Leonardo de Huet - Warehouse
Climbing the side of a building by a rain drainage is actually a lot harder than you might think. Luckily this was one of those industrial drains that were created to carry a lot of water, so they were at least fastened properly. "So do you even have a plan yet?"
Persephone was somehow already up there, he had stopped wondering how she did things like that years ago "Well, except for the whole I'll-jump-in-and-distract-them. That obviously is a perfect plan."
the sarcasm was almost literally oozing from her lips. She reached out a hand, and instinctively he grabbed onto it. But as she started pulling him up, he couldnt help but wonder how this was even possible? Wasnt she just a figment of his imagination? Perhaps he was imagining this all as well, maybe he managed to drag himself onto the rooftop. Either way, he was up there now and he needed a plan.
The constant gunfire rattled the roof and the muzzle flashes brightly shone through the various skylights located all over the roof. Leo moved closer to the skylight lighting up the most. It was directly above the gunner squads. But what could he actually do? "What you do best of course, my dear."
Persephone said cooing. Leo sighed and slumped down the side of the skylight. He'd been in the demonologist trade for a good 10 years now, 9 of active traveling to the Underworld. But he'd never used it for a combat scenario before. It worried him somewhat. God, Persephone snickered, knows what might happen. But he would tackle that point when the time came. So Leo closed his eyes and felt the now familiar pull on his spine as he descended into the Underworld.
Now the Underworld is quite the marvelous thing. Unique to everybody who visits it. For some it might just be a endless white plain, for some a misty forest at night. For Leo it is an exact copy of the world, but blasted away as if humanity had left it ages ago. A burned place where a constant sandstorm is ravaging the buildings. Some would call it hell.
Time also has little to no grip on this plain, you could spend your remainder of your life there and only a second would pass in the real world. But dont think that it's a place you can just go to if you want to relax for a few days. It eats at your mind, until the day you no longer know which world is real. And of course the constant thread of demons, all vying for control over your body, a way out.
The warehouse was only barely standing as it was, cracks left large gaping holes in the roof and a large section had already collapsed. Leo got up and made his way off the building, luckily a whole lot easier thanks to the rubble. "Do you even have a plan yet?"
Persephone followed after him, gracefully making her way off the rubble as if gravity was a mere nuisance to her. Perhaps it was. "I need something big, strong... Something that could withstand quite a few hits."
He looked up at the burning sky, a sandstorm was coming soon. They strode off into the city.
A few hours passed, or maybe they were just minutes it was rather hard to tell. The demons lurking the dead city always left Leo alone, avoiding him. Or were they avoiding Persephone? "Boneguards."
Persephone suddenly said, as a shiver went down Leo's back. "Dont you have a better suggestion?"
Boneguards were what you would call demons among demons. Sadistic bastards that liked to hunt their own kind for sports. They were also the few races that traveled in packs. "Well you said you needed something big, strong. Something that could take a beating."
she made it sound like he was shopping for a new car "Of course you could always let me take contro-" "No."
Persephone gave him a coy smile. "If you would let me finish. Let me take control, but you always say no. So the Boneguard are the best choice."
There was some eerie kind of logic in that, Leo didnt like that.
It wasnt hard to find a Boneguard pack, just follow the sounds of howling screams. Big, hulking creatures that had an bone like exoskeleton. Hence their name. They were hunting some smaller demon, a simple fiend, when Leo and Persephone came across them. Three of them, all at least twice the size of your average car. They took little notice of them at first, but soon their prey died and they turned their attention on the two smaller figures entering their hunting domain "Oh ho ho, look at what we got here."
One of the larger ones shouted out. Leo already regretted coming here. The leader, thats what Leo suspected it was, moved closer to Leo, footsteps creating loud thumping sounds. "Mmmmmmortal."
it snorted. Leo kept his place, not showing any signs of fear towards the demon. In fact, he didnt. "It's been a while since I had a piece of that."
the leader nearly growled as it moved even closer, bending it's neck so it was face to face with Leo. Only then did it notice Persephone standing behind Leo "Hrm, you."
it grumbled, Leo was sure it also squinted it's eyes. But it was hard to tell through the many layers of bone. "What are you doing here?"
slowly it backed off again. "Thats none of your concern."
Persephone coldly replied. It wasnt the first time this had happened, somehow the demons all knew about Persephone, which made Leo wonder even more to what she really was. "Your attention will be with me demon."
Leo commanded as he felt the runes on his arm warm up. "I require your aid, and you shall lend it to me."
it was key to keep in a commanding position, show a superior will. The large creature stood to it's full size again, and alternated looks between Leo and Persephone. Leo wasnt sure whether it was laughing or not, but it came close enough. "You amuse me mortal. Yes. Yes I shall grant you my strength. Perhaps you might even want something more permanent?"
As it started a bellowing laughter, the runes on Leo' arm started burning as if they were on fire and the world started to pull away from him again.
Leo opened his eyes and immediately felt the pain settle in. A most terrible pain along his back. Pain was part of the territory as a demonologist and Leo had done enough transformations as shown on his body, but it never became any easier. He pulled himself up as small boney tendrils started puncturing through his skin along his spin. As he set his first foot onto the skylight box he felt larger tendrils ripping through his flesh, ripping about muscle and tissue as well as his cloths. As he let himself drop into the skylight, he saw Persephone' face, disdain could be read on it. The tendrils wrapped around his body, a body armor of his own bone.
If the mercenaries hadn't used goggles, they might have seen his shadow on the ground. If the mercenaries hadn't been shooting, they might have heard the breaking of glass above them. If the mercenaries hadn't been there that day, they would still be alive.
Leo fell on one of the heavy machine gunners with a satisfying crunch. The other mercenaries stopped with whatever they were doing and looked at the spot where once one of their teammembers stood. Now a the strangest creature stood there, a terrible creature a creature that appeared to be made out of bone.
Leo looked around as the dust from his descend settled. There were at least 8 of them. Well, 7 now. He wondered how he was supposed to handle this. But the mercs already made up their minds, and soon opened fire on the creature. Leo could feel the bullets impact, but the armor held. But for how long? He rushed towards the closest merc and swept his hand across his gut, the claw like nails went through his armor and skin like they were made of paper, spraying large quantities of blood onto the bone armor. The merc fell to his knees, desperately trying to keep his guts inside, but ultimately collapsed by either shock or blood loss. Leo hadnt noticed, he was jumping between the mercs like a rabid hyena. Leo felt great, fantastic even. He could feel the warm blood from his kills seep through the armor, revelled in the screams of the men as he eviscerated them. Was he laughing? He was pretty sure he was, but what did it matter?
By now only one merc was still alive. He had dropped to the floor and was trembling all over, he was still holding down the trigger of his assault rifle.Click, click, click.
Leo moved in, feeling the rush of the battle still welling up inside him.Click, click, click.
Leo placed his claw of a hand over the man's head, and clenched his fingers.Click, click, click.
His nails were digging into the man's skin, his very skull.Click, click, click.
With a single forceful pull Leo managed to sever the man's head completely.Click.
Leo let out a howl. Was it a howl? And held up the severed man's head as if it was a trophy. He wondered if there was more to kill, a bigger prey. Someone who would provide a proper challenge. Someone who could end thi- he noticed Persephone from the corner of his eye. She looked at him with a cold look "Be careful Leonardo. You wouldnt want to lose control."
she had crossed her arms and remained stationary. "You mind your own damn business!"
Leo shouted towards her "I'm perfectly in control!"
perhaps she would provide the proper fight he needed? "Oh really? Then what's that in your hand?"
she replied just as coldly as she had done before. Leo looked down and saw the severed man's head still firmly in his grip. Suddenly he snapped back to reality and dropped the head with a wet thump. He looked around at the carnage he had caused. Nononononono, this couldnt be happening. He had lost momentary control, had given in to the bloodlust of the Boneguard. he was sure he heard a chuckle in the back of his mind. "If the others."
he mumbled to himself "If the others see this... This will raise questions."
panic was setting in. He had to release the demon.
The now reddened tendrils let go of his limbs, painfully retracting back into his back. They had cut most of his cloths completely to ribbons, but that was the least of his troubles. Demons tried to get their joy in every way they could, their transformations were brutal and painful and would leave wounds on the users body as a token. This time wasnt any different. Leo felt the warmth of blood gushing along his back. Multiple open wounds were lined along his spine, where the tendrils had ripped apart the skin. he fell to his hands and knees. This was all going wrong. He looked at Persephone sideways. "Should've taken my offer boy. Now you pay the price."
She still stood at the same spot, arms crossed looking at him. Leo knew he needed help, and quick. But the priest was assigned to the other team.
Not a good day. Not a good day at all.