Horsemen of Judgment Keep

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 chapter 9

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Posts : 107
Join date : 2010-05-30
Age : 43
Location : Wintermist

chapter 9 Empty
PostSubject: chapter 9   chapter 9 EmptyMon Jun 28, 2010 2:36 pm

The Crown Vic limped down the highway looking nothing like the clean vehicle that had started out the day. Carpenter was frustrated with the painfully slow speed at which they were traveling, however, he had to drive at a leisurely pace to prevent the passengers from being wind blasted due to the missing parts.

All the occupants were silent, Louis and Jessica both trying desperately not to stare, but failing miserably, as their eyes continued to dart over Alexander. Even Carpenter was keeping one eye on the rear view mirror, which he had tilted so as to see both the road and Alexander’s face. Louis found himself leaning back further and further, trying to see how the wings were attached and how they were able to fold so neatly out of sight.

The uneasy silence was broken by Alexander who suddenly sat forward, his gaze directed ahead and to the left, a wide smiled lighting his face as he exclaimed, "Rook!"

"Excuse me?" Carpenter queried, puzzled at this reference to a rook. "Did you say, rook, like in a chess…."

His words trailed off as his eyes alighted on what Alexander was looking at. There, standing perfectly still in the middle of a field to the left side of the car, stood another Angel. His wings fully spread above him, his arms straight by his sides, his armor shining in the morning sun.

Carpenter drew in a sharp breath. This Angel, although standing motionless in the field, was projecting a feeling of immense power. It reminded him of the first time he had seen an attack squadron of Apache helicopters fly over and engage enemy troops. Watching the menacing array of weapons they unleashed on the poor, unsuspecting men standing against them had been awesome and he had thanked God that they had been on his side. Goosebumps had covered his arms, as they did now.

His foot unconsciously eased off the gas, and the car slowed even more. It had not come to a full stop when Alexander climbed through the back window and jumped easily onto the asphalt, then jogged over to the still unmoving figure. Carpenter pushed down on the gas and with a bump and a grind the Crown Vic jumped the dirt curb and plowed into the field behind him. The muffler took exception to this and, with a muffled bang from the exhaust, the car engine died and the car jolted to a stop.

"Rook, your alive brother!" Alexander shouted, running up to and throwing his arms around the angel who staggered under the weigh,

"No shit genius," he responded, not returning the hug and remaining at a position of attention. "Now perhaps your superior mental skill could explain what the fuck is going on and what the hell am I doing here?" His face became more and more animated as he spoke, yet his body remained mostly unmoving.

"Watch your mouth, big guy. Remember what Jacob would say." Alexander replied, laughing. He dropped his arms and stepped back.

"Fuck you, Alexander, and fuck Jacob too. Tell me what’s going on, where am I!?" As he spoke his arms began moving in ever widening gestures and the air around him shimmered and undulated, like motes of dust dancing on invisible streams of air.

Carpenter, Louis and Jessica had all exited the car and were cautiously approaching the two angels, curiosity alive in their faces. They stopped a few feet away entering the shimmering area, Carpenter slightly in the lead. The air caressed their bodies and each felt a sense of delight and relief.

"I don’t know brother." Alexander said with a laugh. "But you standing here at attention in the middle of this field is probably not going to help."

"Kiss my ass, how do you know?" Rook responded darkly, bringing his arms up and pounding on his chest armor. "Maybe this is a test. Maybe I am just supposed to wait here. If you don’t know what’s going on, why should I listen to you?"

The three watchers stood with identical looks of astonishment on their faces. It was Louis who put into words what they were all thinking.

"He swore," he exclaimed, a look of shock on his face. "I didn’t know angels could swear. Are you allowed to swear?" he asked, looking directly at Rook, his voice laced with incredulity.

"Who the fuck are you?" Rook turned his steel gray eyes onto Louis, his features hardening, nostrils widening in anger. The shimmering air took on a reddish tint. Louis took a hasty step backwards.

"He did it again. He swore again…what kind of angel are you?" Louis asked in dismay.

Rook slowly turned and, without apparent movement, was suddenly looming over Louis, his size intimidate the smaller man.

"I am the kind of angel that wipes out cities, takes first born children, rains fire and floods nations. I kill without mercy. I am His champion, His defender, His wrath. I am instrument of war. That is what kind of Angel I am!" His voice slowly rose with each word spoken until the last words resounded like thunder. He swung his gaze back to Alexander.

"Why the fuck are you with this Simian?" he questioned his friend, glancing back to Louis.

Louis stood stunned and swayed. His skin crawled and stung as if fire ants were crawling over it. He rubbed his hands up and down his arms in an attempt to make the feeling go away. He felt lightheaded, suddenly realizing that his lungs were hurting. He had stopped breathing and was close to fainting. With a gasp he forced himself to take in air.

Carpenter stepped forwarded, shielding his companion from this angry angel’s glare and looked Rook directly in the eyes.

"I must have missed the part in the Good Book where angels were jerks." He said softly. He, also, was feeling itchy, and had quickly realized that Rook projected his emotions onto anyone in his vicinity. He realized from the white look on Louis’ face that whatever he was feeling, Louis was feeling ten fold.

Rook seemed to swell up half his size again, his wings spreading out threateningly and heavy tension now crackled through the air. Carpenter felt a moment’s panic which he quickly suppressed, forcing himself to maintain eye contact, refusing to yield.

Alexander put a hand on Rook’s arm, squeezing in warning.

"Your temper is showing friend." He waited patiently until the other slowly calmed and the air became tranquil once more.

Alexander turned to Carpenter a questioning look in his eyes.

"The Good Book?" He asked, referring to the less antagonizing portion of Carpenter’s comment.

"The Bible." Carpenter answered with a very matter-of-a-fact tone.

"The what?" Rook butted in.

"The Bible….You don’t know what the Bible is?" asked an incredulous Louis. "But that’s unbelievable. How could you possible not know about the Bible, it’s all about God, and Jesus, and, and ….. You!"

"It’s about the defenders!" Alexander said with a laugh. "That must be a really good book!"

"Look, let’s put this aside for now," Carpenter interjected. "A lot of people are dead and whatever is going on needs to be reported so we can prevent anyone else from getting hurt. This means we need to get to a phone as quickly as possible."

He looked at the two angels, a calculating look in his eye.

"It would be really helpful if you would come with us. The only way this is going to be explained and believed is if we show them you."

The two angels exchanged a look and Rook jerked his head to indicated he wanted to speak to Alexander privately. They move several feet away and spoke together quielty.

Jessica leaned towards Carpenter and keeping her voice low so that the two angels would not overhear began to speak. "Are you sure that is a good idea? I don’t like it that they never heard of the Bible. How do we know they are the good guys and that what they tell us is true?"

Before Carpenter had time to respond, Alexander turned and moved back to them.

"For now," he said, "we should all stay together, until we know what is going on."

Carpenter looked at the angel, turning over what Jessica had said and sifting through all that they had learned over the past few amazing hours. He took in a deep breath, making up his mind.

"Okay, everyone in the car. Let’s get going." He turned and walked back to his vehicle, stopping in front of it. He felt a tightness in his chest as he looked it over. The hood was crumpled, the windshield and front passenger door gone. God knows what the undercarriage looked like from going over the shoulder and running through the field. The entire car looked as if it had gone through a demolition derby. He prayed that it would start.

He got into the driver’s seat and turned the key. The engine caught, coughed, spluttered, then caught again, running a little rough, but running. He waited for the others to get in. Jessica slipped into the front seat, immediately fastening her seatbelt.

Rook was walking around the car, a look of distain on his face. He watched as Alexander slide into the back seat behind Jessica and beckon at him to follow. His lip curled. Louis looked at Jessica pleadingly, however she ignored him. He hesitated before walking slowly around to the driver’s side. He turned to Rook who was now standing several feet away.

"You first", he managed to say, a pasty looking smile on his face. He opened the rear passenger door.

"How do you expect me to get in that contraption," Rook snarled, his wings spreading out to their full extension.

Louis looked nonplus for a second. He turned and looked in the back of the car, then turned back to Rook.

"Fold your wings down, like he did." He said helpfully, pointing at Alexander.

Rook glared at him and Louis cringed, leaning back onto the car.

Carpenter spoke out his window, "Look, if you want to ride, you’ll have to tuck in your wings. Come on, we don’t have all day."

"I will not tuck in my wings." Rook thundered, his voice sending angry vibrations in all directions.

Louis closed his eyes in panic. His heart was pounding so hard he thought he might have a heart attack. There was a sizzling sound and he quickly opened his lids to see what was happening. He saw Rook stalking towards him, a fiery sword in his right hand. He suddenly couldn’t breath and his vision began to dim. He slumped to the ground in a dead faint.

Ignoring the fallen man, Rook stepped over him, swinging his sword horizontally and shearing through the rear portion of the roof, cutting the metal like paper. Carpenter ducked and felt the heat of the sword pass over the back of his head. Raising a hand to his crown, he felt a path of singed hair.

"Shit," he said in a moment of lost discipline.

Rook was now walking around the front of the car, his intentions obvious. Jessica and Alexander both leaned to the left and hunched down away from the sword that now cleaved through the front portion of the roof to meet the cut at the rear. Rook then grabbed the edge of the roof and tossed it casually aside. With a single swoop of his wings he rose up and gently deposited himself in the center of the back seat, taking up a good portion of space. No one spoke.

Carpenter sighed. He put the car in neutral and got out. Bending down he picked up Louis, dumping him unceremoniously next to Rook. He quickly strapped him into the seatbelt to keep him upright, then slammed the door, getting back into the car himself.

They moved slowly back onto the road, the car bumping over the uneven ground. Once on the road they turned west, heading towards the nearest town.

"Well, I’m already bored. Tell me about this book that that talks about us." Rook asked imperiously.

Carpenter leaned across and opened the glove box, pulling out a copy of the St. James Bible. He passed it back to Rook.

Rook opened it on the first page and began to read aloud,

"In the beginning…" he said in sonorous tones, then, "Are you kidding? The beginning actually starts out with ’In the beginning’. Who is the genius who came up with this? It was dark, blah, blah, blah. God made this, God made that, ...It was light. blah, blah, blah. Why would anyone read this, it’s boring as hell?" He complained.

"It takes all kinds, Rook, as Jacob says, you must learn to be more tolerant" Alexander commented calmly.

"Yeah, yeah," Rook responded flippantly, delving further into the book, stopping every so often to skim the contents until he finally found a name he recognized. "’And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel that stands in the presence of God’. Hey, Gabriel! It mentions Gabriel, Alexander." Rook’s genuine pleasure at seeing a name he was familiar with, bathed the car in warmth.

Louis, who had come to a few moments earlier, had been slumped in his corner with his eyes shut, listening to the conversation. The feeling of good will that Rook was now emanating soothed his shaken nerves and gave him the courage to open his eyes.

Meanwhile, not for the first time, Carpenter was thinking that Rook was rather like a willful child, who’s every emotion was magnified one hundred fold, and those emotions seemed to effect everyone close to him. He could not help smiling at the big angel’s delight, and noticed that Jessica also had a grin on her face.

"Yes and Michael and others." Louis said to Rook, trying to be helpful.

Rook continued to turn pages, looking deeper into the book. "Excellent! What does it say about me?"

Silence descended in the car like the fall of a guillotine’s blade. Rook did not appear to notice that no one had answered him. He continued flipping pages, but after several minutes passed, he looked up and turned his head toward Louis.

"Well, what does it say about me?"

Louis, looking rather like a deer caught in the headlights of an onrushing vehicle, did not respond, he just stared into Rooks face, eyes wide, jaw slightly open.

"What? Is it bad? Does it talk about the armies I have slaughtered? The Kingdoms I have toppled" Rook demanded.

Louis opened his mouth but no words came forward.

"I am afraid it doesn’t mention you at all", Jessica said softly, taking pity on the young lieutenant.

"What!? I thought you said it mentioned many angels!?" Rook looked threateningly at Louis, who began to hyperventilate. The interior of the car was beginning to feel colder than the air rushing in from the outside could possible be.

"It does," Jessica confirmed.

"Like who?" Rook demanded belligerently, turning his gaze on her.

"Well…it mentions Gabriel and Michael…."

"Oh….of course it mentions Gabriel and Michael, but not me! Why Michael and Gabriel? I stood next to them in almost every battle they ever had! He didn’t call on them when he wanted the city of Madonia destroyed, did He!?" Rook grumbled

"Um….well there are many different text that talk about angels." Carpenter explained.

Rook obviously upset with the answer threw the Bible back into Louis’ lap, "Oh this is crap….So, what book am I in?"

Again an uneasy silence settled in the car. Louis carefully looked away so that Rook could not catch his eye and tried hard to regulate his breathing. This entity, he could not bring himself to accept that this foul mouthed, volatile being was a true Angel of God, was now radiating anger and menace. He tried to make himself as small as possible, settled into the seat and leaned as far away from Rook as he could get.

Without a word being said, Rook ascertained his answer. "You gotta be shitting me! Nothing? Not a single book. None of you damn Simians even knows who I am! Oh come on!"

Alexander laid a hand on Rooks arm, which was ignored. No one bothered to confirm Rook’s assumption and the big angel sat broodingly silent for several miles, his disgruntlement settling like a shroud on the other passengers, except for Alexander, who seemed oblivious to his volatile emotions. Finally he spoke again.

"Does it at least talk about Satan, please tell me it talks about Satan." Rook inquired.

"Oh yes, there is plenty on him." Jessica responded dryly.

"Good. At least you hairless apes got one thing right." Rook said in satisfaction.

Going over a rise in the road they could now see a small town spread out below them. The sun was near its zenith as it was now mid day, and was shinning brightly down onto the rooftops, adding a picturesque sparkle to the scene. As they approached, however, Carpenter began to feel uneasy. Jessica sat up straighter in her seat and put a cautioning hand on his arm. She, also was feeling a sense of disquiet. A nodded his head in silent agreement and she removed her hand, bring it down to her lap.

Carpenter, his gaze roved from left to right, noticed a power and phone pole tilted at a forty-five degree angle, the lines stretched to breaking point. He glanced at Jessica and saw that she, too, had seen it. A little further on they passed a pole that was completely down, the snapped lines lying like overlong, curled snakes on the grass at the side of the road. There was also a smell of burning wood as if there had been a huge fire not far from this location. The hairs on the back of his neck began to stand up and he slowed the vehicle, entering the outskirts of the town, which appeared to be empty of people, animals and moving vehicles. He noticed that the doors to several of the homes they passed stood open, as if their owners had left in a hurry. A car was parked haphazardly along the sidewalk, its front wheel on the curb and its door hanging open. As they slowly drove past he could hear its engine which was still running.

Jessica put her hand back on his arm. "I don’t like this. Something is very wrong. Where is everyone?" They were approaching a bend in the road.

Before Carpenter had time to respond they rounded a bend in the road and found the people.

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