Death Co: 4 (Fighting the Other Side)
4. Fighting the Other Side
Looking at the carnage around the accident it was hard to think about anything else. Slaughter is always sure to be a draw, for better or for worse. Just look at the movie industry. I was half listening to the pastor’s awkward confession when the call of angels rang through the air. We get shot out of cannon without a parachute; they ride in on a wave of sunshine or some shit (pricks). They may have been righteous and benign in life, but in death they’re cocky bastards.
The requisition agents formed up behind Barker. I had no idea what to expect. I had never seen an angel before. The circumstances of my death didn’t exactly call for them. In life I didn’t go to church, didn’t worship in private, and frankly thought the afterlife was a crock of shit. Luckily for me, God has a sense of humor about those things. Omnipotent wise-ass.
Half of me expected to see a horde of cherubs clad in white cloth burst forth from the clouds, the other half thought of great angelic warriors, wielding swords of unimaginable power charging out of the beyond, defending the honor of those who had served The Lord. What I got was neither. There were no warriors, no cherubs, only a group of men in white suits with ‘tastefully’ large halos adorning their perfectly manicured heads.
“Piss off, you can’t be here.” Barker had a way with angels. He didn’t like them much and they liked him even less. “You’ve got about thirty seconds to get back to groveling at his almighty foot before I fill your ass with mine.” The image was pleasing; angels always look like they need a good kick in the ass, something to remind them that we all crawled from the same hole at one point or another.
“This is a bus full of missionaries. I hardly think you’re doing God’s work by delaying their eternal rest.” A murmur of agreement broke up from the confused group of recently deceased missionaries.
“I could say the same to you. I don’t do God’s work; I leave that to upstanding gentlemen like you. What I do here is much more important. Don’t you have a choir to attend to or some altar boys to chastise?” The angel grimaced and straightened his tie.
“These men, women and children spent their lives doing work for The Lord. We are taking them to with us.” The angels are much like the demons only they’ve got a rogue streak to them that generally speaking doesn’t end well. Imagine giving a child a candy store, and telling them they can’t have any of it. Angels are so convinced that they are doing God’s work by cheating the system that they will go to deplorable ends to accomplish it. Lucky for us, we get the guns.
“Don’t make me clip those pretty wings of yours.” Most angels don’t have wings, but it was menacing all the same.
“You wouldn’t hurt a servant of God!”
“You’ve got a listening problem. I don’t make the rules; I just follow them, and if you think the man upstairs has a problem with me smoking one of his servants, take a look around you. His almighty benevolence has already found it in his heart to trash one bus of worshippers today. What’s one more for the pile?” Barker unbuttoned his blazer and revealed the butt of a shotgun that was much larger than it had any right to be. The requisition agents stood behind him, keeping watch on the other angels.
“I am God’s holy warrior, I am taking these loyal subjects with me.”
“Jenkins, better call back and tell them to get the pens ready. There’s going to be a lot of paper work on this one.” Barker was deadly quiet as he said it.
“It doesn’t have to go this way.” The angel said, unsheathing a silver katana from within his jacket pocket.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, but oh well. You’re in violation of code 334-1 Section A.” In one swift motion Barker swung the shotgun up from his hip and fired at the angel in front of him. White dust and blood shot out of his back to mingle with the catastrophe that we were standing on. Chaos broke out in a matter of seconds.
Angels charged, requisition agents drew their weapons. I fumbled for my revolver and dropped it onto the pavement. I dropped to my knees to pick it up and found an angel kicking me in the face. He pushed his boot-heel into my neck and pinned me to the ground. “I’m sorry.” He said timidly. “But this is for God!” There was a silver-white flash as his sword raised in the air and then a moment of blinding pain as he drove it between my eyes.
As I let my head rest on the pavement I could see the angel who had stabbed me being torn apart by barker’s shotgun. White light flashed at all sides and the battle continued to rage. The missionaries stood huddled by their fiery heap of a bus, clutching rosary beads and averting their eyes. My last thoughts before blacking out were: Oh God, not again…