n eerie chill rolled through the massive Ion City, carried on a quiet breeze. Unnoticed, however, by the bustling population as they went about their evenings. Only hours had passed since the sun had set over the distant horizon. Artificial lighting and brilliant holograms illuminated the sky in it's place. The busy roads and overpasses began to thin out as most civilians found their destinations. Few still wandered about, making their rounds or getting a late start on their days.
A small shuttle vehicle, one of the many, descended from the sky and docked against a parking port connected to a platform. The humming engine silenced and the driver side hatch opened smoothly. Casually, a suited man in his thirties stepped out onto the platform with a work case in hand. The hatch closed automatically behind him as he stepped away. He crossed the platform, down a flight of steps, and across an overpass. Looking down at a small device fastened to his wrist, the man came to the realization he was running late. His pace quickened, shoes clacking against the plated platform. He had to make up for time lost, he thought to himself. Luckily he knew this part of town well and there was a shortcut just ahead.
Underneath a bridge and down a vacant corridor, the man found his way toward his destination. He arrived at a short alleyway nestled between a couple of tall buildings and dimly lit by an advertisement hologram sprawled across the wall above. But as he proceeded, something strange obstructed his path. He found himself coming to a halt looking on, bewildered at what he saw. What appeared to be a pale arm reached up from a small fissure in the ground. The man couldn't believe what he saw. It was one thing for an arm to be protruding from the floor. It was another thing entirely that the floor was made of a thick metal plating. Plating that had been ripped and peeled back like the skin of a fruit.
"...What the hell...?"
Muttered the man to himself, puzzled. The hand reached out, absently grabbing at the air. Hesitantly, the man approached, not sure if he should try to help or turn and go the other way. But he couldn't help but be curious as to how something like this even occurred. As he grew nearer, a chill ran down his spine. A feeling of distinct discomfort befell him suddenly, stopping him in his tracks. Another hand reached up from the aperture and pressed against the floor, aided by the other. Slowly, the ample form of a pale figure lifted from the earth into the warm hue of the hologram. Long silver white hair caked in dirt fell over broad shoulders and a brawny chest.
The metal plating creaked and moaned as Samael bent it out of his way. The suited man stood motionless, paralyzed at the sight of what he couldn't even begin to comprehend, as the aberrant entity before him pulled itself from the ruptured ground and upright into the light. Deep black eyes dotted with aurulent pupils looked up to the motion of the hologram. Mud rippled down Samael's silhouette and onto the ground as he effortlessly ripped up a chunk of metal, grasping it firmly in his hand before thrusting it up into the air, through the hologram, and into the holographic projector behind it. Brilliant sparks sputtered into the air as the advertisement flickered out. Pieces of metal and concrete from the wall clattered to the ground heavily. The loud crash startled the suited man, flinching nervously. A mistake he became immediately aware of as Samael's attention moved toward him. The cold visage of the pale monstrosity eying him with terrible cunning.
Before he could draw another breath, the crushing grip of Samael's massive hand wrapped around the mans throat. He tried to shout for help or mercy, but only managed a feeble gurgle. Samael tilted his head slightly, a dirty bang falling away from his face. He looked into the terrified eyes of his victim unperturbed. The work case flopped to the floor as the man reached up and fumbled frantically at Samael's tightening clutches. Blood oozed from his eyes, ears, and mouth, leaking down his aggressors immense arm and dribbling of his elbow. Slowly, the life faded from the man's body. His arms fell limp to his sides. But Samael's grip continued to tighten, snapping the man's spine into pieces, squeezing blood and chunks of flesh from his head. Finally, the head slumped off and his body dropped to the ground in a bloody heap with a thud. Samael looked over over the corpse blankly for a few moments before turning around and making his way toward the heart of the tremendous city. A city still ignorant of the misfortune that laid ahead.