This story is based on reality, but I've used my imagination a bit. Reality in it is between 50% to 99%. How much? That's for you to decide, I'm not telling. Some names are real and on the right people, some are not.
Here we go:
"Check mate." I stare at the chess board. How could this be? I still had 9 of my pieces left, and he had 3. Still he managed to see through my tactics and corner my king. Well, I suppose he's not the group leader if there wouldn't be a reason for it.
I begin gathering the pieces back to the box. "Michael, how did you know I was using the queen as a decoy? Especially when you were supposed to think that the horse was the decoy."
He smirked at me. "Now now, little missy, did you really think I wouldn't know all your stategies in chess by now. You seriously need to get some new ones."
I narrow my eyes at the 'little missy'. Sure, I'm 5 feet, and nearly four inches tall to his 6 feet, but still... I let it pass, for now, at least. "It's only 10 pm. If you don't mind I'll go and check Joanna."
He waves his hand. "Go ahead, we'll get you back if we need to go." I start walking towards the staircase that leads to the next floor, when one of the mansion's ghosts steps in front of me. I manage to stop before walking through him (not a nice feeling, feel free to try *grin*).
"You can't go now." This ghost is one of the oldest, and his voice is a mere whisper, still everyone in the hall can hear it. "Jonathan said there's a job for you."
I turn to look at the rest of my group, and as Michael heads towards the library for briefing, we follow him. The ghost follows us to the large room with most walls more or less covered with bookshelves. These books are mainly novels, with only very few (but known) less fictive books. History, science, some occult, paranormal, and so on.
We walk to the long table in the middle of the room, and take our seats. Jonathan, the highest person in the mansion, as well as its owner, is already sitting at the head of the table, with a file folder on the table in front of him. He had brought this from Archives, for I can see our 'emblem' on the folder.
Michael sits to his immediate right, and I to his immediate left, across from Michael. Susanna sits next to Michael. She came here from Helsinki a while ago, and knows equipment we use better than most men who work under this roof. Helena sits down next to me, photographs are her speciality. She's been working here in the same manor even before I came in. Thomas takes his seat next to Susanna, he's a catholic priest, and proven his worth many times. The ghost decides to stand behind me.
Jonathan begins to speak, gaining all of our attention immediately. "A family friend contacted me a while ago, saying that there was something in his home. Something malicious. Our assistance have been asked. Thomas, Anna. Are you two fit enough to handle a possible demon?"
I glance at the priest and notice that he's looking at me. Simultaneously we turn to look at Jonathan. "Yes", we both respond, simultaneously. Jonathan glances at me. "Preapare a few prisons, just in case if you can't banish him." He opens the folder and pics up a picture. "This was taken at the location two nights ago." He gives the photo at first to Michael, who looks at it and passes forward, until it finally reaches me.
The photo is about an older wooden manor house. Its colours are traditional of the area, red walls and white around the windows. At first I don't see anything odd, but then I see an apparition by the house walls. I can't really see it that well. Just that it's tall and like made of fog. Then a transparent hand reaches over my shoulder and points at something in one of the third floor windows.
I see somehting that looks like black smoke in the window, forming a figure of head and shoulders. Then I see something in my head. Not with physical eyes, but the mind's eyes. A tall man in black. Clothing seems to be from the change of century, either little before 1900, or a few years after. His dark hair is in a low pony tail, and his blank eyes are staring at me.
I startle as someone touches my shoulder. I turn my head to see Helena standing by me. "Is everything all right?"
I shake my head to clear it before I speak. "I'm fine. I just had an impression of a man. Did you notice the black smokey figure in the window, and white one by the house?" They all nod. "But I'm the only one who 'saw' that man?" Jonathan is the only one who shakes his head, the rest nod. I look at him. Figures. His level is highest in the area, really.
Before I can ask what excatly _did_ he see, he gives a paper from the folder to Michael. "Check the Archives, before you go. We need to handle this, as soon as possible." Then he shoos us out.
After two different staircases and a few locked doors later we're in the room dominated by a set of computers, with large flat screens, and more bookshelfs as well as one more door, leading to room Jonathan had fetched the folder from most likely. Michael sits down at one of the computers and logs in.
He types in something to the search screen. Soon enough I can see the house from the photo in the picture on the top of the screen. I lean closer to read the text. He dug up the house's history, from where, I'm not sure. Surely generally inactive house can't be in the archives. Definetely not, since I see that he actually got it from a society of history researchers.
The original house was built 1889, but it burned down under odd circumstances in 1901. Fire was reported as an accident in which the owner of the house at the time was killed. It was rebuilt two years later by the owner's younger brother who was now the owner. He died in 1957 of old age.
The next owner was the his son, who had to sell the house to cover his debts in 1986. It was bought by the father of the current owner. He passed away 1999, leaving the house to his son, who is the current owner, still living in it on his own.
There was no more information in that page, so he logged in to our network (intranet), and found that there had been three investigations, but nothing had ever been found. These investigations were at summer of 1952 (after possible poltergeist incident), spring of 1985 (odd noises, and odd shadows spotted at times), and latest one was 1990 (odd fire; officials who investigate fires, reported that it apparently was caused by a gas leak and a faulty electric connections).
Michael then logged off and got to his feet. Then he turned to look at us, his group. "Susanna, take two videocameras, normal and infrared. No EMF or other detectors this time. Helena, take one of our digital cameras. Thomas, get your stuff ready for exorsism. Anna, like Jonathan said, prepare a few prisons. Three just in case. Don't forget your pendant."
From me he glances around the group again. "Those who can communicate with their guardians, take strongest one with you." That isn't really meant for the two other women, because they barely know they have guardian spirits, but have never seen them. A quick glance at Thomas reveals an astral figure of a woman in white, another at Jonathan reveals a genderless figure in gray next to him. Then a glance at my each side showes me two figures (three if you count the ghost) looking down at me.
My glance goes from one of my strongest guardians to another, unable to choose. So, I shrug. "You two decide on your own." Neither make the decision, though, so I pick one randomly from the two, since the one I consider the strongest is in Helsinki at the moment. My eyes goes from the spirit in white to the one in black, until I finally just point at one of them. This happens to be the one in black. The man in white narrows his eyes at me, annoyed. "You didn't decide, so I had to. Stay here to look after Joanna, okay?"
He nods and leaves the room, not bothering to open the door, though. He walks through it. When I look at the two other women, I see that both has a man at their sides. Helena's spirit is a longhaired man in blue, and Susanna's is a man in beige. Or, I think it's beige. Could be light yellow. Or white.
Soon enough we're in our Volvo SUV, heading towards the house. Guardian spirits aren't around, they'll meet us in there. When we travel, I prepare the prisons while sitting in the backseat with two other women. Michael is behind the wheel this time, and Thomas in his 'uniform' is sitting next to him.
I hold one of the rock crystals in front of me, visualising the walls of the prison, and forcing them into the gem. I check the walls that they are same as always, no holes in energy, no leaks, before I visualise the seal to shut the prison in it's place, and prepare it. Now, all I would have to do is to get the being bound to the gem, and activate the seal, and it would take care of the rest. I've done this many times, so it's a routine already. Then I put the prepared to my pocket and take a new one to start all over.
We travel silently, and finally (after an hour drive) we park in front of the house of the photo.
We get out of the car and get the cameras we took with us, before looking around in the yard. I quickly check the third story window (although a have to step back to see it well). Nothing. Then I look at the side of the house where the white apparition had been in the pic. Nothing. Michael's voice interrupts my inspection. "Anna, can you sense anything?"
I close my eyes, trying to get something. I can feel cold tingling going through my spine, a pressure invading my senses. Something malicious is definetely in there. Demonic class, maybe. I open my eyes. For your information, in the group that investigates this place, I'm the only actually sensitive. Sure, Thomas can sense things, but I'm more sensitive. The other sensitive of the group has been ill for days and couldn't join us this time. She's more sensitive than I am. A lot more really. She's my mentor, the one who recommended my invitation and the one who guided me the way of pagan before that. She knew I was an energyvampire before I did.
I look at Michael. "Yes I can." I nearly startle when a hand is lowered to my forearm. I look to my side to see my guardian spirit. The look on his face is tense. "What's wrong?" I ask from him.
He narrows his eyes while staring at the house before he speaks quietly. "I do not want you in there." I turn to face him, increduosly. Sure, his job is to keep me in safe, but what's he worried about? I've met higher class demons. Sure, Samael, even though he did scare me, wasn't planning to harm me then. And Leviathan never had malicious intentions. But still...
Before I have a chance to tell him this, he speaks again. "We cannot follow you in there. You are on your own. I am aware that none of you is without defence in there, even then I am not willing to allow you to enter that house. Risks are too great."
A quick glance at my colleagues reveal that they are all staring at my guardian spirit, as if they had heard his words. Actually, it's likely that they had. All members have higher level of sensitivity than majority of the people. Then something he said catches up with me. "Wait, Aniki. You said you can't follow us there? What do you mean?" (Aniki isn't a name, but title. Ever since I started watching anime, I've been picking up japanese words and I use them quite often in conversation; Aniki 'big brother' is the guardian spirit who I consider as older brother since he acts like one.)
He looks directly at me. "Something was done inside that house that resulted in this. No spirit can leave the house, nor enter it. Look." He points at the spot where the white figure had been in the photo. I hear Thomas gasp, and I understand why. By the wall (fifteen-twenty meters from our spot) is a child looking at us. Very young, I would say around the same age as Joanna (4).
The boy turns to look at the house, and I he reaches at the house, only to pull away quickly as if being shocked. I had seen it only for a moment, a faint glow in the spot of air his hand had touched before he had pulled it back. I might've imagined it though.
I face Aniki again and open my mouth, fully intent to tell hem that I'm going. This is my duty. However a voice stops me, and I turn around to see a man in his fourties looking at me. "What are you doing, miss?"
I can actually feel my cheeks burning, and I'm sure they're pretty red at the moment. Michael saves me. "We're here to investigate the strange occurences of the house."
The man turns to look at Michael. "Ah, yes. Jonathan told me that he would send someone as soon as possible. I'm Stefan." Michael introduces us, and upon hearing that Thomas is a catholic priest, Stefan looks worried. "You think that a priest is needed?"
Michael nods at him. "We suspect that it's a demonic entity. Even if it wouldn't be, he can deal with ghosts as well."
Stefan looks at us in silece for a moment, before nodding. "Vey well. Come in." As we enter the house I feel the dark energy strenghtening, and turn to look behind us once more to the yard, where our guardians has to stay. Amazingly enough Aniki doesn't make a move to stop me, he just looks at me with an unreadable look on his face. That look even I can't read.
Thanks you three... You wanted more? *smirk* Here goes part three (I'm changing to past tense, I kept writing last part in both past and present tense, so I try this way):
I could see my teammates becoming nervous as we entered the hall. Team leader though showed no signs of nervousness. Though, he never did. I surely could feel it. There was something in here, something that didn't want us here.
I shivered at the cold feeling that ran down my spine again. Something was watching us. Was it the shadow like being that had been in the picture? Or the man I saw in my vision? Or were the two the same being?
I was brought back from my ponderings when we entered what appeared to be a study. I looked around the room, freezing as I saw a painting at the wall. I had seen the man in the painting before. It was the man I had seen when watching that photo.
I startled as Michael's hand touched my shoulder. "What is it?" Then he paused before he spoke again, his voice quiet. "That's him." I turned around and saw him looking at Stefan. "Who is the man in the painting?"
Stefan glanced at the painting before sitting down by the desk, motioning us to do the same. I sat on the couch in between Michael and Thomas, when Helena and Susanna chose comfortable looking chairs, one on the each side of the couch.
After a moment of silence, Stefan spoke. "That's the original owner of this house. He died in the fire when the original house burned down. As far as I know, he moved here from Stockholm, and was born a Fleming." Until now I had only listened, gazing at the painting, but as I heard the name, I turned to look at him.
"Excuse me, did you say Fleming?" Stefan turned to look at me, nodding. "One of the most famous noble families of the Sweden, and Finland when this country was still part of Sweden. I descend from that family, several generations back. What was his first name?"
"Karl. He never used name 'Fleming' in here though. I'm not sure what he called himself then, but I'm sure you'll find it in official records." He took a deep breath and released it before speaking again. "It's said that he did things most wouldn't. People in the village that was part of his lands wrote to the General Governor of the time, because they were worried what the land owner might summon here with his acts.
"According to oral tradition, odd lights were seen in the middle of the night near the mansion, if one was brave enough to approach it. His guards, by his orders, most likely, were said to keep everyone far from mansion. Even then, some managed to come close. It's said that they died days later for no apparent reason. Of course, medicine of the day wasn't as good as it is now, so it's difficult to say what killed them."
He paused, but the silence lasted only a few seconds before Michael spoke. "I have a few questions of what you have told so far. Do you mind if I ask them now?" Stefan shook his head, allowing Michael to speak. "Are there any historical records of these deaths?"
Stefan responded by opening his desk drawer and pulling a folder for us to see. "I have been doing some investigation myself, and I found that before the fire, there was indeed a few deaths of young men who were supposed to be fit. No apparent reason was found. If you like to check them, I have copies of documents right here, telling what I just told."
"There's no need for now. Later perhaps. What kind of lord he was to his underlings?"
Stefan responded nearly right away. "He was uncaring, but not cruel or harsh. Aside for his practices he was liked. His people weren't afraid of him, but what he might bring here by accident."
I glanced at Michael, noticing that he was leaning slighly forward, hand below his chin. "I see. Is there any information of the things he actually did?" I turned to look at Stefan again.
Stefan shook his head. "Everything was destroyed by the fire." Suddenly his eyes widened. "Maybe something still remains..." He opened the folder and began to go through its contents. Soon he took a paper from it, and offered it to Michael, who took it and held it so we could see too.
It was a sketch, a farly old, drawn with black ink. It was a star with nine points inside a double circle. In between the circles were drawn runes, some of which I recognised, some not. I looked from Michael's widened eyes to Stefan who spoke in quiet voice. "This was drawn basing on a sketch drawn by one of the young men who managed to get close to the house. This is said to be what the boy saw drawn on the basement floor."
Gavin, the genie in the bottle decided to be kind for a change *smirk* Here's part four.
I noticed Thomas leaning over me to see the picture better, and a quick glance proved that the women were doing the same. Michael was looking at Stefan, who was watsching him. Michael was the one to break the silence. "Did the basement floor avoid destruction by fire?"
Stefan shook his head. "Not that part. According to the oral tradition of the people, the room where this was, was the one the fire began from, and it was completely destroyed."
Michael held the picture in his left hand, tracing few of the runes with his right indes finger. "Has the basement been checked?"
Stefan nodded. "According to journal of the one who rebuilt this, Karl's younger brother, the basement was checked. The fire did start from the room at the north end of the basement, where this symbol was supposed to be. The floor was ruined, so if there was anything, fire destroyed it."
I looked at Michael, waiting for his reaction. I did have some idea what the reaction would be like. He didn't fail me. "I see. Can we visit there?"
Stefan stood up. "Yes." He sat back down when he noticed that Michael wasn't going to get up. "What? I thought you wanted to go there."
Michael closed his eyes. "Yes we do." He opened them. "Before we do, however, I need you to tell us what happened. I have no doubt that there are entities here, so we can skip a few parts of the standard investigation protocol."
Stefan sighed. "Very well. I had heard that this place is supposed to be haunted, but it was not until 2003, when something happened here. That summer I heard someone crying at the basement. I went to look, but found nothing. This went on for weeks, until suddenly it stopped soon after I had planned to get someone to check this place.
"Then nothing happened for years, until only one week ago I heard the cries again, but this time they were louder. Again I followed the sounds to the basement, and I saw something crouching at the shadows of one of the corners. At first I thought someone from nearby village had come to the house and for some reason had ended up like that. However when I asked who the person was, the thing lifted its head and I saw a pair of red eyes. That's when I ran back upstairs."
*cough* Part... erm... five coming up!
Upon hearing the description my first thought was 'a demon'. I reached for the trusty dragon pendant hanging from my neck and grabbed it. It felt warm to touch. I frowned. Wait a minute... It's supposed to feel _cool_ to touch, being made from pewter, and all.
For a long moment all I could hear was silent breathing of the two men at my sides, rustling of clothes as someone moved in their seat, and the clock ticking. Thomas was the one whose voice broke the silence. "After that, have you experienced anything else?"
I released the pendant and lowered my hand to my lap, lifting my head a bit to look at Stefan, to see his aura, when he responded. "Yesterday evening my nephew was visiting me, and I told him that there was something down there. He, being young and reckless, wanted to see it. At first I disagreed, but he convinced me, and we went down there.
"The moment we reached the room I had seen the thing, it was there, crouching at the same corner, looking at us. Then it suddenly got to its feet and charged at us, only to halt when someone shouted 'stop'. We couldn't see what had shouted, but the thing turned to look at one of the walls to our right, its left, and retreated.
"As the lights began to flicker we got back upstairs. Then, this morning when I came to kitchen for breakfast, all plates and glasses had somehow got out from cupboards and had shattered all across the kitchen table. I didn't hear anything last night, and all the cupboards were closed, some even locked. The oddest thing was that there were no pieces of the plates or glasses outside the table. On that spot I contacted a family friend who I know deals with these kind of things."
His aura had changed throughout his story. However, one emotion was constant, its intensity changing from little above average to very intense. The emotion was fear. After what he told us, I couldn't really blame him. I turned to look at Michael, who was looking at me. "What did you see?"
I had to think for a moment before realising that he had noticed me looking at Stefan's aura. "Fear." Then I turned to Stefan, because I had noticed something else. "Did the creature touch you, when you were awake or dreaming?"
He gave me a funny look, but responded. "I had a nightmare last night. In it something came to me, and touched my neck, saying that I would be his to kill." He seemingly shivered when he told us this.
I noticed that the others were looking at me curiously, and I decided to explain. "In the right side of his neck, in his aura, there's a dark spot. It's about size of an olive, and oval shape. It doesn't look oily, and there's no symbol, just that it's, well, dark."
Finally Michael took to his feet, and I got up too, noticing that so did everyone else in the room. He began to give us orders. "Susanna, Helena, get the cameras. We're going down. Thomas, Anna, no banishing yet, but get your stuff ready."
Stefan led us to the basement. As he was taking us towards the northern most room, I could feel the pressure increasing. There was something down here, that's for sure. Susanna and Helena had been recording our walk from the moment we began to walk down stairs. Susanna had the infrared videocamera, and Helena had the normal one. Our digital camera was in my possession, and I took a shot every now and then (although there was nothing in those photos to be considered supernatural *pout*).
When we reached the door to the room the being had been spotted twice, so far, Stefan opened it, and pointed at the corner on the far left from us. "There the being was. I'm not going there. If you need something, I'll be waiting by the door."
We stepped into the room, and saw nothing. I felt the pressure though, and by the tense looks on everyone else's faces suggested that they felt it too. Even Michael looked tense, and he was staring at the corner. I looked at it, and saw it. Dark figure crouching in the shadows in the corner, staring at us with red blazing eyes.
It didn't move, and neither did we. I tried to see it's aura, and I saw it was simple one of a nature spirit, but there was somehting wrong with it. "It's a demonic spirit!" Michael turned to look at me, with a lifted eyebrow. "Its aura is that of an evil nature spirit, but it's not that of an actual demon."
Michael turned his eyes at the being, then at me. "Demonic entities take orders only of actual demons. Are you saying there's a demon involved?"
Suddenly pressure increased, and the demonic entity retreated to its corner, disappearing in the shadows. "Who are you, and why are you here?" I started at the cold voice, and turned towards the wall right of us to see a man standing there.
I had seen him before. It was the first owner of the house. His aura also revealed something. There was no mistaking it. Alignment layer almost pitch black, the grudge and hatred seen in aura, it was that of a ghost. This man, who used to be human when living, was controlling a demonic entity!
"Michael... It's him." I narrowed my eyes to see a thin line going from the ghost to the corner in where the demonic entity was last seen at. "And he has a connection to the being..."
Thanks guys *blush*. TAPSFAN, really? Then better give you the next part... Right *cough* Sorry about delay, here is part six (besides, I had to check few things):
I turned to look at Michael, only to see his aura flaring around him. I had never before seen his aura flaring like this. Sure, it responded to presence of any demonic entity by flaring, to challenge them. But like this... Not even certain encounter with one of Alex's 'colleagues' hadn't made it flare the way it did now.
My eyes widened as I saw the look in his eyes. They appeared calm, but I had seen that look before. They were flashing, as he was analyzing the two. At times I even saw his astral form flashing, changing the form on his aura. It was as if pair of wings would've tried to spread and flex, but he held them back.
Yes, his astral form had (and still has) wings. I actually know many who has. They aren't real wings, just formed of energy, and only visible to those who can see astral bodies. They can resemble bat wings, or bird wings. I even know one who has wings formed of steely scales. Their purpose? I don't know. Maybe they tell entities who they shouldn't mess with. Maybe something else.
Anyways, back to the situation at hand. I turned to look at the ghost who was motioning to the demonic entity. Before we could do anything the two retreated to the shadows and vanished, but not before the ghost spoke, to who, I couldn't say, since his face was already hidden in shadows. "Your Organization cannot defeat me. Leave this house and you shall be spared. Fail, and you will die, like the rest."
Then, they were gone. I only sensed them faintly somewhere, but I couldn't locate it, and the pressure of the room from earlier was gone. I glanced at Michael to ask what to do next, but the door opened and we turned to look at Stefan. "I thought I heard an odd voice."
Michael just started to walk by him, only stopping at the bottom of the stairs. He turned to look at Stefan. "We need to return to the study." With this said, he turned his face forward again, and resumed walking up the stairs.
We followed right behind, as Stefan nearly ran after him. Me, Thomas, Susanna, and Helena walked at a slower pace, and reached the study soon enough. As soon as we had taken our previous seats I noticed the two other women taking the cameras they had been carrying and began to check the videos they had been recording.
So, I took the camera i had been using and checked the photos I had taken, noticing vaguely that Thomas was looking at the pics too. I moved the camera a bit to make it easier for him. By the time we had looked every picture I had taken in the house we were a tad dissappointed. There was nothing there.
I turned to look at Michael. "There's nothing in these-" I was interrupted by Susanna's delighted squeal. I turned to look at her, and noticed that she was holding the infrared camera at Michael, who took it. What he saw, made his eyes widen, and I tried to see what he had seen. "Michael? Can I see?"
He gave the camera to me, and I looked at the picture, and saw few things right away. First of all, the room the two had been was slightly cooler that the corridor (still where part of both rooms were seen). I pressed the 'play' button and saw a white blob in the corner the demonic entity had been. And a slightly before the ghost appeared, the spot we had seen him had turned a colder. Just that spot. Room around it was the same temperature as it had been.
Then, the beings appeared. The demonic entity was shown in the recording as if he would be real person, and when camera had turned towards the ghost, in his place was a cold figure of a man. When I had finished with it I gave it to Helena, and Michael gave the other camera for our (me and Thomas) viewing.
The video started normally, showing our backs, the stairs, the walls, and the floor, when finally showing few faces (ours) and the inside of the room. The shadowy entity wasn't visible for this camera, but when Karl appeared, for a moment he was seen by the camera the same way we had seen him, before the recording was shut off, and all that was there, was static white and black dots in the screen.
Whoops! It's been nearly a week, sorry! Whoa... those comments make me [:I]... Thanks! So, as requested, part seven:
I turned the camera off and handed it back to Michael, who took it and gave it back to Helena (who had been to far from me for me to give to her directly). She in turn packed it back to its bag. I watched how also Susanna put the infrared camera back to its bag.
Then Michael spoke and I looked at him. "Our main objective is to get the ghost out of the house, preferably so that he moves on."
Stefan's voice broke the short silence that followed Michael's words. "What if he doesn't want to move on? What if he returns or chooses another place to be, bringing that thing with him?"
Stefan and Michael look at each other in silence for several minutes (or so it felt), before Michael responded. "We will force him to move on, if we can't convince him to do so. We don't usually do that, only when we have no choice." He turned to look at me. "Can any of your prisons hold a ghost?" I narrowed my eyes at him. What was he thinking? He knew the answer to that, already. I wouldn't say that out loud when Stefan was present though. He must've had his reasons, and I wasn't going to question my team leader right now.
Barely stopping myself from sighing out loud, I shook my head, since I had made my three prisons to hold demonic spirits, not ghosts. He spoke again after a minute. "Can you make one that could?"
Now I actually had to think. The walls would hold a ghost alright, so I wouldn't have to alter them. The seals, then? No, they were to hold demonic entities, not ghosts. I went through the different lock seals I could remember. "Yes, in theory. However, as beings ghosts and demons are different. I can only remember seals that can only bind ghost to a prison, but not to prevent it from doing anything from there."
I looked up at Michael, noticing that he seemed to be about to say something, but then Thomas spoke, and I turned to look at him. "There's still the question what bound the demonic entity to the ghost, and why? And if it will let the ghost to move on even if we try to force him."
Again, a silence fell in the room. The markings on the floor the village boy had seen on the basement floor. They were the key. I had recognized some of the runes, but without recognizing all of them, we wouldn't be able to say for certain what this thing was about.
It was obvious that he had practiced something dark in here. Maybe a demonic worship? A demon could easily bind a lesser demonic entity to another person. Which demon? And why? And what Karl was giving to the being? His soul? Possible. Also, why he had wanted to be bound? Unless it wasn't his choice in the first place. Arrgh. Too many questions.
I was about to say these thoughts out loud, when something touched my hand. I looked at my hand, noticing that the paper with the sketch on it was being held to me. I looked up to see Michael. "What?"
He sighed. "Take it." I did so, and lifted the paper towards my face a bit, then I looked at him, wondering what he wanted. He tilted his head to one side. "Were you in your own world, again?" I blinked, not really understanding what he was saying. "We talked a bit, and decided that someone should show this to the guardians waiting outside. One of them might recognize this."
I nodded and got to my feet, noticing that also Thomas was getting up. Of course. Michael wouldn't allow us to walk alone here. So, I walked out of the room, and towards the door leading us outside. As we entered the hall a cold shiver ran through me. I looked around me, trying to figure out what was going on. I noticed that Thomas was alert, and he had a bottle of holy water ready in his hand, thumb lifting the cap of the bottle slowly.
I grabbed my trusty pendant and felt that it had turned cold. It's supposed to be cool at coldest, but not as cold as it was then. I recalled few of my trusty banishment spells (even though they would only drive ghost away temporarily).
I shivered again, and felt how the hair on my arms went up from chills. I also think I faintly noticed how the air that left my lungs seemed to turn into clouds when I breathed out. It must've been very faint clouds, though, because I can't remember seeing similar ones coming from Thomas when I looked at him. Later he said he had only felt the chills, but can't remember those clouds, from me or him.
Anayways, ready to banish anything that came, I moved towards the door, slowly. Michael followed me. As I reached the door that led to outside, I felt something, and turned around, only to see Karl standing in the middle of the hall. He was staring at us, or rather me.
I got over the initial shock quickly, remembering that I've faced stronger and more malicious beings than the one standing in front of us. I noticed that the demonic entity wasn't near. I held my head up high, and spoke. "What do you want, Karl? Why can't you move on?"
His eyes moved from my face to my hand what was still holding the paper. "I see someone saw it." Then he began to walk towards us.
Part Eight coming up!
I moved closer to Thomas as the ghost approached, and I whispered to him my plan. "I hold him back while you get outside." He looked at me as if about to say something. I just shook my head. "I'll be fine."
Thomas moved to open the door, and as the ghost came closer Thomas slipped through it. As soon as he was out the ghost stopped. "It's you I want anyway."
Before I could say anything, I felt a hand grabbing my left arm, and I was pulled outside through the still open door. When outside I turned to look at the one who had pulled me out, presuming it was Thomas, preparing to tell him that I could've handled it.
Instead, I came face to face with the person who never participated in these investigations. "Jonathan..."
He released his hold and I felt how Aniki came to stand by me. Jonathan spoke before I had time to ask why he was here, as I intended. "The others are safe for now, because Michael is in there. It was foolish of you to stay there alone."
I glared at him. "I could've handled him."
He shook his head slowly. "Could be true. However, you can't do anything rash until we know exactly who he's working with."
I just stared at him. I could guess I wasn't the only one, judging by the silence. I had a question, and I asked is as soon as I could. "But... How do you know? We just recently thought it seemed that he is working with a demon..."
His gaze went to my side, and I followed his gaze at the house. "Why do you think I'm here?"
So, he ignored my question. I sighed and thought it for a moment. Then I remembered something, and glanced at the paper in my hand. "You've seen this already, and have a hunch who it might be he's working with."
Now I could practically _feel_ everyone's eyes on me, even though my gaze was at Jonathan. He chuckled. I'm not sure what he found amusing, but he had always had a bizarre sense of humor. "Very good. Stefan faxed the sketch to me earlier today."
I glared at him. "And you didn't think to show it to us then, so that we could first check what it was about, and then come?"
His eyes narrowed at me, and there was something in his look that gave me the chills. "Anna, time was on the essence. I had to get you here as soon as possible."
I closed my eyes in defeat, knowing that when he was like this, arguing would only make things worse. "Then I think you could come in with us and tell what you found out, if it could help us. That's why you came, right?"
He nodded. "Yes. We're going in, but you won't come with me and Thomas."
Part nine as requested *grin*:
I just gaped at him, before Aniki notified me that mouth should be closed if not in use. So, I closed it, after sending him a glare. Not that it worked... That glare has stopped working on my companions (physical or not) long time ago.
I turned to look back at Jonathan, who was watching the house. "Jonathan, I need to be there. I want to be there."
He turned his head slightly sideways, looking at me from the corner of his eye. "Your place is here, until we get you back. Do you understand?" I opened my mouth to say that I wouldn't stay outside, but he just turned back to the house. "I believe your guardian will keep you here if necessary."
Then, he walked towards the front door, and followed by Thomas he opened the door, and stepped in. The door closed, leaving me outside, fuming.
I took a step towards the door, fully intending to defy his order, if even this once (generally I wouldn't do that, but I felt I _had_ to be in there). Before I could take another step, I felt a hand (not physical) land on my shoulder, and I heard familiar voice of Aniki. I stopped to listen to what he had to say.
"Jonathan does nothing without a reason. If he feels that it is best for you to stay outside, then that is what you will do." I turned around, and he dropped his hand from my shoulder.
I was glaring at him, but he was never the one I would defy. If he asked me to do something, I probably did just that. Like a good 'little sister' should *sigh*.
Eventually I sighed and turned to look at the house, knowing that with both Jonathan and Michael there, the people in there would be perfectly in safe.
Suddenly I felt shivers going through my spine and I felt I had to look at the forest on my right. I vaguely noticed that all guardians were watching at that direction too.
At first I saw nothing, but then I noticed something moving between the trees. The guardians, now including Jonathan's one (still not sure _what_ he is, but he's not an ordinary nature spirit or ghost) gathered around me. For a moment I wanted to tell them, that I can take care of myself (certain someones, namely Aniki and Shar, might disagree at times), but I decided to stay quiet as I noticed, that the ones whose faces I could see, were staring intently at the forest, seemingly tensed.
We kept staring (well, me and the ones I could see at my place) at the thing moving in between the trees. I grabbed my dragon pendant, at it was so cold, that I had to release it right away.
I glanced at the pendant, and it looked normal, but felt different. I checked its energies, and they were flaring. Frowning I looked back at the forest and saw that that something had stopped, and was now looking at us. It was too far for me to see what it was, but I decided to look at its aura.
Its aura wasn't human, that I could tell. It was demonic, and I knew this aura. I had sensed it before. I had met it before. Instinctively I moved slightly behind Aniki, and noticed that Jonathan's guardian had joined him.
I'm only afraid of _one_ demon. Just one. How on Earth it was possible that it was the same demon who was standing in the woods right now? I could only whisper the name I knew he used here. "Samael..." I'm pretty sure he grinned at that.
Part ten coming up!
From behind Aniki and Jonathan's guardian I watched as the demon (looking a lot like human, without sensing his aura I would never have guessed that he was a demon) approached us.
My last encounter with him flashed in my mind, and I couldn't help but remember how terrified I had been then, even though he hadn't seemingly been intent to harm me.
I tried to gather my courage and step out from the safety of two backs, (and the other guardians at my sides and behind me) when the cold feeling that had filled me during the first encounter filled me again, and I suddenly couldn't find my courage.
Then a familiar voice reached my ears. At first I couldn't make out the words, or actually _place_ the voice (just that I had heard it before), but then words became clearer). "...forgotten who you are? Have you forgotten who we are? Demons should not cause you fright."
I turned to look at Aniki, who had spoke. His voice had done the same many times, as it did now. Just hearing his voice, soothed me, and eased the feeling I had.
I smiled at him, and looked then (not smiling anymore) at the demon who had stopped only 5 meters away from us. "Samael, what brings you here?" So what if I was still scared of him? At least now I was pretty sure, that Aniki wouldn't allow him to hurt me. And, as he had reminded me, Samael is a demon, and no good guy (or girl) is helpless against demons.
He grinned. "I'm here to make sure that certain human remembers his part of the deal."
Didn't take me too long to realise who and what he was talking about. The sketch I still held in my hand. Demonic entity bound to Karl. "It was you. You bound the lesser demon to the ghost. Did he summon you? Did you create the barrier that prevents spirits from entering or leaving the house?"
His eyes flashed, and my aura flared in response (it does that a lot when darker auras are nearby). "The barrier is the reason I have waited for so long to make sure he will keep his part of the deal. Does that seem demonic to you?" He waved his hand at the house.
I turned to look at the house, now seeing the barrier for the first time. Well, seeing in astral sense. Similar way I see auras. It was formed of what looked like symbols weaved together to form a glowing net. Many of the symbols I couldn't recognise, but I didn't need to know any of the symbols to have an idea what had created it. It's aura was purest I've ever seen.
I felt Samael's aura flare in anger (I think it was anger, could've been hatred) and turned to look at him, only to see him staring at me with narrowed eyes. "I wonder if it will be broken if I take you and use use for bargaining..."
As he began to approach again, a scream was heard from the house.
I typed part, um, eleven yesterday, but my modem refused to co operate, so I couldn't post it *pout*
Here it is, finally... Uh, I think it's considered (for a change) cliffhanger, so refrain from hanging me, ok? *puppyeyes*
Instinctively I grabbed Aniki's sleeve (he's physical enough at times for me to do that). I had recognized that scream. "Helena..." Letting go of the sleeve I rushed towards the house only to stop when Samael appeared in between me and the house. I actually collided with him, and would've fallen to ground if he wouldn't have grabbed my arm to prevent it (bruise was still visible after a week). Why? I'm still not sure. Demons seem to like (rather _love_) to see others get hurt.
My aura flared at his touch, and he pushed me from him with a growl. I stumbled backwards but could get back my balance before I would've found myself lying on the ground. I glanced at him, noticing his flaring eyes, and I retreated back to Aniki.
I startled as Samael spoke. "If I wouldn't have promised otherwise, I would kill you with my own hands, girl." I only later figured out the few possibilities who someone like him would actually make a promise to, and to _keep_ the promise, but I'll keep that to myself for now, before I can confront one of the possibilities and find out more. At that time I could only move behind Aniki again (and Jonathan's guardian).
I glanced at the house. "I've got friends there! Let me pass, demon." To someone at his level, the current prison gems I had would be useless, and I knew only one banishing spell (chant only; with ingredients there would be one very useful against stronger entities. Too bad I had none of them with me...) that could be strong enough to drive him away. Or would at least do _something_. Possibly he would've retuned later, angerer, and would've killed someone. Possibly me. So, I decided not to use that one unless he attacked us.
He let out a chuckle (creepy one though... ever heard that evil kukuku-laughter? A bit like that.) and turned his back on us. Then he looked back at the house. "That man is trying his best not to have to keep the last part of his agreement, and someone is protecting him. Someone good. So, he's free to prevent your friends from forcing him to move on."
I glanced at him surprised. "Why he doesn't want that?"
He glanced at me over his shoulder. "If you could become immortal, if you stayed behind, would you?"
I could only gape at him. His eyes narrowed at me, demanding an answer. So, I gave him one. The one I knew to be true. "Yes."
He turned his head back at the house. "The seal that is drawn on the paper in your hand. Do you know it?" I looked at it again, noticing only the same things as earlier. Some of the symbols (runes, actually) were familiar, but the seal itself. I had never seen it before. I told him this.
He turned around fully, and approached a few more steps, leaving only an arm's lenght between him and the two guardians who were staniding slightly in front of me. "You have seen the seal before, you simply can't remember, can you? No matter. He used the seal to summon me. Well, he didn't know it was me he was summoning, I just heard the call and got curious." I gaped at him again. Demons don't tend to explain things. Unless they're up to something.
My gaping turned into suspicious glare, and when he noticed it, he smirked. "I merely want what was promised to me. And those of us in this yard, you are the only one who can go. After all, you're no spirit entity."
I knew my answer to that. Nope. Sure I wanted to go in if my friends needed my help, but I wouldn't help demon to get Karl's soul, since I assumed that's what he wanted. I told him this. He just shrugged. "Sooner or later, you will go, and I will get what's mine."
I stepped forward from my 'shield' (formed of two guardians) and stopped just between the demon and the two. Something he had said earlier had just caught up with me. "You said I've seen the seal before, just couldn't remember it. How do you know? Why wouldn't I remember? When have I seen it?"
He grinned. That one sent shivers through my spine. "One word, girl. Alex."
All I could do was to gape at him. "Me? How can that-" I stopped in the middle of the sentence because he had sent me a meaningful glance. So it wasn't me in _this_ life, but in the last one, in which I knew Alex. But something wasn't right here.
I glanced at the demon suspiciously. "And where did I get that one, anyway? And why would I even want to possess something like this?"
He grinned. "From me, really."
"And why would you give this to me? And whay would I have any kind of deals with a demon?" He chuckled. Right, I had a kinda deal with the demon whose true name I knew. And I haven't always been the best person possible during my life/lives.
"I gave it to you then, because you needed it. Simple." He refused to clarify that, and I still haven't found out what he meant by that.
After trying to get him to explain, to no avail, I turned my attention to the house. "I hope they are alright."
I glanced at Samael who was staring at me, and I remembered the fear I had felt earlier towards him to return. A startled when he began to speak. "Have you forgotten your dark days, girl? How many times you came for us to help? How many times you allowed anger and hatred roam free inside you?"
I shivered at his words. But I knew the answers to those. I wasn't sure what he was up to, but decided to play the game for a while. "Part of me wish I couldn't remember, but rest of me is glad that I do remember. I don't want to return to that." I sighed. "Seeking for power. That brought me to contact your side."
"Why did you leave? You could've become stronger than many."
I bowed my head. "I left because I got scared. I got scared of myself. Scared of what I had become. I wanted power, but the price you wanted was too big. I've already done enough damage to my soul. All will remain there. Do you have any idea how much I had to change to repair what I could? Anger, selfisness, greed, hatred... I don't want to go back there."
"Girl, look at me." I raised my head and looked at him, just as he had asked. Not because I tend to obey demons. No. I did it because there had been something odd in his voice. "Do not pretend you're perfect, girl."
What could I respond to that? "I'm not perfect. I have lot less control over my abilities than I'm hoping for. I'm proud, and arrogant. I won't deny that. At least I'm trying to be as good person as someone with my past could be."
He turned around and ws quiet for a moment. Then he asked me a question from over his shoulder. "Have you found power you so eagerly seeked?"
That was easy enough. "Yes." He turned back at us. "I found it in my friends, my guardians, my companions, my daughter. I found it from joy, love, happiness, forgiveness, light. I found it from the nature, sea, sky, stars, sun, moon. I found it from the ones I call gods and godesses. I found it lying deep within me."
His reaction was what I didn't expect. He smiled. Not very big or warm smile. But it wasn't mean smile either. Just small, faint ghost of smile. "And that is the reason why I'm leaving now. I know when I have no other option than to retreat. The one in there promised to bring me a soul alongside with his own. But seeing as I have no way of getting it, and I can't touch you for now, I will take my leave. That man isn't safe from me yet, but for now, I will let him be."
Then he just walked back to the woods, leaving me gaping at his retreating back. Finally he vanished from our sight. I glanced at Aniki. "What was that about?"
The look on his face was contemplating. Before he had time to respond, the main door opened and Jonathan walked outside. "What did Samael want?"
I startled at his words. Had he actually sensed the demon’s aura through the barrier? The guy truly _was_ amazing. I couldn’t sense anything through it, and I was fairly sensitive.
Then I remembered that he had earlier told that he had a hunch of who was behind this. Did he know it was Samael all along?
I heard someone clearing their throat and I shook my head inwardly to clear it. I looked at Jonathan, and he was standing there his head cocked a bit to one side. I knew that look. That was his ‘get back in this world and answer me – or are you lost in that world so I would have to come and show you a way back’ –look.
So, I replied. “He wanted to get Karl to fulfil his part of their deal. His soul, and one other soul. He was planning to use me to break the barrier and to get in. When he couldn’t get what he wanted yet, he left. I’m not sure exactly why, he only said that he had no option but to retreat.”
Jonathan walked a bit closer to us. “He was here longer than that, Anna. Speak.”
Right. Sometimes I’m sure the guy can read minds. I sighed. “It’s a long story.”
“Make it short, then.”
So, I did. I told him what had happened from the moment Samael had appeared. I ended by repeating the last discussion about power, and how he had finally left.
“See, that wasn’t so hard.”
I glared at him. His reaction to what I had told… He wasn’t surprised. “You knew some of those things, didn’t you?”
He shrugged. “I know your past. Good, and bad. Your past with Alex, with Samael… I know it all. You did receive the invitation after your past was checked. Don’t forget that.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. He knew things of my past I hadn’t known. And I’m still pretty sure he knows more of my past than I do, even now.
“But all others… After all I did, you still… Invited me, and accepted me?
“You told me the response to that question already, when you repeated the conversation between you and the demon.”
I was still about to ask more, but the door opened again, revealing my team mates. Thomas and Michael seemed weary, and the women following them both looked like they’ve been in a sixty kilometre long trek through mountains and forests. Their clothes had marks that turned out to be burn marks and dust, dust was also on their faces.
I ran to them. “Are you guys alright? What happened? We heard Helena scream.”
Michael’s voice brought my attention to him. “The demonic entity was banished, and Karl has moved on.” He paused and turned to look at his left, at the forest. There were several beings in there. Souls, who were leaving the house or approaching it. So, the barrier was down.
I looked at the house again, trying to see the barrier, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t there anymore. What had broken it? Or, who had broken it?
Michael’s voice brought me back to the moment. “So, did you find out what the seal is?”
I nodded. “It’s used to call demons.”
He sighed. “So, one of those. And this brought Samael?” I glanced at him surprised so he explained. “Jonathan told us of the hunch he had of who the demon involved in this was. He also told that Samael had come.”
I nodded. “Samael had given this to me, I had given this to Alex, and Alex had given this to Karl.”
“I knew all that. Remember, the soul inside you might be same than the one who more or less belonged to Alex, but you are you, not her.”
I’m still trying to figure out the full meaning of that.
Gomen, for the update is a bit late... My browser was being mean *pout*
Anyways, just for information, this won't be the end of the story. Two or three more parts, at least, will come. Depends how much I type in each part. Many of this part is from what I was told, and what I've read from the case reports.
So, no more ado... As requested, part fifteen:
We had returned back to the mansion (our own), and were writing the report. On our way back Thomas filled me in of what had happened.
When Jonathan had entered, he had led the four (Stefan had stayed in his study) to the attic, where they had discovered another seal, this one had been only a bit different than the one that had been in the basement. The difference between the two had been an extra symbol drawn in the middle of the center of the nine-pointed star.
He had described the symbol, and I had identified it, using the same symbol in my prisons as a lock. It’s able to seal anything weaker than a named demon. Thomas had broken the seal, and released the entity, but it had fled before he had had the chance to banish it.
After the entity had vanished, they had heard a whistle coming from all around them (Thomas said that all had agreed that they couldn’t locate the sound, just that it seemed to come from all directions). After the sound had quieted, the demonic entity had attacked, but Jonathan had banished it quickly.
After the entity was gone, Karl had appeared, (using Thomas’ own words) ‘a Hell broke loose’ (from here on, is a combination of the reports written by the ones who were there; as well as what Thomas told me). Something they couldn’t see (but it had been recorded with both cameras as a small ‘impish’ being that looked like a blur, even in slow motion, as we noticed later) had attacked Helena (thus the scream), but had been banished by Thomas.
Then a candle that had not been lit, and was nowhere near a heat source or flames (no flames in the attic) lit on its own, and burned the pile of papers near it. Fire was extinguished quickly, but most of the papers were too badly damaged. Many of the papers were later confirmed (by the ones that remained mostly unharmed) Karl’s journal. Too bad the ones that weren’t ruined (team mates had tried to rescue as many as possible, under Jonathan’s orders; thus burn marks and ash, dust and dirt had come from the attic floor and stuff in there, it hadn’t been cleaned for decades (that’s what Stefan had said)) told only things we did know.
The entity bound by the seal in the attic (and reasons behind imprisoning) remained unidentified until later, since the remaining parts of the journal never mentioned it.
There was one thing the journal did reveal, that we hadn’t known. It identified the one who had created the barrier. Karl had written (last entry) that he was planning to break his deal with the demon (Samael, apparently), and he had prayed for help that night, help so that he could banish the demon.
He had written that a tall man had appeared and he had been accompanied by ravens. He had refused to tell his name, but instead told, that he would prevent Samael from getting his part of the deal, and had vanished. Then Karl had apparently written his entry (judging by the past tense changing into future and present). He had written what he had planned.
He had been planning to summon the demon one last time, tell him that the deal was off, and then banish the demon. Then he had apparently hidden the journal (since Stefan had never mentioned it, and when asked, he said he didn’t even knew Karl had written one; also it hadn’t been in the basement during the fire, or if it had, it had apparently vanished between the fire and the time after it, when people had inspected it; no record we could find mentioned anything regarding the journal).
Then Karl had attacked himself, only to face Jonathan, and to be forced back. The guy has that effect on people (and entities (even many demons!) at times). Thomas said that Jonathan had used kind words, but stern tone of voice, and eventually the angry ghost had calmed down, became sad, and vanished, apparently moving on.
After all the reports were written, I knew I had identified the man who had protected Karl. I don’t know what name you know this deity by, but to me, he’s Lugh.