Darksiders: Tale of the Hunter - An Interactive Short Story. Currently put on hold.
Special Note, updated.
Considering that this is rather difficult to read and not really full of details, this will be overhauled.
Some parts will make the cut but I have a very different idea on how this will play out. The overhaul will not be done via votes; it will be all my idea.
Will take time, so I'll leave this up but just to inform the viewers, this will be, in a sense, retconned.
This is dedicated to THQ and Vigil Studios, who are recently gone due to THQ's Bankruptcy and no one purchasing Vigil Studios.
Raining flames, collapsing of buildings; rumbling of the ground as anything living or dead falls upon the earth. Shrieks echo within the busy air, both familiar as well as if from a nightmare. People screaming, trampling and getting trampled; being hunted by creatures we have only ever described by Faith or by Fantasy. These creatures, these... demons... and angels, clarify some of the teachings. From what I have been told anyway. Well, more like overheard. My mind swirls with these thoughts, keeping itself preoccupied from my current situation: bleeding and pinned underneath some collapsed debris. Struggling around, I manage to move slightly, just enough to feel more material on top of me. Within this weight I hear all kinds of rumbling, like a war is going on. That being the least of my worries, was rather easy to ignore.
As I continue to struggle, I feel my chest rip wider and wider, however much it actually was, I didn't know. If felt like my chest had been skinned, with the blade still pinning against the meat. But I couldn't just stay there, pinned by both this weight as well as the pain, I had to get out, no matter what. A large rumble throbbed within the material, feeling like it was getting knocked about, shifted just enough for me to wiggle my limbs free. Still caught beneath the weight but at least able to squirm.
I was able to shift some debris around just enough to move around. Feeling like it was taking forever to get thru, I had to stop time to time to breath and concentrate on ignoring my pain. Regaining my composure in short spurts, I continued crawling. To when it feels like I've slipped to a dirt ground. Figuring this is my best bet to get out I begin digging with chunks of debris that could fit in my hands. Pushing all the dirt behind me the best I could. Managing to do this for a time, I get to a point where I finally start seeing glimpses of light; bleeding through surface gaps.
When another throb knocks the debris a bit more, shifting in the opposite direction, breaking free from where I was. Staring at the now open crevasse I was in, once my eyes adjusted a bit I could see these demons fighting angels; slaughtering humans. I see a figure in Red and Steel approaching these hordes, with a gigantic blade, dicing them as if to get them no more than out of his way. The figure vanished beyond other still standing buildings from where I was watching, but figuring that being may have been responsible for whatever shifted this collapsed debris. With a calm following just behind him, I cease it as my chance to get out.
I was free, finally. The blinding light came as a brief hint relief when some other demons began approaching from where the figure had walked from. Tucking back into the hole, I wait till they pass by, taking no chances with my current condition. Once they had passed, I get back out and the first thing I see were some angelic figures; now corpses. No more dead than anything else around here. I turn one over face up, and begin undoing the binds keeping the armor on. Getting it off, I start tearing at the cloth inside, all of it. Getting it free so I can use it to bandage my wound. Getting as much out as possible I look down to gauge the seriousness of my wound. Certainly not as bad as I had imagined, but a gash crossing my entire chest as I had apparently been skinned was quite evident. Bleeding but not profusely; just enough to cause problems in a while rather than immediately. Taking the cloth, I start wrapping it around myself, as many times as possible. Tying it off, I proceed to gather cloth from another angelic corpse nearby.
Getting all I could, I notice an object sticking out of the ground a few feet from where I was; a sword. At least I knew I had a chance all my own against the odds traversing and killing one another. My instincts as a Hunter kept telling me to hunt down disinfectant as well as more of what I could get from the dead which had no more needs.
Making my way carefully into the closest building, I hoped it was apartments; it would certainly make my situation a bit more manageable. Keeping as quiet as possible, with one eye over my shoulder I enter the building, or well the bottom half that remained anyway. Without luck, the building was nothing I could have scoured for any form of assistance, for it was a 'Call Center' set up of a building. I knew I'd find nothing here. Making my way to the rear exit, I kept watch for any signs of life; human or otherwise. Once at the exit, I looked it over to make sure it wasn't wired into something that will make noise the moment I push the door open.
Decidedly seeing nothing of concern, I slowly push the door open just wide enough to slip out. Ignoring the door, I step a short distance from it before I saw a flaming ball shoot across the sky, hearing and feeling a loud impact not too far away. Actually it sounded like a building had collapsed. Just as I made that realization, a cloud of dust and dirt push it's way passed me. Covering everything I could see or have seen. Shooting to the ground, I cover my face and eyes while keeping my breath in; waiting for this cloud to ease. It seemed as though the seconds had passed like minutes, it felt slow motion. Pealing my eyelids apart, I can faintly see silhouettes of surrounding objects and the closest building. Looking side to side, I drop a hand and gather whatever I could, then bolted for the building. Sharp, small objects in my hand, in case I needed to make a sound distraction to buy me some emergency time.
Getting to the building, I shoot inside, to my relief it was an apartment building. There were a few human corpses littering the floor; seemed like a struggle had taken place. Arming my sword, I walk slowly across the floor to the nearest visible stairway, keeping watch and ears open for any sort of distinguishable noises. Till I come to the first apartment. Wedging the sword in to where the lock would be, I jab it back and fourth till the door gives in and opens. Stepping inside, I close the door to appear as though it hadn’t opened. Scrounging through all I could see, looking for anything of use. I do happen across a half empty bottle of rubbing alcohol. Discontent, I put it into an empty pack I found afterwords. Seeing nothing else of use, I leave to enter the next apartment.
I don't know how much time I spent lingering within mostly empty living quarters, but it was enough to get a fair stock pile, while having some quiet verbal confrontations. I acquired the disinfectant I sought for, but came away with a pack, a pistol, and some leather clothing that was just a bit too big for me. But taking what I could carry, I didn't want to over burden myself with unnecessary weight. The last thing I needed was to be slowed down. Climbing down all the stairs to leave, I spot some demons walking around, keeping up on some perimeter they established while I was above. Deciding to not engage them, I go back up a few flights of stairs to where a Fire Escape exit would be.
Climbing down the Fire Escape stairs, I hear a loud, thundering voice from the distance. Sending vibrations out one could feel just by listening. I couldn't understand what was being said but I knew something was speaking. I wondered if that Red Warrior had something to do with it. Regaining my situation, I continue down till I make it to the last shoot, dropping hard, rolling to my side to absorb some of the pressure. Standing back, I make my way between building to building within the alleyways. At least they were small in width that something big wouldn’t be able to give chase.
There was an odor within the air, something foul, like rotting flesh. Looking around I find a pile of animal corpses. Immediately recalling that there had been a City Zoo close to here. Just as I went to turn away, I hear some rustling going on around the pile; within the pile. Standing put, I see something clearly moving, for my senses hadn't failed me just yet. I go move some of the bodies off whatever was moving, unable to recognize what the bodies belonged to. Uncovering that of a Wolf. Startling me, I decide to uncover it completely, till it stands up staring into my eyes. I wasn't sure if this was going to go badly for me, for the wolf or what was to come, so I kept my hand on the sword.
Stepping slowly towards it, keeping eye contact, it didn't move. At all. It was locked onto me. I couldn't figure what it was thinking. Could it have been gratitude? Shock? Was it building with anger from it's previous situation? I had no idea, but when I was close enough I placed my hand close to it. So it could get a scent of me; my intentions. Hesitating, it sniffs my hand. Nipping at the tips of my fingers, but I didn't budge just yet. Till it bit my hand. Not hard enough to mean harm, more like to understand, to gauge whether I am a foe or friend.
Whatever it was, it loosened it's grip and began walking over to me. Once next to me, I could see it's size. I wondered it this was a previous Alpha. But whatever the case, I feel it's body to make sure it wasn't badly wounded or broken; as well as my way of gauging it's intentions. But it seemed fine as is, and it seemed like it was a friendly. At least for now. But right now, any friend is better than a foe. I was grateful to have found something that didn't kill me.
Getting the wolf out from the alley I keep look all around for anything hostile I may encounter. No longer for just me, but for the wolf as well. As long as he was alright, I had to keep him alive to both give me something to protect and to be protected by something, hopefully. I know it was wishful thinking but I couldn't help the fact that this chance encounter as well as the fact the wolf didn't try to kill me was a correlation; kindred souls if you will.
Coming out, there was building debris all over the place. Other building close by looked as though they were barely standing while others were already collapsed, both fully and in part, leaving half or partial structures standing. I had no idea where to go that could be safe but I had to go somewhere; get us somewhere. Waiting would only invite problems, all kinds of problems. Both living and otherwise.
Keeping close to the building as we come out, we pace carefully around it, looking for an entry way or some underground parking place. This building had nothing, or at least accessible at it's base. At that moment, I see many angels fly overhead, seemingly in a hurry. But before I look back down, I notice some objects flying on the opposite direction... A car. Something was throwing cars, either at those angels or something else. But keeping that in mind, I felt like this was the best time to slip out; as other creatures are apparently busy with something... big.
Among the rubble I see some movement. Stopping, I place a firm hand on the wolf to get him to stop as well. Focusing on what I saw move I notice it was a human. Looking among the rubble for something, or some one. Not concerned I continue moving, shifting to the next building from where we were. Making way around it I discover this one was indeed a business , or clientele type building. For I located a ruined path down into what looked like a garage. Hopping over some protruding objects, I manage to guide toe wolf inside with me. Walking down each row, there were portions intact and others broken. Like something, big, had been shot either down into or up out of this place.
There were several vehicles still. Parked, wrecked into others, or simply crushed. I checked the locks of those that I walked by, which were undamaged, in hopes of finding something of use. Since I didn't find much back at the building, and scavenging is something of a necessity in this moment, I had at least look for whatever could help me or the wolf. Checking several vehicles and only finding junk for the most part, I was beginning to get discouraged. Till I open up a following trunk which was intact. Sifting through all kinds of garbage, I grab something and pull. Removing a bundle of rope. Feeling like there could be more here, I place the rope onto the ground and start sifting again.
Moments pass, many other vehicles along our way to the bottom level, I ended obtaining some jerky, knife. Well a few knives actually. Another pistol, this one was a different model and contained 2 clips. I wondered what this was doing and whose it was when I got it but it didn't matter as long as I could use it to save me or now the wolf. I also found some canned food, just a few cans. I should have come here to begin with. But with all that, and now as low as we could go, I looked around for any kind of shutter door along the walls. I figured the best place to be would be behind some heavy door.
Having no luck, I ended up looking for any other doors. To which I find something of a janitorial room. Picking the lock, I get the door upon and begin throwing out anything I had no need for. I knew room would be limited. But as I finished tossing out what I knew I didn't need, I hear the wolf growling, heavily. I turn and realize I had been surrounded by other people. I had no idea how many, just a thick group. Though one I recognized, as the person above that we walked by, stepped forward. I guess they had been keeping an eye on me when I began scavenging between the vehicles.
“Hand over everything you have!” The one I recognized spoke, Getting straight to business.
“No.” I replied, having nothing really to say, to anyone.
“Well, that makes our job a bit more difficult, then.” He said, waving to the other men around him. Each taking slow steps forward.
“I wouldn't do that if I were you.” I said, placing my hand on the wolf who is increasingly getting more vocal with his growling.
Pulling out a knife in my free hand, I keep watch of the men who ceased stepping towards me.
“You, that big dog of yours. Ha. Both will be killed, and everything you both have will be ripped from your flesh!” He shouted as he lunged at me. The other men follow.
I let go of the wolf and pull out the pistol I recently found. I aim towards the closest man approaching me, the wolf pounced on the next man. I pull the trigger, but realize that I never cocked it to start. Using it to swipe at him, I follow up with the knife. Thrusting at him, I manage to get him in his chest. Grabbing at my arm as I pulled away, his finger nails rip me as he collapses. I kick him forward into the next closest man, I cock the pistol and point at him. Not getting enough time to pull the trigger, he swipes at me with a crowbar. Missing the first swing but coming back through with another, getting hit on the back swing. The curved part wrapped around my arm as I hold him at bay.
Looking over at the wolf, who was busy crushing the man's throat which he pinned to the ground, I loose the strength in my arm holding against the crowbar and drop out of it. The man loosing his stance falls partially forward to regain his stance. By which time my other arm swipes at him with the knife. Cutting up his arm, and finally his throat. He collapses to his knees and I hit him on the back of his head. He falls completely to the ground, choking up blood from his mouth.
The wolf pounces on another, then strafing to his side as a man took a shot at him. Knowing that man was an immediate threat, I lunged at him. Getting to him, he drew the gun up at me, just high enough for me to get my arm under and knock away. He held the gun but tried to recover from the hit, trying to draw it back at me. I stabbed him in the chest on a draw back with my knife. He dropping the gun to the ground, collapsing forward, pulls an object from his vest. As he goes down, he drives something into my leg. This taking over my nerves, took my wind away. Falling to my knee, I drop the knife and pick up the gun next to me. Aiming at the others, I begin emptying the clip. Hitting some, others turn and take off.
The scuffle felt like it lasted for hours, but only minuets had gone by. Pulling the object from my leg, I look around to see if the man I recognized was among those grounded. Not seeing him, I start taking some cloth from the dead, wrapping it around my injured leg, and around my arm which was hit. Just enough to start 'cleaning' up this mess. Looting the bodies for their gear, I take everything not covered in some kind of liquid or blood. I had plenty of time to sort thru it all later. The wolf pacing around the bodies was sniffing each one. Confirming which was dead or not. But luckily none survived.
Pulling all the goods into the room, I start a fire among an opening area of this level, putting the bodies next to it for disposal. Taking several moments to heat up, I took anything flammable from surrounding cars, I wanted this a nice, strong flame. It had to be about night fall, I attempted to listed for any signs of activity from our surrounding, but presently I heard nothing. This was comforting to a degree, but enough for the wolf to lay down; not close to me but still within the vicinity.
The fire now roaring, I take a small slab of metal I had laying on the coals, and place it close to my leg. Taking a small piece of wood next to me and place it in my mouth. I take a deep breath and drop it straight onto my leg. Unspeakable pain erupted as I not only heard my leg sizzle, but as I smelled my flesh melt. After a few seconds I pull it away, no longer standing the pain, I breath heavily in relief it was done. I look over my leg, I was able to successfully cauterize my wound. Pulling out some disinfectant, I pour a bit over my leg and wrap it up with some of that cloth I got from that angel armor. It was serving fine on my chest so I knew it would work here as well.
I sit back, tossing some jerky at the wolf, I watch the flame. Ignoring the stench of burning flesh, the wolf sat up to take in the jerky. This making me smirk, had made it worth while in the moment. As I tie a broken handle of a broom to my arm as a splint, in case that crowbar had broken any bones. Which, it certainly felt like it was possible.
Having the hardest time trying to sleep, I did manage a few hours during my attempt. Among the pain of my arm and keeping sense of the surrounding area, I was lucky to get the few hours I did. During my sleep, I woke up the last time from a very abstract nightmare. Shooting up, it circled my mind; it was something I couldn't decipher. Unable to recall most of it, I could plainly see the last part of my nightmare, 6 blue light, burning sharp ovals, like something was staring at me.
Looking around me, all I could see were those... eyes. They felt like eyes, but I didn't understand. The shock wore off as soon as I felt my arm's pain kicking in. This took my mind off of anything I could have mustered up from my nightmare. However it was done, and it was time for my next move. Grabbing a can of the food I found, I break off an end and begin eating all, while giving the rest of my jerky to the wolf.
Not taking long, I toss the can aside and begin proceeding back up the parking lot. Paying attention to vehicles still intact that I didn't get to on my way down the night before. However not finding much other than garbage, as well as some kind of pills. I was skeptical about them so I just stashed them in my pouch. Wasting no time, me and the wolf make it to the entrance of the parking lot. A lot of things had changed since the last time I was up here. These demons and angels wasted no time laying waste to the environment.
What I could see, only parts of buildings remained mostly; few stood intact. Streets had major splits within the asphalt. Vehicles were all but crushed or otherwise in chunks of inoperable steel. Shadows glide over the ground shoot from overhead as both demon and angel beings combat. Watching as groups fly by, I didn't pay as much attention to the ground. Luckily the wolf had his eyes around the street. Growling as a smaller demon began approaching us. Arming myself with a knife and the pistol, I ready myself for an encounter I knew we would never be able to avoid. Fighting something inhuman, I had my worries but swallowed them to keep my mind focused.
The demon approached where we stood, not backing down, I lashed towards it knife first. Wolf began circling around, I plow my knife at the demon's body. Only to feel it glide right off the slanted side. Feeling my weight falling into the demon, I re-angle my front most foot to fall to the side instead. Barely avoiding the claws being swiped at me. Rolling back to my feet, I keep my arms up to guard my body as I begin strafing slowly around the demon. Demon looking between me and the wolf made some growling sounds I've never heard before, as it sprang towards me. Shooting right at it, I notice it pierced it's torso but didn't stop the demon's progression.
Knifing it's claws away from me, I kept moving to keep as much space between me and it. The wolf pounced on it's back, biting the back of it's neck. Forcing it's attention off me, I shoot again at it's neck and jump on it as well. Thrusting the knife into it's neck repeatedly till it stopped swinging. Collapsing to the ground, its arms still throbbing, forcing me back to my feet. Cutting off it's head to make sure it was dead, I wipe the knife off on it's body and put the knife away Then me and the wolf proceed past the building, towards another closer to a mall.
Coming to the mall, I immediately sensed something ill about the place. The closer I got, the more dank the air seemed to be. A stench of all kinds of corpses seemed to circle the building, almost like a barrier. Concerned I was, I approached anyway, in hopes of finding some gear to better handle my situation. Though once at where the air swirled, I noticed the wolf. Staring at me, not following. Perhaps his nose is far to sensitive for the area, but I had to get in.
I took him to a neighboring building, something of a shed and left him inside. There wasn't much I could do for him, and leaving him here was risky enough for him but it was better odds than running around outside. Returning to the mall, I take a deep breath right before crossing the barrier. Stepping slowly in, I let it out and immediately smell the odor full force. My eyes began to water with every breath I took. Ripping at some of the cloth I had from the other day, I wrapped my face to eliminate some of the stink. Eyes still watering, but got to a tolerable point. Looking around after wiping them led me to see all kinds of reasons for the stink.
Some collapsed portions of the building had arms and legs visible under the debris. Things that would have been hard to see from a distance. Getting closer to the building itself, the more covered appendages I found. Some looked gnawed on; eaten as if human was a dish for some demon. Though rotten at this point, not even flies would stand it. I get to the building itself, still sturdy for what stood, I entered. Though to my surprise, I saw a few people standing by an overlook railing several feet from where I was. Unsure of what it could mean, I stick to the sides while moving. Keeping a look to the floor and shops I passed.
I eventually step right on an arm I couldn't see, stumbling a bit. The shock caused me to forget I was trying to be quiet. Standing still, I hear some rustling going on behind me. Turning to look, I see the body the arm was attached to as it stood up. Turning to face me, I saw it's dead eyes; like nothing was looking back at me. This sent a shiver down my spine. Taking out my knife, I swipe at it. Connecting several times but not getting a reaction from the body. Several deep cuts with no reaction to pain, I had to do something about this. It leaned in, trying to bite me, I pushed it back and stabbed it within the neck. Dragging the blade back and forth to cut the head off, seemed like the best thing to do. If anything it wouldn't be a threat to me.
As the head fell to the ground, the body stumbled a bit before it slowly collapsed to the ground. Still moving; the head gasping some sound and twitching it's eyes. A very uncomfortable site, I decided to stomp the head. Looking around me, I notice a few others approaching. I guess I made more noise than I thought. I stand up the body of the one I took out and push it into the closest being and run. Looking for some way to get to the second floor, I begin seeing quite a few bodies moving around. I assumed they were all no longer alive, given the one I just fought and how it behaved.
Finding some stairs, however broken, served me in getting to the floor I needed to get to. At least the railing would serve well for knocking bodies off. Once up there though I saw something within the open space further in. Something I haven't seen before, but seemed responsible for these bodies. But in my predicament, I couldn't keep looking, I continued looking around in the shops I could. But all I could find ended up coming off corpses of angels and demons. It seemed this may have been a sort of ground zero, a starting place for the current events.
Whatever was going on has claimed the lives of everything. Human, demon, angel... Seemed nothing would remain. Gathering what I could; 2 angelic spear tips, an undamaged armor from an angel and skinned some hide from another demon I' have yet to see alive. Cutting off what I could, I figured I could use the thick hide for something, as well as some of the meat. At least up here was easier to make little noise. But I had to get out now, I stayed much too long in a place with a horror only fiction had mustered first.
I found it a lot simpler getting out than it was getting in, courtesy of windows. I wasn't too far up so I didn't worry about any landing issues. Quietly making my way to an already shattered window, I pear out to see if there were any sort of ledges or if there was something on the other side. Not seeing anything, I had to adjust my exit plan a bit. Lowering myself to a dangle, I wait till I stop swinging and let go of the ledge. Landing just loud enough to alert close by beings, I wasn't concerned about not being able to out run them.
Setting myself, I bolt in the direction I came. Closing in the gap between me and where I left the wolf, at least it felt like it was sooner getting there than it was leaving. Arriving in no time, I stop to catch my breath just long enough to catch sight of something I haven't yet seen walking around where the wolf was. I didn't want to risk loosing him, gritting my teeth, I press on to confront the being. The being, standing much taller than it seemed, now glared at me. Drawing my knife and gun, I stare back at the ready.
“You think you stand a chance as you are now?”
The being said, drawing out a Swallow looking weapon that seemed to be energy powered. Raising it's burnt wings right behind it's stance.
“Doesn't matter, I have no choice but to face head on.”
I replied, Keeping both weapons close yet ready for action. I had no idea what this thing could do. This burnt Angel or whatever it could be called.
“Hah! Just like a mortal. So seething with foolishness.”
Tucking away, he points the tip of the Swallow at me. Not sure what is to come, I just stare and wait, sweat building up on my forehead.
*Zap* A beam of light shot right past my head. Blinking, I pulled the trigger of my gun pointing right at him as reflex. Once the instance calmed, I looked back to see some burning, collapsing bodies. Figuring the being purposely destroyed them over me, second guessing my reaction to shoot.
“Seems you prefer to react than strategical actions. Reminds me of me a long time ago.”
He lowered his weapon and turned slightly to his side.
“What do you mean? Who... what are you?”
I asked, keeping my weapons brandished.
“I am, or rather was an Angel. I have since fallen due to disagreeing with decided events.”
He said, looking back at me and gesturing towards his wings.
“Fallen Angel? Events? This was the doing of your kind?”
Cocking my head as confusion bit.
“To a point, yes. But I will not get into those details. Right now, you need to follow me if you wish to remain alive. Bring your ally with you.”
He said as he turned back around and started down a path to the side of the shack.
“How can I trust you? I've seen so many things right now that just shouldn't be...”
Walking slowly to the shack, I unlatched the door and let the wolf out. Leaping out in a pounce-ready stance, growling.
“My name is Graham. And I denied the chance to kill you.”
Continuing down the path, I realized that I hadn't any better place to go, not would I pass up a chance for a potential ally. Or at least some possible new gear.
Having traveled for a few hours it felt, into a place I no longer recognized, my senses were playing with me. Scents that are new to me; fooling me, sights that looked almost otherworldly. Or at least coming to as though it were otherworldly. I notice the wolf acting highly suspicious, for it wasn't just my senses playing with me. Graham still walking, indicating that we were hopefully close to some destination chosen by him. Though the fool as I was in the meantime, I felt like I was clinging to some false hope, which didn't help me find any sort of peace.
“We have almost arrived.” He said, not turning back in the slightest. His wings twitching every few moments, offering a rough shuffling which almost made it difficult to hear him.
“Where are we going?” I had to ask, hoping my false sense was indeed that, false.
“To a camp, of sorts. That connects a few of us.” He replied, almost sounding forced.
“Why bring me in the first place?” Asking again, yet feeling out of place in doing so. As if I was seemingly ungrateful for the assistance earlier.
“You fight the demons. We need to find others who will face the odds we are aware of.” Replying, more roughly. As if he was becoming irritated with me inquiries.
Several more moments pass, as I keep quiet, we keep treading on. Sliding among the loose ground, the gloomy present ruins now collapsing, like the lives in which inhabited them so recently.
Suddenly, hearing a kind of crash to the side, I look over to see another angelic kind of form. But this one wasn't what I 'expected' nor like what was in front of me. It was a single angel with only one wing, locking arms with another of the same. Both looking my way, fly off. Seemingly forming a flight ability as long as the work together.
It wasn't something I expected but as soon as I looked back to Graham, he had stopped walking.
“We have come.” He said, pointing to what appeared to be some stone huts.
Stopping, I gaze upon the small structures as well as the area surrounding it. Very remote after having been purged by demons. The remaining having been dealt with.
“Follow me. You must meet with our organizer.” He abruptly begins to walk again, further down towards a particular hut, about the center of them.
Few more moments pass, we come to the hut with a figure sitting within. Looking right at me, with an angel to both sides of the figure.
“Welcome.” The figure said aloud, clearly male. Each angel raising their weapons in response in case I attempted something.
“You being human, why do you fight demons?”
“... I had to survive. I don't understand what is going on but I didn't want to sit back and accept death.”
“You fight due to happenstance only?”
“I see.” Raising his hand shortly, he leaned back to what appeared to be a consult with both angels with him. Keeping quiet, I leave my hand upon the wolf, keeping him calm the best I could and for a sense of security.
“For our cause as is, we cannot use you.” He states as he leans forward directed at me.
“However, being human offers a unique advantage. Perhaps we can strike a mutual agreement and propose a trade?” He asked. The angels remaining observably armed.
“What kind of trade do you mean?” I asked, unsure of what he was getting at.
“Well, as you travel, and come across angelic arms, we would like them returned to help us. We don't fight with them but using their equipment does help. Furthermore your knowledge of areas may be useful. So for that we will offer you equipment we procure as well as anything else of value to help you out. This is mutually beneficial. Are you interested?”
“Yes. I cannot refuse the chance to assist my survival.”
Chapter 8: "What is the first trade made from what the Hunter presently has?"
Poll is no longer valid, it is just left open.
A few angels approached the Hunter as he remained standing in front of the organizer. Looking at them cautiously, his worry nagging at him. He remained, hopeful that they were up to nothing malevolent. Each standing around him, they begin muttering something to themselves, almost like a chant. Shortly after they began, an aura of light appeared, surrounding the Hunter, with a lighter aura around the wolf. Dull at first but it grew in intensity the longer the chant continued. It got blindingly bright after a few moments.
The Hunter, feeling a new source of power within him growing, he remained still. Focusing on this power as it spread within him. From his chest, to his arms. Legs, then finally into his head. Not long after, the chant stopped. The aura vanished, and the Hunter collapsed to his knees, as the wolf began to wobble for a brief moment. His body in shock with the new source of power. Completely foreign to him, he had to Will his body to accept the power.
"Arise, Hunter." The organizer said, waving his hand upward. Feel this new power within you. A power our warriors possess. Your body is more resilient; your senses a bit sharper.
The hunter stood upward, looking over his hands. Looking back at the organizer, nodding in acceptance.
"Thank you for this." He spouted from his hesitant mouth.
"I will use this to maintain our bond." Lowering his arms back to his sides.
"As you should, this is not a privilege that any human has received." The organizer followed up.
"Remember my name, Queklain. We shall meet again. Soon." He waved Graham over, implying the meeting had concluded. Graham walking with the Hunter, escorting him to a place where he could rest for the time. The wolf, following right behind.
"You may rest here for the time being." Waving his hand towards a few unused cots.
"Some food will be brought to you shortly." Graham finished and left the Hunter to his business.
Having walked off, the Hunter took a sit upon a cot, then went to pat the Wolf on the head. Once making contact, he immediately felt a connection with the wolf. Feeling his breath, his heart. Almost deciphering his thoughts. This new found ability may have altered his method for communicating with his fellow creature. The wolf looking back at him, in acceptance.
Back with the organizer, one of the chanting angels remained present for the duration of the hunter's presence.
"I got a strange feeling from him as soon as we gave him the ability." The angel stated aloud.
"I sensed some savage nature in him. I worry for his future." He followed up, now quiet, expecting a reply.
"As do I. But hopefully this ability keeps him on track as to not succumb to his nature." Queklain stated, bringing his hand to rest his chin in thought.
Chapter 9: "During the night at the angel camp, what disrupts the peace?"
Poll is no longer valid, it is just left open.
Looking around, the world all appeared quite foggy. Like everything had a blurred edge to it, making it difficult to isolate any singular object. An echoed sound radiates from the distance, making it further distort the environment around. I began to travel to where he heard the sound, moving at what felt to be slow motion. Seeing familiar angels around me moving past as though I wasn't even there rushed into the direction I assumed his curiosity was hooked from.
Seemingly taking for ever, I got to where the sound may have come from. The area surrounded with Demons and Angels, fighting. Grabbing about my body trying to get any of my weapons, I could grab nothing. Looking, I could see no weapons on my body. Realizing he was only a target, I froze, staring at the fight. Trying to leave, but not moving at all. Watching as a large Demon, swinging a massive Axe which seemed to lock eyes with me. Turning, he rushed me, readying his axe for a deadly swipe. Unable to move, panic fell over me as I watched this hulk come within swinging distance of me. Only the axe could be seen at this point, crashing down.
A loud snap and I sat straight up in the cot I sat on after the meeting. A cold sweat faintly noticeable among my current state of mind. Getting up to find Graham or another Angel to tell them what I dreamed. If it could have meant something, or not, if my gift was typical to any of those they have offered it to. After a few moments of looking, I came across Graham, engaged within conversation with a few other Angels.
Coming up to Graham, getting his attention, Graham had waved his hand. Signaling the Angels to leave them for the moment.
"I just had a dream. Something a bit disturbing." I said, seeking the right words to convey what I was intending to.
"I dreamed of a group of Demons assaulting this camp." I finished, hoping I didn't come off as crazy.
"Well, that would explain the report I was told of a short moment ago." He said, making a deep sigh.
"It seems your gift has come thru effectively. I assume you will be assisting us in this cause?" He asked, waving his hand again, gaining the attention of several Angels around.
"Yes." I said plainly, eager to test out more of this gift.
"Good. Go get ready and meet back here as soon as possible." Gesturing me to go prepare as he turned to consult with the other Angels.
I returned to the room I left a short while ago. Grabbing all of my objects and waking up the Wolf who slowly came to but stood and stretched all the same. An Angel approaching dropped off some odd looking armor and then took off. Looking at the armor, I gathered the armor had been bent out of it's original form. Seemingly reforged to accommodate the form of K9s. Placing it on the Wolf and strapping it on he felt awkward; a wolf clad in armor. But since it was for protection it seemed like a good idea. But the wolf seemed to reject the piece. The Hunter placing his hand atop the wolf's head, sensing what the wolf was thinking. Confirming his guess, the wolf did not wish to have this armor on him.
Second guessing the rejection, he took the armor back off. Cutting the belt straps off and wrapping it around the wolfs neck and stomach. All seemed well prepared, Hunter then leaving and returning to the place where Graham stated to be. Approaching a few other Angles, no sign of Graham. A moment later and still no Graham, however a loud clash echoed about the camp. Bolting to where the sound came from, they could see the fighting already underway. The Angels rush into the fray, the Hunter pulling out his knife and pistol, pulling the clip out checking the ammo magazine. Popping it back into the pistol he rushed the fray as well.
Metal clashing, Angels pushing and being knocked back. Demons lunging and being driven back make up a mess like sporadic pieces on a board. Many of these Demons looked very similar to the one he saw back before the Mall. With a few who looked very different. Like smaller species of the hulk I saw in my dream. Realizing some are familiar, I begin aiming at the throats of some of these Demons, taking a few shots before reaching blood. Rushing with my knife forward once my pistol was empty, weapons clanging close to me rang immensely, distorting my vision temporarily. One coming in close swings at me. Catching it just in time, I leaned out of the way and sprang back with my knife, impaling it's throat. Digging deeper with the knife till the demon finally fell over, pulling the knife free, I prepared for the next encounter.
The wolf, swiftly moving among the many bodies in action seemed to aim for these Demon's legs. Either catching them off guard or actually knocking them down giving the Angels an advantage. I guessed the wolf knew his fangs could do nothing on the hide of these Demons. Many kept pouring into the fray, many being slain as well as taking Angels with them. These numbers were thinning on both sides. I kept fighting in the same fashion as that was what I knew worked, but I felt myself getting weary.
Looking about, I noticed Graham fighting among the few still left, barely keeping on. Till that Hulk of a Demon appeared. Swinging, hitting a few Demons as well as Graham, smashed into the ground, debris launching into the air and clouding all around. I felt the tremor within the ground as I sensed his life leaving his body. Feeling a sense of rage building within my body, I sprang fourth towards this Demon intending to kill it or die trying. The dust cloud thinning, I could see the Demon resetting his body to lift the axe back up. I found this a good opportunity to strike. Wolf seeing my direction begins running in the same direction.
Getting close, I jump slightly to slide under the Demon's legs, grabbing Graham's Swallow in the process as the wolf runs in front of the Demon. Swirling some of the dust around, seemingly confusing the Demon. The Demon raising the axe again, smashing it into the ground where he thought the wolf would be. But the wolf lunged and began biting the Demon's hand mounted on the axe. Not drawing blood but doing enough to force the Demon to let go. Standing up, I prepared to strike the Demon before I was broadsided by another. Swiping at me with it's claws, one of which pierced my forehead. Another Angel close had then struck it dead and proceeded to turn towards the hulk.
Tying some cloth around my head, I then jump onto the Demon's back and climb up the best I could. Knife in one hand and Swallow in the other, I could barely keep grip on the knife after impaling the Demon for scaling. Reaching it's neck, I put the knife away, and noticed a notch within the handle. Pressing it in, the blade began to radiate a dull blue glow, launching light from the top side of the weapon. Re-gripping the weapon I aimed the top part at the Demon and pressed in the notch. Again launching light but this time piercing right thru the Demon. Exploding with blood, the Demon stilled and collapsed onto the ground. Jumping off I began doing the same to the few remaining Demons still fighting. Not realizing someone other than their immediate foe would kill them.
Once the calm returned to the area, I looked around the damages. All the bodies of both Demon and Angels alike. Not noticing the wolf around, I ran back to the body of the large Demon, the last place I saw him. To notice some struggling going on under the Demon. I go and try to lift the Demon high enough to free whatever was under it. Getting it up as far as I could, the wolf was indeed under it, and pulled himself free. But not looking so good, my pain became dull to this occurrence.
The wolf had injured, having been crushed from who knows how much weight. Still moving about, it was slowing. I dropped the body and approached the wolf. Placing my hand on it's head, I sensed it was dying, having difficulty breathing. I sensed a feint feeling of fear as well. I began feeling uncomfortable for what was to come. The wolf began panting, and laid down. It's second wind having ran out. It stared at me till it died. Having left my hand on it's head, I could sense everything going on with it, the fear, the pain, the indifference. I felt a tear drop off my face as the realization hit me that I had lost my partner. The thing that I had known only for a short time but enough to had a sense of camaraderie.
Just then the wolf's body had dissipated into light right before me. Something I have never seen before. Enveloping my hand, the light rushed up my arm, a heat sensation over came me. Light to thick veiled my entire being. Unable to see for the moment, I could sense the wolf, granting me it's strength. Another part of this gift it seemed. Assisting us, making me able to sense the wolf but in the end it was to become one with the wolf.
Once the light dissipated, I felt something very different within me, my head no longer in pain. But still bulging with the claw from the Demon that hit me, now within my body. I didn't understand what was going on, but I chose to accept what happened, for I couldn't bring myself to reject the gift of the wolf. Putting my knife away, I bowed the swallow and placed it within my pack. Joining the Angels in collecting the weapons and armor from all that had fallen and prepare the Angels for their post body descent.
Chapter 10: Finale - With what the Angel and wolf gave the Hunter, what does he later become (or remain as)?
What identity does the Hunter take on (or keep)?
Returning to the now destroyed Angel Camp I felt myself having massive head pains. Aches, visions streaking across my minds eye, noises reaching towards my ears... I didn't understand it at all. I associated it to the demon fragment within my forehead, too deep to be removed safely, for me. But if this pain isn't associated then I may be experiencing something else entirely. Doing my best to ignore it, I wrapped a bandage around my head, to keep the blood at bay, to keep the bulge covered and to keep pressure on to make sure it didn't go anywhere,
There were only a few Angels left since the assault, so I didn't wish to make mention of my petty problems when they just got done performing their ritual for their fallen comrades. So instead, I focused on the images, the sounds, and a developing rage to measure against the pain. The rage was something I didn't really feel, until the pain kicked in. It was becoming a driving factor - something I knew could potentially cloud my judgements if irritated. I began refreshing myself with my training with my weapon on some wooden debris from the attack.
Stroke after stroke, hit and miss, solid and glancing hits. The vibration radiating up my arm, the pain in my head increasing, the rage following right behind. I lost myself in the activity, completely lost my grasp of time. I felt myself as if in a dream. I could see my body, void of color, like I was drawn in sand. I could see my face, how angry I looked - how demonic it seemed. The bulge in my forehead slowly vanishing within my head. I couldn't do anything as I was shackled by the dream. All I could do is watch. Watch as I saw myself approach me, as I locked eyes with myself, as I watched my body bring down a sword upon me. Snapping me back to reality.
Exhausted from my training and my rage, I knelt. Panting heavily, weapon hand on the ground keeping me level. I lifted my free hand to my face, just to hold, cover my eyes. But I didn't feel the bulge anymore. Re-grabbing at my forehead where I could, I could no longer feel any anomaly. Shocking me, I didn't understand this developing onus. Looking around I noticed a few angels staring at me. Their faces filled with confusion as they had no idea what had overcome me. Neither did I, turning back to my weapon hand, I felt my hand trembling.
I blew it off and returned to the cot I used earlier to sleep. I felt that if I could sleep a little I might be able to figure something out about what could be going on with me. I felt abandoned by the Angels at this point but that didn't bother me. I, being human, was an outsider anyway, so it would have only taken time before I was forced out. Sleeping while I could seemed like the best option right now.
Drifting off to sleep, I felt the out of body experience from earlier once again. Just as vivid as before. Step for step it was a complete replay. But this time I noticed that I looked a bit different; this time I was wearing a hood. Partially decaying face. Was this a kind of zombie me? Confused, I was still struck down. Waking up at the same moment, I could see my faces image caked in my minds eye. Making it difficult to actually see anything around me for moments.
The ground began shaking, forcing my eyes to focus on the here and now. The quake became ferocious, something sounding to explode in the distance. Fire erupted into the sky as ash began flowing within the air. The quake continued, slowly easing to a still. The air thickening with ash, the scent of heat was slowly growing. It seemed the demon attack has not concluded just yet. The Angels around began to stress and prepared for another fight. But this fight seemed to be one that would be a loss no matter what happens.
Preparing myself, I rushed with the remaining Angels. There was no way I was going to get away from this so I may as well stick it out to the end. We approached the same area that was decimated from the previous fight. The sounds of an oncoming group were radiating louder and louder till they could be plainly seen. It was demons. These ones looked a bit different, probably having come from underneath the surface.
The Angels let out a battle cry and charged these demons. I followed right behind. My vision shooting out of my body right before we clashed. I was watching my body as it fought thru demon after demon. Getting hit in turn, it seemed overwhelming. It was odd to have another out of body experience at such a crucial time but at least my body was doing what I would have it do if I was still within. The battle waged for a short time before the Angels were overrun. The demons began to kill those that were growing unable to continue fighting. Completely defeated. I continued watching, knowing this was going to happen, until I watch my body get pierced right thru my chest. Pinning me to the ground I watch as my body dies.
This reality struck me in disbelief. It didn't feel real at the time. So easily taken out. My body began to absorb light, like a portal pulling me in. Unable to do anything I drift off to god knows where.
It all went black. It all went silent.
I awaken, in a place that was completely foreign to me. Overhearing voices in the background I began to feel my body again. It almost felt like I came to from a dream. Stumbling to my feet, I went to seek out the voices to hopefully see something familiar. Coming up to an Angel and another speaking. Instantly realizing what I witnessed before was real. I approached further to notice it was an Angel speaking with what looked like a demon. Uncertain to what was going on I interrupted their conversation to ask a question or two of my own.
"Sorry to bother you, but what is going on?"
"Ah, you've come to have you? Excellent."
The Angel spoke towards me, almost like he didn't even hear me.
"You have been 'out' for a decade at least. Your situation is quite unique."
He continued, waving his hand towards the demon who then turned to look at me.
"... I remember demons and Angels fighting. I was caught within..."
Recalling a bit of what I experienced.
"Ah yes. The purging of the fallen Angels."
Turning away from me for a second and settling his composure.
"That was a situation that threatened what was going on so long ago. It was a temporary unification of Angel and Demon to make sure that coup was quelled."
"Why am I still here? I watched myself die!"
Not caring for the situation that was apparently passed. I wanted to know what was going on with me.
"Well, there is someone who has a particular interest of you."
The Angel turned to look at me once more.
"A being who serves his function well, who tends to get what he wants."
The demon keeping quiet was staying back to remain a spectator. The Angel turning back towards me in full, waving his hands to gesture what he was saying.
"The Lord of Bones spared you. You woke here and soon will be sent to him. Regardless of what you will do."
This wasn't making any sense in my head. Nothing was adding up.
"What do you mean? Am I not dead?"
"Quite. But you were not sent thru the portal. You were pulled before progressing the Well."
The Angel began to conclude what he was saying.
"You will be waiting for a giant ship that houses the Lord of Bones. You will be assuming a duty assigned to you."
Pointing towards a few other Angels who left in a hurry.
"You will be 'serving' a very crucial purpose. Much will be expected of you."
Walking away, I felt compelled to walk down another path. The further I walked the stronger the compelling feeling became. I felt my weapon in hand, I noticed a reflective surface nearby. Looking in, I saw my reflection - my decaying face and hood. Having lost a little time absorbing what I saw, I heard a voice echo right thru me.