Rising Tide: CATU Book 3 Ch. 04byJoeBarnosky©
The door to Spencer's cell opens, revealing a sliver of light that eventually floods the entire cell. Spencer looks up, but is blinded by the intense light. The feeling of evil flutters about him, but unlike any other time he feels it, this time it is different. He still feels the evil, but the intent of the being is different. This demon is here to help him.
She walks in and moves to his side to begin helping him to his feet. Spencer doesn't pull away, instead he cooperates. "We must move quickly, before anyone notices you are missing," she says in a comforting voice.
"Who are you?" Spencer asks, his voice a bit shaky.
A smile comes to her face that Spencer isn't able to see due to the temporary blindness he faces because of the light. "My name is Natalya and to answer your next question -- I'm helping you because it's a matter of convenience."
"Where are we going?" he asks as they begin moving toward the door of the cell.
"We're getting you out of here and taking you someplace safe. From there you're free to go where you want," she answers in a near whisper.
Shortly after leaving the room Spencer's eye sight returns. He looks over the rescuer with curiosity and hesitation. She is beautiful, but still he senses she is a demon and most likely dangerous.
They are waiting at a junction of what seems like incredibly long, narrow halls. So far the place seems to be devoid of life until now. Two guards are standing and talking a few meters to the left of the junction. There would be no way for both of them to sneak past without the guards noticing them and then asking unnecessary questions.
Natalya turns to Spencer and whispers her intentions. "I'll go and take care of the guards; you head down the right until you reach the next junction."
Spencer nods. Natalya rounds the corner leaving Spencer behind. "Chto prodoyazhuyetsya edyes? Pochyemu? V dva poyaozheniya vokrug?" she asks in a commanding voice. "What's going on here? Why are you two standing around?"
"M dbo—" one of the guards begins. "We are abo—"
Spencer has taken the opportunity to slip down the hall opposite, when the soldier notices him. "Ostanovites!" yells the guard. "Halt!"
Spencer doesn't look back, instead he runs harder, hoping in case shots are fired, he'd not be on the receiving end. Neither guard got that far. Natalya is in motion just before either guard is able to raise their guns. Within moments both guards are lying on the ground dead. Spencer peers around the corner after a few moments of silence. What he sees shakes him to the core.
Natalya stood between both guards, with a pool of blood at her feet. One of the guards has his throat ripped out and the other is missing his jaw, which Spencer locates lying a few feet away from the guard's body.
Natalya seems to be savoring the moment. Her wings are spread out and it appears she is eating something. Spencer stares until finally she turns around. Blood runs from her chin and she holds a human heart in her hand. He looks down to both guards and after carefully inspecting them; he notices a hole in chest of the guard that yelled for him to halt. Quickly he turns back around the corner to wait for Natalya to get finished with her meal.
"Ayerzhite eto tut zhe! Oain osnovanie, teper!" yells another guard, pointing his gun in Spencer's face. "Hold it right there! On the ground, now!"
Spencer is caught off guard and too far away to try and take the guard down, but it doesn't matter anyway. Natalya is miraculously standing behind the guard. Instantly she has the guard's head twisted backward and his body is falling to the floor. Natalya stands before him, a smile spread across her face and not a drop of blood is anywhere on her. Holding back his question about it, he asks a different one.
"What the hell are you?"
"Specifically, I'm a Succubus. I am a female demon, not quite as high in rank as a Djinn, but just as dangerous," she answers still smiling.
Something about her eyes is alluring to Spencer at that moment. It is as if she isn't some vicious demon, but a normal beautiful woman standing before him. Shaking his head clear of the thoughts, he says, "From the looks of things, I'd say so."
This brings a chuckle from Natalya, who's only response is for them to get moving.
"Won't they be missed or found?" Spencer asks as he begins to follow her once more.
"Don't worry about them; I have someone that will be behind us cleaning up."
She leaves it at that and doesn't say anymore until they have finally exited the complex they were in. The sun is shining bright, peering over the buildings as it rises from the horizon. Spencer figures it is early morning. He asks to confirm he is right.
"There is a driver waiting for you at the next block over. He'll take you to a small café in which you will probably be met by someone that will know you."
Spencer isn't sure how to part properly from a situation like this. Before he has a chance to say anything, Natalya is already saying her goodbyes. "Until we meet again Agent Reeds. Next time my kindness will not be so rewarding."
In a blink of an eye, she materializes into a black mist and is gone. Spencer doesn't wait around for something to happen. Instead he begins making his way down the street, hoping this person that knows him isn't someone he'd have to tangle with. After all, he really isn't in the mood.
Please have a seat Mr. Stalockavich," General Wei says as he motion to a chair. "Lovely view, isn't it?"
"Yes, it certainly is."
"I assume you've come here for something other than the view from my window," Wei states, getting down to business.
"I've been sent here by the Prime Minister to relay instructions to you," a grin creases his face before he continues, "but I have an arrangement to offer you."
"On a more personal note, I assume?" Wei asks, looking Sergey directly in the eyes.
"First, tell me of Chernoff's ridiculous plans for my army now. Then we'll discuss the real reason for your visit."
"Chernoff fears that you are going to push further into Africa. He wants you to instead follow his plan and keep South Africa secured while committing troops to Madagascar."
"And why would I want to do that?" Wei interrupts. "He doesn't have enough troops there already?"
"Which is why I am going to offer you an alternative," Sergey says, ignoring the questions.
"Please do," Wei says, parting his hands in an open gesture.
"You proceed with your plans, since China clearly isn't hurting for troops, while my associate will cause disruption within Chernoff's ranks. He will be too busy with too many fronts to be concerned with you ignoring his suggestions or alienating you."
Wei crosses his arms over his chest and nods in agreement to the explanation. "But, Chernoff and the Russian army can be quite formidable. How can I be certain?"
"Like I said, he'll have trouble of his own. Sure, there might be some retaliation, but as long as you hold out against it, Chernoff will realize it's in his best interest to let you do what you want and keep you on his side."
General Wei pushes off his desk, stepping toward Sergey and holds out his hand. "Tell your associate I accept the offer."
"Very good General, you have made a good choice," Sergey says, taking the General's hand and shaking it vigorously.
Sergey leaves Wei's office, taking a detour to the restroom before leaving the building. As he uses the urinal, he feels a presence enter the room. There isn't any sound of movement or noise, causing Sergey to begin wondering if it is just his nerves.
He finishes up and slowly turns, expecting to see someone standing behind him. To his surprise, the room is empty save for himself. Shrugging, he heads to the sink when he is suddenly lifted into the air then thrown into the toilet stall. The door slams open as he hits the toilet. The toilet shatters from the impact sending shards of porcelain in all directions.
"What the fuc—" Sergey begins to say until the one responsible steps in front of him. "Gravlis? What the fuck is the meaning of this?"
Orders. Though I'd take the pleasure of killing you without them.
"You traitor," Sergey spats.
Traitor I may be, but not in the sense you are thinking. You are a loose end that needs to be tied up.
"Loose end?" Sergey questions, trying to buy time as his mind races to answer his own question.
Let me put it in a way your feeble mind can comprehend it. You have fulfilled your usefulness and are no longer needed.
Sergey is now beginning to pick himself up. There is no way he'd be able to fight against Lesser Demon. He only hopes to talk his way out or die fighting. "Natalya? You must be wrong. She will need me to control the Black Dragon," he says, bracing himself to make the first move.
Who said anything about needing them? Gravlis' grin went ear to ear, revealing a row of very large and sharp teeth.
Without waiting another second, Sergey launches himself at the demon with as much force as his body able him. Gravlis not showing a hint of surprise simply reaches out and grabs Sergey by the head.
Sergey begins clawing at the hand that held him to no effect -- his yells only comes out in muffled tones. After several seconds of thrashing, his body comes to a halt. Blood pours down his limp body as brains ooze through Gravlis' fingers. Who said anything about needing you?
Talilith knew of an underwater entrance to Chernoff's newly converted base that would enable her and Sam to enter unnoticed. Using a pair of DPVs or Dive Propulsion Devices and scuba gear, they found the underwater cargo area.
The area is empty and quiet. They hide the DPVs and proceed deeper into the base. Talilith takes the lead leaving Sam curious how she knows the way. Despite her curiosity, Sam remains silent and focuses on her mission of rescuing Spencer.
They move up a set of stairs leading away from the cargo area and into a large area, which appears to be a storage room. There are boxes scattered or piled throughout the room. The room is unoccupied except for a lone figure standing silently in the center of the room.
"Jennifer? How are you alive?" Sam questions as she slowly approaches the figure.
"She's no longer your sister," Talilith replies coldly.
Sam stops and turns to look at Talilith. "What do you mean? She's standing right there?"
"That," she says pointing at the figure, "is a doppelganger of your sister."
"A what?" Sam asks with a look of disgust on her face.
"If there is a doppelganger here..." Talilith says to herself before turning her attention back to Sam. "There is a Succubus here and I think I know who. Deal with this creature and find your lover while I deal with this matter."
Before Sam can say anything, Talilith is gone. Sam turns back to the doppelganger that still remained motionless. "I guess it's just you and me."
Talilith moves silently through the halls, avoiding soldiers and personnel. She'd've preferred leaving destruction and death in her wake, but at the moment finding the Succubus is more a priority.
After several long minutes, Talilith enters a room with large doors that were swung wide open. The only item in the room is a dais with a figure sitting atop it. Talilith instantly recognizes the figure.
"Castourus, I recognized the stench the moment I entered. The master isn't far from the leash."
Sorry, Maltaus isn't here at the moment. Castourus says as he rises up from the chair and begins walking down the set of stairs.
"It's a shame since it has been so long since I had a conversation with the bastard," she says with a grimace. Castourus doesn't slow.
Perhaps you should have made an appointment. Instead you'll have to deal with me.
"You honestly don't believe you have a chance against me do you?"
Maybe not, but let's see how you fare against two of us. Natalya says as she appears from behind Talilith, causing her to spin around to face her old enemy.
"If you think you have a chance!" she screams, transforming into her true form.
Sam held her ground and drew her gun. Taking a quick aim, she begins firing at the doppelganger of her sister. The bullets rip by the doppelganger as it easily sways between the shots. The bullets tear into the wall and boxes, wood splinters in all directions. After Sam unloads a clip, the doppelganger remains in place -- its face remains stoic.
Sam begins reloading her gun, dividing her attention between that and the doppelganger. Sam takes her eyes off the doppelganger briefly and it is then on the move. It covers the distance between them in seconds, quickly knocking the gun from Sam's hand, then striking her in the chest. Sam is lifted off her feet and flies backward, landing on her back. She is back on her feet instantly, ready for the next attack. The next attack doesn't come.
Sam looks around the room but doesn't see the doppelganger anywhere. Spotting her gun, she picks it up while keeping her eyes open for an ambush attack. Once again no attack comes. Sam reloads her gun and focuses on her mission of finding Spencer. Sam decides if the doppelganger attacks again, she will be ready for it.
Castourus and Natalya stand on either side of Talilith, slowly walking in a circle around her. Natalya stands in place studying both of her opponents, waiting for the perfect moment to attack or be attacked. The dance continues for several more minutes before Talilith makes her move. She feints an attack at Natalya, then pivoting on her heel, attacks Castourus.
Castourus is caught slightly off guard, but manages to compensate in time for the attack. Stepping back, he braces himself for the attack, accepting her blow then grabbing her arm. He swings her in a complete circle before releasing her, sending her flying over the twenty foot gap into the wall. She grunts as she impacts into the wall. The wall caves in, but otherwise holds up.
Talilith falls to the ground, landing on her hands and knees. Blood trickles from her mouth, her eyes burn with rage. She stands, wiping the blood away with the back of her hand. I overestimated you Natalya. I should have figured you'd allocate some of your power to him. Talilith says furiously.
How else do I expect to defeat you? A grin forms on Natalya's face, causing Talilith to smile back.
The smile catches Natalya's curiosity, causing her to be distracted -- just what Talilith hoped for.
Sam moves through the halls, sticking as close to the shadows as much as possible. She has the path to the holding cell where Spencer is committed to memory. Talilith mapped out the complex while they were en route to the African Island.
She rounds the last corner to see the door to Spencer's cell hanging wide open. "Son of a bitch," she says in a whisper. Sam's thoughts immediately turn to thoughts of an ambush or something bad happening to Spencer. Pushing past her frustration, Sam creeps slowly to the cell. Keeping her guard up, she waits for the ambush that never comes.
She enters the cell, her gun at the ready, but finds it empty. Lowering her gun, she takes a moment to think of her next move. She knows the escape route they would take, but the rest of the complex is a mystery. Without Talilith's help, she will be forced to explore the facility in hope of finding Spencer and escaping unscathed.
Sam decides to continue her search for Spencer on her own rather than looking for Talilith. Sam spins around and comes face to face with the doppelganger of her sister. Before she has a chance to react, the doppelganger shoves her hand into Sam's chest.
Sam, lifted off the ground flies backward into the cell, landing on the bunk against the wall. Her skull slams against the wall causing a momentary blackout. When her vision returns a second later, all she sees is stars the face of the doppelganger. The doppelganger reels her fist back and strikes. Sam collects herself just in time to dodge the strike, causing the doppelganger's fist to go through the wall.
Sam takes advantage of the opportunity, slipping behind and she grabs the creature in a head lock, wrapping her arm around its neck. The creature reacts with amazing speed -- taking hold of Sam's arm, it flips her over and onto the bench, causing it to break from the wall.
Sam lay in a daze as the creature stands over her, showing no emotion.
It's time to finish this.
Feinting defeat, Sam lies back, shutting her eyes. The creature grabs her by the shirt -- as Sam is lifted into the air, she grabs a sliver of metal from the bunk. Sam is hoisted up within inches of the creature's face. Instantly, Sam throws her eyes open, causing the creature surprise. With all her strength, Sam shoves the sliver deep into the creature's chest.
The creature releases its grip, dropping Sam to the floor. Reeling back, it lets out a horrific scream. Sam covers her ears, but the sound still penetrates. The agony continues for several seconds until in a burst of light the creature is gone.
Talilith begins running in Natalya's direction. Natalya brings up her defenses drawing her energy together anticipating the attack. Castourus follows suit, planning to use Talilith's attack as a distraction to attack her himself. Talilith is one step ahead.
Reversing her footing, she twists catching Castourus off guard. Reaching deep into him with both hands, Talilith pulls her hands apart, ripping him completely in half. She turns to look at Natalya, blood dripping from her hands. You were saying something about defeating me?
Defiance shows in Natalya's eyes as she slowly backs away. Perhaps we are at an impasse. You are welcome to stay, but I don't think Maltaus would be as welcoming as me.
At that moment Talilith feels his presence. Like Natalya was not a match for her, she was no match for Maltaus. His defeat would have to come in a different way, on her terms and own ground. Your defeat will come soon enough Natalya. Until then. In an instant Talilith is gone.
It's your defeat I'd be concerned with. Natalya mutters to herself.
Sam crawls out of the cell. Her ears are still ringing from the scream which now prevents her from hearing the shouts of the soldiers now pointing guns at her.
Before Sam can respond to the soldiers' commands, blood spurts from their chests. The soldiers fall to the ground without incident. Standing before Sam now is a petite blonde holding Desert Eagle.
"C'mon, we have to get out of here now!" the woman shouts, obviously aware of Sam's current hearing problem.
"Who are you?" Sam asks as she stood.
"We don't have time for that right now."
The two women head for the exit as the sound of boots come crashing down the hall behind them.