Chapter 10 (Part Two - Toward Persephone)

Belial thumped the steering wheel outrageously hard.  The windows were down to cool Belials over heating head.  Deep inside his mind there was a cacophony of drums and discordant rage.

"Stupid, damned, idiotic baboon.  How does he expect me to walk into the dominion of Hades, persuade it's guardians to let me have a peek at the box and then make away with it?  Foolish, arrogant..."  Belial held the profanity behind his tongue.

Emanuelle had sat silently listening to the rampant ravings of Belial.  Although slightly amused at the heated monologue she had endured for the last thirteen miles, she became vaguely irritated by the lack of constructive planning and discussion she would have expected.  She understood that Belial had been referring the forthcoming quest in the first person.  'He' would do this, 'He' do that.  There was no acknowledgement of her future participation, though she had no intention of letting Belial go alone.

It was foolish to follow him, but she felt a deep need to fulfill this quest by his side.  She felt as though she owed him as much for her life.  The last day had provided her with a heavy debt, one she wasn't sure she truly believed in.  All her life she had served the Angels, and all of a sudden the only compassion and recognition she had received was from one she was destined to fight for eternity.

Gabriel and Belial.  Light and dark.  She could not fathom the weight of the lies that she was discovering; an entire confusion of reality and belief wove it's tendrils around her throat until she was constricted.  The truth was, she wanted to believe her teachings as earnestly as she did twenty four hours ago.  But mercy and horror had distorted her vision more than just a little.

Belials phone rang on the dashboard, a percing caption of discordant distorted guitars and a human screamin 'take this life' broke her from her deep penetrative thought process.  The name on the screen flashed Beelzebub.

"Put that on speakerphone please, I'm driving."

Emanuelle did as was commanded wondering briefly how many commands from Belial she would obey in the next few days.  How many would she disobey?

"Hello."

"Belial, are you alone?"  Beelzebubs tinny voice belted through.  

"No, I am driving as well you'll have to tell Emanuelle too."

"Ah is that her name, look I needed to speak to you alone you have more trouble than i thought."  Beelzebub was breathing hard down the phone, he sounded like he had rushed to make the call away from prying ears.

"More trouble than going to Hades and asking him to give me pandoras box?"  Belial kept his focus on the road but a red mist was beginning to form before his eyes.

"Maybe so Belial, look, your comment about Astaroth at the trial last night seems to have outraged Balthazar."  

"Oh that's a shame.  Look I tell you what, I'll write him a letter apologising, maybe even send him a box of chocolates."  Belial began to grind his teeth.

"Seriously Belial."

"Ask me if I care."  Belial spat.

"The weight of his power has already began to take it's toll.  He has offered Gabriel the assistance of Saracen and a dozen or so of your warriors to aid him in the hunt for you."  The line went silent for a moment.  "Belial?"  

"That's what Aim was doing with you then.  I am guessing he told you."

"Yes, but theres more to it but like I said no questions."

"No questions huh?  What was Saracens answer, is he raring to go?"

"Well I don't know Belial.  Aim said he seemed uncertain and get this; he has chosen a group of acolytes and not his best warriors."  Beelzebub let this knowledege sink through the phone into Belials mind.

"Doesn't sound as if he is wholly committed to Gabriels heartbreaking plight then does it?"

"Not exactly.  Thought you ought to know mate."  

"Thanks Beelzebub.  Listen I am sorry for what has happened."  Belial was genuine.  Despite Beelzebubs 'holier than art' speeches, Belial genuinely loved him.  They had stood together since the beginning.

"You wont be."  Beelzebub hung up.
The End

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