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An Unholy Heart

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Chanting echoed around the broken chamber as voices called out in unison to an unholy domain. Beckoning forth a vile creature made of darkness and pain. As the black vapor rose from the surroundings, forming into a massive force of energy before funneling down into the empty lifeless form of a young man resting on a stone altar. The blonde locks wayward across his features, covering the pale motionless lids. The chest ceased to move on the lithe frame. The youth appeared to be that of a college student or someone around that age, with average build and musculature for a healthy fit young fellow. The voices continued, steadily growing in volume and pace, reaching a peak or energy as the torches and candlelight set around the room was wiped out by a single gale of wind funneling into the ruins.

 

The men held firmly in their place as darkness descended before the flames flickered, returning once more to show the body had risen in the darkness, standing strong distorted and twisted from it’s human shape. A long serpent like tail snaked out along the earth, retractable barbs opening like a pronged hook. Sleek, black and scaly. A set of horns akin to a ram’s curled out of the sides of the skull, the points facing forward with an under curl. The once blue eyes were turned red by a pooling crimson hue, like blood dripping into a chalice and tainting every last drop. Massive black wings unfurled, stretching outwards and folding back partway to surround the figure. The gentle hands were dark long appendages tipped with sharp talons and sharp fangs were bared into a low snarl.  The robed figures attempted to command the beast but it did not heed their will. In a flash of movement, the creature was upon them and screams replaced the chanting, filling the halls with shrill echoes and painting the old mossy stonework red.

 

The doors at the back of the ruined cathedral flew open, an explosion of white light and the creature screamed out. Footsteps raced across the slick stonework, like thunder rumbling in the distance.


“Wake up!” A voice shouted into the room, echoing against the surrounding halls, a boot cracked against the blonde male’s side as he was thrown across the floor. A soft whimper fell from his lips as pale blue eyes gazed up at the new face. A man standing over him in black robes with a white collar peeking out of the front. A rosary rested against his chest, hanging freely for all to see.

 

The man lowered himself before the fallen boy, taking in the special devices being used to restrain the creature. A silver collar with holy runes etched into the body of it, incapable of being removed. The same type of device encircled the male’s spade tail. It was now harmless and soft, the tip malleable. The previous barbs were hidden away by the runes restricting his demonic nature but they could only go so far. Black scorch marks streaked his shoulder blades where his wings had been before his powers were suppressed and his teeth were mostly normal. The sharp incisors receded but were still capable of delivering a harsh bite. All the other traits had faded with the binding but the creature still had those few traits showing he was far from human. “Can you speak?” The priest asked, forming the words carefully. He did not fear the creature, whatever it’s unholy origins. It’s wrists were bound in ropes soaked in holy water, preventing it from breaking free.

 

The creature, the young man gave a confused look towards the priest as if he was speaking some strange language. When he opened his mouth to speak, a deep rumble of inhuman words came out which earned him another hard kick by one of the soldiers of the Holy Church. A growl rose in the young man’s throat as a boot pressed against his neck and held him firmly in place while a specialize muzzle was slipped over his face, preventing him from speaking or using any form of curses to weasel out of his binds. The priest watched as it happened, not raising a single hand to help. His bald headed form receded back towards the front of the church, his hands folded behind his back as he called out. “Send him to brother Edward. He’s waiting for him at the sanctuary.”

 

The demon was grabbed up and blindfolded, carried off and bounced around until he heard the creak of metal bars and his body was thrown to a cold floor. The trip wasn’t very long as he was carried off in a strange contraption that rumbled and roared over bumpy terrain at an unusual speed. The demon kept his tail tucked close to his body, squirming in place even as the contraption halted it’s advances and everything slowed. His body shifted and slid around against the flat smooth surface of the flooring as the container he was put in was moved back and forth then pushed on something that rolled but also squeaked occasionally. A mechanical sound that made him wince with his sensitive ears. It was several long agonizing minutes before that contraption ceased its movement. There was cursing and voices that could be heard. A deep voice of a different man spoke up, his tone was silky yet firm in the wording. But the language was still confusing and unknown to the young man. “Gotta present for ya Eddie!” The voice of the soldier spoke first, closer to the container.

 

“The demon I presume?” The new voice asked, the silky tone sounded tired and impatient. “What’s so different about this one? Is Father Martin finally getting tired of dousing them in holy water and repeating the same old scripts?”

 

“None of that works on this one. Holy water doesn’t burn it. Crosses don’t affect it and none of our exorcists could make it budge. You should have seen it, the thing wiped out over four dozen cultists. Ripped them to shreds. Looked like they were tryna bind it to their will.” The soldier seemed excited as he regaled this story to the new man. “It didn’t stop until we tired it out. Got over a dozen of our boys laid up in the infirmary. One of em is missing a leg now.  Heard another is gonna be blind in at least one ey-”

 

“I get it. You boys can run off now.” The tone was impatient and growing annoyed at the soldier’s worthless ramblings. Once the men had left, the sound of movement came and then the same creaking metal followed. “Let’s get a good look at you.” The silky tone returned, more curious now in tone as the blindfold was removed from the young man’s eyes. A tall man with a raven undercut and a white lab technicians’ coat stood over what appeared to be a cage. The outside was covered in the same sort of marks the silver devices on his body had. The man had bright blue eyes that gazed at the young man with a growing interest. “My my, you are different. I haven’t seen your kind before.”

 

He crouched down outside of the cage and held out his gloved hand to gesture for the demon to crawl out on his own. “Come on over here. Can you understand me?” The demon remained where it was, shifting and squirming in place until he was sitting up sideways, his tail curled up around his waist and hovering in the air, prepared to lash out in self defense. The confusion in his pale blue eyes was obvious as the dark haired male sighed and sat back. “I take that as a no.” He pinched the bridge of his nose in slight frustration as he grumbled. “Why those idiots brought you here conscious is beyond me.” The demon watched the male stand up and walk away from the cage, heading towards a set of white cabinets. The room was done up all in whites and pale blues, resembling a medical room of sorts. Like a high tech examination room with all sorts of equipment and cabinets. There was a hospital bed with curtains around one side of it but it remained empty. In the center of the room was a metal examination table with attachments on the sides should restraints be necessary. It was all too foreign and unusual to the demon to make sense of.

 

When the large male returned to him, he held a small slender syringe with a clear fluid inside it and an equally as small needle. He didn’t reach very far into the cage. Just far enough to catch the demon’s tail with his hand and feeling it out until about halfway down towards the base, he found what he was looking for. The demon began to panic and tried to pull his tail away from the stranger but the man’s grip was strong and firm, causing small jolts of pain to run down his tail and up his spine. He gave a shrill cry as the small needle was inserted into the underlying vein of the tail and the drug entered the bloodstream. He stepped back and closed the door to the cage and left the demon alone for several minutes until the drug could take affect. Knocking the young blonde male unconscious. He gave it another good five or so minutes after he had fallen asleep before opening the cage back up and pulling him out by his ankles.

 

Despite the crude removal from the cage, he was gentle in handling the demon, scooping him up into his arms while he carried him over to the examination table, laying him down gently onto the flat surface. Not so much because he cared for the creature but because he wanted to study the subject in as much of a controlled environment as possible. Additional damage might throw off the results and their accuracy. He removed the ropes from the demon’s wrists and placed each into a set of new restraints, white leather padded cuff links with the same holy markings inscribed into them, holding them down to the table. He placed one on each ankle as well, working his way around the table from one side to the other. As he reached the creature’s last wrist, he turned the palm over, fingers slipping past to the other’s creating a surge of electricity to jolt through their contact, startling the larger male. He was confused at first, drawing his hand away to inspect his palm, ensuring nothing was out of the ordinary. Once assured, he resumed the last restraint before getting to the rest of his work.

 

Pulling a tray up beside the table, he had a variety of necessary instruments on it. First things first was different blood samples, drawing from each arm and then from the same place as before on the demon’s tail. He removed the muzzle and took a good long look at the creature’s sharp incisors and tongue, noting there was no trigger to the fangs, no forked tongue or discoloration. He took photographs along the way, documenting every detail of the creature and doing a full body head to toe hands on examination. Using his gloved fingers to feel for any anomalies or damage from the fight before. He couldn’t find any known injuries and flipped the demon over to inspect his back. Finding the scorch marks to be of interest, taking photographs of that as well. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were a fallen angel. But that tail of yours says otherwise.” He murmured to himself.

 

When the secondary inspection was over, he took several different x-rays of the demon, making certain to document every part of the body. Finding there were no hidden rows of teeth or broken bones within. All of his organs and brain functions were in check. Proven by an EKG. Eddie even went so far as to do an ultrasound to get a clearer picture of the internal organs without invasive procedures. He found the tail had flexible bones that focus calcium into the barbs, solidifying them to defend. When they don’t need to defend, the calcium weakens and the barbs soften and resemble the bones of an infant. Flexible and absorbent towards pressure or shock. Like rubber. They retract with a pressure point muscle system much like a cat’s claws. When the muscle is flexed or stressed, the barbs come out.

 

Once he was satisfied for the moment he decided to leave the demon alone for a little bit. After all, he had enough data to work with for a couple of days. With that in mind, he released the demon from the restraints and carried him over to the hospital bed, laying him down carefully only to replace the padded leather cuffs on each wrist. Leaving it at that, finding it unnecessary to put anymore then that on him. He placed a blanket over the body and attached an I.V drip, finding the human vessel it was residing in was becoming dehydrated. He attached a heart monitor that also recorded body temperature and blood pressure, keeping a steady stream of information transmitting to his work computer that he could actively monitor while he tested his new samples.

 

Three hours had passed and there was no obvious change in the information reaching Eddie’s computer. He had been staring at the x-rays and EKG’s for some time. He performed a few different blood tests but everything came back negative. Nothing worked. He introduced the samples to different known weaknesses to demons and found silver was useless, holy water did nothing but separate the layers in the bloodstream. The blood itself looked just as human as the rest of the demon aside from his teeth and tail. Even his eyes were normal. There wasn’t even any sign of possession that there normally would be. Such as rigidity in the body or small signs of decay setting in. The body had to be missing a soul from what Father Martin explained to him of the ritual. So that meant the demon was possessing a dead body. Then the scorching on his back was just as unusual, a sign only found when a body is possessed by a fallen angel.

 

Eddie was at his wits end when he received a video call over his computer. He sighed and accepted, leaning back in his chair with his arms folded over his chest. He gave the man on the screen a tired greeting, finding the same old bug eyed and bald Father. He’s been running the Holy Church organization for some time now. An ancient order of demon hunters all collected together to fend off the evils that spawn from Lucifer and his unholy dominion. Yet all they had was a confused demon put into the body of a human boy. These days the only troubles they had was stopping the cults that claim to follow Lucifer’s will, only they’re a bunch of deranged social outcasts who found a few cute spells and decide they’re the shadows of the underworld. They’re more trouble than anything else. Disrupting the balance and calling annoyed and pissed off spirits into the mortal world. Their mystery demon was about the only real trouble worth batting an eye at. “Good evening Father.” Eddie greeted after a moment, watching the old man fiddle with the camera, never seeming to figure out the technology well but insisting to continue using it.

 

“Brother Edward, how fares the investigation? Any luck in figuring out what that boy is?” The priest asked, his eyes flitting from Eddie’s large broad shouldered form to spy the limp figure lying in the bed in the background.

 

“As far as I can tell, physically, he’s human.” Eddie pointed out as he pinched the bridge of his nose. “He doesn’t understand speech and he’s mostly afraid and untrusting of others.” He sat up more fully, drawing the priest’s attention as he continued. “I don’t exactly know what he is but maybe if you tell me what went on at that ritual, I can piece things together a bit more.”

 

“I know Edward, but please be patient. I cannot release the details just yet, i’m afraid. The first division is still cleaning up and collecting data.” The priest fiddled with some documents off screen, signing a couple papers before handing them over to an unseen presence. “We needed that creature taken care of first. Dissect him if you must, just find out what weakens him. If there are more of that thing, we will not last long in a fight with them. Nothing works but those bindings.”

 

Eddie felt a migraine rising in the back of his mind, radiating towards the back of his weary blue eyes. “I don’t have anymore of those bindings left either. This set was just prototypes. I wasn’t anticipating them to be used on something of this magnitude. You’re lucky they held up.”

 

The priest hummed thoughtfully before he gave an optimistic smile. “I had faith in your skills Edward. You’re one of our best and brightest.” He chimed before adding a quick. “Well, I have to get back. Forward me your reports from now on. I won’t bother you much since you’ll have your hands full from here on out. The Lord walks beside you Edward.” The male praised before the camera cut out, showing the video call had ended.

 

The man sat back in his chair and mumbled a curse under his breath before stretching his arms out above his head. A yawn leaving his lips as a gruff voice came from another point in the room. It was a low growl but it had very unmistakably formed human speech. “Ed...ward…” The voice repeated the man’s name, drawing him over towards the bed where the blue eyed demon stared up at him tiredly. His eyes full of confusion and obvious fear of the larger man. As Eddie approached, the blonde shrank back away, his tail shifting beneath the blanket to curl around his waist as if protecting the appendage from the man.

 

“You said my name.” Eddie spoke softly, pulling a chair up closer to the bed so he could watch the demon’s reaction. His weary expression twisted into something closer to excitement but it remained reserved. Controlled by a barely neutral expression. “Go on. Can you say anything else? Like your name?” He asked, brimming with anticipation.

 

“Name..?” It repeated the word with that same low confused grumble. It’s voice sounded harsh and brittle, like it wasn’t used to speaking. Gravely and rough. It made Eddie wince at the thought, thinking it had to be harsh on it’s throat. He reached a hand out towards the male’s hand, hoping to build some form of connection with physical contact. To maybe even quell the fear in those eyes. As the darker haired male’s fingers spread over the demon’s palm, the jolt of electricity ran between their hands and the demon’s grasp returned the hold, gripping tightly as it’s blue eyes glowed an abnormal hue. The collar around its neck began to hum as the runes heated up with restrictive energy, trying to control the demon’s powers. The hum lasted only moments and Eddie remained calm and collected on the outside, brief panic striking through him inside until the hand released his grasp.

 

The voice came again, more contained and human like. It’s tone was softer, more genuine and portrayed human emotion easier though Eddie would have to admit, those pale blue orbs did a heck of a job at that already. “No name.” The creature paused before adding. “You are Edward.”

 

“Interesting. Knowledge transfer through physical contact.” Eddie mumbled quietly to himself before he shook his head and focused on the creature. “Oh, you can call me Eddie. Eddie.” He repeated his nickname, finding it sounded nicer on the strangely formal tone the creature was using. “You don’t have a name?” It nodded. “I guess we’ll have to name you then. Hm, I’ll let you pick from a list. Understood?”

 

The demon nodded in affirmation, his blonde locks bobbing in front of his face at the action. “How about Joseph?” The demon shook its head no. “Okay, then Chris?” Another shake of the head. “Fair enough. Sebastian then?”  Another no. “Marshall? Billy? Jeremiah? Benjamin? Wallace?” Each one was another rejection. Eddie was beginning to think it would never choose. “How about Waylon?”

 

The demon paused for a moment before forming the word on it’s own tongue. Testing it out a few times. “Way...lon. Waaayylooon. Waylon.” It nodded in affirmation at the chosen name.

 

“Alright, Waylon it is then.” He smiled at the demon, finding the childish innocence was kind of comical for such a dangerous creature. Though he wasn’t very certain if the creature was honest in it’s projected innocence. He decided to add that to the ever growing list of instances to investigate and put to the test. “How are you feeling?” Eddie questioned, standing up as he reached into his pocket and withdrew a small flashlight, no bigger than a pen. He reached down slowly as he spoke, noticing the fear in the male’s expression as the hand moved towards his chin. “It’s alright. I’m not going to hurt you. Just going to shine this light in your eyes, okay? I want to see if they respond correctly.” The blonde male held still for a moment, his jaw set tightly as his tail shifted beneath the bedding, that same threat response rising. He didn’t have to worry about the barbs getting him with the smaller ring piercing the base of his spade. He clicked on the light and checked both pupils for a response, gripping Waylon’s chin to hold him still. The demon’s eyes watered at the harshness before he finally released him, letting him curl up and growl by himself. “Pupil response is normal. Heart rate above average during fear response but that’s expected. Blood pressure experiencing a slight increase as well.” Eddie headed towards his work desk to add these notes and times to his official report to send in tomorrow morning.  

 

He left the demon alone for a decent half hour before the creature started to stir and whimper in the bed. Twisting in the blankets as he pulled on his restraints frantically. The clanging and abundance of movement drew the tall male’s attention towards his subject. “What’s wrong?” He asked, seeing the distressed and fearful look cross the creature’s face. Twisting up his features as he growled and pulled on the restraints, his legs drawn up to his abdomen as he shifted from side to side, portraying a pained body language.

 

“Wh-what is that?” He grunted out and growled, fading into a frantic whimper.

 

Eddie was just as confused until he neared the demon, hearing a sound that nearly made him laugh. He had a suspicion and drew a stethoscope from his coat pocket, going to the edge of the bed where he placed a hand on Waylon’s knees and gestured for him to hold still. The demon’s pale eyes were pleading towards the larger male as the tool pressed against his bare belly, pushing aside the blankets in the process. An awkward growling sound came from within and Eddie couldn’t help the smile of amusement that graced his lips. “I regret to inform you that you have a terrible case of what we humans call having the munchies.” The sarcasm was dripping from the larger man’s lips, totally going over the demon’s head as he gave a look of confusion like this prognosis was a death sentence. “Don’t worry. I’ll get you some food and you’ll be fine. Your body is human meaning it needs daily nourishment. Drinking lots of water and eating three full meals a day.” He pet the demon on the head before fixing his shirt and the blanket. “I’ll be back in a couple minutes. Just hold on a little longer.” He smirked, rubbing the back of his neck as he stuffed his stethoscope back into his pocket, heading for the door that the soldiers originally brought the demon in through.