very dark, of that much Sam was sure and after the warning from
Leo he didn't dare to shift into demon form to improve his vision.
The whitelighter had explained that in human form Sam was virtually
undetectable to the supernatural. He registered as human according
to Leo, but in demon form he was like a beacon. Sam was the key
element to the end of the plan, until then he was keeping as low
a profile as possible.
It was strange to be
taking a back seat, especially when the two people in the lead
were civilians, but Sam was following the plan. Both he and Chris
were carrying large pump action shotguns, but they were only for
emergencies. If they both shot at one of the she demons they might
be able to take her down with a couple of volleys, but the outcome
was doubtful. Hence it was Pru and Piper's job to get them through
to the main objective. The main gist of the plan was for the two
witches to distract Benias' minions and for Sam and Chris to covertly
rescue Backup and Phoebe. Leo was around, but he couldn't directly
use his powers so he was the standby plan. If all else failed
he had Malone's phone number and the ability to call in the cavalry.
There was chanting
coming from the inside of warehouse they were walking beside and
Sam couldn't shake the feeling that they had to hurry. Time was
of the essence, of that much he was sure. It took every ounce
of Sam's self-control not to do something very stupid. When they
found the side door it didn't really surprise Sam when it was
unlocked. Demons didn't really have a lot to fear from burglars
and anything else that would come looking for them probably wouldn't
bother too much about a locked door anyway.
The small party of
four crept into the dark corridor of the interior of the building.
This was not the same place he and Chris had been taken to. Now
he was here, Sam was sure this was a different location. Very
similar in most ways, but Benias had another warehouse for his
victims. The building brought Sam's confused memories of the previous
night into better focus, but he still couldn't remember everything.
The green glowing eyes and long fangs of the creature he had to
thank for revealing his demon half were what stood out the most
in his mind. The fact that they were on their way to face more
of these demons was not the nicest feeling.
Pru and Piper paused
just up ahead beside an internal door. It was a large industrial
door and whoever had closed it had left a small gap between it
and the frame. The Halliwells were peering through it. Sam followed
Chris to join them. What Sam saw almost made him give himself
away as his demon leapt towards the surface and tried to take
over. Phoebe was tied to a pillar on a raised dais in the centre
of the room. Her hands were held above her head with ropes that
looked too thin to hold a child let alone a healthy young woman.
Yet she stood there glassy eyed without struggling. Her face was
devoid of expression and she didn't even seem to notice that she
was naked. In front of her on an altar like structure was Backup,
equally as naked and unresponsive.
Sam had always had
a temper but he kept it well in check. When he laid eyes on their
enemy he nearly lost it. Benias was kneeling before the altar
with his back to his two prisoners, arms out accepting the adulation
of his minions. The she-demons were kneeling at various places
before the altar and they were chanting their master's name.
"Time to end this,"
Pru said firmly in a whisper and Sam couldn't have agreed more.
"We'll go to the right," the eldest sister continued.
"Piper will freeze them I'll start throwing things around.
You two go left and try and get behind the altar."
Everyone nodded in
agreement and then they quietly opened the door. The room was
lit by candlelight and then only in the centre so there were plenty
of shadows in which to hide. Sam knew that demon vision was far
superior to human eyesight, but Benias seemed totally absorbed
in his ritual. With the Halliwell's distracting the demons he
and Chris should be able to reach the dais and rescue their friends.
Sam was in the lead and, keeping as close to the wall as possible,
he and Chris crept towards their goal. When they were almost there
Pru and Piper made their move. The two witches stepped out from
the shadows on the opposite site of the room and Piper threw up
her hands. Benias began to rise to his feet and froze midway as
did the she-demons. Sam couldn't believe it could be that easy
and he was proved right a second later as Benias began to move
again. It took his minions a second or so longer to free themselves,
but Benias' power was strong in this room and Piper's power barely
seemed to slow them down.
"Bring them to
me," Benias bellowed and his minions moved.
Pru sent two of the
she-demons flying backwards and Piper froze some of the others.
It wouldn't stop them forever, but it was the perfect distraction.
Sam and Chris moved towards their target. Much to Sam's dismay,
however, Benias was not interested in the fighting. Under the
half-demon's horrified gaze Benias turned his back on his minions
and produced a knife from under his robe. He lifted it above Tina
and prepared to finish his ritual. Without a second thought Sam
and Chris brought up their weapons and fired straight at the demon's
hand. Benias howled as his limb disintegrated. A shotgun wound
to the body would just have annoyed Benias, taking off his hand
and removing the knife was far more useful.
"I'll take Benias,"
Sam said quickly to his partner, "you get Backup and Phoebe."
Chris nodded and moved
around the altar, Sam jumped onto the dais. The half-demon stared
at his adversary with stone cold calm. He did not let the creature's
supernatural aura shake his equilibrium and the mantle of efficient,
professional agent was completely in place. Benias was looking
at the bloody mess that had been the hand holding the knife above
Tina. The warlock come demon did not seem to be able to believe
what had just happened.
Suddenly, as if waking
from a dream the creature turned and looked directly at Sam and
sneered. In a fraction of a second even the last hint of humanity
was gone and Benias' gazed on Sam with his full demon power. The
marks that had before flowed across his skin took up permanent
places, distorting Benias' face with their shapes. With this turn
of events came the most extraordinary thing Sam had ever seen:
Benias' hand literally reformed and in seconds there was a clawed
limb, whole and ready for a fight.
cannot harm me, child. You will die slowly for your foolishness,"
Benias said with an evil smile, "but not before I have finished
my latest creation."
The demon's hand moved
towards Backup, claws outstretched to take the place of the ceremonial
knife. Sam didn't even pause to think he just moved. Without realising
what he was doing or trying to understand how he was doing it
he embraced his demon half and moved faster than he had ever moved
in his entire life. He crashed into Benias milliseconds before
the creature's talons touched Backup's naked frame. The two demons
went sprawling off the dais onto the surrounding floor.
Sam's system was flooded
with adrenalin and he barely felt the impact as they both landed.
He rolled away from his adversary and to his feet without pause.
Benias was a moment slower and when the demon's head came up Sam
was ready for him.
"It's unwise to
push me too far," Benias said, all humour gone from his voice,
"you are just making things more unpleasant for yourself."
There was no point
in replying and it would have been a waste of energy: Sam simply
waited for the attack he knew would be coming. However, he didn't
quite expect what happened next. Benias drew himself up to his
full height, which even Sam had to admit was impressive and then
the warlock thrust both hands in the half-demon's direction. A
ball of blue light erupted from the creature and headed straight
for Sam. There was no way to avoid it and all the Englishman could
do was bring up both hands in front of his face. Tensed for impact
Sam actually wobbled when the energy came within millimetres of
his body and then snaked around him. When Sam stared at his adversary,
Benias appeared equally surprised and annoyed.
"Just hoping for
a lucky break?" Sam asked evenly. "Hate to bring you
up to speed, but I'm just like you; magic doesn't work."
The older demon growled
something unintelligible and attacked. Sam met the first blow
with a simple block and then threw a kick at Benias. The attack
connected and there was a grunt from the demon. However, Sam had
the impression it was more a sound of annoyance than one of pain.
Strong hands grabbed at the half-demon's arms and he lifted both
limbs sharply to try and remove the grip. He managed to shift
one set of fingers but the other held on tightly and Sam could
feel claws through his leather jacket.
Knowing that those
talons could seriously injure him if they punctured material and
flesh Sam lashed out letting instinct overcome training. His own
nails, although not complete claws, were very claw like and they
struck home almost immediately. He felt the resistance as he raked
through the skin of Benias' arm. This time the sound the demon
made was pain and not simply anger. The creature broke away and
stepped back in an attempt to reassess his attack and defence.
Sam did not give Benias
room and he followed the demon's slight retreat. The agent tried
to rebalance his technique to more effectively use the weapons
his un-natural father had given him. The closest form he could
think of from his training was knife fighting and he held his
hands in front of him like the lethal instruments they could mimic.
Swiping at Benias several times Sam tried to make it inside the
demon's defences, but the warlock had adjusted to the speed of
his opponent and his attacks met with blocks. Benias gave no ground,
but neither did he manage to injure Sam, which was far better
than Sam had thought things would be.
Without warning Benias
moved backwards, and before Sam could react a second ball of energy
was on its way to him. Even though the half- demon's rational
brain knew it would not hurt him instinct took over and once again
Sam brought his hands up in front of his face. This was what Benias
had been waiting for and in the seconds that it took Sam to recover
the demon attacked. The creature did not try and hit his opponent;
he tackled him, throwing them both back towards the dais. They
slammed into it with Sam taking the brunt of the impact. Stunned,
the half-demon could not defend himself properly and he felt Benias'
knee contact hard with his stomach. Unable to help himself Sam
began to fall, but his opponent was still on the attack. Claws
darted under the protection of Sam's leather jacket and sharp
pain erupted in the half- demon's back. In a desperate bid to
escape Sam twisted himself away from the creatures claws and let
himself fall to the floor, rolling as he did so.
The pain was intense
and it was as if there were lines of fire running along his back,
but Sam knew he could not let it slow him down. Ignoring his mortal
body he gave complete control to his demon and the half-incubus
that glared at Benias after that bore little resemblance to the
Sam Curtis most people had met. Demon had combined with the raw
will to survive that Sam rarely dipped into and if Benias had
known he would have been afraid.
When the older demon
tried to push his advantage he met not an injured, semi-helpless
half-demon, but a vessel of pure fury. Sam's hands lanced out
with demon speed and CI5 trained accuracy. Benias literally howled
as Sam's semi-claws made contact and the demon lurched away. This
time Sam did not follow but waited with perverse enjoyment. When
his opponent's glare returned to him there were three neat gouges
down Benias' face, only just missing his right eye. Taking great
pleasure in the action Sam smiled and revealed his fangs.
Unused to being vulnerable
anymore Benias seemed unable to quite accept that he had been
injured twice. The demon appeared shocked by the whole situation
and not quite decided what to do next. Sam gave the warlock a
few seconds to consider his situation and then the half-demon
attacked. This was not a battle of men, it was a battle of demons
and when they met it was more like a pair of animals than anything
remotely human. They grappled, clawing at each other, but Sam
barely registered anything that Benias could do to him.
This creature had tried
to kill his friends. The demon had spawned incredible evil and
that offended Sam in a way he could never put into words. This
was going to end now, forever. He rained blow after blow onto
his opponent and the attacks that came back were gradually weaker
and weaker. There was no thought in Sam's mind of stopping, of
defeating this thing but letting it live. Even the smallest part
of the half-demon's being was dedicated to eradicating this evil
from the face of the earth.
Benias' defence was
almost nothing and his robe was bloody and torn, yet Sam appeared
to have very little damage. As the older demon slowly folded in
on himself Sam brought his right arm back and with all his strength
sent it flying towards Benias' throat. The evil creature's eyes
opened wide in fear as he realised he had no defence and then
Sam's claws quite neatly removed the demon's larynx.
Benias staggered backwards
a step, hands going to his ruined throat. He gurgled grotesquely
as his fingers reached out to touch flesh that was no longer there.
Sam just stood there and watched, waiting for any sign that this
was not the end.
Something began to
happen to the demon-warlock. At first Sam wasn't quite sure what
it was, but slowly he realised that Benias was melting. It was
as if the demon's structure was caving in on itself and he began
to let out a pitiful whine. Sam's adrenalin infused brain flash
him a grotesque parody of the wicked witch from the Wizard of
Oz and he couldn't help but smile. He was too high on endorphins
for any pain to reach his battle soaked mind and he watched his
Sam felt a presence
beside him as he gazed on his adversary's final moments and he
didn't have to look to know it was Chris.
"Now that is a
disgusting way to die," was the American's comment.
"At least he didn't
explode," was the closest Sam could come to a coherent reply.
They looked at each
other and Sam grinned at his friend.
"Piece of cake,"
he said nonchalantly.
Chris grinned back.
it," he said lightly.
Even as Sam revelled
in victory his eyes moved back to the dais. Phoebe was coming
out of whatever trance Benias had put her in and Backup was still
chained to the altar. Sam was relieved to see that his colleague
was stirring even if she did not look completely awake.
"Let's get Backup
out of here," Sam decided quickly.
Chris just nodded and
turned to the task in hand.
As soon as Benias had
begun to die so had his creations. Whatever the succubus come
vampire she-demons had been they had been linked to their master
in ways no one had suspected. Piper had been very glad when she
didn't have to try and freeze them anymore. It wasn't easy having
to set up a new freeze ever second or so. Unlike Benias the she-demons
had not melted into piles of goo, they had simple fallen over
and died, reverting to the shell of humanity they had lost.
Piper was amazed how
fast everything had moved after the battle was over. Phoebe had
recovered and seemed hardly bothered that she was completely naked.
The middle Halliwell had had to admit that it was very much like
her sister to simply stand there and challenge anyone to mention
her state of undress.
What surprised Piper
the most was the fact that Sam and Chris had seemed as equally
un-phased by the nakedness of Phoebe and their colleague. They
had been grateful when Phoebe had disappeared and come back with
clothes for herself and Backup, but that was it. On the other
hand Leo's eyes had been popping out of his head and Piper found
that terribly sweet. Her husband could be very bashful sometimes.
Sam and Chris' friend
had started to come round properly shortly after that and events
had moved rapidly from there. The two agents had reminded them
quietly to remember the cover story and called in their superior
who had arrived minutes later with the local law. They had all
repeated their stories of what had been happening and then they
had been sent home. It had all been rather an anti-climax.
Piper was sitting in
the kitchen nursing a cup of coffee when the doorbell rang. She
heard Phoebe rush to the door.
her sister's voice greeted, "come on in."
"We can't stay,"
replied Chris' voice lightly. "We just came to say our farewells."
By this time Piper
had reached the hallway. Their two allies were standing in the
doorway and Phoebe was bouncing happily in front of them. Phoebe
was always the same after an adrenalin rush and Piper doubted
her sister would stop moving for another couple of hours.
"Can't you even
stay for a coffee?" Piper offered as Leo appeared from the
living room and Pru came down the stairs.
"Sorry, but I
have to get Sam back to his hotel room before he falls over,"
Chris replied with a smile. "Seems our hero is pooped."
The middle Halliwell
did have to admit that the half-demon was looking frazzled. He
had enough energy to grin at his companion's quip.
"When I can move
without pain you will pay for that comment," was Sam's reply
to his friend's quip.
Pru opened her mouth
to say something, but to Piper's surprise Leo was in there first.
"Could I just
have a few moments of Sam's time before you go, please?"
the whitelighter asked calmly.
Piper watched with
interest as the two men walked into the living room, but she squashed
the urge to eavesdrop. Instead she turned her attention back to
"Thank you for
all your help," she said genuinely. "We couldn't have
won this one without you."
"All I did was
stare at a chalk line and shoot at a few demons," the American
replied lightly, "Sam did most of the work for our part of
"If there's one
thing we've learned over our demon fighting years," Phoebe
put in, "it's that it's all about team work. You may have
noticed I get myself into trouble if I run off without my sisters.
Trust me, Sam is going to need a partner more than ever now."
Piper was proud of
her sister then; she often forgot how much Phoebe had matured
over the last couple of years.
"As long as we
go back to bad guys with guns not energy bolts I'll be happy,"
Chris said, making light of the subject.
"Are you still
not going to tell us who you work for?" Pru asked before
her sisters could leap in again.
"The boss would
not be happy if I did," Chris replied good naturedly, "and
you've met him so you can understand my reluctance. But here,"
he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small card, "these
are our contact phone numbers, mobile and home. If you need us,
Phoebe took the offered
card and read it.
"So you're based
in England," she observed and looked at Chris thoughtfully.
"I bet you're MI5 or MI6."
The American agent
just smiled at her.
he said lightly, just as Sam and Leo reappeared from the other
The half-demon was
looking a little surprised and a little worried, but the expression
vanished off his face almost instantly. Piper wondered if anyone
ever really saw behind his mask. Unconsciously she moved closer
to Leo, suddenly feeling the need for human contact.
"Well we must
be going," Chris said lightly. "It's been a pleasure
working with you, but please don't be offended if I say that I
hope it's a long time before we have to work together again."
"Oh, big ugly
demons like Benias only happen every couple of weeks," Phoebe
said cheerfully. "You don't mind the commute do you?"
Sam said with mock sternness and the youngest Halliwell laughed.
Phoebe replied and enthusiastically threw her arms around the
He winced as she hugged
him, but he hugged her back. Piper hoped her energetic sister
had not done any permanent damage. Phoebe said goodbye to Chris
in the same way and then the pair headed for the door.
"See you again,"
Piper said as they were about to leave. "Hopefully next time
it will be under more pleasant circumstances."
"Amen to that,"
Pru seconded and both men waved as they departed Halliwell Manor.
It was over; another
crisis was past. As her sisters vanished back to whatever they
had been doing Piper took a moment to enjoy the calm after the
storm. Smiling to herself at their success she wrapped her arms
around Leo and let herself relax.
End of Part