VAR

He was retaliation. He was the very personification of retribution. He was drunk.

The music coursed through Var’s body, electrifying his soul, giving back a little of what he had lost. He stomped, shoved, kicked, and punched his way through the great circling mass of aggression as bodies bounced off one another like angered molecules vying for dominance. With the last of the Jameson’s he’d smuggled into the auditorium gone, he smashed the glass on the floor, not caring if anyone were to fall into the shards, and turned around. Anyone that stood in his way soon found themselves on the ground. Within only a few measures of the song Var singlehandedly reversed the human hurricane.

At the orgasmic moment of the chorus, when the drums and bass intertwined like an epic battle, something went wrong.

The discordant sound of a Fallen, like a violin being played behind its bridge, forced him to choose between his two favorite things; beating the shit out of people while listening to kick ass music, or killing Fallen angels. If he didn’t kill it, it would just keep making noise and ruin his night. He made his way to the eye of the storm, head-butting a fat skinhead on the way.

Easily scanning over the writhing heads and on the hunt, he flowed through the throng of people like a shark through a school of fish. They swirled and darted in all directions but never came within three feet, as though they shared a collective mind that wanted nothing to do with him. No one could touch him if he didn’t want them to. They couldn’t even see him.

Var was almost clear of the maelstrom when he saw a prick wearing a backwards baseball cap and one of those stupid puffy NFL jackets standing at the edge of the mosh pit with a couple clones on either side. Jock boy shot a ‘check this out’ look to his friends, watched the action roil by for a second, then suckered punched a little white hippy with dreadlocks. The jock’s friends laughed as people trampled the hippy, but like a true mosher, the little dude got back up and pressed back into the swirling mass. As if Var wasn’t pissed off enough, damn it.

The jock and his friends were a little out of his way, but he couldn’t let that shit go. Either have the balls to rampage with the mob or stay the fuck out of it. He let the dick hole and his friends see him when he got close. The jock was about six feet tall but Var towered over him by at least a foot and a half. Var was an imposing figure. Intricate black tattoos covered half of his shirtless torso and metal stuck out of nearly every piercible body part.

The jock stared at the massive ring in Var’s septum and tried to back away, but the press of bodies behind him blocked his escape. Sensing danger his friends pulled away to either side, abandoning him like true cowards. In a moment of panic the jock took a swing. Var let the little man connect, just to show him how weak he really was, then gave a tiny love tap of his own. Not too hard, he didn’t want to kill the guy, just turn his legs into jelly. Var held him up by the shirt and waited for his eyes to focus, then without warning flung him into the pit to be devoured like a sheep in piranha infested water. He glared at the jock’s friends and jerked his thumb at the mosh pit. They took the hint and jumped in.

That settled, Var went back to looking for the Fallen. The discord led him to the other side of the indoor arena. Pissed that the next song the band started playing was one of his favorites, he split the crowd like the red sea and stalked to the South exit, kicked the crash bar to open the door, and stepped out into the night air. It was warm for a late winter night, but Var was so worked up from fighting and dancing that curls of steam rose from his bare chest and shoulders.

A couple security guards standing outside jumped when the door flew open. They looked around to see what caused it but Var didn’t feel like being seen. He’d had enough distractions. One of them muttered something about stoner fucks as the other shut the door. As Var stepped by them, the guy bitching about stoners lit up a cigarette.

Var had killed a lot of Fallen lately. More and more seemed to pop up every day. Not that he minded. It’s what he did, and he was good at it. When an angel lost its mind it was usually up to Var to take care of it. That was really the only reason Kemuel let him live. He was just too damn useful, no matter what his parentage was.

The discord came from across the street in between a hotel and some other large building. Var stood at the mouth of the alley ready to be devoured into the darkness.

Both hands slid into the Void as though he were reaching into pockets of reality, and retrieved a pair of silver knuckles. Remaining loose and ready, he flowed through the alley, intricate tattoos of his bare chest and arms breaking the silhouette of his lithe form.

The last pull of whiskey caught up with him. He shook his head to clear his mind and rid himself of the slow spin of the alley, and waited behind a dumpster. Like the rapid descent into a cave, the atmosphere of the alley increased. The hair on his bare arms stood on end and the stubble on his shaved head tickled.

The rancorous sound dissipated, quieted into a slightly off-key morose Song. The renewed composition of the Song told him that the angel wasn’t Fallen, he was Falling. That’s the way Kemuel liked it, kill them before they Fell all the way. They were far more dangerous while in the process, but only because they were so unstable. Most Fallen were as predictable as wild animals, their reactions all fear and survival, but one who was still on the tortuous descent was like a rabid dog not yet afraid of its owner. One never knew when the bite will come. Dangerous, extremely dangerous. That’s was what made it fun. With the whispered plea of shuffling feet, a figure stepped into the light. His ragged face peeked from behind his lank hair which hung in dirty, sweaty, clumps.

“Hello Var,” he said.

“Do I know you?” Var didn’t recognize many of the younger angels. He wasn’t generally accepted around what most would call ‘polite’ company.

“No, but I know you. I know why you’re here. Please don’t, I can hold it together, I know I can.” His body shook with the effort of keeping his Song together.

“I don’t give a shit. You’re Falling, that’s all that matters to me.” Var advanced on the scared angel with long confident strides.

“No wait, please. I don’t want to die, please give me a chance.” The angel held his hands out, palms forward, and backed away. Poor thing looked so pathetic Var almost had sympathy for it. Almost. The first time he went after an angel that wasn’t fully Fallen he nearly died for the foolishness. Never again, no matter how desperately they wanted to live, or how convincing they were, or even how much they cried, Var never gave them a chance.

As if to prove Var’s resolve, the Song of the angel skipped a beat and didn’t recover. It sounded like an entire orchestra had decided to play different songs, all off key.

The young angel’s outstretched hands went from pleading submission to attacking fists between one moment and the next. He lunged for Var’s face like a rabid animal. Var calmly stepped to the right, redirected his opponent’s attack and dealt a mighty blow to the side of the Fallen’s head. The Falling angel crumpled to the ground like a heroin overdose.

That wasn’t nearly as fun as Var had hoped. He rolled the unconscious Fallen onto his back and stepped on his throat.

The Fallen squirmed and thrashed to no avail. Var only increased the pressure. He allowed the clawing and convulsing to go on for what, to most, would seem an unreasonable amount of time, then with a final twisting stomp of his size seventeen Doc Martin boot, he killed the Fallen. The sudden cacophony drove him to his knees, but he was prepared. The death of an angel, even a Fallen one, was no small matter. The very foundations of the Earth protested and screamed with the loss of one of her greatest creatures. For miles around, and for days to come, people nearby would be on edge, depressed, or angry, and not even know why.

The clamor faded. The silence after the storm left his ears and Song ringing. The only remaining sound was the rhythmic and rapid beating of his own heart.

He returned the silver knuckles to the Void and drew forth the remnants of an elegant, silver sword. Half the blade was gone. After insuring no other angels were around he quietly hummed under his breath. The precious metal began to glow a velvety red. With index finger and thumb he pulled a sliver of the blade off the jagged tip, like pulling a wayward thread off a sweater. With a word the sword returned to normal and he slipped it into its sheath between this world and the next. With the sliver thread, still glowing, he pierced the skin of his left ear, near the top where there was room. He closed it into a tiny circle, there to be lost in the multitude of piercings that covered his body. The Fallen wasn’t much of a challenge and only deserved a minor reminder.

He picked up the carcass with one hand and tossed it into the dumpster on his way back to the auditorium. He’d tell Kemuel to send someone to clean it up after the concert.

The security guard had just finished his cigarette, and looked to be about to light a second. Good, Var didn’t miss too much of the concert, maybe only a song or two. He felt a little sober, something he hadn’t been for hundreds of years, so he reached into the Void and pulled out a joint. The smoking guard lit it and the other open the door that said ‘No re-admittance’ without either one knowing what they were doing.

With glazed eyes, Var went back to kicking ass to music.