Paranormal Collaboration Part Three (by Steve Strodder)


I slump against the sleek, menacing shape of my Aston Martin Vanquish. One of the great things about being a hunter is you get paid through the nose. I unlock the black, hulking form to shelter myself from the rain. Pulling my phone out from under the dash, I see that I’ve got one text message and two missed calls.
The text reads, Hey Beau, I finished your knives and the necklace, come get them whenever and don’t even think of paying me. It is from Valencia, the local Terrae crafts mistress. If you want something made of any material or metal you go to a Terrae craftsman or mistress. I check the missed calls. They’re from the Fey elders. I call back straight away.
“Hello, Blake speaking.”
“Hello Sir, you called?” I inquire; I’m not in the mood to put up with their politics.
“Ah yes, Beau, we did. Do you remember the hunt for the half-breed?” he asks. Anger rises inside me. The half-breed? What day and age is this? A Fey is a Fey no matter how pure.
“Yeah? She met up with master vampire just before we caught up to her and he made her trail vanish… what of her? Please don’t ask me what I think you are going to ask me.”
“She’s back. We’ve found her trail again. We need you to find her and bring her to us,” he says, ignoring my prayer anyway.
“I’m sorry? I was a disgrace to the Fey last week because I wouldn’t join the elders and now you want my help after banishing me? No thank you.” I hang up the phone and set it down. It rings again almost instantly. I check the number; Charles. Maybe he has someone for me to kill. I could really go for some stress relief right now.
“Hey Charles, how can I help tonight?”
“Some idiot summoned an Afrit and couldn’t control it. There isn’t enough left of him to fill a film canister but we do have an Afrit knocking down the foundations of a Summoner’s house in Lakeside and once they’re gone he’ll be out in the street.”
“Ok, I’ll be there in ten minutes.” I turn the key, rev the engine and head off to the magic quarter. I open my mind’s eye so I can see the aura of the demon and the magic discharge of a Paranormal being killed.
It doesn’t take long to find it. the fire demon’s aura glows bright red against the twilight horizon and the purple of a Summoner’s aura mingles with it. I drop past Valencia’s shop and pick up my new knives. These are custom made for me out of a dark iron and silver alloy. My old ones were just mainstream knives – these are made to fit my hand and are balanced perfectly. I strap them to my harness and take the old ones off. Time to roll out.
I arrive at the house and the paranormal events squad is already there in a scattering of cars out the front of the house. This is the only unit in the police where you can have variations of the uniform; crosses, rosewood, silver and all manner of trinkets can be seen, hanging, embossed and entwined around the officers.
“Hey Beau, just in time. The building is coming Down in five minutes, tops.”
I glance at the house. All the windows are broken and it’s sitting on a slant.
“You realise there is no way I can get rid of the thing inside the house without the building coming down, don’t you?” I ask. As far as stress relief goes knocking down a building is pretty much as good as it gets.
“We can’t risk it hurting someone out here on the street. Do whatever you have to. Just try not to let it hurt anyone.”
“Aye, aye chief.” I give a mock salute and walk towards the front door, drawing my new knives and twirling them just to show off. It’s like they’re an extension of my hand. Mental note; buy multiple sets of these.
I walk through the remains of the front door and fully open my mind’s eye. The whole building swirls in multiple colours of Aether, I charge my aura with magical energy and it flares, going from faint to screaming. An Afrit. This was going to be interesting.
I sidle down the stairs to the basement. I’m just assuming that’s where the pentagram is. It’s still holding the demon so I’m guessing it’s fixed to the foundations of the house itself. I stick my head around the corner and quickly jerk it back. A bolt of Aether hits the wall directly behind where my head was moments before. There’s no wind down here for me to make a shield out of. Shit.
I strip off my jacket and mould a protective wall out of my aura. It should take a couple of hits and by then I’ll be too close for it to hurl the bolts at me anyway. I run out and into the open and straight away something like the force of a small car going at sixty hit my shield. The shield flares up in a visible wall. I stagger, almost losing my footing, and charge the demon, knives flickering.
I get my first real look at the monster. It’s at least eight feet tall and in a vaguely human shape – a very muscular human shape of what seems to be writhing flame. This is its aura, I realise. The stuff isn’t actually hot unless it is charged with magical energy, and keeping his entire aura hot for any longer then a few minutes would drain it completely.
I pull a spike from my own aura and throw it at the demon, gathering a little extra thrust with a spin. It catches the brute in the right shoulder. With demons you just have to keep slashing until they dissipate. There is no way to kill them quickly.
The demon gives an inhuman roar and I see a crack form in the wall. I charge at the demon, slashing and thrusting with the new knives. The demon screams in agony as its skin reacts with the blessed silver. Fire flicks at my aura, which is spinning at full tilt now, cutting into the ground. The demon throws a punch that breaks through my shield and under normal circumstances would have broken my spine. Luckily the shield takes the full force of the blow. I’m thrown to the ground and the demon stands over me, letting out a guttural cackle. I smile and whisper the prayer of cleansing which consecrates the ground under my aura.
The demon screams and its aura turns solid, crumbling to dust. Slowly, the creature dissipates into nothing and the pentagram stops glowing. I stand up slowly, head still spinning from the impact. Bracing myself against the wall, I absorb the remains of the demon’s fleeing aura into my own. Strengthened by the new power, I start up the stairs and out onto the street. I’ve barely taken one step out of the house when the whole building comes tumbling down behind me. I smile and walk out towards senior sergeant Charles, and standing next to him is the last person I expected to see. It’s Asher, one of the few straight-as-an-arrow vampires left.
“Hey Asher, how you been for the last twenty years?”
“Good. We have some catching up to do, Beau,” he says. Like most of the undead, he is stunning, with flawless pale skin made to look even paler by his shiny, jet black hair and vivid green eyes.
“Sure, come back to mine?” I ask. I genuinely want to talk to him. Once you go into my business, the few genuine friends you have are priceless.
“Sure, mind if I bring a friend?” The question catches me off balance.
“Who is it?” I ask. May as well get straight to the point.
“Well you to have a lot in common. You’re both banished from the Fey community, to start with.” I give him the just-tell-me look. “Beau, meet Shayla. We need your help.”

Continues in Part Four

Paranormal Collaboration Part Three (by Steve Strodder)


Forresters Beach, Australia

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Part three of the collab, by Steve.

Keep a look out for my next part soon!

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  • Matthew Dalton
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