Tides of Sorrow

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7.2 - THE STAR OF GOD

From a distance, it looked like a meteor plummeting through the night sky, the blazing trail behind having marked its trajectory. But, it was something far worse.

Samael rushed towards the fleeing woman, laughing as she stumbled, fell and picked herself up again. He glanced behind, checking for signs of pursuit. It was difficult to find at first but his eyes did identify a shape throttling through the night. He cursed then faced forward and forged down, determined to reach his goal before any interference.

With a not-all-to graceful thud, he landed a few feet ahead of Becky, stopping her in her tracks. He grinned. Her pale face was like a target beacon for him against the darkness. She slid to a halt then started backing away, her breathing hitched, sharp. ”Get away from me!” she breathed, pathetic, futile.

“No point running,” he said. “I could roast you from 30 feet away and you’ll never make that distance.” He flexed, drawing on his power, summoning the fire. His irritation heightened as patches on his face, chest and arms refused to ignite. Somehow, Cain had managed to inflict wounds which doused his flames in those areas. He was incomplete, but would still be able to spit-roast the likes of a talking monkey.

He strode towards her, angered. Her mouth opened in a silent scream. It thrilled him. Quickly, he glanced to where he’d spotted Cain following. He was almost upon them; he had to act quick. He looked back at Becky. A moment of doubt niggled as he saw her pointing and staring behind him. He shirked it away; she could not fool him with such trickery. His steps quickened.

Stretching a fiery arm, he made to grab her. Just as his fingers were about to close around her wrist his fire was suddenly extinguished. He latched onto her and pulled her forward, twisting her round and wrapping his arm across her chest. She was pinned. She squealed and struggled against him. His grip tightened. Her clothing was sodden against his skin, but that could not have been what doused his flames. Furious did not even come close to how he felt.

A heavy thud sounded nearby. Cain had arrived, his wings instantly folding behind his body. “Let her go, Samael! Your fight is with me not her.” Cain’s voice was strong, authoritative, but it did not intimidate the General.

Becky wriggled again. ”Stop it! I can still hurt you,” he hissed in her ear. She stilled.

He then focused on the enormous vampire. He frowned at Cain’s expression; a strange contortion of rage ...and suspicion. “You fail to grasp the reality!” He announced, determined to make the vampire understand the fight was not between themselves but against God. “We were once favoured, just like the ones who still remain by His side, but that did not stop Him toying with us too. He wanted to send us on errands; to carry out the tests, the trials on the humans. We did not agree with them.”

“That is your grievance, not mine. Now let her go.”

Becky wriggled again and once more the angel gripped tighter, his fingers digging into her arm. She yelped and grunted and would not desist from struggling. She kept lifting her right arm.

His voice took on a sharp edge as he continued with his explanation to Cain. “Listen! Much as we had no love for these humans with their pitiful existence, we did not wish to mingle with them or be sent on these tedious expeditions. We voiced it was best to leave them to their own devices; let them live how they wanted, how he made them. But, no! He objected and cast us out for our opinions.” Again he squeezed, trying to stop the woman from squirming.

Cain did not respond. Samael looked at him, sharp, questioning. The vampire’s eyes, however, were looking where Becky had been pointing during her wrestle with her captor.

“That is not quite what happened, Samael,” a new voice announced from the angel’s right.

Samael’s head snapped round.

Another two winged individuals descended. The moment they landed their wings folded around their waists, their modesty intact. They remained a short distance away.

Cain tensed, ready to fight. The angels held up placatory hands. He retained his stature, nevertheless.

“You!” Samael hissed at them. ”You did this, didn’t you?” Without releasing his hold of Becky he willed his body to ignite. Nothing. His fire had been completely quenched. He glared at the two new arrivals.

“It was necessary to dampen your ardour, shall we say,” one answered. “We could not allow you to harm the woman.” They looked at Becky and smiled. Instantly, she stopped fidgeting and stared, disbelieving. Her mouth failed to return the greeting, she was rooted to the spot, shock etched across her face. She looked as though she might faint.

“Who are you?” Cain finally spoke.

The one who had answered Samael took the lead. “I am Kokabiel, the Star of God and this...” He gestured to his cohort. “... is Azazel, whose name means God strengthens. You know us. Well... you know of us really,” he smiled.

Cain shook his head. He had no idea who they were.

“You made use of our room at the guest house,” Kokabiel clarified.

A look passed between Cain and Becky. A smirk then crossed Cain’s mouth. “Her ...friends?”

Both nodded.

Becky made an odd little noise, but nothing coherent passed her lips. She continued to stare, gobsmacked.

“They are Fallen, too!” Samael spat, securing his grip on Becky.

Once more Cain readied for battle, but Kokabiel raised his hand in peace. He then turned a hard stare on Samael. “Yes, we are Fallen, but we do not follow the path you have chosen.”

"Chosen?” Samael scoffed. “It was preordained by God!” The General of the Fallen troop was becoming unglued.

“Nay. Some of us questioned things, yes, but we knew our place. You and your like-minded traitors hated the humans from the outset and your bitterness and jealousy resulted in many of us being served eternal damnation. That was all your doing.”

Kokabiel waved a hand, his fingers upturned, clawed. Samael grimaced. His grip on Becky was giving way but he fought it. “Release her!” the angel said.

“Do as he says!” Azazel demanded. “There are 3 of us here now who could easily finish you. Do not be a fool!”

“Go on! Be a fool!” Becky goaded, twisting to face her captor. He glared at her, arms trembling, straining against the invisible force Kokabiel was applying. Becky faced forward again, a nervous smirk shuddering at the corners of her mouth. The two angels were staring at her, reprimand in their eyes.

With a grunt, Samael brutally spun her away. She stumbled and fell, hitting her head on a small crop of boulders. Her body went limp.

Cain rushed over, dropping to his knees beside her. At that moment Samael took flight. ”NO!” Cain roared and made to rise.

“Let him go, Cain,” Kokabiel said. “He is incapacitated without his troop. His day will come though.”

Cain glared at the angels. “I have a score to settle with him!”

“And it will not change anything, will it?” Azazel said soberly.

The vampire chewed over Azazel’s words, eventually resigning himself to the blunt truth. He looked back at Becky. Blood trickled from a cut on her forehead. He inched in closer, issuing a silent apology and trailing a single talon gently around her jawline. Seeing her chest rise and fall, he sighed relief and turned to the angels.

Azazel stepped forward. “She will be alright, Cain. We will take her back to her room.”

Cain nodded. Kokabiel knelt down and gathered Becky in his arms. Carrying her unconscious body gently he then took flight, heading towards the town.

Azazel beckoned the vampire. They moved to where the corpses of the seraphs lay scattered amid the ruins. The angel snapped his fingers and the bodies ignited. Blue cleansing fire eradicated all evidence. Cain watched silently, deep in thought. Azazel smiled and placed a hand on his shoulder. “You have more questions, I can tell. Come. We can all keep an eye on her.”

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