Holy Fire of Life

Adrian was more panicked than he had been for a long time. Everything was happening in a blur, the console beeping when he was clocked off, lying in bed in the midst of reverie, the attempt to track the girl's profile on FateLine, and the bright red flashing words: NO DATA FOUND.

         That's impossible, he thought to himself, even as he moved automatically with a swiftness he was sure the other angels had programmed into him over time. How can there be nothing? Mortals who set off the console were dying on schedule, as was prophesised, the information was always there, so why not for this young girl?

He grabbed his coat from the end of his bed and slipped it over his shoulders, taking his holster with twin Serenity. 34's, the chrome shimmering with charged Grace, and strapped them around his waist before hurrying out. He knew that there was no need to run so fast, time was suspended in Aethyr, he would be in time to collect the girl's soul, yet there was a sense of urgency that made sweat bead on his forehead as he hurried across the bridge, shoving past fellow agents and dignitaries towards the lift. He wondered whether to stop and report the apparent malfunction to Administration on the way down, but in the end didn't, reaching the lobby and wasting no time in racing into the outside smog. He kept the destination in his mind, remembering it from the flashing screen, relaxing as the smoke materialised around him and became mortal buildings on a mortal street in a mortal world.

As usual, his head throbbed from such travel from one realm to another, but when his vision was clear, he realised that he was standing in a girl's bedroom, the curtains shut and letting in just a golden haze of afternoon sun, and she was there on the floor in front of him, dying. Pretty white pills were spilled across the room, and the way she led, her hair flowing out around her face and her hand rested across her chest, she already looked like an angel. There was something wrong about this mission already, he felt the uncertainty like a knife twisting deep in his gut. The air was thick with something that tasted foul at the back of his throat, and there was a darkness surrounding the girl - a Miss Amelia McAdams - that he had never seen before. He was sure it was her, her profile a perfect match, but if her death wasn't prophesised, then he couldn't let her go.

Working quickly as the darkness grew and her aura dimmed by the moment, he reached to his belt and pulled out a Serenity. 34 with one hand, his mobile with another. He knelt down to the girl, her skin icy and darkening around her lips and eyes, dissolving any hue of life left within her, and without any hesitation, held the gun to her chest and fired. Her body bucked up with the sudden force, light flaring in the centre of her chest and slowly fading, a power that would stabilise her and keep the soul from ascending. His fingers nimbly dialed the hotline and a voice answered just as he placed the mobile to his ear.

          "Floor 4 direct line, what is your enquiry?" asked a monotonous male voice.

Adrian answered strong and unyielding, "#A8-9-932 requesting one dosage of emergency Grace revival immediately,"

          "Do you have higher clearance, Agent?"

          "No, I don't, I -,"

          "Access to Grace is permitted only with expressed consent -,"

          "I don't give a seraph's ass about expressed consent! If you don't grant it right now, an innocent is going to die on your head. So DO IT!" Irked and furious at the ridiculous protocol that always seemed necessary, Adrian snapped the phone shut and looked back down at the girl. He held his hand just above her lips and felt a slight, warm breath against her palm. Her eyes were open at a crack, her eyelashes flickering with tears stuck there like dew. She was with him, just, and clenching his fist in frustration, he saw the silver ring on his index finger begin to glow, lighting the ancient Enochian runes carved around the band.

          "Finally..." he grumbled, folding his hands across both of the girl's cheeks, their skin as equally cold, and said those strong, powerful words, "ne malpirgi." The ring's glow increased tenfold, just a soft glow for his eyes, blinding for any mortal witness. Vitality flowed through his fingertips and sank into her skin, burrowing around her eyes and neck through glowing white veins, her eyelashes flickering open even more until for just a moment her eyes were open completely - dark, alive, beautiful - looking at him as they always did for the few moments that they lived in the same world, in awe, in pain, in fear. Her countenance was peace for just a moment, before the pain of the holy fire reached her nerves, searing, tearing, incinerating, and she screamed, enough of a warning for Adrian to close his eyes and will his invisible wings to encase him and take him home, his mission complete and yet unclear.

The End

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