“Kicker, which of the other four do you believe most capable?” Rabdos asked, as Robert Dante stepped in beside him and crossed his arms. The four groveling copies looked from one to the other, unsure of what was about to unfold.
“Cash Money. He pretty good,” Kicker responded, tilting his head back and inclining it to the side as he frowned and nodded.
“The one you called Beast Mode was bigger,” Rabdos countered.
“Man, he dumb as they come,” Kicker said, waving a dismissive hand.
“Man, f…” one of the Dante copies started to say as he stood. Rabdos cut him off before he could finish his second word.
“Silence!” Rabdos shouted, sending a small gout of flame up from his axe. All the Dantes cringed slightly, including both Kicker and Robert himself he noted. Good. “Bravado is useless here. Save that for the weak humans on Eden.”
“Beast Mode was on door guard when I capped’em all,” Kicker said, pointing to the Dante that had complained about being described as dumb. “He was the one that let me in.”
“Do you all understand what I have done to you?” Rabdos asked, strutting forward with his axe-head leveled in front of him. All four Dante copies retreated slightly, having so recently felt the sting of that axe. Three shook their heads but one cleared his throat.
“You made us look like some other dude,” he said. His voice had a sort of gravelly quality.
“Correct, but do you know why?” he asked.
They all shook their heads in the negative.
“Our adversaries, The Man if you will, finds people by their faces. They are searching for this man,” he said waving his axe at Robert standing next to him. “I have made him look like someone else, but if they grow in power they will discover other ways to locate him. This cannot happen for reasons you need not know, beyond he is my lieutenant and I wish him to be able to move about freely on Eden.”
Robert Dante puffed out his chest and put his hands on his hips. Rabdos didn’t like the arrogance Robert displayed at the moment, but it was aimed in the right direction and useful to make his point, so he let it alone. Besides, he could always cow him later if necessary.
“When any one of you appears on Eden, they will think you him and seek you out. We will use this to our advantage,” he said. He stopped a moment and let that sink in. Cash Money was the first to pick up on exactly what that meant. Good. Kicker had a good eye for people.
“Man, if Five-O coming you gotta get me a nine oh something,” he implored, holding out his hands and taking a tentative step forward.
“Kateb,” Rabdos called without taking his eyes off Cash Money. They were broken certainly, but just newly so. It didn’t pay to trust your chattel too far Lord Malphas always said.
“Yes, Lord Rabdos?” one of the demons responded, moving away from the corral fence where he leaned.
“I gift this one to you. Ride him to Eden along with Imp Cagrina, my trusted messenger, and half our remaining pack. See that Cash Money here finds all the weapons he desires and influence a mob to serve him,” he said, as Kateb began pointing and waving for certain imps and demons to come to his side.
“Yes, my lord,” Kateb said, as his indicated forces gathered.
“Be quick about your work. You will not have long before the men of valor find you,” he said.
“Ah, a trap you set for them with the face of your trusted one,” Kateb said, retrieving a saddle from the corral rail. “Kneel beast!”
Cash Money frowned but he knelt, eyeing the axe Rabdos held as he did. Kateb slapped the saddle onto the man’s naked back and began buckling the straps. Each yank of the leather made Cash Money wince, but he held his position until Kateb was satisfied it was firmly in place, then he motioned for the man to rise. As the man stood, Kateb swung up into the saddle with practiced ease. The new weight caused the man to shift his position slightly but he managed to get his feet under him without issue.
“We will be ready when they come, Lord Rabdos,” Kateb said, placing his bit and bridle into the man’s mouth and testing his controls. Cash Money followed Kateb’s lead, moving around as the pain of the bit indicated. Satisfied with his control, the demon leapt from the man’s back and stood at his feet holding the reigns. The gathered forces of Hell closed in around him, waiting for the command to depart.
“See to it you are and do not fail me. Our Father Below wishes these men of valor destroyed before his plans come to fruition, and that time is almost upon us,” Rabdos stated.
“We will not fail you,” Kateb repeated.
Rabdos nodded, and with that Kateb brought the butt of his axe onto the ground with a loud report. A dark, deep crack shot away from the axe shaft as oily smoke rose up, engulfing the gathered horde. As soon as the smoke covered them all a forceful wind sucked the smoke and the pack into the crack, which closed up over them issuing forth a resounding basso boom.
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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 107 issues you can either read them for free on the web site or purchase the compilation of Book 1, Guardians of the Herald Issues 1-45: Angels and Demons for the Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/Guardians-Herald-Angels-Mark-Malcolm-ebook/dp/B00IJIFXSY, or get the actual book from the author’s website at http://www.firstchevalier.com/product/guardians-of-the-herald-angels-and-demons/. The compilation of Book 2 Guardians of the Herald: The Templars’ Return is now available for the kindle on Amazon as well at https://www.amazon.com/Templars-Return-Guardians-Herald-Book-ebook/dp/B01HTMBRQ2.
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