"Oh for Dad's sake! What does he think this is, Treasure Island?" Gabriel griped as he looked at the leather scroll that had been inside the wooden box. "A freaking map? With a big red 'X' to mark the spot?"
"Michael and I are just as confused as you are if it makes you feel any better." Lucifer said. "What the hell is this even supposed to be about?"
"Maybe he's a Pirates of the Caribbean fan?" Dean suggested.
Sam was looking at the map. He was turning around to study it from all angles. Finally he blew out a puff of air blowing his hair out of his eyes. "Either it means nothing, or it's some kind of security code that only he knows."
"Huh?" Dean asked.
"Remember how we found him. That symbol?" Sam pointed to the bottom corner of the page. "That's the same symbol."
Dean looked closer. "You're right. So what does it mean Einstein?"
"I don't know. I just saw that it was there." Sam said.
"Well do you know where he is now?" Lucifer asked his brother.
"He's at a brothel in ancient Pompeii." Gabriel said.
"Metatron is at a whorehouse?" Dean smirked. "I thought you guys avoided dens of inequity?"
Lucifer roared with laughter. "Let me guess . It had to be Castiel who gave you that idea."
"He's the only angel I know that blushed the first time he saw an amoeba divide." Gabriel chuckled. "I think Raphael exposed him to sexual reproduction entirely too young and scarred him for life. Believe me, most of us have no problem with whorehouses."
"Some of the most memorable moments in my existence occurred in whorehouses." Lucifer said. "Dad encouraged us to experience the ah, 'joys' of humanity. I'll give you credit, sex is not all bad."
"Eww!" Sam pulled out the bitchface to end all bitchfaces. "Way to much information!"
"Oh come on Sammy! Don't you want to take a course in Angel Sexuality 101?" Gabriel teased.
"I don't even want to know it exists!" Sam said with a shudder.
"Yeah it's going to take gallons of brain bleach to get those thoughts out of my head." Dean said. "I mean you guys are like junkless how do you even?"
"In our true form? Yeah junkless, but in a vessel? Lets just say there's a lot of junk in the trunk." Gabriel said.
"Can we get back to Metatron? Please!" Sam said. "So he's at an ancient whorehouse. Why?"
"I don't know. But maybe John can tell us." Gabriel said.
"You sent our dad back to Pompeii, to a whorehouse?" Dean asked.
"Not us. Ash is the one sending people out to follow Metatron. And he sent your Mom too." Gabriel said. "She insisted when she found out where Ash was sending her hubby."
"John! Stop it." Mary said.
"He was leering at you!" John said still glaring at the Roman businessman.
"Remember why we are here." She said as she poured more wine into John's goblet and lounged back on the couch. "We need to find out what Metatron is up to."
"That doesn't mean I have to stand by and watch some Roman jackass undressing my wife in his head." John grumbled.
Mary had positioned herself so she could keep an eye on Verchiel who stood at attention next to a covered litter sitting in the courtyard. As they watched a young woman approached carrying a small clay pot. Mary nudged John as the woman dropped to her knees before offering the pot to Verchiel who nodded before pulling back an edge of the curtain and handing the pot inside. As the older Winchesters watched, Verchiel and the litter disappeared.
Kevin put the lid on another box and nodded to one of the angels who picked the box up and transported to one of the top shelves. So far they had found a dozen papers and a bottle labeled 'Phoenix Ash'. All of the items were being placed together in another box clearly labeled 'Samuel Colt'.
"Kevin, you should take a break and eat something." Castiel said setting a plate on the table. "I have prepared a salad for you. It is one that Sam often enjoys. I believe he calls it 'Caesar Salad'."
"Thanks Cas." Kevin said sitting at the table. "I can't believe how much there is to go through in here."
"The Men of Letters have been collecting knowledge since before the birth of the one you call Christ. Although they had no name at that time." Castiel said. "It was this loosely organized group of mystics that notified the Magi of the child's impending birth."
"I thought they were supposed to have followed a star?" Kevin said.
"Your bible is a divinely inspired book, but it was still written by men. Men who seemed to feel a need to elaborate on the facts, perhaps to make the stories more entertaining." Castiel said. "The truth of Christ's birth is much different than the story that you have been told."
"Really? Different how?" Kevin asked.
"Well there is Gabriel's involvement. Your stories paint the impression of Gabriel descending from heaven accompanied by trumpets and choruses of cherubs to announce to Mary that she was going to bear the Messiah and everyone celebrated the impending birth."
"That's not how it happened?" Kevin asked.
"Far from it. Mary went into a panic because the punishment for a young woman of her status being pregnant out of wedlock was stoning. Joseph was highly angered to find that his betrothed could no longer be considered pure." Castiel explained. "Gabriel came to announce the impending birth, but ended up having to lay down the law. Mary and Joseph's nuptials could be more rightly considered a 'shotgun wedding'."
"That is different than the version we usually hear. Are all the stories that embellished?" Kevin asked.
"Some are much worse." Castiel said. "You have no understanding of how they whitewashed the plagues of Egypt. The goriest of your Hollywood movies is not even close to the bloodshed we caused. The bible makes it sound like the firstborn Egyptians simply died peacefully in their sleep."
"It take it they didn't?" Kevin asked.
"No they were slaughtered." Balthazar said as he appeared in a chair next to Castiel. "We tore them limb from limb. Men, women, children, animals; all of the first born. Michael even ordered a regiment to strike down all of the wheat in the fields that had first thrust shoots up though the soil. The streets ran with blood. Pharaoh was not going to let the Israelites go without a fight, so we knocked the fight right out of him. At least for a while. He was too busy picking up the pieces of his subjects."
Kevin pushed his salad away, appetite completely gone after Balthazar's little explanation.
"Balthazar was it really necessary to give such a detailed explanation?" Castiel asked.
"I believe that it was." Balthazar said. "If we did that to Pharaoh and his followers, how much worse do you think it's going to be when we are all at full strength and the Archs unleash us on Abaddon and her followers? We are not the harp playing hippies lounging on clouds that humans think we are." Balthazar turned toward Kevin. "Every Seraph is a weapon of mass destruction and the Archangels are walking talking Atomic bombs. It's what our father created us to be, his unstoppable army."
"A jar of camphor oil?" Michael said as took the little clay pot from the woman in the real heaven. "Is he toying with us or has he completely lost his grip on sanity?"
"I don't have a clue." Lucifer said. "But I do know that whatever this game of his is, we're going to have to let him play it out. We don't know what will happen if we try to stop him or force him to take us to Castiel's grace. "For that matter we don't even know if it has anything to do with Castiel's grace. All we know is that it looks like he has stashed things all over the human side of heaven."