The impala rolled slowly through the deserted town. A coastal island, the bridge had been blocked off by traffic barriers. The place was just strange; it was silent, no birds, no insects and no people, a true ghost town. There were no abandoned cars or bodies at least but the silence was grating, raising the hairs on the back of Dean’s neck. “According to Bobby the signs all center here, electrical storms, crop deaths, you name it, this is the dead center of rings of signs for almost a hundred miles.” Sam said looking out the window.
“I got a bad feeling about this one, what could have pulled that much demonic activity to one spot.” Dean muttered, pulling into an alley and parking the car. Getting out and popping the trunk they armed up. A few blocks in they found the first body, a burned out demon host with a bullet hole in its forehead. They found six more bodies as they went farther into town, all shot in the head or chest, all burnt from the inside out like when they used Ruby’s knife.
“You don’t think it’s another Colt do you?” Sam asked pocketing the last demon’s gun.
“No idea, thought that was a once off but we have been wrong before.” Dean muttered, glancing up, he stood quickly leveling his gun. “Sam.” Two men in suits had walked out of a side alley, sniffing the air like they were part animal, their eyes flickered from black to normal, demons.
“Well well, what do we have here, fresh meat.” one said with a grin, the other responded with a grin of his own pulling a gun from his coat. “Time to play.” he growled, “You boys walked into the wrong town today, me and about a hundred of my brothers are going to sear this place out of existence by nightfall.” he purred.
“Really, where’s your brothers now?” a woman’s voice asked, two shots making Sam and Dean drop into a crouch as the demon’s heads exploded with a spray of blood.
“You two alright?” she asked, gun pointed to the ground between them. “Yeah, nice shot.” Dean said, flicking his gaze over their supposed savior. Jeans and a tight black long sleeved tee-shirt dabbed with spots of black demon blood and heavy hiking boots clung to her curves, dark long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail a few strands stuck to the blood on her face and neck. A rifle was strapped to her back while the black webbing of a weapons harness looped her hips and thighs, holding several knives and a gun holster.
“You guys need to leave; this place is going to get really dangerous in a few hours.”
“What the hundred demons he was talking about? Was he serious?” Sam asked. “What are you two, hunters?” she asked taking in the knives and guns that they were keeping a hand on while slowly scanning the area around them on autopilot.
“Yeah, I’m Sam, this is Dean.”
“You a hunter?” Sam said holding out a hand for a quick shake. “Something like that. I’ve run into a few hunters over the years, never heard of you two though.” she paused running her eyes across the windows and alleyways around them. “Care to take this conversation somewhere a bit safer?”
“Sounds like a plan, where you holed up?” Dean agreed,
“A warehouse a couple blocks over, iron walls salted and locked tight.” she said absently watching something down the street, “We need to move.”
“What do you see?” Sam asked peering down the street as they all began backing the other way.
“More what I don’t see, this place had birds and such roaming around an hour ago.” she said turning and trotting off down the street, they jogged to keep up alternating who was watching the area behind them as they moved.
Once they were inside and the salt line replaced tension went out of all of them.
“Care for a soda or water?” she asked, “The shop in town was still stocked so I liberated a few cases.”
“Sure.” Dean said, eyes scanning the room. The warehouse was empty except for a decrepit couch and a few boxes along the walls. The high windows had each been spray painted with various symbols used to block out demons. The doorways were ringed with salt. A large circle full of symbols and runes had been spray painted to one side. A long table was covered in gear and weapons, this was where she was pulling the drinks, tossing them each a bottle and claiming a diet coke for herself.
“I like how you fixed up the place, been here long?” Dean asked. “A few days. The local papers here stopped printing a week ago with a final story about a gas leak of some kind but the only thing I have found around is random demons holed up in each building, all of them saying they are waiting for their brothers to arrive.”
“So what you are just wandering the town, taking them out as they find you?” Sam cut in.
“I wish. I have tried to leave town a couple times now. As soon as I get close to the river I get swarmed and forced back into town.” she said opening her soda and taking a long drink, “During the day I hunt those I can find, nights I hole up here. Seriously though, you guys need to get out while you can. If they let you just drive in, they might let you drive out.”
“We can’t just leave you here, come on! If that demon was right and there are that many coming then you need our help.”
“I can take care of myself.” she snapped, “You guys need to get out of dodge before all hell breaks loose. Something bad is coming, I can feel it.”
“All the more reason for you to head out with us.” Sam yelled. Suddenly the entire building seemed to rumble, dust drifting down from the rafters.
“What the hell was that?” Dean demanded.
“Something just tested the warding.” Lorna said eyes flickering to the various windows, checking for damage. A hand pounded against the door. “You expecting company?” She asked, pulling her gun. The two brothers eyed each other, pulling their own weapons and splitting up to flank the door. The door was pounded again, “Who’s there?” Sam called out as Dean rolled his eyes.
“Castiel. Sam, Dean, we need to talk.” Both brothers sagged, Sam opening the door while Dean and Lorna covered him. When Castiel did not enter immediately Dean pulled him across the salt line and into the room.
“What the hell, Cas? Are you trying to bring down the place around our heads?” Dean demanded, looking over the angel.
“I apologize; I did not realize you would be in a place warded against angels as well as demons.” Castiel said straightening his trench coat. “You guys never said you were friends with Angels.” Lorna said vehemently, keeping her gun trained on Cas.
“It’s alright; he’s a friend…kind of.” Dean said, eyeing the panicking woman. “What did you want Cas?” Castiel eyed Lorna with concern for a moment before answering Dean.
“You have stepped into the middle of a battle zone. By nightfall this place will be crawling with demons, more than you can imagine.” “We know.” Sam said looking resigned.
“Then why are you still here? They are not here for you so you should be able to leave, you need to leave.”
“We know, Cas. The problem is that Lorna is refusing to leave. We cannot just leave her here with those kinds of odds.”
“Yes, you can.” Lorna snapped, “Angel, these are your charges, I take it?” “Yes, I am their watcher.” Castiel said, eying Lorna with a frown. “Then grab them and zap them somewhere safe.”
“I cannot do that, I am not allowed to interfere with their lives, only to observe and to deliver orders.”
“Christ.” Lorna muttered, finally settling down her gun so that she could rub her face in exasperation.
Castiel stepped closer to Lorna, tilting his head as he examined her, “You are not completely human. What are you?” he asked, stepping to place himself between her and the Winchesters. “What do you mean not completely human.” Dean demanded drawing his gun. “You can’t be a demon, you wouldn’t be able to place all the wardings if you were, or cross the salt lines.”
“She is not a demon, Dean, but she is still not fully human. What are you?” Lorna laughed at this, “You should know, your kind has been hunting me just as hard as the demons have.”
“Angels are only told enough to accomplish their missions, if Cas says he does not know you then he doesn’t.” Dean said firmly, “Now what are you.”
Lorna looked at them and gave a small hysterical laugh, “What the fuck. I am what you get when a demon and angel have sex while they are both wearing humans.”
“That’s not possible.” Castiel said watching the woman.
“Tell that to the demons.” Lorna snapped, she eyed the two men and an angel. “Fuck it.” She turned and pulled off her shirt showing pale skin and a black bra, what drew their attention however was the massive scar covering her shoulders and back in the shape of a pair of wings.
“What the fuck.” Dean muttered stepping forward for a better look. Castiel stepped up and held his hand above the mark for a moment causing the scars to shimmer and pulse with light. Lorna gasped and curled in on herself, staggering away.
“Son of a bitch, don’t do that.” she gasped stumbling and falling to the floor several feet away from them holding her chest.
“You have grace.” Cas said looking awed, “How is that possible?” “Your guess is as good as mine.” Lorna snapped, “But I also have demon blood. Now will you take your charges out of here or not?”
“I cannot.” Castiel said, with a sigh. “I am not allowed to interfere.” “Funny, you seem to be interfering just fine right now. What watcher angel shows itself to its charges?”
“Cas is a special case.” Dean said “Leave it. Why are you so insistent for us to leave? What are you planning?”
Sam drew a loud breathe, “You called the demons here.”
Lorna sighed and tucked her feet under her, sitting Indian style on the floor. She tossed her shirt to the side and pulled out the band from her hair running her hands through it in frustration.
“Did I call them here? No. All I did was piss them off. When I was fifteen my powers came online. Before that I was a normal girl living with my parents and going to school. Then on my fifteenth birthday I woke up in a cage. They had drugged me at my own birthday party. I found out my parents were actually demons and they had been grooming me for years to become their weapon against the angels. They tortured me for a while, I don’t know how long but eventually something in me snapped. When I woke up I was covered in blood and the entire town was dead. I had killed them all. I spent the next few years on the run, learning what I could about demons and how to kill them. A hunter named Paul Murray found me trapped one day and saved me, took me on, taught me how to fight them. He died a year later when they came after me again. I managed to get out but he got hurt bad, I dropped him at a hospital and kept running. Then I run into an angel named Rath, he told me what I was, that Heaven and Hell considered me an abomination under the eyes of God. I told him to fuck off and he did. Turns out Angels have to do what I say, one of my abilities, I guess. I’ve been running ever since.”
“What else can you do?” Dean asked from where he was seated on a crate. “That cannot be the end of it if you were willing to sit here holed up while one hundred demons tried to break down your door.” “No that’s not all I can do.” Lorna rubbed at her arms and curled farther in on herself. “I have several angelic powers and several demonic powers. Most are small things, the big ones are the reason the demons want me. My angelic powers are great for escape but not much else. I can heal myself or others, I can do that instantaneous teleport thing you guys do but it makes me pass out and I don’t wake up for days afterward. I can command angels or scream so loud that demon’s heads explode but it tears me up physically, I look like a recovering Ebola victim for a few weeks until I get my strength back.” She paused getting to her feet and pacing back and forth.
“The voice.” Castiel said, watching her pace. At Sam and Dean’s expectant looks he sighed and explained, “It is a gift that some of the higher angels have, they can use their very voice as a weapon. It is deadly to demons and humans alike.”
“And the demonic abilities?” Sam asked, watching her pace. She picked up a bottle of water and rolled it between her hands as she paced. “The demon is harder to explain. It’s like I have another form, a pure demonic one that I can change into. That’s what happened when I was fifteen, they pushed me too hard and I transformed. I have no control in that form; I attack anything that is in front of me. I am deadly to demons and humans alike. And it’s a true death, not them ghosting out of their hosts.”
“How did you kill the demons outside? You never touched them but they all burned from the inside out.” Sam asked.
“I had a demon bite me once, turns out my blood is toxic to them. I coat my bullets in it. One shot and they go up like a torch.” “So what was your plan here? Let them all bite you or go demon on their asses and eat them?” Dean asked making Lorna snort.
“I was planning to let them injure me to that I would transform and hunt them down.” She turned and dug through a bag pulling out an old leather bound book. “This is my best guess as to what I am.” she said, opening the book and handing it to them.
“A Drathen.” Sam read. Castiel gasped behind them making them all glance at him. “Drathen are all but extinct, supposedly only a few are left alive in the prison cells of Hell. They are the demons natural enemy. They were built for the sole purpose of hunting and killing demons. If this is what she turns into we need to get you out of town, now.”
“Why?” Dean said, looking between the book and Castiel.
“Because they are not stopped by salt, demonic wardings, anything. A Drathen will hunt until there is nothing left alive around it, its natural food may be demons but it will kill and eat anything that stands in its way. You have no control of it?” Castiel asked. “None, I barely remember what happens while I am in that form unless you count nightmares. I stayed here because it was isolated and empty of bystanders until you two showed up.”
An alarm went off, Lorn quickly striding over to turn it off. “It’s thirty minutes until sunset; you need to make up your minds, now.” “Cas, you sure you cannot get us out of here?”
“Positive, the town is warded. I could get in but it was difficult, taking you with me would injure you.”
“Shit, that does not give us enough time to get out of town and across the bridge. We need another option.”
“The wards won’t hold and the only ward I know that might work will not ward a spot this large.”
Lorna shook her head, “It won’t work.”
“I don’t think we have many other options here. What ward?”
“Dammit.” Lorna turned and went back through her bag pulling out a leather journal. She flipped through the pages until she found the right one. “Swear to me, on your grace and your God that this will never be used against me by another angel. Swear it.” she demanded staring at Castiel.
“I swear that they will never learn of it from my hand or mouth.” Lorna sagged where she stood, “This is a bad idea.” she said softly handing them the book. The page described a demon trap that they had never seen before.
“This is a demon trap. How is this supposed to help?”
“It’s the only thing I have found that I cannot break, at least not while I am in my demonic form. It will trap and hold me until I change back. Maybe we can put it on the roof. You guys can play sniper behind regular demon wards and salt while I am transformed. If I go after you, than you lure me into the trap and leave me there.”
“This is nuts.” Dean cursed, running a hand through his hair. “When do we ever have a sane day?” Sam said glancing at his brother. “Roof?” “Yeah, pack up.” Dean grunted grabbing bags of weapons, salt and snagging two cans of spray paint. “What are you going to be doing?” He asked Lorna who was pulling on her shirt and weapons.
“I’m going to be outside getting the demons riled up.” Pulling a dagger she carved a signal into her wrist.
“What is that going to do exactly?” he asked as she wiped the blade on her jeans and sheathed the dagger.
“It lets me transform easier. Get me slightly pissed off while I have this on my arm and I will transform and take out everything around me.” She said easing her sleeve back down over the wound. “Take the rifles and ammo, it’s blood coated.”
“Cas you planning on watching?” He asked turning to where the angel had been standing but Castiel was gone.
They finished painting the circle just as the last light faded, ignoring the random shots ringing out from the street below. Grabbing up the rifles they took spots on opposing corners, bodies littered the street yet the parade of demons stepping into the light of the street lights seemed never ending. They slowly circled Lorna, she shot five more emptying her gun and letting it drop, not bothering to draw a knife.
“Lorna, Lorna, tsk tsk. Why this defiance, you are one of us after all.” a demon said with a shake of its head, stepping forward to stand before her, just out of reach.
“I am nothing like you.” she snarled.
“Such defiance.” he chided, “I was told how intelligent and
resourceful you were. It is time for you to put away childish things and come home, Lorna. Time for you to take up the mantle you were born for. Surely even you can see how outnumbered you are here, one hundred to one, not the kind of odds I would put money on.”
“Good thing I’m not you.” she said, pulling and knife and burying it in his chest. She was buried under demons before their bodies had hit the ground. The demons kicked and punched for several moments before the entire mound exploded outward, throwing demons in all directions. They only had a second to look at the large cat like demon before it was scything through the demons before it, painting the street red. “Shit.” Sam mutters watching the spreading swath of gore.
“Watch for runners, Sammy.” Dean reminded him firing at one that was trying to open a nearby door. Most of the demons stood and fought but not all of them. They went through every bullet Lorna had for the rifles. They waited in the circle, back to back guns ready until dawn listening to the screams of the remaining demons as they were tracked down.
It had been quiet for a while when the sun began to rise.
“Hey, Sammy, cover me, I’m going to take a look.”
“There’s no need. The only one left alive here are you two and Lorna.” Castiel said making them both whirl guns at the ready.
“Jesus, Cas. We need to put a bell on you or something.” Dean muttered. “Why would you want to do that?” Castiel asked looking puzzled. “Never mind. Where is Lorna exactly?” Sam asked quickly.
“In an alley two blocks away.”
“You may wish to wait until she comes to you.” Castiel said uncertainly. “If your explanation of personal space were to apply she would not want you there, she is…ill.”
“Ill as in physically sick or ill as in still a demon eating monster?” Dean demanded.
“She is physically ill.”
“That is the one exception to the rule. If someone is sick or hurt, personal space does not apply. Come on.”
They made their way to the alley guns at the ready just in case. Farther in the alley a body lay splattered across the brick, closer to the entrance Lorn lay naked except for blood, dry heaving pressed against the brick wall.
“Go find somewhere with a shower, Sammy, and a blanket.” Dean said tucking the gun away and moving to kneel next to the wall. “Hey, you’re alright. Come on, Lorn, let’s get you cleaned up a bit, yeah.” he said slowly reaching out to touch the woman’s bare shoulder. She twitched violently away from him her breath coming in gasps as she twisted to face him. He pulled back a bit, hands out to show he was unarmed. “Hey, it’s me, Dean. No one’s going to hurt you.”
She took a shuddering breath slowly relaxing, “Dean.” he said he gestured behind him to Sam for the blanket. Once she was covered he scooped her up.
“Lead the way, Sammy.” he said trying to ignore how light the girl he was carrying was. They went a few blocks down to an apartment building ignoring the busted in doors. Sam led them straight to a bathroom getting the water going before leaving the small room. Dean set Lorn down on the edge of the tub making sure she was stable before letting go.
“You ok getting cleaned up on your own?”
“Yeah, I’ll be good thanks.” Lorn said not looking at him.
“I’ll see about getting you a change of clothes. Take your time.”