Well its been a while for this one, but here's a new chapter. I don't own the BTVS, Marvel, Charmed, or Supernatural characters used in this chapter.
Buffy was riding along on her bike until she came alongside of a sign and stopped her bike for a moment as she looked at it. US Route 491 is what was written, but Buffy could see something more. As she studied the sign more intently it seemed to change before her very eyes. Imposed over it in flames a pentagram appeared with the numbers 666 at the top flashed brightly. It seemed that only people that were connected to the supernatural side of things could actually see just what it was that was really written on the sign.
Buffy had heard of this infamous stretch of the highway, but hadn’t actually thought that there was anything supernatural about it. The Devils Highway as it was often called. Mephisto was being a tad bit arrogant if he was actually saying that this was his road though. It did fit with his character though. Still, there weren’t very many people that could lay claim to being as much like the devil as him either though.
The blonde was broken from her thoughts as she saw Scratch appear. Nearby another figure appeared. Buffy eyed the new comer suspiciously. Anyone that could pull off an instant teleport like that had to be somebody with serious mojo. Of all the various beings that she had encountered only Scratch and Willow had been able to pull off that trick. Considering they had all kicked her ass that really made her wary of this one. He didn’t appear to be as old as Scratch, somewhere in his 30’s or 40’s. Then again, Buffy had learned long ago never to try and judge the age of someone involved in the supernatural world based on their appearances. Angel and Spike were both prime examples of that. Looking at them, one wouldn’t believe that they were between 200 and 150 years old. The guy was also wearing a very stylish suit, Armani and silk if her eyes weren’t betraying her. If she was Cordy, she would have been able to calculate the exact amount that the suit cost. The way he carried himself reminded her somewhat of Spike. Not the whole rebel with an attitude though. No, this was a guy that knew he was a bad ass, powerful, Big Bad, and was proud of it. Walking at his side was the biggest dog Buffy had ever seen in her life. The things head came up to the guy’s shoulders.
“Crowley.” Mephisto greeted the figure with a curt nod.
“Scratch old boy, glad to see that you got my invite.” Crowley said with a smirk. His Scottish accent sure did add to his character.
The two figures stared at each other for a moment when the air shimmered and a familiar cloaked figure appeared with them. The cloaked figure started at seeing the group before schooling itself. The Source didn’t even say anything, though the way it turned its head in Buffy’s direction she was pretty sure that the guy was glaring at her. There was a well-dressed guy in a well-made suit standing alongside of him. Not as expensive as Crowley’s, but possibly a custom fit job.
She ignored the demon though, as smoke seemed to billow from the ground and yet another familiar figure appeared. This one was wearing robes as well, but the hood was down so that she could see its face. Bluish gray skin with giant horns and a white beard that was braided together. At his side was a veiny demon that looked like it was part Polgara due to how large it was. The figure smiled at the assembled demons. Something that made people that knew who and what he was all the more wary of it. A good mood for this being usually meant pain suffering and death for others.
“D'hoffryn.” Crowley said, with what was quickly becoming an annoying smirk. “So glad that you could all come out. It just wouldn’t have been the same without you.”
“Well it did sound like it would be interesting.” D'hoffryn returned jovially. “Although I must say that this is an even more interesting turn of events than I expected.” He said, as he took in the escorts of the other various Demon Lords. “Buffy Summer’s, it’s been a while.” He greeted the figure on a bike. “Why the last time I saw you was when I was stripping Anyanaka of her powers and punishing her for a few of her indiscretions. I haven’t heard much about you on the rumor mill since that whole ordeal with the First and the Hellmouth. Other than the fact that all of your friends in the Council are searching for you that is. Your little witch friend that shows so much promise has been searching all over for you. I understand she’s spending a lot of time in the astral plane searching for you, and the new Slayers of course.”
Buffy glared in response to the Demon Lord, but held her tongue as she looked at the others that had gathered together. Each of the Demons took a point on the crossroads and began glowing.
“This could take some time.” The Source’s escort said, as he watched the group in a bored manner.
“I take it you actually have some idea as to what it is that they’re doing?” Buffy asked, as she looked the group of Demon Lords over curiously. It was hard to just sit still when she was surrounded by so much darkness and evil. Every fiber in her that was a Slayer was telling her to attack, the Rider was also screaming to be let out and then there were her own instincts that were telling her that she would do good by ridding the world of all of these demons. She wasn’t sure how she was managing to hold her instincts back, but she figured the wrong word or action and there was a good chance that she might just fly off the handle. Something she didn’t really think that any of them would be all that appreciative of.
“That I do Miss Summers.” The man said. “Personally I’d rather not be doing this, but I owed the Source a favor for saving some people that were close to me, and this is one of the ways that he’s insisting that I pay him back. Considering the fact that you’re on a bike, that must make you the newest Rider. I thought that the current Rider was someone else though.”
“Don’t ask me, I’ve only been the Rider for the past year or so.” Buffy returned to him with a shrug. “I don’t really know what it is that he did before I had to fulfill my end of the deal. So, what’s the what here anyways?”
“This is one of the Demon Lord Council’s, these four are some of the more powerful Demon Lords of this Dimension not counting the Wolf Ram & Hart of course. There is The Source who rules one of the Underworlds.”
“Yeah, we met not too long ago.” Buffy returned grimly. “I don’t think he likes me all that much.”
“Yes, I heard about that.” He said with an amused smirk. “You really hurt his credibility to protect those serve him by tearing though the Underworld like that. I just wish I had been allowed down there to see it all though.” The man said his eyes lit with amusement as he recalled all the damage that had been done to the Underworld. They were still working on some of the repairs actually.
“The one in the designer suit is Crowley, he’s the leader of the Crossroad Demons, one of Lilith's people from what I understand. Word is that he's one of the people that might be in line to take over command of those demons. Seems Lilith's death was foretold not too long ago. Then there’s the two that you already know Mephistoles the Deal Maker and D'hoffryn the Lord of the Vengeance Demons.”
“Yeah, I more than acquainted with them.” Buffy admitted with disgust. “So what we’re here as bodyguards or something like while they have their Demon Godfather meeting?” Buffy questioned curiously.
“That’s about as close as one can get to it.” The man said in agreement a smile spreading across his face. This was a true smile as well, not one of the fake smiles or smirks that most demons sent her way.
“So who are you anyways?” The blonde asked curiously.
“Cole Turner.” The man said offering his hand. “These demons get together about once every 10 years or so to discuss various things. The reason we’re here is because they get like this and we need to be here in case someone gets the idea to take out some of the major players in the Underworld.”
“So it’s our job to keep them safe then?” Buffy said with a scowl as she understood what it was that she had been called here for. The Slayer part of her would have loved to find a meeting like this and kill all of the demons that she could find. It would be a challenge she and her friends would have pounced on. Killing even one of them would have disrupted the demon hierarchy enough to give them a year or two of disorganization as various demons tried to kill each other and confirm their position as one of the top demons of the area. Because as much as she didn’t like to admit it these four were of the big boy variety even if they were limited in how much they could affect things on earth.
Cole nodded his head in agreement, looking equally displeased with their duties. “Yeah, what we mainly deal with is the occasional demon trying to rise up in the ranks. We also have to deal with the various Hunters, Witches, and whatever other kind of Champions and warriors might become aware of it. There is also the chance that one of them has hired someone or other to get one of them. This is the second time I’ve been here, and who knows how long those two have been doing this.” He added, nodding towards the giant Hellhound and the Vengeance Demon.
Buffy winced as she realized that she had been thinking along those exact same lines. The knowing look that Cole was giving her let her know that he knew where her thoughts had been going.
The pair waited as their ‘masters’ went through the motions of the meeting. “So, you’re the infamous Buffy Summers then?” Cole asked curiously. “How is it that the Sunnydale Hellmouth Slayer of all people got into this kind of job? I mean you’re such a white hat you practically need wings and a halo.” He said teasingly.
“I made a deal.” Buffy said with a shrug. “Instead of the shiny toys like that, I got hellfire instead.” Cole nodded his head in understanding, he was a lawyer and knew all about making demonic deals. He had actually studied a number of Mephisto’s original contracts to make better use of them before he became a lawyer. He had used them to help in his passing of the bar exam.
“Rider, Balthazar, enough talk here they come.” The Vengeance Demon called out to them. The pair turned around to see several demons begin to crawling out of the ground or appearing out of the air. There was even some driving up in cars and trucks. All in all, she counted about fifty various creatures.
“You know, I don’t think he likes us.” Buffy commented as she turned to where the demon was pointing.
“Well you and your friends were somewhat responsible for the loss of two of his bosses people.” Cole reminded her. Two of his supposed favorites even.
“You think he’s still upset over that?” Buffy asked in amusement. “Oh yeah, evil demon, they tend to hold grudges.” She said as if that explained everything.
“Looks like the foot soldiers are first.” Cole said with a grin as he finally started to pay attention to the incoming demons. “Are you ready to show me what a Slayer is?”
“Please, this will be a lot like old times.” Buffy said as she pulled the scythe out of its sheath on her bike. “Plus there’s not a better person that can show you what a Slayer can do.” She said flashing him a smile.
The first round of demons charged at them. The four guards each stood in a ready
Position as they came. Cole held his hands out, and Buffy watched as he created energy orbs and began flinging them into the crowd. The demons were doing their best to dodge the attacks, but some of them were getting through and causing the demons to erupt into balls of flames. The Hellhound moved in next lunging at the various demons it caught a large demon that looked like it was giant lizard and began ripping the throat out it then leaped for another.
Buffy turned to see the vengeance demon had a sword and was fighting two other demons. That meant that it was her job to keep the others busy. She concentrated for a moment, and a fireball appeared in her hand and she threw it at one of the incoming demons even as she vaulted in the air and landed in the midst of the others. As she rose to her feet the demons she had passed crumpled as the blade of the scythe had cut through their heads. While they weren’t all dead, several of them were seriously injured. The one in front of her gaped in shock long enough for her to skewer him with the Mr. Pointy end of the scythe. Of the fifty various foot soldiers five were left and the vengeance demon was ripping the heart out of another one even as she took a look around. Leaping up she grabbed a porcupine like demon and slammed it into another while the two flailed around she and Cole each hit one of the demons with their energy balls.
“Huh, looks like there really is more to you than just a pretty face.” Cole said appreciatively as he watched the demons disappear. What is that anyways, hellfire?”
“Yeah, and you got the upper level demon energy balls right?” Buffy asked curiously from the other side as she eyed the attack. The two ignored the Hellhound as it was ripping the throats out of the demons that while down weren’t dead. “So what was the point of that anyways? Hardly the big time threat that you had been telling me about.”
They’re just scouting us out right now Rider.” The Vengeance Demon spat out. “Those demons were cannon fodder, and were only supposed to let the demons get an idea as to what it is that they’re dealing with. The next wave will be much harsher and dangerous now that they know who is here.”
“Good, I was worried that this was going too easy for a minute.” Buffy shot back with a grin causing Cole to chuckle in amusement. The vengeance demon huffed at her in annoyance, but focused on watching for more incoming forces. They all got silent as they saw a large crowd of demons begin to show up. “Uh this doesn’t look like the small force that you were telling us about. Buffy noted as she stared at the guy.
“Well I happen to have a bounty on my head, and I guess the Source didn’t think he needed to remove it for tonight.” Cole returned as he looked at the incoming horde. “I do believe the Scourge has sent a number of their best to deal with me.” He said sounding somewhat excited, proud, and disturbed to see them there. “Being one of the most powerful half-breed does have its disadvantages.” He said with a grin.
“They could be here because of the Rider as well.” The Vengeance Demon noted to the lawyer. “You know her reputation, it could be they finally decided to deal with her once and for all before she became even more in control of the Rider that is within her.”
“Hmm, good point.” Cole admitted. “There is also the fact that she’s the longest living Slayer and helped create an army of supernatural warriors whose sole purpose is to destroy demons and other supernatural beings. Then there’s the fact that she’s considered an ally for Angelus, and there are a number that would love to embarrass him by killing his former partner. So it would seem that we’re both prime targets for these guys.”
“Yeah, we win yay us, we’ll just have all the more demons wanting to kill us. If we lose yay them they don’t have to worry about any trouble we may or may not cause”. Buffy returned to him.
“Regardless, we better do something.” Cole said. “It looks like we’re going to have to show our real power if we want to get through this thing.” He said looking somewhat nervous at the idea of showing his true form to his new colleague. In her own way she reminded him so much of Phoebe. He really didn’t want to mess up the potential friendship that was forming between them.
“Hey, they’re the ones that decided to throw an army at us.” Buffy reminded him. This guy reminded her of Angel and Spike. He had the brooding personality at times, but he also seemed to genuinely enjoy smacking the various demons around as well.
Cole nodded he threw two more energy balls before his form wavered and changed before everyone’s eyes. Instead of a relatively good looking man there was now a 7 foot, red skinned thing with tribal marking on its face.
“Balthazar.” The Vengeance Demon greeted happily as it killed another attacker. “So glad that you could finally join us. I was beginning to think that your other half was going to try and take up all of your time here and allow us all to die.” The Slayer and Assassin stared at the Vengeance Demon in disbelief. It seemed he was going to accept them now that they were in their supernatural forms.
Buffy held her hand out and waved the scythe around. “Guess, it’s time for me to put on my party outfit.” She said with a grimace.
Balthazar nodded his head in agreement, seeming to be barely even fazed as several energy balls exploded on his back.
“Back off.” Buffy ordered as she swung her scythe, and a trail of flames shot out from where she swung and burned through several demons as if they weren’t even there.
“Nice.” Balthazar grunted in his deep voice, as he grabbed two demons by their skulls and crushed their heads with a squeeze.
“You ain’t seen nothing yet.” Buffy informed him with a grimace as she then focused on the flames within her. Inside of her there was a place that she was learning to connect to. A dark place that burned anything and everything that it touched.
Several beings paused as they watched flames seemed to pour out of her very pores, the skin all seemed to burn away, and soon a flaming skeleton was standing there holding the scythe. The dark cackling howl that echoed out of its mouth was enough to cause even the strongest of demons to pause for a moment as they regarded the figure that had taken the place of the Slayer.
“There it is boys.” A voice said with glee. Turning the Slayer Rider turned to see several humans heading her way.
“Hunters,” the Vengeance Demon noted with a sneer.
“Go have fun with them I don’t think the Rider is really all that interested in them.” Balthazar noted as he nodded to the Slayer Rider that was ignoring the incoming Hunters to focus on the demons. The scythe in its hand, as it began marching toward the incoming force. It swung the weapon back and forth when an energy orb came close to her and sent it flying back into the group like a tennis player. She even batted a few of them toward the incoming humans who screamed in pain as they were engulfed by the power.
“Just remember, we don’t want the Rider to notice us.” The Vengeance Demon warned the other members of the defense group. “That thing is a psycho, and you never know what kind of reaction that it’ll have to our kind. Despite the fact that we’re supposed to be on the same side, it’s just as likely to turn on us as it is to work with us. I’ve seen those like it blow holes through demon armies before they were stopped. It usually take an elder demon of some sort to stop them once they get going. To make things worse that Rider is also a Slayer. If there’s something that could find a way through your hide Balthazar, that’s the thing that will get it done.”
Balthazar nodded his understanding of the danger that the Slayer Rider represented to them before it began flinging energy balls at the incoming forces that were arrayed against them. Hellfire and energy orbs mixed together as they blasted through the ranks of creatures. The forces unprepared for the brutality that the pair were bringing down on them could do nothing as whose in their ranks were opened again and again. The Hellhound and the Vengeance Demon were holding the human hunters off. The Hellhound rushing through ripping and tearing through them while the Vengeance Demon teleported into amongst them and began swinging a pair of swords around until the area was clear before disappearing and doing the same thing again. There were several demons that taking potshots at the Hunters and many of the Hunters were returning fire at each other making the war into some sort of three way free for all. Someone or something was annoyed with the Elder demons that were consulting. He was taken out of his musings as Hellfire slammed into him and tossed him into the crowd.
“Oh great.” The Vengeance Demon said angrily as it drove its arms through the chests of two different demons. “The Rider has lost it.”
Balthazar groaned as he picked himself up and realized the vengeance demon was correct. Whatever control that the Slayer had over the Rider had appeared to have fallen away. It was now striking out at anything that it was looking at. The fact that it was fighting a demon horde hadn’t helped. The Rider was now bearing down on him though because it regarded him as a target. The Rider opened its mouth and a stream of flame came flying out it then turned its head from side to side for a few moments burning all of the creatures that had gotten close with hellfire. The Rider then flung a fireball in his direction, even as it marched toward another group of demons. The powerful half demon managed to move out of the way of the attack, shocked that it would so casually attack him as if it meant nothing. He had thought that he and the Slayer had bonded on some level. Then again, he knew what could happen to those that demons possessed, and knew that they weren’t always in complete control. The Rider was supposed to be some sort demon hunter and enforcer for Scratch. That meant that it wasn’t as concerned for some aspects of the fight as others might be. It was content to cause mayhem and destruction, as long as its target was taken down. That was part of why it had been in the news so much because of all of the damage it was now causing. Refocusing on his own opponents, he drew a dagger and urged the demons on.
“Destroy the Slayer Rider!” One of the demons called out.
Balthazar’s eyes widened as he finally understood. The Rider who had been tearing holes through the various demon communities had made enemies, and was now going to have to deal with a host of angry demons that wanted it disabled.
“Make way for the Horde!” Another voice called out and they all turned to see what looked like a Nazi demon force marching toward them. Each of them was armed with their own weapons, whether it be some form of gun or blade each of them was moving forward to deal the threat that the Slayer Rider represented. All in all there must be a 500 or more demons moving to engage the Rider.
“We have to stay away, that thing doesn't look like it wants to do anything with us.” The Vengeance demon noted as it strode up beside him. The remnants of the hunters on seeing the force had decided to retreat. Those that the Vengeance Demons and Hellhound hadn't killed that is. “Besides, it’s our duty to protect our Lords, not to worry about whatever problems that the Horde may have with the Rider or its host.”
“Your all heart.” Balthazzar rumbled back to it in return. “You do realize that after they finish the Rider off they're going to come after us though right? I mean a Vengeance Demon is a human turned demon, while I’m a half breed, and the Rider is a human empowered with the essence of a demon that’s been possessed by another demon. Face it, we're all on the same list as far as they're concerned. Well except for the dog that is.” He amended as he looked at the Hellhound that was currently ripping the throat of another demon.
“We have our orders.” The Vengeance demon returned stubbornly.
“Fine.” Balthazar returned in annoyance. He then began firing energy balls towards the Horde. He may not be able to get involved directly, but he could still do his part to help by giving some fire support.
The Rider seemed unaware of the cover fire that the demonic assassin was launching as it moved forward. The Rider struck the group like a train and then proceeded to run right through them.
Balthazar could only stare in shock at the rather one sided battle. The Rider seemingly heedless to its own safety was slashing and burning through the horde. The demons who had thought that the arrival of the militants had assured their victory could only watch in horror as the Rider tore through the crowd. This was like nothing any of them had ever seen, it was worse than some of the various war zones that many of the demons had been to. As demon after demon fell, the power of the rush seemed to fail as they began to realize that they would need more power than they currently had. This Rider was too powerful to simply beat down as it was. Still they had to try, or they could run and ruin one of their only chances at ambushing the Rider. One demon moved forward and several vines began to grow around the rider. The flames around its body flared, causing the vines that entangled it burst into flames. Turning around, the Rider turned and slammed its fist through the chest of the demon. Holding its blackened heart, the heart started to burn and Rider threw the organ at another group of incoming demons and it exploded.
“I've heard of being a heart breaker before, but that's just ridiculous.” Balthazar complained. The demons finally pulled back their forces that were much smaller than when they had first started. “Think that’s the last of them?” Balthazar asked curiously. The Rider ignored him though and began to march after the demons. “Think we should stop her?” He questioned idly, as he watched her launch fireballs at the fleeing demons.
He noticed that some of the remaining Hunters had regrouped and several of them had large tube like weapons. They pointed them at the Rider and soon there were several roars as various RPG weapons fired. The Rider was struck by several of the heavy weapons and those that didn't hit it peppered the ground. He noticed that some of them had even released clouds of what he presumed was salt and other various demon fighting items. Items that from what he had heard had a reduced effect against the Rider. He thought that it might have something to do with the fact that the Rider was technically still a human despite the fact that it acted as a host for one of the more powerful demons that was known to move on the Earth. When the dirt and smoke had cleared they could all see that the Rider was climbing back to its feet. The more impressive thing though was that the creature didn't even look like it had been seriously hurt. He knew that he would have just barely survived such an attack if it had been aimed at him. And that would have been if he was extremely lucky.
The Slayer Rider turned to glare at the Hunters. It launched itself into the air out of the the giant crater that the Hunters had created and then landed on a bent knee in front of the group. It raised its head and then reached out and grabbed the apparent leader of the group. Guilty,
It snarled and then it stared into the eyes of the man who started to scream in pain.
Balthazar whistled in awe. Hunters were not known for being the nicest of people often times being some of the worst of scum who rationalized away what they did by destroying demons. They were hard a hard breed of people though that usually skirted the law at the very best of times. Nearly each and everyone of them was driven by some sort of vengeance. Its why most Hunters specialized in one form of Hunting or other. There were those that focused on physical demons and there were those that focused on the spirits and ghosts. Each of them would occasionally branch out but for the most part they stayed with the type of creature that they had sworn revenge on for whatever reason. The fact that their methods usually ended up with them sometimes destroying lives didn't seem to matter to them at all. Still one would think that with all the lives that they did save that they wouldn't be judged by the Slayer Rider of all beings. It looked like even they weren't immune from its stare though.
The Hunter was dropped to the ground his eyes burned out as the Penance Stare had fried everything within him. The Rider then turned to look at the group and held its hands out on either side and formed a large fireball. The Hunters made a mad dash to get away and it looked like they might succeed when suddenly the fireball shot out of its hand and slammed into the scrambling figures. The Hunters now dealt with the Rider turned its focus back toward the demons that were trying to get far enough away from the Rider to be safe.
"I didn't think that she really had it in her to be that brutal." Balthazar noted.
“Look around assassin, look at what your friend did and ask that again. This is what the Rider does. It’s like a mad beast that you point and hope it doesn't decide to turn around and attack us.” The other demon noted.
“An interesting notion shall we test it out?” A voice asked, as a demon cancelled its invisibility. It then formed an energy orb and launched it at the Rider. The others could only stare in shock as it homed in on the rider. The demon smirked as he then shimmered away.
The energy orb struck the Rider on the back of the head, and the demon that had been moving towards the demons stopped and turned to look at the other members of the guard. It focused on Balthazar. “You.” It growled darkly.
“Think she'll believe me if I say I didn't throw that thing?” Balthazar asked.
“Not likely.” The Vengeance Demon said, as it moved away from the larger demon.
Balthazar shrugged, as he turned to face off with the Slayer Rider. He moved forward not about to cower from the upcoming fight. If the Rider wanted to fight with him, then he would oblige it. Forming a pair of energy orbs it fired them. The Rider returned the favor by launching a pair of fireballs of its own. The two blasts whirled by each other and struck their targets forcing each of them to take a few steps back. Other than the force of the attacks though neither of them seemed to have been injured by the blows. The two were both immune it seemed to the long range attacks that the other had. That meant that they would have to try something else. The Rider lifted its scythe up and pointed it at the former assassin. Balthazar reached into his jacket and withdrew a pair of Athame blades. While he would love to have a sword he doubted that the being before him would let him find one. It had entered the bloodlust stage that he had heard about. It was merely gathering its energy up for its next attack. That was the only reason that he had been given the time he had.
The Hellhound lunged at the Rider and the scythe came up and slashed the beast along the side. The Hellhound yelped as it fell to the ground. The smell of burnt fur and meat going all over the place. The Vengeance Demon moved to inspect the animal, but got a face full of hellfire that burned it and caused it to fall to the ground.
Some of the various demons had come back to watch the fight between the two hated hybrids. There were roars of approval as two of the guards fell to the ground. “3 virgins on the Rider.” A voice called out.
“That’s a sucker’s bet, but I’ll meet that with a soul that Balthazar last 5 minutes.” Another called out. Soon several answering cries could be heard, as the demons made themselves comfy for the coming fight. While the pair were obviously more than any of the demons could handle they thought that they might win something from the duo fighting with each other.“Die.”
The Slayer Rider said, as it leaped forward and brought the scythe down in a one handed overhead slashing attack.
Balthazar grunted as his crossed blades stopped the weapon, but the swinging legs from the Rider caught him in the gut and sent him tumbling back. The half breed grimaced as he assessed his various injuries from the brief confrontation. That had been tough and rather informative. The Rider had forced him to use all of his strength just to block the attack, and it wasn't even her strongest one either. This was going to take some serious work if he was going to figure out how he was going to counter the effects that the creature had. It was obviously physically stronger than he was, faster, and more agile as well. It was also far more brutal than he was. He had his doubts if he would have survived charging into an army of monsters like The Rider had, yet not only had it survived that, but it had come out of relatively intact. He could only hope that the host was holding it back, or this would be a really short fight.
Moving in, the two moved things to a physical level. The Rider proved its superiority yet again though, as it caught his incoming punch, and then with a twist flipped him onto his back. He swiped with his hand, and the demon possessed Champion lifted its leg and allowed his fist to fly under its foot. The foot came down and on his arm, and the large hybrid yelled in pain as the arm was broken. Using its other hand it created an energy orb, and tossed it at the Rider's face. The Rider screamed as the blast knocked its head upwards. Balthazar rolled away from the temporarily blinded creature and climbed to his feet. He threw one of his athame, and watched as the blade hit the Slayer Rider in the shoulder.
The Rider screamed in anger as its body jerked from the blade. Reaching over, it jerked the blade out of its shoulder. Balthazar saw that the blade was already red hot and was actually dripping from the heat that its body created. The enchanted blade was actually melting. The Rider tossed the useless blade to the side and moved in.”Guilty. It growled, as it grabbed him and lifted him over its head. It dropped the scythe on the ground and began beating on him.
Bone hands that were now as sharp as claws slashed across his chest and diamond hard knuckles slammed into his face. The worst part was that despite the fact he was only a couple of inches off the ground there was nothing that he could do against the creature that was holding him captive. After a bit of this he was dropped to the ground where he lay for a moment gasping for breath and just enjoying the lack of blows for a moment. His peace was destroyed though as a kick broke one leg. He was then lifted and tossed to the side grunting as he landed on the blade of a fallen sword which scratched him. The throw also jarred his other leg. The Rider marched up to him and picked him up he winced as he was forced to his feet only to grunt as a knee to his side broke half the ribs on his right side. Not seeming content with that the Rider then spewed flames at him burning his body. It finally let Balthazar fall to the ground and he thought that maybe it was content with the damage it had done. The Rider raised its hand and its abondned weapon appeared in its hand in a flash of fire. Twirling the weapon it then slammed the pointed end into his stomach. The weapon glowed for a moment as it was stuck inside of him.
Balthazar gasped as he felt the heat that the weapon was generating. His insides were now being cooked to match his outsides.
Balthazar had been destroyed, he knew that even if the Rider let him live that his demon would never again inspire the fear that it once had. A backhand caused his eye to blister and close.
The Slayer Rider seemed to have finished destroying him as it jerked the weapon out of him and held it up high and roared as if proclaiming its victory. It then shifted the weapon to both hands ready to start slicing him apart. The blade twirled looking like a flaming pinwheel and then it came rushing toward him.
“Rider stop.” A voice barked causing the weapon to pause only an inch away from Balthazar’s face.
Had he not already been burned he was sure that he would have felt the intensity of the heat that the scythe was giving off. As it was, he was merely to damaged and hurt all over to care how close the weapon was to him. He briefly thought of Phoebe, her sisters, and even Leo. He wondered if this was it for him.
“That's Enough.” Mephisto ordered as he looked at the beaten form of Balthazar. His eyes then strayed to take in the fallen forms of the rest of the guards. He looked at the other Demons Lords a bit mockingly. “I guess we really should have expected something like this. Neither of them are really known for playing well with others. It also confirms that my Rider is the best there is.” He said, as he looked back at the burnt remains of the Vengeance demon and the beaten form of Balthazar.
“Got to admit your contracted help has some real style.” Crowley said unhappily as he knelt beside his dog to examine the damage done to it. “So its agreed then, I manage to get Lilith out of the way, and you'll support my bid to become the new king of hell? So long as I keep any other demons under my command out of your way.”
“As we have agreed to Crowley.” Mephisto returned as he held up a contract. “You always were one of my best students.” He complimented, as he caused the form to vanish in a flash of fire. “You survive the Judean Apocalypse, you get to be the King of Hell.
“A pleasure to do business with you lot then.” Crowley returned. “Could you tell your help to lay off my dog next time though? I’m somewhat partial to this one.” He turned to walk away before pausing and turning to look at Mephisto. “Do you do any subcontracting work, or rather do you accept subcontracts in the name of your Rider?”
“I do.” Mephisto returned. “I take it you have another deal you’d like to make?”
Crowley looked smug upon hearing that. “Great, I've got this annoying little man that's making me look bad, and I thought that they could nip it in the bud easily enough. I need someone to take care of an Immortal for me. None of my Hellhounds have been able to take him down, and I need some extra muscle to do the job.”
“An immortal you say?”
“Yeah, the bugger bartered 5 years for a sword that would hurt immortals. Turns out it also effects hellhounds and demons as well though.” Crowley grumbled in annoyance. “Thing is this particular annoyance also knows all of the Hunter tricks for containing or blocking supernatural beasties. It’s making collecting what I’m due to be something of a problem if you know what I mean. I'm thinking that your Rider there might be just the thing to deal with him in a more permanent fashion if you catch my drift. It’ll also leave a message to those that try to get out of a deal with me.”
“A sword that effects immortals and demons should be a decent test.” Mephisto said with interest. “Very well, I shall accept your offer and loan you the services of the Rider. It might even be interesting in other ways as well.” The Demon Lord said thoughtfully as he considered what it might mean for the slayer to perform this particular task.
“Rider.” Mephisto said, turning to look at his servant. “Crowley here has needs of your services. Go with him, he shall explain everything that you shall need.”
“Right.” Crowley said as he pulled a picture out of his pocket showing a man. “This is your target. He made a deal with me and is now trying to wiggle out of it. I'm not particularly fond of welchers myself, so I want you to and retrieve the idiot that thought he could get out of his deal.” Crowley ordered. “I take it that she can find her way after him now that she knows who she's after?” The demon questioned Mephisto curiously.
“You have a taste of the immortal's soul, all you need to do is let her feel it and there won't be anywhere that the soul will be able to run to that my Rider won't be able to find it.”
“Right then, let’s get this started then shall we?” Crowley said, as he took a deep breath as he recalled the person that had tried to get out of the deal. He personally would have preferred to have the Rider in her Slayer form to do this, but he could pull this off as well. He kissed the Rider on where its lips would be, and let it taste the essence of the Immortal that had tried to get out of its agreements.
“Anything else?” He asked Mephisto curiously.
“That will be all.” Mephisto returned.
“Fine then, I'll let you get to it.” Crowley said as he disappeared with his hellhound.
“I must say that you really do have skill as a foot soldier.” D'hoffryn noted as he examined all of the damage that the Slayer Rider had managed to perform on the highway. There were areas that were still burning with hellfire, and the corpses of all the various demons and their weapons were scattered all over the place. "I never would have thought that you of all people would be able to cause all this damage. Then there’s what you did to Balthazar.” He said as he turned to examine the former prize of the Source’s demon forces with an appreciative look. “While not as good as your friend’s work it’s not bad either.” He complimented. “Makes me wonder what you would have done had you and the Rider had been of the same mind in destroying him.” D'hoffryn shrugged uncaringly at the condition that the demon was in. “Tell you what, after you’ve filled out your time with Mephistololes as his Rider I’ll make you the Vengeance Demon for Wronged Warriors if you’re interested. Be nice if you could bring your redheaded friend along as well.” He suggested. “It was fun seeing you, but it looks like I have to find someone new to take his place now. You actually melted his necklace.” He admonished her. “We will likely meet again.” He said tipping his head at her before he disappeared in a cloud of smoke. The Source and Rider glared at each other for a moment before it to left. Leaving its guard behind to the mercies of the beings that were still there.
As soon as the Source was gone Balthazar’s form wavered as he returned to his human form. A moment later he shimmered away. He knew of a few cemeteries and crypts that he could stop at on his way back to San Francisco. Hopefully that would mess his trail up enough so that he could get back and hopefully get some healing done.
“Balthazar is escaping, I want that bounty!” A demon said and about half of the demons all shimmered away as they tried to trace his signature. None of them willing to give up on the reward that was promised to whoever it was that managed to bring the Source his head. Some of the demons that remained looked at the Rider speculatively as if trying to figure what their chances were in going up against it. A few moments later they began falling back as they realized that it wasn’t worth the trouble that it would cause.