Monday, November 4, 2013

Chapter Three

Chapter Three

There were many reactions to people finding out that Gabe and Raph were Angels. Not as in “really nice people” or “members of an organization that helps people” but actual “wings and halo Angels.” If wings and halos hadn’t been invented by the Angelic Marketing Department to help sell the idea of Angels being helpers and mythical beings of immense power. Turns out the Marketing Department worked a little too well, so people thought Angels could solve all problems, when really they were just around to solve little problems, and left humanity to solve it all for themselves.

So naturally, when they told people that they were Angels, they fell into a few categories. The first was utter disbelief. Which was generally followed by a request to “prove it.” Gabe hated these ones the most, because that’s just not how faith worked in her mind. Typically this just involved stepping back and putting on a light show. Of course, one time she did this to a man who was driving and ended up getting in a three car pile-up, putting the man in a coma. Through a series of cascading events, this is what got her favorite television show, Firefly, cancelled. 

The other was utter belief, which involved people throwing themselves to the ground, begging for forgiveness for something that Angels didn’t really consider much of a “sin” just sort of humans being humans. They would often cry out that they weren’t worthy! Raph hated these the most, typically because it took almost forever for him to coax these people off the ground so they could get to the task at hand. Reactions to the news typically fell within these two spectrums.

So, when Gabe and Raph called forth to Mars and Kaplan to meet them at “The Bar”... a bar in Washington, DC... to get their heavenly orders to go save the world, they were mentally prepared for everything.

“Really?” Kaplan said skeptically, eyebrow raised. They were prepared for that.

“Is this some kind of joke?” Mars asked. They expected that, too.

“I’M NOT WORTHY!” as they gazed down, Raph really wished he had waited until Tyler had passed out drunk and was not currently attempting to glom onto every aspect of Mars’ conversation with Evie before revealing their identity. But he was prepared for that as well.

Evie just stood there, mouth agape. She was a believer.

What they weren’t expecting was Elizabeth (Although Gabe was certain that her name tag said, “Amy” when she went into the comic book store and she had just bought a drink by flashing an ID that said, “Lindsey” on it) to look them both up and down and say, “cooooooooooolll... now do a trick.” 

Both of them looked at each other with the look that says, “This is the best. this is the best of what’s left.” Angels weren’t psychically linked.

Hours earlier Gabe and Raph were meeting up at the coffee shop where they typically met to discuss official Angel Business. (A term invented by Gabe, but hated by Raph.) In this particular case, finding the new “Chosen One” to stop the man in the dark hood from bringing about destruction and darkness to the world, while slicing off a nice piece for themselves. As they had currently been through two Chosen Ones and they only succeeded in briefly delaying the end of the world, this time they decided to hedge their bets and check out the next two in the line of the prophesized Chosen Ones, and hopefully one of them would be able to put an end to this once and for all. 

“So, you actually went in the store?” Raph said, eyeing the comic book Gabe had picked up for him a few hours earlier.

“Yes. I’m still very doubtful about this Kaplan guy. Are you sure he’s on the list?”

Raph pulled out a scroll and tossed it out, knocking over the drink of the person on the table next to him. “Sorry! That’s on me!” the man was too busy talking on his earpiece to really listen, gave them a disgusted look, and walked away.

“See, right there, third on the list, David Kaplan. Former lawyer, current comic book afficenado,” Raph pointed to his name.

“Tied with David Mars...” Gabe finished. 

The two of them had the same question: Why were these two tied for role of the “Chosen One.” The list itself was distributed to all Angels as a primary source of people they could rely on in case of a world-ending catastrophe. Both Raph and Gabe had relied on the list in the past: stopping an invasion of vampires, the brief few moments when the Universe itself blinked out of existence, and to help suppress the horrifying truth about Lucky Charms. There were countless reasons to head to the list. But in the hundreds of times they relied on this list, this was the first time that they actually saw two names pop up at the same time.

“Do you really think either of them are quality material to help stop this cult? The first guy was a former Navy Seal,” Gabe said, thinking back to the man’s abs.

Petty Officer Third Class Gomez was indeed a handsome man. He also had a lot of the qualifications of a hero: Brave, resourceful, the ability to laugh in the face of danger, and as Gabe get pointing out, abs that you could wash laundry on. She enjoyed closing her eyes and just thinking about them. She even named all eight of them. After meeting up with him after his name popped up on the list, both Gabe and Raph were excited, this was possibly going to be the fastest that a Mythical Problem was going to be solved. 

Of course, what they didn’t realize was just how persuasive the Cult was. Or at least the man in the dark hood, anyway. While Petty Officer Third Class Gomez was a brave man, he was actually an extremely intelligent man. At first they both thought this was a huge asset... typically the Chosen Ones fell into either the really smart category, which helped for witches casing evil spells or madmen with death rays pointed at the moon, or really strong and brave, which was perfect when facing the Beast of Cardiff or possibly the Lizard Monster that resided under New York for 70 years. Gomez was both, and would probably enjoy a long career of being the Chosen One.

After bursting into the Cult compound, guns blazing and enough hardware strapped to his back to take over a small country, the man in the dark hood confronted him. Rather than fight him, he sat Gomez down, and explained what they were trying to do. After some careful consideration, Gomez sent Gabe and Raph a carefully worded letter of resignation. He was going to join the Cult, because their ideas made sense in the long run, and he was promptly made the second in command.

Then there was the whole issue with Dale, who brought his friend Jeff along. That was a disaster from the get-go, and ended in Dale’s burning and Jeff becoming a prisoner of the Cult, presumably to be the first person sacrificed to the Demon they were going to raise.

“I really don’t think it matters,” Raph said, “We don’t have much choice.”

“What about the next few people on the list,” she moved her perfectly manicured nail down a few places. “This guy looks good.”

“No, Zauriel is using him to stop some beast that’s terrorizing a small down just outside of Muncie,” Raph replied.

“Or her?” she pointed to another name.

“She had to stop an evil scientist who tried to bring about a new ice age,” Raph replied. “She actually ended up marrying one of the henchmen. It’s a sweet story.”

“Then why are they on the list?”

“Because it hasn’t been updated in a few years. Look, I’ll get to updating it after this caper, ok?” Raph started rolling up the long scroll which now had the strong odor of Pumpkin Spice Latte.

“So we’re really stuck with these two?” Gabe sighed, “well, I put the message in Kaplan’s head to meet up at that Bar you really like.”

“Mine was easy, his buddies were already headed there, I just had to stop him from going home to play with his cat,” Raph replied.

“Now what?”

“Now we wait, then we head to the bar tonight, and we talk them into saving the world. We really don’t have much time.”

“I meant do we tell them about the others?”

Raph tugged at his goatee for a minute, “Not really necessary,” he replied. “They’ll meet Gomez if they agree, and it’s probably best if they don’t find out about Dale just yet.”

Gabe let out a long sigh, then returned to her coffee, which was now cold. She prepared herself for hours later, when she was going to have to go through the song and dance of explaining both her and Raph as Angels, and all that would entail. Silently, she started wondering if it was all worth it.

Raph stood up. “I have some things to do to prepare for tonight.” Which meant he was going to look into getting some lights and other special effects to help convince them if they needed convincing. Truth was, he loved it more when they needed convincing. He took it as license to do what he wanted. He even got one of the guys in the Old Testament to believe in Santa. That joke backfired horribly. 

She watched as he swung his long coat on and walked out the door, new comic book in hand.

Gabe just stared into her coffee, letting the time pass by.

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