By Ronald T. Jones
Six years ago I discovered that hell really exists and that demons are real. That was the day I stopped straddling the fence and became a full fledge atheist.
At the same time I found out that aliens are real. Aliens from outer space that is. You’re probably wondering how the two are connected. My name is Darren Skye. Let me give you a glimpse into my life and you’ll find out.
Another uneventful night. At least that’s what it started out as. I’d had this security gig for two months. Nightshift, eleven pm to seven am. I was posted at a residential site, an apartment complex in a rough area of town. It was the type of area the undead wouldn’t have been caught…well…dead in, if they could help it.
Contact reported volatile readings emanating from the building…readings consistent with a high concentration of paranormal flux.
Traces of sulfur in the readings left no doubt that a gateway to Hell existed somewhere in the building.
Where there was a gateway, a demon was bound to be present, whether entering or exiting. If demons were only entering a Hell portal, I would have been satisfied to leave the thing alone. After all, they were going to Hell. Literally. Their home. But demons exiting a portal to walk the Earth, mingle with unsuspecting humans was no good. Demons tended to do more than mingle. They enjoyed indulging appetites that included killing unsuspecting humans in the most horrible ways possible.
I’d settled into my shift after signing in and beginning a daily report. The guest log-in computer was functioning well, as was the CCTV monitor. Six digital displays on the monitor showed coverage on all sides of the property. A brief perusal of the monitor revealed no signs of demon activity. What else was new?
I reached into my black duffel bag, which I kept at the desk and pulled out a scanner. It was a dark blue unremarkable looking device, shaped like a computer mouse, but slightly smaller. I pressed a tab at the bottom of the device and set it in a corner of the desk away from curious eyes. The scanner sent tracking signals throughout the building, searching for portals.
You see those hell readings vanished shortly before I began working at the complex. I kept the scanner active every night for the duration of my eight-hour shift.
I decided to call Contact in the morning and have him pull me off this assignment. With no Hell readings in two months, chances were the portal had vanished, its usefulness expended. Frankly, I thought that my time would be more productively spent elsewhere.
Damn, it was hard for me to stay awake at night. No matter how much sleep I managed during the day, drowsiness inevitably fell over me like a comfortable blanket.
My eyes were half closed when a tenant entered the building at two twenty. He was a tall distinguished looking gent probably in his early fifties with a salt and pepper goatee. Immaculately groomed, he wore a well-tailored dark gray suit with polished black shoes. A flashy watch blinged on one wrist, a gold bracelet on the other. We exchanged nods as he strode past my desk to the elevator bank.
“Good evening, sir,” I greeted with an ebullient customer-service smile.
He smiled in turn. “Good evening to you.”
Since he wasn’t a long legged beauty in a tight skirt, I didn’t give the guy a second glance. That is until my scanner whirred softly. I sat up straight, unsure at first that what I was hearing actually came from the scanner. I’d become long accustomed to its silence.
I picked up the device, felt its tingling vibration in the palm of my hand and set it back down. Adrenaline spiked through me and suddenly I was fully awake. The scanner detected something. I tapped the scanner, and its upper half peeled away in strips, revealing a display screen. The words
Sulfur Detected. Fifteen Yards.
scrolled horizontally across the screen.
Fifteen yards. I looked up. The elevator bank was approximately that distance from my desk. The gray suited tenant just entered an elevator. When the doors closed, I pulled a blaster and a wickedly lethal eight-inch blade called a Shiva out of my bag.
I wasn’t allowed to leave my post. Doing so was grounds for disciplinary action. I slipped my knife in a torso sheath concealed beneath my blazer, grabbed the scanner and headed for the elevators. After tonight, I wasn’t expecting to come back to this place.
I stepped into an elevator and rode up to the 6th floor. The scanner’s vibration intensified. Cautiously, I exited the elevator. An arrow on the scanner’s display pointed the way, guiding me toward possible confrontation with Evil. My heart pounded louder than a chorus of drums. I advanced down the corridor gripped in the throes of feverish anticipation. I was less nervous than I should’ve been, certainly less so than on my first outing as a demon slayer. A hundred missions into this career gave me enough confidence to override the worst of my fears. When you have the right training and the proper tools, any opponent can be faced.
I slowed when the arrow light blinked, signaling that I had reached my objective. I stopped in front of an apartment door with the number 667 on it. Acting on a hunch, I backtracked toward the previous door I passed and saw the number 665. There was no apartment 666.
The sulfur reading emanated powerfully from 667.
I suppose if I was a demon and I couldn’t find a pad under the three sixes, the closest number would have to do.
I reached into my blazer’s inside pocket and took out a Dollar charge. It was actually a neutronium explosive. I called it a Dollar charge because it was roughly the size and shape of a silver dollar. Small as they were Dollars packed a hell of a punch. I kept at least five on me at all times, on duty and off.
The scanner’s display elevated from a blinking arrow to a crimson alert screen. The words Portal Event filled the screen in ominous bold lettering. A gateway just opened up in 667. Either our well-dressed demon was going home, or his friends were arriving for a visit.
No time to deliberate. I activated the Dollar’s adhesion function and slapped it on the door. I crouched, half turned and waited. Within three seconds a fiery detonation obliterated the door. I burst through the shattered doorway, my blaster raised.
A glowing blue iris occupied the apartment’s living room. The beauty of the phenomenon never failed to captivate me. That’s what a Hell portal was meant to do, captivate, entice, seduce; give the impression that what existed on the other side was not so bad.
Five demons occupied the room, including the gray suited tenant. Gray Suit had revealed his true colors so to speak. He no longer appeared human. He whirled, glaring at me with typically demon features: Illumined, beady little red eyes set deep into a leathery gray serpent like face. Moist, throbbing nostrils formed vertical, parallel lines just below the forehead. Rows of razor sharp teeth filled a wide lipless mouth. Thumb size horns covered his head like cornrow braids.
Gray Suit’s companions wore no clothes. They possessed the leanly muscled bodies of distance runners. Other than clawed hands and feet, their physiques didn’t differ that much from humans. They weren’t particularly big, but they were frightfully strong…strong enough to rip a head off.
The naked demons lunged at me.
I fired off a series of blaster bolts.
Two demons tumbled to the floor with sizzling holes in their bodies. The third one cut left, avoiding a spear of plasmic energy. The forth demon dove beneath my shot, managing to barrel into me.
I should also mention that demons are incredibly fast.
The demon’s impact reverberated through my body as if I’d been hit by a bull. Despite bruising pain, I kept my composure and focus, allowing the demon’s momentum to carry me until we both crashed to the floor. Hot Demon breath washed across my face like a forge’s breeze. Demon teeth snapped inches from my neck, threatening to tear out a chunk of flesh. I still had my weapon. Drawing strength from desperation, I struggled to keep those teeth at bay with a forearm beneath my opponent’s chin. I jammed my blaster’s muzzle into the side of the demon’s head and pressed the trigger. A muffled blast blew away most of that head.
I shoved the demon’s body off me, and tried to target the third one. The demon swiftly came within arms reach, swatted the blaster out of my hand and grabbed my throat. I whipped out my Shiva and plunged it into the demon’s gut, stabbing repeatedly with piston rapid strokes.
The demon’s grip loosened enough for me to wrench away. Howling in pain, the hell spawn stumbled backwards, brownish ichor oozing out of multiple stab wounds.
I retrieved my blaster and delivered a single coup de gras shot to the demon’s chest, killing him instantly. I turned on Gray Suit without hesitation and fired.
Gray Suit ducked and my blaster bolt lanced into the kitchen, exploding against a wall.
The demon tossed something at me…some kind of disk.
I dove out of its path. A deafening pop clap, assailed my eardrums, followed by a scalding release of pressure that swept me clear across the apartment. I hit the floor hard, but maintained my bearings. Through a filmy haze, I spotted Gray Suit dashing for the portal. I lifted my blaster, pumping bolt after bolt at the fleeing creature, but it was too late. The demon leapt into the iris.
I hopped to my feet, firing into the gateway until it shrunk to a shimmer and vanished.
“Dammit!” I kicked part of a mutilated sofa in frustration. Killing a thousand demons never constituted a successful operation in my book, if just one got away. I didn’t waste time agonizing. Quickly, I ran out of the apartment, deciding to take the stairwell instead of an elevator. My next task on the agenda was to have Contact send a team to detox this location. That meant saturating the building with Hawking radiation to inhibit the formation of portals. After all, Hell portals were nothing more than artificial wormholes. When that task was done, I planned to file a mission report and await my next assignment.
My scanner doubled as a communicator. I sent a transmission to Contact.
It was a half hour drive from the complex to my apartment. That bit of quiet time allowed me to decompress from the strains and exertions of recent combat. Five minutes from home, Contact replied to my message, warning me to stay away from my building. My location had been compromised. So much for leisurely time at home.
I lived in a high-rise, situated on the corner of a main street. I parked my car a block away, crossed the street and took up position at a bus stop. From there, I observed my building’s entrance through a pair of hi res binoculars. Dishearteningly, Contact was right. Two behemoths, painfully conspicuous in dark suits, dark glasses and crew cuts stood at the entrance. More Crew Cuts undoubtedly were in my apartment, rummaging through my things.
Had I ventured into their net, I would’ve been snared and whisked off to some undisclosed site for interrogation. I’m considered an HVT (High Value Target). Not so much because I’m good at what I do, but because I’m Contact’s top operative and as a result must be privy to all the former’s secrets.
Those ‘men’ weren’t humans. Neither were they demons. They were members of Contact’s species; aliens who called themselves Vrondak. They came from another part of the galaxy.
The Vrondak recruited me six years ago to be part of a demon fighting army. My military background and weapons expertise made me a qualified candidate in their eyes. The Vrondak planned to invade Hell and wipe out every demon. They revealed that Hell was not this broiling place of fire and brimstone where the wicked were sent to suffer for all eternity. It was instead a separate dimension inhabited by malignant lifeforms that were not spiritual but very much corporeal.
What the Vrondak failed to divulge was that they had Earth in their sights as well. Their intent was to conquer Earth and enslave humanity. I found this out from Contact, a dissident Vrondak who opposed his people’s wars of aggression against other species…so he claimed. I never entirely trusted him. He might have a hidden agenda.
Anyway, Contact led a network of dissidents whose goal it was to arm humans to resist their warlike brethren.
I was among Contact’s first batch of recruits. His network equipped me and a thousand other humans with Vrondak weapons and other nifty gadgetry. After undergoing intensive training, Contact put us on standby.
The Vrondak were presently engaged in a conflict elsewhere in the galaxy. According to Contact, his people weren’t ready to move against Earth, yet.
Sitting around waiting for an alien invasion grew tiresome fast. I had kick-ass alien weapons in my possession and I was itching to use them. So I approached Contact and told him I wanted to kill demons. He met my suggestion with some reservation, before giving it his full support.
It only made sense. We hunt demons, put a few notches on our belts and when the Vrondak do invade, a well-armed and blooded resistance will be on hand to turn back their tide.
Now to answer the question that’s hanging over this tale like an 800-pound gorilla. What about Heaven?
Well, yes, the Vrondak did confirm Heaven’s existence. Initially that was encouraging news. We’d have allies.
The problem is, the beings that rule Heaven haven’t been involved in human affairs for thousands of years. They’ve isolated themselves, becoming apathetic to human needs, allowing suffering to fester and demons to run amok, terrorizing humans.
Will the Vrondak invade Heaven as they plan to invade Hell? I don’t know. I almost hope they do. Maybe that’ll move Heaven to action. Maybe not. Either way, war on a scale unimaginable is coming to Earth. For those of us who work for Contact, we’ll be facing two opponents: hostile aliens and murderous demons. The thought made me hunger for enemy blood.
I could have snuck up on those sentries in the doorway and blasted them. But that would have been totally pointless.
Casually, I walked back to my car, got in and drove away. It was time to find another place to live.
Aliens and Demons © Ronald Jones 2013, All Rights Reserved
Artwork: Caelestis Porta by ~Aurlai