“What about the rest?” Crystal asked in a worried tone.
“Three of them are in the basement and are making their way here any minute now. The large group is on the fifth floor, and the elevator stopped on that floor.”
“What?” Crystal asked, completely confused. “How? Did the power go out?”
“No,” Timothy stated, just as confused as Crystal. “It says the elevator is working fine, but it’s not further down.”
“What about the other elevators?”
“Still fine.” Timothy clicked through a few more cameras.
“Tell the others to quickly make a move through the stairway.”
Crystal radioed Marcus. “Marcus.”
“Go ahead,” Marcus replied with a bit of static.
“We got an elevator down on the fifth floor. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I suggest you be careful.”
“Thanks for the heads up.”
Time passed, they were all on edge, worried about what was going to happen next. Finally, three more people came in, while the fourteen people quickly walked down the stairway. The number of people that made it into the Garden was now in the fifties, dwindling the crowd further.
The elevator stopped at floor number five, kicking Marcus and the other four from getting down any further. Instead, the elevator went upwards to the floor where the demon girl was.
“Marcus, you need to get out of there now.” Crystal replied. “The demon is coming in the right after you in less than thirty seconds. I’m not sure if they will stop you or blow past you to the first floor.” She stated in a hurried tone of voice.
“I understand; keep me updated if there is any change.”
“Damn it, can’t the number countdown go any faster?” Jones replied with a grunt; he was very uneasy. He looked up at the numbers and back at the monitor a couple of times. Everyone understood how serious this was, and every minute felt like a long, drawn-out hour.
Eventually, the group of fourteen people arrived without any injuries. Alexus was glad that they didn’t meet a demon throughout this whole time, making this entire thing short of a miracle.
All the other personnel in the building had half filtered out into the streets, waiting for the police to come. Alexus could see the outside through a couple of cameras. Many scientists were staring at the building, congregating in confusion at the strange blinking red lights flashing.
“Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn.” Timothy was cursing up a storm. He pounded the table. “Floor three and up, all cameras are out.”
“On the fourth floor.”
“I just saw the boy get off on the same floor before it went out.” Timothy slammed his fist onto the table, pissed.
“Are you serious?!” Crystal looked horrified as she radioed in. “Marcus, if you can hear me. The demon’s on the same floor as you!”
Only static could be heard, making all of them worried.
“Marcus. Can you hear me?”
“I said. A demon is right behind you.”
There was no response.
“This is bad. They’re going in blind.”
“Look, we need to worry about us right now. That crazy little girl is also making her way towards the first floor. We got one myth class demon and another child demon, rearing its ugly head any moment now.” Timothy replied.
“It’s two myth class demons.” Crystal spoke. Her words made Jones and Timothy tense. Their skin started to pale as they looked half-crazed at what she had said.
“Come again?” Timothy replied, shocked. “I didn’t hear you wrong, did I?”
“No, you heard me right. The one on the same floor as Marcus and the other is a Myth Type.”
“Fuck me. Why didn’t you tell him sooner.”
“I completely forgot.”
Timothy’s lips twitched. “This is not the time to be forgetting something that serious!”
“I know, okay. I’m already beating myself as it is.”
“Damn it. I don’t think a couple of guns and bullets will kill it.”
“Let’s hope it does,” Crystal bites the lower end of her lips.
Alexus watched the monitor on the screen as it cycled through the different floors, hoping to catch a glimpse of Marcus and the others. So far, no one was present on the screen except for the demons. The little girl demon got off on the first floor and walked through the hallway, blowing through the different doors with black energy. Any stragglers that she found hidden away in the rooms or bathrooms were mercilessly slaughtered.
Alexus guessed the body count on this little girl was already way above thirty, maybe even more. He glanced up at the dome and saw number 89 with a picture of a teenage girl. The number of people inside now hit to about eighty-two, leaving behind twelve.
“I see Marcus!” Timothy cried out; they all directed their attention towards the screen Timothy was pointing at.
Marcus was running down the hallway with the others on the second floor. Simon was shooting at a couple of mechanical dogs that jumped straight at him with open jaws. He ducked and did a spinning back kick, knocking one of the two dogs out of the air. The second one grabbed onto Simon’s arm, pulling him off balance.
“Oh, shit!” Jones gasped. “The dog got him!”
All of us were on edge, watching the screen as if our life depended on it. They couldn’t move; their bodies tensed, staring at the screen in horror. Every time the dog cut it too close, gasps of shock, awe, or worry could be heard. It was like they were there watching the whole scene as if it was some kind of a movie.
Marcus stopped and turned, he beelined towards Simon, his fist glowing with dark red energy that he had never seen him do before. His fist connected with the metal dog, and a significant dent formed upon impact. The dog flew into the air and slammed into the wall.
Timothy whistled and slowly clapped his hands. Jones pumped his fist as a large grin erupted on his face.
“That’s how you do it,” Jones replied with glee. “I barely saw him use his power, but damn. He packs quite a mean punch.”
“You’re telling me,” said Timothy. He leaned forward, his eyes glued to the screen. They were all enthralled at what they were watching.
“Marcus. You need to get out of there now.” Crystal replied through the radio. “On the first floor, we got another myth type, roaming around near the bathroom. I suggest you go past the library and make your way down the stairs.”
Marcus didn’t reply. He helped Simon up, who was slightly bleeding on his arm. They bolted towards the direction that Crystal had said. The other three Ouroboros followed behind; a second later, the screen blacks out, eventually blacking out the whole second floor.
“Oh, come on,” Timothy yelled, frustrated. “This is not fair.”
“Forget about fairness. Right now, we need to get ready for possible combat.” Crystal got up.
“When all five of them make it through that door, I need you to go lock the door behind them.”
“I’m on it.” Timothy nodded. He hunched forward and went to work on the computer.
“Where are you going?” Jones asked, looking over his shoulder.
“Getting more ammo.” She replied, going towards the side, where a large metal door was
embedded into the wall. She opened the door with her hand placed onto the wall and walked in.
Alexus, on the other hand, watched the screen for the two demon’s locations. The girl demon was still lounging around on the first floor, making her way towards the front lobby. While the boy demon was on the second floor, eventually making its way towards the first. Marcus and his group ran past one of the bathrooms on the first floor where the girl demon had passed through; they cut through the corner, making their way towards a different door that led straight down here.
Mechanical dogs were still chasing them, with the cameras slowly turning black until finally there wasn’t much to see. The few left were three cameras: two were in the hallway and the exterior one outside the building. So far, Marcus and his gang didn’t make it through. Alexus couldn’t help but get antsy at how close they cut it with the number of people present here.
Then he saw the girl demon walk halfway out the lobby door, where many people were present. Groups of people ran towards the girl, thinking that she was some kind of poor lost soul. Then, not even a second later, people’s bodies fell onto the ground as if they were shot by a sniper.
Even he couldn’t help but hold in his breath at the surreal sight the girl had just done.
People couldn’t see why they fell. Instead, the others attempting to go over there stopped moving entirely. They were confused about what had just happened and looked around to see if someone was shooting them dead. One of them dared to carefully walk towards her; the moment he got an arm’s length, he fell onto the ground dead, just like the rest.
Throughout the whole scene, Alexus could see the swirl of dark energy swirl around her hand. Then, with just a flick of her fingers, a small black energy ball snapped forward, hitting the normals in their head. Blood slowly seeped outwards, leaving behind an ugly puddle of red.
After what she had just pulled, nobody came towards her. Fear and hysteria riddle the people’s minds as they scramble backward. The demon girl just stood there with slouched shoulders; her body swayed back-and-forth. Finally, she turned around and went back into the building.
Alexus was stunned by what he had seen. This girl blatantly showed off her power as if it was nothing in front of the news camera. His guess was that the world probably couldn’t see what he could see. She was the culprit of those kills, but the world didn’t see it like that. He bet money that they saw it as someone snipping them off in the distance for anyone who got near her. After that, she disappeared. There was no way of tracing her when the whole building went out.
His hand tightened around the blade; he turned his gaze towards the last three cameras. Nobody was seen, and he brought his attention to the large dome. There were still six of the Ouroboros left present, waiting outside for their number to call before them. He couldn’t help but feel like the number count was going way too slow.
Something flickered in the corner of Alexus’ eyes, catching his attention. He looked back at the screen and saw the first of the three screens started to flicker with static. His eyes widened, and his stomach went into flips.
Marcus and his group were running through the hallway in desperation. The screen spazzed a couple seconds, and what he saw froze me. The demon boy appeared on screen for a split moment with black dogs, chasing hot on Marcus’ tail.
In less than ten minutes, he knew that a Myth type demon would be here. The screen blacked out, then the second, and finally the third.
“Marcus is coming!” Alexus shouted, his voice cracked. “And we got a Myth coming in hot!” His hand squeezed the hilt of his sword hard. He knew that whatever was going to happen was bound to happen.
“Already?” Jones paled.
“Shit.” Timothy was typing away quickly into the computers, engrossed in what he was doing.
“How many more of us are left?” Crystal called out. She brought out a handful of mags and guns to the table. There was even a shotgun laid out with only a couple of magazines.
“In total, including us or excluding us?”
“Excluding us.” Crystal was quickly filling the magazine with bullets.
“Four right this moment. Including us eight, but we got five more coming any minute now. I’m not sure about you, but isn’t there a way to speed up the process?” Jones asked in a hurried voice.
“This will take more than ten minutes to get everyone into the Garden.”
“I know,” Crystal said, her voice wasn’t happy with the numbers that were left stacked against them.
“Marcus is coming through…… Now!” yelled Jones.
With a slam, the door opened, and Marcus’s group filtered in with a heavy breath.
“We got Myths hot behind us!” Marcus shouted at the top of his lungs. A gunshot goes off, echoing loudly. People hurriedly passed through the door, and Marcus shot another. “Close the door, now!” He breathlessly shouted.
Timothy heard his words, and with a slam of his finger, he pressed enter, causing the door to automatically lock with a loud clunk.
The door shook, metal hit against metal, telling all of them that the mechanical dogs hit the door frame. Marcus and the rest came running down the stairs; their breath was ragged as they half collapsed onto the ground. The only ones still standing were Marcus and Simon, who didn’t seem too badly out of breath.
“How long will the door hold?” Marcus went over to grab some more ammo.
“I don’t know. Five minutes, maybe.” Timothy replied. He twirled his chair, facing them.
“I highly doubt that.” Simon walked past Alexus and followed over to get himself more ammo.
“Though, what’s with the guy with the spandex?” He motioned his hand towards Alexus.
Alexus’ lips twitched. He first noticed him in the Dragon Scale, thinking it was spandex.
“Crystal, I suggest you make some improvements in this suit.” He coughed, hinting for her to change its look.
“What? Oh, yea. I know. I have some tinkering that I need to do, but it’ll get fixed.”
“That’s Alexus. No. 99 of our new recruits.” Marcus spoke.
“Really?” Simon examined Alexus with interest. “So, you’re the 99th one. That would make sense why we’re having such shitty luck this week.”
Alexus felt a bit offended. It sounded like he was the cause of everything. He gritted his teeth, and words slipped out of his mouth. “For some reason, it sounds like you are accusing me of my existence.”
Simon chuckled. “You don’t know the half of it.”
“Do you have something against me?”
“I’ll be blunt with you and tell you what these fools haven’t told you yet. The more powerful demons get pulled towards us with every 11th Ouroboros that congregates in one area. So be it the same fifty-mile radius or even a state, there will be at least one powerful demon for every 11 Ouroboros. The higher the number, the higher the demon. So every time we hit the 11, we always get crap coming upon us unexpectedly. This is why I suggested that we leave, so we don’t cause unnecessary trouble.”
“If I were you, I wouldn’t believe him too much,” Marcus grunted. “There is no scientific explanation in what he said.”
“Even if you don’t believe me, you know the demon attacks are getting worse. Our kind has already hit the 99th one, and look at us now.” Simon motioned his hand around them. “We got two unexpected Myth-type demons hot on our heels, ready to devour us any moment.”
“Then why haven’t you left already, huh?” Marcus replied with a roll of his eyes.
“You know I can’t. You feel it too. The Garden keeps me here even if I don’t want to.” Simon was annoyed. “Someone here had to activate it.”
“There was no choice. We would’ve all died.” Crystal spoke; she frowned at what Simon had said.
“I believe you are wrong. We would’ve done fine in escaping this place, but now we’re all trapped in this death trap. We are survivors of Crystal. Don’t you have faith in that?”
Alexus could tell that Crystal was bothered by what Simon had said.
“I do, but this is for the better of humanity. We can’t lose the Ouroboros. In ten years….” Her voice trailed off; she didn’t speak further and looked away.
“In ten years?” Simon raised his eyebrow, waiting for her to speak. “You had that dream again, didn’t you.
Dream? Alexus felt so out of the loop that it didn’t make any sense. The so-called purpose of the Garden, the plan of what’s going on, and everything that is happening now. Why? What does she know that they all didn’t?
“Look, it’s not important. I’ll make sure that it never happens.” Crystal’s body tense, she looks away from Simon’s gaze that seems to soften towards her. He could tell that something was going on between the two, and he felt irked. Though he squandered such thoughts in seconds.
“Anyways,” Alexus quickly tried to move along the subject; the atmosphere was getting too weird for him. “Why the number eleven?”
“Did nobody tell him?” Simon raised his eyebrow, surprised at his lack of knowledge.
“What?” said Marcus.
“The number eleven.”
“No.” Marcus was too busy loading the bullets into the magazine.
“You’ve got a lot to learn,” Simon replied.
“So…” I motion Alexus’ hand for him to hurry it up.
“The number 11 is the first of the master numbers, and as a Master Number is not usually reduced down to a single number. Master Number 11 is usually called ‘the Illuminator, ‘the messenger,’ as we are the influencers of this world. We are like the guiding light. Double-digit numbers of the same number have potent energy to them. Other times, it can symbolize chaos and judgment after the number 10: which represents law and responsibility or the completion of a whole. The last reason, and the one I believe the most, is that it is a message. A message from the angels themselves, telling us to get ready.”
“Don’t believe in what he said. He’s just trying to con you.” Marcus grunted, rolling his eyes at Simon. “Believing in that hocus pocus numerology crap.”
“You know just as well as I do that this is the truth.” Simon’s eyes turned into slits. He grabbed a magazine and slammed it into the handgun angrily. “Numbers are not just for show; they have power and reason behind it.”
“Get ready for what?” Alexus couldn’t help but ask.
The pounding of the door turned to violent thrashing, and as all of them looked up, they saw it begin to bend and distort. Everyone knew that the door would be kicked in any minute for the demon to come pouring in.
Simon’s lips curled into a knowing grin, his head turned towards him. “Demons, of course.”
Suddenly, the banging sound of the door became quiet.
The metal door flew out, and a pack of black dogs came bursting through the door, rearing its ugly head.
This was round two.