Much to our surprise, the door opens, and Mark dashes to its entrance only for him to be roughly taken away. My body snaps in apprehension, wondering what has happened. David, the Hikmah Elder in charge, steps in to take his place. He is scowling at me. I lean back, placing my gaze on the TV’s blue screen, dull and inactive.
“We do not take kindly to threats.” David bites. “Especially after everything we have been doing for you.”
He is but a fly buzzing in my ear.
“I’m afraid Mark must be reassigned. Justine will be returned to you promptly.”
I pant heavily through my nose as my emotions build with an unstable foundation to rest on. “What is it that you want from me? You had the chance to steal my Soul while I slept. Why didn’t you just take it?”
David steps forward, his hands held behind his back as if he goes for a stroll in the woods. “The Blades of Light mutilated your view of our cabal. We do not want your Light, Erelim Elder Ariel. We want you safe and healthy. Believe us because you are right. We could have very well taken it numerous times. We can take it still.”
His threat is clear despite the nonchalance of such a statement. His Soul is drenched in Scars. No doubt he was part of the malicious Blades of Light he denies exists.
The Blades of Light were the first faction ever ignited upon the Earth. They were all Angels, blind in their faith to keep the world free of Darkness. What they indeed sought was vengeance. They wanted revenge upon Lucius and his followers. They possessed animosity and detestation. Every Fallen they found was captured and sacrificed.
The Fallen developed their militia to save themselves. The Messiah was born, and they murdered Angels with careless heed, eager for battle and death. It seemed as if we would never find a way to live together upon Earth’s surface.
Until Tymician and I stepped foot upon its soil. Together, he and I banded our breeds into separated groups, working as a unit to stop our self-destruction. I created the Icelandic Range and started to train Angels, who would one day run the Gloria Patri. Tymician created Kio and handpicked Fallen for the rise of his Gate Keepers.
By giving our races occupations and hobbies, they ceased their vengeance and regained their humanity.
All they needed was a purpose. It’s all anyone wants.
David interrupts my quiet nature. “We have been most accommodating. Is there anything you want? Anything you need?”
“Tell Metatron I am alive.”
He is mute. Contemplation knits his burly brow. He pretends to entertain my petition. I pretend to believe in his response. “Metatron has been quite busy recently. But yes, as soon as we are able, we will get word to him.”
I lay my head against the wall and turn my gaze away. This world I’ve woken in is covered in Darkness. The history of the human race is drenched in blood, deviled by betrayal and vicious lies. There is nothing on this planet that I wish to save. There is nothing that I want to be a part of. I can’t help wonder if I attempted to sacrifice my Soul, to cleanse the world of the shadows, to shatter the vice grip of the Darkness in an insane effort to aid the Earth’s survival. Every video I watched sinks me further and further into depression. I am hopeless. I’ve wakened too late. The humans will die, and there is very little I can do.
“Return Mark,” I order offhand. He is a sweet boy, and though he means little in this immured setting, I will take what God offers.
David steps lightly, “Mark did you a disservice, your grace.” He won’t look upon me as he sets up the TV himself. “He needs to be punished for risking your unstable condition. He should not have told you such unbearable news.”
“We are most obliging and ask for nothing in return. Gratitude is not difficult to show to your humbled servants your grace.” He bows his head, a low position for a most dutiful soldier.
He plays coy, but I know well what he wishes from me. I am silent and wait for his eyes to peak up, slightly nervous about my response. I flick a hand, inviting him to ask what he will.
David straightens considerably. With excitement riddled in his step, he pushes the TV out of the way of the mirror. Disdain is in my eyes as I look at my reflection.
He clears his throat, “What year is it?”
“How old are you?”
“How many human lives did you have?”
“This one life is clear to you still? Do you remember your mother and father? Who was your husband?”
What a nuisance of a question. I direct my gaze to the mirror, “Why do you ask this? To spit it in my face?”
“It is simply a questionnaire to waken your thought process. There is no harm.”
“Dane Monte was my husband; I remember not the name of his human form. He is off limits, and I warn you not to ask of my Soul Mate as well, or this interrogation will terminate curtly.” I cross my arms, exasperated with this asinine tête-à-tête.
“How many children did you have?”
“None.” I growl. “Stop asking me questions you already know. My memory is blank for only five hundred years. That is but a sliver to the surface of the sun. You have been watching me my entire life. Do not act as if any of this is new to you.”
David is slightly annoyed by my outburst. I say we have a mutual feeling then. “Did you know Lucius?”
“I’ve already admitted that I did.”
“If you say his name, I swear to you, I will choke you with this cable wire. My Soul Mate is not up for discussion.”
He glances to the mirror and rethinks his next question. I wonder what God would think of my threat. I did not mean it, Father, but my patience is waning.
David finds a way to proceed. “Do you believe Lucius will destroy the world?”
My brows knit upon such a question. I stare at him, perturbed. “Odd, sir, you would ask. As I am not so close to him as I once was, perhaps I am not the one you should query. But yes. With all my heart. Lucius has changed. Anyone can see that. The Darkness has eroded the love he once breathed. Lucius is not a man any longer. And yes, I completely believe him capable. If he has begun building an army, be prepared to die, sir. I must get well and quick, for I am a Transcending Erelim. I will be your last hope at survival.”
For an Elder, David reveals too much in his stoic gaze. Perhaps he realizes his own weakness and, thus, does not permit eye contact. He instead, when faced with trouble, avoids it. Such action can prove to expose just as much. I sit up, unruly in my sudden fright. My eyes flit back in forth, a heart pounds terribly beneath my chest plate, I feel the brutal drum of it up through the base of my skull.
“You.” I choke on my own breathing, “You don’t mean to free me.”
His eyes widen, and his mouth drops. He steps backward, panic forcing his retreat. He doesn’t know how to respond, and so he chooses to abandon the situation altogether. He is a deserter, and he takes the meekest way out.
I call after him, refusing to let him leave without an answer, “Why?” I beseech. “Why would you do that?”
He stutters, latching on the handle and pushing the door open, “It’s for your safety.” He mumbles, slamming it shut.
“My safety!” I scream, clenching the bedsheets, “The world will perish! You cannot keep me here. I can help save the world!” I feel the drug pulse so quickly inside my veins that it’s impossible to pull it out. I cannot fight it. It reduces me to a helpless babe.
They use me and now they plan to hide me here as the world depletes. The Ruling does what it chooses for its own gain. I can only assume it chooses me for a Utopian civilization. After Lucius does what they require of him, they will then release me. I will send him back to the depths of hell that he belongs, but the Earth will be in ruin. What can I do then but concentrate my efforts on rebuilding? And if the Ruling becomes the king of the new world, how could I stand in the way?
My body is going numb. The nervous system shuts down, and my heart slows. I cannot keep my eyes open anymore. Yet, even so, a tear falls from my temple.
Oh, God, what are Your children doing?