the beginning of a series. its incomplete and i desperately need advice. 200 GPs/review:D
There were few things Ariel detested more than picking on the weak. And that was exactly what the fallen were doing. It wasn’t enough that their mere existence was sucking the life out of the earth, nooo they had to run around bleeding humans dry too. Perfect.
As a cold breeze rustled through the dark chilly street, Ariel pulled her long coat in closer. November was almost upon them and she had a feeling it was gonna be a long, hard winter. The attacks by the fallen were growing both in number and aggression. It was usual for a few fallen to go astray and lose themselves to blood lust every now and then, but not like this, never like this. With the number of attacks occurring each night, it seemed to Ariel as though all fallen had suddenly discovered the addictive thrill of the human blood. How utterly disgusting.
The fallen she had been chasing just now had gotten away but at least the human victim was spared his life. Feeling her energy level dropping from her encounter with the fallen, Ariel gave up the futile search and faded home. A weak angel is most likely a dead angel, as Kane would say.
This was one of the reasons they hadn’t killed off the fallen yet. It was impossible to fight long battles with them without becoming weak in effect. The fuckers sucked the energy right out of you.
Taking form outside the gates that lead to the compound she lived in with 4 other bucket-heads, Ariel pressed the intercom button. “Nin, it’s me.”
Out of the little human device on the wall came the tiny pixy-like sound of Nins voice. “Oh hello mistress” There was a buzz and the big iron gates screeched open.
The compound was located in the middle of nowhere. But it was pretty as hell. Pun intended. The gigantic mansion was exactly what you would expect to find in a Gothic movie. But the grounds were covered in the greenest grass Ariel had ever seen, and a water fountain that always had water, be it winter or spring. The serene view of the purple and bluish mountains always soothed her.
But it did nothing for her nerves tonight.
Crossing the grounds as fast as she could, she reached the wooden double doors of the mansion just as Nin opened them. She was dressed in her usual way: like an 18th century maid. The only thing different was her hair. Raphael had cut her black hair into a short pixy style. She looked cuter than ever.
“Welcome home, mistress.”
“Hey Nin, How’s it goin'?” Ariel said, stepping into the hall and shrugging out of her coat, which she carelessly flung on the wooden round table by the entrance. Good thing about leather, u didn’t need to worry about it much.
“Thank you, mistress. Are you hungry?”
Was she ever. “Ugh yes, I’d kill for some food.”
“There is still some turkey left in the kitchen. Or if you prefer I can make you something else.”
“Oh no, turkey’s fine. Thanks.”
“home early?” she looked up to see Raphael bending on the stairway fences, the usual glint in his eyes, like he was perpetually amused and nothing was wrong in the world as far as he was concerned.
“Hey Raph. whachu doing up?” she said, rolling her eyes at his words. The guy did have a point though. If she kept this up soon she would be alternating her days between hunting fallen and hunting food. She hadn’t eaten since she went out 12 hours ago.
“I’m not splitting my turkey.” Ariel said as she sensed him entering the kitchen behind her.
“Relax; I want no part of your precious food.” He said, sprawling on a chair at the kitchen table. His Mohawk was colored jet black this time. He changed colors so fast; it was hard to remember his natural color. She noticed he’d pierced his left eyebrow, which topped off his collection of visible piercings at 5. Both ears, bottom lip, tongue and now eyebrow. God only knew where else. He was dressed in his usual black leather biking jacket and dark jeans. In a word, the guy looked nothing like the archangel that he was. “Any luck with the fallen?”
“None.” She answered as she pulled the turkey out of the fridge and put it in the microwave. Sweet, sweet Human technology.
“Damn. What are u gonna do?”
“Keep trying. I need to find out where they are hiding. Before they kill off half the human population, that is.” She said, pulling out a fork and some bread.
“It’s getting worse. Gabriel said they attacked a human subway a few hours ago.”
“It’s almost like they’re declaring war, isn’t it?” Ariel said, sighing.
“That’s what Gabe said.”
Images of the last war with the fallen flashed through her head. Black wings. Kane’s face as he burst into flames. Human dead bodies. Blood. It had been about a hundred years ago. Exactly one year after Kane fell. Her mentor. Her lover. It was not easy to know all those deaths wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for her.
The microwave beeped, pulling her out of her reverie. She pulled the turkey out and put it on the table. Raphael got up and came back with 2 cans of beer.
“Get yourself a fork if you want some.”
He arched an eyebrow. “I thought you weren’t sharing.”
“I can’t, you just look so pathetic standing there. So what does Gabe think?”
“He thinks it’s getting out of hand. And that this is a threat we should all see to.”
“Why don’t you go talk to him. He’s still up I think.”
Grabbing her sandwich, she got up and headed up the stairs saying “I think I will.”
Gabe's study was right in front of the grand staircase on the second floor. Knocking, she went inside after a ‘come in’ from the other side. He was seated behind his heavy dark wooden desk, engorged in the papers he was studying, his long blond hair left loose over his shoulders which suggested he was really, really tired.
“Hey.” She said, walking up to his desk.
“Ariel.” He nodded not looking up from the stack of paper work on his desk.
“How many were killed in the subway attack?”
“50. 30 men, 15 women, 5 children.” Finally looking up, his searing blue eyes stared into hers, making her feel like he could see right into her soul. “I don’t suppose you had any success tonight?”
“No I lost track again. Something tells me it’s only gonna get worse.”
“Yes. Seems the fallen have finally had enough of hiding in mountains. It was bound to happen eventually.”
“Raph said you think we should take serious action.”
“Yes.” He said, leaning back in his ornate chair and rubbing his eyes. “From now on we are responsible for every life they take. This means war, I’m afraid.”
Suddenly tired to her very core, Ariel sank in the chair in front of Gabe’s desk.
“Still,” Gabe said, “I am considering approaching them with a compromise. If there is any way to prevent war, hundreds of lives will be spared.”
“compromise? What can we grant them in exchange for not being the evil creatures that they are?”
“They are not evil Ariel. Not like you think they are, anyway. And we can grant them better living conditions. A chance to re gain their states. Anything to fore go war. It’s too soon for another war.”
Indeed it was. “I just hope we don’t have to cause more death and destruction Gabe. Any measure we take will justify this means.”
Gabe looked up at her, frowning. “You’re not still blaming yourself for what happened with Kane all those years ago, are you?”
“Don’t start on me Gabriel. Whatever you say, kane would have never fallen if it weren’t for me, and the fallen wouldn’t have found their new oh so powerful leader. So yes, I will always blame myself for what happened and I will do anything I can to keep that from happening again.”
“What do you mean?”
“The earth is first and foremost your responsibility, Ariel. If we choose to approach the fallen to discuss things, you will be the one carrying that out. With the history that exists between you and their leader, this needs an enormous amount of courage and loyalty from you. Do you understand?”
“I am truly sorry for both of us if you still doubt my courage and loyalty after all these years, Gabriel.”
“Under normal circumstances, I do not. I just want to put you on your guard. No matter what you might feel, your duty comes first. Now go get some rest, you will need it.” He said, rubbing his eyes for the second time.
“Gimme heads up if anything new happens.” And with a nod, she was out and walking down the hallway to her room at the end, devouring her now cold sandwich, too starved to really care.
Once in her room and finished with the turkey sandwich, Ariel flopped down on the crimson satin sheets of her queen sized bed, closing her eyes and taking in the silence and tranquility she always got here. This was the only place she had peace. The only place she was alone with her own thoughts. Which, was a good thing, since her thoughts seemed to be circling around one particular fallen leader tonight. Make that every night since the attacks.
Gawd, Kane. She would have never dreamed he would become this cruel. This…evil. Back when he’d still been her mentor, she had looked up to him. Wanted to become him. And in some ways she had, hadn’t she. She was now an archangel. Who would have thought she would turn out to be one of the 5 main angels. Like Kane had been before he fell. Because of her.
But no, she wasn’t like him, was she. She would rather die than take the life of an innocent.
As his headache took up again, Kane had to close his eyes briefly. Even the dripping sound that always emanated from one spring or another and echoed through the halls of the underground facility that was their home, seemed to be crushing his brain. Disobedience and chaos was spreading through his people like a deadly infection. He alone knew what the archangels were capable of. Hell, he had been one. If they decided to take action against them, that was that. And it was something he was determined to keep from happening. The fallen were not the evil, they were the outlaws. Whatever else came with being a fallen was not their choice. It was the cruelty of those who wrote the law. Opening his eyes, he looked at David, his second in command, kneeling on the floor in front of his so called thrown. “Get up.” As David stood up still looking at the graphite floor, Kane put his hand on his face, thinking about what to do. “Who was responsible?”
“We don’t know yet my lord. But I will see to it that we find out and punishments will be carried out accordingly.”
“Good. If this occurs again, I will hold you responsible. Are we clear?”
“Yes my lord.”
“Christ. A subway. We are lucky if the archs do not attack us this ten minutes.” The headache took up with renewed force. It felt like his brain was trying to crack his scull like an egg. And succeeding. Although if all the fallen knew of the threat that was hovering above them, Kane was positively sure he would not be the only person with a headache. Taking his face out of his hands, Kane realized David was still standing there. “You are dismissed, David.”
Pulled out of his thoughtful expression, David nodded a quiet ‘my lord’ and hurried out.
Ariel wanted to kill the chirpy bird outside her window and revive her when she was ready to wake up, but knew she had to endure it like she did every morning. Rolling under the velvet covers of her queen sized bed; she grabbed a pillow and desperately tried to shut out the sound, which was utterly useless. So much for peace and quiet. She stopped cursing when the door to her room clicked open and squinted in its general direction.
“Meeting, now.” It was Gavin, all 7 feet of him.
“Meeting, my ass.” she hated how the guys got up practically at midnight. “It’s like, what, five am? Go away Gav.” she rolled again turning her back to him praying he would go away.
“It’s 8, and I swear if you don’t get out of that bed in 5 seconds ill make sure you will never see it again.”
And that’s when it all came back to Ariel. Meeting was about the fallen, no doubt. rushing out of bed, she went straight for the bathroom door.
“damn, who knew you liked that bed this much.” said Gavin’s muffled voice from the other side.
Once her hair was untangled and back down where it belonged and her eyes were fully open thanks to multiple handfuls of water, she hurried out of her room and down the corridor to Gabe's study in her yoga pants and Jesus brb t-shirt. Needless to say everyone was already there. And already shouting.
Gabriel was behind his desk, leaning back and taking all the commotion in and looking as if he wanted to tell everyone to fuck off and to hell with the meeting. Gavin was standing by the fireplace, arguing with Michael who was sitting a few feet away under the windows, and Raphael who was standing under the painting of the woman in dark blue, all the way across the room, their voices mixing and creating one insistent unintelligible noise.
No wonder Gabe looked like that.