The Blood Eagle in the Big Easy

BOOK: The Blood Eagle in the Big Easy
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Acknowledgements

 

 

Dedication

 

This book is dedicated to everyone who helped me along the way. Thank you so much for being patient during this process. And Kim without you this project would never have seen the light of day so a very big thank you for your support. I would also like to thank Severus, Isis, Cassie, Chia and Chewy for bringing me so much joy.

 

 

 

 

 

Author K. A. Lange

 

Cover Illustration Copyright © 2013 Madison Aucoin,
Kellen Worger, Callie Schimberg, and Allie Kaylor

 

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events or locales is purely coincidental. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means without permission from the author.

 

 

Prologue

 

 

Though I walk amongst you I am not one of you. My name is Viktor Engle Warden and I am a vassal of the Mystick Courts of Comus in New Orleans LA. I began my service to the courts out of obligation to Hustahli, or The Great One, as he was once known to the Choctaw. He came to me so long ago as I lay dying alone in the dark, healing my wounds and saving my life. I swore a blood oath to serve those under his protection until my debt was repaid.

 

‘Truth as defined by Shaffer 1828:

1. Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. The truth of history constitutes its whole value. We rely on the truth of the scriptural prophecies.

2. True state of facts or things. The duty of a court of justice is to discover the truth. Witnesses are sworn to declare the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

3. Conformity of words to thoughts, which is called moral truth.

4. Veracity; purity from falsehood; practice of speaking truth; habitual disposition to speak truth; as when we say, a man is a man of truth.

5. Correct opinion.

6. Fidelity; constancy.’

 

The word truth is probably the third most abused word in the english language. The first is love and the second is friend. Let me drive the point home to you by asking you a few simple questions. Do you honestly love everyone you say it to? Before you hang up the phone and out of habit or obligation you say love you, or when you speak of something that you love do you really mean it? The thing is, you might like the person or thing that you are speaking of but I doubt you truly love it. Most people call everyone they know a friend. No one is that lucky to have that many friends. True friends are hard to come by. Most of the people whose names you know are at the most acquaintances, and if you think about it really hard you might find that you have only one or two real friends.

Truth is in the same category. People are always harping about how they want to know the truth and that anything less is a lie. They act as if any omission of the truth is a disservice to the world at large. That is a fairy tale, if not a flat out lie. It is a lie perpetuated by the white knight in shining armor myths and the stories told to children that good will always triumph over evil. Truth sometimes good people die and the bad guy wins the day. A knight with gleaming armor in its pristine form is a man who has never been tested in the heat of battle.

Overall people tell themselves these things to feel better about their life. They believe that everyone they know is someone they love and is a dear friend. Moreover they believe they are entitled to the truth. I don’t know why people feel this way. All I know for sure is that deep down they really don’t want to know the truth of things. The truth, the unyielding reality of such a word is scary as hell. No one really wants to know what their government is doing behind closed doors. People don’t want the knowledge that others are tortured or even killed to keep them safe at night. Men such as myself are not evil, not at all, but we are monsters. We stand between the light and the darkness to shield those under our protection. We have no hope of salvation and our continued existence is an affront to most but we are absolutely necessary.

The stark reality is that the truth is frightening, and given a choice between what is true and what is fantasy, people as a whole will choose the fantasy. Take the city I live in, or any city for that matter, and realize that crimes happen daily and people go on with their lives as if nothing happened. They might hear a scream in the night and choose to ignore it as a figment of their imagination or perhaps a TV turned up too loud. Because people as a whole choose to ignore the things that happen right in front of them, people like me are necessary. For those who cry out in fear when the darkness comes for them I’m their best and sometimes only defense against the things that can go literally unseen. Do you still want to know the truth? You should remember that knowing the truth of a thing that can’t be undone.

The Mystic Courts of Comus, and people like myself, do the unthinkable to keep everyone safe from things that they shouldn’t need to know about. There are creatures out there that walk, slither, glide and otherwise transport themselves through our world that are so hideous that it would cause some to lose the tenuous grip on reality that we all hold so dear. Not all of them want to do you harm, but many do. My kind work in unison to keep those around us in the dark, so to speak. We lie to the public openly and with some regularity. A few who are burdened with the knowledge of the frightening truth, either by it  being thrust upon them by some act of violence or are conditioned to accept the reality that monsters do exist, are recruited by private organizations like Warden Industries or by the Mystick Courts of Comus and the best are recruited by both.

My company, Warden Industries, provides protection. We will take a job if I believe that your cause is a just one, and as the sole owner of the firm I make that call. I have been duped a few times but my clients didn't live long enough to regret it. What can I say? I have a very strict don’t fuck with me policy.

You might ask what qualifies me to make such judgment calls. All I can say is that I do the very best I can and go from there. I am more or less what the ancients called a warrior priest, a man of conviction and power with the might to back it up. It is my belief that if you run headlong into the darkness, sooner or later you are going to run head first into a brick wall. According to one of Newton's laws for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So it can't be a real surprise for all those things that go bump in the night to find something that bumps back. I have made it my job to be the brick wall. I know it's a fairly lofty goal but so far I have done alright making sure that the boogie man doesn’t take you while you sleep.

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

September 7, 2005

 

Looking at the night sky above I could barely make out the low hanging waxing crescent moon through the dark clouds. The flood waters rolled through the vacant streets creating slow moving rivers dumping into tiny freshly created lakes throughout the city. The East was particularly hard hit with the lake pinning in those who remained to the north and by a broken canal to the south. It was becoming increasingly harder to breath as the near ninety degree temperatures mixed with the rain and flood waters causing the air to be thick and heavy. As I waded through the desolate streets I occasionally heard the lamenting cry of those who had foolishly chosen to stay behind. Their suffering and loneliness tore at my soul but no matter how much I wanted to help them I had a task that took priority. The stench of rotting meat, be it human or animal mixed with the swampland that was New Orleans creating a unique combination of mold, death and rot. What can I say? This place always has it’s own unique aroma that can’t be mistaken for anywhere else in the world.

It’s been nine days since Hurricane Katrina made landfall leaving much of the Big Easy underwater. The MCC alerted my office that a Houngan, or Haitian Voodoo priest, was practicing black magic through which he was controlling a particularly vicious kappa out in the east. A kappa is a swamp monster of sorts roughly the size of a man with slick, squishy grayish-green flesh and the strength of a rhino. They never start out as a creature of darkness. It’s the result of some poor soul, be it human or animal, perverted through blood and elemental or nature magic that turns them into mindless killing machines. It is my job to stop them, and those like them, before they do too much more harm. The MCC (Mystic Courts of Comus) and I already accounted for seven deaths credited to the kappa and its master. I’m sure given time that these deaths will be blamed on the storm.

And yes, magic is real. Sort of anyway. Basicly magic is just a form of science that most don’t understand. The myths you have heard about and dismissed out of hand are normally based somewhere in fact. Those ancient gods and goddesses were, or in some cases still, are real. Not really gods in the "capital G" sense of the word, but still beings of power and influence. Many fight to keep mankind safe from the perils that have long since been dismissed as fantasy.

The MCC as they are known in New Orleans, are made up of the governing human population (and at times non human) to deal with threats like the bat shit crazy black magic wielding voodoo priest and his pet kappa. It’s people like Houngan who give voodoo and other religions a bad name. With luck though, this story should never see the light of day.

Over the past twelve hours I’d tracked the Houngan and kappa to a deserted partially submerged two story brick home located on a corner lot. What the hell am I saying? Ninety-eight percent of the East was deserted, which meant we were utterly alone. You could feel the wrongness that pervaded the city. Darkness reigned supreme in every direction reinforcing the insignificance of one man alone in the world. Shaking off the despair and loneliness that exuded from the very earth itself, I focused my will. The air started to shimmer slightly as my shields wrapped around me.

Pulling my PX4 storm special duty pistol from its holster, I casually strode through the front door. That particular line of entry was probably a mistake. I barely caught sight of the kappa before it slammed into the midsection of my shield. Bringing my elbow down I caught the creature hard on its squishy little neck, but this did little to deter it as it shoved me through the brick outer wall of the house.

Crashing hard against the buckled and raised sidewalk several feet from the house I felt an explosion of pain, one of my ribs cracking as my shields barely held. The kappa tore through the opening catching sight of me laid out helplessly on my back. It roared with delight as it rocked back on it’s hind legs preparing to maul me. Lifting the pistol just as it rushed me, I put four slugs through the wretched creatures skull. The molten hunks of lead tore large holes through the creatures softened skull, muddy green fluid to oozing freely from the gaping wounds. The creature crashed face first in the wet muddy yard. It’s momentum carried it a few feet further before stopping, twitching for a few seconds longer as its body tried clinging to life but failing as it went still.

BOOK: The Blood Eagle in the Big Easy
7.89Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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