Michael watched the frantic activity of the labour staff, beside the least of the Heavenly host. Barak stood a mere eight feet tall, clad in armour similar to that of the crusaders.
The heart monitor for the newborn baby girl, flat-lined as her father frantically read from his Bible, praying for God to intervene.
‘Our Master has told me that we are to aid this family. This man is righteous and speaks the words of God; the greatest of authors.’
‘The girl, Axella, is to be your charge.’
Staring through the glass of the operating theatre window, Barak studied the demons laughing over the murder of the child and the tears of the hysterical mother, clutching her dead baby.
‘Why this one General?’ Barak asked.
‘She has been chosen for a great task. As you know, there is a spiritual as well as a physical plane of existence in this world.’
‘Yes,’ said Barak.
‘And none of us, neither angel, nor demon will breach the physical plane, but of late, some of the demons have broken this most sacred of laws. They have attacked prominent men directly in order to manipulate the earth’s future. You know what happens if we breach this law to go after them, my friend,’ said Michael, placing a huge hand on Barak’s shoulder. ‘We become as they are. The Lord has bestowed gifts on this one with which to fight these demons. The dark ones know of Axella’s importance and will endlessly try to slay her. It is you who is to protect her until she is seventeen.’
‘But General, I am the weakest of the angels. Many of the demons are much stronger than I. Would it not have been best if you…’
‘…Do as you have been commanded!’ Michael roared.
His hand was a blur to the pommel of his sword and the awesome blade seemed to appear above his head. It glowed white as he thrust it into the floor. Like a ringing hammer, the blow reverberated throughout the floor making it ripple noticeably, but the medical personnel in green smocks still did their best to save the child, oblivious to his actions.
‘Yes, my General,’ said Barak, dropping to one knee.
‘I am sorry,’ relented Michael. ‘You are more to me than one of my army; you are my closest friend. I know that you are afraid, but Axella’s father reads often, and when he speaks the words of God, he will empower you; now go to your charge,’ he waved his open palm at the baby.
Barak stepped through the glass on the spiritual plane as if passing through a mirrored pool and stood impassively above the woman on the gurney like a giant stone sentry.
Six demons chattered delightfully over the grief they had caused, smiling contemptuously at him.
‘It seems God sends his weakest,’ mocked one of the fiends. ‘Barak; means “the lightning,” does it not?’
The angel’s hand blurred at a sped that could never be measured by any man made chronological instrument. Six white bolts fanned from his slashing sword, finding six marks. All six demons, dissipated in a blaze of orange sparks. He leaned forward over the weeping woman scanning the naked little body. Her flesh faded in his spiritual sight as he peered deeper for the source of her death. Muscle faded next, then arteries, as he detected the root of the problem, tracing it back to the heart.
‘Live,’ he said to the girl as his fingers brushed the tiny organ.
It beat, bringing the monitor to life. Axella threw her head back as she gasped her first breath in the embrace of her mother. The little brown eyes of the girl shifted, locking stares with Barak, bringing about the hugest smile he had ever seen on a baby.
‘She can see me.’
‘Yes,’ said Michael, after teleporting behind him. ‘Now you see why she is important. Axella can interact in our realm as well as the plane of men. You are to teach her how to use her spiritual senses as we do. In time, we must both train her in our unique skills so that she may battle the demons which cross over into the physical plane.’
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