Fear gripped Billy’s heart as fire and smoke boiled around him. He envisioned flying straight up as fast as he could, and the world blurred past him. His fear turned to panic. His mind insisted on stopping, and he did. He couldn’t see anything beneath his feet except clouds.
What was that? Angela asked.
Umm, Billy stammered, not knowing what to say.
Spider report! Colonel Peters yelled into the net. Team One? Team Two, anyone? Come in, over!
The clouds softly billowing beneath his feet made the Billy’s perspective uncertain. He started to feel slightly nauseous and wanted to be back on the ground or at least to see the ground. Instantly, the clouds flashed by until Billy could see the sprawl of downtown Atlanta spread out under his feet. Directly below him a black cloud of smoke was rising up.
Cherry, get down there. I need eyes on the situation, Colonel Peters barked.
Yes, yes, sir, Billy said. He pictured a position above and to the left of the cloud of smoke in his mind’s eye and instantly flashed down to that spot. The movement still tossed his stomach a bit, but he was getting more accustomed to it.
The warehouse area he had been standing in was gone, completely. A crater now sat where the alley had been between the two warehouses, covering the foot prints of where both buildings had been. Everything for blocks was either destroyed, blown down or ripped open. Sirens began to wail in the distance.
Archangel, the fly is bolting! Angela shouted. And the demon is back.
Cherry, get over there, now, Colonel Peters ordered. Billy envisioned the angry face of the colonel in the control room and shivered.
Ang…Guardian Three, you should be close to me if the target heard the explosion. Rise up above the apartment complex so I can see you, Billy said.
Everyone in Atlanta heard that explosion out to Stone Mountain, I bet, someone said quietly.
Cut the chatter. Negative Cherry. Just jump back to the Pit and reacquire the target from there. You already know his face, Colonel Peters said.
Roger, that Archangel, Billy said. He closed his eyes and almost instantly felt the pressure of the couch under his back. He immediately closed his eyes and began reaching with his mind for Robert Dante. The world faded back in and he was once again in Dante’s apartment in nearly the same place he had been before. Dante had a coat on now with a large backpack slung over one shoulder as he dashed across the apartment to the door.
He’s bolting, Archangel. Do you have LEOs en route or are we tailing him? Angela asked.
Is Cherry there yet? Colonel Peters asked.
Just arrived, sir, Billy answered, able to move as the lag of the jump wore off.
Push him to sit tight. Get in there and make him think he’s forgetting something big, I don’t know, anything. Just keep him there. LEOs are on the way, but they need five minutes, Colonel Peters ordered.
On it, sir, Billy said, drifting toward Robert Dante as he fumbled in his pocket looking for his keys.
Billy leaned in to press his forehead into the back of Robert Dante’s head when a flash of light nearly blinded him. He could feel himself being flung through space and the odor of scorched human hair filled his nostrils. His vision cleared and he saw Theliel, sword in hand, standing eye to eye with the little demon. Theliel held the demon’s axe high, deflected by her sword.
You do not win this battle Guardian. This soul is mine, the demon spat, pressing his axe head toward the angel.
Then we are at an impasse because this soul belongs to the Son, Theliel said gritting her teeth from the effort.
Changes are coming, angel. Can you feel it? Soon we shall rule all. Then we will see who you have and who you do not. These undertrained monks you have found will be swept away. Perhaps even before then, the demon shoved hard and backed away, swinging his axe in Billy’s direction. Theliel shifted her stance to parry the blow easily. Angela moved toward Robert Dante as he finally found his keys and yanked open the door. The demon stepped away from Theliel and shot a bolt of fire from his axe at Angela. A man wearing the same pristine white robes, with shoulder-length blonde hair and bare muscular arms stepped out of Angela’s chest and caught the bolt of fire on his shinning sword.
Destroy him now, Theliel, the man said.
I was wondering when you’d come out to play Mihr, Theliel said. She swung her sword and stepped forward raining a series of blows down upon the little demon. The demon looked startled but managed to deflect all the blows as he backed up. The man identified as Mihr stepped forward and also pressed the attack.
You have lost, Rabdos the strangler. I destroy thee for all time now, Mihr said as the demon deflected his sword into Theliel’s.
Hardly, the demon said, striking the butt of his axe on the ground as he shot fire toward Theliel. She stepped to the side easily dodging it, but that took her out of sword striking range. A crack formed under Rabdos issuing from the black smoke. The demon held his ground and was able to defend himself from the single angel’s attacks as he became shrouded in the smoke. Mihr screamed, swinging a final blow, but it only passed through the smoke. The passage of the blade revealed nothing in the room but the receding crack in the floor and the door to the apartment flung wide open. Robert Dante had escaped during the fray.
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.