Gabe was sitting the park, alone, on a bench. She did this frequently. People were always moving, always running around, trying to be somewhere. Even when they sat still, they had to be... doing something. Either looking at their ridiculous phones, or reading a book, or trying to justify being somewhere. No one just sat and did nothing. There was so much to observe just sitting. And watching.
Once, she spent an entire fall watching a single leaf change from green to yellow to orange and eventually give up being on the tree and fall. It was picked up by a young mother and handed to her child so he could behold the wonder of nature, all the while that her husband was screwing his secretary behind her back. She didn’t find out for another three years, at which time she drained his bank account and started a chain of juice shops that ended up becoming wildly popular. She sold it and went to live with her new girlfriend in Vermont.
This was, of course, irrelevant to the leaf.
It was when she was staring at a piece of paper blowing in the wind that would, through a series of insane chain reactions if not stopped, would cause Canada to declare itself a Monarchy and would eventually name college student who was currently plagerizing a paper on Macbeth to be their new King that Raph walked up behind her and tapped her on the shoulder.
“What are you watching now?”
She wanted to explain everything, but Raph wouldn’t understand. He was a warrior-Angel. He once stopped an entire Vampire Army from decimating the newly formed United States using nothing more than a single leg broken off one of Benjamin Franklin’s tables sharpened to a point. She just gazed up at him with her impossible eyes.
“Gotcha. Well, he’s here.”
“Whom?” she asked, then she saw him.
Despite being famous for her watching, she was a fighter, too. She had helped with the Great Demon invasion of the 400‘s, and she personally fought Elvis Presley in the Great Battle of Mineral Point, Wisconsin. The one thing she really learned from all of this was that no two demons looked alike.
Except for the Gemini Demon, but that was irrelevant to her point right now.
Demon Jacob Whelan looked... exceedingly... average. She was half expecting horns with flames coming out of his eyes, but he looked like an average man of average height and build, head shaved, wearing thin wire frame glasses with a button down shirt and slacks. The only thing that seemed off about him were his own eyes, which were completely black.
“Hi.” He said, holding out his hand. Perfectly manicured hands.
“You’re sure you got the demon one and not the Jacob Whelan from this dimension, right?” Gabe asked, tentatively shaking his hand.
“I’m 100% certain. How many times have I actually made a mistake?” Raph said, sitting on the bench next to her.
Several incidents came to mind, but none of them seemed appropriate with the Demon Jacob Whelan sitting next to them.
“Hey, I’m super-excited to finally meet you,” Demon Jacob Whelan said, “It is way past time that we sat down for a little pow-wow.
“Now, I know you can’t really stop me directly, right?”
Raph answered, “That’s right.”
“Excellent, this is good information, we’re dialoguing, so I all I really need to do is stop those two guys you sent by, this David Mars and David Kaplan, right?”
“Well...” Gabe replied thoughtfully, “You can’t really affect them either.”
Demon Jacob Whelan made a sharp sucking sound with his teeth, “Yeah... I heard that too. See, the thing is, and if I can be honest with you for a second, the thing is that while I’m duty bound and all that to not really affect them, I have an entire cult at my command. You just sort of have two guys and a cat.”
Gabe shot Raph a look. “They didn’t?”
“Yup. Mars ended up taking Hamlet.”
“Oof. They better be careful.”
“Yeah, you do NOT want to piss off the Angel of Death by getting his cat killed.”
“Actually, I was thinking that Hamlet still owed me 40 bucks for that time I got him into the sold out showing of the Avengers.”
“You, too? 50 bucks.”
Demon Jacob Whelan broke in, “Hey, guys I hear what you’re saying, but this back and forth just isn’t constructive right now, talking about who owes what to whom, especially when one is a feline that doesn’t really have any form of income.”
“I don’t think he gets it,” Raph smiled.
“You see, Demon Jacob Whelan,” Gabe replied, “We don’t take you seriously. In fact, we don’t take you so seriously that we’re willing to waste everyone’s time with the mere mention of a cat who really can’t owe us money, because there’s no way he could go to the movies.”
The truth was, of course, that Izzy had snuck Hamlet into the opening night of the Avengers by dressing him up as Thor and claiming he was a doll. It being the midnight showing, the ticket taker was so baked anyway, that he didn’t really care that the doll was mewing and trying to get into the popcorn.
“That. Is. Precious!” Demon Jacob Whalen roared. Roared as in with laughter. Not roared in the way that demons tend to roar at times. “So what’s the point of all of this.”
“Well,” Raph said, “We wanted all of us mystical types in one place so the final show down could actually happen.”
“And we wanted to taunt you, because we aren’t losing this time,” Gabe finished.
“Listen, I hear what you’re saying,” Demon Jacob Whelan said, “But I have to ask, guys... why so sure this time. This Mr. Mars... he worked for that huge company doing... well, I don’t even think he knows what he’s going to do. And Mr. Kaplan burned out after trying to do things that, quite frankly puts him more on my side than yours. Both of these men haven’t really exercised since gym class, and last time I heard, fell off the map completely back in Tennessee.”
“Gomez is dead,” Raph stated the fact, “He was your best hope.”
“Actually, and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, he was your best hope. And then, after he turned on you, he was only sent out by Mr. Cage as part of a suicide mission.”
It was true, they had celebrated the victory over Gomez before fully realizing it’s implications. But it was a victory. After two major setbacks, they wanted to celebrate a victory.
“But hey, I’m not going to be the one to take this away from you guys. I’m glad you called this pow-wow together. Hey, do me a favor, and could the rest of you guys come out?”
The scene was surreal. About twenty people in hoods and long robes emerged from the bushes surrounding the park. A few of the civilians in the park were a bit concerned for a moment, but the calming presence of the man with the shaved head and the nice pants got them to go back to what they were doing. The only other person other than Gabe and Raph who was still concerned was named Justin, who was on a quest from the risen ghost of Merlin to find Excalibur and use it to slay the Dragon that currently resided in the Lincoln Memorial. Justin was concerned for a moment that these men were here for him, but quickly saw they were after the other two, and went back to his business.
“We’re angels, you moron, we’ve been in tougher scrapes than this.”
“Hey, let’s not start with the name calling,” Demon Jacob Whelan said, “These people haven’t been directly involved in the deaths of anyone, and other than worshiping an actor their souls are pretty much clean, so I’m not sure there’s much you can do to them.”
That was true. Angels sent to Earth could only really stop supernatural problems, people with unclean souls, or anyone involved in another person’s death. It was by finding loopholes like this that allowed Thomas Jefferson to remain king of America for twelve years before they could alter everyone’s memory.
While Raph was a warrior Angel, he did note that there were excellent times to retreat. Being surrounded by 20 people he was not technically allowed to punch or kick made for an excellent time to retreat. He was the first to move. He attempted to leap dramatically over the bench to surprise his attackers who probably weren’t counting on him to run in this direction as opposed to the open space right in front of him. However this was exactly what they were expecting, and the taser, while not Angelic or mystical in origin, had just enough power to knock him to the ground and cause him to lose consciousness.
Since Angels didn’t sleep and Raph had never been knocked out, this experience was pretty terrifying for him.
Gabe on the other hand weighed her options. She would have sat their for another three days before she realized she could swing on the low branch, knock out the guy in front of her, pull the hoods down on the two other guys and make it to the church grounds about the length of a football field away where she’d be safe before Demon Jacob Whelan chimed in.
“Look, I’m going to need you to do me a favor and slap those cuffs on and come with us. They’re mystic cuffs that will negate your Angelic powers, so that would be awesome.” He held two thumbs up.
Reluctantly, Gabe took the cuffs and slapped them on. She didn’t feel any different, which made her wonder about Demon Jacob Whelan’s threat, but at least she wasn’t twitching in the dirt right now.
“Hey, that’s great, pretty lady, thank you,” he said, “now let’s get going. Mr. Cage is a big fan of you guys, and he would love, love, LOVE to meet you.”