The hot humid terrain of what was once known as the Fertile Crescent no longer possessed the rich, vibrant beauty Cain remembered back in the days of Eden. Desecrated. Babylon had been desecrated, century after century. The Hanging Gardens that once graced the temples of King Solomon had been a sight. Kings and Queens of renown once flocked to Babylon to partake of the glory that was once the epicenter of mankind. The fertile banks of the Euphrates and the Tigris had irrigated the crops, keeping the citizens within the gates well fed and the market place flourishing. He recalled traipsing through a time or two, even gaining the favor of King Solomon himself. He could have easily taken the city from the wise king’s grasp, but he was still being hunted by the archangels, and doing so would have guaranteed his demise.
Now as he stared at what was left of the ruins, Cain shook his head, fighting back the painful memories that he preferred to keep locked away in a black box tucked deep in the caverns of his mind. But it would be here where it began that it would soon end. He heard them loud and clear. Their mournful cries. Their pleas for redemption.
Their pain. And soon he would be their savior.
But just how did Daemon know exactly where to find them? How would an ordinary vampire, born of bite and not blood figure out the location of The Fallen? This was information designed only for those of angelic bloodline or had been blessed with the knowledge. He would soon find out. Cain walked casually, making note of the few scattered humans that had been displaced due to the bombing. Their tattered clothing, battered faces and hopeless expressions made him smile. When all was done, humanity would bow before him. This world would be his alone and the angels in heaven would abandon it, leaving humans to his mercy.
And with the help of The Fallen, he would entomb The Beast in the very place his brethren had suffered for well over a millennia.
“Help us…” came the pained raspy whisper in the wind.
“Set us free…” came another mournful wail.
He smiled as he approached the site that contained entities as ancient as time itself. The invisible barrier that blanketed the perimeter felt like a laser hot knife slicing through his skin. This was definitely it. Humans instinctively avoided the area, most of them repulsed by the dreadful feeling or those with wickedness in their souls became ten times more twisted than before. Here lied the presence of pure evil. They’d fallen from the grace and mercy of above, completely and forever separated from the Creator and no place to call home.
If The Beast only knew…
Cain fought through the pain of crossing the barrier, and once inside he surveyed the barren field that surrounded him. What was left of the great city of Babylon stood no more, but perhaps with their help he could rebuild it. Slowly he uncurled his fist, and using his index finger he willed his nail to grow into a sharp talon. Without a second thought he sliced through his palm and watched with indifference as the blood pooled and then dripped onto the scorching hot ground. He waited to see what would come of it, studying his blood as it seeped into the dry surface. But soon, the earth began to tremble, splintering in half , forcing Cain to jump back several feet, thrusting him into the invisible barrier. For miles it seemed, the earth cracked and split, separating itself until a wide crater formed, swallowing what was left of the ruins. The wails and the moaning stopped, and Cain found himself standing, overlooking the edge of a trench that stretched deep into the underground.
He listened for signs of movement, debating if he should take the plummet to the bottom until suddenly four pairs of massive black wings shot out of the cavern, knocking Cain flat on his back. A dark shadow temporarily eclipsed the sun as the figures took flight into the air, and for a moment, regret claimed him. He watched in a daze as the entities landed in front of him. Each stood over six feet with hard colorless eyes staring directly at him. Their expressions, unreadable as he quickly jumped to his feet.
“Vampire,” said the largest of The Fallen. His eyes narrowed as he took in the image of Cain standing before him.
“Cursed. You dare set us free? Angels? Beings higher than yourself, entities of realms you could only imagine?”
“Mayhap he wishes for extermination,” said the other that donned a snow white mohawk.
“From where I stand,” Cain growled. “All of you are just as damned as I- perhaps far worse actually. The murder of my own blood condemned me to my fate. But you violated the highest of orders, which led to your unfortunate incarceration.”
“We should kill you where you stand,” the larger Fallen threatened.
“And then what?” Cain challenged. “This world is foreign to you. New technology that supersedes that of what you built eons ago, including weapons. Humans are no longer spiritual creatures that bend to the concept of worship. They worship themselves, following the very path that The Beast paved at the birth of humanity’s birth. Their souls are just about primed and ready for The Beast’s plans as prophesized. All of this transpired while you all remained trapped beneath the surface of the earth. Blind to sensation but craving it. Thirsty but unable to drink. Starving but unable to feed. And here I stand, a vampire, able to move as I choose…and here I am the very thing that you hate, but the same thing that you hate that gave you freedom.”
The four entities glared back at Cain, their eyes filled with raw hatred. Cain waited, anticipating an immediate violent response from the larger of the group that would surely be his end. But seconds ticked by, and the entity remained as stoic as a statue.
“What do you want?” The larger of the fallen began. “It is apparent that we are in your debt. Name your price vampire.”
Cain smiled, exposing his massive fangs with pride. “Pledge your fealty to me and the world is yours for the taking.”
Four pairs of colorless eyes blackened instantly. The temperature surrounding them dropped from scorching heat levels to an icy chill.
“We will do no such thing!” Said the one with the mohawk. “We will raze the planet ourselves, with no help from you-“
“If that is you wish,” Cain continued calmly. “But duly note that I am quite certain that the warrior angels are preparing for an attack as we speak. I did however break the Veil.”
When The Fallen fell silent, Cain knew he had won. It was just a matter of time before they agreed to submit to his leadership, and then it would be The Beast himself who would be on the run.
“If we pledge our allegiance to you, what will that grant us?” The Fallen with the most beautifully exquisite face Cain had ever seen on a male. Smooth rich skin, sensual lips and a perfect nose on a handsomely chiseled face nearly masked by a head full of rich blonde hair that fell well beyond his shirtless back.
“You are free to move about as you please. But for now all that I ask of you is to lay low for a while. Blend in with the humans-I can teach you how to do that. But what I need you for is to help me incarcerate The Beast,” Cain admitted.
“You dare us to challenge one of our own?” The larger Fallen gasped.
“Do not pretend to have a code of ethics given where I just freed you,” Cain snapped. “Stand with me or stand the chance of Michael leading his squadron to finish off what they started a millennia ago.”
“Fine,” said Mohawk. “But on one condition.”
“And what is that?” Cain asked.
“You are to free the others,” Mohawk continued. “There are hundreds of us locked away at various locations around the globe.”
Cain considered the request. More Fallen meant a larger army to accomplish his goals. There was nothing more to consider. He was done hiding and with his new army, he would soon acquire the one thing that would make his millennia long life worth living again: Sanaya.
The Fallen Angels that surrounded him dropped to a knee and kneeled before Cain, acknowledging him as their leader. A new era in leadership had just begun. The Darkness would soon be led by Cain and his Fallen troops, and Babylon would be rebuilt to its former glory.
And he would call his army: The Forsaken.