May 18, 2014

Demons Ascension - Pete

[Posted by Ted H]

...Lets all play make-up-a-mental-disorder!


[Demons Ascension - Pete]

            He drove back towards John's apartment at a less frantic pace. John's gas tank was almost running on fumes when he arrived and James hoped John didn't mind since he was completely out of money. "I think he agreed to pay expenses anyway," James said to himself with a chuckle as he killed the engine and pulled out his cigarettes.
            He lit up as he flipped through radio stations and listened for any reports of the murders, old or new, but heard nothing. Either no one wanted to admit that people were getting their hearts cut out or it had become a very common occurrence in the six days James had been gone. A weather update caught James' ear though. A cold front had formed not far from the city and would be hitting over the night. "That's not ominous," James said as he finished his cigarette waited. He felt like this would end up being his last chance to relax for a long while.
            Lyle's car later pulled up and John stepped out. "I'll meet you at the station," he said as the car pulled away and he met up with James. "Enjoy your vacation?" John asked as James circled around and motioned for him to get in the car. "What, straight to business? I take it your friend had information."
            "We may or may not be in crunch time," James said "And you may or may not need to buy gas before we go too far either. "Tell me everything you know on the way," John said as he climbed into the car, but James remained outside. "There's someone inside your room," he said as he looked up and stared at the window that he swore he saw a shadow walk passed. "You sure?" John asked. "That corner room, third floor up," James said. John drew his pistol and made his way for the apartment. "Guess you aren't expecting anymore company," James said as he followed.
            The door to John's apartment hung open as the two men approached. "Stay behind me," John whispered as he pushed the door open and silently made his way in. He swept the room with his pistol as James took a look around. The room was undisturbed so it wasn't as if someone broke in to steal or search for anything. John crept his way to his bedroom and peered in, then he kicked the door open fully and screamed "Freeze! Hands in the air!"
            "Don't hurt me," the person inside pleaded as they made their way out, John training his gun on them the whole time. The man was a short, overweight and balding man in white sweatpants and sleeveless tank top. "Not exactly dressed for the weather now, are we?" James asked. "Keep back, James," John said, not lowering his gun "Keep hose hands up!" John took out his handcuffs and detained the man, then sat him down by the sofa in the living room. "You know this guy?" James asked. "It's complicated," John said "Don't talk to him though. Escaped mental patient, literally. Got out this morning."
            "Would this have anything to do with another murder that happened?" James asked, but John didn't respond.
            "You're Blake, aren't you?" the man said "An angel told me I could find you here."
            "Shut up!" John commanded.
            "Wait," James said "Who told you?"
            "Amy," the man responded "She said to find you, that you were the only one who could help me."
            "I know you said not to," James said to John "But I'm gonna go ahead and have a chat with this guy." James walked over and sat across the sofa from the man and faced him. "What's your name?" he asked.
            "Peter. Peter Young"
            "Ok Pete, where did you talk to Amy?"
            "Um, at a truck stop. Few miles beyond the city limits."
            "You were leaving the city?"
            "I'm trying to get back to my family in Cincinnati."
            "Start from the beginning. Why were you in a mental facility?"
            "I don't know," Pete said, and James thought he looked authentic as he scrunched his face trying to figure for himself why he was in a loony bin "But I was there, and so was Sarah."
            "Sarah?" James asked as John stepped in. "Sarah Langley,"  he said "AKA our newest victim. Found the same way in her room as the previous three vics."
            "He was there, too," Pete continued.
            "The bastard who killed her."
            John and James looked at each other for a moment. James nodded and stood up. "Could you wait right here a moment?" he asked as he motioned John into the kitchen. "He's not going anywhere," he assured him as they entered, John positioning himself where he could still keep an eye out. "Tell me everything about the mental facility," he asked.
            "Not much to say that you wouldn't already guess," John said "Sarah Langley found dead in her room at the Hapdale Health Facility, same condition as the others. We found that symbol outside the building several floors higher than where her room was located."
            "This facility have security cameras?"
            "Yeah, and you'll love this, a series of malfunctions hit the system, causing certain cameras to fail in succession. Our killer managed to walk right in and never be seen, then the cameras started working again. If you piece the static right, you could actually follow where this guy was at all times. We have tech combing through the footage that wasn't static, just to see if maybe there's something we could use."
            "How the hell did this guy even get in? There are a lot of locked doors between the street and a patients room."
            "Even Bradford can't explain this one, our guy forced open every single door. The whole place is on lockdown since there's no way to secure the patients and keep them from walking right out."
            "And yet, we have our special guest."
            "Well, first ask me how our killer managed to escape."
            "He didn't sneak out like usual?"
            "He couldn't. You don't break your way through a place like that and not expect a couple security guards to be on the trail. Our man decided to take a more unique way out and detonate some explosives against a wall and just five stories down."
            "He got a bomb in there?"
            "We don't know how and we're looking for evidence of what he used, but he blasted part of Langley's room and part of Young's room a floor down. He was able to climb over a destroyed part of the outer wall and jump for a nearby tree. There were other rooms that were hit, but their residents were not so lucky."
            James then walked back into the living room and faced Pete. "Tell me everything," he said as Pete shrugged. "I don't think I can add much," he said "That cop summed it up pretty nice."
            "What happened after the explosion?" James asked.
            "Well, I was sleeping when it happened. I don't remember hearing a boom, but rather just that sound concrete makes when it collapses. Some of the ceiling had fallen on me, but I climbed out and immediately noticed a way out of that horrible place."
            "Why were you in there to begin with?"
            "I didn't know, and no one ever told me. They were more concerned with fixing me, and I only pleaded that how can they do that when they won't even tell me what they're trying to fix? I just wanted to go home and see my family. They wouldn't even let me call them."
            "When did you see the man who killed Sarah?"
            "I saw what looked like a person fall passed my room. I ran over to the hole and saw him on his feet on the ground. He turned back to look and that's when I saw his face."
            James looked back towards John. "You used to sketch back in college, right?" he asked. John looked back at him confused. "You want me to be a sketch artist now?"
            "You bring an escaped mental patient into the station, what he saw won't hold any weight."
            "So why should I bother?"
            "Because if he saw who I think he saw, then I'll know who to go after."
            "Bradford wants you at the station, too. Once he finds out you're back in Chicago, he'll be on you like white on rice."
            "Look, I can't really explain it quick but we don't have a lot of time. Crow is the guy we need."
            "Yeah, your friend told me about Crow. But I talked to him and he had an alibi for all three murders, iron clad."
            "He's the guy behind it all though, and he's only now starting to kill other people himself."
            "Bradford isn't going to buy your reasoning and neither am I right now. And now you're telling me to trust an escaped mental patient because he had a run in with some mystery woman that no one else has encountered? James, I don't know what to tell you, man."
            "Just, please, do the sketch. I guarantee you he'll describe Crow."
            John reluctantly agreed and went to go find a pad of paper. James then turned to talk to Pete some more. "So what happened next?" he asked.
            "I climbed down the tree," Pete said "And I just wanted to get home."
            "You got out of the city without a cop finding you?"
            "I took a taxi."
            "With what money?"
            "I, uh, bailed on him while he was in traffic."
            "And you got out of the city where you run into Amy? How did that conversation go?"
            "I went to a truck stop to ask for directions. That woman was waiting for me when I entered the bathroom."
            "I've noticed she has a thing for walking out of bathrooms."
            "She said she knew who I was and why I was trying to leave but I needed to return to the city and find you."
            "And how did you know to come here?"
            "She told me where to go, but for some reason she wouldn't lead me. She said she couldn't go into the city."
            "And you listened to her?
            "You don't tell an angel no. She said she'd get a message to my family that I was ok. She said she'd tell Anise, Billy and Amanda that daddy is fine and he'll be home soon. That I have to help you and I'll see them right after."
            "Why me? Why not the cops?"
            "She said that there isn't enough time. I had to go to you because if I went to the police, they wouldn't listen and lock me back up in that horrible place. You won't let them send me back, will you?"
            "Never," James said and Pete smiled as if he could finally relax after acquiring so much anxiety. "Thank you," he said.
            James nodded as John returned with a pad of paper and a pencil. "For the record, I think this is a stupid idea," John said as he tossed his coat aside and sat down in a nearby chair. "Noted," James said as he got up and turned to Pete. "You're gonna describe this man to officer Praque, ok? Afterwards, we'll see about sending you home."
            "Send him home?" John questioned with an annoyed look "That's just not gonna happen, I don't care what you think about it."
            "We'll figure something out, but I believe this guy. Why, is there something I don't know?"
            John shook his head. "He's trying to get home to Cincinnati because that's the last part of his life he remembers," he was whispering so Pete couldn't hear "In 2004, Peter Young murdered his entire family after moving to Chicago. He went through some schizophrenic episode or something, the details were never explained to me. They're dead, all dead at his hands. The only reason he acts normal now is because they medicated his ass to the gills. Once those meds wear off, he's liable to have another psychotic episode."
            "Wow," James whispered back.
            "He's going to the station, and then back to the medical facility to continue his treatment."
            "Well could you do the sketch while he's still thinking clearly?"
            "Fine, but we all go to the station right after, got it?"
            "No problem."
            James stepped out while John made a rough sketch at Pete's dictation. When he was done, he had a picture that looked as spot on to Crow as possible. "Dammit, James," he said to himself knowing what James would say to that. He got up to find him but only noticed the open door and a note on the table near his coat.
            "Dear John," he read from the paper "I'm not gonna stop you from bringing Pete to the station since it's probably for the best. I know I'm right about Crow so I'm gonna try to deal with him in person. Hopefully I won't get stabbed this time (long story). Call your partner and get Pete to the station cuz I'm gonna take your car. When you're done, meet me at the apartment. P.S. I borrowed twenty bucks for gas because...reasons."
            "Son of a bitch," John said as he crumpled up the paper and pulled out his cell phone. "Lyle," he said after calling his partner up "Could you swing by? I got Young in custody, long story. By the way, remember how I asked you quiet about how James is back? We might as well tell Bradford now. Again, long story. Just get here, I'll explain."

May 11, 2014

Demons Ascension - Return to Chicago

[Posted by Ted H]

Yeah, this one's short, but what happens right after is a bit jarring of a, yeah...


[Demons Ascension - Return to Chicago]

            James had rushed home and into John's car as fast as possible. He was immediately back on the road to Chicago, driving as fast as he could manage and weaving his way through traffic. He made one stop for gas, in which he also chucked money at a clerk for the biggest coffee possible and a new pack of cigarettes. If he was going to save the world for a demon, he was going to need his essentials.
            He sped into a parking spot once in Chicago and sprinted into John's apartment. John wasn't home though, so he was back into the car and driving like a man possessed to the sister. He pounded on the door hoping someone was home when he saw Brittany in a nearby window. "You're back?" she asked as she opened the door a little. "Where is your brother?" James asked, practically dancing with anxiety.
            "Him and Lyle are gone," she said, keeping the door from opening anymore "I think there's been another murder." She defiantly didn't want James inside alone with her. "Could you call him?" James asked "Tell him to meet me at his place?" Brittany nodded slowly. She began to close the door but at the last second stopped and opened it up again.
            "Why do this?" she asked "Why put yourself through all this? You have no responsibility to do anything." James found himself at a loss for an answer at that moment. She didn't know about anything supernatural going on or anything more severe than some guy had killed her sister. James couldn't simply say he was trying to save the world or prevent a demon because when he began, those reasons didn't exist.
            "Someone had to," he said after a moment "I guess I just couldn't think of a reason not to help."
            "Thank you," Brittany said with a tear trailing down.
            "I'm sorry your sister is gone," James said "And I know why you're doing what you're doing in there but believe me, it's best to get away a little. Try to not be here tonight. Go out with Lyle or something. Just escape your own grief for a while. It won't make the pain go away, but neither will dwelling on it constantly."
            Brittany looked down. "I'll try," she said as she slowly closed the door. "Tell John to hurry!" James yelled as he turned to return to the car. The clock loomed heavy over his head and he needed to be reunited with the only person left in Chicago who could help him.

May 4, 2014

Demons Ascension - Stan's Favor

[Posted by Ted H]

I've been sitting on this particular story line for a few years now. Some characters were made up based on people I knew. Others were created just because and given a random name I decided upon....then once every so often, I'll meet someone in real life with the same name and shitty personality as my created character and wonder if it was just a premonition on my part once upon a time....


[Demons Ascension - Stan's Favor]

            James never ran marathons or trained in any serious manner, so several blocks later he had begun to slow and sweat profusely, but he kept at it. The ice cold air caused his sweat to almost snap freeze as he labored on, refusing to slow. By his estimation, he lad little over a day left to stop Croatoan, and Chicago was far enough away to eat too much of the clock to get there.
            Multiple cars had been passing by to no notice of James, but one had slowed down near him and revved the engine as James looked over to see a red SUV with the passenger window roll down. Ty stuck his head out and shook his head at James as he stopped running. "I guess it would be asking a bit for a ride?" he asked as Ty said nothing. The driver killed the engine and both men stepped out.
            "I got better things to do, Ty," James said as Ty stuck both arms out and thrust into James, pushing down towards an alley. "You honestly thought you could hide out and make everyone think you skipped town?" he yelled as James stumbled to his feet and down the alley. "You can't make Sal wait forever," Ty continued "And the longer you make him wait, the more hurt you end up. And believe me Blake, you've made Sal wait a long ass time, and we're gonna make you feel every second of it."
            Fatigue and the burning pain in his stab wound were beginning to take their toll on James as Ty took a swing and punched James in the side of the head. He went to grab him to hoist him into the air as James threw a leg up and kicked him away. "You fucking think you can fight back?" Ty screamed as he stepped back and let his partner walk forward with a lead pipe, slapping it into his free hand repeatedly as he cracked his neck.
            "Fuck him up," Ty said "But leave him breathin." James slowly rose to his feet as the man approached. There was no easy way out of this alley and he was almost guaranteed not to be able to get passed both men as they closed in. Suddenly a nearby metal trash can toppled over, spilling its contents around as it rolled about.
            "What the fuck was that?" the partner asked as Ty shook his head. "It's a cat or something. Who cares?" Just then another trash can jumped over, traveling several feet in the air on its way down. The first trash can then kicked into the air and bounced end over end down the alley. All three men peered confused by the phenomenon as James then noticed a growing darkness on the ground by where the cans originally stood.
            "I don't think they're cats," the other guy said as other shadows began appearing around. Six moved about and soon surrounded James. Then they began to build their way up and form humanoid shapes. "Holy fuck," Ty said as he and his partner backed up as six pitch black figures towered over James. "uh, guys?" James asked "A little help?" The man with the lead pipe stepped forward and swung as hard as he could into one of the figures. It did not flinch as the pipe bounced off harmlessly as the man dropped it and cried in pain as he held his arms. "What the hell are those things?" he asked as he backed away and into Ty.
            "Fuck this," Ty said as he grabbed his partner "Go!" Both men turned and sprinted for the SUV. James watched with a cold sweat as they disappeared out the alley, then heard an engine roar to life and saw a red blur pass by. The six figures however stood still and did nothing as they remained all around James.
            The figures then slowly stepped away and allowed James to stand up. Three then walked to the end of the alley and started to merge into one another while the other three appeared to melt back into dark spots on the ground and move their way back into the shadows. The three at the entrance became one single dark void, blocking anyone from the outside from even seeing the alley entrance. Just as they completed, Stan emerged from a shadowy point behind James farther down in the alley.
            "You have such wonderful friends," he said as James brushed himself off. "These guys with you?" he asked as Stan smiled at the dark void at the entrance. "A little privacy was in order, I think." James patted himself down and pulled out his cigarettes. "Allow me," Stan said as he produced a lighter and ignited a full flame that radiated enough heat to make James momentarily forget how cold the rest of the world was.
            "I guess it's your turn to hold me down for a chat," James said as he took a long drag and savored it.
            "I'm happy to see you've been caught up to speed on who my associate is," Stan said as he produced a cigarette of his own and ignited it.
            "You could have told me yourself about Croatoan."
            "Did I not?"
            "A guy named Crow, that was your hot hip. Why make me waste time finding everything else out on my own?"
            "Because to stop him, you can't just rely on everyone else to hold you by the hand and point where to go."
            "From what I gather, isn't that how it went the last time? Divine intervention?"
            "Yes, God took an interest last time, but humanity will not be afforded the luxury of his presence anymore. Lucky for you though, I am still here to aid where my fellow mighty refuses."
            "Protecting you investment," James remembered said as Stan smiled and blew smoke out from his nose "What makes you think I want your help though?"
            "Clearly you're doing this for your own self preservation," Stan said as he paced around James "If you fail, then everybody loses. If you succeed though, find the final sacrifice and keep them hidden, then you merely buy humanity a little time before he tries again."
            "What are you asking me for?"
            "To find a way to permanently stop him from ever trying this again."
            "And how would I manage that?"
            "You know the identities of many of the previous sacrifices. The priest has a family line that is woefully small. Three other members who could be acceptable sacrifices in future attempts. Or if that next attempt is farther along down the road, then those three become potential breeders for future sacrifices. Croatoan will ensure that a member of that bloodline will be around for his next effort. Stop Croatoan now, and I will be grateful. Stop him from ever succeeding in the future, and I will be in your debt."
            "Cuz I'm totally gonna make deals with you."
            "Why wouldn't you want to?"
            "Prince of Lies? Your track record?"
            "You seem to be misinformed."
            "Am I?"
            "Everything you've ever been told had been fed to you by the other side. You don't think a little bias has been snuck in?"
            "Maybe, but are you trying to tell me you haven't made deals that require the other persons soul?"
            Stan smiled. "Not every dealing requires a soul, but it's the only currency humans have that I find valuable."
            "And I'd do you a solid because..."
            "Because your soul isn't on the table. You do a task, above and beyond what you're already trying to accomplish, and I'll personally owe you for it."
            "What, you don't want me soul?"
            "Hmm, it's pretty much a done deal that I'll be laying claim to it eventually."
            "I don't plan on killing anyone in cold blood for your information, so you can forget my soul."
            Stan laughed, a deep throat laugh that made James only a little uncomfortable. "You seem to be mistaken again, he said with a knowing smile "Your soul isn't desired by the higher power. Your ultimate fate is already decided."
            "I don't believe you." James said, wanting Stan to wipe that grin off his face.
            "Hello, Blake," Stan said with a different voice, girlish in nature "Do you remember now?"
            "I have no idea who you're supposed to be," James lied. Stan's demeanor changed as he adjusted his hips and glared with a different smile, almost like he was really a woman. "You killed me, Blake," Stan said "You honestly don't think you won't answer for that?"
            "You shot me first," James said, not knowing why he was having an argument with a dead woman.
            "And here I am now," Stan said "In my final reward. Don't worry though, I'm not alone down here. That slut Meg is with me and we're just waiting for you to come join us."
            "This is ridiculous."
            "You shot me in cold blood, Blake. I never had a chance."
            James stood in silence and waited Stan out until he blinked a few times and returned to his original stance and voice. "I already know that I'm getting your soul," he said "The least you could do is make the most of the offer I'm presenting. Who knows, maybe you can ride this out to something worthwhile."
            "And this is the point where I request you spare my soul as the favor, right?"
            "No. Not my call. The man upstairs has no desire for you, so it would be asinine of me to also reject you. Then where would you go? At least I'll give you a warm home."
            "I'm still not killing anyone, my own fate decided or not."
            "How foolishly noble. You have time though, deal or no deal, stopping my former associate still takes priority."
            "Fantastic talk, Stan," James said as he walked towards the black void which was slowly sinking into the pavement, allowing James to exit.
            "Think it over!" Stan called as James paid him no heed. "Just remember, both sides of the religious coin are corrupt and tainted. My side is at least straightforward about it."