The Candyman tossed Ever aside, allowing the corpse to slap the mud, discarded from Candyman's possesion. None of the newly formed team had time or reason to tend to him, as they raced after Candyman who seemed to glide up the large stairway entering the church. He gracefully opened and closed the doors behind him, which Vince made into splintering cinders as the group ascended. Finally reaching the summit of the staircase. Candyman stepped around shards of stained glass littering the floor. He saw an inverted cross hanging above a descending staircase opened only moments ago...
The collar turned his gaze upwards from the conversation with Jules, sensing a white aura approaching quickly.
"Come child! Our destiny awaits," He shouted hurriedly as he yanked Jules to a side of the room. At the precise moment they were under the cover of a large mounted rood, the plate glass dome shattered beneath a man draped in dark clothes. Ethereal wings shielded him from crashing glass daggers. Raising his eyes to meet the two, the angel walked to them.
"Welcome to my humble abode." The collar greeted with a grimace. "If you're done with the dramatics, may we progress with the business at hand?"
"Excellent idea." A voice reverberated from the split angel.
The collar then turned to Jules, extending a hand. "The book if you please."
Jules's eyes widened, at which the collar scoffed, and began to chuckle.
"Don't think I don't realize you've been carrying that treasure for a while. I had enough information to have a hunch when you entered, but you just had to open it in here. You had to expose my church's "workers" to the divinity in that book. Yet a dichotomy is present within it. The book would be an asset to the sinners had they been able to keep it from us.
And dichotomy is a concept that continues to manifest itself tonight!" The collar knocked a stunned Jules to the floor and easily relieved him of the book. He then gripped the giant rood and began to rotate it. Straining to turn it, he commanded the angel.
"Assist me oh heavenly one! You will receive your payment sooner that way!"
The split angel easily turned the cross alone, inverting it. A clicking noise was heard inside the wall, and a section of the floor descended to allow passage.
"There are many things we must hide from him you see. The ends justify the means however, and we are far lesser evils than your collegues. Proceed into the ruined shrine with us boy, and see history be made!"
Jules attempted to grab at the tome, but felt the angel's grip tear him back only feet away. Willingly or not, Jules would assist them.
A bit later and outside, pergatory was beginning to get to Ever.
"Damn it all, why even follow them in? I have no influence. Trapped in this realm I am useless to their fight! The apothecary has procured too much power, but what does he know about that book that should influence his actions. He's no mercenary, so what business does he have in..." Ever stopped. He felt a presence he missed dearly. In all his time he ached for it. Blissfully lifted up, Ever's cares drifted away. He was among divinity, and flowing away. Suddenly he was jerked back into pergatory.
"Wha...?" He ached again, and was confused of the sensation.
"You broke the rules." Ever thought, or at least he thought he thought it. But he felt the touch, and knew he hadn't meant to think it.
"Is it really?"
"That will not be sufficient. You broke the rules, and now you must become indentured to me."
"But, I thought."
"No punishment is permanent if the crime isn't. You may repent. Feel my gift, but be warned, the curse is lifted."
Ever regained consciousness. Knowing exactly what he must do, his stained wings lifted him from the ground.
Slightly earlier and inside, Jules was dragged into the putrid hole. Demonic armor lined a hallway leading to a single room. Candles line a pentagram inscribed into the stone floor.
Jules looked on remarking, "Heh, I thought the pentagram was only a symbol adopted by satanists from pagans. Funny what you think of in dire times."
"It may have been adopted by satanists, but that does not mean the morningstar did not accept it!" The collar rebuked.
The angel was weary of his surroundings. While he was doing a thing for good, calling upon Lucifer was not something he had agreed upon.
"This does not bode well. While our actions may end up justified, seeking the aid of the unholy one is something I'm not sure may be forgiven." The split angel said.
"Oh spirit," the Collar returned, "we are tricking him. He will see this as an opportunity to control the mortal world. You see, this spell nessecitates the use of not only white but also black magick. Only the truely pure may deal with the devil in this manner and gain our goal."
The angel was still on edge, but saw no other way to achieve his desire. He was actually tricking Satan, doing a good thing as he was fighting a bad demon. This could be justified he decided.
"Yes, you are correct I suppose."
"Of cour..." He was interrupted when a rumbling began from above, signifying the collapse of the barrier. "Hmph! We must make haste, BOY, read from the book now!"
Jules resisted, but the angel and collar had means through which to make him...
"Dammit they are beginning!" Candyman cursed, rushing to the opening. A hooked chain caught his ankle though, sending him to the floor. He attempted to break free but he was preoccupied with defending against a flurry of knives called upon him. "Fools! You do not realize the gravity of this situation. Release me or you'll kill us all!"
"You mean you intend to keall us, is dat vat you mean?" An ice spike grazed his pant leg, and destroyed the chaing freeing him.
"I do not have time to explain myself idiots, only that I am the least of your worries if you don't follow me into that passageway."
"Hyeah. Like we gunna listen to you, we've seen yur evils Candyman, and as soon as we go into that hallway we gunna get dusted. I'm suprised at yur lack of fight." Tanner shouted.
It became increasingly difficult for Candyman to fend them off as he attempted to go to the shrine. Almost as difficult as explaining his intentions to them.
"You haven't seen evil yet!" Candyman flared ready to contaminate the lot of them because of frustration. "You will though if you contin..."
A familiar figure flapped through the open ceiling, drawing the awe of all. The crimson capped wings carried him into the middle of the scuffle.
"Cease this!" Ever's newly rejuvenated voice boomed. He looked several hundered years younger, with a slightly faded brown beard and less folds on his face. The group's collective mouths gaped as he continued. "There is no time to explain, and even less to waste. Just proceed into the ruined shrine so this may end!"
The group nodded, following as he and the surprised Candyman raced ahead into the decayed monastery. Without more than a few steps into the room, the demonic armor sprang to attack them. The restored Ever merely wiped them away with his hammer. Vincent grabbed a sword from a fallen suit, and caught up to Ever, wheezing.
"Dammit man! What the hell is going on? You're alive and apparently with the red armor and wings some sort of angel." He paused to demolish a suit attacking from the side. "You were cursed forever!"
Ever did not shift his eyes or even acknowledge the questions except for stating, "Nothing is forever." He continued bashing the hell suits until they were at the gateway to the dark sanctuary. A surreal sight was before them. A large black mass of liquid floated over the pentagram. It was shifting to and from a solid mass of unknown material. The collar faced back at them from a pedastal before the sight. His eyes were slashed, both leaking blood and juices. Then the group detected a slight whimper in a corner of the room. Their eyes happened upon a bloodied Jules, curled up in tattered rags.
"I didn't want to...." He weakly stated, and passed out.
"Your friend put up quite a fight!" The collar cackled insanely, "But in the end we got what we wanted with minimal loss." His hands raked his dead eyes, and wiped the running fluids from his face. "I sense something different in here, a white aura stronger than my spirit friend." The collar looked in Ever's direction, whom wasted no time in crushing him with the war hammer.
"Nooooooooooo!" Cursed the split angel, whom descended too late to assist the collar. "You fools! Only he could stop the morningstar from coming!" Ever obliterated the half angel.
"What does he mean?" Vince asked Ever, whom answered angrily as he attempted to seal the hovering blob. "He means, that Satan is coming through this portal to consume Earth and humanity thanks to the Tome."
Ever's efforts proved futile, and the ground began to shake. The Blob was pulsating more rapidly, and two red orbs could be seen flashing in the center. Tanner's ever-present cigarette fell from his lip, and Gunter looked on in terror. Both Maria and Sasha gripped each other and let out an ear ringing scream. Sweat dripped from Vincent's brow as Ever's leverage on the ground began to give way.
"Well, this is it." Vincent's grip on the dark sword tightened, and he launched into a full sprint. Pushing off of the ground, he catapulted himself airborne at the pedastal and tome. Stabbing fiercely, he sunk the blade screeching into the pages of the book.
"NO!" Ever roared as Vincent was suspended holding the sword. The gelatinous blob began to writhe and fell to the ground, but the red orbs remained. Time stood still as Vincent's blade cracked the tome, and the orbs shot into his chest.
The sword shattered across the room and Vincent remained in midair. His body gurgled and cracked while the others watched in terror. Falling into a lump on the ground, Vince rose again grimacing. His eyes glowed black with white pupils as he inspected his hands, body and surroundings. He then opened his mouth, but the noise which eminated from his maw was not that of any human. A terrible shrieking roar tore the building asunder. As the bricks began to collapse, he rose to the pedistal and spoke.
"I AM BORN"
End (Continued in Aftermath)