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    DJ-00LE Humble Beginnings

    Devlin Journals
    Lost Episode Zero: Humble Beginnings
    by Darrel James Vanwinkle (Writing as Aragh Darktalon)
    May 28th, 2007

    Deryk Arledge Devlin

    Also Starring:
    Captain Yardfoot
    General Pinker
    'Mom' aka Lady Mathilda
    Mudronny, crocodile recruit
    General Tailthud
    Roadkill, dingo recruit
    Captain Ramses

    Lexington Lonewolf-Sidarius
    Seth Sidarius
    Cutter Todd Devlin
    Dominic "Nick" Lion Kane
    Joseph Oslo Devlin
    Dirk Mark Devlin
    Auranea Martelle Sherwood-Devlin
    Valon David Dragonheart
    Derek Joseph McCartney
    Roe Phillip Kananatoth, proprietor of "The Boomer's Hole" tavern
    Zander Blake Dragonheart

    Roolock, black kangaroo warlock lord of immoral fun

    Chapter One.

    "Yas know something, Roolock?"

    "What's that, Deryk?" exclaimed an annoyed black kangaroo lord. He was annoyed because 'Mom' just walloped is tail but good for trying to grab the human boy.

    "Yas always claim yas don't want to 'urt me; that yas just want to talk. But every time yas come around, yer trying to send a nasty spell of 'arm my way. Why is that?"

    Roolock chuckled as he favored his tail and started hopping away. "Where would be the immoral fun if Ah didn't try to talk to yas after a 'game' of my choosing? Next time, mate. There is always next time." And he teleported off to his own realm.

    Dear Journal

    Basic training is really brutal. That Captain Yardfoot will 'op yas right into the ground. 'e means well though. 'e 'as to train us recruits that roughly. Actual experience will be far worse. That's what Yardfoot always says.

    And who am Ah, yas ask?

    Deryk Arledge Devlin is my name. Some of yas probably don't know who Ah am. That's okay. Ah get that a lot. But it makes me chipper and pounceable, according to my unit mates. Of course they are all talking Dreamtime kangaroos. Ah'm the only 'uman in the whole camp.

    Yardfoot loves to pick on me cause Ah 'ave no fur, save on top of my 'ead. 'e says Ah need to be dipped in fur tonic. Ah then joke that Ah'd be a yeti, not a roo.

    Always a good laugh around the camp, that's for sure.

    Ah wonder if Quicksilver is still cleaning that chocolate icing off of 'is muzzle? Mom and dad sent me a chocolate cake this week. And Quicksilver stuck 'is muzzle into the box and ended up with a chocolate mustache. It was pretty funny, though 'e didn't think so. Ah told 'im that he smelled really sweet now. Ah didn't mean it to 'urt 'is feelings, but the look on 'is muzzle after Ah said that... made me wish that Ah was an inch tall.

    Ah 'ate 'urting my unit mates' feelings.

    Speaking of roos with 'ate... General Pinker despises me. 'e would love to rip me to pieces, but 'Mom' 'as already warned 'im once. Ah wonder if Pinker is still on the other side of the realm?

    Ah can 'ear Mudronny coming in from 'is 500 push ups. That was a punishment for dropping a cannonball on General Tailthud's foot. Ah sure 'ope the general's foot isn't broken. 'e is one of the nicer generals in camp.

    Every once in a while, 'Mom' summons one of the unit mates to come do some sort of work for 'er. She's never called on me yet, but maybe it's because of my species. Roadkill says that Ah should feel fortunate NOT to be called to do something for 'er. Then again, 'e is always getting punished for something 'e does around camp. And 'e keeps doing it.

    Uh oh. Ah see Captain Ramses at the tent door looking my way. Oh good, 'e is 'opping over to Mudronny. There is always a good feeling knowing that yer not the one in trouble.

    And speaking of people in trouble... Ah think for yas readers to get to know me better, yas should meet the people who 'elped me get to where Ah am today.

    And for that, we'll need a setting. All good stories need a proper setting. Gods, now Ah'm sounding like Rocket. Anyway, 'ere we go...

    End of Chapter One.
    "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

    ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon

    Chapter Two.

    "Look, bro, it's simple. Seth and I are checking into our first business venture and I want it to be a surprise. We've both been waiting a long time for an opportunity like this to present itself and we can't pass up an opportunity like this. Something like this will probably never be available again. Anyway, I've got to go. I'll be in touch. Bye."

    Seth Sidarius looked over at his husband Lexington Lonewolf Sidarius who was just turning off his cellphone. "You could have called him while we were still on the ground in California, love."

    Lexington smiled at Seth. "I could have, but had I called him then, he would have tried to stop me from leaving the country. This is something that we both agreed that we could do ourselves."

    Seth hummed, looking at the deed he held once again. "I still can't believe that we were able to purchase our own Australian ranch so we could start raising marsupials."

    Lexington grinned. "They don't use the word ranch, love. They call them stations. But I agree with you. This was the chance of a lifetime. I can't wait to see our fully functional station."

    Seth giggled. "All those Australian speaking studs... I mean, they can't be as studly as you are, love."

    Lexington elbowed Seth firmly. "You better watch yourself or I'll have to whip you right in front of everybody on the plane."

    After the commercial jet landed in Sydney, the two flew in a smaller plane to an airfield near Blackall, then rented the only transportation that their remaining funds could afford.

    By mid-afternoon, they arrived in the outback and soon located the property that the deed they had purchased now said that they owned.

    And their jaws dropped open and their hearts sank.

    The so-called fully functional station was a little more than a shell of three buildings and an outhouse. The fence work was shabby and literally falling apart and the gate had fallen off of it's hinges many ages before. The yard was sparse and looked as dry as dust and the so-called fresh water spring-fed pond was a little more than a muddy swatch of a depression.

    Lexington, who had his hopes on high, was clearly devastated. He slowly sank to his knees and began to sob. They had been duped by one of the slickest con artist games there was. He felt like a heel.

    Seth had to hold it together for both of them. He was outraged by what they been suckered into buying. And now they were stuck in this situation. They didn't have any money left. They were in trouble and Seth didn't know any way out of this mess.

    They were completely broke now. And they knew that they would have to return the rental car.

    Seth picked up Lexington and got back into the car and drove down the road toward that bar that they had passed earlier that day. Seth had to get his husband to a place where they could sort things out.

    Those two seem to be in a bad fix, but things will work out for them. In the meantime, let's drift over to the Devlin Station. There's always some manner of chaos going on over there. My parents own and run the place. My fraternal twin brother still lives there, Ah suppose. But during this particular time, Ah'm living there, too.

    End of Chapter Two.
    "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

    ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon


      Chapter Three.

      An explosion and a billow of smoke arising from the station's smokehouse heralded the arrival of Dirk Devlin and Auranea Sherwood-Devlin. Deryk didn't bother to exit the barn to see what had happened because he already knew who had to be involved. His friend, Nick Kane, was helping him with chores in the barn, pitching hay.

      "My brother is in for it this time. Dad and Mom caught 'im in there for sure."

      Nick grinned at Deryk. "Why does yer brother Joseph do all these weird things?"

      Deryk replied, as he pitched another swath of hay, "'e is the baby of the family, so 'e does this stuff to get attention. Cutter was never this bad, according to dad."

      Probably the only thing that made Joseph's scolding even worse was that Valon Dragonheart and Derek McCartney showed up to check on everyone's safety when they had heard the explosion go off.

      Auranea held Joseph in place while Dirk scolded him for nearly an hour. Joseph's latest stunt had damaged the building that we used to smoke the meat that we prepared for our own version of beef jerky. Replacing and repairing the building itself was going to cost quite a bit.

      The scolding ended when Auranea brought out a Caribbean paddle with whistle holes in it's flat surface. And Joseph got a spanking right there in front of the adults. Then he was sent to his room where he was to remain until dinner time.

      Deryk smiled at Nick. "Ah'm just glad we're not identical twins or Ah'd be in 'is trouble all the time. 'e really is a spoiled brat. If 'e 'ad been birthed forth first, Ah would 'ave been the baby of the family. Ah can 'andle it. Joseph can't."

      Nick giggled. "Maybe yer mom should get pregnant again..."

      Deryk made the shushing sound very quickly! "Watch yer mouth, Nick! They're just outside in the yard. Besides, Ah don't want to give dad any funny ideas."

      Dirk looked to Valon and Derek. "Ah'm sorry yas guys ran all the way over 'ere. As yas can tell, no one's dead, this time." Then he muttered lowly, "Cutter was never like this."

      Valon patted Dirk on the back. "The joey is just going through a phase, mate. 'e will grow out of it. Yas will see."

      Derek nodded his head. "Ah just glad no one was 'urt in that explosion. Um, there wouldn't be Australian jerky around, would there?" He then winked with a grin.

      Auranea smiled as she glanced around with a chuckle. "Oh I am sure there are pieces of jerky all over the place. If you fancy dirty jerky, help yourself."

      Valon started laughing as Derek made an awful face. He hadn't thought that joke through especially since Auranea knew adult humor from having to deal with her own mother in Jamaica a LOT.

      Dirk then said, "Don't worry, Derek. We keep a fresh supply in the main house. Surely Auranea wouldn't make yas eat off of a pile of kangaroo excrement."

      Auranea wasn't through being funny. "Oh look! There's a piece of jerky on that dung pile!"

      Dirk coughed. "Dear... yer going overboard. Yer not trying to gross out yer mother this time."

      She may not be trying to gross out grandmother this time, but she is certainly grossing me out. Therefore, Ah think we should 'ead over to the Boomer's 'ole. It's that bar that Seth took Lexington to. One of our family friends runs the place. Roe Phillip Kananatoth. Derek works there part of the time, too.

      End of Chapter Three.
      "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

      ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon


        Chapter Four.

        Roe glanced up when he saw the two young men entering the bar from outside. He could tell that one of the two looked overly stressed for reasons unknown so he prepared a couple of drinks on the house and brought them over to their two males' table. "G'day, mates. Welcome to the Boomer's 'ole." He set their Fosters mugs down in front of the pair. "On the 'ouse, gents. 'ospitatlity from Roe Kananatoth. That's me. Let me know if yas blokes need anything else." And he started to return to his work station behind the bar, but he noted Seth's quick grasp on his wrist.

        "My mate and I... we're... we're in some trouble..." Seth stammered. "Not legal trouble, but... we're broke after... we were swindled into buying a station sight-unseen. We were told it was fully functional. We flew all the way from the states to... raise marsupials... only to find..." he choked. "...that we bought a shell of a spot in the outback just up the road from here. We're ruined and we're stuck."

        Roe turned to face the two once again. "What place were yas joeys sold?"

        Seth slowly pulled out the deed and handed it to Roe, since it seemed Lexington needed him more at that moment.

        The proprietor slowly read over the deed as his eyes sparkled unnoticably from the two... then he gasped when he read the location on the page. Roe then looked to the two with an apologetic gaze understanding how the both of them felt. He knew the place. But more... he remembered what the place had been like before it fell on hard times. Everything in the deed was a description of the station before its fall. Although... with some community effort... it could be saved and restored.

        "Pardon me for a moment, mate." And he went back to the bar and headed into the back room where he activated a short wave radio headset. "Boomer Daddy calling all available Boomers who 'ave their ears on. This is an emergency. Ah repeat... this is an emergency. We 'ave some new neighbors except... they bought the old Buckingham Station. Ah need all available Samaritan Boomers to converge on the Boomer's 'ole right now. Free Fosters to all who pitch in. Ah repeat... Free Fosters to all who pitch in. Boomer Daddy, out."

        Free Fosters was the call that every station owner throughout the territory knew all too well. If Boomer Daddy said it; he meant it. This was an emergency.

        The literal first three groups to arrive simultaneously were the Devlins, the Dragonhearts, and the Kanes. The major three, one could say. Plus, they lived the closest. After they arrived, the other station owners began to arrive group by group. It was like a Saturday night in the middle of the week.

        Roe then called for everyones attention as he got up on the bar counter and explained the situation to the station owners. When he was done, he added, "...Ah recall a few of yas station owners being in this self same situation once. Yas were stuck and yas needed 'elp. Now yas can give back to another couple who really needs the 'elp. They came 'ere to follow the Aussie dream. To become noble boomers like the rest of yas. Do we let them fall on their own? No! Our job is to restore the Buckingham Station to the condition it 'ad been in before its sorry fall. The spring on the property is still there; its just choked with mud. It needs to be given an enema and a reminder of its duty. We are gonna need carpenters, donators, fence builders, and most importantly... livestock donations, primarily kangaroos, but the rest as well. Yas know what a boomer couple needs to survive around 'ere. These two can pay us back later on in the future and they will. But right now they need us."

        Lexington was still a wreck but he was also listening to the bar owner's speech to the other station owners. What happened to them had happened before. And this was how the locals handled the emergency. And on that day, he and Seth would learn who all were really their friends.

        Seth was surprised over the eagerness of the station owners to pitch in. They didn't seem to be doing it for the free alcohol offer; they really cared.

        Roe said, "All right, boomers! Extreme 'ome Make-Over Aussie Station Edition! We may not 'ave Ty Pennington, but we got the spirit of Outback Legend! Are we 'is joeys?" And a cheer went up in an affirmative shout. "Damned right, we are! Now start gathering yer gear and converge on the Buckingham Station! We don't need seven days to restore that place; we can do it in ONE!"

        Another loud cheer went up as the station owners immediately departed to get started on the project. Then Roe hopped down off the bar counter and came over to Lexington and Seth. "Today yas blokes will learn 'ow we support our neighbors. By the morning following tomorrow... yas will be ready to move into yer station."

        End of Chapter Four.
        "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

        ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon


          Chapter Five.

          'ave Ah mentioned 'ow motivated my neighbors can be when someone falls on 'ard times? Ah 'aven't? Well, its been mentioned now. And believe me, Lexington and Seth Sidarius were about to get the 'elp that yas 'ear about often but rarely ever see. The old Buckingham station was once a piece of wonder and beauty. Ah remember Dirk telling me of the days when 'e was a joey and 'ow they often went over there to 'elp with chores and be given cookies for their efforts. Such fond memories those days were. And now, the Sidarius couple 'ad bought into the community of Devonshire Valley. The two closest cities were Longreach and Blackall, the former being the larger.

          The station owners didn't wait for sunrise to get started. Oh, no no no no no. They got started immediately. This was the comraderie of Devonshire. This is what the local boomers were all about. In the states they 'ave something called the Elk Lodge; down under we 'ave the Boomers Order. And once united, miracles 'appened. The effort even got the attention of the news media and the Dreamtime itself.

          The former would lead to an international contact the Sidarius' were probably 'oping to avoid. Remember that phone call Lexington made before flying down under? The moment the 'ard luck news story 'it the teles in the states, Lexington's brother would be immediately trying to reach 'im. Heh. Good luck with that; not a lot of cell phone towers in the valley. Remember: this was before the Sidarius donation to 'ave one built for emergencies. Up until then, everyone used shortwave radio transceivers to contact anyone throughout the Outback. So for now, if yas wanted to contact someone 'ere and yas didn't 'ave shortwave, yas 'ad to come in person.

          And believe me... the states bloke would be coming as soon as 'e was able.

          As for the restoration effort, remember earlier that Ah said that the Dreamtime noticed? By now, the station owners were used to seeing Lords and such pitching in to 'elp the locals for a good cause. Mainly because they felt like they 'ad a personal stake in what went on in the Outback. So imagine Lexington and Seth's surprise when giant sized kangaroo boomers, crocodile warriors, and dingo artisans wearing crowns and partial armor raiment, a few with scepters, lending aid to the rebuilding effort on their station. Most station owners never blinked twice when they saw these beings nearby lending assistance. Everyone chipped in. Even dark lords.

          Which pretty much explains 'ow Roolock first laid eyes on me. 'e seemed to recognize me on sight except Ah knew we 'ad never met before.

          By the next morning, the fresh water spring was flowing cleanly once again directly into the newly dug cistern well for the station. A few windmills were being erected and the furnishings for the station 'ouse were arriving. And food. A LOT OF FOOD. When yer fellow boomers reached out to yas, yas got results. There was activity on the station going 24/7 for three days. Cutter 'imself was the one who coined the statement that there was no way to get the station functional in one day; that it would require at least three. And 'e was right. The first 24 'ours was spent digging out the spring and setting the foundations for the buildings and replacing the dilapidated fences. The second 24 'ours was used raising the walls on every building and wiring the structures properly. And the final 24 'ours was spent in furnishing and stocking the station.

          Of course, Roe was a boomer of 'is word, too. Free Fosters to everyone who 'elped. Even the Dreamtimers got their share. Roe is a good man.

          Then came the Devlin donation. The Spirit Deterrent Security Fence addition all around the entire property. Dirk explained that there were still demons in the outback who would stop at nothing to destroy all of their 'ard work done there. And this barrier would prevent their entry. Nearly every station owner throughout Devonshire 'ad a version of this set on the fences surrounding their stations. Most of them still remembered the pyro strikes on stations throughout the region which was caused by demon pests. Cutter's guardians still didn't believe in demons, but that would change in the months to come. Demons don't ignore an unprotected Devlin.

          On the morning of Day Four... Lexington and Seth awoke in their new bed within their station 'ouse. All of the contributors 'ad returned to their own stations. Sidarius station 'ad been born. A new chapter in the life of this piece of the Devonshire Valley. Although they wanted to cherish the moment in bed, they knew they 'ad chores to start on. The previous night, they 'ad been given a walk through by Valon and Derek to explain what all needed to be done at the station each and every day. It was not a vacation; this was their job and they were the owners and the employees of this job.

          They now 'ad a responsibility. They knew they would 'ave to repay those who picked them up when they needed the 'elp the most. And that day would come.

          But for now, chores beckoned... which would be followed by their first time in their kitchen. This was their life now. And they cherished it.

          End of Chapter Five.
          "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

          ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon


            Chapter Six.

            It took a few months for Lexington's brother Britton to finally be able to make the trip. When 'e arrived, 'e was all set to drag 'is brother back 'ome to the states. But the moment 'e laid eyes on Lexington feeding a baby joey in 'is arms with a baby bottle... well, 'ow can yas deny the little tyke of 'is benefactor? So instead, Britton outfitted the Sidarius station with a dojo of its own. And extra rooms for students. Let the grass'oppers 'elp with the chores in exchange for lessons.

            Britton wouldn't be able to stay long since 'e 'ad 'is own dojo in the states, but an event in Blackall would occur while 'e was staying at Sidarius station.

            Welcome to Dirk's nightmare.

            The Devlins and the Dragonhearts were entertaining Auranea's mother who was visiting from Jamaica. The Voodoo Priestess herself... Martelle Sherwood. The original and the scary. Everyone was being on their best behavior. Even that scamp Joseph was scared of her. And that's saying something.

            It was late and it was a quiet night. Quiet until... the early warning DHN Alert system began sounding. Dirk and Auranea, followed by Valon, Derek, and Martelle ran through the station and into the home base chamber of Demon Hunter Central. On an electronic map of Australia, there was a massive red circle in Blackall. Auranea narrowed down the location and the moment she resd off the address, Dirk skidded to an immediate stop.

            "What's wrong, Dirk?"

            The elder Devlin was quiet for a short moment, then he replied slowly. "That is the 'ome of my ex-wife's parents. Where Cutter is living right now. And the damned courts forbid me from going near the place or else Ah will be thrown in prison for life. They don't believe in demons and the stupid authorities still think Ah killed my ex-wife rather than to believe my version of what 'appened. If 'Mom' 'adn't threatened to kick their asses, Ah'd be in prison right now. So Ah can't 'elp my son."

            Valon growled quite loudly, "That is insane, Dirk! 'e needs yas right now!"

            At the home of the Brockman family in Blackall, Cutter and his grandparents had just sat down to watch a show on their television. It had been an uneventful day and they were looking forward to their show. All without knowing that their lives would end that night. The moment that Valon had growled the words 'right now!', the large picture window in the living room shattered with a massive boom as a horrific monstrosity from the bowls of the underworld roared and pointed a finger at Cutter. "DEVLIN MUST DIE!" it roared. Cutter's eyes went wide as he flipped up and over the back of the sofa just seconds before the demon creature cleaved the couch in two. Cutter grabbed an old hunting spear off of the wall and began defending himself. The oldest son of the family tried to slam a kitchen chair directly across the demon's back. But the chair simply broke into pieces. The demon glared at that man and... that was when the Brockman's learned that demons were real.

            The monster's eyes glowed and a stream of fire shot out of his eye sockets, killing the young man instantly.

            Cutter shouted, "Grandpa! Call the police! Fast!"

            But the moment the elderly man tried to run for help, he fell dead from the second demon's attack who was waiting just outside. And then Mrs. Brockman had a heart attack. She just couldn't take it. Dirk had not lied about these things. And now they paid the heavy price. She died on the floor when she realized this too late.

            The walls of the house then began to buckle and break as Cutter leaped down the rear hallway of the house trying to reach his bedroom all while trying to keep this horrible monster at bay with the spear... that is until the spear tip broke off in the demon's claw. And Cutter dove through his bedroom door and he quickly pulled out a box that Auranea had given him for Christmas last year. Within was a clawed weapon that glowed with an uncanny light. Auranea explained that it would only glow in the presence of demons. And it was lighting up the bedroom now.

            Cutter put on the claw just as the demon burst through the door facing into his bedroom. Cutter wasn't ready for an up close stand off, so he dove through his window.

            But the demon pursued him and when he did, the house buckled and collapsed.

            End of Chapter Six.
            "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

            ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon


              Chapter Seven.

              The neighboring family were having a barbie in their backyard when they saw Cutter come flying out of his bedroom window followed closely by the huge demon monster. They smartly and wisely called the police as fast as possible. Then they vacated the area trying to avoid creatures who might be out and about that night. Sadly, they didn't get far and... another family fell.

              The demon had not come alone. He brought his horde of demon warriors. They knew not to tackle a Devlin alone.

              At the Devlin station, a Blackall police vehicle arrived and when the officers leaped out they came to a halt themselves. They thought for sure Dirk was attacking his own son in Blackall, but here Dirk sat on the front porch all geared up in his Huntsman outfit. And the rest of the adults present were likewise suited up as well.

              "Yas thought for sure Ah wouldn't be 'ere, didn't yas?" said Dirk to the officers who were shocked at what they saw. "My son is in trouble and unless the courts lift the ban on me, then Ah can't go save 'im."

              Auranea said, "How bad is it, officers?"

              "Three blocks are on fire and there are weird beasts roaming the streets! Cutter was seen battling something the size of a town'ouse sized locomotive! It was bellowing that 'Devlin must die!' Dirk... we're sorry we didn't believe yas! Yas gotta 'elp us!"

              Dirk didn't budge. "Until the judge lifts the ban, mates... Ah can't go near Blackall. Yas know the rules. The moment yas get 'im to reverse the order, Ah'll charge in. But not a second before. Ah'll let yas use our communications console to call 'im. Ah just 'ope 'e isn't 'aving sex."

              Moments later, they had the judge on the horn. The judge had been watching the live video news reports from Blackall. And yes, he could plainly see what was happening. But he still refused to call them demons. But then Martelle Sherwood got on the horn. "Listen to me, you fool! I am Martelle Sherwood, a retired superhero from Jamaica called Spiritua. I know you don't want to call these things the 'D' word, but if you want to think of them as evil and undead, such as ghosts, call them that instead. Most normal people can't handle the truth so they make something up in order to calm themselves. Dirk and his team are trained to handle these things. You lift the damned ban on him so he and his team can come in or else there won't be a Blackall by morning. Do I make myself clear?"

              And that was what it took. When a superhero tells you to do something, you do it.

              "Okay, the ban is lifted, Devlin!" exclaimed the judge. "Just please save Blackall!"

              They didn't wait for a vehicle escort after that... Auranea and Spiritua handled the teleport for the demon hunting team directly to Blackall. As close to the action as they could get without being in the middle of it.

              Down one of the streets, Derek briefly saw Cutter dive in a roll across the street from one yard to the next as the giant lumbering demon chased him with a roar. "Ah just saw Cutter!" He pointed down that street where they saw fiery explosions from broken gas mains now erupting. "'e was being chased by a big..." he paused when he saw the judge nearby. "...ectoplasmic infernal!"

              Dirk sighed when he saw the troops of the leader. "The bastard brought 'is entire 'orde! And it's the same bloke who killed my ex-wife! This just got personal!"

              The judge had to swallow his pride at that point. He recalled the description of the beast that had killed Dirk's ex-wife and that monstrosity was it. And now it was destroying Blackall. "Okay, Dirk... it's a demon. 'ow do we get rid of it?"

              "Yas can't kill demons because doing so will just remove them for 24 'ours. Then they come right back. The only way to get rid of demons is to banish them. They can't return from that for 10,000 years. As yas can guess... there is no permanent solution unless yas believe in miracles. So start praying and 'ope the Lord is listening. But the Lord 'asn't ever come through for me yet, so we do things my way."

              End of Chapter Seven.
              "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

              ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon


                Chapter Eight.

                And that was when the banishing efforts began. They had to get rid of the horde first. Without the horde, their leader would have no back up. Even though he wanted to help his son immediately, he knew they had to do this right or Cutter would never be free of it.

                Finally, Dirk told the police that they could start bringing in emergency crews but to avoid the main battle zone. And then he led his team off in the direction they could hear the main fight originating from. As they emerged on the backside of Blackall, they saw that Cutter was trying to lead the stupid demon out of town. Talk about thinking fast on your feet. Cutter still had the glowing claw weapon. And the demon was obviously angry since every time he sent a flaming stream at Cutter, the glowing claw would deflect the attack.

                "Glad to see that particular magic still works!" exclaimed Auranea as she hurried along behind the men of the team.

                Spiritua said, "I've called for special assistance, Dirk. Just don't let this creep out of your sight."

                With a little maneuvering, they had the demon lord surrounded and holding him at bay with holy crosses. "Give it up, Baltranix!" shouted Dirk. "When yas cross a Devlin, expect to get a burning cross up yer ass in return!"

                Baltranix chuckled as he glared at Dirk. "And what are you going to do? Kill me? An eye for an eye?"

                But just then, a holy shaft of light penetrated the night sky and illuminated the exact spot the demon stood upon. "In a manner of speaking, yes," came the voice from the light... as the superhero known as Archangel appeared with a flaming sword of purified white energy. "The Lord sends his greetings, Dirk. He would have come himself except he has been dealing with Devil Girl and Glasya in the States." He then focused on the immobilized demon lord. "A simple banishing will be spared from you, Baltranix. Return to the flaming lake from wence you came. Begone." And the light flared with burning intensity and... the demon was forever gone after that.

                Cutter released a sigh of relief when he realized that it was finally over as he slowly slid down the giant cross he had his back to. "Next time, father... don't cut the rescues so tightly." He then hung his head. "Grandpa and grandma were killed... and Uncle Charles, too. We 'ad just sat down to watch TV when the stupid demons came right through the window."

                Dirk went over and knelt down to pick up his son in his arms. "Ah'm sorry, Cutter... they were good people. Come on... let's get yas 'ome. Yas 'ave 'ad a 'orrible night."

                Come the morning, the morning sun revealed the destruction that had befallen the town of Blackall. The damages had been confined to the south side, fortunately, but after that night... it was going to be impossible to deny that demons existed. The TV crews had live footage of the demons on literally every news station around the world. The world now knew what the Devlins fought against. And the reporters made Cutter out to be the hero of the night. And Dirk could only agree.

                And that brings us back to par, friends. Dirk was re-awarded custody over Cutter provided they 'ad monthly check ups with a counselor for a year. But just to 'ave Cutter 'ome, Dirk agreed to the terms easily. 'e also footed the burial costs to the entire Brockman family. As 'e said, they were good people.

                My 'alf-brother Cutter was a nice bloke but Ah wouldn't get a chance to know 'im because events would take me from the family on my own training mission under 'Mom's sponsorship. This would be approved by Auranea and Martelle, and Dirk would give 'is consent under a threatened foot to 'is rump.

                And so, this brings me to the closing of my journal entry.

                Ah can 'ear General Tailthud coming and Ah want to go greet 'im properly. 'e is my favorite kangaroo instructor 'ere at the realm guard training facility. Ah know they 'ave a main superior around 'ere, but Ah've never gotten to meet 'im as yet. Quicksilver tells me that the lord is a busy roo and running a place like this is a lot of work for any kangaroo. And so saying that, Ah need to take my leave. Until next time.

                Deryk Arledge Devlin.

                End of Chapter Eight.
                End of Lost Episode Zero: Humble Beginnings.

                Stay tuned for the next episode, Mom's Realm Guard.
                "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

                ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon