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  • Writer's pictureBelinda Lane


October 8, 2021


Written by: J. Anthony Spencer

A half a mile from the center of Jerusalem stands The King Solomon Hotel. On one of the outdoor patios, a single man sits in deep thought. A simple meal is on the table untouched as he looks out at beautiful scenery that he does not see. Hours ago, he met with Lucifer hoping to get answers, but only found more questions. For the first time in centuries, he has received a direct threat, and he doesn’t know how to feel about it. As his meeting with Lucifer ended, he noticed a man in the shadows, watching the conference with interest. At the end of the meeting, he received a note, “The seas will run red with your blood, Firstborn.” Since receiving the note, he has moved to another location, not for protection, but to ponder. As he sits, he extends his awareness and senses no evil besides the garden variety, but none directed at him. The note appears to be written on genuine parchment in an undefined medium. It’s apparent to him he needs more information for this new mystery. Without standing, he wills himself into The Shimmer and reappears in The Archive.

“Back so soon.” Says Solomon. “Yes” answers Michael. “By the way, you have a pleasant hotel.” Continues Michael. “Pardon Me.” Says Solomon, perplexed. “Oh. Nothing. I have a new mystery. What do you make of this?” Michael hands Solomon the note, who, after seeing what it’s made of, takes it gingerly. He places it on the top of the jade desk, turning it this way and that. He produces a small magnifying implement and examines the writing. After a few minutes, the magnifier disappears and Solomon sits up. “This is a mystery.” Say Solomon. “This is genuine parchment. The substance appears to be gall-nuts, water, sulfate and honey. Early Hebrews used this as ink, but not for many centuries.” The only reaction from Michael is the arching of one of his eyebrows. “So this is not a recreation?” Solomon shakes his head no, rubs his chin, then asks. “Did you know materials absorb in minute levels the aura of those who handle them?” “Pardon Me” says Michael.

“All beings have auras, mortals and supernatural. Agents or beings of good and evil have more distinct and more traceable auras. The owner carried this parchment before they gave it to you. He or Its aura is more dominate on the parchment.” Solomon extends his left hand and a clear crystal the size of a basketball appears in it. He places it on the parchment and it becomes cloudy. A scene appears as if someone is standing at street level, looking upward at two teenagers sitting on the roof edge of a school in England. They appear to be having a conversation with others on the roof before safely leaving the edge. There is a blurring, and another scene appears, one he is all too familiar with. It is the meeting chambers of the Capitol. He sees himself in battle before the scene blurs again. This time, he sees Agent Hope and a young man get out of a car and walk into a house in the suburbs of San Antonio. Another blurring and he’s seeing the meeting between himself and Lucifer before the crystal become clear.

Something forms in his mind, a realization of what is actually happening here. Solomon sees Michael’s expression, and a clarity reaches his mind as well. Without a word and with a nod, Michael turns and exits The Archive. As he walks, he says. “Agents Trust, Love and Hope meet me in my office.” As Michael enters his office, he finds the agents he requested to meet him already seated. Michael has a modest office with a wooden desk that seemed to be carved from a single tree. A typical office chair sat behind it, occupied by Agent Trust. Trust abruptly gets out of the chair and sits on one of the two small sofas with his fellow agents. “Was he doing his Michael imitation again?” asks Michael. The others smile and nod. He clears his throat and begins. “What I am about to ask you may seem a little weird at first, but in our line of work what isn’t.” The time for levity has passed, and all have taken on a serious demeanor. “Our current assignment is to watch over a group of mortals for reasons we are yet to understand. Reading your reports, I know that you have encountered some of the Adversary’s minions. But while you were on assignment, did you pick up anything different? As in any additional intervention or danger?” They all look at each other, a little perplexed before Agent Trust answer. “Sir, I am uncertain of what you mean. When Agent Love and I went out, you know we encountered my siblings. Our focus was on them, but I didn’t sense any other player. And when I joined you at the Capitol, so much was going on with so many hell spawn, I don’t know if I could have sensed anything else.” Michael nods, and moves his gaze to Agent Hope.

She says. “I’m with you guys. What I dealt with was definitely different. But I only focused my concentration on the imp. It’s probably a good thing that another danger didn’t manifest. I am not sure I could have sensed it in time to defend myself. As it was, I split my awareness between the material and spiritual realms.” Again, Michael nods, either in thought or acknowledgement. “There is a reason for these assignments. Also, there is a new player. The answers you provided is lending validation to who I think it is. I think I know the who, just not the how. I won’t hold you. But keep an ear out. I think things are about to get interesting.” When the agents leave, Michael walks to the hallway leading to the office of the Director. The hallway is blank, devoid of any doors, which are normal. What is not normal that usually when he enters the hallway, the door to the Director’s office appears. He walks several yards one way and then turns and walks in the other direction. “Odd.” he thinks. With no other idea or explanation why this could be, he head back to the Archive.

Solomon is still looking at the note on parchment. Again, the magnifier is in his hands. He looks up when Michael enters. “Michael, I’ve given some thought to this note.” “As have I.” says Michael. “It’s in the note's wording. I think I know the who.” He continues, “I just don’t know the...” Solomon completes the statement. “The how,” he says. A knowing glance passes between the two before Solomon adds. “But I think we both know someone who may have an answer to at least one of the question.” Michael nods. “I guess it’s time for a trip back to Cairo and a certain antiquity store.”

The office is dark with a muted red glow, providing the only lighting. Behind a desk carved from a large piece of obsidian sits Lucifer. He sits back in an ornate chair, swirling a brown liquid with a thick consistency in a brandy snifter. Sitting across from Lucifer on the other side of the desk is the mysterious man from the Cairo restaurant. Even here he seems draped in shadow. “Do you think he will figure it out?” he asks. Lucifer answers without looking at his guest. “Indubitably. There is a reason that Michael was the first archangel and leader of The Host. He is smart and determined. Once my brother has the scent, he won’t stop until that mystery is completely solved. This thing with Blind Justice, not being one of my creations, may take him longer to solve. But this? I’m sure it is just a matter of time.” The mystery man sits back in his chair. “So how do you want to proceed?” Lucifer again answers, looking at what first looked like paintings that have suddenly come to life. The living artwork depicts scenes of torture, and he looks at them with apparent pleasure. “We proceed as planned. His knowing changes nothing. In fact, it may open a further mystery to keep him occupied.” The office grows quiet as both look at the “paintings.” Lucifer breaks the silence, smiles, and says. “Speak of the Angel.” The man in shadow sits up. “He is Here?” Lucifer reclines and answers. “No, not here, but he is back in Cairo, and I know where he is going.”

El Ahmedi becomes uneasy even before Michael enters the shop, closing the door behind him. Again, El Ahmedi is behind the counter and the same strange customer that was earlier during his first visit is back. Michael stands by the door as the customer attempts to exit as he did before, only to be shoved into the aisle by Michael. “Not this time, Sir. I may have questions for you if El Ahmedi is not forthcoming.” Says Michael. The man looks up from the floor, first at Michael and then at El Ahmedi, before returning his eyes to Michael. Michael locks the front door, turns the sign to Closed and pulls down the shade. The man rises from the floor and retreats to the counter and a panicking El Ahmedi. “What do you want?” comes El Ahmedi’s squeaky voice. Michael strides to the counter, his white linen outer garments morphing into white and gold battle robes. He glances at the customer who backs into a corner, cowering before returning his attention to El Ahmedi.

“You will tell me what I need to know. Do you understand me?” El Ahmedi runs scenarios through his head: what is worst, dealing with his master or with the angel that confronts him now? As with most cowards, he deals with the clear and present danger, which is Michael. “What do you want?” he asks again. Michael is glowing now. “There is a new player in the eternal struggle. I think I know who it is. I just need confirmation.” Michael grips the lapel of El Ahmedi, lifting him slightly from the floor with his left hand. In his right hand appears a flaming broad sword. Both men shrink further away as waves of energy radiant from Michael. El Ahmedi practically screams. “I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you.” Michael lowers El Ahmedi. “SAY HIS NAME.” commands Michael. El Ahmedi whines “Ok, Ok. I don’t know how, but Lucifer’s new right hand is Ramses II, The Pharaoh of Moses.”


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