Author: Frankie David PM
Hell Keepers have been helping the Angels protect Humans against Demons since the beginning of time. But things are about to change as the Keepers discover a secret a vast of the Angels are keeping.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Romance - Words: 2,396 - Published: 02-10-13 - id: 3099968
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"ARE YOU SURE WE'RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE?" I asked, looking at my partner over my shoulder. We were perched on the roof of a house with me crouched near the edge while Frankie stayed still on the flattest part far away from where I was. She may be our best female combatant and one of the best overall but she was mighty scared of heights. I've heard that she died after being pushed from a high building. I guess her fear had more to do with trauma than anything else.
Yes, she was already dead. So was I and all the other Hell Keepers. And we were all stuck in that place between Heaven and Hell we called The Shore because our sins and kindness weighed evenly on the balance that we weren't evil enough to enter Hell or good enough to enter Heaven which was fine. I'd rather be here than burn in eternal fire and I was pretty sure all the other Keepers would agree.
We were a rather special lot. We did the dirty job for the Angels — watching over the Gates of Hell making sure the Seals were intact so that no Demon could escape into the Human world, and return them if they decided to bypass their curfew during their Winter Solstace/Halloween "field trips".
"I'm sure," Frankie replied, her usually cold façade now losing a battle against getting sick. And when I said 'sick' I meant 'throw up'. We were immortal; immuned to diseases and almost unkillable.
I nodded and returned my gaze to the next house where Frankie said she felt a demonic presence. Not all the Keepers had the ability to sense auras and even to her kind, Frankie's ability was unusually strong which gave our team a great advantage. It was probably due to her being an Esper in her life. She was aware of non-human existence that even before she died, she'd been helping Hell Keepers hunt.
"Troy!" she gasped, jumping off her 'safe place' and dropping to a crouch beside me, acrophobia completely forgotten. She needn't say anything as a reddish smoke appeared out of nowhere and started seeping in through the tiny space between the closed windows. Demon essence. Then the body should be nearby. In their essence form, Demons could only manifest themselves by invading Human dreams and causing nightmares, feeding on their fears.
"I'll go find the body," Frankie told me before jumping off to the side of the house and landing with a soft thud. By destroying the body, the essence would have nowhere to return to but they were known to possess both animates and inanimates, and that was when things got messy.
I jumped off the roof, dispersing my molecules, and followed the Demon essence through the gap. When my body solidified again, the essence was hovering over the sleeping form. It made to dive into the Human's subconscious but I grabbed it in time, using my chakra to prevent it from dispersing and escaping. I spread my consciousness and searched for Frankie's, wondering if she'd already found and destroyed the body, but I couldn't find her. I began to panic and rushed to the window, throwing it open before jumping out, dragging the struggling essence with me.
I ran around the area, scanning every corner and shadow. The sun was already beginning to rise when I decided to summon Frank, Frankie's twin brother. He would definitely kill me if he found out Frankie was missing.
"What did you do to her?" I growled at the essence as I lifted it in front of my face. It was now in a special cage enchanted with the same magic used to seal the Gates. The essence only bounced around, trying in vain to escape.
A few minutes later, Frank appeared in front of me in his gray Keeper robes. We needn't worry about beeing seen by Humans. Only Espers had that ability and there weren't many of them. I gulped and leant against the concrete wall behind me, frowning at its roughness. Frank narrowed his eyes and if I could just sweat, I would drown in my perspiration. Frank was one of the higher-ups. Simply put, he was one of my bosses. Now how the bloody Hell could I tell him I lost his sister? He'd zap me to the deepest pits of Hell even before I could say 'chill'.
"Where's Frankie?" he asked in a heavy British accent not unlike his twin's. Dun-dun-dun-dun! Moment of truth. I was about to answer (and automatically sign my death warrant) when Frankie's voice, to my relief, echoed in my mind. Telepathy. Looking at Frank's expression, I knew he heard her, too, which meant she knew he was here.
'Where the Hell are you?' I thought and Frank gave me a sharp look. I sighed. Yeah, watch your language around your best friend'a overprotective brother. 'I caught the essence, where's the body?'
'That's what I was about to tell you. Now shut up!' she snapped. Frank smirked. Hey, not fair! I wasn't allowed to be rude to her, even just playfully so, but she was allowed to be seriously rude to me? Of course they heard that and I heard their chorus of 'Shut up!' in my head. Fine.
Images began to appear before my mind's eye like a silent film and I saw the body in her point of view. It looked fairly Human, standing in the middle of tropical trees — a High Demon. Only those had humanoid appearance. The lower their ranks got, the uglier they appeared. It was quite handsome by Human standards if it weren't for its green skin and pure black eyes. It wore a pair of tattered sweatpants and nothing else. I saw Frankie's dagger as she whipped it from its sheath on her arm and she began to advance on the target but something alerted her and she returned behind the bush where she had been previously hiding, cut the flow of her chakra and put up a mental barrier. So this was why I couldn't find her. Soon a group of at least six Demons in nightmarish forms came into view and took the body with them as they set off skyward. Frankie followed them stealthily and was surprised to see two bright beings join the Demons. Angels.
'They seemed to be heading west,' she said as the images ended. West. Frank and I looked at each other tensely.
'Frankie, return here at once. I'll go to the Western Gate,' Frank said. It was an order from a boss to his subordinate, not of a brother to his sister. When he used that tone, even the stubborn Frankie knew better than to protest.
'I understand. On my way,' she said and I felt our telepathic connection end. She could've teleported here instantly but I guess she didn't want to open her chakra flow and risk being detected. It took her a full three minutes to return and I saw Frank relax some.
"Throw that essence back to Hell and wait for my orders. I'll inform the rest of the Council of the situation on my way," he said before vanishing into thin air.
"This doesn't look good," I said stupidly stating the obvious. She didn't reply and we both teleported back to The Shore.
IT'D BEEN HOURS SINCE FRANK left to check the Western Gate and our return to The Shore but we still hadn't heard from him. Even the Council was starting to worry. After giving them a relay of what happened and what he thought was happening, he cut his chakra flow and put up a mental barrier just like I did earlier, and until now not even I could locate him, considering our extremely strong connection as twins.
We were sitting under a tree, Troy and I, with my knees drawn to my chest, my arms linked around them, and my head on his shoulder with his hand on my head. Our closeness used to be a favourite subject of rumours circulating in the Keeper community until Troy started dating Aya, an Angel and member of the Sub-council. We weren't always this close, though. He was a bit cocky and overconfident that I developed an instant dislike of him during my first few months here. Then the Council decided to throw us together in a mission, thanks to Frank, my twin brother who died two years earlier than I did after being shot by the man who raped me. Two years later, the man returned and pushed me off the school rooftop. He was killed by the cops and Frank had the pleasure of taking him to Hell.
Our first mission together was a complete failure but only because Troy chose to save me from being dragged to Hell rather than chasing after the High Demon we were sent to capture. He even took the blame when it was entirely my fault. I thought I knew everything about being a Keeper just because I was an honorary Keeper during my life. But now I know that what I'd experience as an honorary was nothing compared to what actual Keepers did. My arrogance had almost cost me an eternity of suffering. Since then we became best of friends. Though he would never accept it, it was undeniable that I owed my afterlife to him.
I stared blankly ahead; the concerned looks the others threw my way barely registered in my mind. Aya joined us shortly and knelt in front of me, cupping my face gently. I knew what she was doing. I'd seen her and other Angels do this plenty of times before. I could feel my mind and body relax as a pleasant kind of warmth spread all over me. 'No!' my mind screamed in protest. I didn't want to sleep. Not when my brother could be in danger. I struggled to stay awake and attempted to utter a protest but only managed a pathetic whimper. I felt Troy's arms around me and heard him whisper, "It's OK," before I lost consciousness.
I FELT MY BEST FRIEND'S BODY sag in my arms as she finally went to sleep. Our kind didn't really sleep. But occasionally the Angels had to force it on us. Frankie was a level-headed Keeper but we wouldn't dare risk it with her worrying over Frank.
Aya withdrew her hands, helped me lay Frankie down with her head on my lap and smiled at me. 'Perhaps you should, too?' she asked me and I knew from the echoing quality of her soft voice that she was talking to me in my mind so that only I could hear. It was moments like this that telepathy felt so intimate. I shook my head and she nodded understandingly. I wanted to watch over Frankie and be alert for news from Frank. 'We've sent out Seekers to look for him,' she assured me.
There were two kinds of Keepers — the Seekers and the Fighters. A team was always composed of one of each. A Keeper couldn't be allowed to go to a mission alone. In our case, Frankie was the Seeker and I was the Fighter but she was a great fighter, too, which gave our team a very good advantage. To become a Seeker, one needed to be able to sense auras and chakras, which was an ability not all of us possessed. It could be learned but it wasn't easy. We who didn't have that ability trained to become Fighters and that was way easier, if you asked me.
Aya's hand on my cheek pulled me back to the present. It was like silk against my skin. Call it cheesy but in the eight months that we'd been together, I still hadn't gotten used to her dazzling smile and the mere beauty of her existence. In this place where it was constantly nighttime, she was my morning. She was the one who welcomed me and informed me of my situation on my arrival here. I'd been rude to her and everyone, afraid to let anyone get too close but she was patient and didn't hate me despite everything I did to upset and hurt her. Her cerulean eyes softened as she heard my thoughts and she said, this time spoken out, "You are my dark light."
"Enough of that or I'm going to throw up," an unmistakably familiar voice said, ruining the mood, and Zhane, another Angel from the Sub-council, plopped down beside Aya, arms folded on her chest. I glared at her but she ignored me and leant over Frankie's sleeping form. Even at this state, worry still creased her forehead. "And here I thought she would be less imposing in her sleep," she siged, frowning. For some reason, many of the Keepers and Angels alike were cautious around Frankie. I guessed it was her coldness and consistent bored look that made her seem inapproachable.
"She isn't scary at all," Aya said, smoothing the crease between Frankie's brows. She stirred slightly but didn't awaken. "As a matter of fact, she's really sweet and caring. You should see her when it's only the three of us."
"Yeah, without pesky little birdies fluttering about," I agreed, muttering under my breath.
"Hey, I'm not a pesky little —" Zhane protested, her glowing face turning ten shades of pink, but I cut her off coolly.
"Did I mention a name? Why be so guilty?" I asked with a smirk and Aya coughed back a giggle so she wouldn't offend her best friend.
"You... You..." Zhane started but couldn't seem to find a word fitting enough. Of course, I was only glad to finish it for her.
"Handsome? Dashing? Incredibly irresistible?" I suggested, quirking my brows. She hissed at me and was about to walk away when Frankie spoke.
"Shut up, idiot, before I retch out all my innards," she said rubbing her eyes and sitting up. Zhane went still and silent in an instant. I almost laughed. "My brother's on his way back. Safe," she said after a yawn. I was about to suggest that she just had a very realistic dream but I remembered Keepers didn't dream. I still tended to forget I wasn't Human anymore.
Aya and Zhane closed their eyes then spoke together. "She's right."