Billy stepped through the doorway and into an office. Everything on the large executive desk was perfectly in its place, but no one sat behind it. Billy could hear voices to his right but from what he could see he was alone in the room.
Damn it, where did Cherry go? Colonel Peters sounded angry. Billy tried to turn to see who the voices were but the lethargy from the jump hadn’t left him just yet, and it felt as though he were trying to move through mud as sometimes happened in dreams. Billy closed his eyes and focused on his arms and legs moving. The resistance faded and he turned to his side to see a round table with two men standing over it. The table was covered with papers in complete disarray, a stark contrast to the orderly desk a few paces away. The rope of white energy touching Billy’s chest connected to both of the men at the table.
Where is everyone? Billy asked.
They’re where they’re supposed to be, Cherry, Colonel Peters’ voice chided. Who were you thinking about when you stepped through your doorway?
I wanted to see Theliel again and that other lady she was with. I was thinking about them, Billy admitted.
I’m right here Billy. On queue, Theliel emerged from the spot where the rope of energy emerged out of Billy’s chest, just above his heart. Startled, Billy shuffled backward and halfway out of the office door. A moment later the black-haired woman emerged from the same spot on one of the men at the table.
I wanted to talk with you some more, Billy said, straightening up and stepping fully back into the room.
Silly boy, you can talk to me anytime. I’m here, Theliel said across the short distance and extending her hand toward the spot where the white energy touch Billy. Billy recoiled from her hand. Theliel frowned and looked hurt as Billy withdrew but she did not pursue.
He is new yet child. Give him time and he will come around, the woman said.
I’ll get back to the Pit, Archangel, Billy said.
Stay with it Cherry. Let’s see what you can find out. Guardians Two can manage the main mission, Colonel Peters said quickly. You have a secondary objective now to find out more about where Dante works.
What is this place? Billy asked, relieved.
This is Paul Thomas’ company, Tech Evangelists, LLC. It is a little startup company that’s been around for about eight months, working to solve the problems with extended cryogenic hibernation for people, Asher said, moving to stand beside Theliel.
Why are you here? Billy asked.
I am here to protect Tom Cross over there, Asher said, pointing across the room to the younger of the two men who was talking in a very animated fashion and stabbing his finger down at a large map on the table.
What happened earlier with that little monster-thing? Billy asked, pointing over his shoulder.
A demon named Karack tried to influence my charge. I stopped him.
You killed him, Billy corrected.
Killed is a human term. Destroyed would be a better use of your words, Asher replied. Demons and angels cannot be born or killed as you think of it. We can only be created or destroyed.
Our Words? Killed, destroyed, what’s the difference? Billy asked. Asher turned to Theliel and smiled.
A soul, Theliel said.
Angels and demons don’t have souls? Billy asked, with a puzzled expression on his face.
We are souls, child. Asher and Theliel stood close together and regarded Billy for a moment to let those words sink in. Billy looked at the two very human looking people before him in pristine white robes, immaculately clear skin, and perfect hair.
So, I’m an angel because I have a soul? was all Billy could think to ask. Theliel laughed.
No silly. People aren’t angels, they’re children, children of God, Theliel said, trying to clarify. Asher laid a hand on her arm.
Think of people as the physical manifestation of a soul wrapped with freewill. Angels have had that wrapping removed, Asher said.
You don’t have freewill? Billy was very confused.
Not where you are concerned, no, Asher said. Colonel Peters’ voice interrupted Billy’s next question.
This is all a very interesting delusion, Cherry. Go see what they’re looking at on the table. The colonel sounded upset to Billy, but he did as he was asked.
Billy started toward the table. Both Asher and Theliel stepped aside clearing a direct path for Billy. He walked over and stood next to the younger man Asher identified as Tom Cross. Tom was much older than Billy, but not as old as the other man who had silver hair. Tom had naturally curly brown hair that looked like it had been parted on the right at one point in the day but was now in an unruly mass. His face was rugged with some small scars that might have been from acne or chickenpox in the man’s youth. His green eyes were clear and bright, framed by the little lines that come from smiling a lot. The short sleeved golf shirt revealed arms that were fit and muscled, but not as defined as someone who spent a lot of time in the gym. Billy switched his attention to the map upon which Tom Cross rested his finger, on a spot to the north and west of Atlanta, Georgia.
That’s great, Cherry. Get closer to every paper laid out on that table so we can get a good look at them, Colonel Peters said.
Archangel, we have a problem, Angela’s voice interrupted. A moment’s pause went by before Colonel Peters responded.
Cherry, get back to heaven right now for immediate redeployment, that’s an order. Guardian Three stay with the subject. Find out where that warehouse is. Go! Colonel Peters said with force in his voice.
Billy looked over his shoulder to see Theliel right behind him. He tried to move away from her. Before he could take a step she took hold of the energy rope connected to his chest and appeared to be immediately pulled into it and his chest. Billy instinctively recoiled even though no force had struck him. Asher walked calmly over to Tom Cross and repeated the action. The man appeared to take no notice.
Move Cherry! Billy frantically closed his eyes and imagined the face of First Sergeant Wilcox standing over his chair in The Pit, and vanished from the room.
Guardians of the Herald is a weekly serial published and copyright by The Cavalier, Mark Malcolm. For more information about this story please join us on our Facebook page community at www.facebook.com/firstchevalierbooks.