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Authors: Vijaya Schartz

Tags: #Contemporary, #Fiction, #Fantasy, #General, #Angels, #Human-Alien Encounters

Archangel Crusader (5 page)

BOOK: Archangel Crusader
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Michael followed the stranger outside. By the busy street, Krastinios waited in the shade, sitting with nonchalance on the railing separating the front garden from the public sidewalk, legs dangling in the air. An arrogant smile lingered on his face.

"So, Tanner, did you make up your mind yet?" came the suave question.

"What? You bloody killer. I'll erase that smile from your pretty face. Fight me if you are a man."

"Sorry. I may look like a man, but you and I know I am not. Besides, I wouldn't derive pleasure from fighting a lowly Earthling. Where would be the challenge? If and when we do fight, I intend to have my fun, too."

Like a mad bull, Michael rushed him and tumbled against a nearby tree. Krastinios had suddenly vanished to reappear ten feet behind Michael, laughing this time.

"Do not make a foolish choice, Tanner." The threatening words sounded as musical as ever. “Do not come after me. You have too much to lose... I understand you have a lovely daughter. You would not want anything bad to happen to her, would you?"

"You stay away from my daughter! I'll find you. I'll kill you, wherever and whoever you are." Michael shouted now. Passers-by looked at him as they would a rabid dog, giving him a wide berth. When he realized that he threatened empty air, Michael stopped, suddenly self-conscious.

Bill, who had witnessed the end of the exchange, approached him, a little pale. "Who was that?" he asked with wonder.

"Did you see him?”


Of course I saw him. Where did he go? Do you know this guy?"


That, my friend, was not a hallucination. He’s the one who killed Veronica. If it takes me a lifetime, I'll find a way to destroy him, even if it's the last thing I do. I wish I could crush him with my sledge hammer." Michael sounded hysterical even to himself.

"Slow down, man... Don't get so worked up, it's bad for you." Bill pressed him on the shoulder comfortingly.

Jennifer walked out the door toward them. "Dad? Are you okay? Are we going home now?"

"Yes, Honey. I guess it's time to go home." Then to Bill, in a firmer voice he said, "I'll call you in the morning. Thanks again for coming today."

Michael encircled Jennifer's shoulder protectively as they walked to the van, then he opened the passenger door. "Whatever happens, always remember that I love you, pumpkin."

"I know, Dad." Jennifer climbed in and closed the door, then smiled, framed in the van's window like a Mona Lisa. "I love you, too."

 

*****

 

From a distance, Krastinios observed the scene, and smiled.

 

 

Chapter Five

 

 

That night, after Jennifer had gone to sleep, Michael lay on the familiar couch of the living room, a glass of Jack Daniels close at hand, unable to erase the smiling face of Krastinios from his mind. The threat, the dangerous power emanating from this abject character frightened him. Michael needed to protect his daughter, but what could he do against such evil? Maybe he’d find some clue in the events of the past few days.

Concentrating, he realized he could remember with surprising clarity each and every word spoken or telepathically imprinted on his mind since the encounter. The blue being had mentioned psychic powers and expected an answer... Krastinios alluded to a choice, calling the apparition a Blue Angel.

Veronica had been right. Michael had not hallucinated. For the first time, he realized that all these occurrences connected with reality. Something beyond human comprehension affected his life. Could this Blue Angel who seemed to know so much, provide the answers? And how to make contact?

Since the strange being had emphasized mind communication, Michael would try that first. Relaxing on the couch, he noticed the peace and quiet of the living room, the purring of Shadow dozing on the white Afghan. As soon as he visualized the stranger, Michael felt a response: a slight tremor of the mind and a vaguely familiar voice, warm and comforting.

"Do you have any questions, Michael? Would you like to come to us?" uttered the melodious contralto in his brain.

As he remembered with apprehension the painful incident in the parking lot, Michael strengthened his resolve. "I guess I’ve got to."

The fingers tingled first, followed by toes, arms and legs. The pleasurable sensation slowly spread to his body, all the way to the heart. Warm and secure, Michael wished he had known these feelings as a little boy, when love was frigid and hard as a fist. Such a shame he didn't have a father to love and protect him then.

Soon, the familiar surroundings faded and disappeared as Michael levitated. Eyes half-closed, he floated in a bright cloud. When the sensation stopped, a soothing light surrounded him, cool and energizing.

Adjusting to the blue glow, Michael’s gaze caught a slight movement. The radiant being stood there, small, obviously naked, obviously male. Smooth skin the shade of the deepest sky stretched on a thin body. In an elongated head with no hair or ears, huge almond-shaped eyes shone dark blue over high cheekbones. An indefinable smile brushed the thin lips under a very small nose, while a turquoise aura bathed everything around him.

"Welcome, Michael," said the Blue Angel in a melodic tone, "My name is Amrah. I will answer your questions and help you if you wish."

Still tingling, nerve endings alive with energy, Michael, despite his curiosity, could not help but relax into the seat. No fear spoiled the moment and he felt good. In his amazement, he forgot the questions he had meant to ask. "Am I dreaming?" he mused aloud.

"No," answered Amrah. "You are fully awake, here among us."

"What’s this place?" Michael noticed the strangeness of it and the bizarre aspect of its inhabitants. It smelled of fresh flowers but there weren’t any, only smooth curved surfaces lit in pastel colors.

"Our traveling home away from home," came the nostalgic reply.

A vivid picture formed in Michael's mind: a small orb of opaque material suspended in black space, behind the moon. In the background, a blue planet, quite familiar in every respect.

"A spaceship? Are you serious?" Michael reclined in the seat.

"Quite serious."

"Excuse me for doubting, but with all the satellites and telescopes we have up there, how come no one noticed?"

"Maybe someone did and neglected to report. Maybe your technology cannot detect us, but most likely the moon provides adequate shadowing."

"But... Who are you people? Or are you people at all?"

"Beings... Other beings, somewhat like you, somewhat different."

"Different all right, I'd say!"

Michael thought he saw the shadow of an amused smile on the friendly face. Other beings walked around, all five feet tall, bluish, hairless and naked, male and female, some more alien than others and some, like Amrah, quite human in proportions. They went about in quiet harmony, performing tasks Michael did not understand. He then realized that he sat comfortably in nothing... No chair. When he felt for a seat under him, he only touched his jeans.

"What kind of technology is this? No control panels, no computers?" His voice trailed when he realized he had spoken aloud.

"We use the energy of the mind." The being still stood in front of him, his colorful skin vibrant in the light.

"Who are you? Or should I say, what are you?" Mesmerized, Michael couldn’t help but stare at the naked aliens who seemed undisturbed by his presence.

"We call ourselves Blue Angels, but we’ve been called deities, demigods, heroes, aliens, even gods, depending on where and when."

Did he imply aliens were the old gods? As preposterous as it sounded, Michael felt in no position to contest.

"Actually, we carry the same genes. Don't you think my features resemble yours a little?" That fleeting smile again.

Michael wiped a sweaty palm on his jeans. "What do you want from me?"

"Our Seers predict the near extinction of mankind at the hand of an alien invader. Although they did not specify which race would storm your planet, they hinted at an ancient evil. Man needs to evolve fast. We came to help humanity prepare."

"But what does this have to do with me?” Michael asked in earnest. “I don't even understand most of that stuff."

Amrah looked amused. "I guess I owe you an explanation."

"I would appreciate that very much, yes sir."
Who the hell does this freak think he is?
The thought escaped Michael unbidden.

"Freak? What an ironic thought." Amrah chuckled and waved away the comment. "Did you ever wonder why you always felt different from your brothers, different from your friends, estranged from society? People either love you or hate you on sight."

Michael tried to refrain from thinking since the alien obviously read his thoughts. He wondered how the Blue Angel could do that. Sometimes Michael had mind contacts with Jennifer, but it had never happened with a stranger before. "Yeah... I don't know why, but I always felt that way. I'm a rebel, they tell me. I never conform to the rules... Only trust my instinct."

"Then think back, Michael. Think of when you were just a baby, warm, safe, happy. Do you remember that time?"

"Not really. Just a feeling of well being. It did not last long, though."

"Wasn't your mother sweet and loving? Then something happened, and everything changed..."

"That's for sure... So what?" Michael didn’t like to talk about his wretched childhood.

"When your mother was but a virgin, alone, yearning for love and understanding, she had a dream."

"That two-faced, cheating Indian bitch?" Michael stood up, disturbed by the thought, then felt he should be sitting but did not know where since there was no chair.

"Anywhere you choose to sit, lie, or climb, support will materialize." Amrah’s eyes blinked slowly. "Remember, we use the power of the mind."

Hesitantly, Michael felt around with one hand: Nothing. He tentatively sat and found comfortable support meeting his very shape. To cover his confusion, he urged the alien, "You were saying?"

"Your mother invoked the Great Spirit of her ancestors and came to me in a trance. I welcomed and comforted her. When she asked for a special son, someone different and valuable, someone to give her life meaning and worth, I gladly obliged. That night, you were conceived."

"Are you saying you slept with my mother?” Michael couldn’t stand the picture forming in his mind. “This is outrageous! You can’t possibly be my father!" He refrained from standing up again.

The alien smiled at Michael's plight. "You are free to doubt or free to believe."

"How do you expect me to believe that?" The challenge in Michael's voice seemed to desecrate the peaceful place.

"I know this is very sudden, Michael, but you will understand, in time."

"Just what I need!" Michael felt ready to explode. "So now I'm a frigging alien?"

"You are physically human, Michael, but you also are a child of mine." Somehow, the alien voice had a soothing effect.

"Great! And all that because my mother couldn't keep from fooling around, even in her sleep..."

"She was pure then, Michael, ignorant about men. Can't you understand?"

"No. What do you mean, she didn’t know she was having sex?”

"Not in her waking state, but I brought her peace and happiness, at least for a while. As long as I stayed close, I sustained Maria's precarious balance through her dreams. When I had to leave, for reasons beyond my control, she resented me, then you. Then she married." The alien eyes clouded in shades of gray, and the voice softened even more. “I have not contacted her since.”

"Yeah, she resented me all right." Painful remembrance assailed Michael. "She resented everybody... She made our life a living nightmare, with the help of that sick bastard." The memory still cut at him like a hatchet.

"I watched you from afar but could not intervene. Those trying times forged your character."

"What character? I'll tell you what that bitch and her husband made me: a warped soul who'd rather hate than love, who'd sooner hit than talk. I can't trust anybody, not even myself. I couldn't keep my word if my life depended on it. That's what I have to thank them for."

"Yes... Nevertheless, I expected you would come."

Was that a pulse Michael detected under the supple skin of the chest? "Do you even hear what I'm saying?" But how could Amrah possibly understand?

"I heard you perfectly. But now is the time for you to learn of your destiny and fulfill it." The even tone could be aggravating, too.

"Wait a minute. I agreed to nothing. I'm not the hero type."

"You will be, my son, in time... You were born for this. You cannot ignore your very nature. Deep down inside you always knew it. Veronica sensed it, too."

"Veronica? My God, of course, you know about her, too. Do you know the bastard who killed her?"

"Killed her?" Amrah looked surprised. “Did she not die in a car accident?"

"But who drove the black car? That raven? What's his name... Krastinios?"

BOOK: Archangel Crusader
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