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From the Ashes of Tears


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Mikaela Marshal

"Hopefully we won't see you again Mrs. Ramirez." The older man smiled from behind dark wide rimmed glasses. A vanilla folder lay open on the desk in front of him. Mika's discharge paperwork was nearly complete; all it needed was his signature. "You've come a long way in the last two years."

Mikaela raised a brow, her face remained deprived of emotion. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction of seeing the sting that his careless comment created. Even after all this time the mention of losing her husband tore apart her insides. "I haven't been Mrs. Ramirez since Armando disappeared, it's Ms. Marshal."

A leather jacket covered shoulder jerked up and fell in a shrug as she adjusted her jean covered ass on the cold metal chair. The room temperature was on the chilly side, always forty-five degrees, (Brr-fucking-cold!) which was one thing she absolutely hated about this facility. As with everything in the building, it was cold and sterile and impersonal.

She fucking hated this building.

"Yes, well, you are technically still married to the man," The doctor replied easily as he picked up a pen, the tip sliding smoothly across the paper in his signature. Closing the folder, the doctor reached down to the left bottom drawer. He pulled out a black Beretta M9A3 with a Sure X300U light attachment, three 17 round magazines, a custom made solid steel fighting bo that was broken down into two or could be twisted together for a six foot staff, a passport along with a dark beige tri-fold wallet, a new Moto razr cell phone because they broke hers when they processed her into the facility, and finally a pair of his/her wedding rings.

"Your belongings. Also, the duffel bag that you were carrying." He gestured to the wall where it was propped against. "Everything is returned to you, Mikaela. Your motorcycle is being held at Gene's Storage Units over on 86th East and Stickler Ave. Here is the key; unit 453, the cost was taken care of by an anonymous donor. If you don't have any questions, you're free to leave."

Mikaela didn't trust the doctor, keeping him in her sight as she grabbed the duffel bag. She made short work to shove everything inside, slung it over her shoulder and left the office. The walk down the bare hallway to the gate, then through it toward the front door seemed to take forever. Every step toward the outside world increased her anxiety of something going wrong.

She was expecting an orderlie to grab her from behind to drag her back to her room.

Two and a half years in this facility that daylighted as a psychiatric hospital, but in reality was a CODEX inpatient building, was enough to not trust any of them. Her last return to the Realm as a demon tipped off a couple high ranking officials. They became "concerned" for her well-being. Taking it upon themselves to help her. According to them they couldn't not help, seeing as she and her husband had been "faithful servants" of the CODEX team. Leaving her to be a demon forever didn't settle with them. And of course it had nothing to do with the fact that they wouldn't be able to control her with the abilities that she had acquired in her rebirth in Helsphyre.

The team they sent regarded her like a wild animal, setting a trap to force her into the building. She killed ten out of twelve. It wasn't her fault they came at her with a small team. They should have known better.

Once in the facility, they began the process of curing her.

"Have a good life, Mrs. Ramirez." An older woman sitting at the reception desk called out to her.

"Yeah " Once through the doors, Mikaela walked down the crowded street with purpose. She wanted to be as far as any from that building as possible.

She was free.
January 02, 2021 08:45 pm

Mikaela Marshal

The duffel bag strap was moved over her head to rest on a shoulder, across her chest. Fingers hurriedly zipped the leather jacket closed against the brutal wind, then popped the collar, attempting to shield her ears. Fuuuuck, it was cold. Clusters of snow lined the sidewalk as well as patches of ice that she avoided in attempt to keep from busting her ass in her heel ankle booties. Definitely wasn't the smartest attire, but given that they had unexpectedly taken her in June, she didn't have anything else to wear.

She needed to get back to her apartment to see just how much damage CODEx did to her life. The agency had a tendency to wipe clean the lives of their agents without asking. And frankly, she was getting annoyed with remaining an agent of theirs; something was gonna have to happen to rectify the problem - and soon.

After putting five blocks between her and the CODEx facility, Mikaela hailed a taxi. The burst of warmth that came from inside the yellow car was welcomed as she slid her ass to the center of the seat, closed the door and rubbed her freezing hands together. "One-twelve South Lane, please."

"Yes ma'am," the male driver pulled out into traffic, causing several horns to be heard.

It would take at least thirty minutes before arriving at her apartment, if she remembered correctly. Unzipping her bag, she pulled out her cell phone and turned it on. Thankfully it was still charged. Scrounging around in the duffel bag produced her apartment keys and blue tooth ear piece. Her phone began to vibrate with notifications from emails and texts. Syncing the ear piece and her phone, the voicemails were listened to half-heartedly. They were two year old messages, most of the people wouldn't care if she was back or not. They probably figured she was dead for good this time.

The taxi pulled up to the apartment building, Mika handed over a twenty from her wallet for the driver. Grabbing her bag, she headed around the back of the building to where she unlocked a gate into a small courtyard. Across the snow covered area were three apartments; hers was the door to the left.

Stilling the anxiety that threatened to rear it's head, Mikaela walked to her unshoveled entrance. Kicking the cold wet white stuff from in front of the screen door she pried it open, took a breath, and tried her key. Her eyebrows jerked up as the lock diengaged and she opened the door.

Warmth greeted her. Her eyes jerked around the open floor plan of her living room, kitchen, dinning room and entry way, taking it all in as fast as she could. Everything was exactly as she left it thirty months ago. Tears sprang to her eyes as she closed the door, locking it. CODEx left her apartment alone. She honestly hadn't expected this, had resigned herself to start all over again.

To her left was a small table with a flat crystal tray neatly filled with all her mail. On top was a piece of thick paper folded in half to stand up, her name handwritten in plain view. Her keys found their place next to the tray as she dropped her bag to the floor and picked up the paper.

Your apartment is paid for four years. The boss didn't know exactly when they would let you leave, and he's pretty sure that when you do, you won't be filled with Helsphyre anymore.
If that's the case, good luck. He says to call in three favors owed to you when you need to. Some kind of payment for the literal Hell he put you through.
- Flint
PS- Those CODEx assholes tried to erase your existence again. Not happening. Boss took care of it.
January 05, 2021 02:11 pm

Mikaela Marshal

Mikaela drew in a sharp breath. An image of a tall, lean male with a permanent scowl on his face flashed in her mind's eye. Flint.

Fingers pinched the bridge of her nose as she toed off her ankle boots. A headache was starting. She kicked the dark footwear against the wall, out of the way. Her leather jacket was hung on a hook near the small table. Picking her duffle bag up, she brought it into the kitchen with her, placing it on the island.


She needed coffee before dissecting what this may or may not mean.

Wait did she even have coffee? Ugh.

The layout of her one bedroom, one and a half bath open floor plan apartment was simple. A short entryway with a coat hook shelf, a small catch all table that the flat crystal tray rested on. A rack for shoes. Then to the left was her kitchen. A decent sized marble topped island separated the space. Her sink was under the window that looked out at the courtyard. The same marble covered the counter tops. Floating dark wood shelves lined the walls with grey cabinets below.

Taking the glass pot from the coffee machine, Mika filled it with tap water then poured it into the water reservoir. A quick search of the floor to ceiling cabinet pantry revealed coffee and canned goods that were sealed with good expiration dates. Someone, probably Flint, had taken the time to make sure she was stocked with food.

Six heaping scoops of coffee followed into the filter basket, then she hit the brew strong button and the machine purred to life.

Mikaela unzipped the duffel bag, pulling items out to lay on the island as she considered the man and his message. He had been assigned to her as a sort of Guardian when she returned from Hell as a Helsphyre demon. His task was to protect and teach her to control the power that flooded her being. It lasted all of a couple months because CODEx decided to 'help' her become human again.

The ding of her coffee pot prompted her to grab a white coffee cup, an animated waffle between the words, 'Don't be a twatwaffle' decorated the front, to pour coffee in. It had been a gift from a friend who wasn't around anymore.

A quick glance in her fridge produced french vanilla coffee creamer that turned her coffee tan when added. There was also fresh fruit, yogurt, veggies, various dressings and condiments. Peeking in the freezer, she saw meats and frozen dinners.

Flint made sure she would come back and need nothing.

Sipping the caffeine rich beverage, she finally focused on the items in front of her.
January 15, 2021 06:38 am

Mikaela Marshal

Pale blue eyes settled on each item individually. The gun would need to be taken apart for a clean as well as to make sure no one messed with it while in CODEx hands. She didn't trust them to not touch it.

In addition to the black Beretta M9A3, her bag contained a pair of custom black Glock 19s with fitted Nightstick Compact Weapon Lights. A gift from her dead husband.

The heavy night sticks needed to be wiped down, but other than that they appeared fine. They could be twisted together to form a six foot staff. It was one of her favorite weapons so she had custom thigh straps along with custom boots containing slots created, so she could run easily with them attached to her body.

Next was a set of 14 440 grade stainless steel throwing knives, a spring assisted stiletto and a karambit fixed blade all with rainbow finish on the sharp blades. A wipe down was all that needed to be done.

A sip of coffee, an intake of breath and Mika turned her attention to the rings sitting on top of a leather journal. Untying the thin straps, she pulled out a white worn envelope with her name scribbled on the front. She paused for half a second before pulling three items out. The first paper was slim, short - a newspaper obituary clipping. The second largest paper in the envelope was on CODEx letterhead with two paragraphs of writing.

A surge of emotion battered her insides without warning. A sense of loss; of the foundation being ripped out from under her. It was the same hurt she went through in the facility when the doctor carelessly handed her the pristine envelope and left without any other explainations.


Her heart hurt. Hands gripped the counter edge hard as she finally allowed herself to be submerged in her grief. Pain from loss ripped through her body relentlessly.


Another harsh inhale. Her fingers grazed the photograph as she flipped it over to see the simple headstone with his name and death date.

-✳- Armando Ramirez
Killed: September 04, 2019


He was gone.

Mikaela understood that CODEx could fake deaths with ease and convincing enough to seem without a doubt authentic. Hell, her own death the first time was plagurized by the agency. Then again when the Demon King kidnapped her to Hell. No one expected her to come back filled with Helsphyre. CODEx had stepped in not soon after to make sure she didn't get comfortable and learn how to control the new her.

The Slayer sat heavily on one of the three barstools. The palms of her hands dug into her eyes as the tears flowed freely down her cheeks. She never really got to say goodbye. The last time they were together it ended up being a huge fight and she stormed off to give them both a timeout and to regroup. When was the last time she told him I love you?

She didn't know.

Their lives were so full of missions, helping people, trying to keep Ahstrux Noctrum from closing -even though it did-, trying to keep the foundation of their marriage from decaying that time just got away from them. They were on a losing track to failure, and neither of them could see the end.

"Fucking hell" Mikaela slammed her palms down on the island. She was so sick of her heart being torn to pieces everytime she thought of him. She had been a NYC detective before meeting Armando. A strong, independent woman with a bad attitude and sass for days. She gave as good as she got.

How did she become so attached to him? That was easily explained. He was her beginning and end, her breath and the beat of her heart. He was her safety net. Besides Raven Darkholme, Armando was her friend first, then lover and finally husband. He knew what made her tick.

"Gawd dammit Arm," Mikaela crossed her arms on the island and lay her head on them. Her chest ached, accompanying a headache she already had. "Why'd you fucking leave me? You promised, you said we could work anything out between us."

And just like that, heart wrenching sobs took over. Her body shook in pain and grief. There was nothing left to do but give in.
March 28, 2021 10:25 pm
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