Dan looked around his surroundings and saw that it was the most beautiful place he had ever seen. Light was shining from the sky, but it wasn’t from the sun. The light that showed was from the glory of God and had no heat to it. The sky was a bluish emerald green in color. The temperature was perfect and the air Dan breathed was better that any mountain air he had ever had the pleasure of inhaling. He saw many different types of angels walking and flying around. They looked busy going about doing whatever they were doing. Off in the distance there appeared what seemed to be a city.
“What is that place?” Dan asked.
Sephri pointed, “Well that is the real city of angels of course. Not like the one in California at all.” He laughed at his own joke.
“Incredible, I never would have imagined something like this.”
“Humans have a limited perception of what God can do and create.” his eyebrows rose.
“Yes we do.” Dan was still in awe at the scene with his mouth wide open. He took a few steps forward not looking where he was going, “Wow! I can’t even begin to find the words to describe this place.”
“This is just the first level of heaven; it gets even better at the second and third levels.”
Dan felt such peace and tranquility, “I never want to leave this place.” Dan’s mind was overcome by the glory of God and he felt that he was home for the first time. Sephri looked a Gapa and whispered, “He does know that he has to go back doesn’t he?”
“He has no choice unless God wills differently. Besides, there are only two humans who have ever entered into heaven without experiencing the natural process of death.” He was referring to Enoch and Elijah of the bible.
Gapa placed his hand on Dan’s shoulder, “Come!” Dan, Gapa and Sephri walked toward a tent like structure. Dan announced, “That’s it! The emerald city.”
Sephri looked at Dan, “This isn’t the Wizard of OZ.” he chuckled lightly.
“I can’t think of any other words to describe it.” Dan just starred off at the city like a person with Alzheimer’s.
Word had spread like wild fire through the city that a finite being was in the first level of heaven and a great multitude of heavenly host gathered around. Many angels were flying out from the city to catch a glimpse of Dan. Most of the angels had never seen a human in real life due to their responsibilities within the order of Gods perfect plan. Dan looked all around and was amazed on how many were present just staring at him and talking to each other. They also looked at him with awe in their eyes. Dan was like a celebrity, angels were pushing through the crowds so they could get a peek at this human. Gapa laughed, “Looks like you stirred up a fuss Dan.”
Many angels looked upon Dan, talked to each other, and pointed at him. Dan looked up to see the angels clearly talking about him. He busted open his wings, with impressive speed. The angels that were hovering in the air were pushed backwards because of the wind that Dan’s wings made. They wiped at their faces and looked back at Dan. Dan said smugly, “Yeah I’m on your side.” The angels were even more amazed that he had wings. One of them said, “How does this human have wings?” another one answered, “He must be the Shurod.” they all shook their heads in agreement. Some of them flew off and went back to their duties. Dan was a little perturbed that he was looked at like a circus side show. Gapa picked up on Dan’s attitude, “Dan don’t be angry with them staring at you.” Sephri interjected, “We angels have to deal with it every time we show ourselves to a finite being.” He crinkled his nose and raised the corner of his mouth, “As I recall you did the same thing with me when we first met. It’s only natural.”
Dan closed his eyes, blew air out of his mouth, and wiped at his left eye, “I’m sorry guys, you’re right.” Dan was still not feeling quite right. He still was feeling woozy and hadn’t regained all of his strength yet.
“Ok then let’s get to it.” Gapa said.
At the entrance of the tent were two angels standing on either side of the doorway. Both of them were outfitted in full battle armor from head to toe. Dan was impressed with the two angels’ appearance. They appeared to be well-seasoned warrior angels. They had an uncanny way about them. Holy as they were, they had a different feel about them. Gapa walked up to the entrance and turned around and backed in between the two guards. On his entire body appeared armor and on his back a shield manifested. His helmet was solid gold and covered his cheekbones and his nose. At his side a glowing sword appeared. Gapa’s demeanor changed back into one that was in authority, “Dan you can only enter into this scared place if you are worthy of this challenge. Before me is a barrier that can only be broken by one who is dedicated to proving himself in immortal combat.” Dan looked and saw an almost transparent barrier between Gapa and himself. Sephri walked up to Dan’s right side and kneeled down by his ear, “Get ready for the ride of your life Shurod.” Sephri also walked through the barrier and he was outfitted with the same sort of armor but not as elaborate as Gapa’s but it was still impressive. Sephri turned around and faced Dan. Dan reached out his hand and touched the barrier with his hand and it shocked him, “Ouch!” Dan backed away, “What is this, how am I supposed to get through this barrier?”
Gapa retorted, “No part of your natural body can touch this barrier without infecting tremendous pain and eventually death will be fall you.”
“Then how am I supposed to get through?” his said with a confused look, “Look you brought me to this place now let’s quit playing games and do this.”
Gapa folded his arms and his armor made a noise as he moved, “I can assure you that we are not playing games. You have to use your supernatural attributes to breach the barrier.”
“Super what? C’mon.”
Dan began to think on how he could maneuver through the barrier, “Ok I got.” Gapa and Sephri looked at each other in anticipation. Dan waved his hand in front of his face and engaged the shadow technique. Gapa looked down at the ground and sighed. Dan walked toward the barrier slowly and tried to pass through but was shocked. He jumped back and reappeared hopping around like he was on fire.
“Try again.” Gapa barked out.
“Ok, gimmie a second.” Dan wiped at his body and was starting to get upset. He thought to himself how he could get through the barrier without any of his finite flesh being exposed. Dan looked at Gapa and Sephri and winked. He opened his wings and wrapped them around his body so that he was surrounded by then. His wing armor covered him. Dan began to float toward the barrier. Gapa and Sephri’s eyes opened widely. The two angelic guards also watched Dan as he passed through the barrier unharmed. Dan opened his wings and let out a, “Boo Yah.”
Gapa unfolded his arms and smiled, “Well done Shurod, well done. Now let’s proceed.” Gapa pointed with his arm at the entrance of the tent, “After you.”
“Aren’t you guys coming?”
Sephri spoke up, “Yes will be right behind you.”
“Ok, I’m going in.”
Dan’s passed through the entrance.
The next morning John was in his kitchen drinking a chocolate power shake for breakfast. Jamie walked in with a pair of sweat pants on and a t-shirt that had the word Navy across the front of it, “Good morning.” John didn’t acknowledge her.
Jamie opened the refrigerator and took out a carton of orange juice and set it by the sink, “Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.” she reached in the cabinet to get a glass.
John walked out of the kitchen. Jamie made an ugly face at him and stuck her tongue out at him as he was walked away.
John was packing a black bag full of different weapons and ammunition when Jamie came up behind him, “What is all of that for, you look like you are getting ready for war or something.” John stopped with his back to her, “I am.”
Jamie tuned around and saw a full body armor suit standing in the corner, “What is that thing for?”
John turned around, “That is protective suit that I wear under my clothes, complements of your father.”
“What does it do?”
“It protects me.” he said
Jamie walked over to it and ran he hand along the sleeve of it, “What are all these little things all over it?”
John snapped at her, “Don’t touch it.”
“Man your touchy this morning.”
The suit had little rounds button like devices all over it. It was black in color and resembled a diver suit. On the back of it was some sort of thin metal bars that looked like something could be attached to them. There were pockets all over it that could carry ammo and other devices that John saw fit to carry with him. Jamie looked at the suit, “Wow you got your own costume like a super hero or something.”
John threw down the items in his hand on the floor, “That’s enough!” Jamie was startled by John’s outburst and walked out of the room. John felt bad about yelling at her, “Jamie I’m sorry, I just have a lot on my mind right now.”
Jamie went into her room and got dressed, she saw the flute that they angel had given her and picked it up and placed it in her pocket. She walked back out to where John was at, “Ok I’m ready.”
John looked up, “For what?”
“For whatever you’re going to do.”
“This isn’t your fight Jamie.”
Jamie snapped her fingers and smiled, “I knew you were up to something.”
John sighed, “Remember the old man from yesterday?”
“He is Bali’s twin brother.”
Jamie chuckled, “I thought he would be bigger than that and not as old.”
John had a weird look on his face, “No, no, no he seems to have the same ability as Bali. He can shape shift into other people if he wants to.”
“Oh I get it now, how do you know this” Jamie leaned her head to one side.
“I just do, I need to find him before he finds us again”
“Ok, how do we do that?” Jamie clapped her hands together and rubbed them.
“Not sure yet, I’m working on it.” John picked up the bag and took the suit off the mannequin it was hanging on, “I got a friend over at a little air strip about eight miles from here. He was a snitch for Mr. Miller back in the day.”
“Well let’s go see this snitch and see what he knows.”
“Why didn’t I think of that?” John batted his eyes at Jamie.
John and Jaime got out of the car and shut the doors. Inside a small office, a man was reading a sky diving magazine picking his nose. He looked up over it to see John and Jamie walking towards the front door. He placed the magazine down, stretched out his neck slightly forward, and squinted his eyes to see who it was. John opened the door and Jamie walked in. The man asked if he could help them and that they had a special on sky diving today. John walked up from behind Jamie, took off his shades, and looked at the man. The man noticed John right away, and was nervous about him standing there not saying anything. John stepped to the side of Jamie, “Karl, it me John.”
Karl placed some papers beneath the counter on top of a gun, “Yeah, I know who you are, what do you want?”
Karl sat down so that he could pick up the gun quickly if he need too.
“I need to know where Bali‘s twin brother may be hiding out.”
“What’s it to you? I heard you killed Bali, can’t say I’ll miss that guy.” He looked at an old picture hanging on the wall that showed John, Bali and Joe Miller years ago taking their first outing together sky diving. John followed Karl’s eyes and he saw the picture also, “That was a long time ago my old friend much has changed.” Jamie walked over to the picture and looked at it, “Is that you John?”
Karl placed his hand on the gun and his finger on the trigger, “So like I said, what do you want?”
“I just need to know some information about his brother.”
“Well let’s see here.” he scratched his head with his other hand, “He looks like Bali.” he pointed at John, “I hear that he is working for Mr. Miller and the word is that he is looking for some payback.” he took off his ball cap that had a dirty sweat ring around it.
“Have you seen him?”
Karl looked off to one side, “Na, but I think that his name was Akbar, Crowbar or something like that.”
“Omar you mean?”
“Yes, that’s it.”
Jamie turned around when she heard Karl say Omar, “So it is true.”
“Yes it appears that way.”
Karl stood up and let go of the gun, “Am I missing something here?”
“We ought to try this John.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Skydiving of course.”
“Sky diving, we don’t have time for sky diving.”
“Please, please please.” Jamie pleaded like a little kid asking for a snack after swimming for five hours in the hot sun. She made a sad face and puffed out her lips trying to persuade John.
Karl perked up, “Yeah it will be like old times except without Joe and Bali.” then he thought about what he had just said and realized it didn’t make any sense, “Well anyway the little lady wants to try it, what do ya say Johnny boy.”
Jamie hugged John, “All work and no play makes for a dull day?”
“Ok, your right what can go wrong?”
Karl told Jamie to follow him and asked if she had any experience flying through the air. She laughed and said yes more than you know. Karl gave Jamie a parachute and told her to go and change and he would be ready to go in about five minutes. Jamie said ok and she would be ready.
Jamie and John both heard the little prop airplane start up. John was ready to go and walked towards the plane and yelled out, “Hurry up Jamie!” John turned around and Jamie was right behind him. He jumped back slightly, “Jamie what are you doing?”
“I just learned the shadow technique.”
“Just now, while you were changing?”
“Yeah, cool huh.” she be-bopped toward the plane.
“Yeah, now get in the plane already.” John shook his head side to side.
Jamie hopped in the plane and looked around. It was old with a wooden floor and it smelled like vomit. Jamie covered her nose, “Karl is this plane safe?”
“She’s old but she can fly. Yee haw.”
“Ok if you say so.” Jamie looked around again for a clean place to sit, “Gross!”
Karl yelled out because the engine was so loud, “That smell you smell, is the smell of fear, a few people have tossed their cookies in here before they jumped.” He laughed loudly.
Jamie made a face at his comment. John looked around before he got in the plane to make sure no one was around and he got in.
The plane took off and flew high into the air. Jamie looked at John, “You seem a little nervous John.”
“I haven’t jumped out of a plane in a long time, at least for sport anyway.”
Jamie reached into her pocket and pulled out the little wind pipe flute and played it. She played it for a few seconds and it made a beautiful sound. John didn’t even appear to be interested at all.
“John didn’t you hear that?”
John pointed at his ear and yelled, “What!”
“Didn’t you hear me play this pipe?” she shouted.
Jamie blew on it again right next to John’s ear as hard as she could and it made a deafening noise, “What about now?”
Jamie looked at the pipe for a moment and soon realized that John wasn’t able to hear the pipe at all. Jamie though to herself well if no one can hear it why do I need it. She threw it out of the plane and it fell through the sky tumbling around and around until it landed in the back seat of a local drug dealer in Jerusalem while he was driving to make a deal with some other shady characters. The man turned around because he heard something hit in the back seat of his convertible Cadillac. He shrugged it off and continued to drive, and turned up the radio.
Karl shouted, “We are almost over the drop zone, get ready.” John and Jamie stood up and shuffled to the doorway.
John gave Karl the ok sign. Karl said, jump and John and Jamie jumped out of the plane and free fell through the air. Jamie was doing all sorts of aerial moves and John was just falling normally with his hands and feet out. Jamie yelled out, “Have some fun why don’t you.”
“I Am.” he yelled back.”
Karl looked out of the window and saw both of them falling. He picked up a radio handset, “Their in the air I hope you’re happy.” A voice on the other end said, “Got it, and I am.”
Omar had beaten John and Jamie to Karl. Omar had threatened to kill him and his entire family if he didn’t do what he was told. Omar had instructed Karl to make sure he convinced them to go sky diving because he had plans for them. Karl knew that Omar would in fact kill his family because he was crazier than Bali. He didn’t want to set John and Jamie up, but he had no choice in the matter.
“Woo hoo!” Jamie yelled out.
John smiled at her; “Yeah, this is pretty fun” he flipped around in the air.
“Oh no, you’re in danger of having fun.”
John smiled at her comment and flipped around again. The indicator on their wrist started beeping. John yelled, “Pull the cord!” Jamie banked off from John and opened her Shute. John and Jamie floated down towards the ground. John had forgotten how peaceful it was to be in the air looking around at God’s creation. He yelled at Jamie, “This is great.”
“Yeah it is, look at how beautiful.” Jamie stopped in mid-sentence and looked pass John. She saw a small smoke trail headed in their direction. She refocused her eyes so that she could see at a further distance and she screamed, “John something is coming at you.”
John thrashed around to see what it was. It was Omar flying right at him with a wing pack on. “I got you now Johnny boy.” he thought to himself. Omar had a long sword out to his side coming up on John very quickly. John struggled with the parachute trying to unhook himself, “Come on!” He looked back to see how close Omar was. John stopped struggling with the parachute and pulled out two high powered handguns and shot them at Omar. A couple of them hit the wings and sparked close to Omar’s face, “Arg.” Omar banked off to the right, flew up, and turned over to avoid the bullets. John unloaded both guns and they were empty. Omar was almost to him when John released the chute. Just in time as Omar flew by him, swung his sword, and cut all the nylon ropes attached to the parachute. John free fell with his arms and legs kicking wildly. He pulled at his reserve chute and nothing happened. He pulled the cord again and still nothing was happening, the chute failed to open. Everything happened so fast that Jamie didn’t even have time to react. They were both surprised at the attack high above the earth. Jamie’s wings bursted open and she dropped down to save John.
Omar saw Jamie racing towards John and went after her. John was trying to take off the parachute harness while flipping around in the air. The wind in his face was blowing hard and he was breathing heavily. Jamie had almost caught up to John when Omar streaked down and hit her in the back sending her spinning out of control past John. John saw Jamie falling faster than he was. Omar flew right by him and circled back around for another attack. John finally got the harness off and he slapped a button on his chest. He had a wing pack of his own that he had modified, wings shot out on either side, and he stopped in midair. He looked at Jamie falling and saw Omar was coming at him also.
Jamie was bleeding from the back of her head when she heard Dan’s words, “You have to regain control when you are hit in the air by a demon or whatever.” Jamie kicked her legs out, regained control, and flew up back towards John. She saw John had some wings of his own, “Huh, ok then.” she said.
John saw Jamie was ok and flew at Omar. Omar increased his speed and grunted because John was still alive. Omar had forgotten about Jamie because he thought he had taken her out but he was wrong. Jamie flew up from beneath Omar and she was madder than wet chicken. Omar and John were playing a game of chicken and were about to collide when Jamie hit Omar from underneath sending him flying upwards. John flew right by the both of them and almost collided with them. John was caught up in the air draft that Jamie produced and his small jet engines on the wing pack started to stutter, “Oh great this is just what I needed.” he said out loud. John pushed the button again and the engines came back up. He speeded upwards but was having a hard time catching up with Jamie and Omar.
Jamie had Omar by his chest pushing him further up into the air, “Leave us alone.” she screamed out. The wind was pushing against the back of Omar’s wings and they began to buckle just a bit. Omar said, “You will die with your friend John!” Jamie pushed Omar away and let go of him. She pointed her hand at him and she shot her shards at Omar’s artificial wings. They blasted right through the thin metal they were made of and Omar fell towards the ground. John saw Omar falling and said, “Let’s finish this.” He sped towards Omar, and Omar was in a flat spin trying to recover. He was pushing buttons on his wrist that controlled the wing pack. He stopped in midair and looked up at Jamie. Jamie made a face and darted back towards him, but John was already closer to him. Omar shook his hand at Jamie and started to fly off. Then Omar heard a voice, “Oh no you don’t.” A little compartment on John’s right wing opened up and John shot a net out that entangled Omar. Omar struggled to break loose but was falling towards the earth once again. John followed close behind him as he fell. Omar yelled out, “I will get you John.”
“Not today!” John shouted out.
John gave him a salute, and Omar screamed out as he fell, his screams faded with every foot he fell towards the earth.
John slowed down and watched Omar fall out of control when he got an idea. He pushed a button on his shoulder and two mini 50-caliber machine guns appeared. He took a quick aim and shot at Omar. The bullets shredded the wings and Omar had no chance of recovering from that onslaught of bullets. The bullets pierced the small jet engines on his back and started to smoke. John stopped his pursuit and watched Omar fall. Jamie flew up behind him and hovered, “Well I see that you finished him off.”
“Yeah he’s a goner this time.”
They both watched him fall for a minute. Omar was hurt pretty badly and tried to get free from the net. He pulled out a small knife and started cutting the net from around his body. He looked down to see how close he was to the ground. He cut faster and faster until he was free from the net. He saw a small body of water and guided his body toward it. He had a special suit on that was made for gliding through the air. He folded his arms next to his side, placed his feet together, and tilted down. The smoke from the wing pack blocked the view of John and Jamie and they could not see that Omar had gotten free from the net. Omar fell for a few seconds and just as he was about to hit the water he opened his arms and lifted his body up vertically, his suit caught a massive amount of air, and it slowed him down tremendously. The pressure from the sudden slow down made him wrench his face in pain. He fell into the water hard but it did not kill him.
John and Jaime watched as the wing pack slammed into the ground and exploded. John said, “We should go and check.”
Jamie made a face, “Yuck, I think I will pass on that, no one could survive that fall.”
John thought for a moment, “You’re probably right, let the coyotes have him.”
“That’s even worse John.”
John smiled, and in his best John Wayne voice he said, “Let’s go on home now little lady, enough flying for today.” they started to fly off and Jamie said, “What’s with the wings, where did you get those?”
John increased his speed without answering her and headed for his house and Jamie followed him doing barrel rolls around John cheering, “We got him, we got him.”
Omar swam to the surface of the water and gasped for breath. He looked around in the air for any signs of John and Jamie. He saw the two of them flying away and was relieved. He was in no shape to thwart off another attack. In pain he managed to swim to the bank of the small lake. His leg was bleeding and it hurt badly. He ripped off a small piece of his suit and tied it around his leg to stop the bleeding. Omar let out a hurtful sigh and passed out.