Natural disasters often happened that were out of the angels control, but they could always sense a natural event before it happened. Ruth was well attuned to her senses, on top of being the first Angel of Ki, she also had many millennia to hone into her feelings. The senses were often linked to the size of the catastrophe. Normally, a large event would trigger Ruth’s senses far in advance and the feeling would swell up inside her as it drew nearer.
This time the feeling came on instantly with enough power to knock Ruth back from tending to an underwater reef. The reef had become flatter and less complex, which provided less shelter and nutrition for the fish. In effect, the reef could no longer support the local marine life, and Ruth was working to bring back life within the reef. Before Ruth was overwhelmed with this feeling, she was surrounded by hundreds of colorful fish. Now, the fish sensed the danger that radiated out of Ruth. She had not meant to send them the angels warning signals that alerted them to impending catastrophes. Something horrifying was about to happen, but it wouldn’t take place here.
No, Ruth sensed she would have to travel a great deal northeast in order to get to the disaster. By the strength of the feeling growing inside, Ruth knew she had little time to waste. She started toward the surface. She would have to finish her job at the reef later.
As soon as she knew the reef would not be damaged, she picked up momentum. Ruth hit supersonic speeds with an underwater explosion, which dispersed water away from Ruth in strong waves. The pressure would have been enough to crush any creature within a few yards of the sonic boom. As she rocketed to the surface, the water was pushed up in an enormous geyser. At the speed Ruth traveled it took a split second to be completely dry as she streaked the sky to the northeast.
As she arrived to the place of the impending disaster, Ruth knew there was a volcanic eruption about to happen. To her horror, Ruth saw a tribe near the base of the volcano. Though she knew the humans would not feel her warning, she sent the alert through their dulled instincts. All other creatures have long scattered as the mountain had already begun to tremble. Tremors would not be enough to get humans to move, they were too fond of their homes for that.
Although angels didn’t like to be seen, Ruth feared the abruptness of the disaster called for desperate action. Below she saw the humans praying for their god to help them. It was important to be discrete, because Ruth knew if they spotted her, she would be mistaken for one of their gods. That is if they survived the eruption.
Smoke began rising out of the mountain. It was only a matter of time before it would build up and explode with boiling lava. Rubble from the volcano started falling out of the sky. Rocks rained down all around the mountain from the volcanic cloud forming above. Ruth redirected all the rubble that she could away from the people at the foot of the mountain.
The smoke covered the sky completely, bringing the land into a morbid darkness. Ruth shivered, there was something sinister about this eruption. There was something different about this volcano. It was as if the darkness had crawled into her very soul. It was nothing like Ruth had witnessed in all her thousands of years.
The ash made it difficult for Ruth to see. She would have to move closer in order to better protect the native people. Ruth moved in looking for a place that was both advantageous and discrete. She found a high spot, deep in the forest, well hidden from the tribe. She would begin her defense of the area from here.
Soon after Ruth took her position, two angels approached her. Jacob came first from the east. Ruth relaxed a little. Jacob was excellent at stopping volcanic eruptions. He had a knack for putting a cork in them effectively keeping them from erupting. Ruth didn’t have that skill. On her own, the best she could hope for is to contain the blast and reduce the damage. The second angel came from the north. It was Samuel who lived among the peoples of the ice.
“Ruth,” Jacob shouted, “I have a feeling this is not going to be the average volcanic eruption. I feel there is something more to this volcano.”
“I feel it too,” Ruth agreed, and then she told Samuel, “Go down to the people, pose as one of them. Get them to see reason. They need to flee this area immediately.”
“It will be done.” Samuel said as he turned to leave. He strode off gracefully as if he were skating on ice.
“Jacob, can you stop this eruption?” Ruth asked.
“I will do everything in my power to do so. There are neighboring volcanoes. It may be possible to use one of them to decrease the pressure by channeling the lava flow. In the mean time the most important thing you can do is to build up the rock on top of the mountain. Try to close the dome.” When Jacob finished his instructions, he streaked into the sky toward another volcano to the south.
A scouting party was resting in a clearing halfway up the trembling mountain. Until now the angels did not know they were there. They had spotted Jacob in the sky. Instantly, they got up in excitement. As far as they were concerned their prayers have been answered. The group headed back to their camp to tell the tribe what they had seen. Ruth could hear them shout, “Skell! Skell has come! We are saved!”
Ruth turned her attention back to the volcano. She kicked herself for allowing herself to be distracted because in her absence lava began to flow slowly down the mountain. Ruth rapidly cooled the lava with a whirlwind she created, bringing cold air down from the stratosphere.
A moment later the lava burst out of the mountain shooting high into the air. Only a second had past when a gigantic boulder hit the lava from above. Jacob had thrown it from the mountain in the south. He forced the lava back into the mountain, dropping the boulder on top of the dome.
With a large crunch that sounded like thunder hitting rock, the boulder made impact with the top of the volcano. The lava was effectively contained for the moment, but the volcano was not done. Ruth came to Jacob’s aid as she expanded his boulder. She made it double in size, further sealing the dome so no lava could seep through. Under the earth Ruth could hear the flow of the lava reverse, moving away from the peak and toward the south where Jacob was stationed on top the neighboring volcano.
Jacob was playing a dangerous game by redirecting the lava flow. He could cause the flow to come toward him with too much pressure. This would serve only to move the volcanic eruption from one mountain to the next. Ruth had faith in Jacob. He was the very best at this. He would make sure that his actions would keep the lava under the earth, safely away from the surface.
The trembling in the mountain weakened. Ruth began to think they were nearing the end. Ruth continued to seal the mountain as Jacob sent more boulders flying, each one as big as the first. After five or six boulders, Ruth began to think Jacob was over doing things. He must have known something Ruth didn’t because a moment later the volcano started trembling worse than ever. The earthquake caused landslides all the way down the mountain. It horrified Ruth to see the lush forest being trampled under the huge stone crashing down the mountain.
Ruth did what she could to protect the tribe, but her first priority was to seal the mountain. Her task was rapidly becoming more difficult. She could feel the pressure building under the mountain. It pushed against her seal. This battle went on for hours. Time meant very little to Ruth, but even angels had their limits. The pressure was building and Ruth knew she would not be able to contain it much longer.
Samuel appeared at her side. Looking troubled he said, “The people call themselves the Klamath. They took no heed to my warnings. They have decided to send two of their wisest elders to Lao-Yaina, what they call the volcano, as sacrifices to their gods, Llao and Skell. They believe the disaster is the work of the two gods, and they felt their peace offering was an attempt to stop their gods from fighting.”
Horror struck, Ruth replied, “Samuel, you must do everything you can to convince them to not go up to that mountain. If you can, get them to run.”
Samuel set off at once to intercept the elders. It was hard to not value human life above all other life. After all, Ruth had once been human. She did not want to witness an untimely death of a human being. “Bless them and their arrogance.” Ruth said to herself, “They have not the power to stop this disaster and still they try.”
Chunks of rock started to explode out of the top of Lao-Yaina in a blaze of flame. As these rocks crashed into the forest, they continued rolling leaving a path of devastation and fire. Ruth stopped the rocks she could and sent them back at Lao-Yaina. Ruth did not like the name the Klamath people gave their mountain. She thought something along the lines of Death Mountain would be more fitting.
Ruth was working feverishly to put an end to the destruction. She knew she would not be able to stop a couple of large fiery rocks that headed straight toward the Klamath people. Thankfully, Samuel appeared in the air. He stopped the first rock with his mind, and sent it flying back at the mountain. He stopped the second rock by hand, though it was ten times his size threw it at an oncoming rock. They collided in the air. A sound like thunder vibrated, as the two rocks shattered into millions of little pieces.
Although Samuel had already blocked two boulders it wasn’t long before more starting falling. He did not see the next rock until it was too late. The rock smashed into Samuels’s side. He disappeared behind the rock as it crashed into the ground some ways behind the Klamath camp. Ruth knew Samuel would be okay, but it would take some time for him to recover. It was up to her to stop the elders, from sacrificing themselves.
She raced up the mountain, jumping over rock and blowing out fires as she went. By the time Ruth reached the top there was no longer a dome in place. Instead, she looked over a ridge into a large pit of lava. Across the angry boiling lava, at the other edge of the rim Ruth saw the two Klamath elders were falling to their deaths.
Ruth immediately jumped off the rim as well. She flew toward the two falling men, but it was too late. She could not take her eyes away as the men hit the lava and quickly melted into nothing, not even ash. At that moment the volcano’s final eruption occurred. It was the big finale. Lava, rock, and ash all shot up into the clouds.
In her fury, Ruth upended an entire mountain, which laid to the east. She used all of her will power to force the eruption in onto itself. Ruth used the mountain as a cork, pushing it into the crater caused by the eruption. The collision caused fissures all around the mountain as the earth shook harder than ever.
All the lava was underneath the mountain once again, but it was far from over. The mountain continued to shake violently. The pressure inside of the mountain was more powerful than ever before. Ruth, too, felt more powerful than ever. She forced the mountain down on Lao-Yaina with enough strength it began to collapse.
While Ruth worked to seal the volcano from above, Jacob worked to create a cavern underneath it to allow the lava to flow back down into the deeps of the earth. Their combined efforts brought the mountain to its knees. There was one last tremble as Ruth pushed the mountain in on itself. The result cut the mountain to roughly two-thirds its previous height, leaving a massive caldera at its top.
Ruth looked over what was left from the eruption. There was hardly any forest left. Samuel zipped about putting out fires. Jacob was doing the same, slowly making his way to where Ruth stood. The cloud of smoke would, in time, give way to light once more. Apart from the two elders who gave their lives, the Klamath people were safe from harm.
Jacob reached Ruth. He looked exhausted. That wasn’t an easy thing for an angel to do, but Ruth saw it in his eyes. Jacob probably saw the same exhaustion in Ruth’s eyes, but Ruth did not feel tired. On the contrary she still felt as powerful as she had when she collapsed the mountain.
“Something must be done about this crater.” Ruth told Jacob, stricken with grief. With that she began to cry. Her tears flowed down her face and dripped from her chin. The tears expanded as they fell into the caldera turning into a lake of water. It was something no angel had ever done before, and it required even more power than moving the mountain. Water soon began to collect within the crater until the entire caldera had been filled with Ruth’s tears.
It was the clearest water to be found on earth. Although, the newly formed lake must have been at least a thousand feet deep Ruth knew even the Klamath people would be able to see the bottom. Unlike other lakes, this one was lifeless because angels did not have the power to create life. One day, life would find its way to this lake, but today was not that day.
Today was a day of sorrowful mourning. Ruth’s tears would forever bare a testament to her sorrow. Ruth felt overwhelmed. Her eyes went dry, the exhaustion hit her, and for the first time in her angelic life, Ruth fell unconscious in a deep slumber.