Balthazar was doing a regular check of the wards around the bunker when he felt a quiet tug at his grace. For an angel this was the equivalent of having someone tap on your shoulder. Balthazar had no idea of who was doing the tugging but it was insistent. This was also something that angels did not normally do unless they were trying to get your attention for a private conversation.
Balthazar looked around and then carefully followed the tug leaving no disturbance in the grace around him. Balthazar was a bit surprised to see that it was Verchiel trying to get his attention. Working together the two angels conjured up a small pocket of Privacy so that they could talk without interruption..
"Verchiel," Balthazar greeted. "I thought you were on a mission for Michael?"
"I am but I need some advice." Verchiel said. "I was hoping that you could tell me how to handle a hypothetical situation."
"That would depend on the hypothetical situation. Please, tell me more about this situation." Balthazar urged.
"Suppose, a seraph received an order from Michael himself. And that order was to acquire information, that seraph would be duty bound to relay that information to Michael would he not?"
"That Seraph would indeed be expected to report his findings without delay." Balthazar agreed.
"But suppose in this hypothetical case, the information would cause Michael and the other Archangels to embark on an action that would result in injury to another when the very order given by Michael was meant to aid the one that following the order would harm?" Verchiel queried.
"Hypothetically speaking," Balthazar started. "Would the information have something to do with fixing a situation concerning the third being involved?"
"Yes, the third being could be made whole again."
Balthazar nodded. "Well then, once again speaking hypothetically; I would say that the one under orders should find another to relay the information to an Archangel that could appreciate the need for subterfuge. If there was a hypothetical message; what exactly would it be?"
"Something along the lines of continue on as you have been. You are collecting pieces of a puzzle that only the creator of that puzzle knows where to find and how to reassemble. Do not come near the one who has created the puzzle or he will destroy it."
"A very good message to send along." Balthazar nodded. "I take it that my advice has been of help to you brother?"
"It has been of immense assistance, brother." Verchiel nodded with a smile.
Gabriel, Dean, and Sam arrived at the roadhouse just as Balthazar finished pouring a glass of champagne.
"Balthazar, what are you doing here?" Gabriel asked looking at Ash.
"Don't look at me dude." Ash said. "He just told me to call you and that it was urgent."
Gabriel turned back to Balthazar. "Well what is so important that you deserted the post that Michael himself assigned you to?"
"Actually I'm doing your job believe it or not. Of course I'm sure that I won't sound quite so pompous in my delivery." Balthazar snarked. "I get to skip all the Hark and behold the Messenger of the Lord stuff after all."
"Will you just get on with it." Gabriel asked.
"Okay I have good news and bad news, which do you want first?" Balthazar asked then shook his head. "I'll just give you the bad news first. Our little plant has been discovered."
"Dammit!" Gabriel said. "We were depending on Verchiel to find out where Castiel's grace is hidden."
"That I believe is the good news. It was a bit of a riddle since he couldn't come right out and tell me but It seems that Castiel's grace is not in one piece." Balthazar said sipping his champagne.
"Oh well isn't that just great!" Gabriel said. "Castiel's grace has be hacked to pieces, how in the hell are we supposed to find all of the pieces."
"Actually I don't think that is much of a problem. Verchiel's exact words were 'Continue on as you have been. You are collecting pieces of a puzzle that only the creator of that puzzle knows where to find and how to reassemble. Do not come near the one who has created the puzzle or he will destroy it'." Balthazar said. "Metatron has stated quite clearly that if he sees any Archangels around he won't retrieve the other fragments. So if you decide to share this with Michael be prepared to sit on him to keep him away from Metatron."
"Okay, thanks Balthazar." Gabriel said. "Now get back to the Bat cave before someone notices that you're missing."
"Gabriel!" Michael frowned. "Shouldn't you be taking care of that alternate dimension of yours."
"It will be fine for a bit. We need to talk." Gabriel said. "You guys might want to sit down for this."
"Sit down?" Lucifer said. "Combined with 'we need to talk' it causes me some worry, little brother."
"I got a visit from Balthazar, Metatron knows about our little ruse." Gabriel said.
"Then there is no reason for us to continue this mollycoddling farce." Michael said starting to rise from his chair.
"Actually Bro, there is. Verchiel sent a message to me through Balthazar. We're supposed to continue on doing what we've been doing." Gabriel said. "All those odd items are pieces of Castiel's grace. Once we have them all Castiel's grace can be fixed and returned to him. But only Metatron knows how to fix it."
"So that little cretin still has us ass up over the barrel." Lucifer noted.
"Yeah and he knows it." Gabriel said. "I did speak to Verchiel for confirmation. Metatron sees any Archangels and he'll stop pointing out the pieces. He'll let Castiel die. Right now he's enjoying dragging us around like bulls with rings through our noses. We don't have a choice, for now he have to play by his rules."
"So we're stuck moving at Metatron's pace while Abbadon is free to gather her army and ready an attack.?" Michael said. "I'm tempted to give him an incentive to move faster."
"Don't worry about Abaddon. For the moment she's being...delayed." Lucifer said. "Crowley's budding little demon drag queen convinced her she needs a new look to hide from the Winchesters. Between shopping for a new wardrobe and her head to toe makeover, she hasn't had time to plan anything."
"That's a plus at least." Michael said just as Gabriel's pocket started singing I'm too Sexy for my shirt.
With a smirk Gabriel answered his phone. "Yeah? Okay I'll be right there." He stuck the phone back in his pocket. "Well time to get back to work. Metatron's on the move again."
"Where this time?" Lucifer asked.
"I'm not sure. Ash said it looks like they're just crossing through dozens of Heavens without stopping." Gabriel said. "I'd better get back. I'll call you when we know for sure." Gabriel disappeared.
Kevin picked up an envelope and spilled out the contents onto the table. Inside was an envelope that did not match the rest of the contents. For one thing, it was new. The paper was white not yellowed at all. It was fairly heavy and completely blank. There was nothing on the envelope. It looked like someone had stuffed something inside and then just stuck it inside what amounted to a huge manila envelope.Since it wasn't meant for anyone specific, Kevin opened the envelope noticed a heavy yellowed sheet of paper had fallen out along with another new white sheet of paper but on the white paper was a short hand written note.:
If you are reading this then you have been initiated into our small brotherhood. You are one of the Men of Letters. With this title comes not only great knowledge but great responsibility, a duty to protect others from the terrible truth that is out there by any means necessary. The faded sheet of paper you hold in your other hand is a message of utmost importance. You must find the one it is meant for, a hunter. I have no way of knowing when this letter will be discovered, I pray he still lives but if not find his descendants and place that other piece of paper in his hands if possible, his children's hands if not. This hunter's name is Sam Winchester.
Kevin picked up the other folded sheet of paper and turned it over. His jaw dropped in shock. It was addressed to Sam Winchester. "Hey Cas! You need to see this!" Kevin yelled, running up the stair two at a time.