Authors: Douglas Wayne
The Demontouched Saga
THE DEMONTOUCHED SAGA
Copyright © 2015 by Douglas Wayne. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, businesses, events or locales is purely coincidental. Reproduction in whole or part of this publication without express written consent is strictly prohibited.
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This book is dedicated to my wife and kids. Without your sacrifice these books would have not been possible.
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- 1 -
Flashes of gunfire fill the night sky as we drive over the Poplar. Lifted from its veil, the true riverfront is visible for the first time in months. Complete with a brand new arch that would have dwarfed the old one.
“How are you feeling?” Sara asks, placing her head on my shoulder.
“Better with you here,” I say. In truth, I feel empty. As hard as it is to believe, I grew attached to having Eunie around. Not just for the powers he gave me, that just gave me an attitude. He was a familiar buzzing in my head and body. An alarm that would tell me if things were going too far.
Sure, I hated to wake up to the bloodbaths that would ensue if I took things over the edge, but I never really had to worry about my life.
Just by looking at her, I can tell Sara is feeling the same way. She may only have been possessed for a short time, but it has changed her. Made her darker. It makes me wonder about the people I exorcised. Did they feel the same?
“You sure you want to do this?” I ask Sara. “When I pull off on Clark it will be too late to turn around.”
“I’m sure,” she says before turning her head to watching the action just north.
Once I’m off 64, I shoot down 9th before making a right on Walnut. Up ahead, I see the lower part of the portal. It is a large black tower of metal with glowing red runes etched all the way to the top. Approaching the overpass, I see the demon’s have yet to complete the portal as the three remaining pieces still sit on the nearby barges.
Around the structure are three large cranes, the type they would use to build a large building, or skyscraper. They are very odd to see here since our buildings aren’t really that big.
“Looks like Nal got here right in time,” I say, stepping on the gas.
After crossing the highway, I pull off behind the remains of the Old Cathedral Museum to park the car. Even missing half of the wall and all the roof, it will give us cover from the demons hoarded near the center of the portal.
“Look who finally decided to show up,” Commander Stevens says, approaching from the nearby parking lot. “I see you got your lady friend back.”
I nod. “Nal around?”
“He has the command station set up underneath the bridge,” he says, pointing south. “He’s going to be glad to see you.”
I turn around without saying another word to Stevens. If he had any clue that I was here without my powers, he might get a little upset. The rest of the soldiers with him. I know they were hoping to rely on my power to turn the battle.
We run down the service road, keeping close to the remains of the once luscious tree line for a bit of cover. Most of the gunfire is aimed towards the demons under portal, but I hate to risk a stray shot.
The sound of gunfire lessens as we get further from the pillars, so we turn our run into a fast walk to preserve some energy.
An explosion rocks the nearby building when we step onto Poplar, sending us flying to the ground. I come down on my right arm, the force of the impact jarring my shoulder, sending a sharp pain down my right arm. When I first open my eyes I see nothing but white to go with a loud ringing in my ears. Eventually the cloud clears enough for me to see Sara on her knees in front of me.
“You OK?” Sara says, helping me up.
“Think it’s dislocated,” I grunt, arm dangling loosely at my side. I’ve only been here for ten minutes and already I can already be listed as a casualty. I miss my powers already.
Sara helps me to my feet, carefully avoiding my injured arm.
Three people rush out from under the bridge all wearing camouflage military outfits. I wave the woman with a stretcher off while I walk to the man right behind her.
“Nancy close?” I say to Nal who has a large grin on his face.
“No, but Uriel is.” Nal takes off his jacket, wrapping my arm in it like a sling. There is a sharp pain when we move it into position, but it fades slightly with it elevated.
“She’ll have to do.” Nancy was a much better healer, but Uriel should have enough in her to take care of this.
The group of soldiers fans out behind us, creating a wall of bodies to protect us from another blast.
We walk up to a spot under the bridges that looks like the command center. In reality it is four large moving trucks to create the walls with sandbags stacked up underneath to protect the bottom. In each corner there is a large circular table with piles of paperwork and a few maps scatted about, just the type of setup Nal is famous for.
In the back of the command center I see Uriel kneeling in the corner, praying I assume. Nal walks up to the girl and whispers something in her ear. Her head jolts around revealing a large grin on her face when she sees me. Running in the little girl form that I’ve known, she nearly tackles me with a hug.
“You survived,” she says before looking at Sara. “And you saved her too.”
“Your brother didn’t make it easy.”
She releases her grip on my waist, taking a few steps back to look me over. “Something is different about you,” she says with a look of concern in her eyes.
I nod. “He took Eunie.” It’s taking all the self control in existence to keep a straight face. It was hard enough to talk to Sara about it and she knew what I was dealing with.
“You’re kidding!” Nal says, plopping into a nearby chair. “What the hell are we supposed to do now?”
“We still need to destroy the portal,” Uriel says, putting her arm around his shoulders. “You can’t give up now!”
“But how?” he says with his head in his hands. “It was going to be hard enough before.”
I take a seat next to him, resting my arm on the table. “Did you have all your explosives at the hotel when you blew it?” I already know the answer, but I need to get him out of his funk. The expression on his face slowly changes as the gears turn in his head.
He looks at me, slight traces of a smile on his lips. “You know you are a lot smarter than you look.”
“Easy to play dumb when you can move metal.”
Nal walks over to the next table, pulling a pair of maps to the top. “You remember the hospital?”
“Don’t tell me. You had bombs in it too?” I say, shaking my head.
“Not there, dummy. Across the street,” he says, pointing to the spot on the map. “After the looters took everything else out of it, I used the movie theater as an extra armory of sorts.”
“Let me guess. Rigged it up to blow if someone tried to break in.”
“Bingo.” He reaches into his pocket, pulling out a pair of keys. He examines them one at a time before handing me a set of three on one ring. “It should be one of these.”
“Just don’t jiggle the key too much,” he says. “And definitely don’t try to pick the lock.”
“Sounds fun,” I say, placing them in my pocket. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
I try to walk across the street down to my car, but stop when Uriel stands in my way.
“Not like that you aren’t.”
In all the excitement, I almost forgot it was hurt. Even with Eunie out of the picture, my blood pumps at the thought of doing something dangerous. It’s amazing how adrenaline alone can dull the pain of a wound like this.
“I got this,” Nal says, walking over. “I’ve had to reset mine a few times.” He walks me to the side of one of the box trucks, pushing my back against the wall. “Sorry I don’t have anything for you to bite down on.”
Before I can ask why, he thrusts his hand into the front of my shoulder. I feel a sharp stab of pain followed by a loud pop. It doesn’t take long for the pain to subside though it does start to tingle.
“Thanks,” I say, rubbing the soreness out.
Nal nods, taking a few steps back allowing Uriel to come close.
“My turn,” she says, placing my shoulder in her hands. She looks over her shoulder as Nal takes the nearby people out of the protection of the trucks to save their eyes. With them out of the way, she gets to work.
I close my eyes in time for the area to be bathed in a bright white light. She moves her hands in a circle, sending a radiating heat sensation through my arm. With a final push, she sends a blast of cold into the joint, completely easing the pain.
“How’s that feel?”
I move the arm around slightly, trying to avoid a jarring pain that doesn’t come. Knowing she won’t settle for that, I break into full length arm circles to prove I have mobility. There is a slight twinge of pain the moment my arm is at the top of the circle, but fades after a few more.
But she didn’t just heal my arm. With that last surge of cold, she awoke something inside of me. It’s hard to explain, but I can almost feel Eunie again. But this time something is blocking him. I don’t tell the pair of them, not wanting to get their hopes up.
“You better, Princess?” Nal says, walking back in.
“Much better.” I walk back to the edge of the vehicles looking north towards the battle. “You have a car close?”
“A few. Why?”
“There’s a huge fire where I parked mine.”
- 2 -
Easing into the parking lot, I’m careful not to hit any potholes. Call it intuition, but I don’t think this truck can handle too many more. Fixing the roadways were never a huge concern after the Rising. Hard to fix the roads when you rely on gas and diesel to do it. It’s one thing we didn’t feel was worth the resources once things got tight.
It wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but out of all the vehicles parked near the command center the only one with keys in it was a busted up mid 70s Ford truck. While they built these trucks to last, I can’t help missing the comforts of my Expedition. Especially the shocks and struts.
I drive through the parking lot slowly, watching all the entrances and the nearby buildings as I get close. There are a few cars parked in the lot, but most of them are well away from the entrance. Knowing how lazy people are, I doubt someone parked that far to talk inside. Seeing the front is clear, I drive around the back to make sure it is too.
The rear of the theater is much like the front, without a single car to be found. A small raccoon jumps out of the dumpster as I drive close, but there isn’t anything else.
“Looks clear,” I say to Sara, parking the truck in front of the main entrance.
Once we are out of the truck, I pop the front seat forward to grab our weapons. I strap my angel blade and demon killing knife to my belt for easy access. Even without my powers, they can still be used to kill a demon or two. The only difference is I have to get close. I’ll have to remember to thank Zeke when I see him on the other side for training me with the sword.
From there I grab a small pistol and a shot gun. Both loaded ready to go.
“Doors are glass,” Sara says, placing a pistol in the small of her back while opting to carry an old hunting rifle.
“That isn’t a good thing.” While the glass doors may give me a clear view of the wires he used to rig up the door, the glass will not give us any protection if the bombs blow.