Simon’s mouth was agape as he stared at the TV screen. A lone woman with short white hair on a red motorcycle sped towards the castle. She jumped her bike over the blockade that kept demons from entering the city. She easily plowed through the demons that attempted to impede her progress. Simon turned and glanced out the window. The blood moon was growing and the sky was darkening above the massive gothic castle that had sprouted from the sea, “That was Donna. I’m sure of it,” He told his friend through the phone. “How can you be sure!?” His friend cried, also terrified as he watched the news broadcast. “No one else in this city has hair like that,” The broadcast zoomed in on the motorcycle, showing a better look of the woman, “Or Donna’s family sword,” Simon frowned as he saw the huge blade, identifiable by the metal skull inlaid on the crossguard. <The previous day> “Pizza?” Donna offered Simon one of the slices from the box she had laid on her stomach. “Really? Again? We’ve had pizza every day for a week,” Simon grunted. Donna shrugged. She was laying on the coffee table, pizza box on her stomach as she lazily grabbed slices of the meat lovers and lowered them into her mouth from above. She chewed slowly, tasting the greasy cheese, sauce and meat, “I always have pizza when I’m depressed,” She explained with her mouth half full of food. She had the radio on and hooked up to her ancient, scratched up Ipod classic that spewed rock and metal through the aux cable. Donna herself had shoulder length white hair that she kept brushed, but other than that it wasn’t tended to much and piercing blue eyes. She liked to wear tanktops that revealed her midriff, thus showing off her toned body and arms. She was in top form, better than some monster girls. Simon had never seen it, but apparently she even won against some of the toughest monster girls when it came to fights. Her legs were covered by torn up denim jeans that fit to her form. She had nice hips, a firm butt and a decent rack, for a human woman at least. “Donna...” Simon trailed off, “Is something wrong?” She glanced at her boyfriend then around their little one room apartment. The bunk bed they shared was on one wall, her top bunk was unmade like it always was, the leather couch was old but that gave it personality in her eyes, the coffee table was nice and sturdy, a modern TV, a bookshelf and desk that she didn’t bother with, and a dining table that her sword was stuck through again, “Eh, just the job market is ass. Why’d we have to move to this human only town anyways? No one’s gonna hire a demon hunter here.” “My family wanted me to, remember? You didn’t have to come with me,” Simon reminded her. “But you’re my boyfriend!” She cried as she got up, “I’m even more depressed without you around.” Simon shook his head. They might have been a couple but they hardly did any couple activities. There was a bit of cuddling during movie night, but no kissing or even hand holding. No dates either, not like they had the money for it anyways, “Well. Maybe I’ll bring you a strawberry sundae tomorrow,” Simon smiled, making his girlfriend’s eyes sparkle, “IF you clean up!” He gestured around to the empty pizza boxes piling up all over the room, her red leather jacket that was draped over a chair, and clutter was everywhere, “Could you at least keep your sword on the wall and not in my table?” “Yeah... Got a little carried away during practice,” She smiled sheepishly. Donna’s family sword, a longsword with a metal skull built into the cross guard. It held terrible powers, at least according to her. Simon was not attuned to magic at all. Donna stood up, pizza still in her mouth, and slammed a hand down on the table, launching the sword into the air. She let it spin, slowly falling down before she kicked it, launching it to the wall where it easily fell onto the hooks that held it. She went back to eating her pizza as if that hadn’t been impressive. She plopped onto the couch and finished eating her slice, “I’ll get on the boxes soon. Can’t let this pizza go cold.” “I guess so,” Simon grabbed a slice of the greasy pizza and sat on the couch with his girlfriend. “You still like me even if I’m broke?” Donna asked as she put her head on his lap. “‘Course I do. You’re trying and that’s what matters right now.” “Thanks, bro,” Donna chuckled and closed her eyes, focusing on the taste of the pizza. Donna leaned out the window and threw the empty pizza boxes like frisbees into the dumpster in the alley way. She smirked, proud of herself. She shuddered as she felt something. She reached around her neck and grabbed the necklace she wore, holding it up for herself to see. The locket was warm. Unnaturally so. She grimaced, “Where are you, Veronica? Close?” She pushed the thoughts of her sister from her mind. “Did you say something?” Simon asked as he grabbed the broom. “Nothin’. Toss me that.” With a nod, he threw her the broom. She caught it in one hand and spun it around herself before starting to sweep up dirt and pizza crumbs into a trashcan. Her rock music still played through her speakers, “Things are looking good around here!” Donna smirked, “You know it!” She spun the broom around again, “Hey, I’m thinking about selling some of my old gear so we can go out a bit. You got any complaints?” She reached under the bed and started pulling stuff out, “Don’t really need a rocket launcher, maybe I’ll keep the ice nunchucks, you want these?” She held up a pair of gauntlets, “I think they’d be better for you.” Simon frowned, “I’m not a demon hunter, Donna.” “Then what the hell is this?” She held up a metal case with a massive padlock on it. “That’s personal. An heirloom is all it is.” Donna huffed but put it back along with a shoebox and a few other things, “Fine. I didn’t wanna know what's in there anyways.” “Come on, don’t act like that!” She ignored Simon and started putting her other weapons to be sold in boxes. Simon sighed and relaxed, watching her prepare her old spoils from past battles to be auctioned off and likely squandered by some geek with too much money, “Didn’t realise you had so much stuff.” “There’s... Some hand-me downs. Old World stuff. I don’t use a whole lot of it,” She grumbled, “Gotta pay you back what I owe you before the power goes out here.” He grinned, “I always forget you’re somewhat responsible. I’ve got a little something for you,” He went to the fridge, his hiding place since Donna refused to eat cold food that wasn’t ice cream. He grabbed two hard lemonades, placing Donna’s on the coffee table. “Ooooh!” Donna’s eyes sparkled, “Hell yeah, I’ll drink with ya!” Simon sat on the couch, drink in one hand and chips in the other. Donna grabbed the back of the couch and jumped over it, doing a flip, her rear landing on the leather couch and her legs slamming onto the coffee table, sending the bottle flying into the air where it hit the ceiling in just such a way that the lid popped right off. Casually, Donna caught the bottle while spilling very little liquid. She brought the drink to her lips and downed some of it, “How the hell can you do that so casually?” Simon gasped. “Eh, what can I say? It's just natural for me,” She yawned as she snagged the bag of chips from Simon, effortlessly throwing a few in the air and having them land in her mouth, “Movie then bed?” Simon nodded and put in an old action movie that Donna liked. The woman yawned and leaned herself against him, propping her legs up on the couch’s arm rest as she took up space. Simon didn’t bother arguing with her. <Back to present> “That’s definitely her,” Simon concluded as he strut over to the bunk bed and grabbed the locked case from under it. Donna’s shoe box had been opened and her two matching pistols had been removed. He looked at the gauntlets she had left for him and grabbed them, quickly putting them on. “How the hell are you gonna get in there!?” His friend cried, “Look at that shit!” Simon looked as he picked up the heavy case. There were demons streaming from the tower, not cute girls with little wings and horns that just wanted to fuck and get married, but real chiton covered beasts that wanted blood. A line was formed on the shoreline of armored monster girls that easily beat back the demons with steel and magic, “I’ve got a few hand me downs to help me,” He grabbed one more thing from his bedside table. His grandfather’s old CZ 75 with a red glyph etched into the handgrip. Simon picked up the gun and four mags. Twenty rounds in each. “You can’t be serious!” Simon shrugged as he threw on a coat and a light tactical vest, also a hand me down, “I’m going. Watch for me on the news,” He hung up and grabbed his keys. He didn’t know how he was going to get in, he just knew he had to. Veronica stood at the top of the towering castle. Her own sword, a katana in a black sheath was firmly held in one of her hands. She watched as a single red motorcycle jumped over the line of mamano soldiers and sped towards the castle. The woman driving it, clad in red, easily dispatched of the demons that slowly poured out from the entrance. Veronica smirked as rain began to fall, “Roll out the welcome mat. Little sister has arrived,” She said in a nasaly voice as she pulled back her long white hair into a ponytail. Simon drove his old beater slowly up to the line of monster girls. The radio was on and through the static he could hear a news broadcast, “A massive gothic castle has risen out of the ocean near the exclusively human, coastal town of...--kzzt--...appear to be demons have been…--kzzt--... spotted streaming out of the castle gates! The …--kzzt--... are currently keeping them at bay and have rescued all the men that the demons had attempted to kidnap! We will continue to…--kzzzt--...” The static dominated the rest of the broadcast. Simon groaned as a few armed monster girls approached him. He was hoping it would be a lot easier than this. An officer approached him, “Sir?” She looked confused as she pulled up to him, “You… Do know it’s not safe up there, right?” She was some form of dog woman with tall pointy ears dressed in a proper black uniform with the Mamano Legion insignia on the arm and breast. ‘There isn’t any Legion presence in this town,’ Simon thought to himself, ‘They must be here to fight off the demons.’ He composed himself and tried to be casual, “Anubis, right?” Simon guessed her race. She looked taken aback, “S-sorry, I’ve never seen many monsters in my life. It’s a bad habit. Sorry if that’s rather rude.” The anubis laughed, “I am an anubis. You must really know your stuff. It’s--” She switched out of her embarrassed, flirty voice to something commanding, “I can’t let you past.” “I’m a…” He hesitated, “I need to get past. That woman on the red motorcycle is my girlfriend. She’s gonna get herself killed in there.” The anubis looked past him up and down, searching his face for his real intention and eyeing the handgun he carried on his chest warily. She turned her attention to the locked metal case and the gauntlets, “Magic?” She asked herself quietly. She could smell it all over the man. She turned back to the line, the flow of demons across the bridge had halted, “Make way!” She barked, telling her soldiers to step aside. They did as they were told, forming a gap. The anubis stuck her head back into the car window, “You’re on your own from here. You better step on it.” “Thanks,” Simon smiled as he shifted the old beater into gear. With a grimace on his face, he hit the gas and sped down the cobblestone bridge towards the gothic castle. He could hardly hear the ocean waves as he rushed past, his car crying out as it was pushed to the limit. He looked up as he heard a screech. Five white and red colored demons flew down, headed straight for his car. He leaned away from the driver’s side window as one smashed the glass, trying to grab him with sharp fingernails, “Shit!” He cried as two more landed on the roof, nearly caving it in. He put his knee on the driving wheel, keeping it steady as he neared the front gates. He put the gauntlets on and slammed on the brakes, bringing it screeching to a halt and throwing the demons off his car. The beasts stood, watching as he carefully unlocked his car door and stepped out of the car, strapping the metal box to his back. The gauntlets felt weighty, but they burned with power. He locked his car with his keys and made it honk. He looked at the four living demons as they carefully surrounded him. He swallowed nervously and raised his metal covered fists, “Come on!” One of the demons screeched and lunged at him. Simon countered, punching past the demon’s wicked claws and audibly breaking its jaw with a loud crunch as the gauntlets amplified his strength. He smirked, the gauntlet steaming as the demon blood was burned off of it. He let another two demons rush him, the training from his youth coming back to him as he punched one in the stomach, sending it flying back and parrying the other’s thrust with the back of his hand. He palm struck its face, sending it into the ocean. The two other demons backed off, flying away and leaving Simon alone at the rusty front gates. He stood, staring at them. Beyond was a court yard full of nicely trimmed bushes and Donna’s red motorcycle. He swallowed nervously as they opened for him, letting him advance toward the gothic castle. He was full of questions, but the adrenaline from his fight kept his mind occupied. Simon stepped into the magnificent foyer of the castle. Sconces lit the room along with an extravagant chandelier that looked bigger than his car. What was once a wonderful castle, looked like it had been twisted into something hellish with skulls lining most of the architecture with some red liquid seeping from most of them. He looked around, there were more demon bodies strewn around. He took a moment to more closely examine them. Most of them looked emaciated, like they hadn’t had a bite to eat most of their hellish lives. A strange pinkish vapor leaked from their open wounds, headed straight towards the ceiling. He frowned, he needed to find Donna quickly. He decided to stick to the first floor, heading straight through a pair of massive oak doors. He shoved them open with his magically enhanced strength. They slammed against the walls as he forgot his own power. He stepped into a large, dim room. A ball room, probably. The doors slammed as he entered the pristine room. Simon swallowed nervously as he looked around. He could hear something shuffling around, it sounded like it was in the walls, “Come and get some, you bastards,” He scowled as he watched bigger, nastier looking demons come from holes or merely appeared out of pools of a sickly red looking liquid. He slammed his fists together, shooting off sparks as power radiated from them. The demons hissed as they lunged at the human. They were somewhat sluggish and slow, their swipes were wild and desperate. Simon thought nothing of it as he put them down like mindless beasts. Most went down in one or two strikes. His left hook was mean and his right hook was meaner. He howled in pain as a demon slashed across his left arm, leaving somewhat shallow wounds. His blood flowed down his arm, staining his coat crimson. Droplets of his blood hit the floor, running off his elbow. Desperately, like starving beasts, the demons leapt at the red life liquid, fighting each other for the chance to lap up the blood. Simon didn’t falter, his blows continued as he cracked the skulls of the remaining demons. He scowled as his spilled blood was mixed with the remnants of the demons. He glanced around the room, checking for any more of the foul devils. With himself, Simon nodded as he noted all of his foes were vanquished. He grunted in pain again as he decided to move on through the only other door. He needed to find Donna still, no matter where she was. Simon tore off his other sleeve and used it to bandage his arm before stepping through the ballroom and into the next room. He scowled as he saw the few demons in this decadent, skull decorated lounge room. He growled at them and grit his teeth, “Alright, round two, you bastards,” He taunted. “Woo hoo!” Donna shouted excitedly as she drop kicked a demon, sending it flying into a grandfather clock. The other demons hesitated, unsure how to approach Donna after watching her slaughter a few handfuls of them. Most were similar to the ones Simon had been fighting, but there were also taller, upright standing demons with swords, axes or hammers. Donna rolled out of the way of one of the demons brave enough to try bringing their hammer down on her. Despite the mortal danger, Donna felt alive, more than she ever had. She drew her pistols as she threw herself into the air, spinning around as she peppered numerous demons with bullets from her matching handguns. She landed on a table which she launched at a demon wielding a hammer, sending it flying into the wall with a crash. She grabbed her sword which had been lodged in the wall earlier and used it to block a strike from another jagged sword. With the demon reeling from the parry, she thrust her sword, slaying it. She ran across the room, pistols in her hands. She slid on her knees under a sword swing all while shooting any demon she could. She stopped sliding and got up. Every demon in the room was slain. Donna looked almost disappointed as she twirled her guns on her fingers and put them in their holsters. She smirked and moved on to the next room and hopefully her next fight. Simon pushed open the next door and frowned as he found himself on a balcony. He grunted from his wounds. He had gotten clawed in the side as the beasts swarmed him. It wasn’t a terrible wound but it stung. The balcony was small and had a little bit of furniture but not much else. He put his hands on the stone guard rail. He sighed as he stared out at the ocean, just hoping that none of those rooms he had just fought through would repopulate with demons. He turned to go back after getting a breather and found himself face to face with someone. He went for his pistol but she struck him in the stomach, forcing all of the air out of his lungs. He bent over, dropping the gun. “Stay still,” The woman ordered in her nasally voice. She grasped his arm. He shuddered as he felt the skin being stitched together, “Why are you here? It is not safe,” She scolded him. “You didn’t need to beat me to tell me that,” He grunted, “Thanks, lady,” He glanced up at her, “Huh?” He blinked as he stared at her face, wondering if his eyes were tricking him. The woman looked exactly like Donna, but she wore a fashionable dark blue over coat with a matching waistcoat underneath it and nice looking tights and thigh high boots. Her hair was also longer and pulled back. “You need to leave, human,” The Donna lookalike repeated. Simon eyed her, “Donna?” He guessed, “Is this some kind of prank?” “So, you know her,” The mystery woman concluded, “That is why you are here.” He grimaced, “I take it you’re someone else.” “Perhaps you will do,” The woman unsheathed her katana and slashed at the boy. He blocked the swings with his gauntlets, sparks flying as the metal made contact. “Where the hell is Donna!?” Simon demanded, raising his fists to fight her, “And who the hell are you?” “Didn’t your mother teach you not to hit women?” She smirked before she made two slashes in the air, wrenching opening a portal. She eyed him, “Continue up the tower. You will get the answers you desire,” She stepped through it, leaving Simon alone again. That woman had at least healed his wounds, but who was she and why did she look like Donna? With a grunt, Simon went back the way he came from. As he stepped into the ballroom.