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Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Falling Star: Chapter 4, Part 2


Posted 09-07-17
Revised 09-09-17 

An Angel From Hell story

Chapter 4, Part 2



By Christopher Leeson


Jezebel's angel-sight was making the darkness bright; she grabbed one segment of the brick edging of a frost-killed flower bed; it felt as light as Styrofoam locked in her strong grip.  She gauged her moving target and threw.  With the sound of his metacarpals cracking, an enforcer howled!  The blow hadn't been fatal; the Watcher needed at least one prisoner for torture and interrogation.

The unwounded wesen couldn't help but look in the direction of the yell.  With a new brick in hand, Jezebel charged.  The Cabalist reacted instantly -- only to be slammed in the face by the makeshift weapon.

He dropped to the sidewalk, his crushed knows a bleeding mass in midst of a bloody face.  The Watcher stole a look back at the first wesen, who just then was groping for his fumbled gun.  The angel sprang and landed on his middle torso, knocking the last vestige of fight out of the Nephilim.

“W-What's going on here?” someone stammered.

Jezebel turned.  It was Robert, his face an amazed mask of incredulity.  He would not be able to remember her, she realized.  

“Nothing,” she said.  “Just a couple of refugees who think they can carry on in the U.S.A. just like they do back home.”

“Wow....” was all the young man managed to say.

The fallen angel, ignoring him, again addressed the one with the destroyed nose.  He was senseless, barely alive; she could feel his life energy ebbing.  Jezebel sighed.  She wasn't well practiced at pulling her punches; there had never been any reason to, not when she had been a warrior angel, striding the earth like a god.  Jezebel picked up the Cabalist's pistol, a Walther P99.  It felt comfortable in her grip.  She understood the thing well enough.  The rebel angels had showed men how to make cunning devices of death long before the days of Noah.   

For centuries Satan's agents in the schools had been telling people what to believe or disbelieve.  To make the Scriptures appear to be mere  mythology, the history of the Earth had been falsified, made to conform to the counter doctrines of science.  Of all the nonsense that  science foisted on a people which didn't know better, was the notion that dinosaurs had existed tens of millions of years before the advent of Man.  People just believed what they were told, butJetrel had watched the Father at work since the Second Day, when he had been himself created.  Man, chipmunks, and Tyrannosaurs had all come to be on the Sixth Day of Creation.   

As for civilization, it had been bestowed along with the gift of life itself.  Early man didn't need to invent anything for his needs; what the Father didn't deign to give him, the fallen angels had provided in defiance of his commands.  It had not been  ancient times that had been primitive; it was the Twenty-First Century. They had a long way to go, and Jezebel doubted that the Father would grant the world a long enough respite to let them catch up with the technology that Enoch had witnessed when he lived on Earth.

“Wait!  Are....are you one of those ultras?” Robert mumbled.  “Mantra and Lady Killer are brunettes.  Say!  Are you Faith Gloria?  She's been saving lives all over the Midwest.”

Irritated by such chatter, the fallen angel picked up the wesen, effortlessly.  “If you're hoping for an autograph, sorry,” she said.  “I have to...ah, get this miscreant to the hospital.  It's the...Christian thing to do.”

“Uhh, what about the other guy?”

“Would you be a sweetheart and call 911?”

Suddenly the saloon door opened; some customers were coming out.  The Watcher  gritted her teeth; she didn't want to become the sensation of the town. 

Jezebel sped off toward a fringe of trees, so swiftly that her disappearance could leave no doubt that Robert had indeed had a close encounter with a super heroine.

#

The Watcher arrived at the edge of a ravine choked by trees, at the terminus of Alliance on this side.  It was a place of weedy growth, included a barren thicket of wild raspberries.  Beyond the ditch, stubbly farmers' fields swelled and spread out, until they became the entirety of the horizon.

Jezebel put the ghul down on his back.  He was moaning, but an enemy's pain only gave satisfaction to a fallen angel.  In fact, if he didn't cooperate, she intended to kill the man herself.  If he did do what she told him, well, even that might not save his life. The Father didn't like Nephilim, and she had a personal score to settle with all four men from the Dodge.  

Now, standing over her prisoner, the girl was mostly concerned with the attention that his yelping might attract.  “It hurts, huh?” she mocked.  “How would you like me to make the whole rest of your body feel just as bad?”

The creature could hardy speak audibly.  “Wh-What do you want?”

“I want information -- and you want your life.  It's a simple trade.”

“What...?”

“You took a...package...out of my motel room.  I want to get it back, and I want to get it back alive.”

Only groaning answered her statement, and so she picked up a fist-sized rock, a pink granite cobble worn smooth.  “You have a choice – talk without torture or talk with torture.  It will work out the same either way.”  To hint at what was coming, she jabbed his broken right hand with her heel.  He yelled.

“Words, not screams, cretin.  Otherwise I'll have to kill you,” she warned.  “Think about this; what happens to you Cabalist scum balls when you die?”

He turned eyes of anguish toward her face.  “You smell like a human, but you're...fast and strong.  Are – Are you one of those ultras?”

She grimaced.  The ultra question again.  “Not even close.  I was one of Azazel's two hundred.” 

The wesen did a double.  “So-So why are you free?”

“To do a job.  My job is causing trouble for people like you.”

“You should be on our side.”

“Get serious.  Satan is a the end of his rope.  Why should I back a loser?  These are the Last Days; you and your boss are going to the Abyss in just a few years, and to the Lake of Fire a thousand years after that.  Excuse me if I don't care to go along with  you.”

“You've got the human stink around you,” the prisoner again protested.

“I don't owe you any explanations.  What I owe you is another broken hand – if you don't tell me what I want to know." 

“It would be my death,” he replied.

“Satan can't hear us; he's not omniscient.  But I do hear you, and so far you're just wasting my time.”

He gave a twisted grin.  “Your time is running out, maybe.”  The ghul had gall, she had to grant him that.

“Maybe not so quickly as yours.”  She grabbed his good hand and shoved it against the ground.  As quick as thought, she slammed the cobble down on it.  Again there was the sound of cracking bones.  Her hands over his mouth stifled his howls. 

And then he started transforming, rapidly!

Jezebel leaped away.  Shape-shifting gave most wesen an initial surge of strength.  In fact, the ghul managed to spring to his feet with amazing quickness.  But the Watcher reacted with wariness, not fear; a ghul with two broken hands was no match against the power  she felt jetting through her sinews like a super-heated geyser.

He led with his best weapon, fanged jaws.  But Jezebel dodged, punched, sidestepped, and punched again.  Both blows were pile-drivers.  The Nephilim staggered,  off-balance, and invited a knockout.  She delivered it with two fists interlaced -- a love-tap, really, intended to subdue, not to terminate.  She still had questions that needed answering.

The ghul was once more down and moaning pathetically.  Jezebel retrieved the pink rock, having run out of patience and feeling ready to get serious.  Contrary to the arguments of jingoists and deceivers, the Watcher knew that torture was an effective aid to truth-finding.  People under torture didn't lie well; anyone with a couple good torture sessions under his belt could easily sort out the plausible from the implausible.  

But if she was going to learn anything from a ghul, he had to revert to his human form.  “Change back, so I can understand you.  Otherwise I'm going break one of your knees.  And then the other.  After that, I'll start on the thigh bones.”

He ignored her demand, and so she stopped it with the promised rock to a knee.

The battered creature speedily metamorphosed back to human form.  “D-Do you know what those people would do to me?” he was finally able to say.

She sighed.  “We've already discussed that.  Stop worrying about tomorrow, and start worrying about surviving until tomorrow.  Hell is one rotten a retirement plan, but that's all that your bosses have left you with.”

He just stared with pain-filled eyes. 

“Let's start with something easy.  How did you find us at the motel?”

The wesen drew in a couple heavy breaths, as if relieved that she was asking something unimportant.  “Our...Our driver put an electronic tracker on your car's undercarriage,” he said “...at the pasture.”

Jezebel frowned.  “If the girl was already missing and I was about to be raped and murdered, why did he bother?”

“We weren't going to kill you.  We wanted to hurt  and scared you...so badly that you wouldn't be able to think straight.  You were supposed to drive your car away and lead us to where the girl was hiding.”  He grimaced.  “We didn't plan on you being – whatever it is you are.”

This checked out with her instinct for detecting lies.  “All right, fine.  Now, are you going to keep answering, or am I going to have to do something painful to your other leg?”

“I'm Hell-bent either way,” he rasped.

“That's your problem.  If you tell me where to find the singer, I'd be willing to leave you here alive without additional broken parts.”

“You're lying.  Fallen angels always lie.”

He had her there; but it wouldn't be good tactics to admit it.  “You'll just have to take a chance, won't you?  Anyway, I'm a Watcher, not one of Satan's flunkies.  Are you sure that we aren't a different breed?  Anyway, Pelosia Wittke doesn't mean anything to you.  Those crybabies in Hollywood only want their toy back.  You'll come away with nothing for yourself, except a pat on the head, right?  Okay, that's it.  I'm tired of talking.  A minute from now you're going to have another busted kneecap.”

“The other two took her...” he began.

Jezebel snorted.  “I could have figured that out by myself, genius.  Who else was with them?”

“No one, not yet.”

“What do you mean, 'Not yet?'

“They want to ship the girl back to L.A.  There is a Cabalist company near here.”

“What kind.”

“They grow GMO.”

The Watcher frowned.  GMO crops were genetically poisoned.  Satan's attack on the world of the Twenty-First century was coming from a thousand angles at once.  Jezebel wondered whether even a ghul could stomach devouring a corpse that he knew had died full of such pollution.  Most people didn't realize that there was a war going on, or that most of their governments were helping the enemy fight it. 

“What company is involved?”

“Monsantana.”

“How will she be moved back west?” Jezebel challenged.

“She...She'll be sent out from a corporate airfield.”

“So, somebody wants her alive?”

“I-I guess so.  Don't know why.  I'm only a little cog.”

“Monsantana.  Where is it?”

“In Holdrege.”

“That's a town in this state?”

“Yeah.  They have a super-sized cannery and a regional office.  They'll take charge of the girl.”

“How many guards will be protecting the operation?”

“Don't know.”

“Are your other guys still here in town?”

“No; they went east.  We were supposed to kill you and follow them in a stolen car.”

“How much head-start do they have?”

“About a quarter hour.”

She continued questioning him, but he had no other useful information, no matter how much additional pain she inflicted.

Jezebel suddenly grabbed the hit-man's throat.  He held his breath, ready to die.  The wesen's eyes and cheeks were wet from fear and pain, his runny nose had covered the lower part of his face with slime.  Killing him would be so easy, and it would put a good cap on a bad day.  His kind had never been meant to exist on Earth.  In fact, the spawning so many species of predatory beings had been the cardinal sin that had doomed the two hundred Watchers to vengeance.  Jetrel's discernment had grown blurred when it had all begun, because so many of Nephilim had been his own children.  But the last of that original breed had perished in the Deluge; Jezebel found herself feeling nothing for this successor generation of hybrid vermin.

But something else, something crawling around inside, was bothering her.  She had promised to spare this miserable excuse for a man in exchange for information.  It hadn't been a serious promise; what was a promise worth?  Caution demanded that she kill him.  So what was bothering her?

Was it the Father's voice speaking to her spirit, or was it Jill Arendel's?  Why would the Father want to show mercy to a servant of Satan, to a ghul of all things?  True, he claimed the sole right of vengeance and demanded that all others stand off.  He even advised men to give their enemies food and drink.  But often the Father used angels as the agent of his judgments.  Hadn't he used the Angel of Death to destroy an Assyrian army?  On the other hand, if these nagging thoughts had their source in Jill, they could be safely ignored.  

Humans were self-destructive, quick to injure their friends and pamper their most implacable foes.  That was a big reason that the Cabal had always found it so easy to herd them to their destruction -- and even a couple world wars fought for solely Cabalist aims hadn't made the human race any smarter.  Even so, it was a sad day when an angel had to wonder whether her inner guidance was coming from the Creator of the  universe, or merely from one self-righteous human.  But whatever the source of the voice, it was saying, “Don't be a monster or I can't love you.”

A monster?  That certainly sounded like some sort of facile human judgment.  Cabalist groups, like Antifas, had taught TV watchers that any free thought that didn't serve Cabalist ends was “monstrous.”  Or could it be the Father was using the thought patterns of Jill Arendel to manipulate her, to nudge her into some corner in which he wanted to trap her?  The Father had created everything, and was consequently able to use everything as a tool.  The Watcher, considering the nuances of the situation, firmed up her hold on the ghul's throat.

“Listen,” Jezebel said.  “You will forget that you ever saw me.  I wasn't in the saloon.  You will only remember that a squad of wesen-hunters captured you, killed your buddy, and dragged you here.  They beat you and left you for dead.  You told them nothing before you blacked out.”

The angel studied the man's face, unsure whether her power in human form was sufficient to cloud a Nephilim's mind.  At last she told him, “Now fall asleep.  Fall into a deep, deep sleep.”

She stood up and started for her car.  With every step, Jezebel blamed herself for a fool.  How could this exaggerated act of "honor" possibly be the will of the Father?  The ghul was a killer of his precious human creations, and if left alive he would kill again.  She didn't care about human life; her intention was to placate a severe taskmaster.  But for her  own good she wanted to fully understand what she was involved in.   

The Father hated the Nephilim; that much was clear.  The conquest of Canaan had been a series of massacres.  Its history offended modern readers, but the angels knew the reason for it.  The tribes had been thoroughly mixed with fallen angel blood, and getting rid of them was necessary in order to purify the land.  In fact, when King Saul, under a command to annihilate an entire nation, had spared the Nephilim king of the Amalekites, the Father had become so angry that he never forgave the very one whom he had chosen for the Israelite kingship.  Saul came to a violent end, but not before seeing his heir buried.  His throne passed to his implacable rival, a man whom he had worked for years to destroy.

The Watcher paused in mid stride, frustrated that her discernment wasn't enough to understand the machinations at work around her.  If the Father didn't want her to use her own instincts, it was up to him to make his will more clear.  If her instincts were betraying her, she was consequently sinning.  But this sin seemed to be minor when set against all the other acts of disobedience that Jetrel had stacked up against himself.  Every sin endangered the fate of the spirit, and the actual severity of the sin hardly mattered.  It was impossible to undo a transgression; it was impossible to make up for a sin through good works.  A sin could only be forgiven through repentance which had to be accepted through grace.  If honoring a promise given unwisely was a sin, it would be just a little additional disobedience to add to all the rest.

She resumed her walk to her car.  


To be continued in The Falling Star, Chapter 5, Part 1


1 comment:

  1. This has been a crazy month. I wanted to post today because more busyness is coming up soon. But check back for a new version this weekend. I want to go over the section for a bit more polishing by then. Anyway, even as it is, it's not bad. Enjoy.

    By the way, the rush of events has kept me from starting Chapter 5 as yet. I hope to have a new section up in a month, but if comes along late due to time constraints, it should only be a slight delay. (Unless Jezebel's End of Days actually arrives by then. :-)

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