February 12, 2029, Jerusalem
“Seneca?” Kali calls out in the dark by the large boulders where she was told Seneca would be waiting.
“I’m here. Who are you?”
“That’s a complicated answer. Can I just give these to you and be on my way? They were sent by the team of people who came from Heaven with you. They have been detained in prison and asked me to bring them to you by midnight.”
Kali pulls the wrapping off the keys and shows them to Seneca. The pure gold sparkles in the moonlight.
“Bless you child!” Seneca takes the pouch from her and places it in his shirt pocket. He reaches for Kali’s hands. “I sense you are one of Lucie’s demons. You don’t have to confirm anything. Almighty knows all—so we don’t have to. Whoever you are, know you have played an important role in the great story of Almighty and man. I pray the Creator has mercy upon you, child.” Seneca touches Kali’s face and kisses her forehead. “I must be on my way.” Seneca steps into the portal and is gone.
Kali puts her empty basket on one of the smaller boulders and sits down to think. Today has been long. Just as she releases a sigh of satisfaction, she is pulled back to the moment by a familiar voice. “Hello, Kali. Lucie is looking for you—something about you being a traitor and needing to be returned to Hades.”
Kali stands and sees all six of the Lead Demons poised to capture her. She runs, darting through the boulders one by one, trying not to trip in the darkness. A small open space between two boulders catches her attention. The rocks have fallen against each other at some point in history and formed the perfectly-sized space in which to hide. She crawls in quickly and pulls herself into a little ball just in time to watch the Lead Demons run past her, unaware of her presence.
After they are out of her sight, Kali raises her head and whispers, “Father, forgive me.” She rolls up the right sleeve of her jacket and unbuckles the phylactery—breaking the seal of the glass tube. She screams in pain as the venom burns into her veins. Even as she begins to feel light-headed, she releases the Golden Apple and pries it open with her fingers. She peels back the then vellum paper and lifts out Lucie’s crystalline. She carefully places the crystalline on the surface of a flat rock. With both hands, she lifts a second rock above her head and slams it down hard onto the figurine. It shatters and the pieces fly across the red soil.
The venom spreads quickly through her body. She closes her eyes as she fights against the dizziness. Kali closes her eyes and slips away.
After hearing the slamming of the rock and Kali’s scream, the Lead Demons circle back to find the former Lead Demon collapsed on the ground between the rocks. Amy checks her breathing and pulse. “She’s gone.”
“Pity—what a great loss.” Abaddon sarcastically smirks to the other demons. “What’s with the shattered glass… is this Lucie’s golden apple?”
Amy runs her fingers through the small jagged edges of the crystal. “The glass doesn’t appear to be anything important. It’s probably just a little trinket she picked up in the city.”
“Yes,” says Jezabeth, “that’s Lucie’s Apple, but I’m not touching it—she was pretty clear about what would happen if we ever did.”
Abaddon kicks dirt onto the two sides of the Golden Apple. “I say we don’t utter a word of this to Lucie. If we do, she’ll know we were close enough to catch Kali but were outsmarted.”
Jezabeth lightly kicks at Kali’s lifeless body. “She’s so weird. Look, her body is beginning to transform. We better be back in Hades before she beats us there. Some Imp is sure to squeal to Lucie, and we will be dealt some pretty harsh punishment.” The demons spin around quickly and are gone.
“Good news, ladies and gentlemen, you are free to go. No one is pressing charges from the Jewish government for your trespassing, and a judge has ruled the Muslim government has no rights to the item you found in the cave. Officer Goldman will escort you out.”
We look at each other and smile. “Amazing! Thank you, David!” I shake the hand of the guard who watched over us in the holding cell and address the team. “Well, it’s back to the Portal for us. Time to go home. I feel confident Seneca made it out of here on time, thanks to the mystery girl. There’s probably a celebration going on in Heaven, and I want to be there to bask in the light of our successful mission. Archangel Michael is going to be pleased with our performances.”
Sterling leads the way on the three mile walk to the Portal. I purposely fall back from the group to walk with Tova. I squeeze her hand. “We did it! Now, I’m looking forward to seeing my father and telling him all about it—and us.”
Tova smiles and wraps her arm around mine.
We reach the Portal. There’s no sign of Seneca or the mysterious Kali. “Look!” Kimmy calls out. “It’s the basket Kali used to smuggle out the keys. Good news, they’re gone. Mission accomplished.”
“Yes. The Mission was completed.” The deep voice causes the team to jump. Archangel Michael stands on the small ledge that hangs just over our heads. He floats down and stands in front of us.
Liam blurts out in excitement. “Did you see it? Did you see how we all used our superpowers? You did some great training there, Mikey!”
“Please address me as Michael, and yes I saw it. Your smartly-used superpowers were successful in confusing your enemy and your moves were executed with precision. Please be seated, there is something I need to tell you.” The seven of us shoot each other some worrisome glances. We sit on the edge of our boulders, fully aware Michael’s tone isn’t a happy one.