[Allen was just a boy who liked to read horror comics, until his brother mysteriously disappeared. Now, he and his sister orphaned and his missing brother returned but radically changed, Allen finds himself the target of a dark and powerful force that wants him dead. The Shadows have come, the battle is imminent—dare I say it?—LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!! If you’ve been waiting for some SERIOUS monster action, the wait is over… —RFY]
ALLEN TOMBES – FIRE FROM WATER (Chapter 32)
When Shea returned to the dorm room a few hours later, Angie was sleeping on her bunk, an empty pizza box laying at the end of her bed. Rose and Allen were sitting on Rose’s bed watching a DVD on Rose’s computer.
“Eddings is going to be here in a few minutes. Mom wants us on the roof to meet him,” Shea said.
“The roof?” Allen asked.
“He’s flying over in his chopper. It’s a beaut!” Shea said, her eye twinkling with techno-lust.
“Should we wake Angie up?” Rose asked.
“Nah, let her rest,” Shea said and waved for them to follow.
On the roof, Allen found Cheever, Shayla, Chaz, and Chris, plus about a dozen guards, waiting outside a booth that looked almost exactly like the guard station Allen had seen when they’d pulled into the basement parking garage. Apparently, landing aircraft at Brashley was a common occurrence.
The landing area was brightly lit, red lights flashing in a pattern that looked like a huge bulls-eye on the roof, making the night sky seem almost black. Chaz waved when he spotted Allen, but his usual smile was only half formed, and his eyes looked very tired.
“Just in time,” Shayla said, pointing at a pair of flashing lights approaching their building. As the helicopter drew nearer, it grew in size until Allen realized that it was almost as long as a city bus. The twin blades keeping it aloft caused a mini-hurricane as the vehicle maneuvered to land, and Allen covered his ears and turned his face away.
As the machine landed heavily and the blades began to slow, a large panel unfolded out of the side and lowered itself to the rooftop forming a set of stairs, and a parade of men climbed out.
“Eddings! Good of you to come!” Cheever said, smiling and stepping forward to shake the hand of a tall, thin man with immaculately combed black hair. Eddings was wearing a shining, dark green suit, a black button up shirt, and a green tie, with what looked like emerald chips affixed to it. His black eyebrows and mustache were pencil thin, and so straight that Allen wondered if they’d been drawn on with a ruler.
The man extended his hand to Cheever and smiled back, his eyes crinkling, while the thin eyebrows, mysteriously, remained rigid.
“Eddings,” Chris said in a polite, but not exactly friendly voice.
“Christopher, good to see you again,” Eddings said. They didn’t shake hands.
“Well, well, well—my old rival,” Chaz said, stepping toward Eddings, whose face immediately went sour.
“Shayla, I can’t believe you would associate with scum like this man,” Eddings said, bitterly. “Everyone back in the ‘copter. We’re leaving!” His men stopped, most of them looking shocked. Only one man smiled, a huge African American in heavy body armor and carrying what looked like a cannon.
Eddings stood eying Chaz, coldly, for a few seconds while everyone waited, uncomfortably, then Eddings smiled widely and pulled Chaz into as close to a bear-hug as he could manage with his thin arms. They patted each other on the back, then separated.
“It’s been too long, my friend,” Eddings said.
“You know, I’ve meant to drop by,” Chaz said, “but, you know. Been a bit busy,” he shrugged.
“So, Shayla,” Eddings said, shaking her hand, “where is this wonder-kin you’ve been going on and on about?”
“This is my brother, Allen,” Chris said, before Shayla could answer. Eddings looked Allen up and down, as if searching for some visible sign of the power hidden inside his body. His eye lingered on the gargoyle charm around Allen’s neck for just a moment, then Eddings smiled and stretched out his hand.
“Nice to meet you, Allen. I’m Philip Eddings. I can’t wait to see you in action!” He shook Allen’s hand, and Allen was surprised at how soft Edding’s grip was.
“Eddings, Allen isn’t going to be involved in the fighting,” Shayla said, firmly. “He’s only been here for a few days, and he hasn’t had the proper training, yet, for us to expose him to serious danger.”
“He’s a natural. He held me off like a trained soldier without even breaking a sweat,” Chris said, in a gruff tone.
“We’ve discussed this,” Shayla said, her voice like steel. “He and his sister will be with us in the control room. If we are unable to hold off the Shadows’ attack until dawn, Cheever is to take them both and escape.”
“Pity,” Eddings said, scanning Allen again. “So how much time do we have?”
Cheever stepped forward,” It looks like the rift is going to open within the hour.”
“Have the citizens been evacuated yet?” Eddings asked.
“All but a few stragglers,” Shayla said. “I have a handful of men out picking up the strays and ‘convincing’ them to leave the area. Once the last few are out, we’re going to have four mages set up at strategic points around the city creating a containment spell. It should keep the citizens out and all but the most powerful creatures in.” Eddings nodded slowly.
“And what about this building?” Eddings asked.
“Stacey, Wei, and Biggs will be concentrating on a barrier. They should be able to hold it until dawn, as long as we can keep the Shadows from attacking the shield directly.”
“Why do we only need to hold it until dawn?” Rose asked.
“The Shadows die in direct sunlight,” Cheever said. “If they can’t get to us before dawn, they’ll have to flee back to the Shadow Realm.”
Cheever received a call on his phone. “Okay, understood!” he said, then tapped his phone off. “Shayla, the energy levels around the rift are spiking. It’s getting ready to open.”
ALLEN TOMBES – FIRE FROM WATER (Chapter 33)
“Angie’s still in the dorm room,” Rose said, her face suddenly dark with worry.
“I’ll take you to get her,” Shea said. “I’m out of the big fight, anyway.” She pointed at the bandages on her shoulder.
“I need to get my bag, too. I left it in Rose’s dorm room when I got out of the infirmary,” Allen said.
Shea nodded. She turned to Cheever and said, “Cheever! I’ve got to take these two back to the dorms to collect their friend. We’ll meet you in the control room!” Cheever waved, and Shea, Allen, and Rose headed back into the building.
Eddings was giving orders to his men, “…So Horace, I want you to take your cues from Christopher, but hang back. Don’t go blowing any holes in the street if we don’t have to. It’s too expensive!”
The large African American man laughed, loudly.
“You three,” Eddings continued, pointing at three men in riot gear, “keep Tazzi covered while he’s using the summoning stone. Now, Taz,” a short, exceedingly thin man, with skin so pale it almost looked blue, nodded, “start the summoning spell the second that the barrier is up. Once the wolf arrives, get back to Horace and keep your head down.”
Meanwhile, Chris and Shayla were solidifying their strategies and heading for the doorway back inside the building.
“As soon as you and Haro have the guards outside the protected area, I’ll tell Stacey to set the barrier spell,” Shayla said.
“And you’re certain about Allen?” Chris asked again.
Shayla glanced at Cheever, who was walking directly behind them, then turned back to Chris. “Until we know for certain what he’s channeling, we can’t risk setting him loose on the city.”
Chris shook his head, “Fine,” he said coldly. “I’ll signal when we’re in place,” he growled, and ran down the hallway toward the elevators.
When Shea, Rose, and Allen reached the dorm room, they opened the door expecting to see Angie still asleep on her bunk, but the bed was empty.
“She’s not here,” Rose said. They all stood in silence for a few seconds.
“Maybe she went to get something else to eat,” Shea suggested, pointing at the empty pizza box on the floor.
“Maybe,” Rose said, skeptically.
Allen noticed that his bag, laying on the floor near the wall, was open. He knelt down by it and dug through. His sword was still there, as was Kitsle’s box, and the flares. Then he noticed, “My knife’s gone.”
“What knife?” Shea asked.
“Chaz gave it to me. It has a poisoned blade. I know it was in here when we were in the training room. I saw it when I took out my sword.”
“It could have fallen out when they were rushing to take you to the infirmary,” Shea said.
“I wouldn’t know,” Allen said. “I was out of it.”
“Why would Angie take a knife?” Rose asked.
“Maybe she was scared?” Shea suggested.
“I don’t think so,” Rose said. “I’ve never seen her touch a knife.” Rose shook her head and chewed on her bottom lip.
“You guys probably just dropped it in the training room, but we don’t have time to look right now. We’ve got to get back to Cheever,” Shea said. Allen grabbed his bag and they left.
The control room, heart of the security system for the Brashley Building, was on the fourth floor and comprised of a huge wall of screens showing scenes of virtually every inch of the property, inside and out. One gigantic screen showed dozens of guards set up in semi-circles around an area of the road that was shimmering and emitting flashes and sparks.
Half a dozen men and women sat in chairs, chattering into headsets and flicking through various screens, focusing different cameras on a variety of sights. Allen noticed that Cheever, Shayla, and Eddings were all wearing communications headsets as well. Cheever and Shayla paced back and forth, peering at screens and giving orders. Eddings sat in one of the chairs that lined the wall opposite the screens, talking with Chaz. Allen and Rose found seats near Chaz and sat down. Shea joined her mother.
Outside the building, Chris, in full body armor, but no helmet, was setting up the guards in tiers between the area where the rift was about to open and the Brashley Building. Chris heard a rush of wind and suddenly Haro and ten other Simmerons appeared. Several of Eddings’s men raised their guns, but both Chris and Horace gestured for them to hold fire.
“I’m glad to see you, my friend,” Chris said, smiling. “And you brought helpers!”
“Few in my clan have had the opportunity to prove their strength against a Devourer. Had I allowed it, these streets would now be teeming with my kind, aching to sink their claws into an Old God,” Haro said, rumbling his low laugh.
Chris laughed as well and gestured for the lizard men to join the formations setting up in front of the building.
“Okay, Horace,” Chris said. “You can tell Eddings that we’re ready to summon his beastie.”
Horace waved and said something into his headset. Chris gave a final look around at the troops, then pushed a button on his headset, “Shayla, we’re ready for the barrier.”
“Good,” Shayla answered in his ear. “Cheever says the rift is going to open in about three minutes. I’ll tell Stacey to start the spell.”
Within seconds, Chris felt the hair on the back of his neck rise as the barrier spell fell into place. “The barrier is up!” Chris yelled to Horace. “Your guy can start the summoning.”
Horace gave a thumbs-up and growled instructions to a handful of men in Eddings’ uniforms. Four men and Tazzi walked quickly to the front tier of Brashley guards. Tazzi knelt on the ground and took a metallic box with a keypad on it out of his pack. He pressed a number sequence with lightning quick fingers. The box hissed, and the top split in half, each section folding away to reveal a dark green stone, slightly larger than a hen’s egg.
A screeching sound interrupted Tazzi, as sparks and flashes, followed by a strong, freezing wind, came rushing out of the rift. Guards from both groups, Brashley and Eddings, moved between Tazzi and the rift.
“No! Get back, everyone!” Tazzi yelled.
He placed his hands over the stone and began to chant, his eyes closed. The stone started to glow, and Tazzi chanted louder. The air around him began to shimmer, and a thunderous crack and a blinding flash made everyone in the streets cover their eyes and turn away.
When they turned back toward the rift, a gigantic, dark green wolf, longer than a city bus, with eyes glowing emerald green, was standing in the road.
“Thank you for coming, Great Wolf,” Tazzi said, bowing to the creature. “Our world is about to be invaded by Shadow Creatures,” he said gesturing toward the rift that was now showering sparks into the street and humming like power-lines in great pain.
The wolf looked at Tazzi then at the rift. “Why do they come?” the wolf said in a growling voice that echoed through the streets.
“They wish to kill a boy. He is in the building, there,” Tazzi pointed.
“I sense him,” said the wolf, closing its eyes.
“You do?” Tazzi asked in a shaking voice.
The wolf nodded, opening its eyes and looking back at the building, then at the rift. “I will help,” said the wolf, “but know this. The boy poses a serious threat to this world.” The wolf looked back at the building again, his eyes glowing green. “There is a being within him that could destroy this entire planet in an instant. Even after the Shadows have been driven away, the boy cannot be allowed to remain on this plane.”
“Thank you, Great Wolf. We will, of course, heed your advice,” Tazzi said, bowing again.
Suddenly, another boom shook the air, staggering many of the guards. The rift flashed and crackled, and then thousands of legs began scuttling through the abyss. Dark blue beetles with red slashes on their backs, the color of wet blood, came pouring through the opening, flooding the streets, some taking to the air with heavy wings that buzzed like helicopter blades.
The Great Wolf dove into the mass of bugs, slashing and biting.
Chris put his hand to his headset, “Cheever! What are they?”
“Chaz says they’re Tah-Chen Beetles. They’re going to try to attack the barrier,” Cheever replied.
“Okay, how do we kill them!?” Chris yelled into his headset. A few of the guards had begun shooting at the beetles, which flooded the streets and sidewalks, most running past the guards, heading straight for the shield barrier.
“They’re physical,” Cheever said. “Shoot them, chop them, anything should work.”
“Open fire!” Chris screamed, and dozens of guns began shooting in earnest.
Many of the beetles had already reached the magical barrier and attached themselves to it. The air shimmered and vibrated as the creatures siphoned off the magical energy, the red slashes on their backs glowing brighter as they sucked. Flying beetles landed against the barrier several stories up as well.
“Don’t let them attack the barrier!” Chris shouted, and the soldiers began picking off beetles attached to the shield spell. Meanwhile, Haro and his clan were shredding beetles with their huge claws, and the Great Wolf continued to slash at the swarming creatures with his paws.
There was another loud crackle from the rift and a shower of sparks as two gigantic, blood red centipedes, as tall as Haro and as long the Great Wolf, came writhing through the rift into the street. The wolf roared and pounced on the centipede nearest to it, sinking his teeth into its back. It shrieked and coiled around him, slashing at the wolf with its twitching, needle-sharp legs.
The second centipede slithered up to the first line of guards, who fired desperately at the beast with little effect. It stabbed a Brashley guard through the chest with a spear-like leg, piercing his body armor like it was paper. It lifted him, screaming, off the ground, and tossed him twenty feet across the street. His lifeless body landed in a heap. The other guards continued to fire, but moved backwards toward the second line of defense. The centipede stabbed at one of Eddings’s men, catching him in the stomach. It drew him toward its mouth and bit into the man’s chest with foot long pincers. The man screamed in pain, then went limp.
“Everyone get back!” Horace yelled, and the men around the centipede lowered their guns and ran. Horace aimed his cannon and smiled. A thud shook the air and a ball of fire and shrapnel flashed toward the centipede, striking it directly in the chest as it reared back on it hindquarters. The centipede shrieked and writhed as the flaming mass made contact. As the smoke drifted away, the lower half of the centipede continued to twitch and writhe for a few seconds, oozing yellow-brown liquid. The upper half was completely vaporized. Horace laughed, loudly.
The rift again crackled and howled, and a dark mist welled up and began streaming through the opening, forming into the pseudo-bodies of the Shadows, which were only visible to about half the guards. Chris, slashing at beetles with his right hand and holding his headset in place with his left, called loudly, “Shadows!” Haro’s clan immediately abandoned the beetles and galloped toward the Shadow hordes, as did about a dozen Brashley guards, all wearing the Elite Guard colors. Swords, clubs, hammers, and claws began to burn and glow with various colors of energy, and a wailing sound arose from the Shadows, which continued to flood into the streets through the rift.
In the control room, Allen’s necklace, which had been glowing dully for several minutes, began to burn his chest, as he saw the guards on the screens swinging glowing weapons at nothing. The Shadows, it appeared, didn’t show up on video.
Shayla paced back and forth looking at various screens. She tapped her headset and said, “Chambers, how is Stacey’s group holding up?”
“Not well,” a voice answered. “Those bugs are doing a number on them. It’s taking too much energy to maintain the shield.”
“Right, I’ll see what we can do,” Shayla said. She tapped her headset again. “Chris, what’s the damage?”
“Having a ball down here!” he said, grunting in her ear as he slashed through a Shadow Creature.
“Any chance we can focus on the beetles a bit more? The shield spell is draining Stacey’s men dry.”
“Well, since we’re not doing much down here anyway, I’ll have a couple guys look into it. Ooooo… That was gross!” Chris said.
“What!? What happened?” Shayla said, worried.
“The Great Wolf just ripped the centipede that it was fighting in half,” Chris answered. “There’s giant bug guts everywhere!”
“Shea!” yelled a girl at one of the screens, “I think you should see this.”
Shea went quickly to the station where the girl was backing up the images from the video feed. “This camera is up near the roof. I saw something moving just outside the barrier and zoomed in just before it flew out of the camera’s range.” The girl hit play.
“Oh, shit!” Shea moaned, unconsciously reaching up and grabbing her bandaged shoulder.
“Rewind that, Emmy, please,” Shea said to the girl. “Rose, is this who I think it is?”
Rose and Allen ran to Shea and stared at the screen.
“Oh, no,” Rose gasped. “It’s Krystal!” The image paused on the screen was of Krystal, smiling, her black eyes looking dead and hollow.
“Mother, the witch is heading for the roof!” Shea yelled.
“That’s where Stacey’s group is projecting the barrier from. The barrier is going to be strongest closest to the source. She’d know that. What could she be planning?” Shayla said. She tapped her headset, “Chambers! The witch is headed your way. Watch out for trouble.”
“Copy that!” Chambers said.
Shayla tapped her headset again, “Ronson! I want another twenty guards sent up to the roof, right now!”
Allen walked back to where he had been sitting and plopped back in his chair. He wanted to do something to help. He picked his sword up, sliding it halfway out of the sheath. The blade shined brightly, a shimmering blue-green.
Allen scanned the monitor screens until he found one with Chris on it. Chris was leaping and slashing his sword, dodging some invisible blow, then countering with a lightning fast swipe. Chris looked left, then right, then dashed out of the view of that camera.
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news,” Cheever said, “but the energy levels around the rift are spiking again—three hundred percent higher than last time.”
There was another crashing thunderclap, and this time Allen felt the building shake, like an earthquake had hit it. All the screens pointed near the rift went white, momentarily. When they cleared, Allen saw a massive thing that looked like it was several stories high, with flailing tentacles, covered in dozens of huge eyes the size of car tires. The creature crawled through the rift, dragging itself by four massive tentacles at its base, while an uncountable number of smaller, thrashing tentacles whipped wildly around the central, putrid mass of grey flesh and giant eyes. Allen realized instantly that something beyond foul had been born into his world, something that absolutely should not exist.
Down on the street, Chris, had just ordered a group of guards to move around the building looking for beetles that were attacking the barrier, when the rift burst into life and the gigantic creature began oozing through. As he watched the horror appear before his eyes, Chris heard a scream, and saw a Brashley guard drop to the ground, a shadowy claw dripping blood over his body. The man melted, sliding like smoke out of his body armor, only to rise again as another Shadow creature, ready to attack. Chris sliced through the pair of Shadows with a flash of his blue blade.
“Chris, the Devourer just came out of the rift,” Cheever said in his ear. Chris saw the monstrous beast, a sea of eyes and tentacles, but couldn’t quite grasp it as a whole.
“I see it,” he said into his headset. “But, how do I kill that?”
There was a pause on the other end of the line. Finally, Cheever said, in an uncharacteristically dark voice, “We don’t know yet.”
The Great Wolf, as Chris watched, charged the Devourer, which was easily four times his size, grabbing a tentacle and tearing it loose from the central mass. A hollow, terrifying roar filled the streets, and a second tentacle tore through the air striking the wolf in the ribs and sending it flying halfway down the block.
The Devourer swept another huge tentacle at a row of guards who were shooting at it. It grabbed three men, its tentacle coiling around them like a giant snake, and it drug the men toward its central mass. It tilted its horrible, eye covered body backwards as the men screamed, revealing a circular opening lined with thousands of stalactite-like teeth. The men yelled in terror as they were stuffed into the creature’s mouth. Blood sloshed onto the street, and the Devourer lowered itself back to the ground and began dragging itself toward more men.
“Horace! Do you have a shot?” Chris screamed, but before Horace could answer, the Great Wolf flung itself back at the nightmarish creature, which moaned and howled in a deep, hollow scream, like twisting metal. The wolf grabbed on to a tentacle with its teeth and tore at the creature’s eyes with his slashing claws. Again, another tentacle flew at the wolf, this time grabbing it around the chest and hurling it into the air. The wolf crashed against the building across the street from Brashley, destroying half the structure, then fell to the ground. It lay on the sidewalk, dark green blood drizzling from its mouth.
Horace raised his cannon and fired, catching the Devourer in the center of the mass of eyes and swinging tentacles. The creature bellowed again, so loudly that windows began to shatter, and huge chunks of flesh and eyes fell to the street. Chris watched, in shock, as new eyes seemed to rise up from the wound, like bubbles floating to the surface of a bog, wide eyeballs swiveling wildly as they filled in the missing flesh, until the wound itself seemed to vanish.
And the eye covered the meat that had been blown off of the monster continued to twist and move in the street, eyeballs looking in all directions, as the flesh around them withered. With lurching effort, the eyes began to pull themselves free of the quickly rotting flesh, supporting themselves on dozens of thin, spider-like legs. Once free of their fleshy moorings, they scattered, scuttling towards the nearest guards and attacking, stabbing with their thin legs.
“This is not good,” Chris said. Tapping his headset, he yelled, “Are you seeing this!?”
“Unfortunately—yes,” Cheever said, all of his usual mirth gone, replaced by a cold, fearful drawl.
Back in the control room, Chaz said, “Force isn’t going to work on The Devourer.”
Shayla looked at him, carefully, and said, “How do we stop it?”
“I had hoped the Great Wolf would be strong enough,” Eddings said, almost apologetically.
“The Devourer is a creature of Old Magic, a cosmic power,” Chaz said.
“It’s eating my men, Charles. How do we stop it?” Shayla said, sternly.
“You need to fight a cosmic force with another cosmic force,” Chaz said, glancing for just an instant at Allen.
Shayla’s face went red with rage. “You want me to send a boy who has had no training, a boy who can’t even control the forces inside him, against that monster? You’re mad. We don’t even know what he’s channeling, Charles. If we set it loose, it’s possible that it could side with the beast, and then we’d have two cosmic forces trying to kill us.”
“What other choice do we have?” Chaz said, standing up to face her.
“I’ll do it!” Allen yelled, standing up as well. “I want to help. I know I can.” His hands were closed tightly around the sheath of his sword, the necklace on his chest glaring a halo of red that seemed to infuse his entire body.
“I know you want to help, and I know you’re brave enough to face that creature,” Shayla said, her voice softening, “but I can’t let you.”
Allen shook with anger. “Why? My brother is out there…”
“And your sister is in here,” Shayla said. “If we cancel the shield spell, even for a few moments to let you go outside, this building will be flooded with Shadows in seconds. We have almost a hundred students in this building who are counting on me to protect them. Most of them would be easy prey for any of these terrors. We’ve got to give them the best chance for survival that we can, and that means keeping the shield up for as long as possible.”
Allen lowered his head. He understood, but hated feeling helpless.
“Chris is one of the cleverest and most talented fighters I’ve ever worked with,” Shayla continued. “If there’s a way to kill that monster, he’ll find it.”
Allen looked at the monitors, searching for an image of his brother. He found it in time to see Chris slice through three beetles in a single stroke then kick away an eyeball that was trying to stab him with a saber-like leg.
“Okay,” Chaz said, “if Allen’s out, we’ll need some kind of spell to contain the creature, try to hold it off until dawn. Does Tazzi know any containment spells?”
Eddings tapped his finger against his chin. “Could a freezing spell work?”
Chaz thought for a moment, “It probably wouldn’t hold it for long, but anything that buys some time will help,” he said. “Shayla?”
“Do it,” she answered.
Eddings tapped his headset and told Horace to have Tazzi begin the spell. Cheever contacted Chris and told him to help keep Tazzi covered while he worked.
“Shayla, we’ve got an intruder in the corridor leading to roof access,” Chambers’s voice said into Shayla’s headset, “but it’s not the witch.”
“Who is it?” came Shayla’s reply into Chambers’s headset. He looked at the monitor in the guard house, carefully, and said, “It looks like one of the kids that came in with Shea a few days ago.”
Chambers heard Shayla asking someone in the control booth where their friend was.
“She’s almost at the door,” Chambers said into his headset. “Orders?” He raised his hand, signaling for the extra guards to be on the ready. He pointed at the door, and a dozen guns shifted, pointing in that direction.
“Don’t shoot her,” Shayla said. “She may just be looking for her friends. We’ll send someone up to get her and bring her back here.”
As Chambers acknowledged the order, the door to the roof blew off its hinges. Angie stepped onto the roof, her eyes completely black. She raised her left hand, palm up, over her head, and a globe of white light floated up several feet into the air then exploded in a blinding flash. The guards, including Chambers, shielded their eyes.
As soon as the guards were blinded, Angie rushed at the nearest man, stabbing him in the neck above his body armor. She swung past him, slicing the next guard on the wrist, and the next across his cheek. Each man, poisoned by the knife blade, went rigid and fell, the man with the neck wound bleeding profusely.
When Chambers’s vision cleared, he realized his console was dead, as was his headset. He looked out the window of the booth and saw more than a dozen guards on the ground, most gushing blood from slashes on their faces or necks, and Angie’s thin body moving like lightning towards the next batch of mystified men.
Chambers leaped out of the booth and drew his gun. “Freeze!” he screamed, then noticed a dark specter hovering in the air just outside the shield barrier. Chambers raised his weapon, pointing it at Angie. “I said freeze!” he yelled.
Angie turned toward him and laughed. She flicked her arm, and Chambers fell to the rooftop, dead, the handle of the poisoned knife sticking out of his exploded left eye. Angie grabbed a gun off of one of the guards at her feet, diving out of the way as the three remaining guards, who had finally realized what was happening, opened fire. Angie rolled across the roof, and from a crouching position, fired three shots; a single bullet pierced the forehead of each guard.
Angie stood, waved her fingers, and the knife imbedded in Chambers’s eye pulled free with a sick pop, then floated into the air, landing in Angie’s hand. As Krystal began to shriek with laughter outside the shield spell, Angie walked toward the trio of mages sitting in a circle on the landing pad. In their trances, singing their song which created the shield spell, they couldn’t even sense Angie’s approach. She walked up behind Stacey, raised her knife, and drove it into his back.
[Well, that can’t be good. All Hell has broken loose, and the demons have taken the advantage. Tune in next week (or whenever I get around to it) to see if anyone survives to see the dawn! —RFY]
Part One – Chapter 1
Part Two – Chapter 2
Part Three – Chapters 3 and 4
Part Four – Chapters 5, 6, and 7
Part Five – Chapters 8, 9, 10, and 11
Part Six – Chapters 12 and 13
Part Seven – Chapters 14, 15, and 16
Part Eight – Chapters 17, 18, 19, and 20
Part Nine – Chapters 21, 22, and 23
Part Ten – Chapters 24, 25, and 26
Part Eleven – Chapters 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31
—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Grand Hoohaa of The P.E.W.)