**Disclaimer: This may be offensive to some readers, as it will come across as blasphemous to certain religions. This is not a commentary, but rather a work of fiction, aimed at playing with different religious mythos’. Thank you**
My bullet proof vest pinched beneath my rented tuxedo. Hooking a finger into my collar I gave it quick tug, trying to alleviate the feeling of being strangled. I knew I didn’t fit in with the other guests. They knew it, too. It’s hard to blend in when you’re at least a decade-and-a-half older than everyone, with a crooked nose from too many breaks, and numerous white scars scattered across your neck and head.
I scanned the crowd, catching their stares before pretending to be looking somewhere else. Most probably assumed I was some type of security. A few looked disgusted by my presence between their sips of champagne. Oh, I’m sorry. Is the old-man an eye-sore to your spotless religious ceremony?
The massive, golden three barred cross that hung on the wall behind the head table kept drawing my attention. My heart still ached for my younger days. How many benedictions had I given over the years in front of a similar cross? How many mouths had I fed wafers of bread, or set a golden cup to lips to sip the blood of Christ? How many had I unwittingly delivered to the arms of Barachiel?
A young waiter lifted a golden gong and struck it three times with a small mallet. The idle chattered among the crowd ceased. As if mind controlled they all slid to their seats around white linen covered tables and turned their attention to the front of the room. I took the opportunity to slink behind a large column in the back.
Barachiel had arrived.
He strode into the room from a side door, clad in an expensive black suit that matched his short cropped hair. He beamed a white smile at them as he took his place at he head table. Seven gold chalices, each with a thing blade set next to it, had been lined up in front of him, each gleaming in the soft orange light of the room. I knew that to the people in the room they would see him as a handsome man of an indistinguishable age. All sharp features and a towering presence — despite his average height — that would make the most hardened of criminals weep at his feet.
But my Sight showed me the real being behind the illusion. He stood closer to eight feet, a naked form of solid muscle that could have been chiseled from marble. Two pairs of white feathered wings protruded from his back. One set stretched outward to a twenty foot wing span, while the others remained folded in front of him, covering his feet. His very form glowed white, making me feel as if I was staring into the sun.
He lifted his hands in front of him and smiled. To they poor people in that room they would see a benevolent leader, but for me, I saw the wolf-hungry eyes of an Angel staring at a flock. Six more of his brothers flowed into the room, taking their place in front of a chalice. Their combined angelic presence set a palpable vibration through the room.
I moved deeper into the shadows cast by the column, fighting the instant urge to praise them. Many in the crowd began to weep silently.
“My brothers and sisters,” Barachiel’s hypnotic voice filled the room. “You have all proven yourself to be the most faithful to our Lord. For that you have been chosen by the Most High to participate in a Holy Communion few have seen. You are all Christ’s children, and such, His blood flows through your veins. Such a blessing must be shared, just as Christ shared it with His disciples. Come forth my brothers and sisters. For you are the chosen of His children.” Barachiel motioned to the table in front of him in a wide arc.
Seven lines quickly formed in front of the main table. One by one the flock ran a blade across their palm and squeezed their blood into a chalice.
My rage frothed. This is what I had done to my congregation. Sent them to the arms of this Angel who bastardized our ancient rituals for his own gain. When I had discovered the truth, Barachiel had only laughed at me. Telling me that it was we humans who had twisted the Holy Communion, that without human blood they could not fight against the Dark Prince and his demons.
His words did nothing to ease my doubts. No, I could not accept that. We were not the Lord’s playthings. We could not be so easily drained and tossed aside by these… these vampires.
One of Barachiel’s brothers lifted his chalice high in a salute and said, “Aeternum esse Dei servos suos.” As he brought it to his lips I stepped out from my hiding place, drawing upon the power of Angels, stealing their presence to fuel my own power.
“Verum Lumen!” I shouted, pushing the force of my humanity outward. An unseen force smashed through the tables, chairs, and crowds of people. Blood filled chalices flew from the table, splattering the seven with their contents. On the wall the three bared cross split in two. All seven beings’ illusion was shattered, showing the people who they truly were. The crowd dropped to their knees and shielded their eyes. Barachiel’s brothers lifted their wings to cover themselves against my power, while their leader’s eyes burned with rage against me.
“You turn your might against me? An act against the Most High himself, blasphemer!” Baracheil seethed. “Kill him!” The brothers recovered themselves, lifting themselves up into the air. From the light of their presence they each drew forth a firey blade, set to cut me down.
My old bones ached from my show of force. Already my knees begged me to sit down. This was no job for someone like me. I shrugged off the pain. From my waistband I pulled out my pistol, and from beneath my coat jacket I retrieved my short sword. Angelic and Demonic scriptures a like had been worked into the blade. With a word I put more humanity into the markings, powering its demonic nature.
“So Piotr,” Barachiel chuckled. “You have sided with the enemy. You aim to fight for the Strong Man.”
“No.” My voiced sounded rough to my ears. “I fight for Humanity.”