Chapter 4 – Final Steps Taken
Edward pulled up to Guilty Pleasures in his SUV, he had no need to pretend to be Ted during this particular trip, and it was easier to carry all the firepower he needed with this vehicle over a pick-up truck. After Anita had finished explaining exactly what it was she needed his help with he’d gone through his entire arsenal before deciding to just bring it all.
Demons were tricky creatures, while as far as he knew they couldn’t be killed by anything, and only contained or banished by faith, they could at times be harmed or distracted if you threw enough at it. Plus there was the added unknown that was the summoner himself, or herself he was very much an equal opportunity guy when it came to people being scum, no one knew who he or she was or if they had any back up with them. Better safe than dead.
Getting out of the car he stood there for a moment and looked up at the club, sometimes he didn’t know why he always picked up the phone when Anita called. If it had been anyone else that he knew who was so in deep with the monsters of the world he would have shrugged off their call for help as them just bringing shit down on themselves. Hell a few years back he would have probably done the same with Anita, but in the last little while the little lady had gotten herself so embroiled in his life that he just couldn’t seen to shake her.
She’d met Donna, she’d helped him out when he got caught up in things he couldn’t handle with the brute force that was his norm, she’d somehow gone from the occasional back-up that made up his other “friends” to being as close to a true partner he’s ever had.
After her call all he could think about was how he would feel if she were to die at the hands of this demon she was now fighting, and he’d realized that he would have actually felt bad about it. That just wasn’t his way of things, when bad things even fatal things happened to the people he knew he either shrugged it off as the inevitable way of things with his line of work or he got angry enough to get his revenge on whatever creature it was that killed them. He had never once felt anything other than indifference or anger in the face of the death of someone he knew, at least he hadn’t before Donna and her kids happened and he started letting people into his life.
This was what happened when people like him got too invested in people, they went soft. Oh hell, he was in it now, might as well see it through to the end. If Anita became too much of a liability for him he supposed he could always kill her later, or at least try to, she’d been getting steadily more powerful for a while now and for the longest time he didn’t know anymore who would win if it came down to her or him.
What he did know now though was that no matter which way it would go, the last one standing wouldn’t feel the overwhelming rush that comes with beating an opponent you thought just might be just that little bit better than you, they would feel the loss for some time to come.
Grabbing his bag from the back of the SUV he walked up to the doors of the club and strode through like he owned the place, he’d been there often enough now that he knew exactly where to go, and wasn’t that just fucked up in every sense of it.
Anita stood in “her” room at the club and looked at the two people who meant more to her than anyone else had for a long time now. She had people she loved like Jean-Claude and Richard. She had people she cared about like Jason and even at times Edward. Hell she even had friends like Ronnie and Manny. She had all these people that made up her life now but none of them were as central to who she was now as Micha and Nathaniel were.
That was why she couldn’t bare the idea of them having any part of this fight, she knew they were capable of taking care of themselves, well Micha more than Nathaniel, but she knew they would look out for each other. That wasn’t the point. The point was that if they were there, facing a demon, she would be distracted. They just seemed to be willfully ignoring what she was trying to say. She knew they understood, they always understood her, but they were being stubborn because everyone else was going and they didn’t want to be left behind to wonder.
She could understand that, but she was not going to budge on this, they were not coming. No way!
“Don’t you Anita me. You two are sitting this one out, that’s final. You would only be in the way.” She knew as she said it that it was the absolute worst thing to say, but she was angry and scared so she wasn’t exactly thinking things through before she said them at the moment. Seeing them both take a step back like she’d decked them and watching their eyes just shut down was enough to make her regret her words in an instant.
She might regret it, but she wouldn’t take them back, they were the truth no matter how much they hurt. This was one thing they could not help with, not if she was going to have any kind of focus during this fight. Later, she would apologize later, when they were all still alive.
Seeing they weren’t going to say anything else, too hurt to even look at her, she stepped out of the room and headed towards Jean-Claude’s office, towards Edward. She knew better than to leave the two of them along for long, unless she wanted one of them to die. Which was the point of her entire argument with Micha and Nathaniel, she didn’t want anyone to die, not now.
She stood in the center of the warehouse she’d commandeered for her purposes, it was abandoned and forgotten, in other words it was perfect. She looked along the wall where the zombies and vampires were trapped in the circles she’d made specifically for each and everyone of them.
The zombies were calm, unresponsive to any and all things since the animators who raised them were killed. They didn’t even seem to realize that they weren’t in their graveyards anymore.
The vampires were far more aware, and they were pissed. The circles kept them contained, their rage useless in the face of her power. The two “young” ones freaked her out, but they were perfect for what she needed. This would all be over soon, soon her avenger would be here, and everything would be set back to the way it was. The way it should have been all along.
She would have her vengeance!
Edward sat in the office, trying not to look at any of the décor because it would make him laugh and laughter wasn’t appropriate for what they were discussing.
So this demon summoner, this caster, was down to its final stage. All they had to do was kill the creatures it had already gathered and hell on earth would begin. Fine, but there was one thing he still didn’t understand.
“Why here? They started out all over the place, and they could obviously gather these sacrifices from anywhere, so why come here to finish things? If you want to summon something this powerful and get away with it, there are far more isolated places you could go, places where no one would even try to stop you or know how to if they did try. Why come to the one place in the continental U.S that houses some of the only people who would not only be able to find you but if it came down to it be able to stop you.” He could tell by the looks on everyone’s faces that no one had thought about it before.
Understandable, stupid, but understandable. Ever since they had discovered what was being put into motion in their backyard, they had all been in survival mode, and questions of motive don’t really fit with survival mode. Right now everyone was of the mind that this whole situation was simple and straight forward, but what if it wasn’t.
Summoning anything, let alone a demon, here was tantamount to suicide if you were caught. So why do it here surrounded by the only people who had a chance of catching you? Unless you want to be surrounded by these people. Tactics 101, if you want to use a weapon against someone you have to be close enough to take aim first. So what if this summoner was planning to aim this demon weapon at St. Louis.
Looking up at Jean-Claude he saw the same understanding reflected back in his eyes. They weren’t just unlucky enough to have this guy settle here for the final act, they were the target.
“Piss anyone off lately.” That was all it took for the understanding to spread and the accusations to begin.
Everyone was blaming everyone else, some were even not so subtly come up with plans to hang other groups out to dry in order to try to save themselves. One revelation and everyone fell apart, this was why he usually preferred to work alone. He always got along with himself, everyone else was more hit or miss.
Anita was just about to come back with another argument about why this was all so stupid and wrong, when she felt it. Magic. The wave that washed over her was so powerful she didn’t even have to guess at what the cause was, the final stage of the ritual was over, the vampires and zombies that were taken had been sacrificed. The force behind it was so extreme she would be surprised if every magic user in the state hadn’t felt it, they might not all know exactly what it means but the menace that traveled with it was clear enough. A message for everyone with the ability to feel it.
Run if you want, hide if you can, I am coming.
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