Abel and Kane
“I will not ask you again Miss Gatewood.” The interrogator said. “What did you see down there?”
Gatewood stamped out her cigarette on the tAbel . “I already told you. Freedom.”
The interrogator snarled. “What does that supposed to mean?”
Gatewood glanced to the tall man and folded her left hand on top of her right. “It means that Abel gave us total freedom. We had tracked Kane to a cave in the outer regions. His ship was damaged, he didn’t have any place else to go.”
“You humans will be throwing your lives away.” A tall man dressed in white loincloth and metal armor which relied upon the user’s own strength to move. It was very out of place for the command deck of the Libertatem quaesitor.
A middle aged man smiled and turned towards the taller man. “Abel .” The man said. “Before you arrived, we humans were enslaved to Kane’s every whim and desire. We want a piece of him.”
Abel knotted his brow together. “Captain Elaus.” He said. “I didn’t free humanity, just so it can strike out in useless anger and vengeance.”
“Humanity is grateful for your help.” Elaus said. “We know that we cannot stand up to Kane, we’ll leave him to you. What we can do is take his underlings, carve a path for you.”
The Interrogator walked behind Gatewood. “I am not looking for what happened on the ship. I am looking for what happened on the surface, what happened to Abel and Kane?”
Gatewood rested her eye socket onto the heel of her hand and sighed. “After three days of fighting, we had finally broken through to the cave that they were held up in.”
“Gatewood.” Abel said. “Once I have killed Kane, your people still under his influence will become freed. Know that not everyone is going to be good, not everyone is going to side with you.”
Gatewood’s exoskeleton suit had a black, brown and green camouflage pattern. Unlike Abel ’s armor, the weight of her armor was carried by the suits spine, not her body. “What do you mean that some will not side with us?” She asked. “No one would want to be a slave to Kane.”
“Not every being likes total freedom from the controls of another.” Abel said as he watched the hostile patrol pass by the mouth of the cave again. “Some would rather be slaves to another and have their lives choices dictated to them. These mentally weak need not your condemnation, but rather your understanding and compassion.”
The Interrogator slammed his fist onto the tAbel . “The cave, what happened inside the cave?” He shouted. “I don’t care about anything which happened before the cave. Not your conversations, not your love affair with Abel . Only hat happened at the end.”
Gatewood smiled and held up an empty can of soda. “Can I get another?” She asked. “We fought our way into the cave. Many of us died on our way into the cave.”
“Gatewood.” Abel said. “Use your forces to give me cover fire from the bridge you are on.”
Gatewood smiled at the sound of Abel ’s voice. She turned toward the bridge and fired on a set of Hell hounds which had just finished tearing the armored breast plate of another trooper from his suit. The life sign indicator for Jeremy blinked to red and then black as human bone and flesh was ripped from his suit.
Gatewood fired at the hound which just killed Jeremy. Her rifle used a series of magnets to fire three inch long titanium encased tungsten cored spikes.
The hound flinched, lowered its head and raised organic plates which were harder than the trooper’s armored suits.
The second hound ran around the first. Its large exoskeleton armor plates closed ahead of its massive head and shielded both itself and its mate from the murderous fire of Gatewood’s unit.
“I would love to.” Gatewood said. “But we’ve got two big dogs up here.”
A more heavily armored trooper raised his right arm. An impact grenade launcher fired a fist sized explosive at the rampaging hound and detonated. It gave the hound pause long enough for the armored trooper to begin a running start. His mechanical arms reached and clutched the Hound from under its front two legs. The trooper lifted the hound into the air, exposing its weaker underbelly to Gatewoods light of sight.
Gatewood fired six more and carefully aimed rounds. Each penetrated the weaker hide of the hound and tore flesh from its body. It screamed in pain, and then collapsed over dead. “Billy.” She yelled into her radio.
Billy’s motion sensors warned him to the hound’s rapid approach. He smiled and ducked down low, just in time as the hound closed the distance. “Sorry.” He said and over charged the leg servos of his armor. He rose and then leaped into the hound’s underside. Both fell off the edge of the bridge. “I guess I won’t have the chance to get that drink with you.” He said before his suit impacted the wall and tore the helmet from his head.
Gatewood closed her eyes as Billy’s heart beat sensor changed to black and indicated that he was dead. “Ok, fire on my waypoint.” She shouted and marked the area that Abel wanted their weapons fire to be brought down upon.
“Abel ran through the opening we made for him.” Gatewood said, seated in the interrogation room and lowered her hand with the cigarette from her mouth. “He disappeared into the tunnels while we were left to deal with the Hounds and anyone still under the influence of Kane.” She stamped the cigarette out in the ash tray.
“Was that the last time you saw Abel ?” The interrogator asked.
“No.” Gatewood said.
Gatewood took a running start and ran off the edge of the bridge spanning the two tunnels of the cylindrical abyss. Her Heads up display counted down from three seconds and she fired her armors retro thrusters which lightened her fall.
Her HUD read zero and the bridge she jumped from detonated before the Hounds could try to jump. She glanced down into the black abyss and smiled. Her eyes glanced to her Platoon indicator. She closed her eyes and used her neural interlink to close the indicator. She didn’t need it anymore; she was the last member of her platoon.
She planted three more sets of charges on the bridge she stood on and linked them to each other and laser sensors. If anything followed her, the charges would destroy the bridge and buy her some more time.
She found the dead remains of Kane’s followers and Hounds alike. Abel had left her a large neon sign of dead and broken bodies to follow.
“Guess I shouldn’t waste a gift?” She asked herself and broke out into a run down the tunnel. “I got to get me one of his swords.” She said to herself as she began to take notice at the Hounds split into two or more pieces.
She emerged in a massive cavern
“But it wasn’t a cavern, was it?” The interrogator said.
Gatewood lifted her head to face her interrogator and smiled. “Hun.” She said. “Would you like to tell the story or should I?” She exhaled the smoke from her lungs. “You’re right. It wasn’t a cavern, but a hanger. The entire cave structure was an Angelic military base and Kane sought to awaken his fellow Demonic Angels.
“What happened next?” The interrogator asked.
“Next? Next this and next that or forget that or that isn’t important.” Gatewood said. “My platoon died in that hell hole and all you care about is where one Angel went?”
“We need to know.” The interrogator said. “Now please. Tell us what you know.”
Gatewood closed her eyes.
The hanger was filled with ships. The smallest ships were easily a mile in tall and three quarters a mile wide. The walls were lined with cryostats chambers. Each had an Angel in it.
Gatewood took a horrified step back away from the edge of the hanger bay. The thought of what one Demonic Angel could do chilled her to the bone and now her HUD counted over fifty thousand Angels and dozens of small ships docked in this massive hanger.
Light seemed to emanate from everywhere, as a fog made the ships look to be resting in water. The hanger stretched three miles long and several hundred meters wide. Through breaks in the false wall, she could see that there were other hangers and her HUD indicated each was designed similarly to the one she stood in.
Two bodies sped past her from beneath the fog to the hangers ceiling. They were intertwined in a struggle, their feathered wings fought instinctively to provide each with the superior advantage. Abel broke away from Kane and fell to the surface of a ship. He rolled onto his side and struggled to his hands and knees, he was losing the fight.
Gatewood met Abel ’s gaze as he noticed her standing in the open.
Kane followed Abel ’s gaze to Gatewood and smiled. “Ah, how thoughtful of you Abel .” Kane said. He didn’t need a radio as he spoke with a soundless voice that penetrated metal and stone. His child like voice was inside her mind. “You brought me another follower.” Kane dove for Gatewood.
Gatewood raised her rifle and fired it until the rifles battery read empty and made a heart wrenching mechanical click sound that her armored gloves replicated against her bare fingers.
Kane continued his decent unwounded by Gatewood’s weapons fire. “Feisty one, aren’t you?” He said and landed just before her. “You will serve me now.” He drew his sword back.
Gatewood instinctively stepped back in horror and reached for her side arm. From her perspective, it felt as if the entire world had slowed and she was the slowest of them all.
Kane brought his weapon forward. The sensors in Gatewoods armor blared impact warnings as the tip of Kane’s sword pierced the outer armor of her suits chest plate.
Gatewood’s eyes focused behind Kane and onto Abel as he flew towards her with inconceivAbel speed for the slow motion perspective that she felt that she was in.
“Abel !” Gatewood screamed.
Abel collided with Kane and both Angels flew into the wall.
Gatewood was spun by the force of the collision. Other than the chest plate damage caused by Kane’s sword, her armor’s system checks read yellow or green. She brought her arm to her chest and felt the damage all the same and then to her side. She glanced to where Abel and Kane collided with the wall. Kane had already risen his feet. She scrambled to her own and picked up her rifle.
Kane glanced back to Gatewood. He smiled as he watched her bypassing the weapons battery pack. She attached a small cable from the reactor of her suit to the weapon. “That isn’t going to work.” Kane said. This time he used actual words spoken louder than any human could have spoken.
Gatewood took aim and fired at Kane. The metal slugs were sent down the barrel until the clip clicked empty. She changed clips rose the weapon and fired again while she took slow deliberate steps towards the two Angels. Get up! She thought to herself as she clinched her jaw and her suit adjusted to each step. Get up or he will kill you. Her weapon clicked empty, she changed the clip again and aimed again.
Kane glanced to Abel’s unconscious body, tilted his head and then glanced to Gatewood. “Do you love him? Do you think he loves you?” Kane asked. “It’s strange that I can sense a strong connection between the two of you.” Kane’s arrogant smile widened as he raised his sword to deliver the killing blow to able.
Get up Abel, get up. She cried out to Abel with her mind and continued to fire her weapon at Kane’s midsection, disappointed in the futility of firing her weapon, undeterred by desperation. Her last clip clicked empty, she dropped the rifle and took a started run at Kane and stopped dead in her tracks.
Kane glanced from Gatewood, down to the sharp pain in his abdomen. He followed the pain to a broken blade which pierced him between the armored plates to the blood soaked hand of Abel.
“I.” Abel tried to say. “Might not be Able to kill you.” He twisted the sword and tore the open wound wider. “But I can stop you.” Abel rose to his feet and pushed a confused and confused Kane back and off the edge of the hanger bay.
Time slowed to a standstill the moment when Abel and Kane left the hanger deck and before Abel vanished from Gatewood’s sight. Abel’s head turned to Gatewood and he smiled. Be good and nuke this place for me? Love you. He told her with wordless speech and followed Kane into the abyss, only to vanish in a flash of golden light.
“That can’t be the end of it.” The interrogator shouted.
Gatewood glanced up to the interrogator. She locked her eyes onto his rank and status insignia and then followed his black and brown uniform to his neck and day old stubble of facial hair. She gazed into his eyes. “No, it isn’t.” She said. “I did as Abel asked. I collected the functioning reactors from my dead Platoon members, linked their reactors together vie wireless laser signal and set a timer to overload the reactors to detonate as nuclear bombs. I killed fifty thousand Angels with twenty seven tinny nuclear weapons.”
“Which we are all grateful for.” The interrogator said calmly, coldly. “But that doesn’t tell us where Abel or Kane are.”
Gatewood smiled. “Don't you get it?” She said. “Don't you understand?”
“No, I don't.” The interrogator shouted. “That is why we are here, to understand what happened.”
“Abel and Kane are the same Angel. The same being.” Gatewood said. “They are the one and the same, and somehow, for some reason, they splintered into two beings. When this happened we had lost the ability to decide for ourselves what was right and what was wrong. They weren't two different Angels. They were the Angel, the top Angel. The embodiment of the timeless battle between good and evil.”
The interrogator sat straight in his chair. “You think that they were some mystical force?”
Gatewood smiled. “I got to use the rest room.” She said, stood and walked to the door. “Mind opening it? Or must I do my business here?” She wore the maternity shirt women wore while they were in their last month of pregnancy.
The interrogator laughed and nodded to the one way viewing glass. The door lock clicked open and Gatewood opened it. “So tell me something.” He said. “How did you become four months pregnant in only two months? And now nine months in only four months time?”
Gatewood didn't turn to face the interrogator. “Didn't I tell you?” She said. “Abel and I.” She placed her right hand onto her belly as she glanced to it and smiled warmly at the slight kick she felt and began to rub her belly. “We shared a very special bond.” She allowed the door to slam shut behind her as she left the interrogator to his thoughts.