Chapter 7

Somewhere near Strasbourg, April 16, 4:01 am

"Well, again: what's your name?" Silence. More frustrated than angry sigh.

“Do you understand our language? Do you speak English? Parlez-vous français? Hablas español? Anything???"

But Azrael did not react and continued to stare at a point on the metal table at which they were sitting, as they had done hours before. They had tied him to the table with newfangled chains that constricted his wrists uncomfortably. And that even though they were so delicate and narrow. As if that would stop him. Ridiculous. Just ridiculous. He let out a scornful snort. Well, if they felt safer that way, he didn't want to be like that ...

“So again: what were you doing in the building? Why did you kill Ms. Jönsson? ”Asked the man, with difficulty in control, in a tight voice.

When he didn't react again, he jumped up from her chair so violently that it fell over backwards. The backrest hit the hard concrete floor with a crash and broke the silence in the room for a brief moment. With clenched teeth he stared at Azrael so angrily that he should have been lying on his back, twitching.

Breathing heavily, he turned around and started to storm out of the room. No! He was so beautifully emotional that you absolutely had to take advantage of that! Who knew what other stone they put in front of him? He might get something out of him.

"You knocked your chair over," Azrael said gently, giving him a friendly look. His face was littered with hectic red spots and it was clearly working in it.

"Oh, you can talk after all ?!" he snorted and stomped back to the table.

Azrael didn't show his relief that he was staying and just nodded. Again there was an overwhelming silence between them. Azrael's gaze returned to his beloved spot on the table. He had to make him angry and let his emotions corrupt him. Then people kept making mistakes. As you did it, a small, spiteful voice whispered inside him, which he simply ignored. He didn't have time for that now. After a few heartbeats, a sigh broke the perfect silence.

“Then let's talk about something else. What do you want to talk about? The weather? Art? Politics? ”The human man tried again. Azrael shook her head with a fine smile.

"Then what?" He raked. Nothing. Silence.

"Well, let's try something very simple, okay?" He didn't give Azrael any time to answer, but went on straight away:

"What's your name?"

With subtle disapproval on his face he looked up and stared into the eyes of the little human being who sat across from him. Silence filled the air. The man slowly began to squirm under his inhuman gaze and looked at the papers he had spread out in front of him. Azrael couldn't read it. Would have been too good. Then he just had to get to his information differently because of which he had allowed them to "catch" him.

Yes, he could have killed them all. In fact, it would have been easy for him, as incompetent as they had been when he was arrested. Were there really good guards today? Those who without hesitation put down any intruder, regardless of their own lives? Which ones worth killing? He nodded his head sullenly. No. Today life was too much in the foreground. Avoid the dead at all costs. How pathetic. People always died doing their duty, that was inevitable in this life. But enough of the philosophy. He had to find out why he was coming.

The clink of chains echoed deafeningly in the silence of the room as he leaned forward and put his hands on the table. The man unconsciously winced and looked at him slightly confused. It had been his first move in several hours.

"You know, I hate to talk the bush around", Azrael began in a soft, singing voice and inclined her head slightly, "Always this eternal feeling and warming up with each other, only to then slowly address the issues that both parties have to deal with find interesting ... I just don't like it. It wastes so much time. Don't they find time that we could all use better? So much could be done with this time. Doing sports, painting paintings, meeting friends, and ... Oh, so much and much more that I can't even think of now. You surely have better things to do than sit here senselessly with me and ask me the same questions over and over again. For example, you could go on a rendezvous with your wife again. "

The ring on his finger was the first thing Azrael noticed on him. He winced slightly at the mention of his wife. Did he touch a sore spot there?

“Don't say anything about my wife! Never dare to do it again! ”The man hissed full of hatred. Yep A very sore point.

"What am I being accused of?" Asked Azrael. Now the man twisted his lips mockingly:

"Don't you know that?" Azrael just shook his head with wide eyes:

"No, please explain to me. I'm sooooooo stupid. "

"What do you think what this is ?! Shitty game ?! "


"You first brutally tortured Ms. Jönsson and then murdered her coldly!"


“You and your gang caused millions in damage to the building! Don't you think we don't know what you were up to ??? "

No, Azrael did not know that and was now curious to find out the reason for the appearance of the group of people.

“You wanted to steal the SPES! They have no idea what kind of destruction it could cause! "

Now it was a bit puzzled to look at Azrael. What? What should that be? Did the person want to be kidding? Or just test it? His confusion must have been reflected on his face for a split second as the man hissed angrily:

“Don't play the clueless here! This deadly bio-weapon must never fall into the wrong hands! They and their accomplices wanted to turn them against the civilian population. There would have been hundreds of thousands, if not millions, dead! So don't tell me that you didn't know anything !!! ", he almost shouted the last words and let himself fall back on his chair, breathing heavily.

A bioweapon? Seriously? Just because of this whole uprising? Well, if you looked at it from the point of view of mankind ... But let's be honest: humans reproduced like rabbits, even the plague had not been able to contain their numbers seriously and in the long term. Azrael had at least tried. There were just too many for him, they had been everywhere.

He had met her in every corner of Europe, however remote. They had literally flooded the country and defiled and desecrated his beloved retreats. It was simply necessary once a slimming diet. As you can imagine, Azrael hadn't been on the best of terms with people at the time. He wasn't sure if it was him now, after everything they'd done to him.

Sighing thoughtfully, he rocked his head and slowly leaned back.

"What makes you think I would work with this ...", he circled his hand in the air, apparently trying to find the right expression, "... grouping together?"

He looked at the human man with interest and waited for his answer. He stared at him with a slightly open mouth:

"What does this mean? Think we are completely stupid. "

Yes, he did indeed think so.

“I am asking the questions here! Do you work with these freaks now or not ?? "

"Tell me," Azrael purred gently, playing with a strand of white hair.

The man looked at him with furious eyes and clenched his fists, trying to control himself. Several silent minutes passed before the human had scraped together so much self-control again to be able to talk to Azrael halfway normally.

"Okay", the man uttered harshly, "Now from the beginning again: You and the group around Sarikakis broke into the building complex of the European Parliament by hacking the security system, which in itself was considered impossible."

Well, that was new ... Hacked? What should that be again now? And who was this Sarikakis?

“The alarm went off and then they looked for the gun in question, which is really ridiculous to say the least. Like keeping something like that in an office building, honestly. But it doesn't matter ... ", the person continued with bared teeth,

“Since they couldn't find anything, they first tortured Ms. Jönsson and then shot her. This sequence of events cannot be denied, no matter how they turn it! So you can work with us right away and make a comprehensive confession. Maybe, but just maybe, it'll save them a really awkward jail. They'll get lifelong anyway, ”he concluded with a satisfied grin that Azrael would have liked to cut off his face. Stupid creature.

Now he had what he wanted and that idiot in the suit in front of him hadn't even recorded it. Was everyone really that stupid in the future? Somehow he couldn't believe it. It must have had a purpose! People didn't do anything without a reason, there was always someone for them, even if it was sometimes very far-fetched. He thought of the Bible and the Koran. What they had partly fished out to justify their actions, their lust for murder and greed for gold ...

"You are absolutely right. Brilliant speech and this rhetoric, this structure of the arguments, simply sensational! If they should become politicians, then they would be forgiven for their leak of intelligence or perhaps even worshiped because of it, ”Azrael etched back. The face opposite him instantly clenched and glowed red.

“There is only one problem”, Azrael interrupted the man before he could throw insults or even worse arguments at him, “I was there independent of the group, I was just as surprised to find them there as they were of me. Let's just say I have my personal differences with Ms. Jönsson, or rather with her employers, but that is not important now. So her allegations are pointless in that regard. You have to think of something new. And now, "he said with a fine sigh and stood up as far as the chains around his wrists would allow," I would like to go. Good day."

He pulled violently with both arms once and with a dissonant sound the metal chains shattered into thousands of individual parts. Not good quality. Wasn't there any more today? Or wasn't it worth it to them? What a shame for you. Because he didn't intend to act in this comedy any longer. He played by his own rules.

With an elegant jump he was on the table, at the same time pulled him jerkily and thus slid feet first towards the perplexed person. He hit the soft chest with bent legs and brutally pushed him to the side. With a loud roar, the man fell from the chair and tore the table over with the senseless attempt to hold on.

Azrael knew they hadn't locked the door, but two armed policemen stood guard behind her. He had registered it as soon as he entered and carefully noted everything that really paid off now. Just as he had memorized the way through the corridor maze and called up the map in his mind's eye. With a single fluid movement it rolled on the floor and pushed the door open. He immediately ducked under the shot the first guard fired at him and ducked under the rifle.

He hit the man's knee hard and it broke with a dry splinter. The human gave a terrible scream and hit the ground. While still sliding, Azrael turned a hundred and eighty degrees and came to a stop just behind the second armed man. With years of precession, his index and middle fingers hit the man's liver and then the kidneys.

He could literally feel how it was torn under his brutal attack (why wasn't he wearing armor or something?) And blood was running into the person's abdominal cavity. Speaking of blood, actually he had earned a little snack again ... But not here. These people did not yet know what he was, unlike her . The less they knew about him, the better for her and for him. A classic, how did you say lately? Oh yes, win-win situation. A smile crept onto his face.

The human man fell over with a gurgling, final note and doubled over on the floor. Azrael quickly scurried down the aisle before more policemen came and blocked his way.

Right. Left. Right again. Then straight ahead. Crap, too far. Back. But now, left again. A door! Loud trampling of heavy boots on the cold ground tore him from his concentrated search for the right path. Damn it, not so fast! He kicked the door open with a loud bang and stormed on. Where should he go? You were right with him! He felt more and more people pouring towards him from all sides. He had miscalculated, but really thoroughly. If he couldn't kill them all, then she would really notice him. He had to try to remain inconspicuous and disappear into the crowd. But how was he supposed to get there?

Breathing heavily, he looked around. All around him smooth concrete walls protruded from the floor and enclosed a huge hall, which was decorated with armchairs and tables placed too elegantly in groups. He even discovered a bar at the opposite end. Two huge doors, also made of a very hard material, maybe metal, but that didn't matter now, cut off the escape route. He couldn't crush the walls, wood might have been possible, but this newfangled material was too hard, as he had painfully learned a few weeks ago. What now? He asked himself again in panic. Was one of the doors unlocked? Probably not with his luck.

The door behind him slammed shut and a fine click announced that it was now locked. He was locked up. Again. That couldn't be true now ?! Was the whole world against him today? The last possible way out was the ceiling, not the inconspicuous finish he had envisioned, but the people didn't give him a choice. Maybe there was something like a ventilation shaft big enough for him to crawl through?

He squeezed his eyes tight and searched every square millimeter above him. The hall was very high, maybe twenty meters from the ceiling. But as much as he concentrated, Azrael found nothing. It was desperate! What should he do ?! He probably wouldn't get another chance, they knew now about his abilities, at least the ones he had shown them.

The others, his secret weapons, were not allowed to see them. Then the hunt for him would really be open. Azrael was under no illusions. Anyone would walk over corpses for someone like him under his command. She already did. But being hunted by multiple parties was not an acceptable option. Then only from someone he halfway knew and could assess.

The one of the two doors that was closest to him swung open with a mighty bang. What the hell…? Gunshots rang out behind him and all doubts were pushed into the farthest corner of his brain. He. Had to. Path. And quickly. Hastily he stumbled away and ran through the wide open gate, which immediately fell back into the lock behind him and cost his pursuers additional precious seconds. Another corridor stretched before him. He didn't know this part of the building. Just where

Breathing heavily, he jogged on down the hall. Next to him a door opened again in a mysterious way and invited him to take this path. How could doors of self open ??? What kind of sick shit was that? But his gut feeling told him that for once he should have faith in this higher power that gave him his escape route. Besides, at the moment he couldn't do anything else anyway. With a screw he slid around the corner. He hated being at the mercy of someone and having to trust them. It had gone wrong too often. Betrayal in particular still hurt him, even if so long had passed.

Azrael gritted his teeth aside. He didn't have time for that, he couldn't let his emotions control him. Then he would begin to make mistakes like humans. When he was better than her.

Doors opened and closed as if by magic. His pursuers kept falling behind. Whoever or whatever was leading him, he was really grateful for every helping hand at the moment. But that didn't have to mean that he felt obliged to help them. Everyone fought for himself alone in this world, that was his philosophy until now. With a violent jerk it came to what he believed to be stopping in the basement of the building.

It was almost there. And it was still night. At least he thought so. If not, that would have been secondary at the moment. He had to get away, immerse himself in the crowd in this city and figure out what to do next. He wasn't sure what to do now, the group of people who had just crushed his efforts had spoiled everything. He needed a new plan. However, one by one.

To his left he spotted something that looked suspiciously like one of his beloved ventilation shafts. No, probably not. It reminded him more of a sewer pipe. Then he got around to crawling through something. How he missed it. He grimaced as if he had bitten into something sour. Well then. A short jerk later and the cover was on the floor. Determined, he crawled into the narrow shaft and crawled on with clenched teeth. It was very tight, if he were just a little more muscular, he would have got stuck.

The air was damp. But how long? He listened intently into the absolute darkness around him. A gentle breath of air brushed his face like a child's hand. He let himself be guided by that. A low moan escaped him as he twisted around a bend. It was done immediately, he could feel it. Slowly fatigue took hold of his limbs. And he had to blink hard to get control of his watery eyes.

That's right, there was still the question of where he was hiding. He couldn't take his old one anymore, it would be too risky. Maybe someone had seen him there and would say something to the police if they were looking for him. It was a shame, he had liked that dilapidated house on the outskirts of Strasbourg. It had somehow suited him. Rotten and forgotten by the world and yet one had seen the former beauty and elegance.

Azrael was now at the end of the corridor. Fortunately for him, it did not appear to be connected to the city's proper sewers. He would have missed that now. The pipe made a perfectly right-angled bend upwards and the last ten or twenty meters led up steeply. It was covered at the top by a round plate. Like in Paris! So watch out for moving cars, he grinned to himself. At least that was what he knew when he knew nothing else.

With his sharp fingernails and his feet he shimmy higher and higher. It was really hard work, because the metal was old and crumbly under his hands and also slippery due to the high humidity. He slipped a few times, but was just barely able to save himself from falling. Panting, he worked his way up, inch by inch, towards freedom. He was so close to the plate he could practically almost touch it. Nothing could go wrong now. Shakily, he held out his hand and paused.

There was someone on the other side. Panicked, he tried to regulate his panting breath. His limbs were tense with the strain. Go away, go away, go away, GET AWAY, DAMN AGAIN !!!, he thought full of panic and hatred. Who was he to be terrified of such a weak creature, a human ? It should be you who feared his anger.

He pressed both hands into the walls of the shaft and let his legs dangle in the air. Concentrated, he pressed his back into the slimy metal and pulled his legs to his chest. His feet were now pointing directly at the plate that separated him from the stupid little person outside. He gathered all his strength in his chest. His hectic heartbeat calmed down and his insides seemed to cool down a few degrees. The way it should be.

Energy from unfamiliar regions welled into him and washed away all his tiredness. He became the killing machine that had always lurked inside him. His "animal", as he called it, crawled out of its cage to harvest bloody crops. It pulled and tugged on its leash, but the shackles Azrael had placed on it still held. But he knew how quickly it could break free. Just a moment of inattention, a tiny distraction in this delicate state, was enough to destroy everything.

With a single small movement, bursting with strength, he flung the metal plate away from him. It flew through the air in a high arc and crashed onto the hard ground. A startled squeak filled the night air. Azrael slowly pushed himself up and crawled out of the hole in the floor. His eyes met that of a terrified man with his hair tied in a bun.

"Mi ...?", He was able to utter before Azrael was with him and grabbed his throat with one hand.

The now panicked man's legs wriggled senselessly through the air. He only noticed the kicks that Azrael received very marginally. He stared hatefully into the human eye. They widened with fear and fear of the inhuman glowing red.

"Who is sending you?" He hissed in a heavy accent in English.

His angry brain was barely able to think clearly. Without realizing that it is difficult to talk with a compressed windpipe, he growled at the man when the man only answered with a gasp and intensified his efforts to get free. Rough hands tugged at Azraels, yet they didn't move an inch. His face came even closer to that of man:

"Is she sending you? YOU ? "

The interviewee kept shaking his head and his gaze slowly became aimless. That roused Azrael too. His thoughts cleared a little. Head cocked, he watched the amusing struggle of the human in his hand, desperate for a way to escape Azrael's vice-like grip. A little air couldn't hurt. But only a little. For a few seconds he loosened his grip and the man immediately sucked in the air that was so precious to him. And already the iron fist closed again and cut him off again from the air supply.

“I tell you only once: leave me alone or you will feel my anger. I will take everything from you that is dear to you. Everything. Did you understand that?"

The man stared at him with wide eyes. The grip on his throat tightened, forcing him to answer if he didn't want to suffocate miserably.

"Yes," came a croak from his mouth.

"Tell the one who sends you. Don't look for me Because I keep my promises that I make. Always."

And he just let go of the person. Like a sack of potatoes, he fell to the ground and lay slumped with a gasp. Azrael looked at the sky. It would soon be day, it was already dawn. He needed a hiding place for the day. Suddenly the tiredness returned to his bones and the animal disappeared back into its cage. And hunger rose in him. His gaze shot back to the man still writhing on the floor.

He looked around. No one was on the street, but he heard a car coming towards them in the distance. They were exactly on an intersection, surrounded by tall buildings. In the distance he saw the silhouette of the European Parliament. But the way through the sewers hadn't seemed that far? Strange. He unconsciously shrugged his shoulders and turned back.

A very narrow street opened up in front of him, lined with absolutely identical houses. He grabbed the man by the collar and hit his larynx hard once. Now he couldn't even scream for help and attract anyone's attention. A rattle came in response and the man's hand went horrified to his neck. Panicked, his victim writhed and tried to escape his grip. Some blood ran from the corner of his mouth and slowly the hunger in Azrael's belly became unbearable. He dragged the people behind him and plunged into the darkness of the alley.

Now it was time for his reward. A smile played on his soft lips. At last.

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