A/N: My first time posting my writing on here. Advice and constructive criticism is what I'm hoping to get. I know I'm not the best, but I'm hoping to improve. Anyway, hope you enjoy what I've got so far! More to follow as soon as it's finished.
Spoilers up to and including 'Cold Days'.
I've dealt with a lot of nasty things in my time; monsters, ghosts, demons of all kinds, angry Fae, enough vampires to fill several angsty teen novels, and even an Outsider or two. And I've beaten them all, thanks to skill, a truckload of magic power, quick thinking and a whole lot of luck.
Still, trying to take on thirteen fallen angels is a bad day even by my standards.
All I'd wanted was some milk, a quick trip from Demonreach to the mainland to restock the cooler I'd been using as a fridge, when suddenly two tons of Denarian in the form of a four-horned red-scaled bull with an extra pair of sickly green eyes had come crashing into the shop. A quick 'forzare' had driven it back long enough for me to get out of the shop and away from the innocent bystanders, but before I'd had time to get into my car a monkey-like creature with tentacles instead of arms had wrapped a tentacle around my leg and yanked me to the ground.
That one got a blast of 'fuego' to the face. With just a dash of soulfire for that little extra kick. That bought me enough time to get to my feet and jump into my car before something that looked worryingly phallic shaped, despite the gaping maw filled with more teeth than the Osmond family, shattered the window and made a determined effort to swallow my head.
Milk. Seriously, I came here for milk and got attacked by Hell's finest. I just can't win.
I floored the accelerator at the same time as I drew on the cold energy of Winter and punched the creature in its… I suppose the most accurate word is snout. It let out a horrific screech as it was knocked out of the window and there was a squelching sound as I ran over the still smoking remains of the octo-monkey. I drove at speed through the streets of Chicago, thankful that I'd come for my shopping early enough that the streets were almost deserted.
The next ten minutes were worse than the first two.
It seemed like all of Chicago for a three block radius had turned into Lovecraft's petting zoo. I saw a green-skinned woman with ram's horns and a snake-like tail come flying at the roof of the car and I had to swerve to prevent her claws from tearing my roof open. A man-insect with bat wings drove me of the road and into a fire hydrant, and he dove at me again as I clambered out of the car. I used wind magic to whip the resulting fountain of water around and knocked him to the ground, then froze him and the water solid with a muttered word and a blast of Winter's energy.
There was an alley directly in front of me, but I knew better than to run into such a confined space in the middle of an ambush. I spun around quickly, hoping to assess my situation and get my head together before the next attack came. I felt a cold feeling in my gut that had nothing to do with the Winter Knights mantle.
They were everywhere; five coming at me from either side of the street, two of them airborne, all of them with glowing eyes above a regular pair. Well, those that were limited to two eyes at least. On a good day I could have taken two, maybe three if I got really lucky. At these odds, I'd get torn apart in seconds.
There was a creaking sound from the ice in front of me and the ice shattered as the bug/man/bat broke free. Snapping its wings out to shake off the ice and clacking its mandibles furiously at me. It was hideous, even for a Denarian. From the neck down this thing was covered in thick carapace, despite its human shape. Its fingers looked more like flexible pincers and its legs grew hair the lower it went, ending in a pair of bat like claws. It had a pair of leathery wings with a span of roughly 20 feet.
Its face was the worst part though. It looked almost human, but instead of a mouth a pair of spider-like mandibles sat beneath a pair of human eyes. A second pair, this one a vivid orange, sat on his forehead.
"You," I began, trying to come up with something witty. Unfortunately my head was a mess from the non-stop assault and the best I could come up with was. "You are not pretty." To my genuine surprise that seemed to get a rise out of the thing, because it hissed angrily and a voice somehow came from its mandibles.
"Dresden…." It hissed. Its voice was strained, like its vocal cords were the wrong shape for the sounds it was making. But on the very edge of hearing was a second voice, one with a musical lilt that sounded more beautiful than even the deceptively sweet voices of the Sidhe, the voice of the Fallen Angel that had corrupted twisted a man's body into the thing in front of me.
"I am going to take great pleasure in tearing you apart." It promised. Its face twisted slightly, and I realised after a moment that it was trying to smirk. "I have dibs on your liver." It added. As it had been talking the rest of them had advanced. I could feel the weight of their eyes on me, practically sense the focused hatred.
"Wow. Well. Do I at least get to enjoy one last villainous monologue?" I asked hopefully. If I got out of this alive, and that was a big 'if', it'd be nice to know who had enough clout to send a baker's dozen of Fallen Angels after me. That way I could give them a stern talking to and then murder them violently.
Still, it wasn't like this was entirely unexpected. I had always known I wasn't going to pass away peacefully in my sleep – unless maybe poison had been involved – but still, I had hoped I would at least get to hug my daughter before I passed. I blocked off that train of thought as soon as it started. I wasn't going to start crying in front of a bunch of monsters
Ah well, life full of regrets. Might as well go out the way I came in. Kicking, screaming and covered in blood.
Bug-man let out a strangled attempt at a laugh. "No." It said, and crouched down, ready to pounce. "I think we'll just-" Then he froze. He just stopped moving, still as a statue, his eyes wide. In fact, all of them did. Thirteen Denarians just stopped in their tracks and stared at me.
No, not at me. Behind me. I hesitated for a moment, but it wasn't like I had much to lose so I turned, to look behind me.
The guy leaning in the entrance to the alley behind me looked barely old enough to drink. He was short, maybe 5'8, 5'9, and slim. He had dark hair, blue eyes, was close to Thomas's level on the scale of looks and looked puzzlingly familiar. He was also looking at a small army of Denarians with a gentle smile on his face.
Okay, this had gone from mind-numbingly terrifying to downright weird. Both of which were fairly par for the course in my world. Mystery kid walked past me without registering my existence. As he passed me bug-man made a high-pitched keening noise that took me a second to place.
The millennia old, immortal, Fallen Angel was terrified.
"Baliel." Mystery guy said. His voice was calm and pleasant, friendly like a TV presenter trying to reassure a nervous contestant. "All of you. It's been so long."
Baliel made another horrified noise, while the rest of the angels were apparently too scared to move. Several of the ones with more humanoid faces were visibly horrified and one classical demoness looked like she was hyperventilating. Mystery guy looked around at the others with his benevolent smile and the monsters cowered under his gaze.
"I have missed you all greatly." He told them, his voice filled with passion and sadness. "And I truly wish I did not have to do this." He had walked right up to Baliel, the crouching Denarian just at high level with him. "But you made your choice, a long time ago." He reached out and placed his hand on Baliel's head. "I'm sorry." He said quietly.
Then white light, brighter than the sun, exploded out of the Denarians eyes and mouth, spread out across his body and consumed him in an instant. The rest of the Fallen scattered in every direction, running for their lives. The demoness tried to throw a ball of hellfire at him, the smell of sulphur filling the air. But he caught it in his hand and changed it, infusing it with the silver light of soulfire and threw it back ten-fold, a ball of fire that incinerated her and left nothing but a pile of ash with a silver coin nestled in the heap.
After that it seemed like he was everywhere at once. He didn't even seem to move, he just stepped from one place to another without moving through the intervening space. He smashed the demonic bulls head with a fist, ripped the head of the octo-monkey , threw light at the phallus-worm and let it consume it whole.
Gravity began to twist, the airborne demons slamming to the earth and pinned there. The pavement rose up beneath a man with a lions' head and pulled it down beneath the ground. I didn't want to know what happened to it once it was down. The Denarians ambush had turned into a slaughter, and not on their side.
In less than a minute it was over, thirteen Fallen Angels utterly destroyed in less than sixty seconds, and my saviour was standing in front of me with sadness in his eyes.
"U-Uriel?" I asked, staring at him. This guy was an angel, no doubt about that. As far as I knew I was the only mortal who could summon soulfire the way this guy had. But he shook his head and smiled slightly.
"No, Harry." He said. "I'm his boss."
And that was when my brain almost stopped working. I was talking to the Archangel Michael. The most powerful known being in creation, bar the Almighty, was standing less than five feet away from me. This was a being as old as the Universe, who had the power to destroy the planet, the solar system, hell; probably the whole galaxy, with a thought. No wonder the Denarians had been terrified. I was shitting myself and the guy had just saved my life.
"We need to talk." The Right Hand of God said calmly, then tapped his finger to my head and everything went white.
All I'd wanted was some freaking milk.