Guardians of the Herald – Issue #100

Rabdos adjusted his seat astride Kicker’s shoulders.  The movement put pressure on one of the new scars and the man winced, bringing a slight smile to the demon’s face.  He did it again and the man started to reach up, but then stopped.  Good, he was broken to the saddle but still had his spirit.  He’d need that soon.

“That house is bad news without my boys to back us up. Why we standing here?” Kicker asked, moving around the stop sign and behind the overgrown bush that sat at the edge of the corner lot where they stood.

Rabdos rose to stand on Kicker’s shoulders and peer over the top of the bush.  He regarded the street before him and the houses directly across from him.  The house Kicker referred to had a low chain link fence around the front yard with a central walk leading to the porch.  Two large black men sat on the stoop.  They each held a bottle of something shrouded in brown paper bags.  They laughed and joked as they sipped from their bottles and watched the street before the house.

“Man, they know me. We won’t get halfway cross the street before they open up,” Kicker hissed as he shrugged his shoulders against the uncomfortable feel of Rabdos’ weight there.

“Take your gun out,” Rabdos commanded.  Kicker did as he was instructed, drawing a bulky nine millimeter from his waistband.  Rabdos called his axe, and rubbed the weapon’s head over the top of the gun while speaking hellish words from the old tongue.  A small ribbon of fire crackled into life along the top of the slide.  “Point that at whatever I put fire on and shoot at the flames.  You cannot miss so long as the weapon burns.”

“How long it gonna last?” he asked, marveling at the tiny flames burning on the top of his gun.

“Long enough,” Rabdos replied, jumping to the ground.  “Remember, don’t shoot at anything I don’t put fire on or you’ll miss.”

“Yeah, okay,” Kicker said.  “How we gonna get out though? Cops will be here couple of minutes after I open up.”

“Your men of valor may arrive, but we’ll be long gone, I assure you,” he said, leveling his axe as he stepped from behind the bush.

As soon as he came around the bush he bathed the two men with hellfire.  The lemurs sitting on their shoulders caught fire and dropped to the ground, but he never hesitated.  Rabdos launched two more precise blasts coating each man’s head in hellfire.  When Kicker came around the bush following closely behind him he saw the scene, porch seemingly ablaze, and hesitated.  The two men spotted his approach instantly and rose, drawing their own weapons and creating an eerie scene as the fire danced across their faces seemingly without effect.

“Shoot, fool, shoot!” Rabdos yelled.  His voice seemed to break Kicker from his trance as he raised his weapon and fired four quick shots.  All four bullets struck home, two to each skull.  Instantly, both men fell with the one at the bottom of the steps flopping forward hard, and the other tumbling down the steps to rest on the legs of his companion.

Rabdos broke into a run, drawing Kicker after him by instinct alone.  The little demon vaulted the low fence and bathed the front door in hellfire, quickly bounding up the steps.  Kicker jumped the fence with ease and came running up the steps behind him.  As the man came up the steps Rabdos scooped some fire off his axe and brushed it across the man’s shoulder.  Kicker recoiled swatting at the flames for a moment and then realized there was no pain and marveled at the sight.

“I need to get me one o dem axes,” he said, smiling down at Rabdos.

“Someday perhaps, someday,” Rabdos said, knowing full well what lay in this foolish soul’s future.  “Now, bash the door with your shoulder before my flames fade.”

“Man, that thing got plate steel behind it, guaranteed,” Kicker objected, waving his gun at the door.

“It will be as matchsticks to you as you are.  Now hurry,” he reassured.

Kicker shrugged and backed up to the edge of the porch before making a run at the door and throwing his shoulder at it.  Just as Rabdos had predicted, the door exploded inward, leaving its hinges and flying into the house, taking the two guards who stood behind the door with it.  Rabdos stepped through the door and waited.

Kicker however, did not wait.  He immediately crossed the foyer into the room beyond and began shooting.  Rabdos growled and scrambled after him.

In the next room two half naked people were scrambling for cover.  Rabdos launched two hasty blasts of fire, but missed.  The two people scrambled up against the wall and raised their hands, pleading for their lives.  Kicker ignored their pleas, closing with them firing one shot each at point blank range, killing the man and the woman.

“See, no fire on those two and they dead,” the man said.

“Idiot, you are a terrible shot and I do not want them all dead,” Rabdos said menacing Kicker with his axe.  The man had no idea the agony he could cause him right now, but he needed to be about their business rather than enjoy a simple pleasure.  “I have plans for some of these people.  I need the four in the back room upstairs alive.”

“Whatta you want these hood rats for?” Kicker asked as he headed back into the foyer and up the stairs.

Rabdos anticipated his move and beat him to the stairs.  Halfway up he caught a glimpse of movement as a figure crouched around the corner lying in wait for them.  He leapt around the corner and bathed the entire hallway in fire.  Two lemurs and an imp screeched as they burned, but Radbos ignored them as he quickly dotted the three men with fire on the chest and head.

“There is one waiting at the top of the stairs behind the wall,” he said, laying his axe against the corner and pasting a little flame on it.  “Shoot here.  Two more are at the end of the hall so just stick your gun around the corner and fire twice.”

Kicker mounted the stairs and fired once as he came.  His first shot pierced the corner, catching the man in the forehead dropping him to the carpet.  Kicker reached the top of the stairs and shoved his gun around the corner, firing twice more as instructed.  The two bullets found their targets and two more heavy thumps confirmed his success.

“Now, give me a moment to convince the room’s occupants we should be heard,” Rabdos said.

“Man, ain’t no way Coolio in there gonna let us talk,” he said, peeking around the corner with his gun leveled at the door at the end of the hallway.

“You let me handle that,” Rabdos said striding to the door.

“That you Kicks?” a voice asked from behind the door.  “Man you got a lot a nerve rolling up in here, waxing all my guys. Ain’t no way we talkin’ bro.”

“See?” Kicker said. It wasn’t a question.  Rabdos ignored him.  Instead, he tapped his axe on the ground and allowed the crack to transport him down just enough to reappear in the room.  He could have just walked in but a dramatic entrance would help his presentation.

“Man das cool,” he heard Kicker say as the smoke enshrouded him for the trip.

“Just come through the door when I call you and no harm will come to you,” he said, vanishing.

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Guardians of the Herald is a weekly serial published and copyright by The Cavalier, Mark Malcolm.  To catch up on the first 45 issues you can either read them for free on the web site or purchase the compilation, Guardians of the Herald Issues 1-45: Angels and Demons for the Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/Guardians-Herald-Issues-1-45-Angels-ebook/dp/B00IJIFXSY.

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