Feb 19, 2018

Chapter Twelve - Afterdeath

She was not herself anymore.

The body she once owned, it was gone. She drifted through time, space, and matter itself with the aimlessness of a wandering feather taken by the winds. There were things she needed to remember and things she needed to do, but she had no form and no substance.

She was nothing.

Floating, floating on the currents of an endless light, in search of nothing. There was no beginning or end to all this. And somewhere in the void, a voice called out her name.

She knew the voice. She knew what it wanted. There was an urgency to the voice. A need that she could not ignore. She watched as timstreams slipped by her and focused on the voice. She had to get to the voice.

Detritus of time floated by her as she grabbed on to what she could and formed herself anew. The scrap and junk that was washed out of the time stream stuck to her and slowly her new form came to be.

And with the new form, she gained a new power.

A slow trickling of her will into her new ragtag body that gave her even more motivation to seek out the voice. In the darkness of her mind, the voice called out a single word on repeat.

“Mother, Mother, Mother…”

In a rush of energy and power, she was there. Back where it had all begun. She saw herself walking towards the door to answer the knock and she knew she had to be fast. She turned away and walked into the bedroom where Jorah and her husband were sleeping. She bent over Jorah. Her beautiful son. Sleeping so peacefully. He had no idea of the war that was about to come and the role he was going to play in it. She had to separate him from this place so that he could come back here once she’d trained him. Right to this moment of time. She looked behind her and saw her own form rushing to crash into her.

Sybil willed Jorah with her and vanished into a cloud of black energy. What she left behind her was just a facsimile of sleeping Jorah while she cradled her son right next to her in her arms as she moved through timestreams once again to look for a safe place...for where there is one time stop, there has got to be another.

She will raise him as a warrior, as someone who will face the thirteen when the right time came and he might even save her in the process. Jorah stirred in his sleep and she shushed him calmly. There was going to be a new day for the boy.

A new life. A new purpose. He was going to be the key. The thirteen were right in many aspects. They were right because they feared the boy.

And they were right to do so.

She was going to make sure of that.

----

And thank you very much. This should be it. 

Anyone confused can look for clues here.

Open to answering any questions anyone might have. Ask away CRD ;)

Feb 14, 2018

Chapter Eleven - In The Belly Of The Beast

There was no joy in using a sword that was not her own.

But she could not give up that easily. She had to put up a fight. Life, for her, didn’t need to last the night, only the coming few hours and she might just get out of the time loop without too much damage.

The words spoken by Lucifer still swam in her ears. What he’d told her to do was so insane it was borderline genius. The things that had happened so far slowly started to make sense to her. Pieces that seemed disjoined fell into place once she changed her point of view of looking at it all. She just needed distance from the time loop, and her father’s talk had given her just that.

Still, she had to get through The Thirteen who had probably decided what to throw at her next. The Nephilim didn’t return. Except, in its place, a globe of darkness descended towards Sybil.

She raised her blade to meet it and quelled the rising terror in her heart at what she was about to attempt. Tendrils of smoke and darkness erupted from the globe as it rushed at Sybil. She sliced and chopped at the oncoming darkness, leaving shreds of black floating in the air but the dark tentacles kept on coming for her.

The sword seemed to glow hotter in her hands as she gripped it tighter.

The tentacles of darkness enveloped her as she sliced, chopped and stabbed the black appendages but she could not make any progress. The more tentacles she cut, others appeared in their place.

In the distance, she heard Jorah scream for her. But he was far away, and there was little he could do to save her. He had shown his fighting mettle this night, but try as he might, he was no match for the dark creature that was not even interested in him.

The tentacles enveloped her body. Gripping her sword arm in a tight and away from her body. Her bones popped under the pressure that was applied to her by the darkness.

Sybil felt her body float up from the ground and rise towards the light of the platform that made up The Thirteen. Life drained from her as she struggled to draw breath.

Black spots swam in front of her eyes and through the growing fog of unconsciousness, she remembered what she had to do. Her teeth closed around the tip of her tongue, and she bit as hard as she could. Blood spurted from her lips, and she spat a chunk of her tongue into the darkness that surrounded her.

The piece of flesh started to sputter and burn. It expanded as it fed on the darkness and burst into flames as a small black hole opened up around Sybil. She remembered to take a deep breath as the black hole sucked in the darkness, leaving her lying on the cold platform and the combined form of The Thirteen staring back at her. She wiped the blood from her mouth and stood up. The sword had fallen from her hand over the platform into the darkness of the night below her. Above her, the time loop’s surface burned with colors of the night. Blues, purples, greens, and reds fought with each other to gain dominance. Like watching the inside of a bubble about to burst.

“Let’s get this over with,” she managed to speak.

The behemoth of a figure didn’t say anything. It just stared back at her like she was an insect not worth bothering with.
“If you’re going to kill me, now is the time. If I get my hands on a weapon, I will not leave you alive to regret your decision.”

The force of The Thirteen slammed her back into the ground. The combined anger and hate pressed into her and her ribs cracked under pressure, piercing her heart and slamming into her spine. She coughed blood from her mouth and suddenly taking even a single breath was impossible.

Sybil’s body ravaged under the onslaught of the force that pressed into her with the weight of a planet behind it. She tried to take another breath, realized she could not.
This was the end.

She closed her eyes and smiled. In the end, she had won.

--


Major props to CRD for reading. Cheers, man!

Feb 12, 2018

Chapter Ten - Daddy's Lil' Demon

Need to read from the beginning? Click here for Chapter ZERO.
-----------
Sybil had not seen him in all the years since she'd left that place and even today he struck a strange obeisance in her heart that she wanted to fall to her knees at once. An impulse forged by years of training kept her knees above the ground and she stood facing the man who'd made her into what she was.

"I need your help, father."

Lucifer smiled at her and it curdled her blood. "Of course you do, my darling. It's been so many years and you chose to call upon me now? In your time of need?"

"It's about blood. Your blood. And The Thirteen have dared to defy it."

"Now, now, are you trying to emotionally blackmail your old man? Talking of blood? What about all the years that I missed your company? The joy I missed of watching my seed flourish?"

"You will no longer have a flourishing seed if I don't make it out of this time loop tonight. There are greater forces in motion and the fate of the world might be in danger."

Satan sighed. "Understand this, sweetheart. The fate of the world is always in danger. But what matters is what you can do in the here and now. So, tell me what do you have to offer in return for my help?"

Sybil's eyes narrowed. "Are you trying to bargain with your named daughter?"

"What else did you expect when you called Hell's ruler to this devil forsaken place? A time loop, of all things? I should take you back just to teach you a lesson for this kind of transgression on my time."

"Father, I don't want to lose my son. I need your help."

Lucifer laughed. A sound that shriveled the grass at his feet. "Oh, I'd help you. I'd love to do that. But can you help me too?"

"You want another year, don't you? I agree if that's the case."

"A year in my company. In hell and without the company of your usual retinue. Is it agreed?"

Sybil said nothing. It was too much. But she didn’t see any other way out without Morningstar’s help.

"I agree. Now tell me how to get out of this jam."

A smug expression shrouded Lucifer's face. "Now listen closely my dearest, for I will tell this only once and after that, once you've decoded my meaning, you will be on your own. This is your fight and even though every denizen of hell would be watching, we don't want to spoon feed your victories to you. Earn them."

And so he told her. He sat down and spoke of angels, a story that was more song than was words. Who knew the ruler of Hell could be so poetic. Lucifer pulled an ancient desire, a tune, a song, a memory from the recesses of his mind corrupted by years of loneliness. He spoke, he whispered, and he sang.

Once he was done, tears were streaming down Sybil's eyes.

For the first time this night, she knew what she had to do.

---
I hope everyone is liking it so far. 

Feb 10, 2018

Chapter Nine - The Hell Gate

There are a few things as beautiful and as insane as fire. Fire has no master. It serves no one. It goes where it wants to, where it finds fuel, where it finds something, anything that would sustain it for as long as possible. The gate of hell was open in the time loop and hell poured forth inside that domain.

Sybil finally felt at home.

A force rushed out of the hell gate. Impossible heat, bathing her through and through. For a few moments, Sybil was a dark silhouette in the red light that poured out of the gate to hell that she had opened. A pressure filled the area and the Nephilim screeched in terror as it glimpsed upon the horrors that lay beyond the hole to hell.

“What the fuck have you done, you stupid fucking bitch?!”

“I told your masters, all hell will follow me. And now, it’s here.”

“Close it! Close the gate! You have no idea the kind of forces you are fucking with here!”

“I know exactly the kind of forces I am fucking with here. The gate will stay open till you tell them to fuck off from here. I want to be back in my bed and I don’t want to remember any of this.”

The Nephilim grinned. He raised his arm and power gathered around his upraised fist. Sybil stared at him. “Really? Don’t you know what I’ve done here? You think your puny antics can now hurt me?”

“Who said anything about hurting you?”

The Nephilim turned and the bolt of light shot towards her house where Jorah was still standing, trying to figure out how his mother had separated his sword into two useless pieces with just a twist and a pull. He looked up to see the bolt fill his frame of vision.

Time slowed down as figures rushed from the hell gate and crowded around Jorah. Claws, armored skin, stinking fetid breaths, a smell of brimstone and charred flesh filled the air. The bolt struck true and the once the smoke cleared. Jorah was still standing there, surrounded by demons of all shapes and sizes. They seemed to move and shift out of focus if you looked at any of them for too long. One of the demons took the blade and the pommel from Jorah’s hands.

“Your mother needs a blade, kiddo.” It grinned at Jorah, displaying sharp canines that criss-crossed its mouth and made it slur its words.

It grabbed the pieces of the sword and put them together. With a tiny pinging sound, the sword was whole again.

“How did you do that!” Jorah yelled at the demon. The demon simply bowed and said, “Touched by hell.”

It tossed the blade towards Sybil who had not moved from her place near the hell gate that had opened in the ground. She waited for the one whose arrival will decide if she will live through the night or not.

The Nephilim still floated in the air, a cross expression writ on his face. “Go, and tell your masters that this house is under hell’s protection,” she lied. “Tell them to take off the time loop and return things to as they were.”

“As if,” the Nephilim snorted.

“Go. Before I lose my patience with you.”

As the Nephilim slowly floated away, up towards the circle of thirteen. Sybil braced herself for the sound that was coming from the hell gate. She knew she’d be safe, but it had been years since she’d last seen him and opening the hell gate in a time loop was sure to invite his rage. This was her last option and she knew that sooner or later she’d have to pay the price for it.

The sound coming from the hell hole slowly increased in its pitch. Sybil held her breath, trying to stop the hammering of her heart in her chest. The world swam out of focus as a cloud of steam and fire gushed out of the hell gate. A tongue of flame shot out, high as a tower, almost reaching the periphery of the sky and as soon as it rose, it was gone.

In its place stood a man who was once an angel. He wore a curious expression on his face as he sniffed the air. His hair stood out in a tangled mess of blonde curls on his head and his face still had an angelic look except for the scars he had picked along the way. He wore a coat of white and gold, immaculate and pristine. A smile played along on his face like a scared rabbit running in a minefield.

He turned and looked straight at Sybil.

“Hello, dearest,” said Lucifer Morningstar, lord of hell, prince of lies, and fallen angel, lightbringer, satan. But for Sybil, he was just daddy.

Feb 8, 2018

Chapter 8 - Odd Connections

In an ancient book’s torn pages, a line at the bottom of a page simply reads - time is a stream. You can build a dam on a stream, but the water finds a way...sooner or later. But sometimes, you can trap a small pool of time while the stream around it keeps flowing.

Sybil was feeling like a fish in the water right now. A fish in a stagnated and stinking pool of water. And it was getting difficult to breathe. She turned around and ran towards her house. The door swung open even before she could touch the handle. Her husband stood there with a sleepy look on his face. He took one look at Sybil. Then he saw the sword in her hand. His mouth opened in slow motion and he asked the one thing Sybil was dreading to hear.

“Where is Jorah?”

She touched her forehead with a fist. Her son was gone. He was out of the time loop and they were all here. If the stranger who just arrived was telling the truth, she’d been stuck here for years. Who had taken her son out then? She had a slight idea. And knowing what she knew now, she had an inkling what was coming for her next.

“Jorah is safe,” she lied to her husband. “Go back to sleep. I will wake you up in morning.”

He looked again at the sword in her hand and the strange colors in the sky outside.

“Maybe I am dreaming,” he murmured to himself and closed the door. She heard him walk towards the bed and slump down it. He’d fall asleep soon. She had more killing to do.

She turned around and looked at the man who said he was her son. “Jorah, what is the earliest thing you can remember?”

“A ghost, mother. It was a vile looking but the kindest demon and it was by my side for as long as I can remember. All my life, it told me I had to be ready for this moment. And two nights ago, it woke up me and told me to reach here. He also gave me this sword and said it’d help me get into this place.”

Pieces started to click in Sybil’s head. “Show me the sword,” she said.

Jorah handed her the sword. The scabbard was worn out and old, but she’d know the make of the hilt anywhere. She was holding a similar sword in her hand right now.

“Son, listen to me carefully. I need to defeat those things out there and I can’t have you standing in the way of harm. You’d only worry and distract me. Do you understand?”

“But I can’t let you just fight that thing on your own, mother. I know how to fight. You saw me take down that thing just now. Did you see how quick I took off its head? I am good with the blade and I can help.”

“No, you can’t. This was just a small taste of their power. There is much more where that came from.”

“We can fight it together, mother.”

“Not tonight and not ever. You will sit this one out. You have many other battles to fight yet.”

“So what do you want me to do? Just watch?”

“Yes. And learn.”




She kept her own sword against the door and grabbed the hilt of the sword in her hand. She twisted the pommel once, then twice. In one direction, then another and pressed a small lever that appeared in the hilt of the sword. Without a sound, the blade slid from the hilt and clanged into the ground. She handed the pommel back to her son. “If you can fix that blade back in, you’re most welcome to fight alongside me.”

Jorah’s mouth opened and he gasped for words to say. He took the pommel from her and then picked up the blade. He looked at both things in his hands once more. He had no idea that was even possible. In all his years with blades, he’d not seen such a thing happen. His mother picked up her own sword, ruffled his hair and headed out to meet the thirteen once again.

The sword in her hand stirred. “That was heavy. Are you sure you’re a good parent to let your only son play with a blade of such power.”

"He’ll be fine. What he does not know cannot hurt him.”

The sword made a snorting sound. “We could have used another blade in the next fight. Kid is talented.”

“I don’t think I can handle two of you talking around me.”




Above the periphery of the sky, the hive mind of the thirteen was deep in discussion with itself.

Something made it through.

The time stream was supposed to be impenetrable.

Nothing is ever impenetrable. You just need the right key and enough motivation.
Thought we’d seen the last of that wretched blade.
It keeps coming up again and again.
We need to take her down. We need to take her down. We need to take her down.
Call the Nephilim? Call them. Enough is ENOUGH. 

We’ve stretched this out long enough.

IT'S TIME




Below them, Sybil took the blade and started drawing the patterns she was going to need for whatever was coming next. It’d been a long time since she’d done this and her memory was sketchy. But once she started, the lines and symbols came to her on their own. Like wolves called to the battle with the promise of blood. She heard the sky crackle above her with a dark energy. And she knew, the thirteen had played their final card. The Nephilim were coming. Sweat broke out across her brow and her fingers tightened on the sword’s handle. There was urgency in her strokes now and she checked if all the symbols and wards were in the right places. They looked alright to her, but she knew one mistake and it’d all be over for her and everyone trapped in this time field.


She walked into the pentagram she’d drawn on the ground and took her place in the middle of it. Her sword held at ready, she waited for the sky to split open and vomit out whatever the thirteen had planned next for her.

The sky above her cracked open with a thunderous noise. The colors of the sky melting and amalgamating into something unknown and fierce. Darkness lept out of the sky and struck the boundaries of the time field and for the first time, Sybil gathered the shape of the dome that was above her and her house. Bright lights emerged from the cracks in the sky, blinding and horrible. And from the lights, a figure floated on the currents of an angry wind. Robes fluttering in the air, hair haloed by the light behind it, and in a face dark as obsidian two red eyes glittered with the promise of violence.

One look at that figure took the breath from her chest and made her want to fall down on the ground and kneel in obeisance.

The figure turned slowly to look somewhere above and behind it.

“I was summoned for this shit?” It had a voice like crashing of a thousand drums, of waves smashing themselves to death on the shores of alien beaches, of anger and rage boiled down to their most basic essence. “I was summoned for this!” the voice of the figure repeated.

It looked down back at Sybil. “Human, forgive me.”

Sybil grit her teeth and held tighter on her sword.

“No. I hope you will forgive me for what’s about to happen to you.”

The figure’s eyes belayed any sign of shock or surprise. There was simply a curious look on its face as it stared down at Sybil and slowly started to piece together her intentions.

“You’d not dare, human. Are you going to sacrifice the fate of humanity for your life?”

“Do you really want to wait around and find out?”

“I would not need to,” the voice boomed and a shard of light struck forth from the figure’s hands like a javelin and made its way straight for Sybil. It was fast, but her sword hand was faster. She moved to a side and swatted away the shard of light with the flat of Wraith’s blade. The steel singed and went black where the javelin touched it.

In her head, the sword’s scream of pain was unbearable. She needed to do it quick. But only when the Nephilim was close enough. Another bolt of lightning struck too close and Sybil felt the heat sear her eyebrows. The sword’s blade was slowly spreading with the blackness and soon the blade would be fully black and useless for her. Another bolt shot for her and this time, she was not fast enough. The bolt struck her on her arm, spinning her around where she stood as she fell down on the ground, the sword clattering down but still within her reach.

Watching her prone state, the Nephilim gained enough confidence that Sybil was not going to act on her intentions that it reached closer for a final strike that will obliterate his opposition. It flew right above where Sybil was lying down. A javelin of light appeared in its hand, ready to strike down with all the force of heavens behind it.


"Now," the sword said. Sybil rolled from the path of the javelin to her knees and raised her own sword above her head. She slammed the blade point first into the ground and twisted it.

And so she opened the gates to hell. 

And hell came out to meet her with open arms.

-----
Not dead. Just been very very busy.