Warriors of the Spirit

By Alec Marshall

Book One

Fire

For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.

The Second Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy

Chapter One, Verses Six and Seven

Catholic Edition

Prologue

Godspeed

Burning down Neverland Scatter the ashes

White lines, black tar the matches

Is this another death by misadventure?

Tell me what you got, what you really got.

We'll rest in our graves

Lexington course your veins.

Sleepers can't just wake the dead,

When needles and lovers collapse on guilty beds.

Fall asleep

Don't fall asleep

Don't fall asleep

(They lied when they said the good died young)

They lied when they said the good died young

They lied when they said the good died young

Stay with me, stay with me tonight

Anberlin

Cities

Copyright 2007

A man sat alone in a wide-open courtyard staring up at the night sky. He looked to be about thirty, with a short, scruffy black hair and beard and green eyes. He was tall in stature and well built with well-tanned skin. His face and body were clear of freckles, birthmarks, hair or wrinkles of any kind. Many considered him handsome, even beautiful.

He came to sit here often, especially these last few years. He had come here to think about the world's uncertain future. The quiet, wide-open space was always void of people, which was perfect for the man. The thought that plagued the man's mind tonight concerned people. People and how they were turning away from their beliefs, their morals, but most of all, their God. The latter was most troubling to him because the man's entire existence was based on other people's belief in God. Without the faith of God's children, the man was helpless. His life was based on people's prayer. No prayer meant that the man's life, his destiny, was nothing.

He heard footsteps from behind him and turned to see another man, wearing a long flowing white cloak, walking towards him. His face was hidden by a large hood as he sat down next to the man.

"How are you tonight Michael?" asked the man as he removed his hood. The man looked much older than Michael, with a mane of long, pure white hair, full matching beard and deep blue eyes that seemed to shine in the low light. His face was surprisingly smooth and his skin was a lighter tint than Michael's.

"Fine, your Holiness. I have just been thinking all night, that's all."

"About what?" the cloaked man asked.

"Our current situation," Michael said gravely. The cloaked man nodded, but said nothing. The two sat in silence for a long time, Michael staring at the sky, while the cloaked man looked down at his hands, humming an unknown tune.

"Can I ask you a question, your Holiness?" said Michael.

"Seeing as you just did, yes you may ask one more," the cloaked man said.

"How will we know when it was begun?" The cloaked man frowned.

"Why are so you so concerned with this Michael? When the end begins, it will begin.

And it will end when it ends. You know this."

"But when is that? Every day, more and more people are falling to Satan and his empty promises and we sit here and refuse to help them. How can we protect our followers if we do not make an effort to protect them?"

"Who are we to question the will of our Lord, Michael? His will is the only will and when He decides to send help, He will send help to our people."

"But how long must we wait? I have spent my entire existence protecting those who are tormented by the Devil and now I am hopeless against him."

"Michael, you are not helpless." The cloaked man said. "You are the Archangel. You cast Satan and all of his angels into Hell. And no matter how delusional he may become, he has no power over you. You are the defender of the weak and the protector of man from sin. You are more powerful than Satan can ever hope to be."

Saint Michael smiled, and readjusted the sword on his belt.

"Is that a new sword, Michael?" asked the cloaked man.

"Yes," he said unsheathing it. The sword was unlike any the cloaked man had seen. It was extremely long and skinny with a deep blue blade and inscribed with "The Lord's Prayer" in Hebrew. The guard was a pair of agate angel wings with a one and a half hand hilt. Even stranger was that the sword had no pummel.

"I have never seen a sword like that before," The cloaked man said. "It looks like a rapier, but it is thicker and longer, isn't it?"

"Yes, while it may not be as strong as Nursha, it is much quicker and deadlier. I can reach out much farther and catch enemies before they get close enough. I have another one just like it, but I just carry this one. It attracts less attention."

"Very interesting," Said the cloaked man, handing the sword back to Saint Michael.

"What happen to Nursha? Did you just want a new sword?"

"It lost its power," Saint Michael said gravely. "Ever since the flood, it became heavier and less powerful. It eventually just became another sword, no different from one made by man over the angels. So I took the sword to Saint Martin of Tours, who forged me these swords. I told him to melt Nursha down and reuse the materials. I haven't seen it since."

"Nursha lost its power? But how can that be?"

"Nursha gained its power from the prayers of the people of the world, and the fear Satan had in the Lord. Its power had been slowly dwindling ever since the flood, but the last few years alone it began to drop exponentially. Paul predicted this shortly after he arrived in Heaven, but I refused to believe it. I wish I had listened to him sooner."

"So it is true then," the man said. Saint Michael nodded. The two sat in silence for a long time, Saint Michael picking absent-mindedly at the sword's scabbard and the man deep in thought.

There was a flurry of movement and another angel ran into the courtyard. She was an adolescent, with long brown hair and blue eyes. She wore an excited expression as she looked at the men.

"Your Holiness!" she cried.

"What is it, my child?" answered the cloaked man.

"The Chosen Warriors. The Lord has called them," she cried.

"When are they coming?" asked Saint Michael, getting to his feet.

"They are already here. The Warriors have arrived."