Before Colonel Peters could reach the handle of the bottom right drawer a red flash from his computer screen drew his attention. He looked up and saw the man who had killed Scott appear on the display. He turned down the volume not wanting to listen to the conversation again, as his anger began to rise.
If Scott had had an angel, why hadn’t it protected him like it the ones stepping out of Billy and Angela? For that matter, why hadn’t it shown itself at all? The video played on and Colonel Peters watched in a detached fashion without emotion for the first time, trying to puzzle through the questions popping up in his mind.
These creatures seemed to be on their side, but they weren’t always around. The video played out and the image ceased as all of the data feeds for Scott Carpenter dropped to zero, announcing in digital fashion the demise of his best friend. Never once did the angel he suspected was there manifest itself or do anything to either defend or give away its presence. He scrolled the video back and played it again.
The screen showed the image of a muscular Asian man with short cropped hair and a hospital-like gown on hovering in the center of Scott’s view. As the video neared the end the man never moved, even as the visual feed faded to black and ceased.
“He didn’t attack,” Peters said to the empty office. “He never touched Scott.”
He quickly opened the other video at the Tech Evangelist office where Brandt was injured. As soon as the demon swung his axe at Billy the angel had emerged at the very last moment to deflect the blow and defend Billy.
“But can we trust you?” he mumbled as he sat forward and began taking notes in another application. He reached over and thumbed the button for the intercom to the Pit on his desk phone. “Wilcox, get everyone in the briefing room on the double and come to my office as soon as you’ve passed the word.”
Peters sat in silence for a few seconds before the speaker on his phone crackled as someone opened a microphone somewhere. “Roger that, sir. I’ll be there in five.”
“Okay, so maybe we can trust you guys,” he said to himself. “But where the hell do you guys come from?”
He centered the screen squarely on the gray skinned being covered in horns locking weapons with the angel that had come out of Billy. The open mouth of the creature was formidable, filled with sharp teeth that looked like long, oversized human teeth that had been sharpened to points. He didn’t know if he could fully trust the angels but he was certain he couldn’t trust these little guys at all. Demons. He decided if he was going to refer to the other ones as angels he might as well call these demons as well. At least the team would all be using the same terminology if nothing else.
“You don’t pop out of the light like your enemy does,” he said as he allowed the video to continue. “The bigger question is do I have a security risk with either of you inside my facility?”
He watched as the demon was struck and killed. The body decayed immediately into inky blackness and then was soaked in to the ground leaving nothing behind. A small shiver ran up his spine watching the creature die.
“How do I find you? How do we see if we’ve been compromised or not?” he asked himself out loud.
Peters rocked back in his chair and rested his chin in his left hand. He continued to stare at the monitor displaying the end run data on the video player. Nothing came to mind. He casually read the few lines on the screen telling him which personnel were depicted as being in the ether, whose display it was, and the technicians involved in the information as well as the Top Secret warning in bold once again; then a thought struck him.
He quickly opened Angela’s file and reread the initial evaluation for suitability. The form was like many other government forms, filled with little boxes detailing the ranks and titles of the people filling it out, who the subject was, dates and times. He found the box he was looking for and read it, twice.
“She can see them outside the ether,” he whispered. A simple plan began to formulate in his mind as a sharp rap on his door and the click of the handle announced the arrival of First Sergeant Wilcox.
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.