chapter xxvMature

Neither of them felt ready to sleep, there seemed to be too much fear-turned-excitement bubbling to life in their veins.  The prospect of missing an opportunity to prevent anything from happening again weighed heavily on both of them, and so it was settled that they would go out in search of a few magic-wielding Gyspies Gabriel had met in her time on Earth.  It took less than half an hour to get across town, and no more than five minutes for Gabriel to navigate the TransAm through the narrow dirt streets leading out to the Gypsy encampment.  While they drove, Graeme took the opportunity to inquire about a few things.

"So how did you meet these Gypsies?"

A quick glance at him in her peripheral vision gave him the distinct feeling that she probably wasn't comfortable talking about it, but she dusted it off and said, "They found me when I fell."

"When you fell?"

"From Heaven," she said, pausing for a long moment, clearly chewing over the phrasing she wanted to use.  "Even Angels that have been sent here must fall.  Something has to be lost in the translation from Angel to human, even if we're just using a vessel."

"A vessel?  You mean, you're possessing someone right now?"  Betrayal burned white-hot in his mind.  How could she have kept that from him?  What made her better than the demons?  Was her vessel willing, was it fully briefed about what would, or could, happen to it while it was possessed?

Graeme realized he was calling the woman it, as if she was simply a body.  He felt disgusted with himself, then, and with Gabriel. 

"Graeme, listen to me.  Angels cannot walk among humans.  We are too massive, too much for you to see and hear and feel without hurting you.  We have to take a vessel, we have to contain what we are inside of something that won't hurt you." 

"I'm not sure what part of hijacking a human body to hide your angelic nature in is really... excusable, Gabriel."

She sighed, clearly struggling to find the right way of explaining herself to him.  She didn't seem to waiver in her stand that she was doing what was necessary, which left him wondering if perhaps he was being too harsh on her.  Maybe he was overly sensitive because he knew what it was like to be possessed.  She was an Angel, though, he thought to himself, maybe it wasn't terrible for her vessel?

"You took Chemistry in college, right?  You know that Hydrofluoric Acid has to be stored in a Teflon container, or a natural rubber container, right?  Because Teflon is resistant to the acid, where other plastics and glass aren't.  Think of it that way for a minute.  I am Hydrofluoric Acid, my vessel is the Teflon container.  Without my container, I am devastatingly corrosive.  Do you understand what I'm trying to say?"

He thought it over for a moment, trying to see it from her perspective.  He had no idea what her Angelic form was like, he had no idea how it related to the world he lived in.  Maybe she was right.  Maybe it was necessary.

"Did your vessel have any say in being your host?"

She flashed him a look and he could see he'd offended her.  She didn't take her eyes off the road for long, but it had been long enough.  "Of course she did, Graeme.  She was a devout woman, she readily accepted me."

He couldn't detect any shred of dishonesty in her tone or her body language.  Immediately, he felt awful for doubting her, but he couldn't bring himself to apologize.  After everything he'd been through in the last few days - weeks, maybe - he was bound to be suspicious, perhaps even nihilistic.  He thought he'd earned a little bit of skepticism.

The conversation ended as they approached a small gathering of cottages with a few (mobile homes) here and there.  Graeme wondered how many of the Gypsies stayed in the same area, or if the cottages were used as they became available when other Gypsies left.

He supposed he'd be finding out shortly.

The End

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