Cemetery Summons Ch. 27byGalloglaich©
Jack wiped his bruised lip and spat blood on the ground next to the demon breathing his last with half his guts spilled on the floor. Jack heaved the blade Anathane had made for him up again and looked around for another guard. He couldn't help but gaze at the beautiful weapon in his hands.
"I should really name this thing," he said to nobody in particular as he saw Anatithenai's massive fist crash into a soldier wearing nothing but rags and crush him into a bloody, pulpy pancake against a wall. She retracted her arm and pushed Jack forward abruptly.
"Well, stop thinking about that and name it already. You need to stop fucking around before I decide to stop killing your enemies for you."
"Suck my dick," Jack spat as the two moved down the hallway alone. Somewhere along the way, they had lost their contingent from the Army of Darkness in the narrow halls of the Second Palace. Jack had a feeling that they were off screwing up someone's day in another part of the fortress, but the fact that they were completely absent was very obvious.
Anatithenai grinned wickedly. "I'd love to, as long as I don't have to look at your face when I do it."
"Ouch," Jack replied, slashing the throat of a guard trying to fend off Anatithenai's tendrils and his blade at the same time. "I didn't think you'd be that impersonal about it. I mean, you did ride me yesterday for a whole afternoon. My cock is still sore."
"I'll make it sore," Anatithenai said, wading toward him through a mire of her own watery form spilled out over the floor. Jack looked down the hallway at the guards coming their way.
"Aren't they a little more of a bother than me being an annoying prick?"
"No," Anatithenai replied, slamming the guards with a wall of water that sent them against the group behind at the junction of two corridors. Jack sighed and watched them getting up in the ankle-deep flood even after being knocked flat on their backs.
"So," Jack resumed, attempting to irk her with, "You up for giving me a quickie?"
"Here?" the demon asked, looking down the hallway, and down the other way. She shrugged. "Sure." She reached him and started to undo the button on his pants.
"I was joking," Jack stated crossly as the guards regrouped and started at the odd pair again. His cock sprang out of his pants as soon as she had the button undone. The slime arched her brow and shook her head a little.
"Doesn't look that way to me." She licked him from base to head and he groaned with pleasure.
"Are my feelings no deterrent to you?" he asked as she engulfed his heavily-swollen cockhead, pushing it between her see-through lips. She looked up at him briefly and winked before pulling up from his arousal with a sexy, wet slurp.
"Have they ever been?" she returned, flicking her tongue across the bead of precum on the tip of his cock. He suppressed a moan and tried to get in a position to fight, even with his hips forced to the wall.
"Well what about them?" said the incubus, pointing his blade at the approaching group. Anatithenai pierced them with a dozen blue blades and they crumpled shortly thereafter. The slime looked at Jack smugly and then resumed sucking and slurping as she had been doing before.
"You know, this really isn't the time to be taking me up on every offer like this. We won't get down the hallway in a year at this rate." Jack sighed as she increased the pressure and showed no signs of stopping, only coming up for enough time to speak.
"Then stop making these offers." She dipped down again and wrapped her tongue around his cock like a snake before coming back up. "And I'll leave you alone." She gave him a long, slow lick, her tongue unraveling from its coil.
In the middle of this, their eyes were both suddenly drawn to the ceiling. Anatithenai's tongue suddenly melted away and her eyes went wide with joy. She didn't say anything, because she didn't need to make it clear to Jack who had just arrived on their plane of being. The incubus buttoned his pants up and tried not to let his throbbing manhood seem too obvious to anyone who took more than one look at him.
Anathane was back.
Jack continued down the hallway with Anatithenai, who was now more in the mood to meet her daughter again than pay any attention to Jack in the slightest. They passed a few corridors where the Army of Darkness was busy in battle, and left the dark warriors to their business. Jack found it a bit annoying that Anatithenai was so easily capable of leaving her allies to die.
The two fought a few small skirmishes down the next series of intersections, with Anatithenai easily blowing past the armored defenders with her unfathomable power. Jack just had to kill anyone who managed to survive her onslaught and cover his own rear while she moved on unfazed.
Eventually, they came to a large, barred doorway covered in bloody scratch marks that looked like they had been left by claws. On the ground, fingernails lay in small smears of blood, and hand and footprints were everywhere around the doors. It looked like someone had tried desperately to get in, but there was no trace of whoever that was.
Anatithenai ran her fingers down one of the clawmarks on the barred doors and tilted her head to the side. She looked around, and her eyes eventually settled on Jack. "Come open this door," she said.
Jack pointed to himself. "Why me? Aren't you the big bad demon from hell that can sweep away anything in your path?"
"Because I want you to open the door," she retorted, grabbing him around the waist and throwing him against the heavy wooden frame. She let him go and he tried to steayd himself unsuccessfully. He blinked away stars and stumbled back and forth for a few seconds as his head spun around in circles. When his eyes focused again, he saw Anatithenai nodding at him.
"What?" Jack snapped, annoyed.
"Good work. The door's open. Might as well go through before someone finds out we're here," the slime said, squeezing through the space between the doors. Jack followed her through and found himself before a scene that turned his stomach and almost made him puke right there.
Before him lay hundreds of bodies, naked, horrific corpses that looked as if they had had the life drained out of them. They were bone-thin, skeletal and without any form of humanity left to them. They looked drained of all fluid or meat.
Several of them had wings, but they were nothing but flesh hanging loosely from thin bones. Jack knelt down next to one corpse, its mouth hanging open to make the face's look of blind horror complete. The corpse had no eyes, but Jack could still almost feel the fear written across its face, and its shook him to the core.
He looked to Anatithenai for answers, but she didn't tell him anything. She just looked puzzled and confused about it all, probing the dry husks around the room. She tried to lift one up, but its skin was so dry that it flaked away to reveal dirty bones devoid of any attached muscle, ligament, or wash of blood.
"What happened to these people?" Jack asked, unable to contain his curiosity and sheer disbelief. He was half hoping that she would tell him he was just seeing things, and half hoping she wouldn't say anything at all. He truly hoped that whatever had done this wouldn't come after them.
Anatithenai tossed away a bone as tissue-like flesh peeled away from its surface. "They all look like sun-dried tomatoes. I don't understand what could have done this besides another slime. But then their eyes...they just...they're gone. Like their soul flames were just snuffed out." She snapped her fingers once. "Just like that."
"How can you tell?"
The slime looked at him, picked up a nearby horned skull, and began to peel off the skin still attached to it. The lower jaw fell to the ground and clattered noisily while Anatithenai held the rest of it out to Jack. She pointed to the two empty eye sockets.
"When a demon dies in their true form, you know, wings, horns, tail and all, their soul flames burn out slowly and smolder. These skulls should be charred black. But none of them are. It's like they were killed and their souls parted immediately from their bodies. I've never seen this before. I'm not sure what could have done something like this."
Jack looked away from the skull and Anatithenai tossed it aside carelessly. They searched for an exit, but the only one they found led into a small, enclosed room that looked like a small holding cell with chains and shackles scattered across the floor. They left the room and made their way down another few corridors until they found the Army of Darkness again.
The silent warriors moved incessantly in one direction with mechanical efficiency, so Jack resigned himself to following them with Anatithenai behind him now. He didn't want to meet the thing that had killed all those demons back there at the clawed door, and staying with the Army of Darkness would improve his chances of survival, should it find him.
Somewhere along the way, however, Anatithenai got separated from him and he was alone with only a few of the shadow warriors still moving with him. They were scattered around him in order to protect him to their fullest ability, but it didn't help that he was virtually alone and without help and that there was something in these halls that was able to massacre over fifty demons and leave no trace of itself besides bodies.
Fortunately, he soon reached a large room with several other groups of the Army of Darkness harassing what was left of the guards behind a makeshift palisade. Jack attempted to join in with the Army of Darkness, but really only saw the guards get butchered savagely as the ghostly troops mopped them up quicker than he could get there.
Jack searched through the guards' belongings for a map or notebook or something to tell him where to go. He didn't like being alone here. He felt so vulnerable and scared to death that some evil thing was going to find him defenseless and tear his soul from his body. Having that happen at this point was enough to make him tremble at the thought. To come all this way for nothing...
He pushed the thought aside and had his troops help him search. It wasn't long before they laid out an odd assortment of scrolls and letters and scraps of paper on a nearby table. Jack rifled through them, but they were were all written in another language of symbols and runes and had notes scribbled in such small and horrible handwriting that Jack couldn't decipher one bit of it.
"Hey," he said, pointing to one of Grymir's warriors. "Can you tell me what this means?" He held out a piece of paper and the warriors stared at it with blank, shining eyes. After a short while, it looked at Jack impassively and then started searching the bodies again. Jack put his head in his palm and sighed.
"Fucking...damnit. Whatever, let's just get out of here before we get caught by God-knows-what down here," he muttered, walking through an archway at random with the black shades falling in around him like a human shield.
The Second Palace was a maze as much as it was a fortress. There were no helpful maps, no arrows showing which way to go, no central rooms. There were just miles and miles and miles of hallways and open guard posts. Jack didn't know if the rest of the corridors were as deserted as this one, but he hoped so. He hoped that Elassa and Fain and Niaf were already in the hands of friends and waiting for him.
It seemed like he walked down the same hallways for hours, without a single person besides himself and the Blackhoods, as he had dubbed those in the Army of Darkness ,coming out of anywhere. When Jack found another doorway bigger than the previous one, he rejoiced, and with the help of the Blackhoods, forced it open.
Inside, there was a neatly assembled phalanx of guards waiting for him. They immediately charged in formation, and Jack backed away from the advancing pack of soldiers. However, the Blackhoods with him had no regard for their own lives, and barreled through the doorway with silent abandon.
There were nearly fifty of the guards, and Jack had only about that many Blackhoods. He was going to get picked off somewhere in the melee or surrounded and stabbed to death in seconds. He growled for his troops to return to him, and they did so without question. The guards were closing fast, so Jack ordered everyone back to the doors.
Once there, Jack had them push the doors most of the way closed and Jack stood in the opening with dozens of his men on either flank in a 'V' shape, while the majority of them held the doors in their places. Jack didn't know how they were going to funnel them into this small of a battlefield, but it was worth a try.
Jack felt his demonic extremities beginning to force themselves from his body, so he made no attempt to stop them. His heart thudded in his chest as loud as a drum. Fuck, this was a real fight. A pitched fight that he didn't have a superhero friend to help him with. He was alone, and suddenly realized that everything could actually end here in seconds.
He planted his feet and the first two guards came through the half-closed doorway side-by-side, shields up and blades raised high. Jack stabbed through one shield and pierced the chest of its owner, while the other guards was stabbed several times from the side by the Blackhoods waiting behind the door close to the funnel's opening.
Others came with just as much vigor, and threw themselves at the Blackhoods, but the impassive force merely hacked them down with mechanical efficiency. However, after initial success, the guards slowed their advance and created a ring of shields that allowed them to swell in the funnel and force the doors apart. Jack slashed a crested helm in half, but failed to kill its wearer, and took a sword to the side. He hissed in pain and stumbled back.
"Let's get out of here!" he shouted, and ran with his Blackhoods back the way they came. Luckily, some of the guards took his bait and were quickly overpowered by the weight of numbers they faced as soon as Jack ordered them set upon.
And with that, the short confrontation was over, with the guards unwilling to go any further than the door, and Jack unwilling to lose any more Blackhoods by attacking. Jack growled deep in his throat in anger. The guards threw insults and held their arms out, exposing themselves blatantly to rouse Jack for a fight.
Jack eventually opted to go down a different path and leave the guards where they were. If some of them followed, then they'd be toast in seconds. If they didn't; no harm. Jack's wound was healing quickly, but it still hurt like nothing he'd felt before. They moved until they found a horde of Blackhoods roaming aimlessly forward.
Again, Jack joined up with the warriors and followed their path until it led him to another barricade manned by soldiers armed to the teeth. Only this time, there was an officer. He stood almost a head taller than everyone else, and wielded a large maul in one hand and a shield in the other.
The Army of Darkness quickly turned into a churning mass of bladed limbs and claws that lashed out and tore away the barricade, even as their number was cut down considerably by the guards' blades. Jack stabbed at Dalaria's troops, aiming for eyes and hands, and got very little for his efforts besides a slash to the elbow and another to the thigh.
He roared, frustrated, and punched a guard in the teeth, knocking him to the floor. He leapt over the barricade and slashed all around with no actual aim to kill, just to get them away to he could make room for his men.
Quickly, the Blackhoods clambered over the barricade, now that a section had been cleared and another had stopped defending itself, thanks to Jack. They surrounded their temporary commander and the guards started to fall back.
Their officer, however, forced them to hold a line, and they reformed for battle not far around the corner. The Blackhoods advanced quickly and soon resumed the melee, with the weight of numbers beginning to pile on with every dead guard.
The officer was having a difficult time wielding his large weapon effectively, as the hallway was rather narrow for even a man of his stature, let alone a long-reaching weapon as well. He was overtaken quickly and the guards broke rank and were slaughtered almost instantly in the confusion. The Army of Darkness waited for orders before moving forward again.
It felt like hours before Jack finally found a familiar face that didn't just stare at him and wait to be told what to do like an automaton. However, even though he was glad to see her, he really could have done better than Ekana. The succubus was covered with dried streaks of blood, and all around her mouth fresh smears of it dripped wetly.
She grinned at him, revealing sharp fangs still dripping wet with saliva mixed with blood. She jarred him in the ribs with her elbow and raised her eyebrows suggestively.
"So, you like anything with a pussy to fuck now, huh?" she sneered.
"Go fuck yourself, Ekana. I'm not in the mood. I just want all this to go away," he said, almost to the boiling point. "And I've had it with these fucking hallways! They never end!" he shouted, smashing his fist against the wall. The stone shuddered and he let out a frustrated groan. It was fucking impossible to navigate through this forsaken place!
"Just keep going forward. You remember what Anatithenai said: if we keep going forward, we'll all end up in the same place. She said all these hallways meet up somewhere ahead."
"What, after a hundred thousand years?" Jack asked rhetorically.
Ekana shrugged. "She gave us a time frame, but I don't remember how long she said it would take."
"A lot of help you are," Jack muttered.
"At least I don't go behind my fiancé's back with her mother and let all my friend hear it," the succubus offered, grinning wickedly.
Jack just rubbed his eyes with dirty hands and tried to lay to rest his anxiety about the situation. Well, he thought, looking over at Ekana, at least I have somebody to talk to. Even if she is a nutcase with a thing for hurting me.
"Hey, Ekana, can I ask you something?"
She nodded. "Sure."
"How is your relationship with Elassa? I think, uh, that we became friends somewhere along the line, and I'm afraid of what Elassa might do if she finds out you're one of my closest friends and doesn't like you at all."
"You don't have to worry about her," the succubus said. "We're not on what you would call 'good' terms, but we're not at each others' throats. And don't worry about her being jealous about anything. She's not the jealous type."
She put an arm around him as he said, "Thanks."
"But," she continued. "I am the jealous type. You fucking anybody else is like a little prick in my side. Every time, I see that and think how cute and helpless I could make you. I think of you face-down on a stretching rack, a bright red bottom, and toys spread all around you." She trailed a finger down his ripped and torn leather jerkin. "I want to make your skin look like this."
"I think I can at least fend you off now," Jack said, brandishing his sword proudly. Ekana touched the tip with her finger and it pricked a bead of blood from her.
"A nice sharp tool you've got there. Almost as hard as the other one you use to send us packing, right?" she sneered, licking the flat side of the sword seductively. Jack sheathed the sword and they continued without much more talk. For the last bastion of Dalaria's marshaled forces, this place seemed pretty empty.
He thought that for a last battle it would be a nonstop, corner-to-corner battle to where Dalaria was waiting for them. But it wasn't so. There were places that were defended by small contingents of men, but nothing more organized than that. It was like Dalaria hadn't even tried to stop them. It seemed anticlimactic that Jack would get to win this easily.