Ch. 34

Ashdod, Israel

Sunday April 2, 2029 / 7:02am

Her shriek wakes everyone in the room. Gabriel jolts up beside her and immediately wraps his arms around her shaking form. "What's a matter?" He asks worriedly. Kuto inquires similarly.

"A dream…" She shakes her head and runs her hands through her hair. "But more than that."

"Tell us, Natasha, please." Kuto urges. So she tells them every detail she can remember and finally getting to the part about the four seemingly good creatures, she says sheepishly, "I got the feeling that they are us! You, me, Gabriel, and I guess a few more…"

A short silence follows. Then Kuto begins to speak, but slowly as if he is reciting something. "'And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name is Abaddon in the Hebrew tongue, and Apollyon in Greek.' The book of Revelations in the Bible says those exact words. Natasha, what you saw is the king of all darkness that has ever been on this world—the fallen archangel of death… who we call the devil, and he makes way for the Watchers that have returned…"

"Then we fight them. Just like in your dream!" Gabriel interjects, trying to sound confident and lift Natasha's deflating spirits.

"But we were losing, Gabe…"She barely whispers, but it is enough to send the room into silence again.

"Well it is settled in my mind, then." Kuto finally states. "I am not waiting around for another day for an easy escort. We must retrieve the Key. We leave immediately!" None in the room argue. They are anxious to be on their way after the heaviness of the moment. They dress and arm themselves when Gabriel chances a glance out the blinds. "um…. Guys." He points outside where the scene is absolute madness. There are police and ambulances speeding past them and in the distance the group sees smoke rising as shouts of anger carry through the narrow streets. "Think he found us."

"How?!" Natasha exclaims, fear taking hold as she remembers the feeling of helplessness she had felt last time the enemy had taken her. No one answers for a second, then Kuto takes her hand roughly. Looking for the small bump that is the tell-tale sign that her hand has a microchip in it.

"They are tracking you, princess." Gabriel says, when he realizes at the same time Kuto does. "And they won't stop chasing us. Look," he says as he reveals a scar on his right hand, "I took mine out after the military." Kuto then states that he has never been chipped. Natasha looks at her hand in confusion, as if it was some foreign entity that had betrayed them.

"Get it out then. Now!" She says without a moment's hesitation.

"You know what that means?" Kuto asks. She nods and looks at Gabriel, who is already drawing his hunting knife. They move to the bathroom and she sits on the toilet lid and bites down on a hand towel as Kuto braces her arm against the cold fake granite counter.

"I'm sorry princess." Gabriel shoots her an apologetic look before pushing his knife into fleshy web between her thumb and palm. She screams into the towel as hot tears roll down her cheek, it feels like fire digging into her hand. When the pain finally subsides slightly she opens her eyes to see Gabriel holding a tiny piece of metal between his thumb and index, inspecting it. He then rushes back into the room and comes back with one of his stretchy muscle shirts and his med kit from his pack. "This isn't gonna feel good either but we gotta make sure it doesn't get infected." So he pours a generous amount of iodine on the open wound and proceeds to try and stitch her closed with the rudimentary needle and thread in the pack. Once done, he puts a small ice pack on her palm and wraps her hand in strips of cloth he cut from the shirt.

The whole process takes all of five minutes. When she finally has the wherewithal to speak again she thanks him. "Let us be gone." Kuto says. They finish packing and head out the front door, trying their best to keep their faces downwards as they emerge in to the chaos of the street.

"We need a vehicle, and given the circumstances, I say we help ourselves." Gabriel commands, taking the lead in the group and forging forward. Natasha and Kuto nod in agreement. "Look for anything with 4x4 on it!" He shouts over the clamor of the ever more chaotic scene unfolding around them. Natasha looks around, seeing a whole lot of small cars and mopeds.

It is Kuto who spots it first. A brown older looking SUV that, as luck would have it, is equipped with all terrain tires. He hurries over to it and uses his staff to shatter the passenger window. "Over here!" He cries. Gabriel and Natasha speed over as fast as they can. Gabriel reaches the vehicle and immediately reaches under the steering column and pulls out a mass of wires and draws his knife to splice the ones he knows will jumpstart the vehicle. A stray bullet whizzes by to his left as he is there, half in and half out of the front seat. By now Natasha reaches the SUV and throws herself down in the back seat with her hands over her head.

After another ten long seconds she hears the engine roar to life and relief floods through her. Gabriel takes the driver seat and hands Kuto one of his guns as he takes the passenger side. Gabriel punches the gas and she lurches backwards, slamming her injured hand on the backrest sending a shocking pain up her whole arm. She growls the pain away and only once moving away does she glance out the rear window just in time to see a military looking helicopter fly into view towards their hotel before Gabriel rounds a street corner.

She breathes a sigh of relief and is just about to sit upright when the ground under them shakes with the boom of a nearby explosion. "We're not outta the oven yet! Something tells me that blast was meant for us!" Gabriel shouts over his shoulder at Kuto, who only nods, but whose eyes betray the adrenaline pumping through him.