Katie's Hope (Chapter Six, page 1 of 21)

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Katie emerged from the shadow world with her heart pounding. Ully's lab was a disaster, with glass covering the floor and counters flipped on end. The door was closed but lopsided in its frame while half the lights overhead were burnt out. She heard no signs of demons fighting from outside the room.

"Ully?" she called, picking her way through the broken glass and fallen instruments. A sound came from the back of the large room, and she made her way there. A small door-- possibly leading to a bathroom or closet-- was closed and blocked by one of Ully's science toys the size of a copy machine. The sound came from behind it, as if someone were trying to open the door.

Hesitating only a moment, she shoved the machine. It screeched across the floor a few inches. With a deep breath, she shoved again, enough for the door to crack open.

"Ully, is that you?" she called, ready to run if a demon tried to lunge at her. "Katie!" Ully sounded relieved. "I'm stuck in here!"

"Are you ok, Ully?" she asked, surprised. "Alive. Did you bring Rhyn?"

"It's just me." Ully sighed in disappointment, and she rolled her eyes. "I can leave you in there!"

"It's probably safer," he agreed.

"You're worse than some damsel in distress. Aren't you supposed to be protecting the weak, puny human?"

He said nothing but pushed at the door. She shoved the machine again until the space was wide enough for him to squeeze through. The scientist's glasses were missing, his expression growing sorrowful as he looked around at his destroyed lab.

"I brought you something to cheer you up," she said and dug the vial of blood out of her pocket. "I found it on Sasha."

"You sure it was Sasha?" "Pretty sure."

"Let me see something," he said, striding to where his desk was. He pushed the wreckage around and dug his notebook out of the mess. Katie watched as he walked through the lab, collecting undestroyed pieces of equipment and tools. One counter was still standing next to the refrigerator tucked in a corner, and he swept the broken glass from the top to create a little work space. She looked around the area where his desk had been and spotted a perfume bottle similar to the one he'd give her before.

"What do you think is wrong with it?" she asked as she bent to retrieve the bottle. Demon was scribbled on the side. She sniffed at it and sneezed at the familiar skunk scent before shoving it in her pocket.

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