Finally…Chapter 22…

Chapter Twenty-two

The Battle Begins

 

Isaiah 13v15 ‘Whoever is captured will be thrust through;

All who caught will fall by the sword.’

 

Milo and Jason prayed like they’d never prayed before, as the Bentley of Derek Greyer rammed them again, hoping the strength of the Mondeo would hold up against that mighty Bentley Turbo. With all its power, the little Ford hadn’t got a chance of surviving long, so Jason increased the speed, running red lights and narrowly escaping a serious accident.

Milo reached over to the back seat to grab his sword, as Jason wrestled with driving the battered Mondeo, now showing more than enough battle scars at the rear.

As the car turned quickly into Britland Street, the whole rear bumper of the Mondeo flew off into a newspaper stand, hitting the seller across his chest, sending him into a pile of newspapers.

‘Please, Lord. Just bless that poor man,’ was all Jason could say under the circumstances. He was still trying to outrun Derek Greyer.

Adam was racing towards the signal on the LPS that was still flashing and beeping, guiding Adam on his way. The M.V’s engine was screaming. Adam had to use the bike to its limit. His mind was racing at the same pace as the bike, fearing the worst and praying with every breath he took.

Paul was trailing behind in his identical Mondeo. He too was panic stricken with worry about the dire situation his father and Jason were in. With that thought, Paul’s car was rammed into. It was Slayem in the M5 BMW. Not expecting to be hit, Paul was fighting to control the car. The puny power of the Mondeo was no match for the 400 horse power of that powerful M5 Beamer.

‘Hey, I’ve got Paul, I think, in the other car,’ Slayem called out. ‘How are you doing, Deygar, with Milo?’

‘I’m doing great. Milo’s car will be disabled very soon and then they will be on foot, as planned.’

Slayem went in for the final attack on Paul’s car; he slammed the Beamer into second gear, flooring the accelerator. The car quickly accelerated towards the rear of Paul’s already beaten car. He hit it so hard that it sent it into a row of parked cars. The cars airbag immediately deployed, cradling Paul’s face from the broke class and debris.

Slayem drove on in the beaten M5, its airbag also deployed holding his arrogant face with a smug smile. But with the M5’s sheer size, it could take a beating and still be drivable.

Paul was doubtful his Mondeo could do the same, but he checked the damage and, amazingly, he was fine. That was a miracle in itself. He quickly gathered himself and called Adam on the LPS

Adam pushed the button on the grip of the M.V and answered.

‘What is it?’

‘It’s Paul. I’ve just been rammed off the road by Slayem in the violet M5.’

‘Does the Mondeo still work? If not, Paul, get a vehicle of some kind. They are trying to separate us for individual battles. And, Paul, God be with you.’

Paul could only respond with the same sentiment. ‘And you also.’

Paul tried turning the key of the Mondeo with little faith. It had, however, survived the crash. The car started just in time, as the sirens of the police were getting close to the scene of the accident.

Paul quickly reversed the Mondeo and got the signal of Milo on the LPS. He was still moving. ‘Thank God,’ he thought as he raced towards them as quickly as the Mondeo could go, which wasn’t fast; it was barely 30mph.

Milo’s car had also seen better days and was limping its way from the main part of the city, away from all the hustle and noise of the city, now engulfed in the sound of sirens of the police and the ambulance services, attending to the accidents that trailed behind them in their wake.

They were in a heavily industrialised part of the city where there still lay parts that hadn’t been redeveloped or discovered by Greyer Industries. This part was considered by many older folk as the original city before development had taken over the once-tiny city. It was still teaming with old Art Deco type buildings of the 1920s. Their beauty was recognised by the few and they were now subject to many a protest to either demolish or restore them. It was a crying shame but they took up precious space. The tallest was only eight storeys high; with certain people’s small-minded ideals, that was not ‘cost effective in this high rise modern age’.

Milo was worried for Jason. ‘When we do stop, and we will, I need you to run. And listen; look at me.’ Milo tried to engage Jason. ‘Please run to church, any church, and don’t turn back. The church has three heroes; we don’t need a forth so get to holy ground. You will be out of harm’s way in any church.’

Adam could make out Deygar’s Bentley in the distance, gaining on them, carefully trying to avoid the debris of the fallen pieces of Milo’s car scattered all over the road.

Milo’s Mondeo was failing and was now crawling along with Deygar mercilessly ramming the vehicle, knowing full well that it wouldn’t go much further, laughing as he did so.

‘It won’t be long,’ he thought as he grabbed his sword from the thick pile carpeted floor of the battered two hundred thousand pound car that was fit for scrap now. The front was severally damaged and the rear was showing some battle scars, also narrowly escaping death. He lost the rear end on the same turn that Jason lost his rear bumper to the unfortunate newspaper seller, hitting a lamp column, knocking it down, landing onto a car stopped at the traffic lights. The people inside might have been seriously injured but, as usual, he cared for no one but himself.

The Mondeo of Milo’s was only managing 8 mph now and it was now time for Jason to get out. The whole rear of the car was literality being dragged by the front wheels, the rear wheels locked up by the crushed panels of the strong modest Ford Mondeo that had held up to some serious damage by Deygar.

Adam raced past as Deygar went in for the last of his crushing hits of his car. Milo grabbed the wheel and shouted to Jason to get out and run.

‘That’s Adam on the bike. Get gone, Jason, and may God be with you.’ Milo kicked open the door with his leg, as he slipped into the driver’s seat.

Jason was on foot now and needed to move quickly to avoid Deygar seeing him. All his focus was on the speeding object that had flown past at over 60mph.

‘We’ve got Seth here, Slayem,’ was all Derek Greyer could shout out. He was in a panic now; he was clearly outnumbered and was seriously contemplating aborting the plan.

Both cars came to rest, as the Mondeo’s engine finally gave up just a few yards from where Jason got out.

Milo was out of the car in seconds, sword in hand and ready for anything, but so was Deygar. His sword was drawn and also his trademark Glock Pistol. He quickly raised it toward Jason making his way down the street.

Adam was off the bike, his sword drawn, and could see Deygar’s desperate attempts to even the numbers up, as he pulled the trigger. A loud gun shot went off and, as Adam ran, it was all moving in slow motion, as he saw Jason fall from the 9mm round striking his left shoulder, rendering him to the floor in a heap.

‘No!’ Adam and Milo shouted simultaneously, completely in shock. Derek had live rounds in his weapon.

Adam pulled the beanie weapon from his ankle and shot Deygar directly in the chest. As he fell, he got off another round from that deadly weapon, hitting Adam in the left leg, knocking him down.

Milo, fearing the worst, was confronted with the issue of who to run to first to help. Jason was the closer of the two but with that weapon still in Deygar’s hand he needed to prioritise the removal of it. As he got closer to Deygar he got up, clutching his chest with his left hand, with the Glock still clasped in his right. He lifted it up to aim directly at Milo, as he did a little smirk arose on his face. ‘Maybe this isn’t the right way to go,’ he thought as he clasped the gun, trigger finger itching ready to fire.

When Milo’s faith rose up in his heart, fearing the death of Jason and Adam (he was all there was in terms of a Master Disciple), he shouted out these words: ‘It is written that no weapon formed against us shall stand.

Deygar pulled the trigger of the ever-reliable Glock (a weapon that can withstand any environment that can be thrown at it, even shooting under water), but it jammed up.

He pulled the trigger again and the same again – the weapon jammed up completely.

In a complete act of desperation, Deygar threw the gun, nearly hitting Milo. It hit a nearby wall and the Glock went off repeatedly, emptying out the gun’s magazine.

Milo’s faith hit new heights, as Deygar drew his sword, ready for the bloody battle that he intends to be victorious in.

Their swords clashed and, in the fury of swords clashing, Adam limped his way over to Jason. He was in a bad way. The bullet from the Glock had ripped through his shoulder, dislocating the bone, shattering it in two. There was blood everywhere and Adam tried hard to be calm. But he couldn’t hide it; he was extremely worried for Jason. He desperately needed medical attention. If he didn’t get it soon he would possibly lose his arm from the shoulder down.

All Adam could do was make him comfortable and try to reassure him. Adam got up; Milo needed him, so he placed a hand on Jason’s head and simply said, ‘Lord, protect Jason and be with us all now.’

Adam rushed over to Milo who was tiring. His sword was low and he was finding it harder to raise it with every strike from Deygar’s sword.

Deygar was finding it hard to believe that Adam was fine after being shot in the leg with the Glock. Adam unsheathed his sword and Deygar noticed that the slider on the left knee of Adam’s bike leathers was damaged but his knee was fine, still limping a little, but fine.

Deygar was in a dire situation and was in need of some help.

‘Seth, your challenger will be here soon. I’m here for Milo and Milo only.’

Adam wasn’t having any of it, holding his sword out in the ready stance. ‘No Deygar. My job is to protect believers and Milo is a believer.’

The three of them turned when they heard the sound of the battered car Paul was driving with Slayem in pursuit.

Derek was safe in his mind now that Slayem was there and was quick to take full advantage of it, striking his sword towards Milo. But Adam was quick to react and guarded his strike with his own sword as Derek’s sword dropped. Adam then gave Deygar a powerful kick into his chest, knocking him off his feet, dropping his sword as the steel metal clattered across the floor.

Paul was out of the car and was running over to defend his father but Slayem was right behind him, sword ready to strike out.

Adam thought quickly, seeing this unfold before his eyes, and pulled out the Beanie, knowing full well that it was ready to fire. He fired it directly at Slayem (clearly a God-targeted shot), hitting the moving target directly in the chest, throwing Slayem back ten yards or so into a rolling heap on the floor. Paul looked round to see Slayem on the floor.

Adam shouted out, ‘Make the kill! Make the kill!’

Paul got his sword out to finish it, but Slayem was quick to kick himself back up onto his feet. He decided not to kill Paul straight away – his arrogance and ego forever at the forefront of his mind – and instead gave him such a powerful kick to the face, knocking him unconscious.

‘I’ll deal with you later. I’ve got the starter and main course to get through first.’

Adam was clearly in trouble and had to think fast. God needed to intervene quickly.

As Slayem stepped over the unconscious body of Paul, Adam feared he would make the kill of Paul quite final. Slayem reached his sword out in defiance.

‘It’s you I came here for,’ Slayem said through gritted teeth. ‘I’ll drink of your blood this night, Seth.’

Adam was clearly worried that Paul wasn’t moving and Milo was being gradually worn down by the sheer fitness and power of the younger Deygar. It would only be a matter of time before Derek was to make his first kill as a Dark Lord.

Adam had to think quickly and pumped another round into the beanie’s chamber and fired it; it hit Slayem in his side, damaging his armour badly and throwing him on to the floor again. It was the final straw for Slayem. As he got himself up his anger was rife and he thirsted for Adam’s blood.

Paul began to come around and raised his head to witness what was going on. He quickly got to his feet and rushed over in a daze (from the kick he received from Slayem) to help his father, who has been kicked down by Deygar. Paul’s timing was God sent.

Derek stood over the worn-down, seventy-seven year old man, who was clearly showing his age, with his sword ready to make the kill that had been overdue in the mind of Derek Greyer for over thirty years.

Paul got there in the nick of time and struck Deygar’s sword-bearing arm, slicing through his jacket, and first blood in Gods’ favour was shed.

Paul looked down. There was clearly blood running down the edge of his sword and the reality of his calling hit home. He was quickly burdened with the enormity of it all. After all, he was a pastor’s kid and he was a relatively calm man before he was thrust into the Master Disciple world – a world that had been alien to him until he reached eighteen and even then he wasn’t told the full extent of the responsibility of it all.

Derek was taken aback when he looked at his arm and was fearful; his main sword-wielding arm was now badly wounded.

Adam and Slayem were now fighting; their swords clashing together. In between the swords clashing there was the odd kick and punch making contact with Slayem, but with Slayem being so heavily armoured it was having little or no effect. His chest plate and other pads were so good; all Adam was doing was just wasting much-needed energy.

Slayem was a little worried; Seth’s fitness was good and he clearly showed a good level of cardio-fitness, but it was Adam’s power that concerned him. Even with the pads he was having more of an effect than Adam first thought.

With a quick flick of Slayem’s finger he turned his sword into the deadly Ronin sword, which would make it much harder for Adam to strike a kick towards him. He pressed another button on his jacket to deploy his titanium collar and make it next to impossible for Adam to make the all-important kill.

Adam continued to strike at Slayem, hoping he could wear him down, but the super-fit Slayem wouldn’t let down his guard. Adam’s thoughts were turning towards his family and what would happen to them if he was defeated.

A smile beamed across Slayem’s face as Adam’s thoughts betrayed him. Slayem’s thoughts were on that subject also. ‘As Seth doubts, his faith are being weakened,’ were the thoughts on Slayem’s mind, and he loved it. It was only a matter of time before it was all over for the Master Disciples.

Adam got an evil vision of what could happen – of Slayem slaying them in their sleep. Adam saw Slayem getting ready to strike towards him with that deadly sword, but Adam was filled with a holy anger. Seeing a vision that was clearly not of God had quickened his faith.

Adam guarded his attacker and then struck back. He hit Slayem’s sword so hard in the centre that the grip broke and the Ronin became two separate swords. Slayem, dropping one of the swords with the immense power of that strike, was completely unaware of where it came from.

Adam quickly moved in and picked up one of the broken swords. Slayem stepped back and was clearly shaken from the power of that strike. Adam moved in and took his opportunity to get a clear strike; the two swords going like helicopter blades at Adam’s sides, alternating from side to side to defend his front and face area.

As Adam moved in closer, Slayem stepped back again and then, with an act of utter madness, he moved in and tried to guard against the powerful strikes. His arm pads were hit and the sparks were flying. The titanium started to dull the edge of Adam’s sword so he had to try another tactic.

Whilst Adam continued with Slayem, Milo had made his way over to Jason, who was in a bad way. The colour had completely gone from his face; he was very pale and clearly in shock. Milo gave a quick look at his shoulder and there was no way of stopping the blood. It was no use tying it up with a belt; his shoulder was shattered and he would lose his arm.

Deygar’s Bentley was still running and could be driven. With care, Milo lifted Jason up and started to walk him towards the car.

One, maybe two, steps and he was on the floor. He was losing consciousness with the amount of blood lost and begged Milo to stop. The pain was so unbearable. So the pair of them just lay there in the shadow of that art deco building with its straight lines and light coloured stone steps, the fear of God running through their hearts.

Milo’s heart was quickened by the sheer sight of the amount of blood that Jason had lost. He grabbed Jason’s shoulder and he let out an almighty yell of pain and then, in what could only be called a miracle, Milo forced the bones of Jason’s shoulder together and again Jason shouted out in pain.

The blood poured through Milo’s hands, down his wrists and he started to pray. ‘Oh Lord. We can’t explain this to anyone, so only you can intervene, heal and repair Jason’s shoulder now.’

The faith grew in both of their hearts and Jason’s pain was the first to go. Jason looked over to see what Milo was doing and saw that the blood from Milo’s hands was starting to go back into his shoulder. What happed next needed to seen to be believed; the two halves of his shoulder fused back together and, before Milo could say ‘Amen’, Jason’s shoulder was completely healed.

Milo’s hands were completely clean of Jason’s blood and the pair just lay there in the shadow of that old building, thanking and praising their Lord.

Milo was quick to get Jason out of there. ‘Okay, Jason. Go get in the car and go. We can’t do that again.’

Jason just nodded, got into Deygar’s Bentley and was gone.

Deygar was distracted by the sound of his own car being driven away by Jason and Paul took his sword and drove it into his chest. Deygar fell to his knees and his mouth quickly filled with his own blood.

Slayem saw this and shouted over. ‘Get up! Guard yourself now. You are immortal. You can’t die.’

With that said, Paul lifted his sword to take the death strike towards Derek’s neck.

But Derek noticed it coming and moved just milliseconds from being hit across his neck. Paul was devastated at losing his chance to finish Deygar and feared that he wouldn’t have the energy or the faith to complete his mission, but that doubt soon dissipated when he saw his aging father, still with a sword in his mighty hand.

With Slayem distracted for a moment, Adam took his chance and struck his sword across Slayem’s neck, but that dreaded titanium collar stopped the powerful blow and not even the evidence of a dent was made.

Slayem was most displeased by the attempt at his life and gave Adam a powerful kick to his chest, knocking him over and making him lose his grip on his sword. Adam slid one way and his sword went another way. He was in trouble. If he didn’t think quickly… Luckily, Milo did the thinking for him, risking his own life in the process.

Slayem was standing over the downed Adam, ready to complete his evil intentions. Adam grasped the ground in desperation for his sword in the hopeless few moments he thought he still had left just to show how strong his faith was in front of such an evil, but talented, adversary.

But that wasn’t the intentions of Milo or God in Milo’s eyes as he moved in on Slayem.

Milo raised his sword and screamed at the top of his voice. ‘Young men will dream visions and drive out demons,’ he yelled and guarded the sword of Slayem from striking Adam.

Slayem was immobilised and thrown back temporarily by the strong act of faith from Milo. Even though he had gotten a few scriptures mixed up in the heat of fierce battle, it had worked.

Adam pulled himself up from the ground and retrieved his sword. He toed up to Slayem, who was now intent on killing Milo for his ‘outrageous conduct’, in his mind.

‘You will die for this, Old Man. Of all people, you should understand the rules of engagement.’

Slayem went on the attack on Milo with such anger; it was like he had only been playing with Adam up to that point.

But with the power of Slayem full on, Milo was finding the going hard and was tiring fast. Slayem was fast and showing no signs of letting up on his attack on the poor old Milo, who was showing his age. After all, he was a seventy-seven year old man. It was a misconception that people did forget his age due to his abilities, but now he was definitely showing his age.

Adam was stuck at the sidelines desperately trying to get in on the action, so Slayem would let up on Milo, but Slayem wasn’t having any of it. But Milo was showing a brave front and went for a strike of his own rather than just defending himself. His sword, however, lacked the power and accuracy of Slayem’s and he simply kicked away the sword and drove his own sword through the shoulder of Milo. Milo dropped his sword and fell to his knees, writhing in pain, holding the damaged shoulder.

It all seemed to go in slow motion for Milo and, as he glanced up to see the smiling face of Slayem with his sword held aloft ready for the final death blow, he readied his soul and simply looked into the eyes of his killer – a last faith strike to rock the very foundation of the evil Slayem.

‘One day the Devil himself will take the back the power which you hold so precious, leaving you in total damnation for eternity,’ Milo thought to himself as he readied himself for his eternity with his Lord.

Slayem, filled with the hate and fire of the Devil himself, drove the sword downwards towards Milo’s chest. ‘Death time, Old Man!’

Adam moved quicker than ever and sweep-kicked Slayem over backwards, so he didn’t stab Milo accidentally and then ran his own sword through Slayem’s side, cutting through his kidneys, the weakest part of Slayem’s armoury. Slayem got up. It didn’t seem to bother him that he was severely injured. To Slayem, pain was only an indicator that he was still alive. ‘If there’s pain there’s life,’ was his exact thought on the subject.

He did verify the injured wound by touching it, but only to inspect the blood on his glove – dark red Chianti, like Slayem’s soul.

Paul and Deygar’s battle was coming to an end in Paul’s mind, but he feared it was getting to that all-important time; to commit a sin that still violated God’s code. ‘Thou shalt not murder,’ rang through his mind like an old hymn.

Deygar was still without a weapon and was holding his chest and spitting blood by the measure. As Adam and Milo had been battling with Slayem, Derek Greyer was trying to negotiate his way out of death in the mortal, with the eternal damnation part to come later, but he had been ignorant to that part his whole life.

‘Paul, don’t kill me. Please don’t do it, Paul. You’ve done it, Paul. A proven man of integrity, a man of honour and code, ‘God’s code’. Don’t kill me. You are better than that, Paul.’

Paul’s mind was an ocean of emotion and the waves were crashing all around him. He couldn’t turn to his father for good council now or Adam for battle tips once a man was down.

‘Come on, Paul. I am, after all, an unarmed man. You can’t strike a man without a sword.’

Paul’s mind was racing like a speeding race car without brakes. He kicked over Deygar’s sword in an attempt to even the odds and to take a little of the guilt away from the emotional wreck that he was.

Derek’s free hand was shaking at the sheer thought of grabbing that sword and giving Paul back the odds that he was so desperate to even.

‘I have billions, Paul. I could make you rich beyond your wildest dreams, and you don’t have to see me again,’ Derek said as his hand edged ever closer to the deadly blade that lay just before him.

Paul’s mind was now clearer than ever. The thought of money at a time like this turned Paul’s stomach and gave the advantage back.

With that running through Paul’s mind he said, ‘You’re dead right. I won’t see you again.’ With that said, the sword of Paul’s came down with God-feared force and struck.

Deygar’s head fell to the ground and his lifeless body fell forward into a helpless heap, his feet still twitching with the last signs of life fighting to live, but then it stopped dead.

Paul fell to his knees and cried out, ‘Please, Lord, forgive me,’ and broke down. The tears ran from his eyes like streams. His mind was now free of any thought, except that he had killed a man – taken a life away.

God had truly blessed Paul in the shape of his talent, his skill as a swordsman and, most of all, his healing, but all that had been robbed from him. The guilt and shame was too much to bear. This sin in Paul’s heart ebbed away any further blessing from his Lord. It was all wasted on the evil that lay in Derek Greyer’s heart and his intent on killing them all in order to further his evil rampage on their beloved city. Also, the possibility of further rampages with the now internationally travelled Slayem with him. It was all gone but Paul would soon realise that the killing of Derek was part of the master plan ordained by God and carried out by Paul, through God’s Spirit.

On the other side of the street, Adam and Slayem’s battle was looking like an impossible uphill task. Adam was wearing down by the second by the powerful sword of Slayem.

Adam managed to glance over to see the distressed Paul shouting out and crying out to God for forgiveness, totally unaware of the distress his own father was in with a severe shoulder wound, but the strong faith and determination of Milo was no match for the love of father and his son. So Milo managed to get over to Paul and try to comfort him in whatever way he could even with the injuries he had sustained.

Slayem’s determination was stronger than ever. It seemed to Adam that he’d stepped up a gear seeing the severed head of Deygar laying there in the gutter. The darkened blood was like his soul – black and empty, the colour of an empty vessel void of any kind of emotion other than selfish greed and ambition. And you could clearly see it in the eyes of Slayem; there was no soul there at all, just the steely, grit-toothed, fire-filled face of a man who no longer had control of the actions of his mind.

The demon who had been so kind to him at the beginning of his journey was in complete control now, and it wanted blood.

‘Deygar’s dead,’ Adam said. ‘So, it just saved me the job.’ Said the deviant Slayem. Adam stood ready for the next onslaught. His sword edge glimmering in the evening sun, with the sounds of sirens blaring in the distance. The police and emergency services were stretched to beyond there capabilities with the dozen or so accidents left in their wake.

With the possibility of there being no police intervention for at least the next thirty minutes, Adam had to work fast if he was to see through this and be reunited with his beloved family.

Paul had composed himself and had gotten to his feet. His father, Milo, was lying down on the ground. Paul had managed to stem the bleeding a little. He still needed urgent medical attention.

Paul wanted vengeance, but he was going at this all wrong and Adam could sense it. Paul’s face was a picture of hatred and anger and it wasn’t holy. Slayem picked up on this and exploited it, firing him up some more.

‘So all I have to do now is kill you, Seth,’ said Slayem, pointing his sword towards the maimed as he did so. ‘Then, to kill the weak son of a dying man.’

Paul was enraged at the sheer thought of his father dying and went in for the attack. Adam feared the worst from Paul’s actions. He had to back him up, whatever the outcome was.

Paul struck his sword; it made contact with Slayem’s, only then to receive a kick to the face, knocking him to the ground.

With an overreached Slayem, Adam took full advantage and kicked his side, hitting the damaged kidney area.

The injured Slayem showed sign of pain, holding his side with his right hand, the left hand shaking a little with the flashes of pain reverberating down the shaft and blade of his sword.

It was like a game of chess for Slayem and he needed to prioritise his next victim. Paul was all fired up, but an angry man is a controllable beast in Slayem’s mind. On the other hand, Seth was more composed and was very skilful.

‘Paul first,’ Slayem said to himself, as he went on the attack.

Paul managed to get himself back on his feet just in time to receive an almighty kick to the face, knocking him unconscious. Then he turns on Adam. Their swords clashed back and forth at a furious speed and then Adam got a fist in and punched Slayem clean in the face, knocking the speed out of him.

Slayem shook his head in disbelief. With Slayem distracted, Adam let loose with a foray of strikes. Slayem blocked each one with ease.

And then it was Slayem’s turn, to turn on the heat and he let Adam take the full brunt of his power and accuracy. With every strike Adam stepped back, using his sword more like a shield than a weapon, then Slayem got a strike past Adam’s defence and made contact with Adam’s shoulder, hitting the Kevlar padding on his leathers and going through it like a hot knife through butter.

Jason had managed to call the church from Derek’s car on the way to the church, to warn the wives, start a serious prayer meeting and create a treatment room just in case.

Rachel and the other Master Disciple’s wives and Lorraine met at the church to pray. Rachel soon got to work in the training room, making a makeshift treatment room down there and the others started their prayer vigil.

Adam was worried that Paul hadn’t moved for a few minutes, and his shoulder was needing a little attention. It wasn’t as bad as Milo’s; the bike leather had taken the brunt of the impact.

Paul started to move. With a little grumbling and moaning Paul got up and the pair stood shoulder to shoulder to protect each other and move towards Slayem.

‘Seth, it has been a pleasure knowing you and being under your teaching and instruction.’

‘Paul, what are you saying?’ This alarmed Adam. It sounded like it was his last will and testament.

‘I’m not gonna see this through, Seth. I can feel it.’ Paul was scared and was preparing his heart just like his father had done just moments before.

Adam had to help Paul see sense. ‘Paul, keep it together, man, ’cause we gonna see this through. Where is your faith?’

‘I’m sorry, brother.’

It seemed to Adam that Paul was sacrificing himself for the greater good, ‘but what greater good?’ Adam thought.

Slayem started to sidestep towards Milo, and Adam sensed something wasn’t right. Paul was doubting his own faith. Slayem was heading towards Milo to finish him off and Adam was torn again. He had to think quickly. Slayem was getting dangerously close to Milo.

Then Adam did something that would help all parties involved.

‘Paul, get it together, man. Your father is lying there,’ Adam shouted in one last ditch plan to get Paul back into the here and now.

Paul snapped out of it, seeing his father down and hurt badly, and headed for Slayem with his sword at the ready.

Slayem, with a hint of a smile, even though he was in great pain with his kidneys, turned with his sword ready, thirsting for the first actual official kill for the Dark Lord. After all, they were one kill down. Deygar’s body was still motionless with absolute no hint of any movement now or ever.

Paul drove his sword towards Slayem’s throat. Adam watched on as he headed towards him to back him up. The sword of Paul’s was heading dangerously close to Slayem and then, at the last second, he blocked it with his own and turned, giving Paul a powerful strike into his face with his elbow. Slayem’s sword then came down and ran through Paul’s thigh, tearing through his leg badly.

Paul fell to the floor in searing pain, shouting out in agony.

Adam, seeing all of this, as Slayem went down to kill the injured Paul, jumped over the downed Paul and gave Slayem a flying kick to the throat, kicking the titanium plate into his skin, giving Slayem a nasty cut to his precious throat.

Both Slayem and Paul were down and Adam went to the injured Paul and dragged him over to his father for comfort and to keep them all together.

Adam was mad; Slayem was just toying with them all. Out of the three Master Disciples he had managed to seriously injure two and Deygar had shot Jason.

Adam was in no place to start questioning God’s grace, neither was he in any position to start doubting his faith.

Slayem could sense Adam’s thoughts and this drove him wild because he didn’t seem to be even a little bit put out by this. Adam’s faith was getting stronger by the second.

The pair stood just staring at each other. Adam was focused on one thing and one thing only – the death of Slayem.

Slayem was also focused on the preservation of his immortal evil frame. He dropped his sword in deviance and beckoned Adam to fight with his hands.

‘Let’s fight like men, Seth, with our bare hands. It will be the ultimate show of a true warrior.’

Adam went with it, placing his sword down with the respect it deserved, knowing full well that it would only be with the sword that he could finish Slayem off forever. So, why entertain such a ludicrous idea of hand to hand combat with a man that has studied every martial art there ever was to learn?

Adam’s faith quickening in his heart; he knew full well that the God he served could and would protect him. He took the stance of a fighter with Milo and Paul watching on in horror, their hearts full of faith for their friend and protector.

‘Please, Lord. Let Adam know the fullness of his faith and gifting in You, protect him as he serves you and your church,’ was the only thing Milo could muster under his shallow breath.

Slayem went at Adam with his full force and Adam blocked a number of strong strikes from Slayem. A multiple strike of punches and kicks came Adam’s way with such speed. Adam was soon regretting his decision to fight without a sword and was wearing out fast. But so too was Slayem. Adam managed to get a great kick with his knee into Slayem’s side, hitting his kidneys yet again, folding up the mighty Slayem. The anger filled the mouth of Slayem like a toxin; he’d spit fire if he could. He then gave Adam such a powerful kick to his throat that he went down holding his throat. He was finding it hard to breathe; with each intake of air came the pain of swallowing the lump of doubt in his throat. He was in trouble and he knew then that the whole ploy of Slayem to drop swords was a mediocre attempt to wear Adam out, ready for his impending death.

Slayem picked up his sword, knowing full well that it was just a formality to run Adam through with his sword, but before he got to that part he needed to say just one more thing to Adam.

Adam was sitting up and was slowly crawling backwards, using his legs to push himself back towards his own sword, still finding hard to breathe, his chest expanding with every fighting breath he took and searing pain. The doubt was creeping in his heart, but he could see the look on Slayem’s face and he was not scared at all; this catapulted Adam into a survival mode he never thought he had in him.

His breathing stabilised and he got to his sword just before Slayem got to him saying,

‘It has been a pleasure fighting such a formidable opponent. Such a shame you won’t be around to see the mighty future of the Dark Lord’s rising.’

The sword was in Adam’s hand now. He had a full grip on it and was ready for anything. He flipped up onto his feet and his sword blocked the attack of Slayem. He was totally surprised by the sudden surge of faith on Adam’s part.

Paul managed to shout out encouragement. ‘Go on, Seth. Finish it.’

Adam gave a quick glance over, distracted by the strong words from Paul, and Slayem took full advantage of Adam’s lack of concentration and struck his left wrist with such power that the sword shook with the vibrations of bones breaking and shattering under such force. But Slayem was more surprised than Adam when his hand was still connected to his wrist.

Adam stepped back, still holding his sword with his right hand, ready for anything. He quickly glanced under his damaged biker’s leather jacket to reveal his severely damaged Bretling Navitimer watch, which had taken the brunt of that strike.

His wrist was still in a bad way. The screwed-down crown had pierced his wrist and it was swelling up fast. The very watch that had been given to him as a gift for faithful service from his former co-workers had saved his hand. If only they knew the true benefit of that gift now.

He puckered up, pulling his glove over the damaged watch to carry on; the mineral, scratch-proof glass had fallen into his glove, and as he grasped the sword with both hands, the glass pierced his left hand, alike the situation he found himself in, painful, but necessary to the mission.

Slayem was surprised by the sheer strength and determination of Seth and was readying himself for the next and final part of this battle.

Their swords clashed again and again. The battle was relentless and Slayem was using all his skills – the skills honed from centuries of practise in battles – and was shocked to find this relatively young man holding his own to the might of the most evil man on earth.

Adam struck up towards Slayem’s face and, as he leaned his head back, Adam brought his sword down with such force and accuracy that he took off Slayem’s left hand – the very same hand that he had attacked on Adam’s mortal frame just moments ago.

As the lifeless limb hit the floor, the pain surged across Slayem’s face. Milo and Paul looked on with the faith that Adam would soon bring this terrifying mission to an end.

Slayem’s face was a picture of horror and sheer amazement that this little upstart would actually take a limb from him.

In sheer shock, Slayem reached down, picked up the severed, lifeless limb and placed it in his pocket.

Adam found this action quite strange and he stood there dumbfounded by the actions of a man who, a moment ago, was giving a speech before he attempted to kill Adam in cold blood.

Slayem, in his vast historic past, had lost many a finger or a thumb as swords clashed at the hilt, losing the odd appendage or two in the process. But in the past, he would simply pick them up and reattach them later. With time and his evil ability to fuse nerve-endings and muscle tissue, he would heal himself in no time. But now a whole hand was something new, even for Slayem. Nevertheless, he still felt hopeful at the outcome of this battle or why else would he pick up his hand.

Adam, saw this as the last act of a desperate man. He could also see that Slayem was suddenly feeling nauseous and immediately dropped his guard with his sword.

‘Finish it!’ Milo shouted out. Adam’s mind was a wash of moral emotion. Should he kill an injured man on his last desperate attempt of survival or should he ‘finish it’, as Milo so rightfully put it?

After all, Slayem’s right hand still had a sword tightly held in it and, most of all, he still had a fighting spirit.

Adam regained his focus once again. Paul surged on in prayer being careful not to shout out again and distract him. All he could do was pray in his mind – the only organ that worked without the painful reminder of his injuries.

Paul’s helpless frame just lay there. He had suffered badly at the hands of Deygar and Slayem collectively. Some severe cuts and even a dislocated shoulder, as well as the badly injured leg were on Paul’s injury tally.

Adam raised his sword in defiance. Slayem was on his feet and was losing blood at a rapid rate. Slayem was showing great courage but it wasn’t looking good for the Dark Lord. God had definitely been on the winning side this day, even though the Master Disciples had, had a few casualties.

Adam was focused and was readying himself for the final faze of this, his toughest day alive to date.

Yet again the pair were in battle mode, their swords clashing. The pair were clearly worn out; the fatigue was a wash all over their faces.

Slayem wasn’t at his best since loosing his hand and was desperate to finish this battle sooner rather than risk bleeding too much. The two of them were fighting the battle of their life. But only one would live on forever for eternity and Adam wasn’t ready to meet his maker yet.

Slayem couldn’t kick or strike out other than with his sword, and it was the same story for Adam; the pair had sustained many a battle scar. So it came down to an old fashioned sword fight to defend the good in Adam and the evil intentions of Slayem.

As the pair carried on with their battle, swords clashing around them, their thoughts pondered to another time and place.

All that was racing through Adam’s mind was the future, seeing Grace all grown up into a beautiful young girl; his amazing wife, Rachel, pregnant again with the possibility of a son in the frame; the church expanding into the place that had been envisioned years ago through a prophecy, all to come into fruition.

Slayem, on the other hand, dwelled on the past and all the terrible atrocities he’d seen at his evil hands. But his heart had softened in this last few moments and he started to think on all the beauty he had seen: the smell of fresh paint in the Sistine chapel, the crusades he had been in, the Great Wall of China, all the marks of man that had embedded mankind, the moon landing 1969. His mind was trying to catalogue all the greatness of man. He was so desperate to see at what point he had given anything to benefit mankind, but he couldn’t find a single thing, until he looked deeply at Milo holding his injured son. Fatherhood struck a cord in his heart, which made him pause long enough for Adam to sweep his legs from underneath him, causing him to fall down the several steps at the front of a closed-down building ready for demolition.

Slayem’s body flipped and gambolled over and over; it seemed like he had given up, not even trying to break his fall with his one remaining hand. He then hit the bottom with a crack; the titanium collar that was there to protect his neck caused his neck to push against it, breaking it neck like a twig.

Adam rushed down to the severely injured Slayem. Milo and Paul had managed to crawl to get to the top of the staircase to overlook the final scene of Slayem’s long life.

The human emotions that filled Adam’s mind were at war, conflicting with one another. All the ‘thou shalt not kill’ sermons that Adam had heard so many times rung in his head like crashing cymbals. They were eating away at his moral code and he was being urged on like a boxer in a fight, being willed on by onlookers, who, if they were in the same position, wouldn’t be able to do so for the same reason. Adam had paused. He was not an evil man at heart but he had to carry out this mission for the protection of the church and his own precious family.

To kill. To kill. The thought was tough. He’d trained for it, knew it was part of his mission, but he was now struggling with delivering it. The thought of taking a life away like clicking his fingers – ‘snap’ then gone – engulfed him like a plague. Here was a man who, only a year or so ago, had created life, and now he was preparing to take a life.

Milo yelled down. ‘Do it! Do it now!’

Adam was an obedient believer and the only thing that was left to do was kill Slayem. So ‘In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,’ was the only thing running through Adam’s mind as the sword came rushing through the air down hard. It was all going in slow motion for the faith-filled Master Disciple, Seth. As the sword made its final few inches through the air.

One last ditch of defiance from Slayem was his eyes turning to focus in on the man so dedicated on killing him. He looked Adam square into his eyes. Slayem blinked as the sword hit his neck, taking his head clean off.

Adam fell to his knees in a heap of sweat and relief, knowing it was all over, and that he could live on knowing that his family and, ultimately, God’s church was safe.

He paused for a moment then soon realised that he had to move quickly; after all, the mess and mayhem littered the street. Adam quickly managed to get to the top of the staircase to gather up all the injured Master Disciples and make some kind of order in all the chaos. There were smashed and battered cars and two dead people without their heads still holding swords in their motionless hands.

Adam didn’t know where to start when a vehicle approached at speed it was a luxury Grand Voyager with blacked out windows.

It stopped and the side door slid open electronically. A voice beckoned out. ‘All of you get in, quickly.’

Adam was clearly worried about such a request, and then the voice said, ‘We are here to assist you as requested by Pastor Miles.’

Milo managed a sentence. ‘It must be the answer to my email, the ‘Council of Reference.’

There was no response from the mysterious voice in the passenger seat of the people carrier.

Adam bundled Milo and Paul in then raced to his bike and followed on after the car with the precious but beaten Milo and Paul safely inside.

Within minutes the luxury people carrier pulled into the church car park with Adam behind.

Again, the door to the car slid open all by itself and the pair were ordered out of the vehicle.

All three were completely bewildered by what had just happened, and then the three of them just sat on the church steps, simply waiting for the next request from whoever had brought them. But there was no request, no orders, just an envelope thrown from the people carrier, landing on the lap of Milo with the words written by hand.

For the attention of the Guardians of truth

The Master Disciples had been through hell and back over the past few months and it had all come to this – the end.

There they were sat, beaten and battered, at the doors of their church after battling with evil Dark Lords, one of which was a thousand years old and a master swordsman, holding an envelope within which could be information that could unlock the truth of whether the Council of Reference was responsible for their safe removal from that battle ground. This would truly reveal the more crucial state of their activity over the years. Their silence, their secrets, now uncovered – an organisation nearly as old as the church itself.

Instead of ripping the package open, however, the three continued to sit and ponder for one last moment, before someone realised that it was over and found them.

Adam was war torn and exhausted. He had only just managed to pull off his helmet and was just lying there breathing slowly, appreciating the fact that he was still alive and not in glory.

Milo was also glad that he was still alive and very much kicking, and was thanking God in the silence.

Paul was still fighting a fight in his mind; his mind still racing and playing over and over again the moments of his battle and the battles of his brothers in faith.

Within a few minutes, Rachel had wandered up to see who had driven off the car park only moments ago, only to find her husband, Paul and Pastor Miles lying at the church doors. She soon alerted the others and got help to get all involved downstairs and out of sight.

With all the goings on and panic from the concerned wives, Milo had completely forgotten about the envelope he had been given and it had been placed on the computer desk. Adam was fine in his own mind and was desperate for Rachel to tend to the most injured and most vulnerable. He told her to look after Pastor Miles first, being the oldest and most at risk, but Milo insisted on Rachel looking after the needs of Paul. His leg was in a bad way, after all, and, as Milo put it, ‘he is the future of the church’. And he was right to tell Rachel not to spend any time on a ‘relic like him’. After all, his time was well and truly over as a fully-fledged Master Disciple. He could finally now relax, put all this behind him and have the retirement that he had dreamed of fifteen years ago.

Adam sat trying to calm down again; the rush of adrenaline had filled him after the sudden rush down into the training room. His head was buzzing and he was in a serious quandary as to who and why they were all picked up so soon after the head of Slayem had fallen. Then he remembered the envelope and quickly gathered it into his hands, shaking as to what lied within its sealed edges. He quickly gave Milo a look of approval before he ripped into it.

Milo did so as he pushed himself up on the makeshift bed, being propped up with several pillows, carefully placed by the emergency stand-in nurse, Lorraine, who was doing an amazing job.

As Adam ripped into it, Paul looked over, leaning in his bed carefully, as Rachel was now stitching up his damaged leg the best she could do. She was the typical calm self she always was under the immense pressure.

Adam pulled out a handwritten letter; it read:

Well done, good and faithful servants of the most high God, yours in Christ Jesus.

We, the remaining members of the former ‘Council of Reference’, have arranged the surrender of Slayem and Deygar will not be a burden to you. Please ensure our trust and commitment to your work in this time of concern.

 

Please make sure you and your team are near to a TV this evening for Great news.

And again thank you, and well done for the liberation of God’s people there and around the world.

Many thanks and blessings from the former Council of Reference.

 

Please destroy this transcript once read.

Milo was shocked to find out that the Council were still operating; still a functioning body after all these years.

Adam was intrigued by the TV remark and switched on the television and within minutes a news flash was announced.

‘Sorry to interrupt our normal viewing with this news flash, but we go directly live to our city streets with our outside reporter, Daniel Radford.’

‘We have come down into the deep end of our city limits to find the massacre of decapitated heads separated from their bodies with what looks like, at first, a fierce and bloody battle to the end with swords.

‘This medieval scene wouldn’t look amiss if it had came out of a book, but what is puzzling police, is that it appears one of the victims is none other than the billionaire businessman, Derek Greyer, and an unknown man.

There seems to be no witnesses, but the first man on the scene was this man: George Gregor.’

The eager journalist then turned to the smartly dressed man of mature years and asked:

‘So what did you see, Mr Gregor?’

‘Well I didn’t see anything. As I have told the police already, I only heard the sound of swords clashing and two men shouting a few streets away, so I made my way here and then found the two men in question. Then I made the call to the police.’

‘Thank you, Mr Gregor. The police have many leads to what could have possibly happened here. They are pursuing all avenues of enquiries; firstly, with all the damaged vehicles nearby. A recent car chase earlier may be linked to this incident, but the police haven’t released that information yet. We’ll be here as the news unfolds. Now it’s back to you in the studio.’

Adam watched the screen with scrutiny and with a puzzled look written all over his face.

‘There’s something familiar about that witness. This is live isn’t it? I’m heading down there.’

Adam quickly made his way down there. The sudden rush of adrenaline gave him a new mission to solve – the missing link to all of this, and George Gregor was it.

As he pulled up on the bike, Adam was confronted with a barrage of police and the film crew were packing up until more news broke on the story.

The whole street was taped off and it gave Adam a chill down his spine to see the bodies being taken away by the coroner’s office and the forensic officers checking every single inch of the street for any piece of evidence.

There was nothing for Adam there, so he rode back to the church slightly upset and frustrated by the lack of control he had; he was now placing his trust in an unseen, unheard, never meet entity. Akin to his faith in God, it was so unbelievable; the similarities were mind blowing, and were, after all, the only way that any of them could have got through what they all just had experienced.

Milo questioned Adam on his arrival back in the training room, with the simplest of questions. ‘Of whom, where and what?’ But before he could answer, the computer started beeping. It received an e-mail, and it simply read:

It’s all sorted MDs

See you all soon.

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