All right. First Chapter of my first story. Please go easy on me, I'm still not used to this. Thanks!

I do not own Darksiders. How I wish I did.


BLAKE

I passed on through the back alleys as I walked on without aim, side by side with Leon and Cross, the only two people in New York, no, the only two people in the world that I trusted. We'd just gone through a dumpster looking for food with zero luck; everything we found was rotted to the point of inedibility, and all of our never-fail spots that were sure to have food of some kind had just recently – like two seconds before we arrived recently – been emptied.

"Well, this sucks," Leon muttered, grabbing at his malnourished stomach, his long, bleach blond hair flashing as he grated his teeth. A good two inches taller than I was, Leon was tall and lanky in build, and his lack of proper nourishment made it seem even more so as his skin was forced to stretch like elastic over his bones; whenever his stained white shirt was removed, you could easily count his ribs, and his collar bone stuck out like the edge of a cliff face. His face was one of annoyance as his bright green eyes narrowed, naturally convulsing in the hunger pains that were evident only when his eyes slit and his jaw set involuntarily.

"Oh, did that just occur to you, Leon?" Cross growled, setting his bloodshot gray eyes on Leon, his long blackened hair recently singed from when he tried to save something from our previous hideout when it burned down. Just as underfed as Leon, he was another inch taller than our bleach-haired friend, with an average build but was all the same nearly impossible to bring down in a fight based on physical strength. Though he had what me and Leon didn't – muscle – it came at the price of his body's energy, giving him a larger appetite than either of us and making him sleep a lot more as well.

"No. As a matter of fact, it didn't, Cross," Leon shot back.

"Oh, well, look at Mr. Sherlock here. Look out guys. Leon may not look like the sharpest tool in the shed, but when things get down to it-"

"Why don't you shut up and shove it up your-"

"Guys!" I shouted, cutting them both off before they could continue. I turned to them, my own lightly coloured hair whipping about. Despite the fact that I was barely five foot six, I could still look and feel threatening when I felt like it, "could you two please stop? I am not in a good mood, and we're all hungry. So instead of putting our energy into fighting with each other, could we please put it into finding food? That would be great."

"He has a point," Cross raised an eyebrow.

"Yes, he does," Leon stepped forwards, "you're right, Blake. Standing here fighting won't fill our stomachs."

I smiled grimly, "yeah. Let's go."

We exited the alley and moved out into the streets, going towards a nearby fast-food restaurant as we checked how much money we had. I stopped, looking up at one of the massive electric screens that would normally be showing advertisement after advertisement after advertisement, to see instead a news broadcaster giving out an announcement, showing the locations of hundreds, thousands of meteor showers all over the world with footage of the resulting wreckage.

"Ya think it's true?" Cross asked.

"Doubt it. Meteors don't destroy buildings," Leon smirked, shaking his head at what he obviously considered to be an attempt at getting attention.

I was about to agree when I caught sight of something falling from the sky. Coated in flame, approaching at an impossible speed, and absolutely massive, the thing sped towards us for a long five seconds before smashing into a skyscraper. The towering… well, tower crumbled under the force of the meteor, flattening everything beneath it and pretty much blocking off all northern exits out of Time Square.

"I think you've just been proven wrong, Leon!" I shouted as we bolted in the opposite direction of the now countless meteors that filled the skies, forcing our way through the stampeding crowds all at once in an attempt to stay together.

"I can see that!" Leon glanced back for only an instant before sprinting even faster, his eyes wide and his face pale, "whatever either of you do, do NOT look back!" he shrieked.

"Why not?" Cross snorted, his day clearly having been ruined as he became our bulldozer, shoving people out of the way to make a path for me and Leon.

"Those were NOT meteors!"

Just then one of the smaller meteors impacted about twenty feet in front of us, crushing about fifteen people and sending another twenty to their deaths from the impact. Having been lucky, me, Leon, and Cross had been thrown backwards on top of a mass of both living and dead people, cushioning our fall and saving us some broken limbs. As we forced ourselves to our feet, something caught my eye. A silhouette about the size of a tiger climbed out of the crater, its features obscured by the smoke and dust. But judging from the impossibly skinny outline and the unnatural baying sounds it was giving off, I sincerely doubted it was some kind of escaped animal.

Even as we backed away, the shadow leaped out of the dust and smoke to reveal its body. Its flesh a mixture of sickly, pale, rotting skin and bleeding veins, it reared its hideous, eyeless, suspiciously human-like head and unleashed an ear-splitting shriek from its lipless, oversized jaws, its thin, whip-like tail lashing about wildly in excitement as the massive muscles in its shoulders rippled, and its skeletal body twitching like hell. I heard other screams, some human screams of pain and fear, others unearthly shrieks of recognition and acknowledgement. I understood instantly. Their hunt had begun.

And we humans were the prey.

"Who votes that we run?" Cross asked unnecessarily.

"I don't know about you guys, but I sure as hell do!" Leon turned and bolted.

"Let's go, Cross! This is a fight I'm not sure we can win!" I grabbed onto him, chasing after Leon. The only reason he ran was because he knew we'd follow. We have an unspoken rule in our group, but one we all pledged to; we protect our own. We stand beside one another until the very end, and we never give up. Under absolutely no circumstance are any of us to break this rule. Under no circumstance are we to abandon one another, and under no circumstance are we to give up or sacrifice ourselves for the sake of the others. We either all survive, or none of us survive. It's that simple.

We clambered over and around our obstacles with ease, body, stone, vehicle, and "bait" (i.e. gang members) alike – we'd been training for life or death situations for years, ever since we first met one another. Sure, we were malnourished, but we were still strong, still fast, still in better shape than most of the North American population. But for all it was worth, we could not shake the monstrosity that chased after us, now having two of its misshapen friends join it to bring us down. Turning down a back alley (a stupid move on our part), we found ourselves trapped in a dead end with the only way out being covered by franken-doggies.

We glanced at one another. Staying true to our law, we decided that if flight wasn't an option, then we'd fight our way out. Cross slowly began to relax as we faced our would-be killers, his muscles loosening as the bones in his neck and spine popped back into their proper places, as he crouched into his normal hand to hand stance, cracking his knuckles and drawing a large, gold-coloured piece of metal that fit onto the fingers of his right hand like a set of rings – brass knuckles. Leon, true to his style, reached slowly into his pockets, and drew them back out, holding onto several throwing knives as he widened his stance, his eyes searching for any opportunity to get to higher ground or to throw his knives. And as for me, I reached up the back of my shirt, and from a hidden sheath, drew a long, curved knife, the blade alone over a foot long as it reflected the sunlight. My pride and joy, it was one of the few things I kept constantly clean and well maintained, sharpening it every few days to ensure it didn't lose its edge.

"You see these, bitches?" Cross asked as we each held out our weapons. Despite the fact that they didn't have eyes, they seemed excited to see that not only were we going to fight, but we also had weapons to wound them.

"I don't really care what you are. If you want us dead, you're going to have to fight for it!" I dashed forwards, and the first of the three demon dogs leaped towards me, acidic green spittle flying from its jaws as it continued to drool with the anticipation of tasting my blood. At the last second, I dodged to the side and tried to stab it underneath the ribs. Sensing my intentions, the demon dog leaped sideways as it landed, pulling itself away from my knife and scrabbling for traction on the concrete as it continued to face off with me in a silent standoff.

It dodged me… damn… I don't know what this thing is, but… it's fast. I'm actually impressed, I grinned as the thought raced through my head, happy to have my first challenge in months. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the other two hellhounds pounce, about to land on me, their fangs and stubby claws gleaming with bloodlust, AWW CRAP!

Suddenly a dark blur shot past me, bludgeoning one of the hounds and sending it flying into the wall, while the other one twisted in midair, losing control and crashing against the asphalt, whimpering as it clawed at its skull, attempting to remove the knives that had embedded themselves in its forehead.

Cross stood across from the one he'd punched through the air, seething with rage, "you can ruin my day with lack of food, insomnia, and meteors that fall from the sky, destroying everything they land on," he snarled as the hound righted itself, dark red blood spewing from a new crack in the side of its head, "but the instant you threaten my friends, you. Have. Signed. Your. Own. God. Damn. Death warrant!" He brought his brass knuckles up to eye-level, the normally golden metal painted red by the creature's blood.

Leon twirled his knives about as he got his demon's attention, "hey ugly," he shouted. The thing reared its head as he threw two more knives, these ones impaling it in its gaunt, skeletal chest, right between its visible ribs. It howled as Leon continued "you're fighting me, not Blake. You're going to fight fairly, and you are going to like it. You understand me, rot face?" another howl of pain as more knives entered its body, though Leon still had the same amount in his hand. I sometimes have to wonder how many of those he keeps hidden on his body.

"Thanks for the save, guys!" I dodged another flying leap from the now enraged hellhound before me.

"No problem. Just focus on your own monster!" Cross grunted as he blocked a slash from his hellhound with his arm. He wobbled for a moment, then fell to his knees, gritting his teeth as he gripped his arm. The demon howled with its perceived triumph, but as it approached to deliver the final blow, Cross lashed out, bringing his brass knuckles down on the back of its neck and sending it face-first into the pavement. The thing began to thrash as Cross proceeded to pin it down and beat on its head, smashing his fists into its skull again and again until there was nothing but a gory mess of bone and blood before a hideous, headless body.

I grimaced as I dodged another leap from my demon. Under normal circumstances, we would try to avoid killing until it became a choice between our lives and theirs. But then, they were dead serious about killing us, and they weren't exactly human. So I guess that rule goes out the window, I thought, continuing to play matador to the demon, waiting for a chance to lash out. I kept a constant, cautious distance as I memorized its attack pattern. Target, coil, pounce, land, repeat. All within a few seconds, most of it in midair during the pounce. There were multiple points in the process where the thing let down its guard. Now, when would be my kill point…?

The thing raced at me, entering into yet another leap as it prepared to bite my head off. Time slowed to a crawl as I sidestepped, the thing inches to my right in midair.

Now!

While it was still in the air I spun so the thing was to my left, grabbed onto the back of its head and smashed it into the ground. Ending up on its underbelly because I'd forced it down faster than it anticipated, it struggled to rise as I got onto its back, stabbing my knife into it again and again, making it buckle in pain as I stuck the blade into the thing's nerve endings and joints. When I'd finally forced it down again, I stabbed my knife into the back of the thing's neck, effectively ending its life in a massive spray of blood as the blade sliced through its spinal column.

Even as I removed my knife from the bloody mess, Leon put his out of its misery as it whimpered like a wounded dog. Not surprising, considering how many knives stuck out of its flesh.

"I wonder how we're going to explain this," I scratched the back of my head as we looked ourselves over. Spattered from head to toe in blood, we looked like murderers from cheesy horror slasher films like Friday the Thirteenth.

"Um… I think we may not have to… for the most part," Leon pointed at something behind me. I turned to see the corpse of the demon dog I'd killed light aflame, burning itself down to cinders within a matter of seconds.

My gaze shot to the corpses of the other two. Cross' had already turned to ash and was currently being blown about in the wind, and Leon's was in the process of burning… taking his knives with it.

"Wait, what the… MY KNIVES!" he shrieked as it turned to ash, digging through the remaining cinders as he searched for them. As the wind blew away the ash, Leon threw up his hands in despair, "those were my best knives! Did I do something to offend you, God? Did I do something to wrong you in such a way that my knives had to be taken from me?"

"Come on, Leon," Cross hoisted him up to his feet, "we have to get out of here. You can get new knives later. Better ones. Stronger, sharper, lighter. More accurate."

Leon gave him a skeptical look, then grumbled as we made our way back into the dusty, ruined streets. The sounds of screams and explosions filled the air, never ceasing as we checked the surrounding area.

"Judging from what's going on," Leon said, "I'd say what we just fought were demons."

"Demons?" Cross laughed, "come on, Leon. Don't be ridiculous."

"Oh, I'm being ridiculous now, am I?" Leon snapped, "take a look around you, Cross. You saw what those things in the alley were like. They weren't anything that could have come from this world. They came from a God damn meteor. They burned up after we killed them. They organized some kind of strategy to kill us off one at a time, so much more intelligent than dogs."

"Just because we don't know what caused that doesn't prove anythi-"

"And for another thing. Look up. The sky is choked up with dust and smoke and parts of it are on fire. There are giant, lava covered spikes jutting out of the ground. What does that tell you?"

Taking a look around, I saw that he was right. During our fight with the demon dogs, the landscape had undergone a drastic change of scenery. Buildings had been shattered, roads had been blocked off by towers of twisting rock and lava, and the sky… the sky was in a worse state than what human pollution could ever possibly do to it. Utterly covered with clouds that had been coloured a light yellow by the smoke, dust, and poisonous smog given off by certain parts of the city, the entire sky was slowly burning up; fire ate away sluggishly at bits and pieces of it as the meteors continued to fall.

I felt a small shockwave as a particularly large meteor landed about a hundred feet away from us as Cross and Leon continued to bicker. In the smoke, I saw a massive, almost draconic silhouette erect itself in the crater. I caught a glimpse of its figure as the smoke began to clear, and felt myself stiffen, "uh, guys?"

"What?" they shouted at the same time.

"If the demon hypothesis is true, then demons one, two and three were fairly easy to deal with," I pointed at the smoke as whatever the thing was began to step forth from the crater, "but demon number four is going to be a problem."

Almost immediately the beast emerged from the black clouds that had arisen around it. Giant twin blades adorned each of its massive, clawed wrists, and its huge bulk was supported by thick, strong legs that shook the earth whenever its feet hit the earth. The massive spikes that jutted out of its back were the same kind of twisted black rock that made up the towers. Chains decorated with human skulls wrapped around its body, and its massive head looked about as threatening as an atom bomb meant for melee use, its dark orange scales reflecting the colour of flame in the sunlight. It caught sight of us almost immediately, letting out a roar and charging towards us, ready to taste blood.

"I'm convinced," Cross wheezed weakly.

"I hate being right all the time," Leon muttered.

We bolted, trying to put as much distance between and that thing as possible, but to no avail; for every ten of our steps, the demon only had to take one. When the thing was about ten feet away from us, we heard the sickening sound of flesh ripping, and a roar of pain that was cut off by a choking sound, and it was evident that the demon had stopped chasing us.

Curiosity overpowered fear as we looked back, and saw the demon on one knee, coughing up blood as something stuck out of its chest, one of its arms ending in a bleeding stump. Before the demon, though, was a towering figure. His head and shoulders cloaked in red, his black and silver armour glinted in the sunlight. His left gauntlet was far larger than his right, a giant claw that gripped onto the demon's missing right hand. There was a long instant of silence before the man dropped the hand, gripped onto whatever had embedded itself in the demon's chest, and ripped it out, causing the demon to howl in pain. The man leaped up as the demon swung at him, landing on the thing's left hand, the bones snapping under his massive weight.

The demon roared again as the man shot up its arm like a monkey – or in this case, a badass gorilla – and swung what I could now recognize as a massive, jagged great sword up into the thing's neck, cleaving its head from its shoulders as the roar died in its mouth. Even as the head fell from the body, the corpse began to burn, turning to ashes as the man leaped back to the ground, a spider web of cracks forming beneath him as he landed. He nodded with satisfaction as he placed his sword on his back.

"He… he just… he killed it… how…?" Cross stammered.

"I don't recognize him. You think he's new?" Leon asked me.

"I don't particularly care. He just saved our asses," I cleared my throat, and shouted out to the man "Hey!"

He stopped, turning towards us. I couldn't see past the darkness of his hood… except for two cold, burning, bluish-white eyes, eyes devoid of all emotion except for grim resolve. I swallowed nervously, and, ignoring Leon's hisses of warning, said "thanks for killing that thing. You saved our lives back there. I don't know what would have happened if you didn't show up when you did."

The man regarded me coldly, and then drew his massive sword. My heart skipped a beat as he swung the blade-

-directly into another demon that had every intention of ripping us to shreds from behind. Blood splattered against my back as the demon fell, its remains already aflame and burning.

"It wouldn't have made any difference," the man stated, his voice low, deep, and powerful, his tone one of monotone indifference, "if you knew who I was, you'd be begging for your lives, or running for them. If you do value your lives, you will get out of the city."

He walked past us without another word. He didn't need to say anything else.

"I think we should listen to what the guy said," Cross swallowed, obviously shaken by what he'd just witnessed.

"I know. We're getting out of the city. But the only problem is, this place is unrecognizable to me now. I hope you two at least recognize something?" I asked hopefully.

"Sorry. The city's in ruins. I don't recognize anything," Leon shrugged.

"The place is like Greek to me now. I couldn't find anything with a map," Cross pulled out his brass knuckles again, glancing about for any signs of a threat.

"In which case, we have two options. Choose random directions…" I trailed off. Cross and Leon tensed up in anticipation before I finished "or we can follow him."

They looked at each other before looking back at me, the looks on their faces priceless as they clearly began questioning my sanity.

"Look," I began, "I don't know about you guys, but I don't feel like going down every road at random with demons lurking around every corner. That guy slaughtered a demon with minimal effort, and we have no idea where we're going. Therefore, I would conclude that our best bet is to follow him."

Leon looked about ready to argue, but then stopped, thinking about how he'd do it. Almost immediately he decided to keep his mouth shut. Cross shrugged, obviously believing my points, and we started down the street after him, watching in grim fascination as he slaughtered everything that got in his way.

For an instant, he cocked his head towards us slightly. I felt my blood freeze as he glanced back, before placing his blade on his back and continuing onwards. Though he didn't show it, I could tell that he knew we were following him. I watched him climb up a mass of fleshy veins that had scaled their way up the side of a building, then he was gone.

"Come on," I came out from hiding, getting ready to climb the mass.

"Um… guys?" I heard Leon call.

"Yeah?" I responded while Cross started testing the veins to see if they would hold his weight.

"We're not just dealing with demons anymore," I turned to see Leon pointing down the street. I saw winged humanoid figures in pure golden armour locked in combat with the same kind of demon that the big guy had killed earlier. They carried massive, almost futuristic glaives that were evidently meant specifically to kill demons; they cleaved through the demon's flesh like a hot knife through butter. Their massive wings shone a mixture of white and bright blue, giving off wave after wave of holy light as they slowly whittled the demon down.

We scrambled up the mass of flesh, not even bothering to see who the victor was. It was bad enough that we had to deal with demons; no matter what life generally said about angels being good, we were not going to take our chances. The soft matter bulged between my fingers as I gripped it in my hands, making my grip instantly instinctively loosen in disgust. But all the same, I continued climbing, Leon and Cross close behind. We were not going to die today.

As soon as we reached the top, I caught a glimpse of the man climbing up another veined mass to the top of a higher building. I grated my teeth, internally swearing as I watched him reach the top within seconds. How did he get up there so quickly?

My thoughts were quickly interrupted by a familiar unnatural snarling as more of the dog demons climbed up over the edge. But this time around, there were even more of them, all of them much, much bigger in size (about the size of a bear), and all with the intent of oh, guess what? Biting our throats out. Just like everything else we were running into today.

"This is really beginning to annoy me," I glared at them, and then gave them a good look (if they could even see) at the blood stained on my knife – blood of the unlucky demon bastard that tried to kill me earlier. Almost immediately they erupted into a frenzy, all of them struggling against one another to get the first bite before the biggest one, even larger and more disfigured than its brothers, let out a louder roar than the others, silencing them instantly.

"Ah, crap."

"What is it, Cross?" Leon asked, drawing his knives.

"Looks like we've got more problems than just them," Cross pointed as he cracked his knuckles again. I spared a glance, and sure enough, there were the angels from earlier, racing towards us at an insane speed, "so what do we do? We're blocked off on the front and with those angels at our backs, retreat might not be an option."

"We know that, Cross," I growled, glaring at the leader of the hellhounds. I swore under my breath, "God damn it. Ok," I breathed, "here's the plan. Kill the demon dogs, and pray like hell that the angels are here to help."

With that, Cross and I rushed forwards to meet the pack of hounds, Leon launching knives into the fray as support fire. I ducked as one tried to leap on me and brought my dagger up into its soft gut, ripping into its flesh as I held it up above the ground for an instant before throwing it back and stabbing the knife into its back, watching it begin to burn as I removed my knife from its flesh. Then, dancing backwards out of another's reach, I jumped forwards when the thing swung too wide with its claws and brought the knife down into the back of its neck, severing the spine with surprising, yet satisfying ease.

"For the Light!"

A sudden beam of cobalt light incinerated the demon that was on Cross' back as he fought off two more at the same time, effectively saving his spine as he bludgeoned the other two with ease, switching targets with each strike and dodge, but never blocking; he'd learned his lesson from the previous hellhound he'd fought. As I raced forwards to kill the one that he'd just knocked over, a flash of gold reached it before I did, and the hellhound was immediately consumed in blue flame rather than the orange ones that had cremated the ones that we'd killed. The angel before me was incredibly tall – not quite as tall as the man from before, but still tall. He was clad from head to toe in golden, futuristic armour, and cold blue eyes glowed from under his helmet, the same sky blue colour as his glowing, armoured wings. He swung his glaive into another demon, and the cobalt fire set it aflame as he cast it into the rest of the pack, the blue fire spreading to their bodies as the ashes blew about in the wind. They howled in pain as they retreated, but to no avail; they were all quickly consumed by the fire.

Just as Leon finished off yet another one of his demons, the angels landed all around us as he swore about his wasted knives. One approached, grabbing onto me and examining me thoroughly. Though they spoke in a language I didn't understand, I still got the feeling that I was not going to get along with these guys – their body language said it all. They were loud, self-righteous, and arrogant, all of them burning with ambition to rise to a higher spot in the world – or their world, rather – in whatever was happening. I could tell from their gaze, the look of condescending that they gave us, the way they spoke and refused to speak in our language that they thought us nothing more than pawns, if that, in their little game. While I doubted that most angels were like this, these guys were not making a very good impression for their own race.

"This one is clean," the one dropped me, and I fell hard on my back, "no sin, besides what was necessary for him to survive. Except for the theft of his knife. That was his one act of sin that was not a necessity."

Moving on to Leon, he grabbed onto my friend by the arm and hoisted him slightly above the ground. He yelped "if this has anything to do with the bread I stole last week, I had no choice! It was either take it or starve!"

Promptly ignoring him, the angel examined Leon the same way he did me before dropping him "this one is also clean. His unnecessary sins are somewhat more numerous, but he had his reasons."

Moving onto Cross, he frowned as he took a look at his wounded arm. Taking a closer look, he sighed, "this one is clean as well. Stubborn, but clean. But alas…"

The angel drew his glaive and took a swing at Cross. In response, Cross jumped backwards, brass knuckles at the ready as the angel came at him again. They stopped as a knife embedded itself in the angel's wing, slicing through the tendons and causing him to scream and collapse on the ground, gripping at his wounded, now useless wing as the knife fell to the ground, coated in lightly coloured blood, "y-you dare…" he spat, attempting to force himself to his feet, "you dare to cross the angels? You dare cross the Hellguard, who just saved your lives?"

"Yeah. We do. You attempted to kill our brother. That's more than enough reason for us to kill you," I kicked dust into his face. As he removed his helmet in an attempt to breathe, I kicked him in the face so hard that it left the imprint of my shoe on his face. Surprisingly, my foot stung as if I'd just kicked a steel wall, "I'd be very interested to know why."

"You fools…" the angel stuttered, "that boy… has been infected… If he isn't killed… he'll become… a demon."

"That's bull," Leon spat as the other angels surrounded us, looking ready to butcher us.

Another meteor smashed into the building next to us, grabbing the attention of the angels as yet another giant demon flew out of it, grabbing onto the angel Leon wounded and lifting off into the air. The angel screamed as the demon bit into him, his comrades striking in vain against the draconic demon's iron scales. Taking the opportunity, we bolted in the direction we headed originally, chasing after the man we'd been following again. We made it to the top of the next building using the veins of flesh that had scaled its side, and peered over the edge to catch a glimpse of a massive pit of lava that had replaced what was once a massive intersection. Angel and demon alike flew through the skies around it, constantly flinging each other and occasionally themselves into the pit of molten death as more and more demons continually climbed out of it. Both airborne and on terra firma, the forces of Heaven and Hell waged war against one another in an endless slaughter.

"An entryway to Hell, I'm guessing?" Leon commented, surveying the destruction around us.

"I guess so," Cross rubbed at his bleeding arm, wincing in pain whenever he touched it, "I don't know about you two, but what that angel said back there worries me. I don't want to be a demon."

"And you won't be. Besides, I bet it was just an excuse to kill you," I clapped a hand down on his shoulder, trying not only to reassure him, but myself as well. I looked back at the destruction, and my eyes widened, "there he is, guys."

Sure enough, the man we met earlier was there on the ground, arguing with a particularly fancy looking angel dressed in a mixture of dark blue robes and white armour with gold trim and designs weaving their way across it. His gigantic white wings beat the air without any effort, making it easy for him to stay aloft. His long white hair was slicked back so it went down the back of his armour instead of flowing free, and what looked like a blue and gold medallion of a gold cross on top of a golden circle covered his right eye like an eye patch. Chains hung from either side of his waist, each one wrapped around some piece of equipment, and his long sword was a shined silver with a golden hilt. Another two angels hovered by him, one an incredibly tall woman with shoulder length white hair that flowed freely about her head, her white, gold-trimmed armour, dark blue greaves, twin tipped silver sword and golden wings glinting in what remained of the sunlight (man, these angels sure had a thing for the colours white, blue, silver and gold). The other was an inch or two taller than the woman, but perhaps slightly shorter than the old man with the eye patch, this one wore a simple white gauntlet with gold trim that encased his entire left arm. Besides that and a modest silver chain around his neck, his torso was bare, exposing the trio of scars across his chest and abdomen, as well as his well-worked body. His lower body was covered in white and dark blue robes, and a set of white greaves covered his legs. His long, unkempt hair was white with gold streaks, and his brilliant white and sky blue wings gave off a massive amount of holy power, even more so than the old man's. In his right hand, a massive silver and gold blade with a design that looked like something out of the imagination of God himself glowed with an equal amount of power.

"Wow. They look important," Leon muttered.

"That they do," I agreed, Cross merely nodding.

Without warning, the lake of flame erupted, and what looked like a giant black arm shot out of it, reaching for the trio of angels. The young man and the woman, having noticed the explosion, flew out of the way just before the hand reached them. The old one with the eye patch was not so lucky; he was crushed in the armoured hand that had reached out, his magnificent white wings sticking out between the fingers as blood began to drip from the hand. Even as the hand drew itself back in, the female angel screamed "ABADDON!" then she turned to the man in red, who had fallen to one knee, leaning on his jagged blade. Her golden eyes blazed as she demanded, "what in Heaven's name have you done?"

"I… answer the call," was the man's only answer before an absolutely gigantic demon (one that made the demon the guy in red killed earlier look like a puppy in comparison of both size and ugliness) reared its head as it pulled itself from the lava – well, halfway out of the lava, anyways. Wearing a crown of pure blackened iron, the thing's pale skin reflected the sunlight in a horrible, darkened aspect. Its skull-like, draconic head was almost too gruesome to look at, especially considering the fact that it looked like its nose was torn off, judging by the single hole in the center of its hideous face. Its entire body was coated in armour the colour of ash and dirty chrome, and its eyes were the same colour as Hell itself; a fiery orange like the lava that it had emerged from.

I swallowed. Maybe following the demon slayer dude wasn't the best idea.

All of a sudden, the male angel that had survived the hand landed before us. He surveyed us for an instant before approaching Leon.

"What do you think you're doing, Gabriel!?" the cold voice of the female angel echoed as she swooped before us, her golden eyes glinting with sorrow, outrage and hate, "we need to kill that demon, and then punish the Horseman for what he has done!"

Gabriel? Horseman? Why is that famil- wait… could this guy be…? I looked up at the angel before me. Was he…?

"The Horseman has done nothing, Uriel!" the one named Gabriel turned to her, his icy blue eyes burning and brimming slightly with tears, "the death of Abaddon was the demon's doing, not that of the Horseman. Besides," he turned back to us, "we should help those we can, rather than try to avenge those who are already gone. Whether or not we kill the demon makes no difference to what happens to Abaddon now. We'll save these kids, then we'll kill the demon."

The angel named Uriel gawked for an instant, "are you blind, Gabriel?" she hissed, "has your love for that dead Nephilim woman and her people blinded you to the point where you can't even see that the Horseman is guilty for all this? It was him who started this before the Seals were broken! It was his-" she stopped herself abruptly, and shook her head as Gabriel stiffened in his growing anger and disbelief, "don't answer that question. I already know the answer," she turned her back on us, "your emotions have blinded you, Gabriel. You are no longer fit to be an archangel."

She flew off as Gabriel let out a roar of fury, swinging his blade in a circle in an attempt to cut her. But she was already gone. His breathing became ragged and harsh as tears ran down his face, spattering against the concrete as he gripped his silver chain, light, barely audible sobs taking the now confirmed archangel over. As the battle between the demon and the red-hooded man unfolded, Gabriel's breaths slowly deepened as he regained control. He finally turned to us again, "alright. Here's the deal. I'm going to get you kids out of here. The only problem is, I have to be able to fight off whatever demons we run into, so I can only take you one at a time," he grabbed onto Leon, hoisting him up and ignoring his protests, "you two stay put, you got it?" not even waiting for an answer, he walked to the edge and turned to us again, cutting off our own protests as he spoke "I mean it. Unless you can't afford to, stay. Right. Here," he turned away again, "I'll be right back."

Then he leaped, taking Leon with him.

"Leon!" I shouted, running up to the edge and watching the archangel fly off with my friend – no, my brother! Sure, he'd been taken by an archangel, meaning he probably had the best guardian possible, and he said he'd be back, but still!

"Blake? We've got company."

I turned, and true enough, more demons climbed over the edge. I drew my knife. I needed something to vent on. And they were the perfect opportunity.

The next few minutes were filled with slashing and blood as Cross and I fought our way through the horde of demons before us. Though I was never hit, Cross sustained more and more damage as we fought on, bloody scratches covering his arms, chest, back, legs, and even a trio going on an angle down the side of his face. The more strikes he took, the harder he fought, but also the more pain he seemed to be in. Noticeable winces of pain began to take form on his face when he moved; he must have been in more pain than I'd ever seen him in before if he was showing it.

"God damn it, there's way too many of these guys!" I swore.

Cross was about to respond, when his face contorted with pain. He fell to his knees as the demons around us began to back away in fear, hunching up around himself and gripping at his torso.

"Cross!" I put my hand on his shoulder, "you okay?"

"G-get away from me, Blake…" he managed, "get… away…" with no warning, Cross grabbed me by the throat and forced me to the edge of the building, howling, "GET AWAY FROM ME!"

I suddenly found myself falling, only to have the wind forced from my lungs as I landed on the top of another building three stories below. Forcing myself to my feet, I stared upwards in disbelief as Cross once again engaged the demons, quickly encased by the roiling mass of flesh that was their horde.

I couldn't believe it. Leon was taken by the archangel, and Cross had broken the one rule that we never, ever break. You never abandon the others, and you never play the tragic hero. We either all survive, or none of us survive. It's that simple.

And it was broken. So easily broken.

I stifled a sob, and turned to glare at the giant black demon that was fighting the man in red. There was no doubt. This was that demon's fault. He was their commander, their general. It was him that caused all this, him and whoever commanded him. I picked my knife back up out of the dirt, and climbed down a pile of rubble to the street below. I took no notice of the explosions around me, cutting down the demons before me as I made my way through the bloody, ruined streets towards my quarry.

Before long, the giant of a demon was leaning on the street, gasping for breath as the cloaked man raised his blade. I broke into a run, not wanting to miss my chance at vengeance. I felt myself leap, landing on the man's shoulder and using him as a springboard for a second jump before landing on the demon's face. Its eye widened in surprise – right before I lashed out with my knife. The demon unleashed a roar as blood flowed down the right side of its face like tears from its blinded eye, rearing its head in an attempt to throw me off. Instead, I brought my knife down into its skin, not damaging the demon in the slightest, but giving me something to keep from falling off.

A dark shadow fell over me as the red-hooded man leaped himself, soaring into the air and bringing his sword down into the blind mess of an eye. The demon roared in pain again as the warrior removed the blade, and leaped up again, his right hand and sword glowing blue – only for him to stop in midair as what sounded like a war horn sounded. A black aura surrounded him as he let go of his sword, falling to earth as the sword fell into the lava. My knife slipped, and I fell beside the man, who was now struggling to rise to his feet. Even as I tried to stand, the demon gave a throaty, horrid laugh before giving a light backhand to us, knocking us both across the street. I felt drops of blood spray from my mouth as I gasped in pain. I glanced upwards, and there was Gabriel, fighting his way through demons only to be knocked back by a dark shadow that blew away all the demons around it. Before I could get a good look, the shadow, vaguely humanoid outlined against the sky, leaped away across the rooftops, black, ethereal wings sprouting from its back as it disappeared. The archangel smashed his fist into the side of the building in frustration. Glancing down, he caught side of me, and his eyes widened as he looked from me to the demon to me again.

"The law… has been broken," the man struggled to rise again. Instead, a black, gauntlet enclosed itself around us both, crushing me against the hulking demon slayer as we were lifted to the demon's hideous, bloody face.

"And so have you, Horseman," the demon growled with pleasure at getting to kill him slowly. Then he began to tighten his grip, attempting to crush us. The so-called "Horseman" began to fight back, pressing his body against the thick fingers as he fought to keep himself from the same fate as the old angel… but pressing me against the hand in the process. Being crushed from two sides at the same time, I could do nothing to push back.

Am I going to die here…? I wondered, then cut myself off as my lungs were deprived of air, no… I won't die here. I will not die. I will not die. I refuse to die here!

Even as I attempted to fight back I saw between the black armoured fingers Gabriel diving towards me, his arm outstretched towards me in his attempt to reach me, his face twisted as he called out to me. I heard the armour-clad warrior give a yell, and then a crimson flash surrounded us both. The pressure on my body released as I found myself on a stone floor, with great flames roaring in every direction.

And then… darkness.


Okay. Completed the first Chapter! Not bad, not bad at all...

I'm new, so please review, and go easy on me. Yes, I am going to keep this stuff as close to the game as possible, though some events will be changed. Just so you know.