Prologue.

Vapour steamed high in the atmosphere, a tube that flowed toward the earth. Slowly it crept forward, bringing despair and pain along with it, as it inexhaustibly crept closer to its destination. A clear funnel except for the shadow of a shadow lurking in its core. Belial, Master of Daemons, Satan, Father of Lies, Abaddon and all other manner of names from different cultures directed the flow of vapour to his ancient abode, Acheron.

The Almighty felt it, the disturbance in the ethereal plain. She had no need to look out and see the descent, Belial her ancient nemesis had returned. The fight for humanity’s very existence and their souls had begun, without even the first strike being made. It meant one thing, the Descendant had been born, they had the right balance of blood, the right mixture and had fallen in love. How had she missed this? How had her angels?

Disgust poured through her, this was more important than her dented pride however. The race had begun and she had no idea where to look, where the search should even begin. She knew whom to speak to, the Highest of Angels, Gabriel. After all they would be her descendant to. She would be able to sense them, though if Belial had already sensed them why hadn’t Gabriel already? Confusing. Too many questions it would seem, first a meeting then we will plan how best to proceed. Yes that makes sense. With that her conscious eased she floated away to watch the vapour fade away and think some more.

Jared Dhaelin floated in an almost dream, lying down on the soft downy grass, his mind was elsewhere. The bright sun affected him little except for scorching his skin, he was blinded long ago, the last thing he saw was the deaths of his family. Why he had hidden himself form the world. Now in the place between sleep and consciousness he felt a disturbance, felt evil creeping over him.

He jumped with a start and looked to the sky. Though blind he knew that he was staring at the cause and he knew what it meant. Belial had returned, war would begin once more. He would have his vengeance that he surely deserved. A shadow crept over him, over the sun and his soul, despair flowed through him. Jared looked to the heavens and whispered a prayer, his memories those he had tried so hard to banish tried to engulf him, until he pushed back with a force of will. He would not succumb to Belial’s torments before battle had commenced. He screamed to the sky in defiance before laughing uncontrollably.

A shadow crept over the office, an office held in fear, visions of past memories and failures swept through the City of London. The civilians stood and gawped at the sight, workers hung out of windows to see the spectacle. There was no joy etched upon their faces though, no happiness only anger and fright.

The column of vapour invoked only fear and pain, nothing of its like had been seen before or ever again. Then the first sight of the shadow within and the office workers fled inside to relative safety. Those upon the street scampered inside the nearest available building heedless of what or where they entered. Drivers braked sharply causing accidents and fleeing their cars in panic, yet it was all in silence as though sound would only infuriate it.

In modern Britain the press would run with this story for weeks. Supposed experts quoting anything from Armageddon to a hoax and be well paid for it all, even if they really had no idea what happened. Nevertheless time would ease the tension, the panic soon forgotten, everyday lives would continue unabated.

All over in minutes, the panic and destruction caused by the mere return of Belial was devastating.

 

A whisper on the wind bespoke of imminent danger. A gentle caress around the ears and stroke of breath on the cheek woke Kane from his daydream. He had only rested his eyes for a few minutes, yet it felt like hours. His friends were still frolicking with the Frisbee on a bright summers day and still everything did not feel right like someone walking over your grave, Kane shuddered visibly.

He messed up his hair as he always did when he was nervous. Then ran his hand across his chiselled jaw that was covered in light stubble his girlfriend always liked so much. He smoothed his clothes over feeling his thin physique, short too at only five feet seven inches his friends loomed over him. They always made the most of short jokes for him.

Kane got unsteadily to his feet shaking off the head rush he got by moving too suddenly. He strolled over calmly to his friends, attempting to hide the fear he felt.

‘Its time to go.’

He was ignored, he generally was when he brought news that his friends did not want to hear. He shook his head, something just wasn’t right. I am being watched. It left him with an eerie feeling, Kane discreetly looked around scanning the nearby horizon for any unwanted attention. He found nothing, which left him confused and even more agitated.

His friends were already a further twenty yards away and focussed on that bloody Frisbee. Time was running out, he could sense it. He rushed to catch them up, they had to listen, time was running out they had to leave now, before it was to damn late.

As he reached them, ready to persuade them once more, a shout split the atmosphere, Kane could not tell where it came from though.

‘Look over there!’

He did so reluctantly, with dread in his heart. A column of vapour drifting slowly down to the earth. He knew that it was only distance that made it seem so slow, that the actual speed was beyond his understanding. The sounds of the park died, the frivolity lost to silence. Even the birds stopped their incessant chirping, the world held its breath.

Kane felt cold, the sun lost its warmth, old memories crept forward, searching his mind inflicting pain and heartache. His father leaving the family home at the forefront. He banished them all with a strength of will he did not know he even possessed.

Then he saw the shadow, his heart clenched, burning red eyes invaded his vision, it was all he could see, all he could sense. He fell to the floor screaming uncontrollably, scratching at his eyes and pulling his hair. It lasted mere minutes, it felt like eternity, his breathing was ragged, gulping down deep breaths with blood pouring down from his scalp and  scratches covering his face.

His friends were looking down at him, concern etched upon their faces, but they realised he was alive and that he would be fine until Caleb said, ‘I think Kane whatever that was, its coming for you.’

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