Havoc (descendants saga.., p.1
HAVOC (Descendants Saga: Crisis Sequence Book 3), p.1
CRISIS SEQUENCE BOOK THREE
2017© James Somers
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This Ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All characters and events are fictional except those directly referenced from the Holy Bible and World History
The Audience is Listening
I need to look on the bright side—I’ve not been eaten alive…yet—Jonathan Parks
Laughter—maniacal laughter. This is what Brody West hears as he sweeps Malak-esh behind his head, striking a charging zombie before driving it forward again into the chest of another. The sound seems to be coming from everywhere, or perhaps it is only in his head. No one else—none of the zombies, or the soldiers fighting in vain for their lives—seems to hear it. Brody cannot block it out.
He uses his divine weapon as a focus for his power. Each time he strikes one of the rabid creatures, Brody discharges his power through the blade, igniting a white-hot flame within the raging monsters that devours in seconds. Each swipe of Malak-esh reduces another human monster to ash.
These plague victims resemble their former human selves only because they have the characteristic shape of men. Otherwise, they appear as monsters. Their clothes are shredded, hanging as soiled and bloody ribbons upon their gaunt frames. Despite what flesh these ravenous creatures may have recently consumed, their hyper-metabolism burns the calories away, leaving them only with an insatiable appetite for prey. A hunger that knows no bounds drives them to kill everyone that crosses their paths.
Once a watcher from afar, Brody West now becomes a warrior, entering the fray this horrifying plague has generated. Brody has killed these monsters before when necessary, but never has he faced so many. He strikes another down, and another, and another.
They come from every direction, relentless and unyielding. There is no notion of fear upon their faces. There is no sign of retreat, even when he raises Malak-esh to rend their flesh with white-hot fire. Rather than flee at the danger, they rush forward and are cut down.
Sheer numbers continually force Brody to retreat. He can only engage so many at one time before leaping away. Open ground is rapidly becoming hard to find.
Throwing himself away again, before the onrushing ghouls can get hold of him, Brody lands upon one of the parked support vehicles. Only a moment ago, a soldier had been attempting to hide inside, or at least barricade himself within. It didn’t last. Zombies crashed through the windows of the van, chasing him from the front of the vehicle into the rear compartment. There they had him.
Brody lands upon the roof of the van. Almost instantly, the tide of plague victims changes course to pursue. They scrabble over one another like insects, attempting to be the first to reach him upon his perch.
Malak-esh shines with brilliant light each time he strikes down one of the horde, discharging its power through the victims, immolating them in seconds. The sword creates a strobe effect, illuminating the GCHQ building behind him, casting shadows of grizzled forms with reaching hands upon the walls. Still, Brody realizes his efforts here outside the building are not doing much good. The soldiers in the courtyard are already dead, or dying, and his great grandchildren await him inside. He had hoped to stay the tide of zombies from gaining access to the flying saucer-shaped building, but it doesn’t look like he or anyone else will be able to stop them.
The laughter in his head only increases with his efforts.
“Bravo!” the voice shouts between bouts of cackling as Brody swings Malak-esh, dividing a raging man’s head from his body.
He wants to believe that it might be Black or Southresh, but either appearance would be impossible. Black’s host was destroyed back in the city of Trinity upon the spiritual plane before a terrible conflagration from the Lord destroyed it all. Southresh, also, was defeated and sent back to the angelic prison of Tartarus. His own Sadie had accomplished the task. Brody had not sensed the angel’s presence in the world even once since that time.
Of course, that only left one of the Fallen in the world; only one who had tormented him through the long years of his life. He had first come to Brody during his brief time as a penniless waif upon the streets of London over one hundred years before. His father had been murdered by two thugs attempting to rob them, and Brody had fled the scene in terror for his life. In his time of need he had no friends, no one who would give him the slightest help.
It was in the disguise of that good angel that Lucifer had first appeared to him, presenting gifts and seemingly good advice when he was at his lowest point and ready to receive any kindness. Not long after this, the angel appeared again just in time to save the life of Oliver James from an act his mentor believed might rid them of Black. Lucifer had also shown up within the angelic prison of Tartarus—again as that same seemingly good angel—to defend him and Oliver from the mad god himself, Southresh.
In all these things, Brody had been fooled by the arch-villain of the ages. It had not been until after Oliver sacrificed himself to imprisonment within Tartarus that it became clear who this good angel really was. Brody had eventually guessed at Lucifer’s identity, but he had possessed no way to defeat his adversary.
Now, Brody has not a single doubt in his mind as to Lucifer’s involvement in all that had transpired since that time—the Word of God being quite clear on his nature and his devices. In ways Brody has little specific information about, Lucifer has always been there, operating behind the scenes to bring about his malevolent ends upon him and his family. The events surrounding the rise and fall of the angel’s descendant progeny, Grayson Stone, have been only part of the whole matter.
This maniacal laughter now, as he fights for his life among a horde of ravenous plague victims, can only be Lucifer again, inserting himself into Brody’s life in order to cause him misery and pain. Decades of separation from all of those events and the descendant races themselves clearly has not erased his existence from the mind of the Devil. His old enemy is here, gloating with every kill or evasion Brody makes.
“Are you afraid to show yourself?” Brody growls, kicking away a horrid female creature scrabbling up the side of the van to the roof.
More snickering at his challenge. Then he hears the voice say, “Very well, since it pleases me.”
Lucifer appears then in multiple locations all around the makeshift compound. Brody’s gaze is drawn to the nearest first and then the rest, all while doing his best to fight off the raging horde dogging his movements around the crowded parking lot. Some of the apparitions—for he knows they are not all physical embodiments—laugh again at his predicament. Others shake their heads in mock pity.
In anger, Brody throws his arms outward, producing a kinetic bubble that explodes, becoming a shockwave. Numerous bloodthirsty plague zombies are thrown into the air and across the blood-stained pavement. Several vehicles are pummeled with enough force to topple them onto their sides.
Those who remain little effected, however, surge toward him like floodwaters, relentless in their ferocity. Lucifer howls with laughter again. “You’ll have to be more creative than that, if you hope to survive this night, Mister West.”
Brody considers hurling lightning at the angel, but he knows already that his efforts would be wasted. He doesn’t know which one is the actual Lucifer and he cannot spare the time or energy upon him. Still, there is Malak-esh. It alone has the power to harm angelic beings.
For the briefest moment, he considers giving it a try. However, the challenge remains to figure which one is the real Lucifer. The arch enemy of God is
Lucifer, so far as Brody knows, is not implanted in a mortal form. He is also definitely not imprisoned within Tartarus, as Southresh and his brothers in anarchy are. The mercurial blade might do him no harm at all, for all it ever did do was to sever the tethering link between angelic spirits extending themselves into the physical world and the human forms they inhabit.
The battle seems over before it has even begun. Brody can discern no way to fight with Lucifer. And these ravenous plague victims are as relentless in their pursuit as ever. He must focus on his goal here tonight: to rescue his great grandchildren and escape this horrible plague.
Brody strikes several more down and then retreats into the air, taking the form of a falcon again. The zombies clamor below, not knowing how to follow. He wonders if Lucifer will attempt to attack him while he is in this form, but the angel’s various apparitions only smile and applaud while Brody hurls himself toward one of the upper GCHQ windows.
“Bravo!” He hears Lucifer call after.
Brody ignores the angel and sends a burst of power at the safety glass, shattering it. The humans standing behind the clear pane, watching the grisly attack unfolding below, are thrown backward. They never seem to notice the small peregrine falcon against the night sky, or when it bolts into the room, unfurling its wings among the scattering of glass pellets. Only a few further from the window notice when the falcon morphs into a man in long coat carrying a sword with a shimmering, mercurial blade. By the time the hungry zombies scale the side of the building like monkeys and begin to pour through the broken window, no one in the control room cares about the mysterious figure in black anymore.
The end of one world can be the beginning of a new world—Jonathan Parks
A man with a Russian accent speaks calmly into the unregistered cell phone earpiece seated snugly inside his ear canal. He is dressed in black fatigues with a brace of black throwing knives across his chest and two Glock 10s resting in holsters affixed to his thighs.
His appearance is slightly reminiscent of an old west gunslinger—but only slightly. He wears no ten-gallon hat, no spurs or leather chaps. There is no faithful steed waiting to carry him off toward a dusty sunset in the west.
The room he stands in is large, a warehouse, and filled with various kinds of military grade equipment, vehicles and weapons. It is relatively dark; a place of shadows, but his eyes are quite accustomed to darkness. This place affords Gregor Malakov a convenient staging ground for the missions his superior appoints him to, and the number of those operations has been many.
“Yes, sir,” Gregor agrees. “What about the others?”
On the other end of the conversation, the smooth baritone voice confirms what Gregor had already expected would be the case. The other youths to whom Gregor is referring are not to be extracted. They will be left to whatever fate the horde of plague zombies have waiting for them.
“I understand, sir,” Gregor replies when the order is given and the parameters of this operation are finalized.
Gregor’s superior ends the call on his end.
In a small way, Malakov is disappointed by this last detail. After all, these youths are all Descendants. It seems a shame to leave them to the viral outbreak that has swept over London and which has already spread as far in country as Gloucestershire and out of country into France and parts of Ireland.
Malakov wishes he could extract the others with the boy his superiors want taken from the GCHQ building. At the very least, they might prove useful in some way in the future. Even better, would be to turn them into allies of the Syndicate.
Still, he understands the reasoning. The parents and grandparents of these two individuals once fought against those who would make the Syndicate what it is today. Gregor knows that old grudges never die easily.
He straightens, putting the matter out of his mind. There is a mission to perform. He cannot waste what little time he has for getting the boy out of the GCHQ.
Around him in the shadowy darkness, figures in similar black fatigues stir, awaiting their orders.
“The boy only,” Gregor confirms. “We move now.”
Having previously made their preparations, the men now move into action. A bright light emits brilliance around the warehouse. The men move into this light quickly, one after the other. It accepts them and removes them all from the warehouse, transporting them. Gregor follows after, and the portal snaps shut upon his entering.
Alarm chimes punctuate the strobe lights as chaos takes over at the GCHQ building in Gloucestershire. A calm female voice, speaking in a smooth British accent, instructs the Doughnut’s personnel on the best evacuation routes to lead them away from the building into the surrounding parking lots where they can convene safely away from the present danger. Only, the computerized voice has no idea of the present danger.
There is no place of safety in the conjoined lots surrounding the GCHQ building. Those are now filled with ravenous, flesh-eating, disease-carrying plague zombies. The soldiers who once held a strong perimeter defense of the GCHQ are all dead and their bodies ravaged. The fences are down. The sniper and machine gun nests are overrun. There is no safety here.
The building itself is now breeched. The more aggressive zombies have climbed to the shattered second story window where a bird flew through only moments ago. These plague victims now have access to the GCHQ’s inner parts and they are taking full advantage of their new liberty.
Soldiers fire from positions in the room, but are overrun quickly, or are forced to retreat by degrees as the tide of plague zombies confounds their attempt at defense by sheer ferocity and overwhelming numbers. Many lose their lives in the attempt to flee. Closed doors do not stem the advance of the horde. It is now only a matter of time before the entire building is overrun. Its human inhabitants can only pray and run for their lives before the storm.
Cassie waits inside the interrogation room where Scott Bishop left her not long ago. The alarm that sounded and took him away was silenced soon after. She had assumed this alarm had something to do with her friend Jonathan.
Now, there are more alarms instructing everyone in the building to evacuate. Cassie had hoped that staying put might help to prevent anything further happening to Jonathan, but whatever is taking place now is something worse than him simply getting away from them. She can’t stay put any longer.
A guard stands in the corner of the small room. He stepped in when Bishop stepped out. Until the alarms began to sound a minute ago, the man had remained as stoic as a brick. Now, he looks antsy. He wants to know what’s happening, maybe even run for his life.
“Don’t stay on my account,” Cassie says. “If you need to check on that…”
The guard glares at her, but she can see he’s considering abandoning his post.
“You can lock the door behind you,” She suggests. “I’d kind of like to know what’s going on too.”
The guard considers this, nods, and then instructs her to stay put. He leaves the room. Cassie sees individuals running past the open door. Then the guard shuts the door behind him and locks it.
Cassie stands and moves around the table to the door. She listens, hearing people yell at one another. Screams come to her from some distance away. She realizes something very bad is happening. The word zombies comes through the din of noise over and over.
I’ve got to get to Jonathan, she thinks.
She applies her thoughts to the locking mechanism. By the time she reaches for the door handle, it has already clicked and is separating from the frame for her. Quickly, she passes through into the hall.
In every direction, Cassie finds people, both civilian and military, running for their lives. The guard who had been with her is nowhere to be seen. Prob
“Thanks for the warning,” she mutters and begins to move in a certain direction, though she is unsure why. Cassie feels a sense of power, of something drawing her this way. She can only assume that this must be Jonathan’s special abilities she is sensing. After all, she can usually feel Garth’s emanations of power quite strongly, and this sensation is very similar.
She passes a group of people wearing lab uniforms and terrified expressions. They run by her with hardly a glance in her direction. Cassie might have supposed that a group of responsible adults, finding a youth like herself in a dangerous situation, might tell her about the danger she could be walking into. Not one of them bothers. It appears to be every man for himself.
She now has little doubt in her mind that the building has been compromised by plague victims—though it’s hard to view a ravenous horde as being victims of anything. How these bureaucrats ever thought they could keep themselves safe in the middle of this plague is beyond her. This place is like an island in a sea of death. They were fools to think their luck would hold out.
Cassie rounds a corner, pauses for her sense of direction, and then moves on again down a long curving corridor—the kind you might expect to find inside a building often referred to as the Doughnut. She is not in the outer ring where bulletproof Plexiglas would allow her to see what’s going on outside. Here, strobes flash in her eyes, and the alarm chime seems blaring.
She notices blood upon the walls for the first time here and Cassie suspects that she may have come too far. Hearing the rasping breaths of plague zombies, she turns her head back the way she came. A steady parade of the menacing creatures pours into the corridor behind. Almost instantly, they spot her and begin sprinting in her direction.
Panicked, Cassie forgets her abilities and gives in to her fear. She screams and runs in the opposite direction for her life. The zombies pursue her in growing numbers.
Then, as she charges toward the junction at the end of this long, curving corridor, something happens that one might only expect in a cheap horror film. Cassie stops dead in her tracks. Another group of zombies is coming at her from up ahead. She is trapped between two ravenous mobs of flesh-eaters and has nowhere to hide.
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