The sun had just begun to peek through the clouds, and strong winds buffeted the car. As he drove, the thick overcast sky began to clear, allowing the sun to peek through.

The Mafia family he was going to see controlled several construction companies and a hotel chain in Missouri and some smaller interests. The file mentioned that the casino was the mob’s headquarters, and they had a meeting there this morning.

Gangs had risen in the inner cities while the mobs stayed quiet. The Giordano family had roots across the county, with extensive ties to New York that would come in handy. Nyx had briefly considered co-opting the various street gangs but found they were not organized in a way that would be useful.

Nyx pulled into the large parking lot in front of an enormous ship built into the pier. It had the look of a fancy cruise liner, more likely to be seen in the Caribbean. A flashing neon sign reading ‘Riverboat Casino,' stood at the front of a ramp that led to the vessel. The parking lot had few cars parked in the early hours, according to the file the mobsters would now be in a meeting.

The chaos was churning in Nyx core, sending shocks through his system, almost as though it could sense impending violence. Nyx took a moment sitting in his car to wrest it back under control.

Two groups of men sat around tables in the riverboat's back room, This mahogany tables spread through the room though only two had men sitting around them. Through open windows, the frothy brown water of the river was visible surging past swelled by the recent storm.

Vincenzo had his most trusted men sat at the table. He had purposely positioned them close to the door in case anything went wrong. He adjusted the cuff of his fitted Italian suit, making sure to move his hand so that the light coming through the windows would glint off his gold rings and watch.

He cast a cautious look at the men across the circular table. They were his associates from Ndrangheta, the Latin American cartel. He felt contempt looking at their sloppy, tattooed appearances. He wouldn’t have agreed to work with them if the money wasn’t so good.

“Hey Vince, if they pull through on their end, how much are we talking here?” whispered Cosimo, pointing discretely at the men seated around the other table.

Vincenzo eyed the young man. He had robust Italian features and slicked black hair. He imitated his dress with a suit of his own, albeit one of lower quality. He was the new kid, but Vincenzo felt he had promise, and had given him a seat at the table.

Vincenzo took the cigar from his mouth letting out a puff of smoke, his voice was deep and rough. “Look Cosimo, we are talking in the hundreds of millions, now don’t go get a big head, you have yet to prove yourself.”

He took another puff of his cigar; a cool breeze blew in through the windows. They had all worked tirelessly to create a working relationship. The cartel wanted to expand its operation into America and had come to the mob for assistance. The plan was to smuggle the dope into Italy and from there distribute it across America.

Everyone perked up when A tall, thick-necked member of his security team entered the room and bowed his head respectfully, "Sorry to interrupt, I have a young man out here who wants to talk to you, tried to turn him away, wouldn't leave. Figured I'd see how you want this handled."

Vince thought for a moment, he could always use more runners. With the new deal, he would need to move the dope when it arrived. “Let him in, I want to see what this Cafone wants.” He picked up a cigar cutter from the table and snipped the burnt portion into the ashtray.

The security guard left returning with another guard and a kid who couldn't be more than seventeen or eighteen. He had short black hair, sharp features, and startlingly deep blue eyes, but what stood out the most was his poise. The boy resonated with confidence. The other mobsters shifted in their seats as the boy's gaze moved across them.

Nyx was led into the Boats back room by security, surprised to be given an audience. He had planned on having to force entry, but after patting him down to check for weapons, he had been told to follow them inside.

The security guard told Nyx to wait then edged his way past a pair of thick metal doors before returning and waving Nyx inside. Nyx's eyes flicked around the room taking in everything from curtains flapping in the large windows to the tense atmosphere created by the men around the tables. The stolen file had alleged that there were agents placed undercover within the mafia. It was immediately apparent to Nyx who they were from the glow of demonic energy emanating from two of the people sitting at the large circular table. He reached into the Aether and began to draw power for an array pattern.

Nyx's eyes came to rest on the oldest and most lavishly dressed man. He was big and beefy with a horseshoe hairline and eyes that held an obvious intelligence. He was seated on the side of the table closest to him, silently appraising. Nyx recognized him from the pictures, he was the mafia branch don, Vincenzo.

Nyx tried to keep his voice friendly, “You've been made, there are some rats in your midst. The feds are planning a sting operation on your latest enterprise. I am here to tell you I will solve your little rat problem, but I need a few things in return.”

Nyx smiled at the dumbfounded expressions he received, a few with mouths agape. He tapped his foot in the silence.

The man sitting next to Vincenzo’s left spat onto the floor, “Pucchiacha, do you take us for fools? Do you know who you are speaking to?"

Nyx walked forward and dropped the file he had stolen into the center of the table. “Take a look for yourselves.”

All around the table men's hands went for their pistols, but nobody drew as Nyx stepped back showing his hands. He grimaced as the chaos struggled to be let free. Stopping once he was back by the door he nodded, indicating for Vincenzo to look in the file. "It is worse than you think, the agents they placed undercover are not ordinary. They are demons."

The room went from silence and murmurs to erupting in laughter.

Vincenzo wiped tears of mirth from his eyes. This boy was either a complete nutcase or a comedian. The file in the center of the table drew his attention, and his interest peaked on seeing the federal stamp inlaid on its cover.

Cosimo sitting near Vincenzo was not smiling, his chair scraped the ground as he pushed it back and stood up, pulling out his gun.

“Cosimo wait!” commanded Vincenzo, there was a note of warning in his deep voice.

The young man paid him no consideration, his eyes almost seeming to glow as they filled with evil glee. He gave off an aura of pure malice, Vincenzo couldn't help but shudder. Cosimo’s finger tightened on the revolver's trigger, a smile growing. Six shots fired off in quick succession.

Vincenzo was livid, now he had to deal with cleaning up a dead body, and hadn't gotten about information on the folder sitting on the table. The sound of crackling and a flicker of light drew the don's attention, his eyes widened. The boy's body became engulfed in arcs of black and white lightning, static filled the air making his hair stand on end. The electricity condensed into the boy's arms as they blurred, he could only see the afterimage the strange flickering left behind.

Cosimo’s finger kept pulling the trigger, but he had already emptied his weapon's clip.

The kid opened his hand, and six bullets dropped out pinging as they bounced along the floor. The arcs of lightning retreated, almost as though sucked back into the boy, Vince flinched at the powerful aura pulsing out from him.

The lad's voice seemed to crackle as he spoke, “you had better revert to your true form if you want to stand a chance. The chaos calls for a fight.” He looked from Cosimo to another man who rose to his feet on the far end of the table.

Vincenzo sputtered, “what is th..”

“Shut your mouth,” hissed Cosimo, the voice didn't belong to him, it was deep and even. Though the words had seemed a whisper, they echoed throughout the room.

The two men's eyes began to burn, strands of dark red emanated out. Black smoke curled up around them, seeming to suck at the light, their bodies’ enlarged cords of muscle tearing their clothes to shreds. Their skin turned dark and leathery, horns sprouted from temples, talons from hands and feet.

Nyx watched the demons transform and a sense of glee swelled inside him. He knew it belonged to the chaos. This time, at least, the chaos seemed ready to assist him. Often nothing would happen when he had practiced drawing on it in private. The mobsters were locked in place by their fear, not daring to move a muscle, abject terror in their expressions. Streams of demonic energy swirled around them infiltrating their thoughts.

The two demons finished transforming as wings sprouted from their shoulder blades. They had indeed decided to take him seriously.

In using the Chi to enable him to catch the bullets, Nyx realized he had to use it sparingly or risk running out. Since his breakthrough the pain of utilizing the chaos had lessened, it hadn’t left him twitching on the ground, although his nerves still felt like they were on fire.

The demon the mob boss had called Cosimo, regarded the mobsters around him and licked his lips. Then as if in no rush it turned to Nyx, eyes burning it unclenched its fists, talons the size of daggers extending as it walked forward.

The demon casually closed the distance, enormous muscles rolling and bunching as it moved. A grin split Nyx’s face, he wasn't sure it was entirely his, excitement bubbled inside. The chaos begged for release, but he fought to keep it under wraps.

Nyx figure distorted as he leaped, in a moment he covered the distance to the demon. Before his fist made contact, lightning flickered on his arm, he used it for an extra burst of speed. His fist exploded forward impacting the demon’s chest with a resounding crunch.

The demon was blown backward knocking over empty tables, the talons of its feet leaving furrows in the floor. An indent was crushed into the demon's chest but did not seem to bother it. Lightning flickered across its body, quickly fading. With a roar, the beast released its Chi and waves of red radiated out. As though caught in a gale all the tables and chairs were driven to the fringes of the room taking the mobsters with them, wrapped in tendrils of the power.

Nyx smile grew larger as he drew in the Chi the demons directed at him. Using his spirit, he could feel the natural Chi in the water outside the open windows. He reached into the Aether activating the glowing array pattern he had prepared. Water from outside streamed in through the openings settling two inches deep onto the floor.

The demons rushed at him, their steps shook the floor, eyes portals promising endless suffering. This was not like sparing Dan and Gabe; these two demons were on an entirely different level.

Nyx ducked under one of the demons slashing claws while utilizing his array he pulled water to form a barrier on his arm to block the second demons slash. The force of the impact slid him backward. These two were fast.

The demons continued pressing the assault, Nyx flowed with them dodging in between the two monsters. When he blocked, water flowed to the point of contact surface tension strengthening before dropping back to the ground with a splash. Whenever an opening presented itself, arcs of lighting appeared on his limbs powering his strikes.

Demonic Chi was so thick in the air, it was almost black. Keeping his balance and center of gravity while executing evasive maneuvers, he looked for chances to counter. A misstep would be fatal.

Vincenzo felt he must be dreaming. It was a nightmare so terrifying he could not cry out or move. He could only sit still and hope he would be ignored. He tried to force himself to wake up, but nothing happened.

Two of his trusted associates had morphed before his eyes becoming creatures of hell. He had laughed at the kid for suggesting such a thing, but the proof was in front of him. He felt the lingering wetness from where he had pissed himself; he liked to believe he was a tough son of a bitch, but this was like nothing he had ever experienced. His body trembled uncontrollably.

Vincenzo’s eyes could hardly follow the movements of the three ‘things’ in the middle of the room. The demons towered over the boy and looked like they would crush him at any second, but the kid as fast. Water formed on his arms and legs splashing out as he blocked attacks, before splashing back down.

Although he could not follow the movements, occasionally the boy’s limbs would streak with lightning eyes glowing. A demon would recoil, before jumping back into the fray.

Nyx could tell his attacks were beginning to have effect. He cycled Chi into his leg and lightning arcing down along it, his speed increased, and he delivered a vicious kick to the outside of a demon’s knee. He had struck the same spot now multiple times.

The demons leg caved in, a long shard of bone poked through the leathery skin, black ichor dripped from the wound. The demon shrieked falling to the ground, it struggled to get back to its one good leg.

Nyx used his remaining Chi, drawing it from his core, he gritted his teeth as he bore the pain. Nyx's leg muscles contracted and with a jult of chatic energy he jumped backward, his body seeming to vanish as he flipped over the demon that lunged at him from behind. He landed on the second demon’s shoulders. Before it could react, he twisted its head a crack reverberating around the room; the enormous horned head was turned a full one-hundred-eighty degree. The demon’s body collapsed to the ground.

Nyx jumped off landing gracefully in front of it. The last demon had hobbled to its feet, balanced on its right leg, its body peppered with injuries leaking black fluid.

A smirk formed on Nyx lips. “The mob belongs to me now.”

The demon only bared its fangs in response.

Nyx had expended all his Chi, and his array pattern had long since run out of energy, but looking at the last demon, he only needed his physical strength to toy with it. The monstrosity moved forward a step, into Nyx range, he spun delivering a kick. Upper body lowered as his leg swung high, heel driving into the demon's chest where the floating rib would be if it was human. Nyx could feel something crumple.

The demon collapsed back to the ground, black blood bubbling from its mouth as it tried to draw in air, breath coming in ragged gasps. It struggled to sit back up.

Nyx kicked it in the head as it tried to rise, “you think demons can prey on humans? That we are just cattle? You should have stayed in the lower realms.” Nyx ended the statement with a downward stomp crushing the demon's neck.

Black blood leaked from the demon’s bodies into the water on the room's floor. The Mafia members trembled at the sides of the room, too terrified to make noise or move. Slowly they came to their senses, minds clearing from the demon's influence.

With the fight concluded, Nyx could feel exhaustion in every part of his body. Many cuts dripped with little rivulets of blood from when he had blocked attacks, a nasty gash ran down his side that he was fortunate was only a flesh wound. He moved to the corpses and sealed in the rest of the demons’ Chi.

Nyx turned back to the mobsters.

Several tendrils of demonic power still held mobsters in the air, pressed against the back wall. With the demon’s death, the pulsing red dissipated dropping the mafia members with splashes into the water. Focus slowly returned to their eyes, the fear no longer clouding their minds.

Nyx walked over to the room’s corner, the mobsters nearest rose onto trembling feet and backed away. was submerged in the water. Nyx grabbed the sting operation file from where it sat submerged in the water and gently gave it a shake. He peeled it open, satisfied to see the pages had stayed together. The paper, while soaked, was high quality and did not tear, the print was still legible.

Nyx closed the file again and walked over to Vincenzo who was still sitting in the water with the look of a man whose entire existence had been turned on its head. Nyx righted a table that had been on its side and pulled two chairs beside it.

Nyx extended his hand towards Vincenzo who stared at it a moment before accepting it. Nyx pulled the Don back to his feet gesturing for him to take a seat in one of the two chairs. The mob boss collapsed into one and Nyx took the other.

“I know what you saw today will change everything for you.” Nyx placed the file on the table beside them, “I want you to look over this file, you will know what needs to be done. The world is changing, but lucky for you, you have me.”

As Vincenzo regarded Nyx, he could see that glint of intelligence again, "What are you? What is going on?"

Nyx smiled, “who and what I am doesn’t matter, but what I need from you is a partnership. I will help guide the mafia through the coming changes, and in return, I require you to assist me.”

Vincenzo’s eyes narrowed in wariness, “This is not a simple matter. I am only in charge of a small branch of the family, the leading branch is in New York. I will have to communicate with them.”

Nyx nodded, “I am not a tyrant, you will see it is in your best interest to work with me. Take a good look at that file and make necessary arrangements and countermeasures. I will be back soon.” Nyx paused surveying the room, his eyes landed on the demon’s corpses. “One more thing, as a token of our friendship, could you deliver the two demon’s bodies intact to this address?” Nyx grabbed a pen from the water and jotted his storage unit location and number down.

The don nodded, “consider it done, we are no stranger to dealing with stiffs.”

“Excellent! I will be in contact.” With that Nyx left the casino feeling eyes following him.

The flashing lights and sounds coming from the different gambling machines in the lobby hurt his head. He was exhausted, skull-pounding after pushing himself so far. He had to conceal his condition until he was away. There was no way you could survive if they decided to open fire on him now. Nyx's core swirled with demonic Chi he had cultivated during the fight; his Chaotic Chi had begun to trickle back.


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