I awoke to cacophony.
There were shouts and screams and snarls and all kinds of chaotic commotion in the room around me. I slowly got to my feet, testing my body as I rose to make sure all of it was in working order. Once it appeared that I was as good as new, I took in my surroundings with more detail.
Niven, his arm blade soaked with my blood, was still at large in my office. Sylnie was in one corner of the room, her shirt torn and her shoulder bleeding. She alternated between begging Niven for mercy and begging Gus to get help. Gus was in the opposite corner, his nose mashed into a bloody mess, telling Sylnie not to panic in an extremely panicky voice as he tried to use my cell phone. Niven clearly wanted them both to shut up, and he seemed less interested in killing them than he was in waiting for something to happen. When he turned and saw me stand up, I got the distinct impression that he’d been waiting for me to resurrect.
“Gavsot!” Gus bellowed into my Hell phone. “The Devil’s dead! There’s a Firstborn loose in his office, he’s trying to kill us, you gotta help us!”
“Gus!” I barked. He turned to look at me and his pale, fear-stricken face got a little paler.
“Boss-Man…?” he breathed in awe.
“Sir!” Sylnie said with ragged elation.
“How can you be here?” Niven snarled furiously. “A second time! How do you beat death a second time?”
“Give me the phone!” I said urgently. Gus tossed it to me and I put it to my ear. “Gavsot? It’s the Devil. I’m not dead. But if you have one of those Firstborn-killing weapons laying around, I could really use one right now.”
“I will be there shortly,” the General said. He hung up and I slipped the phone back into my pocket, realizing that Gus must have taken my phone off of my bloody corpse only moments before I returned. I glared at Niven, who was slowly backing toward the still-open door and the supposed safety of the hallway.
“This is the second time you’ve killed me,” I shouted at him. “I’m starting to become offended.”
“You murdered my king and slaughtered my brothers,” Niven shot back. “I think we’re way past being offended.”