"For the hundredth time, I'm not possessed!" Alex declared indignantly as he feebly gestured with his hands. His wrists, ankles and chest where all bound to a chair as the Head Priest and Student Council oversaw an exorcism ritual, a ritual they'd been attempting for the past three hours. No matter how many different prayers, or how hard they prayed, it had no effect on his link to Lucifer.
The fallen angel in question was currently set atop the Father's desk, still in the pendent form he was in earlier in the day when half the school was blown up. Jemma, with her head bandaged up, glared at the black and red Infernal. Despite appearing as a sentient inanimate object Lucifer still managed to look smug the entire time.
"It's a contract. He feeds me spiritual energy, I grant him power. It's been the rule since Moses." The Satan added. He was actually finding the entire situation amusing; although he was speaking the truth he expected words to only further aggravate the Faithful. This, he believed, would spur them into continuing their vain attempts at severing the bond between the two.
He was right of course, "We will not be swayed by your lies, Devil!" The Preacher, an aging man with grey hair, a well cut beared and weathered, wrinkled face declared, "This boy will be cleansed in the Lord's Holy Light, whether he believes or not." The aging man had faithfully followed the Lord since childhood and felt confident the Father of Lies could hold no power over him.
Much like the holy man, Jemma had also been raised with God and the Bible as a major part of her life thus also believed her Faith would protect her from Lucifer's corruption and 'save' her friend. However her inquisitive nature and teenaged overconfidence lead her into asking, "Contract? Feeding off his spiritual energy and giving him power in return? I thought you only dealt in Souls?"
"Well at least someone is willing to listen…" The Prince of Darkness grumbled, "I do deal in Souls, though not nearly as often as you would guess. I also can't change Creation to grant the wish… I can only set in motion events that may or may not grant them. Most end with the wish makers 'untimely' death." He seemed to chuckle smugly at that, "It's not like I'm lying about being able to grant their wishes… just leaving out the 'how' of it…"
"You're the Devil, lying is what you do." Jemma pointed out.
"Bah! Bending, abridging and exaggerating the truth is far more effective then outright making up a lie." The Satan scoffed, "Humans are more readily able to believe a half truth then an outright lie." After a pause he amended, "However as I said earlier I am unable to alter Creation, nor can ignore it's laws, thus why I formed the Contract."
Suddenly Alex loudly interrupted both the Devil and the reverently, and exhaustedly, praying Priest and Student Council, "Hey… could the Jesus Fan Club keep it down? I want to hear thi-GAH!" He grunted as Jemma's fist impacted the side of his head.
A vain bulged on the girl's forehead as she growled, "How many times do I have to tell you, show Father Kendrick some respect!" she crossed her arms across her chest and glared at her life-long friend out the corner of her eye while giving a slight pout. She could never understand why her friend always payed the leaders of her Faith so little respect, though even she had to admit Lucifer's explanations where more interesting then the holy man's prayers.
The demonic pendant gave a light cough to signal his intent to continue despite the interruption, "When the one you call God created this Physical Realm he intentionally made it inhospitable to those born in the Ethereal Realms. The Angels, those that have Fallen and those who came to be after, all rely on the latent Ether of our realms, Heaven and Hell, to sustain us in much the same way humans rely on oxygen." Jemma raised an eyebrow in curiosity.
"Are you saying that our world lacks your air?" She asked.
"That is exactly right." Lucifer replied, his contract partner seemed to give a slight start as if suddenly realising something before the Dark Lord resumed his explanations, "Although this Realm possesses some Ether it is too thin for Ethereal Born to live very long. By forming a Contract with a Physical Born we can be sustained off the excess Ether, or spiritual energy if you prefer, your kind naturally produce in exchange for granting them our power. Usually both partners will agree to achieve a particular goal as best they can."
By now Father Kendrick and his assistants had collapsed in defeat, nothing they tried was working and left them wondering why their Lord had forsaken their efforts. Alex couldn't help but smirk at their pained expressions before looking back to Lucifer and commenting, "I don't know how, but so far I can 'feel' that you're telling the truth." With a small shake of his head he asked, "So, do we have a particular goal to achieve?"
The Fallen Angel turned accessory remained silent for a moment before replying, "We didn't discuss an agreement, so as per the Contract Laws I have no say in how you choose to use my powers. I was… desperate… if I had remained in the Physical Realm much longer I'd have perished, I am currently unable to return to Hell and it would have taken more energy then I had left to make the journey to Heaven." Alex's brow furrowed in confusion as he looked at the demonic pendant, "That creature you fought. They have over run my Realm… Hell has fallen… and now they seek to overrun not only this Physical Realm but the Ethereal Realm of Heaven as well."
The Dark Lord's partner's expression hardened as even Jemma, Father Kendrick and his assistants began to take the so called 'Father of Lies' seriously. The youthful male recalled how the creature he had defeated died and felt as if a light bulb went off in his head as a single word passed his lips, "Nephilim!"
The heads of the Faithful snapped around and stared at the Atheist in surprise he even knew that word. Their heads snapped back towards the Fallen One as he responded, "Yes, they are the Nephilim. They are half Ethereal and half Physical beings which belong in neither Realm. They seek to destroy everything and create a new world just for themselves." Despite being immobile he seemed to look his contract partner in the eye, "I do not intend to see them succeed… Alex, will you help me?"
The youth was silent for a moment as his face took on an aggressive expression, "I'm not a fan of all this religious stuff, but if these things think they can get away with hurting that which I care about…" He cast a sideways glance at Jemma which she missed, but Lucifer certainly didn't, "I'm going to kick and scream and fight like hell to stop them."
"If you're going to risk your neck then so am I!" Jemma immediately declared, her tone implying there would be no argument over the fact.
Unfortunately she forgot what sort of guy her best friend was, "Like hell you are!" Alex protested, "Sure, I know better then anyone how well you can take care of yourself, but that thing nearly killed you. Hell, it would have killed me if Lucifer hadn't been there, and you've never beaten me in a sparing match. If I couldn't handle it how would you expect to help in a fight?"
As her closest friend spoke those words she knew he wouldn't back down, he may have been an infuriating pervy idiot but if Alex was anything he was always true to his feelings. Her heart ached as she recalled all the times they had played 'Damsel in Distress' as children, that Alex had always been the mysterious but heroic Black Knight defending the beautiful Princess Jemma from the over-zealous Templar Knights who wanted her for their latest plot.
Despite the heart ache the memory brought a hint of a smile to the girl's face as she remembered how the Black Knight was originally supposed to have been an Evil Non-Believer who wanted to sacrifice the Princess in a pagan ritual for power. Alex had ignored everyone and when the 'Templar' tried to use 'the power of prayer' to drain him of his strength he just roared, as much as child could, 'You Lord has no power over me! I defend the weak against all injustice regardless of who the fiends may be!' before charging at them at beating the other boys in their sword fight before kneeling before her… the Princess and pledging to always protect her.
Having been a tomboy, though still liking to dress up as much as any other little girl, thus why she was the Princess, she'd practically forced Alex into teaching her how to fight like him. At first she'd been jealous he could look so cool but later in life continued to practice with him for more practical reasons. A girl needs some way to protect herself when the Lord is busy elsewhere after all.
She grit her teeth, "Darn it Alex, I'm not a Damsel in Distress in need of her Black Knight to come to her rescue anymore!" She declared as she leant over at the waist, with both her fists leaning against her hips, and glared into her long time companion's eyes.
Alex blushed slightly as the same memories came back to him now as well as he leant the chair he was tied to back with his feat in order to increase the distance between their faces. A few beads of sweat formed on his temples as he realized he'd lost the argument long ago, Jemma was just as stubborn as he was and had the added ammunition of being female. Any male who had been on the receiving end of a woman's fury, whether connected to the woman or just by proxy, knew the true meaning of terror. "Ok." Was the young man's squeaky reply right before an intense pressure shot through his mind…
At that very moment dozens of men and women worked furiously behind partitioning walls while others milled about busily, the voices of many conversations creating a soft hum over the work place. The door of an adjoining office opened purposefully as an overweight man with a receding hairline and shaggy beared stepped half way out and shouted over the constant drone of the many workers, "Sandy! Come to my office!"
The sound of her name being called caused a young woman to spring up and look over the partitioning wall to see who called her. She had long black hair that cascaded down her shoulders down to the middle of her back along with brown eyes which fit her attractive face and chocolate brown skin quite well. She wore white blouse with a grey jacket and black skirt that covered her knees. She called back, "I'll be right there Boss!" before quickly gathering a notebook and pen.
As she entered her Employer's office she closed the door gently and asked, "What did you need to see me about, Sir?" She readied her pen and notebook just in case.
The large man's swivel chair creaked as he closed a file and tossed it onto the far side of his desk, "A new assignment." He stated simply as he gestured at the file. As the woman picked up the file and examined the contents he noticed her eyes widen slightly before explaining, "Those photos where taken by an amateur photographer earlier today."
Sandy stared at the clearest of the collection of pictures in disbelief; it showed what looked like a demonic biker fighting a giant made out of silver. She shook her head and looked at her Boss with a mixture of disappointment and anger, "This has to be hoax! Why waste our time…?" She briefly wondered if her boss didn't like people of colour but immediately dismissed the thought; he'd never acted in such a way before.
Her boss smiled at her argument and nodded, "That is exactly what I thought… until the damage to the school shown in the other pictures was confirmed by other sources." He twisted around so he was looking directly at Sandy with both of his hands entwined together before making eye contact and formally ordered, "Ms. Valet, I would like you to take Mike and investigate this incident. This may very well be the story that makes you famous." As he said those last words a small, sad, smile crossed his lips.
If Sandy did become famous she would definitely be transferred to a bigger branch. The balding man had always been attracted to the young woman and would miss seeing her around the office. But then, that was the business world for you…
The dark skinned woman remained dubious however and begrudgingly replied, "Yes sir, I'll get right on it…" Before swiftly storming out of the pudge-master's office practically spitting out the word, "Bastard…" under her breath. As far as she was concerned, her boss was a racist, just very subtle at it.
It only took her twenty minutes to gather her ID, her camera woman, Mike, who was a rather pretty young girl who immigrated from Germany, a van and all the other equipment they would need for a thorough investigation. As the two drove out of the news office's carpark with Mike at the wheel they felt a sharp jolt run through the ground and into their vehicle causing Mike to skid to a halt.
The two looked at each other and Mike ventured to ask, "What was that…?" before they felt another jolt leading to both ducking for cover on the seat. A brief moment later they felt a third jolt before a bright light fell over their van.
Looking up cautiously their eyes bugged open in terror.
Directly in front of them stood a silvery humanoid giant with pure white geometric wings and glowing with a brilliant light. Sandy pawed through the file her boss had given her and pulled one of the photos out and both women looked from the photo to the giant in both excitement and unbridled terror.
"It's… the same…" The both stated at the same time.