Authors: Milo Woods
Tags: #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Coming of Age, #Epic, #Paranormal & Urban, #Teen & Young Adult
Rupture: Rise of the Demon King
Order of Chaos Series Book 1
Milo Eric Woods
Copyright 2015 Milo Woods
Amazon Edition, License Notes
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3 Loros, 235 2E
The demon on the outside is powerful: it can end lives, level cities, consume worlds. It is a truly destructive, fearful force, but it is nothing, nothing at all compared to the demons on the inside, which live in our personal hell: the demons of the mind. I would know. I’ve met mine.
The Syran’s eyelids snapped open.
“You’re awake, Vishoni.”
The Syran—Vishoni—swiveled his eyes around, searching, begging for release. Where was he? He couldn’t move his limbs. They were bound to a cold table, ropes cutting into his flesh.
The creature who spoke, a male, leaned over Vishoni. He smiled a crooked half smile, sending shivers down Vishoni’s spine.
“You’re awake,” the creature repeated, still smiling. “You are the first one, Vishoni. I will make you my second in command … if you survive!” The monster laughed.
Vishoni stared, unblinking, at the horror before him. For what else could he do? The binds were too strong, his wings were broken.
And then he noticed the Voice within his head:
“Attack bleed burn destroy slaughter fight crush consume kill die butcher …”
The horrid refrain of violence assaulted Vishoni’s mind. Each voice was louder than the last, shouting against the others for supremacy. Some were repeating the same word. Others spouted gibberish. All threatened to overwhelm him with roiling madness. He shut his eyes and struggled against the noise with all his might. His body resisted, thrashing in the binds that held him.
“It’s useless to fight what you hear in your head,” the monster said. “None of us has ever silenced the Kikoeru. It is too seductive, too demanding. You must learn to live with it.”
“Let go of me!” Vishoni yelled.
“Now, now, calm down. Maybe this will do the trick?” A gloved palm touched Vishoni’s forehead.
He screamed as the Voice intensified:
“MURDER EXECUTE DESTROY ATTACK KILL DEVOUR …”
The Voice suffocated Vishoni’s every thought. He lost himself in the Voice, drowning in the insanity. He stopped squirming, stopped screaming.
“That’s better,” the monster said. “I wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself now.”
So, this was how it ended. He would not even have an honorable death. He would live the rest of his days as a slave. A tear ran down his face. Would he ever fly freely again?
“Ah, now you see the inevitability of your situation.” The monster reached for the tear with a finger. “It is sad, isn’t it? For you, I mean. Not me.” He lifted the teardrop to his red eyes and stared deep into it.
Another monster entered the small room, removing the first’s attention from the teardrop. Vishoni watched through eyes of the damned.
“Please tell me you’re not just sitting around, brother,” the second monster said, approaching his partner. “You have a job to do and—Wait, is that a Syran? You captured one? How?”
“You don’t expect me to tell you all my secrets, do you?”
The second monster sneered. “Kotei Ruyaso will not be happy about this. You should have reported this to him.”
The first monster laughed. “Why? So he can take the credit for my work? No, I have plans for this one.”
“Your plans are going to get us turned into utaru snacks! Remember last time? I still have the scars!”
“Quiet. Nothing will happen.”
The monsters approached each other, and they exchanged murmurs. Vishoni tried to hear the murmuring, but the Voice within was too loud.
The second monster let out a loud hoot. “You? Kotei? You’re kidding, right? You must be; the Kikoeru would warn him of any actual treachery!”
“I told you, I have control over the Voice. I can block it, and soon will control it. Look at the Syran! He can hear it! Isn’t it marvelo—”
The second monster punched the first square in the face. “Listen to yourself! You can’t break the natural order of things! You speak of treason! You’re lucky I’m your brother, or I’d kill you myself!” With that, the second stormed out of the room.
“You aren’t a dreamer, Shima,” the first monster muttered to himself. “That is why you’ll never amount to what I will.” He turned back to Vishoni. “If you’re good, I’ll tell you how to control the Kikoeru.”
Vishoni wasn’t listening. The Voice had subdued him and he obeyed only it now.
The monster spoke again: “You think you obey the Voice, but I’m really the one pulling the strings. I have already learned how to control it.” The monster touched the Syran on the forehead again.
Inside the Syran’s head, a voice rang, clearer than the mutters of the Kikoeru. This time, it was the voice of the monster:
“It’s about time you learn the name of your master.”
December 21, 2012
Seeko Dris was waiting for something, anything. Anything to take him away from this. The teacher’s voice droned on, and Seeko’s gaze wandered to the window.
No, he was waiting for someone. Someone to take him away.
The teacher continued lecturing on math, but Seeko caught maybe every third word. Again his gaze drifted to the partially frozen window. A reflection stared back, cool brown eyes and dark brown hair falling between them. A black sweater and baggy jeans lounged behind his desk. Seeko readjusted his hair, pushing his large headphones off his neck, but the headphones caught his hair and he recoiled in pain. The reaction drew attention to him from students sitting around him.
The teacher also glanced toward Seeko. “Why don’t you answer the next problem, Dris?”
Seeko looked up, mouth hanging open. “Uh …”
“Not paying attention in class again? You’re a senior, Dris. How did you get this far?” A pause, then, “Let’s see, Jeremy, can you answer the question on the board and …”
This teacher always called on Seeko when he sensed a moment of weakness. Seeko put his head down on the desk. Now that he had been called on, he knew he wouldn’t be called on again today. He closed his eyes.
Someone take me away from this …
/ / / / /
The class ended and Seeko headed to his locker. Before he got there, a young woman with goggles above her forehead approached him. The girl stood before him like a statue, impeding the way to his locker.
“Get out of the way, Winona,” Seeko said. “I need to get ready for my next class.”
The student stood firm. “You heading over after school today? I got some wicked plans for the break!”
“Yeah, I’ll head over. Might as well spend the end of the world doing something fun.” It was December 21, 2012, and the Mayans had
the end of the world on this day. But that was a load of nonsense.
Winona chuckled. “What a load of crap that turned out to be. You know, a part of me wanted something to happen.”
“I did too, especially if it got me out of math. But the day isn’t over yet; don’t lose hope!”
Winona laughed again, still standing in the way. “You should hear what the janitor has to say about today—it’s crazy. I don’t even know why I talk to him anymore.”
talk to him.” Seeko scratched his head. “Are you going to get out of the way?”
Winona began bobbing her head, blonde ponytail bobbing with it. “So I was watching TV the other day …”
Seeko shoved the overenthusiastic goggled student away. Winona continued her inane nodding as she was slid away, and Seeko expertly opened the locker. After retrieving his books, he scurried toward his next class, with Winona close behind. The two sat down in their desks next to one another, and Seeko covered his eyes with his hand, listening to the other students file into the room.
Someone tapped Seeko’s shoulder and he turned. “Did you get your homework done?” Noel asked with a frown. He green eyes scanned Seeko’s brown for a moment before he ran a hand through short black hair. He readjusted his thin glasses. “I still need a little help.” Seeko shook his head and then faced forward as the classroom door opened.
The teacher walked into the classroom, his movement deliberate and his face solemn. He stopped at his desk and addressed the students after a deep breath: “I … I don’t know how to say this.” He looked away from the students and took a deep breath. “The president … has just been … assassinated.”
As murmurs, gasps, and muffled cries arose, Seeko and Winona exchanged wide-eyed glances. Then the assault of questions came …
“How did it happen?”
“Who did it?”
The teacher only shook his head. “I don’t know any of the details myself. The news was reporting on it.” He went over to the TV hanging on the wall and turned it on. It blared to life and a reporter’s voice came though the speaker.
“… seems to be a coordinated, worldwide leadership attack. Not much is known, but our affiliates in other countries confirm the death of the Canadian prime minister and the Mexican president. Reports are coming in from other countries confirming that their heads of state have also been assassinated.”
At this, some students started crying while others rose to leave. The teacher shouted for them to stay in their seats. Winona turned to Seeko.
“Looks like the Mayans were right,” Winona said. “You got your wish.”
Seeko looked back to the TV, silent. He and Winona had only been joking about the end of the world. Nothing was supposed to actually happen …
The reporter continued. “Current sources have no lead on who is behind the attack, but the attack was clearly planned to coincide with the end of the Mayan calendar. We will stay with you and give you up-to-the-minute reports on the assassinations as they come in.”
As the news segment cut to a commercial, questions populated Seeko’s mind:
Why? How? And … who has the power to do this?
Winona rose to comfort a seemingly broken Noel, his knuckles white from holding the desk so tightly. “It will be fine, Noel.”
Seeko watched the students around him and their varying reactions. Was this really the end of the world? He looked at Noel and Winona. No. The world would keep moving. Nothing would happen to them.
“I got your back,” Winona said to Noel.
“No, no, no, this can’t be real!” he replied.
Before Winona could respond, the power flickered and then died.
“Everyone, stay in your seats,” the teacher said. “I’m sure it’s just a momentary blackout. The power will be back soon.”
Winona returned to her seat and faced Seeko with a smile. “This is pretty exciting, right? The end of the world is really happening!”
Seeko didn’t share Winona’s enthusiasm. He continued to listen to the reactions of the people around him.
“Why is this happening?”
“I’ve got to get home!”
“Hey! My phone isn’t working! What the hell?”
Intrigued, Seeko pulled out his own cell phone. He touched the screen and then hit the
button with no response from the phone, and came to the conclusion that his phone wasn’t working, either. How could a blackout affect cell phones, though?
… Did it affect his MP3 player as well? He put one side of his headphones on and pushed Play. No response.
Seeko rose. The class quieted down, with some students drawn to Seeko’s movement.
“Dris, sit back down,” the teacher said.
Seeko ignored the order and moved to the window. Winona joined him. Other students followed suit, moving toward the windows to see what was going on outside.
From their vantage point on the second floor of the school, they could see cars littering the snowy streets of New York, their owners standing around in obvious shock and confusion.
“EMP,” Winona guessed. She glanced to Seeko, an awestruck look on her face. “But who could have that much power?”
“Terrorists?” Seeko responded. “I don’t know. I didn’t actually want anything to happen today.”
Winona frowned. “Guess you’re not coming over later, huh?”
The teacher’s voice interrupted the students’ mumbling: “Get back to your seats! I will not have my classroom dissolve into chaos!”
The other students returned to their seats. Seeko hesitated, for at that moment, a peculiar sight occurred on the street below. A man in a black suit now stood calmly in the street, seeming to have materialized from out of nowhere, as Seeko knew he hadn’t been there a second ago. The man had bright white hair and a commanding presence as he turned toward the school. Seeko felt as if he knew him, as if he was … connected to him somehow. The man’s eyes found Seeko’s—and suddenly a memory overwhelmed Seeko …
Two people are talking to one another. One of them, a tall man with white hair and red eyes, gestures angrily at a necklace in his hand. The other man runs his hand through his black hair. He glances at me. The white-haired man shouts at the other. He points his palm away from him and a black oval appears opposite. The man smiles and reaches for my hand. Together, we walk into the darkness …
Seeko snapped back to reality with a shake of his head. Someone was talking to him, but he wasn’t focused on the voice. A hand gripped his shoulder and spun him around.
“Seeko! What’s wrong with you? We’ve got to go! Everyone’s already left!” Winona shook her friend with vigor. “Hey! Snap out of it!”
Seeko regained focus. “What’s happening?” He glanced around and saw an empty classroom. “Where is everyone?”
“Didn’t you see what just happened? Just look into the sky!”
Winona gestured to the window. Seeko’s breath stopped as he looked to where Winona pointed.
In the distance, above the center of New York, a massive black sphere swirled, murky purples and reds surging in and around it. The dark sphere looked easily a mile wide, a perfect hole in the skyline. Even from so far away, Seeko could see what appeared to be a tornado emerging from the center. Seeko gazed into the abyss, eyes wide and hands trembling.
Winona gestured toward the ground. “
why the school evacuated.”
Seeko’s gaze followed Winona’s finger. A smaller black sphere spun slowly in the parking lot. Strange monsters were emerging sporadically from the darkness: deformed creatures with wings. As they emerged, the monsters would pause for a moment, then start flying in a random direction, usually away from the school.
“That man in the suit made that
,” Winona said. “He made that darkness, and then disappeared behind it somehow. People ran away when monsters poured out of the thing.” She pulled Seeko toward the door. “We need to go too! Before they find us!”
Seeko still stared at the darkness. He felt compelled to go to it. He
it. Maybe, somehow, it could explain that vision he’d had about that man. Yes …
“I … I think I need to go into it,” Seeko said.
“No, no, no,” Winona said. “We’re not going anywhere near that thing!”
“Where’s the Winona that was all excited about this?”
“That was before the world was
ending! Just look outside! Monsters are appearing out of nowhere! We have to get home!” Winona tugged at Seeko again.
Seeko did not move. “I’m going to that thing, with or without you. I … I have an idea what it is.”
“I won’t let you go anywhere near that!” Winona nearly shouted. “It probably goes to wherever those things came from! Why would you possibly want to go there?”
Seeko looked down at the dark orb outside. “I think I’ve been in one before.” He looked back at Winona with anticipation. “I know what I’m doing.”
“What about our parents? We need to check on them!”
“They’re not my parents! You know how I feel about them. I have to do this, Winona.”
Winona looked to the floor. “Yeah, well, maybe you’ve already made up your mind. But I’m not going anywhere near that deathtrap; I have to get home.”
Seeko turned and walked out of the classroom before Winona could say good-bye.
Before long, only a mere fifty feet separated Seeko from the abyss. He slowed his pace. He could hear the chaos surrounding him, the screams of victims and the roars of monsters. As he approached, his feet grew heavy, planting him in place. He had to do this. He wiped the sweat from his forehead and pushed himself forward.
He stood before the darkness. A trembling hand reached tentatively toward the void. A single heartbeat and time stopped.
What am I doing?
A deep breath and time began again. He reached into the darkness.
Instantly, the abyss pulled on him, forcing him into the void.
What have I done?