Long ago when the belief in magic existed, legend tells of the story of the great King Arthur and his mentor, the grand wizard Merlin. With Merlin by his side, King Arthur ruled his kingdom wisely bringing forth honor and respect to both Camelot and England itself.
However there were others who wished to dethrone the just monarch. The evil witch Morgan le Fay, Arthur's half sister, plotted to kill the king and take over the reigns of Camelot. Sending their bastard son Mordred to murder Arthur, Morgan succeeded inciting a vengeful war with Merlin.
A magical battle ensued leaving both mystical warriors trapped in their respective prisons for centuries. Cursed with immortality by his mother, Mordred vowed to release Morgan le Fay from her cage searching the world for magical artifacts that will break the lock.
The only one stopping him is Reagan Ambrose. Merlin's daughter.
This is where our new tale begins...
East Los Angeles, California
Loud, booming bass beats echoed across the night sky. Reagan Ambrose observed the man entering the club. She took in his appearance from the expensive suit that he wore, the white blond hair, blue eyes, and pale, pasty complexion and instantly knew he was out of place among the throngs of Eastside cholos, gangsters, and Latino patrons waiting to get inside the dive bar.
Then again, she stuck out like a sore thumb as well. At 5'9, the slender, jade eyed, red haired, fair skinned sorceress zipped up her tight black, leather jacket and adjusted the tiny belt of her black jeans that concealed her dagger. Her weapon of choice that she used many times to annihilate her opponents. The ornate detail of gold hilt connected to a intertwining, mythical serpent in the center as the short silver blade formed the point of the sharp metal. At the edge were engraved her family's given name Pendragon, a title bestowed by the late King Arthur to her father, the grand wizard Merlin.
A small tear formed at the corner of her eye. How long has it been? She calculated the figures in her head. About five hundred years since the great magical battle that took away her father. The war that raged between Merlin and the evil witch Morgan le Fay that left both combatants forever confined in their mystical penitentiaries. Morgan's soul trapped between the concrete walls of Stonehenge and Merlin's body encased within the willow trees near Glasgow, Scotland. Both of which their offspring have spent centuries searching for the cure to set them free.
Now that time has come. The stars have aligned. Reegan had checked every constellation, astrological sign, numerology chart, Mayan and Druid prophecy each of which indicated that the opportunity to free her father would be now. She would discover it before Morgan le Fay's son Mordred beat her to the punch. Accuracy was very important at this time. There should not even be any margin of error if she wanted to break the spell to set Merlin free. She just needed an answer to her ancient riddle and right now the man that would be providing that for her was the blond gentleman in the business suit who just got past the bouncer.
Rows of lowrider vehicles lined the front of the club as Reegan made her way past the small line of seedy individuals outside. Groups of cholos loitered near the bodyguards throwing up gang signs and smoking up a storm while they wagged their tongues noticing the pretty, red headed, white woman sauntering past them.
"Hey gringa!" whistled one gang member. "Choo lost? Well let Perito here cho choo a good time!" He grabbed his crotch beneath his chinos waving it in her direction while his friends cheered him on.
Annoyed, Reegan rolled her eyes. Concentrating her focus on the gangster's package, she visualized his manly sack tightening. The inner tubes of the cholo's testes twisting, enlarging, cutting off the circulation and bringing forth a sudden jolt of pain. It took just one second for her hex to work. It did.
The man named Perito howled in anguish clutching his privates while his body collapsed on to the concrete sidewalk. "AYE CABRONE! IT HURTS! IT FUCKING HURTS!" Blood soaked his pants spilling into a puddle on to he ground. His homies gathered around him offering assistance before one pointed a finger at Reegan's eyes that had now become completely void of any colored irises. Glowing white pupils stared at the offenders who by now starting shitting in their baggy jeans.
"EL DIABLO!" the cholo screamed.
"NO! LA LLORONA!" shouted another in reference to the legendary, ghostly Mexican weeping woman.
Gathering their fallen friend, the gang members dragged him along down the street bellowing in fear disappearing into the slums from they crawled out from under. The white pupils of her eyes returned to normal showing back the beautiful shade of emerald green before the red headed woman cut to the front of line to enter the joint.
Like Moses parting the red sea, none of the patrons including the bouncer, objected as they stepped to the side allowing Reegan to go in without any problem. She made her way past the doorman only to be bombarded by the sounds of a bad remix of house music and mariachi beats. A migraine started throbbing on her forehead. She needed a drink.
Ordering a vodka sour at the bar, she left a generous tip for her bartender and scoured the room for her target. Blondie in the business suit had seem to vanish among the crowd of dancers at the club but her intuition told her better. She sipped her glass just as a trio of teenybopper, gangster girls approached her. Releasing a sigh, Reegan prepared herself to hear them bitching.
"Choo're not welcome here puta!" the tallest of the three announced. The red headed sorceress took one look at their baggy sweats, plaid shirts, teased hair, and heavy make-up and started to giggle. "What's so funny pendeja?"
Swallowing the last bit of vodka, she slammed the glass on the counter. "Shouldn't you girls be home? It's way past your curfew. Let the grown ups play for once."
"Shut the fuck up gringa!" shouted the second chola. She dug into the sleeve of her sweatshirt and slipped on a pair of brass knuckles. "Here's what we think of white bitches thinking they can do what they fuck they want!" Fist clenched wrapped in the metal rings, she swung toward Reegan's face.
The red headed woman did not even bat an eyelash as the little female gangster stopped in mid-punch. In fact, the young chola did not even move. Her feet glued to the spot, she stood frozen with her arm suspended in the air with her eyes widened in shock. She was not the only one. Her two friends also found themselves grounded and unable to move. Their eyes lifted up toward Reegan whose green gaze now tranformed into white vacant pupils. All three wanted to scream but discovered that their vocal chords had been silenced.
"Mira chicas," said Reegan in Spanish. Living as an immortal provided a vast knowledge of wordly language. "Por favor dejen."
Her eyes returned to jade granting the girls mobility once again. Fearful of this strange woman's powers, the trio backed away.
"Correle! She's a bruja!" the tall cholo stated. Reegan watch the foolish group push past the crowd of club patrons to a back exit. For the sorceress, it would a shortlived triumph though as he saw the blond businessman come out from the darkness to stalk the three gang members that had just left. Getting off the barstool, she slipped through the same door that led into the alleyway.
Darkened shadows and black masses splattered outside across the dimly lit walls in between the two buildings of the club to the next structure across from her. Turning around, she searched for her target. Both the young cholas and the blondie had disappeared leaving a disgruntled Reegan alone to figure out her next strategy. She began walking toward the direction of the path that headed toward the street before loud screams caught her attention. With her adrenaline racing, she sprinted to the source jumping over the numerous cockroaches and other vermin that polluted the dirty alleyway.
Cocking her head to the right of a narrow path of enclosured buildings sealed by a chainlink fence, Reegan found the blond businessman she had been hunting. However, the fair haired gentleman did not look anything like himself. In fact, he did not even look human. Patches of blond wisps had now become ashen gray across the balding scalp that riddled with welts and grotesque bumps. The man's face dripped with dead strips of molted flesh now rotted exhibiting the hideousness of a corpse grimaced with a row of jagged gray teeth and souless black eyes. His expensive suit had been torn displaying more of his decomposed hide beneath the layers of tattered clothing as long bony fingers attached with razor sharp talons oozed with dark red liquid from his nails.
The beast roared before devouring a morsel of a bloody, beating human heart in his hands ripped from the victim of the tall chola who had accosted Reegan earlier lying lifeless on the ground. Her friends cowered in the corner of the building weeping while the creature making a meal of their amiga chanted Catholic prayers of forgiveness.
Relishing in his savagery, he pierced the other female gang member, the one who owned the brass knuckles, with his sharp claws before tearing out her heart, swallowing it whole, and tossing the second body aside. He then started on the last girl curled in a fetal position on the ground. Instantly, Reegan knew it was time to strike.
"Hey!" screamed the red headed sorceress. "Ramat! I speak your true name Demon! Face me!" Demons hated being called by their true name due to the fact it reminded them of the shame of being cast down from Heaven when they sided with Satan. This monster named Ramat was no exception.
"I...know of you...Reee...gan," the Demon hissed. "We...all do. Daughter of Merlin... You're part of the Fae...The killer of our kind...Lord Mordred...would be please...in capturing you...alive..."
"Let the last girl go!" Reegan ordered. "You've consumed two hearts already. You don't need a third! Release that body you've possessed and return to Hell or I shall send you back myself!"
The Demon cackled. His long talons grabbed the sobbing chola by the chin and hoisted her up. Tracing a line across the gangster's face, Ramat nicked her cheek before a long forked tongue licked across the frightened woman's neck and mouth.
"But she's just...a tasty morsel...I am Ramat...A Demon of Gluttony...Two hearts are never...enough...I want more..."
Ramat raised a large claw toward the last victim causing the helpless chola to shriek at the realization of her death. It was now or never. Jumping across the opposite wall of the alley, Reegan's black boots made contact with the bricks allowing her to scale across at lightning speed. Reaching behind her hidden belt loop where her the Pendragon dagger was sheathed, she yanked it out striking the blade at the edge of Ramat's wrist that held the victim into place.
Small droplets of acidic blood burned against the stone as Ramat released his grasp on his prisoner dropping the bruised gangster girl on to the ground. The Demon let out an anguished cry holding his damaged wrist as more toxic blood poured from the wound. Reegan did not have time to think as she grabbed the young gangster girl running with her down the path to safety.
"Run!" she told the chola. The scared gang member did not argue as the two women raced to the other side of the alley. A large cracking sound like a whip vibrated through the maze as the Demon's tongue shot forward wrapping around Reegan's boot dragging her backward.
Falling face forward, the red haired woman dragged her hands across the nearest object to hold her place. It was no use. Ramat intended on bringing her to him. "Keep running!" She told the girl watching her vanish into the night. Seeing the chola safe, the red haired sorceress now felt confident to deal with her assailant and clutched her dagger tight as the monster dragged her through the wet puddles of the alleyway.
"Bounty or not...I'm going to kill you...for making me lose my meal..."
"Well I'm going to give you Montezuma's Revenge," she snorted. Seeing herself coming closer into the Demon's awaiting claws, Reegan slashed at the tongue entwined around her boot with the dagger. More acidic blood splashed around the concrete burning the mortar and stone as Ramat stumbled back with his mouth full of blackened liquid.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, the sorceress thrusted the dagger forward hoping to make contact with the Demon's heart. Ramat anticipated the attack bringing his decayed arm forward to block the assault before letting his other claw to strike Reegan's body sending both her and her weapon flying hard against the metal dumpster.
Sharp pain seared across the back of her head, her spine and rib cage. A trickle of blood dropped from her forehead as she tried to fight the pain of her internal injuries. Scrambling to get up, she frantically searched for the dagger on the ground. Unfortunately, Ramat found it first as he kicked the weapon far across the other side of the alleyway out of the female magician's reach.
"Time for Plan B then," she said still woozy. The throbbing agony weakened her but she gathered the strength to battle the Ramat. Raising her hand, she focused all energies of the elements. She could feel the power surge through her, form a base at the center point, and mold into one shape. Light glowed from her fingers as she pushed the energy a few times at her target and released.
The first strike hit Ramat pushing his decayed form back a few inches. Then another and one more after that. Still the Demon remained unfazed. Reegan gasped at her magic not protecting her as the monster laughed opening his clawed fingers to allow a rope of tiny bells to fall from his talons.
"Morrigan's Bells," the monster roared. "A deterrent...to all kinds...of Fairy magic... A gift form our Lord Mordred..." Ramat laughed again, tightened a talon claw around the red haired sorceress's neck, and slammed her against the wall.
Reegan yelped feeling her already battered body taking another bit abuse at the hands of her enemy. Ripping away the leather jacket and black tank top from her body, the demon killer cringed at being exposed in front of this monster. A long, damaged tongue grazed her naked chest flicking her bare breasts and teasing the pinkness of her areolas before the grotesque creature began to reach for her belt with a talon finger.
"I'm going to enjoy...fucking you to death..."
Spine chilling laughter caused her skin to develop goosebumps as she glanced down to see the putrid horror of his monstrous erection beneath the shredded suit. Attempting to inhale a breath, the red headed woman found her oxygen being cut off by Ramat's psychotic hands around her throat. Out of options and with no other choice, she closed her eyes to focus.
Clear the mind. See the image. It was her. Feminine. Soft. Innocent. Beautiful. Now alter the picture. The long, crimson hair shortening retreating to the base of the scalp creating a simple parting with of hair covering one eye. The face. No longer oval and triangular in shape but now square, boxy with structured cheekbones and a cleft on on the bottom of the chin. Slim shoulders now larger more defined connecting the silk roundness of her breasts which sank down becoming muscular right angles on the chest. Curved hips being replaced with wider, boxy ones as slender limbs grew more toned on both the biceps and thighs while the the forearms and ankles grew small wisps of reddish hair. The tender base of the neck began to protrude as the circular muscle started to show at the same time the sacred opening of her femininity sealed itself replacing it with the long base of a masculine shaft and sack surrounding by a patch of a crimson nest.
The picture had now changed. It was still her but different. Deep voice. Handsome. Strong. A warrior. A soldier of superhuman strength. It was now Him.
Ramat tightened his hold around the neck of his victim. This new stranger that appeared in front of the Demon had green eyes and red hair similar to the woman he had was in the middle of torturing. Clenched in his hand was a man and he looked pissed.
"Where's...Reegan?" asked the Ramat.
"Right here asshole!" snapped the shirtless stranger. Pulling his leg up, the red haired man gave a fierce kick to the Demon's eye. Acid blood poured from the wound forcing Ramat to drop his captive. Unable to get his bearings in time, Ramat slashed blindly against at the stranger who dodged the attack before landing a few kicks and punches to the monster's deformed face. Trying to shield himself from the blows, the creature collapsed to the ground but did not take into the consideration the superhuman nature of his enemy. With one swift kick to the Demon's abdomen, Ramat felt himself crashing against the chain linked fence at the back of the alley.
Sprawled on the ground in pain, the monster could see his foe coming toward him with the Pendragon dagger in his hand. He would make one last attempt at mercy.
"Mercy....mercy...Spare my life and I'll give you anything..." pleaded Ramat.
A black leather boot crushed his neck. "Tell me where Mordred is!" The red haired man turned his foot slightly to bruise the windpipe.
"He's...he's not here...He's in hiding...and won't come out...until the Demons he's summoning...brings him the key...."
"The same key that will free his mother Morgan le Fay?" asked the stranger pressing harder on Ramat's neck.
The monster winced at the pain. "Yes...the same key...that will free Merlin as well..."
"Where is it?"
"It's in Las Vegas with our Demon general...Naih'Sadrak...He has the seer...who guards the key..."
"Why were you sent here?"
"To...distract you...to keep you busy...so that you won't interfere...with Naih'Sadrak plan to obtain the key from the seer...Galowyn..."
Looking the blackened eyes of the Demon, the red headed stranger had difficulty believing him. He released his foot to allow the monster to speak but carefully immobilizing Ramat by bracing his boot on his chest. "What would this Naihs'Hradrak want the key for himself? Aren't Mordred and him working together?"
Ramat laughed as small trickle of toxic blood dripped from deformed mouth. "Demons submit to no one...and can never be trusted...The key not only frees the imprisoned by it mystically opens other doors...like the entrance..."
"To Hell," the stranger finished his sentence. "If Naih'Shadrak is planning to put Hell on Earth, then..."
"The Apocalypse shall happen...The Demons will destroy all of humanity...and take over...as revenge for God banishing the Fallen Angels to Hell...and choosing his precious humans over us..." Ramat cackled. "As you humans would say...you're fucked! Now tell me...who you are..."
The red haired man glared at the Demon. "In this masculine form, I am Regan Ambrose. A supernatural warrior." With his strong fingers, he flipped the Pendragon dagger in his hand and plunged the blade into Ramat's heart. An Earth shattering roar shook the alley as a loud black cloud of mist erupted from the monster's body igniting the corpse into a ball of flame before being absorbed into the darkness of the ground beneath. Shirtless and shivering, the stranger slid the dagger in the hidden side pocket of his jeans as he began to walk away from the alley.
"I am also the sorceress Reegan Ambrose. Daughter of Merlin. Cursed by Morgan le Fay to share both traits of masculinity and femininity, I can shift between genders. That is why I dubbed myself a changeling. A being who can walk in both guises in order to protect humanity from the evils that plagues them."