"Did you cover your eyes when they told you,
"I hear the message well, but lack Faith's
"Rachel!" Alex screamed, running. Rachel and the others jumped from their seats. Alex ran into the hall, colliding with Rachel. "What is it?" Rachel asked. "Someone's taken Kat!" Alex cried. Before she could even finish Kat's name, they were all running out the door.
"KAT!" Rachel screamed at the top of her lungs. "I think he took her this way!" Ethan yelled. They all took off towards the garden, screaming Kat's name. As they crossed the lawn, Nick gained speed, outdistancing the others. Rachel was right behind him, closing in as fast as she could.
"I have to go, Kat. You're friends are coming," the stranger said. Kat looked up at her new friend."They won't hurt you," she said. Kat didn't want her friend to go away. "I know they won't," he replied. Kat stood up and hugged the man around his waist. He put his hands on her shoulders. "Don't go," she said, "You would like my friends. They're really nice."
"I love your friends, Kat. And I love you too," he said. Kat bent down and picked up one of her dolls and handed it to him. "Take Annie, she's my favorite. When you play with her you can remember me," Kat said. The man smiled and hugged her. As he walked off into the early morning fog, Kat turned, hearing her mother's cries.
Nick came tearing around the corner. When he saw Kat, he stopped suddenly, with Rachel plummeting into him. She shoved Nick aside and ran to Kat. "Are you alright?" she cried. Kat grinned at them. "I'm okay," she said. Kat noticed the grim looks on their faces and asked, "Am I in trouble?"
"No, sweetie. It's just that Alex said you were with someone, a man," Rachel replied. "Oh, that was my new friend," Kat said, relieved. Ethan walked up to her. "Your friend? You know that man? What's his name?" he asked her. "I don't know. He didn't tell me his name," she said.
Alex leaned close to Derek, whispering in his ear. "Ethan says it was the same man he saw in Brazil."
"Are you sure?" Derek asked. Alex nodded. "And did you see him too?"
"Yes, but-" Alex hesitated. "But what?" Nick asked her. "Just don't ask me what he looks like," she said.
"Then you didn't see him," Derek said.
"No, I did," Alex said, confused, "I just don't remember, I don't know. I just couldn't describe to you guys what he looked like."
"Kat," Derek said, "What does your friend look like?" Kat wrinkled her brow. Rachel looked at her anxiously. "I don't know. But he was really nice," she said. Rachel picked up her daughter. "That's enough, I want Kat inside, NOW," she said, shaken. She started off towards the house with the others behind her. When they reached the lawn they stopped. Rachel looked at the ground as her shadow disappeared. "Mom!" Kat cried. Rachel gasped."Get inside!" Derek screamed at them. They all ran towards the mansion except Father Blake. He stood still and smiled at the ground. Derek screamed at him, pulling him from his trance. He ran inside as Derek held the door for him.
"What the hell?" Nick shouted. "It's 8:30 in the morning and it's pitch black outside!"
"What's happening?" Kat said, crying. Father Blake went to the window. "It's the sun. It's gone." he said. Phillip ran to a window, his face paled. "The sun has turned black as sackcloth...." Phillip said in a low voice. He turned and ran up the stairs, taking them two at a time.
Father Blake was laughing softly with joy, while Ethan dropped to his knees, crying quietly like Kat. Rachel went into the other room with her daughter and Derek followed. "I need to talk to Kat," Derek said. Rachel turned on him. "Can't it wait?" she asked. "No!" Derek cried. He looked at the little girl. "Kat, tell me, did your friend say anything to you? Anything at all?" he asked.
"Yes," she said, whimpering. "He said that Phillip is the only one."
"The only what?" he asked.
"I don't know, he didn't say anything more 'cept to ask me what my doll's name was," she answered. Derek sighed and turned around. "Wait!" Kat cried. Derek and Rachel looked at her. "He also said that he loves you." Derek looked confused. "Me?" he asked her. "No, all of you. And he loves me too," she said. Derek said nothing and left the room. Rachel sat down with Kat. "He said he loved you?" she asked. "Mmm,hmm" Kat replied. She hugged her mother and said, "Mom, you know how when it's cold, and you put on your favorite sweater, and you feel warm and good?" she asked. "Yes, I know," said Rachel. "That's what my friend is like. When he hugged me I felt warm," Kat said. Rachel leaned back and sighed, closing her eyes.
Derek walked through the foyer. Father Blake was holding his bible and smiling. Nick was walking back and forth, exasperated. Alex was trying to comfort her brother. "Where's Phillip?" he asked them. Alex mumbled something incoherent. "What?" Derek asked her. She snapped at him. "I said he went upstairs!" Derek stared at her a few moments before heading up after Phillip.
Running down the hall, Derek heard Phillip's cries. "Where is it!" Phillip was shouting. Derek ran into the room. Phillip was pulling books off a bookshelf by the dozens. Derek grabbed his arm. "What's the matter with you!" Derek cried. Phillip shrugged him off. "I can't find my book, dammit!" Phillip shouted. Derek looked at Phillip as if he had gone completely insane. Noticing Derek's expression, Phillip stepped back. "I know what you're thinking," he said, "I'm not crazy. You're the one who's crazy if you believe what Blake's telling you." Phillip turned around and scanned the room. He broke out laughing. "Wouldn't you know it'd be right in front of me the entire time," he said.
He walked over to his chest of drawers and picked up a leather bound and faded book. Derek came up behind him. He asked, "What is it?" Phillip sat down on the end of his bed, madly flipping through the pages of the book. He started speaking, more to himself than to Derek. "In Southern Moytura, near Galway...the battle...the battle of Moytura," Phillip was mumbling. He was turning the pages back and forth wildly, ripping some of the pages as he turned them. "Phillip? Does the book have an index?" Derek asked. Phillip stopped and looked at him. He turned the book to the back and traced his finger down the page. He murmured something and flipped the book to the page he was looking for. He read silently, while Derek fidgeted nervously.
Phillip's faced paled to a porcelain white. "Thousands of years ago, there was a powerful clan in Ireland called the Tuatha de Danann. They fought a mighty battle in Moytura. It was a struggle between good and evil. They were the victorious ones and afterwards it was celebrated all throughout Ireland that goodness had triumphed. But in the myths and legends that followed, it was prophesied that there would come a time that evil would come back and overcome the world. Moytura was thought to be synonymous with the end of the world ever since."
Derek simply stared at him, the words not registering. He said, "What is it you're telling me?" Phillip slammed the book shut. "Derek, I do think that this is the Second Coming. But I don't think it's the Second Coming of God, I think it's the Second Coming of something else."
"I guess somewhere along the way,
"Never until this night have I been stirred.
"Derek, doesn't your sight tell you anything?" Phillip asked. Derek leaned backward and sat down in a chair near Phillip's desk. He closed his eyes and strained his forehead. "No," he said after a few moments, "I can't feel or sense anything at all," he replied. "Then maybe that should tell you something," Phillip said. "If something was wrong, you would know it. If something good was happening, you would know it. Anything at all, the slightest hint of feeling, you'd be able to sense SOMETHING, wouldn't you?" Derek's eyes widened. "You're absolutely right, Phillip. I can't feel or sense a damned thing," he said.
They both turned their heads as they heard someone walking through the hall towards the room. Nick walked into Phillip's bedroom. Nick was angry, Derek could sense that much. "Your friend," Nick said, snidely, "is down there spouting biblical prophecies. He's flipped out Phillip! He's scaring Kat and Rachel. Ethan's already past the point of fear. What the hell does Blake think he's doing?"
Derek grabbed Nick's arm and pulled him close. He spoke in a very low, and steady voice. "Nick, go downstairs and stay with Rachel and Kat. Alex is with her brother?" Nick nodded. He was startled by Derek's grave attitude. Derek said, "Good, just stay with Rachel and Kat until you hear from me, alright?" Nick said nothing and left the room. Derek turned around and sat back down in Phillip's chair. He was very quiet for a while, until Phillip couldn't stand it anymore and asked him what he was thinking.
"When I was a child, my grandmother told me a story about the Devil. The story is that when God and the Devil and their angels fought in Heaven, God got a hold of the Devil and flung him out of Heaven with great force. The Devil landed on earth with such an impact that he was knocked into a deep unconsciousness. All of the evils of the world are carried out by his dark angels and their dominions in the Devil's name. And that one day, when humans were creating evil of their own, when faith was gone, when hope and humanity and everything that held man together as human and civilized dissolved into hate, the Devil would come back. And there is nothing God in His Heaven can do to stop it, for He gave us free will. And if it is our will to destroy ourselves, like any father, all He can do is watch with grief and a broken heart." Phillip lowered his head and stared at the floor. His eyes teared slightly as he said, "I should have seen it, instead of being blinded with anger. I didn't see it before, but the signs are wrong, they're in wrong order, everything about this was wrong from the very beginning. I didn't realize."
"Don't you see, Phillip? The way that things are in the world. The things that we've seen, the evil. How much of it was created by the Devil's own, and how much of it was created by man himself? There is no faith. There is no hope. There is nothing! Now the very worst has happened, the Devil has awakened. And all of the evil mankind has encountered, however powerful, over the years, was nothing compared to what is coming. We've seen only his demons, we've yet to see the Beast himself."
"Before their eyes in sudden view appear
"Groves stand forsaken and the temples of the Gods run down
"Hell, her numbers full,
Phillip stood, staring out the window at the blackened sky. "The moon is out," he mumbled. Derek looked up at him."What did you say?" he asked. Phillip turned around slowly. "I said that the moon is out, at 9 o'clock in the morning. The sun has gone out, but the earth has turned enough so that the moon would show in the sky," Phillip explained. Derek jumped up suddenly, staring at Phillip. Both men looked at each other, terror rising in the pit of their stomachs.
"Phillip, your face!" Derek exclaimed. "My face? Look at yours! It's blood red-" At the same moment, realization hit them at full force and they looked out the window. "Look at that, the moon has turned as red as blood," Phillip gasped. They heard screams coming from down below and they both ran downstairs. Father Blake was on his knees praying, trying to get Ethan and Alex to join him. Alex was too busy trying to get Ethan to calm down. Phillip ran into the study.
"Rachel, are you two alright?" he asked them. Kat nodded, but kept crying. "Phillip? What's going on? What's happening?" Rachel cried.
"Just stay right here and don't leave this room!" Phillip commanded. Before he could leave, Kat cried out to him.
"Make it stop, Phillip! He said you were the only one who could make it stop!" Kat said. Phillip whipped around. Rachel held her daughter closer. "Who said this? The man in the garden?" Phillip asked. Kat nodded. Phillip looked away and tried to piece things together. The signs were in wrong order. Julia and Winston Rayne were trying to warn them. The Devil was coming, not God. How in the hell was he expected to stop it?
As Phillip ran into the hall he caught up with Derek and Nick. Nick asked, "What are we going to do?" Phillip was about to answer him when Derek hushed them both. "Listen!" he cried. Phillip's face fell. Nick strained his ears, trying to hear whatever it was Derek and Phillip heard. "I don't hear anything," said Nick. "That's what I mean!" Derek replied. Phillip turned around, cocking his ear. "Silence. Complete silence. That's the last sign in Revelations. Silence in the Heavens. He's making a mockery out of it all!" Phillip cried.
"Who is?" Nick asked.
"The Devil" Derek answered. Nick lost all color to his face. Alex ran up to them, frightened. "You know something, don't you?" she cried out, angrily. Derek pulled her aside and spoke to her in the corner of the room. Nick and Phillip watched as her eyes went from simple fear to utter terror. "Alex," Phillip asked, "What's Father Blake doing right now?" Alex recovered from Derek's words and exhaled sharply. "He's in the other room crying with joy. He's going on and on about how wonderful this all is."
Phillip blinked hard and shouted out, "Can I be so bloody stupid!"
"What?" asked Derek. Phillip screamed at Derek to come with him and they both ran back up to his room. He tossed everything aside until he found his black bag and pulled out the vial of holy water.
"How could I be so stupid," Phillip asked himself. Derek was without a clue. Phillip shoved the vial back in the bag and looked over at Derek. "That's not Father Blake, Derek. There never was a Father Blake."
"But you've met him before, in Ireland, he-"
"Of course I did, and it wasn't Father Blake then and it's not now," Phillip cried, running out. Derek grabbed his arm when Phillip reached the door. Without Derek having to ask, Phillip said, "I think it's Belial."
Derek let him go and followed him out the door. Phillip explained, "Belial was one of the original dark angels that fought with the Devil against God and His angels of light. He was the most abominable of all of Satan's horde, who appeared graceful and charming. He who looked like an angel of God, but was a demon in disguise."
"Phillip, wait," Derek said, sudden realization hit him. "You said the signs were wrong, in wrong order. What sign hasn't occurred?"
Phillip cursed out loud. "The earthquake," he said. Just as the words escaped his lips, a huge jolt sent them tumbling down the stairs, followed by a tremendous shaking that seemed to rip the house from the ground. The only thing Derek heard before he lost consciousness, was the horrific, ear shattering roar of the earth splitting open.
"Farewell happy fields
"The fourth place that he came unto
"Dark faces pale against that rosy flame,
A red sky smothered the planet, wrapping it up in a bloody veil. God called his angels back. Humankind had hung itself, and all of Heaven mourned. Over the earth, the Devil's own horde, Beezelbub, Astarte, Dagon and Memoch, scoured the earth on dragons. They were War, Revolution, Famine and Pestilence, the four horseman of the Devil's realm.
Cities were obliterated and countries were devastated, yet not a single human life was taken. Azrael, the Angel Of Death, would not come for anyone.Those mortally wounded did not die. People prayed for death, wished for death, but Azrael had fled to Heaven. The earth was abandoned.
No fog blew over the bay. No ocean breezes. The Marina slid into the water, along with Alcatraz. The city's famous skyline was reduced to rubble; it's most famous landmark collapsed into the sea. There was silence for a few moments, until screams erupted throughout the city. Sirens and car alarms filled the air, mingled with the shrieking cries of man.
Angel Island, once a preeminent part of the bay, had split open., leaving on one side a small ridge of land. In the red glare, the ruins of a great castle scraped the sky. The screams emanating from it were different than those of the horrified people of San Francisco. They were screams of joy and the release of Hell itself.
"Mommy,?" Kat cried. She squirmed out from beneath her mother's body. Rachel was still in the position she was when she shoved Kat underneath her and shielded her with her body. Kat turned her over and laid her head down on Rachel's chest, feeling and hearing the rhythm of her mother's heartbeat. She shook Rachel, trying to awaken her. Rachel remained motionless.
Kat looked around her, the ceiling had caved in, taking half the room with it. Cold air rushed in through the open space as the little girl crawled over the wreckage towards the door. She had to find someone who would help her mother.
She pulled on the door as hard as she could but it was sealed shut by the debris. Kat called out, hoping someone would hear her. No one answered her so she crawled back to her mother and waited.
Alex laid in the rubble in a broken heap. Someone was calling her name but she felt too weak to respond. A gentle hand pressed against her forehead as her name was called again. Alex opened her eyes and looked up at Nick.
"Can you hear me?" he asked her. She stared up at him, unable to speak. Nausea rose up in her throat and she moaned.
"Is she okay?" Alex heard a voice say. It sounded like Philip's.
"She's hurt bad," Nick answered. Ethan, she thought, where was Ethan? Alex moaned again.
"Stay still, Alex. Don't try to move or speak," Nick told her. He pulled off his sweater and carefully placed it beneath her head. Alex moaned even louder and her head dipped to the side.
"Damn!" Nick cursed, "she's lost consciousness again."
"Nick, she'll be okay for now, we've got to find the others," said Philip. He crawled over the debris and scanned the room. He called out, "Derek!"
He stood up and looked for signs of life. Nick put his hand on Philip's shoulder to steady himself. Philip screamed and doubled over. "My arm," he gasped. Nick grabbed on to him and helped him back up. "Philip, I'm sorry," Nick said. "That's all right," Philip responded wearily, "Are you okay?"
"A little worse for wear, but I think I'm okay," replied Nick. They heard a muffled cry from underneath them. Nick cried, "Derek!" and dug through the rubble. Philip used his good arm to pull out the man trapped beneath. It was Ethan Moreau. "Ethan, are you okay?" Philip asked him. The man stared blankly at Nick and Philip and then stood up with such force that he knocked them bo th over.
"My sister!" he shouted, grabbing Nick's t-shirt in his fist. Nick grabbed him back. "It's all right, take it easy. She's over here," Nick said.Ethan went over and held his sister's limp body.
"Where were you and Derek when the quake started?" Nick asked Philip. "At the top of the stairs," answered Philip. His stomach pitched when he saw the empty space where the stairs had been. Nick closed his eyes and turned away.
"Let's find Kat and Rachel," he said. Nick, fueled by rage and fear, jumped over rubble and made his way to the study door. He tried it several times but there was too much debris blocking it. He pounded on the door, calling to Rachel and Kat. Nick heard a muffled voice.
He cried, "Philip, they're over here! They're alive!" Philip reached the door and grimaced as he slipped and fell on his wounded shoulder. A tiny voice called out from behind the door.
"Kat? Sweetheart, are you okay?" Nick cried."Nick?" the little girl replied. "I'm right here, Kat. Where's your mother?" he asked her. "She's here, but she won't wake up, I can't wake her up," Kat sobbed.
Nick tried pushing aside the wreckage but it was too heavy. He only succeeded in tiring himself out completely. Exhausted, Nick leaned his head against the door.
"Kat," he said, fatigued, "I'm going to get you and you mom out of there, I promise. But it's gonna take some time honey, all right?"
Kat responded in a tired little voice, "Okay." Philip stood up. Nick grabbed his ankle and looked up at him. "Where are you going? You've got to help me get them out of there," said Nick. "You said yourself that it would take time. I'm not abandoning them, Nick. I'm going to go look for Derek," Philip said.
"I'm here," a haggard voice spoke out. Nick and Philip turned around and looked behind them. There was hardly any recognizable features to Derek's bloodied face. He toppled over and Nick grabbed him before he hit the ground.
"Derek!" he gasped. Derek screamed painfully as Nick gently laid him on the ground.
"God, his face," Ethan breathed. Nick held Derek's head in his lap.Philip bent down and placed a hand on Derek's shoulder. Derek screamed out. Philip pressed down his hand again with more force and Derek bellowed.
Nick screamed angrily, "Philip! What the hell do you think you're doing?" He slapped Philip's hand away from Derek's body.
Philip snarled at him, "Let go of him, Nick. That's not Derek!"
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