Rabdos darted through the far wall and found himself standing in the parking lot, police cars skewed everywhere. He dashed around the corner to see Dante’s car. Two police dogs eagerly climbed across the driver’s seat and back seat of the vehicle gathering in the scent of the owner while two men urged them on. Both dogs leapt out of the vehicle as their police handlers began walking toward the Leather and Lace Club. Robert Dante’s time was about to run out.
Rabdos shot back into the club through the outer wall and into the hidden little room where Dante still sat staring at the razor sharp knife he held. Rabdos needed to prod the man into his decision soon or all would be lost. He waved his hand and the quill he’d been writing with moved back to the paper to scratch out encouragement.
The dogs are on their way in. You have about two minutes before you’re found. Make the deal! the pen wrote. Dante bit his lip, still wavering. Suddenly, Rabdos’ skin felt as though a thousand tiny pins danced across it in an uncomfortable sensation that left no part of his flesh untouched. A moment later a flash of white light and a wave of energy washed over Rabdos, immobilizing him as two humans materialized in the room looking directly at Robert Dante.
Rabdos immediately recognized the young boy and woman as the two he had fought in Dante’s apartment earlier. Anger and fear surged through him as he tried to heft his axe, but something held his arms fast. He tried to look down to see what restrained him but his head wouldn’t move either. Then, the young boy began to move.
We’re in, Archangel. Dante’s in some kind of small, dark room. I’ll figure out where. Stand by, the boy said. The woman still hadn’t moved as the boy drifted through the wall nearest him. Rabdos tried to move his arms again and found they would move but it felt as though he were slogging through mud. Slowly he raised his axe as the woman began to move too.
There’s a demon here! the girl shouted. Rabdos’ axe was half way to aiming at her when the angel Mihr stepped from his home inside her heart and readied a defense.
Not today, hellspawn, Mihr said, leveling his sword at Rabdos. As the words completed Rabdos found he could move again completely.
Gahh! Rabdos shouted as he shot fire at the angel.
He’s attacking! the girl shouted as Mihr closed the distance, pressing his sword physically against the onrush of hellfire aimed at him and his charge. Flames washed over and around Mihr’s sword as though a half dome of invisible energy emanated from his weapon.
Rabdos stopped the fire and bodily thrust his axe head at Mihr. The axe struck the cross guard of the sword knocking it aside. Rabdos shifted the heavy weapon’s momentum using it to circle around for a follow up blow. Mihr couldn’t recover his defenses fast enough and threw himself to one side trying to avoid the blow. He was mostly successful but the axe blade grazed his hip and crimson splashed over the pristine white of his robe. Mihr cried out and fell to the ground, his sword vanishing as he let go to clutch at the wound.
Just then the boy reappeared and immediately the young she-angel popped out to take up the fight.
Ah, the junior member of the pair. Theliel isn’t it? Rabdos asked rhetorically facing the new angel. He waved his axe at Mihr on the ground as he spoke. I’ll finish you off shortly, but first I will take my pleasure on your young companion after I’ve disarmed her.
How long have you served the Deceiver and still you haven’t learned things aren’t always as they appear? Theliel said, smiling at the demon with mooning eyes. Rabdos chuckled a moment then hastily brought his axe up as the girl let out a primal scream and charged, her sword held high in both hands. Rabdos waved a hand at the quill just as he sloppily deflected the powerful down-stroke of the angel’s blow.
Sign the thrice damned deal or we’re both done! the pen hastily scratched out. To add punctuation to the statement, someone began pounding on the little door to the hidden room. The first blows on the door startled Robert Dante. As he jumped his right hand slipped and he nicked his thumb deeply with the blade. Red blood flowed freely out of the half-inch long cut.
Rabdos parried two quick blows.
Sign! Rabdos shouted.
Sign what, the young boy asked.
He’s writing something on that paper in front of Dante, the girl said. I think Dante can read it. I think they’re communicating.
Of course we’re communicating foolish girl. He is mine, and soon so will you be, Rabdos bluffed as he parried Theliel’s attacks. The young angel was a more accomplished warrior than Rabdos had first thought. He had injured the one he thought to be the greater threat, but perhaps he was in error on that count. The young angel seemed to sense his thoughts and set her jaw as she swung three quick blows in combination. Lord Malphas’ drills had been hard training, painful at times, but they paid off now as Rabdos managed to counter each blow just enough to keep from losing a limb or his life. Theliel took a step back to asses the situation. She was breathing hard, Rabdos noted, harder than he was, he thought. He took advantage of the situation to wave his hand at the quill again as something powerful thudded against the room’s door. The blow knocked two bolts holding the bar brackets out of the wall.
SIGN! the pen wrote in all capital letters.
Theliel took a step toward Rabdos to launch into another series of attacks, but he was ready for her this time. Rabdos parried the blow and stepped to the side toward Dante. As his axe swept down with the sword he launched fire from his weapon which cascaded in an arc directly at the fallen Mihr. The angel recalled his own weapon just in time to deflect the majority of the flame, but a portion caught his robes from the knees down setting them ablaze. Mihr screamed.
SIGN! Rabdos screamed again raising his axe directly over his head. Dante stabbed his blood-covered thumb onto the contract almost as a reaction to Rabdos’ screamed word. As he did so Rabdos thudded the butt of his axe onto the ground between them.
The change in Robert Dante was immediate and noticeable.
As soon as his bloody thumb touched the paper his eyes sprang wide, his head darted from the two angels to Rabdos and then to the boy and woman. He took a step back, scrambling at his belt and clawing his shirt up to reveal a gun tucked in the waist band. Rabdos reached out and grabbed the man by his belt, hauling him into the now familiar black smoke that issued up out of the ground where his axe handle rested.
NO! the boy shouted.
Not again, the girl said reaching for the two as another blow bashed in the door sending the metal bar ricocheting across the room. Rabdos waved a little wave at his approaching adversaries as the curtain of smoke enveloped both him and his new convert. The police entered the bolt hole to find it empty save for a little desk with two stacks of paper. Their inspection of the paper showed it was all blank accept for one sheet that held a single bloody thumb print, which they dutifully bagged as evidence.
Guardians of the Herald is a weekly serial published and copyright by The Cavalier, Mark Malcolm. For more information about this story please join us on our Facebook page community at www.facebook.com/firstchevalierbooks.