4 Red Twilight Worldwalkers chapter 4
The Man Called Devil
David Jazzmen is a thing straight out of an early 90's action movie: boots with spars on them, red leather pants, the sounds of chains ringing as he walks, a vest that looks like it is forged from used artillery casings, two golden handguns tide to his hips with names carved into their handles (Ebony and Alabaster), a deep read overcoat, a broadsword on his back and a shotgun hidden within the folds of his long coat, mid length silver hair, flashing jade eyes and what looks like a meteorite chip tide around his neck with a leather chain.
David pulls the keys out of his Sazuki Hyabusa then takes his phone from his pocket, he looks up the address for his next job as he thinks about the conversation he had had with his next client, one Mr. Joel
"I am looking for an exorcist." Joel's voice echoes in his mind.
"If you have the coin then I am the man." Jazzmen told him "describe the symptoms.'
"My father's teeth fell out the other day, they grew back like fishing hooks, his skin has turned white, lips glow red like gemstones and his hear looks like seaweed…"
"has he been eating raw meats?"
"has he attacked anyone?"
"has he killed anyone?"
"sounds to me like a Galgthy or a Sovirgna. Lock him in a room with flowers over the doors and windows, then set up a sprinkler to spray at the windows and tie a chain with a gold ring on the door handle. I'll be there in less than five hours."
The voice over the phone became exsited "then you can save my father still?"
"no, your father is dead as shit, but maybe we can get his soul back."
'Demonic position' is a real thing. David knows that batter them most but the 'why' is the most important question. Maybe Demonic position isn't the best phrase, maybe just position would cover it. It's not just demons doing it after all. What position really is, is the byproduct of plane shifting. You see, in the worlds around this one there are wars that have been raging for lifetimes with no signs of slowing. That being what it is there are those that wish to escape.
When it comes to plane shifting the best way to do it is 'direct mater shift' this is how he got to this world. One step no stop, you and everything you are comes over all at once. Put the magic and technology to do this is reserved for the elitist, it is costly to say the least. Your next choice is 'one to one mater exchange' this starts with sending out what looks like a cross dimensional e-mail and waiting for a reply. Ideally you look for someone that is sick or fatally injured and offer to use whatever paranatural skills you may have to extend your client's life. Then as they die peace by peace you get placed into their body till there is more of you then there is of your client.
Lastly there is 'one over one ether trade.' In this you lay claim over another life form, you must wait for your client to die, to take full control but in the mean time you live in their dreams and after death you own their body, only your brain survives the transfer but that is the only part that matters.
Most of these plane-shifters are decent enough of people, they are refugees looking for asylum nothing more, and if they did their homework you would never know that they crossed over. They would blend in, disappear, not you nor I would ever know what happened. It's only when they fuck up and use their paranatural gifts around others that people ask questions.
That's most of the time any-way. Then there are the outliers. The kind Jazzmen really hates, lunatics with plane-shifting technology that would be called monster on any planet that they may land on. Those are the ones that make the most noise and give responsible demons a bad name.
If everyone did what they were told to do a town overrun by monster would look no different from the outside thin a little Italy or little china in New York. Instead you get bloodbaths and front page news, then someone like David or some other hunter has to show up to restore peace.
After a stop for gas and grabbing a surgery drink David is back on the road, in short order finding his way to his target. A two story prairie house with date fields on all sides of it, two halves of a truck parked in front of the house and one car and a tractor that look to be in working order. There is a middle-aged man dressed in denim overalls and a girl in her early teens with coveralls on and a short white tie shirt under it waiting on the front patio.
Jazzman steps off his bike and stretches momentarily before calling over "Mr. and Ms. Joel?"
The farmer smiles as he approaches holding out a hand in greeting "I am mister Joel. There is no Missis Joel." His English is fine but it is not hard to tell that it was not the language he grew up speaking. Jazzman's first feeling is that Joel might have been born on one of the Caribbean islands, but being an immigrant himself he isn't going to waste time asking. Anyone who is willing to; run, jump, climb, fight, or swim to find a new home has every right to call themselves whatever they want in his mind.
Jazzman point to the girl "so who is this over hear?"
"Amanda, she is a child I am taking care of." Joel is going to say more but David holds up a hand in protest, he doesn't need details on Joel's personal life.
Jazzman walks around the house with Joel looking at the foundation and searching for utility lines. Jazzmen nods approvingly "It's a nice house."
"Mr. Jazzman, can I get you food and drink?"
"no thank you."
"do you want to talk about payment for your services?"
"I do cash on the jobs completion, never before."
"you are a man of honor."
"Runs in the family." After a short stop for small talk they are back at the front of the house. "Did you hang a gold ring of the door to your fathers room like I had asked?"
"Yes and he became quite when I did."
"that is good." Jazzman ascends the steps to the front door. "Exorcisms can be loud and violent. I recommend you two wait outside till I get back. "
Jazzman doesn't say another word; he walks briskly into the tainted home. The interior if the house is rustic in nature, decorated with stuffed animals and broken farming tools, homemade art and modest furnishings. People like this can't afforded a privateer like him. But that is ok, Jazzman has no qualms with taking trophies from his pray as payment.
From the front door the dining room is on the right, the din straight ahead, forward and to the left there is a hall way, looking down it there are four doors, one is the child's room, the door is ajar and the organizational skills of a ten-year-old seeps through the door, piles of paper and craft supplies slip into the hall, the door right of that is Joel's room. There is a body mirror just inside the door with a jewelry box visible at the vanity in the darkened room and a make-up kit tucked under the table, Joel was either lying about being single or he lives a double life.
Next over is the master bedroom, it is conjoined with the bathroom. The door is closed and there is a chain on the door as well as a gold ring. A garden hoes Is stretched across the floor, it seems to have been feed in through the bathroom window.
Jazzman lifts the ring in one hand and studies it. It is a simple golden band; it is 14k gold according to the markings on the inner ring. Just good enough to do the job it is meant for. Every plain of existences has rules that can't be broken. men form Phage, Dis, and the realms closest there to can't touch gold without it making them ill, to them it acts radioactive, and filtered water is acidic, so if they know what is good for them they keep their distances. Joel trust David implicitly, that is good, it is going to make life easier. He sniffs the air, there are no flowers in the room. No big deal, so long as the monster is sitting still and the larger strokes are out of the way the small details don't mater.
Jazzman pulls on the ring braking it from the chain, He walks into the bedroom. The room is larger than the others but is in the same esthetic as the main rooms; wooden freestanding dresser, a deer head on the wall, a stuffed beaver on the nightstand and on the bed one demon.
The old man has growing younger, his eyes are phosphorusly burring filling the room with a sickly green light, his skin is earthly gray, lips swollen with black blood, his lags are fouled and he is grinning so widely that his cheeks are ripping showing off curved snapping-turtle like teeth.
Jazzman stomps one foot and protest in a comically childish way "Dammed it, I really wanted it to be a Sovergna. They make less noise when they die." The clown like monster sways in its set watching the preposterous performance "All right clown. There are two ways this can go down. You bungled this up and it is time for you to clock out, you can go home of your own free will or…"
The clown gets board of waiting and jumps to its feet, it howls shacking the walls in a way no human can. The beast thrust its arms down at its sides, it arcs its back threateningly. "Do you know who I am?" it ask gargling on the fresh fluids still flouting it its breast.
Jazzman puts his hand up ready to box with the monster "no, do you know who I am?"
The clown knobs "Devil, son of Dis is your name. Princes of the city of Bronze."
Jazzman knobs whispering to himself "yeah, that is about right."
The monster runs at Jazzman, it has no hand to hand tactical training, but it does have long teeth and claws, it's plan is to overwhelm it's pray off size alone. Jazzman on the other hand has decades of training to fall back on. Jazzman reaches one hand out to rest on the monster head as it charges to gauge its size and speed. Jazzman pivots to the outside and brings down his opposing hand on the back of its head to stun it. The hand that had gauged its trajectory transitions to its chin, the other to its crown, with a shifting of his weight Jazzman grabs the monster by the head and throws it across the room with its own momentum.
The monster rolls up to its feet and run in again arms outstretched. The beast pushes Jazzman into a wall, Jazzman hooks one arm across his chest and grips the monster by the wrist pinning its arms to his chest, Jazzman's other hand reach between the gap of their arms to palm strike against the monsters jaw, he then jabs its shoulder's tie in nerve to make it loose its grip, a slap to the underarm forces the monster to roll off to one side, Jazzman maintains his grip on the beast, as it rolls he pins the monsters arm into his-own arm pit and with a sharp pull up shatters its elbow and shoulder.
But the best hasn't had enough yet. The evil clown thrust its weight off to the side to push Jazzman away. The monster brings it's good arm around to pull Jazzmen into a grapple, it brings its head in to wrap its moth around Jazzman's head. Jazzman reaches around the monster's head sliding his fingers into its eyes, a sharp twist of the hips latter the monster is nearly folded in half over Jazzman's lag, a quick jap to the chest and the monster is dropped to the ground stunned.
Jazzman taunt's commandingly "Stand up!" So far Jazzman has been playing nice, he doesn't have to. As the monster finds its footing Jazzman transitions to a forward fighting stance. The monster is barley upright before Jazzman cross steps to the monster three o'clock delivering a back fist across its midsection to keep it off balance, Jazzman reverses his momentum delivering a forward elbow to make the monster fall backwards, he fallows with a corkscrew punch to the mandibular angle forcing the monster to sidestep bracing itself on the bathroom door. Jazzman thrust out with both hands in a twin cannon strike to the rips and hip-flexures.
Jazzman's assault would have easily crushed any human already, one dislocated jaw, broken shoulder, broken elbow, rib cage crushed. The beast brakes thought the door from the force of the last punch it rests its weight on the bathroom sink to regain Its baring's. Jazzman doesn't let up. Two hammer fist to the pectorals and the monster falls to its knees.
The monster is brutalized, at this point it seems if it could choose to leave this body it would. Jazzman pick the monster up and smashes it into the bathroom mirror, mostly for fun then with one foot flips the lid up on the stall. He pushes the monsters head into the toilet.
"this is your one and only chance. Return to your place of origin or another convent parallel diminution peacefully now or I send you there the hard way." The monster flails around in Jazzman's grip desperetly trying to pull away from the water. Jazzman grunts "Fine." He flips the monster upside-down by the lags pushing its head into the standing water, the monster hisses and bubbles for a time till at last bursting into flames. The head melts away completely.
Jazzman complains again dropping the body "you had to do it the hard way."
Whenever David has a job the one thing he never wants to deal with is talking to the families affected afterwards. It is easy when it is a monster boarded up in some long forgotten place now being excavated after 60 plus years and no one remembers who the monster once was. This is the worst though, a demon taking a human skin and staying in the same house as the children and grandchildren of the skin it now wares. There is always crying, long talks, apologies.
Joel is good and fair in the end, he had some idea what was going to happen from the get go. Joel can't pay Jazzman's fee, Jazzman knew he wouldn't, but he does fill up his gas tank, and give him so cheap Jewry. And that is all right, money is a perk. Not the resin for the work.
So then why does a man like David Jazzman do the things he does? David is the son of king Dis, that part everyone knows. Here is the part that not some many do, his mother was a high-ranking judge from the land of Zion, a country that Dis has been at war with for so many generations that no one is really keeping count any more, her name was Emmel.
Jazzman's parents had thought it best that he be raised in the Brass city, how they came to that conclusion he will never understand if there was one thing that everyone seemed to agree on about the city it is that 'it's good to be the king' to hell with everyone else. That was short lived. Dis had lots of sons and twice as many daughters, most of them with his slaves and hellhounds, but all of them with native bourns of his own kingdom. All but him.
Even that being as complicated as that is. Things were no better for his mother. Judges don't have kids, they don't have relationships, Judges are above the needs of flesh, above want, above hunger, desire, passion. Judges are mythical things of unbridled, unimaginable power, there will is absolute. His mother's pregnancy was a death warrant, her showing that she was as needing as any mortal was grounds enough to have her wings clipped and her tittle stripped of her. But the child is without sin and punishments could not be rot on the mother till the son was strong enough to live without her.
Jazzman has seen the evil of heaven, and the divine of hell, he has seen the fire of hate, and the hunger of war, and he has seen rage boil out of his home world into the ones around it. The City of Brass and Zion will fight each other till everyone is dead, and that is ok so long as the war ends with them. But when the people of this world start to see the aftermath of Heaven and Hell fighting then something needs to be done. That is what makes David Jazzman the man called Devil.
David arrives back home in Las Cruces well after midnight. From there it is still an hour's ride back to his antique shop, 'Devil's Antiques: Gifts, and Taxidermy' is the name over the door. It's a two story shop, full basement. The main floor is the antique shop, the basement is where he practices his taxidermy, up stairs is his apartment and a gymnasium he has set up for himself.
As David moves to the door he stop noticing the lights are on, he turns the handle on the door only slightly noticing it is unlocked, he turns his head left then right looking up and down the street. David has lived on this street for years, he knows everyone in town and the way they typically act, and just as importantly what they drive. Across the street, next to the art studio there is an early 40's Davison motorbike. No one in town has a classic bike like that, everyone David knows drives a modern bike like his.
Jazzman pulls out his shotgun and burst into the main room of his shop. Sitting at the clerks desk is a scruffy looking biker in full leather gear, feet up on the desk reading over one of the tomes he had in lockup. Jazzman point the shotgun down range at the biker "Sorry bub, it's after hours. You'll need to come back in the morning."
The biker turns the page of the book as he addresses David "you want to know what I find stunning? There is more about me in this book then anyone on my family knows about each other."
David walks froth threating "That book is written in Abithal. can you read it?"
The biker nods "Apparently so. One of my ancestors must have spoken it."
"that's not how hereditary memory works jack-ass"
The biker looks up "it is when you are the Belmond" Charlie picks up his chained flail showing it off to Jazzman.
Jazzman lowers his gun "that is some big time voodoo you have there."
"where im from the Belmond is kinda' a pop star. What brings you to my shop?"
"I understand my mother came by here forty something years ago looking for this vary book." Charlie holds up the book he is holding. "hopping it would help her find the missing pieces of our story. "you didn't have it yet." Charlie stand up tying the Souleater around his waist "but that is old news, Im here for something new today.
David chuckles "you have my attention. What do you want to talk about?"
"old fay story, it was one of the names of the gardener of Eden. what of it?"
"I am hunting him."
Jazzman whistles playfully "get out of my chair, I like that chair." He protests walking around the desk. "going after the biggest of the big fish are ya? May I ask why?" Charlie gets out of the chair and moves around to the other side.
The shop is packed tightly with goods from around the world, most of it with a hint of macabre on it. From the desk there are a hand full of paintings that can be seen Charlie is no appraser but he would think they all fall pre 1800: the first is a women chained to a burning tree with a dozen or so men standing back watching, next is a girl with a red horseman's cap cowering before a wolf hooked half around her body, finally a golden house with a broken sky overhead bleeding winged monster and a split earth spitting fire.
There are two statues that stand five or more feet tall in the corners; a woman with a serpentine lower body holding a cleaver in one hand and a screaming man's head in the other, the other is a rubric tower with a spinning base, it is wrapped in part with chain, there are human and semi-human shapes pushing out of the stone.
There are robs and rugs, weapons, and statuettes in abundance and book cases pooring over with more books then can easily be read, or even counted. Jazzman takes note of Belmond's distraction "If you like this you should see what is in the other room."
"no thanks, I have been downstairs already."
"last time loop."
"it's hard to explain." Charlie regains his focus looking to Jazzman "I really don't grasp it myself."
"so why are you hunting God with an uppercase 'G?'" Jazzman ask again "not that I don't think that sounds like one hell of a party."
"He has gone mad, he is systematically destroying the multi verses" Charlie expresses.
Jazzman flops down in his chair and thrust his head back laughing "you really are for real, aren't you? One question. How?"
"well that depends on which how you mean; if you mean how do we chase down a god, I can planeshift. If you mean how do we kill a god, they bleed just like you and I. gods are as far from demons as demons are from men. They are just slightly older and stronger of a race then us."
Jazzman cuts in "I know that much already, I have met three so called gods myself." Jazzman spins around in his chair a few times "what is the first step?"