’m met by my partner and his overly eager demeanour. He wastes no time in throwing the questions at me.
“Hey heard you saw a new demon type the other night?”
My partner Reaper David Harman has only been with me for three months, but he seems a decent enough chap. I knew he’d ask about the demon I saw. It’s been about ten years since we saw a new type in these parts.
“Yeah, I even had Martell pay a visit to my home this morning.”
“Wow really? Well it is serious stuff” he replies.
I jam my gun into its shoulder holster and grab my long coat. David’s already prepped and we’re about to leave when Reaper Marcs pops his head in to tell me something.
“Hi Joseph, I’ve been asked to tell you Commander Brown needs to see you right away. Apparently you’re on his shit list again.”
That was hardly a surprise. My monthly appraisal scores have been steadily dropping over the last two years and Brown has taken a disliking to me because of it. Fuck him, I still do my job and if he wants to make it personal, then to hell with him. I used to respect the man but I really couldn’t care less today. I shoot David a look I hope he takes it as a hint to get today’s work reports as I leave the room.
I’m stood in the motor pool office signing for the keys of a patrol car, when David appears. Good, the guy did click and collect the reports, saving me from having to pass by Browns’ office. We both walk into the underground car park and up to the works saloon vehicle. I take the drivers seat while David sits next to me. As I turn the key, the gentle, quiet hum of the electric engine kicks in. We move out through the security gates and are surprised to find a snowfall in full swing coming down on us. David starts….
“God’s grace that came down quick didn’t it? Mind you I noticed the clouds were full this morning.”
I really can’t be bothered to make small talk with him, but I don’t want to be rude.
“Yeah traffic will be tough today”.
My job is to chase down demons and protect the innocent form evil, yet I thought I had the right to turn in my own brother for something he was; it wasn’t a choice thing, just one of the many facets of his personality, therefore shouldn’t have been judged in the first place. I hope you forgive me, I’ve opened my eyes to a lot of things and I beg for your forgiveness. The hardest thing is that I have to come to terms with the fact that I may never see you in the next life to apologise. I try to take my mind off it and concentrate on just getting through the days, but it can be hard sometimes.
“So, where first?” I ask David as he flicks through the file.
David brings up the info as I switch lanes to get on the first road out of Newcastle’s city centre. He pipes up after a few seconds.
“Seems we’re slumming it in Sunderland Road”
“Sunderland Road did you just say?”
David laughs at his own joke “Yep the arsehole of Gateshead.”
He hits the postcode into the satnav and my worst fears are confirmed as I see it’s the block of flats. The words come out of my mouth before I can stop them, but luckily David isn’t paying much attention.
“It’s Tulip Towers. I know someone who lives there.”
As we come over the Tyne Bridge into the neighbouring town of Gateshead, I think back to the months following your arrest when I tracked down your boyfriend. It was too late to help you, I’d already made that mistake, but if I could hide him then maybe if you were looking down on me it would go some way to gaining your forgiveness. It was my idea that he move to Sunderland Road in case they came looking for him. Of course, there was no official description of him as I had omitted that detail from my report. That part of Gateshead had become a place the police rarely visited. They didn’t give a shit for the underclass. Well, that is until they need a scapegoat when a demon can’t be found of course. We pull the car into the main car park and leave the snow behind us as we enter the main reception area.
“So we have a suspected Vampire, from an anonymous tip. Not a bad way to start the day, they’ve given us a file complete with suspect, flat number, and everything.”
“I can’t be arsed with a vamp. I’m not up to it today to say the least.” I reply.
David leans in to press for the lift. I get the faint whiff of blood as the doors open. I say nothing, waiting to see if David picks up on it.
“I didn’t want to mention it buddy, but you do look like crap.” He says instead.
“Nice of you to say” I respond with disappointment, still watching his expression to see if he clicks onto the smell.
“I take it you were on the drink last night? Well you should know by now you won’t get any sympathy.”
I roll my eyes at him and give the rookie a smile as I hit the emergency stop button on the control pad. We’d be here all day waiting for him to work it out for himself.
“Here make yourself useful.”
I indicate for him to give me a boost up to the hatch in the ceiling of the lift.
“What the hell are you doing?” he asks me.
I slip back the hatch and the smell of stale blood grows stronger. Someone has been hid up here, but whoever it was is gone now. Vampires don’t hide their Victims, so why the hell store a body up here? I jump back down and fill David in on the situation. We start the lift again and in no time we’re on the eighth floor. The file had said the suspected flat was number eighty-six. David bangs on the door as I un-holster my weapon. The Whitfield 45 is the standard sidearm for most of the Angelica Basilica, be it the Anti Demon Response Units or for the Reapers like us two.
As gun crime is almost none existent in the Allied Countries, there is not much point in a police force being armed. The Reapers through, are the elite investigators for the religious based government. Angelica Basilica. We get special versions of the gun. First up, ours are coated with gold plating. This is mainly for show but the other differences are that we don’t have the standard auto fire function or laser
Sights, like the rest. A Reaper is taught to be a crack shot and it’s a sign of our exceptional training that we do it on a large calibre weapon with none of the wimpy
extras. Still no answer from the flat, so David bangs again and it instantly met with gunfire smashing through the door. We leap to either side and ready our weapons.
“Friendly folk around here.” David jokes.
“It’s only thin wood on these doors so get your bloody foot into it.” I order.
David kicks open the lock and the door swings open. The flats in this block are a basic affair with only two rooms. The first room is large and holds the sleeping, living and kitchen area. The second room is the bathroom. Two things hit me as I hard enter the flat. First of all is the smell, something is rotten in here. The second is the sight of the man holding a half undressed school girl by the neck, a gun to her head. It’s obvious he’s not a vampire, the stupid fuck is trying to hold up the girl as a shield but she passes out. The extra dead weight means he drops her slightly and to regain his footing he leaves a gap open for me to take the shot. I don’t hesitate in firing two rounds into his forehead. If this was a police matter, I’m sure they would have tried to talk him around. However, I’m no police officer, and it’s obvious he’s a dirty, raping, murdering bastard, so I drop him. David gets past me to check on the unconscious girl as I check the bathroom to make sure the location is secure. I find the cause of the smell. In the bathtub is a young girl maybe only ten year old. I see her throat is slashed open and she’s been dead for maybe a day or so.
“Waste of our time.” I whisper to myself.
This should have been a police matter not a Reaper investigation. My old friend guilt instantly rears his head as I acknowledge the fact that we managed to save at least one girl. It’s just that we investigate demons not run of the mill human scum. David is already calling in for a medic and police back up.
Ten minutes later, I’m sat in the passenger seat of our patrol car waiting for the investigating officer to take my statement. The car park is full with scene of crime vans and police vehicles. David is off having a chat with some medics about the condition of the girl. I see him turn to walk over to me.
“So what’s the situation?” I ask, in the hope the answer will be that we can leave.
“The medics reckon the girl was brutally raped but overall she’ll live. Seems we got there in time… sort of”
I stand and straighten my coat. “And what has the scene officer said about the girl in the tub?”
“The nasty little fuck killed her, raped her after she died they think. It seems he’s been on the run for a year now, he was suspected of sexual crimes in the past”.
I feel my stomach turn at the thought of how many little girls he’s done this to over the years. It’s rare getting a sexual deviant like this these days but hell it does happen. He’s obviously hid one of the bodies in the lift roof in the past hence the blood up there. The flat it seems is in the ownership of a Mr Clarence Jones who is on holiday for two weeks in France. Clearly this killer found out, smuggled the dead girl in and then had his way with her. Where he got the fresh kid from, I had no idea. The police would have to sort that one out.
“Listen, I’m just going to pop up and see my buddy who lives here okay?”
I felt shitty leaving David alone to make his report to the scene officer but had an idea who had called in the wrong tip about the vampire. The snow finally stops for a spell as I make my way over to the flats again.
January 10th – 12.47pm
I exit the lift on the seventh floor and see the police doing door-to-door enquiries. I hope that I’ll still be in time to beat the local cops to his door. As I approach I see a police officer about to knock.
“Officer, I’ll take this one” I say in my most commanding voice.
“Erm that’s fine…” he checks my ID like a good little cop. “…Reaper Burnett.”
I watch him walk off before I knock on the door and a nervous voice comes back at me.
“Yes? h h hello?”
“Hey Carl, it’s just me Joseph. Hurry up and let me in will you.”
Carl opens the door and lets me in. The first time I met Carl was when I found you two in bed together. You hadn’t known I was popping over to visit, I remember the sheer fear in your faces. It sickens me that instead of brotherly love kicking in, my reaction was to report you. We would be crucified if they ever found out I had Carl stashed here. His flat is the same as the one on the floor above us. His is much cleaner though with a kitchen table wedged into what little space these flats provide. Carl points to the kettle and asks if I want a cup of tea. I decline saying I can’t stay too long. His stutter is not getting any better. He told me it was the stress of you dying that gives him this vocal tick of sorts. Being a heretic to the state, Carl could cost me my own life but after I sent you to your death it turned out I could not do it to your lover. It seems my soul couldn't take any more guilt, so after I tracked him down I swore I’d protect him for your sake. When he first saw me after I traced him to his old house after finding some old printed emails hidden under your bedroom floorboards, he went a light shade of grey right there and then thinking I was there to arrest him. His voice jolts me back into the present.
“What d d do I owe this pleasure?”
“I take it you were the one who called in the tip on the vampires?”
“I c c came across some blood in the hallway and so I h h had a sneak in the flat using a wireless c c cameras snake I had created. It w w went from over that vent shaft up into the f f flat.”
I pick up what looks like thin metal snake maybe about the thickness of a pencil.
“You made this? You would have gone far in our tech department.”
A stupid thing to say really, considering the situation plus I could see Carl getting very agitated.
“No way! I wouldn’t w w work for those beasts.”
Carl had a habit of going into a rant over the Angels and Government. Some would call him a conspiracy nut and a paranoid freak. The truth, I find Carl to be very intelligent and I’ve not met anyone with a better built in bullshit detector. His technological skills are outstanding.
“They call us heretics but they are the h h heretics man, they are the ones who tarnish this race.” He continues.
I wave away his rant before it starts to get him too worked up.
“Oh don’t start this again Carl.”
“H H Hey man, these bastards rule over us and they control everything we learn and see. Do you k k know they have true freedom in the None-Allied Countries!”
Carl is sitting playing with his hair in his agitated state, still ranting on. I sit at the table and smile to let him know that I’m not listening and taking the piss. It dawns on him he’s in rant mode.
“Arsehole” he says to me. I can’t help but laugh.
Carl’s a little like you in a few ways, my brother. It’s his sense of humour and his passion for technology mostly. You two would have made a good couple I imagine, if it had ever been allowed.
“S s s so it’s his Birthday…”
I cut in before Carl can finish. I can feel myself well up and last thing I want to do is cry in front of Carl again so I change the subject.
“It wasn’t a vampire you had seen for what its worth. Nevertheless, he was scum and now he’s dead so at least that’s something. Look just keep your little toys to yourself Carl. You’ll only draw unwanted attention.”
Carl drops his head like a child being told off, I consider saying sorry and telling him I didn’t mean to sound like a dick but instead I just smile, pat him on the back and leave.
As I get back to the car park, I see David sat in the passenger seat. I climb behind the wheel as David opens his PDA and uploads his statement to command. Then without looking at me, he chirps up.
“We’re all signed off on this one. Where to next?”
My stomach lets me know what my priority is.
“Head back into town, for something to eat?”
I start the engine and the two-way radio kicks into life.
“Car eight, come in car eight,” wails the speaker. David hits the response button. “Reaper Harman here.”
“Reaper Harman, you and Reaper Burnett are to investigate a possible werewolf sighting in the South Shields shipyard. Please confirm.”
David glances in my direction and catches my ‘Can’t believe it’ look on my face.
“Affirmative. Harman out.” With a smile he says to me, “Looks like your tuna sandwich will have to wait”.
I can’t think of a sarcastic reply so I just say nothing.
The snow has started up again, but heavy now as I drive the eight miles east to the coast. As we reach our destination, a security guard comes out of his hut to greet us.
“In the Angels name I’m glad you guys are here.” He starts “We think there’s a werewolf in there. It may have come off one of the ships.”
“That’ll be for us to decide. Do you have any other men working the area?”
David has his professional tone on. He likes to use it to keep the civilians in tow.
“Yes sir we’ve another guy with a dog next to Warehouse 18 at the far side. It’s an unused part of the docks these days. I’ve requested my office transfer all CCTV footage to your vehicle. We’ve had a look but the thing seems to keep to the shadows mostly.”
I pull the car through the gates and watch as the guard lets us in. This industrial yard is located next to the river Tyne and handles most of the shipping from Norway, Province and the likes. I hit the main beams on the car to give a little extra light as the dark black clouds hug each other and the snow storm picks up pace. David
pipes up, “You ever fought a Werewolf before?”
“Yep once. They‘re a pain in the backside to kill. Just remember your training and go for the head shot”. I reply without looking at him.
I pull the car to a halt next to some old shipping containers. We can see the crimson blood lying on top of the fresh white snow. David and I exit the car, guns drawn and make our way cautiously around the corner. The black snow clouds block all available light and the snowfall is thicker than we would like. The blood trail leads us to the busted entrance of a warehouse. A quick sweep from the doorway, show the missing security guard dead in the middle of the building floor. From here, you can see his stomach has been ripped open. I have to stop David from going in. The guard’s dead, nothing he can do for him now. His youth is letting him down here, he doesn’t see that this is a bait and trap manoeuvre from the Werewolf. These things are rare in this part of Europe, but all intelligence shows that they have a hunter’s instinct. The trail of blood leads us to the body and when we help, the thing attacks.
“Come on back to the car” I order “we’ll need more firepower.”
Back at the car I hold my thumb up against the biometric lock on the boot. It flips open to reveal everything a growing boy needs when killing agents of Satan. I pass Dave the body armour to put on as I prep his twelve gauge shotgun with carbon shatter shells. These things are designed to take down the bigger demons by hitting the body and breaking into a hundred sharp splinters that rip the body apart. I’ve never used one on a Werewolf so this should be fun. I fasten my open body armour and pick up my personal favourite. The Whitfield K15-T fully automatic small assault rifle, Full carbon plastic casing, bull pup design and filled to the hilt with ‘Rosy Rounds’. These 9mm rounds were designed to enter the body and burn the
target from the inside. They heat up and glow a nice rose colour as they fly hence the name.
“Okay boss so what’s the plan? We burst in guns ablaze or sit and wait until it needs to come out for a shit on the grass?”
I give a little chuckle, something I wasn’t expecting today of all days.
“A little of both actually, call in the A.D.R.U backup and then follow me.”
David returns from the car and approaches as I keep my weapon fixed on the broken
“What’s the E.T.A?” I ask.
“Ten minutes. There’s still no download from the CCTV either so no real confirmation with what we’re dealing with. Hopefully not another misidentification like this morning”
“Well there is one way to find out. Come on lets go” I tell him as we enter the warehouse.
With torches and laser sights turned on, we approach the body. I listen for any tell tale signs that the beast is about to pounce. We stand back to back scanning the area. There’s nothing but container boxes.
“You see anything Joseph?”
I mutter that I don’t. I consider backing out and waiting for the A.D.R.U to back us up when David gets my attention.
“What the hell is this?”
He whispers to himself. I turn to see David looking at his shoulder as blood still drips on him from above. We both turn our guns skyward and the torch attachments allow us to see where the blood is coming from. You ever get the feeling that it was best not to know? Yeah, me to. In the rafters the beast is crouched, looking down on us. It is all mussel and hair and with a head more like a gorilla than a wolf.
“Open Fire!” I scream. My SMG opens up and the red tracers fly towards the demon, but are evaded as the werewolf swings away and quickly drops to the floor on other side of the warehouse, hiding behind some boxes that are stacked high. David takes point with his shotgun as we move in together towards its last known location. With David in front I allow a glimmer of fear to cross my face. Nothing to be ashamed of, I mean fear is the best inherent tool we have to keep us sharp. The adrenalin is going full speed in my system now. Any minute now we’re going to be face to face with a pissed off demon whose sole intention is to fuck up our day. I look to my left to see that the wolf is out of the shadows and in full sprint towards us. The damn thing had flanked us, bloody stupid Joseph; get your head in the game. I can’t turn my muzzle quickly enough, David it’s too late as the bastard sweeps its stinking claws low, taking a chunk out of my partner’s thigh. David screams in pain as his legs are taken away from under him. I get off a few rounds as the thing sprints for some cover and once again we lose it in the shadows.
“Son of a bitch!” he screams “This is it man, Holy Father”.
I grab the back of his armoured vest and start to pull him towards the exit. I steady the gun with my free hand and scan the area.
“It’s going to be okay David. Just keep calm and shout if you see it okay”.
I try to keep him calm despite how bad things look. He’s losing blood and I’ve no way to tend to his wounds without dropping my guard. I need to get him outside and slam the door on it. We’re almost out when I hear the beasts roar and see it take its final run at us. I let go of David and drop to me knees, I raise the sub-machine gun and take aim, and everything feels slow motion. I let hell fire with what remains in the clip. I get four close groupings in its chest but the thing is so pumped up, it keeps on coming at me. My partner brings up his shotgun and starts to let lose. Weak with a piss poor aim, he manages only one hit, square in the demon’s leg. It trips and rolls uncontrollably, right over us. I feel its weight on me as it passes; I even smell its stinking wet hair. It rolls off us and stops in the doorway and getting to its feet fast. I don’t know what to do. It’s blocking the only way out, I guess this is it. I don’t mind dying; don’t even think I deserve to live at this point in my life. However, David doesn’t deserve to die. Without realising, I’ve pulled out my pistol, cocked it and switched to multi-fire.
“Come on you bastard!” I scream.
The werewolf arches its back, letting out an almighty roar just as I get the privilege of watching its head explode. Behind the fallen beast, I see the back up A.D.R.U troopers we had called in earlier approaching. Timing boys? Talk about the skin of my teeth. I don’t know whether to cry, or just wet myself with relief. The guys enter the building and make sure its dead.
“Next time Joseph we’ll wait for back up okay?” David mutters.
I look down and smile
“Well where’s the fun it that”.
January 10th – 08.18pm
I let out a deep breath and watch the cold air leave my mouth like steam. Word has come back from the Hospital that David is stabilized and fine. They’ll keep an eye on him over night but he’ll be back at work as soon as possible. Commander Brown comes over with a cup of coffee from the security guards vending machine. We never got on, I think he’s a pompous git and he thinks I’m a moody know it all who thinks I’m too good for the job.
“Reaper Burnett take a drink of this”. He says
“Thank you, Commander” I reply.
It must be killing Brown to have to be this nice to me. I guess in fairness he might actually feel sorry for me.
“Look, the scene is almost signed off for now. Just take the car and go home, it’s getting dark and you’ve had enough for today”.
I don’t argue and just nod my head and head towards the car. I think about how David could have died today because I got stupid and entered the building without backup. I almost lost another innocent soul because of my misguided selfish actions. By the time I pull the car out of the docks I’m furious with myself and on queue the heavens open once again and it starts to snow. I head towards the duel carriageway
but even from up the road I can see it’s bumper to bumper. As soon as the weather hits be it snow, rain or fog this whole country loses its mind and everything comes to a stop. No way am I sitting in that traffic so I’m going to take the country B-roads.
Yes it’ll take me a little longer but at least they’ll be quiet.
As I drive I see where people have attempted to drive along the road and have just left their vehicles where the snow has become to heavy. Luckily I’m in the works car. This little beauty is set up for all types of terrain and conditions and makes it easy. In no time at all the dark road in front of me is just undisturbed snow, clearly I’m the only one who has made it this far. I switch on the radio and sit back to relax into the
driving. I decide that when I get home I’ll have a shower and then visit David in hospital. I finally relax when all hell breaks loose and the crash of smashed aluminium almost makes me jump out of my skin. I feel a pain and I notice that something has punched a hole in the roof of the car and the metal has hit my
left shoulder. The car skids around the road as I fight for control. Is that something on the roof? What the hell is going on? In no time at all I regret ever asking
as a demons fist slams through the roof and just misses my face.
“Crap!” I scream in surprise.
I fight for control of the car as I grasp for my pistol. I can’t see the demon fully or make out which type it was. It’s now that I notice the other car half buried in the snow.
“It’s not my day, not my fucking day at all!” i say to myself as i grasp my teeth together and tense my whole body.
I must have hit it about forty miles an hour. The car takes to the air and I brace myself as the my car twists and come down on its roof. The impact isn’t as hard as I thought it would be due to the snow.
Upside down I clamber out of the car best I can. The snow is coming down quick and hard and visibility is next to none. I can’t see the swine responsible for removing most of my car’s roof but I get the feeling I will soon.
“Ready to die human”?
I hear the gravely voice come from behind me. I spin to see the hairy black demon stood on my upturned car looking down. It spreads its giant bat like wings as if
wanting to intimidate me even further.
“Ready to die? Bit of a cheesy line isn’t it”? I quip.
What the hell, I might as well antagonize it. I reach for my pistol and find the holster empty. It must have fallen out in the car crash.
I’ll not lie to you, I’m really starting to hate today.
Okay brother if you are up in heaven and not hating me then I’m really going to need you to pull some strings and help me out right now. The demon shifts its weight and I can tell it’s about to pounce. I turn and take off for the small wooded area by the road. If I can lose it in there then maybe I can survive this mess. The snow is deep and I’ve seen old people move quicker but for the grace of God I make it to the tree line. I can’t see the car through the snowfall. Perhaps this plan will work? Then that’s when I hear it, the winged bastard is circling the trees above me, I actually hear it laugh. It’s playing with me.
“I should have been a bloody postman”. I mutter to myself.
I know, this is no time for jokes but it’s the only thing I can think of doing right now. I make my way deeper in to trees but I make sure I keep my baring on the car. I can hear the branches brake above me, its clear he wants me to know where he is. He’s playing with me and instead of scaring me as he is clearly intending I’m just getting more and more pissed off. I decide to abandon this plan and make a run back to the car but before I leave the tree line I feel his weight crash on my back. I hit the ground hard and struggle for breath as he pushes my face into the snow. Just before I pass out it jerks me upwards and throws me against a tree. The pain almost puts me into shock as I end up on the floor. It staggers over all ready for the kill. Twenty demons I’ve killed in my time. A dozen different breeds and if this bastard thinks its going to get me then it can go swivel. I pray it doesn’t see me go for the blade I keep in an ankle holster. I didn’t recognize it at first but its shape, its shape is similar to an Angel. Could this be a Demon possessed Angel? That’s impossible, they said it can;t be done.
It grabs me with one hand and pulls it up to its face.
“You’ll be my first kill Reaper Burnett but not my last!” it barks at me.
I shine it off a little with a shit-eater grin then I plunge the six inch blade into its neck. It screams in pain as it throws me to the ground in the direction of the car. I waste no time and run best I can towards the upturned vehicle. I punch my thumb against the electronic keypad and the boot falls open. Before I have time to grab a weapon my head is bashed against the car and after blacking out for a few seconds I find myself about twelve feet from the vehicle lying in the road. I’m on my back looking
towards the car, between me and it is the Demon. The knife still sticking in its neck. I’d swear blind its smiling at me.
Fine kill me.
I’ve got no fight in me anymore, maybe I deserve this.
Maybe I should be dead.
I watch as it makes its way over to me and as it gets to be about six foot away it drops to its knees in pain. It grabs its gut and squeals as it looks me dead in the eye and then shoots off into the sky and disappears.
“What the hell is going on?” I ask myself.
The adrenaline drains from me as quick as it first came and I feel the cold on me. I drag myself to the car and climb inside. I’m lucky the radio works as I hit the emergency alarm. I hope help comes before I freeze to death because I’ll tell you now that I was lying about being prepared. I do not want to die.
Nevertheless, if it had killed me, would I have been able to meet you on the other side brother?
January 10th – 9.24pm
It’s the paramedic’s voice I hear first as I come around. I find myself in the back of an ambulance still on the scene, the warmth now pulsating through my sore limbs. I almost jump as Commander Brown’s voice comes from my left. I didn’t even see him there.
“You’re lucky your S.O.S transmitter went off in the car and we were still in a relative near area”.
“Yeah three demon attacks in one shift. I’m a regular Jo Luck aren’t I”?
I don’t mean to be sarcastic I mean the bloke even looks concerned about me; I shoot him a look to let him know I meant no harm. Brown turns to the medic
and asks to give us a second alone.
“Commander it was the unclassified Demon I reported a few nights ago from the car park roof. It knew my damn name”.
I take a few minutes to give him a blow by blow of what happened and he just sits there nodding. His expression changes dramatically as I give him my Angel/Demon theory, I think the man’s head may in fact explode.
“An Angel? I suggest you re-think your ideas Reaper Burnett. That’s a heretic thing to say and I could have you arrested”
“No! Reaper Burnett you stop this right now and I’ll put it down to shock okay”? he grunts back to me.
He can hide it all he wants but i can hear the fear in his tone. I could throttle the idiot, over twenty years of experience and he sticks his head up his arse.
He stands and straightens his jacket.
“I need to see the scene commander. I suggest you don’t move. Do I make myself clear”?
The idiot walks out the back of the Ambulance. I am so angry I feel like I can punch through a brick wall. I need to know how it knew who I was and get to the bottom of this. Something stinks about the whole thing, especially when I think back to the fact; Martell made a personal appearance all because of some tiny paragraph in a bigger report. The Angels must know about the whole thing. The news that one of them has been taken over by a Demon could upset the whole balance of power. Still it doesn’t explain how it knew my name or why it wanted to attack me. I pick myself up and sneak out of the Ambulance. My car’s a wreck so I decide to ‘borrow’ an unattended police car. If I want answers on this and the only way I can think of doing that is using the secure database back at the office. Once I drive off I’ve pretty much put myself up for a disciplinary and I’ll probably lose my commission. Fuck it; I smell a rabbit off somewhere and if I’m going to be attacked I want to know what I’m up against.
January 10th – 10.34pm
I’ve already ripped out the tracker from the police car and parked the thing down a back alley just off Sunderland Road. I’ve come back to Carl’s as I guess it’s the one place they would never look for me; I mean they don’t even know about Carl.
In no time my hand is knocking on Carl’s door and as soon as he opens the door I brush past him, the quicker I’m in, the less chance anyone may see me.
“H H Hey man you’re one p p popular bloke. They have the police looking for you”.
“Sorry, what? How did you know”?
“I’ve been checking the police radio bands. T T They’re easier to hack than the Reaper bandwidths”.
“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. Actually come to think of it they won’t listen to me any way as they’ll be too busy as they sling me in the back of a prisoner transport”.
I joke because if I can’t find some humour in this situation I’ll most probably just break down and scream.
Carl asks me how he can help and if I want a drink or something to eat. It dawns on me I’ve not eaten since breakfast and right now I could eat a scabby horse between two loaves of bread. I nod to the food offer and sit down at his small table. As Carl rummages to make a sandwich, I finger through the electronics he has laid out on the table top.
“What are you building now”? I ask as he pops his head up to see what I’m playing with.
“N N Nothing much, just a device to intercept text messages”.
“Lord knows Carl if they catch you with this stuff you’ll end up doing some serious time”.
“Well it’s still a better alternative than admitting I’m homosexual and having my body branded and put up for all to b b bloody see”.
I brace myself for another rant but it never comes. Instead he sticks the plate down in front of me and gives me a worried look.
“What t t the hell happened”?
I start to fill him in on the whole Angel/Demon story and unlike my Commander, Carl eats up every little detail. I tell him I have no idea how it knew my name or why it wanted me dead. I finish and he sits there looking at me.
“You’re k k kidding right”? he finally says.
“I know it’s hard to believe but”
“No I believe you, that’s not the problem it’s the fact we’re a a all told that humanity h h has a weak soul and can be used as a gateway for Demons to take
hold of us in this existence. But these A A Angel’s are meant to be above all that. The idea they can now become Demons will change everything in the empire”.
I finish the bite of the sandwich and wipe my mouth.
“The more I think about it the more certain I am. The anatomy was too similar be a coincidence. Plus it came after me on purpose”.
“Maybe its Martell or that other one” Carl asks.
“The truth is we know nothing” I reply “I’ll need David’s pass to get into the Chapel. They’ll be looking for my login so I’ll need his. Hopefully that’s where I’ll find my answers”. I explain this to Carl and I guess it’ll still be safe to use the Police car since the tracker is ripped out.
“There is n n no need to risk seeing your partner for his ID card. You can use this instead. Carl says as he starts to rummage through a dressing table draw.
He walks over holding a small metal box attached to what looks like a silver payment card with a bundle of thin wires coming from it.
“H H Here. It’s a device for breaking electronic locks. This should get you in anywhere”.
I thank Carl for being a good friend and to keep his head down and don’t try and contact me as it could prove dangerous for him. He opens the door and gives me a smile as I leave. He has a look on his face as if he is worried he will not see me again. We’ve become close friends over the many months and I hope he doesn’t think it’s anymore than that. I don’t mean to sound like an arsehole for thinking that but mixing with he type is still all new to me.
I keep my head down as enter the parking area and walk back in the direction of the car. Something stinks about this whole deal and I just cannot shake it. I keep going back to Martell making a home visit then that demon knowing me by name. Is it possible that Martell is the Demon and is switching back and forth? Alternatively, the demon could be one of Martell’s mates and he’s covering for him. I think I’ll check the roster on Angel movements and see if any of them have dropped off the grid. It may give
me the lead I need. Christ even thinking about this is enough for them to nail me to the nearest cross without trial.
Suddenly I’m hit with terrifying pain.
legs have given away from me.
Am I having a fit?
I can’t stop shaking. Christ this hurts like hell. Before I pass out I can see three men in shadows and one of them has a Tazer Stick.
Then it’s all black as I pass out.
January 11th – 12.37am
I feel the cold of a tabletop on my back. I’m starting to come around as my muscles start to flutter with residual electric charge. My eyes are still closed but I hear people moving around and the beeping of machines. I hear a familiar voice calling out to wake me as a sharp needle jabs in my arm. Within a second I’m wide awake and aware of the room I’m in. I’m strapped to a steel table but able to move my head.
Then I see the owner of the voice. Martell looks back at me with a sly grin on his face.
“What the hell’s going on Martell”?
“You’ve been out for a few hours ‘former’ Reaper Burnett”.
I’m aware of a scientist taking a small scraping of my skin and putting it in to a test tube with liquid which turns a dark blue. The guy looks weird. Like he’s awake but not really aware of being awake.
“What’s going on? Why am I strapped to a fucking table”?
“You see this is why we picked you Joseph. You’ve grown into such a disappointment to the Angelica Basilica. At least we could put your excellent experience as a Reaper to use one final time”.
Martell’s calmness of tone panics me no end but I try and keep myself looking unconcerned. Shit what if they found out about Carl? What if he is in another room like this one? I look about best I can and on the wall behind my head is a long row of clear water tanks with Humans naked and suspended in some type of liquid. Some look like they are part transformed into various demons and some are fully mutated. All have breathing apparatus and goggles and headphones on as if keeping them alive.
What the hell is going on here?
It looks like they’re at least eight different types of known Demon.
Where is this place?
Martell has walked into view and is looking up proud at the mutated humans.
“They are human beings that are being transformed into wonderful demons Joseph; these are some of our latest batches to be exact”.
I don’t understand what he means. Does he mean we’re breeding these things?
“My people are masters of manipulation of your race on many levels Joseph. Take for example the scientists that work in the secret bunker labs under your very own chapel. Brainwashed to ensure that they follow our every beckon call no matter what. We even genetically engineer humans to become demons so they are used to keep up the biblical pretence up over your stupid race. You humans are so easy to control when using fear”.
I can’t believe what I’m hearing, I can’t believe he’s stupid enough to even tell me. Granted it’s probably a bad sign, he’s planning on killing me or worse turning me into one of the Demons.
“You and the rest of the Angels create an enemy who scares the masses because then the people are easier to control for your own selfish needs. Isn’t that right”?
“You’re not as dumb as you look Joseph. After all a scared civilization is a controllable civilization”.
“Shit, you’ve not been sent by God at all”.
“God has not been running this show for a long time now. We’ve a new master to follow”.
It hits me that all of those people over the years that have died in the name of God have been for nothing. These bastards have been spinning tales that they have been sent for our own good. The good news is that I don’t feel scared anymore, no now I’m just really, really pissed off.
“I’m going to give you something your brother never got, a new life Joseph. What do you fancy being? A Vampire maybe”?
I tell him to go and screw himself. Funny I’ve never seen an Angel go red with anger so much; I can’t but help but laugh. What do I have to lose if I’m about to die, may as well shine the bitch off a little. Martell calms himself and walks closer to the table. I wish nothing more than to be able to reach up and snap his neck. He gives me a smug smile
“Tut, tut Mr. Burnett. Look at me giving away our entire Demon secret”.
“Not all of them Martell. What was that winged Demon and why was it targeting me”?
“Top Secret I’m afraid but once perfected it will lead the way into a new era of angel/human co-operation across the globe and not just in our currently aligned countries. In addition, as for your question why you” Martell turns to walk away as the two scientists move in towards me. “Why not”?
I turn to look as the first scientist injects me with something yellow in his syringe. It burns as it enters my body and I let out a scream. Martell who I can’t see anymore shouts out
“Begin the procedure and make sure he knows step by step what his fate is to be. After all a man of his detective talents has a wish to know all the facts”. His laugh at the end is drowned out as he enters the lift.
“I’ve just injected you with over two million Vampire genes but do not worry they are not yet activated”. Said the closest scientist.
The scientist is clearly aware of his actions and environment but he seems dead behind the eyes. Clearly a side effect of the brain washing. I wonder if he snaps back to normal at the end of his shift goes home and tells his wife what a boring day he’s had, unaware of the atrocities he commits on a daily basis.
Above me a robotic arm is swinging into place.
A second scientist is behind a bank of computers checking my life signs.
The robotic arm grabs me by the neck and the locks on my legs and
arms open. It lifts me off the table into the air and drags me to one side with my feet dangling free. It’s strangling my neck but not to the point where it’s cutting off my air but it hurts like hell. I can see the first lab freak has now picked up somesort of large handheld cannon device.
“This is a Teslor Cannon. It’s able to re-create the power of a typical lighting bolt. We will use it to burn your body. You will die but it’ll active the vampire genes that will take a hold of your D.N.A and regenerate you in the desired Demon form and after various treatments of brain washing you’ll be hiding in the shadows and feeding on the public soon enough”.
Brilliant just what I wanted to know.
“Piss off” I manage to say while hanging by my neck but it has no affect as the bastard goes on with his duties.
Come on how do I get out of this brother?
I’ll take any ideas.
And just like that one pops in my head.
I’ll freak out later about that coincidence after I save my own arse from this.
I reach down and take off my belt. The idiots don’t notice what I’m doing as they re-check their equipment. I jam the belt buckle in to a hydraulic cable and the arm releases me. I drop to the ground to hear a worrying speaker system kick out he words ‘Cannon Charged’. I turn to see the scientist looking quizzically at me and then the hydraulic fluid dripping from the limp robotic arm.
“You should never leave a prisoner with a tool”. I smart-mouth as I lunge for him, knocking the cannon to the ground I bring my fist up hard in his jaw and knock him clean out. I see the second scientist at the far end of the room make a run for the alarm. I can’t make it to stop him in time so I pick up the Telsor and let fire with the cannon. A blue stream of charged electric plasma flies form the weapon and hits the poor bastard. I don’t want to kill him I mean Christ the poor sod is brainwashed but he left me with no choice. The machine fries his body in a second. I reach for the guys I.D who is by my feet as I’ll need this to get out. The whole sub basement on the Chapel is covered in CCTV and electronic locks. This will not be easy to get
out of. I take a minute to punch up the schematics of the building to see if I can find a safe route when I hit the jack pot and find a blue print for an express lift straight to Martell’s very own office. This was never on the standard plans but the scientists log in allows me to see much more than my standard Reaper’s login.
I hit the override on the console and the concealed lift door opens. I look down at the cannon and make sure it is working.
I’m going to enjoy this.
January 11th – 12.48am
Martell’s face is a picture of surprise as his lift door opens and I catch him sat behind his desk. I’ll make sure this bastard is going to burn,
“Let’s see if angels go to hell” I scream.
I would normally laugh at such a cheesy line if it wasn’t for the fact I’m almost blown back by my adrenaline fueled bad aiming of the cannon.
I guess I shouldn’t have stuck it on full power when I was coming up in the lift. My eyes squint as the bright white and blue electrical bolt burst from the gun towards the Angel still sat at his desk.
Martell dodges the plasma beam as it strikes the wall behind him and the room is filled with burning plaster debris.
“You’ll rot in hell for this”! I hear him scream as he ducks behind the desk.
“Great I’ll save you a seat you winged twat”.
“What do you think will happen here today Joseph? Do you think that you’ll bring everything down and save the planet? You’re living in a dream world. No single voice has ever made a difference”.
I can tell he’s trying to bide time for some reason. I hit the fire button again to fry his desk and I’m met with the disappointing sound of the cannons speaker say that it’s recharging. This brings the angel out of his hiding spot. His smug grin is fixed on me and in his hand I see what looks like a key fob with a red light flashing on it. I assume it’s a panic button for the guards but I’m quickly reminded I should never assume anything in this game.
One of his veranda doors opens and I hear a flapping of wings.
“You disobedient, scum. I’ll look forward to watching you die” he scowls.
It’s the Demon that attacked me in the car earlier tonight and it seems to be on Martell’s beckon call. I watch as it walks into the large room never once
taking its eyes off me. It happens so quick I don’t even have time to react. It leaps across the room and pins me by the neck to the wall, its arms push into my throat and I can feel myself beginning to pass out
“I’m going to enjoy killing you Reaper” the Demon roars at me.
I can’t help but feel that this is it and death is again upon me. Then I hear the speaker say the cannon on my free hand is charged.
“Die you bastard!” I manage to say as I jam the tips of the end into its legs, it gives enough of a jolt to send the Demon to the floor and free me.
It rolls on its back and regains its control but before I give it a chance, I bring the cannon hard down on its head repeatedly and watch as its skull spills open.
I turn in time to see Martell making a run for the open veranda door, I should have let out the full force of the cannon on him but instead for a reason best know to my fevered mind I react by chasing him over the edge of the veranda. I find myself being pulled over the edge as I grab for Martell’s foot as he tries to fly away with his wings fully extended. I drop the Cannon to stretch out and grab his leg with my now free right hand.
Martell’s wings give way to the weight.
“You bloody stupid fool”!
He screams at me as I gain a better grip on his leg. What the hell I’m I doing brother? I’m falling to my death with an angel. Am I in such a hurry to see you again?
Will you even want to see me?
We both continue to tumble down the sixty stories towards the snow filled street to the ground below and for the first time since your death I feel like I have a true purpose. I don’t even notice the combination of a high
wind and him trying to open his wings has drifted us from the front of the building onto the main road.
I don’t even notice the abandoned double decker bus stuck in the snow as we slam into its roof.
I’m lucky that Martell’s body breaks my impact. The impact was so hard I didn’t even get the joy of hearing the Angels damn neck snap as I landed on him.
My body aches as I try and lift myself up and it aches even more as the Demon lands on my legs and then throws me onto the deep snow on the ground. I land on my back looking up at the bus and on the roof is the Demon looking down on me. It’s head is smashed in but clearly its still living.
“Before you start to worry I’ve had my shots and this experience will last a lot longer than our last meeting human”. It growls
“Hurray for me”. I smile as blood drips form my mouth.
I turn my head to see the cannon has landed safely in the snow covered street as well. It’s half buried in a snowdrift. It’s too far out to reach in the condition I’m in.
This isn’t how I want to go out; I’ve so much to do now.
This whole conspiracy needs to be blown open and the people have to know they are being manipulated.
I watch unable to move in pain as the demon leaps from the bus roof towards me. The last thing I see is its huge foot about to smash into my skull and then nothing.
A deep black.
I think of you and hope you can find it in your soul to ever forgive me. I have faith you will.
January 15th – 10:57am
Then a light, off in the distance but getting closer and closer. Then that light morphs into a vision of a ceiling, I feel my body moving like I’m on water.
Then a voice.
“J J Joseph”?
Is that Carl? It can’t be. My head is a massive mess but I’m able to turn. He’s sat next to me and I can see I’m on a bed. My body is in plasters and bandages. I manage to whisper is a hurt tone and ask where I am.
January 16th – 06.43am
I’m able to sit up on my own now and stare out the small porthole window in the boat. It’s cold, and I know we’re far off the north of Scotland Province. The door opens and Carl comes in with a warm cup of coffee.
I’ve been awake for thirteen hours almost, I’m still weak but the meds have helped loads. Carl has already explained how he saved me. He had followed me to the chapel after seeing me kidnapped. He had even witnessed my fall with Martell and the demon that followed.
More importantly he had seen the cannon fall and was able to fry that swine before it caved my head in. How and why I was on a boat was yet still to be answered.
“Here I’ve got this for y y you” he says passing me the mug “You’ll be happy to know I’ve had word from my contact, and I’ve got clearance to be u u u updated”
This was an unexpected twist I must admit.
As I listen to his explanation I still can’t believe Carl was into something even I couldn’t get my head around.
He proceeds to tell me the fishing boat we are on is heading north on a very out of the way route towards Russian territory.
The U.S.S.R was classed as a non allied country. Basically they had declined Angel rule which had cost them massively.
Carl continued telling me of his double life, but the main kick of the story was that Carl was a part of a resistance movement within our own borders. His task was to originally make friends with my brother then me and then try and get any Reaper Intel back to his contacts.
Find out Angel movements so they could arrange an assassination.
The plan had back fired when he and my brother had fell in love and the fact me and him became friends was by coincidence.
“Carl I don’t even know how to respond to this. Look what’s going to happen”?
He smiled at me but the worry on his face still shone through.
“Don’t w w w worry, it’ll all be fine”.
His smile back at me Brother does not fill me with confidence.