Angels And Demons Police Force

The year is 3512 and humans are long extinct. In their place, Angels and Demons live in an uneasy truce. 

Verin is an impatient demon that works as a 'Hunter’ on the police force who spends her days and nights catching criminals. One night her life is complicated by the arrival of a human via time machine into her own living room. Humans are, depending on who you ask, at the very least unwanted and while Verin is apathetic towards humans, she is feels obligated to keep the human a secret until he returns to his own timeline; unfortunately, his time machine is sabotaged.

Further complications arise when mysterious murders begin to occur involving unconventional perpetrators and the angel cult ‘The Order Of The Incorporeus’ and demon gang ‘Visignis’ begin making their move.

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3. Chapter 3

As she turned to go she inadvertently kicked a small piece of metal causing it to skitter across the pavement. Upon retrieval, it was revealed to be a 1cm thick steel screw, its corners now smooth from heavy weathering over many years. Turning it over and over in her hand, she gave it a stroke with her thumb before pocketing it. The screw made a jingling sound as it joined a collection of other assorted knick-knacks before she securely zipped it away.

 

The rain had subsided somewhat as she straightened up, so Verin took the chance to shake the rain from her feathers before preparing for takeoff. Verin had been working since midnight, and the previous job was the last of her shift, so she was eager to get home and change.

 

The take-off however was interrupted by a figure, who had up until now been hovering at a distance, running forward and flung their arms around Verin in a friendly hug.

 

            “That was an amazing catch, Verin! So heroic of you to save that shoplifter when no one would help!” they gushed.

 

“Thank you… erm… name?” Verin said bewilderedly, prompting the angel for an answer with a vague flap of her hands.

 

            “Karael,” they replied, “President of the Verin Fan Club!”

 

            “The Verin Fan Club?” Verin said slowly, considering each word.

            “Sure! It’s only in its early stages so I’m the only member,” Karael admitted.

 

“The fake horns and… erm… wings have something to do with this fan club thing, yes?” Verin asked, indicating the plastic horns stuck to Karael’s hood and large plastic wings attached to arm straps. Verin had guessed that the large plastic triangles were wings but they were had been simplified down to simple shapes with a roughly similar colour to Verin’s wing feathers.

 

            “Well, demons are really amazing after all. I mean, the horns are badass, not like our stupid halos. Angel wings may be cooler, but that’s why you’re so awesome, as yours aren’t demonic!”

 

At those words Verin ruffled her wings uncomfortably, unused to so much praise when it didn’t come with some negatives. Angelic wings consisted of white feathers, while demonic wings were mammalian in nature, resembling those of a bat. Verin’s wings, however, consisted of dull grey feathers and a bony spike pointing upwards from the wrist.

 

“But once I find like-minded people its sure to grow! After all, you and the police force kick ass!” Karael continued eagerly.

 

            “Uh-huh,” Verin replied unconvinced, “I’m sure your angel friends would love to ‘worship’ a demon. And not even a very good example of one at that.”

 

Karael dismissed the remark with an optimistic laugh and wave of her hand, “Oh, I’m sure I can convince them in time”.

 

            “Well… good luck with that. Look, I’ve got work to do, so…”

 

            “Of course, silly me. Go and continue to stop criminals. You’ve already worked very hard today!” Karael concluded brightly.

 

After Karael had jogged animatedly away, Verin shook her head in bafflement and took to the air.

 

It was dark by the time Verin clocked out and Verin made a beeline home. Her apartment was located in the centre of ‘D-Town’, the poor end of demon life in Durum Terrae, in one of the many concrete apartment blocks. Verin’s home was on the 30th floor of 30. Thankfully, possessing the ability to fly allowed her to land on the roof and take the much shorter journey down a small flight of stairs.

 

Less fortunately, the area allocated for landing was difficult to locate if you didn’t know where to look, as it was hastily made and crammed between generators, aerials and other assorted rooftop devices. The surface was always covered in rubbish that made landing dangerous on bad days.

 

            Maybe I shouldn’t have moved out of Montem Terram. At least the architecture there was designed with winged residents in mind.

 

Verin’s apartment was small and the clutter spread across every surface made it appear even smaller. She had tried cleaning up before, but could never see it to the end. It was just going to pile up again anyway.

 

Upon entry, she carefully emptied her pockets onto an empty space and then headed for her bathroom, stripping off her uniform as she went.

 

Annoyingly, the apartment, and especially the bathroom, was not designed for winged residents. Consequently, Verin was forever knocking bottles off shelves, so she had resorted to durable plastic containers for everything.

 

Hot water was available when the plumbing decided, but this was nothing new. The landlord had been dragging his heels in sorting it out, but she had to admit that they had guts considering that the plumbing affected so many residents. Residents even more impatient than Verin.

 

While she washed, sighing with relief as her muscles relaxed, Verin let her mind wander and her mouth hum loudly and out of tune to the current tune stuck in her head.

 

5 minutes later, Verin emerged, carefully drying her hair and making sure not to rip the towel on her horns, which she prided on keeping sharp. Unsure on what to do with her evening, Verin would often impatiently pace around her apartment, allowing her gaze to pass over items of interest and sifting through her possessions for inspiration.

 

Today, her pacing led her to the portion of the main room that was her kitchen. The various outdated kitchen appliances were separated from the lounge by a long counter, which had stains from past cooking disasters of varying intensity marking out the spaces regularly filled by kitchen related clutter. The twin handles of a pair of rusted garden shears poked out from a pile of assorted metallic tools that were gathered at one corner of the counter, the once smooth wooden surface heavily scratched in every direction.

 

Verin carefully grasped one of the shear’s handles with one hand while steadying the pile with the other, and with a short, sharp tug, freed the shears.

 

The shear’s blades were dull and worn down, the wooden handles stained and cracked, but something had attracted Verin to them. She had bought them from an antique shop that sold all manner of salvaged materials and it was these shears that inspired the first stop for Verin’s evening.

 

Yes! It’s been two weeks since I visited Murmur’s! I bet he’s been missing his favourite customer. I had better pay him a visit. I think I can put off sleep for a bit.

 

Picking out what to wear for the evening was not difficult for Verin as it consisted almost entirely of one or more copies of only three variations.

 

She opted for her casual wear, which consisted of a disheveled and stained white t-shirt that had a stretched neck line and with an open-bottomed hole on the back to accommodate her wings. Verin had hacked out the opening herself with a pair of scissors and attached a strap to close the hole at the bottom because she couldn’t afford clothes custom designed for winged beings. Crumpled jeans, fingerless gloves and foot straps that had previously been used for her police uniform but were no longer of good enough quality were downgraded to casual wear. The occasional stain from past cooking disasters was still faintly evident. Her flight goggles were the only consistent part of all her outfits. The casual clothes looked as if they were from a different person’s wardrobe next to the far better taken care of police uniform, especially considering the trials the uniform went through every day.

 

‘Murmur’s Antiques’ was located in the Shopping District close to the section of Durum Terrae where the buildings were no more than a couple floors high and peppered with hollow ruins. It was easy to miss the entrance if you didn’t know what to look for because it was located down a back alley and the entire façade consisted of a single nondescript door with ‘Murmur’ painted above it.

 

Several more doors were passed through before reaching the shop itself, where shelves upon shelves of a wide array of objects ranging from books to music players, even microwaves, though most of them were unlikely to still function. The one thing that connected them was that they were all relics of humanity.

 

A low discordant murmur from a tortured musical instrument could be heard from the backroom while the service counter remained empty.

 

With so many interesting artifacts to see, Verin wandered the cramped corridors, carefully keeping her wings tight against her body to avoid knocking down the teetering piles of random artifacts. After a few minutes, her gaze settled on a sword almost entirely submerged, the hilt emerged from the mound like the slanted tip of an iceberg. It was revealed upon extraction that it came in a scabbard, and after removal, that the sword appeared to be in surprisingly good condition considering the many years since human extinction.

 

The one-sided blade was completely blunt and dulled but otherwise in one piece. The grip’s leather wrappings were tattered, and inlaid into the base of the hilt was an equilateral triangle made of black obsidian.

 

Separating blade and hilt was a metallic square guard decorated with interlacing triangles, though the design had worn down somewhat.

 

Swords were currently less popular than melee objects such as maces because of the level of constant care and attention bladed weapons required. Consequently, blades were regarded as reserved for the weapons experts.

 

Verin abruptly decided then and there that she wanted the sword. That she needed the sword. She wanted to see its complete beauty.

 

Prices at Murmur’s were arbitrary and subject to change, so Verin headed for the still empty counter, sword and scabbard in hand.

 

             “Oi! Murmur!” she shouted, causing the ‘music’ to squeal to a halt.

 

            “Ah, Verin. Back so soon?” rasped a voice degraded by a lifetime of low-quality cigarettes as its owner shuffled into view.

 

Murmur was a short, stuck-in-the-past technology-wise demon, dressed in a heavily creased white shirt and loosely knotted black tie, his eyes partially hidden behind tinted pince-nez glasses. He was perpetually smoking the cigarettes that gave him his raspy voice, which he only seemed to remove to play the saxophone slung around his neck in the cacophonous droning style he called ‘avant-garde’, which only appealed to his fellow demons at the music bars on this street.

 

            “It’s been two weeks, Murmur. Anyway, where did you scavenge this? Most of your finds are rusted abominations in comparison.” Verin asked, holding the sword up for inspection.

 

            “Hmm… Ah, yes. It was the strangest thing, actually. It was buried in this weird air-tight tubular capsule.”

 

            “Huh. Anyway, how much for it?”

 

            “Hmm…” Murmur began, carefully taking the sword from Verin. Lowering his glasses to the tip of his nose, he squinted at it, “a striking piece in remarkable condition all things considered. Shall we say 30 Nums?”

 

            “30 Nums?! I mean- It’s just a piece of metal! It’s a decorative curio, no more. 15 Nums is the maximum an artifact such as this should cost.” Verin protested.

 

            “Sorry, you failed the test. Maybe you would rather go home and revise from your haggling guidebook? This is exceptional swordsmanship. I’m not an expert, but for it to be in as good condition as it is in is quite impressive.”

 

            “Would you rather I buy from Dumah?” Verin countered, glancing longingly at the sword.

 

            “That uncultured angel? She wouldn’t serve a demon, and she doesn’t even sell human relics!” replied Murmur indigently, “you’re going to have to try harder, Verin.”

 

            “Hmph,” Verin snorted, “Fine! You win,” she relented.

 

            “Excellent choice, Verin,” Murmur replied with a pleasant smile, “will you need to go fetch the money?”

 

            “No. I think I have about enough,” Verin replied, producing a worn wallet and leafing through a jumbled mess of crumpled notes and triangular coins. Eager to make the new ownership official, she fidgeted restlessly while Murmur counted the assorted mix of coins and notes she had dumped on the counter.

 

            “…29, 30. Thank you, and here you go,” Murmur concluded, gently handing the sword to Verin, who received it gleefully.

 

Upon re-entering the alleyway, Verin, with sword clutched protectively to her chest, lowered her head and hunched her shoulders, skulking off to a safe and private distance before taking flight. She was beginning to get hungry and while she usually would visit the demon frequented pub-restaurant ‘The Tooth And Nail’, but her particularly good mood drove her west across the Seglate River to a somewhat more upmarket restaurant called ‘The Rush Of Air’.

 

Located on the roof of a ten storey building, ‘The Rush Of Air’ was the one of the few food establishments in Durum Terrae that catered to winged demons.

 

            Look how clean and uncluttered the landing space is, Verin thought approvingly, No tripping for me!

 

Despite the positive observation, Verin promptly ruined the moment by messing up the landing and stumbling into a suited demon.

 

            “Watch where you are going!” they said with a disapproving glare at Verin.

 

            “Chasing a criminal, traitor?” they asked with a mocking sneer as they took in Verin’s hair and feathered wings, “Why don’t you put yourself in a cell and save the taxpayer some money.”

 

            “Ha-ha. Comedian, yes?” Verin said, rolling her eyes as she shoved her way past the demon.

 

Verin had been eyeing up this restaurant for a while, so while nervous, she was also excited to actually be there in the flesh.

 

Her attention focused on the front door, she didn’t see the bouncer until he moved in her way at the last moment.

 

            “Can I help you?” he asked.

 

            “I’m a customer, so would you mind scooching over a little?”

 

            “’fraid not, we don’t serve blondes” they said, not budging an inch.

 

            “You mean angels. I’m a demon, not an angel. Get your manager over here before I do something I might regret,” Verin snarled, dropping the mask.

 

            “Good luck, featherbrain” they sneered.

 

Verin was so very close to teaching the bouncer a lesson with her fists. However, the lesson would fall on deaf ears since insults like these were common for a demon of her appearance.

 

            This is probably a sign of the kind of restaurant this is and the snobbish demons it serves. This was a stupid, impulsive idea. I should go.

 

So, with a grunt of irritation, she turned on her heels and stormed off in search of somewhere that would actually serve her.

 

She couldn’t hide the feathers, but long ago she dyed her hair black in an attempt to belong.

 

            “That’s what I get for trying for too many positives in one day,” she grumbled, putting the reminder of her unusual appearance to the back of her mind as she flew back to familiar ground.

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