She stood before the gate, face pale and gaunt as she beheld Jason. Her eyes glowing a shocking white. Her dress, seemingly once of a beautifully woven white silk was now patched and frayed along the edges.
Jason couldn't help but stare. Her gaunt and pale features gave her a magnificent and strange beauty that was amazing to behold. He couldn't help but admire the eccentricity that the women had.
"Jason Sanchez" the women whispered, voice raw from apparent disuse.
"What do you want?" Jason called. He needed to know, something was wrong desperately wrong. Bright flashes of lighting mixed with huge claps of thunder that seemed to rock the Earth around them as they stood, both un-moving against the unnerving backdrop.
"I want to show you what has become of this world" the women said. "I want to show you what has become of your world"
"What do you mean 'My World'?" He asked. He didn't understand, what the woman was saying didn't make any sense at all. How could this be His world?
"We are inside your true life Jason" came the short, simple reply.
That was crazy; they couldn't be inside a different. It wasn't even possible. Nobody could enter a whole new world. The idea was ludicrous. "You’re crazy" Jason said with honesty. He meant it; this woman had to be insane.
“I’m not crazy Jason, you just don’t understand what I am saying” She said “If you would please follow me, I will explain to the circumstances in which I have come here today”
Jason had no choice but to follow her, he could see that this women would not take no for an answer. Her haunted look most likely got her her way all the time. “Fine, where are we going” he asked. The women didn’t reply, she just turned and opened the gates behind her, signalling that he should start moving.
Together they moved through the wrought Iron gates that had previously hidden the insides from view. It was obvious why: The City lay in ruin, pure and simple. Once beautifully built wooden houses now lay broken and burned to the ground; tree’s had been upturned and debris littered the floor. Sure signs of a recent battle.
Walking behind her, Jason noticed something that he hadn’t noticed before. The woman was carrying a shotgun. It was a Winchester M97 World War Two styled gun. “Why do you carry that shotgun? And are you going to tell me your name and who you are?” He asked.
“The Shotgun?” she pondered glancing back over her shoulder at him. “It’s handy to have available to you, especially here. You never know who, or what, may still be lurking here. As for whom I am, I’m your guardian. One may call me an Angel…”
“An Angel who, as it happens, carries a shotgun?” Jason asked, astonished. “Seems a bit violent for an Angel don’t you think. I mean, aren’t you supposed to be- you know; heavenly and all that?”
The women stopped, turning to look at Jason. “You can never be too careful, especially around here. Even Angels need protection” She responded before turning to walk again. “As you can see, my journey has not been an easy one” the women said, glancing down at her tattered dress and rubbing one of the many stains upon it.
“You still haven’t told me what you’re doing here, or who you are” Jason inquired.
“Then let me continue. I am your guardian, the one who looks over you, the one who must guide you along your path” Jason opened his mouth to speak but was cut off by the women. “And no, before you ask, I could not have saved Lily. She was not to be saved, that was her destiny, her fate” Jason looked crestfallen at that. “Now let me continue” she continued “My name is Dinaria. I am an Angel of the City Redairia and I am the Angel of Fire and the Arts”
“Then why are you here?” Jason asked of her “Shouldn’t you be in your city, guarding it?”
“No Jason, my mission was to come to you. Simply to come and talk to you”
“Because you don’t belong in your world Jason, you have never belonged there” Dinaria said slowly, trying to make him understand.
“How can I not belong there? I’ve always been there. It’s all I have ever known. I mean- come on, my parents are there, I was born there, I grew up there. If its Earth you are implying, then you’re wrong, I am nothing more than simple Earthling who wants to move on with his life”
“You see, that is where you are wrong” Dinaria carried on “yes, you are a simple Earthling, but you are not from your version of it. There are many layers, hundreds to be exact. The one on which you live is not the one which you belong. For Twenty years, you have been given a normal life by us. But now you are needed in your homeland for a greater threat has been uncovered”
Jason didn’t want to believe what he was hearing, but what other choice did he have than to do so. He’d just met an Angel and was walking through a ruin of a town he’d never seen before. Everything she had said seemed at least plausible.
“What threat?” Jason continued by asking.
“We cannot tell you just yet Jason. You are not ready, you must be trained first. Then you can learn of what is to come”
Neither spoke until they came upon a Cathedral that stood at the edge of the City. The Cathedral was easily the grandest thing they had seen yet. Its tall towers and stain glassed windows painted a picture of the place in his mind of it in all its grandeur. Now, even in ruin the place held true value. The history of it made it beautiful, Jason thought of the battles that had been waged and the lost souls that were trapped, unable to make it home to their families. It was a tragic beauty, but beauty nonetheless.
“What is this place” Jason inquired.
“Where we are is the City of Arading. The site of the biggest battle in our history, Angels on both sides fought here. For darkness and light, it does not matter the cause as War is basically just legalised murder anyway. The Cathedral itself is called Elgrond Cathedral. The war here saw the light side win, but with it came the death of King Elgrond himself. His death saw that the City fell slowly apart before falling into the total ruin that you see today. We are not here for History lessons though; we’re here for what lays on the inside.
Entering the Cathedral of Elgrond, they were greeted by wall to wall tapestry’s that showed victories of people and monarchies past. Mosaics and ragged stone work lined the walls as they walked, entering the next corridor, proceeding down a flight of stairs that was so dark, it seemingly led to nowhere.
From somewhere, Dinaria pulled of small dagger; it was made of seamless wrought iron and had a swirly, strange pattern along the side that Jason couldn’t quite make out. There was an eerie glow about that blade; it made Jason nervous to look at. The glow from the dagger just about lit up what appeared to be an old scroll room.
“So we came here…why?” asked Jason?
“In this room Jason, lie some of the most important treasures that you will ever lay your eyes on. These scrolls hold ancient deeds, marriage contracts, scrolls of the ancient elders and the magic they used. We’re here for two of these, the ones you need and will help you progress.
She pulled two scrolls from the shelves and handed them to Jason. “These scrolls are the most important objects in your life right now. Now, soon you will wake, make sure that you read them and understand them, their knowledge is priceless. I will come for you soon, and we will continue your training from there.
Jason woke with a start. “Whew,” he thought “It was just a dream”
He pulled himself over the side of the bed when he noticed them. There, on his bedside cabinet, were the two scrolls that he and Dinaria had retrieved.