It’s Cal again. It’s been a couple of hours this time, and I’ve got news.
So, just as me and Marley got back from Uganda, Tommy gave me a call.
He drove into town to get breakfast, and saw three old men with sunglasses arrive at the motel across from the KFC, while he was waiting for his food.
Not very alarming, you might be thinking.
But you know that Tommy’s got the power to see what’s really there, right? He can see the Deaths, he can see the invisible, and he can see through illusions too. That, and it makes him an excellent judge of character. He can see right through a sociopath’s act.
And what Tommy saw was three suspicious individuals up to no good, and probably not much neutral either.
But here’s the thing: he doesn’t think that they noticed him. Or the ChaotiX logo patch on the Mothership, on the driver’s side. As in, the side that was facing away from the motel.
Good thing we don’t live in England.
So we know that the Gurus are in the area, but they don’t know that we know.
Which means we have to plan our next move carefully. If they suspect that they’ve been rumbled, they’ll probably vamoose, and we’ll lose our advantage.
I want to know what they’re up to. And I don’t know the limits of their abilities, so spying on them might be tricky. They might have a way to see things that are invisible like Tommy can. They might have a way to detect intruders, even really small ones.
They didn’t see you sneaking up on them in that military base. So I don’t think they can see invisible stuff. Deploy some drones, stealth 'em, problem solved.
I’ll ask Val in a bit.
I want them to pay for what they did to Scott as much as YOU do, Cal.
And it’s funny that you mentioned Scott, Niv, because that leads me to my next point.
We know who that demon is now.
It’s not Scotty.
It’s half of him.
Deston asked the guards in Hell. The Dark Demon-- snrk– is missing Down There.
And a young woman living near where that old woman’s body was found has gone missing too.
Even the dumbest fluffy could connect the dots here.
Naturally, Deston passed the news on to Samuel, who went Up There to pass it on to Archangel Michael, who is overseeing Samuel and Gabriel’s operations on Earth.
There’s an Archangel Gabriel too. There’s only so many names that end with “el”, you see, and apparently that’s important.
But it’s easy to tell the difference, because the Archangel Gabriel is usually male. Gender’s a choice for them, really.
From there, Archangel Michael passed it on to their Boss, who will be monitoring the situation.
The Dark Demon might have retained the power of an Omega Class, you see. Like Adam did when he became a demon.
Yeah, that’s been bugging the crap out of me. Isn’t Phenomenon X tied to the human genome? How can an X-Positive keep their powers in death? They don’t have DNA anymore, they left that behind in their body!
Well, the spirits of the dead are only incorporeal in the living world. Because they’re not a part of it anymore, obviously. They’re embodied on the Other Side. Becoming a demon, or a nephilim, allows them to be corporeal in the living world once more.
Assuming they’re lucky enough to be summoned or break out of the afterlife. That doesn’t really answer my initial question, though.
Look, the origin of Phenomenon X is a power that literally breaks the rules and warps the fabric of reality.
That X-Positives can keep their powers in death is not the most illogical thing about us.
The point is, the Dark Demon-- snrk– might still be an Omega Class.
An Omega Class demon is not a good thing. We’ve dealt with that too many times. We’ve dealt with fucking demons in general too many times. They keep coming to the Prime Material Plane and fucking shit up.
Enough is enough.
I have had it with these motherfucking demons on this motherfucking plane.
I wasn’t counting our four half-demons, Niv.
Speaking of our half-demons, me and Marley are currently at Dave’s place, meeting with one of his drinking buddies he met at the Inn Between Worlds.
Not the big demon hunter in green armor. He’s currently spending some time skateboarding in another world. Yeah, really. I was surprised too.
But this guy’s also a demon hunter. White hair, red coat, a sword strapped to his back and two guns holstered. He’s currently chatting to Young Dave.
“So you really didn’t inherit your dad’s powers, kid?”
“Nope. Daddy got them after I was born. My brother doesn’t have powers either. Hey, do you have a brother?”
“Yeah, but… we don’t really get along.”
“That’s kinda sad. Brothers should love each other.”
“…It’s really complicated, little dude.”
Sandra’s inside, changing Little Cal’s diaper, and Marley’s playing huggy tag with Slayer and Beatrice.
“Wemembew, Bee-twice nu can fwy!”
“Swayew knu, Bee-twice.”
“Mebbeh Dave can git Bee-twice a fwite pak. Vaw am makin dem fow fwuffies nao. Cai-wum gut wun nao.”
Yeah, and Caelum was so happy to finally fly.
Maybe when she’s done with her training, Val could make a fluffy-sized hang glider too.
I’ll suggest it to Seth later, Niv.
I turn to Dave.
“So what do you think?”
“I think he’ll do just fine, Cal. He’s a skilled, experienced demon hunter, and he’s taken down bigger demons than the Dark Demon. Snrk.”
Yeah, that’s what that guy’s doing here. Helping us hunt the Dark Demon down. And he didn’t even ask for that big of a fee. A stack of pizzas from Mario’s restaurant and enough cash to cover his electricity bill for a couple of months. He can exchange it for his world’s money at the Inn.
Apparently, he’s got a counterpart who is half-demon and half-angel, but they don’t get along. That counterpart isn’t really popular at the Inn. Mostly because he acts like a thirteen-year-old Linkin Park fan’s idea of cool.
So painfully edgy that people pull muscles cringing at him. Even edgier than Kirk when he was still Projekt Schatten.
And people say that I swear a lot.
Speaking of half-demon half-angel, we still don’t have a name for Slayer and Future Marley’s merged form yet.
Well, we don’t know if they’re going to merge again.
But we’re workshopping names just in case.
Andre walks up, Magic and Johnson following him, and Dave turns to them.
“Who’s watching Fluffy Auschwitz?”
“James is. Relax, nigga. He hunts demons for a livin’, he can handle any abusers dumb enough to walk in.”
“Magic am suw-pwized dat dewe am anee ab-yoo-suws weft in da sitty. Caw wib hewe. Dat nu am a seek-wit.”
“Sum dummehs am jus tuu dummeh tu wibe, nigguh.”
“Junsun gutta point dewe. Daddeh, can Magic an Junsun gu pway huggy tag tuu?”
“Go for it, guys.”
So Magic and Johnson join in, Andre walking up to us, eyeing the demon hunter.
I smile at Andre.
“A demon hunter from another world. Dave met him at the Inn, and recommended him for the Deedee situation.”
“Aight. Y’all know I met a pirate with stretchy powers at the Inn? And some scientist in a blue suit. Dang, he had a nice beard.”
Remember when YOU tried to grow a beard in high school, Cal?
Yeah, it looked like I glued pubes to my face.
Luckily, I shaved it off before Dave could take a picture.
My later attempt to grow a mustache, however, was successfully immortalised in photographic form by Dave, who proceeded to make sure that everyone in our social circle saw it.
That was back when he was the biggest asshole I knew.
You could give it another go. I think there’s a potion that can help with that. Hey, there’s a sex change potion, isn’t there?
That has actually been around for a while, Niv. But when that potion was first invented, the transformation was very painful.
Oh yeah. But, y’know, magical R&D is a thing. They only recently managed to make the transformation less painful.
I mean, according to those who have used it, it still hurts, but it’s more like a stinging sensation than a “holy fuck, every cell of my body is on fire” kind of agony, like Cruz is.
So still not something you’d wanna do on a whim. These days, it’s more like getting a tattoo or a piercing.
But Valerie’s working on a way to make that less painful too.
Bit by bit, we make our way to a better world. Bit by bit, we make things easier for the next generation.
Bit by bit, we tear down the obstacles standing between us and our dream.
I think it’s time to send in the drones.
We need to see what the Gurus are up to.
Because here’s the thing.
Deedee probably just wants to kill me.
But the Gurus?
They want to erase this world entirely.
That’s what’ll happen if they bring Ad Laun Dyz back, right? The last fourteen thousand years happen the way they were originally going to: Adam reigns supreme over the Earth, wages war against the universe, and everyone except his precious Enlightened Ones dies.
Now that you’ve mentioned Adam, I’ve just realised something.
Gaspar has time powers, right? Couldn’t he use them to pluck Adam out of the past before he dies?
Yeah, but Adam died fourteen thousand years ago. When Cajack aged him to dust. Jack can travel pretty far back in time these days, but I don’t know what Gaspar’s limit is.
You’re forgetting something, Cal. Adam died AGAIN, a lot more recently than that.
Here’s hoping Gaspar doesn’t realize what he can do.
The last thing we need is two demon Omegas running around.
Meanwhile, in the small town near Blueberry’s Forest, Gaspar enters the Gurus’ motel room, carrying three buckets of fried chicken.
“We need to be careful, gentlemen. There’s ChaotiX in the area.”
Melchior grabs a piece of chicken, sniffing it hesitantly.
“What is this?”
Gaspar shrugs, sampling a piece.
“Bird meat, dipped in batter and fried in oil. Something like that. It’s not bad. But did you not hear me, Melchior? The ChaotiX is here!”
Belthasar peeks out through the closed curtains.
“Not Korkea himself, I hope?”
“No, Belthasar. One of his friends. Did you see that ridiculous vehicle across the street when we arrived? One of Korkea’s allies was the driver. The employees at that eatery said he’s there all the time. Tommy, they said he’s called. If he’s a friend of Korkea like Clockson is, he’ll know about us. And if he recognized us, Korkea will know we’re here.”
“You said that om nom nom you wanted to nom nom meet Clockson, didn’t you?”
“Don’t talk with your mouth full, Melchior. And yes, I would like to meet Clockson, but I can’t do so without alerting Korkea.”
Belthasar gestures at the streetlight-like device, the dismantled pieces on a table.
“But we need Korkea to seek us out to use this. So what’s the next move, Gaspar? We just set this thing up and wait for Korkea to come knocking?”
Gaspar sits down, mulling it over.
“No. Not here. I think we should set it up closer to the city. And we should let one of Korkea’s pals see us leave this pathetic gathering of filthy hovels that the locals have the gall to call a town. We want him to know that we’re leaving. And, eventually, we’ll want him to know where we are. We’ll need someone to lure him there, to distract him. And by the time he figures out what’s really going on…”
“He’ll be powerless to stop us.”
Meanwhile, in a certain military base in Arizona, one soldier spots someone approaching the base on a motorcycle.
“Looks like a civilian, boys!”
General Lucas is currently elsewhere.
Which is fortunate for him.
When the helmeted biker pulls up at the gates, him and his blonde passenger disembarking, one soldier draws close.
“What do you think you’re doing he–”
The biker removes his helmet.
Revealing nothing but a blackened skull.
That bursts into black flames.
“You have something which my friend desires. You will relinquish it NOW.”
The woman walks up to the soldier, grinning maliciously.
“Hey, that’s a nice body! You must take care of yourself! Hee hee hee!”
“…Are you hitting on me–”
Then she rips the soldier’s soul out and eats it.
“Eurgh. He tasted like an MRE. Hee hee! It’s three lies for the price of one! Hahahaha! You go ahead, buddy. Just remember, when you find the you-know-whats, leave 'em for me. Hee.”
The skeletal biker nods, storming into the base.
Five seconds later, the gunfire commences.
Ten seconds later, the gunfire stops, the screaming starts, and black fire begins to spread.
The woman looks down at the soldier’s inert, empty, but still living body, not paying any attention to her friend’s rampage.
“I’ve gotta go change. Being a chick was fun, but I’m sick of it. Hee hee hee hee hee…”