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ArchAngel ~ Raphael
A clap of thunder rumbled through Manhattan as Angie struggled to keep up with Anixiel as he rushed out into the pounding rain. Seconds later, Luke pulled up in the black Mercedes, and the two climbed inside.
“Lovely evening to be out, right Angie?”
“Uncle Kyle! What are you doing here?”
“Couldn’t let Luke here take on demons by himself now could I?”
“Like I’ve ever needed you,” Luke joked with a smile. That was something that didn’t appear often. His gray eyes had a glint of mischief in them as he looked towards his best friend.
“Where are we heading anyway, Anixiel?”
“I think Raphael’s item is at Bellevue Medical Center.”
“462 First Avenue it is then,” Luke replied almost automatically.
“You think there’s going to be demons there?” Angie asked, turning to her uncle.
“Most likely. Not very powerful ones though. At least I hope not. We didn’t bring that much stuff,” he replied, motioning to the barely filled duffle bag on the car floor. There were the basic things her uncle and Luke used like salt and holy water, but some of the things sprawled out she had never seen before. A revolver, scythe, and some seraph blades were also placed inside.
“You’d be correct,” Anixiel assured him, “but it won’t always be that way. We can always get more weapons from the church.”
“And we’re here,” Luke interrupted while pulling into the parking lot. The four stepped out of the car, and made their way up to the hospital. The black iron gates that had Bellevue Hospital spelled out at the top drove into each other as the wind forced itself upon them.
“What exactly are we looking for?” Angie yelled through the raging storm.
“A physician’s alabaster jar,” Anixiel shouted back while passing out the weapons from the bag.
“I know this hospital is old, but do you really think the jar will still be there?” Kyle asked half jokingly. Anixiel nodded and headed inside. Giving each other weary glances, Luke, Kyle, and Angie followed him through the sliding glass doors. A young receptionist with curly blonde hair smiled up at the group as they filed in.
“Is there anywhere I can direct you to?” she asked politely.
“The heart center please,” Anixiel replied with his charming smile.
“That would be on the second floor. Do you need me to phone the patient, so they know that you’re coming?”
Luke was about to say no, but Anixiel interrupted. “That would be great,” he answered with confidence as Luke and Kyle shot each other nervous glances. “Room 212. Christie Aarons.”
The receptionist dialed a sequence of four numbers, and tapped her long finger nails beside her keyboard. Another round of thunder rattled through the building, causing Angie to glance up at the trembling ceiling. With an annoyed sigh, the girl said, “There’s no answer. She might be sleeping, but I have no idea how someone could sleep through this storm.”
Kyle and Luke’s nervousness furthered to concern, and Luke nodded, “She probably is sleeping. We’ll just head on up there.”
“Go right ahead,” she replied, and then went hastily back to her paper work.
The lights continued to flicker as they headed towards the stairs. As soon as they were a safe distance from everyone, Angie asked, “Is there something wrong.”
“Not necessarily. We’re just being precautious,” her uncle answered. “I’ll go in first with Luke, you and Anixiel stay here.”
It had only been a few minutes before Anixiel said quietly, “Something isn’t right. They should have been back by now. Follow me, stay directly behind me the entire time, and don’t utter a single word.” Angie nodded and followed her guardian closely. While pulling out the seraph blade from his jacket, the black haired angel sent his foot flying through the metal door. A gust of chilled air surrounded them, and it noticeably carried the scent of sulfur that made Angie’s stomach wrench. All the lights on this floor of the hospital were blown out except for the ones in the room at the end of the hallway. Luke and Kyle were no where in sight, and neither were any nurses or doctors. “Something definitely isn’t right,” he sighed.
“What’s in the room down there?”
“You weren’t making that up?”
“No,” he replied with a half smile.
“Well who is she?”
“A profit. Raphael’s jar is most likely with her.”
“I would almost call them clever if we hadn’t arrived first,” a sly voice announced from the darkness. A harsh laugh rolled from his chest and echoed through the hospital corridor. He let himself be seen by stepping out into the doorway of one of the pitch-black rooms. Angie let out a gasp as her eyes wandered to the man’s most noticeable features. His yellow eyes. They shined through the sleek black locks falling over them. As another lightening flash appeared, it illuminated his slim figure, the smirk playing on his lips, and the long blade pressed against Luke’s bruised and bloody face.
“Clever?” a female voice scoffed. “Let’s not get too polite,” she chided, shoving an almost unconscious Kyle into view. A ring of purple and yellow was already forming around his left eye, and blood began to drip from his nose onto his white shirt. The girl that roughly held him was almost an exact mirror of Angie. She was only a few inches shorter, her curly hair was the darkest of browns, and her eyes were pitch black. She eyed Angie suspiciously, but with a glimmer of curiosity. “So, this is the Nephilim girl?”
The demon with the yellow eyes nodded. “Nice to finally meet you, Evangeline Rose Cecilia Reeves. Luke struggled against the demon’s tight grip around his shoulders at the mention of her full name. “Something wrong, Luke?” he murmured in his ear. “She should really know who I am, you know.”
“Why? So you can use her?” Luke growled back.
“I am no different than the side that claims to be helping you. In fact, I used to be on that side.”
“Yeah. Used to,” Luke sneered. In one quick motion he managed to get a small knife out of his front pocket, and he rammed it up into the demon’s rib cage. He let out a yelp of pain as dark crimson flourished onto the dark silk fabric of his shirt. “Anixiel go!” Luke shouted as he delivered a swift kick to his opponent’s chest. It sent the knife even farther in as he fell back into the room. A now very conscious Kyle broke free of the stunned girl’s grasp. She scowled at Angie as Anixiel yanked her towards Christie’s room, but the she-demon decided to preoccupy herself with the hunters before her.
Anixiel slammed the door shut, and fumbled with the locks in dismay. The heavy rain had made the short spikes of his hair droop, and he looked ghastly pale. His stormy blue eyes met Angie’s glimmering bright green ones that were filled with concern and hopelessness. “They’ll be fine, Evangeline.”
“Not likely,” If possible, the shade of Anixiel’s skin went even lighter as the melodic voice dismissed his assurance. “It’s been a long time since I last saw you, Anixiel.”
“Amy, I should’ve known you’d also be searching for the items.”
“The jar isn’t here, and you’re profit is dead,” the woman said, looking down at the limp body on the hospital bed with gleaming purple eyes. Her white dress was smeared with blood, and her hand was still gripped on the long dagger protruding from the young patient’s bony chest. Despite was Amy had said, Angie could barely see that Christie’s small frame was shuddering with every shallow breath, and her eyes were fluttering weakly.
A blinding light flashed out in the hallway, and Angie had to shield her eyes from it. Amy looked up from the profit’s body, and something flickered in her eyes. Fear. She slowly started backing up towards the window, and then vanished.
Anixiel rushed to kneel down beside Christie. Her skin was almost gray now, and blood soaked her hospital gowns along with her straight black hair.
“Christie,” Anixiel whispered, “Christie, what did you need to tell me? Can you remember? Can you even speak?” With a trembling hand she grasped his and pulled him down closer. Angie couldn’t decipher what her raspy voice was whispering, but knew it couldn’t have been good news by the blank expression on Anixiel’s face. He slowly stood, gently placing her hand next to her side. “The jar is in that closet,” he mumbled numbly. “There’s something else th-“
“Evangeline! Are you okay in there?” her uncle called from out in the hallway.
“We’re fine,” Anixiel answered gravely as he opened the door. His expression changed from somber to startled in a flash when he saw the formal looking man standing outside with the hunters. “Dirachiel. What are you doing here?” he questioned in shock as he made a protective stance in front of Angie. Dirachiel was the one who had ordered him to protect the girl, but he still felt uneasy when he was around.
“Just checking up on how you’re doing. And by the looks of it, I’m glad I did,” he said, eyeing Angie up and down. Sorry for the trouble, Luke. Anixiel should have known that Amy would be here.”
“I thought we would be fighting ghouls, maybe Incubi, but not a full-blooded demon and two fallen angels,” defended the teenage angel, his eyes glowering up at the man in front of him. “And besides, we have the jar. Raphael will still be able to be summoned.”
“Not if you’re equally reckless with your next missions,” he sneered, getting even closer to Anixiel.
“Evangeline, this is my superior—Dirachiel,” Anixiel said in a harsh tone, not breaking the glare he was giving him. His superior stood almost a foot taller than him, and the black suit he was wearing was neatly pressed, along with the black dress shirt underneath. He had short, light brown hair, and piercing orange eyes glowered at Anixiel, challenging him, but the younger angel glared right back. She could see their jaws tightening, and their muscles going even more rigid. And a second later, it was gone. Dirachiel spun away from Anixiel, and it felt as if a great weight had been removed from the room.
“Nice to meet you, Evangeline. I’ve heard loads about you. I hope you’re aware that you are indeed a key part in helping us find the items, and stopping the Apocalypse. And now that we know for sure Amy is also after the items, I’d say the lot of you better get going.” He nodded at Anixiel once more, and then disappeared, leaving only a brush of wind.
“Let’s get this somewhere safe,” Anixiel sighed as he pulled the jar from out of the closet. The cream colored jar with orange swirls weaved into it was only about half a foot tall. A blanket of dust and cobwebs covered every inch of it along with various cracks. The jewels that were dug into the stone were now faded, and some had even fallen out. Angie could make out the rune engraved into the front. He handed the fragile heirloom to Evangeline, and the group made there way out of the hospital. “We’ll get the car,” Kyle announced, dragging Luke along. That left Angie and Anixiel alone. She traced her slim fingers along with distinct lines of the symbol.
“It means heal. Raphael is the Healer of God. The jar is probably two thousand years old. He had given it to Tobit.”
“You couldn’t have healed her? Christie I mean.”
“No. I cannot. I’m a full-blooded angel. I can only influence, not act.”
“What did she say to you? You were going to tell me, but never did.”
The angel sighed, and looked up at her with sorrow reflecting in his eyes. “She said there will be a betrayer among us.”