Days passed and soon morphed into week in turn, week turned to months. It proved a harrowing yet revitalizing experience, as I saw my old life die and I became someone new.
Gone was the out of shape slob that spent his days in front of a computer, working for some soulless corporation and who wasted his nights in front of the TV.
In came the new version of me. In the span January to March, I'd lost a good 20 pound and for the first time in my life had put on some muscles. Sure, I wasn't a body builder or anything but it was a huge improvement.
But that's not to say my life got easy. I didn't get like that by getting to the gym a few times a week. With the ladies and a few other mages, I'd taken a new job; Overwatching the city.
Ghouls, rampaging trolls, Death cults and the restless dead, That was my new work load. I grew in strength but so did the threats I faced.
March 29th was when the boat was rocked once again. At the time, I was on a job with a small time kinectomancer called Keith. While he couldn't throw a truck around, He packed one heck of a punch and his bullets danced in the air like they were in an aquatic ballet.
“Ready?” I asked in a hushed tone to my partner.
“Yeah. On three?” There were hints of stress in his voice. Which was understandable, A few months ago, he had been a male cheerleader for the university, now, he was hunting cultists...
I counted down, and as I hit zero, both of us hit the double door with all our weight.
The empty Warehouse had been taken over two weeks ago by a group of demon worshiping cultists. While they were free to worship anyone, one of the members had kidnapped his girlfriend and was preparing to sacrifice her tonight as the full moon reached it's apex. That, we couldn't let happen.
Using the handful of seconds we had before they demonologist realized what was happening we grabbed for cover. Working with Keith, I'd learned how to best use his powers.
While he was limited in potential, he had way more power than I currently could muster. On top of that, he was one hell of a crack shooter.
As he focused his will through the custom engraved pistol and bullets he carried, I provided a distraction; Like a John woo movie, I leap for another cover, firing a pair of small caliber handguns, emptying their clips in the general direction of the targets.
It goes without saying that I didn't hit a goddamn thing with that little stun. But that wasn't the point. Most of the warlocks weren't even a day above 16. They were all just kids in their rebellious and dark, brooding phase.
What we were here for was the leader. He wasn't some kind of wannabe. He was the real deal. He'd just moved onto the city after losing the mirror shades in Chicago.
Bullets flew as I remained behind a large stack of empty crates and barrel that had been left there. The kids themselves were harmless, but the leader, a man that called himself Lazarus, had brain washed several of them. More or less literally.
After a few seconds of fire, it all went silent as they began reloading. Big mistake from newbies, always keep a gun loaded. Otherwise, this happens.
From the other side of the warehouse, Keith rose from cover, holding a single machine pistol with both hands. A flurry of bullets sprayed all over the cultists. Not a single one missed. No one was yet hurt.
Using his power, he'd redirected the bullet's course to veer right into the men's guns, sending them in pieces or flying.
That was my cue to move again, without even holstering them, I left go of the pistols, reaching for the machete and the kid sized baseball bat, one of the old ones, made from actual hardwood.
Using the kid's surprise I charged in, most of them weren't armed and didn't even try anything, they just stood to the side as I rushed in, smashing the baseball into one of the goon who posed a threat's stomach, sending him down the floor hurling his stomach's content.
And then, things degenerated. There was a lot of screaming as Keith and I fought, throwing punches, baseball bat swings and kicks. Most of the wannabe satanist goth kids ran for it early on. Yet there was a lot of cannon fodder that stood by their master as docile slaves.
I wasn't exactly a pro, but we held a small advantage to them, as people under a compulsion have a delayed timing and reaction time due to the instant before they receive an order and their mind process it.
As sad as it was, these guys would never really recover. Mental manipulation is a difficult art, the slightest mistake could cause permanent psychic trauma to the victim's mind. There was no way Lazarus, the sociopathic son of a bitch had gone with white gloves on these guys.
He wanted control, total domination. Even if freed, these kids wouldn't have been able to live. There was no will left in them, no autonomy. They'd been reduced to automaton.That, pissed me off to no end.
One of the thralls swung a weapon at me and I didn't react in time, so I ended up eating a face-full of tire iron. Blood splashed down my nose and onto my lips, the metallic taste filling my mouth. The hit had sent me down, and I hit the cement floor, hitting my left hand first as I tried to break the fall. I felt another crack echo thorough my bones. One hand and my nose were out of the game.
Our weapons flied through the air, fast enough to make a swoop sound as they moved. The tip of my blade, buried into the guy's belly and a spasm shook his entire body right before his piece of iron could hit my temple...
I didn't realized that during our exchange of hits, the high priest had continued his chanting, lowering his blade right at the captive girl's sternum. At the same time, in front of him, inside of a circle, that had been drawn on the ground with spray paint, A monstrous creature formed, a humongrous wolf with the wings of an eagle and a serpent's tail, vomiting a fiery ooze that slowly melted the concrete.
We were out of time, we never could match the power of a demon...
However, we could prevent Lazarus from taking control of it and it's power. The machete in my hand flew through the air...
It spent some spinning around lazily before it stuck the demon right on the flank, handle first, rebounding powerlessly onto the floor, not even phasing it.
The demon howled in rage, it wasn't hurt. It was insulted. Insulted that an idiot monkey would dare to stand up to him it screamed and the fiery ooze spewed from his mouth like a freaking water-hose.
It was probably going to kill me if Laz didn't do it first.
But that didn't matter...
The flowing burst of magma hit right in the chest, burning it's way through clothes and devouring flesh, letting out a fetid odor or roasted flesh and
Lazarus howled in pain as the demon leap onto him, ripping out his still beating heart and devouring it whole. Circles of power can keep tremendous amounts of power, and keep locked even the strongest of extra planar beings.
But it couldn't prevent physical matter to pass and shatter the barrier. With my blade, I had broken down the only thing preventing the spirit to destroy the arrogant mage who had planned to enslave him.
After delighting in the power of the late Lazarus, the beast slowly trotted to my position, setting his maw inches from my faces.
“I KNOW NOT IF I SHALL SPARE YE FOR RELEASING MY BEING OR DEVOUR YOU FOR YOUR ARROGANCE MONKEY! SHALL I SWAY MY CLAWS, WHAT SHOULD THEE GIVEST TO MINESELF?”
The Demon's voice was like a rumbling, shaking the earth around me, as he spoke a fiery rasp accompanied his every words. I couldn't react in anything but terrified awe... The air had gotten hotter and hotter by the second, my breath grew sharp and Irregular, oxygen getting quickly replaced by the smoke the creature expired
"SPEAK NOW OR REMAIN SILENT IN DEATH, VERMIN"
I tried to speak... however, nothing came out.
Beside I couln't give him anything, or receive anything, It would've forged a pact...
Camilla knew a lot about spirits and she'd taught me one thing. When forging a pact with a being, the word is law. One cannot willfully act against it. And with some beings, just speaking to them casually could forge one.
If I gave him anything, I'd be bound to obey.
“PERHAPS THEE REQUIRE GUIDANCE.” He purred out, one of his burning hot claw carresing my chin, leaving a nasty burn in the whole area.
“SPEAK NOW. THINE SOUL OR THINE SERVITUDE”
Shit... shit... shit...