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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Biblically Dark

Chapter 10 (v.1) - Chapter Ten

Submitted: August 12, 2018

Reads: 138

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Submitted: August 12, 2018




Gabriel smoothed the crevices of his white button down uniform shirt before tucking it into his equally white pants. Why these articles of clothing had been given to him, he had no idea. Sure before being thrown into the pit he had been extremely close to joining the army of the Spiritus Ducibus, but he had yet to pass his tests. The whole ordeal was strange.

An hour after returning to Coelum, he was home, sleeping on his dearly missed couch with the window drapes opened to all the light of stars to watch over him. 

When the door burst open behind him, he thought he was having a nightmare. The last moments before his time in Infernum were replaying all over again - but then they were not. Instead of being grabbed roughly and dragged out of the room, a man - a ducibus - placed a firm hand on his shoulder and said, "Brother, we need you." 

He had taken the same journey to the same room he was prosecuted in just last year. This time, instead of being thrown to his knees before God, he was handed a uniform and told to wait. 

Wait for what? This question only crossed Gabe's mind once before he was distracted by the weight of the pearly trench coat he held in his arms. It was the same coat he draped over his shoulders now. The same coat that was, at first, weighted with thick fabrics; however, upon further contemplation, realized to be heavy with importance as well. 

A door opened behind Gabriel and two men entered the warehouse sized room. Realizing the man on the right was God, Gabe straightened himself out and waited patiently to greet him in the middle of the room. As they came closer, the man on the left was discerned as Raphael. 

Gabriel swallowed. He could not decide if he was scared, excited, or both. Two extremely important men stood before him. Who was he to even make eye contact with them? They came within speaking range, and Gabriel was not sure if he should say something or wait to be spoken to. He resolved to just nod his head at the two of them. 

"You must be Gabriel." Raphael's voice echoed in the large, open space as he extended a warm hand. He was friendly, but his face was fixed and solemn. 

Gabriel extended his own hand in turn. "And I believe you are Raphael." He received a nod. 

Gabriel turned to his Commander and gave a slight bow, "Praeceptorem." 

"Gabriel, it's good to have you back." God clapped a fond hand to Gabe's shoulder. 

Gabriel was shocked for a second. Since when did he become all buddy-buddy with the creator of the universe? And since when did God use contractions like 'it's' instead of 'it is'?

"We have a lot to talk about." 

Gabriel nodded, still confused. 

"This..." God held up a long, silver key, "...was found stabbed through the neck of a ducibus named Charles. He was assigned to Infernum last year and would have remained there to finish his shift if he hadn't shown up in the Infirmary dead. Luckily, Raphael was able to heal him. And what a story he had to tell." 

Gabriel studied the key, imagining how horrible it would be to have been impaled through the neck with it. 

"'An exiled teenage girl with black hair' was the description I received," Raphael stepped in. "You know her." 

Gabriel turned his eyes to Raphael and was silent for a moment before confirming in a quiet tone, "Amare." 

"She killed him, Gabriel," Raphael said firmly. 

Gabe ran a shaky hand through his neatly combed, brown hair. "What would you like me to do?" 

"As it happens," God started, "We now have a vacancy in the Infernum task force. You will take Charles' spot." 

Gabriel nodded quietly. 

"You will also find Amare, and bring her back to Coelum."

What will you do with her? Gabe wanted to ask the question so bad, but his lips remained sealed. He nodded again. 

"Good. On a related matter..." God turned to Raphael and held out his hand. Two objects - a Sphere and some hind of ring - were placed into it. "I assume you know how to use this?" He was holding up the Sphere. 

"Yes, sir." 

God handed it to Gabriel who placed it in his inner coat pocket. 

"Now this." God held the simple golden ring between his thumb and index finger. "Have you ever seen it before?"

Gabriel shook his head. 

"It's your transport. I can't open up a portal into Infernum every time you need to travel back and forth so you'll have to do it yourself." 

Gabriel gingerly took the ring. His eyes briefly searched the other two men's hands. They each had a similar ring on their right index finger. He swallowed. He had never seen anyone else with one. "Why me?" 

God was silent for a moment, his unseen eyes studying Gabriel. "Because you didn't deserve it."

"Deserve what?" 

More silence. Then, "Go find Amare." 

Gabriel stood frozen for a second, pondering God's breifness, before finally sliding the ring onto his finger. Then he was gone. 

Raphael studied the spot where Gabriel was just standing. He assumed God was doing the same, but since his was always clouded over it was hard to be certain. There was a silence between the two men for a moment before Raphael asked, "You think he'll find out?" 

"Find out what?" 

"That he didn't belong in Infernum. That he and Amare never actually committed a sin." 

"They would have." 

"How could you be sure?" 

There was no answer, and Raphael was not going to press. Instead, they stood silently. 

Just as Raphael was going to return to the Infirmary, Gabriel reappeared in the same place he had been standing seconds before, but now he was on his hands and knees, gasping for breath. 

Raphael kneeled down next to him. "Gabriel?" 

His coat was singed, the base of it blackened and smoking. The cuffs of his pants were in a similar state along with other various parts of his clothing. He raised a dismissive hand toward Raphael. "I'm fine." He choked. 

"What happened?" God asked. 

Gabriel coughed dryly. "It's Infernum." 

"What about it?" This time Raphael was asking. Gabriel turned his eyes toward him, responding darkly, "Infernum is on fire." 

© Copyright 2019 P.J. Bomre. All rights reserved.


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