Hordes, like bats fresh out of a cave, of winged demons fly free and powerful flooding the blood soaked sky.
On land black sand rubs against the scaly belly of a garden snake slithering on an important quest. His determined pace is consistent, never breaking, never stopping, never considering any factor other than the quest.
For miles the sand is thick and nearly dry if not for the rain.
Creatures made of the darkest shadow, the doomed, lost souls and demons, claw their way out from the void moving an inch a year. Some have almost pulled themselves out. The reptile slithers around careful to not interrupt their quest on the way to his own.
His destination is up ahead. Poking out from beneath the black sand the top ten floors of the empire state building are visible. Most of the windows gone. Sand blown into the building by vicious winds over the years.
Candles light inside the building. The snake heads for the staircase and dives from floor to floor between the railings.
Bottom floor, the snake enters the lobby and slithers over to a mattress where a bald man with a large tattoo on his head lay.
The man turns to his side and with a raspy voice asks, “How bad is it out there, Az?”
Az, the snake, grows ten times its size and slithers over to the beaten man. “It’s bad, Isaiah,” Az says, “They’re growing in numbersss and they’re already too much for usss to handle without finding Sssarah first.”
“We need help. I know. But I’m in no shape to head out,” Isaiah says, gripping his right shoulder and cringing while he speaks in tight near-stutters.
“Thisss isss why I’ll need you to take care of yourself for a few daysss. I will find Sssarah,” Az says. “We’ll never be able to get you out and healed otherwissse. Dying here isss the only other alternative.”
“No-“ Isaiah begins to protest before being injected with a tranquilizer held by Az’s tail.
“I’ve left you suppliesss plenty for a week or so. I’ll be back,” Az says. Before leaving the snake writes a message on an old envelop and pins it beneath the off lantern near Isaiah.
Back outside the empire state building the sun is finally clawing its way to the top of the red sky. Az shrinks back to the size of a garden snake to reduce his visibility and heads out to the a less buried part of New York City.
“She hasss to ssstill be alive. She hasss to be. Otherwissse, we might not have the man power to do a damn thing,” Az rants to himself as he reaches the top floors of some lower buildings.
Grains shake and quake following an explosion inside one of the buildings. Hanging glass from window holes falls, cracks and crackles on the floor below.
Another explosion follows and the entire ceiling and roof of a building collapse. From the collapse emerges a Celestial flapping its wings high into the sky, eyes fixed on the imploding building.
Az scrambles into the shadows near some of the doomed and spectates.
Yet another explosion rattles the surroundings. This time a large golden wave of energy blasts out like a wall and slams right through the Celestial knocking him from the sky.
The cloud of rubble formed by the ruined structure clears and a young man, no older than 30, walks out. Panicked, like Az has only seen once before, the celestial gets on his knees. “I apologize my God. I apologize. I did not mean to insult you your majesty,” the celestial pleads, “spare me, show me mercy.”
Out of the sky the rest of the Celestials begin to fall and land before the scene. On their knees they all face the young man and bow their heads in respect to his power and greatness.
Just as the words leave his mouth the pleading celestial bursts into a blinding light and disappears.
Wings seem to phase into existence on the young mans back from energy collected out of the air. He hovers into the sky and vanishes into a sonic boom.
Az watches the fleet of celestials take off after their leader. “I need to find Sarah and tell her there is trouble. Sebastian is back.”