First Page: Awakening
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A wave of powerful supernatural energy washed over Charouth as she navigated the depths of an abandoned subway tunnel. Decades ago the E train sped along these tracks ferrying passengers during rush hour. Now it all lay in ruins. Graffiti several layers thick covered the walls. Support beams, stripped of their paint jobs and coated in rust hardly looked strong enough to hang a hat on much less keep a ceiling up. Wooden and cement rubble crunched under her heavy boots as she traveled farther away from the point of entry. She glanced behind her. A weak emergency bulb shed meager light on the six mortals making their way down the treacherous steps onto the platform. They needed to hurry. The rotten scent of a not so fresh corpse hit her. Ugh. Gross. This kind of work was so far below her rank.
“Hurry up guys,” she called to the struggling humans. “Dinner party’s almost over.”
She reached the point where the tunnel began a sharp curve. The heavy grunts and footfalls of the humans stopped right behind her. Charouth didn’t need to see what lay ahead. The familiar slurping and gnawing sounds of demonic creatures feeding gave her all the information she needed. These guys were nasty, but didn’t have enough power to keep that piss poor emergency lightbulb going. Something worse awaited them.
“Take this.” The leader of the humans crept up behind her and tried to slip a gun into her hand.
“No thank you. I have my own weapon.” Cool white light pierced the darkness as a sword of pure celestial flame formed in her hand. The energetic flames licked around her hand and wrist yet she remained unharmed. The weapon was as much as part of her as her blood. She held the sword up higher and frowned. The flames usually burned brighter. Still not one hundred percent then. No worries. She still had enough power to get the job done.
“You sure you’re strong enough for this?”
“Of course, Jack. These flesh eaters will be a piece of cake.”
“You could barely move yesterday.”
“I’m fine now. Don’t worry.”
Poor Jack. He didn’t know the half of it. How could he? He was just a man. A man who’d witnessed an angel crash land in his backyard a week ago. Luck would have it that Jack was a member of the Order, a select group of humans who served as Heaven’s earthly exterminators. In exchange for his hospitality while she healed, Charouth agreed to help Jack and his merry band of men on their next hunt. Better to get this debt settled sooner rather than later. Gods Above and Below how embarrassing. Owing a human a favor. If the other angels found out there’d be no end to the mockery.