The brilliant golden yellow sun that was hanging high above beat down brutally on the barren landscape of the Sahara Desert and showed no sign of weakening as the day went on. Anna sat in the deep brownish orange sand with her knees pulled up to her chest and her eyes closed as she tried to get back to feeling normal again. Her entire body hurt and she was starting to get a crippling migraine, and whenever she tried to hold sand in her hands they shook so bad it was all gone in a matter of seconds. Whatever Gabriella did to her had taken a hefty toll and she felt a little bit like she was mortal once again, only she wasn’t hungry or thirsty and the sun and heat wasn’t dehydrating her.
She knew for a fact that she had been impaled by Gabriella’s weapon, she had felt it slicing through her organs like a knife through butter and she could feel her blood pooling beneath her as she was put on the ground gently by her. There was no wound, scar, or even scratch to prove it had ever happened though and that troubled her a lot more than anything else. Immortals were able to heal their bodies at incredible rates when they were wounded, but only if it was nonfatal. The greater the wound the longer it took though. During a sparring session with Samantha, Anna had taken a sword through the shoulder when she was too slow to react and it had taken nearly a week to heal up fully and leave no scar behind. The wound she had received from Gabriella should have taken a few weeks to heal, if not outright killed her.
Over the hours she had spent stuck there with Gabriella, Anna had asked her about that very thing but would only get a shy smile in response to the question. After a dozen or so attempts she finally gave up and walled herself up in her own mind as she tried to unravel the truth about what had happened. There was no mistaking that Gabriella was now a full immortal, but there was still something very different about her. While the others were clad in golden armour and wielded golden weapons Gabriella used silver and not just any type of silver. It was almost like mercury, a liquid silver substance that was able to change its form when she willed it and Anna had never seen anything like it before. At first she wondered if Ares had done something to her, corrupted her in some way to achieve this but the more she thought about it the more she realized just how ridiculous it was. She had heard the stories about the disfigured and corrupted immortals James and Amy fought the last time and all their weapons had been black and their eyes red, not silver. There was no dark magic in what Gabriella was.
That didn’t leave very many options left over and Anna was at a loss to explain it. She had never really paid attention to the lectures and stories James and Erin had given her when she had ascended and now she wished she had. It might have been able to explain what was going on with Gabriella, but then again probably not. She was completely unique and in the long history of time and creation there had never been a person like her before and probably never would be again.
‘I know what you’re thinking,’ Gabriella spoke for the first time in hours, her tone playful, ‘How did a girl like me end up in a place like this right?’
‘At least you still have your sense of humour,’ Anna responded dryly, not even looking up from the sand at her feet as it shifted about under her weight.
Anna could feel Gabriella’s smile on her but again she resisted the urge to look up at her. Too many things were going through her mind right now and she couldn’t make any sense of it all. When they had found Gabriella in their old house she had been a completely different person, a darker version of the shy innocent girl she had once known and had almost killed her before moving on to Erin. Yet here she sat now, oblivious to the fact that she had just killed someone she considered her aunt and making jokes like nothing was going on at all. Anna was starting to get the feeling that Gabriella had lost her mind.
‘How are you feeling?’ Gabriella asked sweetly and finally Anna looked up from the sand to find the girl beaming at her with a wide, toothy grin.
‘A little better, thanks I guess.’
‘Good, let’s play!’
‘Play?’ Anna asked with an odd expression on her face. She really had lost her mind.
‘Yeah! Let’s play a game! I’m bored out here!’
‘Gabby this really isn’t the time to be playing games! Get a hold of yourself!’
Gabriella’s happy expression quickly turned sour and she quickly got to her feet, kicking dirt around so it landed on Anna. Her odd silvery weapon appeared in her hand and she glanced down on Anna with pure venom as her armour rippled over her slender body.
‘If you won’t play then I’ll go find one of the others to play with! Maybe Lucy is up for a game!’ she threatened.
Gabriella’s feet lifted off the ground as she quickly rose into the sky and Anna threw out her hands at the last second, barely wrapping her fingers around her ankle. It was apparently the wrong thing to do though and Gabriella quickly kicked out with her other foot, catching Anna on the side of the face and throwing her head first into the hot sand dunes.
‘Did I say you could touch me?’ Gabriella growled as she landed a few feet away from Anna as she pulled herself out of the sand and brushed it out of her hair.
‘I’m sorry Gabby,’ she apologized, ‘but you don’t have to get Lucy to play with you, I’ll play whatever game you want!’ She couldn’t risk Gabriella going out in search of the others and would do whatever it took to keep her there with her, for both her family’s protection and Gabby’s.
‘You will?’ Gabriella asked and a hopeful smile spread across her lips as her eyes danced in the bright sunlight.
‘Just as long as it’s only you and me that play.’
Gabriella, still smiling, held her weapon ahead of her as it shifted into a very long sword with a vicious curve to the blade and motioned with her free hand for Anna to stand up. Thinking she had done something to anger her again Anna stood up and held her hands up by her shoulders in surrender.
‘Call your weapon cutie,’ Gabriella said sweetly and winked.
‘We’re going to play silly!’
Still not sure where this was going Anna visualized her sword in her mind and a second later she felt it fit into her hand like it was an extension of her body and mind. However she did not raise her sword up to point it at Gabriella like she was currently doing, deciding to keep it pointed down with the tip in the sand. Gabriella flashed her another brilliant smile and shifted her body so she was standing sideways.
‘First to three strikes wins!’ Gabriella explained. Before Anna could even open her mouth to inquire about what she meant by that Gabriella was upon her, lunging out in a blur of silver and catching Anna in her left shoulder with her sword. The second before the blade pierced through her skin the weapon shifted again, blunting the tip so it wouldn’t kill her. That didn’t stop it from being a powerful strike and Anna found herself flying through air as the pain shot through her body.
‘Jesus Gabby! That hurt!’ she cried out as she got back to her feet.
‘You’re still alive aren’t you? Should I go slower next time?’
‘I’m not going to fight you! I thought you said you wanted to play a game!’
Gabriella planted her left leg behind her once again, pointing the now sharp looking sword at her with a small smile, ‘This is a game Anna. Just like the ones you used to take me to with the others when I wasn’t supposed to be there.’
‘That was practice, no one wanted to hurt anyone! Do you really want to hurt me? Because I sure as hell don’t want to hurt you!’
‘You won’t,’ Gabriella giggled and like a banshee rushed at Anna again, her silver sword shining through the air as she brought it down on her. Her movement was much slower this time and Anna was easily able to bring up her own weapon to block the attack, but quickly realized the power behind the blow as she was forced onto one knee and her fingers strained to keep their grip on her hilt lest her sword be tossed aside.
While Anna fought her hardest to keep her sword level Gabriella lashed out with her free hand forcing her to leap out of the way, tucking into a tight backflip and easily landing on her feet. No sooner had she landed Gabriella was upon her again, catching her on the side of the head with her weapon as it shifted once more into something less lethal. The instant she was hit her head snapped painfully to the side as she was once again tossed into the air with the taste of blood on her tongue. She had been injured before as an immortal, but not this easily and it was starting to affect her confidence. She had always prided herself as one of the better fighters among the newer generation and could even take on Amy pretty well.
‘That’s two,’ Gabriella smiled as Anna once again brushed the sand out of her hair and stood up, ‘One more and I win!’
‘Let’s up the ante,’ Anna said suddenly, her pride bearing down on her, ‘For each point I score you answer one question truthfully.’
‘And what do I get if I score?’
‘Anything you want,’ she answered, realizing too late that it was probably a bad idea. Gabriella’s eyes narrowed in anticipation and the smile that had been plastered to her face turned to a hard line as she readied herself. Flexing her own muscles under her delicate skin Anna summoned her weapon back into her hand and took a defensive posture, her sword held high over her head just like Erin had taught her.
‘You get first try,’ Gabriella challenged and before the words had even left her mouth Anna flashed through the air, bringing her sword down in a large arc on the girls head. Gabriella anticipated the blow though and easily deflected it as she spun on her heel and lashed out with her right foot. With almost no time to react Anna did the only thing she could think of and leapt into the air, flattening her body out so she was parallel with the ground as Gabriella’s leg kicked through the air just below her.
Anna landed roughly on her stomach and instinctively rolled to her side as Gabriella’s sword smashed into the sand the exact place she had been only a minute ago. Gathering her power she quickly leapt through space, appearing a split second later just behind Gabby as she sliced out with her sword only to find that her actions had once again been read and Gabriella was already rolling out of the way as the sword whistled harmlessly above her. Not wanting her to get too far away because of her amazing speed Anna quickly took two steps closer to Gabriella as she jumped back to her feet and brought her sword down on her with all the strength at her disposal. Gabriella easily brought her own sword up to block at the attack as silver and gold sparks leapt into the air from the sheer power of the blow.
‘You can do better than this!’ Gabriella barked and Anna changed the angle of her blade and tried to parry the silver sword away only to find that as usual Gabby saw the move and quickly grabbed her by the wrist, spinning her around so she was still holding on but her arm was over Anna’s chest and she was unable to move. ‘Even Erin put up a better fight than this!’
All the sorrow that had filled Anna at the loss of her beloved mentor quickly soured and turned to rage at the low blow Gabriella had just dealt and she could feel her body temperature rise as she struggled to gain control of her emotions. Her body started to tremble with the rage that was filling her up from the inside and the edge around her vision was tainted red as bloodlust started to takeover. With a deafening roar that people hundreds of miles would hear Anna threw her head back, catching Gabriella in the chin hard enough to force her to let go. She quickly jumped out of the way as a silvery sword flew inches above her head then turned on the spot and lashed out with a powerful right hook that only missed by a few millimetres.
Anna had heard James and Amy talk about the bloodlust on many different occasions but it never truly prepared her for it now. There was only one thing in the world that mattered to her in that moment and that was doing as much damage to her foe as possible, and the knowledge that it was her own sister and the woman she loved did nothing to temper it. Most of the fight was a blur even to her highly tuned eyes and she could barely make out the glimpses of silver and gold as her body worked on its own to attack. Her ears were filled with the sound of metal smashing up against metal, the grating of the weapons as they slid over one another, and the sickening sound of her own heart beating so loud she could swear it was actually in her ears.
Even with the new strength and speed she found within her rage Gabriella was still able to easily keep her at bay and Anna began to see the flaw with bloodlust. While her attacks were more powerful they were also twice as sloppy and left a ton of windows for Gabby to strike at her if she had wanted, which thankfully she didn’t. There was still no way she was going to win the fight like this though and a new idea started to form in her head. She began to breath normally again and kept her heart from beating out of her chest as she regained control of her actions and began to show a little more finesse behind each attack.
‘Now you’re getting it!’ Gabriella giggled as she lazily deflected an overhead slash and stepped quickly out of the way from the follow up punch.
Never in her life had Anna ever had a fight quite like this. She was throwing everything she had at Gabriella and was getting nowhere. She could not find a single chink in her defence and she was beginning to wonder if there was one. One of the greatest spectacles she had ever witnessed was a sparring session between James and Erin where they had been showing the others the full extent of their abilities and how to properly fight, but it truly paled in comparison to what she found herself in now.
It was almost as if Gabriella was trying to show her how to really fight because every time she would move in for a kill shot her speed would greatly decrease, allowing just enough time for Anna to move out of the way and launch a counter attack. No longer were they confined to the hot sand of the dune sea before them and Anna found herself soaring through the air as they met over and over again, the sound of their weapons smashing together and ringing through the clear air like cracks of thunder.
As Anna flipped through the sky she finally saw her prize, a rare opening in the brilliant display of defence Gabriella was putting on and she lunged in with all of her speed and might hoping to end this right then and there. Gabriella’s eyes grew wide as she saw what was happening and like a beam of light her body quickly shifted to the side as Anna’s sword grazed the area right above her shoulder, seeming to miss the attack altogether. The movement had been so quick it barely registered in Anna’s mind and at the last moment she realized she had just left herself open to a massive counter attack that Gabriella had already committed to, thrusting her sword towards her abdomen. The instant before the liquid like silver sword pierced through her open flesh Gabriella stopped all her forward momentum and just touched the cool blade to her stomach in a show that she had won, not wanting to actually hurt her.
‘I thought I had you there!’ Anna panted from the exertion. She couldn’t remember ever having a more vigorous work out before that and if she was able to lose and gain weight she probably would have been happy with it.
‘You did,’ Gabriella replied, her face a little shocked as she looked over at her left shoulder and nodded, showing Anna the small slice on her skin as a few pinpricks of silver blood welled up. ‘I didn’t expect that to happen to be honest.’
Anna was shocked beyond words and couldn’t take her eyes off the small scratch that was already starting to quickly heal, leaving only the dried up silver blood behind. She honestly didn’t expect it either after she watched how fast Gabriella moved out of the way, but she was glad none the less. Too bad she couldn’t get out of the way from the counter and it would have been a little sweeter. In the grand scheme of things, if this had been a real fight Anna would have lost hands down.
‘What question do you want answered?’ Gabriella asked as she pulled her sword away from Anna and made it vanish into thin air.
There were a million different questions she wanted answered right at that minute but only one managed to find its way past her lips as she whispered, ‘Why did you kill Erin?’
‘For me to answer that I will need to explain everything,’ Gabby replied slowly, as if choosing her words very carefully.
‘Just tell me why!’ Anna demanded as new tears formed on the edges of her eyes.
‘It feels like I only saw you a week ago,’ Gabriella smiled softly, ‘you have no idea how truly beautiful you are.’
‘You did see me last week Gabby!’
‘For you maybe,’ she sighed, ‘but for me it has been over twelve years.’
That didn’t make sense to Anna at all and she found herself just staring at her sister with an open mouth and wide eyes. Time was constant and nothing was supposed to be able to affect the flow of it, so how could it be such a big difference between the two of them?
‘Andromeda tricked me into going with her, telling me she was taking me to see my mother and father when in reality she was going to present me to Ares as a way to gain favour with him once more. The world I was being kept on is outside the Universe, in the middle of absolutely nothing and as such it doesn’t follow the course of physics and time. Time moves at a different speed here than it does there and that’s why it has been gone so long since I have seen you or the others. You have no idea how much I missed looking into your eyes Anna.’
Gabriella reached out to brush her cheek but Anna slowly floated away from her hand and asked with all the conviction she could muster, ‘Why did you kill Erin?’
‘Because I had to or else Ares would have killed me for not following his orders,’ Gabriella replied softly and Anna could see a silver tear form and slip down her cheek.
‘You’re more powerful than he is!’ she blasted, ‘You could have beaten me a hundred times over just now!’
‘You don’t understand Anna, Ares isn’t an immortal now. He’s something more sinister. The Dark God that corrupted his mind had hundreds of years to form him into the perfect killing machine while we all sat around waiting for it all to start again! He’s not the same man my father defeated all those years ago!’
‘What the hell happened to you out there? This isn’t you Gabby! The girl I loved would never just roll over to that monster! You may have forgotten what it’s like to have a family but I haven’t! I’m going to help them kill him!’ she yelled and gathered her power as she prepared to teleport out of there. Gabriella had other ideas though and in the blink of an eye she grabbed onto her and held on tightly as the power Anna had been gathering escaped her and she could feel the vortex she was opening up dissolve. ‘What the hell did you just do?’
‘You’ll find my powers greatly exceed anything you can ever imagine,’ Gabriella answered with sheepish smile, ‘If I don’t want you teleporting away from me than you will find it impossible. I’m not letting you go out there to face Ares. He will kill you! Besides you still have to hold up your end of the deal.’
Try as she might Anna was unable to free herself from the grasp of Gabriella and she couldn’t summon enough power to open a vortex, so she was stuck and hating every second of it. ‘What do you want?’ she asked ruefully.
‘For you to finish what you started all those years ago.’
Gabriella’s lips quickly found hers and she was pulled into a powerful embrace as a slippery tongue started to probe at her lips, looking for a way to enter. Anna outright refused its entry though and did her best to remain as neutral as possible, preferring to let this girl have her way with her rather than take any part of it. Her emotions betrayed her once again though and she could already feel the lust starting to build up beneath her skin as Gabriella kissed her passionately, the need for this kind of contact over riding her brain. The soft mound between her legs was already starting to heat up and she could feel a sticky liquid start to seep out between her lips and she knew then that there was no way she could deny her any longer. Rage and lust were the two most powerful emotions an immortal could feel and Anna realized there was no way she could ever hope to contain either one.
Without her full consent her own hands flew up and grabbed Gabriella behind the back, trying to pull her slender body into hers. Her lips opened up and in an instant their tongues were dancing together, reaching every inch of their mouths as their kiss increased and became a tad sloppy from Gabriella’s lack of experience over the last twelve years, well for her anyways. In a flash of gold and silver their armour vanished and their naked bodies pressed up against each other, their hard nipples pressing into their skin causing another wave of arousal to wash through Anna.
The last time she had gotten this close to doing this with Gabriella she had many different things to worry about and it was able to temper her lust then. She felt like it was wrong, she was still struggling with her own feelings, and she hadn’t wanted to hurt Gabriella in the heat of the moment, but with all those worries gone she knew there would be no stopping it this time.
Even though Gabriella had more strength and power it was Anna who dictated what they did and she quickly became the dominant lover as she lowered one of her hands and cupped Gabriella’s tight round ass. She moved her other hand to her chest and gently squeezed her breast, feeling the firmness and muscle just beneath the surface as Gabriella sighed into her mouth. Their bodies slowly rotated as they floated nearly six thousand feet above the ground and a silly thought about how they were both about to join the mile high club flitted through her mind as she continued to gently knead her lover’s breast.
‘I’ve waited long enough as it is,’ Gabriella breathed as she broke the kiss for a second, ‘Just do it, please!’
Gabriella’s gentle pleading was all she needed and Anna moved the hand she had on her ass to the front and quickly found the blistering hot spot between her legs. The tips of her fingers brushed over a small, soft tuft of pubic hair before gently prodding at the small and very sensitive little button the crowned her small folds. The second her fingers touched her clit Gabriella tossed her head back and moaned loudly, her body shaking from the anticipation and for a minute Anna wanted to tease her, make her beg some more before she finally probed her inner most folds. That thought was quickly tossed out of her mind though as Gabriella’s own fingers moved down between her legs and quickly penetrated her, pushing her lips apart as she felt two digits enter her and pleasure shot through her whole body.
It was almost like someone had touched her with a live wire and she struggled not to drop out of the sky right then as she shoved two of her own fingers into the wet, velvet like vice that was Gabriella’s pussy; bursting her hymen like it was nothing. As the passion that swallowed them whole increased their fingers darted in out of each other as the raced towards their impending orgasms. The two fingers that pumped inside her own swollen pussy were powerful and very dexterous, hitting all the best spots like it was second nature to Gabby and Anna could feel her muscles start to tense as a powerful orgasm ripped through her body and mind.
The sheer pleasure that erupted inside her was too much for her body and she felt the power she was using to keep herself in the air fade away and together, locked to one another they fell from the sky. With her own fingers still inside Gabby’s pussy and twitching uncontrollably she felt her sister’s pussy tighten up around her and pulse hard as her own orgasm hit her, making her scream like she was in pure agony. She was still thrashing around and yelling as they crashed back into the ground, a massive cloud of sand and dust rocketing into the sky as they sank under it with an impact so brutal tremors could be felt around the world.
As the dust started to settle Anna was the first to regain her composure and she pulled herself out from the sand that was trying to swallow them up. She reached down with shaking hands and lifted Gabriella out of the massive crater they had left, gently floating out and placing her softly on more solid ground. Gabriella’s eyes were half rolled into the back of her skull and little orgasm aftershocks continued to pulse through her as she just lay there and twitched under the stimulation.
‘I’m sorry Gabby,’ she whispered directly into her ear, ‘I love you with all my heart but I can’t just sit around and let Ares kill our entire family. I have to go help them fight him and I hope you come to the same decision.’
She placed a gentle kiss on both her forehead and lips as she was already starting to gather her power up, getting herself ready to leave. Gabriella tried to grab at her hand while mumbling the word no over and over again, but it was already too late. With one last small smile the vortex opened around her and she teleported away.
Red rain was falling from the massive black clouds hovering high above London, England, painting the buildings, streets, and abandoned cars with a blood red tinge as James stepped over the bodies of a small family. The parents were clutching onto their young toddler even in death and James felt rage build up inside him for what had transpired here. For what was transpiring all across the world at that very moment. Too many people had already died and unless they could come up with a working plan of attack more would follow.
James felt sick to his stomach at what he had allowed to happen. Ares had once again gotten the upper hand and the memory of when James had had the chance to finish him off for good continued to haunt him as he trudged through the half destroyed streets of the major city. He had him right where he wanted him, but when the moment came to finally finish it he froze giving Ares the chance he needed to escape and continue his reign of terror on creation. James should have learned his lesson then, but he hadn’t and it was because of that the world was once again being dragged into the great shadow of death. He knew this time he would not falter though and he would do whatever it took to finally end this once and for all, even if it cost him his life in return. Nothing was more important than freeing humanity from the clutches of evil.
His always beautiful wife Amy walked silently beside him, her eyes never leaving the end of the street as she refused to look at the bodies they were walking over right then. So much pain had been dealt to them in the recent days and even the euphoric happiness they had been blessed with, in the form of their daughter Gabriella, had been snatched away from them.
The other immortals had split up into groups of two so they could cover more ground in the search for Ares and also so they could more easily locate Anna who was still missing and not responding to any of the calls they were making. The worlds military forces were having more luck fending the demons off this time, helped along by their newly developed weapons made specifically to combat the demon incursion; but they were still being overwhelmed by the demons sheer numbers and whenever an immortal happened by an entrenched combat unit they did whatever they could to help them along. Most military forces were glad to see them helping out, but on more than one occasion the American military had opened fire on a group who had strayed too close to their lines.
Much like before the United States had entered World War II; the country had drawn in on its self and become very suspicious about things they couldn’t explain. Even though James and the rest of his family had done all they could to prove they were only there to help the Americans held no trust for them and would shoot first before asking questions. James feared that if this continued the United States would fall before Ares’s forces quickly and he wished they would just lighten up a bit and realize they were attacking the wrong people. Only a few hours earlier Lucy and Francis had been chased halfway across the state of Texas by American jets and attack helicopters before they finally decided to just teleport away. As it stood right now there was not a single immortal in the United States of America and reports were continually coming in that another state had been lost to the demons who were progressing much further there than any other place. Fifteen states had already been completely overrun.
‘This is strange James,’ Amy said quietly from his side and he quickly looked over at her to find an odd expression on her face. It was halfway between scared and depressed and he could understand why; they were losing ground as each minute ticked by.
‘What is it?’ he whispered as she stepped over a half-eaten man whose assault rifle was only inches from his outstretched hand. The smell of death hung in the air and James struggled to keep himself breathing, when all his lungs wanted to do was cut off all air intake because of the horrid smells.
‘Where are all the demons?’ she asked, ‘We haven’t seen a single once since we got here and it is really starting to creep me out. London is one of the biggest cities in the world and yet there is no one here.’
James checked his corners as they passed by a fairly small alley and couldn’t help but nod in agreement. They had been there, in the heart of the city for almost half an hour, just walking the streets looking for any signs of life but had yet to find any. They had learned from a French military commander that the portals opening had looked to be staggered, with the largest cities first and the smaller ones later so that should mean that London was one of the first ones to open up and that would be why there was almost no one left here. But the complete lack of demon troop movement period was extremely odd as he had expected to meet heavy opposition here and that is why he and Amy, the two most experienced fighters left in their group, had chosen this as their area. They didn’t want any of the others to get too overwhelmed and he and Amy had always been a deadly team when they combined their ranged and close combat skills together.
‘Maybe we were too late,’ he said his thoughts out loud, ‘The demons may already be out in the English country side destroying the smaller cities around this area.’
‘Do you think Michelle’s home is safe?’ she asked and James couldn’t help but shudder. Michelle, the resident nurse of the family had a small little private home a few hours outside of downtown London and that was where they were currently keeping Janice, the injured best friend of their daughter. If there was one person they could save from this destruction both he and Amy wanted it to be her. She was almost like a third daughter to them and would spend most weekends sleeping over at their home.
‘Michelle and Michael are there,’ he replied gently, ‘If anything happens they will notify us right away so I think they are safe right now.’
Amy simply nodded and continued her search of life as they passed by shops and apartment buildings only to find nothing. It was really starting to weigh down on them and James hoped they could at least find a single survivor soon, but he knew they couldn’t continue to keep looking for much longer. They had to make their way the demons portal and see if they could catch a glimpse of Ares, if he was there. James felt more than ever now that Ares was the lynch pin of this whole invasion and that if they could take him out the demons ranks would be easily cut down. The only problem left after that is how would they close the gates down? Eighteen years ago it had been Catherine who had closed them, but they no longer had a god on their side. They had no way as it stood right now.
It took three hours for them to find their first group of survivors and escort them to the safety of a refugee camp on the edge of the English Channel where British Military forces were currently setting up a renewed offensive attack on the heart of London. There were no more than ten survivors and they were mostly small children escorted by two school teachers who had taken refuge in an old World War II bunker underneath the school they taught at. Other students and teachers had not been so lucky and the halls of the school were littered with torn up bodies of those who had tried to flee.
As it happened every time they just magically appeared in the center of the military base they were greeted with yelling and guns pointed in their faces, but once the military personnel realized who and what they were they quickly dropped their weapons and took the survivors to the medical tents for any treatment they would need and give them cold water and hot food. They were taking good care of those that made it to their Forward Operating Base and James was glad to see this as it would be the survivors who would continue civilization after this was all over.
He and Amy were just about to teleport back into London when the base commander flagged them down and ushered them into his small tent, saying he needed to ask them a big favour before they left once more. The tent smelled of mud and maps of the English Continent littered every available flat space, large red circles drawn over areas the demons already controlled. Looking at the maps was a grim reminder of what had already been lost and a portent to what would come to be if they didn’t end this now.
Commander Mitchell brought out a map of London and pointed to a massive area that was completely covered in red ink, telling them that this is where they demons portal was located at. Before they had lost contact with their military satellite’s it had shown a massive build-up of demon forces and he wanted them to go in and provide a report on the number of enemy forces present. The British Government, or what remained of it anyways, wanted to launch an all-out assault on the Nexus Point in the hopes of blocking off any reinforcements that may come out. They believed that if they controlled the area around the portal they could cut down anything that came out of it and give the rest of their forces time to track down the ones that had first arrived and eradicate them before they spread through the country. It was a good plan but James doubted they could pull it off. Sure with their new weapons they stood a chance, but if the demons felt they were being threatened they would send everything they had at the one portal and kill every person they came across. This plan had the potential of going sideways in a really bad way.
It was only after much talk and convincing on James part that he finally agreed to do what was being asked. He knew in the back of his head that he needed to look for Ares and he knew that the betrayer would not stray far from the portal. He had been bested in combat once and by now he had to know that a new generation of immortals were on the hunt for him. So he begrudgingly took the radio Commander Mitchell offered him and holding hands with Amy, they teleported a few kilometers away from the area that they believed the portal was located in.
The rain was still coming down in heavy sheets and James had to hold his hand over his brow so the red coloured liquid wouldn’t get in his eyes and obscure his vision. Amy had already summoned her golden bow into her hand in preparation for any evil force they came across, but James really hoped they wouldn’t have to use it. They were only here to look for Ares and radio back any estimates they could give to the British Military for their planned strike on the area. Even if they found Ares they wouldn’t attack with only the two of them; James would call to the others to his side so they could attack all together and hopefully surprise Ares and his minions.
Deciding to stay off the streets since they were no longer looking for any survivors they jumped up on the roofs of the nearby buildings and slowly made their way close to Trafalgar Square where the Nexus Point was believed to be located at. The skies were quiet and James strained his ears for the sounds of heavy wings breaking through the air that would signal the presence of dragons, but he couldn’t hear a single thing. It was as if the entire city was abandoned and the thought sent a cold shiver down his spine as he silently jumped the wide gap between two multi-story buildings.
Trying to be as quiet as they could he and his wife chose not to speak out loud, instead relying on the telepathic form of communication the immortals had access to. He knew the others could hear their conversations, but thankfully they seemed to understand the need for it and kept quiet so the two of them could talk peacefully and without interruption. While a very effective form of communication it was public among the others and on numerous occasions, during the throes of passion between Francis and Lucy, they had all been privy to the intimate inner dialogue between them. James understood though, at times where you can barely control your own emotions it would be hard to remember that other people could hear what you were saying internally, he just wished Lucy wasn’t so vocal about what Francis was doing to her when they were alone.
In only a few minutes they had reached the edge of a building just outside the square, and thankfully it was higher than most of the surrounding ones so they could easily see into the Square ahead. The crackling of the portal could be heard and felt from hundreds of feet away and James quickly realized that like the portal they had encountered in Berlin, this one was much larger than the rest. That could mean several things, but James held onto one idea; a larger portal could herald the location of Ares as he would probably have the largest force around him for protection.
‘We might have something here guys,’ he projected to the others and he could feel the anticipation as everyone seemed to hold their breath at the same moment. Both he and Amy fell to their stomachs as they neared the edge of the building and slowly made their way forward, making as little sound as possible. Some of the others had encountered demons that were specifically created to be lookouts and had amazing sight and hearing so they had to be as careful as they possibly could or the whole area might know of their presence. James wasn’t afraid that they would be overwhelmed but he didn’t want Ares to know he had been found, if he was even there that is.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity of crawling on their bellies, James and Amy gazed out on Trafalgar Square and were amazed at the amount of demons that were just standing around the portal, vicious looking ebon weapons dripping blood red rain. James’s enhanced brain flew into action as he simultaneously struggled to count the demons he saw and search through the crowd of black flesh for any hint of golden armour that would signal that Ares was there. He had counted up to over half a million but still had not spotted Ares when he quickly realized something was seriously wrong here. None of the demons he was looking at were anything they had encountered before. They all seemed to be specially created for one purpose and their appearance compounded that. They were unbelievably large with rippling muscles, immortal like weapons, and beady red eyes that hinted at a greater intelligence than their cousins. These demons were immortal killers and they seemed to be waiting for them to show up so they could fulfill their purpose.
‘This isn’t good at all,’ Amy thought and the idea rippled through all the immortals as everyone remained quiet. James knew they were tapping into her sight right now and could see for themselves what she was looking at.
‘What do you want to do?’ Francis asked him and James could only shake his head, knowing that the action wouldn’t be known to his friend.
‘It would be suicide to go in there,’ Michelle thought and James caught a hint of hope. He was about to ask her about it but decided to see through her eyes for a second, glimpsing a very alive looking Janice sitting up in a bed, her cheeks pink and warm looking.
‘Ares might be there though,’ Samantha thought but Henry quickly squashed that idea.
‘I don’t see any gold among them so he can’t be there. This is probably some trap they have set up to lure us in. They must know we would think he is there.’
Even though James knew Henry was probably right he couldn’t help but shake the idea that this would be the perfect hiding place for Ares. He would be protected better here than any of the other portals they had been to so far and the fact that the city had already been completely cleared out couldn’t hurt. If he wasn’t here than where in the world could he be? That’s when another though hit him and he had to swallow the bile the rose in this throat, threatening to spew out of his mouth in disgust. The threat that Ares had sent back with Janice clouded his mind and he couldn’t help but wonder if Ares was even on Earth. He claimed that he was going to turn Gabriella against her parents so it wouldn’t be that far of a jump to assume that he was with her right now, torturing that poor child. Right?
‘There has been no sighting of her,’ Michael thought sombrely to the images James was unknowingly projecting to the group at large. Beside him Amy visibly shuddered and he placed his hand on her back, gently rubbing it to apologize for his train for thought.
‘What the hell is that thing?’ Lucy asked when Amy glanced over a particularly menacing looking demon with dragon wings. It stood close to ten feet tall and was covered from head to toe in muscle, its large red eyes scanning the Square and sky for any sign of an attack.
The moment his eyes locked onto the beast across the square James knew they were in serious trouble. There was no mistaking the strong facial features of Ares and the mutation he had gone through couldn’t hide the deadly intelligence hiding just behind his eyes. He even still used a spear as his weapon of choice, but it was no longer sparkling gold and once a beacon of justice. It was dark black and twice as long as the one James had been impaled with the last time they met.
‘It’s him,’ he choked out both verbally and mentally as his world started to come crashing down around him. He honestly had not been expecting this but everything Janice had told him that she had seen on the demons home world came flooding back to him. She had said Ares had large wings like a bat but he had just shrugged that off then as a scared girl’s vision being tampered with by her memory of the horrors she had seen. He had been wrong though and what Janice had told him didn’t even come close to the monster that Ares had allowed himself to become.
Without even asking if he was sure all the immortals appeared on the rooftop, their weapons held tightly in their hands and a hard look on all their faces. Slowly moving back from the edge he brought himself to his feet a second before Amy followed suit, then moved closer to the semi-circle his family had created. The spot Erin would usually take was left open and it didn’t escape any of them that they did this on purpose. He shook that thought from his head though and focused on more important matters, like the fact that their job had just gotten a hundred times harder than it already was.
‘We’re ready James,’ Francis said and a silent nod rippled through those gathered before him. James didn’t know what to say to that and instead chose to look to his wife but found she was looking straight ahead, her eyes rock hard and all the muscles in her slender body tensed and ready for action.
The truth was he was scared senseless right then and it was a struggle to just remain on his feet. They had encountered something similar to this during the first invasion and they had so very nearly lost then. The Dark Immortals they had fought then though were just empty husks of what was standing in their way this time and he knew this fight would cost some lives. He knew it was their purpose, their whole reason for existence, but with this new generation of immortals he had watched them grow from small children and had come to love every one of them like they truly were his birth family. Now he had to lead them into a battle he wasn’t sure they could even win. To add to the shit storm that was headed their way; they were missing two of their most skilled fighters in Erin and Anna.
‘James,’ Samantha said gently, moving towards him and placing a hand on his wrist. She squeezed gently and James looked up to meet her eyes to find sheer determination facing him, and painted on every face present. ‘We’re ready.’
‘Work in teams of two,’ he instructed as he reigned in his fear, ‘Separate them and under no circumstance are you to push directly into their lines. Never stop moving, if you do you will die.’
They all formed into line and prepared to throw themselves right into the middle of the fray. Before they had even taken a step closer to the edge the radio James had been carrying started to crackle softly and he realized he had totally forgotten to inform the British Military of what was going on. He quickly bent down and picked it up, holding the button and moving it close to his mouth to speak.
‘This is Archangel One,’ he said using the code name he had been given before he had left, ‘Come in Archangel Actual.’
The radio crackled more intensely and then the sound cut out as a strained voice came through from the other end. ‘This is Archangel Actual, go ahead Archangel One.’
‘We’ve encountered close to a million demons at the Portal and we are going to engage them,’ he spoke slowly, ‘Do not assault the gate. I repeat! Do not assault the gate! There are too many here for even us to fight.’
There were a few moments of silence on the radio and James wondered what was going on back at the base they were stationed in. After two minutes of utter silence a familiar voice broke through the radio as Commander Mitchell spoke in loud tones. ‘Negative Archangel One. We cannot let you take them on alone. You worry about keeping your people safe and I will do the same for mine. Artillery and rocket barrage is already incoming so keep your heads down.’
‘Do not engage!’ James hissed into the radio several times but the military issued no reply, having already gone into radio silence as they began their attack on the Nexus Point. A few seconds later the immortals were knocked from their feet as the square not a few hundred feet away exploded in black and orange fireballs that reached high into the sky. For close to twenty minutes rockets and artillery shells rained down from the heavens in a dazzling display of military dominance, throwing chunks of debris and pieces of demon flesh into every corner.
James had to physically place his hands over his ears to shut out the explosive sounds assaulting him and with each new explosion he could feel the earth shattering cracks and bangs in his bones and heart. When the final rocket screamed into the street and exploded with a shower of black blood and cement dust James forced himself back to his feet and peered over the edge as the others joined him. For the second time in almost twenty years, the shining beacon of Trafalgar Square lay in complete ruin as the barrage had ripped the area to shreds, sinking it into a fifty foot deep crater that smoked and hissed under a heavy black cloud of smoke and dust that threatened to block out the sun for years.
Many of the demons that had been present during the attack had been incinerated while some screamed in agony as they searched through the debris for missing body parts. The attack had been a brilliant success but the sheer amount of the demons that had been there at the start had been to great and close to five thousand still lived, showing no signs of damage. They only looked pissed off and James knew the fight would be even harder now. If they were anything like them then anger and rage were the most powerful tools they had at their disposal.
‘Archangel One,’ the radio crackled, ‘This is Thor. We are beginning our attack run now.’
No sooner had the voice faded the sky was filled with the sound of hundreds of screaming jets racing towards them, loaded to the gills with a deadly armaments that they hoped would make short work of the demons protecting the portal. The first few jets passed overhead quickly and safely, releasing massive bombs and rockets that exploded on contact with the ground sending dozens more fireballs high into the sky, but the ones that followed weren’t so lucky. Hundreds of winged demons took to the sky and cut entire planes in half with their massive ebon weapons before chasing after the others that were now zigzagging through the skies trying to shake the threat off their tails.
‘Francis, Lucy! Make sure those planes get out of here safely!’ James ordered and the two immortals jumped into the sky and flew off after the beleaguered pilots. He turned back to the others and found a few confident smiles that he couldn’t help but return. ‘Looks like we get off easy today!’
Without any more words or speeches to try and pump them up they leapt from the tall building as one cohesive unit and landed heavily on the broken street beneath them, the pavement cracking and giving way under them. Before the dust had even settled around them James rushed forward, summoning his gleaming golden swords and holding them at his sides as he let loose a terrifying yell. The demons were still trying to pick themselves up from the initial attack and the immortals pounced on them, cutting down several before they even had a chance to fight back.
James’s swords easily cleaved through two demons simultaneously as an arrow of pure white energy flew over his right shoulder and caught another in the face, throwing it back into the crowd of demons that were finally realizing they were being attacked. He ducked underneath a crude looking black axe that threatened to take off his head and swung his blade through the demons knee’s, severing its legs instantly and bringing his other sword down on the falling demon.
A demon charged at him full tilt, slashing its giant weapons through the air as James danced between them, making sure they came nowhere near his skin. The speed at which the demons were attacking was staggering and he quickly found himself dodging more than attacking, narrowly avoiding dozens of deadly blades and projectiles that tore into the already pulverized street. The other immortals also found themselves at the mercy of the demons counter attack and they dashed all over the area as no more than golden blurs on the smoking back drop around them.
Amy was the only one who was still effective in combat, quickly sprinting away from harm and unleashing a torrent of arrows on her foes before doing it all over again. On more than one occasion she saved the life of one of the others by landing a well-placed shot right at the last second, allowing them to escape further away from the horde that was pursuing them. Across the square Michelle, in her haste to get away from two dozen ravenous demons, tripped over a dislodged chunk of pavement and landed roughly on her stomach, totally oblivious to the multitude of weapons screaming through the air and threatening to cut her to pieces. James watched in horror as he realized he was too far away, but he began to run to her none the less. A split second before the first weapon would have torn into her a blinding wall of white energy fell upon the demons, ripping them to tiny bits as Amy made sure they wouldn’t be hurting the young immortal. Realizing what had happened Michelle quickly shook the bodies off her and stood back up, nodding towards Amy with gratitude before leaping back into the fray and taking the fight to the demons chasing Henry.
James struggled his hardest to try and scan the wall of black before him for Ares but with everything he had to dodge he could barely keep an eye on his own back half the time. The hideous form of the once proud immortal was lost in the blur of combat and James could only assume he had retreated back into the portal now that most of his protectors had been dealt with. He couldn’t have been more wrong though and it quickly became apparent when he caught a quick glimpse of a massive black spear soaring through the air towards Henry, forcing Michelle to dart across the empty space and smash it away with her golden weapon.
‘HE’S OVER HERE!’ Henry yelled out, the panic in his voice causing it to rise a few octaves. In a fit of rage James dashed towards the hulking black figure of Ares but was quickly cut off by a dozen demons sworn to protect their leader with their lives. He hacked and slashed at them trying to force them to make an opening against his attack but was stunned when his attacks were easily deflected and he had to flip backwards out of the way from their counter.
Half way through his flip James looked back over at Henry and Michelle as they openly engaged Ares, his heart seizing up in terror as he watched Henry block an attack only to have his weapon torn from his hands and tossed aside. Michelle, who was too far away this time to protect him, screamed his name so loud James was sure people across the Channel could hear it a split second before Ares stepped in and thrust his spear deep into Henry’s chest. The young immortals body was lifted high off the ground as he gripped onto the shaft of the spear, golden blood trickling from his white lips a second before Ares tossed him aside like a piece of discarded trash.
The wave of immense pain washed through James and the rest of his family as the last little bits of life left in Henry’s body and he closed his eyes for the last time. In the heat of the battle thankfully no one fell to the pain like they had in the past, but it still hurt the same and James wished he never had to feel that ever again. Well that wasn’t true, he wanted to feel it one last time as he lobbed Ares’s head from his shoulders.
James was unable to get past the wall of demons forming in front of him, and none of the others anywhere close to help, Ares pointed his spear that was dripping with golden blood at a crying Michelle and moved in for another kill. All James could do was watch in terror as once more a person he loved was slaughtered at the hands of one he had once called brother.
Michelle was too distraught, too scared to even defend herself and her sword was held limply at her side as Ares took the last steps closer to her. With a vicious grin displaying a row of razor sharp white teeth he thrust his spear towards the defenceless girl. It never connected though. A brilliant flash of gold erupted between The Betrayer and Michelle, exploding and tossing both of them back with such force that Michelle flew through the wall of a charred building behind her and disappeared beneath a shower of rubble and dust.
‘If you want me dead then do it yourself next time!’ Anna roared sending a wave of relief through James as he stared at his lost daughter, her golden armour gleaming even though there was no sunlight and her large sword clutched tightly in her hand as she held it at the ready.
Anna held out her sword in an offensive posture, standing over the body of her fallen brother who lay completely still. She had felt the ripple of pain tear through her body only a moment before she had arrived and she knew instantly what had happened. She had spent the better part of a day trying to locate her family but had no luck, also finding that something had happened to her when she had been ‘killed’ by Gabriella. She could no longer connect her mind to the others and it only made it a hundred times harder to locate them. When she had felt Henry die though she knew instinctively where they were and had gathered all the power she had at her disposal to reach them in time.
All around her the sounds of combat rang in her ears but she shut it all out, focusing only on the hideous beast that was picking itself up from the ground where she had tossed him. She had seen a horrible smile on his face the moment she arrived, but now that he had been embarrassed so bad by her his face was hard and his mouth was open in a silent roar as he gazed upon someone he had thought was dead.
‘If you want me dead then do it yourself next time!’ she roared at him.
‘My pleasure,’ he hissed, his voice nothing more than a barely decipherable growl. His black spear that had been knocked out of his hands when Anna had thrown him hundreds of feet away appeared back in his hand the exact same moment he charged towards her, his massive muscled legs propelling him faster than she ever thought possible.
If it hadn’t been for that sparring session with Gabriella back in the desert she never would have been able to track his movements, but even with that new knowledge of how they moved she could only catch glimpses. Luckily she had seen enough to know what he was going for and easily dodged to the left the second a spear materialized right where she had been standing, cutting harmlessly into the air. Using all the speed and strength she had at her disposal she quickly did a pirouette and slashed her sword through the massive beasts back, spraying black globs of blood into the air.
For the briefest of moments she thought she had just seriously wounded him and a sense of euphoria rocketed through her body, only to have it disappear the very next moment as Ares lashed out with his free hand and caught her on the cheek. The blow was nothing more than a glancing hit but it was still powerful enough to send her staggering backwards and her vision to double for a few moments as she tried to come to terms with what had just happened. She had been totally defenceless against the attack and hadn’t even seen it coming until it was already too late.
‘You’ll have to do better than that!’ Ares snarled and launched at her once more. Instead of trying to track where he was going and what he was going to do Anna just launched herself backwards until she was standing with her back against a wall a dozen feet away from her enemy. Ares quickly spun on his heel and was once again bearing down on her, the wicked point of his spear flashing through the air right at her neck. At the very last second, with the tip of the spear only inches from her unprotected neck, she jumped out of the way to her left and tucked into a summersault as Ares found himself unable to stop his massive forward momentum and crashed right through the building.
Once again she thought she had gotten the upper hand on her foe only to be surprised when he struck back, smashing back through the wall right behind her and throwing his shoulder into the middle of her back so hard she was tossed high through the hair and landing in a puddle of dirty water in the very center of a massive crater in the middle of the street. Before she was even able to pull herself up Ares had his massive hand around the back of her neck, lifting her high into the air above him as he readied his spear to impale her.
‘You’re not so tough!’ he cackled, totally missing the smile Anna was wearing on her face in that moment. What happened next was so fast she was barely able to comprehend it. She summoned her sword back into her hand and drove it through his chest in the same moment that James teleported right behind him and sunk both of his swords into his back. A second later, as Ares began to drop her back towards the ground; a dozen and a half arrows flew into his body and sunk all the way to the feathers made completely of energy.
As both James and Anna pulled their weapons free of him Ares began to laugh loudly, holding his arms half way in the air with a massive grin on his face. ‘You think you can kill me with such a pitiful attack? NOTHING CAN KILL ME NOW!’ he laughed and threw his foot into Anna’s face, rocketing her back a dozen feet as she toppled to the ground in pain.
Her vision was blurry and she could barely catch a breath as her mind began to spiral downwards into the abyss of misery and lost hope. By all rights he should be laying on the ground dead right now, instead he was still fighting as his grievous wounds quickly healed right before her eyes. With Anna out of action for the moment Ares turned his attention to James who stood there before him as still as a statue, his swords flailing through the air as they were easily knocked aside. Ares wrapped both of his strong hands around the man’s throat and began to apply pressure, forcing James onto his knees as his face turned purple from the strain.
Before Anna could even move there was a large pop sound a flash of brilliant silver light as Gabriella appeared at the demons side, her silver armour shimmering like liquid mercury and her ever changing weapon clutched tightly in her steady hand. Ares seemed amused to see her and let up on some of the pressure he was using on James throat, turning to look at the beautiful girl with her silver irises.
‘I’m glad you decided to come,’ he chuckled, ‘You can have the honour of killing Gabrielle while I finish off the one who escaped from you.’
‘G…G… Gabby,’ James choked, tiny flecks of spit spraying from his lips as he tried to speak. Gabriella looked instead at Anna, her eyes softening when they met her.
‘Kill him now!’ Ares demanded now, his face turning hard as he realized he was losing control on his weapon. When she refused to look away from Anna he let out a roar of rage and lashed out at her with one of his hands. Before it could even touch her she quickly grabbed it out of the air in one of her small slender hands and squeezed tightly, veins popping out along his arm.
‘I won’t let you hurt her,’ she said quietly and then quickly tossed him aside, his body smashing into the torn up cement as a cascade of dust and debris was thrown into the air. The liquid like weapon held in her hand shifted form into a massive two handed mace and she darted towards Ares who was still slowly getting up, his eyes looking unfocused from the sudden and violent assault. The mace smashed into his head a second later, the sound of bone being crushed beneath the great force snapped through the streets and echoed off of buildings that were still somehow standing. Like the attack he had been hit with a few moments ago he healed instantly and lashed out at Gabriella with so much speed he almost disappeared altogether.
Anna quickly glanced over towards James and found that Amy was now by his side, protecting him as he gathered himself together and got back into the fray as close to a hundred demons began to swarm them. Knowing that he would be safe for now she quickly turned back towards Gabriella who was locked in a staggering display of combat with Ares. She knew she would do a whole lot more good if she just stayed out of the way and let the two heavy weights duke it out on their own, but she couldn’t stand not being in there. Gabriella was willing to risk her life to keep Anna safe, the least she could do was repay the favour and do whatever she could to protect the girl she loved.
She quickly jumped into the middle of the fight and almost instantly Gabriella had to move her away from a blazing spear strike she had never seen coming. This was unlike anything she had ever experienced before and the sparring with Gabby, or the combat with Ares hadn’t even been close to what either of these two super powers could really do. Thankfully Anna quickly fell into a rhythm with her partner and they began to work well together as they dashed back and forth over the square, deflecting brutal attacks while trying to deliver their own. Still, most of the time she was missing entire sequences that Gabriella had to pick up and carry her through, but she was determined to not let her fight this battle alone. This was her chance to prove to Gabby that she would always stand by her.
Anna quickly side stepped a blisteringly fast attack by Ares and brought her own sword down on him, hoping to catch him off guard with Gabriella bringing her own weapon down on his head in the very same moment. Ares was just too good though and held his spear at an angle to block both attacks at the same time, spinning it around in his hands to get them away from him as he unleashed his own attack. Anna managed to dodge the first attack sent her way in the form of his foot, but the end of the spear butt caught her on the shoulder and flipped her through the air. Gabriella was too busy trying to keep herself alive as Ares threw everything he had at her and was unable to protect Anna as she landed hard on her back right below the beast. In an instant his foot was on her windpipe, squeezing the life right out of her and she struggled with all her strength to lift him off her. It was no use though, she had used all the power she had in her just getting up to this point and was now completely helpless against him.
‘I will kill her!’ he roared at Gabriella, pressing down harder on her throat to get his point across.
‘I won’t let you!’ Gabby defied him and lashed out with her mace once more only to have it knocked easily away. Anna could see it in her lover’s eyes, she didn’t want anything to happen to her and it was affecting her fighting skills. If she pushed too hard Ares would snap her neck instantly.
‘Too late!’ he screamed and before either of them could do anything he thrust his spear deep into Anna’s stomach, twisting to open up the wound even more than it already was.
Anna cried out in extreme pain as she felt the spear pierce her flesh and sever through vital organs and arteries. Ares pulled his foot away from her throat but it didn’t matter to her anymore, she was in so much pain she wished he would just end it for her. In that moment there was nothing more she wanted then to die right there, for all the pain to end and bliss pull her down into the darkness that was starting to already swallow her whole. Every nerve in her body felt like it was on fire and she could feel her warm golden blood pool around her quickly cooling body as her life seeped away into the debris filled street.
Her ears no longer picked up any sound besides her own horrible screaming but she saw Gabriella rush over to her and pull her limp body up into her arms, her lips moving but no words coming out. Dozens of thick silver tears streamed down the young girls face and Anna could see herself reflected in the silvery irises. A sense of déjà vu washed over her and she remembered the time, not so long ago, that Gabriella had faked Anna’s death so she would have been safe from Ares and the war he was bringing with him into this world. Maybe she should have listened to her then, stayed out of everything and just let it happen. She wished she could spend the rest of eternity here in Gabriella’s arms.
‘I… I l… love you Gabs,’ she whispered, spitting out each word with great effort.
As the last of her life began to leave her immortal body Anna’s eyes fixed on the spot right above Gabriella’s head where Ares was bringing his spear down on her skull. Anna wanted to yell out, warn her of what was happening but her lips no longer moved and she began to feel herself start to float away from where she was laying in her sisters arms. The last thing Anna saw was an explosion of sliver light that consumed everything it touched, blinding her until all she saw was black. Then there was nothing.
Gabriella clutched tightly onto the lifeless body of Anna as her eyes unfocused and stared off into space. Time slowed down around her, in a literal sense as the immense pain of the loss of another immortal hit her like a train and was capped off by the utter sorrow at losing someone she loved more than life itself. She grabbed hold of all the pain that was welling up in her tensed body and balled it up, thrusting her almost infinite power right into the very center of it. She could feel it roil up within her and expand exponentially as she threw her head to the skies and let out a fearsome cry of agony.
The power she had been building up exploded out from the center of her heart in a blinding flash of silver light that detonated like an atom bomb. She could feel every little speck of dust it incinerated like it was an extension of her body, and she knew the instant it touched Ares. His howl of pain and surprise was quickly lost in the torrent of noise that was exploding around him, and inch by inch she could feel as his body began to shatter into ash from the powerful attack. A morbid sense of relief and giddiness erupted inside of Gabriella as she felt the last little remnants of Ares get tossed into the wind and scattered in a billion different directions. He could never hurt another person again.
As the silver explosion rippled over the entirety of the square the rest of the demons were killed off instantly while the immortals that still fought hard against them were unharmed, the warming light washing over their bodies and wrapping them like up like a hot blanket. She could feel their pain and sore muscles get soothed under the intense wave and a sense of sheer calm befell them as finally, after the last demon had been killed the silver explosion retreated back into Gabriella’s body; empowering her with all the life she had just taken. She could feel new found power bubbling just under the surface but she pushed the heady feeling away as she looked back down at the body of the one person she had ever truly loved with her entire heart.
‘Gabriella…’ she heard a soft, familiar voice call out from behind her. She ignored the gentle tugging on her shoulder and refused to let go of the tight grip on Anna’s limp body. She could feel herself being surrounded, cornered like a rat but in no way did she fear being attacked. With the power she now had at her command she could deal with whatever was thrown at her with no problem. Nothing was going to tear her away from Anna right now.
There was another gentle hand on her other shoulder and it gripped her muscles gently, in an understanding fashion that was totally lost in her grief. She could feel her warm, salty tears flowing over her cheeks and dripping off the edge of her chin onto Anna’s extremely pale face, forming little pools of silver liquid. She was disgusted at the sight of them and quickly brushed them away with a gentle hand, smearing a few flecks of golden blood over her lips. Before she could wipe those away a golden tinged hand moved in and brushed across the lips with a wet clothe, erasing any sign of the blood. It was now that Gabriella looked up to see whom it was that would be so caring for her and Anna and found her mother looking at her with thick tears streaking down her face, a sad smile painted across her features.
It had been many years since Gabriella had seen her mother and she had figured she wouldn’t recognize her when they finally met once again. Everything that Ares had subjected her to was in an effort to erase the memories of her birth parents from her mind and turn her against them, but looking into those big and wet blue eyes it all came back in a flood of emotion. She couldn’t help but shake the feeling that they were nothing more than strangers now, but if Amy would be so gentle with Anna’s body then that was good enough for her right now. When Amy tried to put her arms around Anna’s body though Gabriella felt a surge of anger pulse through her body and she quickly pulled her closer to her and jumped away, landing a dozen feet back from Amy who gazed at her with a hurt look on her face.
The group that had been surrounding her quickly stopped all their movements but tightly gripped their weapons, looking at Gabriella like she was some kind of wild animal that would attack them at any moment for no reason. She could see the logic in their thinking but it still upset her a little bit knowing that she seemed that unstable to them. She had seen the same kind of panic in Anna’s eyes on multiple occasions when she had first come back, the look that said Gabriella had lost her mind. Maybe they were right; maybe she had completely lost her mind and was no longer the same person she had once been. But was that so wrong? All her life she couldn’t wait to grow up and become more like her mother and father, to fight alongside them and save the earth from evil’s grip. So many things had gone wrong though and she was more lost now than she ever had been.
When she had gained full access to her powers and was being trained by Ares she quickly realized she was not and never would be like the others. She was a freak of nature compared to them, a monster that should never have existed. The immortals were perfect in every way shape and form. They were strong, smart, fast, and beyond all else they were good; dedicating their lives to the greater good of the world they had been created to protect. But when the time came for her to pick up that mantle and be just like them she shucked it off and focused on only being selfish; keeping what was truly important to her safe. She knew what she was truly capable of now and the knowledge that she could have stopped all of this pain and suffering from happening cut deep into her heart like a jagged knife.
‘What have I done?’ she asked herself, her voice so low no one else would be able to hear it. Everything that had happened in the last few days was because of her and she knew it. If she had just stayed in Anna’s apartment like she was supposed to all of this could have been averted. But no, she had to go off and screw everything up! Because of that Anna was now dead, same with Erin and Henry. There was another memory that struck her like a ton of bricks; Erin. Besides her parents and Anna, Erin was the only other person she had once considered an actual part of her family. Yet she had killed her with her own hands, watched the life slowly ebb out of her powerful body until she was nothing more than a hollow shell.
It wasn’t exactly as it seemed though, and only she knew what really happened that night. Gabriella had every intention of killing all the people she had once trusted and felt that had betrayed her. She wanted to make them pay for what they did to her; leaving her stranded with Ares so she could be tortured on a daily basis until she could no longer feel physical pain. She was ready and willing to do everything Ares wanted her to do when he sent her back to Earth.
She could still feel Anna’s throat being crushed under her fingers and the rage that was filling her just by looking into her eyes. The person she had trusted the most had cut her the deepest, but she hesitated. She could feel all those old emotions coming back to her like a tidal way but they were so foreign, so alien that she didn’t understand what it was that was going on with her. She had already made up her mind to let Anna go when Erin interjected. When Gabriella threw Anna out of the house she had been planning on surrendering herself to Erin, just giving up because the dark thoughts rolling around in her brain weren’t hers. She didn’t want any of that.
She still couldn’t truly understand what had happened next; none of it made any sense to her over stuffed and stimulated brain. They had fought, but Gabriella no longer had the desire to kill her anymore and every kill shot she spotted she let slide away. Even Erin didn’t seem to have the will to kill her and her fighting style lacked any real conviction and grew purely defensive. Just when she thought they would both stop fighting Erin did something that surprised her; she stepped into Gabriella’s blade. She had been too stunned to stop her or move away from the desperate attempt and gasped when Erin was run through with the sword, golden blood pouring out of her chest.
‘You can still save everything. Thank you,’ were the last words Erin ever spoke and she fell to the floor a moment later in a bloody heap. Only one thought screamed at Gabriella then and she realized that deep down Erin had been looking for a reason she could let go and see her lost husband once more in death. Gabriella’s father had said thousands of times that even to this day, millenniums later that the death of Erin’s husband still haunted her and she was truly never the same after that.
It wasn’t until that moment, while she was holding on the lifeless body of the one person she loved more than her own life, did Gabriella realize just how strong the pain was when you lost someone that close to you. Erin was the strongest willed person Gabriella had ever met and she knew she could never keep going like that now that Anna was gone. She wanted to die right now, on the slim chance that she could see her once more. But the words Erin had said to her as her last breath escaped her lips began to burrow into her mind like a worm and she couldn’t shake it. She could still save everything. She could still be the person she had always wanted to be. She could make things right. She knew the chances of actually succeeding were extremely thin but that only bolstered her more. There was the chance that she could have both the things she wanted the most. Release and redemption were in her reach now.
‘Gabriella?’ her mother’s voice pierced through the fog that had been clouding her mind as she was lost deep in thought. Gabriella looked up into the face of the beautiful woman she had once had wanted to be just like and her own tears were mirrored back at her.
‘I’m sorry,’ Gabriella gasped and buried her head in Anna’s chest, hiding her eyes and tears from the sad look on her mother’s face. ‘She died because of me. They all died because of me!’
Amy’s arms were around both of them the next moment and Gabriella quickly squashed the urge of running that was building up inside her. She could feel her mother’s warm skin touching her own and the cold tears running down the side of her neck, a mix of both of them. It had been so long since she had been held by her mother and once more she felt safe, if only for that one fleeting moment.
‘Hush now baby,’ Amy said gently and patted her back, ‘Everything is going to be okay. All that matters right now is that you are back in my arms where you belong.’
Gabriella allowed herself to be held for a moment longer, but when she started to feel her resolve slip away she gently brushed her mother off. She looked down into Anna’s relaxed eyes and noticed how dull they had already gotten, clouding over from the very center as her body was already starting to slowly decay. They had once been so bright and full of life that looking at them in this fashion was torture and using her fingers she gently closed them. She kissed her on the forehead lightly and whispered ‘I love you’ into her ear, hoping that wherever she was she would be able to hear it. If not then she planned on telling her in person soon enough, if that was even possible. No one knew what happened to an immortal once they died, but there was always the hope that they went onto somewhere else where they could all be together once more.
‘Keep her safe,’ Gabriella whispered to her mother and gently handed the still warm body over to her. She got to her feet and looked around, seeing all the sad faces looking back at her as they touched her sadness. It was her father’s face that struck her the hardest though and she couldn’t look away from his tear filled eyes as they held her captivated. He was covered in a splattering of black and gold blood and had a few cuts and bruises that refused to heal quickly. She had never seen him look so weak before and she hoped she never would have to again. As her father he was supposed to be the most powerful man to ever live.
He must have seen the plan that she had formed lingering in her eyes because his expression changed from sad to stern and he quickly closed the distance between them, shaking his head from side to side as the word no seemed to elude him. For a minute she thought of moving away from him, not letting his arms wrap around her but she realized this would most likely be a final goodbye and she couldn’t deny herself that. Under no circumstance was she going to let him change her mind though.
‘I have to go again,’ she whispered into his ear as she sunk into his tight embrace. He held her more securely but she could feel his body try to fight him as his mind started to work out what was going on and why she needed to leave.
‘Not without me you’re not,’ he said stiffly and she wondered if he truly meant that. He above everyone else should know exactly what it was she was walking into, and she doubted he would willingly do that.
‘No,’ she stated and fought back fresh tears that were stinging at the edges of her eyes, ‘Stay with mom and keep her safe. There are still a lot of people here who need you to save them.’
‘I will not let you go alone!’
Gabriella knew the time to break the embrace was now there and she gently extricated herself from his arms, using only as much force as was needed. She didn’t want to hurt him but she couldn’t stand being held for one more second. ‘You have to and you will. I have to set right all the wrongs I did. This has to end and I am the only one who can do it. I won’t let another one of you die because of my stupidity!’
Her father opened his mouth to say something that might possibly change her mind but she could already feel her will start to wane and she shut out the sound of his voice. She turned her back on him, summoning her unique weapon into her hand and facing the massive crackling red portal that would take her to where she needed to be. She had other means of getting there but she wanted to use this one and prevent anything from ever coming through it again. The city was already a smoldering ruin and she feared too much damage had been done for it to ever come back, but the people of the world had already rebuilt once and she was sure they could do it again.
As she stepped ever closer to the gateway she looked back and took in the faces of the people she had once called her family. Some of them were still openly crying while others were looking at her with a grim determination about their features. None of them wanted to see her go and she wished it didn’t have to happen, but there was only one way this thing was ever going to end for good. Her mother was still kneeling in a bus sized crater tenderly holding onto Anna’s body and staring at her with so much pain in her eyes that it almost physically hurt her to look at.
She had to stop looking though and she could feel the magic of the portal start to swell up around her, beckoning her further into its depths. Steeling her nerves she took one last deep breath and walked into it, feeling every molecule of her powerful body get torn apart as she was rocketed across the cosmos.
To Be Concluded...
Note: Sorry this took so much longer to get out to you all but I had some trouble writing it. This was the sixth rewrite of this chapter. Don't forget to rate and comment. Thank you all.