FUSION

In the near future Britain will face Armageddon and one girl will fight to save its rebirth from epic destruction.

In a Network of failing wealth, high school graduates compete to avoid becoming Outcasts: a revolt of failed Recruits being extracted to die in apocalyptic ruins.

When seventeen-year-old Serena Knight is targeted by demons and thrust into a government intent on supremacy, her future disappears. She meets Kit, a slayer from an unseen realm, continually haunted by his past of sins whose aim is to keep her alive. But when her father is kidnapped and secrets exposed, surviving not only matters for Serena's sake, but her entire family’s.

Now Serena must learn mortal combat, finding support from Kit in their hunt for clues behind an android army, a prophesied bloodline and the story of Recruitment. But the government has been lying about their plans for domination, and Kit has secrets of his own that could affect everything.

*Could be considered Divergent/TMI fan-fic*

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1. Prologue

In 2063 British civilisation was annihilated. A demonic feed left millions dead and survivors rampant. The United Kingdom was post-apocalyptic in less than forty-eight hours. Barely ten thousand people survived.

With nowhere to live and no government to guide them, survivors created their own salvation. Some chose to live as before whereas others took to religion. Those who blamed the lower class for their downfall lived by status, using their power to take control.

The county of Essex became known as the Network where towns lived by division of class. It is outside their community that a demonic Faction dwells. It is inside their Walls that Guardians exist—a gathering of hunters from an angelic community named the Colony.

It’s now 2163, and their current mission is to save a girl targeted by the Faction.

She is someone who shouldn’t exist.

 

 

 

 

Prologue

 

The target’s name was Serena Knight: a brunette, around seventeen, in MC1 (Middle Class One) with a very distinct energy. That was all the information specified, less than usual but enough to go on; because she was a liability to the Faction she needed to be corrected, a term preferred instead of the brutal honesty of extermination.
                “I don’t know why we don’t just go in there and drag her out,” Jackal said, folding his lean arms across his chest. He narrowed his eyes at the brightening sky; the strong rays illuminated his Fallen Mark: an unusual shape like stars and nebulas scattered from head to shoulder. He was a fallen angel, or ‘demon’ as the angels preferred to call them and one of the few to remain in human-form after the Fall. The Mark ensured demons of his kind were identified as such. “This is getting ridiculous.”
                “We’re not making a move until we’re certain she’s the girl. There’s no point creating a scene over nothing.” Kit re-examined the windows of the marked house for signs of movement. Jackal had hoped to do a quick grab and tag, but they’d been surveilling the area for nearly ten hours and the only excitement had been between two cats in a turf war. Unlike Kit, most demons couldn’t control the visibility of their mark, and thus had no choice but to hide them with make-up.         “And that’s exactly why you don’t fit in with the Faction,” said Jackal, studying the selection of Top Trumps in hand. “You’re supposed to want to cause chaos, regardless of the consequences. We’re demon’s, that’s what we do.”

When Kit didn’t reply, Jackal perched on his elbows to look at his friend. The way Kit’s eyes gazed across the remains of a broken world with longing was what made him the target of the demons cruel jokes. If he wanted to survive among them, he’d have to start acting the part of predator instead of tamed housecat.
                Kit stared at his share of cards. He wasn’t going to get into this. Everything he said or did made him weaker in the eyes of his Faction, and right now his task was to keep a level of discretion, a hard task for someone who’d been scrutinized by them for eighteen years. “Agility: ninety-nine.”
                Jackal thrust over his card and lay in the dewy grass. “You know, for a human game, this isn’t all that bad.” Jackal was favoured among the Faction for his tracking capabilities; he could sniff out a Nephilim from a mile away and his high rank and capture count made him respected. But he cared for Kit, and that, in demonic eyes was not good. Emotion was considered a disease, after all it had been the downfall of mankind, but that didn’t stop Jackal from being considerate.
                “Careful,” Kit warned. “You’re starting to sound like me.”
                Above the Walls surrounding MC1, the sun’s rays began to break, casting long shadows over the constructions. The air was suddenly stirred with the arousal of residents. The sky was a palette of oranges, pinks and reds, and the sound of low voices hummed within the breeze. Jackal cursed himself at the time and pulled Kit to his feet. He’d exhausted most of his energy in the early hours, eager to enter the house and snatch the target, but had restrained due to Kit’s orders—an act of fealty. His body clock had alerted him of the approaching dawn often, but he’d ignored it, too drained and content with playing.
                They’d just made it out of the housing estate when the scent hit. Jackal was back at the pitch faster than a bullet, Kit right beside him.
                “What is it?” Kit asked. “What do you smell?”
                Jackal shook his head and sniffed the air. His nostrils flared with the likeness of a wolf, his eyes pinched closed in concentration. “I’m not sure. The scent’s too clean to be a cat, and too . . . alert to be a human’s. If anything I’d say it was a—”
                A figure dressed head to toe in white combat emerged from behind the target’s house. Engraved crystals were embedded in the belt and boots of the young man. From his hand, a beam similar to a torch blazed across the bushes. He was there for the same reason: the girl.
                “He’s not alone,” Jackal murmured. “There are two others.”
                They’d probably thought by this time the streets would be clear of malevolent beings; when dawn broke they often were. That night the Guardians had known a demon or two would be prowling the area, but clearly hadn’t counted on them cutting daybreak so close. Understandable really when they were trying to save a young girl’s life.
                 Kit tugged Jackal’s wrist with apprehension. “Let’s just leave,” he urged. “The sun’s coming up and Shego wants everyone back by eight. Come on!”
                Jackal’s fists balled and his body began to shake with a feral-like nature. They needed to leave; his growing rage at the Guardians and low energy would triumph if they didn’t.
                “Jackal, I’m telling you to move.” Kit demanded. “That’s an order!”
                The sound of grinding teeth was frightening, the tension palpable. Time was running out. The thought of tackling Jackal to the ground and pinning him there crossed Kit’s mind, but he wasn’t nearly as strong as a full demon. And even if he did manage it, the Faction would interrogate him as to why he didn’t just attack the Guardians and grab the girl. He was doomed either way.
                When the front door opened, Jackal was on the property in a second, invisibility on. Kit hurried after him, but his gifts weren’t in speed. Serena tugged her backpack over her slender shoulders as she began down the pavement, oblivious to the fallen angel behind her. There were other humans on the street now, too. The girl couldn’t be taken in broad daylight; witnesses were inevitable.
                Kit leapt the distance and landed a crouch at the demon’s feet. “I said no!”
                But Jackal was far gone to the monster inside, he’d relinquished control, it was in the way his body twitched, the way his hair stood on end.

“Move out the way,” Jackal said slowly. “I don’t want to hurt you, but I will if you stand in my way.”
                “I can’t let you take her,” Kit told him warily as the Guardians ran to his aid. It saddened him to betray the one demon that had treated him so kindly over the years, but from what he’d just seen, Serena was an enigma, and she couldn’t be subject to Shego’s torture.
                His revelation startled Jackal who asked, “What are you talking about?”
                The Guardians surrounded them in fighting stance, weapons wielded and aimed. “I’m sorry,” said Kit, taking a step back from his friend. “You’ve left me no choice. You should have left when I told you to.”
                Xav, the boy who’d been at the windows, bowed his head in agreement. “Follow the girl,” he instructed Kit. “We’ll handle this and catch up with you later."
                He hurried after Serena at the same time the demon yelled, “Traitor!” Kit’s shoulders hunched at the comment, but he fought the urge to go back and deal him a back hand. He looked around just as Soleil (a small girl with a blonde braid) straddled Jackal’s shoulders and stabbed him in the chest with a swift blow of her sword. Now there was no going back.
                Serena was very alert of her surroundings Kit noted as he ducked behind a tree for the third time. Whether she could sense him trailing her, he didn’t know. She was supernatural too which meant his glamour was inactive against her. When a car passed she’d stiffen and wander as far from the kerb as possible.

Her brown hair shone auburn in the light, falling in thick waves to her hips. Long legs carried her petite frame and there was a determination in her stride, almost like fear.
                But as Kit followed her to the Nexus station, he recalled that Serena was no ordinary target. Her energy was not Nephilim as expected, far from human, but not demonic either; it was a flaring combination of blue, white and black, initiating in a fierce battle of good vs. evil around her. There was only one other being he knew with that same badge: himself.

If the Faction got their filthy hands on her, they’d tear her limb from limb, without a moment’s hesitation, assuming conversion wasn’t successful. Kit decided he couldn’t let that happen without knowing this girl’s story. Maybe she could help him uncover the truth to their existence. For the first time he was grateful he was the only creature able to distinguish energies through sight. It would mean that enemies tracking her from his Faction would take longer.
                “So what’s the plan?” he asked when the Guardians caught up with him.

They were now stood among a crowd waiting to board a shuttle within the Nexus. A large opaque dome shaped like a cylinder enclosed them. On each side dark tunnels stretched high above ground from the remaining damage in the Outlands. Soleil’s crossbow was secured tightly to her back, her wrists adorned with crystalized bangles. Xav stood at her side, his light locks in stark contrast to hers. He wiped thick green goo from a dagger and sheathed it in his boot. Demon blood was not a pleasant substance.
                “It’s complicated,” Soleil said in her syrupy voice, watching as Serena waved to a tall boy. “Luna seems to get the impression that the girl knows nothing of the Colony which means we can’t bring her in straight away.”
                Xav scoffed as he led the group closer to the bench where Serena spoke. “How is that possible?” he asked when they found Soleil’s twin Luna keeping tabs behind a vending machine. “She was targeted as one of us which means she has to of come from a District somewhere, right?”
                Luna shrugged. Her physique was slight but intimidating. With an elfin waist and toned arms, she could have easily been a sentry. Where her sister was bright and bubbly, Luna was dark and gloomy, but Luna took the job more seriously and didn’t let others stand in her way.

“Don’t be so gullible to believe everything I say. It’s just that compared to the others we’ve saved, she doesn’t seem to demonstrate knowledge of hunting or attacking. If she did, she would have recognised us by now.”
                Serena threw her head back and laughed. Her companion had two straws projected from his nostrils and barred his teeth in relation. When he growled, she doubled over clutching her stomach which was concealed by a flowing lemon shirt.
                “I suggest that we resume studying her from a distance. Confirm or deny her understanding of us and only interact when necessary.”
                Soleil twirled the end of her braid, forging indifference. “So you really don’t think she’s Nephilim?”
                “No,” her twin admitted. “I don’t.”
                “She might just be refusing to acknowledge us.”
                Xav’s lip curled in response. “What, like you do with me every day?”
                Soleil smirked as the station’s intercom buzzed to life.

“The next shuttle to arrive at platform one will be the eight-seventeen, direct line service, to M-C-Two. Please keep all magnetic possessions well clear of the platform edge until the shuttle is stationary.”
                The shuttle’s approach could be felt long before it was seen. The grids began to vibrate with the magnetic pulse that enabled the craft’s mobility. Waiting passengers stepped back, clutching their bags and jewellery closer. A little girl wrapped her arms around her mother’s leg and stared with big brown eyes at the dark tunnel. An elderly couple held hands, teens chatted, laughed, and adults stood content but weary. Kit couldn’t help but study the interactions and responses of all the people around him. This was the most he’d ever been involved with circumstances so mundane to humans. And then it occurred to him that this was the first shuttle ride he’d ever experience.
                “What are you smiling about?” Xav asked curiously. He looked up and down the platform, eyes sparkling with excitement. “Did someone fall on the tracks?”
                “No.” Kit shook his head, appalled. “What’s the matter with you?”
                “Oh, don’t worry about him,” Soleil laughed, draping an arm over his shoulders. “He has a sick sense of humour.”
                When the shuttle pulled in, the Guardians composed themselves and jumped on Serena’s carriage. The vehicle was crammed with residents from Lower and Middle Class One, and Lower Class Two, jostling around and talking about their plans for the weekend. To the richer people of Upper Classes One and Two, the lower community was deemed inefficient, but they were worse: stomping over their so called friends to be number one— Soleil often said they were too brainwashed to realise.
                At the back of the carriage, Serena rested her head on her friend’s shoulder. He smiled and breathed in the scent of her hair. Kit watched them with interest. It was these human interactions Shego prevented him from witnessing and participating in, and a surge of envy filled his veins.
                “What am I going to do about the Faction?” he asked once the shuttle began to move. “Shall I go back?”
                Luna shook her head. “No, it’s too late for that now. Dawn broke too long ago. Shego will think you’ve burned or been killed by us. I’m sure she’ll send out some of her filth to look for you soon enough.”
                Soleil slapped her arm. “Kit’s part of that Faction.”
                “And he’s also one of us. He’s not a full demon; he shares our beliefs and has proved himself a worthy fighter. I mean no offense.”
                “Don’t you think it’s weird how we’ve never seen a unicorn?” Xav mused. “We deal with zombies and deities, but no unicorns.”
                “The point is,” Luna said, returning to the matter and meeting Kit’s eyes. “Is that once Shego doesn’t find you, she’s going to come looking, which means that you’re going to have to lie-low. Maybe even leave the Network.”
                “He can’t go into the Outlands!” Soleil gasped. “No one can survive out there.”
                “That’s not what Cornelia says,” said Xav, staring out the window as they entered the darkness of the Nexus Link between MC1 and Two.

The air in the carriage changed immediately causing Kit an uncomfortable bout of swimmer’s ear. Occasionally LED lights would fly past like bats on fire. He was surprised how effortlessly the shuttle glided; there were no bumps or jolts, just a smooth coast to the next Class.
                Kit glanced at Serena. She looked so peaceful, so easy to break. There was no way he was leaving without knowing her.

“I’m not going,” he told them. “I can’t.”
                Soleil breathed a sigh of relief, but Luna studied him like he needed to be sectioned.

“Very well,” she said with a bow of her head. “If that’s what you want. But know that it isn’t safe for you at the Manor for the time being. When Shego comes looking for you, the first place she’s going to hit is there.”
                “Because she already suspects I’m in alliance with you guys,” Kit nodded. “I know.”
                “We’ll find you somewhere safe to stay,” Xav said. “You’ll be okay.”
                “And we’ll let you know straight away when it’s okay for you to come back,” Soleil added.
                They exited the Link and emerged into the transparent channel of MC2. When Kit turned round to keep eyes on the target, he was surprised to see she was already staring at him, her green eyes bright as a cat’s. The broken world of the refurbished community passed behind, a reminder that they were from two different worlds. Shadows crossed her face, giving it a flawless cast. Her pale skin enhanced red lips, and cheeks blossomed like roses. She was quick to look away.
                When the shuttle stopped, emptied, and refilled with people for the next Class she jumped from her seat.

“Wait up, Jet!” she called after her friend, but not before taking one last look at Kit.
                There was caution.

 

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