Corey ran with surprising speed towards the parking lot ahead of me. His massive frame caused each footstep to make the very ground shudder. I was still in shock over what I saw.
"There is no way that just happened!!!" I hissed at Corey as I matched his pace.
"And if it did, I'm going to therapy. Leave it to white people to get all demonic and kill priests and shit . . . ya'all crazy as hell, I never thought I'd say this but I wish mamma moved us back to the hood."
"CALM DOWN!" Corey yelled/panted as they approached the parking lot. "This is some serious shit and I don't need you breaking down right now, we just saw our best friend kill that priest with some sort of voodoo and I need you to figure out what we are going to do next, cuz I'm pretty sure I pissed myself.
"Well all I know is that WASN'T Mike. It must be some psychic alien or something who looks like him . . . oh hell, look what I'm sayin, I'm checking myself in tonight. " I panted as we started for our parked car. "We know they have something to do with everything that has been going down in this university . . . we have to tell someone."
Just then Jeff and Paul jumped in front of us, over our heads with an inhuman bound, and landed on the hood of my car, crushing it under their combined weight. I screamed and fell back as shards of glass swept over my body, Corey stepped in front of me with his arm across his face.
Jeff was smiling now and playfully jumped off her car with Paul following close behind.
"Oops," he said as he half pointed to the crushed car behind them. "I will soo pay for that".
Paul let out a chuckle as they both approached us with evil intent written on their faces.
"Alright, I don't know what is going on here, and I don't what you guys are or what happened to Mike, but enough is enough. Take another step and I'll end you both!" Corey said with a thunderous shout. Even I got up and took a nervous step back.
"Oh? Did you hear that Paul? This big meat sac wants to beat us up! I said I would pay for the damage, no need to get physical ya big bully!" He said with a smirk. Paul started to circle us.
"The fat one here could feed us all for a week, and the girl . . . well we can always use one of those . . . " Paul said with a sadistic growl.
Just then Corey lurched at him with a growl of his own, his massive frame pummeled Paul to the ground as he screeched from the surprising impact. Jeff ran up behind Corey and grabbed his arm and neck and yanked him off.
I have never seen Corey so easily lifted off the ground, although I could see the strain on Jeffs smooth face. Corey cussed as he fell behind Jeff. Paul started to get up, but Corey was faster, with a loud crack he punched Jeff right in the face. Jeff squealed and flew back from the impact clutching his face. Corey threw a massive left hand at Paul, but missed as Paul dodged with inhuman speed. I heard a ripping noise and the next thing I knew was a black snake-like thing was around Corey's neck and Paul was standing next to me! It took me a moment to put it together, but the black snake-like thing that was around Corey's neck was actually Pauls tail! My stomach turned into Ice . . . I couldn't even scream. I just stood next to Paul with a look of pure terror.
He casually glanced at me and smiled. He moved his hand up to my fine braids and brushed them back.
"Well this is a bit awkward", he said with a laugh.
Before he could even take his hand from behind my ear Corey yelled grabbing his tail and flipped Paul over his head sending him crashing onto the ground on the other side of him. There was a muffled screech as he did this. He turned toward me, grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the street.
"We are getting the hell out of here", he yelled.
I didn't react, I just ran, my lungs felt like ice. That's all I felt before I felt something lock up my feet, sending both me and Corey sprawling head first on the pavement, knocking the air out of my lungs. Corey was on his knees before I could sit up to figure out what happened. When I did, I saw Jeff approaching us with glowing red eyes. His face looked wrinkled and out of place, his right cheek was pushed up, pulling the right side of his lips up and his right eye socked out of place revealing a slimy black surface beneath his once handsome face.
"They are fucking aliens", I said with a hopeless sigh.
"Not quite", Paul said before grabbing me by the throat and Corey with his own tail. "But it won't matter either way." He said in an inhuman deep voice.
Corey started to struggle when another tail wrapped around his right arm, with a sickening snap and a scream of pain from Corey, Paul came up besides Jeff letting his own tail release Corey's broken arm. "Again, so sorry", he said with a sarcastic smirk.
Corey was breathing hard between choking breaths and I was doing the same, tears running down my face. This was it, I was going to die in a suburban-white neighborhood from evil alien monsters . . . what will my mother think.
The edges of my vision began to blur when I felt the pressure release. I fell to the ground, without feeling a thing. My ears were ringing and I saw a bright light that blinded me. I couldn't hear anything, but I saw a black tail fade into the white light, and a human hand with protruding black nails pop out of the light for a second. When the light dimmed, I saw a women in a black dress and white hair stand between me and the two "men" that were trying to kill me.
It was that substitute professor! She had a stoic calm look on her face as she starred Jeff and Paul down. Her white hair seemed to glow in the moonlight, her dress flowing in the light breeze that seemed to pick up with her arrival. Jeff and Paul stood, no, they kind of crouched on their hands and feet like angry cats. Their faces, even Jeff's contorted mask like face, were scrunched up in a snarl with bright glowing eyes. The skin on Pauls hand was shredded to reveal a slimy black monstrous hand.
"YOU!!!" Jeff snarled as if old acquaintances. Paul looked a little nervous and backed up a bit.
"I see my reputation precedes me." The women said.
"Oh, Armen warned us about you, whore!" Paul blurted out, his long black hair fell in his face, his demonic smile stretched a little wider.
"Charming. Well I need one of you to stay alive to give that little puppet Armen another message . . . I'm thinking it will be . . . , " she said this as if deciding what candy to select. "Well it won't be YOU!" Before Paul could even react, the women threw her hand in front of her and a blinding white beam fell down over Paul for a split second. Then he convulsed as the light dissipated and filled his eyes and mouth . . . and every other hole in his skin. There was a deep scream that seemed to echo before stopping altogether. Jeff took a worried step back watching Pauls body tremble with this bright light coming from within him. Pauls internally glowing body trembled and tensed up for another couple of seconds before the light faded. With that Pauls skin collapsed onto the ground. Whatever was wearing it disappeared.
Jeff clenched his jaw and picked up Pauls skin cautiously looking at the women. She stared him down, unnerved by the deep growl that came from Jeff when he bundled the skin up in his right arm.
"So here is what you are going to tell him. You guys are done here. I will send you back before the night ends, I know what your plans are and I know exactly how to stop it. You and your master broke the agreement and for that you will be punished. I am your judge, jury and executioner. DO NOT FUCK WITH ANYONE ELSE TONIGHT!! Just go back to hell where you came from and await your punishment like the good little slaves you are."
With that Jeff's eyes glowed fiercely and roared at her. He then held up Pauls skin and said, "this isn't over witch! We have awaited your arrival; your presence doesn't have Armen worried at all. The fact is, everything is still going as planned. We will wait for you to . . . "stop us", and when that time comes, you will be the one who dies." He growled before opening his mouth unnaturally wide, producing a dark miasma before disappearing.
"Well, I'm sorry you had to see that." She said as she turned around to look at me and Corey. Corey, clutching his arm, looked both horrified and amazed at the same time. I'm sure I had the same look on my face.
"What the hell is . . . " I started to say before she held up a hand.
"It doesn't matter", she said. With that she held up a hand and a white light surrounded Corey. He started to scream and struggle to get up, but the light stopped just as soon as it started. Corey looked down at his arm and moved it. "It's better!" he whispered weakly in amazement.
"You children put up quit a fight, but I'm sure you wish you hadn't seen anything that has happened here. I will leave you with only the memory of the ones you lost, without all of the supernatural stuff you have seen here. Your friends have died in a tragic car crash, and that is all this town and this university will know."
"What are you talking about! I know that's not what happened. I have sooo many questions that I'm not sure I want to know the answer to, and you are just gonna cut me off and tell me I don't have the right to know?!" I yelled at her without fear. I was pissed, confused and wanted . . . no demanded answers. Tears ran down my face. "What is happening!!!"
"I know . . . I know you want answers, but think about what will happen when only you two know the truth. People are scared, skeptical creatures and you know it. What if I tell you about these demons from hell and what they are planning to do. You know they take human form, you will be scarred . . . you are scarred for life and will live the rest of your days paranoid and afraid of life. And that is the last thing you want. This concerns the politics of old gods. It is none of your concern and shouldn't concern you. It is a tragedy that one of them got you involved in the first place." The women said in a soft but firm voice.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Corey finally said, getting to his feet.
"You need not worry . . . you won't remember any of this anyways." The women's eyes glowed a bright white before I could respond. So bright . . . who is this . . . women . . . wait . . .
"NOOOO!!!!!" I screamed.
The women stopped as the wind died down. Even she looked startled by my shout.
"Listen." I said softly. "I know it would make things easier to just make us forget, and something gives me the idea that you can do something like that . . . literally. But don't you think we have a right to fight? To remember? It's our loved ones in danger . . . it's our loved ones who have been changed or whatever has happened to them. I want to help you fight these things. I looked at Corey to see his reaction to all of this.
"Me too." He said seriously. "I fucked up one of these things, I can do it again. Besides, I think you are strong enough to handle anything these aliens . . . er things can throw at us . . . wait, what is your name? Can you tell us who you are?"
The women just kinda starred at us. Then cracked a slight smile.
"You know, it's been so long . . . so long that I've been fighting these bastards that I forgot just what it means to be human. I was like you once, I saw the horrors of what these demons can do and I myself made the decision to stop them. You are right, you should have the option to at least keep the memories you have, no matter how terrible. As far as helping . . . I'm not going to have you fight these things if that's what you are thinking. If you want, I can clue you guys in on what's going on, but you should meet the others first. With that her eyes turned white again, there was a bright flash and they were gone.
Jeff walked up to the locker room door, eyes red with fury. He punched the brick besides the door, pieces fell to the ground, his real knuckles revealed themselves for the human skin on his hand was torn away.
"I hate these fucking disguises!"
He looked into his reflection in the dark window and messaged his face a bit so that his face was more in place than it was before going in. He entered the locker room with the other waiting for him. Armen was standing in the middle of the room with his arms crossed; his human looking eyes stared at him coldly as if he knew what happened already. Jeff felt his real flesh begin to sweat under his human skin.
"Jeff, what took you so long?" Armen asked dangerously.
"Um, we, um, me and Paul . . . we ran into some trouble . . . "
"I figured as much Jeff . . . what happened to Paul?" he said through clenched teeth, his temper beginning to show.
Jeff slowly pulled Pauls skin out from behind his back. His empty eye sockets looked up at the team, his dark hair streaming down across his wrinkled empty face. His arms and legs dangling from the mass of skin like old sweatpants.
Armen . . . or Mike starred at the skin for a few minutes with a tense serious look on his smooth face. Everyone in the room got nervous, the other began to shift. Some pulled at the skin around there necks to let some of the heat out of their mouths. Without warning Mike reared his head back and began to laugh. The veins on his neck pulsed as he laughed, a deep inhuman laugh that echoed loudly off the walls. When he brought his head back down his eyes were bright red.
"So she wants a war . . . one final showdown huh."
"Sir I didn't even tell you what the message wa . . . "
"DO YOU THINK I CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT!!!!" he finally snapped. His skin began to sizzle like bacon. He actually began shooting fire from his mouth with every syllable. "YOU ARE ALIVE YOU LITTLE TERD!!!!!!!!" The lights began to dim, the others backed up. Paul looked down and dropped the skin on the floor. "SHE'S BEEN TRACKING US, WHY? BECAUSE WE HAVE OUR LITTLE THEARAPY SESSIONS TOGETHER . . . IN ONE PLACE, LIKE NOW!"
He laughed a bit and began to pace. "She knows what we are up to, would you like to know why? Because I've tried this before, with our dark lords support. But things were too grandiose. The lord of light figured things out and snuffed us out before we could begin. Without our lords knowledge we make less ripples in this sea of meat sacs. This is why we were able to gather the souls we have. This witch thinks we are going to half ass it like we did last time. That both our dark lord and the one of light will snuff us out. Noooo, not this time. It's too late. We have the souls we need. We have the artifacts we need to complete the ritual. All we need is a virgin sacrifice."
He came up close to Jeff and grabbed his throat. This time his eyes were pitch black. His human looking hand began to boil as nails began to protrude from the tips of his fingers. The human skin around Jeffs neck began to sizzle as well. Jeff screeched in pain. Armen pulled his human looking face close to Jeffs and licked his cheeks slowly, allowing the hot saliva to trickle and boil through his human face and onto his real flesh. He quivered in fear.
"You failed me one too many times. This is your last chance. You will bring me the virgin sacrifice. If you fail Jeff, the least of your fears will be what Morgana does to you." With that he flung him across the room with a low growl. "Now clean yourself up, you have until midnight tonight. Change of plans boys, we are doing the ritual today, at last we will be able to release our dark lord. Oh, bring Pauls skin, I have a plan for Morgana and her little entourages' arrival."
A Monday night at a bar. How lame. Is this all there it to life? I sat in the back of the bar so that I can see everyone who comes in. Horny, I'm always horny. Everyone who has come through this bar has been ugly or came with someone. I just need laid, I just turned 21 and I've been in the military since 18 and never got laid. Sure I've fooled around, with mostly guys, but never actually did the deed. This week, this day, dammit tonight that is going to change. I'm wearing my best shirt and pants. Dammit I look hot. Someone has got to notice! I hope if they do, I won't pussy out like I always do.
The bartender shot me another look and without even asking slide another beer towards me. I nodded my head and gulped half of it down. People in this university town don't go to small shit bars like this anymore. Too many old people . . . and the ones that are young are trash. Hell, I'm probably trash. I took another swig of my beer and asked the bartender to close my tab. As he took my card the door flung open and a handsome built guy half bounded in with a serious business-like look on his face. He kinda scanned the room. When he came to me he froze. Then with a wide, beautiful smile walked over to me.
"Hey stranger," he said licking his lips a bit before continuing. "Man, could I be so bold and tell you that . . . well . . . you are handsome as all hell."
I kinda gagged at his forwardness. His eyes looked deep into mine. I was immediately aroused and wanted what he was offering. Funny, I usually found shooting people to be easier than flirting with total strangers. All I could do was look into his eyes and smile. The bartender laid my tab on the counter. I signed it without even looking. Then, as if reading my mind, this man grabbed my hand and led me to the door. His warm hand felt soft and smooth, like plush. Everything around him was a blur, my body ached for him. As soon as we got outside he grabbed me by the shoulders and kissed me . . . boy did he kiss me. His warm face pressed up against mine, his soft skin almost caressed my face. I wrapped my arms around him and slide my tongue deep into his mouth. Ouch, I thought. I didn't care . . . I needed more. When we parted our lips I stepped back and asked what his name was. He told me it was Jeff. Jeff huh. Well he led me to his car and I fell asleep. Boy did I dream, nightmares I never knew I could imagine . . . I don't think I'll ever see Jeff again.
I blinked a few times allowing the dots to dissipate from my eyes. The women was in the same position in front of us as we were to her, but we were in an entirely different place. I looked around, we were in a beautiful mansion!
"If this comes with fighting demons then I'm definitely on board", said Corey.
"We have been using this building as a base of operations for centuries. There are so many enchantments on this whole building someone with criminal history couldn't walk it. We have been around for a looong long time." She said with a smirk.
"Ok, so who is we." I said, this time sternly. "I think it's time for answers lady."
She walked forward to a set of double doors and flung them open. In the room there were 4 people. A handsome man with long brown hair who wore a long black trench coat, black vest, black leather pants and black leather boots. A women with white eyes, and black spy-like gear. She almost looked like a navy seal. A cute man with glasses, a dress shirt and dress pants. He kinda had this nerdy look topped off with a massive computer system stacked up against the back wall. The last member was much older than the rest. He wore a full suit, had a long white beard and slicked back white hair. He was the first to approach the women leading us.
"Welcome back Morgana, I see you brought guests!" he said with a smile. He had a strong deep voice, a voice that kind of comforted you.
Morgana turned to us with a smile. "These are my teammates. The man with the trench coat is Conner, he is one of the best hunters in the world. The other girl is Mantis, the best assassin in the world. The young man at the computer is Roger, he is our chief tech-guy. His knowledge on the paranormal is unmatched. And this man," as she stepped up next to the old guy, "Is my father and leader of our merry little group.
"Maverick", he said as he revealed his hand for a shake. "He has been doing this the longest and is a jack of all trades kinda guy. You may have heard of him from current folklore, in your books he's known as Merlin. " Morgana continued.
Maverick smiled slightly at the introduction before putting his hand on the lady's shoulder. "And as you may know this is Morgana my daughter, who is much more adept at using magic than I ever was." She smiled at his praise.
I stood there stunned. First we are introduced to the league of extraordinary gentlemen, then we are told that Merlin is real. I looked at Corey. He looked like a kid who was about to sit on Santa's lap.
"Oh fuck it, this can't be any crazier that everything else we've seen tonight." I said defeated. Reality had left my life when I decided to spy on our colleges' football team.
The man with the trench coat came forward with a stern expression on his face. "Why are we taking in new recruits when we have a massive battle with a league of demons in a few hours?" He said.
Not a bad point, I thought to myself. I still changed my expression to offended despite his sound reasoning.
"These kids know the in's and out's at the school. They know who the victims of the demons are, they have also been spying and seen the demons and what they have been doing." She said as if she expected having to defend us.
"Yes, but so do we. You have been working at the university for a few weeks now, so we also know the "in's and out's of the school". We have the ability to track them too, we know what they are planning." He said.
"By the time we tracked them and I got there, these kids were running for their life. We don't know what they saw, we need that info, and they, like us have lost the ones they love. At least allow them to stay here in safety and give us information." She said.
The man looked us over then went back to the massive table and sat down hard. "Fine, but they better stay out of the way." He said. "I still think wiping their memories is way easier."
Maverick stepped forward. "We have plenty of power and information to take these demons out. But out of curiosity what did you children see at the stadium?"
I was slightly annoyed that he addressed me as a child, but I got the sense that time was of value. "Well we saw the players and our friend . . . or ex friend Mike seemingly capture a priest. They were asking him about . . . I'm guessing it was you Morgana. The priest basically said no, and before I knew it his limbs were being twisted in odd positions and breaking before he fell from the sky and died." The memories made me shiver as I retold them.
Maverick nodded for a second, digesting the little information I was able to give them. "Father Morrison." He said. "It seems Armens power has grown. No demon, physical or spiritual could do that kind of harm to a priest. No, he's gained power. He may have collected more souls that originally thought."
The man with the glasses rolled his chair away from the massive screen of his computer and turn toward Maverick. "Our system shows massive demonic energies coming from the stadium as we speak! It seems they are going to do the ritual at Carlton Stadium."
"Alright team", said Maverick, "this information at least let us know that we need to be careful. We need to go into this thinking that this is a fight to the death. This is it, the big one, the apocalypse we have all been worried about. With Morgana's power, Mantis and Conners fighting experience, and Roger's intellect we can put an end to this."
"What about us, why can't we help? There is something that we could do! They did something to our best friend Mike! We have to help him or avenge him!" I blurted out.
"You children are staying here in this sanctuary until this is over." Maverick said with a wave of his hand.
"WAIT!! What is with you people writing normal people off like that. These are our friends that have been killed and soon the world?" I said desperately. "If we are going to die anyways, I want to die fighting."
"Who's this Mike guy, was he killed by one of the demons? Or possessed?" said Conner.
"Actually, his . . . um . . . body is currently being used by Armen." Said Morgana with a sympathetic tone towards me. "I need to make something perfectly clear to both of you about Mike and the other football team members. They are dead, and have been for quite some time. These demon cowards have been using there skins as a disguise for about a month now, as you saw with your little encounter earlier this evening."
"Little girl, you said that you were friends with this Mike before he became a demon right?" Conner said.
"Both of our friend", said Corey. I nodded in agreement.
"Then I may have a plan that requires the help of you two." He said with a smirk on his face. "You see, Roger here told us that the demons will gather in an area where all of the people who's souls they stole can gather, this place being the stadium. Now," he began to pace around the table, "that will make it difficult to make a grand appearance without keeping those people from getting hurt. Unless we do it after he uses those souls to unlock the first lock to the gates of hell. Then those people will be useless, probably drift off into a coma. When that first seal unlocks they will begin the ritual and they will need a virgin sacrifice. At that time Armen and his fellow demons will cast a powerful barrier around the sacrifice. This will prevent us from getting close . . . unless you two go running into the protected area with this:" and he pulled out a holy medallion.
"This little trinket will be our link to getting in. Originally we were going to keep them from gathering the souls for the ritual. But apparently Armen has gotten too many so that would be difficult for us to do now. You two need to act clueless . . ."
"Why can't you guys get in the barrier but we can?" Corey interrupted before I could.
"Well most of us, with the exception of Conner and Roger are immortal and have . . . certain abilities that the demons can detect. The barrier basically blocks people like us from approaching the sacrifice. Armen used it last time we fought."
"I suppose I could go in there, but Armen would have his guard up and probably tear me to pieces or wear me as a hat before anyone could do anything about it," Conner added. "But with you two . . . "
Just then there was a crash, and through the windows came two of the football players with bright red eyes. They looked at the group and smiled with sharp pointed teeth. One was wearing a black shirt and jeans and the other kaki's with a white shirt. I didn't know either of them, but have seen them in the school newspaper. With a horrific growl they bounded at the 7 of us. Corey put up his fists as I stepped back.
From nowhere lightning sprouted from Morgana's fingers striking them both in the chest. Their clothes burn away as they continued their approach, seemingly unfazed by the attack. Their naked bodies pulsed as they ran at us with inhuman speed. Maverick lifted a hand and a blue tinted barrier appeared before us with a snap. The demons ran head first into the wall smashing it into pieced. But that seemed to be enough to slow them down, for they fell back on their butts with a slap in front of us.
With a loud roar their bodies began to shake, horns began to break through their human sculp. Their faces were contorted in a sinister smile, teeth bared. They got on their knees and arched their backs as the skin split apart to reveal the slimy black surface beneath. With a cracking noise their fingers and bare human looking feet exploded to reveal demonic sets of clawed fingers and toes.
Mantis came up next to me, and with a cold flapping noise she turned into this black dust-like stuff and came up behind one of the transforming demons and reappeared baring a sharp black knife around one of the demons throats. The demon grabbed her arm and with a ripping noise from the ass of the other one a tail shot out and stabbed her through the chest. The demon then flung her to the side with his tail. They both stood up now, the skin on their bodies tight and still tearing at the chest and back. The horns on their heads finished growing through their scalps and their tails slithered behind them. One of them reached up to his still human looking face, dug his dark nails under his jaw line and peeled his handsome face off with one quick motion. He threw the skin on the ground with a slap.
Conner came up beside Corey now with a large shot-gun and fired a round at the one with his human face still on. With a loud screech the demon was blasted back, bits of shredded skin following in his wake. The demon burst into flame and disintegrated leaving behind the football players' human face still intact but empty. Then to my surprise Mantis teleported on top of the other demons head with her legs straddling his still human looking neck. She screamed and twisted the demons head around using the horns for leverage, before pulling head off with a sickening cracking noise. She teleported off its shoulders before it fell back. She reappeared besides me with the demons head still in her hands. Mantis still had the hole in her stomach where the tail gouged her, however there was no blood. It was like she didn't have any blood at all in her?
She looked at me and smiled. "They can't kill what's already dead, at least not physically." She said with an inhuman echo enveloped voice before she dropped the demons head at my feet.
"She's got a thing for theatrics." Maverick said with an amused smile. "You see, she's kinda what you guys would call a mummy . . . but not the mindless wrapped ones you see in the movies. She's a soul bound on earth in her old body . . . she stays until she feels she can move on. It's a sad story you will not hear from any of us unless she wants you to hear it. Needless to say you can see why she's so useful."
"Well, I'm assuming that was Armens latest gift for us. Something to slow us down I suppose. This is why my new plan I was trying to explain to you seems like our best option right now. Do you agree Maverick?" Conner said lightly.
"I guess it up to you two" he said as he looked at me and Corey. Do I act as bait to get these freaks in? Can I trust them? Do I want to risk my life tonight? I looked at Morgana and she looked at me and smiled.
"If you can get us in, you will be safe. Trust me." She said, as if reading my mind . . .