September 28, 2014

Demons Ascension - Gods and Mortals

[Posted by Ted H]

Holy crap what a run. Hard to believe that that a year ago not a single word of this novel was written and now here we are at the [bitter?] end of it. But the idea had existed for longer than that.
The characters that would become James Blake and John Praque were created in 2005.
The idea of Croatoan and the general plot started back in 2006.
The universe that would host this crazy and tie things together, including some supporting characters, wouldn't kick off until 2008.
The decision to combine all this Captain Planet style wasn't until mid 2013.
November 1, 2013 was when word one was typed.
I'd love to do a definite end date for the final word being typed, but I keep catching myself tweaking here and there...especially the ending. That last conversation keeps changing, but I keep loving what I change it to each time. I'm sure one day Ill find the right dialogue that'll be too perfect to change...

News about NaNoWriMo 2014 will come soon.
James Blake isn't done here either. Prolly not doing another novel about him, but we haven't seen that last of him. We have seen the last of him as a rank amateur in the world of demons and magic though, rest assured.

Anyway, enjoy the finale.


[Demons Ascension - Gods and Mortals]

            James figured he'd wait for John to recover and check out of the hospital before he'd try to bum a ride back home to Syracuse. This meant he could only lay about and enjoy a few days and recover in John's apartment. James could use the rest too since he felt absolutely spent after all that had happened. He didn't sleep in John's bed, seeing how the one person left alive in his life deserved even a little respect. The couch was just beginning to be comfortable anyway.
            A couple days later, someone was banging on the front door, waking James from a particularly restful slumber. No one should have known he was here, but he rose up to check who it was as the knocking continued. He checked the peephole and saw Amy outside. "This outta be good," he mumbled as he opened the door.
            "Come with me," she said as he began walking down the hall.
            "Um...ok?" James said as he rubbed his eyes.
            "Leave the trench coat," Amy said.
            "No dice," James said as he reached for the coat before following "I keep my smokes there now."
            Amy led him to the elevator and they rode it up to the top floor, a floor James wasn't sure existed before despite riding this elevator numerous times before. Instead of another hallway, the doors opened to reveal a while hallway with no doors leading up to staircase heading up. A bright light radiated from above, preventing James from seeing where the stairs led.
            "This way," Amy said as she walked forward. James kept pace and followed her up the stairs, all the while feeling light headed and wondering if he were dreaming or hallucinating. "Where are we?" James asked and was surprised at how distant his voice sounded. "Woah," he said aloud, attempting to test his voice. "Echo!"
            "Stop it," Amy said as they reached the top of the stairs "We're here."
            "Where is here?" James wondered as he took in the scene. There were no walls or ceiling but he wasn't outside. All sides of the room extended forever into a soft white light. There was a warm and wonderful feeling in the air and James felt at ease in this place. Amy walked on undeterred by the surroundings and James followed while craning his neck about to see the room full of nothing. The staircase down was still there, sticking out as a hole in an otherwise untouched horizon of a cloudlike white.
            As they walked, a powerful light began to shine coming from an incline. Amy stopped and motioned James to continue up alone. James began to ascend and struggle to look towards the powerful light. He shielded his eyes and could swear there was a figure standing in the light. "Is that who I think it is?" James asked as he turned back to Amy "Could you tell him to turn down the bloom?"
            "It's not bright," Amy replied as she looked into the light without issue "You spend too much of your life in the darkness."
            "Hilarious," James said as he turned back to the light "Where's Stan? I want my favor to be sunglasses." The shining light momentarily seemed to shutter as a cold chill ran through the air.
            "This is not a time for jokes," Amy scolded "You are in the presence of the almighty, do not invoke otherwise."
            "I thought he doesn't do public appearances anymore?"
            "You clearly have proven yourself for an exception."
            James continued forward. The light was intense and almost blinding, but eventually it seemed to die down and he could clearly see the silhouette of a man. None of the features were clear, but he could at least determine it was a man. "Thank you you're a man," James said with a grin. The light quickly grew warmer for a second.
            "What did I say about the jokes?" Amy called. "I'm pretty sure God enjoyed that one!" James yelled back. He tried to make out anything about God, but it was all shadowed by the light shining behind him. Eventually, James gave up and finally asked "Alright, so, why am I here? You wanted to thank me in person?"
            "You have done a great service," Amy said "And the almighty would like to offer you the greatest gift possible."
            "And what would that be?"
            "I thought that's a given."
            "Your soul is destined for a dark place," Amy continued "But your selfless act has caught the attention of our father, and he is willing to pardon you of your mortal sins so you can earn entry into the kingdom when it is time."
            James looked at Amy, then back at God as he scratched his head. "This is all very convoluted," he said "So what do I do now? Drop to my knees?"
            "Not necessary," Amy said "All you need to do is ask for the forgiveness you deserve."
            "Is God a mute?" James wondered randomly "Why are you doing all the talking?"
            "Directly listening to the voice of God is something humans can never truly comprehend."
            "...Cuz that's not a copout excuse."
            "Read your bible. He never spoke directly, only through angels and objects."
            "I'm pretty sure that isn't true."
            "Because you've read the bible cover to cover?"
            James then turned back to God and got back on track. "Ok," he said as he rubbed his hands together "Just need to ask for forgiveness."
            "And it goes without saying that your little deal with the dark one should never come to fruition."
            "Whatever," James said without turning around "Your time for talking is over now. This is between me and God." Amy made a face and looked away.
            "Right..." James said "Forgiveness."
            James took a moment to stare at the figure in front of him, wrapped by light. He could feel that it was looking right back at him, probably judging. Always judging. He was being offered dispensation for his sins and all he had to do was ask for it, but he figured it couldn't hurt to word it the right way.
            "I knew I shouldn't have pulled that trigger," James started as he finally noticed how quiet it was "Yeah I had every justification for it. Suzan killed two people, shot me and was about to stab John. In the heat of the moment, shooting her in the head was the only option...But that wasn't why I did it. I wanted her dead. I felt such joy when her head exploded brain matter out and watching her collapse to the ground felt like it was the perfect ending. I could have stopped her another way. She thought I was dead. I could have tried grabbing her from behind, give John a chance to help me. The cops were only moments behind. So many viable options, but I wanted her dead. I didn't want to see another outcome. Just the gun on the ground and her back to me.
            "To do it all again, I'd try anything else. She ruined so many lives, I felt I had the right to end hers; to pass judgment with a gun. No one has that right. She could have been stopped without more blood. She could have had the chance to face her crimes. Yeah, there was no redeeming her, but I made the call I never should have had. Not a day goes by where I wish I did something different that day. You want me to ask for forgiveness? Forgive me for making the worst possible call that day."
            There was a silence again and James stood awkwardly for a moment before a warm feeling rushed through him. He exhaled as the feel of a weight on his shoulders began to lift away. He turned back to Amy with a smile to find she too was smiling for him. He looked back to God and thanked him before making his way back down.
            "Not quite finished," Amy said as she put her hand up.
            "What do you mean?" James asked "Am I not forgiven?"
            "Well, for that, yes," Amy said "But there was another life you unjustly took. The lord is willing to pardon you for that as well under the circumstances." James was at a loss for who until he outright asked. "Amanda," Amy said plainly "The woman you shot down not a week ago."
            "Are you serious?" James asked as he spun back to God to find him still standing in the light in wait. "If I didn't...I didn't WANT to shoot her!" James protested "How can you hold that against me? There was nothing else I could do! This world would belong to Croatoan if I didn't act!"
            "You took a life that was not your to take," Amy said "But it's ok. The lord is understanding of the plight you went through. He is willing to forgive you for the transgression. All you need to do is show remorse for it."
            "The hell I do!" James shouted as he marched back up towards God to address him. "You may not understand this, because you aren't from around here like I am, but all the same: I didn't want to hurt Amanda. I tried everything I could to prevent her dying, but ultimately there was nothing I could do. But when it came down to her and humanity, I'll take that shot again and again. You have no idea how bad I feel for killing Amanda, but if you think I'm going to stand here and ask forgiveness for saving the world, then you better not hold your breath."
            "This is no time for foolish pride, James!" Amy scolded "And you do NOT talk down like that to the lord."
            "I don't need your forgiveness in the matter just the same as I don't need Satan's approval," James said as the light behind God intensified and a powerful chill ran through the air "I saved earth, not for you or any other god, but for humanity's sake. The way I see it, all the problems happening between all you don't need to happen because you're messing around in a place you don't belong."
            James then turned and marched down and passed Amy. There was nothing more either he or God needed to communicate. He wasn't asking forgiveness and he doubt it was even being offered anymore. "Do NOT turn your back on the lord!" Amy shouted. James continued on as he pulled a cigarette out from his coat and lit up. "To hell with God," he said as he blew smoke and began down the staircase "To hell with all gods."

September 21, 2014

Demons Ascension - No Idea?

[Posted by Ted H]

Next week ends it....for serious.


[Demons Ascension - No Idea?]

            John was wrapping up a conversation on his cell phone when James entered his room at the hospital. He sat down nearby and waited patiently. Even after John put the phone down, the two men sat in silence for a moment. John had been looking good, despite initial doctors opinions saying he'd be lucky to survive the night. Around midnight the night before he suddenly started looking better and his injuries stopped being so severe.
            "You got him?" John asked after a moment.
            "Dead," James said "And never coming back."
            "So, who was that?" James asked after another moment.
            "Monroe," John said as he laid back.
            "Of all the people who died..." James began but trailed off.
            "Not gonna lie," John said "I'd have rather him bite the big one instead of a lot of friends who did."
            "What is the "official" story for last night?" James asked.
            "Random blackout, followed by a mass riot. A lot of people who don't know better would never buy the truth. Hell, a lot of people who were there would refuse to believe it."
            "That Monroe's take?"
            "I don't really care. I'm done; quit. Effective immediately."
            "You sure about that?"
            "I have nothing left in this city. I want out."
            "At least you have closure. As crappy as it is, at least it's an end."
            "Thank you."
            "Don't thank me."
            "I knew you'd figure it out."
            "No you didn't. You were hoping against all odds and I got lucky."
            "Still...thank you."
            James stayed silent a moment before finally giving in. "You're welcome."
            "What are you going to do now?" John asked as he sat up again.
            "Same as you I guess."
            "No idea?"
            "No idea."

September 14, 2014

Demons Ascension - You Mortals

[Posted by Ted H]

Man, I just realizing how much of a bitch this is gonna be to get all posted together for when I add this to the "Completed Series" section...Small one-shot sections like this one don't help either...


[Demons Ascension - You Mortals]

            The night was eerily quiet when James emerged from the apartments. The power in the area was still out, but an unchecked fire in the upper floors of the apartments lit up the area very well. The streets, which were packed moments ago, were now devoid of all life, living or dead. It was also considerably warmer, though still very cold out.
            There was no impending siren or any sign that anyone cared about the fire currently burning. James figured the apartments would burn to the ground, taking any proof of Croatoan with them. "Probably for the best," he said aloud as he fished a cigarette out of his pocket while he walked towards the street. He lit up and took a long, sweet drag which he felt he was long overdue for.
            "How did you survive the fall?" a familiar voice asked from behind. James turned to see Amy walk over while. "Of all the stuff that's gone down tonight, that's the one thing you're going to question?" James asked. Amy said nothing while he took a couple drags.
            "It wasn't that long of a drop," James said with a smile "One of those big, hulking monsters broke my fall. Plus, I'm pretty sure this coat had something to do with me surviving." Amy shook her head, but said nothing. "Still," James continued "It hurt. But when you know who came plummeting down that hole right after me, then intentionally made himself mortal, it all hurt a hell of a lot less."
            "You mortals," she mused with a small grin.
            "Yeah, we're not all that fragile...mostly."
            "I know of the deal you made with the dark one," Amy said, swiftly changing the subject.
            "Such a deal was not lost in the eyes of our father."
            "Then he must know I didn't make a request yet."
            "Yet," Amy stressed.
            "Yeah," James said as he took a long drag "Yet."
            "His power still resonates from that coat," Amy said "You should burn it."
            "Maybe," James responded before flicking his cigarette away "But I'm cold, so no."
            James then began walking without another word to Amy. It had been a very long day, and he had just about had it with angels, demons and gods. Not another soul bothered him on his long walk to John's apartment.

September 7, 2014

Demons Ascension - About That Favor

[Posted by Ted H]

The end is soon. Gonna try to have a little something ready for afterwards to bridge the gap a little to October before I disappear before NaNoWriMo.


[Demons Ascension - About That Favor]

            Watching Croatoan stumble backwards and fall into the now ankle deep pool of blood was almost satisfying enough to watch for James after the long ordeal he had endured to this point...almost. He sprang up in a fit of rage, barely able to contain himself as he got right into James' face. "Guess I only needed one shot, eh?" James said as a shit eating grin crept across his face.
            All emotion drained from Croatoan's face as he tried to comprehend what James just said. Then there was a spark in his eyes that mean he figured it all out. "You weren't aiming for me," he said through his clenched teeth as he began to shake from anger. He reached back and made a fist before punching. James easily caught it, spun Croatoan around and threw him into his own alter.
            "I kept asking myself on my way up," James said as Croatoan struggled to recover "How on earth did they manage to stop you the first time? How did they get Virginia Dare away from you? Then I realized they didn't." Croatoan screamed and rushed James, who easily sidestepped and Croatoan grasped at air as he fell to the ground again.
            "There's more than one way to spoil a ritual sacrifice," James said as Croatoan stood up. The two began circling each other, one waiting for the other to strike. "Sure it would have been nice to get Amanda out of this alive, but I realized that if she died by some other means besides your ritual, then maybe her soul would pass on and away from your clutches."
            Croatoan then quickly ran to James and swung, but James was easily able to swat the punch away, then swing his fist back around and into Croatoan's face. "You must not be used to this mortal thing," he said as he punched Croatoan in the face a few more times before dodging another punch then kicking him in the torso "You're not as strong or as fast as you think, and you're certainly not invincible." Another punch to Croatoan's face drew blood.
            Croatoan slipped and fell to the ground, splashing blood about as he scrambled away. "All the chanting and rituals and carving of symbols you know won't help you now," James said as he followed "They might hide you from demons and angels or whatever else isn't suppose to be here, but this realm is my turf. You can't hide yourself from a human." Croatoan rose to his feet and James could see him reach behind his back.
            "Go fuck yourself," Croatoan said as he pulled out his blade and swung at James. James dodged, then grabbed Croatoan's arm and spun him around as he continued to twist the arm quickly until he heard a snap. Croatoan dropped the blade and screamed as he fell over, clutching at his useless arm. James reached into the pool of blood where the blade fell and retrieved it. He then approached Croatoan.
            "I am going to kill you," Croatoan said, half delusional as he attempted to attack again. "No you won't," James said as he checked the mortal demon into his own alter. Croatoan collapsed onto the table and struggled to get up. James held him down with one arm as he held the blade overhead with the other.
            "I WILL return!" Croatoan shouted as he spit up blood.
            "," James said as he brought the blade down into Croatoan's right eye. He then pulled it out quickly and plunged the blade into the other eye. Croatoan made little noise as his arms flailed for a moment before going still.
            Satan, who had watched the whole time, began to laugh as he clapped his hands and stepped towards the altar. "That's one way to get the job done," he said with a smile as he reached into Croatoan's body and pulled out his soul. For the first time ever, James saw a look of pure terror on Croatoan as two shadowy figures moved in and without a sound took Croatoan's soul and disappeared with it into the darkness.
            "Looks like I owe you one," Stan said after all the other black figures disappeared.
            "Look like it," James said, noticing that the red glow was slowly starting to fade.
            "And here I thought I heard you say once you wouldn't kill anyone in cold blood."
            "Croatoan was different."
            "Sure," Satan said with a mocking tone. James started for the exit. It would be pitch black in a few moments, and he didn't feel like being in the dark with his current company. "So," Satan said as James turned back to look at him "A favor for a favor. What'll it be, huh? What does your heart desire?"
            James pondered it for a moment. Here was a god, albeit pure evil, ready to grant him anything he desired for stopping Croatoan. The whole situation seemed odd, but that may have been from the bias instilled on him from being told his entire life about evil.
            "This something I need to decide right now?" James mused out loud. Satan scoffed. "If you so choose," he replied "But this isn't something I'd advise waiting on. A no strings attached favor from me is quite rare."
            "Let's stick a pin in it then," James said with a smile as he made for the stairs.
            "So be it," Satan said as the red glow faded and he disappeared into darkness.
            "See you around, Stan," James said.
            "Sooner than you think," a voice from the darkness replied.