Demonic Submission Ch. 37byTheLastChaosLord©
Hello again all! Sorry for the long wait, but as you're all aware, Christmas season and all that. I've been working on this chapter for quite some time (even before Christmas) but I've not had a lot of time for it so it took longer than normal (plus its 48 pages long).
I know there have been some comments saying that my story is stretching on and on, but as much as I understand how you might feel, I have no intentions at all of compromising my story for the sake of shortening it just to get to the end. I said very early on that I'm wordy as hell. It's just how I write, so I hope you can endure it.
This chapter is almost entirely about Celestine preparing and ultimately being picked up by Navira and how they spend their time traveling towards her home. It also touches on the Nephilim for a while and their continued investigation. I really do wish I could include them more often in the story, but unfortunately they are not the main caste, even though I really like them. That said I can't just ditch them as they're important later on.
I hope everyone enjoys this chapter! As always, I'm open to constructive comments and criticism.
"Talk!" Blake snapped gruffly, before thrusting the talisman against the demons flesh once again, making the creature grunt in pain as a sickly greenish smoke hissed out from the point of contact. A moment later Blake pulled the talisman away and began to walk around the demon, held down and helpless. "Tell us where she is!" Blake demanded again before pressing the simple stone tile upon the demon's brow, triggering a new wave of reluctant pain. Yet after long moments the demon still didn't speak up, apparently too tight lipped to let anything slip.
"It would be our luck that we caught a damn pride demon..." The Rookie commented dryly from the corner of the cold room, shadowed by the single light that arced down upon the demon.
Blake grunted in agreement setting the talisman and the picture of Celestine Carrigan aside for now. The Rookie was, unfortunately, quite right. Pride demons were notoriously tight lipped, often because they thought themselves above ever submitting to 'lesser creatures'. But the fact that they were holding him at all was a small miracle. Darass had managed to incapacitate him rather than simply relieve him of his head, as the Stalker of their group often would with targets like the demon in front of Blake, who was currently nailed down to the metal slab in front of him with blessed silver nails.
However, being here at all had only been because of a lucky break. While wrapping up the case concerning Helena Variess, the Rookie had the idea to check traffic cams in the surrounding area for any signs of demonic activity. Instead, all she found was a single rented van, that had been moving through the area, and it hadn't even come close to the house where the body had been dumped. But then that was part of the clue as well; as somewhere along the line between two cameras, the van simply stopped following the road. If it had, the van would have shown up again at the next camera after a little while, but instead, it could be seen driving back the way it came about twenty minutes later, having turned around somewhere along a two way street.
As it turned out, the van was rented from a rental dealership in a nearby town. Given that it was their only lead, Blake and the Rookie came to check it out while the Nephilim stayed behind to watch the city. But almost as soon as they got there, Blake had called for the three of them to join them.
Apparently, the local sheriff's office was disinclined to acknowledge the authority that came with being from the SIT, and were not willing to assist them with looking into the situation, claiming that Blake didn't have enough evidence to go snooping around. Legally, they were right of course, they didn't have a warrant so it wasn't like they could force the rental company to hand over their records. But that wouldn't have stopped them from just asking questions, or at least trying to. Yet at the very mention of Blake and the Rookie trying to investigate without the sheriff's help or consent nearly got them run out of town. And so, just out of town, Blake and the Rookie waited several hours until Milana and the others caught up with them.
But as soon as they tried to head back in, the welcome wagon showed up... Several semi trailer trucks forced Blake's vehicle off the road, only to be followed by a half dozen lesser demons piling out of the trailer. Unfortunately for them, six lesser demons were more or less chaff before the scythe when faced with four Nephilim, and to say that it was an actual fight would be insulting to his semi-divine companions. That said they were able to capture one of the demons in question, and after some not so gentle prodding, found out quite a bit about this not so quiet town...
As it turned out, it was sort of a middle ground between the territories of two Demonic Lords, one by the name of Durial, and the other by the name of Navira. Apparently the two were quasi allies, and more or less shared this town and the people that lived in it. As such, demons from both sides resided there, and had their claws deep in the mortals that lived there. Than again, the demon they held captive was little more than a goon, and didn't have much else in terms of information other than a few bits of information on the local ruling lesser noble, Cappallan.
"Look... Cappallan, you're beginning to wear on my already frayed nerves, so unless you want me to make you swallow my little toy here..." Blake threatened as he held up the talisman over the pride demon's face. "I'd recommend talking."
Yet Cappallan only grinned up at Blake. "Do you really think I'd lower myself to betray my kind to a pitiful creature such as you? Pain means nothing compared to pride you sad little mortal." Cappallan replied, as if Blake's threats did little more than amuse him.
Blake was about to reply when a knocking on the door sounded, drawing his attention away for a second. Glancing back at Cappallan, Blake spoke up calmly. "Hold on just a second." He said before laying the talisman on Cappallan's bare chest, letting the holy symbol seer his flesh while he dealt with what was going on outside.
The moment he was out the door, Blake realized he wasn't going to like what he was about to hear, as Hera, Milana and Darass were all waiting for him. Each of them was smeared with blood of various colors, as the three of them had spent the last several hours sweeping the town, and exterminating every demon they could find. Still, each of them was looking past him to the door he had just come through, where the sounds of pained grunting could be heard. "... You're going to ask me to stop interrogating him, aren't you?" Blake asked coolly, fully aware what the answer was going to be.
"You're torturing him Thomas..." Milana replied gently. "I know we need the information, but this is below you."
"Look, I know you hate it, but we're running out of time. You yourself said the last hiccup from the Fell Born only showed that it was growing even stronger. How much longer until it finally just rips itself free?" Blake asked.
"Technically, it'll only become strong enough to draw demons it needs in order to trigger its transformation, it can't actually break free on its own." Milana corrected lightly. "But you are right. We don't have time, but..." She glanced to her siblings with blind eyes and then back to him. "Maybe we can find another way to make him talk? Your methods don't seem to be working, and I worry about the trauma it's causing you. I know doing this isn't something you enjoy. In fact I know you hate it, but you're doing it because you feel pressed and because you haven't slept well in days. You're doing it for us, because you don't think we should have to lower ourselves to something like this..."
Blake fought the urge to lose his shit on her. As much as she might have been right, he certainly didn't need to be reminded of it. However before he could respond, Dominace came in through the front door of the morgue they were currently occupying, dragging something wrapped up in garbage bags. "Where is the noble?" He asked bluntly, even as his package groaned and squirmed...
Blake frowned but pointed back through the door, which Dominace promptly dragged his parcel through. Not wanting to be left out, Blake followed, while Hera moved to watch at the doorway, offering Milana her hand so that her sister and the Oracle of their choir could barrow her eyes as they watched Dominace work. A moment more and he had a chair facing the steel slab, and sat his captive down in it before tilting the table so that Cappallan could see.
"What? Is this my dinner?" Cappallan asked with a sneer, which was promptly wiped off his face as Dominace back handed him hard enough to send teeth scattering across the floor.
"Quite." He demanded coldly before pulling the bags off his captive. Like Cappallan, it was another demon, and like him, this demon was held largely still by several more silver nails. Unlike Cappallan however, the nails were not driven into a steel table, but rather through the demons arms and into its body, where they would curve one way or another and end up punching through the demon's flesh again, acting like gruesome meat hooks. One was even stuffed in through the bottom of his chin, stabbing up and through his mouth to prevent him from speaking...
It was apparent at a glance that Dominace's captive was bleeding badly from the nails used to keep him relatively still, and it was also readily apparent that he was in a great deal of pain. "This is, in fact, not your dinner. It is you're offspring." Dominace explained bluntly.
Frowning lightly, the Rookie spoke up. "I know why that would work for a human or something like that... but I thought demons didn't care about that sort of thing?"
"They normally wouldn't." Dominace replied. "But a little bird told me that Cappallan happens to have a soft spot for his boy ..." Dominace explained. "Seems that Cappallan here savours the pride parents feel for their children more then anything else, especially when it becomes hyper-competitive. It also seems like he has a great deal of pride in his own child as well. So..." he paused to glance to the now silent and still Cappallan. "You're going to tell us what we want to know or the least painful thing I'm going to do to your child tonight is castrate him." Dominace explained as he summoned his spear, letting it hit the ground with a ringing metallic thud...
Yet Cappallan wasn't blind, and saw the hesitant surprise in the faces of the other Nephilim and of the humans. "I know you're kind. You don't have the stomach for such th-"
Cappallan was cut off by the sound of his son's screaming, as Dominace's spear punched into his crotch and out the bottom of the stainless steel chair. "Please keep stalling." Dominace requested with a bitterness that surprised everyone. "I hardly got to enjoy myself with the rest of your cronies..." The worrying thing was that it was fairly apparent that Dominace wasn't just saying that to be intimidating. The amount of blood that stained on his apparel suggested he hadn't killed his targets cleanly...
Yet despite his warnings, Cappallan didn't buckle, though it was obvious that Dominace's actions were having an effect. "Wretched cur! I won't break to you! One day your pathetic race will be nothing more than an extinct memory, and my kind will reign sup-"
The sound of Dominace's spear driving into the top of the younger demon's knee cut Cappallan off, and all he could do was just stare as Dominace drove his weapon down through the knee and into the lower leg, splitting it with gruesome purpose. It was obvious that Dominace was taking his time with the obviously excruciating action, and while Cappallan's child didn't break down at first, it only took a few moments before he began to scream, his ruined maw unable to form proper words, even as it was obvious that he was screaming for his father to help him...
It was that sound that seemed to finish Cappallan, and he visibly sagged before he finally spoke up again, his voice horse and broken. "S-...stop. I'll tell you what I know."
Dominace paused pressing his spear further down, but before he could speak up, Blake stepped in, trying very hard not to scowl at Dominace. The fact that he was capable of such a thing was concerning. As far as Blake knew, Nephilim were not supposed to be capable of such brutality. They were suppose to be clean and concise... Regardless, he looked to Cappallan, and held out the picture of Celestine again. "Have you seen this woman before?"
"Yes." Cappallan replied lowly, not adding more than the barest of answers.
"Do you know where she is being held?" Blake continued, trying to ignore the agonized wheezing that came from behind him.
"No, I do not." Cappallan replied simply.
Blake ground his teeth but pressed on. "Do you know who is holding her? If so, tell me."
Cappallan grimaced, as the last few vestiges of his pride faltered. "Lord Durial... He is a Lord of Lust..."
"Where does he shack up?" Blake asked coldly. Durial was not a name he had heard before today, but if he was a lord of lust, it was bad news for Celestine. Out of all the vices, only wrath was perhaps more infectious, though lust could be far more subtle.
"I don't know. Demon lords tend to keep their address out of the phone book." Cappallan replied spitefully.
Which bought his son a destroyed leg, as Dominace forced the point of his spear through the son's foot, making it look like some horrid log being split for bloody firewood. For a moment the destroyed portion of bone and meat stood upright, but soon enough it fell sideways, before it stopped, half fallen over, hanging by a few strands of stretching muscle and skin. The child's howling resurged again, his demonic body acting as a curse and keeping him awake and aware, where a human body would have passed out from shock long ago...
"North!" Cappallan cried out. "He's near the city to the North. South is Navira's territory, and I think he lives somewhere near the city rather than in it!" Blake was about to keep asking questions, but Cappallan frowned. "Wait? What are you doing? I'm answering your questions!"
Blake turned back to see Dominace levelling his spear about the younger demon's opposite knee, about to press the point down. "Your answers are woefully unspecific..." He replied coldly.
"But that's all I know!" Cappallan screamed desperately.
Dominace glanced back to him, his features unmoved and uncaring. "How unfortunate." He declared bluntly before he began to press his spear down again, repeating the process all over again.
"Dominace, Enough!" Milana demanded as she stepped into the chamber, her voice stern enough to give the larger warrior pause.
"He isn't telling us everything." Dominace replied, trying to justify his actions.
"That much is obvious." She replied instantly. "But not nearly as obvious as the fact that you care more about hurting that demon than you do about our goals." She approached him and even behind the blindfold that hid her eyes, it was apparent she was looking at him with great concern. "Your grief is making you stray Dominace... Please..." She began as she laid her hand upon his chest. "Come back to the path."
Dominace's face flashed a number of emotions, from anger and confusion to realization and shame. But ultimately he dismissed his weapon and looked to Milana. "I... I am sorry. I'll stand watch outside in case we missed any of the other demons in our sweep." Dominace answered as he took his leave, not looking back.
Yet as he disappeared from sight, Cappallan began to chuckle. "See? You're kind are weak! Unable to do what is necessary! Unable to get what you need! You are all doomed!"
Milana grit her teeth as she heard his words, fully aware that while their righteousness was their greatest strength, it was also an obvious weakness to be exploited. Yet as she pondered how to respond, Blake stepped up again and smiled to Cappallan. "They might not be able to get what we need... But I can." He replied darkly. "Unlike them, we humans are imperfect. But before you even say it, don't think that puts us below you. Imperfect as we may be, we'll still be a hell of a lot better off than you and your kind if what is coming isn't stopped soon, before it becomes too much too stop." Blake explained as he took out a cigarette and began to fiddle with some matches.
Cappallan simply snorted. "For a moment there I thought you actually had something up your sleeve. Some means to pry the information that you seek from me, but it's painfully obvious that you're just trying to scare me into divulging more inf-"
"I'm sure you've heard of Fell Born." Blake interrupted him flatly, before pausing just long enough to look at Cappallan's eyes, seeing surprise shining there.
"I... have. They are but myths to us. Not utterly unlike the human boogieman." Cappallan composed himself as he spoke, his tone becoming mocking by the end.
But Blake ignored that and pressed on. "Correct me if I'm wrong, because I can't claim that I know your lore all that well, but a Fell Born can drive demons insane, and destroy them completely with black flames... Right?"
Cappallan's features became more suspicious but he responded regardless. "Correct. But they are nothing more than a myth. The last case anyone claims to have seen one was during the witch hunts, late in the seventeenth century. And even that has no real evidence behind it."
Blake nodded slowly before holding up the picture of Celestine again. "Tell me something... Do you think we came here for you?"
Cappallan scoffed. "Of course you came here for me. Somehow you learned of our activities here and came to root us out."
"Wrong." Blake answered simply. "I had no idea you were here this morning. Today was the first time I've ever heard your name, and it's the first time I knew that there were so many demons lurking here. Honestly, we came here chasing a rental van, hoping to catch one, maybe two demons who might know who rented the van out. We were just following a lead, all because it has something to do with this woman." Blake explained, shaking the picture again to draw Cappallan's attention. "This woman is a Fell Born." Blake announced simply, pleased to see Cappallan take note before his features began to go from confused to almost lost to panic. "Here's the really scary part though: her human form is only stage one of her life cycle... Soon enough, she's going to become something else entirely... Some dark aspect of annihilation that will lay waste to everything and everyone it comes across. It'll kill anything capable of sin." Blake explained honestly. "So you can probably understand why a pack of lesser demons is not high on my priority list, when it feels like the fourth horseman is just over the horizon." Blake finished frankly, hoping that their shared interests would get Cappallan to talk.
"You're... you're lying... there's no way something like that could exist without us knowing about it!" Cappallan tried, clearly fighting the fear that gnawed at him.
Blake shook his head slowly. "How could you know about it, if there aren't any survivors to tell the story? This thing would go after every demon within its reach, giving no one a chance to escape... biggest concentrations of sin after all. But then it won't stop there. It'll kill every human within reach as well. The fact that we know about it at all is a small miracle in of itself. And if we don't stop the girl before she transforms, we are all screwed. Nothing on this planet would likely be able to kill this thing... Nothing."
It took long moments for Cappallan to speak, and he even glanced to his ruined child, still just barely alive. "I... I was honest. I only know that Durial lives near the city, but I do know she is in his care. He treats her like a servant, and has even marked her twice over. I am the one who lent the van to him, but there isn't any money trail to follow. One of his men simply came and picked it up in return for a favour they did for me a while back. However, I do know he has a hand in most of the sex trade in that area. If you follow the links up the ladder you might be able to find him... But be wary in your search for him. If he finds out someone is looking for him, he may disappear, or, far more likely, he'll come looking for you." Cappallan explained. It was obvious that he didn't fully trust Blake, but that didn't matter. The risk of a Fell Born seemed to trigger an almost instinctual fear in Cappallan. One that needed to be addressed.