It couldn't be. She was dead. I had held her body in my arms. I had watched her burial. Juliet. My Juliet.
She came from around the couch and walked closer and I saw her truly, realizing my mistake. It wasn't her, though. It was more like a slightly distorted reflection of her. The hair wasn't the same, this girls was lighter. Their faces were so close but little instanced were off, the nose a bit smaller, the smile a bit crooked. This girl was shorter and less defined. Younger. It was all the little things that made them different. She still looked so much like my Juliet.
She walked over to Quinton and stayed near him. I didn't need my Second Sight to know that she had thrown up wards, though when I did I could see she was surrounded in a white sheen of Divination. Mentalists. A lot of Light Walkers had Mental powers. That stuff you read in the Bible about Angels and such working through you? Light Walkers.
Unlike Night Walkers who take many shapes, Light Walkers have stayed with their form over the millenia. The original right hand of God they worked his will, first casting out the First Born (or Fell) as they are called now, then in guiding mankind. A Light Walkers true form is pretty much a variation of what you have come to view an angel as, angelic beings of light with wings, though with the ability to take human shape.
This one was young for a Light Walker. To young to be out in the wide world without an escort and too young to have been around when whatever caused her kind to retreat. This was about to be, pardon the pun, enlightening. Quint put his arm around the girl and whispered what I assumed was reassurances in her ear. I knew that she knew what I was and wasn't taking any chances. She may be at a disadvantage at night, but that didn't mean she wasn't dangerous. Finally Quint pulled her away and introduced us.
"Alex Develin, this is Serapha al'Shera, or Sera as she is called. Sera, this is Alex, Keeper of the Peace and Servant of God."
Quint was probably laying it on a little thick with the servant of god stuff but I knew it was with the best of intentions. This girl, who looked younger each second I stood by her, had to be scared and a big fucked-up looking guy in blood stained rags with two big fucking guns didn't exactly scream serenity you know. I tried to be as polite as I could.
"Sera, I'm glad your safe. We took care of the men who were after you. It will be okay."
I thought that sounded pretty good but she was shaking her head. Hey we just beat a Greater Plane Demon for Christ's sake. What could be worse! Though if I knew what was to come I'd have kept my big mouth closed.
Sera slowly just shook her head. The more she stood there, so close, the more I could see my mind playing tricks on me. The more her features changed, the more she looked younger and younger. I'd have sworn she was in her late 20's when I walked in, yet now she couldn't be more than 18. If that. Things just kept getting deeper.
"Alex, Sera is special. Even for a Light Walker. She doesn't speak but she has communicated through me. She told me she was sent here to complete a mission laid forth to her by God himself. She was sent here for us to protect her until she completes that mission. She won't tell me what His will is, but that we must help her."
I looked her over again as Quint talked and still got the feeling I was missing something. Slowly I calmed my breathing and probed her with my Second Sight, cutting through to the truth below. She was a Mentalist, she was using a glamour. I had heard that some really good Diviners could read minds and project images based on what the viewer wanted to see. She was trying to put on a face that I would find pleasing to get what she wanted. It might have worked if I didn't have the Sight.
"Look Padre, Sera, if she needs protecting I'll do my job. I've proven that I think, but first things first. We cut the bullshit. She drops the glamour and deals with us face up."
"What are you talking about Alex? She is a Light Walker returned to guide the House of God?"
I looked at Quint and smiled, she was good to get through his protection spells but my Sight always sees true. Its one of the few good things about my condition.
"Look Sera, I have Second Sight I know you are casting an concealment spell. If you want help, you have to be straight up with us. After what the Padre and I just went through, I think we deserve that."
She looked to Quint and scowled but dropped the glamour. Quint seemed taken aback when he saw her true form. She was young. Maybe 15, with long blond hair and blue eyes. Her skin was golden and smooth, unblemished and perfect. She wore a simple white shift under a robe, her white feathered wings curled around her body. White and blue magic ran in circling rings about her body as she looked a me, sullen and scared.
"She was using Divination on us Padre, she is a Light Walker all right and this is her true form. She probably projected an image to you that you would associate with an angel, for me she looked too much like Juliet for my mind to accept."
"Now that we've got the introductions out of the way, what say you tell my why your here Serapha."
Quint took the transformation better than I would have thought, and handled what she did next even better, especially after the finding out the first angel he has ever met lied to him.
"My name IS Serapha al'Shera. I am of the Lesser Flight of Heavens legions, though my skills in Divination are accounted among the best of my people. In my sleep I have had a vision, a terrible vision that will mark the End of Days. The return of He Who Waits Belows and the coming of He Who Waits Above to meet in a clash of fire and flame, or darkness and light on this Earthly coil. The time is coming, something that started with the withdrawal of my people and the birth of the children of dusk and dawn."
That last line sounded a lot like it was about me, but I was the only one that anyone had ever heard of. She spoke these words with her own voice, in a sing song melody that could only herald from Heaven. She could talk and had clouded our minds with a glamour but I felt that deep down, she needed us. I needed more information though. Her people had began pulling out of Earth after my birth, but no one had known why. Was it because of who I was? Of what I represented? I decided to keep pressing.
"So what brings you back to Earth Sera? Why not return with your armies in preparation for dear old Satan's return?"
She smiled sadly at me, "For the return will start with the Armies of Heaven descending onto the people of this world to usher a cleansing. One like you has been raised among the Light Walkers, one who walks in the dusk and the dawn. One who has raised the armies to return back the Earth and expunge all those unworthy in God's eyes from it."
"It is said that God talks to her, though it has been many a year since God has spoken to our people. Though he remains in his Kingdom, he has shut us out, listening only to prayers, telling us to follow the paths of our hearts. She of the dusk and dawn has claimed that it is now our time to show the true power of faith."
There was a lot of shit to worry about in that statement. One God not directing the sides of Light anymore was concerning. It was common knowledge that mankind had been given free will, though species like the Fell had fallen from favor through lack of faith and jealously with the arrival of mans place in God's eyes. Still Light Walkers had always been at his hand to do his will.
Second was that the Armies of Heaven were preparing to march on Earth. They could cause some serious shit not just for Fell and Dark Walkers, but Norms as well. If whoever was in charge had deemed mankind unworthy of his love. As shaky as my faith may be at times, I don't think that God's the kind of guy to expunge all those unworthy before their time. At least I hoped so.
Third was the fact that there was another like me. The opposite side of the same coin. Raised by Light Walkers, could she control both sides of her powers? Did she even have the same powers. So many questions, so little answers.
"Is that why your here Sera? To tell of His return?"
The Padre had posed the million dollar question. Though I feared that something darker was in store than Quint was expecting. Why was this girl here and not someone fully grown into their powers?
"Not all of our kind believe this to be God's true path Father. God told us to follow our hearts, and not all of us believe in the daughter of dusk and dawn, her name is Allegra de'Vaine and I have seen her in my dreams. What I have seen is darkness and death around her, and she is the key to Armageddon. She has many followers in our Kingdom and as such my views are not popular or believed. They say I am to young to understand my visions or the portents of the future. I believe his to be a test of Gods faith that my people are failing, and I was chosen to return to this plan and seek out the bringer of balance. The person that my visions of the future have marked. You, Alex Develin."
Okay now I was fucked.
End of Line.