26 Red Twilight Worldwalkers chapter 26
Dead or Alive
"Jesus Christ Mosses!" Snake sucker punches the dwarf standing before him "How did you find this place? Were you playing darts with Satin? Did you call the psychic hotline?"
Mosses spits to recover from the punch then laghs as the silk clade thief standing before him "What's the matter? Santa Panocha look like Santa vaca?"
The rogue with flame tattoos looks back at the Lamia's Back and nods "yeah, mosses, it kinda' did."
Charlie looks around trying to understand where he is and what is going on, he is standing outside the biker bar called the Lamia's back in south east Nebraska, it is September 10th, this is the day after his first encounter with the Cravixs. Charlie looks around at the people standing around him as they are gathered in the front parking lot; Snake and Larry Geeks, El Driver, Lacerti, Mohamed Quin, Lucca Wingate, Lances and Ashly Jacob.
Larry, Snake's younger brother, looks at Charlie "told you there was no back door."
Charlie repeating his script form the last time he was here instinctual points over his shoulder "Im going to walk around an look."
Lances, now dressed in a par of tan slacks and a polo shirt as he had not yet rejoined the knights of Jesuit grabs Charlie and whispers "you know dam good-and-well what happens when you walk around that building don't you?"
Snake yells over from his convertible "Father! Your car is broken down, right? Larry and I can take you as far as Gramm."
Charlie whispers with Lances "Yeah, I remember. Sounds like you do to."
Lances nods with a whimper of fear crackling in his voice "I remember a lot more then I would like to. Charlie, what are we supposed to do?"
Quin calls over as he turns on his bike, Lucca standing alongside him "Pistol, it's a long way to the next truck stop."
Charlie lowers his head thinking "the bike show." He calls over to his fellow bikers "Spooky, Trash fallow 71 to 18 I'll catch up with you at Rapid City." Charlie looks back at Lances "Lances, take Ashley, go with Snake to the Church of Jesuit, Find Lizzet, and get ready, the end of the world is coming."
Quin holds out his arms in a shrug "What are you going to do!" he yells over his motorcycle to Charlie.
Charlie calls back "I need to take one more look around. We still don't know what happened to those guys we met in Springfield Missouri" Quin nods and gets on his bike, Lucca climbing on with him.
Lances grabs Charlie and hugs him forcibly "Good luck Charlie."
Ashly takes off Charlies coat, which he had given to her the night before, and hands it back to him "thank you Charlie."
Lances and Ashley leave with Snake and Larry, Quin and Lucca drive off into the sunrise and El and Lacerti vanish into a 18-wheeler leaving Charlie standing alone in the sandy parking lot waving them all on with in enigmatic smile.
Charlie walks around to the back of the bar looking down into the graveyard of burnt cars hidden behind it. He doesn't jump in this time, instead he speaks into the wreckage "Xzoner, I know you are out there. And I don't know what you know, how much of what I saw you did. But. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to try to do what I thought I was meant to do. I will just let you get back to doing whatever it is a cosmic horror does in their free time" he holds up his hands in confusion and walks back to his bike.
Charlie opens the saddle bag of his bike and pulls out his cd player, he opens the lid on it to remember what he was playing on it last "Ecliptica." He whispers. He equips his headphones and starts the disc again starting to sing along
"the war is me,
Can I win this war?
Can I stand the darkness again?
Please don't start to cry.
May you never know,
the horror is see
When I close my eye.
The war is now
Still You will never know
What I have done."
Physical and mental exhaustion brings Charlie to his knees first then moments latter onto his side curled in a ball crying holding the CD player for protection. Only know does it dawn on him how much pain he has fought past. He has slayed a giant, killed two angels, a horrid of zombies, cyborgs and has been physical controlled by at least 2 elder gods and that has lefts it mark.
Charlie can remember all these things but he can no longer remember where is wife lives, what his sons name is, where he worked. All the good memories he had sown into his coat are now just half remembered dreams. At this point it doesn't matter what happens, he will never go home. He can't. He has become the Belmond completely and totally.
The only life he can hope to have is the same life his ancestors had. On of lurking in darkness, hunting monster. Lances is dammed in the same way. It seems that to those touched by darkness there is only one road to fallow.
As Charlie lays killed over on the sand in army of cop cars pull up. In a mostly drunken haze Charlie is dragged away taken to a hospital and then into police custody for interrogation. Charlie has nothing to say, nothing that the police would understand anyway.
A slim Asian man in a white turtle neck with deeply recessed eyes and ratty black hair, a chain around his neck with a crystal the letter 'N' cut into the gemstone watches the doctors care for Charlie, a clipboard in hand. His other hand reaches for his pack pocket and withdraws a candy cane.
Another man slips in alongside him Asian carrying an attaché dressed in a lighting blue suit "N." he announces his presences "official NATO business I assume?"
"No, mister Geovanni, not NATO business this time." N offers Geovanni his candy cane, Geovanni turns it down "look at that man and tell me who you think he is."
"Surly you looked at the police record already?" Fox Geovanni looks to his friend
"I have, humor me."
Geovanni shrugs "looks like the Frankenstein monster with all those scars."
"when he was brought in he was carrying with him chained flail, a hunting knife and a set of throwing spades. According to his DL. He is a resident of Grand County Mississippi. He has a boiler license, he is a class M motorist, he is a card holding member of the Patriot Riders, according to his criminal record he has 2 equipment violations on his record and a D&R from 15 years ago. Does this man sound like a cultist to you?"
Fox shrugs "you never know, to me that sounds like a high school teacher with a hobby. Why?"
"he was picked up as the only survivor of what the media is calling a murder cult. There isn't enough to hold him. I would be hard pressed to believe that his man drove 20 hours to a pagan sacrifice then let himself be brought in so quietly."
Fox opens the case he is holding and passes off a folder "I have a new job for you. Another one of the Letters variety. This one come from US senator Laurence P Walker. Same sort of cure all being developed by Claw Co international."
David Jazzman walk up to the door of his shop after a hunt and looks around every day exspacting to see that revamped WWII hog that Charlie was riding to be sitting outside. Ever night David is disappointed.
But today there is a car he wasn't expecting. A black SUV. David pulls out his shotgun as he unlocks the door. He opens it up and slides in. Milli grabs the gun from alongside the door and leans in to David to plead with him "do me a favor David, for old time sake. Don't fight me."
Joe Dove flicks on the light as he is sitting in David's chare at the desk of the antique shop. Joe leans in resting on his elbows with a monsters grin and the voice of a salesmen "David Jazzman, The man called Devil, Do I have an offer for you."
For months after release Charlie jumps on his bike and rides aimlessly into the night, he is pulled by Souleater to hunt monsters. His warlock power grows with each hunt. One night Souleater sends him to a bar called Cabooze in south Minnesota. He has his eye on a Wereraven. Charlie waits and watches, till the monster shows its fangs he isn't justified in killing it.
A white haired man in a trenching coat with a cat shaped patch on it and a nametag that reads 'Karingson' strikes up conversation as he is waiting "you look like a man with something on his mind. What are you looking for?"
"some stupid kid throwing rocks outside a church."
Marks nods in understanding "then you are looking to start a war. Maybe I can help you with that."
Charlie is intrigued "what's on your mind stranger?"
Marks places his hands-on Charlies shoulders from behind and whisper "I know Sa-la-da-NamO."
Cravixs awakens from his slumber, his power fully restocked. The God of Hunger makes his way to earth to deliver his dark ultimatum. Demonstrating one of his most horrifying talents. He appears before all the people of earth independently to relay his message in a clear and unmistakable way. No matter who no matter where everyone sees Cravixs, and everyone understands him.
"I am not Lous-dayO, I do not need to speak through moldy books, riddles and parables, vague dubious feelings, metaphors. Your god of the sun is a coward. He hides from you in your hour of need. I do no such thing. Know me and know that I am the Lord your one true God. I am Cravixs. You and all others on this world can see me and hear me and know that I am flesh and blood. Every child born today and ever-after will have my voice burned into their mind and my name covered into their breast. They to shall know that I am the lord and that I am good."
"at the turn of the next decade you will be ask to make a chose. I will come to this earth and you may choose to embraces me with open arm and fall silently into the dream I will dream for you. Or you my chose to raise your arms and challenge my might. You will then be drowned in my nightmares. Gather your alpha most hero's and be prepared to except me."
"A sickness has taken root on this world as a demonstration of my coming. You, the men of this world cry of your supremacy. You believe you are mighty. My sickness will take the greatest of you and the smallest of you and they shall become beast. They will howl at the moon and offer me praise. They will grow horns, tails, fur, sometime they will walk on all fours and eat raw meat."
"there are some that will not welcome me into their homes. They will be punished. This will be absolute. give praise. Kneel to Cravixs."
It has been seven years since Lucca first saw the Darkness with her own eyes, and six since you met Tail Vixon and Sa-la-day-namO. She walks out onto stage dressed in a black leather cloak addorneed with witch emblems. Ashley Jacob, whom now goes by the name Alice, fallows only a step behind with her rhythm guitar, Charisma Deago takes to the drums. On bass Sa-la-day-namO, under the sage name of Mac comes up last with his eyes burning gold. Tail is at the control booth.
Stage lights fire up, the concert hall is packed tightly with fans chanting in preparation it hear 'The Avatar Awakened' playing live. A battle chant is the best term to describe the howl of the crowed.
"Oh, Ee, hoe, yho ho, ho!"
The crowed repeats. Lucca holds up one hand throwing a punch in the air shouting.
"Oye, Oye, Oye, Oye!"
The drums start in, the rhythm is a march. The guitar comes in with a power metal melody. Lucca starts in with the first verse of the title track for the last album.
"from the land of drifting snow,
A ship had set sail.
Fighting past the deadly storms,
Asgard strides atop our shores."
"Knights from Valhalla are at the door."
"bloodshed set our souls ablaze.
There is no time for fear,
No place to retreat."
"fallow the wolves."
"Oh, Ee, hoe, yho ho, ho!"
"as twilight turns to night,
Be the first to join the fight.
Sword in hand,
Blood and sand.
King of the dammed,
We will take a stand."
"here the moon call."
"Oh, Ee, hoe, yho ho, ho!"
… the set last just under two hours, the crowed worked into a rage, intentionally. In a world overrun by shadow governments, and monster fight hunters in broad daylight 'The Avatar Awakened' sends up a battle call. They deliver a message to the people that look for it; war is coming, we are not alone, trust in wolves, hunters and above all each other.