The console room was quiet and dark, every monitor and device switched off whilst the east wing enjoyed its scheduled ten hours of "night". Angels had no need of sleep, of course, all it provided was some fragment of a mortal routine, over the centuries studies showed that less angels went insane that way. But Adrian was too busy to enjoy it, and his eyes watered under the intense light of a monitor he powered up. He'd returned to Aethyr telling nobody of what had happened, though he had no doubt Sariel would enquire about his Grace application at some point the next morning. When the system finally booted up, the log-on screen prompted him, but as an agent not an administrator, he had nothing to input. The angel had learnt enough though from listening to conversations in working hours that some of the death records could still be accessed.
An onyx orb with Enochian engravings rose up from the console, hovering and emitting a low buzzing noise, and spinning it in mid-air, names and details ran frantically down the screen in front of him, and his eyes darted back and forth to find her. He had no doubt she was going through some sort of emotional trauma right about now in the mortal world - not that he cared - though he wondered if she would try again...
Just as he'd reached the last available page with nothing useful, the hanging lights in the middle of the room faded into life, startling him, and he looked up to see an angel standing in the doorway in his night uniform. Noah, an angel approaching his bicentennial, was the closest relationship Adrian had to a friendship. They had dealt with each other frequently, Noah being assigned to him in sending on missions, and even more in casual encounters. Adrian still found it strange to talk so happily and easily with an angel who maintained the look of a sixteen year old, with a couple permanent pimples (unresolved at the time of his death - consumption, 1846) and long white-blond hair reaching his shoulders. It was almost as strange a sight as Sariel, the difference being her appearance gave Adrian the creeps, and Noah's was just a constant joke.
"Adrian?" he asked groggily, his Cockney accent shining through even after so many years. "What are you doing up, and with a computer? You know them and you are toxic together,"
"What's your log-in, No? I need to check something out," Adrian replied, avoiding an answer.
Noah yawned as he ascended the dais towards him, scuffing across the floor in low-slung trousers and a loose grey shirt, though his angel-wing headset remained on like a permanent fixture on his head (Adrian was pretty sure it was, but had never tested out his theory.)
"#A-26-1-846," he recited, standing beside Adrian and observing the screen. "Password's my ma'am's name, Josephine, in Old Enoch - hey, why are you trying to get into Cer'Aldaraia at this time of night?" He looked up and down at Adrian's clothes and added, "you just been out?"
Adrian nodded stiffly, his eyes never leaving the screen as his fingers touched multiple symbols on the orb, the screen changing to the administration page. "On a mission,"
"But you're off duty," Noah argued. "So am I, I never sent you anything,"
"Exactly why I'm checking it out. A name came up on Fateline an hour ago, but her death wasn't scheduled,"
Noah's eyes widened, "that's not possible," he said, shaking his head.
Adrian sighed as he looked at the page count of the records, quickly initiating a search for 'AMELIA MCADAMS' to save time. "Is there any chance it was a glitch -,"
"No," Noah snapped defensively. "The system is faultless. Cer'Aldaraia is direct from Mr-High-and-Mighty, that's why it's called -,"
" 'The Will of God', I know what it translates as," he said with irritation as the search dragged on. "All I know is that I get a bleep and the next thing I know, I'm having to reverse a teenage suicide,"
"That's rough going, but it has to have been prophecised or it wouldn't have -,"
Huffing, Adrian turned to Noah with a serious and weary expression. "You're telling me everything I already know, No. I've worked the mortal world long enough to remember it all. What I need is -,"
Suddenly, the search completed and the pop-up flashed in bold capitals: RECORD NOT FOUND.
"But that's - that's impossible," gasped Noah, pushing Adrian aside and doing something clever on the console, his hands on the orb and the attached devices so fast that Adrian could barely keep track. He tried for a few minutes before stepping back with the same result in front of him: RECORD NOT FOUND.
Adrian crossed his arms and smoothed his chin thoughtfully, rubbing his eyes as he felt "exhaustion" begin to set in. "It makes no sense for a report to appear, and then to be erased moments later. That's why I went straight to Cer'Aldaraia, it's -,"
"Every recorded death since the inception of the universe," Noah nodded, "now you're telling me what I know. Hmmm...this girl, this Amelia, was there anything...off about her death?"
Adrian thought back and his body remembered the feeling exactly, the darkness that he'd sworn he'd felt before his angelic presence had overwhelmed it, as if everything that was pure about a death - as odd as it sounded - was gone. "Yes," Adrian nodded, "there was a presence, like something had come in and meddled with her essence, even... changed it."
"Changed a spirit? You sure about that?" Noah asked, cocking a brow,
"I'm not sure about any of this. Sariel's going to want information, I initiated Grace without her signature. Samael's going to be on her prepubescent ass about it if I don't explain,"
"And what exactly are you planning on telling her?"
Adrian had an idea of what to say, but just the thought of it frightened him, giving him discomfort at his epicentre. That darkness he'd felt, he'd remembered it, not just from in the girl's bedroom, but from many times before, from a place that to consider had anything to do with this frightened him like a child.