The Anathema

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  • Published: 30 Mar 2017
  • Updated: 25 Apr 2017
  • Status: Complete
Long ago, demons and hellcreatures invaded earth. Though they nearly wiped out the humans, humans did as always: adapted. Hundreds of years later, the offspring of humans and demons is the norm. Alessandra lives in this world, and is entirely human. Finally, too late to the battle, the angels are determined to get rid of the demons once and for all. Alessandra, though caught in the midst of the battle, is the only hope for the humane side of the cambions...if it even exists anymore...

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5. Back to the City

It's a long time, after I come out of my stupor, that I notice we're not heading in the direction of home, but back into the city.

"Zadkiel, where are you taking us?" I ask. He glances at me.

"There will be safe places in the city for remaining humans."

"Safe places?" asks Lionel. Katherine turns in my arms, briefly staring at me with smoldering hatred before turning over. On her back are slight burns. She's by far the worst off of us three.

"Yes. The angels have come to rid the world of demons. The remaining, non-possessed humans will need safe places, guarded by angels."

"Uh...," says Lionel, confused. 

"Is this the Rapture?" asks Katherine, grunting.

"No."

Katherine flails angrily in my arms a bit. "Then why are you here?" she asks loudly.

"To rid Earth of demons."

"About time," mutters Lionel.

"Zadkiel," I say. We're getting close to the actual buildings of the city. "Are there any real demons left? It's been a few hundred years since this all started..." He turns his head to me, his eyes a bit wide.

"That can't be right."

"It is, though. Demons came, possessed the humans, and then...society just crumbled, I guess. A hundred years later it was rebuilt, and it's been that was since." Zadkiel look thoughtfully at the ground.

"Are we mistaken, then? Are we too late to save the humans?" he asks, sounding pained.

"There are very few humans left. Maybe a hundred surrounding this city. We don't go in often because of the cambions. It's thought that around the world, there are only about..." I think for a second. "10,000 humans left. About a billion cambions."

"Stop using that word," snaps Lionel. "They're demons. Period."

"Not completely, and I was talking," I tell him.

"Shut up," he says, shoving his hands in his pockets.

"So we were late," says Zadkiel, his voice pained. "Even if we did rid the entire world, there'd be so few humans left, scattered."

"A hundred here is even a large population, though the families have tried to make it larger. We're related to at least three of them."

Katherine twists and turns, shoving off of me to the ground.

"Are you all-" I start.

"We're not related!" yells Katherine, tears streaming down her eyes. "You're not my sister anymore! Mother said so!" She waddles awkwardly to Lionel, holding her hands out to be picked up. I look at her sadly. Lionel, his face puckered, picks her up awkwardly with his one good arm, slinging her over his shoulder where she just flops.

I feel like I've been hollowed out. I am responsible for them, but they're never going to listen to me.

Zadkiel looks at me with sad, violet eyes. "Let's keep walking."

We walk further into the city, Zadkiel materializing twin daggers from his tunic. 

"Get behind me," he says. We file behind him, Lionel hesitantly getting behind me.

"You're going to kill someone with those, aren't you?" I whisper to him.

"It is what I was told to do. I cannot disobey, lest I fall." I nod in understanding.

"Killing cambions, am I correct?"

He gives me a sideways look, a bit confused. "Yes, though they are hardly a human-demon hybrid. Eventually the humane part of them would have been overshadowed by their demonic side. They are practically demons in permanent bodies."

I nod, not wanting to argue with the angel with two sharp daggers, intent on killing near-human creatures.

We walk into the city, which should have been bustling, but only find corpses. Only cambion corpses. 

Zadkiel walks us through the streets, until we come upon a small horde of cambions cornered by an angel. He raises his sword and-

They're all slaughtered with one swipe. Women, men, children, elderly. They lie in a heap in the corner. The angel sheathes his sword and steps back.

"Vasiariah," calls Zadkiel. The angel turns around, becoming stoic.

"Zadkiel."

"Where have Michael and the others gone?"

"They are in the city hall, Zadkiel."

"And where are the humans being kept?"

Vasiariah gives Zadkiel a funny look. "Humans?" He notices the three of us behind him. "Oh. There are no humans in this city, Zadkiel. Orders have changed. If we are to see a human, though it has not happened, we are to get them and take them to city hall. Our priorities have changed."

Zadkiel nods. "Thank you, Vasiariah."

We begin walking toward city hall.

"What...what were your previous orders?" asks Lionel.

"Save the humans first. Kill the demons later," responds Zadkiel. "Orders are now to kill demons first  because there are no humans. If we happen to see a human, they are priority, though."

"That was awful," I tell him angrily. Lionel and Katherine make sounds of disgust at me. "He slaughtered them without a second thought."

"We cannot disobey orders."

"I know. But there was no compassion. What if they're still a bit human? What if you're killing human souls, even if they are tainted by the demon side of them?" 

"We have our orders, though if they are still human, it would be a tragic loss, though not one we can dwell on."

We come upon city hall, where corpses litter the steps. My stomach turns as we pass them, and I get a sinking, hateful feeling in my stomach. This is what is holy? This is Godly? 

Zadkiel leads us into the deserted city hall, through mazes of corridors until we reach a room. A nameplate on the table tells me it's the mayor's office. 

In the room, an angel is waiting. Zadkiel stops us so he can go over and speak with him alone. 

He comes back to us. "You will wait her with Tariel." He's gone in an instant.

"Where'd he go?!" yells Katherine, writhing around to see where he went. 

Tariel cracks a smile. "He is an angel. He can fly."

"He's not an angel," says Katherine stubbornly. Lionel places her on a couch and sits down himself. I don't join them.

"And why is that?" 

"Because he's just not." Tariel rolls his eyes. 

"Anyway, it is good to finally see you, Whites," says Tariel. "I am your guardian angel, Tariel."

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