By Michael Cleveland
The three hobos huddled around a fire, wrapping their blankets around them and praying to God that the cold would relent and their fortunes would get better. From her window in her laboratory, Sylviel looked down and wished she could do something for them. Since she'd been assigned to this Tether, she'd had the opportunity to watch humanity in action, and she was beginning to understand how humans could swear themselves to Hell. Knowledge of the Truth was sometimes a painful burden to bear, and she had stopped using her resonance casually on some of the people she saw on the street. 'Small wonder they lose faith, when they believe they are already in Hell.' she thought.
Sylviel walked away from the window, and walked into the kitchen. Looking at the duty roster, she noted that all the soldiers had left for the day, leaving only angels on for the night. Thinking quickly, she grabbed the few pizza boxes that were left over from earlier in the day, setting what was left in the microwave for a few moments. 'Just because we can't bring thermal units out to them doesn't mean I can't do something to ease their suffering.'
A few moments later, she walked outside to the homeless men standing around. "Excuse me, but I saw you gentlemen out here in the cold and I thought you might like something to eat." One of the men looked up at her, smiled a bit with his broken teeth, and took the pizza box. "Thank you kindly, ma'am. You don't know how much this means to us." Sylviel smiled, and turned to walk back inside when she felt something cold and metallic at the base of her skull, and then a falling sensation as her soul raced upwards towards her heart in Trauma. The three hobos looked at each other after hiding her body, and then started moving towards the building. One of them bent down and coughed a couple of times, then whispered into his sleeve.
"We've got our entrance into the hive. All teams prepare for assault."
Several minutes later, the conditions in the Tether had changed dramatically. The seneschal was dead, the primary research staff was missing or dead, and the 40 or so people that had stormed the building had gathered up the few remaining angels into one of the storerooms in the back of the building. The hobo with broken teeth was walking behind the few surviving Servants of Lightning, with a cigar in his mouth and a M-16 in his hands. Looking towards one of the other shabbily dressed men with an assault rifle. "Is that the last of them?"
He nodded. "We think so, Colonel. Assuming they didn't have the opportunity to warn any of their other nests, the area should be secure. They could have gone extradimensional on us, but I think we're good. Teams 3 and 4 are beginning the inventory."
One of the Cherubim spoke. "Please, you don't understand..."
The men looked over at him, and then looked back at each other. "I think we can go ahead and kill these ones right here. Orders are for a straight smash and grab, not prisoners. Besides, we don't have containment units for them." The man with the cigar nodded. "I want these scum off my planet. Let's just go ahead and finish them."
One of the Malakim that had survived, albeit without his legs, looked up at the people around him. "When I get back to Earth, I'll show you bastards what we do to Hellspawn."
The cigar smoking man walking over and crouched next to him, pulling a pistol from a shoulder holster. Placing the weapon to the back of the Malakite's skull, he nodded at the rest of the people, who did the same with their rifles to the rest of the angels. "We're not any sort of 'Hellsworn', you alien freaks. We're Marines. Remember that when you get where you're going, and may God have mercy on your souls."
Project Silence is a completely black operations program that deals with the unenviable task of rooting out 'Extradimensional Entities', or Celestials. No celestial is quite certain when they formed, but over the past sixty or so years there have been more than a few celestials that have found their way back to Heaven or Hell via the guns of this group. There is no open source of funding, no obvious command structure, and unfortunately for those who would like to see them gone, there always seem to be more of them.
Initiated in the later years of World War II, Project Silence came out of multiple reports that aliens had aligned themselves with the Axis powers and with the Soviet Union. While the people who were first put into the program were some of the military's castoffs who didn't fit in anywhere else, the would-be dumping ground for problem cases soon found itself in the middle of a firestorm. Apparently the reports were true, but not complete. Not only was there an alien conspiracy backing Hitler, but there was evidence of a different group of aliens working inside the Allied camp as well, albeit one that was trying to overthrow the Axis and the other aliens.
It also became apparent that these aliens had the resources to insinuate themselves into human society, appearing to be human in every way until they chose to show their powers. Several high ranking officers in the armed forces were soon discovered as being in collaboration with these 'foreign powers', thus proving to all the skeptics that there was a legitimate invasion in progress and that there was a legitimate threat to national security. The decision was made - the aliens had infiltrated the military complex, the intelligence organizations, the courts, the legislative branch and the financial industry. There was no reason to do such a thing covertly, unless there was a plan to quietly take control of the United States without anyone being aware.
Realizing that since their enemies apparently were able to move in more than 3 dimensions, the military came up with the idea that their actions might well coincide with the abilities of 'spirits' that occultists had been claiming to contact and control for centuries. Pressing into service some of the occult-minded members of the military, as well as some of the Jewish Kaballists rescued from the Nazi death camps, they began a very ordered and difficult training program to train their soldiers to recognize the potential warning signs of these 'spirits'. While the few celestials that knew laughed at the plan, their laughter soon had cause to stop.
Most soldiers gain their sixth force and their Symphonic Awakening due to experience and a conscious awakening attempt by either Heaven or Hell. In the case of Project Silence, you have hundreds of people training at a time, taken from the physically and mentally elite of a trained military organization. Through the forced education in occult and scientific principles, as well as a physical training regimen that would be the equal of any other Special Forces unit, many people began to show the signs of success. This was characterized by hearing unearthly sounds in the presence of the aliens, hence the designation 'Silence'.
They were sent back into the field as hunters and snipers, but also as cooks, logistics personnel, and many other specialties. When a nest, also known as a 'Tether' is found, the people spring into action, placing the location under surveillance as well as anyone who comes or goes to the place. After a few weeks, the human collaborators and aliens are distinguished from the unknowing dupes, and the operation begins in earnest. Details vary by the nest, but high explosives are always part of the plan. The central transport pads in the center of the bases can be well disguised, being constructed from almost any earthly material, but this pad, or 'locus' has to be destroyed quickly. Otherwise, more entities will come through to reinforce the garrison already present.
The truly hard work isn't so much with the aliens - it's with the poor souls that have associated with them for a long time. The people often claim that their alien associates were not aliens, but rather 'Angels' or 'Demons'. This part is the most tragic, as they can seldom be brought back to rational sanity, requiring their institutionalization. Many good, decent church-going people become wrapped up in these conspiracies - people who just were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's for these people, and for the regular folks on the street that Project Silence is working for. To guarantee the freedom of the people of the United States from the alien forces that would oppress them.
God help us all.
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