Sometimes our tips came from our various contacts throughout the city, human or otherwise. There are enough people who know what to look for and who can help them to keep us fairly busy, and often enough a less malign spirit will approach us to give us word of a larger threat from his or her kind. These are the easiest jobs, only requiring us to show up and destroy the enemy. We're most often told the type and class of the demon we seek, which makes our lives significantly less hazardous.

On occasion, we're forced to do a bit of investigation to find those we seek to defeat. Following clues is slow and requires more patience than has been bred into me. Stacy often remarks how odd it is that I have such anxiety toward this time consuming venture, considering the length of my life and the nature of my spirit. But some will never learn to temper their eager hearts, whether they live to be forty or four thousand. It is fortunate for our enterprise that she possesses greater intellect than I, for I've no place amongst the detectives of worth. In truth, she is the more useful of our duo. Her skills range among the hundreds while mine are merely two, experience and strong arms.

This time, however, it was simple chance that led us across the city. "That girl I'm dating." I explained to her as I drove my small sedan through the labyrinthine layout of one-way streets and misleading turns. It was good that I'd long ago discarded my accent and gained my altered appearance. People in this country had developed a great mistrust of my original people in the last few years. "You remember. The dumb one. She mentioned seeing something at her mother's birthday party. Likely nothing major, but it seemed worth checking."

"Did she say anything about what it was, Gil?" Stacy asked, predictably. She was far more concerned about planning than myself. The backseat of the car was filled with her books and charms. She could not be caught unawares. I just shook my head. "Of course not. Nor did you likely ask."

"What does it matter?" I grunted more than spoke. "You're still going to pull it and I'm going to kill it." It was true. While her equipment possessed greater bulk due to larger numbers, mine was merely three items. These were in a carefully concealed case under the back seat, for it was always a long day when an over vigilant officer found them.

She sighed and then changed the subject. "How are things going with this girl, anyway?"

"Same as always." I replied, intentionally cryptic. She nodded, understanding the meaning behind this. "She's a sweet child, but I don't imagine she has enough knowledge in that head to be anything more than distracting company." I made a left turn onto an eastbound road. The sun shone in my eyes, causing me to squint even behind my sunglasses. "The sun is brighter than it used to be." I complained.

Stacy chuckled at me. "You're such an old man." She said, seeming to enjoy the irony behind this. "Sometimes I forget, since you look like you're no more than twenty, but then you say something like that."

"Shut up, kid." I replied with a wry smile. She was right. Time had not touched my features yet and likely never would. A blessing I'd won long ago and a curse that I carried to this day.

The number of people who knew whom and what I truly am could be counted on a single hand. Most never suspected, as I'd learned to adapt to each new culture that I found myself in. Some had assumed that I was their own flesh, calling me new names and making my exploits into new legends. Perseus was likely the most noble of my various names. Some depicted me with such greatness that I cannot help but be honored. Others paint a more flawed, yet still heroic, picture of my exploits. Must take the good with the ill in this world, I've found.

We pulled ahead of the house in question. I could see that there was a greater figure than my current distraction had believed. Stacy, with her keener and more trained eyes, made a wry comment about this before we climb out of the vehicle. I had no worries, however. We were amply prepared. She gathered her books and spell ingredients and I produced my three objects. The helmet fit on my head with ease, since I cared not who saw me with it. Most would not even recognize the design as Viking, with most believing that we placed horns upon our crowns. The other items I was more careful to conceal, as people would view them as dangerous.

Inside, we followed the aura of anger that permeated throughout the old house. No one had lived here for at least a century, though it was occasionally rented out for a party that required ample room and wasn't put off by the ghoulish nature of the place. As we climbed into the second story, Stacy could not help but speak. "Your girlfriend's mother had her birthday party here? And no one thought anything of the fact that there is a bloody demon upstairs?"

"They were more concerned with drinking. Don't think they even noticed."

"Should be clear, even to the insensitive." Stacy scoffed. "This aura is greater than most. Likely lower end of alpha caste." I only gave a grunt in response. Both of us were well aware of the foolish nature of the girl.

Finally we reached the source of the malicious intent. Though the thing itself was invisible, the room around it nearly pulsed with the great power possessed within. One cannot see a demon; only sense its basic location. It sat huddled in the far corner, fumes of hatred seeping into the room. It was stronger than most we faced.

"How long?" I asked as I set my weapons down, as there was little point in drawing the creature into battle at this moment. Only the helmet remained with me, more for luck than any usefulness.

"Two minutes. Maybe less." Stacy responded before she began drawing on the floor the odd symbols of a long dead people. I recognized them. All Father had invented them, though I'd never bothered to learn their meaning. She placed her hand on one marking, and then another, shifting her attention between them in a seemingly random pattern. But her actions appeared to have a great effect upon the creature we faced. It quickly began to hum, but as it was pulled closer to our world that noise began to grow into a foul, inhuman shriek. Its outline became clearer, showing itself to be a creature of queer design. Mildly familiar yet unlike anything the animal kingdom could offer, it existed primarily in nightmares and evil visions. Very seldom did the physical eye gaze upon its frail looking, though likely quite powerful, wings or its bulbous, misshapen head.

The demon made no move to attack, much to my relief, until it was with us in the room. Its eyes turned upon me and it spoke in very good English. "What did you just do to me?"

I turned back to the wall to retrieve my weapons. "Oh, she just brought you into the physical realm with a few runes of the Norse." I first lifted the heavy battle-ax in my right hand and then the heavy steel mace in my left. "See, I can't hurt you when you're in between worlds. But since she's brought you to me, I can inflict such pain and suffering upon you as I see fit."

The demon smiled, but only in the most vague sense of the word. "I see. Clever. So you intend to kill me?"

I turned my mace and my ax, peering across the room at my enemy. "I do."

The demon rose, stretching itself to its full height. I'd not been aware that it was crouching, but now its malformed nearly touched the arched ceiling above us. "Very well." The creature offered. And with that, the fight began.

It was encumbered by its new physical existence and the great size it expanded to. Perhaps its goal was intimidation, but were it wiser the creature would have stayed small enough to maneuver within the room properly. I was graced with the knowledge to choose the finest weapons man has ever created as well as the physical strength to use them. Every advantage was my own and, because of this, it was a quick battle.

I charged and evaded the first blow. My ax, a large doubled headed weapon, struck, followed closely by the gruesome mace. Even as the demon stumbled, I did not relent, causing another injury to the monstrous flesh of my adversary.

Soon the fight was over and the once fearsome demon laid face down upon the floor. I stood above it, ready to lower my blade in a final blow. It spoke once again. "Servitude," it gargled, clearly struggling under the effort. "My servitude."

I considered this for a few moments, just as I had millennia before. And again, it was my companion who protested and urged me toward the side of reason. "Folly," she insisted. "It would be foolish to trust such a creature, Gil. You know this." Her simple complaint, obvious in its clarity, ushered my ax downward.

I withdrew my weapons as the demon's body, unable to exist in this realm without the vicious spirit to maintain it, began to deteriorate into nothing. The room, previously filled with hatred and malice, became nothing but cedar and stone. A moments rest was required as Stacy gathered her energy. The burden was more on her when we faced larger creatures, as her spirit would be drained more as she had to pull harder.

After she'd regained her strength, we collected our equipment and returned to the car. We had no other leads, nor did we have anything better to do at that moment, so I started toward her house. It was only a few minutes before I spoke. "You reminded me of him today."

"Who?" Stacy asked, likely unnerved at the mention of my past. Though it was well documented by many nations, I spoke seldom of myself. Five thousand years had taught me little, but it had given me humility and these days I was uneasy speaking of my own exploits. I preferred that people simply pick up a book on mythology.

"We went after the glory of destroying the forest of cedar and its guardian demon, close to five thousand years ago." I began vaguely, unwilling to speak the name of my own shame. "We bested it and it offered me itself as a servant. I would have accepted had I not had him to offer me reason."

Stacy nodded gently, as though she feared the movement would draw forth my anger if it were too great. "Ah. I remember. Oldest story we have, isn't it?"

I shrugged. "I think they found one older but that wasn't me. My story began with what you read." It was true. I have lived for the entirety of history's existence. Though she did not ask, I could tell what she wished to know. "They said I never found what I sought. That I failed. In truth, I told them that so I could escape godhood. I found it, wrestled it away from those who had it, and kept it for myself all this time." I smiled, but only at the thought of my victory that day. It was all a great warrior ever asked for.