Flame and Shadow

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Chapter 8

Sagar let all of the other students go back to training, and the two of us went outside.

“So, what do you think? Of Tsalderek.” He asked me.

“Um…Really, I’m pretty amazed. Everyone looks like they work hard, and make things work. But, what does it do? Is Tsalderek, like, the CIA or something?”

“Not exactly. Hm. I think you need to know everything. OK. Here we go. Once you’re in, you can never go back.”

We continued to walk around the building as he spoke. The light was beginning to dawn, and I could see our breath as he spoke.

“Three thousand years ago, a few righteous people heard the voice of God. The human race had been corrupted, and God wanted to raise up a people to destroy these evil creatures. A fallen angel had married a human woman, and she had given birth to a new generation of Nephilim. These monsters disobeyed the natural laws that God had set up, and threatened to take over all of humanity. They formed a group called Nahalore, and they will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals.

“That’s where Tsalderek came in. Our organization was founded to eliminate the Nephilim, and return the world to how it was supposed to be. After the threat of corruption is gone, then we’ll show the world how we’re meant to live. They’ll know us by our fruits. We’ll help bring God’s perfect will to everyone who’ll listen.”

I stopped walking, and looked at Sagar. Was he feeding me crap? Angels and demons and secret agents? But then again…he had just flown me in a flying car to the secret base of an undercover organization filled with a society of highly trained agents. Maybe…

“What about me, Mr. Sagar?” I asked. “Why did you and Mr. Hanson act like I was such a big deal? And how did you know my name?”

“Hm…That’s a kind of a long story. I can tell some of it now, but I’ll tell the rest of it when you’re ready.”

He took a deep breath, and I listened intently as I waited to him to tell me exactly who I was.

“Do you believe in superstitious stuff, like prophecies and fates and things like that?”

“I dunno. Should I?”

“Well, thousands of years ago, someone wrote a book of prophecies. The book has disappeared, and no one’s seen it for generations. However, not all of the prophecies have been forgotten. Tsalderek has passed one piece of the prophecy through the years. ‘When the Shadowy One appears, the world will soon be cleansed’. Finally, the human race will be pure again, and an age of peace can come in. Your appearance is like the first in a long line of dominoes. That’s why you’re so important.”

“So, I’m going to destroy the evil Nephilim?”

I think that made sense. Tsalderek moves in the shadows, so the Shadowy One is like…I don’t know, some kind of messiah? ME? I’ve been rejected my whole life, and suddenly the fate of the human race is riding on me?

“That’s what the prophecy seems to say. Unless the prophecy is wrong, or misinterpreted.”

“But how do you know it’s me? How do you know I’m the ‘Shadowy One’?”

Sagar grinned solemnly.

“That’s the amazing part. Another verse of the prophecy said that the Shadowy One would ‘come from a stone in the hand’. For centuries, no one knew what that meant. But just last week, our supreme commander revealed that it meant Flint, the stone, in Michigan, the hand. So he sent me, and that’s just where I found you. Thousands of years before America even existed, the prophecy knew where you would be. That made a believer out of me.”

“Huh. So, your commander knows the most about the prophecy. Who is he?”

“Ah. Razo.” Sagar looked off into the middle distance as he spoke. “He has been our leader for many years, after he took over from his father. No one actually knows what he looks like, because he’s always shrouded in a dark robe. Despite this, everyone follows him without question. Razo is the symbol of everything we are.”

He looked back at me, and his eyes showed a fierce loyalty.

“Someday, he’ll be the most powerful man in the world. And we’ll be right by his side. God wants us to work hard with all our strength, and only then will we make the world the way he wants it to be.”

I took a moment to look around. I didn’t really understand everything. I didn’t understand much of anything, actually. But if it was up to me to change the world, I would do my best.

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