A MAELSTROM OF ESSENCE descended upon the city like the waters of a waterfall crashing into a riverbed. My heavenly-being senses dashed into fucking overdrive.
It took all of my will to ignore them as I hopped from the bench, heart racing a million miles an hour. This essence, this pressure—it brought earthquakes to the city.
People screamed as the chaos heightened.
That distortion from earlier, that feeling—that…that was a fucking premonition. Why didn’t I figure it out earlier?
I glanced at the time on my phone. Midnight. A flash of light made me look at the sky. The earthquake stopped.
Humans around looked up too, confused at the crazy whirling of bright colors.
I felt something…several somethings. No…they were presences. Six of them. Six super-presences. I pieced things together: Teemie speaking of some meeting. Then her telling me to run. I never got a warning for any ordinary hunters. Shit, normal hunters don’t have this kind of power. Six.
Oh shit, this couldn’t be happening.
That warning. Six. Which means they’ve even found a replacement. That or became the band of seven.
I looked at the gathered crowd, police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances going nuts, and helicopters flying about. Yeah, there wasn’t a need to draw attention, so I ran back to Secure Corps, texting everyone along the way. Everyone but Amelia answered. Fuck.
“Epex, what’s going on?” Amony said, her voice close to panic.
“Bloody hell, I’ve never seen anything like that,” Layla said.
“I got a bad feeling about this,” Devante said. “When a sorcerer gets a bad feeling, it’s time to get going.”
“That’s exactly what you guys have to do,” I said. “Leave the city, immediately. Shit’s about to get really fucked up.”
“Even if we were to comply to your request, what do you plan to do,” Sin said. “Stand here and be the hero.”
“They’re on earth,” I said, calmly. “If they’re here, they can and will track me, no matter where I go. Guys, there’s no easy way to say this, but I may be done. Don’t get caught up in this. I can only talk them down from wiping out the entire state.”
“You can forget it,” Elly said. “I don’t know who you’re talking about, but we’re not letting you face this alone. At least I’m not.” She looked at Sin and Devante.
“We’ve seen some crazy shit and came out on top,” Devante said. “I don’t think it gets worse than Karma. Well, there’s Michael, but he didn’t come to fight himself, so you got lucky.”
“It does,” I said. “Karma let us win. Michael kicked our asses and the only way we came out of that was due to having one common enemy. This is something way worse, so I need you guys to listen. The elite six are here. I’ve gathered you here to warn you so just in case anyone witnesses my ass getting handed to me, you don’t run in for incineration. They’re gods. Very powerful gods. It’s instant death for all of you.”
Before I could continue, I heard a voice boom in my head.
“Come, fallen prince. There is no use running. If you refuse, we’ll kill all of these people in your name. Follow our presences. It is time to atone.”
“Fuck, I’ve got to go,” I said.
“Where’s Amelia?” Amony asked.
“Don’t tell me that goddess betrayed you,” Elly said.
I shook my head and answered based on a strange feeling in my heart. Intuition that felt right.
“She’s trying to save as much people as possible,” I said. “I can take care of myself until she arrives to back me up.” I rushed out the door and to my dismay, they all followed, except Layla.
Amony ordered her to protect the confused nightshift humans. That was an excuse. If Layla’s vibe set off the elite six, they’d probably nuke the city.
I followed my instincts, though in no particular hurry. Someone yelled for help.
I looked to see a man who looked to be in his early forties hanging on for dear life, on the side of his apartment balcony. Five stories high. This guy didn’t deserve a drop like that—not because the elite dicks wanted to interfere with the day to day life of the humans.
“Amony, mojo please,” I said. She did without a second, lifting the man up with invisible magic and putting him down to safety.
He couldn’t see us, but we saw him panicking, thinking he nearly died, and wondering what the fuck just happened. Unfortunately, there were more incidents.
We spent more time rescuing people than moving forward. This wasn’t about redemption—I was toast—but these people didn’t deserve this. Buildings were destroyed and cracks decorated the roads like an apocalyptic disaster. Some humans cried for their loved ones.
I felt fucking horrible for being the root cause of this shit but also angry at the elite six for taking an entrance too far. I’m only one guy—one who isn’t that powerful. My lock made sure of it.
Hell, the six of them on earth at one time disturbed the balance.
I couldn’t remember what happened when the balance was disrupted, eight years burning and all, but I’m pretty sure the humans are going to suffer for it. And these clowns don’t care. With the ability to pretty much one-shot me, why did all of the elite appear at one time.
That meeting…a large-scaling meeting with the importance of the King. That was all for me? I could only guess that the fuckers announced my demise. Did Conus really let this happen?
I concentrated on the essence, gave a mental heads-up to Mom, and then released the first lock. Silver heavenly-light erupted around me, startling the others. My thoughts became sharp, my mind calmed—all thanks to the training. I suppressed the light to not attract any attention, though it did outline me slightly.
“Holy shit man, give us a warning next time,” Devante said. “The pressure around you nearly knocked us to the ground.”
“This is the first time I’ve seen you like this up close,” Amony said. “Those eyes. Damn.”
“Enough,” I said. “Follow me. We’ve got to find somewhere devoid of people.”
It took a few minutes but we did find an abandoned park. I handed my wallet and cellphone to Amony.
“Amelia can access anything, so she’ll be able to get into the phone. I knew this day would come, which is why I left her a last note. She’ll know it when I pass. I hexed the phone.”
Amony looked on the back on my phone to see what looked like a modified version of my deity-trapper.
I called to Ruin. Since we’re fighting gods, it’s sword time.
Sin was cut off when five figures descended from the air. The sixth, presumably the leader hadn’t arrived yet… Still, this was it. I had finally come face to face with the most powerful heavenly-hunters in existence.
And even in this state, I felt the difference in power. Overwhelming.
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Alvin Atwater is a man of humor, a starving author. With a unique writing style that can outshine even Jim Butcher, Patria Briggs, or Kevin Hearne (It's a joke. These are among my favorite authors) , he is a character-driven lovable lump of mass. Born in Florida, he's on a mission to defeat his arch nemesis, Florida Man, once and for all.
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