I knew my first move would be to see what I could dig up at the Cup. There was a lot of shit happening and it was happening faster than I could keep up. My first order of business was to figure out what to do with everyone. I go into the Cup with a full regiment of these fuckers at my back and it would make the job a lot harder than it needed to be. Besides Monsignor Malkin stinked of cop, or what passes as a cop in my world, so there was no way he was coming with me.
I also knew that Allegra wasn't going to wait for me to find out what I needed to know. She was gonna strike and strike soon and the sooner we were ready, the better. She believed that she had to go through me to counter the prophecy and she would find me sooner rather than later. I wasn't sure if she actually thought I would turn on my friends, on my job or not. Maybe she was hoping that after seeing her power, I would want what she had. That i would want to be like her. Well, sister or not, that bitch was crazy!
I sent Malkin back to St. Augustine's. I knew that would be the rally point, and dear old Dad even promised to send some of his agents to surround the place. I didn't have many safe points left, but St. Augustine's had the best defensive magic available to me, so it made as decent a rally point as any. What bothered me though was that I still couldn't figure out what the connection was between The Dark and The Light, but somehow I knew that Tristan was the key. Whoever was supporting Light Walkers with Dark troops had to have a contact point between the two worlds. Find Tristan, I could find a lot of the answers I wanted.
Dad sent Hood with Malkin, who actually looked pretty angry that Bella was choosing to come with me. Malkin only agreed to go to the church if I took his Hunter with me. For my protection. Fuck, this guy stinked of cop almost as bad as he did. I told him okay, but he was waiting outside as far as I was concerned. Monsignor Malkin began sorting the people to the rally point when Gear finally tracked me down.
"Hey Gear. I appreciate you doing all this for me. Watching Bell and Quint like that. Sorry if I put you in a spot. Thanks again for the resupply too, I think I'll be needing it."
"Look Alex, after all these years of working together, we're friends. I know what that means to you, what you'll do for a friend. Besides, Bell and Quint are good people, even if one of them is mostly a Norm, and well, shit, if what you were telling us back there was true, its far time I picked a side. I'm gonna head back to Vickers and see if I can't rally another bit of help. Not all of us Fell think your a son of a bitch. Just most of us."
He had said that last line with a smile and a wink, pushing his specs back up his grease smudged nose. He started to turn back, motioning to the ogre that seemed to be his bodyguard, when he stopped short.
"Almost forgot Alex. When you called me and told me about the shit that was happening, I though I better bring this."
He motioned to the ogre and he reached and pulled out a long wrapped package. As Gear tenderly unrolled it, I knew what it was. The Daysword. I had commissioned it over a year ago, a sword charged with Light capabilities. It would seriously help out when fighting all the crazy shit that goes bump in the night. It had cost a small fortune, but more so because Gear had become obsessed with it. He hadn't stopped with charging it with Day powers, but Night side as well. He figured that either ability could help me in a pinch, and Fell were sometimes more susceptible to Dark powers. Who knows what kind of shit I was going to see.
Forged of the purest silver and blessed by priests of both Walks, it could be activated by simply turning the hilt. One side would flush the blade with a fiery light, the other an inky liquid black. Much like my twin forms. It was a powerful weapon, and maybe the difference between me walking away from this fight, and not. I ran the blade over in my hand, running a finger along the sharp edge. It was adorned with intricate rune scroll work on either side, each representing the different Walks. The hilt and crosspiece had been worked into the scroll work and as I touched it I could see the blue and black magic intertwine along the etching. I also knew that I would be able to flush my own ethereal energy through the blade. I watched the color swirls through the ornate inlays and etch marks before sliding it back into its silver lined scabbard.
"You've outdone yourself Garrison. This is far more than I expected. Thank you."
Gear flashed another wild smile as he pulled his pointed hat forward on his head.
"See you soon Alex."
I made my way downstairs and headed to the front door. Dad was waiting there, giving Hood instructions in a soft voice. Hood left as I approached the door and Dad looked back at me.
"A few days ago I came to you and said some things. Things I had been saying to you for your whole life. That you were not special, despising you for your feelings towards Norms. I know I was not the Father you wanted, or could have been. Everything I did was to bring you to this point. To push you along the right path. Your Mother knew what you could do. She knew what I would have to do, and I did it for her. Your sister means to end it all, to purge this Earth of all of the normals, and in the process, start a war that we have been avoiding for a millennium. You are the key. You are the only one who can beat her. Know that all who serve me, shall serve you in the war to come."
I looked at my Father for really the first time. The fire in his eyes dimmed, seeing the regret. I took his shoulder an pulled him into a hug. We were gonna have some issues to work out if I made it out of this alive. Still, it was a start, and more of a start than I thought I had a right to at this point.
"Don't worry Dad. I'll be pissing you off again in no time."
He actually snorted a bit of a laugh and pushed me away. I gave him a grateful smile and headed out the door to the waiting car out front. One of Dad's luxury sedans with the heavy window tint. Bell was in the driver's seat and the Vatican Hunter, Shepard, was in the back. I popped a fresh smoke out of the pack and flicked my lighter out. I pulled open the door and turned back to my Dad, who was ordering his men into position, and gave him a nod.
"Okay Bell. Up for one more road trip?"
She laughed, that wonderful laugh that I didn't realize how much I had missed.
"I'll say it again Alex Develin. You sure do know how to show a girl a good time."
She slammed the car into gear and headed towards The Copper Cup. I smoked the cigarette and watched the traffic in the early hours of False Dawn begin to dwindle. Somehow I knew even then, that this was going to be the last moment of peace I was likely to see for a while. As we pulled into the parking lot of the Cup, I flicked teh spent butt on the ground and stomped it out. I looked at the entrance and tried to shut out the memories, the explosion, the scream, and her face. Most of all, I tried to shut out all those memories of failure. I motioned for Shepard to wait out here as we approached the bouncers on duty outside, two huge fucking Were's. I wadded those memories deep inside and flashed my best "Don't Even Try To Fuck With Me" face as came to the door. They parted as I grabbed the handle and turned, heading inside.
I was all done with failing.
End of Line.