Chapter 1

In a world growing with iniquity, one can forget what it means to live in peace and harmony. Joy and happiness quietly wither away. It has been 30 years since the first attack of the demons, otherwise known as the shadows. Only major cities have survived the shadows onslaught, building enormous and impassable barriers that enclose the entire town, above and below. Although the human's technology is advancing to keep the shadows at bay, the demons are becoming much stronger with every passing day the humans fail to counter their onslaught. That is why the humans are now preparing, the young and old, to become slayers. And for the first time, they are ready.

Madison, who recently graduated from the city's slayers establishment, dolefully waits inside the parked car on the side of the street for her older brother to return. The bright sky was beginning to fade as she looked through the cities transparent demon barricade. Her brother informed her that he would be in and out from the market before she knew it. Yet, it has been over half an hour.

Impatiently, Madison began to look for her phone in her red athletic bag to call him as the night sky was impulsively expanding. The moment her fingers slid across the phone's cold case in her bag, however, her brother deviously walked out of the store as the automatic doors closed behind him. As she watched him, she let the phone slip pass her fingertips and lobbed the red bag back down to the car's floor.

Her brother quickly got in the driver's side of the car and carelessly threw the four full plastic bags of items he had just purchased in the back seat.

Madison scowled over at her brother. "What took you so long, Alex?" She irritably asked him. "You know we can't stay out past dusk."

He caught the warning in her voice and knew precisely what she meant. "Just relax, would ya?" He started the car and the engine roared to life. "We have plenty of time." He looked forward and drove the car away from the sidewalk and onto the deserted street.

"Hmph." Madison grumbled and sat back in her seat, taking in the familiar scenery as her brother drove them back to their apartment. For the remainder of the ride, they both sat in silence. Only the soft tunes from the stereo played in the background.

After parking the car under the apartment building in the municipal garage, Madison quickly reached behind her for the four plastic bags in the back seat and got out of the car. She immediately began striding away from the car. Alex sighed and hurried to catch up to her, locking the car's doors behind him.

"Let me take those, Mads." He moaned, trying to grab the bags from her shaking hands.

"No, I got it." She pulled the bags away from his reach and kept strutting towards the elevator on the far end of the parking lot.

Alex exhaled loudly once more and put his hands in his pockets and looked down for the rest of the walk.

Once they made it up to their apartment, Madison went to unpack the contents of the four bags which happened to be full of food and other necessary items into the cabinets in the kitchen.

Short of word, Alex paced unswervingly to the bathroom to wash his face with cold water and then to glance at himself in the mirror for an extensive amount of time. After, he apprehensively grabbed a towel off the nearby rack and dried his face. He then walked out of the bathroom and back into the kitchen only to find that Madison was missing. His heart skipped for only a second until he heard a soft sob coming from the other side of the counter. Now at ease, Alex leisurely sauntered around the island in the middle of the kitchen and noticed Madison on the stone floor firmly clutching her knees to her chest. Alex soundlessly crouched down next to her and wrapped his an arm around her trembling body, holding back his emotions which were dying to join her.

It has now been two years to the day since they both lost their parents due to a breach the shadows had made in the wall. It was an important day back then as Madison was about to graduate to become a part of the cities hunter's division, joining her older brother who had been a part of the task for a few years already. However, that night when the night's watch was out to make their usual security rounds of the wall, they were ambushed and a few demons had entered the city. Unfortunately, ordinary citizens cannot tell the difference between a shadow and a human, therefore hell was going to break loose for the short time that it did.

On their way to Madison's capping ceremony, her parents were driving when the city's sirens unexpectedly went off - indicating a rupture in the barrier.

Hours after the sirens ceased and the hunters had rid the city of the danger, the demon threat had vanished and all was calm once more. Madison and Alex patiently waited for their parents when the ceremony commenced once again after being evacuated to safety. However, they never made it. 20 lives were taken that night by the shadows.

"Everything is going to be alright." Alex whispered as she gradually began to relax.

Madison clutched her brother's arm and finally looked up at him through the tears stinging her eyes. "I'm coming with you when you return." She quietly spoke to him, observing the new sentiment crossing his face as she said those words. Ever since their parents had died, Alex had not returned to the outside missions, primarily so he could be there for Madison. He was, though, returning in two weeks after he undergoes a brief restatement.

Alex closed his eyes, his worst fear coming true. Madison was going to join the vanguard of the hunters. Alex dreamed that she would join a more suitable position such as the medical unit or research, but not the hunters. She had her eyes on it for a few months now and Alex knew exactly why this particular area.

"I have to." She continued through her teeth. "This has to end."

He wanted to argue with her, like he has every night for the past couple months. But not tonight, he thought. Tonight there would be nothing of the sort. His heart could not bear it anymore. Ever since their arguments have arisen, they had grown further apart from each other.

After what seemed like an hour, the siblings finally maneuvered their bodies off the cold kitchen floor and made their way to their separate bedrooms after saying goodnight.

Alex went straight to bed, wanting to forget everything that has happened in the past. Madison went to sit on the floor next to her bed after changing into something more comfortable. She leaned her back against the bed frame and reached up for the small picture frame sitting on the nightstand. Within the pink, and almost too childish, frame was a photo of her, Alex and their parents before that terrible day. Still all together and somehow happy given their circumstances. The tears began to pool in her eyes once more when the memories of her parents began to flood her mind. She abruptly set the picture from a long time ago back down on the nightstand and turned off her lamp. No more crying, she deemed as she rubbed her eyes and went to bed.

Two weeks went by of brief training sessions in the local facility where both Alex and Madison effortlessly passed.

The next day, Madison woke early in the morning to get ready. As she walked from her room to the shower, she noticed Alex in the kitchen preparing breakfast. She smiled and continued on her quest.

Once Madison felt presentable, she joined Alex at the kitchen table for some blueberry pancakes, eggs, toast, and coffee. Alex began explaining all the new training she will be going through, the details of the program, and what it is like outside the wall. He has told her many stories of his tasks before but every time, no matter how many times he has told her, her eyes would brighten up - and that little light Alex saw was enough to brighten his own day.

After breakfast, they both packed what they needed since they did not know when they were going to return to the apartment or if they ever were. Madison packed about half of her clothing, trying not to bring too much. As she was about finished, she glanced at the picture sitting on her nightstand; the most important gem she had besides her brother that remained. She went to pick it up and place it carefully in her suitcase.

Alex and Madison both took a second look around the apartment and before they knew it, they were out the door heading down to the parking garage.

"So, I guess this is it." Alex broke the silence as they loaded their belongings into the trunk of car.

"I guess so." Madison replied.

"Are you sure you want to go through with this?" He asked her, perhaps hoping that she would somehow change her mind.

Much to his demise, she immediately answered, "Of course, Alex." She laughed which shocked Alex for he has not heard his sister laugh in a long time.

Somehow feeling comforted from her laugh, he assumed it would be safe to continue, "Okay, just don't be upset when you won't be able to keep up with me. I mean, I'm only the best there is." He snickered as he closed the car's trunk. "Why do you think they keep calling and asking me to come back?"

"Oh, that's what you think. Who scored higher than you in training? Hmm?" She asked while walking around to the passenger's side to get in the car.

"Please. That is nothing compared to how it is really going to be." He guaranteed, getting into the car. "We won't have scores when we get out there."

Madison laughed again and hopped into the car. Alex could not help but to grin to finally see a smile upon his sister's face.

"For some reason, I am actually excited." Madison pointed out as he drove. "To finally be able to see one of them for the first time, it's going to be astounding."

"They can appear just like us, Mads." Alex countered. "There is nothing special about them whatsoever." He said in a revolted tone.

"I know. But to see them through those special head gear things for what they really are."

"You mean the shadow sensors?" He interrupted her. "You need to know what the gear is called to use them."

"Oh, whatever. I think I'll be okay." She smiled and looked out the window.

It was a 25 minute drive to the Hunter's Sector on the north side of town where Alex and Madison were both heading. There were four sectors total, each at different ends of the town to hold balance. The town consisted of over 700,000 people who were all packed in when the technology of the barricade came through. They saved as many people as they could. There are other cities with barriers, but none as large as this one that they know of.

Within time, they approached the Northern Sector. They were met by a toll way where were inspected by the guards and soon were allowed to pass. Alex drove the car up a ramp where the only structure in site was an enormous parking garage; in fact, it was an old parking garage for an airport that used to be here decades ago. However, the Northern Sector was located underground, beneath the parking structure.

After driving around the structure, Alex parked their car and unloaded their belongings and made way to the elevators.

Alex had to swipe his card in the elevator to take them both to the lower levels. Madison observed everything for this was her first time here. To her, nothing seemed special about this place. Finally, the elevator doors opened and both siblings were instantly greeted by one of the sector's officers who had been expecting them. After introducing Madison, the officer led them through more security checks and conclusively to the final door/wall, which was demon impermeable as a last defense.

Of course, after passing, the doors opened to a huge hall filled with people and monitors. From what Madison had seen from watching movies as a child, this reminded her of a wealthier police department, or some secret headquarters, which it essentially was.

"First, I'm going to show you to your chambers where you will be living for as long as you're here." The officer announced to them as they walked through the large room that was full of workers and monitors.

This is it. Madison thought, reciting her brother's words to her earlier.

And so, both siblings were taken to their new suites, separate from each other of course. They were both given a tour of the complex. Although Alex was already familiar with everything, he wanted to be there with Madison.

After visiting every facility the sector had to offer and becoming familiar were the emergency locations were, Madison was to immediately begin formal training. And she was ready.

AN: Please review! :)