August 3, 2014

Demons Ascension - The Army

[Posted by Ted H]

Don't give me that just KNEW that if there was a way to shoehorn zombies into this story, I'd do it....


[Demons Ascension - The Army]

            "Did you hang up on me? he asked as Matthew answered again.
            "Yes, because I need to prepare for the end of our world. Tell me something, you idiot, you wasted time trying to save the other sacrifices as opposed to saving the final one, didn't you?"
            "Just one...and only because we figured it out. Listen, we still have time. It isn't midnight yet. How do we go about stopping him? We know who he's gonna sacrifice and we know exactly where he will be."
            "You don't just stop a god, James. His power is too great at this point. The only chance you had was to hide the final sacrifice from him."
            "He kept super close watch on Amanda though, how was I suppose to hide her?"
            "James, whatever you could have done before would be an infinitely better option than what you can do now. Nothing will stop Croatoan outside from direct intervention by a deity, and the only ones available are blocked out of this realm. You can't stop Croatoan, he's bulletproof and invincible."
            "There has to be some way..."
            "The only way was preventing the sacrifice."
            "Then that's our play."
            "My best advice to you is to get as far away from the city as possible. Maybe you'll last a few days while Croatoan begins to reshape our world to his liking."
            "How much harder could this possibly have gotten?"
            "If he hasn't already, he's about to raise an army. Anything killed by him or his followers will only add to their numbers."
            James was about to ask another question when the phone cut off and the lights in the station went out. "Stay calm," Lyle said "Emergency power should kick in." The three men waited in pitch black for a few seconds until some dim, red lights illuminated the area. "What happened?" James asked. "The entire block must've gone out," Lyle said as he approached a window and looked out "Maybe even the entire city."
            "Guys?" Pete asked as James was walking over to the window with Lyle "That cop who died just stood up." Both men turned to look where Pete was looking to see the young cop from before standing up with his arms at his sides, head down and blood pouring from his gaping wound on his side. "Will?" Lyle asked almost at a whisper when the newly risen officer snapped his head up, revealing pale, white eyes, and snarled like an animal. He then began limping towards Pete as he backed behind Lyle who had taken his gun out and pointed it.
            "Will, stop, please," he said as Will paid no mind to the words and blindly made his way forward, arms out clawing at the air between him and Lyle. "That's his army," James said softly before noticing Lyle's obvious hesitation. "Shoot him!" he screamed as Lyle couldn't go through with it and instead ended up wrestling the undead officers arms. In a panic, Pete ran up to one of the dead bodies lying around and pulled out their gun. James ran up and threw his arms around Will then with Lyle's help, pulled him away and tossed him near Pete who quickly ran up and shot him in the head, killing him yet again.
            "We need to get out of here, now," James said. Pete was barely able to ask why when he screamed at the feel of the officer whose gun he took reaching up and grabbing his leg. As Lyle pulled him off, James took note of all the other dead bodies starting to rise again, the same pale and dead eyes in every one of them like Will. "Follow me!" Lyle called as he started running, James and Pete sticking close behind.
            "Where are we going?" James asked, knowing that the direction they were running was not the exit. "Armory," Lyle said "We're not getting out of here with just a couple handguns." Any reservations Lyle would have about Pete being armed were being ignored at the moment since he seemed just as desperate to survive as everyone else was.
            The armory itself wasn't much, mostly picked clean by the previous attack from within. Lyle was able to scavenge some ammunition for his gun and load up a shotgun and handed it to James. "I'm not really a gun person," James said attempting to hand the shotgun back. "Are you kidding me?" Lyle asked "It's the apocalypse out there!"
            "Guns aren't going to stop Croatoan," James said.
            "Don't worry," Pete said as he took the shotgun. Lyle had a visual objection to letting Pete have the most powerful gun available, but he kept his mouth shut. "Those things are about to catch up," he said as he checked out the door. "There another way out?" James asked.
            The three men snuck around some hallways and out a back door into the streets. The thick overcast and the power being out made it almost impossible to see. Lyle pulled out his flashlight and led the men through and back around to the street side where he had parked. The undead were pouring out of the police station and making their way in the same direction; towards the apartments.
            "Car is on the other end of the street," Lyle said "We make a break for it and hope we don't get mauled or eaten."
            "They're not gonna eat us," James said "But they will try to kill us. So worry less about their biting and more about their scratching and clawing."
            "There's got to be an easier way," Pete said, vocalizing the absurdity of a plan that had them running in almost complete darkness to a car surrounded by the living dead.
            "That's why you have a shotgun," Lyle said as he primed himself to run like a sprinter. "Go," he said aloud as he ran for the car, the others right behind him. He fired a round off as he reached for the door and opened. James attempted to run around the side for the front passenger door. Every undead person in the vicinity were converging on the car and groping to pull everyone away.
            James reached for anything to hold onto as he was being pulled, only managing to grab onto the trench coat lying in the front seat as he was pulled away. He could hear shots being fired, but no one was coming to his aid. As he fell to the ground away from the car, the trench coat fell on top of him, obscuring his vision. For a moment he laid, blind to the world, and braced for the inevitable attack from all the corpses surrounding him, but nothing happened.
            James pulled the coat off of his face to see the undead crowding around him but doing nothing. "Get off of me!" he heard Lyle scream drowned out by shotgun fire and James wondered very quickly why he was being spared. He stood up, still holding the trench coat and a number of the undead backed away from him. He held out the coat and they backed up even more. "This thing reeks of your power, doesn't it?" he said to himself as he threw on the trench coat and rushed to the other side of the car.
            Pete was using the shotgun as a bat while struggling to reload while Lyle was on the ground with a number of undead groping at his flailing body. As James ran over, all the undead instinctively withdrew and cowered off. Lyle did not get off the ground as he laid there, holding his head. His gun was gone and he was bleeding profusely out of his nose, mouth and ears. Pete reached into Lyle's pocket and pulled out the keys and tossed them to James. "C'mon! We need to go!" he yelled, not understanding why the undead had retreated a few feet so suddenly.
            James looked down at Lyle as Pete ran to the passenger door and got in. "Don't...Leave me..." he choked out as he continued to spit out blood. James was unsure what Lyle meant. Was he pleading for James to leave him behind, that lugging his dead weight the rest of the way would only slow them down? Don't bother, just leave me? Or was he honestly pleading not to be left behind to the discretion of the undead army that were only a few feet away, ready to carry on with smothering him to death.
            Lyle could barely open his eyes and wasn't able to elaborate any more, but James couldn't just leave him behind so unceremoniously. He quickly threw open the back door and dragged Lyle up and into the car. He then Jumped for the driver's seat and fired up the engine. The undead began to surround the car, but James wasted little time in driving forward and running anything over that got in the way.
            The road to the apartments was frantic and crowded. Multiple accident occurred when the entire city went dark, and added to that were the numerous panicked people dealing with the sudden undead assault. Countless times, James found the main roads impassible and had to find a way around. Pete had been trying the radio and couldn't raise any signals. The entire time, James would glance at his watch and grow increasingly sick at how fast midnight seemed to be approaching.
            "How's that shotgun looking?" James asked, suddenly concerned for how well armed they were.
            "Plenty of shells left. We'll be fine," Pete said, trying to sound reassuring, but he couldn't even convince himself. Lyle's gun was gone and the handgun Pete took only had the one magazine. Between those and the shotgun, there was also Bradford's magnum that James still had on him, with only one bullet loaded for what it was worth.
            James wasn't entirely familiar with the area, but he knew where the apartments would be since all he needed to do was follow the mass of walking dead. As he approached, he noticed there was an area in the distance that still had light, meaning Croatoan still kept the power on in his own home.
            "I don't want to sound repetitive," Pete said "But how about a plan?"
            "The plan is..." James said before taking a moment to think "The plan is to walk right into his little sacrifice event and gum up the works. This coat allows us to walk right through his minions, something I doubt he's accounted for."
            "How do we mess up his sacrifice?"
            "I don't know, but if we get through midnight with Amanda still alive, more powerful forces will be able to intervene."
            "So we need to stall? And walk right through all his defenses? It all sounds too easy."
            "Yeah, well, there's probably a monkey wrench in there somewhere. We just need to deal when things like that occur."
            "Where are we going in the apartments?"
            "There's a room in the basement. My money's on there."
            "It all just sounds-" Pete began before he started screaming. Lyle had reached around from the back and was scratching at Pete's face. "Lyle!" James yelled as he turned to see the man had died and had turned. Lyle briefly turned to face James, giving him a full view of his pale white eyes, before ignoring him and continuing with his attack on Pete.
            Pete struggling interfered with James as he tried to maneuver around some of the dead and he ended up mounting a sidewalk and crashing into a building. For the second time that day airbags had blown into James' face as he opened his door and stepped out. The crash wasn't that bad and it allowed Pete to exit the car and close Lyle inside. Pete leveled his shotgun at the approaching horde as James stepped in front.
            "You ok?" he asked as Pete nodded but kept his eyes at the undead. "They won't try anything," James said as everything approaching stopped within arms length but made no effort to attack. "What now?" Pete finally said as James eyes the light of the apartments not too far in the distance. "We walk," James said.
            The entire block before the apartments on all sides were packed with the undead, all gathering outside and waiting. Pete stuck close behind as James walked through the horde completely untouched. The undead parted in his path, allowing him a clear path to the apartments.
            "This is too easy," Pete said as he frantically scanned the surrounding dead "Are they really just letting us pass?"
            "They're letting me pass, not you," James said "It's the coat I think. They think I'm him maybe."
            "They can't tell the difference?"
            "They're soulless vessels, blindly worshiping the rise of their new god, I don't think they have the capacity to care."
            A low pitched howl pierced the otherwise quiet night air. "What the hell was that?" James asked. "It's that thing that killed everyone in the station," Pete said, raising the shotgun. The howl began again, this time joining in with two others from different areas, all unknown. "That might have the capacity to care," James said as they hurried through the crowd of the dead.
            As they made their way through the crowd, James snuck looks behind himself to see a towering figure on the top of a nearby building. Another look back showed that there were two more figures accompanying it. James picked up the pace and was eventually running with Pete through the horde.
            The sounds of heavy figures thudding onto the street sounded behind them as they ran up to the apartments, the carving of Croatoan's name glowing over the entry. None of the undead dared to step within a hundred feet of the building as they stood and fixated on it, waiting for their god to emerge.
            As soon as they were clear of the horde, James spun around to see the giant figures leaping through the horde to where they were. They were too dark to see clearly but they were massive and glistened in whatever light caught them. "Get inside," James said to Pete "Close quarters might hinder their movement...maybe." James made for the entrance, but Pete didn't move as he clutched his shotgun. "This is where I help you," Pete said to himself.
            "Pete!" James yelled. "Go!" Pete yelled back "You might last five more minutes than me, but you'll be five minutes closer to stopping Croatoan."
            "No," James said as he grabbed Pete's arm.
            "Just go," Pete said, refusing to budge "I want to see my family, Amy said I would when I'm done helping you."
            "They'll rip you to shreds!"
            "They'll waste time on me. I'll die, and then I'll find my family."
            Pete pulled his arm free and steeled himself for the approaching beasts. James sighed and ran for the apartments. "I'll do what I can," Pete yelled as he raised his shotgun up "Just don't fuck up on your end!" James disappeared into the apartment to the sounds of shotgun fire. There was a moment of continuous fire, then a long moment of silence before there was one final blast. Moments later the front doors were torn down by the beasts as they went to pursue James.

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