Salamander 2 part 13

by EMW

Monday, 10th of December, 2035


It was the usual struggle to get up and about come Monday. It seemed like after the weekend getting up was even harder than it usually was. I loaded my PE kit in with my normal school stuff ready for the club this evening. I had my breakfast a cup of tea and was off as soon as D knocked on the door.

Once I was out in the air I began to feel more awake and happy, another day out and about with my friends and then as a treat at the end the club where I could cut loose and use my abilities without someone getting annoyed or scared.

My good mood didn't go unnoticed and D began smiling at me.

“What!”I said after the third such smile.

She shook her head and gave a little chuckle, “I've never met anyone who is so happy to go to school as you are.”

“Well I have you and Jane there as well as a few other friends. I get to learn lots of neat stuff, then I have the cubes club. What's not to be happy about?”

“I don't get it, you have loads of enemies there and not to mention bigoted teachers, yet you always seem to see the good side.”

I shrugged, “Better to focus on the good stuff.”

“I guess so.”

“So do you do anything in the club besides admin things?”

“I get to play defence mostly, I've got a good reach.”

“Cool, do you ever get to be in attack?”

“Not often, I'm a big target and don't have any compensating powers. I occasionally get a go in practice but not as often as I'd like. Still it's a just fun to be involved at all.”

“If they'd had sports like that back at my old school I wouldn't have hated PE so much.”

We were approaching the school gates, Jane was waiting and gave us a friendly wave.

“Hey guys!”she said bounding over. “I had so much fun yesterday, we have to do that again sometime. Your sister is great fun!”

“It was a good day out, I know Gwen enjoyed herself as well which is nice I worry she works too much,”I replied.

“We'll have to help her let her hair down more often.”

We made our way up to our classroom talking about our weekend on our way up we ran into the supers. A couple of Trisha's old guard still glared at me but most smiled at me. At the head of the group was Winston.

“Ah D and the lovely Amanda, good morning to you both,”he said with a smug smile.

Jane glared at him for being ignored.

“Good morning Winston,”I said politely.

He gave me a very bright smile, “I look forward to seeing you both this evening.”

The group of them moved off after Winston gave me a small bow.

When they were gone Jane motioned sticking her fingers down her throat, “Blerg! Those guys make me sick!”

“Come on,”said D, “We'll be late for registration.”

We made our way into the classroom and took our usual seats, we didn't have any time to chat before our teacher rushed in and took the register. After that it was off to lessons, some English that was reading followed by further humanities where we learnt about various religions. It was all pretty light stuff and a nice morning. At break we spent some time in the library Kitty and Clare were waiting for us like little dynamos of enthusiasm.

“If we could harness that power we could be rich!”joked Jane as the two of them bounced around us.

After break it was some more interesting subjects, Geography and History. We watched a film about the first and second Iraq war in history and then some stuff on various mountains in Geography. It was a pretty good morning and by lunch I was looking forward to some time with my friends. I grabbed some food and was munching away while D and Jane were discussing the supers our brief meeting with them this morning seemed to have put a bee in Jane's bonnet about them.

“Why do they get like that though?”asked Jane waving a fork full of pasta at D.

“I guess they feel special and think that gives them the right to tell the rest of us what to do,”she replied.

“But he's got a lot of nerve with all that attitude with Tish!”

My ears perked up, “What attitude? With who?”I mumbled with a mouth full of pie.

Jane gave me a look, “What?”I asked confused.

“She didn't even notice it Jane,”said D with a wave of her hand in my direction.

“Didn't notice what?”I asked a bit exasperatedly.

Jane sighed but said, “Nothing.”

I shrugged and went back to my food if they didn't want to tell me that was there prerogative.

Jane leaned over to D and whispered probably thinking I wouldn't hear, “How can she not see it?”

D smiled and looked over at me and then gave Jane a knowing look to which Jane rolled her eyes and continued where she had left off, “Anyway that's only secondary, they run around making the rest of us feel like garbage for what? Not having as much power as them? It's just silly.”

“Agreed, but it's just the way things are,”D replied, “No one said life was fair.”

We finished off our meals in relative silence. Jane seeming to fume about the supers. D just calmly thinking her own thoughts. While I trying to work out what Jane had meant and drew a blank.

After food we retreated to the library to get some of our homework done, our favourite cheerleaders Kitty and Clare were already waiting for us. Sitting with them was Helen which surprised me a little. It seemed Kitty and Clare had adopted Helen as a fellow cheerleader or something after they had learned that she went for help when I was being attacked. The ex-pure looked a little uncomfortable sitting between the two little hybrids though I think it was more their unstoppable energy that was worrying her than their MORFS survivor status.

She brightened when the rest of us joined them.

“Hi Tish!”chimed Kitty.

“Hi Tish!”Clare repeated.

“Hi,”said Helen a little more quietly with a shy smile.

I greeted the three of them and sat down opposite Helen.

I noticed as I worked on my homework that Helen kept giving me looks while I was looking down and then glancing away blushing when I looked up. I kept my face down but looked with my other senses feeling her emotions, the lust I had felt before from her was there but stronger tinged with something else.

I thought to myself about Helen. Did I feel anything for her? Maybe I did, but I was still very confused. I wished I could look at my own emotions using my empathy and make sense of them. I decided to try and talk with her see if it would make things clearer.

“So ... what did you get up to at the weekend?”asked.

Kitty taking this as an open question jumped in, “Me and Clare had a ballet show!”

“Yea,”said Clare with a brief flash of a smile.

“It was awesome we were in the front row and my mum came and so did Clare's we got lots of applause!”

“Sounds great! I bet you two were wonderful,”I said my two little friends beamed at that. “How about you Helen?”

“I ... I went to church,”she said haltingly looking terribly nervous to be talking.

“Cool, like to do brass rubbings or something?”asked Kitty.

Helen turned to look at the girl, “No ... worship,”replied Helen.

“Oh!”said Kitty looking confused, “We don't have that in our house. I read about it though.”

“What's it like in the church when they worship?”piped up Clare.

“Well there are readings and hymns,”answered Helen.

“Like a sing song?”suggested Kitty.

“A little,”said Helen looking uncomfortable with the subject.

“Ah,”said Kitty as if that answered all her questions. She turned to me, “What did you do Tish, did you do sing songs too?”

“No I don't go to church any more, I haven't since I changed. I went to D's house on Saturday and then out shopping with D, Jane, and my sister on Sunday.”

“Sounds like fun!”

“Yeah it was, we even managed to go see a movie too.”

“Which one?”

“The new Brad Jones film.”

There was a collective sigh from the girls at the table, all bar myself and Helen. Something that everyone else but the two of us was too busy to notice. Helen looked at me for a short while then looked thoughtful.

“My mum says I'm too young for his films,”said Kitty looking annoyed, then sneaky, “course she doesn't know that I sneaked into her study and borrowed her vid collection.”

“Hehe!”giggled Clare covering her mouth. No doubt she was involved in the hijinks.

Then the bell rang breaking up our fun we waved goodbye and then headed off to humanities. That lesson was really boring droning on about something or other, I was glad when it was over. In English Literature I had to do more reading in front of the class but I was getting better at it. I didn't hesitate so much and got through the thing without too many mistakes.

Once that was through with it was the end of the day. I practically jumped for joy, not only was school out but it was time for the club to start. Jane couldn't stay and was very annoyed about having to miss my first full session. She was taking her cheer leading role very seriously, but said she was having some trouble thinking of things that rhymed with Tish.

D and I made our way over to the changing rooms, we waited till the last class of the day cleared out and there was room for us to go in. A couple of the other club members waited with us exchanging the odd friendly nod or hello.

Eventually we got into the changing rooms and began getting on our kit for the games ahead. The captain Hannah came striding in greeting everyone as she went. She even remembered my name which was nice.

Once kitted out we went down to the gym and I followed directions for what I needed to do to set things up. When Mr Roberts got in he divided us up into teams. Me and D were on the same team which was nice. We also had Winston, who for some reason had seemed very keen to get on the same team as us. He was a very difficult person to read his supreme self confidence and arrogance seemed to eclipse all other emotions.

Still when he was picked for our team he turned to me and said, “When we are together nothing could stand in our way.”

I nodded and looked away concentrating on Mr Roberts who was detailing the setup for today. For a brief moment I felt a tiny twinge of annoyance from Winston then it was gone.

First up we were defending something I had never had to do before. I watched what the others did and tried my best to imitate them. Pretty soon I had the hang of it. You had to tag the people as they made their run, to do so I could use my powers and skills to hide or distract. Staying invisible was quite good when I could see them coming, it didn't work so well up close as they had a chance to blast past me. My grip proved useful allowing me to traverse the multi-levelled environments faster than most.

After that we had a bit of a break, Winston congratulated me on all the tags I'd made.

While we waited I got to watch the acrobatic Hannah in action, for someone that had no physical enhancements or powers she could really move. She was graceful and fast moving like she was liquid, slipping past people without seeming to move much at all.

Next turn we got to be attackers this was more familiar territory. D was at a bit of a disadvantage here, but I wondered if we could use that. Winston and myself were obviously the ones who would try for the cake but maybe we could use that.

I explained my plan to Winston and D. D grinned like an idiot, Winston said, “Your wit and brilliance are matched only by your beauty.”

I smiled and said thanks wondering what he was on about then we got on with the plan.

Winston and myself forged ahead taking up all the attention we could. D slipped along in our wake using our distractions to get along. The two of us distractions grabbed the cake and I pelted back to the end zone passing D. As I passed I threw the cake to her but then established an illusion of it in my hands and dodged back as if the throw had been a feint.

I raced along dodging defenders as best I could back towards the end zone. They focused completely on me not noticing D making her way up the side of the cube with the cake held against her leg to make it less obvious. Eventually my solo run was caught.

“Ha tagged you, put the cake back and back to the start!”shouted the opposition player triumphantly.

“What cake,”I said and allowed the illusion to disappear. The way the guys face fell was priceless.

Realising the jig was up D ran as fast as she could for the end zone with Winston flanking so she could pass if she needed to. Luckily our deception was so good no one realised what was going on until it was too late.

We scored, the opposition argued it for a bit but the judges decided it was a legitimate tactic. I hugged an over the moon D who picked me up and carried me around for a bit. She had never scored before and was really blown away by my plan making it possible for her.

Winston began making some flowery comment about my brilliance or some such but D told him to put a sock in it and hugged me some more till I thought she'd squeeze the life out of me.

After that we had a few more wait sessions. D talking to me non stop about how awesome I was and how good it had felt to be able to score for a change.

We got a few more goes but nothing that had quite the same impact as the first go at attacking. We scored a few times I managed it once and then Winston picked me up and carried me around on his shoulders for a bit. I realised he had very muscular shoulders as I clung on for dear life.

Whenever I made some contribution or gave some idea he would congratulate me in some poetic manner.

But all good things come to an end. So tired, happy and a little hungry, we made our way up to the showers. D still gushed about her win. Most of the other girls were grinning at her repeated descriptions of my plan and how amazing it was.

After showering drying and dressing we made our way out into the cool night air. I found Winston had waited for us to come out rather than say anything he gave us a wave then turned and left.

As we walked out the front gate I turned to D and said, “Winston's been acting really weird today.”

“You still haven't twigged,”said D incredulous.

“Twigged what?”

“He's been dropping hints the size of double deckers and you are still none the wiser!”

“What hints?”

“Ah never mind, did you see how I made that run. It was amazing, you handed me the cake I slipped it back and followed along the far wall. I knew I had to be ready but couldn't draw attention to myself so I tried to keep up without looking like I was in position for a pass so they wouldn't think me a danger.”

She regaled me with more tales of how she had pulled off the score of the century eventually she stopped mid exposition about how she had fooled the whole defence and looked at me sheepishly, “Sorry, I got a little carried away.”

“Hehe, I thought it was fun. You were so over the moon about it you didn't even make a face when Winston called you a woman to shine through the ages.”

“He wasn't calling me that.”


She stopped dead still in the street, “You really don't see it do you?”

“See what!”I said exasperatedly.

“Come on Tish, you must be able to work it out.”

“Work what out? Just tell me!”

“Winston is doing all that poetic nonsense and the little bows and the other crap because he wants you.”

“Wants me?”

“Don't make me have to draw you a diagram!”

We turned into an alleyway that was a short cut home.

What she had been hinting at finally hit me like a freight train, “He can't ... not me ... why would he have any interest in me?”

“You fit his favourite type to a T. Powerful enough to be a Super, check! Tall and athletic, check! Sexy, check! And you have a more shy and retiring personality, something he probably thinks he can dominate. You push all his right buttons Tish.”

“But ... but ...,”I said then stopped. I sensed people behind us. I span round finding half of Flint’s gang taking up positions behind us armed with improvised clubs. I turned back to see Flint and the rest of his gang leap out in front of us.

“Well well well if it isn't my old friends, forked tongue freak and big dumb freak,”sneered Flint.

D turned to me and said, “Hide I'll deal with these losers.”

I vanished and hid up on a wall out of harms way.

The boys charged at D she batted them away easily it didn't look like she would have any problems dealing with these trouble makers.

“Ha is that all you got Flint!”shouted D.

“No merely the distraction I needed to get in range! This time I finish you for good you stupid freak!”he sneered and pulled a small squat object from his pocket and pointed it like a gun at D.

There was a strange wiring and a high pitched continuous shing noise and then there was a terrible silence. D gave a groan and collapsed to the ground.

One of the other boys in the gang was facing D, a look of horror on his face, “Shit man you killed her!”

“D!”I screamed and leapt down from the wall several stories drop without realising it and raced over to my friend.

There was the same shing noise and I felt a stabbing pain along my face and ear. I reached up, my hand coming away from my face bloody. I could feel a small cut in my cheek. I ignored it and raced over to where D's body lay, blood soaking through her top.

“D! D please can you hear me!”I said frantic she was still breathing.

There was a loud beep from behind me and I looked round to see Flint pointing the strange gun at me at point blank range repeatedly pulling the trigger to no effect.

“Damn think shoot! Kill the worthless freak and her big dumb friend!”he shouted.

Anger surged up in me out of nowhere. I smashed the gun out of his grip and grabbed him by the arms lifting him off the ground. I felt the fire in me surging forward the anger had called it forward. Flames burst into life on my hands where I gripped my enemy.

“AHHH!!!”he screamed as he started to burn. Some of his henchmen ran at me. Others already looking a little sick at what had happened with D and had run not wanting to be shot.

I tossed Flint aside and struck at his defenders with flaming hands they screamed and backed away.

The fire was spreading up my arms it was catching on my feet as well, my clothing was beginning to smoke and smoulder as the flames flowed out of me. The boys those still standing cradling burns and protecting their leader backing up the alleyway.

Fire now covered me burning the ground as I walked towards them some bits of rubbish and old crates caught as my advancing heat started small fires around me.

“She ... Sh ... She's just a w...w...worthless freak! The bible says they can't h...hurt us if we believe,”stammered Flint.

I let out a guttural yell, raised my arms and unleashing a wave of fire that washed over them, taking most of their hair and eyebrows. I raged throwing fire so it struck the ground near them or bounced around them making them scream like babies. Eventually the guard ran leaving Flint cowering on the ground in the increasingly on fire alleyway.

“I'm I'm n ... n ... not afraid of!”he tried terror filling his eyes I could see he had wet himself. I picked him up my flaming hands burning his clothes and shoved him forward.

“Run pipsqueak!”I roared.

He stared at me so I gestured forward creating a wall of flame he ran and I threw the wall of flame along the alleyway. He screamed as he barely made it round the bend his clothing on fire at the back where the wall had nearly caught him.

The alley was now ablaze, anything that could be on fire was on fire. I was in my living statue of flame form, naked but clothed in fire. It felt so good to let go like this. Not just to heat things or to burn a little but to let the inferno out. I reached out to the fires, making them hotter, bigger, burning more. Revelling in the feeling of power.

A small voice barely a whisper brought me to my senses, “Tish,”croaked D.

I spun around and saw her lying there bleeding, fire all around her. It was like a cold shower, shocking me awake. I reached out and gradually extinguished the flames. But the fire inside me didn't want that. It wanted to burn, burn everything. But I fought it down. Eventually I was standing naked in a smoking blackened alleyway. I raced over to D.

“Oh D hold on I'll get help!”I said. Her torso was covered in blood from a load of odd slot shaped cuts that seemed to go right through her.

“I ...”she coughed up blood and choked about for a second or two.

“Don't try to speak D! I'll get you help!”I said rubbing her hand.

“I love you little sister,”D choked out.

“I love you too big sister, don't worry you're going to be fine!”

“Tell t mum ...”she started then went limp.

“NOOOOOO!”I cried and frantically felt for a pulse or some sign she was breathing. I found one, she was still alive just very badly hurt.

I scrambled for my bag which had gotten kicked to the wall in the struggle thankfully away from the flames I had unleashed further down the alleyway and grabbed my pe kit pulling it on. As I was hastily dressing I spotted the weird gun Flint had shot at us with, I carefully picked it up using a plastic bag I had kept my pencils in so as not to put any prints on it and slipped it into my backpack. I grabbed my phone and to my horror discovered I had forgotten to charge it or something as it wouldn't switch on, I had to get help!

Dressed I strapped on my bag and ran over to D.

“Hang on Big Sister!”I whispered then reached down and picked D up in my arms.

She was very heavy and there was a lot of her but I managed. She had carried me to safety after a bad fight once, I would return the favour.

I walked out of the alleyway and towards the main street.

“Help Help I need an ambulance my friend is hurt!”I cried as loud as I could.

I staggered along looking for help, I saw a car coming and my mind not working ideally made the decision to step out in front of it. It screeched to a halt and an irate balding man wearing a flat cap jumped out.

“You crazy ...”then he stopped open mouthed when he got a good look at me and D.

“Please my friend needs help I need to get her to a hospital!”I said.

He paused for a moment then shook himself, “Get in I'll drive you!”

I slid into the back of his car heaving D with me. I cradled her in my arms and the man leapt back in the took off at speed.

I was worried D was going to bleed out so I tried my best to keep pressure on the wounds but she had quite a few, nasty slot like rips into her flesh.

“Hold on D we are getting help for you,”I chanted squeezing her hand, tears rolling down my face unnoticed.

The man driving was going at a hell of a rate and pretty soon I saw the signs for hospital he pulled up to the main entrance of A&E (accident and emergency) with a squeal of tires then helped me get D out of the car. I could barely feel her breathing now I was worried she was fading.

I ran in carrying my friend, crying “HELP HELP ME!”

It seemed like mere instants passed when shocked patients eyed me with horror then I was surrounded by nurses and doctors.

A gurney appeared and I was helped putting D down on it then they raced off towards another room.

“What do we have here?”shouted a Doctor.

“She was shot,”I said, “Some sort of weird gun didn't make any noise but left slot like holes.”

“The doctors will take it from here,”said a nurse who grabbed me to stop me following.

I was too worn out to resist her guiding me to another room where they cleaned up the cut to my face and ear the gun thing had made. All the while they asked me questions about D and what had happened. They got details of mine and D's parents. They sewed me back up but couldn't tell me what had happened with D she was in surgery. The whole event was beginning to get to me, but more than that, the environment of the hospital wasn't helping. I could feel the pain and fear around me. Other patients hurt and dying. Their loved ones frantic with fear. It was oppressive. There was the occasional spark of joy at a happy diagnosis or seeing a loved one well lightened things slightly, but in my current mood it still fell on me like a heavy wet blanket. Pulling me down and making me sluggish.

Eventually Gwen showed up. She pulled me into a fierce hug. The nurse who was tending my wounds had a brief talk with Gwen, which I was in too much shock to really hear. Eventually Gwen lead me out to a waiting room where I saw Joyce sitting looking lost. I ran over and we embraced tearfully.

“Oh Amanda,”she said and hugged me to her tighter, “thank goodness you're alright!”

“Is there any news?”I asked holding on to Joyce as we sat down. Gwen took my hand on the other side and rubbed it reassuringly.

“No Dorothy had lost a lot of blood they were operating to try and repair the damage. What happened to you two?”

“We were on our way home from the club, D was over the moon about having scored in one of our practices so I guess we were a bit distracted. These bullies from school surrounded us. D told me to hide, so I did. Then one of them pulled some weird gun and shot D with it. I ran over to her and he tried to shoot me too,”I said gesturing to my stitches, “it broke or something as he only cut me. I fought them off with fire then carried D to the main street where a man took us to A&E.”

“Oh you poor dear,”said Joyce pulling me to her.

I held onto her as we both cried for a bit, eventually she let me up as there was a doctor approaching. Gwen took up her role of holding me.

“Mrs Newman?”he asked.

“Yes,”said Joyce, “Is there any news on Dorothy?”

“She is out of surgery and is now in the intensive care ward. She's suffered severe blood loss as well as quite a lot of damage to her internal organs. Whatever did this put a huge number of rough small holes through her body. Something like 20 to 30 wounds all across her torso. I've never seen anything like it. It also left some nasty metal shards embedded in her that we had to remove. She was very lucky to get here when she did. Any longer and she would have likely died from blood loss. As it was, it was touch and go for a while. We repaired as much of the damage as we could and have been replacing her lost blood but she's still in a very poor shape. We'll know more over the next few days, but for now we are going to keep her sedated to allow her body a chance to heal and suppress as much of the pain as possible. If you'd like to see her I'll take you there.”

We got up to follow him and he turned to look at us, “family members only I'm afraid.”

“They are family, more so than any ties of flesh and blood,”Joyce said.

The doctor looked uncomfortable but then just tired, “Alright, it's this way.”

He lead us up past the various wards to the intensive care area, where the patients that needed the most looking after were. D was in her own room, she was barely recognisable under all the tubes, bandages, and machines. Joyce went to her bedside and took her hand. D looked peaceful her hair spraying out over the pillow in a big purple wave. The most disturbing thing was the lack of any emotional feedback from her. It was like she wasn't there at all. I guess she was so far under she was not feeling anything. Which was a good thing in some ways, but it just added to my depression. D had always been so big and strong. My friend, my adopted sister, my teacher, my protector. Now she was lying there so still, so pale, so badly broken. A fragile thing with none of her strength and personality visible.

I clung to Gwen a low moan of anguish escaping my throat, Gwen stroked my hair and kissed my forehead. Holding me to try and take away the pain. Her love for me and her compassion shining out of her like warm sunshine making me feel better.

Joyce embraced me too, “If you hadn't got her here when you did she would have been beyond saving. You did a great thing today. She's tough my Dorothy she'll get through this you'll see.”

We hugged some more and eventually went to sitting around Dorothy. I held one of her hands Joyce held the other Gwen held my hand. Eventually some policemen showed up, I went with Gwen to tell them what I knew. They took my statement with solemn serious faces. I told them everything more or less I glossed over my little pyromania incident but did say I sent the gang off with fire. They gave me their numbers should I think of anything else and I was so distracted I almost forgot about the gun I had saved and had to call them back.

“I took this from the alleyway,”I said taking the plastic bag holding the gun carefully out of my backpack, “I put it in the bag, I did my best not to touch it.”

One of the officers stiffened when he looked at the strange weapon, and gingerly took the bag from me. He looked at the gun his eyes quite wide. “If this is what I think it is I'm extremely worried that some kid got their hands on it.”

“What is it?”I asked.

“I think it's a HEFW 7, a type of coil gun. It fires these metal disks, loads of them at incredible speed. So they will punch through almost any body armour. Fully solid state, no moving parts, almost silent, and no recoil. It's a very scary bit of hardware and not something some kid on the streets should have access to. Though I've heard rumours about some black market knockoffs turning up in the states.”

“What does that mean?”

“Well for one thing your friend is very, very lucky to have survived. And for another, this investigation is likely to be escalated. Anyway do let us know if there is anything else.”

They left us to our thoughts, the one carrying the weird gun kept it pointing at the ground and was treating it like an unexploded bomb. We stayed with Joyce for a while, but eventually a nurse kicked us out. Since D was sedated, I think it was more to get us out of the way than for her health. Joyce managed to wangle a bed in one of the offices nearby owned by a doctor acquaintance of hers. So we said our goodbyes and promised to come visit the next day.

Gwen and I walked home. I clung to her like she was my life raft and I was adrift at sea.


The gamble with the gang of boys really had paid off wonderfully. It had meant following them around for a few days to keep them on a short leash, and therefore not gaining anything new on the demon. But it paid off big time.

Not only was the big beast bodyguard now out of the picture for a good while, if not permanently, but we had caught some great footage of the target fighting. I was quite surprised the bodyguard survived at all. Usually a HEFW shredded anything it was pointed at. But then the kids operating it had no real experience, so hadn't held the trigger down for more than a quick burst. Plus I guess the demonic taint did offer a degree of robustness.

Still it had very nearly gone all pear shaped. After the beast body guard was dispatched I expected her mistress to just leave her to take the fall. Instead, the demon raced over to her aid. Even taking a hit to her face. Which in my surprise, I had been unable to prevent. Still I managed to remotely disable the gun before our little unknowing assistant did any permanent damage. It wouldn't do to have our hunt cancelled because some loud mouth brat of a school kid killed our game with a coil gun.

Then glories of glories the demon revealed its true form. If there had been any doubt that this was a creature of pure evil, then it has now been completely vanquished. The true face of this monster rose up out of it like the very fires of Hell. It's clothing turned to ash and it's demonic form reasserted its dominance over the usual camouflage. Five nearly had a fit having to cross herself repeatedly. I had to take over the operation of the video camera for a while. I could understand her reaction. There in the flesh was something the holy texts had warned us about.

She attacked her enemies, throwing them around like rag dolls and blasting them with fire. Soon the whole alleyway was ablaze. Our thermal imaging camera burnt out just looking at her. So goodness knows how hot she was burning. Eventually she returned to her almost human form and tried to get help for her body guard. There was some cold calculation about this I was sure. She would use this attack, as she had used all the others, to make her kind more accepted. Give her an easier job dragging souls down to her master. In order to cover our tracks a little we jammed her cell phone. Having a load of police descend before we could clear out would be tricky. Ideally we would have retrieved the coil gun and any surviving ammo but the demon took it with her, too wily to let such a prime piece of evidence go to waste.

She then, seemingly without effort, lifted the big beast up and carried her off to get help. Even affecting a piteous wail for help.

We got it all on tape; the fire, the fighting, even the carrying. This would tell us what we needed to know about the demon. Now more than ever, it was clear that this was indeed a minion of Satan.

The fire could prove to be a problem, but so long as we know about it we could potentially compensate for it. This was going to be a hunt for the ages. Now we knew our quarry I was itching to begin the hunt.

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