Chapter 1: Arrival
The exorcist's roared their prayers. The last rights uttered in a desperate last ditch effort to rid the creature.
The creature that had dug it's gnarled claws into the young woman's soul.
Angela's tears slid down her tired cheeks.
"Sorry mommy, show's over. Time to give the people what they want"
Casey chuckled in a voice not her own, eyes like blood.
Her head turned and her head snapped, she fell. Body limp and lifeless.
Casey's eyes fluttered open. Her neck aced. She had never aced like this before. She had suffered plenty of sporting injuries during her athletic carrier, hell, even walked home on a broken foot she had received after foolishly climbing a mighty oak tree at a friends house, but she had never felt such a constant throbbing in the side of her neck. She blinked, clearing her blurry vision. She felt something around both of her wrists. Something hard and hot. Burning! She shot upright. The pain in her neck migrated throughout her whole, too thin body. She knelt on a hard stone floor. Manacles clad her wrists. The type one finds in a medieval dungeon. They were scorching her skin. The metal a dull orange colour, like it had only been heated in a forge for a few minutes, like what ever had shackled her here wanted to draw out the suffering. She looked down the length of the chain. Gargantuan iron nails bolted them to the grey floor. The rock was uneven against her skin. She managed to stand. Though it had taken a herculean effort to do so.
She could tell her hair was dishevelled and dirty from how much it itched and she wore the same nightdress form the... the. She fell to the floor. Her knees screaming in protest as they made contact with the ground. The exorcism. She forced herself to think the words. No, no it had to have worked. She couldn't be-.
But she was. She looked up. The walls were the same rough stone as the floor, but there was one tiny barred window to her right, barely big enough to see through, as though it's only purpose was to remained her how alone she was. Straining against her chains, she got as near to it as possible to the window. She could make out lava in the distance and a fiery, rock covered landscape. The screams of the damned became more audible the closer she got. Tears slid down her face. And she slowly backed away from the barred window. Backing into a wall. She let herself slide down it. Her chains clanking as they hit the floor. The hot iron slack. The heat making her dizzy. She did not sweat though. She looked at her skin. Grimy and cracked, dry blood covered her arms. Her skin had already turned red around her wrists, blisters would form soon, she had forgotten the pain, her mental torment was far greater. She felt so much weaker. Like it was getting harder to function the longer she spent here. She'd have plenty of time to learn she supposed. She would be stuck here a while. Eternity. She remembered a bible verse:
"These shall go into everlasting life and these shall go into everlasting punishment" Mather 25:46
Everlasting. Forever, forever down here, in the fire. Why her? Why her mother? She wasn't a special human, she had no gift or ability that set her apart. He must have just found her mother one day. And decided to ruin their lives because he was either cruel or board enough. Perhaps he had a reason, perhaps it was for the hell of it. Hell. She was in hell now. Perhaps more accurately the here of it. She chuckled nervously to herself through the tears.
If she was stuck here, she decided to make it as hard for the demons as she could. She would hold onto her sanity somehow. How? She searched her thoughts and her mind landed on a picture of her whole family taken about a year ago on her 18th birthday. She'd be stuck as a 19 year old for ever. The soul was eternal, it just pained her that she would spend her eternity here. Her most hated enemies better get down here some day. They could be miserable together. She would not loose faith. She would keep the image of her family in her head. The faces she could never forget. She would remember the exorcists who poured their hearts into every verse trying to save her.
She pressed her hands together and began to pray. Trying to focus on her faith with the distant screams. Religion it would get her through this, it had got her through her fathers accident, well it wasn't accidental was it, he had done it. She felt nothing from her prayers.Nothing. Not the silence she usually got from praying from earth, it was just nothing. Like everything holy and sacred had been stripped away from the act and now the best she could do was press her hands together speak to the open air. No one would hear her. No god would come for here. There were no angels to protect her. No saints to guide her.
She was here in hell forever. She lowered her trembling hands to her sides. The night dress seeming to become heavy, suffocating her. She looked at the heavy oak door. It was framed with glowing hot iron, providing a dim glow through out the room, and yet it did not burn. She looked to her arms. The scratches were gone. The blisters on her wrist would heal and reconstructed themselves. The curse of accelerated healing. She would live eternal down here. Hoping for salvation was now a very distant, useless dream.
Her attention once again went to the monstrous door, woundering if it would ever swing open. Maybe they would leave it closed, bolted, the hinges rusting along with the lock. The key forgotten in some cupboard or chest or on some hook. forgotten like she would be. Forgotten, the only tool that would save her left somewhere, waiting uselessly to save her. She decided she would face whatever came in, if it ever came in head on. She would not cower before it.
She didn't haft to wait long. A while later the door groaned. She didn't know long she had waited here, hours, days, weeks. She didn't know. Time seemed to drag here. The heavy bolts on the door shifted, clanking as what was undoubtedly a great key turned in the lock. She darted to her feet. Almost passing out from the effort but she remained steady. A woman of about ,25-30 years old dressed in leathers came striding into the room. He long sleeved jacket covered most off her torso apart from some off her chest. The V neckline exposing her collar. Her chest was covered in occult tattoos, various occult symbols and markings inked into her skin. A leviathan's cross sat proudly in the centre of the maze of symbols. Her raven hair was tied up in a high ponytail. She wasn't overly pretty but she demanded all attention in a room by her presence, she didn't have to try to do this, just her being there was enough to draw all eyes to her. And it wasn't just the fact that she was the only other person in the room made Casey think this. Her eyes were silver pits. Her skin pale ice.
Casey's eyes went to the braided,hide whip she had coiled in her hand. The cracker was tipped with a sharp piece of ivory bone. It shined against the dark hide of the whip like a single star in the night sky. The blow from it would send a man flying. Though ,she could probably do that without the whip. Evidenced by the vicious looking claws on the tips of her fingers. They were like steal blades. The woman circled Casey. Like a shark assessing a seal before striking. She stopped in front of Casey. She was lean and tall. Her cheek bones made her face fierce and sharp. She dwarfed Casey. She reached into her pocket with a claw tipped hand. She scrolled down on a black phone. Apparently, they did have technology down here.
"Alright. Casey Rance" she said in a Slavic accent, her eyes looked up at her, eye, then back down at the phone. "Age?" She questioned, a bit board and uninterested. Casey stayed silent. The woman glared at her. "Age?" She questioned firmly. Her teeth showing, they were sharp as a pikes. Casey jumped "19".
She typed it into the phone. "Method of death?" Casey snarled. The woman gave a lion like growl, echoing through out the chamber. She had the better roar. "Demonic possession" the woman laughed. "Seriously. Your exorcists are shit. Your the 5th possession this week "Casey surged forward, disgusted at the amusement in her voice. Her chains rattling as she was yanked to a stop. She glared at her. "Touched a nerve did I?" She uncurled her whip. Casey only then noticing the tiny bone white blades running down the weapon. The whip cracked. Casey stumbled to the side, clutching her face as a hair thin but deep cut opened on her cheek. A line of blood trickled from it. The strike had been fast, near unnoticeable, but was well aimed and strong. Casey managed to stand upright again. The bone tip was covered in blood. Her cheek healed, it was an unusual feeling, like nothing she had quite felt before. "Obedience. That is the most important trait for you damned human to learn. You will fear us and serve us".
Casey growled. Half exspecting another painful strike, it did not come. "This is usually penance, but really in your case" the woman trailed off. "What will happen to me now?" Casey asked. The woman curled her whip into a tight coil. "What ever the demon that possessed you wants to happen to you" fear hit her like a truck. Not him again. She struggled to keep composure. A line her mother had told her came to her "your stronger than I could be" her mothers words rang in her head. Be strong Casey, she told herself.
"Where is the bastard?" She asked. The demon shrugged. "Don't know. He will come for you in time. Just sit tight" Casey crossed her arms and sat down, legs crossed "like I have a choice!" The woman laughed "exactly" and bolted the door behind her.
"She's awake". Pazuzu's eyes glowed a fiery red. He leaned against his staff. An ivory skull carved in the handle. His room was large and decorated with furniture of Mesopotamian design. A throwback to his popularity in ancient Babalon. His rivalry with the demoness Lemashtue was a gory legend back then. There were a few modern amenities. The walls were crimson and carpets lined the floor. He began walking the the door "I think it's time I payed her a visit" she would make a good bargaining chip. A completely false hope-oh how he hoped to see the looks on their faces- but a bargaining chip indeed.
The door swung open. He strode in. His red suit the brightest thing in the dull room. Casey rolled her eyes " morning dear" he said. His voice to human" I hope your accommodations has been favourable" she just curled into the corner. Not from fear but disinterest. She wanted nothing more to do with him "Something tells me this is the nicest my accommodation is going to be."
"Perhaps" Casey scoffed "what exactly do you want. You have won."
He teleported beside her, grabbing her face to look at him" you think you are the prize. You were a way to make her suffer because you were under my foot and completely controlled. You were a way to show Marcus Kean how weak he really is. You were a pawn!" Realisation bubbled up inside her. He was still after her mother and she could do. Not chained up here at least. "Marcus will stop you" .He chuckled. "No, he won't. Have you heard of the Baptist, Casey?" she said. She shook her head. He stepped back a bit. Leaning on his stick. "Well, he is a very masterful demon. He is better than Marcus...at exorcisms I mean. He killed one of the humans Marcus was trying to save. The first one he lost. It broke him. Do you think he will be of use to anyone now?" He laughed deeply. Casey silently stood and lunged. A feral, furious roar tearing from her parched throat. Her fists aimed to beat in his face. She didn't get two feet. He back handed her across the face. She was thrown to the floor, twitching as rage flickered in his eyes. "There is no exorcists to save you here girl." He yanked her to her feet, still shaking, by the molten chains. He snapped his fingers and the shackles fell to the floor . Clanking on the floor. She closed her shaking hands. He raised his staff. "Now, you will follow me" He stabbed the staff into the ground. The sound shook the room.
"You can come willingly or I can force you to come. The breaking of your neck was like the parting of green bamboo" she paled, but did not show her fear. She simply lifted her chin. She didn't know where she was going, but she did not want to be stuck in this room, eternally locked in a stone cage. She'd rather a large cage than a small one. She stepped forward, ignoring the layer of grim covering her. "then lead the way" she said wit a sneer. She couldn't believe she was agreeing to this, but she needed to learn as much about hell as possible. Firstly, she had noticed that the chains did not burn Pazuzu. No blisters appeared on his palms. He turned and walked towards the door. Once in the hall, two guards joined them, their dark hoods concealing their faces. If they even had faces. She kept her head down as she walked along the gloomy hall.
The guards did not join them in the room. Even though she could not see their faces, their rigid stances told her that they were fearful of the room. Or more likely, what is in the room. The door swung closed behind her. A marron carpet was soft beneath her still bruised feet. Despite the scratches healing the bruises remained. Perhaps he was doing it. She looked at him with a sidelong glare. He took no notice. The room was large. At the far end was a polished, oak desk. Upon it was a closed, white laptop , breaking the otherwise 17th century feel of the room. The walls were carved marble. A river of gold was inlayed in the walls. A few, statuettes of humanoid figures stood on a sandstone fireplace. Demons were carved into the stone. Their eyes glowing red from the roaring flames. A few paintings hung on the walls. Renascence era recreations of Greek myths.
Pazuzu walked forward. Pausing and turning just before the desk. He pointed to a spot on the carpet. She hesitantly walked to it. A chain shot out around her neck and wrists. Shackles clamping tightly. He put the chain on the desk and stabbed a silver nail through one of the rings. Splintering the perfect wood. She fought against the chain, but it was futile. The silver chain began to glow a scorching white. She screamed as the metal became molten hot. Though the shackles did not turn to liquid. Root like vines irrupted from the shackles, crisscrossing and twisting around each other. They were the colour of bruised fruit. They slowly and painfully burrowed into her neck and arms. Her blood slid down her throat and the inside of her arms. She screamed, and screamed. They echoed throughout the room, drowning out the roar that came from behind the rose door to the right of her. The vines swam up her blood stream. She gasped, the vines were wrapping around the inside of her throat. She couldn't breath. She didn't think she would need to breath. She had no heart beat any more, but she still needed to breath. Tears of pain and relief slid down her face.
The roots, burrowed back out her skin, sticking up form her arms and swaying like bulrushes in the wind. Two long vines irrupted from her neck and burrowed into her eyes. At that point she passed out, and a merciful darkness consumed her.
Pazuzu looked down at Casey's unconscious form. The vines were slowly retracting themselves back into the shackles. Her skin healing. He decided to leave her here. Casey was no longer useful to him. He left the room, locking it behind him. She would be a nice snack to the colossal beast that served the owner of these rooms. He turned his attention back to the other Rance's.
A man strode down the hall. He brushed a hand through his sandy brown hair. He stroked the spotted fur of his beast that stalked next to him. He opened the door to his room. A girl lay unconscious on the floor, he raised his brow. What had happened here?
Chapter 2: Grief and sorrow
So I hope you all enjoyed the first chapter. Here's the second. Enjoy.
Her body limp and lifeless
Her mothers tears fell onto the earth
The exorcist's cursed and swore
Swore for vengeance
But she is still gone
Angela was collapsed on the floor. Her tears spilling onto the floor of the abbey. She held Casey's body tightly to her. Refusing to let her go. "Casey" she cried "Casey please" she rocked back and forth. Casey's dead eyes were back to their original blue. They stared unblinking, staring at the stained glass windows of the abbey. Mother Bernadant began untying the restraints around Casey's wrists and ankles. They fell limply to the floor. Clattering, dead, like Casey was. She respectfully stepped back. She held the crucifix around her neck and began to pray. She prayed for Casey's soul, though it was useless. She knew this, but Angela needed to be comforted. Tomas sat against a white, stone pillar, his eyes wide, filled with tears. Marcus slammed his fist against another pillar. Roaring, cursing the demon. Pounding his fist against the white stone, again and again and again until his blood stained the wall. Until his blood dripped down his fists. Until his very bones aced. "Damn you! Damn you monster! I will have your hide for this!" Then he fell to the ground crying. The sunlight trickled in through the stained glass window. The Crucifixion of Jesus was engraved in it. His eyes were seemingly sad as the seen of grief played out before him. Mother Bernadant finished praying. The room was completely silent for a good long while. Angela's tear's fell upon the earth.
About half an hour later, Mother Bernadant who had been deadly silent, pulled out her pocket watch. It had been an hour. She began walking towards the great wooden door. Her steps the only noise. She side stepped the fragments of one of the destroyed chairs. A great, old key in her hand. She unlocked the door. She out into the white hallway. Two sisters in nuns robes. Wooden rosaries held in hand, prayer beads lined the strings. "Sisters" she said. The two young women, obediently walked to the mother. Mother Bernadant shook her head. The two sisters made the mark of the cross in the air. The three came into the room. The two sisters carried a pristine, white shroud. They lay the shroud out on the table. Removing the pillow and dropping it to the floor. Tomas looked up. He stood, understanding and walked to Angela's side. Casey had turned grey. Her eyes still open and lifeless. Tomas knelt, wiping the tear tracks from his face. He took a deep breath.
"Angela" he said. She didn't move. He touched her shoulder, shaking her "Angela" he said. Voice concerned. He sighed with relief as she looked up. She was still crying. "Angela" he said quietly, gesturing to the two nuns. "They are here to take care of the body" Angela swallowed. Wiping the tears from her cheek. "You look after her. You here me" the two nodded, understanding and slightly terrified by the ferocity in her voice . Tomas took Casey from Angela's arms. The body was far too light. Some of the slime staining his robe, he did not care. He carefully placed her on the shroud. Mother Bernadant and one of the sisters began to pray. Angela placed a crucifix in Casey's hand, the other sister began wrapping the shroud around the body. Angela took one last look at Casey's face. The image that would haunt her forever for all the wrong reasons and the white fabric was laid over her.
They all joined hands and began to pray for Casey's immortal soul. Though it was useless, they all knew it was useless. At best Casey's soul had been destroyed, at worst she was at the bottom of a burning, roiling pit. Fire engulphing her body. Along with all the other souls. The demons looking down at them. Laughing as they all burned in their eternal, ruined kingdom, but they prayed anyway, perhaps out of grief, or desperation, or in hopes that their had been some divine intervention and Casey was with the Angels up in heaven. And they kept praying as Kat and Henry got back, their eyes red with tears as they burst through the door.
As the paramedics dressed in bright reflectors came running into the room along with the cops. As they carried Casey's body was taken away in the back of an ambulance. Angela kept praying to herself as the authorities tried to keep the media at bay.
Hours after everything had calmed down. They all sat silently in the room of the abbey in which the exorcism had taken place. The debris swept into the corner by some soul. The police would want to talk to them soon, but they left understanding they needed their space. Kat finally said, her eyes still wet "What now?"
But that question wasn't answered . Henry faced the window, a mask of calm rage on his face. "I'm going to ending them all" Marcus looked to him "What?"
"I'm going to end them all" tears slid down his face "every last one of them". Marcus opened his mouth. "I don't care how impossible it is"
"I won't rest until every single one of them are dead. You hear me God! Every single one of them!"
Chapter 3: The man who knows all lies
Will this guy be a friend or enemy?
His charge is to find both the thieves and stolen goods
To discover all wickedness
All underhand dealings
To punish all them who are wicked
He will find all treasure
He swung open his door
Even with his talents
He did not expect what lay before him
He swung open his door, bronze, skull shaped nob cold in his calloused hand. His brow rows. At the far end of his study, outstretched across his carpet, was a girl, nay a young woman. One not far into adulthood. Behind him, his "cat" snarled. Her four sets of orange eyes locked onto the unconscious woman. Her four pairs of fangs glinting. Turning red in the light of the fire.
He stepped forward, hands resting easily on the snake head shaped pommel of his sword of his massive, curving sword. The ancient humans thought it was a large black snake he carried around for some benign reason. They described him as such in the lesser key of Solomon. The 72nd demon to be summon. He removed his sword, resting it against one of the many large, very full oak bookshelves. Scrolls and manuscripts were stuffed into shelves. His horse sized, four head leopard strolled into the room. She found a comfortable space by the fire, she curled up, her four leathery wings stretched over her. She laid her heads on the soft material of the carpet. Her amber eyes focused on the woman.
The girl wore, of all things...a night dress. A very unwashed and rancid one. She smelled as though she had been dumped into a stagnant lake. Green slime had hardened on the neckline of her night wear. Her hair was also greasy and matted. Kneeling down he took note of the blood on her arms. The injury had been recent. He lifted her into a sitting position and rested her against the side of his desk. He snapped his fingers and a bottle of brandy, along with a crystal glass appeared on his desk.
Standing, his eyes followed the length of the chain. Sneering as he noticed the large nail embedded in the wood. He had just had it waxed too. He walked around his desk and sat in a large chair. He yanked the nail free, and waited for her to awaken. He sensed little wickedness for her. It was his charge to punish all them who are wicked, it was also his charge to retrieve not only stolen goods but also the thief. He could discover all underhand dealing. Since she fit into none of those categories and there was a parchment note on the undamaged part of his desk. He would wait for her to wake.
Casey's eyes opened. She remembered where she was and what had happened and it did not improve her mood. She blinked her vision clear and whished she had not. A great, thing lay at the foot of the fire place. It appeared to be an amalgamation a bat and a leopard fused together. It lifted two of it's four heads. Golden, amber eyes hard. Possibly weighing out the out the advantages and disadvantages of eating her. She moved forward, the chain gave a little until it went taught. The monster cat growled. Fangs bared and slowly prowling forward.
"Leave her" ordered a male voice from behind her. She spun, her chains rattling. Sat at the desk was a man who appeared to be half a decade older than her. He had sandy brown hair so long it reached his hips. His eyes were a deep fluorite blue. Green flecks shining in his irises. His pupils were jet black, vertical slits. He wore clothing of the same black, bronze-gold flecked his clothing. Especially around the neckline and few buttons on his coat. It suited him very well. He was quite handsome, not an eye saw at least. She pulled on the chain, but he held it tight in his claw tipped hand. She snarled at him as he lifted a note. "I see Pazuzu brought you here" He said in an annoyed tone. The note was an old piece of parchment. Some very old looking symbols formed sentences she could not understand.He read it aloud:
This one had served her purpose. No longer have I any use for her, as I have not a task I deem her worthy of, you can feed her to your beast if if you wish. I'm sure she's lonely but tell her not to worry. She will have her family for company soon. Pazuzu.
The note instantly caught fire in his hand and disintegrated to dust. It mattered not, she couldn't understand the list anyway. "What say you to that? Not that it matters, but I personally hate Pazuzu with a vengeance so say what you will about the creature". His voice was clipped in a foreign accent. Russian perhaps. She didn't care. She was burning with rage inside. It showed in her face. "You don't care much for it?" The look of contempt in her eyes, that her anger was burning hotter than the fires of Hell. He loosened his grip on the chain and some of the tension dissipated.
"Why me?" He stood. His hands behind his back. He began to walk around the table. Chain still in his hand. But it hung slack between them. "Care to elaborate?" He pulled out a small skeleton key. He dropped the chain and began unlocking her shackles. He undid the one around her neck and right wrist. Pausing as he went to unlock the last one. He looked up. Expecting an answer "you are looking a little worse for wear, girl. I'll ask again. Please explain why you are here and why you're in this state " he gestured to her as he unlocked the last manacle. It dropped to the floor. She crossed her arms. Annoyed. He frowned.
There was no avoiding it. "Demonic possession. He used me to torment my mother." He listened quietly. Strong arms crossed over his chest. His eyes shone bright in the light of the fire. She looked to the door. The only escape exit. It swung shut by it's own accord. No, it was him and his demon...magic...force. She never did learn the correct term for that. The door shut with a heavy thud. Shit. She looked back at him. A look of annoyance on his face "There is no escape". She crossed her arms "you don't seem to have much of a problem".
"Allow me to rephrase that. There is no escape for you mortal. You physically cannot go through the portal. You will turn to ash instantly. End" His Russian accent very thick. She managed to decipher it though. He teleported to her other side. She jumped. He only teleported to unnerve her. "Why you? Because you were his pawn. He was able to manipulate you. Plain and simple. That's why" He teleported again, and began circling her. His eyes were gemstone hard. They glowed slightly. "You are not wicked or a thief, so really I have nothing to punish you for" she gave a concerned look. "That is my charge. To punish thieves and the wicked".
"Tell me, why did he want to torment your mother?" She gave a fake shrug. "Why would I know?" he snarled softly. He had very sharp fangs "She tormented my mother in the 60s". Recognition flickered in his eyes, followed by disgust. He sat back down. A glass of brandy in his hand "I believe I heard something about that. Farther Merrin?" she nodded. Her rage had cooled to a slight simmer. She'd worry about her family later. She had to see this through first. He leaned forward in his seat "then all becomes clear" she gave a confused look. Her eyes panning around the room, to the shelves, to the sword leaning against the book shelves . "Years before the possession of Regan , Pazuzu crossed paths with Merrin. He gained a level of respect towards him as he was an exorcist great enough to challenge him" Casey blinked. Respect, demons did not respect anything, expect maybe Lucifer. "Respect, an exorcist!?" She exclaimed.
"Well, yes and no. It's more the admiration and hatred one feels when one encounters a worthy adversary. Every demon encounters a worthy exorcist at some point. We become locked in conflict" he leaned his elbows on the table and straitened on his seat. "Until ne of use prevails. I remember the exorcist that fought me for years. Farther Agosto Marta, 14th century. I defeated him eventually, though I am nowhere near as bad a Pazuzu in case you were wondering" He said with a grin. Casey felt sick. The notion of demons targeting one person and targeting them for years.
He noticed this." But in your case, clearly Pazuzu fought Farther Merrin and Regan survived. So he came back and killed you and he is probably going to go after Regan again. Why he wants her dead, I don't know, but he may very well only be targeting you because he's board or sick or simply because he's carrying a grudge."
Casey paled. "It is impossible for you to do anything about this. Oh yes, what exactly is your name?"
"Tell me yours first." He smiled. She had some spirit. The fire still burned within her, but she had no wickedness. Below the rage towards Pazuzu was a gentleness, a kindness. She was a sweat young woman. She doubted he'd tell her, not with the name gives dominion over evil spirits thing.
"I'm Andromalius" she sputtered "I thought-"
"That doesn't work down here. You cannot control me with my name. Plus the name only gives you the power to send us down to hell , nothing else" she truly had no advantage Demons ruled in hell. Not humans, not god. She had never felt so alone. She had no rage left. She picked up the chain from the floor. The root like vines had retracted, but she remembered her screaming. She put it on the desk. "Thank you...for taking these off." He blinked. No human had ever thanked him before. She was truly different. Usually the psychotic murders would curse at him, start vowing their revenge. Maybe trying to find the nearest weapon to beat his head in. Not that they had a chance too. A standard demon was 20 times their strength and were equipped with various other gifts and powers. The dammed souls served them, not the other way around.
"What now?" she dared to asked. "You can either work in my home as a servant, you will be well cared for and paid or be thrown into the pit and burn. Since you demonstrate no malice I offer this bargain. I would not be so merciful otherwise”
That took Casey back a step but she didn’t let her shock appear on her face.
"And what would be my job?" he narrowed his eyes "um house servant. Like cleaning. What did you think?"
"Evil cultist" she said sharply. He laughed "no, you would only be that if you were a witch" He surveyed her. He needed a new servant to help him protect one very important to him. Perhaps she would e perfect for that. Once she proves herself. "We'll. Which is it?"
She thought for a moment. She would get more done in the castle than in a fiery pit. Perhaps she could find some way to help the others. She just hoped that this hope was not in vain. Humanity always had hope. She just prayed that it still worked down here." I'll take the job" He smiled. gesturing to his leopard. She stretched, yawning . She was truly massive. "Excellent. You can get cleaned up next door. I have a job in mind for you".
One earth the Rance's had moved outside the city. The had moved as quickly as to avoid the media. They couldn't deal with that right now. Angela hadn't slept in days, she couldn't shake the feeling that this was not over.
Chapter 4: Funeral
A ebony coffin is laid to rest
White flowers carried
One watches from a far
A grin on his lips
The grave yard was almost silent. The emerald grass crunching under foot as the procession wandered down the dirt path. The coffin carried between them. It was jet black. Like obsidian, the handles were golden. Casey lay inside. Her body now clean, wearing a white dress. Her jewellery box and crucifix was in the coffin with her. They arrived at the chosen grave. It was backed by a great willow tree, providing shade to graves and sloping hills beyond. The grave yard was surrounded by a gleaming white stone fence. A small lake sat not to far from where they were, the slow trickle of water was audible as they slowly lowered the black casket into the dug grave. Marcus, Henry, Tomas and Angela lowered the coffin. All wearing the deepest black, sorrow clouding their features.
The coffin softly hit the earth at the bottom of the grave. Also there was Kat and Mother Bernadant who would preform the ceremony. The four stepped back as Angela wiped tears from her face. Her dark handkerchief was drenched. Henry stood silently, he had been sharp lately. His head injury was better than it had been. He had this spark in his eye, anger possibly. Marcus was defiantly angry. He Had fire raging in his eyes. The fires of-. She couldn't finish the thought. Not a moment passed when she did not think of the pain Casey was in. Burning, burning, burning-. Tomas put a hand on her shoulder, snapping her from her trance. "It's time to start" Angela nodded.
Mother Bernadant stood at the head of the grave. She clutched her crucifix "God bless all here". Henry sniffed, suppressing a tear. Mother Bernadant straitened the purple sash over her shoulders. Two golden crosses were stitched onto it. "The lord give it and the lord take it away". He hadn't. "He gives us always the promise of heaven" not this time. Casey was in hell. The words of the ceremony slowly cut into the family. Like the slicing of a razor sharp wire being sawed into them. "In the name of the farther, the son and the holy spirit, amen".
"Amen" echoed the other members. "Let us recall her fond memory". She looked up. Still holding her crucifix. "I only knew Casey briefly" said Marcus "but in the 40-odd years I've been doing this, she was by far the strongest person I've ever met. She fought until the end".
"She was far stronger than I could have ever been" continued Angela "She was so brave, and where ever she is, I hope that she can use that strength to survive" her voice broke.
"She was kind. Always helping at the parish" said Tomas. A small red bird landed on a tree branch of the willow. Henry looked up, it's ruby feathers standing out against the pale green of the tree. Henry didn't know why, but it felt wrong. Like it's presence was...mocking. Like it was laughing at what was happening.
"She was a good sister" said Kat, pulling him back to reality. "She was their after the accident, she didn't judge. I wish I had thanked her more". Henry nodded. Nor really sure what to say. "She helped hold us together...after my head injury. She...she was really the strongest of us." That bird was nagging for his attention. It's dark eyes were just so wrong. It shouldn't be here. He heard laughing at the back of his mind. A cold, male voice. His head began to ace. They turned and began walking down the path. Angela stopping to lay a white rose at the foot of the grave. Henry stayed.
"Henry?" she question. "Just give me a moment alone" she nodded, the path crunching as she walked down the sloping hill. The bird flew in front of him and flew to the side of the pond. Henry flowed at a brisk pace. The bird paused before the pond. What was it about this bird. The bird turned into a man. Oh, that's what was wrong with it. The man was old, he was balding on top. He wore a dark suit. A walking stick in his hand. "Hi dad" he said smugly.
"You bastard!" Henry's hands balled into fists. He swung at the demon. The demon teleported, grabbing his shirt so he did not fall face first into the pond. Though Pazuzu would have found that most amusing. "Perhaps you shouldn't do that. Your the only one who can see me. You'll look madder than you already are". He pulled him back away from the pond. Slamming into a tree. "I'm here to speak to you" said the demon.
"And why would I listen to anything you have to say. You killed my daughter" he said, anger filling him. Pazuzu leaned on his stick "because it's a warning. This is far from over. Watch yourselves." Henry snarled "And what about Casey?" He questioned. Holding his breath. "Oh her. I had forgotten. I gave her to an old acquaintance of mine, I hope she likes Russian men" He chuckled. "She is probably been eaten by his giant leopard by now." Henry's eyes went wide. "Oh come now, use your limited brain capacity. In revelations, the four headed leopard with four wings. You hold your God in so high regard, you should know this"
Henry was paralyzed with rage "I was making her perfect. Her resistance caused this" that last statement pushed Casey over the edge. He charged and the demon disappeared. Henry stopped abruptly. His fist collided with nothing but air as he steadied himself from falling into the shallow pond. The sunlight filtered through the trees, illuminating his face as he roared to the heavens.
Chapter 5: Visions of roiling pain
Theia lead her to a room
The it was warm and welcoming
Until her dreams turned dark
Tortured, roiling and painful
What caused this
Theia lead her to a room, the beasts muscles shifted under her spotted coat. She nudged Casey into the room with one of her massive heads. Casey locked the birch door behind her. The room was small. Consisting of a vanity, a few cupboards and a tub. Along with one chair, which Theia quickly occupied. Curling up in the available space. Casey frowned, but her attention returned to the room. The walls were a pale, cream colour. The carpet was a deep blue that transitioned to marble tiles around the tub. The tub was porcelain with bronze taps. A collection of towels, lotions and oils rested on a shelf next to the tub.
She strode forward. Her eyes fell on the cat? Cat, she would refer to Theia as a cat. She hadn't eaten her yet. Yet. That was important, perhaps that would change after she did not smell like a stagnant lake and dead fish. Theia was just a little too smart for her liking. She stood before the tub.The tiles were bitingly cold under her feet. She pulled the screens across, dipping a finger into the water. It was warm, not scolding. It wasn't acidic. She imagined that she dissolved into liquid. She shuddered at the thought. She removed her night dress and slowly climbed into the bath. Sighing as the lush heat consumed her. A few weeks worth of grime turned the bath water an unsightly colour. She reached over and grabbed a crystal bottle of red lotion.
A pain shot through her head. She hissed, an echoing type of screech pounded in her skull. Did she even have a skull anymore, let alone bones. It went as quickly as it came, but a sound remained. A baby...crying. She looked around the screen. Theia was dozing on the large seat. No one else was there. She shook the thought away, attention returning to the bottle in her hand. She unscrewed the cap, pouring some of the lotion into her cupped hand. She began washing her hair. Dead skin and dirt falling away. The lotion smelled of cherries. She dunked her head under the water to rinse the suds away. The water morphed around her, the lights of the room were distorted as it reflected through the water. Time seemed to slow around her. The reverberating pain crackled in her head. Her muscles unintentionally tensed, she twitched, her lungs filling with water. She chocked as the water turned red from phantom cuts in her skin. Cuts that were not their but blood still appeared to be flowing from her. She screamed, but this only served to draw more bloody water into her lungs. Perhaps she had no lungs, perhaps she was just experiencing the feeling of suffocation, like a phantom pain.
Her eyes dulled as her vision turned dark. The surface of the water was like the surface of a deep ocean that she was sinking into. Like the last flicker of light before she was swallowed by eternal night. Her dreams became roiling.
She was in front of a portal. A ruby dress draped her. It was a swirling vortex of lava. Screams raged behind her. She spun, hands cupping her mouth to contain her scream. People, so many people were melting into puddles of gore upon scorching red rocks. Their blood was cooked on the stone, black and thick. They had flesh melting off their bones. The skin was covered in welts, dripping slime and blood. Their faces were forever etched in pain, their eyes were empty. Their mouths were missing teeth. Rivers of lava weaved between them, some were melting into nothing in the lakes, the rest were wilting in the scorched banks. The creatures that were nearest to her, extended their sticklike arms. Flesh slid to the floor off the bone. They grabbed at her arms, at the crimson dress she was now clad in. She screamed, tears spilling down her face.
She coughed and spluttered. Oh god the smell, the stinging smell of rotting flesh and sulphur. She jumped back as the bonelike fingers torn at the crimson gown. She fell backwards. She was in her home. The floor was cold beneath her. She groaned, pushing up of the dark brown floor boards. She was in their kitchen. Sunlight filtered through the open windows. It was all there, the table. The gleaming white cabinets. Even the sink was there. She did not rejoice though. This wasn't real, evidenced by the fact that everyone there was frozen. Kat sat at the table along with her farther who was reading a news paper. Her mother stood by the oven, cooking eggs. They were all frozen, they did not look up, they didn't move, they weren't even breathing. She now wore a light blue dress. Beads of gold adorned it. She walked forward, shoes clacking on the floor. She walked to the table. "Dad, Kat?"
Suddenly, their eyes disintegrated into dust, spilling onto the table and stove, falling into small piles, like they were made of stone that was crumbling with age. Casey screamed as blood red centipedes, slithered out of the empty sockets. The figures still didn't move. The room turned dark.
She was somewhere else. A foreign room she had never seen before. She was clad in a dark dress. The room was completely empty, only a baby crib sat in the middle of the wooden floor. The walls were white and the windows were barred. Andromalius stood over the crib, a very young child in his arms. Casey snarled "Are you doing this?" She demanded. Arms shot out from the walls, grabbing for her. They were the arms of the melting humans. A pair of slender arms clamped around her middle.
"Open the gate. Darkness is the key. Find your way home" A voice whispered in her ears. Two hands clamped over her eyes, sending her vision dark.
She was pulled from the water. Casey screamed as she grabbed onto the solid mass that had pulled her from the water. She opened her eyes, still screaming and thrashing. Her fingers dug into Theia's spotted hide. Casey was clinging to one of the cats fore heads. Theia gently clamped her jaws around Casey's arm and half dragged her from the bath.
She pulled a towel around her. Theia dropped her arm. Sitting back on her haunches her four sets of eyes cutting deep into her.
"What was that!?" She cried. Panting"What was that?!"
A while later, Casey dressed in the simple white dress. Her damp hair was tied back. She didn't smell like a fish pond anymore at least. Theia walked in front of her. They rounded the corner. Theia shouldered the unlocked door open. Andromalius sat behind his desk, leaning back in his chair. The woman from earlier sat in a chair in front of him. And to Casey's horror. He stood at the desk. It turned, smiling at her. She froze.
Chapter 6: Pandora's box
Ok, so if you haven't realised by the end of this. I have an obsession with myth. Not just Greek. One of my favourites is when Thor and Tyre go on the worlds worst beer run. What's yours? Let my know in the comments.
A tattoo needle in his hand
Leaning on his cane
She watched in anger
Her fangs extended
Sharp as a pikes
The dark haired woman sat in a crimson armchair. Her pale forearm was outstretched over the table. Andromalius was hunched over it, his long hair tied back into a braid. Secured by a black leather band. Casey first thought he was examining her arm for what ever reason. A slight buzzing filled the air, the brown haired demon looked up. The buzzing stopped. He sighed "look, Pazuzu. I don't know what to tell you" He splayed his hands, Casey then noticed that a dark blue tattoo needle rested in his hand. A small pot of ink rested on the table, along with an ink covered cloth. He set down the needle and wiped the woman forearm with the cloth. "You have been after the same family since 73. What is so important about this one girl. Its been..." He calculated the time in his head "43 years. They know how to fight you, she is familiar with your tactics, she knows we exist. Move on. You have ruined them enough...you and your disgusting antics."
Theia curled up by her usual spot near the fire. She yawn, revealing her four pairs of fangs. Pazuzu turned, scratching her behind one of her eight ears. The giant cat purred. "You think to small" Andromalius( wow that was a lot of syllables. He needed an abbreviated version. Calling him "And" seemed stupid though) shifted in his seat, revealing the tattoo sleeve he had down his left arm. It started at the base of his neck and snaked downward to his wrist. It was in hues of black and grey. She couldn't see much of it but a snake was part of it.
Pazuzu chuckled. Casey contained her disgust and unending anger at him. He smiled at her. She scowled. "Don't frown like that, my dear. It creases your pretty face" she swallowed her discomfort. Andromalius studied her. "That's an improvement" he noted. Her scowl deepened. He reached for something under the table. "Theia" he whistled and she jumped to her feet. He threw something towards her and she caught it in one of her mouths. Casey had only the briefest of moments to see what it was before Theia tore into it. It was the head and front quarters of a great, brown ox. It's eyes were empty, blood spilling onto the floor. Theia viciously tore of pieces and swallowed them. Andromalius sat back down.
"That will keep her happy for a while". The woman turned in her seat, allowing Casey to see the skeletal snake on her arm. It was incredible. It looked almost alive on her skin. She grinned at her. "You look much better, you know, now that your not covered in... slime" she said, glaring at Pazuzu "Why exactly was she covered in green slime, a bit much wasn't it?".
Pazuzu grinned "for dramatic effect. But back to your question. That woman has outrun me for years. I will not lose her soul"
Andromalius raised his brow. "You intend to go back fiend?"
"And he's going to kill them while their grieving" Casey cut in. "Clever girl". Casey was frozen in place. She already knew his plan, showing her rage would do nothing. The woman tilted her head," but what makes this woman so crucial, it can't all be for a grudge" . Casey crossed her arms "Yeah, why are you such an asshole?"
Andromalius snickered. The woman scoffed. Her tattooed hand raising to her pale lips. Casey was thrown into one of the book cases with such force the shelves collapsed. Sending, piles of books and papers on top of her. The woman just watched but Andromalius's grin faltered.
Pazuzu marched over to Casey. He grabbed her by the throat and picked her up. "because I can, you little bitch. You mortals are dust beneath our claws. Your like vermin. Your family has out run me for too long and for that they will suffer." He threw her at the desk. The woman outstretched her arm to stop her from flying into them. The pot of ink spilled onto the desk. Andromalius straitened, standing, a deep guttural growl echoing from his throat.
Pazuzu raised his hand "apologies. I really shouldn't be the one to deal with her, she's your servant"
"About that" said the tattooed demoness. Her sliver eyes locked onto the ink. "Why give her to us?"
"Because he can, apparently" said Casey. Who was kneeling on the carpet. Pazuzu frowned, preparing to inflict vengeance. The woman snarled. Her pike like teeth glinting. The old demon stopped. "Get out" Andromalius snarled "and if you ever dare come back in here uninvited again you will be the one fed my beast!" Pazuzu growled but turned on his heel and marched out of the room. The door slammed behind him. Locked.
The woman grinned at Casey. "Well done" she said. "Ardat" he said. And she put her arm back on the table, the ink now cleaned up and the pot was full again. He dipped his needle into the ink and continued tattooing her arm. Casey was silent for a while. Digesting what had just happened and holding back the tears of anger. Ardat noticed. Ardat, another weird name, at least it was shorter. "Your tears are worthless here girl. As are your prayers" her accent was thick as she spoke over the needles constant buzzing.
"I just want to know why god is punishing me" the buzzing stopped and the two laughed. "You think god truly cares. You think he cares for his exorcist. His eye dilates wide, they are at the centre of his ignorance".
Casey chuckled, a cold sound "just because he threw you out" she countered.
"I was born here. I am not a fallen angle. My mother is, my farther is a demon" he said, wiping Ardat's new tattoo. Casey looked up, "so not all of you fell" he shook his head.
"No some of us were always here" Casey stood, not sure what next to do. She studied a few of the paintings. She had little knowledge of myth. Never much cared for it, but from the ways the people were dressed, she determined that they were Greek. In one a great chariot pulled by midnight black horse's was positioned in a field of flowers. A young woman was held in grasp of an older dark bearded man. A crown upon his head. Below the chariot was a very deep, black chasm. In the next, a gorgeous winged man held an equally beautiful, mortal woman in a loving embrace.
She turned, the two demons didn't seem to care about her confusion, they were more concerned with the skull on Ardat's arm. The next was of another crowned woman, presenting a rock wrapped in a blanket to a bearded man. A great scythe in his hand, tears wetted her cheeks, but a slight smile was on her face. Then finally, a young woman holding a box. It seemed out of place.
She found her voice "so what now?" she asked, her voice trembling, deflated. He looked up, frowning. "What happened to the passion in your tone?"
"There is no hope here. What use is there to enthusiastic?"
He shrugged "well maybe, but you humans always seem to believe you have hope" he pointed to the picture of the woman with the box with the tattoo needle. The buzzing stopped once again. Casey focused on it. "At least you always did when that myth was written" Casey gave him a confused look.
He sighed, handing Ardat a clean cloth. He leaned back in his chair "that is the myth of Pandora, the first woman on earth. She was created to punish humanity for the sins of Prometheus, the titan god of forethought. The author was very backwards in his thinking, so was ancient Greece... anyway, she was crafted from clay and then the entire Greek pantheon gave her gifts. Hermes named her Pandora, meaning all giving or all gifted. In the original myth, which was written by Hesiod in his book the theogony, Pandora had a pithos with her that contained all horrors. Which was released into the world when she tipped out the contents".
"Sounds great" she said, sarcastically. "I'm not finished. One thing was left in the pithos. Hope, to symbolise that humanity will always have hope".
Casey focused on the dark haired woman in the picture. Ancient gods sat atop a cloud in the corner, one held a sword the other a spear and shield and other strange weapons. "Why are you telling my this?"
"Because I have enough servants that are mindless zombies, you have a fire inside you, do not let it burn out" she didn't quite understand why, a mindless, aimless zombie was easier to control. He had the other demons to engage in conversation with. But she realised something. Hope had always persisted, even since before ancient myth. She had to be strong. She turned back to him,"but what is my job"
"Your going to help Ardat babysit?"
Chapter 7: Message in blood
They poured over books upon books
demon face's stared at them
They piled high
This cat with wings
This Russian demon
What is his plan?
Henry sat in the sitting room of the Rance's new home. He recounted the meeting with the demon with more clarity than should have been possible for him. The trees, the lake, the aging demon in the suit. The leopard with the wings and this Russian guy. Angela, had a bible before her, she concentrated only on the book. Kat sifted through another. Mother Bernadant had gone home. Her convent needed her to quell the uproar of the media and the constant questions of the reporters. Tomas scowled through google. "A leopard with four heads right?" he asked.
Henry nodded "yes, he found it quite funny that the thing had probably ate her" he said with annoyance. Tomas stayed silent for a while as he read the screen. "I've found something"
"Then read it" urged Angela. She was terrified. She was grasping for anything that could tell her where Casey was. "It says that this leopard was one of the four kingdoms of Daniel. He saw these in a vision where four beast came from the sea.
The first was a lion with two wings. Then a beast like a bear, raised up on one side, with three ribs between its teeth. Then the leopard and finally a beast with iron teeth and ten horns" He paused before continuing. "They all represent a different empire. The leopard represents ancient Greece under Alexander the great. The four represents the roman empire. All empires that will devour the whole earth " .
The group was silent. Until Angela snapped "and what about the Russian demon?" she was grasping at anything. Anything. She clutched her dark dress tightly. Her knuckles turned white. "I found nothing on him. I need more henry. Give me a description of him. Something he carries, something. " He pushed. Henry threw up his hand, flustered. "He gave me nothing else. The thing just...went".
"You should have gotten more" hiss Kat. Henry looked wide eyed at her. She irrupted to her feet. Angela opened her mouth, but was swiftly cut off by the roaring passion in Kats voice "you had a chance to speak to it, you should have asked more questions. We have almost nothing apart from a guy with an oversized cat. We don't know how she's suffering." She snarled through her teeth, panting as the anger began to drain from her. She only then seemed to realise what she had done. However she had more to say "she might be in the cats belly. She might not be. Hell maybe the bastard was lying. Maybe it's one of the other beasts. Maybe there is no beast. Maybe there is no demon guy. Maybe her soul doesn't even exist anymore".
She collapsed back into the chair. Her breathing hollow. All of the fury in her voice was gone and the energy in her body had seemed to follow it. The cream armchair sag beneath her limp form. Tears slid down her cheeks. The rest just looked at her. "I'm sorry" she coughed out.
"It's ok Kit Kat. It's fine. I should have done something other than just trying to tackle an immortal." Angela gripped his worn hand. Marcus said "we can second guess ourselves. but we can't take everything that demon says at face value. But it is all we have". They nodded in agreement.
"What next" asked Angela. Marcus bit his lip. "Well that demon possessed you before and posses Casey to punish you for surviving. So" he raised a hand to his chin. "So it will just give up now that she's gone or it will come back for more". He said, his tone grave. Angela understood.
"I think, I think it wants me. I lived, so perhaps it came back to finish me off." She said. Marcus brushed the back of his freshly bandaged hand. He had stitched it up himself. Angela swallowed a lump in her throat, standing. "If it comes back. I'll give it my soul. Then no one else will die."
Henry shot to his feet. "No!" Angela gestured to Kat." We have to look after our girl. If giving it my life is the cost. Then so be it. I can watch over Casey then" she said. Her voice was heavy. She sat beck down.
"It won't come to that" said Marcus. Maybe it will be satisfied with Casey' soul" He offered.
"What do the demons even do with the souls?" asked Kat. In a desperate, much needed change of subject.
Tomas grit his teeth." Eat them?" he said nervously, his eyes darting from side to side. "Then use their bodies to commit evil here on earth".
The phone rang suddenly. Startling all of them. Marcus grabbed the wall mounted phone. His eyes darted around the room. The light green curtains were tied back, allowing sunlight to trickle into the room. The light blue carpet was rough under his sock covered feet. "Hello?"
"Yes" his face was neutral. His eyes suddenly widened. Hand flying to his mouth. "umm. Yes. Right. Thankyou". He dropped the phone like it was a lead weight. He just stared at the carpet as he ran a hand through his very short hair. He slumped onto the cream sofa. A look of concern covered the faces of the others.
"Mother Bernadant is dead".
"She was found dead in her Abbey. Umm...ugh...She um. Was found with a broken neck. Blood everywhere. There was a message in the blood. Lesser key. 72".
Tomas typed it into google faster than he had ever typed before. "Lesser key of Solomon." They turned. "The account of the 72 spirits summoned by Solomon."
"Tomas. Who is the spirit?" Kat dared to ask. Her voice was an almost inaudible quake. Tomas took a deep shuddering breath. " Our advisory is the 72nd demon. Count Andromalius". He turned the computer around. Showing them a sketch of the demon. A large snake held in his hand. Henry snarled.
Chapter 8: The lowest pit of hell
The baby slept soundly
As she was given a job
and found indescribable horrors
Casey stood in a room. The walls were pale. Long reeds and plants were painted on the wall. Growing from the floor. The pattern wasn't childish. In fact it seemed like it could fit in any room. Generic but not insultingly so. Twin cupboards sat in either side of the rectangular room. A few trunks and boxes and shelves were also in the room. They contain various clothes, bottles, toys and other necessary things for a child around the few months to a little over a year range. A table leaned against a wall. All the furniture was a dark wood, many scenes and patterns carved into the surfaces. She leaned against a well polished cabinet. The pattern of weaving ivy grew up the sides of it. A large crib sat in the middle of the room. Crimson pillows and a light quilt lay within. Ardat stood next to her. A dark dress swayed around her. The sleeveless dress exposed the ram skull tattoo on her shoulder. She walked to the crib. Her dress trailing her. Her outfit just screamed I'm a demon . Stupid creature.
She was still annoyed about this situation. Not the baby sitting but the being in hell bit. She imagined what Kat would do in this situation. She would have probably gotten into a verbal sparring match with Ardat by now, she had always been more fiery than her. She missed her dearly. She looked down at her black dress. It was simple and far too much like the one from her dream.
Ardat reached into the crib. She lifted a small child from the crib. The babe was dressed in red clothes. Just like the vision. The baby made no sound. Sleeping soundly in Ardat's arms. Casey kept her voice down "boy or girl?" she asked.
Ardat looked up. Her eyes like fiery lakes. The need to protect roaring within,"female. She's Andro's niece. Due to. Um...circumstances, she lives with him. As his cousin and second, I help. And your also going to assist us" she ordered. Her teeth growing in the spikes that often filled her mouth as she sat on the crimson sofa. The cushions sagging under her. "Why not have another demon or witch help"
"You do not ask questions girl" she snapped. The baby opened her eyes, whining. Ardat picked up a bottle of milk and gently pressed it to the babies lips. Casey sat next to them and she noted the duel sets of tiny fangs in the babies mouth. The thin claws on her fingers. This wasn't a baby, it was an act of blasphemy. A devil child.
Casey's eyes went to the windows. Very robust metal framed and divided the small windows into four even smaller ones . No one getting in that way. A method of security to protect the baby. "Her name is kivo”.She said as the baby suckled on the bottle. "She's 13 mouths".
"And a menace" said a male voice. Andromalius leaned against the ebony door frame. He prowled towards them. His hair swaying. " Just like my brother” he grinned. Ardat put the bottle to the side and handed him the child. The baby began giggling as he held her. He kissed her forehead.
Kivo looked a lot like him. Clearly she took after her dad and uncle.Her hair the same dusty brown, but her eyes were far greener than his. Her skin was slightly paler. She was only a few skin tones darker than an albino.
She grabbed a few strands of his hair. "No" he said. "Not the hair" he drew her attention with a small stuffed tarantula. It's stitched red eyes were the brightest crimson she had ever seen. Kivo began chewing on one of the legs. She let go of his hair.
"Tie it back then" said Ardat in an ancient language. "I really should" he responded in the same tong.
Kivo continued to gnaw on the spider. Casey wondered if the toy was a taxidermy spider, rather than a stuffed one. It felt like something they would do.
"So I'm looking after her" said Casey. He looked to her" your helping" he said as Kivo clawed at the tarantula with her tiny talons. "But don't worry. We've considered Kivo’s safety. Here's an insensitive".
Casey found herself on an invisible platform in the centre of a swirling void of darkness. Andromalius stood next to her. Kivo no longer in his arms.
Screams came from the void. "Where are we?" She asked. His eyes gleamed in the dark. His face cloaked in shadow. " the circle of Ivey. The darkness and coldest part of hell and the furthest place from heaven in all of creation." He pointed to the screams. "The truly wicked dwell here. Not even the devil has his seat in this place.Look" he ordered.
Casey walked forward slowly. She dared to look over the side "look into true evil".
Her eyes went wide.
There was a deep pit below them. It was the same disorienting void as the walls. Rivers of frozen blood twisted around the pit. Powerful winds threw bleeding figures whimsical around the pit. No they were being constantly thrown as they were being sliced but paper thin blades. Over and over and over. Slicing into their bones. Screams echoed from the pit, the most pained screams she had ever heard. She continued to stare at the tortured figures as she slowly backed up. She stopped when she hit an unmoving object. His body was the only source of warmth against the stinging winds. Blue lightning lashed the sky. A bolt hit the bottom of the pit and another scream sounded. She turned. Andromalius stood with his arms crossed. His eyes hard.
"What did they do?" She asked. He sighed "unspeakable things".
"That's not an answer"
He stepped forward "allow me to put it this way. To our darkness there is a purity. To the humans down there. They have none, if I began regaling you with tales of their crimes, you would never again sleep soundly"
A shiver went down her spine "so if I hurt Kivo, I'm going down there "
He smiled " you get the picture. The blades which slice the creatures down there are coated in an asidic poison which makes it hurt more".
She nodded. A punishment for the truly guilty. The punishment fit. Blades slicing them as they had sliced the souls of their victims. Or probably something like that. She didn't know what they had done. "Any notable figures down there? Like Hitler"
He shook his head" no. He is with Stalin in the tyrant ring. Its much warmer over there."
Casey frowned. Disappointed "but the two North Korean dictators are down there and the third will join them some day if he doesn't get his act together" he said. She grinned at that.
"Fine. I won't hurt Kivo but just so you know you didn't haft to show me this. I would never hurt a baby"
"Words are just words." He stood on the edge of the platform" we had a witch look after her once and she tried to steal her soul". Casey stood unmoving. Debating pushing him into the pit. " ironic don't you think. You steal our souls" he turned. "Indeed. I won't argue with that but we need to feed"
she gestured to the writhing pit " we do not eat them?"
"We eat sinners and the living"
Casey swallowed hard. Her dress swaying around her. He grinned " don't lecture me on morals. You kill and eat cows and pigs don't you" he teleported behind her, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Just so you know I wouldn't have just dragged you down here, after possession I mean".
"What would you have done?" She asked turning " destroyed your soul after feeding. It's painless and better than this" she nodded. It was a strange sort of mercy but a painless end was the best end. " Which part of hell would I have been sent to if I wasn't babysitter?"
"Depends what you had done in life. Sometimes the victim will have done something worthy of hell and they are sent to the asigned ring. But you're not evil though. I can sense it".
She shivered. Hugging herself to try to conserve heat. He noticed " let's go" a dark pair of wings sprouted from his back. She stepped back. "I won't drop you"
"You better not" she snapped. He chuckled at her statement, that fire had not gone out after all. "Well it’s let me carry you or I leave you here. It's a one way teleporter. Only a demon can get you out". She scowled. Inwardly cursing her situation. " fine".
She stalked forward. Putting her arms up around him neck. Digging her nails into his neck, scowling. He picked her up. An arm resting under her knees. The other behind her back. The scowl remained as he looked upwards. He jumped. His wings opening and with great beats and they flew upward.
Casey gripped his shoulder as they passed a variety of rings, ranging from vibrant rainforest. Dark plumbed harpies screeched from the branches. Dark caverns. Raging tempests and tundras, icy monsters roared from within. A blazing lake was the next level. The lake of fire greeted them. Three red haired demonesses crowded them from nowhere. "Ladies" he said. A sligh grin on his lips. The three women were beautiful and muscled. They wore very revealing clothes. Their breasts were full and their outfits exposed a good bit of cleavage. He clearly approved of their outfits. Concidering his smile. Casey snarled. She wasn't jealous but she didn't not need this right now.
The three looked at Casey. Frowning. "Enialius what is she doing here?"
"New servant. I was just showing her the lowest level. Casey, these are the furies." Casey looked to them. Frowning. "Nice to meet you" she forced out. They smiled sweetly. Only infuriating her more. "We are the sisters of vengeance" the eldest said.
"Do you exact vengeance for anyone?"
"Any who have been wronged"
"Then go get revenge on Pazuzu for me "
The demons laughed. "Nope. You're in hell. We only help the living for the price of their souls. But Pazuzu has some nice new claw marks down his face" she said, splaying her fingers to reveal her three inch long claws.
"he pissed us off" said the second demon. She chuckled.
Casey, unnerved, gripped his shoulders tighter. He nodded "well ladies I'm afraid we must go"
"aww" the three sighed in unison. And Andromalius began flying upwards once more. "Oh there's a witch coming to sort out that thing you wanted done" one of them shouted " thank you" he replied and banked right. Then down. Down to a large stone structure. His home.
when they got back to the room. Ardat was dozing on the sofa. One eye kept on the baby. Theia sat curled on the rug. Kivo sat in front of the giant cat. Playing with one of the beast’s ears. Theia was not impressed by this. He scratched one of the cats heads. Picking up Kivo. Theia rolled over and went to sleep.
he handed the child to Casey. The baby laughed and reached for her hair as a woman ran into the room. No a harpy. Her arms were covered in a pattern of dark and light feathers. Her hands were tipped with talons. As were her scaly feet. “Sorry I’m late”. She stammered and bowed dramatically.
Chapter 9: Bad summoning
They continued to study
they came up with a plan
A ouija board will be used
The Rances and two remaining exorcists stydied the image of Andromailius on the monitor. Tomas put it on spilt screen, showing an image of the four headed leopard. On the monitor showed a much more monsterous version of the demon. A large, gaping mouth full of triangular teeth. Curving horns framed his elongated head. Long, reptilian arms and feet were tipped with dark talons. Spikes ran down his legs and two massive, hissing snakes were in his hands. A goatish bears hung from his chin. "Ugly thing isn't he?" said Marcus. A few nodes of agreement.
"That's only one dipiction" said Tomas. He turned the laptop to face him and began scrolling. He spun the laptop around to face them. The picture before them was that of an a young man who’s appearance boarded on angelic. A head of white hair. Stunning blue eyes and a muscular body clad in bronze greeted them. An olive boa draped over his shoulders. Head resting on his hand. “ the rule of thumb is that he carries a snake and that’s it as far as appearance goes. You will not believe how much fan art these demons get though.” He said in a brief change of subject “and yes for the most part they are all hot”.
”That’s the internet for you. Everything is reimagined to be hot” said Kat from the armchair she was curled in. “They don’t think it’s real though” said Angela. “ what is his temperament? What does he do?”
Tomas did some more typing “he knows all lies. He punishes the wicked. Can find all hidden or stolen things and those who took them. Besides that there is really nothing except he’s a count, sometimes an Earl. He was the 72nd demon summoned by Solomon and his summoning seal.” He spun the computer to face them. Marcus sighed. “Ok it’s not horrifyingly complex” “How do we summon him?” Kat asked.
Angela spluttered "what?"
"step 1: we summon demon. Step 2: we drown him in holy water until he brings Casey back" said Kat.
Henry nodded along with Tomas" sounds good"
"You idiots" remarked Marcus. "He's not just going to give us Casey. This is what would happen if we called the demon." Marcus jumped to his feet.
"Demon comes out of the portal. 'Hey buddy give us Casey'". He walked a few steps" Um. I don't zink zo. Time to die" said Marcus in a terrible Russian accent." He will say as he pulls out a knife. And then he'll go back to hell to his communism"
Angela scowled "she's my child. Andro-something can get her out"
"Yeah the angels will just haft to deal with it. Casey is more important"
Marcus sighed. " Fine we'll discuss it later."
Angela tossed and turned that night. Debating the plan. Would the demon even talk to her. She wouldn't sleep that night. She got up. Pushing back the covers. Henry slept soundly next to her. He didn't move as she looked for her jacket and slippers and patted down the hall.
She walked down the stairs. Being carful not to wake Marcus and Tomas who were sharing the living room. They slept on blowup beds. Marcus had his pink bunny slippers hanging off his feet. He snored loudly.
She patted down to the basement. Flicking on the light. Revealing the drab concrete wall. A wooden table sat in the middle of the room. A few crates sat in the corner. She walked to one. Pulling out an old ouija board. The card was worn and yellowed by age. The letters and numbers were half rubbed off. She pulled out the planchette. A wooden teardrop shape covered in markings with a large round hole in the middle. She turned it over in her hands. Considering her options. "So you're going to try and talk to Casey"
Angela turned. Kathrine stood in the door way. She framed herself in it like a picture. "Yes. I don't care what they say. If there is a chance-"
Kathrin nodded and sat on the table. A piece of chalk in her hand, along with her phone" why did you keep the board?"
Angela shrugged "I don't know. Something to remind me of what happened perhaps? So that I would never forget" she couldn't forget. Never. It shaped her life horribly and she never wanted it to happen again. Despite her efforts, her daughter was dead.
She sat at the table. Kat had put her art skills to good use. Drawing the demons symbol on the table. Slowly sketching the lines and letter. Once finished, Angela put the board on the marking. They put two fingers on the planchette. They began rotating it in large, sweeping circles. They were silent as they concentrated on the board. Angela looked to her remaining daughter. Kat nodded. "Andromalius" said Angela. "Wait. Shouldn't we have brought like an offering?"
"What would it want?"
Kat looked to the chain around her neck. She removed it. A small gem hung at the end of the silver necklace."What about this?"
"will he want jewellery?" Asked Angela. Only now noticing how unprepared they were for this. She had her crucifix hidden in her pocket in case things went bad. "Lets hope he's one of those guy who like chain necklaces"
They started again "Andromalius. We summon you. Are you there?" Said Angela as they moved the planchette across the board. They stopped as nothing happened. They waited. Listening to nothing but their own breathing.
Suddenly a deep voice broke the silence. Their eyes rolled into their heads as the vision began. Dark smoke manifested in the corner.
They turned their heads slowly. Willing their fear to not show on their faces.
"I am Andromalius. Might Earl of Hell. Tamer of the great leopard. He who knows all lies and underhand deals. Speak your request"
Suddenly the darkness evaporated and was replaced but a great roaring flame. They held their breaths. Awaiting what came next.
Chapter 10: A chance at earth
The harpy plums were dark
Her eyes hard
As his head throbbed
And eyes bled
The harpy stumbled into the room. Her scaly, clawed feet ripping the carpet. Andromalius sighed loudly. "I just had that cleaned".
"oops" squawked the harpy. A hit of sarcasm in her voice. She stood roughly 5 and a half ft tall, her body skinny, probably so that she could fly using the long plumage exstending from her arms. They were so long that they almost touched the floor. A patern of light and dark spots coloured them. Her hair on the other hand was deep red. Like blood. The parts of her skin that was not covered with dark and crimson feathers was pale.
Her eyes were a golden-green. Like a sunset shining through a canopy of jade leaves, she grinned. Short, spiked teeth filled her mouth. "Oh honey, we can get a few sinners to fix it" she cooed in an Australian accent " I'm the one sent by the furies." She held out a sealed envelope. A golden seal had stamped it shut. He took it with his hand. Nimbly flipping it open. He began reading it as the harpy looked to Casey. She stepped back towards him for some reason feeling safer next to him than the bird. He chuckled "very well. Would you like to be payed in bird seed?"
She squawked her dissatisfaction. "Perhaps people would like you birds more if you stopped dive bombing everyone who walked through your woods" he drawled.
She hissed. "Dive bomb?" Asked Casey. He looked to her " yes, much like Australia. All the wildlife here wants to kill you." He gestured to the harpy.
"I am not wildlife, and if you bastards stay out of our woods there wouldn't be a problem" the Harpy clucked.
He bowed mockingly "apologies that I dare use the public walk way" he looked side long at Casey " there is one saving grace to them though. They hate cyclists. Like the rest of us" Casey smiled at that.
"Who's the sheela?" Asked the bird person.
"New servent. An innocent soul Pazuzu dragged down here, Eva"
Eva the harpy. Finally a normal name! Even if it belonged to a temperamental bird woman. Eva scratched the featherless portion of her toned belly. "Great. Lunch"
Casey darted back. "Nope" she blurted, holding Kivo tightly.
"She's my servent. No eating". Eva frowned. "But she has just the right amount of fat on her". Casey turned green, sweating. "Umm" she said looking for a sudden change of topic " so all the animals here are dangerous?"
Andromalius turned. Stopping suddenly as his hand flew to his temple. He hissed as a sharp, stabbing pain shot through his head. Sweat began to drip From his brow. His breathing grew uneven. Kivo, burst into tears. "Shhh" Casey soothed "it's ok" she said rocking her. Ardat sat up" she can feel the power. It's a summon request that has been shoddily preformed"
He sat down. "Give my a few minutes" he said. Leaning his head back against the sofa. His eyes rolled back into his head. Casey wiped a tear from Kivo's cheek. "Shhh" she continued. The babe had seemed to calm down a bit but she was still shaking. "Uncle is fine"she said. Look to Ardat for confirmation.
Casey walked to the crib. Putting Kivo in it. Pulling the blanket over her and handed her her fuzzy tarantula toy that the baby hugged and began to chew on. Casey could get the hang of this.
Kivo quickly fell asleep. Suddenly Andromalius let out a scream. Crimson tears fell from his eyes as his blood slid down his face. He began thrashing and convulsing. His claws tore at the fabric. Ardat grabbed him. Holding him down as the veins in his eyes. That were still rolled into his head turned black. "Girl. Come help".
Casey grabbed his shoulder. Screaming as the heat from his skin torched her hands. She grabbed a blanket. Using it to protect her hand as she tried to hold him, but his strength far exceeded hers and she went tumbling to the floor as two curved horns irrupted from his scalp. The were a deep olive colour. Curved and framed his face but the tips pointed forward so that they would impale anyone if he lunged. It was clear they had saved him a few times from slashes to the head. Thin white line ran across some parts of them.
He gagged as black bile dripped from his chin. Ardat somehow managed to keep his pulsating body somewhat still. Casey slowly back away. Eva began chanting something.
"Girl" said Ardat "where do you think you're going?"
Casey trembled. An ear splitting roar tore from his throat and Ardat took up the chant. A sort of white mist formed a spinning ring around them. The air cracking.
His limbs straightened and twisted violently. "Come help". Why should she help a demon? Why should she help a monster? He hadn't treated her badly though. She looked down. A hard smack of power slammed into her cheek. Blood welled. "Get your ass over here now" she hissed. Casey shook her head. A voice entered her head. Eva's voice "help and I can get you to earth. You will not be human though."
Casey gasped inwardly. Considering. This was her chance. Her moment to save them. She'd no longer be human though. But was for them, so she'd do what ever necessary to save them.
She walked over and held the back of his head to stop it from slamming against the chair. Eva smiled.
Chapter 11: The price of a soul
The great Earl came
Darkness representing him
Untill something went wrong
Marcus awoke suddenly. His exorcist training alerting him to the presence of a powerful and ancient evil," what is it?" Grumbled Tomas as he slowly got to his feet. His eyes were red from sleeplessness. He yawned, stretching. Marcus picked up his crucifix. "There is evil a foot" he considered what happened in the day. The plan the two Rances had put...together. He gasped "Those idiots!"
Pulling on his pink slippers Marcus ran to the sorce of the evil. A very tired Tomas stumbling after him. They skidded to a halt at the doorway. Like two evil fighting, pajama clad avengers. There were two humans in the room. Their heads turned to a mass of shadow and darkness. A deep, Russian voice came from the mass as it began to shape and mould it's self into the shape of a man with sleek hair that fell to his hips. A snake shaped sword was secured at his hip. That was what the verse meant. His eyes were like gemstones. "Speak your request".
Henry bolted around the corner. Sweat dripping down his face. Rage transformed his features as he took in Andromalius's good features. Marcus was slightly jealous of the demons hair. Damn unholy beast with superior hair.
The demon looked up at the humans. "Where is my daughter "he roared. The demon tilted his head to the side. The shadows swirling around his muscular legs. A small smile on his lips "ah, so you are the Rances. Greetings. Casey speaks kindly of you"His eyes fell upon Marcus. "Marcus Kean.!" He said joyously "It has been a long time. 35 years I'd say. Do you not remember me?" The demon chuckled. Marcus growled as the demon took on the voice on an American female. About a middle aged woman. Her voice had a slightly lilt to it " your sins will bring only death and none will hear your cries in the abyss!" It shouted and laughed .
Marcus raised his crucifix "yes, I I think so ." He said through his teeth " my fifth exorcism? And by far the strongest demon I had met up until that point". Andromalius strode forward. A hand resting easily on the pommel of his sword "I trust I am still the strongest demon you have ever faced" he said striding around the table. " sadly not"
"Damn. I hoped I had made a good first impression. I always enjoy testing new exorcist, their reactions are always interesting." Marcus grinned. "Yes I remember now. You left quite the impression"
"Well at least you will never forget me now. Yes Casey is in my service, but-" he broke of coughing. "However-" he broke off again as blood began to drip from his eyes. He raised a hand to his cheeks as the three humans stared at him in horror. The blood dripped onto his fingers and he stared at the blood like it wasn't his "how-" he gagged on purple bile that spilled from his mouth.
"This is bad" mouthed Tomas. The demon scratched at his throat. Like he was trying to open an airway. He coughed and more of the viscus purple substance spilled from his mouth. His body confuses and fell to his knees as he vomited more and more slime onto the floor. The exorcist remained silent and stared at him. The two women remained transfixed on the ouija board.
Andromalius looked up. Curseing in some ancient, archaic language. " you fools. That is not how you summon us. You have no idea what you have done" he chocked out. He fell face first to the floor. One hand outstretched. Claws dipped in blood. His entire body irrupted into flames. Angela and Kat broke from their trance to see the demon on the floor. He made no sound as his body began to evaporate.
His body became nothing but ash.
"you absolute idiots" snapped Marcus. Angela glared at him"oh piss off. She's my daughter that thing" she flung a finger at the corpse " had her under its control. If it could bring her back!"
"Is it dead?" Asked Henry. Marcus walked forward and exsamined the ash. "No his physical manifestation is gone. He probably cursing us down in hell. Casey is in his service. He will probably punish her for this" he looked to Angela and Kat. "I can't believe you two. How stupid are you?"
Kat scowled" we had to-"
The ash began to form into a human form. From it came a purple light shining through the cracks. It chuckle. "Hello" it said. Pazuzu. "You should listen to Andromalius. For you see , you have created an area of demonic energy. His manifestation was both the catalyst and the power cell. Now I can use my true power with this house. Prepare for your demise and know that Casey was the whole reason for it".
Chapter 12: A glimmer of hope
She consulted the harpy
to her surprise
There was a way to get out
Andromalius gagged on the viscous bile. His claws protracted and retracted every few seconds. Casey held the back of his head. Holding the base of one of his olive coloured horns to make sure he wouldn't fracture his skull with his own strength. How she would stop him if his power manifested? She didn't know.
"How will you get me to earth?" Casey asked in her mind. Looking to Eva. The harpy continued her chant. Her plumed arms outstretched. Her feathers swayed in a phantom breeze. "I shall show you after this. Just keep holding his head. I can get you out but you must listen very carefully to what I say". Eva's voice wrang in her head. Casey returned her attention to Andromalius.
A darkness pulsed underneath his skin. His mouth began foaming. Casey dabbed at his slime covered face with a cloth. Cleaning away the blood and purple slime. The scene reminded her her of her exorcism. She began sweating. Ardat made a hand symbol. Twisting her fingers into an ancient gesture. She held her hands up. A bright golden light weaved itself around her fingers like a ribbon.
He grew still, and Eva shut up. Lowering her arms. Casey stepped back" stay there" said Ardat. "This is tricky, so don't move". She exhaled and the golden light hit his face. The gold bored into his eyes. Causing a golden glaze to cover them.
Ardat quickley dropped her hand and ran to him. Turning him onto his side.
The remaining bile was clear from his throat as he coughed and spluttered. Ardat handed him a handkerchief. He sat up and wiped his face. His eyes retained their golden glaze.
"So dose that happen often?" said Casey Crossing her arms. He looked up. He was sweating profusely. "No" he panted. "It was a summoning. People call upon us sometimes". Ardat handed him a fresh handkerchief. He dabbed at his sweating brow. "Why would someone summon you?" She snapped.
"we demons have dominion over different parts of the universe. We know languages, magic. We can cause storms. Created typhoons. Shift the earth. Fire manipulation and much more. Humans will call upon us for us to teach them or even to draw on our strength". Ardat sat next to him. "They are called witches or necromancers".
"The people who summoned me did the ritual incorrectly. It destroyed my manifestation in that world and in doing so. A great deal of demonic energy and magic was left there. And now whatever is able to harness it can use it for any purpose" he wiped more droplets of sweat from his face.
Casey swallowed hard. She steadied her breathing "and who-"
"it was the Rances. Your mother and sister specifically. Two exorcists were also there". Casey swallowed down the feeling of being sick. Her face paled. All that demonic magic in a place so close to them. "What happened?"
"they messed with a ouija board and drew my symbol and hoped for the best" he said standing and promptly collapsed. Unconscious on the floor.
After managing to get an unconscious Andromalius into bed. Casey was instructed by Ardat to watch over him. She found it insulting. Bastard creatures. After all the horrors, she was being ordered to look after one of them. She was happy to look after Kivo, but she didn't trust Andromalius. Definitely not Ardat. Andromalius wasn't as bad as Pazuzu. He hadn't done anything to make her distrust him but he was still a demon.
"You will not be human though". Eva's words rattled her skull. She dreaded what that meant. Perhaps she would be turned into a harpy or some other creature?Perhaps she could rock the feathers look. She tried to smile at the thought. At least she would see her parents and sister again.
Andromalius lay on the bed. Unmoving, appearing to be in a death sleep. His shirt was peeled away and a series of wires were attached to his chest to monitor his heart rate. It had remained constant at the moment. He had another tattoo on his chest. It was some swirling markings in some language which probably meant something important to his disgusting demon culture.
Eva walked into the room. Grinning "ok, wanna learn how to get out of hell?" She cooed, clasping her clawed hands together. Casey nodded "we are going to turn you into a demon " . Casey swallowed but nodded. "How?"
"Big powerful ritual. First we need some demon blood. I already have that. But you need to get something else for me" she picked up an old book from the table that was conviently there. She flicked to a page and showed it to her. It was a ruby red apple."So you know the whole Adam and Eve story right".
Casey nodded "They ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge and the world became a fallen world"
"That's right. This ,demon blood and a few other ingredients make demon soup. I need you to get 13 of these"
Casey studied the book "so if I get these. I can get out of hell?"
Eva nodded "yes freedom will be your as well as eternal life and all the bells and whistles of being a demon"
Casey's breathing became wragged but she couldn't stop now" how do I get them?"
Eva walked to the side of the bed. She smiled down at him. "We will just need to convince him to take you there. I'm going to be around here a while. So I will simply claim that I need them for something and have you harvest them." Casey sat on the bed. "Why me?"
"because your expendable. If something goes wrong no one will care". Casey frowned. "Thanks" she sneered. "Your welcome".
"Now just watched over this guy until he wakes." She looked at Casey. "You think he's hot don't you".
Casey crossed her arms"no. I don't" . Andromalius wasn't an eye saw. His torso was well muscled. He had a six pack that was well defined. His arms were chiselled and powerful. Eva grinned. Turning. "See you around Casey. I look forward to working with you" and she left the room.
Andromalius groaned. His eyes fluttered open. His horns slowly retracted into his head. His hair was disheveled and sweaty. He looked to her. And she put on her best smile. He took the wires of his chest and sat up. "What happened?" At least he hadn't heard them. "You passed out and we got you here. Oh Eva wants these apple things for something"
He rolled his eyes. Lying back down and pulling the quilt over him"I'll deal with it later" he said and closed his eyes.
Chapter 13: Possession
Her family sat somber
her crimson eyes blazing
The family sat in the living room. Angela walked around the small table. Her eyes red, like blood. Her grin was knowing. Ghastly. Kat sat in a tiel armchair. Her eyes red with tears. What had she done. She had brought him here. Given him so much power over this house. Henry and Marcus sat on the sofa. Tomas had been levertated from the ground. His head touched the ceiling. His arms outstretched. His crucifix was smashed to pieces.
"It's so good to be back. Oh and just so you are aware. Andromalius decided not to feed Casey to Theia. She is his servant."
"God no"Kat whimpered. Angela scowled "well that is the kind of talk we just can't have. No saying god from now on" and she closed her fist. Kat began to splutter. Her throat closing. No longer able to breathe. She clawed at her throat the same way Andromalius had. She kicked and convulsed. Henry tried to stand but felt a sudden, stabbing erupted in his belly. He fell to the side. Clutching his stomach. "Stop it" Tomas roared along with Marcus.
"Angela. Please" Henry groaned. His skin green. Veins bursting from his skin. Marcus lunged at Angela. Crucifix in hand. He slammed into the wall. Thrown by an invisible force. His hit the carpeted floor. Unconscious. Angela grimaced. Turning with an eerie sort of ease. "Now. I don't want to kill anyone here. But I will if necessary. And I have ambitions for this family. And a all you need to do is behave". She sat down on another arm chair. Propping herself up on one fist.
Kat gagged. Saliva sliding down her chin. "Say you'll be good" she said sweetly. Kat glared defiantly at her but chocked out "I...w...il...l" . Air quickly flooded her lungs and she fell forward gasping. "You see. That wasn't hard. Just do as I ask and all will run smoothly"
Kat curled up in her room. The ouija board set out before her. She lay her fingers on the planchette. "Who are talking to?" Kay's head snapped to the voice. Angela stood in the door way. Gazing at the board. "Who will listen?" She asked, begrudgingly. Angela tapped her lips. "Hmm. It appears to be a young ghost. Lost in the endless void. But who you talk to is largely random unless you drew a symbol. But you failed miserably last time."
Kat shrugged "what are you?"
"Im a demon. A very old one. From ancient Babylon. You know they didn't fear us". Kat raised an eye "what, your a bitter ancient god?". Angela stalked around Kats bed. The carpet silencing her heeled foot steps. "No, they knew we were dangerous but they would have us protect them from other demons." Kat raised a brow. Her mind racing. Perhaps she could do the same. Would Andromalius- she couldn't even believe she was ever considering this but before sat a demon. Perhaps she could find a less assholeish one. One that despite the one before her.
"We are going on a little family outing tomorrow" Kat's brow rose "oh?"
"yes. My plans begin with a pig in a white hat bleeding out for the world to see"
Chapter 14: Meeting of devils
A meeting adjourned
A creature is on the loose
Casey stood almost in the shadows of a pillar. Her eyes downcast, a crimson veil covered her face. The mesh fabric the same vibrant red as the long sleeved dress she wore. Andromalius, now recovered, had her as his servant this day. This day he was entertaining guests. They were largely political, some personal friends. Apparently his brother was also here. Kivo was clutched in her arms. The baby chewed on her favourite tarantula toy, that wasn't a dead spider she had learned. Andromalius sat in a large seat, his hair pulled back in a pony tail. His armour gleaming.
The door swung open and a number of men and women wandered in. They all bore the eyes and fangs of demons. One of them looked almost exactly like Andro. Ardat stood next to her cousin. Snarling at her other cousin. Kivo was unusually quiet, leaning into Casey. The demons took their seats. Leaning on the arms of their golden thrones. So much wealth. Casey studied the gests. There were about seven of them. Four men, three women. They ranged from the age of 18-34. Though that was just what they decided to look like, under their human pelts were unspeakable horrors.
"Let us begin" said Andromalius. His cloak was spilling over the chair. "The entity has murdered another house hold. That brings it's death count up to 14 so far. Little can be done to avoid it. It's powerful, like us and it can heal." said a 19 year old woman, her eyes were sky blue. She had no pupils, but her hair was a jet black, a disorienting black. Her voice was like a bell and it felt like it was lulling her to sleep. A siren.
"There is little to be used to fight against it" said the twin. He looked almost identical to his brother but his hair was much shorter. Only reaching his chest. "Shadows and fire have shown to have an effect. Such as repelling it and slowing it's healing. Meaning it's composed of water and light, though it dose not match up with any creature we have ever seen. The area it is in has been quarantined"
"You haven't been" taunted the oldest man in the room. He was a ginger who appeared to be around 30 "this is your fault after all". The twin exploded into flame, fire sparking around him "like hell it's my fault!"
"If you had reported the deaths-"
"The physician had no idea what was wrong with them! We were given no warning"
"Then why bury them in a place of such power?" said the redhead, picking at his claws. His eyes were a warm grey. The twin growled, even his fangs were the same "because it was symbolically important to bury them their."
"And now the creature has a catalyst and host" said a honey blond girl, she was the youngest there. She looked at Casey with her dark blue light eyes. Her pupils were solid rock and Casey was glad she had a veil to hide behind, even though it was too warm. "perhaps whatever transformed them infected you, perhaps the rest of your house, perhaps" she stared at Kivo and Casey hid Kivo with the massive sleeves of her gown. Covering the child in a mass of red. "perhaps she is also infected, perhaps you two have infected the rest of us we do not know" the two brothers snarled.
"Watch yourself Bellona" Andromalius warned. Bellona just smiled "it's a harsh truth but it must be addressed my lord. I propose this. We assemble a small team of spirits consisting of fire and shadow elements to investigate the woods" her eyes were still on Kivo and Bellona's eyes were far too hard, like she had seen all and was the oldest here, even though she appeared the youngest.
Andromalius raised a hand "not a bad idea. Any other suggestions?" the others were silent. Andromalius stood up "very well. Regesh assemble a team, Bellona I put you in charge of overseeing this operation. If there is no questions this meeting is adjourned". They all stood and began leaving, all except for the twin.
"Is something wrong little brother?" The twin looked at Casey, her massive sleeves still hid Kivo. The baby grabbed some of the red fabric and began playing with it. Casey cradled Kivo and the baby began playing with her veil. "No, I just came to see my child" Kivo giggled as she grabbed one of Casey's gloved fingers. With one powerful tug, Casey's veil fell to the floor. "Kivo" Casey frowned. "Valefar, this is Casey, she is the new babysitter. "
Valefar crossed his arms "a mortal. Sure she's not an eye saw but still. By the Styx And" Casey found herself a little offended but choose to stay nothing " she's from limbo. She won't dare hurt Kivo."
"And you know that?"
"I have given her an incentive not to" he grinned. "Casey give Kivo to her farther, please" Casey obeyed, handing over the girl. She felt a strange feeling in her chest. Was it the feeling of letting her go, had she become...attached? No, not at all. She had not become attached to the demon child. Never. Probably not.
Valefar smiled brightly as he held his daughter. "Have you behaved for uncle And?" he said and she giggled, "she an absolute menace, just like you and just as annoying".
"I'm glad to hear it...wait what do you mean annoying?"
"You were so obnoxious in high school" Valefar put a hand on his hip" I believe you mean popular"
Ardat sat on the arm of Andromalius's chair "how so?"
"I got better game. Who got the girl in the end?" Valefar grinned. Andro looked upward "I still pity the poor woman who married you?" Casey held her breath, waiting for bloodshed. "bastard, your just jealous"
"Oh yes. Do you even have a lover?"
"No". Valefar chuckled" have you ever had one?"
"One wench 300 years ago doesn't count" . Andromalius snarled. Casey had seen this behaviour in humans, siblings annoying the each other, pressing every button they had. Valefar said "look, differences aside, I will always be grateful to you for looking after her, and I would really appreciate it if you continued to do so". Andromalius raised a brow "is your home still not secure?"
"No. Not with that thing running around". Andromalius waved a hand "she can stay as long as she likes. I think Casey is getting attached anyway". Casey glared at him "I am not. I couldn't care less about the imp."
"I think you do" Ardat interjected "I would never care for a demon"
"So your racist?"
"I think that's justified, after the whole Pazuzu episode". Valefar cringed "I can't stand him. Royal pain in the ass"
"He's why I'm here and gave me to your brother she pointed to Andro. Valefar nodded "such a travesty" he said. Kivo yawned. "Daddy" she grumbled as her eye lids drooped. "Her crib is through there" Ardat gestured with a jerk of her head. Valefar disappeared though the door.
"Eva is still squawking about magic apples" Casey moaned as she poured brandy into a glass and handed it to Andromalius. He sipped from it "is she now."
" Apparently it is crucial for 'magic juice' or some crap".
"Magic dose exists here. However that is what you humans call it, our biology and world allow us to do things humans can't. Therefore you called it magic and made up some shit to make it evil. You should have seen the bullshit Salem was pedalling in 1692."
"They were all mad or something?"
"Exactly, mass hysteria was rampant...I felt bad for this one gentleman who was a fully educated man from Harvard and he got put on trial for witchcraft and the idea that he used an invisibility cloak was suggested by the chief justice. He was the only sane amongst them. I honestly don't know how it began or even how it ended, but the puritans were insane"
"But still, witchcraft was a thing"
"No one in Salem was a witch. We moved our worshipers north onve we foresaw what was to come" Casey pondered that. She still had to convince him to get some of the magic demon apples. She felt like a kid trying to convince their parents to take them to Disney land. "Yeah well Eva needs 14 of them for some potion or something" she decided to up the amount needed just in case he had some idea of what this spell was.
"Do you know what that spell is?" he asked. "No sir". Andromalius smiled "really because it feels as though this spell would benefit you" she fought to keep her features neutral "I don't know, she probably wants me as a lab rat" she said, holding the bottle tight. A knowing smile was plastered on his face. He sighed "fine, if it will shut her up. There is a grove in the 7th tier. You better get them quick before she starts killing us early."
Casey raised a brow "what is that?"
"Well you know that birds lay eggs, harpies do too. They have nests. In between spring and summer they have eggs that gestate for about 3 weeks and then they hatch. During this time anyone who dares use the public path and walk through their woods will be attack by said harpies and have the eye balls stolen from their faces. This phenomena is called swooping season. Australians have a similar problem with magpies".
"Yeah, sounds great" suddenly a babies cry caught her attention. Valefar had left about an hour ago. Casey focused on the cries. Why did it effect her so much? "I should probably go" and she left with out being excused. Ardat came into the room and kneeled by his chair. "Your letting her go through with that spell?" she asked. "Relax cousin. The chance of her actually succeeding is low and our suspicions could be wrong. Besides" he looked to the hall she had just left through. "Besides?"
"Nothing, lets just see how this plays out."
Chapter 15: The Older
"Speak worm!" said Andromalius. He straddled a wooden chair in a grey room. Chains hung from the wall, various devices leaned against the stone. He leaned on the back of the chair, a curled whip in his hand. The tip was a small bundle of tiny blades, near invisible but razor sharp. His fingers bled from accidentally pricking himself but he ignored the black blood. His fingers were already healing themselves anyway. His kind had that ability, the ability to heal in mere moments. Before him was a great bronze bull. An invention of ancient Greece, one of his favourite time periods. The bull was hollow, a small door was latched on the side. Usually a fire would be lit underneath. It would super heat the metal, cooking the victim that was sealed inside. There were tubes in the animals head that distorted the screams of the victim into the bellowing of a bull. The Brazen Bull the Greeks named it.
The bull statue bellowed loudly as he pressed a hand to the bull, his power heating the metal. He check his bronze pocket watch, 3:47 pm. He had been here roughly an hour. His victim was a mad pugot. A humanoid creature that had a massive gapping jaw instead of a head. It fed on insects and snakes. A rather strange diet but to each their own. The pugot had began screaming about following the creature, say that it would elevate it to the height of us demons. Lucifer himself had tasked him with this and he now sat in the corner of the room. His blond hair was cut short. A dark crown circled his head. The band of obsidian seemed to suck all the light from the room. In the centre of his fore head was a large amethyst imbedded in the crown. A mark of the imperial house. Each of the kings had a different coloured jewel to symbolize the sin them embodied. His was pride.
"So … I hear you have a new servant, did Pazuzu finally get that human he wanted" Andromalius shook his head "No sir. He wanted the mother, not daughter. She is his consolation prize, but I have a use for her"
"Kivo?" A nod "Indeed. Did you know he is still after that Regan?"
"He needs to give it a rest. Find someone else. Even Lamastu thinks so" Andro chuckled " he will loose his focus, either from rage or fatigue and it will be his downfall"
"And I also saw what she intends to do"
"You think she will succeed?"
"That is unclear. My foresight dose not see all, but I did see that there will be challenges. If she can over come them... then she deserves to be one of us. I must admit I have never seen a human with such inner strength".
"There is fire in her. I can see it" Andromalius smiled. Gesturing to the bull.
"It think that should have loosened his tong" Lucifer said. Stretching his muscular arms. His shirt was tight to his body, extenuating his muscles. He appeared to be about 28. Andro removed his hand from the bull. Standing he walked around and unlatched the door. Pulling the slightly toasted figure from the bull. His light grey skin was largely undamaged, most of the creatures of hell were mostly fireproof, but it still hurt. The creature panted ,it's massive mouth filled with spiky teeth and saliva. "Will you tell us now?"
The pugot nodded. Lucifer crouched down so that his face was level with the massive maw. "Lets start with your name"
"I...I'm Ssssev'ek…I sssserve the gggreat void"
"And what is the void?" asked Lucifer. His fangs gleaming in a malicious grin. He was half hoping the pathetic creature would not tell him so they could torture it more. Andro looked to the wall, a hand gripped tightly around the things skinny neck. So skinny that it didn't seem big enough to support the large, rugby ball shaped head. An iron maiden sat against the wall. A iron face of a beautiful woman sat atop a coffin. Large metal spikes filled the inside. Along with another he did not recognise. A series of iron rings. Two at the bottom. large enough for the feet. Two at the side that could fit the hands and a larger ring that ones head could be put through, but no man was that short enough to fit within.
"Cousin" Lucifer was his first cousin twice removed. Distantly related but they shared the hard, gemstone eyes, like most that shared their blood. Lucifer looked up "what troubles you?"
"What is that peculiar device?" He gesture to the rings. "Ahh, I see you were not made aware of this particularly crud device" he picked it up and pointed to the rings. "It is known as the scavenger's daughter and it first came to the tower of London in 1531, just in time for the reign of Mary the first". The name sent a slight shiver down And's spine. She had been why he had moved back to hell from his quiet estate in Yorkshire. Even he had wished for an end to the horror of the executions and for Mary's death.
After a quick, visceral description of the device, including a vivid description of how it causes blood to be exuded from one's mouth and nose, they decided to use it to get answers. Lucifer held it up "We aren't going to fit his head through it" said Andromalius.
Lucifer looked at him with a crazed grin "We'll make it fit" and he picked up a mallet. The creature squealed. "Alright, alright. I relent!!".
Lucifer laughed" you will tell us?"
It nodded. "Good"
Andro, Lucifer and Leviathan walked down an ornate hall. The hall was quiet, no guards were posted here. Andromalius held the decapitated head of the pugot, it's tong lulled out of it's mouth. "So" said Leviathan. His very long white hair reached mid-thigh, a band of dark rock surrounded his head, a large emerald sat between his eyes . "what is the creature?"
"From what we got from the pugot. It is the great void, and is a servant of something darker. The Older. The older is a dormant power of a long dead celestial entity. Who ever controls the power could be reborn as an upper being. That is it."
"It can't drive us high born mad, so, we need to summon the blood born"
"Is an order that high necessary?" Leviathan asked, examining a few strands of his hair. It contrasted well with his olive skin." I'd rather not take chances with a power like this. We have managed to become equal to heavens power, we could use this to our own means, but if the power is too much, it must be destroyed, the remains will be more manageable. Hell, I need you" the marble floor of the hall began to bubble, lava spewing. Molten rock began to surge upward and formed the shape of a woman. A woman made of molten rock, white fire. Dark stone and lava. Black magma made up her long black hair. Her eyes were completely white, fire spewing from them. Lava spilled down her body, over her curves and pooling around her feet. The floor hissed as droplets of magma scorched it.
"What do you need of me my lord?" she asked, her voice light. "My dear Hell. You look ravishing as always"
"And your smile is just a nauseating as usual". Lucifer grimaced "so cruel. You forever reject my feelings" he sighed. A hand over his heart. "You only like my power"
"Well, the power of a primordial is incredible, speaking of ,are you aware of a celestial referred to as the Older." She blinked "I didn't think I would ever here that name again. He was a powerful primordial that was associated with heavenly light, matter and small storms. He went mad for some reason and we killed him, but his power went missing. No one knows what happened. Hasn't been seen since"
"Evidently it has"
Andromalius sat in his chambers. The head sat in the fire, slowly burning away. He cleaned blood off his hands. Casey sat next to him. Kivo in her lap. "What did he do?" she dared ask. "You don't need to know that" he grumbled. Casey frowned but Kivo's coughing drew her attention. And stared at the baby, concern dimming his eyes "what's wrong with her?"
"She's fine. This is the first time she's coughed". Andro shrugged "just keep an eye on her. I don't want Bellona to be correct. She has an annoying habit of being right". Casey went cold, her cheeks loosing their warmth. And smiled at her "I knew you had grown attached" Casey bit her lip. Looking down "I don't know why?"
"Kivo has that effect on people. I also think it's your caring nature. That's why he went after you and Regan"
"What?" Andromalius sighed "You see Pazuzu likes going after pure spirits. Those who are kind, caring, etc"
"You think that is why he went after mom". He nodded. "Mammy". Casey's eyes widened as Kivo grabbed her hand. She saw her as her mother? Andro grinned, putting down his phone " she seems to be attached to you too" Casey smiled down at Kivo "so that thing-"
"You don't tell any of the other slaves about that" he warned and she waved a hand "fine, I don't care about them anyway, but that thing...It's why she cant stay with her parents."
"Yeah, the first deaths occurred in the area of their estate, so her farther came to me and begged me to protect her. I agreed. I enjoy having her around,"
She had little time to ponder that as the door slammed open, causing a painting to fall off the Italian marble wall. It crashed to the floor. Andromalius seethed, spinning
"What the hell-" he cut off when he saw who it was. A woman with rose-gold hair cut to her collar. Her eyes the same blue as his, they were red rimmed with tears "mother?" he said and leapt to his feet and she flung herself into his arms. A deep mask of concern, rage and fear settled on his face. "Casey leave us please." Casey was frozen in place. The woman's dress was torn to shreds. Blood, thick black blood drenched her clothes.
"I'm sorry my son...I...I just didn't know where else to go" she cried into his chest. Kivo grew agitated, she began squirming. Casey stood "shh". She began rocking her "shh". Her attention was only on Kivo.
"Casey!" he said firmly. She looked up and began leaving the room, as she left she heard them say "And, your step-father. He's dead".
Chapter 16: Mission
Henry sat on the sofa, leaning on the arm, his head resting on his cracked fist. What was he to do? His wife was possessed. His daughter in hell. Just his luck. First the accident, then the possession, then Casey's death and now this. It was a stupid, summoning Andromalius. Henry didn't remember much about him, but he remembered his eyes. They were to bright, unnatural. He was relatively good looking, handsome maybe but in they way that made beauty horrifying.
It took him a while but an idea formed and he pulled out his phone. No bars, or was there. This demon was controlling everything, however perhaps it hadn't considered everything. The google page of it's self perhaps. It was arrogant as hell. He opened safari only to see a message sorry safari cannot access this page. He ignored it and typed the demons name into google. To his surprise it loaded. He accesses the wiki page, seeing the picture of the small statuette. He ignored it, scrolling to the bottom. Examining the other links. The name Lamashtu caught his eye and he clicked on it. A she-demon. Another Mesopotamian deity who had a rivalry with Pazuzu. One who also liked to eat children and the young but if she would fight Pazuzu? He elbowed Marcus in the ribs and showed him the article. "This could work"
Hours later, Casey was still sat in Kivo's room. The baby had long fallen asleep and was now led in her crib a crimson blanket covering her. Casey leaned her head back, letting the softness of the material relax her, her eyes began to close as the door opened slowly. She jolted awake. Standing upright, hands held behind her back. She tried her best to look alert. She had heard what had happened. His step-farther was dead. Andro would likely be in a bad mood. She lowered her head. Eyes lowered to the floor.
Andro stalked in. His jaw tight. His claws were fully out. A look of calm rage on his face that marred his otherwise good features. Casey held her breath. If she had a pulse it would be racing. Andro turned to her. "My mother will be staying here tonight. Go see to her, she's...shaken but she should be fine" Casey nodded but remained still. His brow rows "anything else?"
"Will um..." she licked her lips to moisten them "what about you? Your farther-"
"His was not my farther and he never will be" he snapped and she retreated back a step. He sighed "I will be fine, we despised each other, it's mother that I am worried about. She loved him and his death hurt her. That's what angers me". Casey was surprised by that response. He was willing to put up with a step-farther he hated for his mum. He loved her a lot. Casey didn't think these creatures capable of unconditional love. She had seen them care. Andro cared for Kivo's safety, he cared that Ardat was safe but she wasn't sure if demons could express the emotion for love.
She found Andro's mother in the guest room. No tears stained her cheeks but her blue eyes were red rimmed. "Ma'am" she said and the woman turned from her spot on the bed. Casey swallows "um...your son sent me to attend you. Do you need anything?" It was a stupid question. She needed a new dress and to wash the blood from her face. She was beautiful though and Casey recognised her skin tone and sharp cheek bones as And's. Casey chose to act carefully around her. A grieving person was bad enough but a grieving person with supernatural power was worse. "Run me a bath" she ordered. Her voice strained but confident. She unlike her son, she was Spanish, and her accent remained her of Tomas and she struggled to keep her emotions in check as she walked to the tiled bathroom. She turned on the crystal taps, filling the bath with clear water. The woman walked inside her face expressionless.
"Help me with this dress" she ordered. Casey bowed her head "yes, lady..."
"Jilnila" she corrected as Casey began undoing the zippers and ties of her once beautiful gown. She didn't look that different in age to her son, but they were immortal and they all stopped aging at some point. She would be a good bit older than Andro but she didn't look it. "So you are the mortal that looks after my grand-daughter?"
"Yes ma'am" she said
"And how much of the conversation I had with my son did you hear?" Casey kept her head down as she undid one of the many ties on the back of the dress "only the beginning, and why you were here...was...was it the thing...the creature that forces Kivo to stay here"
Jilnila's head snapped to her. "Who told you that?"
"I was in a meeting minding Kivo and acting as servant to all the demons there. And as Kivo's babysitter I needed to know what I was protecting her from."
Jilnila relaxed slightly "Ok I've finished" Casey said undoing the last zipper. She bowed then she left the room.
Casey chose a fresh dress for Jilnila. A vibrant purple robe with silver trim. Golden beads lined a white sash at the waist. Jilnila walked out her hair wet, a towel held around her. "Not that, just hand me a night dress. I'm going to bed"
"Your hair?" Casey asked quietly.
"Leave it. You are excused". Casey bowed her head and quickly left the room. She returned to Kivo. She was mercifully still a sleep. Andromalius was leaning against the wall, his eyes a blaze. Startling her.
"Is she ok?"
"She's asleep". He smiled and stalked forward. He pushed a small veil into her hand. It was a small glass thing. Well carved and it looked a bit like crystal. "V'ei" he said and the liquid inside began emitting a bright, fiery glow. He repeated the word and it dimmed back to it's original state. "What is it?"
"You'll need it for you little mission with the golden apples" he said with a grin. Casey paled. Her pulse racing. He knew, he knew and now all was lost. He laughed " I've been around since before you mortals came scratching out of the mud" he said in a cold tone "you think I would not know?"
Casey retreated back a few step, stopping when she felt the heat of the fire at her back, instinctively she grabbed the fire poker and held it up. Only to have some unseen force bend it into a circle "That is useless against me. Lucifer has foreseen your little adventure. Whether you will succeed is unclear. The future is not set in stone, you will face great peril however if you succeed then you will have earned a place amongst us".
Casey beamed but he rolled his eyes "you better get going" he drawled "before I change my mind". Casey marched up to him and planted a kiss on his cheek. He waved her off with a snarl, eyes wide, before he could say anything she whispered "thank you" and turned and left for her destiny. Leaving him in his room
You have my blessings Casey. Do not fail them.
Chapter 17: Serpent in the grass
"It will never work" Marcus said, his voice kept low to avoid drawing the attention of you know who. "Remember what happened last time?" Henry held up his phone "I am aware, but that only happened because we didn't summon him right. Do you know how to summon demons?"
"My job is getting rid of them not inviting them to lunch" Marcus grumbled, his voice dripping with distain. Henry narrowed his eyes. It was a stupid idea. Really stupid, how long would it be before they learned their lesson? How many monstrosities would come out of hell before they learned? Kat looked up from her chair, heavy bruising covered her neck, the skin had turned a mixture of blue, deep purple and black. Henry hated it, he was completely useless against this thing. They didn't dare leave. It would rip them apart. They had to play this smart.
"Demons seem very full of them selves" Kat croaked, her voice weak. "When we summoned the other guy he prattled off all of his titles before asking us what we wanted, so all we need to do is summon Lema...sh..tuu? And tell her how great she is"
"It says she eats children"
"Lie then. Tell her she has nice...fangs. Good for eating people" Kat offered. Foot steps sounded from the hall and Henry stuffed is phone back into his pocket. "Ah" Angela cooed "I see you are all getting along. I have some news" it said joyously "To day we are going to watch a pig bleeding out for all of the world to see"
The group was silent. Looking down at the floor. Tomas who had been silent until now said "can I ask you something demon?"
"Go right a head"
"When you kill, do you feel anything? For your pray, for their family?"
"Tell me human, do you feel anything when you butcher a cow or a pig or some other animal? No you don't for you only see them as food or pets. I see humans as minions, slaves, rodents. Something to further my immortality." Angela picked at her nails "hell if full of sinners, constantly being torn apart and healing. We will forever have food, so we will forever exists. So evil never dies".
Casey stood in the middle of the grove. She wore loose pants and a jacket. Her usual dress would be problematic, restricting her movement too much. The trees were tall oaks. Jade leaves clung to the branches, creating a thick canopy above her. The grove was massive and looked normal. If not for the jade sky, she would have thought she was on earth. In the dead centre of the grove was a clearing, bathed in light. A single apple tree stood proudly in the centre. Reddish-gold apples the size of coconuts hung from it's rough branches. Casey grinned, walking forward. The vail in her hand as she cautiously walked through the white grass. The base of the roots were crimson red. Making it appear as though the ground was bleeding.
A hiss sounded, it was close. Too close. "V'ei" she whispered and the blinding light returned. She saw it then, a massive snake. It's body was a blue-black. It had many heads. She quickly counted them. 12. Twelve heads. Some hooded, others not, but they all had gleaming amber eyes. It was three times the size of a man and it appeared to be growing larger. It reared up, it's fangs glistering with yellow venom. The snake stared at the crystal. Curios but unaffected. "V'ei" she repeated and the light flicked off.
It hissed as she tried to keep her nerve. Beads of sweat slid down her brow. It stuck at her. She jumped aside. Rolling to a stop. It flicked it's tongs, heads turning to her. She scrambled to her feet. Darting into the trees, hoping to loose the creature, but it followed her, crashing through the trees, branches crashing to the floor. She darted through a clearing. Ruins sat in the middle. An obelisk that was now only a crumbling piece of stone. She sprinted for it. Ducking around the pillar as the snake slammed into it. It hissed and fell back, shaking it's head. And she began running. Hoping over a fallen log.Darting behind a large rock. She sank behind it. Panting. Had she lost it?
She sat there a moment, allowing herself to rest. She felt a presence. Slowly agonisingly slowly she looked up. Beads of sweat sliding down her face.
Nothing. She sighed and looked forward. She jumped sideways avoiding five snapping heads. Another three spat acid at her. Burning creators into the ground. The white grass dying at the touch of the fumes that escaped its mouths.
It unleashed another torrent of venom. This time burning the trunk of a thick tree. The severed trunk crashed to the ground. Casey was still running in a zigzag . Avoid the strikes and blasts of the creature. She was searching for a weakness as a gut wrenching sounds shredded the air. The snake began searching the surrounding area with its many eyes and a dark thing. A pulsating mass of darkness and purple. Massive fangs sat in crooked rows within it's maw. The snake slithered into the clearing as Casey clasped her heads to her head. It felt like her head was about to explode from the static that pushed against her skull.
The thing crawled forward. Arrows were embedded in its side. Along with bullet holes. Silvia fell from her mouth. Her eyes wide as the pain became unbearable. She could hear faint shouts in the distance. The creature let out another cry and from it's mouth let out a torrent of neon blue slime. It hit the ground and the earth began to crumble. The plants died instantly. The earth fell suddenly. And the serpent and Casey fell in the void.
Chapter 18: In the maze of darkness
Casey awoke slowly. Her head spun as she crawled to her feet. Casey was in complete darkness. She quickly scrambled around looking for the light "V'ei" she whined, over and over until a light that was so unnervingly blinding exploded from under a rock. She darted to it, pulling away small rocks and grabbed the small light. Looking around, she saw a low celling. The cavern just stopped at one point. A caving. Where she had fell. She walked closer to the sand covered rocks. How was she not crushed? The small pebbles behind her shifted and she spun as a hiss echoed from the shadows.
It had survived. The snake. She began breathing heavily. Panting raggedly. She couldn't run down here, her light gave her barely a few feet of vision. She'd fall or run into something, then she would be entombed within a snake's belly.
"That thing. Do you know what it issss?" hissed a voice. She gasped quietly. Nearly dropping the crystal. "No, but I think. I think...I have an idea" she said into the shadows. Forcing herself to be confident.
"Go on" the voice hissed. Casey began to sweat but she composed her words "My master had been tasked with dealing with this monster. They have sent a team after it. It is sensitive to fire and shadow." She wasn't even supposed to be talking about this, but this might save her. The snake came into view. It's twelve sets of eyes burned a ghostly yellow in the light of crystal. The snake was a third smaller now. Compensating for the available space. "That isss interesssting" .
"Why is it here?" she asked as the snake lowered two of it's head "who knowsss. However I heard sssomething from hell. The earth whissspersss. Talk of the primordialsss. Them who were around before all". The snake turned and began leaving "are you coming?" Casey growled "why should I?" It had tried to melt her.
"Becassse you did not lossse your mind right away. You have a tolerance. You tell me everything and I will navigate the tunelsss" Casey huffed. She had little to lose. Hell ,she would probably regenerate somewhere else and would just haft to suffer her loses. She marched up to the snake and knelt on it's massive back. Scales digging into her knees. She patted it's side "go on" she said. It turned one of it's head "your not in charge here" .
She smiled and poked it's nose "just get going. By the way, what is your name?"
Ziax slithered down a long damp tunnel. Two heads facing her. She explained everything. The think. Andromalius. Jilnila. All of it. Ziax nodded “Alright. That ssseemsss logical. Our bessst bet isss to avoid it asss I am of the earth and poissson. And you are uselessss"
Casey frowned "not for much longer". It raised a scaly brow "oh"
"I'm going to be one of them" she declared and he laughed "oh really"
"why do you think I was after that tree".
"Oh, that old thing. Yes it can turn people into demonssss but there are guardianssss" he sneered as he slid around a corner. "like you?"
"No.". She sighed and brushed one of his scaly chins. Studying the jet black pattern. "Your venom ,what is it?"
The head she was scratching smiled brightly. Clearly passionate about this subject. "Well" he chimed "venom is a protein. A modified sssaliva, used for hunting, defence and digessstion. My venom isss at heart a cardio toxin. That is how it effectsss other demonsss. However it isss so potent it meltsss objects, the ground, treesss and the vaporsss can kill jussst by inhaling"
"You can spit it too"
"Yesss. It isss marvelou-" He cut off and stopped, searching the surrounding caves. He sniffed. His many heads scanning in sweeping waves. "How far are we from the surface?" she murmered, woundering if he would eat her once they were out. "Itsss a bit further" he said. Casey studied they way he spoke. She expected all of his mouths to move in unison. They did not, either one or a few of the heads spoke and vaporous gas didn't bellow from his lips as he spoke. He began moving again at a slightly faster pace. Unnerving Casey and she clutched the base of one of his necks. The spiky scales digging into her hands "not ssso tight" he hissed sharply.
She loosened her grip and looked around "is that thing around?"
"I can't ssence it" the chamber opened into a large cave. The light of the crystal no longer touched the sides. The void simply ate it all up. Ziax moved forward undeterred. He paused at a point and his heads darted sideways . "There". She held up her light and an ebony obelisk cam into view. A massive white crystal glowed in the centre "itsss a Talmelen"
"A sssource of energy. It can be usssed to bind power. We ssshould leave it alone" he said and was about to continue forward when a force threw him back. Casey went flying. Rolling to a stop against a wall. The crystal bouncing into the dark. She heard a great hiss and a roar. She scrambled for the light to see Ziax spitting streams of venom from 3 mouths at a target that was cloaked in shadows. Casey held up her light and the monster from earlier shrank back. Clearly perturbed by the blinding light. Ziax struck. His largest head striking with blinding speed. His fangs imbedded themselves in the creatures neck. Delivering poison. Ziax drew back at fast as he had struck. It stopped. The swirling mass forming and reshaping into a writhing form. It just glared at them with it's glowing, empty eyes.
Ziax wasn't satisfied. Not yet. He struck again. And again. He went to strike a third time but a mass of darkness in the vague shape of a claw and Ziax's head fell to the ground. His other heads shrieked and Casey screamed. The creature roared. Spitting blue slime that burned her hand. The crystal dropped to the ground, the blue light rolling away. Casey dove for it but the creature was in her face. A tendril of darkness shot out and connected with her forehead and she was sent into a blanket of darkness.
She lay on the hospital gurney. A light flickered overhead. Despite this the light blue wall were dark. She wore that disgustingly similar nightdress. White with small blue spots. This was getting old. What was this? Another vision. She tried to sit up but found that her arms and legs were bound to the bed. She sighed. She was sick of hospitals. A gleaming knife dropped from no where. Imbedding it's self in the mattress. She quickly cut her bonds and jumped from the bed. She looked around. One door. One exit. Why not? She thought and tried the handle. It opened and she found herself in a dark hall. On one side, the hall stretched for eons. On the other a waiting room. She went for the waiting room but a voice snapped her attention to the wall.
"Hey sweat heart" she turned, lightning fast. "Mom?"
Angela stood at the end of the hall. Her turquoise dress was the brightest thing in the room. Angela chuckled and turned, marching into the darkness "wait!" Casey cried and rushed after her. She ran down the dark hall. Not caring where she went. The hall opened into another hospital room. A body squirmed on a bed. A white sheet covered the body, but she could tell by the stature that it was a man. Angela stood proudly beside the bed. "Revenge is sweet isn't it" she said, gesturing to the body with a wrinkled hand. A gold ring glittered on her pinkie finger. Angela never wore rings on her little finger. Casey frowned, but played along "mom, who is that?"
Angela smiled and with a swift motion, she pulled the sheet from the figure. His blond hair was covered in blood. Matted. His skin was ruddy and covered in painful sores and blisters. Red blood, dripped from his mouth. Not black like they all had. His gemstone eyes were soft, unshed tears glittered in his eyes. "And?" she said walking to his shirtless form. "How did you?"
"Demons think to highly of themselves. They consider themselves gods. He was easy to exorcise and capture."
"Exorcise from who?" Casey dared ask. Nervous. He was the only demon that didn't seem like a complete ass hole. Andromalius cocked out the words "Casey" he murmured, blood gleaming on his lips. He trembeled. His muscles locking up. This didn't seem right. And was powerful, he could order Pazuzu around. She had seen it in the old demons eyes.
"Get out" And had snarled, and Pazuzu did with a jovial tone, but she saw it in his eyes. The terror. Not quite respect, but fear. No And was not stupid enough to get captured by humans. What was keeping him here. Why did he not use his strength to escape?.
"We exorcised him from Kat. He had decided to team up with him" Casey snarled at the demon. Sliding a hand around his neck "do it" And taunted "kill me. Become one of us, a monster" he laughed before coughing up more blood. "How are you keeping him here?"
"An old exorcist trick, a salt circle" Angela gestured to the floor. A white circle surrounded the gurney. The salt also covered the restraints, his skin. Was that all it took? No, it couldn't...could it. Maybe.
"Is...is it really this easy. To keep one contained?" Angela nodded. "Yes. God is far more powerful. Kill him". That took Casey by surprise. Angela, her mother wouldn't just tell her to kill someone. Sure he was a demon but he wasn't the one that caused all this. Kat. They had exorcised him from Kat. He had put her sister through hell. A knife appeared in her hand. A long golden blade. The handle was dark, carved ebony. She raised it above his neck. He smiled "good girl. Just like that" he tilted his head back, revealing his pale, white throat.
Casey was about to strike, the knife flying down. A malicious grin on her face. "Stop Casey, stop". A voice sounded within her brain. Andromalius. His voice was full of concern, yet the man below her was cackling wildly.
"Don't. That is not me. She is manipulating you" Casey stopped, looking at Angela. Angela's grin faltered "why stop".
"It's not Andro, Casey. It has it's claws in you. The man below you is your soul. What it is making your soul look like. It wants you to destroy your soul." Ardat's sharp voice cut through her like a knife.
"Then who is the creature?" Casey asked in her head. She heard a sigh "face it human. The thing is taking your mothers form. You going to haft to kill it in order to escape" And said. Casey gasped.
"Don't be so weak, that's not your mother. Killing it will solve all your problems" Ardat's cruel tone rumbled in her head. Suddenly a hand grabbed her, pulling her into a familiar room. And's study. He glared down at her. "I'm disappointed Casey, I would have thought you could see through all this by now. What we will do to trick people. You should be familiar with it now. That thing is not your mother. The imposter me is a glamour that covers your soul. Killing it will only kill you"
He said in a firm voice. A tight grip on her forearm "do what you will, this is my advice"
"What use would I have for possessing her" he dropped her arm and she was back in the hospital room. And's form still cackled on the gurney. She lowered the knife. "Why are you stopping. He's helping Pazuzu". There it was. Angela didn't know the demons name. Only she and Marcus did and they had decided not to tell. It was to painful to speak it's name. Casey looked to Angela, to the ring. She remembered that ring. It belonged to him. Casey lifted the knife and stabbed Angela through the heart.
Casey was pulled from the trance. The crystal in hand. The creature fell back, squealing. Casey lifted the crystal. Ziax sank his fangs into the beast. His head had grown back. Casey was right next to the Talmelen . Binding energy. She had an idea. She very carefully took the crystal from the obelisk. "Ziax. Hold it steady!" Ziax obeyed and wrapped his coils around it. Securing it tight. Casey charged at a full sprint and leapt. She plugged both the crystals into the beast and the ground irrupted. Dark and white light and demonic energy consumed her.
Casey lay smouldering within a crater. Ziax lay in a circle around her. Slowly, he lifted 5 heads, groaning. That idiot. She shouldn't have messed with the obelisk, she had however achieved her goal at immortality. She was no longer dead and one of the high born. Her hair spilled around her. Her cloths torn and muddy. He nuzzled her mud covered arm, trying to wake her. A pair of long, dark horns sprouted from her head. Claws tipped her fingers and a pair of bat like wings were splayed behind her. Ziax smiled.
A hunting horn sounded and a hunting party of a dozen warriors in black armour with red trim rode from the trees. Stopping as their skeletal horses reached the mouth of the massive crater. Three dismounted and jumped into the crater. One was a female with tattoos. The other a blond man with a crown of obsidian, the third was a man with long sandy hair. They landed with a thud. Two examined the corpse of the creature, the long haired one marched up to Ziax. Glaring at the tightly coiled serpent with a confidence that made Ziax bristle. His venom was useless against him.
"What do you want high born?" the snake hissed, but the demon ignored him. Looking to the woman in the centre of his coils. "How long has she been like that?"
"Not long" Ziax hissed and loosened his coils. Andromalius scooped Casey into her arms. "It seems my servant has succeeded". He turned to address the hunting party. "Take the body back to the palace. This hunt is over"
Chapter 19: How power changes you
Casey awoke slowly. She was moving? Her head aced and she absentmindedly touched a hand to her forehead. She felt something solid. Bony. And smooth. A horn! Casey jumped awake but strong hands kept her steady. She swiftly looked around. She was in an alien forest. Sapphire leaves and branches created a thick canopy. She was on a skeletal horse. Not skin or muscles, just grey bones, yet it's empty eye sockets glowed a ghostly white. She was on a saddle. She looked up. Andromalius was holding her tight as he guided the horse. There were others. Ardat rode beside them along with a troop of guards and two men wearing obsidian crowns. One had short black hair, the other blond. The blond man looked to her "I see your awake"
Casey looked at Andromalius . "What?"
"Welcome to demon kind" hissed a familiar voice. "Ziax" she murmured. Her scaly companion slithered beside the procession. Now 6 times his former size. "Your one of us now" said the dark haired man. "We'll see how powerful you are later" he said. One of them. She felt something tense behind her. She could feel it. Hesitantly she turned her head. Wings, great dark wings. "How?"
"The Talmelen. It bound that energy to you. You seeeee, you are both energy and light. Your power will be great" Ziax hissed. Casey shuddered. She had achieved her goal. She had given up her humanity for victory, she could stop him. So why was she crying? Tears slid down her face, blood red tears. She tried to hold them back but she just sobbed into Andromalius's shoulder. She didn't weep or cry loudly, only sobbed silently into his powerful muscle. He looked down at her, pulling his cape around her. She gripped the fabric and trembeled slightly. "Don't cry" he murmured into her ear. "Don't appear weak, they are all weary. You are strong, really strong. They are all wondering how strong" Casey wiped her eyes, but did not move away from him "am I, dangerous. It bound the creatures energy to me. Will I pass that plague around. Will I end up hurting people?" She asked, she thought of Kivo. Ardat, And. Would she spread the plague to them. To all of Hell.
"No. For two reasons. You absorbed that crystal. It was a recent invention of the labs, it destroyed all plague samples exposed to it. Secondly, the plague and the beast were not quite the same. We believe that someone infected the two servants with the plague to kill them, allowing the bodies to be used to feed the growing creature. They were the host for that thing. You have the beasts power, but not it's plague or intentions".
"What power do I have?"
"Light is part of it, the other is some kind of unknown primordial energy. However it is kept at bay by fire and the crystal will also help you control this enormous power. In short, it stopped the plague and stopped your soul from disintegrating". She pulled the cape tighter around her, "идиот" he murmured. She didn't understand the language but she looked away, ashamed "only you could have found a more dangerous way to became one of us. Your lucky your not dead". She wasn't dead, not anymore. She felt her heart pumping in her chest. She breathed in and out. She was alive again.
Andromalius pulled out a small, golden box. He flicked it open, a lighter. He pulled out a small, paper box and slid it open, cigars. He lit one, putting away the paper box in the pocket of his uniform. The black haired man held out a pipe. "Light mine too" he said, before Ardat held out a small, fine cigarette. Did all these guys smoke?
"Want one?" he asked but Casey shook her head. He shrugged and went back to smoking. Theia prowled along side them. She was nearly level with the horse. She stopped. Her hackles rising and the procession stopped with it.
The guards drew there blades and formed a circle around the four of them. Clearly they were more important. The earth shook as heavy footsteps came towards them. Theia lept over the circle of guards and Andromalius jumped off the horse ,walking forward. Ardat just sat smoking as And handed his cigar to the blond.
He grew taller. His skin growing grey and leathery. His head grew elongated and beastly. His teeth growing to long spikes. Horns framed his face as claws protracted from his fingers. Spines shot from his shoulders along with dark wings. He let out a roar. Fire danced on his fingers.
"Is he ok on his own?" Casey asked. Brushing the last of the tears from her cheeks with torn sleeves. Ardat blew smoke into the air." He'll be more than fine" she grumbled. A great monster came from the trees. It looked like a giant, red worm. Covered in thick plates of bone. It opened its massive mouth. Revealing rings of rotating teeth. It struck. Andromalius jumped. Punching the worm. It sprawling sideways. Blue blood falling from its side. Andromalius grabbed the worm. It was as thick as a tree trunk. He stabbed his claws into the worm. Shattered the plate armour and ripped the worm in two. It thrashed as its blood sprayed into the air, over the trees and drenched Andromalius. He threw the limp carcus to the ground and with a snap of his bony fingers. Becoming nothing but ash.
Casey's breath became heavy. Ragged as a pressure built within her veins. Burning as the power suddenly wrapped around her fingers. The dark blue energy weaved around her fingers like it was threading a loom. She began to cackle. Enjoying the feeling of so much power at her disposal, she couldn't believe she had been living in that flesh suit for so long, been so powerless for so long. She was now eternal, fearsome and beautiful. She could make him suffer, suffer like she had . Ardat and the dark haired man looked at her. His silver pupils gazed intently at the power "magnificent" he breathed.
Andromalius turned and began walking to them when a massive scorpion came out of the trees. Casey thrust her hand towards the scorpion. It struck the creatures tail and the energy surged up the marron tail. The chitin cracked. Blue energy exploding from the holes. A slimy substance poured from the ruined tail and the entire limb disintegrated and dropped to the ground. The creature squealed and lumbered around. Unbalanced with out the tail. The amputated limb twitched and began to shrivel before it stopped moving and lead in a puddle of melted flesh.
Casey laughed maniacally and released another blast. Striking the creature in the chest. Blue energy consumed it. Armour cracking. Flesh turning to viscous slime. The creature hit the ground dead. A wave of energy burst from the shrivelling body. The beast stopped twitching. Dead.
The demons watched the creature. Casey grinned and slid down from the horse. The blue energy swirling around her. It felt so right. Like it was a part of her. Like it should have always been a part of her. She looked at Andromalius's monster form. She sent her magic around her. She grew taller. Her arms lengthening. Her skin her skin turned the same dark blue as her magic. Her eyes glowed a ghostly silver. She studied the claws on her fingers. Long and razor sharp. She eyed Andromalius. Admireing the sharp, beast like contours of his fang filled maw. His serpentine ting flickering.
"You look different" he chocked out. "So do you" she laughed. Revealing short, spiky teeth.
"I could have handled that"
"I wanted a little fun" she said, stepping forward. Running a hand down his cheek and she kissed his fiercely.
"What was that for?" He asked "for saving me"
"Hey love birds!" The blonde shouted "I want to be back for dinner." Casey sighed and the two of them matched back to the procession.
"Alright. Let's see here" squeaked a short,twisted creature with 8 arms, whilst he pressed a series of buttons on a machine. Casey sat on a gurney. Not bound to it. A fact she was very happy about. She had a tube in her arm. Feeding dark blood into a massive silent machine.
"What will this do?" She asked. Andromalius sat next to her "this will discover your power level. High born all have a power level of 40-50. I'm 47 for example " he said as the machine bleeped to life.
The door swung open and the two crowned men strode in " Lucifer, Belthagor" Andromalius said in greeting, lowering his head in respect.
Casey blinked "your the devil" she said. The blond chuckled, grinning "I indeed am". He said putting a hand over his heart. He looked like he was expecting her to ask for his autograph.
"I thought you'd be hotter"
Belthagor howled , eyes dancing with amusement.Lucifer frowned "I'm plenty hot. Martteken what is her level " he said in a firm voice. The creature held up a hand "one moment" he said as he rapidly pressed buttons and flicked switches. "Ok, 3,2,1" he pressed the final button and his blue eyes widened , looking to her" I apologies for anything mean I said to you" he stumbled back, many hands rising to his head in awe"
"What is her level?" Snapped the devil
"49" Casey's heart stopped. She was stronger than Andromalius. Than Ardat. She felt the power rise within her and she turned to Andro, feeling her assert her power over him. He grinned "it doesn't work like that. You can't possess me Casey. You can't melt my brain." Fire burned on his fingers "no we can only do harm physically to one another "though" he sent fire towards a shrivelled sinner in the corner. It was fresh from the fire pits. It screamed. Andromalius jerked her head towards them and the creature stumbled towards them. Andromalius made the creature kneel before them. Casey smiled "a neat trick. But I must ask why didn't you make me do things?"
"I didn't need to."
Casey looked at the creature, she held out a hand and clenched a fist, causing the sinner to convulse and shake. It's skin cracking. She began to chuckle the power was exhilarating. She was something perfect, powerful. And studied her, the power had changed her, made her realise her potential. She could be one of the greatest of them, maybe the greatest. Only time would tell.
Casey sat on a large blue bed with a canopy swaying around her. The door was locked. She had already had enough of the various suiters that were hanging around her. All wanting her power but that was all. They were all weak, pathetic creatures unworthy of her. A single knock came from the door.
"Who is it?" She called
"its me". Andro. She jumped up from the bed. Striding over the black floor and opening the door. His hair was combed back into a long braid. Silver beads glittering at the ends. As he walked in she could smell his cologne. She quickly locked the door again and finally noticed just how handsome he was. His large muscles. His flawless hair. The beard that had sprouted from his cheeks. She had never liked it before but now she thought that it somehow made him more handsome.
"Why lock the door?" He asked, taking a seat in the massive sofa.
"So I don't haft to talk to my new suiters" she looked him up and down "and perhaps I have justly one in"
Andro would make a far better match for her than the other creatures.
"And if you had would you throw me out?" He said smugly.
She crossed her arms "why are you here?"
"For you" he said "I have a proposition"
"Be my wife" he said abruptly and she laughed. Tears spilling down her cheeks. He just stared at her "your serious?"
"Dead serious. Casey you are inexperienced and powerful. More powerful than you could ever imagine right now and you need guidance and financial support. I can give all of that to you but if I was to suddenly spend a great deal of time with you then people will think we are plotting something and that isn't a good thing. People will think that we are simply working together and that ending you will mean little to me but as my countess we will appear powerful together. They will think twice before crossing us"
Casey turned away. Putting a hand on her belly. "Will you want children from me?" She asked.
"only if you want them"
She swolled hard "you only want this because it gives you an edge. A powerful being as your wife will make you near unstoppable but I know that it will also help me. You can give me things I couldn't get on my own. And I have things you can’t get on your own, but that is not it. Is it?” she turned walking towards him. Her hand resting on the arm of the chair beside him “you care about me don’t you Andromalius? You can’t bare the thought of anyone else with me because you want me”
”I... I want you to be safe. I want you kept from all harm. I hate that I let you go to face the beast alone. You could have been killed again” he said breathless and she touched his chin and he nuzzled into the gesture.
"release me from you service"
"I thought I already had but yes I release you" he said, eyes flicking open
Casey exhaled deeply. Glad to no longer be a slave. She extended a hand "to power then" she said with a smile. This match meant power for them both and she was happy to take such a proposal. I would keep all the clans off her back as well as her suitors. Casey had learned a bit since becoming a demon three days prior. The powers nobles lived in clans and Andromalius’s, the Malecar were one of the strongest. And she, she would now have a say in its working. He was great and she needed someone like that at her side and only at her side. And this would be her choice. Hers and hers alone to finally have more power than she already had.
She had tasted power in the clearing and she wanted more.
”your completely on board then? I wouldn’t force you to wed me if you were against this” he questioned, making sure he had her full consent in this.
“ I give full consent” she told him and he murmured
"to power" then he took her hand and stood as she once again kissed him and kept kissing him.
Chapter 20: I'm back
The streets of Chicago were packed with the believers. The churches faithful as they waited for the pope to parade passed them. At the very front of the crowd were the Rance's and the exorcists. The possessed Angela hummed to herself in a jovial tone. "Isn't it a wonderful day Kat dear" she said as the adoring fan waved banners at the passing procession of black cars. Marcus stood the other side of them, silently furious. Suddenly a high pitched squeal sounded and the spectators as well as the security collapsed to the ground. Hands covering their ears as blood dripped from their eyes. Angela and the exorcists were unaffected. "What's happening?"
"You see, Kat I want you to see this" Angela chuckled. Marcus thought quickly, what did he have? No knife, no gun, but a crucifix. He pulled out the rustic thing, eyeing the singular sharp point. "You know demon, you'll never win".
"And why is that Marcus?"
"Because at twelve year old when I faced down one of your bastard brethren-"
"That was Valefar by the way. He is actually Andromalius's twin brother"
"Yeah, well when I was facing down Valefar I realised that you can never win" he clutched the crucifix tightly "because there will always be an exorcist to stop you" and he stabbed Angela at the base of the throat. Blood welled and Angela buckled like the spectates who were on the verge of passing out. "Run"
Tomas and Kat booked it, Kat wobbled on her bad knee as they ran through the crowd. Keeping their heads down as to blend in with the crowd. Henry grabbed Angela's other shoulder as she struggled. They looked to eachother, not knowing what would happen to them, but with the other two escaping they stood a chance. Angela roared, blood dripping from her crimson eyes as the two of them were flung back. She faced Marcus, closing her hand into a fist and Marcus began chocking. Henry grabbed a stone that lay on the ground and swung it at the creature. It wasn't his wife. She may very well be dead by now. He couldn't let this thing kill his only remaining daughter. The creature dodged as he swung wildly "stop using my wife as a pawn!"
She laughed and grabbed him by the throat. Choking him. Marcus got to his feet and tackled her. The demon grabbed him as well. Choking the life out of him. Angela slammed their heads into each other. Knocking them both unconscious. Their limbs going limp, a malicious smile on her lips.
Casey stood before a gold framed mirror. Ardat stood beside her. They gazed at their reflection. Casey gazed at her pale skin, her blond hair. Her claws and sliver eyes. She looked at her jet black gown, the mesh veil that wrapped her skirts. The marron, corset lace on the bodice and the white jewels that gleamed like stars in the night. Ardat wore a blood red gown. Her hair was braided and ruby hair pins were set in the braid. Casey admired her hair, half up and curled. Dark ribbons securing it. Skull earrings pieced her earlobes. A necklace of human bone clade her throat.
Casey admired herself. Tapping her chin. "I like you better as a demon" Ardat said. Directing her magic at a scorched slave, it trembeled and shock, head bulging "I like it as well. I never knew how much fun it is to be all powerful" she tilted her head back, taking a deep breath. Smoky eyeshadow extenuating her silver eyes, a body to match the darkness.
"I did not expect you to be this cold so soon" Ardat smiled. Casey chuckled "I'm a demon, a strong one. I will act like it" Casey looked to the slave. "Shall we go to the lowest circle and throw him in for fun?" The creature trembeled on the floor. Ardat's suggestion danced in her head. She could easily have revenge now, it felt good. The power was invigorating, humanity would tremble before her, the cracked slaves would tremble before her. She felt no kinship to them, she was never one of them. She looked out the window. Below them was a sprawling garden. Theia and Ziax were tearing apart a massive creature that resembled a shaved rat with spears for claws. Theia sank her fangs into the beasts ribs and tore one of the bones from the body with extreme efficiency. Ziax poison ended the creature. She waltzed onto the balcony. Bracing her hands on the white handrailing "Well done familiar"
Ziax looked up at her smiling. "He makes a fine beast" Andromalius slid an arm around her waist. She lifted a hand, brushing his short beard. Valefar, along with his dark haired wife stood inside. They had moved to Valefar's mansion after the beasts destruction. Kivo was with her parents, much to the happiness of her mother and Casey could remain with Kivo. Combining their power was a good idea anyway. She wrapped her arms around him "Sorry Ardat, I'm sitting the torture session out" Ardat sighed, "very well"
"Take Theia with you, she needs a walk" Ardat frowned "fine". She disappeared into misted. The slave disappearing "How's Kivo" the dark haired woman held up her baby proudly "very well" she kissed her forehead. The baby giggled before looking behind her "Ca...Casey" she mumbled and her mother smiled, kissing her baby's head " say mammy"?
"And". Valefar took his child in his arm "let me try. Say dad"
"And" Valefar frowned. Andromalius and Casey just grinned. As the parents looked at Kivo and then at the two of them "oh what looking at?" Valefar frowned.
"Nothing" Casey grinned and she linked her fingers with Andromalius and lead him for the room. "Stop indoctrinating my child!" Valefar shouted after the giggling couple. The husband and wife looked at one another, shaking their heads.
Her lips met his and he wrapped his arms around her lower back. She deepened the kiss as she wrapped arm around his neck. His lips were soft against hers. He pulled back, putting his forehead to her. Brushing his cheek against her, her hand tangling in his long hair. He sank his fangs into her smooth neck and she pulled him closer as he drank her blood. She grabbed his wrist and sank her fangs her sharp teeth into his thick wrist. Sucking on the vein. He pulled his fangs from her neck, black blood glistening on his lips and chin as she continued to drink from him. He chuckled deeply as she drank. "Slow down, whoa there, you vixen" he laughed as she pulled her fangs from his flesh, the injuries healing. She laughed into his broad chest, licking the blood from her chin. "My dear consort" he murmured, kissing her hair, then her face. Her grin brightened.
It had been a mouth since her transformation. She had needed time for her body to adjust. Not only did her new power thoroughly terrified all demons that were lower than a high born. Her power and beauty attracted many, however Andromalius had very quickly scared them off. She had agreed to become his consort.
"So my dear, what will you do now. You are one of the strongest of us". She slid her hand down his chest "my lord, can I ask you something?"
"Go on" she leaned into him "would it, bother you if I killed Pazuzu?" He looked around the sitting room they were in. Studying the wooden surfaces "It would not bother me, but there could be a few ramifications for killing a demon but fear not, you can have your revenge"
"Then let us go" she said, brushing his cheek. Then she summoned her serpent.
Kathrin and Tomas walked carefully down a rather sketchy looking alleyway. Tents lined the narrow street, the members of the homeless lay huddled together, their rotting blankets their only sources of warm. The two of them constantly looked around as the mist rolled in, blanketing the ally in fog. Visibility was poor. Night was upon them "we should not have left them" Kat said as she lean against Tomas for support. Her knee was throbbing, the damn car accident had damaged it. She could no longer dance. A hiss sounded from the darkness, a low frequency hiss. They both froze "you heard that, right".
Tomas nodded "yeah. I didn't think snakes were a thing here"
"They aren't" the hiss sounded again, louder and they turned slowly, wide eyed, to see a large, black serpent with many heads. It was the size of a man "snake's don't have twelve head" Kat said, put why was she surprised. Tomas pulled out a crucifix. "For the glory of-"
"Calm yourself" a firm female voice said from down the ally. Kat began to tear up. It wasn't possible. She turned, a carriage was parked at the end of the ally. The horses had glowing white eyes, the ebony carriage emitted a ghostly, crimson glow. A figure strode down the hall, the light of the carriage illuminating her black gown. "Ziax, come to my side"
"Yesss. Missstresss" and the snake darted to the woman's side. "It's just talked" Tomas sputtered, nervously. The woman bent, picking up the snake, draping it around her shoulders. She turned and marched back towards the carriage. Kat broke into a sprint, followed closely by Tomas "wait! Wait" Kat cried. "Don't leave me again". The woman reached the carriage, looking over her shoulder and smiling before climbing into it. The two of them reached the carriage. Noting the goatish, red skinned driver. He wore a brown overcoat, a hat and in one hand was a long whip and was glaring at them with yellow eyes. The two ignored him and the demonic horses and their fear as they barrelled into the carriage. The door slammed shut behind them. Locking.
"On drive" said Andromalius. The two humans shrank back, their crucifixes in their hands. The carriage was warm and large. Red velvet covered benches were built into the walls. The floor was dark brown wood. Two thrones were in the carriage. Cushioned and made of pure gold. Andromalius sat in one and in the other was Casey. She was clad in dark silk and silver jewels. The serpent had grown in size. Now a good 6m long.
"Hello Kathrin" Casey said toying with the silver ring on her gloved hand" tell me is Pazuzu still around?" Kat stared wide eyed. "How? What? Why?" Casey summoned her horns and wings. Kat jumped backwards, bracing herself against the movement of the carriage. "Yes. I am now an extremely powerful demon, yes I went to hell and now I'm alive and I am going to kick Pazuzu's ass"
Kat and Tomas just stared wide eyed. "I suggest you sit" said Andromalius, holding Casey's hands. "my consort wishes revenge-"
"And can you?" Kat asked as she sat on the crimson bench. Casey raised a fist and the blue energy swirled around it, lightning sparking around it "oh most defiantly".
Chapter 21: Agony
Kat sat in silence. Her eyes fixed on the wood planks of the floor. The creature that looked like her sister sat in the lap of the sandy haired, tattooed monster. He smiled as she kissed him. A bootle of brandy in his other hand. A man with too much money. Kat eyed the serpent tattoo. The skulls, the pentagrams. He looked up. “It took 20 hours to complete. You like?"
Kat frowned “not really. Be honest, that isn’t my sister” she said with a pointed finger “ so who are you?” The demonesses laughted. Cold and cruel. She lacked Casey’s warmth. This woman would happily feed someone to the wolves and watch them be ripped apart “ oh my dear Kat. I am Casey. But your Casey died fighting a giant scorpion beast. I am what climbed out of the ashes”. Anger twisted in Kats gut and Tomas grabbed her wrist to keep her from charging at them “ tell us how” he said, imploring.
Casey tapped her lips “ I was taken to hell and was given to Andromalius. I found a method of becoming one of them. Found out how much fun it was and I’m here for him” she said with a maniacal glee. Kat raised a brow . “ I out rank Pazuzu be a large margin. He will be grovelling at my feet in moments." Kat raised her other brow "how much will he grovel ?"
"He will prostrate himself before me" he added "before us" his hand slid around Casey’s waist. She squeaked as he pulled her close. Her golden hair spilling over her shoulder. Kat cringed "seriously Case. Him?" She gestured at Andromalius. Casey turned to her "I'm his consort"
Kat looked at Tomas "so, there married?" She asked disgusted. Tomas glared at Andro. "In a sense. We accompany each other."
"He wanted my beauty and demonic power, I wanted his power and influence" she said stroking his bearded chin" you like my money too"
"you like my eyes” she retorted, kissing him again.
Kat frowned" you aren't my sister. She could never live with herself. Loving a demon. You have changed Casey. Really changed. Your cold and cruel now. Your a perfect wife for him. You'll make a great countess." Tears slid down her face. Tears for her lost siblings. The one that was truly lost
Casey slid out of his grasp. Walking to Kat, taking her face in her hands "Kat. If I was so cruel I would not be in this world. Looking for him" she said, her eyes hard. "Understand this Kat, Tomas, you don't have to fear Andromalius . I'm the dangerous one, I'm the strongest demon here". Their eyes widened.
The carriage came to a halt outside of the Rance house. The door swung open. Andromalius stepped out first. Exstending his arm to Casey as she stepped out onto the silent street. Tomas helped Kat as Andro payed the driver. The red skinned creature tipped his hat and the carriage disappeared into the darkness. Kat rushed to the door, unlocking it and going inside. Ziax followed her in. The two demons leisurely strolled in. Locking the door behind them.
Marcus and Henry sat in the living room. Angela sat between them. On the table was a hammer "now, lets see who gets the hammer" She spun it and it twirled round, round and round. Angela had a maniacal grin on her face as Kat hobbled through the door. Worry and terror sparked in Henry's eyes. "Kat, go. Get out of here!" He screamed as his arms were retched in their sockets. Pulled wide by an incomprehensible force. Kat remained still as Tomas came in. Crucifix at the ready. "Ah the birdy with the broken wing and the fake pope-". She stopped herself as the twelve headed serpent slithered across the worn carpet. She touched a finger to her chin "a Typhona. How rare"
"He is loyal" a cold female voice echoed throughout the room. Bringing Henry to tears. Marcus was speechless. Then they saw her. Her blond hair was half up and curled. Her dark clothing and makeup mirrored the darkness that had grown within her. He stood at her side. Sandy blond hair was pulled back into a tight braid. His blue eyes were as hard as ever. "Release my farther" she order. Angela surveyed her. "Well, well, well. Incredible." Energy sparked around Casey's hands. "I wont tell you again". Angela crumpled to the ground. Henry, freed from the force dove forward. Catching her. Andromalius looked down at him. "What have you done to my daughter?" He demanded. Andromalius huffed "I ,good sir have done nothing, it was by coincidence that your child has become so powerful." Andro faced him. "If I were you. I'd be proud of her. She if more powerful than I. My wife-"
"Wife!" Marcus sputtered. "Yes, we hit it off. I am his consort" Casey said "but you can deal with that later. Now I am here for revenge. Where have you gone Pazuzu."
Three figures manifested from the corners of the room. Their clothes were tore, clinging to their bodies. Their eyes were a grotesque yellow. Casey stepped forward "Dad. Take Mom and Kat upstairs" she cracked her knuckles. "I will not make this pretty"
Angela bolted upright. Her breathing ragged. She looked around. Henry and Kat threw their arms around her. Exsplaing quickly what had happened. However their explanation turned into more of the ramblings of mad men, but she understood. She pushed them back. Casey was alive and married to a demonic asshole. She jumped off the lime bed.Legs wobbling on the oak panel floor. Head spinning for the sudden movement. A hiss came from the hall. Kat groaned as Angela jumped. Ziax came into the room. "I sssee you are awake" .
"It talked!" Henry jumped. Stumbling backwards into metal framed, glass table."Yesss I ssspeak. Cassssey isss my missstresssss. Ssshe hassss long awaited thisss moment". Screams echoed from down the hall. "It hasss ssstarted."
Angela sprinted down the hall. Stepping on Ziax's tail. He growled. Snapping his fangs but did not bite. He wasn't that stupid.
Angela hit the bottom of the stairs carpeted stairs. Not caring about her messy hair or dirty clothes. She swung herself around the banister and paused as she saw the birch door closed tight and the demon count leaning against the cream wall. A bottle of Brandy in hand. His smug smiled made her hiss. "So the mother in law is awake." He said, swigging from the bottle. She marched up to the door. Putting one hand on the knob. "When this is over" she said "you two are getting a divorce"
He laughted. "Oh I love it how humans think they have authority. So adorable watching you think yourselves strong"
Angela growled. About to turn the handle but he grabbed it before she could enter "Casey is not the Casey you know. She is one of us. You may not recognise her at first " he pulled his hand away. His warning ringing in her ears. She took a deep breath and opened the door to see Casey standing over the body of an exorcist. A bloodied hammer in her hand. "Not this one" she turned to the other exorcists. Their eyes turned amber. They had metal spikes driven through their hands. Pinning them to the wall "so who has him?" She teased as her husband prowled to her side. His hands settling on her hips. "Which one is next my love. Tell me and I shall make his death a memorable one". Casey smiled, touching his face with a blood soaked hand. Leaving smears of blood on his cheek. "You know just what to say to make me feel better"
Angela snapped from her trance. "Casey"
casey turned to her "mother " she said by way of greeting "I am glad to see that you've unharmed." She added "I am also glad to see that you may watch his downfall "
Chapter 22: An unexpected revelation
The last remaining exorcist sat chained to the wall of the basement. Bloody but not quite broken. That would come the next day when she would rip Pazuzu out of the mans cooling corpse and make him regret ever coming to earth.
Upstairs in a quiet and secluded part of the house, Casey prepared for bed. Andromalius sat in their tiny bed. The covers pulled up to his waist, a worn book in his hands. An anxious expression on his face
Casey emerged from the bathroom clad in a very thin night dress of white fabric. Her hair swaying unbound at her shoulders. She noticed his worried look and closed the door. Locking it and then she strode over to him. Pulling the covers over her and leaning on his arm. He set down the book.
"What worries you my lord?" She asked. Her hand going to his face.
She scowled. "It's not nothing"
he sighed. "Ok fine not nothing but it seemed too easy". An idea popped into her head and she adjusted her position so that she was kneeling on his thighs. She brushed a hand down his face "we are his superiors. He is dust to us my count. Now stop worrying"
"you have not know him as long as I he is persistent and I can't help but think this is all part of his plan. Remember he made everyone think your sister was possessed and then possessed you all in an attempt to get your mother"
Casey considered that for a while "true. I suppose we will just have to see what he does. I haven't sensed anything unnatural in the area. What about you?"
He shook his head and Casey leaned over him, pressing her lips to his. They were warm again her cold ones and he tangled his hand in her hair. The other caressing her knee and shin. He tugged at her neck line. Revealing her pale shoulders and neck. His fingers gliding over her frost pale skin, over the patchwork of blue-black veins on her collar and he sank his fangs into the soft flesh making her giggle as he drank, black blood slid down her skin. Ecstasy over took her in a dizzying rush. The reassuring buzz of power thrummed in her veins. She was his equal in the eyes of hell. She had more power, he more experience and together they were unstoppable.
The door swung open with a crash. The lock broken . "Casey-" Kathrin gasped, her hands slapping over her mouth as she beheld her sister. Casey's head was thrown back. Blood spilling from her neck. Andromalius held her tight too him like he was afraid that she'd fall threw the earth if he let go. Henry brandished a shot gun. Aiming it at his son-in-law. The idea was laughable, he would never refer to Andromalius as his son. He put the shot gun in the demons face.
"Let her go. Now" he challenged and Andromalius opened his eyes, peeling his fangs from her neck. His cheeks were flushed,he was drunk off her blood. Black inhuman blood slid down his chin. "What? You expect us to have the same courtship rituals as you"
casey looked down at him. Henry snarled.
"there's a guy who's here for you"
After a few moments. Andromalius had dressed appropriately and had raked a brush through his hair. He currently did up the back of his wife's dress as she fixed her hair in a bun. She turned to him" am I presentable?" She asked. Tilting her head sideways. "You always look beautiful"
she smiled at that. Power pulsed under their skin. Their power brought them together. Had chosen each other on the day in the clearing.
She took his arm and stepped out the door. Rounding the corner to see a man with dusty brown hair and amber eyes waiting for them in the downstairs hall. He wore polished leather armour with steel plates seen into the material. A golden belt hung around his hips. A sword tipped with rubies was attached to his side.
Marcus was trying to interrogate the man who only ignored him as the two demon males smiled at one another.
Andrmalius bowed his head "farther" he said respectfully. Marcus froze. "That isn't possible you look"
"the same age? Yes immortality does that but Andromalius and Valefar are my boys" the demon said. Marcus tried to square up the demon "and who exactly are you?"
"Purson. Duke of hell" he announce looking to Andromalius "how is your mother?"
"her new husband is dead. She grieves but your no doubt over the moon about this news" Purson chuckled, lifting an armoured hand "I shall not deny the charge, however I am here for Pazuzu"
Casey stepped forward"apologies sir but you'll haft to wait a little while"
Purson eyed the splatters of blood on her skirts "ah, you must be Casey. I have been a brought up to speed with the situation and that you have be bonded to my son. You have my congratulations"
"thank you but I must ask can I at least tear off a limb or two before you bring him back" she said in a wicked calm tone. A very demonic smile forming on her face. Purson cocked a brow"I can hardly believe you were human. You picked a good one son. Better than valefar did anyways"
Andrmalius glowered for a moment before Angela came into the hall with Tomas at her side. "Are anymore of your relatives coming or just him?"She said in a disrespectful tone.
"just him?" Purson's eyes glowed and Angela sank to her knees. Pushed by some unseen force"I am a demon lord woman. You will give respect" he said, Anger burned in the woman's eyes as she was made to put her forehead to the carpet. "That's better" Casey's voice was almost unrecognisable to her ears. Cold and calculating and all the embodiment of the countess that she was now.
"Casey do something" Henry pleaded as he too was made to kneel along with Tomas. "He is a duke, show some respect. You should respect Andromalius as well" she drawled unfurling a black satin fan . Fluttering it delicately. Her fingers daintily clasping his arm
Was Casey truly gone? What sort of daughter would speak with such unemotion to her loving parents. Have such a cruel look in her eye. The body of her recent kill was stashed away in the basement. His arms flayed from his torso. Legs snapped like toothpicks. But worse was his skull. The front third had been cleanly cut off by a few well placed swings of her claws. His spin had been tore out too. Done when she had plunged her taloned hand into his back and ripped out the bone. The skin yield as though it was nothing but paper. They had not muttered prayers or raised weapons because the men were dead before they could reach for their prayer books. She hadn't taken their souls though. No that took an even more evil talent to do successfully.
Marcus threw holy water over Purson who flinched before his hand shot out, sending Marcus flying to the wall. Marcus hit the wall with a crunch
"Enough!" Purson roared. "Take me to Pazuzu or I make corpses of you all". Casey continued to say nothing. She was looking at her wicked husband and she was of all things...fixing his hair.
In the cellar Pazuzu's mangled host cackled as they approached. Chains dragging across the concrete floor. Green slime foaming at the corners of his mouth. Purson lead the group. His power and confidence impressed Casey and she did the best to accurately if a little more delicately recreate it. Her farther in law paused before the disgusting corpse. It hissed "duke Purson. It has been too long friend"
Purson chuckled along with Casey and Andromalius. She kissed her husbands cheek. Despite how much their essence sang to one another, despite how much he admired her will, as handsome as she thought he was their marriage was still political but that did not stop either of them from making the most of it.they had chosen to marry one another after all, They cared for one another.
"Friend? Oh yes when did our friendship end?" Purson surged forward. Crack! The hosts arm shattered. Shards of bone flying. The arm held on by a sliver of muscle. The host screamed ."oh yes when you tried to steal my consort" purson finished
Casey stepped forward and severed the other arm roughly from the hosts body with such force that Purson gave her a nod of approval. She presented the arm to him "a gift farther".
He turned to his son "you picked well" he said taking the arm. "As for you Pazuzu your recent associates have aroused attention. You are to come back to hell and exsplain yourself before the kings ,the princes and the dukes"
"come back as your trophy more like" the armless host croaked, now seemingly unperturbed by the recent amputations of both arms.
"I wouldn't mind if it looked that way" "You always hated me" "Not always" purson drawled picking his claws "only after you tried to court my wife" "Ex-wife" Pazuzu corrected bluntly. Purson's eyes took on a dangerous shine to them. His fangs bared . "Oh I touched a nerve. She didn't love you back then and she won't love you now. Just forget the bitch-" "It will be a cold day in hell indeed before I begin taking relationships advice from you Pazuzu" Purson cut in picking up the corpse and swiftly plunging his hand into it's chest. The corpse howled. Legs kicking the air as it squirmed. Purson pulled. Dragging out some grey, slimy mess which began to materialise into something more human in his hand. Pazuzu. A grey, grinning version sat on the floor. Purson's hand around his throat. "Now let us leave" the duke announced. Marcus was about to bark and objection when Pazuzu pulled out a small device. BANG! An explotion deafened the gathered crowd. Sending them flying into one another. Casey slammed into Kathrin who screamed as Casey's claws dug into her calf. Andromalius crashed into his farther who slammed into a very surprised Marcus who went tumbling into a wall.
pazuzu got to his feet. Chains breaking as a portal opened behind him. Slime dripping from it like blood from an open wound. A dark void swirled behind him. A strong gust of wind whipping around them.
"I will make corpses of you all" Pazuzu promised and strode through the portal. Purson and Andromalius conjured fire between their fingers and widened their stances sending a torrent of flame towards the portal. The fire smashed against it . Flames and darkness fighting against one another. Trying to close it. It didn't not.
One last voice came from the portal "the world will belong to the older" before the portal gave up on its self. Not closeing no collapsing.
"Up the stairs!Now!" Purson ordered and the group bolted. Scrambling up the stairs. Andromalius slammed the door shut as purson melted the hinges. Keeping it shut. The two of them put their unholy strength into the door. Marcus and Tomas copied them. Putting all their inferior human strength into it.
A loud crash exploded from the basement, sending shockwaves through the foundation of the house. The building shuddered.
The sound of falling debris came from the other side of the door. At that the four men peeled sea from the door. Slowly. Sweat sliding down their brows.
Hesitantly purson again melted the door. Gently peeling it back to reveal walls coated with other worldly black slime like pitch. It oozed a horrific abominable magic . Purson quickly slammed the door. Sealing it again before grabbing the nearest piece of furniture and putting it before the door.
"no one goes down there" he said, looking at his son he added " Pazuzu is in league with the older. We must return to hell immediately."
"What!?" Exclaimed Kat "who is the older! What just happened?"
"Quite human" purson snapped "the older needn't concern you however you have been exposed to its magic" he put a hand on his chin. "Mortals you are coming to hell"
Chapter 23: The road to politics
Kathrin sat in the most lavish room she'd ever seen. Dark pieces of jet had been carved to resemble serpents that snaked around the full length mirror she gazed into as her sister sat filing her nails at a table inlay with white diamonds. The elite of hell obviously lived extravagant lives. Statues of ancient gods stood on one tables resting against the walls below gold framed portraits of various demons of importance at one time or another. They were in a sitting room. A large cheslong rested before the table. A servant had brought refreshments a moment ago. Casey had just dismissed the burnt creature with all the arrogance demons possessed.
She held a baby in her lap as she filled her talons into deadly points. The baby possessed the same daemonic features and Kathrin chewed her lip in discomfort. This felt wrong, she was sitting in a palace in hell and on top of that she had been made to baby sit with her now demonic sister. Kathrin finally worked up the nerve to ask the question she'd been avoiding.
"so" she mumbled, gripping the fabric on the front of her genes tightly. Casey looked up "yes Kat"
"The baby...is...is she yours and...is he the farther?" Casey gave her a flat look for a moment before bursting into laughter. Casey failed to contain herself, head falling backwards onto the head rest. Tears falling from her eyes. "No...no Kat" she stumbled over her words as she brushed a tear from her eyes. She took a deep breath, composing herself and facing her sister. " She is the daughter of Valefar and his wife, Lilitu. In short she is Andro's niece. Since the issue of the beast that was roaming around their home, Valefar asked his brother to look after her along with their cousin Ardat".
The door swung open "you called?" Ardat said, her dark hair pulled back into a high pony tail, revealing her golden skull necklace. Casey patted the seat beside her and Ardat collapsed into it. She threw an arm around Casey's neck "now misses you have some explaining to do". Kathrin became anxious at the sight of this new, strange woman. "Me" Casey protested, putting a hand on her chest. "More like you do, where were you?"
"Killing sinners with Thia, where else" suddenly the giant "cat" prowled into the room, a sinners ribcage in one of her mouths. Kathrin screamed , falling back wards onto the floor from her armchair. The other two just huffed "come on Kat she's not going to eat you"
"Anyway, what of you, one how did you seriously plan on getting Eva to help and marry my cousin?"
"Eva?" Kathrin trembled, still staring at Thia who found a comfortable place near the fire place to curl up. "The harpy who was supposed to help me escape, she offered to turn me to find you but in the end I didn't need her" "Yes" Ardat continued, popping a bloody sparrows heart into her mouth from the platter of refreshments "Eva has since made herself scares. Gone to Arkasina to escape justice. We haven't seen her since your transformation". Casey smiled at that, part of her hoped the harpy would be fine. She had given her hope and in a weird way she did what she had promised. Casey had been turned, even if not in the way intended. "An annoying creature that one" Andromalius's voice came from the door "but she was amusing" he walked up and pressed his lips to Casey's before she could object.
Kat hissed, standing and preparing to give Andromalius a tong lashing. His eyes fell on her. Evil glowed within them. Daring her to do it. Warning her to be wary lest she end up a corpse. She held his stare as he ran a finger down Casey's neck. Caressing her shoulder, intentionally trying to piss her off.
Casey broke off and Ardat shuffled over to make room for him as he sat next to Casey. "So are you disease free?" She asked. Looking down at the bruise on his forearm that was quickly fading, he'd had blood drawn from that spot just like all of them. "It appears so" he said as he held out his arms. She put Kivo in them he cradled her gently. Only occasionally having to free his hair for her grasp.
"Tight it up" Casey said. Gesturing to his unbound hair. " you need to shave too" she added.
"do you dislike the beard?" He frowned. Stroking the strands of hair on his chin.
"It's in the way"
"of what?" He argued as she put a kiss on his cheek. "That"
"ahem" Kathrin croaked drawing their attention from each other. "Now that you two are done... how the hell are you a demon!" She snapped and Thia raised her head.
Casey sighed, beging to retell her story of the tree, the serpent and the beast and that her power is level 49. Kathrine just sat in silence, anger burning within her as she contemplated what to do next.
Purson stood outside Jilnila's room, a hand resting against the door. He knocked once, twice. Receiving no answer he came in. Eyes hard and a hand resting on his gun belt, nails tapping a cartridge, though he would not need it. Not for this. He doubted Jilnila would still want to kill him. She was a powerful woman with a fire burning inside her. He liked her that way. The room was largely empty save for the furnishings. A lone figure sat on the balcony, her hair unbound and wearing no jewellery or makeup. She had his back to him.
Slowly he wandered across the threshold, making sure she heard him. As much as his rivals death thrilled him, he was still pained to she her like this. He pulled aside the curtains and stepped into the balcony. The reason of their break up weighed heavy on his shoulders.
"I suppose your here to gloat" she said sharply. He looked down to see a piece of fabric stained with her tears in her bone white hands. "No" he said, putting a hand on her shoulder which she swiftly shrugged off. A cold wind whipped past him, sending his hair flaring. It was a bitterly cold night.
"Then why are you here?" she asked, finally turning to him. "To tell you your son is fine. The tests came back clear" she looked down. "Good. He always was a strong boy...took after you I think. Both of them did. I was always a little jealous of that" she said a small smile on her lips.
"I also came to see if you were fine"
"Still in love with me are you?" He sat, knowing he was about to sound like a love sick puppy. "Always...you gave me the greatest gift I could ever have asked for"
"I suppose you mean our boys". He nodded, taking off his jacket and draping it over her shoulders. "Why sit out here? It's freezing". She shrugged. "I like the cold" she said. "I like it more than the warm" she touched his jacket. "I know your happy about his death, your rivals gone and I know your here to try and get back with me. You were always patience".
"You know me well, but like I said I'm here to make sure you are fine. Although I will never understand what you saw in that worm of a man" he pulled out a cigarette and lit it. Taking a long drag. "He was charming in a way and the complete opposite to you. That is what I needed at the time."
"your telling me you needed a downgrade from what you had". He said with a laugh. She cut him a look "he wasn't that bad".
"He was foolish, he was pathetic, he was pretentious and he had the most annoying laugh" he listed off the insults on his fingers " lets see, he was high strung-"
"that's enough" she snapped, standing with such force the ivory chair went tumbling back " he may not have been able to hold a candle to you but he loved me and I loved him"
"I loved you and I still love you. I love our children" he said, standing. Purson dwarfed her but she stood tall. "Like you don't have your problem. You only ever cared about slaying and bloodshed, and I may love blood myself but I was never as obsessive as you"
He gave her a small smile. "Look at us, still arguing like an old married couple" he touched her cheek and she did not move away. "You only care about battle and you killed my brothers. It was your men who did it" Rage burning in her eyes.
"I never ordered them too" he pulled out a folded piece of paper from his pocket, shoving it in her face. "It's a death warrant?" she asked quizzically.
"I had them both court martialled and put to death, but you were gone before I could show you. I've only recently been able to get this back and now it's yours" she held the paper close. Holding it to her chest, rage subsiding. "I ask for your forgiveness and I promise you I did not kill them" he said with only sincerity to the point where she knew he hadn't just killed them to cover his tracks. She stood up on her tip toes and pressed her mouth to his. Her lips soft and cold against his warm ones. He put his arms around her waist and brought her inside. Locking the balcony door him and her hands tangled in his hair.
Casey walked with Ardat through the sprawling gardens of hells imperial palace. A procession of servants followed her. Fanning her with golden fans. Her palanquin rested not to far from her. Preparing to take her to the court room in order to watch her husband debate with the many other nobles on what had just happened with Pazuzu.
Ardat joined her, wearing a dress of black satin that pooled on the floor around her feet. Plates of gold hung around her neck. Casey wore a blood red dress. Her face painted with pale foundation and her upper lip painted fully with golden lipstick. Only a thin vertical line of it had been painted on her lower lip. A simulator gold graced her eyes. From her ear lobes hung long gold earrings , similar to the head crown on her head. Long chains of even more gold hung either side of her face.
Ardat wore similar makeup done in inky black but her crown was virtually the same.
"Tell me Ardat" Casey said, running a hand over a rose bush. "Has Andromalius had many lovers in the past."
Ardat stiffened "I presume you ask to assess how likely he is to be faithful? I'm sure you heard by now that high ranking nobles have many lovers and consorts however they are mostly the kings, queens and princes with a few other nobles but Andromalius has had very few lovers so you needn't worry"
"Thank you but that is not why I ask"
"Then why do you?"
"Well at the meeting Valefar referred to 'one wench three hundred years ago' who is that?"
Ardat stopped, dismissed the servants and pulled her into a secluded area of the garden so they would not be heard.
"Three hundred years ago" Ardat whispered. "Andromalius fell in love with a lower ranking demoness named Adakesh. They courted for years, she was his soul mate and he made her his consort."
Ardat looked around before continuing "she begot him a son who he name Are'kell."
A small gasp escaped her Casey's lips. She'd expected many things but not this. "When he was a few months old Adakesh and Are'kell completely disappeared off the face the earth. Not a scrap of evidence was found to their whereabouts. Andromalius was furious. He destroyed everything of hers. He killed every servant who care for her. I had never seen him like that before or since"
Casey stood genuinely stunned. Wondering how best to use this information. " I had no idea"
"He hides it really well. After about a week of her departure he regained composure, he had lands to govern after all but really I think it was something he needed to keep his mind from her but their disappearance has forever dragged on him."
Casey looked to the floor. Never, never in her wildest dreams had she thought of this being a possibility.
"The only thing he kept was that little toy tarantula that Kivo plays with. I think Are'kell's disappearance is why he was so open to the idea of him raising Kivo. It reminded him of a happier time when he had his child and the woman he loved"
Ardat touched Casey's cheek "he must have really liked you to make you consort Casey"
"our marriage was political-"
"No. He doesn't just offer the role to any high ranking demon, he's had powerful men and women asking him for the role for years. He refused them all. You must have made quite the impression on him. You might be politically but you like one another"
"He was merciful towards me. Gave me quite the a comfortable existence of course I like him"
"not like that. You care more for him than that"
Casey remained still as a clock tower chimed in the distance. Saved by the bell. "We must leave" Casey said and turned on her heel. Ardat followed behind her as she board her palanquin. Her mother and farther awaited inside.
Angela Rance sat in horror as she took in her daughters appearance. She looked beautiful yes but in a way that made beauty terrible. The strange Ardat sat beside her. Glaring at them. More food was served in a large golden bowl. Black grapes and ivory strawberries. A jug of wine stood next to it. The lid shut tight to avoid spilling.
"So do you like it here?" Henry asked. Keeping his eyes on his now demonic daughter. She was completely foreign to him now from her metallic silver eyes to the way she spoke, to the sharp horns upon her head.
"I do" she said "now more than before. When I got here as a weak mortal I was given to Andromalius, well more dumbed in his office by Pazuzu. However he gave me mercy and offered me a deal, I could either work for him or be sent to the pit with the other damned. I chose to work in his house hold, he assigned me to look after his niece Kivo as her new governess. I am thankful to him for that. Then I became a demon and he asked me to be his wife as I have a massive amount of raw power but he had political power. We support one another for power. He protects me" she finished, leaning back.
Henry swallowed, his blabbering mind unsure of what to think. He had to get her out of here, away from her "husband", how though. He could kill Andromalius. Poison perhaps but that would lead to quite considerable fall out and Casey and him had a deal. He helped her thrive and he had access to all of her physical power and magic. How powerful could she become with training?
"Have you had training Case?" Angela asked. Casey shock her head "not yet but Andromalius has been busy finding me a tutor who good enough to train me"
"What do you mean 'good enough'?" Angela said, tilting her head sideways. Casey looked to Ardat "can I tell her?"
Ardat eyed the two humans carefully. Narrowing her eyes "they will be sworn to secrecy of course"
"Even if they told the people on the surface I doubt they would believe them. They like their precious book to much" Casey retorted, frowning. "We won't say anything" Henry said. " Please just tell us"
Casey sighed happily, leaning back " well...the way it works is a demons power is measured on a scale of 1-50. 1 being the weakest. 50 being the strongest. Level 40-50 constitutes a noble. 50 is a primordial. I am level 49". Her parents gapped at her in shock. Such power. They couldn't tell if they were proud or horrified. A question struck the in unison "how powerful is Andromalius"
They blinked. Discomforted by the fact that she dwarfed him in strength. Henry picked up one of the unusually coloured strawberries. Examining it in his hand "and have you possessed anyone yet?" Angela asked. Casey paused for a moment. Allowing her parents to fret over the question. "No"
The two of them sighed, visably relieved. Angela even placing a hand over her heart.
Ardat looked to her. Puzzled by their reaction. "Wow mother I didn't think it mattered that much to you"
"no it means you are not evil"
Casey tilted her head " I thought you would think I evil. At least in the human sense"
Henry linked his fingers with his wife and they looked to one another "your our daughter Casey. We will support you as long as we can, even if god turns against us for it"
Inside the palace Andromalius sat with Casey just outside the grand council chamber in one of the private waiting rooms. Andromalius was reading a single piece of paper, reminding himself of what he must say to the assembly. Casey knew she would be brought up in conversation, the way she had become a demon would draw suspicion. They will need her. She had willingly submitted blood samples for testing and she was certain that would be brought up in conversation. She was thankful for Andro's family. His farther was well respected in the court. He'd support his son's wife. She thought she'd made a good impression on Purson. She had his approval at least.
She looked up at Andro, eyeing the golden armour he wore and she decided to sit a little closer to him. He gave her a small smile. "Do you love me Andromalius?"
He raised a brow "why the question wife?" he kept his eyes on the paper in his hand. She ground her teeth "just answer the question". He turned his head to her at her forceful tone. "I care about you dear. When I kiss you I like it and I want you to be safe"
"but you don't love me like Adakesh". He stiffened, paper dropping from his hand. "How?-"
"Ardat told me. I asked her who this three hundred year old 'wench' Valefar mentioned was". Andromalius put away his papers into a leather case. "Adakesh was the love of my life and I lost her. I lost my boy. I promised myself that I would not take another wife but if I did I would not loose this one." He put a finger against her chin. "There are other high ranking woman who I could make an alliance with but none are as bold as you. None in the face of hopelessness was willing to go against a realm to get home and none has ever achieved such power"
"That was more of an accident I think" she said.
"Even so you are quite the marvel. To answer your question if I didn't love you I wouldn't have asked for you". She leaned on his arm. "Did you ever discover what happened to Are'kell ?" he looked away "there was a report about a man who was the right age and had a resemblance to me being killed in an explosion. They never found the corpse so I still don't know what happened to him or my wife"
"How old was he?"
"8 months but those months were the best I ever had". She rubbed his arm. "I need to ask...if she came back would you divorce me for her?" She stood. Cupping his face with both hands "i don't want to share you. It's selfish but I don't care. I want to be your only woman"
"that would depends largely on why she left and how we felt about one another if she does return but I wouldn't just throw you away. I wouldn't treat you like that"
"No your not for then you would face my wrath " she said. Eyes glittering with the challenge as she picked up a nearby embroidery hoop and went back to sewing.
"you think you'd win one on one" he retorted. "I know so"
"Really?" He smiled "we must test that one day"
"if you're not too scared" she flashed a wicked grin. He chuckled into her shoulder as the doors opened.
The white haired man from earlier stood in the doorway. Framing himself in it like a picture. "If you two love birds are done fraternising we will begin shortly"
Amdromalius took his wife's arm and they left for the hall.
Chapter 24: Disaster
"We have all gathered here to address the growing concern of the older and his underlings. We cannot afford such decention in our ranks. Today we aims to find a solution to this issue and restore our order and power!" Leviathan said to the gathered crowed of demons. Lords and ladies of high rank sat in elevated booths in the grand hall.
"We have a new and powerful ally in this battle as I am sure you are all aware." He gestured to Casey who stood in the satin covered booth with Andromalius and his family. Jilnila joined them an unexpected appearance but one Andromalius and Valefar were pleased by.
"May I present Casey Rance, wife of Andromalius Malecar, she is the slayer of the beast which plagued us these past weeks and has bound its power to herself by using a talmelen and current has a power level of 49"
A few hushed gasps followed by intense applause filled the air as she bowed to them and sat back down. A small smile on her lips.
"Now that that's over her let us begin with what we know. Lord Purson, let us begin with what happened in the human world with Pazuzu."
Purson stood, addressing the court room " very well, two weeks ago to the day, lord Belphagor sent me to personally detain Pazuzu. He was discovered to have a large amount of a substance that was strange at best. Glowing and transforming within a jar and near identical to the plague. As we went to detain him he escaped through a portal. One that was made of the same substance as that which was in the jar. As such he has been found guilty of killing 48 people and is now a traitor and will be killed on site if he is come across."
He paused, scanning the room as the jar was brought out. The thick blue slime undulating and shifting inside. Casey's eyes fell upon it, staring, her grip on Andromalius's arm loosening, her hands falling to her sides. "The plague causes swelling and vomiting, green slime forms around the joints causing the blood to be cut off and for gangrene to set in, the eyes take on a white shine before turning milky and causing blindness. Death follows within a week if the victim is lucky. The plague is spread by contact with infected blood and by possession"
A few more gasps of horror, the demon's acted strong but they even they expressed fear occasionally. They were far from human but perhaps they shared more similarities than they wished to admit. Andromalius stood, ignoring his wife's empty gaze. "Calm down everyone. The plague has been vanquished, the death of the creature appears to have dealt with it."
"Appears to have. You do not know that it has, hell perhaps your new wife carries it, perhaps she will revive it" said a ginger haired man from across the room. Astaroth, a high ranking demon who had lost 7 of his servants he had invested in. He was just pissed that he had lost some cash. "Casey has no use for supporting the older and his plague. She has a personal grudge with Pazuzu and wishes to person deal the killing blow" Lucifer said over the crowd. Astaroth growled, his supporters growing restless.
"How do we know this is no ruse. She was a slave that suddenly became a demon, almost a primordial. What cause have we to trust she is with us?" His supporters cheered and he allowed them to settle before speaking " she has no allegiance to us beyond a sudden marriage to Andromalius. In fact of what I hear she has more cause to follow the Older to wipe us out for Pazuzu's actions in over turning her mortal life" more cheers come came and Andromalius looked to his wife.
"Then let Casey say what she will on the matter. My dear wife do you give your allegiance to us and will declare publicly to destroy the scourge that plagues us" Andro said but her eyes were on the jar. Cloudy and focused only on the liquid as it rhythmically danced in the jar. The servant put the artefact on the edge of the long table and took a few steps back. It wasn't a slave, no it was harpy with banded feathers of blue and red.
"Casey?" Ardat asked, puzzled "tell the man your not a threat" urging her to speak. Suddenly Casey's hand shot out and the jar slid down the table so fast that the harpy could not stop it. His eyes widening as the jar landed in her hand. The top came flying off and the Malecar clan stood, all except Andromalius who moved closer. The substance moved up and out of the jar, crawling up her fingers like caterpillars up a branch. Culminating in a sphere, hovering just above her hand. Energy pulsed from the perfect sphere. It pulsed in and out slowly at first before it began to pulsed faster and faster. As the heart rates of the other demons also increased.
"She can control the scourge!" Roared a young demoness. The siren from the meeting with Valefar and Andromalius's friends. Bellona, the war demoness stood in awe. Parts of the stone table rolling upward and forming a large shield. The other demons summoned defensive weapons from their respective elements. Preparing for what came next.
Andromalius was pleading with Casey, trying to get this to stop, to return the substance to the jar before something happened.
"She can use the scourge against them" Shouted another demon. "She could be our greatest weapon"
"Nonsense" another said "she'd be better off using this to disinfect the graves of the fallen and other infected places" A few shouts of approval and protest irrupted from the crowd.
"Casey" Andromalius hissed quietly "please. Stop this". She gave him a look, eyes empty and her face took on a...darker expression. The sphere lengthened into a long spear. The blue glow shimmering in the light of the room as it hovered above her.
"I think you all are beneath me. Why should answer to you? Why should I allow such insects to pester me?" She stood up. Her voice booming "how dare you think you may control me?! I will have you kneel before me for such insolence?!" She transformed into her other form, tall and beastly. The other demons drew their weapons as Casey's spear began to pulse more violently. The Malecar clan began to back away. The power radiating from her was overwhelming. Drowning their senses in the unending darkness emanating from her.
Casey's fingers curled around Andromalius's throat. He stayed ridged. His hand wrapping around her own as he stared into her eyes. Searching for her in there but couldn't see her. Boiling hands curled around Casey's shoulders, pulling her to reality. "Easy hon" she said in a cool voice. Lava bubbled on the floor.
"Hell" Andromalius said as Hell gripped the spear. "It's fine son. I'll handle this, you just look after her when this is done". "I think I'll keep him as a pet" Casey said, as a small piece of the substance separated from the spear and formed a chain then as quick as a flash wrapped firmly around his neck. Squeezing. "I was once his servant now he will be mine" Andromalius hissed, flames growing around his fingers, coiling around her chain but barely making a dent. Casey put her hand under her chin, slicing her hand, letting blood drip from her hand, onto his lips. He thrashed in her grip as he tried to feed him her black blood. Trying to make him her pet. "He wouldn't make a good pet dear" Hell said, turning Casey's head towards her own. "Now Casey " she said, dreamily but persuasively. Quiet and gentle. She knew what Hell was trying to do. She was trying to touch her mind. Trying to control her. Primordial's could do that. Could touch the minds of weaker demons or demons who knew not how to close their minds. She was trying to control her. Casey lifted her spear and let it detonate.
Her power obliterated the surrounding area. The walls ripping and crumbling, the windows blew out and the two massive doors were torn off their hinges and went barrelling down the hall, rolling over the disintegrating carpet. The demons were blown back, cowering behind their shields and creating barriers that were disintegrating by the second. Hell created a wall of magma around the room and many hid behind them. Andromalius stood, still tethered by Casey's leash.
Casey's eyes were hollow, bright blue blazing within them. Her smile wicked. "Casey stop!" he shouted, letting out a torrent of flame towards her. She walked through it as the energy continued to pulse. Continued to destroy the place. The ground opened around them, a sink hole dug by her energy. Her hand cradled his face "my lovely pet what ever is the matter?"
He looked up at her perfect but deadly face as she held her bleeding hand to his lips. "Drink" she cooed. "I will not woman!" he snapped and she grabbed him by the throat, holding him up with great ease. "Drink!" she ordered and shoved her hand in his face. He hissed and looked around. The hall was now a waste land. All of the demons hid behind shields created by the stronger nobles. Looks of terror and awe on their faces. Out of options ,he drank. Her blood thick in his throat. She recited the words of servitude. "You are my servant Andromalius"
"I will...I will serve you" he muttered, shame lacing his voice. Then Hells hands gripped the sides of Casey's head, sending a shockwave through the demoness and Casey's vision went black.
The hall was a mess after the explosion died down. The exquisite marble floor was reduced to dirt and rumble. The chandeliers rained crystal down upon the gathered demons as they slowly and hesitantly moved from around their shields and looked at the unconscious demoness. Hell knelt by Casey's head. She had returned to her human form, looking around at the now missing walls. She had destroyed a good third of the palace. This would take months to fix. What creature had been created?
Andromalius knelt beside his wife and now mistress. Embracement and rage burned his cheeks. Hell held up a hand "she's something I've never seen. I will train her. Do not be angry, she may release you when she wakes". He hissed, fangs glinting. Hell gave him a small grin "calm down nephew."
"Aunty, I'm not about to become my wife's slave".
"I don't think she will remember this when she wakes but she is the first primordial in millennia. She will be great and hell will be even greater with her...once she is trained, but I must say you chose a strong one, perhaps too strong"
"I will be fine, just teach her to control...this" he said disgusted at the damage.
"Look on the bright side...our enemies will be greatly cowed by her, just remain strong. Ill teach you a few tricks to protect yourself from primordial energy."
He touched Casey's forehead "I wish to have a good relationship with her, perhaps that is still within my grasp, but still she is a threat the way she is."
"And she may remain a threat, but she may become a saviour. Only time will tell"
Chapter 25: What now
Andromalius sat beside Casey still unconscious body on the bed. He wasn't afraid of his wife. He cared about her, he was now her pet and slave to her every whim but he still cared. He loved her somewhat but how would this affect them. She had been his servant. She had been treated well and she had been one of the few servants he trusted, even his favourite serves were nothing more than his wait staff in his eyes. He didn’t know why he had done it. Why had done the things he’d done. Perhaps he had treated her well for caring for his niece like her own daughter. For being her nanny and care giver this he’d given her respect. They bonded so quickly, her and Kivo, despite all she'd been through, she still managed to love Kivo,. Incredible.
He respected her for that. And he was certain that they'd become close as long as she did not kill him by accident. His hand brushed over her cheek. He'd picked a terrifyingly powerful wife, just his luck. That blast wasn't her full power, if it had been he would had evaporated right there and then. A thick, black scar circled his throat now, a metaphorical collar that bound him to her. He touched his neck before pulling up the collar of his shirt to hide it.
Then the door to his room burst open, Casey's parents and sister tore into the room, quickly followed by a group of robed guards. "Let them in" he told them and the guards bowed before leaving. "Is she alive?" Kat asked running to Casey's side. "She's more than alive girl, she's the second most powerful creature in this realm" he declared to her. Rubbing his temple. "To be honest she's unlike any of us"
Henry looked at him "is she dangerous?"
"Very" Andro said bluntly "in this state she is unstable and untrained". Angela gasped, tears dampening her eyes "what's going to happen to her?"
"She's going to be trained by the only true primordial here. Hell herself"
"Like the place Hell, like what we are standing on?" Kat asked. He nodded. Kat grabbed his sword from it's place on the wall and began stabbing it into the floor "take that you fiend!" she screamed as Andromalius sighed heavily, shaking his head "that's not how it works" he mumbled but she ignored him continuing to stab the blade into the ground.
"Stop her before she kills herself" said a female voice. A great heat came over the room, turning the humans skin flush. They turned to see a burning woman made of molten rock and fire. "Hell these are the Rance's, Rance's Hell" Andro said. Hell sat on the bed next to her student. "This will be fun, I've rarely had a student this strong".
"What are you going to do to her?" Angela asked. "Train her, make her powerful. She's not something your humans can comprehend anymore but she'll be something you will be proud of" her voice was forceful and she gave the statement as though it were an order. Casey was Hell's now not theirs.
"She destroyed the hall in a single blast" Hell went on “she will be incredible when I’m through with her”
At that moment, Casey’s eyes flew open. Tears welling “where am I?”’she trembled “What happened?”
Andromalius knelt so that he was gazing into her eyes. His fingers ghosting over her porcelain cheek “hey it’s alright “he said, trying to comfort her. Her tears slid onto the pillow and he put his head to hers. She put her arms around him. Clinging to him.
”Could you give us a moment?” He ask “alone”
Angela snapped “like hell I’m leaving here again! Casey”
Casey didn’t look away from him, gazing intently into his eyes. Even as the guards from earlier came in and escorted the three humans out, Hell hot on their heels. Once the door closed, they were alone. Her cheeks were a deep pink, both shame and embracement flashed in her eyes. She was unsure of what she had done but she knew it was bad. Really bad.
She lifted a hand weakly, barely catching the collar of his shirt before she could no longer hold the arm up. Around his neck she noted the thin line around his neck. She gasped "did I do that?" she said alarmed, he swiftly did up his shirt, buttoning it to once again hide his mark. "Pay it not heed but we have much to talk about"
"You destroyed the entire hall, the substance in that jar triggered something within you but that's not all. You had me drink your blood. I am your slave now. What ever you want me to do I must do it" She sat up, glaring at his throat.
"You mean anything?"
"If you ordered me to kill my own mother I would haft to do it" he relented, she gasped, touching his neck. This could be useful, a slave that would do anything without question. He'd be useful but she felt a twang of guilt in thinking that way about him.
"Kneel" she said, wanting to see if he was correct about this. He knelt. "Sit"
He sat and her brows rose, intrigued "go get me chocolate and a soul please"
"You order me to do that but I want you to release me". She touched his cheek, a mischievous look on her face "why should I? What would do to stop me?"
He gave her a look before smiling "Hell is my great aunt, she'll get you to release me"
"Really, I could just tell you not tell Hell to release you". He smiled leaning against her, his face pressed against her warm neck. His skin was frigid , like the frozen winds of the lowest circle. She looped an arm around him "Hell is fully aware of my distain for this. She'll take vengeance for me. I despise being a slave"
"I was once your slave" she said. " I paid you for caring for Kivo and you can not accuse me of being tyrannical"
"No, I cannot...why did you pay me?"
He shrugged, "I don't know, but it felt right"
She smiled, very well. Sitting up she gazed down at him “how do I free you”
”With only a few words and drops of blood”
Casey pricked here finger. Blood welling as she pressed the finger against his lips
“I release you. You don’t have to follow me any further”
His mouth open, serpent tong slithering out to sample the blood. Her thumb brushed his chin, gentle and caring “now go kill Pazuzu for me”
Suddenly a sword appeared in his had as though he had followed an order. His skin paled and he stepped away. Fear coursing through his veins as the sword quivered in his hand.
Her eyes widened. “Why didn’t that work?” She asked a stray tear sliding down her cheek before she swiftly brushed it away. “I don’t know” he said. “I...I don’t know”
she frowned. Unsure what to say. His eyes grew hard. “Ignore me” she spurted out “ ignore any order I give you. Just do what you would do normally ok”
He nodded. Kneeling and bowing before her “still I am bound to you. I have never been bound to anyone before. Grant me the mercy I showed you”
”I will” she said. Extending a hand to touch his face. “Now come here. I’m tired and I need rest before I begin to train. The bed is cold. Will you come sleep next to me?”
He stood. Peeling off his shirt before sitting on the bed and toed off his boots as he removed his sword belt. He lay back pulling the blanket over them.
“Once I’m trained. Once the business will Pazuzu is done. I will help you find Adakess and your son”
His lips turn upwards “thank you” he murmured into her hair
“one last question. If Pazuzu was so hated by you all before he turned traitor why was he still in the palace?”
“There are rules when it comes to possession. Things you cannot do. There was strong evidence to suggest that he had been breaking these rules but his rich family members kept getting him out of trouble so the case never went to trial” he said “if it were up to me I would have thrown him into the lowest pit” he murmured before they drifted off to sleep.
Jilnila sat upon the massive red bed, her hands resting on her belly. How could she have been so foolish? Falling for him again. Now she’d have to deal with the consequences. Purson strode in. His lips curled up in a smile.
His fingers traced her cheek “I’m with child” she said to him. “I know. I know” he murmured kissing her again