Accession: CATU Book 5 Ch. 22-23byJoeBarnosky©
Oil Platform, North Arctic
Agent Spencer Reeds and Agent Julie Branon hitch a ride aboard the USS Flaxfire. Grines calls in a couple of favors to get the two aboard the submarine and into the Arctic Ocean undetected.
The submarine is equipped with the latest in stealth technology enabling it to get within a half mile of the oil platform. Spencer and Branon go out in a prototype wetsuit, designed to withstand extreme cold temperatures and a compact rebreather each.
The swim to the oil platform goes smoothly. Other than the ice cold water biting at their faces, they stay relatively warm. Upon closer inspection the agents learn the platform was a semi-submersible platform. Typheryian obviously doesn't plan to remain there forever.
The climb up one of the platform's legs proves to be a bit of a challenge compared to the swim over. The climb or the cold isn't the determining factor in slowly them down considerably, it is the wind. The fierceness of it threatens to knock the agents loose with every gust that comes in.
After an hour they reach the top without incident. The platform is still and empty. The moon has just peered out fifteen minutes before they reach the top and casts an eerie glow across the platform's surface. The two agents slide over under the cover of the shadows and check their weapons in silence.
Julie of course has Kogarasu Maru strapped to her back. Strapped to her waist and legs are no longer the dual S&W .40mm pistols, but rather a specially made holster belt strap that holds dual H&K MP7A1 submachine guns with suppressors. Each carries a forty round magazine. Julie has a belt full across her back of extra magazines.
Spencer on the other hand carries a Glock 22 with suppressor which uses S&W .40mm rounds and a Remington 870 Marine Magnum.
"You ready?" Spencer whispers to Julie.
"The question is: are you?" Julie fires back. "I just hope you are prepared to take out your girlfriend the moment you see she isn't on our side."
Spencer throws her a look of hatred mixed with sympathy. He dislikes the woman because of her total disregard for almost everything and he feels sorry for her because of how she is. It doesn't matter what she thinks she knows or if she is even right about Sam, he is going to bring her back or die trying.
"Don't worry about me," he says after a brief moment of silence. "I'll do what I need to and I will complete the mission."
"Good," she says. "The whole world is at stake tonight."
Spencer and Julie maneuver across the platform meeting little resistance. Their progress is stopped when an eerie glow lights the sky as an intense beam falls to the center of the platform, disappearing inside.
"That's where we need to be," Julie remarks once the beam of light fades.
The platform closes in on itself hiding the chamber that sits just beneath the deck. For all intents and purposes the oil platform looks like any other, but both the agents know better and now they have a direction to go.
Totally oblivious to the two agents stalking around, Typheryian stands in front of the Ancient, Electra, clad in Mythril chains.
You fool; you are going to pay for this, she spats venomously at him.
Sam snickers as she stands motionless behind the elder demon. Typheryian attributes the snicker to Electra's threat not knowing Sam is only in agreement with her.
And what makes you so sure? Typheryian questions. Electra just glares up at him, wordless. You must refer to your sister, Maia.
"Sir," a technician interrupts with a shaky voice. "We have movement in Sector Four."
Well maybe you are right, he says with his gaze still boring into the Ancient. Here comes your sister now, but I regret to inform you that she is too late.
Typheryian smiles and steps back allowing Sam to brush past him. She flexes her fist a couple times before letting it fall open revealing long clawed nails.
Go ahead you inferior bitch! Electra spats. My sister will enjoy tearing you apart slowly into little pieces.
Sam stands silent over the demon, flexing her hand.
"Target is two hundred meters," the technician reports an update.
Sam still towers over Electra, flexing her hand and staring down upon her.
What are you waiting for? Electra yells.
Sam waits feeding of the demon's despair. In reality, demons are not much different than humans or any other race. Strip away everything they can cling to or desire and this is what is left.
Then a crash comes from the window. Glass flies in every direction. The technicians throw up arms to block the glass from hitting their faces. Sam and Typheryian stands motionless, except for Sam flexing her hand, as the glass streams by them.
In the now windowless viewport stands the figure of Maia, the greatest of the seven sisters. She has shoulder length red hair and a much toned body. Her wrists are wrapped in a leather-looking material. She wears a bikini-like top of similar material attached in the center by a single ring. Around her waist is a matching cloth tied to one side over her hip barely covering a leather-looking thong.
She is beautiful in the human form she has chosen and Sam thinks it a shame she has to kill her along with her sister. Without another second going to waste, Sam steps in and slashes Electra's throat, ripping through the skin with ease.
Blood and bits of her throat fall away with Sam's hand, splattering as it passes through the air. Electra's head slumps a second later. A blood curdling scream fills the chamber and Maia suddenly has large curving dagger in each hand. The blades easily stretch as long as each of her forearms.
Maia snarls, dropping into a low stance, ready to pounce. Sam copies the stance, throwing her arms out to her sides with her clawed hands ready. They face each other; eyes locked waiting for the other to make the first move.
Then the assault begins as Maia grows tired of the little game being played between them. She launches herself forward striking out with the blades. Sam dodges and ducks between strikes throwing out little strikes herself at the Ancient's sides, stomach and legs.
Sam doesn't know how powerful the Ancients were after every summoning. Typheryian assured her he doesn't know either, just that when the summoning was over, Sam had stole eighty percent of their life force
Sam plays with Maia for a few minutes. The strikes from the elder demon are pathetic and clumsy. Sam is enjoying the confusion spread widely across Maia's face. She silently berates herself knowing she is barely holding onto what humanity she still possesses. She is out from under Typheryian's thumb, but not nearly as clear of her demon side.
It is time to end this.
She lets one of the dagger strikes come way too close to her as she steps in. As Maia's arms slides past, Sam grabs her wrist and uses her body as leverage to snap the bones in Maia's arms. The dagger falls to the floor with a clatter followed by Maia herself when an elbow strike to the back of her head sends her down.
Typheryian claps his hands. Very good Samantha, he says with a genuinely wicked smile. You are truly no match for any Ancient.
Or you. Sam replies. Her face is stone cold and for a moment Typheryian isn't sure he has heard correctly.
Typheryian orders the technicians to leave. Loyal, educated humans are after all, hard to come by and he might be in need of them again. By the time he turns around, barely seconds later, Sam has one of Maia's daggers stuck in the back of the elder demon's head and is leaping for Typheryian with the other.
He tries to backpeddle but Sam proves to be too fast and the last thing Typheryian feels is the dagger stabbing up through the underside of his jaw and deep into his brain. Sam releases the dagger and his body crumples to the floor.
When the door opens, the first two technicians' heads snap backward from the brunt force of bullets striking them. The technicians behind the two quickly catch their comrade in their arms before seeing the threat. They too receive a similar fate. The last of the technicians turns when he becomes fully aware of the single human standing in the doorway. He gets two steps before his back is riddled with bullets. He falls face first, dead before he even hits the floor. A pool of blood slowly begins to form around his body.
Julie enters the room with a smile on her face. She had gotten separated from Spencer only minutes ago in their last encounter with enemy soldiers. It won't be long before he shows up here. So she moves quickly over to Sam who is now kneeling beside Typheryian's lifeless body. Strange it hasn't already disappeared, she thinks as she approaches.
By the time Julie reaches the Djinn, she has made no attempt to acknowledge Julie's presence. Too bad for you bitch. Julie raises one of her guns to the back of Sam's head and is about to pull the trigger when Sam's arm comes up and around, grabbing Julie at the wrist. With a powerful yank, Julie is sent rushing forward. The sudden motion stuns her at first but she is able to use the momentum and turn it into a roll.
As soon as she is on her feet Sam is impacting with her. Julie's back slamming her into the side of the chamber Sam had used in each of the summonings. Sam lets up just slightly and raises her clawed hand to strike. Julie pretending to be far more dazed from the impact than she is, reaches up with her left hand to block the strike and drive her right hand, palm first into Sam's nose.
Sam drops back a step and clutches her face. Black blood pours from between her fingers. She fights against the sting and steps forward for another strike when Kogarasu Maru pierces her flesh. The sword rips through her stomach and into her womb.
They stand motionless for the briefest of seconds, each looking deep into the other's eyes. Julie feels a sense of guilt run through her as if there is a person behind those eyes rather than a heartless demon. She opens her mouth to give an apology, but it is cut short by a bullet striking her in the shoulder. She instantly lets go of the sword and her body spins toward the ground.
Sam remains standing for another couple of seconds, giving Spencer just enough time to race across the expanse and to catch her falling body.
"I'm sorry Spence," Sam says softly. She changed into her human form as she fell thinking it better for Spencer to see her this way instead of the demon she is.
"No," he says shaking his head. "I'm sorry I didn't get here in time."
"I'm sorry I couldn't find my way to you sooner. I wish I could have shared our daughter."
"Daughter?" he asks looking down at the sword plunged deep within her.
"Yes, your daughter," Sam repeats. "She is what held all this power."
Spencer looks over at Julie lying and not moving. He knows he didn't deliver a killing shot; maybe she just doesn't dare to move. Sam brushes her hand against his face turning it to look at her. "Don't blame her for this. Have mercy for her Spence."
"We need to get you out of here," he says in an attempt to shy away from his thoughts of vengeance.
"It's too late for that now my love," Sam says knowingly.
"No, you're not going anywhere except to a hospital," he answers defiantly.
"We're miles from one Spence," she says with a hint of humor in her voice. "Besides, we will see each other again. There is a whole world none of us know about until we die."
"What? Heaven?" he asks.
Her response comes in the form of a smile. "Something like that, but you will just have to wait."
"You're not leaving me," he repeats.
"I don't have a choice my love," she says. The last part comes out in a low whisper that Spencer barely catches. Then she closes her eyes and her last breath of air leaves her body and she is gone.
Spencer stays kneeling long after Sam's body faded into nothing. When he does finally get up, a look of anger is smeared on his face. He walks over to where Julie is laying and pushes her over to her back with his foot and sticks his Glock 22 in her face.
"I'm sorry Spencer," she says to him.
"Sorry just won't cut it Julie," he bites back. "I've ignored your actions, but I cannot this."
"Where is the mercy she told you to have?"
"I'm far from being a saint," he answers then pulls the trigger.
Julie slumps back to the floor. Spencer turns and walks back to the place where Sam has died and picks up Julie's sword, Kogarasu Maru.
Four Days Later
Colonel Pierson hangs up the phone and turns to the woman sitting in the chair on the opposite side of the desk. "The Ternion have been eliminated and True Group's assets are being seized."
"As you planned to have happen," the woman says.
"Precisely, my dear," he agrees. "It's just too bad we lost the shipment."
"I'm sure with it in the possession of the New World Regime we'll be seeing it soon."
"Perhaps," he says with a grin. "And when that happens, we'll come to the rescue sweeping up another terrorist threat.
"And what about our agreement?" she asks.
"As soon as Natalya returns, you will have you payment."
The tension in the air is high before Martin Sternigan even enters the office. Now it is an inferno. "What your agent did was inexcusable," Sternigan reminds Grines again for at least the fourth time. He is leaning over Grines' desk refusing to sit and talk like two normal people.
Grines shakes his head. "So you keep telling me," he says trying hard to keep the irritation out of his voice."
"Then turn him over to the Black List," he demands.
"I cannot and will not do that. What Reeds did to your niece is regretful but you also need to remember what she did to my agent too."
Sternigan throws a hand in the air. "Your agent was no longer just that. Need I remind you of what she was and just what my organization does?"
"I'm quite aware of what your organization does," Grines says calmly. "But you had a loose cannon on your hands before any of this. It was only a matter of time before she went off."
"Maybe your agent, not mine and definitely not my niece," Sternigan argues though he isn't sure he really believes the words himself. He is still trying to fully unravel the events of his niece that led to her death and her mysterious actions.
"I'm not handing my agent over to you, so you can forget it."
"Then if that is your choice."
"Very well," Sternigan says standing straight up and fixing his jacket. "If that is the way you're going to play it then the Black List can no longer help you."
Sternigan turns without another word and heads for the door. He stops short at Grines' next words. "Don't be surprised when your little empire comes crashing down."
Sternigan lets a little smile creep onto his face. With his back still turned to Grines he says, "We have existed for almost four thousand years and I suspect we will another four thousand."
Then he walks out the door and out to the elevator, not once looking back. When the door closes leaving Mike Grines alone in his office, he says to the empty, "I suspect it will be your empire that comes crashing down."