The Fallen

Thousands of years ago, a weapon was created by Satan himself to put an end to Heaven and everyone within; including God. After many attempts, Satan realized even he wasn't powerful enough to create such a thing. So he was left with his final attempt, a much less useful weapon; the Jewel. The Jewel was much like a nuclear bomb, except it only destroyed what was not human; Devils, Angels, the Fallen, all spiritual creatures, and all spiritual buildings within a hundred mile radius. Nathaniel Elway, as well as others, are sent by the Angels to retrieve the Jewel and finally put an end to the Fallen.

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3. TWO

“We can’t keep letting this happen. We can’t keep allowing them to attack us. We’re losing valuable numbers. I’m tired of hiding here, inviting them to kill our warriors.”

    The Angels were restless, many pacing or shuffling their feet, unable to remain still and listen quietly. Worry was written all over their faces.

    “We need to attack them,” Jay continued, his powerful voice commanding the attention of everyone at the table and in the room. “They won’t be expecting it. If we just find their base, plant a few bombs, and leave, that won’t do us anymore harm. We need to get rid of them once and for all.”

    “And now exactly do you plan on pulling this off, Jay?” one of the Angels drawled, pacing back and forth.

    Jay stood still, looking every single person in the eye before speaking again. “The Jewel,” he said at last.

   As soon as those two words left his lips, the room erupted into raised voices and anger. “Are you mad?” one of the woman cried, throwing her arms in the air. “We’ve lost so many to the Fallen, and now you want to put more lives on the line for an impossible mission!”

   “Tammy is right,” someone voiced, coming from the other side of the room. “We’ve tried retrieving the Jewel before. Don’t you remember what happened?”

    “That was many, many years ago,” Jay reminded them somehow patiently, clearly unfazed by the uproar.

    “That is an impossible mission! You’re asking for death!”

    Jay shook his head. “We have very strong warriors.”

   “Everybody quiet!” Finally raising his voice, Michael, the one in charge of everything, stood with his hands up for silence. “I’ve been talking to Jay about this for months now. If we work together to formulate a solid plan, it is possible that we could retrieve the Jewel.” As voices began to rise again, his strong voice forced them all to silence. “How many lives have we lost to these monsters? How many kids have been stolen from us? How many more are you willing to lose?” The room was silent as death. “This could be our only chance at saving ourselves.”

    “Who will we send?” a short-haired woman asked weakly. “We’ve lost so many warriors…”

    After looking at Michael in the eye in soundless conversation, Jay spoke. “We will send the young men who are about to come of age.”

   Gasps filled the room. Going after the Jewel was beyond dangerous and terrifying, but sending the young ones to get it was completely unheard of.

    “Jay and I have a plan,” Michael explained. “A plan that still needs a lot of editing, but we have a ground gameplan. If you hear what we have to say, you will understand. We will need your input. These Fallen need to be taken care of. I won’t lose one more man or woman to them.”

    Everyone glanced at each other uneasily, before slowly sitting down to listen to what Michael and Jay had to say.


 

“We’re almost nineteen. Why can’t we be included in the meetings yet?” Nathan was never one to complain, but he hated being treated like a child. “All three of us have been mature enough since we were sixteen. I hate this.”

    “This is how it’s always been, and always will be,” Diego muttered, repeating the same thing he had been saying for a year. “Rules are rules. Nineteen is the most logical age for us to become warriors. We’ve waited this long; we can wait a few months more.” He sat awkwardly on his bed, having to slouch so much so that his head wouldn’t hit the bed above him.

    Leaning back, Cason threw a bouncy ball against the opposite wall. “There shouldn’t be ‘a perfect age’ though. Just because someone is a certain age doesn’t mean they’re at a certain maturity.”

    “That’s my thought,” Aiden agreed, putting down his book and adjusting his glasses. “I don’t mind the waiting, the years of waiting, but I don’t understand the whole age thing. Everyone matures at a different time. Just because you’re nineteen doesn’t mean you’re ready to become a warrior, much less a member of the table. I know that we are, but I can’t say that about all the others our age here. They need to base off our maturity, not our age when deciding when we join the table.”

    “If we join the table,” mended Diego. “The three of you need to remember there is no guarantee that any of us will join the table. We are guaranteed to become warriors, and that’s it.” Running a hand along the top of his head, he shrugged. “I’m not meaning to be a downer tonight, I just want to make sure none of you get your hopes up too high.”

    “Case,” Aiden snapped suddenly, “if you throw that bouncy ball one more time I’m going to take it and throw it out the window.”

   Laughing, Cason turned and threw the ball directly at Aiden, hitting him square in the forehead. Though he was smirking, he leaped off his top bunk and went to tackle Cason before a knock at the door stopped him in his tracks.

    Knock, knock.

    Rising from his bed, Nathaniel jogged over to the door and opened it. Jay stood in the doorway, a clipboard in hand. Without asking, he stepped inside and shut the door behind him. “I must speak to the four of you for a moment.”

    All four of the boys glanced at each other strangely. Aiden’s large, hazel eyes went wide with hope behind his glasses as he ran a hand through his chocolate brown hair nervously.

    “This is going to sound crazy,” admitted Jay, scanning each boy intently. “A very sudden plan is going to be developed. The table is working on it as we speak. But we need you.”

    “Us…?” Aiden murmured, his eyes widening even more.

    “All of us?” Nathaniel asked carefully.

    Jay gripped his notepad. “Well, not all of you. Although all of you are incredibly important to our future here, and I do mean that sincerely, this is a very serious mission. We are sending you on an insanely dangerous journey. So, we need very strong, tough men who are good in battle.”

    Immediately, Aiden’s face faltered.

   “Aiden,” Jay went on, “your assistance won’t be needed on this mission, on the front. Your skills on the battlefield are just not good enough.” He held a finger up. “But, that doesn’t mean we don’t need you at all. The table and I agreed your assistance might be handy behind the scenes. You’re the smartest Angel of your age. So, if you’re still willing to help, you’re wanted.”

    Trying to keep his face calm, Aiden nodded. “Of course, sir. I’m always willing to help.”

    “Please head to the meeting room now,” Jay ordered sternly, and Aiden was gone. “Cason and Nathaniel, go to the garden. There are a few members of the table waiting in there for you so they can explain more. Diego, I need you to help me with something else. Come with me.” Without another word, he turned and left the room with Diego on his heels like a puppy.

    As soon as the door shut, Cason turned to Nathaniel with a jaw hanging open. “Dude.”

   “Let’s go,” Nathaniel said quickly, not letting his excitement show on his face. He couldn’t even remember the last time he was remotely excited.

    Everyone knew him as more of the reserved type. Growing up under Jay’s shadow, he learned to always contain his emotions and keep a natural face. Even happiness was an emotion he rarely expressed. Cason was the only person who’d ever been able to make him laugh. A best friend’s trick, maybe.

    Although he rarely showed it, Nathan really appreciated his friends. Cason had been his best friend and roommate since they were both thirteen. They had very different personalities, but maybe that’s why they got along so well.     

    Nathan was the emotionally reserved, mysterious, serious, tough guy while Cason was the social, cool, funny, party guy. Cason got all the girls, and made sure to remind him of that fact everyday. But Nathaniel didn't care. He was satisfied with his own appearance and never enjoyed the attention of girls anyway. Not to say he didn’t get any attention from girls, because he did. He just didn’t feed off it or pay attention to it like Cason did, so the one-sided affections usually died off quick.

    Nathaniel was the opposite of Cason in a physical standpoint as well. While Cason’s hair was tall and light, Nathaniel’s was dark, wavy, and down more, but not too shaggy. While Cason’s eyes were a cool, dark blue, his were a mysterious, dark dark brown. Both of them were pretty muscular, but Nathaniel was a little more lean, while Cason was slightly broader. Not by much though. They didn't take lifting lightly; it was a competition they held between each other since they were fourteen.

    Everyone who knew of Cason knew of Nathan, and vise versa. They were attached at the hip, as if they had been born side by side. To them, it felt like they had been. Neither of them were the sappy, emotional, loving type, but they thought of each other as close brothers who couldn't live without the other.

    Nathaniel truly couldn't imagine his life without Cason.

    "Ladies first," Cason mocked with a bow as he opened the door to the garden.

    Allowing a small smirk, Nathaniel shoved his shoulder and waltzed through the door.

   The garden was strikingly beautiful. Although he had lived in the Heavenly Palace all of his life, the beauty of it never ceased to amaze him. It was huge, stretching large enough to fill an entire football field and then some, and full of beautiful plants and flowers and trees. The walls and ceilings were made of glass, allowing the sunshine in to soak the grass and plants in light. Cement sidewalk carved out a curvy walkway between trees and flowers, leading back into an area with white, wooden tables and chairs.

   Often times Angels would come to the garden to read or study, as it gave a quiet, pleasant atmosphere. But it was also used for occasions like this; temporarily closed off to the public while a confidential meeting took place. Birds chirped pleasantly, grateful for the beautiful home.

    Ahead, a man and a woman sat at one of the tables with their hands folded, business like. 

   "Good evening, boys," the woman said, standing. Long, wavy white locks flowed down her shoulders like a waterfall, complimenting her flawless, freckled dark skin. Though she was clearly not old, she was definitely not eighteen either. Her large, gray eyes scanned the boys over with a hardness as she invited them over. Nathaniel suddenly recognized her as Sienna Fleiss and his heart dropped; not only Jay's right hand, but also widely known as one of the smartest Angels alive at the time. Reaching out for her extended hand, he shook it with his eyebrows raised. If she was here, it was important.

    "Sienna Fleiss," Cason mused, eyebrows raised in shock as well as he went to shake her hand. "A pleasure, ma'am." An expression mixed of concern and worry flashed across his face for a moment, and Nathaniel knew he was thinking the same thing. This had to be serious. 

    She motioned towards the table. "Take a seat."

    The boys sat down slowly on the opposite side, somehow managing to communicate their concerns to one another without speaking or looking at each other. Whatever this mission was, it was no joke. Out of his peripheral vision, Nathan could tell Cason was sitting stiffly, even though he usually slouched.

    Sitting down herself, she then waved her hand towards the man beside her. "This is Amedeo Garvinskia." The man nodded once in greeting. "He is also a part of the table, and works with me quite often. But we aren't here to discuss ourselves." She turned her clipboard around and pushed it directly in front of the boys. "You have heard of the Jewel in your schooling, correct?"
    Nathan and Cason nodded, both recognizing the photo on the clipboard immediately. 

    "Before your time, before mine even, our men were sent out on a mission to retrieve this Jewel. As I'm sure you remember from your studies, it was a failed mission. We lost two hundred soldiers; over half of our entire army. There is only one creature guarding the Jewel, but it is strong enough to stand up to hundreds of warriors. Only one person has ever escaped alive, and we are lucky enough to call that man our leader."

    Michael. Everyone knew this story.

    "Again, I'm sure you know all this, but I must refresh your memory so there are no mistakes. The creature guarding the Jewel is this." She flipped the page on the clipboard up, revealing a word Nathaniel did not know. "הרס אנושי," it read. 

     "In English, that literally means 'human destruction.' It is pronounced 'eh-no-she ha-lahs'. But we refer to them as Vappi; why that is, I don't know. I didn't name it. Right now, we know of seven living creatures like this. These creatures are incredibly dangerous; they do vary in size, but all of them are at least fifteen meters long. The one guarding the Jewel is roughly eighteen meters; neither the largest we've heard of nor the smallest. Surprisingly, it isn't that complex. It resembles a dragon perfectly, although it is aqueous rather than land living. With scales as tough as diamonds, it seems nearly indestructible. But my personal belief is you can defeat anything by outsmarting it." She flipped the page again to a photo of the dragon like creature.

    Just as she said, it looked exactly like a dragon. It was solid black with an uncountable amount of scales. Blue eyes like crystals seemed sharp enough to pierce through his own, and it was only a drawing. He had never seen an image or painting of one before.

    "Their scales can heat up to over five thousand degrees, bringing any water nearby to an almost immediate boil. Instead of being your typical fire-breathing dragon, it can actually spew steaming acid out its eyes, nose, and mouth in any direction. An uncountable amount of warriors have faced this monster over the thousands of years its been living, and no one has even gotten close to touching the Jewel." She took the clipboard again, setting it aside. "If you are willing to help, we want to send you after it. After this creature, after the Jewel."

     Unable to control himself, Nathaniel's jaw dropped.

     "Excuse me?" exclaimed Cason, hoping to have heard wrong.

     "If I am able to come up with the perfect plan, you can get the Jewel. You won't have to worry about attacking at all. We just need to find a way to outsmart it, and your task should be easy."

     Cason's eyes were wide in disbelief. "Easy? Ma'am, I mean no disrespect, but—"

    "Trust me. We need this Jewel. There is a meeting that will take place tonight to further discuss details. Both of you need to be there. Keep an open mind, because at the end of the day, you will have to do what you're told either way so you might as well do it willingly. But, please, trust me when I say, I—" She paused, clearing her throat and staring at them intently. "We need you to do this."

     "More than you know," Amendeo agreed somberly.

     

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