Angel Santos just wants to be an average seventeen year-old girl. That’s kind of hard for a reincarnated Archangel who’s hiding her powers. It gets even harder when God vanishes from Heaven and her old friends turn to her to find the last angel to see Him. Now all she has to do is stop the impending apocalypse and fend off her best friend’s attempts to make her popular. All in a week’s work.
We decided it wouldn’t be a great idea if Zadkiel rode with me in my car. Even though humans couldn’t see him, we didn’t want any Reapers asking, ‘why is an Archangel riding in the car with a seventeen year old girl?’.
Gabriel had a contact he wanted me to look up. Also, I had to at least make an appearance at the party with Alice. I figured I’d talk with Gabriel’s contact, then duck into the party for a few minutes before escaping, using trying to beat curfew as my excuse.
I cruised along the brightly lit Atlanta streets trying to make sense of everything I’d been told. My Disturbed mix CD blasted as I hit I75 South with my windows let down to allow the cool night air to wrap around me. I’d decided to wait until the sun went down before I left home. It had been hot all day, and my car didn’t have A/C.
Thoughts of Lailah lingered in my mind. If she was like me, then she had to be freaking out. It took me years to deal with what I was, even though I have no idea what exactly that is.
By the age of two I had become fully capable of reading and writing. I couldn’t allow anyone to know that. I couldn’t allow anyone to know I understand what they were saying without that ridiculous baby talk, and I could understand every known and some unknown languages when I had only been eight months old.
By the age of five I saw my first Guardian Angel. He walked along side his human charge, dressed in gold battle armor, with his large black wings tucked behind him. I’d known him back in my Ariel days. I almost walked up to him and revealed myself. But somehow I knew the best thing for me was to act like a normal kid dealing with normal kid problems. I ignored the lost souls as I passed them on the streets and pretended not to see old friends as they came and went.
To say I missed the free spirit realms, would be like saying you missed the comforts of a five star hotel after sleeping in a dumpster filled with other people. I understood first hand why babies came into this world kicking and screaming. But I had to make do with my life as a human.
A few times during my life, I caught odd looks because I didn’t have Guardians watching over me. But there had been rare occasions when humans were born without Guardians throughout time. The Guardian Angels must have considered me one of those rare occasions.
I parked outside of the old rundown apartment building Gabriel had sent me to. Zadkiel hovered somewhere near. I could sense him, one of my many gifts I’d discovered during my seventeen years of life as a human. For some reason I could sense them, but they couldn’t sense anything different about me. I looked, smelled and felt like your typical human. No one would have ever known my secret if I hadn’t stumbled upon Zadkiel getting his ass kicked by some Reapers.
After paying the parking fee, I stepped away from my car, while looking around to see if anything seemed out of place. I couldn’t sense any Reapers or lower level demons around. A few lost souls lingered about, but considering what I’d learned tonight, there might be a lot more of them before this was over, if it is ever over.
Reaching out with my senses, I located them on the fifth floor of the building in front of me – one Angel and one lost soul. Great, some wannabe Guardian sat next to the Angel I’d been sent to talk with.
Quickly I made my way inside the apartment building and up the stairs. The elevator had an out of order sign on it. I wasn’t surprised. I walked up the stairs to the fifth floor before I pushed open the door and strolled to room 515. I reached out with my senses to make sure I’d located the right room. Again, I could feel both the lost soul and Angel.
I knocked on the door and waited.
Once the door opened, a slightly muscular man opened it while looking me up and down. “Sure you got the right room? Cause’ you don’t look familiar.”
I moved my long hair out of my face. “I’m a friend of a friend. I was wondering if I could use your phone? I’m having car problems and my cell is dead.”
The guy gave me one last look over before moving out of the way for me to enter. “The phone’s in the kitchen. This is a local call right?”
With a slight smile on my face, I walked by the man, “absolutely.” I scanned the apartment pretending not to notice the very large Guardian Angel perched on the kitchen table, with the skinny, ruffled blonde haired lost soul perched beside him trying his best to emulate the Guardian. I had to choke back a laugh to keep up my façade.
After walking to the phone, I pretended to dial while listening to the Guardian teaching the lost soul.
“You see, Jacob, no matter what happens in this apartment tonight, we are not to interfere.” The Guardian said noticing I was faking my phone call.
“But I thought we are here to protect our charge.” The lost soul said trying to sound like the Angel.
“We are here to protect our charge from supernatural creatures. Not from his own bad judgment. Human’s have free will. He chose to allow a stranger into his home. He must deal with his decision.”
The lost soul frowned as he watched me, obviously not liking the idea of sitting back while I did whatever I’d come there to do.
Jacob’s clear gray eyes watched me as I turned from the phone to face the man in the room. The lost soul twitched in his perch. The only thing keeping him from lunging at me was the very large Angel perching beside him. I thought about dragging what I had to do out for a little while to play with the lost soul, but decided there were more important things to deal with.
The man gave me a curious look. “No one answered?”
I stood straight in front of him, wanting to make what would happen next as painless as possible. “Actually, I didn’t call anyone.” Before the man could speak, I punched him across the temple, knocking him out cold.
Jacob began to move towards me. His teacher held his arm out stopping the lost soul.
“Now that’s over,” I looked straight into the eyes of the Angel. “You and I can talk, Cherubim.”
Cherubim stood from his perch. His eyes blazed as he stared at me. He stretched out his long black wings as he prepared himself for battle. The air around me sizzled, signaling he was summoning the fire to form his weapon.
I held my hands up in a gesture of surrender. “I’m not here to fight you, old friend. I’m here to talk. Gabriel sent me.”
Distrust flickered in Cherubim’s eyes, but I could feel the air returning to normal. “What are you?”
“Doesn’t matter. Not to mention, don’t really know.” I took a few casual steps towards Cherubim with my arms still raised in the air. “I was told about your demotion to Guardian Angel by Jehoel. I was also told how you refused to leave your post after Jehoel ordered you back.” I looked down at the unconscious man on the floor. “So what’s his story anyway?”
Cherubim leapt from the table landing in front of me. His massive wings stretched out, before resting behind him again. “Doesn’t matter. Why did Gabriel send you to me?”
“There are very few in the Angelic Order that Gabriel trusts. You just so happen to be one of them.” I walked past Cherubim towards the table, pulled out a chair and sat down while staring at the lost soul Jacob. “If you’re thinking about attacking me, you should really rethink that.”
Jacob looked from me to Cherubim. Cherubim shook his head no before walking towards me. “So what does General Gabriel want from me?”
I pulled my eyes from the lost soul to stare at the massive Angel. “You know what’s going on with the Age of Darkness?” He shook his head yes. “Michael has an idea that Lailah is here on earth like me. He wants me to find her. He wants you to help.”
Cherubim leaned closer towards me. His eyes flared as he stared deep into mine. “Like you?” He quickly reached out and grabbed my shoulders. His touch felt strange against my flesh, but I didn’t struggle as he pulled me to my feet. “You used to be an Angel. You were reborn in flesh still an Angel.”
I quickly broke free of his grasp, momentarily leaving him in shock. He gathered himself, and his expression turned to amazement. “Something like that.” I motioned towards Jacob, still perched on the table. “Is he going to continue to stare at me?”
Cherubim turned to Jacob. “Jacob, relax your stance.”
“Are you sure we can trust her?”
Cherubim turned back to me. “Yes, I believe we can. So, how am I supposed to help you?”
Jacob didn’t stop staring at me. I didn’t like it, but at the moment I couldn’t do anything about it. “I need you to talk with lost souls and other Angels about an odd young girl they might have come across. Maybe one of them saw something they couldn’t explain, but shrugged it off. We don’t have much to go on, so any Intel will do.”
“Very well, but may I ask your true identity?” Cherubim asked as he looked me up and down. “Who were you before your rebirth?”
“Doesn’t matter. But my name is Angel.”
He laughed. “Fitting. Although you seem ashamed of whom you once were.”
“Not ashamed. Who I was died in battle. Who I am, is Angel Santos.”
He gave me a slight smile. I knew the mistake I’d made before he opened his mouth to speak. “So you were an Archangel?”
“Maybe… or maybe I was a Power murdered during a heated political argument about whether to allow puppies in Heaven. Right now, it really doesn’t matter.”
Jacob leapt from his crouch, landing directly in front of me. His gray eyes blazed as he glared at me with fury. “How dare you speak to him like that? Don’t you know who he is?”
For a moment, Angel Santos went away, and Ariel stood in the room. The energy radiating inside of me increased, as I stood completely still. “I know a lot more than you do boy.”
Jacob lunged at me before Cherubim could stop him. I quickly moved to the side, while punching him where his kidney used to be. The thing I’d learned during my time as an Archangel is that even though spiritual beings do not have the same necessary parts inside as physical beings, punching or cutting the same areas conjured the same results. Jacob fell to the floor holding his side in pain. If he’d been alive, blood would have been pouring out of him, instead he bent over gasping for air he didn’t need.
Cherubim laughed beside me, “definitely an Archangel. And with all that attitude radiating from you, I should have seen it as soon as you walked in. How have you been, Ariel?”
Energy continued to build in my body. I closed my eyes and pushed it down while taking a deep breath. When I opened my eyes, Angel had returned.
I shrugged. “Pretty good, until earlier today when I found out I had to go to a high school party and help stop the apocalypse.”
“I would think one would be more tasking than the other.”
“You’re right; I’m going to need all the help I can get to survive.”
“I will do all I can to help prevent the apocalypse.”
“I was talking about the party.”
I felt him coming before he appeared in front of me. Zadkiel dropped from the ceiling of the little apartment in battle mode. His hand held a blazing sword of fire, and his armor flared a bright shade of gold. “Reapers,” Zadkiel whispered as he watched the front door.
Cherubim summoned the fire, and formed it into a battle axe as he stood beside Zadkiel. “How many?”
Zadkiel didn’t look away from the front door, “a lot.”
Jacob slowly stood as he recovered from my blow. The man continued to lay unconscious on the floor. Both would be easily destroyed by the Reapers.
I grabbed the man on the floor and dragged him to a closet in the room. I opened the closet and quickly shoved him in, before turning to Jacob, “your turn.”
He stood next to Cherubim as if ready to fight. I opened my mouth to speak, but Cherubim beat me to it. “No Jacob, you must join our charge in the closet. You must protect him if any Reapers get past us.”
Jacob stared at Cherubim for a moment before bowing his head and walking into the closet with the man. I closed the door, took of my silver cross I wore around my neck and wrapped it around the doorknob of the closet. It wouldn’t keep the Reapers out, but it would slow them down.
I turned and stood beside Cherubim. The Angel looked down at me with concern. “Maybe you should join Jacob in the closet? You need to survive to find Lailah.”
“Yeah, and I need the only two Angels on earth I trust to survive long enough to help me find her. We’re in this together old man.”
Cherubim laughed. “You are definitely Major General Ariel.”
Since my birth in this world, I’d tried everything to erase who I was, but as I stood waiting for battle, Ariel flared up inside of me again, and she craved combat.
I felt the fire building in my flesh, as it flowed from my center, all the way to my right hand. I unleashed the blaze, as I mentally molded it into a sword.
We stood there, the three of us, weapons in hand, waiting for the battle to begin. I felt a serge of excitement rush through me. Ariel missed the battle. She missed the sensation of facing down her enemies in a fight to the death.Her excitement grew as twenty Reapers came charging from the front of the apartment.