|Did someone order a rogue demon banishment with extra awesome sauce!?|
Chapter 1—The Night that Covers
Del smashed her boot heel against the door with all her Nephilim strength. The frame buckled inwards, and the door tore free of the hinges. It flew into the room, striking sparks as it skidded across the floor and drove itself into a concrete column. A large chunk of masonry broke free and fell with a ka-thump on top of the door.
“Breach!” Del rushed through the open doorway. “Go, go, go!”
Del’s team followed right behind her. Misha, a half-angel Nephilim like Del, was only a half-step back. Del went left and cleared her corner, and Misha veered right to do the same. Ahadiel’s newest recruit was a quick learner. Del missed the certainty of Marrin at her back, but Misha was fast becoming a close second.
The rest of Del’s team—tall, stocky Dokkalfar and the equally tall but thin and wiry Ljosalfar—swept through the door after them. The dark elves and light elves moved fast and crossed the ‘fatal funnel’ in moments. Demons weren’t known for using firearms, but their human servants were quite partial, if generally untrained. Those servants could be as dangerous to themselves as anyone else. Del snugged her H&K assault rifle against her shoulder and scanned it down her side of the room. Misha was clearing the opposite half. For the first time in six months, Del didn’t feel the tickle of fear that her back was turned to a room of potential bad guys. She was tense, but not with the worry that someone would forget their job or fail a critical check.
Her team knew what to do.
She trusted them with their jobs.
“Mortals!” a deep, resonant, and particularly scary voice said from the darkness inside room.
Del’s skin prickled at the sound, but she refrained from turning toward the speaker.
The last two team members, big and heavy Dokkalfar carrying Kel-Tec combat shotguns, immediately opened fire into the rogue demon. Solid slugs, with cold-forged iron cores, slammed into his chest. The rogue’s roar filled the room and vibrated through Del’s center. It felt like the first big hill of a roller-coaster, when the sensation of falling to your death felt very real.
Del swept her rifle barrel across the blank wall until she targeted the rogue. He was a giant of a man. Taller than any member of her team and with the mass to match it. He topped Del and Misha by head, shoulders, and chest. He looked like a stereotypical barbarian-slash-bodybuilder from the 1980s—the kind they oiled up, slapped on fur-trimmed underwear, and rolled film.
Except now he had two gaping holes in his chest.
Lines of clear fluid, with bits of matter, leaked down the rogue’s ruined shirt. The scent of rotten flowers filled the air.
“You will pay for this insult.” The rogue’s roar surrounded them.
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