Azrael: Episode X: City On Fire – Part Three – Shock and Awe

A grey-clad soldier collapsed beneath a shining blue shield as Michael crashed down onto the pavement. I shot into the alley from behind, flooring a soldier on the opposite side and knocking him into the brick wall beside him.

We stepped into the back of the alley to find an ingress to the lowest floor of the hotel, finding our entrance in a basement window well. I shot two swords into the hinges to pry it open, and we made our way inside the building.

The dark lowest floor of the hotel was a grey concrete room, broad and open, walls lined with washing machines and shelves containing linens for the rooms upstairs.

Michael wasted no time taking in the room as he made his way to the elevator service hatches, broad silver engines sitting in the room as the ferried hotel patrons between floors.

“Alright.” He said. “My recon suggests that Manacle’s men are posted up through this entire hotel, but his officers are running the show from the penthouse suite on the top floor. It’s likely that their telecomms center is on the top level.”

“With plenty of resistance to protect it.” I said.

“No doubt.” Michael replied. “If we block staircase access three levels from the top, we can restrict the number of personnel in the area before we put this place into fire lockdown and clear out, pushing up.”

“And the roof?”

“Manacle doesn’t have the air resources to be bringing more guys in up there, but I’d be willing to bet he’ll use his personal chopper to meet us there as soon as the lights go off. Odds are he brings maybe a handful of soldiers with him, but he’ll want to be here to finish the job.”

“Locked up here with us.” Continue reading

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Azrael: Episode X: City on Fire -Part Two – Fire Superiority

Four soldiers stood in grey digital camouflage with black ballistic armor, low construction lights over the late night at the diamond district tower project where the mercenaries had built the watchtower. They gathered at the edge of the project, looking over the city as one of them lit a cigarette, casually talking amongst each other.

“So… We’re seriously supposed to fight — Azrael?” One asked.

“Yup.”

“That doesn’t concern you?”

“Why should it?”

“You haven’t heard?”

“Heard what?”

“About him.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard about him.”

“You’re not worried?”

“Nah. Not like any of it’s true.”

“You sure?”

“Can’t be, man. No way one guy can do that. The way I figure, it’s a bunch of kids with baseball bats or something beating people up for shits and giggles.”

“Nah, man. I was on leave in New Avalon for a few months before my last tour, and one of my buddies got drunk one night and got into it with some homeless guy… Found him at the hospital the next day with three different tubes in his face.”

“Yeah, man. Bunch of asshole kids against a drunk Marine? Doesn’t sound like any kind of fight to me.”

“I don’t know. I’ve heard some rough stuff.” Continue reading

Aside

AAAzrael.com

Hey everyone!

I’m proud this week to be celebrating the one-year anniversary of Azrael:The Gallows Beam reaching its completion.

One year since the Gallows fell.

To commemorate the occasion, I have a whole bunch of great things to share. If you’ve looked around, you’ve noticed the first.

Welcome to the all-new AAAzrael.com.

First and foremost, I’m proud to rebrand the site with it’s own all-new URL:

AAAzrael.com.

Additionally, I’ve made some great new updates to the site, the first being a great new look made to be both equally both more glamorous and more user-friendly, plus it features a brand new header image animated entirely by yours truly.

As an homage to the beautiful year since it’s fall, I’ve also put together a personal tour of the Hangman’s hideout, a completely modeled and textured animation of the infamous courthouse. Click here to check it out on YouTube.

Finally, I’ll be asking for fan ideas for an upcoming behind-the-scenes series later this week, so keep an eye on the site for an opportunity to be involved in the creation of some fascinating new content.

Thank you all so much for this beautiful year of my life. I can’t articulate how thrilling it’s been to share so much of my passion with so many people, and how overjoyed I am to continue being able to do so, to an even greater extent than ever before.

We stand at the beginning of a long road towards a shining future, and I’m more than blessed to be able to share the walk with each of you.

Thank you again for the wonderful first year, and for all the time we’ll continue to share together in the future as Azrael continues his incredible journey.

Gratefully yours,

Josiah

Production Update – Lots to look forward to!

Hey everyone!

I’m writing this update regarding some release dates and cool stuff in the near future of the site.

Lately I’ve been working like a dog trying to finish this semester strong, and unfortunately Azrael: City on Fire  had to fall by the wayside to accommodate my schedule for the time being.

That said, I’m glad to say I’ll have everything wrapped up by the end of the week, with the second installment of City on Fire coming out the weekend following Friday, April 29th.

Thank you all so much for sticking with me during all this chaos. I never feel more myself than when I’m throwing everything I have into Azrael, and I’m so excited to finally have the opportunity to get back to where I belong.

That said, over the next couple weeks, there will be some great new stuff to look forward to. The site will be under construction pretty soon, and although I can’t go into specifics about it yet, I’m super excited about the new stuff.

I also have some plans for a special event this summer that could win some of you a very special prize that I’ll be announcing in just a few weeks.

There’s plenty to look forward to over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes open!

Thanks again.

– Josiah

Azrael: Episode X: City on Fire – Part One – Infiltration

Last Time

Nine officers in total, followed by the black-clad shooter with the assault rifle. The fanned into the building behind the light post where the programmer had been executed only a moment ago, moving to their next target. Me.

These can’t be Captain Slate’s cops. Something else is going on here.

I ducked behind a stairwell in the back corner of the building. My odds would be better just to escape, but I had to find out what was going on before these police impersonators went too far. I needed answers, and the black-armored rifleman was my place to get them.

They broke through the front door, rushing into the antechamber at the front of the building, flashlights and pistols pointed.

They found their target in the center of the black room, my hands at my sides as the nine men circled me.

Police!” They said. “Keep your hands where I can see them.”

“Wait.”

They hesitated to turn toward the voice, sights trained on me all the while.

The executioner from the armored personnel carrier stepped into the room, black combat boots bearing down on the floor with steady, confident steps. He wore custom-cut ballistic armor over his shoulders, chest, and forearms, flat black with carbon plating, matching a smooth mask with two angular, scowling eyeholes. A dark, well-worn voice came through the vertical slats over the mouth as he leaned his automatic weapon over his shoulder.

“Not too fast, boys.” He said. “You learn to savor moments like these.

“Azrael.” He said. “Your reputation precedes you. I’ve been looking for you for a long time.”

You’ll regret that you found me.

He scoffed. “You’re as bold as I thought you’d be. I’ll really enjoy killing you.”

And I’ll enjoy watching you try before I personally send you to jail for impersonation and first degree murder.

He laughed. “Clean shots, boys.” He said. “Make ‘em count.”

You’d better.” I said. “For your sakes.” Continue reading

Azrael: Episode IX: Brothers In Arms – Part Two – The Red Day

(Author’s note: Brothers In Arms: The Red Day is the conclusion of a two-part episode following Brohers In Arms: The Black Herald. Azrael: City on Fire will premiere the weekend of Friday, April 1st.)

A sleek, pale leg stepped into the limousine, an expensive black heel coming down on the floor of the vehicle as a woman in an elegant black dress and a white coat with purple linings stepped into the car. Vivian had made sure to look her best for the big night, donning her finest pearls as she considered all the people who’d be doing the same the following evening for Valentine’s Day.

Little would they know how different those two days would be.

She couldn’t help but sit there smiling. The anticipation, the nervous energy in the air was everything. This night would change everything.

Alsleigh remained silent like his passenger, thoughtless in the long evening drive.

Until he stopped the car.

He stepped out to open the door on the curb, where he greeted a woman in a brown fur coat.

She stepped into the car, taking a seat in the left row opposite Vivian. Alsleigh returned to the driver’s seat, sliding up the divider as the woman sat.

“Good evening, Vivian.”

She smiled. “Good evening, Mallory.” Continue reading

Aside

Please Read: Regarding Scheduling and Episode Length

Good evening.

I’d like to begin with a quick note clarifying the length of Brothers In Arms’ continuing updates. While most episodes on the site thus far have been three installments long, this episode is a rather special case in that there will only be two installments, the episode concluding with the upcoming Brothers In Arms: The Red Day. The new update will include an author’s note that expresses this same sentiment, just to make sure we’re all on the same page.

That said, I’m writing this address regarding time, specifically relating to release approximations and timely release.

Considering the topic of this address, I’ll cut right to the chase.

It is with sincere regret that I must unfortunately announce that Azrael: Brothers In Arms Part II will not be releasing on schedule.

This comes in conjunction with my addressing another question some of you have, regarding the fact that Azrael updates go live on various days of the weekend.

The reason for both of these is primarily this:

I produce Azrael solely as a labor of love. The simple fact is that I am more passionate about this series than damn near anything else. Azrael is my heart and soul, and it is for this reason that I’m so constantly ecstatic in being blessed to share it with so many caring fans.

That said, a labor of love is still a labor, and I’ve been working hard to produce this season constantly since well before the Hangman raised his beam almost a year ago. Simultaneously, I also continue to maintain an academic and professional balance, meaning that in times like these (midterms, anyone?), I may not have the availability or resources necessary to meet my due dates as typical.

I sincerely regret having to push this date, but time is a mistress most cruel, and for the moment, she’s forced my hand.

When I began regular updates on this site, I cursed the day that I would be forced to write an address like this, but unfortunately, it seems the day has come.

I intend fully to release the chapter as soon as it’s available next weekend (March 18-20), and I will do everything in my power in attempts to make this release work.

I apologize again for having to do this, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued patience, support, and understanding.

 

Sincerely,

– Josiah

Azrael: Episode IX: Brothers In Arms – Part One – The Black Herald

I ran. Jumped across the rooftops, steel cables firing between walls as I swung over the streets. Running.

I hit a wall, vaulting up to the roof and ducking behind a rooftop air conditioning hub. I knelt behind it, peering around the corner as I covered behind the unit. She was here.

The sword came from behind, cutting along the muscle striations and gliding through my shoulder and up my neck, shredding solid chunks of muscle off my arm.

She shouldn’t have done that.

I stood, drawing my scythes.

Vivian smiled.

“Glad you have some fight left.” She said. “I’m gonna love beating it out of you.”

You should’ve killed me.

“Not yet, handsome.” She said. “Mommy needs her playtime.”

Her blood-slick ninjato tore through the air, colliding with my scythes.

The steel clashed as my blades shattered like glass.
I stared in marvel at the fragments of steel left at the hilt before her sword tore off the top of my arm, tearing across my elbow and cutting through my thighs.

I fired toward her with all my remaining strength, tearing a shattered blade across her chest as she doubled up, the end of her sword shredding down my back, tearing deep into my flesh.

I turned slowly as we both gripped at our injuries, standing covered in my own blood as she turned around slowly.

She pulled open the front of her torn blouse, wiping the blood from her chest.

She stared at me, smeared blood across the sides of her collarbones as she smiled, pulling her bloodied hands from the wound on her sternum.

She laughed as she revealed a deep cut from the attack, a crimson stain in a familiar shape etched into her chest.

A circle with four points.

The same one I wore. Continue reading

Azrael: Episode VIII: Cry Havoc – Part Three – A Monarch’s Voice

A limousine sped down the street, the lights rolling gently over the smooth black finish as the engine hummed through the darkness.

A black-haired woman leaning into the bench on the side swirled a dark glass of top-shelf liquor in her hand, adjusting the purple trimmed lapel of her long, white jacket and pulling the collar up around her neck.

The pale blonde woman across from her put her hands in the pockets of a black trench coat, adjusting the tight leather gloves fitted over her hands.
“Are you ready?” Zoe asked.

“I’ve been ready for twenty-two years, Zoe.”

“We’ve been fighting for a long time, Vivian.” She said. “As long as you stick to your convictions.”

“You understand what it’s been like for me, Zoe.” Vivian said. “I was raised for this. Spent my entire life training. Preparing. Waiting for this opportunity. I will not be deprived of what’s mine.”

“Remember what we’re doing this for.” Zoe cautioned. “We both wanted to make a difference. That’s what this is for.”

“Of course.” Vivian said. “I never forgot.”

The vehicle pulled to a halt and the two made their exits.

Zoe stood by the car door, a black steel blade in her hands. “Do you want me to stay here?”

Vivian sighed as she placed her hand on Zoe’s shoulder before taking the weapon. “…Thank you for understanding, Zoe.”

“Of course.” Continue reading