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The Dark Sentencer



 
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Saito Eiji

The lilting Moon hung above the treeline, casting a dim halflight that only those that lived far from society could enjoy. The late evening dew had set in, and the air smelled clean and faintly floral, no doubt from the lush gardens that peppered this sprawling property. This place was nestled in Mother Nature's bosom, far from city lights and the scent of industry.

A dozen men emerged from the treeline, their silhouettes highlighted by the gentle touch of night-light. They were uniformly dressed, in deep black fatigues and layers of matte plating. Their faces were totally obscured by their visored helmets, their visages consisting only of smooth material and dimly flickering green lights. They moved like creeping wraiths, stalking where none would see, spreading themselves out in a fan that would descend on the community that had dug its heels into this place. For folk of such ill-bearing, they lived peacefully. There were no guards this night, and not a single home had a lit window. The figure at the forefront would raise his hand to half the men at his flanks, before extending a finger upwards and swirling it in the air.

They descended upon them like ravenous aphids upon a fertile crop. The silent night was suddenly split by screams and gunfire, flickering flashes and the fragrance of carnage. Each and every sheep from this Flock would be torn from their beds and thrown out into the open night, only to be riddled with shrapnel.

The leader of the band made his way to the largest residence, where their leader undoubtedly lived. The door was unlocked, and swung into the darkness with ease. He stepped across the threshold, the lights flickering across his visor narrowing to provide him with clarity. The house was immaculately clean, and surprisingly well decorated. It would only be natural, the man mused to himself. He'd never seen a cult whose fruits weren't divided so lopsidedly. Their chief slept soundly here on high, ignorant to the agony his Flock endured below.

The kitchen seemed well stocked as he passed through it, looking for any signs of life... He couldn't help but wonder if any of the houses below had half as many supplies as this. He wondered if he was ever allowed to live here, like this. It made his stomach turn with revulsion.

The lower level of the house unraveled itself to no avail, finally leading him up the winding flight of stairs that lead to an opened bedroom. It crept open at the nudge of his toes, issuing a timid groan from its unoiled pivots. He passed into it quietly, only to find that the king-size in the center of the room was uninhabited... A shape lunged from the dark to his left, steel glinting in the half-light. The assailant barreled into him, moving to drive his knife deep into his flank; his would-be victim jarred back, catching his wrist and pulling him forward. A heavy knee would sink into the Headman's ribs, throwing him to the floor, his weapon clattering on the ground away from him. No matter how desperately he tried, he couldn't fill his lungs with air in time to react...

"John Abernathy," the wraith started, his voice filtered through a mechanical grain. A heel planted to John's temple, squarely snapping his head into the floor. "Get up." He commanded, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt and throwing him towards the bedroom window. The nearby flicker of muzzleflash peppered the landscape, each a signature on another sheep's death warrant. John scrambled to his feet, boiling hatred swallowing his bloodshot eyes.

"What have you done? Who are you!?," John inquired, drawing back on every ounce of his stature.

The wraith's visor split down the center, and slowly parted to reveal a scarred face and a smoldering stare. It was a face John would know well enough, even if they'd only seen each other a time or two before. This gook had bit out one of his best men's throats. He'd always conspired with that boy...

"Where's Gideon?" Eiji pried, only to be met with a spew of vitriol. John wouldn't know. Of course he wouldn't know.

John dove into him, swinging fists that would only eat air... Eiji was in his peripherals in a moment, slipping his right hand to retaliate with a hook that buried into his liver. John's hands fell as the pain flashed from his flank all the way to his heels, making his stomach lurch violently... Before he could muster a response, another blistering punch hit the angle of his jaw, savagely snapping his face towards the ceiling. His knees turned to jelly beneath him, crumpling his proud frame to the floorboards.

He wouldn't be allowed a moment to gather his bearings... Eiji snagged his arm and dragged him upwards again, shoving him into the window before sending a flurry of precisely aimed strikes into him. Every time his knuckles caught his jaw, they'd already be sailing into his solar plexus, or nailing into his temple, scrambling his senses and forcing him into delirium, until he was only held up by the steady hand of his assailant. His free hand continued to beat John's visage into bloodied, ravaged disarray, spattering his brackish blood across the glass behind him. It wouldn't stop until he stopped jerking and gurgling out muffled pleas for his life. Eiji finally let him slump unceremoniously down the wall and wiped the blood from his face, just in time to notice one of his comrades standing in the threshold.

The agent hesitated for a moment before entering, grateful that his visor hid his horror from view... He extended his hand, offering a glossy California post-card. "This was in the target's basement, Sir."

Eiji took the card and nodded the agent away, stepping over the corpse and towards the exit. His compatriot hurried his way down the stairs ahead of him, leaving the exorcist to stare a hole through the card. Vitriol filled his stomach, as he remembered the face of the evil that had been closest to him for so long. A dull ache struggled against his resolve... Gideon had been the only man other than his late handler that he had ever called a brother.

He snapped a photo of John with a cheap phone he'd stored in his breastpocket, and sent it to the blonde-haired woman that had last texted him. Included with it was a succinct message.

"See you soon, Quinn."
January 12, 2019 10:03 pm
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