March 12, 2004
From the dark corners of a recently visited cemetery, a movement could be heard. The stars of the night twinkled bright alongside the full moon that provided dimmed illumination for the silent recepients below. They made sure that no one was around to witness them, for they are not ready yet.
Between the poorly maintained graves and the nearby large mounds of soil below large balete trees, they slowly revealed themselves. The appearances of some varied from one another, but most of them are complete reflection of the other--creatures birthed from the same family of monsters. Diverse as all of them could be, they possessed three things in nature.
Sadism, hunger and malevolence.
Like stringed marionettes manipulated by an inexperienced puppeteer, they walked forward. Each baby steps developing to a stable one as their physiology began to adapt in the new environment where they are born into.
At first, their minds were as blank as snow, but slowly, the plans of their masters were coming to them like amnesiacs reunited with long lost memories. The hunger intensified, the urge to brutalize became even more apparent as the delusional creatures clawed in the air, bathing in the charnel scent that the buried dead around them emanated.
Even if the souls of the corpses in the graves have left the Earth, one thing remained that contributed to the awakening of these creatures.
Without word, they moved in groups toward a single cardinal direction as if they are commanded by a single hive mind but, in truth, were directives long imprinted in their minds. The grass beneath them tickled their taloned feet. To them, the sensation was strange but they paid no heed because the current task mattered for now.
Coldness bit into their unprotected skin like a violating kiss. Most of them are nude with some possessing little to no coverings at all but the temperature did not bother them at all.
They moved past graves after another; some of the tombstones were illuminated by still burning candles, which seemed to bow to their presence due to the wind that their speed generated. Scents of flowers, some of which are withered, waffled in their inhuman nostrils, paving way for smells that even the human nose will fail to register. The world they are birthed into was a strange one--full of colors, emotions and sensations that were not found in Hell.
It intensified their desire to invade the world and molest it.
And far ahead, they heard a noise. An aging man with a red shirt and a white bullcap walked in a careless manner as he whistled. He possessed a shovel, which he lifted in a woman's carry, and a plastic bucket in another hand. All of the monsters stopped as they turned to regard the lone human, who was still oblivious to their presence.
The leading creature grinned widely. Their awakening had deprived them of the energy they needed. Grabbing a snack would not hurt the mission in any way and delaying it was tolerable. It would not affect their task at all.
It turned and bellowed a guttural noise that could be mistaken as a dog's howling. It mimicked the sound to avoid attention.
And like vultures drawn to a dead meat, the monsters attacked furiously. A dark blur in the wind that comprised of sharp fangs and talons, the human did not know what hit him as his vision came spinning. And with a horrible realization, he found himself staring at his own headless body, brutally mutilated by a muscular winged entity with a pair of horns and sharp claws for hands.
It scooped his dying heart and ate it.
Smaller dark skinned creatures whose eyes glowed yellow surrounded the ribbed body and began feasting on it while the head was picked up by an old hag with a long, unkempt and matted hair, emaciated wrinkled skin and porcelain white complexion. But the most horrifying in its features was the fact that it has no face, only a pair of mouths located in the eyes area.
The creature ate the severed head's eyeballs and tossed the eyeless part towards the sea of demonic monsters behind it, feasting like madmen. Aswangs, Tikbalangs, Kapres and burning humanoid creatures called Santelmos--the bulk that made up the army of monsters. When they spilt their first blood on Earth, they felt dominance over the human race already, as if their dominion over this world was a lost deserved heredity that they found.
They treaded further, hunting for more humans in sight. However, the unseen leader of this ragtag band of monsters had sent a signal impulse to their brains and suppressed their animalistic instincts to focus them. It allowed the snack earlier, but that does not mean that they are to abuse the short freedom the controller gave.
So they traversed across the graveyard, towards the unguarded cemetery gates that were flanked by two white concrete pillars connected to iron stake fences. They flooded out of the cemetery like parasites infecting a healthy flesh.
They traversed the unfinished road that should have been constructed long ago had it not for the intervention of greedy politicians who only thought of themselves. The road was flanked by trees and bushes and their presence inspired the other unclean spirits dwelling silently in the uncharted areas to join them, having gain the confidence to come out without fear of being hunted.
The lights of the nearby city could be seen in the horizon and as they reach it, their ranks grew in size thrice bigger than before. The evil creatures native to this planet who have joined them had been dwelling in existence for years now but due to certain cataclysmic events that led to their almost near extinction, they were routed and proceeded to hide in the dark and waited for a better moment to strike.
And when they saw the "angels" sent by Hell, prayers of gratitude to their dark lords could be heard from their lips in a form of loud howling.
The leading creature arrived at the rise. Beyond was a rotunda surrounded with lively establishments, from fast food restaurants, small convenience stores and bouttiques. Galvanized jeepneys and tricycles reminiscent of the old military vehicles left by the Americans in the Second World War could be seen, moving across the highway. But the only thing that caught the leader's attention was the statue of Saint Vincent in the middle, winged and holding a book.
It extended its claws and attacked the statue, sending it from the pedestal with a thrust of its hands to watch it fall. The statue smashed into millions of pieces, earning attention from the humans in the immediate vicinity. At first, they thought it was some kind of a cruel joke or the Saint himself had miraculously moved, but it took them a minute to fully register that a demon-like monster was standing on the pedestal in place of the Saint.
Then they began to scream as the monster moved to another target and scythed another skull from a pregnant woman. Behind, the monsters charged at whoever they see, pulling people down to the ground and sending them to a bloody death that consisted of sharp claws, poisonous fangs and...more blood.
In a matter of seconds, the section of the city descended in a haze of frenzied murder. One pitiful human after another, fall. And in every body that falls, a pair of claws were tainted in bright red. The slaughter was so great that the air was covered by a thin mist of red. Warm liquid sprayed onto the skins of those unlucky enough to be still alive.
The ill-equipped police force from the nearby precinct dispatched a pair of policemen in a squad mobile, thinking that the attack might just be another work of some vengeful rebels for what the government did for their brothers, only to meet nightmares incarnate. The elder law enforcer ran behind on foot, leaving his younger partner to fend for himself as a winged upper torso of a Manananggal chased after him before it eventually scooped the lawman from the ground, only to drop him back down with a head bent backwards in an awkward angle.
The second policeman succumbed to his wounds due to the impalement done to his body by a trio of red skinned entities with dark purple skin and felinid faces.
Soon enough, the district's populace was slaughtered to the last man. The killings gradually died down and the noise became muffled by silence shortly. The air around them began to cool as the red mist of blood disappeared. The world's color returned to normal.
The muscle bound demonic leader let out a sigh of relief as it lifted a corpse of a man with an overstretched broken jaw. It crushed the cranium under its death grip, turning it into red paste that covered its hand in blood. It wrote a symbol on the ground; the other monsters recognized it and began to form around the leader from a safe distance.
After finishing the symbol, the creature took careful steps backward before halting to genuflect. Smoke appeared from its nostrils as it attempted to speak.
"My master, accept our sacrifice." It said with a hoarsed tone.
The pavement around the symbol cracked. It traveled around the crude character before returning back to the original point. The space crumbled downwards, revealing the light of Hell underneath.
And like a fallen deity heralded with fire and brimstone, it came from below. The humanoid entity that resembled a man floated a few centimeters above the repairing ground, its bright orange eyes fixated at the leading monster. All of the creatures present were empowered at its presence, their eyes glowed red and their fangs and claws, longer. He was half naked, the features of his body were finely chiseled and expected of a god like himself. His shoulder length hair matched the color of dried blood--ruddy brown to the point of becoming maroon. His body was decorated with tattoos that only his followers or creations would understand. A skeletal hand of a small child hung around his neck in a thick cord, worn like a pendant.
His lower groin was draped with a wolf's pelt, and around, a powerful scabbarded sword hung. The deity, as soon as the floor was fully sealed up, finally touched ground. He drew the sword, urging his faithful lieutenant to stand up.
"Rise, Delubyo." He said as a large number of horned armored spiky troopers manifested from the dark and marched closer behind the deity. Just as promised, the Fallen Lightbearer had indeed loant a detachment of Legionnaires from his great armies to the upstarts.
But Delubyo, and the other monsters, looked at them with disdain. They never liked satanic forces in the first place, but only stuck with them for survival against the Angels and their cursed...Protectorates.
The deity smiled at his loyal servants and turned to face the Demon Legionnaires of the Exotic Blasphemy. This army would suffice, and he will not fail in his mission to sink the archipelago in an eternal night of slaughter and devastation. After all, most of the inhabitants had already done most of their works for him in the form of genocide and corruption.
"Listen," the deity's voice echoed across the lands, from villages to cities, causing some of the local fauna and livestock to die mysteriously. "I am Sitan, your new master. Bow before me, I will bless you well, but resist me, you will die." He grinned. "I urge you, serve me." Then his voice became calm. "Now, my child. Watch the horror unfold."
Three days later...They came like lightning. The wind blew, the stalks swayed. In a flash, they had him and his squad surrounded. They were fast, agile and fearless despite the fact that they lacked the superior weaponry that soldiers like them possessed. He saw them with faces covered with a shemagh, advanced with a kriss raised in a threatening manner.He had to move, he had to act. One of his subordinates fell to the ground with a missing head. His instincts kicked in as he drew his handgun and fired at the killer of his young companion. But his own assailant was just a few steps in front of him.No time to act think, had to act. He was too close for him to raise his rifle. So he did what he could. The butt of his pistol assailed the air in a vertical swing directed at his attacker's skull. A right straight punch to the bridge of the rebel's nose sent the armed man to the grassy field. The sun was setting, the memory was very clear even if it had happened fo
His vision was illuminated in a bluish hue. The faces of his teammates were obscured behind polarized face visors connected to the brims of their helmets. His heart rate on the electrocardiogram bio monitor showed a quickened pulse, but Lukas thought that it was just the alcohol working magic in his system. All of them are tense, but Lukas managed to control himself in situations like these.However, he couldn't help but to wipe the barrel of his M4A1 with his gloved thumb involuntarily. Just like their weapons, his was blessed by the Outpost Chaplain before they march off to battle against the supernatural.He saw some of the rookies repeat actions, caused by pre-deployment anxieties. He could not blame them, operations like these made you worry about the future, whether you will survive or not, or what about the aspirations you wanted to pursue later in your life after your service. It made them fear for their lives, despite losing it once when they are ind
The psychologist asked him slightly cryptic questions that only him alone could understand. Lukas answered them without pausing. He was asked if he felt anything strange about himself lately, and he replied with the horrible nightmares he was having. As usual, the psychologist dismissed it as normal and he was free to go.Lukas was the last to leave the pscyhologist's room for the post-action psychological evaluation. Just like the medical examination earlier before this, he was cleared for the next operation. He was relieved to know that he could join the next ones because his bestfriend and the superior officer of the assault platoon failed the previous evaluation, prompting the Major to assign him with the 1st Lieutenant's duties and suspending the aforementioned officer for five weeks to rehabilitate.Another 666IB soldier approached their group, his tone was marred with urgency."The Major wanted to see all of you, Lieutenant." He said.
The truck sped across the muddy beaten path full of tire tracks from other vehicles. Lukas stared at the bright sky. Even if it was morning, the fact that the things they fight in the shadows existed made the world a dark one that no sunrise could ever illuminate. Back when he was living in ignorance, everything was colorful but when he was pulled into a battlezone where incarnated nightmares are the belligerents, everything just becomes black and white.And he thought that the Moro rebellion was dark enough. This conflict, simply known in the documents as the Shadow War, had made him see everything.He looked back down on the ground and waited as the truck shuddered and ground to a halt. They disembarked in a disciplined manner, with the first ones securing the perimeter for the other half, who were in the process of unloading.The truck then moved away to the designated extraction point so that it would not get caught in the crossfire in case the shooting star
The interrogation room was nondescript. The walls were reinforced with sound absorbent paddings, a steel table in the middle and a polarized observatory window to the right. The detained cultist sat at the end of the table, jacketed with an anti-thaumaturgic fabric that prevented him from opening his abdominal maw or exhibit any other anomalous properties that he might possess.His hands were bound in chains in front of him so that when the interrogators required him to write or draw something, they would not risk getting close to remove his restraints and in turn, give him chance to escape. He sat, rocking in his chair, giving the personnel behind the observatory window the evil eye.The door beyond swung open, revealing Lukas in uniform. In his left hand was folder containing documents about the cult's activities in the past three weeks. The soldier sat at the chair across him. The Lieutenant carelessly tossed the folder on the table and glared."A
He sat on the soft cushioned chair with Francis standing opposite him and the nurse, who constantly flash a friendly smile at the visiting personnel. It was rumored that some of the soldiers faked injuries just to see her. Most tried to court her, but all of them she turned down for some reason unknown. She treated everyone with respect and her caring voice alone was soothing to the core that every time the nurse speaks, it dulled the pain emanating from his bruised knuckle.The room was brighter than the corridor on the way to the clinic. The scent of antiseptics was stronger here, making Lukas think that the usual smell of the base originated from areas like these. If he recalls, there were a dozen clinic bays scattered across the installation. The corner beside Francis contained a marble counter where numerous medical equipment and medicine could be found. Above were cabinets also containing the same stuff. It was also noticeably colder here, maybe because the wall-typ
The corridor was dimly lit, but despite the scarce illumination, he could see clearly what had transpired. The white walls were splattered with red and the floors was streaked with blood as if some bastard dragged the dead across to some place unknown. Bullet holes could also be seen on the wall. Lukas walked ahead, passing by the emergency green light above. The next emergency light was deactivated in this part of the hallway probably because of defect or old age, bathing the surroundings in the dark. The next light could be seen ahead, illuminating that section in the same way as the previous one they just recently walked past.Lukas could feel something mushy beneath his boots but he dared not to imagine what it is. The nurse behind him clutched at his arm so tighty that his recently bandaged hand began to ache."Nurse, cut it out." Lukas whispered loudly. Sala realized that she was grabbing onto the soldier's arm for dear life and immediately retracted, apo
"Run, run!" He urged as they sprinted. The ground beneath them shook as the entity chased them. The hair on Lukas' neck stiffened as he felt the creature coming closer. His hyperactive imagination began to form images to create a picture of their pursuer.Ahead, he felt bad for Nurse Sala, who wasn't trained in these kinds of situation but fear made her quick and fast and it also gave her the strength to lift the man she was carrying. The entity let out another roar, urging them to run faster. Lukas turned once more, and just in time, the emergency lights activated to reveal its form.A red carapaced monster with a pair of large horns, sharp talons for hands and hooved feet. Beneath its armor was a muscular body in brown or black. Its red eyes glowed red and its mouth possessed a quartet of sharp mandibles like that of an insect's.It roared.Far ahead, the door to the armory could be seen, a green light illuminated above it. The nurse ded