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Better things to come

*Pay no attention to this, it was a post from a creative writing group, a story I was working on, I'm just putting it in my journal to save it!

 

"And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."
Book of Revelation 16:16

"This is the end. My only friend, the end."  Jim Morrison

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. Present Day

The masses were kneeling in the square in prayer, listening to his Holiness recite excerpts from the same book that Cardinal Madigan was studying.

Millions of the faithful visited Vatican City every year, most paying respects to the Pontiff, some just to take in the sites of the holy place, but none were ever granted access to the area where to red robed man sat, perspiring, face scrunched as he deciphered the ancient text that lay before him. Normally, on a Sunday morning, Cardinal Madigan took his place along the balcony to worship with the other Cardinals. Today, however, there was other work that must be done for his Father, darker work. Secret work.

The darkness made the task difficult. This part of the catacombs was restricted to all but ten souls on earth, making electricity here impossible. He rubbed his temples as he struggled to translate the text, older than the bible itself, from ancient Sumerian to Latin, and then to English by the dim candlelight. He was one of the only people left who had studied the long dead language, so the job was his alone. It was a burden Cardinal Madigan wished he hadn't had to bear. 

The sound of someone clearing their voice behind him broke his intense concentration, making him jump.

"I am not to be disturbed, Daniel", the Cardinal muttered, turning to face his younger protege. "You should be at Mass with the rest."

"Forgive me this intrusion Father", Daniel replied, bowing towards his elder, "But this is urgent. I received a phone call from America this morning. There has been another occurance, just across the border in the state of Texas."

The Cardinal sighed, his shoulders slumping against his chair.

"That is three this month alone, and the month has just begun. Was the target eliminated?"

"Yes, Father."

"Charlie?"

"Yes, Father. All reports are that she was unscathed, although she was required to attempt multiple kills. She was unable to destroy this particular creature on her first run."

Cardinal Madigan shook his head. "They are getting more crafty, it appears. Charlie was Mathias' responsibility. The girl is as well trained as soldier could be."

Daniel shifted uncomfortably on his feet, his white robe swaying slightly as he fidgited.

"This one took the body of a child as it's host. A young boy."

The news came as a shock to the Cardinal, who made the sign of the cross as he muttered a prayer.

"It appears, Daniel, that the demons are living up to their reputation."

"And they are coming across more frequently, Father. What would you like me to do?"

The Cardinal bowed his head, weary from exhaustion, both emotional and physical. 

"Send a dispatch to Cardinal Dominguez in Mexico City.  We will secure the gateway as best we can, but we have few resources. Mathias was a huge blow to our offenses. The situation is growing out of our control."

The Cardinal slumped back farther in his seat, his hands back to rubbing his aching temples.

"Send a dispatch to Kiev. I must speak with Peter directly. And prepare a large shipment of the holy weapons to be sent to the United States. I will speak with his Holiness this afternoon after Mass. We are running out of time, I'm afraid. The translations are rather bleak."

Daniel nodded and with a little bow began to excuse himself from the vault to fulfill the Cardinal's request.

"And Daniel..." The Cardinal called to his retreating apprentice.

"Yes, Father?"

With a grim, heavily lined face Cardinal Madigan replied one word.

"Pray." 

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