BY: ERIC PEROZICH
I shot, and the bullet spun through the dark. It grazed the demon's back, but not enough to take him down. I check my clip. Only one shot left, better make it count. I ran through the dark street, the smell of decay started to make me nauseous. At last, in an ally it was a dead end.
"No where to run," I said, as I lifted my pistol. He lashed out. My finger slipped, and my heart skipped a beat as I heard the gun fire a bullet spinning into the night sky.
"Damn," I cursed under my breath. The hunt was still on. No time to delay, I decided. The demon lunged again. I just avoided his sharp claws, claws that could tear a man to shreds. I reached into my coat, and the demon turned, we lunged. There was blood on my chest, but it was not mine. I looked down, and I saw the wooden steak driven straight into the demon's wicked heart. I laughed. Then, I felt a sharp pain in my neck.
"Shit," I had let my guard down, and it cost me. Then, just before I passed out, I saw the demon. It was a mirrored image of me.
I woke up several hours later, my watch read 3:00am. I rubbed my head; the memory of the night was still fresh in my brain. I smelled blood; I turned to find my prey lying on the ground just as he had fallen. Then, a strange feeling over came me. I was thirsty, but it was not a normal thirst. It overwhelmed my senses; and without a moment's hesitation, I was kneeling over the freshly killed carcass, sucking out all of his blood.
I started to walk back home, but as I walked past a window, I saw no reflection when clearly everything around me was there. I came to full realization of what happened. I had become what I had fought for years. The very thing I despised had entrapped me, and nothing short of time travel could change what had happened tonight.
I cursed into the night. Then I looked at the sky and saw a full moon. I stared at it, as I walked the streets.
I got to my apartment building. And as I entered the door, the manager, a large muscular man with a white muscle shirt that he seemed to have on all the time, came out from behind the desk. He started to hit me up for rent money, and threatening to kick me out. I got real pissed off at him. And without a second thought, I ripped his greedy heart out.
I walked up to my room. I set my gun on the table and saw a book there. I thought to myself, I didn't put this here. It had a strange symbol, which I had never seen before. It was a ten sided star, with an "X" in the center. I opened the book. It was written in a language that I had never seen before, but I could read it, and I could read it well. It was written like a bible, with different books, and subscripts. As I flipped through, I saw a symbol which struck a sort of fear into me. I even had a hard time reading it. It simply said, "Father". I shook, because I knew what this meant. It meant that I was not only a demon, but I was one of the worst kinds. I thought that the demon that bit me was just a simple assassin demon, but I was wrong, very wrong. The demon that had bit me was a vampire. I suppose that I should be honored, I thought to myself. Honored because, Lucifer had considered me such a threat, as to send a vampire, his kind of imperial guard to kill me. Then, I collapsed on my bed, and fell into a very deep sleep.
I woke up; the clock read 8:26pm. I rubbed my head; my headache seemed to almost be gone. I grabbed my gun, a round of stun bullets, six tranquilizing darts, and then I reached for my cross, and felt my hand go numb. I had forgotten. I left the cross on my desk. Then I opened a box that I had left in the back of my apartment, the powerful stone which I had kept in it, was wanted by demons and angels alike. Although I could never quite figure out why, I knew now. As I put the stone into my pendent I felt a strange presence overwhelm me. I blinked, and just briefly saw something; so I closed my eyes and concentrated. Then, I saw something. It was a man standing before a demon. The man knelt down, and began to pray to the demon. I began thinking to myself that there is only one demon that humans pray to. That demon's name was Lucifer. I walked up to get a closer look. The man that was praying was the mirrored Vampire that had bitten me. Then, I opened my eyes.
I knew one thing. The mirrored Vampire was or is a possessed human, and if I am correct, he could look like anyone he wanted.
I walked outside. I smelled something, it smelled like decaying flesh. I quickly dashed to the side. Just in time, I thought to myself as I saw the ground in front of the apartment building explode; which intern made the building crumble. The shockwave from the blast sent me flying through the air, I hit the ground hard. I quickly got up, and drew my pistol. I looked in the direction of the crater, but the demon was gone.
"Damn, if the demons are willing to risk their discovery to kill me, then who knows what else they will try."
"You cannot escape me pathetic human."
"I am not a human, not any more."
"Oh, yah… I had forgotten, you are not human, my most faithful servant 'altered' you."
"Shut your damn mouth!"
"Ha ha ha. You still do not get it."
"Maybe you want me to spell it out for you."
"Yes because I obviously do not understand."
"Well, 'hunter' now you are a demon, and because you are a demon, I now have power over you."
"That is right; I now have the power to control you."
"Then why have you not destroyed me yet?"
"Well, because I see you as more of an 'ally' then an enemy."
I searched the streets for what felt like an eternity. My searching paid off in the end, I found a chaser demon. These demons are wicked fast, and are about 4'3" tall, but they tried to rebel against Lucifer, and were punished harshly for it. Lucifer banished them to Earth. I would normally be unable see him, let alone catch him, but with the curse of the vampire, he was a very easy catch, and because I had the stun bullets, he was even easier.
I picked the demon up by his throat and "persuaded" him to tell me about the mirrored vampire. He was very happy to tell me every thing he knew, which was not much. I was unsatisfied with his level of knowledge, so I slowly sucked his blood.
I was very determined not to kill anymore humans, so I simply killed demons, that is, after I finished pumping them for information.
The next few days went on like this, but then I thought to myself, why not form a pact with the chaser demons. So after a few days of looking I found one. I told him about my plan to kill the mirrored vampire, and Lucifer, and if all the chaser demons helped, they could go back to Hell. He eagerly said yes in his demonic language, that I recognized from the strange book. Then, he gave out a loud call and in an instant I was surrounded by chaser demons.
I brought them to my new home that was in a place no demon would come near. It was in the basement of an old church. I always used the back entrance to avoid the cross which was hanging in the chapel. The chaser demons were relieved to rest after nearly millennia of running. After the day had gone, the chaser demons were telling me about Hell and the mirrored vampire whose name was Xaceliel but in hell the demons called him Devilspectre. He is third in command after Kronise the Ebonfire. Then, they told me about a portal to hell, that only Lucifer and Kronise could use. They also gave me the only weapon that could kill Lucifer. It was a sword, the chaser demons called the sword Slayer.
The next night I set out to find Devilspectre, I started in the old part of the city, the part where no one would dare venture into alone because of the "strange happenings" that go on. It was a perfect place to find a rouge vampire or an assassin demon. I started at the abandoned ware house at the water's edge. Something was here, it had a rancid smell, and it smelled of rotten flesh, the same smell that was at the apartment building.
"I was beginning to wonder if you would show up Shadow Stalker, or do you still prefer hunter?"
"What did you call me?"
"What, you have not even heard your Devil's name yet?"
"No I have not why don't you enlighten me?"
"Well a Devil's name is the name that Lucifer refers to you as."
"Well it makes no difference what you call me; you are still going to die."
"Then let us fight Shadow Stalker."
And so it began, I could not even see my hand in front of my face, and him being a demon; I can't sense his presence.
"Huh? What is that?"
"Here I come!"
"Where are you? Where are you? There!" I saw him, but not nearly soon enough. I was hit hard. Then, I smelled him again. I laughed.
"What are you laughing at?"
"I found a way to beat you."
"Oh, is it?" I shut my eyes, and took a deep breath; that, putrid smell filled my lungs, nearly making me puke, I held it in. now I had a way to find him. I drew Slayer from his sheath, and prepared to kill the demon.
"One slash, that is all it takes, just one slash with this sword." I took another deep breath.
"Found you, now die bastard!" I swung the Slayer with all my strength; Slayer was so strong it cut the air itself. Then I heard it, the sound I was waiting for. It was the sound of dripping blood, and then a crash. I sheathed Slayer. Then, I turned to the demon.
"Tell me what you know about Xaceliel!"
"So that is who you're after. Well even if I did tell you, you would not be able to defeat him. He is way out of your league Shadow Stalker!"
"You disgusting creature, I could kill you at any instant and you are still resilient. Well I am sure I can beat the information out of you."
I took the creature to the chapel, and after I threw him at the cross in the corner of the room several times, he started to sing like a canary. These demons are so weak. He told me that in order to find Xaceliel, I had to work my way up the demon chain. That is all he knew. Then I killed him, and sucked his blood dry.
The chaser demons were very helpful, the demon I had slain was known as Doru. He was eighth in command. The demon chain was Lucifer's own chain of command. It starts at the bottom and works up the chain. Doru was at last in command, and Lucifer is first in command. The chaser demons did not know any one in the demon chain except Lucifer, Kronise, Xaceliel, and Doru.
LUCIFER'S END BEGINS
With seven more links in the chain to go, I turned to the mayor of Old City. He was an old friend, and gladly told me what he heard for the civilians. It appeared to them that a horned demon with large fangs, and a sword was kidnapping people.
This was not as helpful as I thought it was going to be. I searched the back roads and ally ways, the horned demon was nowhere to be found. I returned to the church that night, empty handed. Looked through the strange book that I had found, in my reading I found an interesting line. It read. "Command seven, the horned realm." I did not understand what it meant, but I knew it referred to the horned demon.
The next night I went back to the Old City. It had a kind of eerie presence about it this time. Then, I heard something. It was kind of a low hissing. I turned to where the noise was coming from, but I did not see anything. I was starting to think I was going crazy. Then, I heard a familiar sound; it was the sound of footsteps. Also, I smelled fresh blood. I drove me insane, I followed the smell to a human who was hung by his neck, and his stomach was cut open. I jumped at his mangled body, and the second I touched him, a net fell on top of me.
"Ha, I knew you could not resist the smell of blood. It is a terrible thing, to be a vampire, is it not. You do not have any idea how to control yourself, do you?"
"How would you like to be torn apart limb by limb?"
"You are in no position to be making threats."
"You do not get, it do you? Ha!"
"What are you laughing at; you could not hurt me if you tried. That net is enforced with special black magic. Not even Lucifer can break out of it."
"I am not breaking out."
"How can you possibly hurt me from where you are?"
"You are right. I cannot hurt you from where I am, but they can!" I let out a similar cry to what the chaser demon let out. In less then a second, chaser demons surrounded us.
"D-Damn you, damn you to Hell."
The chaser demons let me out of the net, and I started to persuade the demon to tell me about the seventh demon in the Demon Chain.
Well at first he was silent, but after I started to break his bones one by one, he would not shut up.