Ch. 1

Vatican City, Italy

November 21, 2024 / 10:45p.m.

(~5 years earlier)

It is cold in the hallway he is in. A draft left unattended in the ancient tunnels chills Father General Borghese to his core. Maybe it is the weather or maybe it is the nervous apprehension of his quest almost being complete. He 'polishes his palms' to help his circulation, his knobby knuckles rub together. Borghese is in one of the most secret locations on earth, a place only he, a small circle of the most trusted cardinals, and the Pope himself were allowed—the Vatican Secret Archives. This is a collection of history and literature from around the world; written and recorded, also many times confiscated, since the Roman Emperor Theodosius I began 'the Church' declaring Catholicism/Christianity the official religion of the empire.

Father Borghese is in an even more restricted area within, a room that if discovered by any other than the elite of the church, would be declared a heretic for uttering such things and ostracized from the church. Being that it is close to midnight his only source of light is the dim oil lamp hanging from his waist. This place is so ancient and the scrolls so delicate that electric lighting or heating has never been installed as it could mar the integrity of the parchment or ink. This is the area where they kept the texts and archeological artifacts that can de-stabilize the standing that the church has, and also call to question some of the doctrines that have been passed down through the centuries.

He locates the correct section and begins the arduous process of searching ancient texts for the knowledge he seeks. His heart throbs so hard he can hear it in his ears and beads of nervous sweat drip down his balding head despite the chill in the winter air. He finds what he seeks after hours of searching—the 'missing' Dead Sea Scrolls. Discovered by archeologists in a cave system in the 1950's they are a collection of texts that were said to once be part of the Hebrew Apocrypha. Texts that never made it into the canonical Bible that the Church uses as the Western World's standard.

Once word of their discovery reached the Church they quickly came in, with its secret Jesuit knights—agents dedicated only to the Pope and the expansion of the Catholic church—and took some of the most important pieces; still leaving enough vague information not to spark an international investigation. They retrieved anything with specifics in terms of dates or locations so that the information that was gleaned from this ancient knowledge had no historical context and would therefore not contradict or somehow interfere with the message that was being delivered by the Church's priests throughout the world—their message. In it are books that describe heaven and hell in great detail as well as accounts from prophets and dreamers that claimed to have been shown and told things by God himself and his angels.

One of these scrolls was written about a man called Enoch and he, over the course of decades of visions and dreams, was shown the greatest affront to God the Father that has ever been. It is the tale of angels called 'Watchers' that descended from Heaven to mate with the women on Earth. The angels did this because they grew jealous and thought to corrupt humanity by mixing their 'non-perfect' genetics with that of God's perfect human. The story goes that of everything else He created, God treasured humans above all other creations, even the angels themselves. He crafted man from the dirt with his hands and breathed life into them with his very breath, while all other things were only spoken and willed into existence.

There were two hundred Watchers, dejected angles, and their leader was called Shemyaza—known by many other names by many cultures: Ra, Zeus, Jupiter, Odin—basically who humanity has recorded as the leader of their gods. This pantheon of false gods—fallen angels—made a pact with one another to do this heinous deed. They left their heavenly realm and came to Earth, landed on Mount Hermon, and consecrated the place with an unholy ritual. The story goes on to tell how they did indeed mate with human women and their offspring were giants and became kings and men of great renown. They built all of ancient civilizations' great cities and sites we consider world wonders using knowledge passed on by their sires who had divine knowledge of creation and the workings of the physical and metaphysical world.

God's wrath came swiftly and mightily and he cursed the Watchers by binding them in chains 'under the mountains' until seventy generations had passed. Then the Lord forced the Nephilim to war with one another and the Watchers were forced to watch their offspring destroy each other. They appealed to God through the prophet Enoch but their pleas were denied and so the Watchers were cursed to watch and wait, all the while bitterness and resentment towards their unforgiving God grew.

A great flood then covers the entire world; this is recorded by every civilization and ancient religion in the world in which all but a few righteous people and a sample of all living life are wiped from the face of the world, but it is most commonly known in the western world as the story of Noah—the great grandson of Enoch himself—and the Ark. This wiped away the scourge known as the Nephilim from the face of the world. But that is where we led people to believe the story ends… Thinks Father Borghese. Even the Apocrypha's knowledge, considered new revelation, is incomplete.

With trembling hands he points and reads the lines of text he has been frantically looking for. These hidden, forbidden, words speak that the Watchers are still in existence and are physically trapped in a cave system beneath the very mountain that they descended, Mt. Hermon. For the past few years Father Borghese has been accosted with whispers in the corners of his mind. These voices have become his new reality. They speak terrible, blasphemous things, and are the cause of his relocation. They call from the black.

"And it is my fate to set them free… To change this world, to rule it!" He takes out his smartphone and takes pictures of all the pertinent texts he can find—an act punishable to the highest degree if discovered. Then he replaces the text and retraces his steps out, like a wisp in the night.