Catastrophic Angel Response Team (C.A.R.T.)
Guardian Angel: Zeek
I re-materialized in C.A.R.T. headquarters, still holding my flaming sword. I didn’t have a physical body anymore, at least not in the sense that anyone from Earth would understand, but the thudding in my chest and shortness of breath made it seem like I’d just run up a mountain.
Had I imagined it, or had the people on that roof seen me?
There had been a scream, and then pointing. Something about lightning. Hard to tell when you’re being pulled bad into another realm.
The transporter operator gave me a healthy glare which moved to my sword, so I released the sword, allowing it to fade away. I smiled at the operator and stepped off the landing pad.
“Please exit the landing area,” she said in a stern voice.
“Right. Sorry.” I took a deep breath and clenched my shaking hands into fists.
Why was I so worked up about cutting a wire rope? The guy hadn’t fallen. I’d completed my mission.
I moved into the main area of headquarters. The usual hustle and bustle of angels going about their daily tasks filled my ears. I moved toward a line of desks where I would fill out my report. About half were already full, and I recognized two of the other rookies who had graduated with me.
I opened my mouth to say hello, but before the words came out, two imposing figures stepped in front of me. A woman and man. I could feel the power emanating from them. What did Regulation want with me? I gritted my teeth, then forced a smile.
“What can I do for you?”
“Zeek, Rookie class Guardian Angel?” the woman asked.
“Yes,” I said.
“Come with us,” the man said.
Zedekiah’s voice whispered in my ear, almost making me jump. He usually signed off before the paperwork. “I told you to keep that sword stowed, kid.”
The sword? What did he mean?
The Regulation angels led me across headquarters, and I did my best not to notice how many others were staring at me.
By the time we got to the door that led to the Regulation office, whispers had erupted behind me.
“I heard he used his sword on a human.”
“He was seen.”
“They’ll kick him out for sure.”
My heart sped up again. “Zedekiah?” I whispered. “What is this about?
“I’m not sure, they’re bringing me in too.”
That made me swallow. Hard. The only time Guardian Angels and their Controllers were brought to Regulation is when something really bad had happened.
I’d saved the blonde man. My mission light had gone green again. I didn’t understand.
My guides took me into a small office consisting of a desk and three chairs. The woman sat behind the desk. The man folded his arms over his chest, leaned on the desk, and narrowed his eyes at me.
It was probably better not to speak unless spoken to, so I sat quietly. A few seconds later, the door opened and Zedekiah came in.
I’d never met him before, but he matched the picture in my head perfectly. Old. Grizzled. He looked like he’d been in a biker gang on Earth.
“Kid,” he grunted as he sat.
“Zedekiah,” I said.
Zedekiah turned his gaze on the woman and said, “What’s this about?”
The woman sat back, steepled her fingers, and studied me for a moment before answering. Her silver eyes bore into mine. “You used your sword on your last mission.”
My eyes darted to Zedekiah, who gave me a nod.
“The man I was there to protect was going to walk from one skyscraper to another on a wire rope. Nothing else dissuaded him, so at the last minute I cut the rope.”
The woman continued to stare. The man let out a humph.
I didn’t feel like they got it, so I went on. “Zedekiah informed me this man has been rescued several times. He was resistant to my whisper and commands. I felt like cutting the rope was the best option.”
The man looked at Zedekiah, who nodded. “That’s what happened.”
The woman leaned forward, her eyes never leaving me. “Do you know that humans can see the sword?”
“Some can,” I said. That’s what we’d been taught in the academy.
“You used power to run on the air, then you used the sword to cut the rope. You unleashed a holy cry, which made the sword visible to three of the people.”
“A holy cry?” I had no idea what that was.
Zedekiah sat forward. “He did what?”
The woman glanced at Zedekiah, then back at me. “Rookies shouldn’t be able to do a holy cry.”
I shook my head. “I’m sorry, what?”
The man took over. “A holy cry is usually reserved for stopping wars, saving someone who is going to influence many people, or destroying a city.”
Zedekiah muttered something under his breath. Pretty sure it was a curse.
“I—I don’t remember doing anything like that.”
“But you did,” the woman said. “Where did you learn it?”
“I didn’t.” I hadn’t. I barely remembered yelling before cutting the rope.
Zedekiah spoke. “Could it have been an accident? The assignment should have been at least a Class B, and he wasn’t ready for it. Maybe he got extra power for this one.”
“Perhaps,” the woman said.
The man grunted again.
I opened my mouth to ask about this extra power, but Zedekiah kicked my foot.
“Why don’t we put him into Class B missions?” Zedekiah asked. “I’ll watch him and let you know if anything else happens.”
Regulation offices didn’t have to listen to anyone, but they both regarded Zedekiah and finally nodded.
“Fine,” the woman said, “but we’ll be monitoring you both.”
“Of course.” Zedekiah dragged me to my feet. “Thank you.”
As soon as we got into the hall I said, “What’s going on?”
“Not a word, kid,” Zedekiah said. “Not here.”