July 27, 2014

Demons Ascension - Back to the Station

[Posted by Ted H]

Man, when your vacation ends...it fucking ENDS. Good thing this is already written...


[Demons Ascension - Back to the Station]

            James felt numb, and it wasn't just the cold. Everything hurt and whatever part of him wasn't in pain was instead cold from the bitter ice air. His eyes squeezed shut and he slowly drew breath because his neck and chest hurt so much. All he wanted to do was fall asleep and not wake up until the pain stopped and it got warm out. That wasn't going to happen though. Someone was shaking him and calling his name out and he knew he had a job to do.
            "James!" Lyle yelled as he shook him by the shoulders. James finally opened his eyes and sat up. He heard a fire truck blaring in the distance joining in a chorus of sirens. The noises were growing louder, not because of their approach, but because he had gone temporarily deaf and was just now beginning to hear again. All the emergency vehicles were actually just arriving.
            There was a definite and constant ringing in his ears as firefighters ran up to battle the blaze that was consuming the remainder of the Praque sisters home. James let the whole of the situation sink in for a moment; They had failed to stop Croatoan. Lyle was trying to say something, but between the sirens, the ringing in his ears and the fact that his hearing was still somewhat distorted, James couldn't make out what the man was saying to him.
            "Where's John!" he yelled, his own voice sounding distant in his own mind. Lyle helped him up and led him towards an ambulance. Nearby, some EMTs were securing John to a stretcher and preparing to transport him. Getting a little bit away from most of the sirens was helping and James could make out some of what an EMT was saying to Lyle. John was hurt bad, but alive for now. He had a punctured lung and needed to be rushed to the hospital.
            Lyle tried to make a phone call while James watched the blaze consume the house. Inside was what remained of Brittany, but he didn't need to see her to know what happened. He hoped John wasn't conscious because he wasn't sure how anyone could break to him that he lost both of his sisters the same way so quickly. Lyle swearing broke James away from this thought as he turned and saw the man jog to his car.
            "What's wrong?" James called as he caught up. "I'm trying to call the station but no one's answering," Lyle said with a worried look on his face "I'm gonna try dispatch and see if they can raise anyone on radio." James didn't like what he was hearing, and practically sprinted to the other side of the car, the trench coat still wrapped around his arm, and climbed in. "Drive," he said as Lyle climbed in "Fast."

            The police station looked like a battle had been waged. Desks were overturned, walls were cracked and damaged and bodies lied everywhere. Lyle had previously talked to dispatch and had them warn everyone at the apartments that Crow would be making a move to that location, but James was more worried about the move Croatoan would make on the police station. Despite the numerous dead, he knew Amanda wouldn't be among them. "Croatoan must have come for her," he said as he eyed the damaged board by Bradford's desk.
            "Will!" Lyle yelled as he rushed over to where they had left Amanda before. The young cop designated to watch her was lying on the ground covered in broken glass and holding a massive wound in his abdomen. "What happened?" Lyle asked as he attempted to prop the dying man up.
            "That...That John Doe you guys brought in from the park," Will managed to spit out before a coughing fit started.
            "The dead guy?" Lyle asked as Will calmed down and lowered his bloody hands from his mouth.
            "Yeah," he said as he tried to draw breath "He got up and came up here. But he was different. Bigger. Hands like a wolf. Claws. Eyes...Eyes like fiery coals...We kept shooting him...it...it didn't care...It never stopped...Never..."
            Will's gaze was getting more distant and he didn't have much time left. "Will, listen to me!" James said as he grabbed the man by the shoulders and shook. "Where's Amanda? What happened to her?"
            Will's breathing became more labored as he attempted to talk. "It saw her...Killing at random while searching, then it saw...It saw her," Will coughed and a stream of blood poured from his mouth "It saw her and came right after...I tried to stop it...To do something...But it went right through me like...Like..." Will's head slumped over and he wasn't able to talk. He coughed and wheezed for a moment longer before he finally went quiet.
            Both men remained silent a moment with Will before Lyle finally looked up and bellowed "God damn it!" The room grew silent again, the only sound coming from a ringing phone that no one was answering. A moment later, someone unseen meekly asked "Hello? Is someone still alive out there?" Lyle and James looked at each other before jumping up and heading for the source of the voice.
            They ran to holding where Pete Young sat behind bars, sitting on a bed with a worried look on his face. "Is it gone?" he asked as James looked over and walked to the dead officer near the door. "What is...How is it you're still alive when everyone else in here died?" Lyle demanded as James pulled the keys from the body. "Why would he be killed?" James asked as he unlocked the cell door and opened it "That thing was looking for Amanda. Not only was Pete not what it was looking for, but he was the only person who didn't get in the way of that search."
            "What are you doing? Don't let him out!" Lyle said as Pete hesitated at the doorway on his way out. "He's not going anywhere," James said as he looked to Pete "Pete, remember what Amy told you? That you'd be able to go see your family once you're done helping me?"
            "But his family-" Lyle started as James put his hand up.
            "Yeah," Pete said "I have to help you first."
            "Then what if I said you weren't done helping me? That there's still one thing I need to do and I need your help for it?"
            "What do you need me to do?" Pete asked. Lyle sighed as his cell phone rang.
            "Oh boy," Lyle said as he raised the phone to his ear "Mangan here...Sir, if I may ask, where are you?...I don't know what happened, but everyone's dead...I wasn't...Praque and I went after a lead, sir, but-...Yes sir, he's still with me, but Praque's hurt bad...Sir, I don't think that's the best course of action...Well with all due respect, you're asking a lot of men to pointlessly risk their lives...Well I emptied a magazines worth of ammo into Crow, and it didn't do a god damn thing to stop him from stabbing my partner and erupting a house unto flames."
            Lyle's conversation continued for a moment while James and Pete surveyed the damage of what was once a police station. "Christ," Lyle said as he put his phone away. "Was that my favorite police chief ever?" James asked "Where the hell was he for this?"
            "Monroe is with the mayor, briefing him and the commissioner," Lyle said "But he caught wind of what's been happening. He wants every cop in the city to converge of the apartments if needed. The commissioner agrees."
            "I can't stress over how bad of an idea that is," James said.
            "You don't think I tried to convince him that?" Lyle yelled.
            "How long until midnight?"
            "Four and a half hours. Why?"
            "That's how long we have to stop Croatoan."
            "He has the girl, why wait?"
            "The ritual. He can't rush it, but this time we know exactly who he's after and where he's doing this. For once we have time to do something."
            "So, what now? How do we stop something that's pretty much invincible?"
            James didn't say anything but instead went right for a phone and started dialing. "You do have a plan, right?" Pete asked as James impatiently waited as the phone rang. "No," he finally said "My last plan was a complete joke, but I know someone who could help."
            "Hello?" Matthew finally said on the other end.
            "I got some great news," James said into the phone "I know who the final sacrifice is!"
            "I trust you're on the other side of the country by now then?
            "Um...Still in Chicago. Croatoan has the girl. I was just wondering if-hello? Did he hang up on me?"
            Lyle and Pete exchanged worried looks as James hung up and dialed Matthew again.

July 20, 2014

Demons Ascension - Rescue

[Posted by Ted H]

Act 3 is in full swing pretty much. May plan is to post the final parts of this by October...then I plan to do jack shit...maybe a little side project...all in preparation of NaNoWriMo 2014...


[Demons Ascension - Rescue]

            Brittany laid in her bed, tears streaming down the sides of her face as she stared up at the ceiling. A man she had never seen before had found his way in and with no effort at all threw her around the living room before dragging her beaten body to Stephanie's room. He had forced something down her mouth and within minutes she couldn't move. He had removed her clothes and positioned her the way they had found her twin, arms stretched out and feet straight. A rope had been tied around the bed and around her stomach and arms to keep her in place in case she could muster the strength to even move out of the position he placed her in.
            She knew she was going to die here. All she could do now was mourn he own life as the tears flowed and an occasional sob was moaned. At first she feared this man would force himself on her exposed and defenseless body, he defiantly had been eyeing her in a lustful way the entire time, but he never touched her after laying her out. He desired something else from her, she did not know what it was, and he was impatiently biding his time. He just stood over her, only God knows for how long, and watched her cry and shake.
            After what felt like an eternity, he looked her in the eyes and smiled. "No fear," he whispered" You are about to become part of something greater." He then reached into his gray trench coat and pulled out a large curved blade. Brittany couldn't bear to watch and darted her gaze towards the window where her eyes went wide at the sight of Lyle outside, aiming his gun.
            Bullets crashed through the window and into the man as Brittany tried, yet failed to scream. Every round hit the man, but he did not bleed and he did not fall. Instead he looked to the window, Lyle no longer there, and ran to it ready to slash with his blade. The man kicked a hole and jumped out, wondering where Lyle was.
            She then felt hands on her and looked over to see James with a small knife of his own as he began cutting through the ropes, muttering to himself about some plan. He then noticed she was conscience and told her not to worry, but she could see in his eyes that he himself was worried. "She's alive, John," he said but she couldn't see her brother "We need to move her now. Stay ready."
            James cut through both ropes around her arms and he quickly and feverishly worked on the rope across her abdomen. He cut the rope loose and pulled her up by her arm. Just as he was about to hoist her up over his shoulder, she felt herself be pulled back down to the bed and saw the man had returned as he grabbed James by the throat and lift him up.
            "You dare?" he screamed just before his head snapped back from a gunshot. He fell backwards as James dropped to the ground. "James, talk to me," John shouted as he ran over, gun in the air. "I got her," James said as he climbed to his feet "Just make sure that demon stays put."
            John circled to the other side of the bed where the man fell then looked back at James. He quickly tried to fire down when the man snapped at the pistol and grabbed it, causing John to fire harmlessly into the man's chest. "Just go! Get her out of here!" John screamed as he struggled with the man. "Lyle!" James screamed as he pulled Brittany off the bed and began dragging her towards the door "Lyle, where the hell are you?"
            Brittany wished more than anything she could scream or say anything because all she could do was helplessly watch as the man quickly reached down for his knife and effortlessly drive it up into John, who immediately dropped to his knees and became quiet.
            "No!" James said as he dropped Brittany and rushed at the men. The man pulled his knife out and prepared to hurt John again when James jumped his from behind and pulled him away. John grasped at his wound and struggled to breathe as Lyle appeared where the window once stood. The man drove backwards into a wall to shake James but he held on for life and refused to let go. "Get out of the way!" Lyle called as he aimed his gun but James couldn't hear him. The man then dropped forward and flipped James over him, James pulling the gray trench coat as he fell and the man pulled free. Lyle then fired his gun at the man until it clicked empty, hitting him in several places including the head which caused him to drop.
            "Get John out of here, NOW!" James screamed as he scrambled to his feet "I'll get the girl." Lyle reached in and grabbed John as he fell over, and began pulling him out of the house. James had his one arm tangled in the trench coat, but ignored it as he ran up and placed his arms under Brittany. He picked her up as he awkwardly made for the hole to follow Lyle and John. Before he reached the hole, the man appeared with unbelievable speed and lifted them both up by their throats.
            Brittany was still able to breathe but it looked like James was about to turn purple as the man glared at him with a twisted face of suppressed rage. He said nothing as he wound up and hurled James through a wall and outside. He then tossed Brittany back onto the bed, he arms and legs falling perfectly the way they had been laid out before, and he cleaned off his blade from her brother's blood."
            "Get away from her, you fucking scumbag!" Lyle screamed as he charged back in, the man barely paying him notice as he swatted Lyle back out as easily as if he were a fly. Brittany began to cry again as she watched the man calmly walk back over to her bedside. "My ascension begins," he said as he raised his knife. Brittany was able to scream again at that moment, but it would not last long.
            Lyle was able to get to his feet again and shake off the fall he took. By time he was able to approach the house again though, a large green fireball erupted from inside the bedroom, blowing him back down. The man had claimed her soul as his own, and was now on the verge of accomplishing his goal.

July 13, 2014

Demons Ascension - Pentagram

[Posted by Ted H]

Vacation time bitches!
...also, this is apparently the 200th post of TNW. Not all of them are stories/poems and not all of them were by me but it's still a nifty accomplishment. Here's to the next 200!


[Demons Ascension - Pentagram]

            James and Amanda spent some time together before he left to join John, Lyle and some other officers by Bradford's desk where a radio was set up to listen to the cops out waiting by the apartments. The wait began around 3 but by 5:30 many of the officers grew bored or had better things to do. Eventually it was just Lyle, James and John left.
            "According to the ritual timer," James said "We still have half an hour before Croatoan returns or makes any kind of move."
            "Assuming the next murder takes place in the apartments," John said.
            "We've assigned two beat cops for every person in that complex who refuses to leave their home for the night," Lyle said "Plus we have every forensic person possible tearing through this guys apartment. Even if he had the balls to return there, he won't be murdering much of anyone."
            "Guy stood up to a barrage of small arms fire," John said "What makes you think a few beat cops can take him?"
            "Because these guys have tactical gear; shotguns, assault rifles and the like. I don't care what kind of armor that guy has backing, he ain't getting up from a close range shotgun blast."
            "I shot him in the head, twice, and he just kept coming."
            "You're full of it."
            "He leapt over cars and overturned Bradford's. Hell, Bradford tried to run him over and he stopped the car bare handed."
            "John, I don't know what happened in that alley, but I know a human can't stop a speeding car. You need to lay off the crack."
            "You weren't there."
            "I'll believe it when I see it for myself."
            "Are you two always like this?" James asked as both men glared at him before resuming their argument. James rolled his eyes before he walked back over to Bradford's board where he had the big map. On it were the markings of the first four murders. James decided to go ahead and mark the empty lot where Bradford died, completing the star points. He then noticed a different mark due south of the church and due east of the Williams alley.
            "What's this?" he asked as he pointed to the map mark. "That's the park," John said "Approximately where they found the guy who killed the priest." James looked back to the map. The man who killed Father Brooks was later left in a precise and perfect location compared to the location of their crime.
            James grabbed a marker and circled two additional points on the map. This grabbed the interest of Lyle and John. "What are you thinking?" John asked. James had circled a point due south of Stephanie's murder and due west of the Williams alley. He also circled a point directly between the church and Stephanie's house, due north of the Williams alley and the apartments.
            "The guy who killed Williams and Allanson is here," he said as he pointed to the second mark. "John, the guy who killed your sister is here," he said as he pointed to the first mark. They're both dead, I bet just like the guy you already found. It's all part of the ritual."
            "So it's not a star," Lyle said as he looked at the map.
            "Oh, it's still a star," James said "Note how the murderers mirror the location of their victims. Croatoan murdered the last two, hence why they both mirror outwards from the apartments. His little conduit is made."
            "Conduit?" John asked.
            "Conduit," James repeated "His power comes from a flow of energy made possible from the sacrifices."
            "Every conduit needs an end point," John stated "It's like a pipeline. Without an end point, most of what is transferred would be lost."
            "That would be the center then," Lyle said as he walked back to the radio. There was chatter, but it was trivial.
            "It needs to be a circuit," James said "An infinite loop of energy."
            "Well, it looks circular," John said as he traced a circle around the star from one point to the other. He then returned to the desk with Lyle while James studied the map some more. "Everything about the rituals has a reason," he said to himself as his eyes darted between all the marked points. "The people...the locations..." His eyes went from each murder location in order before they went wide and he stepped back "...AND the order!"
            "What was that?" John asked, taking notice of James' words.
            "It's not a star," he said as he spun around and pointed to the map "He didn't make a star, he's drawing a pentagram."
            "Isn't that the same thing?" Lyle asked.
            "No," James said, talking fast "A star can be any number of sides and angles. A pentagram isn't so much a star as it's five intersecting lines that form a five point star. He hasn't closed the conduit yet because he hasn't finished the pentagram. I know where the next murder will be."
            James grabbed the marker and began drawing lines on the map, first from Stephanie's murder to the alley, then from the alley to the church, then to the Hapdale facility, then to where Bradford died. Finally, he drew a line from Bradford back to where Stephanie died. "Why would he go back?" Lyle said aloud before everyone realized. "Twins," James said as he placed the marker down "John, call your sister. Tell her to get out!"
            "I keep getting voicemail," Lyle said as he held up his phone. John tried the house number but it kept ringing. "Are we too late?" he asked, an almost paralyzing feel of terror in his voice. James shot a look to his watch. "We have about 25 minutes," he said as he made for the elevators "Lyle, I need you to drive fast." Lyle nodded and ran for the exit. "Let's roll," John said as he grabbed his coat and went to follow.
            "No, John," James said as he put his hand up "A blood descendant is all that's really required. You come, and you'll just double Croatoan's chances of succeeding."
            "You're not stopping me," John said as he shouldered passed James and followed Lyle, who made no effort to stop his partner. James bit his lip and followed, along the way the young cop with Amanda stepped out. "You're not suppose to leave," he said with wide eyes. "Tell Monroe I'm taking a really big dump," James said without stopping. Amanda didn't notice him leaving, and James knew he didn't have a second to spare to tell her goodbye.
            Lyle drove like a man possessed while John frantically kept alternating between calling Brittany's cell phone and house phone to no avail. Lyle grabbed a radio and called for all available units to converge on the house, knowing that no one was even close to the area because they were all at the apartments. Besides that, no one said a word, the deafening tension driving all three men mad because they knew what was at stake.
            "I don't mean to sound pessimistic," James said at last "But we're about to try and mess with a demon in the midst of his centuries planned ritual armed with two pistols and desperation."
            "So what are you saying?" John asked, not taking the phone away from his ear as he listened to the endless ring-back of the house number.
            "We need a plan or they'll find four dead people in that house."
            "What do you suggest?"

July 6, 2014

Demons Ascension - Monroe

[Posted by Ted H]

Workin on a side project that might net me an actual payday. Go figure, right? More info as it develops...


[Demons Ascension - Monroe]

            "I'm not arrested, am I?" James asked, yet again.
            "Still aren't in handcuffs, are you?" the officer responded, yet again as they walked into the station. James had been compliant with the cop once it was explained that they had picked up Amanda and brought her down for questioning. She was in police custody, which was infinitely better than Croatoan's.
            "I wanna see her," James said as they walked. The cop shook his head. "I'm under direct orders to hand deliver you," he said as officers watched and whispered as they saw James. "To who?" James wondered as they walked up the office door of the chief. "Oh, this is gonna be fun," James said as he rolled his eyes. The officer knocked on the door, opened it and motioned James inside. James looked back as he entered to see John, who had been tailing behind the whole time, having a quiet and heated argument with Lyle.
            The chief's office was small, even smaller when compared to the size of the chief who was spilling fat over his chair as he leaned on the desk scribbling something down angrily. He had graying hair with a bald spot in the back and a permanent scowl on his face. The only thing missing was a mustache. He was wearing a suit with the jacket draped over his chair and sweat stains in his pits. He did not look like a pleasant person.
            The desk was a mess of paperwork and case folders. The windows had their blinds closed tight and the walls were covered in newspaper articles, awards and a diploma. Despite the bitter cold outside, Monroe actually had a small swivel fan going. It would slightly ruffle some papers every time it blew by but not actually move anything.
            "Have a seat, Drake," he said without looking up, his accent was so heavy with Chicago that it slightly annoyed James to listen to.
            "That's Blake, not..., " James said as he walked over to the chair opposite the desk "You know what? You can just call me James." Monroe grunted and James was at a loss for what that meant as the phone rang. Monroe grabbed the receiver, picked it up for half a second before slamming it back down. He apparently wasn't taking any calls. They sat opposite for a moment as Monroe finished whatever he was writing, flipped the pen away and drew both his hands together on the desk. He then blew heavily out his nose and stared at Blake but didn't say anything.
            For a moment there was silence between the two men, only broken up by the whistle of Monroe breathing heavily through his nose. James shifted his head over and shrugged. "It's good to meet you finally?" he said "I know we've both had very busy schedules lately. This alone time we have together really breaks up the monotony of constantly running around after a vicious killer."
            Monroe sharply drew air in through his nose before closing his eyes for a bit longer than a standard blink. He then exhaled before opening his eyes again. "I don't know how," he finally said "But whatever the hell is going on, I know for a fact that you're in it up to your eyeballs. You want to tell me how four of my guys ended up dead while trying to bring in one unarmed scumbag? Or how about the fact that two of the last three times this guy strikes, we find you right in the middle of it all?"
            "It's all part of a ritual," James said, choosing his words very carefully "This guy is trying to become a god, or at least that what he thinks will happen." No way he was convincing Monroe of something that he himself didn't think was possible a week ago.
            "I got my people out there with their body parts ripped out, looking like some fucked up modern art project, and you're telling me it's some deranged nut who thinks he's God?" Monroe screamed, spit flying from his mouth.
            "Not thee God, just a god," James said calmly.
            "You've got to be fucking kidding me. We already got one guy in custody who belongs in the nut house, now you're telling me he needs a roommate?"
            "Ritual killers can be easy to figure out once you factor what their MO is. Croa-, er, Crow's ritual requires precise location and timing."
            "Yeah, yeah, yeah," Monroe interrupted "Bradford's little star theory."
            "And Bradford's death gives us the fifth point of that star, all the exact same distance from the center."
            Monroe narrowed his gaze. "Alright hot shot," he said "Now that our boy Crow has his star, what now?"
            "My best guess is he needs his next target in the center."
            "And your little girlfriend we brought in is the next victim?"
            "Eventually. She's the only person Crow has associated with that isn't either dead or missing. If she's not next, she's definitely soon."
            "Well this Crow mother fucker isn't getting anywhere near her. He'd have to go through the entire force just to get within spitting distance."
            "We need to get her as far away from the city as possible."
            "She isn't going anywhere, and neither are you. I'm not convinced either of you are 100% clean in all this."
            "You don't understand, we need to move her, now, at least for the next twelve hours."
            "If he's dumb enough to come knocking around here, than it's his funeral.
            "You leave this girl here, everyone inside will be as good as dead."
            "We're done here," Monroe said as he got up and walked for the door. "Listen up!" he yelled as he walked outside. He yelled for every cop not doing anything vital to go to the apartments to apprehend Crow. He then kicked James out of his office and picked up his phone to make a call.
            James was allowed free to roam about so long as he didn't try to leave, a stipulation he felt was at least a slight infringement on his rights. they allowed him to see Amanda at least, so he'd let it go. Amanda was in a small waiting room with a young officer standing nearby. The officer looked about two days removed from the academy. Amanda lit up when she saw James enter.
            "What's happening?" she asked as she hugged him "Is Crow a murderer?" The young cop failed to suppress a laugh.
            "What's so funny?" James asked.
            "Crow a murderer?" the officer said "Get it?...Murder of crows?"
            "...And you're done talking, forever."
            "Yeah," James said, turning his attention back to Amanda "In the most simple way I can put it, Crow is the bad guy here."
            "So maybe he wasn't gay. Damn, you think you know a guy, and he turns out to be a serial killer. Was I next or something?"
            "We had...a strong reason to believe you were a target."
            "Awe," Amanda said, touched before asking "Wait, is that why you want me to leave with you? Because someone would want me dead?"
            "Um," James said, taken aback "There's that, but also because the commute to here from Syracuse is outrageous, I don't care how good the sex is."