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Chapter XXXIII

by captainmeta4
01 July 2019 at 02:55:08

Part of Apex of Creation

James Exosia

Almost instictively, I grabbed Emily and pulled her into my timeline as the courtroom ground to a halt. The floor between the council tables and the judge was now a pit to Hell. Smoke belched out, and the air began to heat up.

“What the faaa…” Emily started to say, as she saw what was happening. The all-too-recognizable odor of sulfur started to fill our noses. “Aamon?” Emily asked.

“Yeah, I think so.” We darted past Agent Ramsey - the treacherous fuck - and ran up to the edge of the pit. We Something was moving, beyond the haze, deep below.

The armies of Hell.

“Get back!” I pulled Emily back, as a jet black something erupted from the abyss. It moved too quickly to see, but suddenly I felt myself propelled face-first into the ceiling, then slammed down the ground.

“Not quite Aamon” a familiar voice said.

I cracked open my eyes. “Alocer?”

“Indeed.” The demon grinned at me. Gone was his usual impeccably clean charcoal suit. Instead, he wore armor. Behind him, millions of jet black demons erupted from the abyss. Like a fluid, the army of evil slammed into the ceiling of the courtroom, spreading outwards. It flowed down to the windows, escaping into the building.

Cael hadn’t been lying. Humanity was screwed. Other humans wouldn’t be able to see the demons like I could, of course, but the presence of evil would be felt all the same. Even Emily wouldn’t be able to see them like I could and-

Emily. She’d been right next to me. Where was she now? “Emily!” I called, searching desperately for a flash of her blue-colored clothing.

Alocer swung his fist again at me, but I dodged it, and resorted to the tactic that had brought me the most success so far.

I kicked Alocer in the crotch. I was sure the impact with his groin-plate broke my foot, but the demon shot up, bashing his own head against the cieling. That bought me precious time to look around.

Emily was right where I really should have guessed she’d be: staring her unblinking, unaware father right in the face. “Em, we gotta go”

Emily shook her head, clearing it. “Right.”

We bolted out of the room, me practically dragging my girlfriend while barging my way through masses of demon infantry. I could feel my glowing spark of divine potential in the back of my head. As much as I hated to rely on it for everyday tasks, today was far from a normal day.

I pulled on the power as hard as I could, running faster and faster towards the courthouse exit, scattering demons before me and leaving them confused and disoriented in my wake.

We shot out of the courthouse, and I ran Emily and I across the street to what I hoped would be relative safety. We caught our breath, then turned and looked back.

Evil creatures were still streaming out of the building, torrenting off into every direction imaginable. It would have been cool, were it not so dangerous.

“It’s because of you.” Emily said. “This is why Aamon chose this point to enter Earth.”

I was still mesmerized by the flying creatures. “Huh?”

“You’re the hybrid, James. You had to be taken care of immediately. Before everything else gets going, before the battle, Aamon had to make sure you wouldn’t be a factor. You just crotch-kicked a demon into the air, for crying out loud.”

“Oh. Fu-”

As if on cue, the roof of the courthouse burst open, and a demon flew out, separate from the hordes. He landed in the street with a massive thud, shattering the asphalt. He raised his head from the landing, and looked right at me.

But before the enormous demon could actually do anything, a pillar of light shot down from the sky, blinding me. I turned away, only to see another, and another, and another.”

“Well then.” said Emily. “My life for Aiur?”

“The hell is that?” I asked.

“What, you’ve never played Starcraft?” Emily retorted.

I didn’t have time to come up with an answer, because the light solidified into something that could only be an archangel. He was easily Aamon’s size, but clad in bright silver armor with golden trim. When he spoke, it was it was with an unmistakable air of command. “Hybrid James. I’m honored to meet you, but right now you need to run.”

Without thinking, I grabbed Emily’s hand and ran for my car. Overhead, amorphous swirls of light and dark collided and twisted around each other. The forms slammed into walls, dispersing, resolidifying, and resuming their attacks on each other. I fumbled for my keys, and then Emily and I were ready to go.

Except, at least, for the solid block of unmoving, unaware traffic blocking the exit to the courthouse parking lot. “Cael!” I shouted. Another pillar of light erupted in my backseat.

“I need you to move the cars around us! We have to go get Lucifer.”

Realization dawned on Cael’s face. He jumped up from the seat, through and onto the roof.

The stalled cars parted in front of us. I pulled out, and floored it towards the dorm.


Michael

I sent the Hybrid and his girlfriend to safety, and ordered Cael to follow them. In the mean time, I had another problem: Aamon, and his armies.

“Now is not the appointed time for Armageddon, Aamon.” I called.

“Fuck the appointed time.” he spat back. “Your armies are slow, out of practice, weak, and pathetic. The human race is ripe for the taking. Look around you, fool. Armageddon is happening now, even as we speak.”

I hated to admit it, but Aamon was right. I could not abandon humanity, nor would I be able to force Aamon to recall his armies. If Aamon really wanted a war, he would get it. And it would last until the appointed time, or until Aamon submitted.

I took a moment to try to figure out how many thousands of years of unending combat I was in for.

I charged, dissolving into pure energy, bolting at Aamon. I materialized a fist, and felt it made contact. Aamon tumbled backwards, tripping into cars, before rushing me in the same way. I knocked him aside with my re-created shield, then vanished it as a crackling sword emerged from Aamon’s jet black cloud and cleaved through it.

I grabbed the sword as it slashed through my essence, then slowly formed the rest of myself from my hand. “Enchanted swords.” I noted, as it crackled under my grasp. “How primitive.” Aamon tried to pull it free, but I countered with an outpouring of divine strength, keeping the sword in place.

The sword crackled even harder, resisting the forces pulling it apart. With the enchantment powered by Aamon, I could not lose.

But then Aamon smiled. All at once, the crackling ceased, the sword shattered, and I was forced to dissolve and retreat from the now-flying blade shard to avoid accidentally stabbing myself with it.

And then I smiled. Or I would have, if I’d had a face at the moment. Aamon, in all his arrogant pride, had never actually bothered to learn about human civilization, at least, no further than their vices. And by good fortune, he was standing on manhole cover.

I dropped through the street, into the sewer. It stank, but that was the least of my worries. I darted over to a spot underneath the cover he was on, and launched it as hard as I could.

Aamon went flying as I burst from below. He caught himself a quarter mile away, and charged as I drew my sword.

I sidestepped Aamon and grabbed onto him, letting him pull me along as I grappling at his dark smoke with my own light. We soared through the air, crashing into and through buildings, materializing only the occasional foot or fist to try to land a hit. I spared a glance below. Cael was escorting James and Emily away to safety.

They have a plan.

If that was the case, I had to keep Aamon occupied. There was nothing else as important as keeping the Hybrid safe. My own legions were scattered, intercepting and corralling the hordes of lesser demons that had been trying to get away.

That left me. I took form again, mid-air, and roared for Aamon.


James

With Cael running interference on the roof, I was free to push my car to its limits. A small part of the back of my mind wondered if my car would be consuming the same amount of fuel, no fuel, or geometrically more fuel. That, I figured, would be something I’d have to experiment with when the fate of the world wasn’t at stake. Existential physics questions notwithstanding, I made record time to the dorm, where Emily and I hopped out and ran inside. We made a beeline to the boiler room.

“Lucifer!” Emily shrieked.

The exiled devil shimmered out of the boiler, just in time for Cael to follow us down the stairs. His eyes went wide, and then narrow. “You *traitorous filth!*” he spat, and drew his sword

I grabbed the backside of Cael’s armor, pulling hard on my bit of divinity to counter his strength. “Hang on, stop. I know you hate the guy, but just wait.”

Cael shook his head in confusion. “What do you mean?”

Lucifer chuckled. “Listen to the kid, Cael. Tone down the arrogance a bit.”

Cael almost broke free, but controlled himself. “What do want?”

Lucifer spread his arms, palms up. “My kingdom back, obviously. I may not see eye to eye with you on certain things-”

“Understatement of the millennia.”

“-but I do adhere to the prophecies of old, and the timings that they dictate. Neither of us wants an early Armageddon.” Lucifer finished, folding his arms and leaning on a support column.

“You stole the scroll to prevent Armageddon, liar.” Cael answered.

“Purely opportunistic, I assure you. If nothing else, that should be proof that I’d rather not have whatever it is Aamon’s planning. Must be something big, to get you down here, all dressed up fancy.”

I had my doubts as to whether or not Lucifer was actually unaware of the current events, but before I could speak, Emily filled him in. “Aamon’s invading. Literally, as we speak.” Emily was impatient. “You want Hell back, we want Aamon the hell gone, and I want to watch my dad suffer. Preferably, also in Hell. Quit the bullshit, we can work together on this.”

I didn’t really have anything to contribute. “What Emily said.”

“Wonderful.” Lucifer stood straight. “I presume the nearest Gate is still in your dorm?”

“Why?” I asked.

Lucifer sighed, as if he were explaining something to a five-year-old. “Creating and destroying Gates takes a long time.” he said. “Even for me. Much easier to use an existing one, where possible.”

“It’s closed.” I said. “After we got the scroll back.”

“Worth a check.” he replied.

One incredibly awkward elevator ride later, we were back at my dorm. The awkwardness was only increased by the fact that we had walked in on Kevin frozen in the middle of a very personal activity.

“Really Cael, I don’t know why you try so hard. I’ve nearly got this one in the bag.” Lucifer broke the tension, pointing to Kevin. Then he turned his attention to the floor. “Hmmm… yes…. Yes, it’s still here. Closed, but not fully. I really must try to do better next time.”

“In fairness to you, you’d just lost a fight with a fucking closet door.” Emily snapped. “Can you open it or not?”

Lucifer didn’t seem to hear her. He got down on his hands and knees, and started inspecting some spot in the floor.

I was paying rather more attention to Emily, the view in that direction being considerably more enjoyable than Lucifer’s ass. Or Kevin. As Lucifer crawled around on the floor, I took Emily’s hand. “Heck of a day, isn’t it.”

Her expression softened just a big, and she smiled at me. “Business as usual, really, ever since meeting you.” she said, giving me a quick peck on the cheek. “This seems to be our life now, dealing with all this heaven and hell stuff.”

Our. Our life. Emily had said “our life.” It took a moment for the full implications of that to sink in. “I suppose so.” I muttered, as my mind ran away with the phrase. Would we be waking up to eachother in the future as we had done so many times already? Or even…. that one night….

And then male physiology did the inevitable. “This, plus… you know… maybe some more of the… you know…” I gave a pointed look at my bed, and grinned stupidly as Emily realized what I meant. I whispered in her ear.“You’re looking pretty hot right now.”

Just as my mind started to run away with possibilities, I felt something click in my brain, like a fence gate being unlatched. And then the floor groaned and caved in, revealing the abyss below. Lucifer scrabbled back to the wall to avoid falling in.

“Excellent.” Lucifer said, unaware that my moment had been ruined. We looked down into the pit.

“Once more into the breach?” I asked Emily. She gave a grim nod, her moment having likewise been ruined.

I held her hand tightly, and once again, we jumped.