Talia just walked out of the bathroom of her and Steven's apartment. Still wrapped in a wet towel from the shower she saw her cell phone vibrating on the table next to her bed. Picking it up she didn't recognize the number on it.
"Hello?" Talia answered
"Hi dear, it's your friend Jacoby doing a routine check up on his client." Jacoby said semi cheerfully over the phone
Sitting down on the bed she shifted her damp hair to the left of her head away from her phone.
"Oh, how did you get my number?" Talia asked
"Come on… you think being in this business long enough hasn't taught me how to track someone down as close enough for a phone number?" Jacoby asked. "I was just checking in to see how you two love birds were making out… I mean doing."
Talia looked over at the radio alarm next to her on the bed stand.
"We're doing fine, minus a few bumps here and there." Talia explained
"Well being in such hostile territory can't be good on a puppy like yourself." Jacoby joked
"You have no idea." Talia answered
"All that aside I was wondering if I could have a word with Mr. Cosart." Jacoby asked
"I'll have to call you back once he gets back, he went out to get a blood shipment tonight already." Talia said
Jacoby stood in the center lobby of the Hospital. Taking off his sunglasses he closed his eyes. Thinking on a solid thought ever present in his mind Jacoby opened his eyes. All around him different shapes and shades danced. Each figure or shade pulsed in a rhythmic beauty in a tune to its own being.
"Hold on… I think I see him now." Jacoby said just as he hung up
Jacoby ran after a dull shade, its aura stood out amongst the rest in the corridor. With the bright vibrant pulsating lives that he ran past, this single dulled and controlled aura was like a thorn in his side. Putting his sunglasses back on Jacoby shook his head trying to pull his vision back into the mundane world around him. Pushing the double doors open Jacoby spotted him standing by the counter with a shifting expression of anxiousness and sorrow. Shifting his glasses again he couldn't help but notice how weak Steven's aura was. He smirked to himself and walked forward.
"So Mr. Cosart, how have the nights been treating you?" Jacoby asked
Steven nervously turned to Jacoby. He held out his hand to Steven.
"Sorry I haven't introduced myself yet. I'm Jacob Winsdale." Jacoby said with confidence
Steven shook his hand and stepped back against the wall.
"Well let's get down to business. I'm here to offer you a job. Well you and your significant other a job in my services." Jacoby said in a calm voice
Jacoby noticed that ever since he walked into the room Steven had been ill at ease. Jacoby took off his sunglasses and sat down in one of the chairs next to the exit.
"Something the matter?" Jacoby asked
"Why are you here?" Steven asked
"Talia told me you had a run in with my father half a year ago." Jacoby said. "And it looks like who ever decided to put that horrible excuse for an entrancement on you was sloppy."
This wrenched Steven's memories into a torrent of anger and pain. Noticing the sudden change in his disposition Jacoby took his queue.
"You do remember. I don't want to sound harsh but your first love wasn't the only person he condemned to death." Jacoby said in sympathy
"Oh yeah? Who else did he murder in the sake of his close minded selfish beliefs?" Steven yelled
"His first son… and as it I stand before you with the same offer. What will you do to destroy my fathers work, his people, his memory in this world?" Jacoby asked
"Anything." Steven snarled near frenzy
Smirking again he saw what ever was dulling Steven's aura disperse in a single word.
"Good, now as any job that I take I demand payment up front for services rendered. What can I do for you to install trust for the nights ahead?" Jacoby asked
In that moment all the anger drained from Steven's face and was quickly replaced with fear.
"Talia. They are going to kill her, they sent me here so I couldn't interfere…" Steven blurted out
Jacoby held his left hand up and with his right he held his cell phone to his ear.
"Hello Talia, tell me, what room number are you staying in?"
"Room 1708… why?" Talia answered
"Just be expecting some room service right about now." Jacoby said hanging up again
Behind Jacoby Vicker's and Ben walked in through the double doors.
"Room 1708… that big hotel five blocks away?" Vicker's asked Steven
"Yeah that's the one." Steven answered
Vicker's turned around loosening the strap on his black out goggles and flexed his hands.
"Room service coming right up!" Vicker's yelled
He kicked the double doors open, they slammed open and astonished Ben and Steven looked into a hotel room. There, Talia stood half dressed
"What the hell are you doing here?" Talia yelled covering her exposed chest with her arms
"No time to explain, just put a shirt on and lets go." Vicker's said
The five exited from the hospital's blood bank and started walking west towards University City. Ben was leading the group to his apartment. Taking out his keys he pushed the door opened and turned the lights on.
"Ok bedrooms are upstairs, don't worry about the windows I already took care of them for Cybil." Ben said as he walked towards the kitchen
Opening the fridge's door he pulled out three bottles of beer. Closing that door he opened the freezer and pulled out a blood pack he had hidden behind a frozen pizza box. Throwing that to Steven he sat down at the table and started opening the bottles.
"I knew there was something I liked about you." Vicker's said taking one of the bottles
"Oh there's more. In the garage is my car with a trunk full of munitions." Ben said
"Ok, lets give em hell." Jacoby said
In Swagger Lucia was sitting up at the bar reading through a stack of old textbooks. Prism was up collecting stools and chairs. With a phone in one hand she was speaking into it as she was closing down the bar.
"Just come on down for a few hours. I know all you are going to do is mope around in your apartment. I'm not going to hit on you or anything, I just want you to come where I can see you." Prism negotiated. "Ok, I'll see you in a few."
Walking around the bar Prism hung up the phone.
"Ok we'll be getting some company in a few minutes. Have you picked a shadow name yet?" Prism asked
"No not yet… I don't want to sound stupid or anything but everything in these books just aren't catching. There are no hard facts or evidence in these texts. Its all theories and ideas of how it all once was." Lucia said
"I gave you these books to read so you could pick the path that you could comprehend the most. Do you know what watch tower you visited?" Prism asked
"That's just it. I keep reading over these "Watchtowers" but I never saw such a thing. However, I did find out about this." Lucia said paging through a much smaller tomb
"It reads just as I dreamt it, this author calls it a "Mystery Play". And after going over it several times in my head I allocated it to this." Lucia said pointing at a crude drawing of a large stone book atop a tower of roots and vines over looking a cliff.
Prism smirked looking over the page Lucia pointed out to her.
"The two of you are more alike then you know." Prism said under he breath
Behind them the front door opened and closed
"Hey prism I'm here, what did you want to talk…" Cybil paused as she saw Lucia
"Yo." Lucia waved at the now petrified Cybil
Jacoby and Ben sat in the front of Ben's black Crown Victoria. The two sat in a new set of uniforms that Ben had hidden away in his apartment. Jacoby put away his sunglasses and had changed his features. Light brown hair was slicked back with water, having just recently cut it.
"I can't believe it." Ben said
Jacoby looked up into the mirror behind the sunblind hanging in front of him. The more he looked into his reflection the more it smoothed out. His face completely refined Jacoby had completely changed his form.
"Don't try and understand it. Just believe me when I tell you this. There is more to this world then you can see. You are a man of faith right?" Jacoby asked
"Well I was, until I met the lot of you." Ben answered
The car made its way southbound on Market Street towards the docks along the Delaware River just past Penn's Landing. Pulling into a garage Ben pulled up to a checkpoint station.
"Officer Drake checking in for debriefing." Ben said handing his ID over to the station guard
"And him?" The station guard asked handing the ID back
"New transfer." Jacoby said. "Officer Drake just picked me up from the Airport."
The guard wrote on the clipboard he held. Hitting the button on his desk the metal gate opened and Ben drove his car into the parking lot.
"I can't believe that actually worked." Jacoby said
"Lets see if Steven and Talia can keep up their part." Ben said
The two got out of the car; walking back to the trunk Ben popped it open.
"I hate you more and more every passing second that you breathe." Vicker's said
"Yeah, yeah… lets just get this over with." Jacoby said
The three now dressed in the same uniform made their way into the barracks of witch hunters. Stepping out of the elevator that brought the tri from the basement garage an alarm went off.
"Heh, right on queue." Jacoby said
Outside Talia was tearing through the guard station and into the grounds around the building. A pair of double doors opened as a dozen hunters came running out. Once Talia saw this she took to running trying to get as many soldiers o follow her as possible. Just before the doors closed a small shadow darted in and clung to the floor moving quickly through the hallways. It stopped suddenly melting into a single person's shadow. Jetting off into another's Steven maneuvered his way through the building until he found his way to the very center of the building. There he reformed and started going through his pockets. Taking out a small radio box Steven put it in the far back corner of the large conference room. Pushing in a switch the radio turned on. As Steven turned to leave a door opened and all the lights turned on completely illuminating the room.
"So… what have we here?" Celphie asked
The tall and slender hunter walked into the room closing the door behind her.
"An accomplice with the other outside… or a rouge on his own trying to sabotage our work? I assure you, the rest of the people here may be human. But I am above them. I'm not human." Celphie said
Dashing across the room at Steven a long blade of crimson bleed from her hand. Bringing it up she slashed through him as Steven melted into Celphie's shadow. Away from Celphie's attack Steven took shape again and in a blur ran out of the room.
"Damn stubborn sins." Celphie said taking chase
Ben and Vicker's were going through a stockroom of munitions. Vicker's grabbed himself a flack jacket and a holster for a newfound toy.
"I didn't know they even made guns like this. 13mm hollow point rounds, and a semi automatic handgun to fire these bad boys. I could blow a hole the size of Texas through someone with this." Vicker's said
"Yeah, you should have seen the test weapons. They actually made a shotgun designed to fire cloves of garlic." Ben said
Vicker's snickered at what Ben had told him. But was quickly brought back to his mission once he felt the radio's hum of white noise.
"Ok lets set the charges and get out." Vicker's said
At the top of the ten floored building that took new home of the witch hunter Jacoby was casually walking through the unused offices. He stopped the moment he saw someone sitting in one of the chairs. But was more frightened by the smell of death that lingered in the air the moment he got to the top floor. Approaching the person Jacoby was dead. A dried husk of what looked like one of the hunters sitting upright in the chair.
"Pity, I had hoped to feed on a female hunter this time, but you shall suffice." Jack said
Jacoby turned around, behind him stood an old man. His hunter uniform was smeared with blood. In his right hand was a scalpel; his arm was caked in dried blood. A few trails could be seen on his aged skin where the deep crimson was licked off. In his shock Jacoby lost his focus and dropped his spell. Jack smiled to himself watching the slow change.
"My boy." Jack Winsdale said. "How many years has it been?"
"What the hell are you?" Jacoby asked in awe
Jack grinned showing one of his fangs. Raising the scalpel eye level he started pacing around Jacoby.
"So are you also one of the false prophets? The sins that plague this earth?" Jack asked
Jacoby had only a cell phone in his hand and the 9mm sidearm at his hip. A dozen rotes ran through his head thinking of a way to get him out of this situation. But everything that could come to mind was overpowered by a sense of fear and doubt.
"Have you come back to fight with me and purge the darkness, or have you come with the darkness to impose your treason?" Jack asked
"Treason… heh." Jacoby said. "I like that."
Jacoby gripped his phone hard and started slowly walking backwards away from his father. He swiftly dialed his phone with this thumb hiding the glow of the screen with his palm. Jacoby could hear over the silent line white noise.
"So you order a child to kill her best friend. Condemn the life of a innocent girl because she wasn't born the way you wanted her to be, and you personally kill your own daughter because she loved something that you have fought so blindly against for hundreds of years to only become it yourself." Jacoby said trying to buy himself more time. "Treason, if that's what you will call me… I'll gladly take it."
A single beep echoed in his mind from his phone. Jacoby grinned. Dropping the cell phone into his pocket and moved his right hand to the gun in its holster. Popping the lock button off releasing the firearm, Jacoby gripped the cold metal handle. Gracing his thumb across the safety Jacoby called to the weapon. Pulling its spirit from the gauntlet he wished into it asking it to help. Pulling the gun loose from its holster Jacoby fired a round at his father. The bullet bore a hole through the lifeless chest of his father, standing unfazed by the attack, Jack looked down on his son. A second beep resonated in Jacoby's head and then he was sent flying across the room through desks and chairs.
Down several floors below Steven was running from Celphie. A trail of blood and destruction paved a path of their course.
"Freakin crazy wench." Steven thought to himself
Every turn he took She was right behind him. Every door he slipped under Celphie was there breaking down what ever barrier was in her path. Coming around another corner there was an elevator at the end of the hallway. Bolting to it the doors opened.
"Get down!" Vicker's yelled
Steven burst into a shade as Vicker's let loose a hail of gunfire. The heavy machine pistol jumped in his hands. Pieces of the walls chipped off spreading a cloud of debris filling the hallway. He stopped only because the clip ran dry.
"Jesus freakin Christ!" Ben yelled
"Yeah… I love it too." Vicker's said happily
As the dust settled Steven walked back into his normal form and out of Vickers' line of fire. Turning back to see the hallway of destruction and also taking notice that Celphie was no longer following them he thought it safe to assess the situation.
"Point one, what the hell is that?" Steven blurted out
"My love a joy." Vicker's gleamed
"We made a detour to the armory." Ben added
Ben walked into the hallway with his new toy in hand. A short-barreled shotgun with a clip feed. Celphie turned the corner; hair slicked back stained red with blood. Both arms coated with a slimy crimson claw. Snarling at Ben she stepped slowly.
"My sympathy just ran dry." Celphie growled in frenzy
After only taking two steps Ben raised the short rifle to aim and let loose a firestorm of burning flak shells. The impact of searing against Celphie's dead flesh painted the walls with ash and flaming shrapnel. Three large unmarked metal casing clinked to the floor as Ben let the arm strap hang off his shoulder.
"Lets set the last charge and get far away from here." Ben said in solace
"Right-O." Vicker's quipped
Floors above the group Jacoby was running down a hallway towards the elevators. Dragging his left hand along the wall he held his right arm close gripping the handgun.
"13 bullets. I know I hit him… but 13 god damn bullets." Jacoby thought
Stopping suddenly he turned around and fired off three shots trying to discourage his father from following him. Only a few yards behind him Jack took the three shots and shrugged them off with out wincing.
"16 bullets." Jacoby said in astonishment
Raising the pistol again he ran the clip dry, two shots fired then the click of the hammer hitting metal. Franticly reloading his father threw the scalpel dead aim into Jacoby's right hand. Dropping the gun he pulled the scalpel out of his hand and demanded his flesh to weave itself back together.
"My, you have learned a few tricks." Jack said
"Only enough to keep myself alive." Jacoby snapped back
Jacoby glanced to the light fixture in the ceiling. Raising a hand to it he called out to the electrical current running through the long florescent bulb. The glass shattered down as a bolt of electricity arced in the air towards his father. Striking his left arm the sudden surge of energy hit him like a truck. The force of the attack sent Jack flying backwards through the hallway. Immediately afterwards Jacoby turned and started running again towards the elevators. The two sets of double doors in sight He had a spark of hope pop in his mind for survival. A fifth beep resonated in his head and he stopped once he reached the doors. Dropping the bloodied scalpel Jacoby reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone. Hitting the call button on the panel he raised the phone to his ear.
"Sup guy?" Vicker's answered
"Get back to swagger now, I'm going to blow this place up now." Jacoby said
"Umm… ok… let me get to you so you can take the same portal." Vicker's said uneasy
"Where are you?" Jacoby asked
"On the elevator heading up to the top floor." Vicker's answered
Upon hearing Vicker's reply Jacoby pulled the fire alarm.
"Shit, the elevator just stopped, I'll get Ben and Steven out of here then come back for you." Vickers said
"Great." Jacoby said hanging up the phone. Leaning against the Elevator door he stared at the painted metal.
Gritting his teeth Jacoby counted out five seconds in his mind.
Breathing in deep he exhaled and turned back to the hallway.
Stuck on the 7th floor Steven looked out through one of the windows. He saw Talia running back to the building. Ben ran up behind him and threw a chair at the window breaking the glass. Pulling from a duffle bag, he and Vicker's took from the armory; Ben held a heavy flashlight in one hand and walked to the now broken window. Pointing it down at Talia he pressed the on switch flashing the light at her. Soon afterwards the three all heard a repeating crash and tear in glass and concrete. Backing away from the window Talia pulled herself into the small office. Shaking her body all the long auburn hair sunk back into her skin and she came out of her trance. Standing naked in the office Steven handed her a long black armored trench coat from Steven's duffle bag.
"Ok, first stop Ben's apartment." Vicker's said knocking on the office door
Turning the doorknob it led into the living room of Ben's apartment. The group stepped through. The last, being Vicker's, closed the door canceling the spell.
"Now if you could all pardon me for a while I need to go pick up our last member of this party." Vicker's joked
Knocking on the door again he turned the knob but the door wouldn't open.
"Trick backfire?" Ben asked
"No, it worked alright… but something is not letting me open the gateway. Its almost as if my portal has been ban… Jacoby you bastard." Vicker's yelled
Quickly dialing his cell phone Vicker's tried to contact Jacoby.
Up on the top floor of the witch hunter's barracks Jacoby was just wondering the level. He felt his phone buzz in his pocket a half dozen times before he answered
"Hello?" Jacoby asked
"You asshole…" Vicker's started yelling
"If you are calling about our ad in the paper, please wait until one of our representatives is available." Jacoby said in a monotone voice just before he closed his phone
"Ok dad, I'm done fighting. Just come out and finish me off, kill me, drain me, I don't care anymore." Jacoby called out to the empty office
Just as if he had been standing in front of Jacoby the whole time Jack stepped into view.
"Just one thing before you die. After everything I did for you as a child. I gave you a warm home to live in. Teachers and doctors to make sure you had every chance to survive. And I even gave you Lucia. Why did you turn traitor?" Jack asked
Looking up in thought Jacoby smiled. Flipping his cell phone open his thumb dialed a number and rested over the send button.
"I guess that's complicated." Jacoby said. "Yeah its true you gave me everything. And I was able to see Lucia again and fix things up between us. I wouldn't say it was a cry for attention either. Believe me I have put a lot of thought into it too."
Jack peered through his old glossed over eyes at his son.
"So why?" Jack asked
"Because. In this world filled with evil and corruption, it's treason to do the right thing." Jacoby answered pushing the send button on his phone
The signal ran through the airwaves to each of the explosive charges. Setting each of the primers to detonate the large office building was blown out floor by floor. Each charge combusting took out the entire level, and it could be felt by all of Philadelphia. Crumbling into itself the last of the charges were set at the fissure points in the dock sending any burning remains into the Delawear River. Across the city in Ben's apartment the lights flickered as the power went out. Every car alarm in the city rung through the air as police sirens and fire trucks sung in the night's sky. Four people stood silent in disbelief. Vicker's gripped his cell phone so hard his fist shook.
"It's taking them an awfully long time to get him back here." Lucia said writing in a notebook
The quiet bar was a bit uneasy sitting in. A tall glass with half drunk liquor sat next to Lucia collecting condensation. Reaching over for it she took another gulp of the cold drink. Cybil sat at the bar watching Lucia. Unnerved by her being in the bar she had been carefully watching Lucia read at one of the tables a few feet from where she sat. Prism was leaning over spread out sheets of paper. Eyeing Cybil she went into the back cooler.
"Why are you here?" Cybil asked
Lucia closed her notebook and sighed.
"A friend told me that this place served great Irish Car Bombs. So I had to check it out. Good thing there are other drinks Miss Prism knows how to make too." Lucia said taking another gulp from her drink. Setting the glass down the front door to the bar opened.
"Well, we're back…" Vicker's announced
Behind him walked in Steven and Talia. Turning back around holding the door opened Vicker's reached into the doorway.
"Quit staring at it and get in here." Vicker's said
Ben walked in carrying two duffle bags. Setting them down on the bar's floor he was met quickly with praise. In an instant Cybil rushed across the room and hugged Ben. Startled by it he quickly calmed down and returned the affection to his love.
"How did you get out of the hospital so quickly?" Cybil asked
"You can thank Lucia for that, she fixed me up, some how." Ben answered
Looking over her shoulder at Lucia, she sat holding her drink up to the pair winking at Cybil.
"Told ya I was trying to help." Lucia said finishing off her drink. "So where is he?"
Lucia's inebriated words silenced the room. A TV flicked on behind them with Prism standing behind the bar. A news channel was just now reporting the attack and destruction at the witch hunters barracks.
"We had to clean up a mess before we all came back here… and someone…" Vicker's choked on getting out. "Someone… decided to play martyr."
Lucia sobered the moment those words connected with her brain.
"Your joking… no, you're lying." Lucia said in a shaky voice. "You're making it up…"
"No I…" Vicker's tried to speak but Lucia cut him off
"Shut up! You're coving for him so he can run away again!" Lucia yelled
Breaking down crying Lucia was on her knees with her face in her hands.
"If I t makes you feel any better, you can live with this solace. There is nothing coming after us, not anymore." Vicker's explained
"Wait, before all of this he said something about a job." Steven said
Vicker's adjusted his blackout goggles around his neck.
"Oh yeah I almost forgot about that." Vicker's said. "I am currently hiring a new partner. Can be of any age, sex, or… supernatural orientation. And if any of you are interested, consider yourself hired on the spot."
"How can you act like he was just replaceable?" Lucia spoke in a broken voice
Leaning down to eye level with Lucia, Vicker's spoke in a calm manor.
"He will never be replaceable, but I need help to carry out what the two of use started years ago. And with the rest of you, I plan to carry it out far into the future." Vicker's finished