And Then There Was Darkness

Knights And Demons - Episode II

And Then There Was Darkness

As a teen, Alysia Knight never dreamed her first years as an adult would be spent fighting demons. However, after America is overrun by otherworldly beasts she must learn to survive by the edge of her sword. There is only one problem. One of the demons that has invaded humanity’s refuge, it is plotting revenge on one particular human – Alysia Knight!

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James Knight nodded and touched her shoulder. “You stay at my hip no matter what happens, okay, baby girl?”

“THREE SECONDS!” the lead soldier yelled and they all hastened with their preparation.

Alysia hated when he called her “baby girl” but she knew how he meant it and it almost broke her heart. “I won’t leave you, Dad, I promise,” she said. “It will be like the old days when we sparred.”

“Stay close, and stay awake. This is the real thing,” he said but as soon as he did, the lid was pulled open and a horde of demons rushed down the stairs and got peppered to death by the soldiers’ machine gun fire. They moved up the stairs while everyone followed, and as they fought their way to the outside, the non-combatants closed the door behind the volunteers and sealed it shut.

Outside the rain was pouring down, and the glass on Alysia’s mask adjusted itself to clear up the mist and residue that threatened to blind her in the atmosphere.

“What does that mean?” Alysia asked, pointing at the locked door behind them.

Tracy turned and shrugged her shoulders. “It means that we are now the guardians of the bunker. I’m guessing this was a suicide mission that no one bothered to tell us, huh, James?”

“Every mission is a suicide mission, but if you’re going to go out, this is how you do it,” he said and brought up the pulse rifle to drop a flying creature, then spun it around to put a few more rounds into the swarming horde of demons.

“I’ve never seen them this desperate!” Jaime yelled as he fired shot after shot from his pistols.

“They’re after me,” Alysia said, and a number of people turned to look at her to see if she was joking. They couldn’t tell through the mask, but from her voice, James knew she was being sincere.

“What are you talking about, Alysia?” he said as he turned around to face her.

“I mean throughout the time you’ve been searching for me, Dad. They’ve been trying to capture me for some sort of ritual.”

James couldn’t believe it. The story just didn’t make any sense. Why Alysia, why now? Why would it be his daughter out of a country of millions that the demons wanted to capture?

They continued to fight but a few men went down and Alysia began to feel guilty for people dying on her behalf. Maybe it would be better to let them have her; then they might go away and the country could get back to normal once that happened.

She thought of the first day, wanting to see Tavi and how the calls to evacuate did not reach her school. She couldn’t go anywhere without them finding her, and so many people had died trying to keep her safe. She was only one person and she could save millions, yet here she was amidst brave people, fighting back. Wouldn’t martyring myself for the greater good be the right thing to do?

She thought about the stories her father would tell her, how soldiers were trained to give themselves up to protect their brothers. She loved life, she had so much left to do, but what sort of future would there be if she was always running, and people were dying for her? She looked over at Jaime, who was past guessing at her odd words and was firing into the crowd with his two pistols. Tracy was next to him, like a warrior queen from the books she had grown up reading. Then there was her father, who was now in the front, taking charge, pointing out targets, keeping them all alive.

It felt like time slowed as she thought about what to do: to choose life and stay in hell, or choose death and save everyone. What would James Knight do? But as soon as she asked herself this, she broke into a sprint and ran back past the entrance of the bunker to the area where the old concrete barracks lay vacant. Time moved slowly in her mind as she sprinted, and the demons surged towards her. Some kreples broke past them to get at her, but she was fast, too fast, even for them.

James and Tracy saw what happened and were after her in an instant, shooting what they could and screaming her name in unison. She was almost to the barracks when the wounded giant from before knelt right in front of her, appearing as if from nowhere.

She tried to stop to avoid him but slid and fell on her face. His wounds were grave and a puddle of blood splashed near where she lay. It was the end of the line, and as he reached for her she shot at his hand to stop him. It didn’t work and she was lifted airborne despite her attempts to claw her way out. She felt the pressure as he squeezed her slightly and she kicked her legs and punched at his hand to let her go.

James and Tracy shot at the giant but he ignored them as if their shots had no effect. It was like Alysia was a magnet he just couldn’t resist. James shouldered his rifle and then ran to the giant’s feet while pulling out his knife. Tracy kept the demons off of him with her automatic rifle, and as the soldiers caught up with her to help, the giant shifted and tried to step on them. James moved quickly and cut where his Achilles tendon would be. The beast bellowed in pain as he dropped Alysia to reach back and clutch at his damaged foot. The injury was severe and as he shifted to touch it, it tore open into a bloody gash and he groaned loudly and toppled to the ground in pain.

The earth shook from the giant’s impact, but Tracy ran up and slid gracefully to catch the falling Alysia. As she did this a number of aircraft flew by, pumping even more bullets into the body of the giant. James rallied the people to him and together they ran back to the barracks where they could get out of the rain.

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