Robert held his face stoic, but he knew that things had suddenly become far more dangerous. The legends of the Old World talked of many mighty monsters, supernatural slingers of sorcery and users of unnatural utilities long ago lost to myth and time. Since the Old World’s destruction, and then the Wars of the Damned, many of them returned and made the truth of their existence known too well. Robert knew this, as did all Engineers, and he knew that he—like many before him—were now facing a threat whose true capabilities were likely beyond what the legends reported. So, Robert responded as best he could.
“Really?” Robert said, “You’re late. The end of the world, and your revenge upon all and sundry, came and went centuries ago!”
The demon looked puzzled. “What nonsense is this?”
“You missed your opportunity for revenge.” Robert said, “A few centuries ago, the entire globe burned to ash in a world-wide wave of azure flames. You overslept your own appointment for the cataclysm! Have you somehow failed to take notice of all the ruins, the stark lack of population, the twin evidences of both a civilization whose wonders approached those of the very god you despise as well as the obvious utter extermination of said civilization? You must have, because you somehow think that it’s still at all relevant to the world as it is now.”
The demon stared at Robert, disbelieving.
“Go on,” Robert said, “you know I’m not lying. Suck it up, you overgrown undead godspawn. You messed it all up, and now you’re stuck in a world where you don’t belong at all anymore. This is our world now, free and clear. You and your kind have no claim to it any longer.”
The Nephalim roared, voicing its frustration.
“Impudence!” it said, “How dare you claim sovereignty over what is rightfully mine?!”
“Hardly.” Robert said, “What makes you think that you own where you are now? This place is entirely the creation of Man, exercising powers granted lawfully to us. You have no place here, so you shall be either expelled once we are prepared to do so.”
“FOOL!” the Nephalim said, “I can breach the barriers into this place whenever I choose! The power of my blood ties me to the secrets of all things, and so I can—and will—defeat all of your pathetic portal-protections at every turn.”
“Indeed.” Robert said, “I thought as much.”
Robert turned to Alex. “Remove this intruder.”
The Nephalim laughed, and then it took a closer look at Alex. It stopped laughing. Alex energized her chakram and moved on the Nephalim. It attempted to swat her, and she dodged it with ease. As Alex rushed it, Robert drew forth a rod from a sheath in a booth and activated a rifle from it; Robert fired upon the monster as Alex moved into position, and when at the right place she threw her chakram and slew the Nephalim.