Six months earlier…
Keep step. Concentrate. Feel the rhythm of your limbs, Andrew reminded himself, as he scrambled lightly up the side of an old brick building, one of many that still lingered, making up the higgledy-piggledy patchwork of the great city of London. Sensing the ancient mortar and brickwork crumble finely away beneath his boots, he kept up his pace, methodically grasping the next handholds within reach as he scaled the wall. He could feel the strengthening wind urge him forward as he ascended, filling him with a sense of exhilaration and power. Pulling himself quickly up onto the tiled roof, he stood watch over the great, filthy, dank urban jungle, surging with life and the awkward waltz of history and technology hand-in-hand. Andrew, feeling the slight bite of the winter chill on his cheeks and tugging incessantly at his unkempt brown hair, felt thankful for the constant presence of his long, shabby, dark blue greatcoat, which had been a constant companion to him in his life on the streets.
With a harsh caw, a single crow gently alighted on a decrepit chimney stack next to him and eyed him with beady black eyes. Smiling, he reached out and softly stroked the creature underneath its beaked head. Animals, he mused, were simple. They had no hidden agendas, no secrets, no prejudices. People, now they were a different story altogether. Frowning, he looked up and scanned the morning scene laid out before him with his unusually piercing eyes as his impromptu companion took flight once more. Along with the howl of the restless wind, he could hear various ambient noises of the daily life in the metropolis. The growl of fossil and vegetable fuel cars, mixed with the quieter whir of their electrical cousins. Somewhere, the furious shouting of an enraged man spraying obscenities into the air like machine gun fire. And, in the street directly below him, Andrew could see a couple of armed police officers led smart-suited bureaucrat, as they prowled menacingly along the thoroughfare, evidently on the lookout for anyone that they could intimidate or exploit, all under official government sanction. Andrew fixed them with a glare. The corruption and inequality that flooded and oozed into every vein and artery of the city, and indeed the country, was more obvious by the day. He did what he could to stem the tide, but in reality, he felt powerless to stop it. Even in this particular district of London, far from the centre, he could feel the insidious tentacled influence of the political ruling class, wining and dining in opulent luxury while brutally oppressing or ignoring those whom they had once sworn to serve. And now, with worsening conditions and a largely corrupt police force, crime ran rampant, even at the heart of the country. But what most did not know was the true nature of the power behind the wealthy elite.
For thousands of years, ever since the Fall, demons (angels who had sided with the prideful Lucifer against God, fallen from Heaven with their master, and been twisted and perverted further by their time in Hell) had sought to torment and tempt humanity, God’s favourite creation, under the command of Satan himself. Slowly, throughout the centuries, they had fought an invisible war with God’s loyal angels over the destinies of men, using their bodies to walk the physical plane. Countless regimes and empires owed their flourishing to the machinations of fallen angels, ever seeking to spread chaos and sin, and by doing so, demonstrate the flawed and broken nature of God’s beloved offspring that He had dared to place above even them.
Andrew knew all this because, in a word, he was special. Ever since he could remember, he had instinctively wielded the ability to see “into the truth of things”, as he often put it, to sense the true form of demons who were hiding inside their human vessels. And they were getting more and more brazen, it seemed. Journalists, news presenters, entertainers, businessmen, and of course, politicians. All had many coal-eyed representatives – a foul, rotting, warped grin hiding beneath a hapless human vessel staring out from a television projection. A monster that cared nothing of faith, morality, love, or family. Family. Andrew winced at that word, and flashes of violence emerged from his memory, from his lonely childhood.
&@£&%& freak! Useless piece of %$&@! Give me that %$&@$£ book NOW!
But now, things were different. The scared little boy was a man grown strong, and one day, those hellspawn, those creatures from the pit, would pay for wearing his parents faces like Halloween masks, and they would pay for what they have done to this country, in God’s name. One day…