Posts Tagged ‘third host’

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Slipping

November 17, 2010

The storm had been going strong for hours. Amitiel would know. He’d been out in it most of the night. The coat made it less unpleasant, but the bandages on his hands were still soaked and chaffing against the burns. He registered the discomfort, but just as an annoying background sensation. Now the kick from his .38 as he put a slug in the man at the door, that stung. The gun hissed softly in the rain as he lowered the weapon and walked up to the man, kicking aside the other man’s semi-automatic and crouching down in front of him.
The man he shot was big. Scary looking. The kind of guy you put at your door to keep people from even wanting to ask questions. Of course, clutching at his stomach as blood mixed with rain probably ruined the effect.
Amitiel caught his chin, “Focus now. Next few moments will make all the difference in the world to you.” Amitiel pulled the man’s sunglasses off with his other hand and tossed them into the gutter to wash away. Idiot might actually have seen him coming if he hadn’t been trying so hard to look cool. “How many are inside?”
“You’re a dead man…” said the guard, reaching for a knife at his hip.
“I’ve heard that more often then you might think. If you pull that knife, I’m going to have to make this unpleasant. Just answer the question,” said Amitiel.
“Fuck you,” said the man, pulling the knife and making a weak swipe at Amitiel with it.
Amitiel caught the man’s hand easily and slammed it back into the building hard enough to crack bone and send the blade flying. Amitiel considered the man another long moment, watching his gaze become slowly less focused. Finally he sighed and shoved the man to one side. “You might want to tell them to send more then one ambulance when you call. Maybe you won’t be the only one to get lucky tonight.”
Amitiel took a moment to pick up the other man’s gun and tucked it into his coat. No sense getting shot in the back now. Plenty of bullets in front of him. He checked the door the man had been guarding and sure enough, the bruiser was supposed to be enough. It whispered open and Amitiel had a few steps to think maybe this would turn out not so bad.
Then he heard the girl scream. The kind of scream that even if your body survives, pieces of you don’t.
Amitiel came around the corner with his gun in hand. He put two rounds in the head of the man standing over the girl before all hell broke loose. He tracked right, firing at two more men as he threw himself into the guard left of the door, catching the guard’s arm as he pulled his weapon and sending him flying.
By this point, the men were shouting orders and curses as they opened fire an Amitiel. Normally, he would have tried to make at least a few of them miss. Normally, he wouldn’t let trash like this see the ash colored wings. He didn’t even notice the burning this time. It haunted him even worse when he took on his aspect, but this time his attention was on the men.
Amitiel took eight rounds as he systematically began shooting down the other men, drawing the automatic in his off-hand to finish the job as the .38 ran dry. The last bullet went in the man he had knocked down on his way in. His coat was tattered and bloodied. Some of it his own. He dropped the spare weapon as he crossed to the girl.
Somehow, he’d managed not to screw it up worse. She wasn’t shot. Of course, that was about the only thing going for her at that point. Amitiel cursed to himself as he crouched next to the blooded girl, untying her as quick as his shaking hands could manage.
She lifted her head slightly to try and look at him through swollen eyes, “What are you?”
Amitiel shuddered softly at the question, letting his aspect fade. Pain flooded in and he embraced it, accepted it as penance. “I’m sorry. I should have been here sooner,” he said. He tossed aside the last of the rope. “I’ll help you to the hall and get an ambulance called.”
The girl leaned heavily on him. “Thank you.”
Amitiel was quiet as he brought her into the hall, then carefully helped her sit down against the wall. She looked up at him as best she could. “Who are you?”
“Just a guy looking for answers,” said Amitiel as he stepped to the door and pushed it open. Sirens coming through the rain. The place was sound-proofed up pretty well. Figured. He glanced at the guard, laying still in the rain now, cell phone still in hand. “You should tell the cops everything.”
“So someone else can finish what these guys started?” said the girl.
“You never know. Sometimes the truth can save you,” Amitiel said, smirking faintly to himself. He drug the guard over to prop the door open. “Paramedics will be here soon. They should find you easily enough.” Amitiel stepped into the rain.
“Wait,” said the girl.
“Sorry, already running late tonight. Terrible habit to get into. Take care of yourself,” said Amitiel as he vanished into the rain.

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Third Host: To Kill the Dead

April 14, 2010

(The first section of this is a redux of an existent story-bit back in the archives of the blog, but there is also a nice section of all new stuff.

The phone rang, breaking Henry’s attention away from the girl. He stared at the phone with a concentrated frown, almost as if it were actually taking his brain an extra minute to comprehend what he was looking at. Alexia watched him, face streaked with tears but eyes now gone cold and dry. After three rings, Henry finally stepped away from Alexia and over to the phone.

Once Henry was obviously distracted, Alexia started inching backwards, trying to stay focused on the man and not the sticky red substance soaking into her jeans. A small shudder traced through her, then she stiffened and continued scooting herself through the mess.

Henry slowly put the bloody knife down on the counter, but kept the gun in his right hand. He cradled the phone to his ear and waited silently.

The man on the other end hesitated and papers shuffled in the background before he spoke, “Henry? Is that you on the phone? My name is Bryce O’Connel and I’m here to talk to you.”

The corner of Henry’s lip twitched upward slightly. “Hello Bryce. So how many of you are out their, waiting for me?”

Alexia didn’t really hear the man talk. She was focused on what she could touch, fingers working through the blood and water and spilled food. A large shard from a ceramic bowl sliced open her finger and she bit her lip to hold back her reaction. She slowly worked the shard up into her hand and started sawing at the ropes holding her wrists, eyes still locked on Henry’s back. His attention had moved to a window and he tried to peer through the blinds without actually stepping over to adjust them. Alexia tightened her grip, ignoring the cuts to her palm as she slowly sawed through the rope. She let the rope fall away, but kept her grip on the pointed bit of bowl.

Henry shook his head, “Oh no, can’t let her go. Poor little girl would be all alone in the world if I sent her out their. A family should stick together.” He edged closer to the window, as if he would be able to see the man’s reaction from their.

The last Alexia’s reservations slipped away with those calm words. She slid to her feat almost silently and stepped toward the man who had killed her parents, raising up the shard of ceramic in a two handed grip. One hard motion into his throat. He might have time to turn and shoot her, but her parents would be avenged.

Henry was pushing down a small section of blinds with his gun to get a better look when he heard the beginnings of a terrible scream starting to well up from the girl behind him. Instinctively he sidestepped and turned to face the possible danger, leveling the gun. Alexia missed him and stumbled into the wall while in that same instant the window splintered with a loud crack and the side of Henry’s head vanished, adding another spray of gore to the room. Before his body finished hitting the ground, two men were smashing out the window and leaning in to check the room while another set smashed open the door.

Alexia stopped, just in front of the now limp body of Henry and fell to her knees, still holding her long nasty curved shard of ceramic. One of the men retched slightly in the background of the scene. It didn’t take the officers long to pull her to her feat and rush her out of the house The praises for the sniper who had taken Henry down “just in time” were going on nearby, but Alexia didn’t seem to hear.

Alexia was lead to the paramedics, who eased her onto a stretcher. The word shock was passed back and forth and after several tries, they managed to pry her hands open enough to let the make-shift weapon fall to the ground. It clattered off the pavement and into the gutter.

The ambulance left quickly, but it took some time for the rest of the vehicles to leave the scene. Full night had fallen when a figure in a black suit with a black shirt and red tie came walking out of the gloom and up to the house. He tsked softly at the police tape around the house and made his way to the spot where Alexia’s make-shift knife had fallen. The man picked it up and examined it, a slow wide smile spreading across his features and slowly turning into a deep and disturbing laughter. He walked back into the gloom he had entered from, but that laughter seemed to hang in the air far too long after he left.

Alexia lay in a hospital bed, staring at the ceiling. The doctors had insisted on putting a few stitches into deep cut in her right hand where she had gripped the piece of ceramic. They itched now, but Alexia couldn’t be bothered to do anything about that. She hadn’t said a word since they had taken her away from her parents. The sedative they had given her fogged the edges of her resolve, but she held on, focused on the patch of ceiling. It was bland and white and uninteresting. Completely safe. Unlike the questions and worried stares from the staff at her silence.

A bit of sound in the room snapped her eyes down from the ceiling and onto the man in the black suit with the red tie. Somewhere in the back of her head, a piece of Alexia begged her to scream or fight or anything. But too much of her was laying in a pool of blood in her parents kitchen. She managed a small frown at the man.

Mastema smiled at her. A smile that was not altogether friendly, but still full of promises. “You dropped something when they were bringing you here,” he said and produced the bloody piece of ceramic. “I thought you might want it back.”

Alexia stared at the bit of ceramic and that moment of white hot fury started creeping back into her. It had turned sour and fled with the death of Henry. Her chance at revenge gone in a split second of cockiness from the careful killer. But for some reason, seeing her impromptu weapon stirred emotion in her again. Her frown deepened.

“I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, ‘what good is that now? He’s already dead.’ You think that he’s beyond your reach now. Despite all that, you still want something, don’t you?” Mastema stepped in closer to the bed. In the faint light of the room his eyes looked like living pools of shadow, dancing points of darkness.

Alexia shifted, uncomfortable with the man’s stare. Yet, something about his words offered something she had given up on. Possibility. Where that could come from with a dead man escaped her, but she pulled herself more upright. Her voice felt choked to her. “I’m listening.”

“You say the word and take up your weapon, and I’ll tell you how to get it. I can see it in your soul. You’ll never be whole again without it,” said Mastema, holding the bloodied ‘handle’ of the makeshift weapon toward Alexia.

Alexia hesitated a moment. Something in the back of her head screamed in wordless terror. Somehow, this decision. This strange man. This was bigger than what had happened in the house. She shoved it aside anyway and took the shard of ceramic, letting it settle against her stitches with a soft rasp. “Revenge,” she said, her voice a hoarse whisper.

“Revenge,” echoed Mastema, the word rolling out of his mouth with a hint of ecstasy. “Three things and you will be able to exact your vengeance on Henry Trinn. First, a key to the gates of Hell. Second, a door to use that key in. And third, a weapon that can destroy a soul.”

“That sounds like riddles and not answers,” said Alexia, a hint of cold creeping into her roughened voice.

Mastema laughed, a sound that sent a chill down Alexia’s spine.

“There is a woman who… has quite a bit of knowledge at her disposal. She can make you a key. I will give you a way to reach her. Death offers a doorway and he is… coming to terms with his new position just now. He should be easy to make use of and again, I can’t point you in his direction. And your weapon is most of the way ready. You’ve anointed it with blood and fury, with the vengeance of family. Plunge it in the fresh grave of Henry Trinn before you travel to Hell to find him. I have already touched it with the end of times for you,” rattled off Mastema, his pointed promising smile still in place.

Alexia looked at the bit of ceramic and found another shiver tracing down her spine. Only this time, it was anticipation. It was crazy. It was outside the bounds she had created for herself on how the world worked. But then, so were serial killers and men in suits appearing in hospital rooms with promises. She wet her lips with her tongue and took a slow breath before speaking again. “Why?”

“Why?” Mastema blinked at her question.

“Why tell me all of this. Why help me?” said Alexia.

Mastema settled onto the edge of her bed and lightly took her hand, the weapon still in it. “Because, my dear, somebody has to. And because I am one of the few people with the knowledge and resources to help you get what you actually need to be whole again.”

Alexia drew in a sharp breath, suddenly fighting back the tears that she thought used up while she still lay in the pool of blood. “Tell me where to start.”

Mastema patted her hand, “Of course, my dear. Of course. I’ll tell you everything you need to know.”

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Death and Berries

April 13, 2010

“Death tastes like raspberries,” said Z.
Malachi stopped and looked up from his cooking. “What?”
Z was sitting on the counter, absently strumming at her guitar. “I said, death tastes like raspberries.”
Malachi gave her a confused frown, then turned back to the stove. “As much as I’ll probably regret saying this, I don’t remember death tasting like raspberries.”
“I don’t imagine flavors were your main point of interest. Also, that was just a little bit of death.”
Malachi opened his mouth to argue, but thought better of it this time and clicked his mouth shut, shaking his head softly and moving to finish the naan bread.
Z watched him for a moment, then set her guitar aside and hopped down from the counter. She slipped up behind Malachi and gave him a squeeze. “Don’t get all mopey on me. You’re still the big scary death mage. You just now happen to know that death tastes like raspberries.”
Malachi smirks, looking back over his shoulder at her. “Tasting like raspberries doesn’t sound all that scary.”
Z stands up on her tip-toes and kisses Malachi, catching his lower lip between her teeth with a teasing growl before letting him go. “There has to be some comfort along the way, right?”
“What if the person doesn’t like raspberries? That wouldn’t be very comforting then,” said Malachi, a teasing tone to his voice.
Z rolls her eyes and pokes him in the side. “Now you’re just being difficult.”
Malachi spun and wiped a streak of flour down Z’s nose. “Hey, you’re the one saying weird cryptic things that no human was meant to know.”
Z wrinkles her nose, then sneezes. “That one isn’t all that forbidden. Besides, humans are well known for obtaining forbidden knowledge. They can’t resist it.”
Malachi laughed and leaned in to lightly brush his lips against hers. “What can I say. Some forbidden knowledge is worth angering whoever forbid it.”
Z blushed softly and smiled, looping arms lightly around Malachi’s waist. “You know, you might be right about that…”

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Third Host: Mastema

October 28, 2008

It was dark. Not the sort of dark you get at night, but the kind you only find deep beneath the earth. The kind of dark that can swallow a man’s mind. Mastema found that thought made him smile a little. He had the kind of smile that you normally only saw in villains in movies. Or when something very horrible was about to happen to you.

Things moved through the darkness around him. Things that had long since become acustom to the endless dark of the abyss and abandoned anything resembling coherent thought. They only fought, fucked and waited. Mastema began moving through the masses. They all pulled back slightly from him. It had taken time to teach them to leave him be. Time he had to admit he found rather enjoyable. One of his hands drifted to the coiled whip at his waist. A nasty piece of braided leather, bits of class and metal worked into the tight braids.

Mastema gave a soft, whistful sigh as he navigated through the dark. He could feel the pull of the earth. Something was happening. Something big enough to require his attention. Perhaps something big enough to let all of his new friends finally out to play.

It didn’t take long to find the entryway. The force of its gaurdian drove back the beasts inside the Abyss, but for him it was like a beacon. Forcing it open just enough to let him out took a little more time. When the Abyss had been sealed, it had only really been meant to open the once. He was meticulous as he ran through the rote. It had taken him nearly a millenia to figure it out originally and even after that he had only used it to enter the first time.

There was nothing to track time by in the Abyss, but the building strain of the intricate rote reminded Mastema how long it took. Finally, he could feel himself being pulled, the faintest sensation of movement which was almost instantly swallowed in a wall of pain, feeling as though his body was being pulled apart and crushed in the same instant. It didn’t last long before the light blinded him and Mastema laughed, holding up his hands in an offering of peace, even though he could see nothing.

“It’s just me, old man,” said Mastema, voice rough from disuse.

The giant of a man standing nearby paused and lowered his massive sword. “You crazy bastard, you actually managed to return before the Abyss opened,” said Abaddon.

“Something is happening. Somethign that might finally free you from your post,” said Mastema.

Abaddon sat slowly. “That would be quite the event.”

Mastema grinned slowly, “I’ll make sure of it.”

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Third Host: Mefathiel and Ezra

October 20, 2008

“How is it that the police never show up during these things,” said Ezra. “I’ve had to dodge the police any number of times with my work.”

Mefathiel shrugged a little and glanced around the corner. He then ducked out low and flicked out his hand, arcing a blade through the air and into the shoulder of a gunman. The man screamed and dropped back.

“I think a lot of it is money changing hands, but in this particular instance I wouldn’t be suprised if they had either created a distraction elsewhere in town while they set their trap or if they were containing the noise,” said Mefathiel as he starting creeping forward again.

Ezra followed after him, continuing the conversation in a quiet voice,”Don’t you find it a little disturbing that they have put this much effort into making sure nobody could follow Amitiel?”

“The fact that I’m not back in my office working on cases was the first sign that things were going to be bad,” said Mefathiel. “My own fight is big enough without all of this, most of the time.”

Ezra snapped off two shots, catching another shadow creature, “They’re either running out of things to throw at us or they are getting ready for a big push,” he said, pausing to check his clip. It was running low. He snapped it back it the gun with a practiced motion and glance to Mefathiel.

“So what do you suggest,” said Mefathiel.

“Well, if you’re willing to fall back to the car we could get more weapons,” said Ezra.

“And if I think falling back is a bad idea,” asked Mefathiel.

“Then we need to hit hard and fast, hopefully break through and grab him. Watch for any potential get-away vehicles,” said Ezra.

“Maybe I should have brought a gun,” said Mefathiel.

“Bit late now. Lets move,” said Ezra and lead the way, running and keeping low and in the shadows.

Mefathiel shook his head slightly, then followed after, “This just gets better and better.”

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Third Host: Z and Malachi

October 9, 2008

Z had stayed home from work, her mood mirroring the dreary weather outside to an extent that work just seemed untenable for the day. SHe had no appointments and decided to leave the shop in the hands of her assistants for the day. She pulled on her fluffy black robe with white skulls and pink bows, tucked her feat into her frog slippers and moved to the living room couch. A few jabs of the remote brought the entertainment center to life and started blasting her favorite series of rock ballads. Anubis joined her on the couch and settled his head in her lap.

Z hadn’t really moved when Malachi slipped in beneath the sound of heavy guitar riffs. He circled the couch, Z paying no real attention, just miming guitar motions and singing along with the music. He leaned in and kissed the top of her head. Z blinked up at him and smiled at Malachi, reaching to turn down the music.

“Hey you,” Z said.

Malachi smiled at her, hands behind his back. “You doing ok, lovely?”

Z shrugged a little non-commitally, untangling herself from Anubis, “I guess.”

Malachi leaned in and tucked the box of fancy chocolates into Z’s lap, “Maybe I can cheer you up?”

Z held up the box of candy and smiled, unwrapping it and popping one in her mouth with a happy little sound. She reached up to catch Malachi and pull him over the back of the couch. Anubis fled from the couch and Malachi tumbled over into her lap with a slight yelp of amusement.

Z grinned down at him and softly kissed him. “Thank you for the candy,” she said, then kissed him again. “And for the treats.”

Malachi laughed softly, “Any time?”

“Better be any time,” she grabbed another chocolate to munch, cuddling up with him.

“You still haven’t decided what to do, have you?” said Malachi.

Z sighed and hid her head against Malachi’s shoulder, “No. I know I’m going to have to do something… but I’m not even sure what’s happening, really. But… if it gets out of control…” she sighs.

Malachi squezed her softly, “Maybe we need to look into it more.”

Z frowned, “I told you I didn’t want you getting involved in this.”

“And I told you that I was getting involved wether you wanted me to or not,” said Malachi.

Z sighed softly and kissed him again, “You are in such trouble.”

“I know, but you’re worth it,” Malachi said.

Z smiled and hugged him tight. “Ok, I need to go get changed. Then we are going to go talk to someone.”

Malachi nodded, “Alright,” moving to let her get up.

Z tugged him in close for another kiss, then stood up and lightly bapped his nose. “But you’re still in trouble,” then crossed back off to the other room.

Malachi sighed and grinned wryly to himself after she left, then started prepping himself for the impending trouble.

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Third Host: Mefathiel and Ezra

October 6, 2008

Ezra hit the ground, catching the beasts mouth with the his knife. The beast snapped down, shattering the blade and shook its head, throwing aside the pieces. Ezra dropped the gun and managed to get his hands up, catching the beasts jaw open as it snaps down at his head.

“Bad puppy,” Ezra growled, eyes swirling with a sudden deep darkness. He grinned faintly at the sudden rush and pulled. The beast made a startled noise, which was down out with a sickening pop as its jaw disjointed. Ezra shifted his grip, holding just the top jaw. He slid to his feat and shifted, swinging the creature into the air and smashing the nearby shadow creatures into the wall.

The mound of creatures weighing down Mefathiel erupted in a ball of light as pushed himself up, white wings folded across the shredded back of his suit-coat and shirt.

“So much for being quiet,” said Mefathiel as he slid upright, lashing out and planting three more blades into escaping shadows.

Ezra methodically drove back the few shadow creatures that were still standing and not running. Within seconds the only things still standing in the alley were Ezra and Mefathiel. Mefathiel’s wings shimmered back out of existence and he staggered slightly, catching himself on a wall. He watched Ezra carefully.

“You still with me,” asked Mefathiel.

Ezra shut his eyes and nodded, “Fine. I have to expend myself a lot more then that.” He opened his eyes again and found his gun, slamming in a fresh clip before holstering it. “We need to keep moving before they send in something that is going to push me a lot more.”

“Any thoughts on where to go?” said Mefathiel.

“Inside to ask questions, unless you have a better idea where he might be,” said Ezra.

Mefathiel hesitated a moment, then pointed toward the dock and said, “There, underwater.”

Ezra started that direction, “Do I want to know how you did that?”

“It’s the biggest pool of energy I noticed when I went angelic. I think it’s the best bet we have,” said Mefathiel.

“Lets make it quick then,” said Ezra as he started to run toward the water, “Three against who-knows-how-many sounds like better odds then two.”