War of the Blood Gods #13
Written by Grim, Edited
WAR OF THE BLOOD GODS
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Chapter 14: Final Battle
GATHERRRRR…. WEEEE SHALLLL FEEEEDDD TOOONIGHTTTT… THEY WON’T KILLLLLL
USSSS….GOOD CAN’TTT LIVE WITHOUTTT EVILLLL… TRAP US, THEYYY SHALLL TRYYY….
EVILLL WILLLLL WINNNN THISSSSS TIME….
The private stood and looked at the assembled Gods and Goddesses. Many, many
had arrived in the last hour. Some that he thought he knew. And others that…
Well, they looked more like demons than Gods. Most sat quietly, honing weapons
and staring at the center of the field, where the monster had gone to ground.
Some wandered around and re-ignited eons-old friendships. Some, one he was sure
was Crom, sat off by themselves, patiently waiting. A giant, flying reptile
floated overhead, seeming to look everywhere at once. A flock of doves had
gathered and when they left, a Japanese god was standing there. A giant black
bear, easily larger than one of the large military vehicles, had lumbered out of
the forest and sat next to Jesus of Nazareth, as if in conversation. Atum-Re had
been staring at the sun for at least two hours and beads of sweat had broken out
on his brow. The private was sure that he was still trying to prevent the sun
from going down, even though his army-issue watch showed the time to be after
10:30 at night.
“I bet at the witching hour, all hell breaks loose.”
“I see that you got over your shock.”
“I’m still kinda numb”, the reporter responded. “To know… Know
without a doubt that the deity that you’ve been worshipping… Is real! It’s
almost more than I can take. Then…”
“I know what you’re talking about, now! Seeing Jesus shake hands with…
“I still get goose bumps when I think of it. I can’t even believe that
he’s actually real. The Devil! The damn devil is REAL! And Jesus shook hands
with him and welcomed him here. ‘Hail, Lucifer’ he said. I donno. Just makes
your whole world go upside down.”
“Why’d you try and cross yourself in front of him? I don’t think he
could have got your soul with Jesus standing right there.”
“Habit, I guess. It almost shocked me out of my boots. First, smelling the
sulfur, then seeing the ground catch fire, then seeing… Him rise up out of the
ground! I thought that damn monster had come back.”
“I heard you tell him that ‘no matter how hard he works, he won’t get
“Did you hear what he said back?”
“No. I was still in shock myself, I guess.”
“He said… He said… That he doesn’t have to work at all… Too many
souls come to him without him lifting a finger. He said that Hell’s almost
full… I don’t know about you, but I think… That Revelation is at hand.”
“I think so, too. If not Revelations or Ragnarok, this is going to still be
“I haven’t even had time to say goodbye to my wife or daughter…”
“I’m sure that they’ll be ok. Unless the whole world is destroyed. And
I can’t see that happening.”
“God, I hope not.” The reporter slipped off the bumper of the hum-vee and
landed on his knees, hands clasped in front of him, deep in prayer.
Jesus’ head whipped around, and he stood and he walked over to the now
sobbing man. “My brother, why do you cry?”
“Jesus… I still can’t believe it’s you… It’s just that I never
got to say good-bye to Alise and… and… and Laura.” Sobs overcame the
reporter and he almost fell to the ground. Jesus got down on one knee and took
the reporters hands in his and put his forehead against the man’s head.
“Shhhh…. Shhhh…. I’m here. Everything will be ok… Shhhh…. James
Mitchell Ellison, I want you to think of your wife and daughter. Think of the
love you have for them and the love they have for you. Tell them at even if the
worst happens, you will go to the Kingdom of our Lord. Tell them to have faith
in you and me and our Lord and we will spent all time together.”
“I… I… I… Thank you, Jesus! Thank you so much! They heard me! Thank
you, thank you, thank you!”
“Faith makes all things possible, my brother.”
“Should I also have faith that the you’ll beat the monster?”
Jesus looked thoughtful for a second, then said “I’m… not sure… if
even I have enough faith for that…”
It waited in the place that wasn’t a place for the right time to come. It
knew that the ‘gods’ wouldn’t kill it no matter what. For if the evil was
to end, then the good would perish as well. Everything must balance…
The reporter put the Sphinx kit in a bag and placed it in the back seat of
the hum-vee. The he got out and shook the private’s hand. “Are you sure you
don’t want to come with us?”
“Yes. I’m sure. I’m pretty sure that a bunch of us will die tonight…
But, I don’t think there can be a greater honor than to die in combat. I think
that’s the reason I joined the army so long ago…”
“Well, my honor says that I have to try and get home to protect my wife and
“I understand. There is great honor in family. And I’m sure your wife
will love the new kitten.”
“I donno. What if the thing grows to be 2000 feet long? What’ll we feed
it?” The both laughed nervously, having become fast friends these past few
hours. The private put his hand on the reporter’s shoulder and their eyes met.
They shook hands, firmly. Then broke the handshake and hugged each other tight.
“You take care of yourself.”
“I will. I’ll give that thing a knock for you.”
“Do it. If you win… I mean, when you beat that thing… Try and look me
“I will. I promise you. You’d probably better get out of here. It’s
only five minutes ‘til midnight.”
“I’m going. Take care.”
“Get out of here, scribe!”, laughs, “You only want me to look you up so
you can scoop the other newshounds.”
The reporter leaned out of the hum-vee and laughed, as a tear rolled down his
cheek. “That’s right, you bastard. And remember, you promised me you’d
look me up”, he said as he slowly drove away.
“Thy friend has
had his eyes opened this day.”
“I know, Lord Odin. I think we all have. At least I certainly have.”
“My son, soon
it will be time for you to play a part in the grand struggle ahead. Stand by
Mjollnir and be ready.”
“But Odin! I still can’t lift it.” So saying, the private reached down
and tugged at the inert weapon. It remained fast, as if attached to the ground.
“But Odin… Lord Odin… But…” The private was addressing Odin’s
back as the Norse god walked over to stand with Atum-Re. “I’ll be damned. He
tells me that I’m to play a part, but he doesn’t tell me what…”
“You can be damned, if you want.”
“What the hell?”
“Satan? Get the hell away from me! I’ll find a way to pick up that hammer
and stick it in that spot under your forked tail if you don’t leave me
“Brother, leave the man be. He is the chosen of Odin”, said Jesus.
“You never let me have any fun, brother.”
“You should be saving your energies for the battle; it’s to begin
“This battle will prove different for the beast, for all the gods are
united, this time.”
“Yes, Brother. This shall be the last battle.”
At one minute before midnight, the pit began to glow with a silver, almost
magical, light. Everyone took an involuntary step back. The weapons of the gods
began to glow in response as they prepared to loosen their energies. Atum-Re had
let the sun go down with a snap at 11:50 and the darkness had taken a second to
get used to, even for Devine eyes. The sasquatchs had built bonfires all around
the pit. After Satan had arrived, he’d amused himself by helping them light
the fires. Now he was standing in the middle of the biggest fire, holding a
trident that glowed like molten steel. The dragons wheeled overhead, their
screeches cracking the cool Pennsylvania night. Jesus stood in front of a pile
of stones that he had gathered, the closest one to the pit. Against the wishes
of the rest of the Devine, he asked to try peace one more time. Most scoffed at
him, but accepted his request, hoping against hope that it would work. The
sasquatchs had shaped themselves into a wedge-shape in front of Buddha, who had
reformed the Sword of Light. Seth stood on guard, his scimitar at the ready,
Atum-Re stood behind, holding a wicked looking scythe. The Wiccans looked to
their Goddess and saw nothing but resolve on her face. In turn, they held their
weapons higher, determined to protect he at any cost. Hachiman stood at rest, his sword cradled in his arms. Crom
stood in the back and towered massively over the rest, holding a monstrous
war-hammer with a spike on one end. The Great Spirit kept looking from the pit
to the west and back to the pit again, obviously expecting someone.
“Come on! Come on, car! We’re almost there! You can make it”, Peter
pleaded with the car as it slowly crept to the top of a hill. The car jerked and
sputtered, but made it to the top of the hill and started down the far side.
“Whew… I didn’t think we were going to make it, huh, uncle?”
“Peter. We AREN’T going to make it. By my reckoning, were still five
miles from that whatever and it’s one minute to midnight. Stop the car. We
can’t do it.”
The car was chugging to get up the opposite side of the hill, blackish-blue
smoke pushing out the exhaust. “C’mon car!” The car made the crest of the
hill and let out a loud bang as the engine gave up the battle. Peter shifted
into neutral and coasted down the hill and as far up the far side as possible.
Putting on the brakes, Peter pulled the car over to the side of the road. Peter
got out and started walking, holding the golden bow and arrow in his hands.
After about ten steps, he realized that Standing Wolf wasn’t with him and
“Uncle? Uncle! Please come with me! I need you, uncle.”
Standing Wolf opened the car door and stood behind it. No, Peter. I’ve went
as far as I’m going to go. This old body can’t take any more. You have it
within you to do what you have to do, Peter. Now, go!”
Peter turned his back and started jogging down the road, toward the glow his
eyes could discern as not to far away. “Two
miles at most. Hopefully I’ll make it in time”, he thought. Standing
Wolf sat back in the broken down car and put his head down on the dash, praying
that the Great Spirit would watch out for Peter.
The private heard the watch in his pocket start to chime midnight. He’d
taken it off when Odin had given him the runes and the muscles in his body had
expanded. “Don’t want to lose a good
watch”, he thought. As the watch rang it’s sixth chime, the hole
exploded and IT was there. Right in front of them. “If
I live through this, I’ll have to reset my watch”, he thought.
willll dieeee, tonightttt! Return toooo yourrrr worlllldssss, orrrr weee’lllll
“Brother, we wish you peace”, Jesus announced in an almost timid voice.
“Please, return to thy home and leave Heaven’s chosen world alone.”
feast onnn youuu firsttt, foooolllll!”
Tentacles shot off the beast’s shoulder’s and impaled Jesus through both
arms. The sudden attack took everyone off guard. They had figured that the Elder
God would at least talk for a second. Horus had leaped forward and was hacking
at the tentacles with his scimitar. Odin and Lucifer both hurled their weapons
at the beast, impaling it in the areas where the tentacles had originated.
The Goddess ran over to Jesus and kneeled next to him. “Brother, I don’t
want to make a habit of this”, she said placing her hands on his shoulders,
starting the healing. The Wiccans cut at the severed tentacles that flopped on
“Help me…. Help me…”
“I am, just rest for a second. I have to conserve my energy for the
“No, help me to my feet.” In the background, Lucifer sent a great gout of
hellfire against the beast. The private jumped behind a tank just in time to
keep from being incinerated. “Who’s
side is he on, anyway” the private wondered.
“What? You’re hurt severely. Just rest”, the Goddess protested.
“NO! GET ME TO MY FEET! NOW!”
The Goddess saw the resolve in Jesus’ eyes and got one arm under him and
lifted him to his feet. Jesus let out a scream and almost convulsed, but stood
upright. Slowly, he lifted his arms, ignoring the massive pain, lifting his
right hand up near his mouth and his left higher and further out.
The dragons wheeled in the sky and beams like lasers shot out of their
eyes, raking down the side of the beast.
A golden horn slowly formed out of thin air into Jesus’ hands. With a look
of utter determination, he placed his lips to the horn and blew a single note.
Everyone, even the Elder God, stopped as the noise resounded across the rolling
hills of Pennsylvania. “What the hell?” asked the private, to no one in
“Not Hell”, Lucifer answered with awe in his voice. “He’s summoned
called the Valliant from Valhalla.”
“No. He’s awakening the eternal graveyard”, clacked a being that
resembled a skeleton more than a god.
Back at the dead car, Standing Wolf heard the horn sound and a smile crossed
his face. Slowly his eyes closed and his last breath escaped his still lips,
which almost formed a smile of relief.
“He’ssss callllleddd aaa feeessstt forrrr usssss. Newwww goddddssss
arrrre toooo simmmple; Weee wannnttteddd thissss tooo happennnnnn!”
The private looked up at the sky and noticed that the clouds were glowing.
Glowing! And beings could be seen gathering in the sky like storm clouds, before
cannnn alllllll dieeeee!” The Elder god shot out tentacles that speared
almost all the gods present, through upraised shields and past hastily lifted
weapons. And these tentacles couldn’t be severed, either. The gods that were
still alive tried vainly to free themselves, while the elder god started getting
The private stood spellbound as Odin fought against a tentacle in his thigh
and another through his shoulder. All the flying creatures had been pulled out
of the night sky and lay withering on the ground.
Crom fought his way up to one knee and lifted his war hammer high, then
brought it down with a resounding crash on the back of the enlarging elder god.
This drove the beast into the ground, but also pulled anyone still standing off
their feet from the attached tentacles. The beast climbed back out of the hole
and speared Crom in both eyes. Crom screamed and dropped his hammer, trying to
free himself. Hachiman, covered in
blood, jumped into the air and transformed into an enormous dove, then dropped
at the creature, raking it across the back with his claws; the beast dropped
away from the attack, and sent out more tentacles at the dove, almost pulling
the wings off. Hachiman screamed as he crashed into the ground. Lucifer managed
to free himself and with a leap, he plunged his trident into one of the
beast’s multi-faceted eyes. The beast screamed soundlessly, then used his open
mouth to swallow Lucifer whole. After a second, the trident melted and there was
nothing to show that it had caused any damage. Buddha used the Sword of Light to
free himself and turned to free one of the last surviving sasquatches. As he
neared the injured forestwalker, a large tentacle, more a gathering of smaller
tentacles, plowed through the middle of his back. Buddha dropped to the ground
and shriveled into dust, half black and half white.
“Fall back! The beast has played us for fools!” the Goddess yelled. Her
faithful had been killed in the initial assault along with most of the
sasquatches and any gods who were too close to the pit. The Goddess had tried
dragging Jesus’ body back, but soon gave up, her attention taken up with
staying alive and protecting herself. The Host of Heaven had landed and
encircled the battlefield, but were still a mile away. The private had rolled
behind a burnt out halftrack where he watched in horror as gods were dragged to
their death in the center of the battlefield. Their death-screams threatened to
drive him insane. He turned to see the Goddess helping a limping Odin away to a
small hill and guessed that they were going to take command of the newly arrived
Peter crested a different hill and stared at the carnage that lay before him.
He turned and looked behind him and saw an army that encircled him and the
battlefield, stretching off in both directions, until it disappeared from sight.
But, he could tell that the battle would be over before the new army had a
chance to arrive. He looked back, and thanks to the enhanced eyesight that the
Great Spirit had provided him, looked again at the battle. Most of the fighting
had ceased, but ropes seemed to be dragging bodies into a central mass that hurt
to look at directly. Peter shaded his eyes and stared at the thing in the
center, then dropped to his knees in shock. The elder beast had grown to over
100 feet tall and dwarfed the nearest trees. Every now and then a rope shot out
at a twitching target lying on the ground and a faint, faint scream could be
heard. Peter started sobbing, looking at all the death and destruction. He threw
himself on the ground, not hearing the sound of the golden bow and arrow as they
clattered away into the dark.
“Get up. …I said, Get up!”
“Standing Wolf? How’d you get here? Did you see what that… Thing… Has
done? We’re all going to die…”
“I said get UP!” Peter’s body tumbled over in the darkness and he let
out a yell as he rolled over a sharp stone in the ground.
“I don’t care if I’m going to die; you can’t do that to me, old man.
I’m going to kick… Where’d ya go?”
“Peter, you have a duty…”
“Where are you Standing Wolf? How’d you get here? I thought you were
going to die back there.”
A shade shimmered in front of Peter and transformed into an image of Standing
Wolf. “I’ve already died. You have a duty to perform.”
“NO! Not you too! We’re all going to die.” Peter fell to the ground,
“I said, get up!” Again Peter was shoved across the ground. Get up and
look to the battle.”
“I don’t want to. They’re all dead. Even the gods are dead. Then, that
thing is going to kill all of us.” He broke down in sobs again.
Peter felt his head jerked back by his long, black hair. He was levered to
his feet by his hair, and then a slap turned his head to face the battlefield.
Peter blinked to clear his eyes, then stared sharper at what he saw. The form of
the Great Spirit was on both hind legs scraping the side of the beast with his
claws. Tentacles shot out on both sides of the Great Spirit, stretching wide,
then curling round to encircle the great-bear form. The Great Spirit threw his
head back and roared as his fur began to smoke. Even from the distance, Peter
could see the look of defiance in his eyes as he struggled vainly to free
himself. It was a hopeless struggle, and the Great Spirit knew it. With a last
glance at the beast, the Great Spirit turned and looked at Peter. Directly into
his eyes. Then the smoke from the burning fur obscured his vision and Peter’s
night-sight began to fade. He knew that the Great Spirit was no more.
“The Great Spirit will be avenged, Peter growled. Without his looking, the
golden bow and arrow jumped off the ground into his open palm. Peter took off at
a sprint, the wind of his run wiping the tears from his eyes.
“The beast has won the day.”
“Not while mine
heart still beats!”, Odin addressed the speaker. Both were covered in
blood. “We shall
lead the hordes of Valhalla against the beast. Truly Ragnarok has come to
“But that thing has killed everyone. Even my father would be powerless
Odin narrowed his eyes and looked at the speaker closer. “Lucifer?
I saw thee eaten. How came you here?”
“I burned the beast a new asshole. That thing didn’t even notice I was
there. We’re all going to die this day.”
“In that case, let’s get to it…”
“I said hold.
Look you there.” Lucifer looked where Odin indicated and saw Peter
running at the beast. “That
will be the salvation, there.”
“You really think that one mortal man is going to win the day, where all
the gods have failed?
“Aye. And I
intend to aid him with all my strength.”
“But, you’ll die!”
“Better to die
trying, than to die watching.” And with that Odin was off, hobbling
back toward the creature. Lucifer looked at the Norse father and shook his head.
Then emotions played across his face.
“To HELL with it!”, Lucifer yelled, as wings unfurled from his back and
he lifted off into the night sky.
The private looked around in fear. He had seen gods killed. He had been
splattered in their blood. Had rejected them as they reached out to him as they
were dragged to their death. He wanted to help, but he was paralyzed with fear.
Peter got to within 200 yards of the beast and slowed to a stop. He could
take a shot with the bow from here, but he had to make the shot count. Somehow,
he knew it wasn’t the right time. From the corner of his eye, he saw the
private huddled behind the military vehicle and a wave of concern washed over
him. The man was obviously scared to death. Peter started walking, trying to
move around to the front (he thought) of the beast. It resembled a large ball of
yarn sitting in a smoking crater. A ball of yarn that smelled like a cesspool
and hurt the eyes to look at. His path took him in front of the mouth of the
beast. He could see the bodies of gods being dragged to the maw, which was a
jagged crack with tentacles constantly shooting out in search of new prey.
Somehow the tentacles hadn’t found him yet, but they were getting closer, the
nearer he got to the front of the beast. Then a mass of tentacles came shooting
out, directly at him. His last thought as he cringed and turned his head was
that he never got a chance to get a shot off. A pause. He was still alive.
thy back. Pray make thy shot count!” Odin said, holding the tentacles
pinned to the ground with the point of his spear. Peter nodded, surprised at
still being alive, and started jogging to a point directly in front of the
beast. He heard a scream as Odin fell, but didn’t turn around. He got to the
place that felt right and planted his feet. Lifting the golden bow, he fit the
shaft to the string and drew to his chin, his outstretched arm quivering under
the strain. More tentacles shot out at him, only to be washed away in Hellfire.
The tentacles seemed to climb the Hellfire, as if chasing the person
responsible. If Peter heard Lucifer say, “Oh, shit!” he took no notice.
Peter held the bow steady for a second; then whispered, "This is for
Standing Wolf". With a sharp snap, the arrow left the bow with such speed,
the arrow seemed to vanish. The bow snapped in half and fell from Peter’s
outstretched hand. Peter saw the shaft appear in the beast, right between the
multi-faceted eyes, the exact spot he had been aiming for. The beast let out a
scream and the ground shook.
managedddd toooo hurrrtttt usssss, huuuumannnn. Buttttt, youuuuu haven’ttttt
killlllled ussss! The beast rose up out of the ground, now a ball on four
massive legs. With ponderous steps it brought it’s mouth closer to Peter,
intending on eating him whole in punishment for the injury. Peter stood still,
in shock, wondering why the Great Spirit had bothered to include him in this
‘war of the gods’. A look of determination crossed his face and he drew his
hunting knife and held it over his head.
The private watched the Indian boy fire the golden arrow. He saw the arrow
hit the beast and hurt it. Then he saw the beast lift off the ground and start
to walk over towards the boy. After all that he had seen today, this was the
last straw. The thing could kill all the gods it wanted to. It could kill
foolish army troops. It could slaughter Devine and Hellborn. But, it wasn’t
going to kill a boy. The private jumped to his feet and ran over to the trap. He
threw the tarp back with a snap and looked at the hammer resting there. He got
down on one knee and wrapped his fingers around the shaft. With a look of
determination, he straightened his legs, and brought the hammer off the ground.
With a battle roar that would have done Crom proud, he turned and ran towards
the Indian boy. The beast never noticed him, intent on the human that had
wounded it. The private ran up behind the boy and when he got next to Peter, he
threw the hammer with every erg of energy in his body. His body immediately
flopped to the ground, spent.
Peter watched as the hammer sailed up to the same spot as his golden arrow.
The hammer hit the arrow on the notch at the end and the hammer pushed the arrow
into the center of the immensity of the beast. The elder god took two more
steps, then stopped. Slowly it settled back to the ground. Then, like a balloon
with a leak in it, the beast began to loose its shape. It slowly melted.
Peter noticed that the sun was coming up. Then he fainted, a victim to
the stresses of trying to comprehend everything that had happened that night.
Concluded in War of the Blood Gods #14
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