“So, what the hell just happen to Ted?” Vikki asked, standing toe-to-toe with Sergeant Mathis.
Mathis answered stone faced, “He was possessed.”
“What the hell does that mean?” Vikki asked, not letting up on the questions.
“Look, sit down,” Mathis said, pointing to the open bench next to Jenna, “and I’ll tell you everything I know.”
“The weapon the military launched is a metaphysical compound. It was developed by Dr. Jack Edith...” Mathis began, instantly being cut off by Jenna.
“I know him. Isn’t he the guy who was big in Demonology and paranormal research?” she asked.
“That’s him,” Mathis answered, continuing to share what he knew about the weapon. “When he first pitched his project to the white suites in
, everyone thought he was crazy. He wanted to use the forces of darkness as a real military weapon–everyone got a big laugh out of that. His demonstration was to summon demons from hell and make a pact with them to destroy our enemies,” Mathis said, still stone faced. Washington
“And is this what happened? The missile somehow managed to summon demons?” Jenna asked, butting in again.
“Of course not!” Mathis spat back. “Dr. Edith was a certifiable nut-job when it came to supernatural stuff. A few years after his theories on supernatural beings were discredited, he began working on this weapon. Somehow, the bastard managed to create man made entities.”
“How the hell did he manage to do that?” Vikki asked.
“I have no idea,” Mathis admitted. “The research team is currently working on that as well as a way to stop them. Right now, we know of at least twenty Demons running around–we don’t know how to stop them.”
“Why not just ask Dr. Edith?” Ramon asked, chiming in as he stepped through the little door and took a seat next to the girl. “It’s his weapon, no?”
“He died shortly after the missile detonated,” Mathis said. “Look, that’s all I know. Until we figure out what they want with the people they’re after, we need to keep Ramon as far away from them as possible. For some reason, they take possession of someone when they drink warm water. Ted drank from a water bottle then he passed out and that’s how I knew the creature got to him.”
“How does it get into the water?” Vikki asked.
“Beat’s me. We’re dealing with something that acts like a demon, talks like a demon, and even reacts like a demon–only, it’s not a demon. No exorcism can be performed to exorcise the demon; it has nothing to do with the balance of good versus evil. The only thing we know for sure is that it hides in water.”
“So, we can’t drink water?” Jenna asked, already feeling the urge to drink.
“You can, but if the water feels warm dump it,” Mathis answered.
They sat in silence as Frost continued en route to their supply depot; building 228 was in his sights, so he pulled the truck off to the side and came to an erupted stop parallel with the building. The large two story structure had a wood sign picketed to the ground that read, Sonic Electrical, and a blue canopy extended out from the first story entrance, giving them shelter from the cloud.
“Were here,” Frost said.
“Copper, C.J.–go do some recon. Report back ASAP,” Mathis ordered.
Copper and C.J. put their masks on and slipped out through the passenger's side door. Entering the building, the two men had their weapons drawn as they searched in all directions for movement–they slowly advanced forward into the dim building.
“Frost,” Mathis called out, “get your shit together. If everything is clear we’re going to hold up here for a while. This place was cleared out earlier; we shouldn’t run into any trouble.”
Frost detached the radio from the truck–the battery was now fully charged. Under his seat was a black bag. He stuffed the radio in it and zipped it up before gathering more things around him and inserted them into the bag’s side pockets.
C.J. and Copper appeared at the opened door. “Clear,” they said simultaneously.
“Okay, let’s move out. Copper, C.J.–take point,” Mathis ordered.
Slowly everyone stumbled out of the truck and walked through the double pane glass doors. Inside, was a large open area with a reception desk directly in front of them. In the middle of the room were two couches–parallel to each other with a coffee table in the middle, and magazines were spewed across the top. The front desk was in the middle of the building; to the left and right of their position, was a long hallway filled with offices.
“How do we get to the basement?” Mathis asked.
Copper pointed to a map that was pinned to a nearby wall. It indicated there was a staircase that led to the second floor and the basement at the end of the left hallway–they walked in that direction, with their weapons trained in a fire position in front of them.
The offices around them were deserted. Some had mugs next to the computers with coffee still in them. Doughnuts and other pastries remained half eaten next to them. Before they knew it, they were standing in front of the stairs.
Carefully the team walked down the metal steps. At the bottom, they were stopped by a closed door. Without second guessing, Copper swung it open, revealing a security room–computer panels and monitors were lined up on the wall and a row of seats lined up the far wall, and next to them were lockers. In the middle of the room was a table with ammunition and gas jugs piled on top. The fire team quickly began stocking their weapons with rounds and filling their empty vests with fully loaded magazines–Copper found three more magazines with the special blue rounds in them.
“Go ahead and take a seat,” Mathis said to the three standing survivors. They sat down and Jenna crossed her legs, still trying to be lady-like. Mathis glanced at the lockers. He walked toward them and opened a door to reveal a security uniform hanging from a coat hanger. A clear, plastic bag hung over the garment signifying that it had just come back from the cleaners. He snatched the pants and handed them to Jenna. “See if these fit you.”
Jenna eyeballed them. “Yeah, they should be fine. Where can I change?”
Sergeant Mathis stared at his unit. Instantly, they all turned away from Jenna–Ramon did the same from his position. “You have privacy now,” he said as he turned his back to her.
Jenna quickly put on the pants. They were a bit too big, but manageable. “Thank you,” she said in a sweet voice.
The radio inside Frost’s bag began to squawk and muffled screams blared out of the speaker. He quickly fumbled with the bag until the handheld part of the radio was in his hand.
“Quick reaction force! QRF!” the voice on the other side of the radio yelled.
Distress call, Mathis thought.
“All possible units report to the area around building 250. Repeat, all possible reinforcements report to building 250,” the voice continued over rifle fire and explosions.
The fire team stared at Sergeant Mathis who was thinking about whether he should abandon his current orders and answer the QRF.
“Push them back,” the radio said.
Another voice said clearly, “Oh, my god, help! They’re all around us!”
Mathis stared at the three remaining Bakker & Sons employees–they stared back puzzled.
“Anyone, please answer!” the radio squawked again.
Mathis took the radio in his hand, “This is Shadow Team, we hear you–on route to your location over.”
The team heard the order and finished gathering their things. They knew they were going to help their comrades, but they still needed to hear it from the Sergeant.
Ramon, Vikki, and Jenna sat in shock. They were taken from one building only to now be abandoned in another–one that they were not familiar with.
Mathis turned to face them, “We’re answering this distress call. Manpower is needed to fend off an attack. You’re safe in here–this building was cleared out earlier. Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon.” He handed Ramon another handgun with two magazines. “Get them in the head. If you find one with silver eyes stay away from it. In fact, don’t leave this room until we come back understood?”
Ramon took the weapon and examined it nodding his head: yes.“Move out, men,” Mathis ordered, and the team opened the door and stepped out. Mathis lingered for another moment; the older man was very tired and really wanted to enjoy a rest, but duty called and on this day, it was always a matter between life and undeath. He stared back at the Bakker & Sons employees as he edged closer to the door. Guilt was starting to get to him, but there was a distress call. Finally, Mathis sighed and walked through the door letting it close behind him.