It was 12 o' clock, midnight, and closing time. I swiftly went through the procedure to close the store for the night, as I had hundreds of times before. Money tucked away. Doors locked. Windows shut. Lights out. Books stacked. Everything in its place.
I headed for the door to leave, flipping the cheerful red "We're Open!" sign to the back. Just as I reached for the doorknob though, I heard the phone rang. I froze. It wasn't the familiar jingle of the blue business phone that sat in the front desk, from which I greeted customers day after day. It was the phone in the back room, the small black one that hung on the only bare wall in the entire building. I dropped the pretense of my Role and vessel, that of a 43-year old woman named Amy, who ran an old bookstore in a small town 60 miles south of Boston, and rushed to the back room with inhuman speed. I had picked it up by the start of the third ring.
"Hondoriel. He's gone bad."
"3 hours ago."
"Why?" "Poor Impulse Control, and conflict with Word dissonance and the Prime Oath."
"On a rampage in south Boston, killing humans he thinks are demons. 4 dead already."
"Pick up Arellaye at the college down the street, and then meet with me and the others at O'Conners. We leave in 30 minutes."
I hung up the phone, taking one moment to reflect, before I flew to the locker next to me to gear up. Leather jacket with Song of Shields. Fire sword. Prism with 5 units of Essence. I hummed my Songs to myself a few times while gearing up. Although to others it might have looked like I've done this many times, in truth it was only my 3rd. And I prayed once again it could be my last. I clipped on my earrings, tied my hair back and rushed out the door and to my car. It was windy tonight... smelt like rain.
10 minutes later I pulled up outside of the local college I taught at sometimes, and waited. After only a minute, a small girl wearing a ratty skirt and denim shirt jumped into the car, lugging a large duffel bag behind her. She pushed her purple hair out of her face and looked at me.
"Arellaye. Creation." she said, and went silent, looking straight forward.
I geared the car up and roared out of the parking lot, flying to the pub a few blocks away. I spoke after a minute "Kaymein. Destiny."
There is always five of us, all Malakim. One from Destiny, Judgment, Creation, Flowers and War. Judgment to pass on an appropriate punishment. Creation as weapons expert. War to hear danger, and kick ass. Flowers to try to talk them down if possible. Destiny... well, I was here because Laurence wanted a Malakite of Yves here. I didn't ask.
I got to our destination and parked out front. We both silently rushed out to the back, where a large black van sat in a darkened corner of the lot. Outside of it were three more individuals. A tall brooding man with an eagle nose and large, ornate greatsword in hand. He carried a small book in his shirt pocket. The next one was a grizzled woman wearing a heavy trench coat, bulging with the suggestion of heavy weaponry. Last was a young man, wearing sandals with t-shirt and jeans, holding a long iron pole with a barbed end. Dyne, the tall man, and the one who called me, only nodded his head as he got in front. He was the Malakite of Judgment, and a longtime frined of mine. I jumped into the passenger side, while Arellaye, the woman, and the boy jumped into the back. Heavy metal objects rolled around on the floor, and the only sounds I heard was the clicking of guns, sharpening of swords, and zipping of bags being opened and closed. After a few minutes, the noise stopped. The clock read 1:30 on the dot. Dyne looked back, and asked "Are you ready?". There was no response. He nodded his head, started up the van, and looked forward.
"Let's go to work."
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