Heathens

Apollo and Dion, a dysfunctional rag-tag pair of demon hunters have been sent to investigate the city of Havenbrook and its inhabitants.

The mission is simple: to find the cultists responsible for a recent string of murders and to bring them to justice. Even if it takes killing dozens of demons on the way there.

But things are never that simple when you deal with the dark arts. Cultists, demon pacts, sacrificial murders all stand in the demon hunters' way as they search for the truth. A truth that will force them to question their own identities, a truth about the absolute evil lurking beyond heaven and earth. The question is, if they find the truth, will they be strong enough to handle it?

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10. 1:15 AM

He reached into his pocket for the red stone that pulsed. It felt rough in his hands and chalky as he bit into it. It got easier and his appetite became for voracious as he nearly ate his hand. He felt the drool on his palms and how it went down his arm. His legs that felt pruned, empty. He had hooks for feet, the way they dragged at the floor with their tiredness. And now they rose. His chest that took in hundreds of small breaths now relaxed to a proper pace. He could not say he recovered after all his stomach was still cut up, his back still bled and spilled onto his white shirt. At he was healing and more important than that, he was calm. He heard footsteps near him but did not bother to reach for his blade now half inside his jacket and half outside, like a magicians trick undone. The only crowd to laugh at him was distant, it was the helicopters cutting wind and the police and firefighters now drowning the flames.

“Are you alright?” The voice said. Apollo hung by the edge of the building and started to lift himself. Dion grabbed him by the arm to help. 

“I don’t need it.” He gave him a weak push.

“I guess I just can’t touch anyone today.” Dion said. He took his mask off and put it inside his coat. 

“We’re not home free yet.” Apollo said.

“We’re close. I don’t think we’ll be getting caught soon. Just as long as we properly come down from the roof.” He said. Apollo agreed though reluctantly put his mask back in. He let Dion go the way first and followed his clanking down the metal stairs on the side of the building. Apollo wanted his back just in case he did fall, better to do it on him than on the floor five stories below. 

“What’d you do? That was a big explosion. Hit a gas line?” He asked.

“No. It’s nothing you have to worry about.”

“We're fighting together. Of course, I have to worry about it.”

“The only thing you need to worry about is that impatience of yours. What the fuck was that?” Apollo gripped the hand rail to his rear and heard it bend into a sharp cry as he nearly dislodged it. He was breathing fast again. Dion looked at him.

“What do you mean? That guy needed help and I helped him. What kind of man would I be if I just let him die there and then?”

“A smart man.”

“I’d rather be stupid and moral than smart.”

“You’re neither smart or moral. You're just stupid.” Apollo said. “You didn’t think at all. Besides the fact that I could have died - We could have died. Did you ever stop to think what would happen afterwards? You think that thing would just stop at us and that stooge running out of the fucking building? Of course not. He’d go on and on. And then the problem wouldn't be just one or three dumbasses dying.”

“Four. There was another man that I saved. That’s what we do, save people. Remember?” Dion looked proper in his stance, with his chest primed with courage and his head high up above. Apollo was two feet further, up the stairs and yet he looked so small. So he evened him out. He grabbed Dion by the coat and put him against the ledge.

“You listen up, Superman. I thought I told already that we aren’t heroes. But I guess the words became lost in your empty skull. Or are you deaf? Or stupid. Or both.” Apollo said. “Whatever you think you are, you should stop. It'll get us killed. And unlike you, I’m not a warrior. I don’t care for the security of idiots, I don’t care to fight fair. I’m a hunter. I track, I plan, I execute. I don’t do anything but the steps that guarantee success. And you should too. Because failure is much more frightening than you think you know.” 

He let go of his coat and Dion pushed him back. Apollo fell down on the stairs and left his head to hang, his eyes fell to the floor. 

“Striking a weak man. At least you’re learning.” He said. “But you haven’t learned enough. You don’t know what cost failure is. That’s why you strut around with the fucking finger on the trigger, shooting just because you can. Acting high, just because you can. Keep feeding that fucking ego, buddy. You’ll find out what the price. When you’ve got so many fucking bodies on top of each that you can’t even see the sun rise, you’ll see what playing gung-ho gets you.”

“You’re sick in the head,” Dion shouted. He no longer cared being hidden from the spotlight of police. His voice echoed in the narrow passage they were coming down to. “You’re reprimanding me for saving two people? So what. I shot early, so what. It ended up alright and that’s all that matters right? The end game, whatever the cost. We killed it, we saved more people and we did it my way. That would be good enough for anyone. But not you. Oh no, not you.” He walked down as fast as he could. He sounded like a storm with the drumming he did. “You’ll call me the narcissist when I help others, but here you are demanding everything be done this way and that. Calm. Cool. Heartless." When he had the chance, Dion jumped on to the floor. "That won't sate God's tribunal. I promise you that."

“Oh, you’re so selfless, Dion. So. Fucking. Selfless. Was it a selfless laugh then? That I heard when the bullets started flying." Apollo stood. 

"So fucking selfless, with your boner as you beat the shit out of each other. A real Gandhi type of guy.” He was shouting down the alley to Dion who turned the corner. “You’re a modern day John fucking Lennon, aren't you. You god damn violent retard.” He was talking to no one now. No one but a man in the corner of his eyes, opening a door and throwing a bag of trash onto the floor. He stared up to Apollo, not as much afraid as he was confused.

“Fuck off.” Apollo said. The man gave him the middle finger and walked back inside and Apollo climbed down the ladder, walking out into the streets as he finally caught a second wind of energy. His exhaustion was at least not debilitating anymore.

He looked to the streets, a few cars would come by now and then but the sirens were low and the smoke was far off. It was a distant chaos that raged on in the city, like a shake of the earth slowly growing into a seismic raze. But it shook. Everyone moved, head to toe. Apollo could feel it. The Priest could feel it. Sophie could feel it. And so did Alestor.

He had left to his office after the murder and had spent the last few hours in his study. He looked out to the small spinning dots of light. They were clear even in the cloudy night. His arms were shaking on his chest and he had to sit for he felt his legs were getting weak. It was the first time he felt afraid of leaving out at night. He would sleep in. He looked around to the bookshelves and desks and small figures for something to entertain him as a fidgeting body infected him. He closed the window. He shut the curtains, the chill was inside. A strange, summer cold. He sat down on the sofa and looked up to the ceiling. He wanted to send the message to his son to stay in tonight but could not move. The cold was too strong and his body was turning stiff and long like an antenna. He heard a voice. He turned, something was speaking into his ear. It felt like every cell in him stopped their process like paralysis, like death. He felt the grip on his neck. It was his master's hand and finally, the words became clear.

“You’ve failed me again, haven’t you?” 

And Alestor froze.

 

****Author's Note: New Episode starts Monday! I'm going to go play video games now. Peace.

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