Guardians of the Herald – Issue #31

Guardians Logo Draft II“Come on Cherry.  Archangel wants us in the Pit most Rikki Tick,” First Sergeant Wilcox said, as he hurried across the crowded cafeteria.  Billy wasn’t quite done with the dry vanilla sheet cake that was the usual finishing course for a meal prepared by military cooks.  He wondered if whoever baked the cakes on the base knew about milk or sugar?  Billy silently tossed the remaining cake back onto the tray and rose to follow the giant retreating form of the old first sergeant.

“Wait up, First Sergeant.  I have to hand my tray in to the dishwashers,” Billy said rushing to gather up his things.

“Can’t, son.  I gotta find a phone booth and change into Private Wilcox before you get to the Pit,” the vanishing back of the man said just as he exited the cafeteria.  His departure created not a stir in the bustling dining area.  Billy shook his head as he balanced the tray and plates precariously as he went.

Billy saw Angela in her wheel chair being pushed by Corporal Williams, Seth, go by the door the first sergeant vanished through just as he handed his tray through the window to the dishwashers.  He released it before anyone on the other side had it and it crashed noisily to the stainless steel table there.

“Hey!  Watch it kid!” the apron clad dishwasher said on the other side.

“Sorry, sorry.  I have to catch up to the others,” Billy apologized then turned and ran after Angela and Seth.

“Hey, what’s the rush?  I thought Sergeant Sanchez couldn’t fix her equipment without getting new computers?” Billy asked, out of breath when he finally caught up with Angela and Seth.

“She pulled a surprise inspection in the barracks and confiscated a whole bunch of contraband laptops and gaming consoles the troops had connecting to the internet,” Seth said, hanging his head as he related the information.

“I bet those guys are mad,” Billy said.

“Not if they are smart,” Angela said rather sternly.  Seth furrowed his brow down at Angela then shot a guilty look over at Billy before hanging his head again.

“Uh, are you mad at me Seth?” Billy asked not sure what was happening.

“He’s not made at you Billy.  He’s upset that his laptop was taken,” Angela said.

“That would make me mad,” Billy said.  “But you don’t look mad.  You look, I don’t know, sad I guess.”

“Yeah, sad,” Seth said as they rounded a corner.

“Tell him why,” Angela insisted.

“Um,” Seth started.

“Go on,” she urged.

“Tell me what?” Billy asked.

“We’re not supposed to have them anyway because they’re a security risk,” Seth said finally.

“She can’t just take your stuff, can she?” Billy said appalled.

“Well, she didn’t exactly take it,” Seth said.  “We sort of gave it to her.”

“You gave it to her, all of you?” Billy asked perplexed.  “Why would you do that?”

“So he could stay a corporal and not get in any trouble,” Angela completed for Seth.

“She said she wouldn’t charge us under the Uniform Code of Military Justice if we gave her all the gear.  Anyone who didn’t would find themselves up on charges and the gear confiscated anyway.  We didn’t have a choice,” Seth said.

The three of them walked passed the open doors to Heaven as a technician went in carrying a large spool of networking cable and some crimping tools.  Inside, the control room was abuzz with people under computer consoles running wires from various things.  Billy saw an unusual variety of laptop computers sitting on desks where keyboards usually were.  He even saw one gaming console sitting in a nest of wires, though he couldn’t tell which kind it was.  Sergeant Sanchez made eye contact with Billy and became alarmed

“Hurry up.  The Colonel has the Guardians headed into the Pit right now,” Sergeant Sanchez said to a technician with his head buried under a console.

“Almost there, Sarge.  We’ll be up and running in five,” the technician said.

The three of them shot down the hall and stopped at the elevator.  Seth silently pressed the down button.  Billy waited patiently even though he was getting very antsy about this particular trip into the ether.

“Are we going back to the warehouse do you think?” he asked Angela quietly.

“Dante looked to be almost done with his detonator.  I’m not sure where he’ll be, but he can’t be very far away.  I think Colonel Peters believes he intends to blow something up tonight, a baseball game I think,” Angela said.  The elevator doors opened and the three of them entered in silence.  Billy wondered what exactly they’d be able to do about a bomb going off if they couldn’t touch anything or even talk to the people they could see.

“What if those demons are there again?” Billy asked, remembering the pain of his recent encounter with the demon at the warehouse.  His nose itched under the bandage as the elevator opened on the Pit

“I don’t know, Billy.  Archangel hasn’t said much about them,” Angela responded as Seth wheeled her over to her couch.  As Billy gently scratched his nose, the itch turned into a cold shiver down his spine and Billy realized no one knew what to do about the demons that seemed so real.

Until Next GotH

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