Both sides of the fight. Which one will prevail?
I deliver a kick to the solar plexus of the vampire. He laughs at me. It seems no matter what I do this vampire isn't hurt. My body feels sore but the spell is getting stronger. Ambrose disappears from view. My stake is hidden behind a tombstone where I dropped it. The vampire keeps me occupied so I have no idea what is happening to the others. I can still hear sounds of the battle behind me.
The Equinox is in full effect so the sky is dark, with clouds that eclipse the sun. The moon is silhouetting the battlefield in shadows which flicker in the mausoleum's torches. I hear the cries of demons behind me. Soon there are more shadows and cries from the girls behind me. The vampire smirks in satisfaction. I can tell by his smirk that he expects me to charge in a rage toward him.
Rage causes impetuous behavior and can prove fatal if not recognized. Vampires use their rage as a weapon against humans. So I decide to use mine against him.
Instead of charging blindly I run toward him and turn at the last moment to retrieve my stake from behind the tombstone. Immediately I turn around and throw the stake at the vamps heart. The vampire turns around, the stake protruding from his chest. We both have shocked looks on our faces. He should have burst into dust. How is this possible?
I don't see any magic around the vampire and the stake did penetrate his heart. Whatever is at work on this vampire isn't anything I can see. There are only a few things I cannot see that would explain this. None of them are good.
He laughs jovially. “Do you still believe you can win?”
I breathe heavily from anger and exhaustion.
“Your friends have no idea what they're up against. Do you want to be responsible for their deaths? This,” he indicates the battle behind himself, “is only the beginning. Your weapons are useless against us. You're outnumbered, because no matter how many of us you kill, there are more to take our place. You are fighting a losing battle Hunter,” he says as his voice rises. “Give up or join your family in Hell.”
I growl, “Never!”
The next moments are covered in red. With an inhuman power I feel deep within my entire body, I force the vampire closer to the battle behind him. The witches are being driven back by a new swarm of demons. These demons are larger and some have been equipped with mortal weapons. Our number has been diminished by one. Poor Valea has been wounded and lies still on the ground. Her hair is covered in blood and her clothes are slashed. Rowena is using her power to extend the shield to the edge of the cemetery. I can hear a steady stream of Latin from the mouths of my comrades. I deliver a flurry of blows, causing the vampire to lose his balance. He falls into a Quasar demon, that unlike its name suggests, is neither blue nor sparkling. The Quasar is known for its radiation which can be found within its claws and teeth. Hence the name.
I am just about to see what happens to a vampire hit by a Quasar demon. Humans immediately go into convulsions and some are known to have their hearts explode. It is not a pretty sight.
The moment he falls back the demons claws penetrate his throat. His eyes open in surprise and hopefully a fair amount of pain. The poison that was released instantly effects the vampire. His arms go wide and he explodes. An unnatural shock wave slams me hard into a gravestone. My senses are in utter chaos. Gone is my sense of direction.
Slowly my ears start ringing and my vision returns. I take my first breath and cough violently. My body hums with a preternatural magic as I've never felt before. I can't move my body to stand up. What I see further scares me. My team is being overrun by demons ten to one. Rowena's body is twisted at an unnatural angle. I don't know if she's breathing. A wail escapes my throat to mingle with the sounds of battle.
I roll over and release the bile in my stomach.
My body is weak and defenseless now that Rowena is down. I find myself at the mercy of Ambrose who comes upon my body from the side. His grin is brimming with pride. “What did you think of my little spell, Vala?” he asks rhetorically.
All I can do is roll onto my back and stare up at him. My eyes are wet. Blood runs into my eyes, from a gash on my forehead, to mingle with tears. My weapons are nowhere to be found. Only the amulet around my neck has any hope of protecting me.
“Let's finish this, my pet.” Ambrose leans down to lift me up.
I have no choice but to let him.
# # # # #
In the adytum the circle of hunters watch in awe and horror as both Fulgor and Alden begin to quake as if in a seizure. The other elders immediately begin to chant in English for protection. The temperature of the room grows gradually hotter. Alden begins to go white as the candles flame flickers. Fulgor slumps in his seat but Alden sits up straighter, his face raised toward the sky. You can see the whites of his eyes and feel the evil energy emanating off of him. At this time the circle has been broken yet the elders persist in their chanting. The hunters fluent in Latin help chant. Two of the hunters move to Fulgor's side as he begins to awaken.
Suddenly Alden stares ahead. His eyes are black and empty. “Do you really think that will help you?” he asks. His voice is a deep and soulless evil. His head moves from one face to the next. The elders voices falter when Alden's lips curl in a twisted smile. A deep throaty chuckle oozes from his lips. “You hide behind your chants and those pathetic charms. Spouting that drivel about God and salvation.” Spittle flies from his lips to land on the table. The spittle burns a hole through the table. “There is no salvation here. No God to protect your precious Hunter and her lackeys.”
The room starts to lose air as the heat rises. Everyone is sweating and breathing shallowly. All but Alden seems to be effected.
Fulgor, having recovered from his near inhabitation, stands up and points a shaking finger at Alden's body. He speaks forcefully in Latin. The words seem to reverberate off the walls and causes Alden's smile to falter. “You wear many faces. You defile us with your presence. And distract us with your lies. No more!”
The demon growls and shows his teeth.
“Release our brother! Return to your Master!”
The elders repeat Fulgor in Latin. The hunters repeat in English. “Release our brother! Return to your Master!” Gradually the hear dissipates.
As a final blow the demon smiles gleefully. “The hunter has been taken. The war is lost.” It laughs maniacally. Its laugh bounces around the room long after the demon has gone. Alden slumps in his seat as if his strings have been cut. It takes him a moment to recover and when he looks up his eyes are wet. He appears beaten. “Vala.”